Thursday, January 24, 2013
On January 3 I posted a missive, inquiring what blog content was desired, not desired, beneficial, a waste of time. Thereafter I let my provincial sports fandom get the best of me and spent the next two-weeks boasting about our local (and still prideful) NFL team which just happens to be Super-Bowl bound. Clearly matters of the (AFC CHAMPION!) Ravens are unimportant to most of you, which is OK. For those few of you also swept up in this, this purple Spark Page is for you.
Many of your responded thoughtfully to my inquiry about desired Spark blog content. I read them all, but as frequently befalls me, time pressures of the real world (remember Susan818127, Thing 1 and Thing 2?) did not facilitate the time for a reasoned personal response. Thank you GreasyJoan for calling me out on this, with your customarily forthrightness. It's just one of the great many ways that I am a really bad Spark Friend.
Many of you were duly warned not to add me as a Spark Friend, to de-friend me, to delete my posts, etc. That remains the wise choice and I encourage it whole-heartedly. For those of you foolish enough to stick around - and even super-foolish to read and respond to this, in response to GreasyJoan, here are some nascent plans for improved Spark Blogs in the future:
1. Understand that like GreasyJoan, most of my blogs are for myself. They are remembrances (time-stratigraphic horizons for any fellow geologists in the bunch) of where I am, in time, space, health, and weight loss at the time of the blog. Whereas Joan does not expect anyone to read her blogs or to be interested, my business-owner false extroversion gets the best of me. I check notifications regularly for the following day or two, and read (and often cherish) responses received, insightful, pithy or otherwise.
2. Joan lauds praise upon me for reasons entirely befuddling - "... you are among the very best--who write really great stuff... you are a motivator and an inspirer...." I am humbled by these accolades, as I regard many of you to be better bloggers. TIMOTHYNOHE, SHERYLDS (a non-stop laugh-riot), and lately WATERMELLEN come immediately to mind. My better-half, SUSAN818127, does a much better job of staying on Sparky-point than I, despite the fact that she grew up even more of a Baltimore football fan than I was. No one sees her blogging on Spark about the Ravens, though).
3. Spark is free, so to speak (despite my recent pun-filled status reports above expensive Spark renewal fees). If you use ad-blocking browser add-ons as I do, it's quite free. Whereas GreasyJoan (drunkenly?) states that my blogs rise to the level of various and sundry op-ed columnists of national fame, and that she "would gladly pay to read your blogs", I'm merely hoping the Sparky editors take note of her suggestion and dismiss it for the ca-ca that it is. On the other hand, I have Thing 1 and Thing 2 to get through college and sideline employment would be much appreciated.
4. I concur with GreasyJoan that Spark is filled with rah-rah blogs, which for me grew somewhat tiresome after the first week or so. Rah-rah blogs get lots of responses, thumbs-ups, and mentions in the daily Spark mail as a consequence. The black art of getting named in the daily Spark Mail for a non-rah-rah blog (or in getting a "Popular Blog" award, or becoming a "Motivator") is just that. Since my blogs were never all that rah-rah, and since the best ones did not achieve such accolades (see Feb 5th 2012), its hard to know what "sells" around here. One of my best Spark_Friends (ECOAGE) and I once discussed just this point at some length, and concluded that advice, humor and lists (preferably in combination) seems to be the magic potion for a successful blog. But that formula bombs out just as often as it works, if not more. So, who knows? I do firmly believe that certain Spark members need to be retired to the Hall of Fame and to become ineligible for popular blog awards. You all know who I mean (and I would happily include myself in the emeritus and thus ineligible list).
5. I often read people's blogs, but do not always respond because of time and/or lack of relevant contribution. I admit to skip over the religious ones. There are other, better venues for that. And if you skip over mine about sports, politics, space exploration, global warming, how to play "Seven Nation Army" on the cello, whatever, that is ok. When I get busy, I have less time for Spark, blogs or otherwise. I try to be a good Spark Friend, but geez, there are 320-odd of you lost and misguided souls and only so many hours in the day!
6. GreasyJoan found what she wanted to say, and levied this factual accusation: She says I am "... a bit like the professor who collects a bunch of papers and does not bother to read them or grade them! So maybe people do want a bit more reciprocity in blog-reading or some sort of acknowledgement that they are being heard?" - Admittedly this has happened, as the Friend-Feed cuts both ways. I get feeds from 320ish of you, and even something an hour old requires a backward scroll. Sometimes there just is not time.
So other than less Ravens / Orioles and no more music quizzes, what else? Why I've been plateaued between a 55 and 65 lb loss since September? Is it a plateau or a long-term parking lot? As Lynyrd Skynyrd once famously said in the intro to the live version of "Free Bird" - -- "What is it that you want to hear?"