Week 5 Reviewed

I started off the last week with posting about my observations after the studio tours and the reflection can be found here.

I got a few responses which was nice. Mostly discussing flaws of organization on my site and learned something new from my commenters.

Then I had four fiction posts.01.)  She’s Back, 2.)Trapped, 3.)Bottom of the Pit, and 4.)Bottles Up.

I also added another character to my Character Profile page.

I’m hoping I have enough self-discipline now after doing this project that I can continue writing every day.I learned a lot this week and plan on continuing my fiction blog. The story isn’t over yet and I hope to see where it takes me.



Studio Tours

Here’s my attempt at the studio tours, you guys are doing a great job, can’t wait to see presentations of everyone’s projects later in the year. (On a side note I have a horrible cold but will fight through it to get this assignment done.)

1.) Jake Ford

First up is Jake Ford and his Hockey Blog.

Something I noticed right away, the links off of the proposal didn’t work. But I found the blog by finding a past weekly summary and those links worked.

I noticed that the word “hockey’ wasn’t a tag, I think that would be a very appropriate tag to use. 😉

Then I realized I know nothing about hockey so I looked under the About page.

I liked what I read. It gave me a sense of his experience and authority over hockey and sports in general. He has lots of experience in this area and I found that highly reassuring to my extremely limited knowledge revolving around middle school girls hockey where I attended games/practises of my best friend but that was…oh jeez…9 years ago? (Which is kind of funny because growing up in northern MN you’d think I’d have some instinctual fondness for hockey so I apologize for my personal limitations here)

For widgets he utilizes recent posts, tweets, archives, categories, and tags in that order.

This is helpful because a dedicated follower will want to see the most recent posts first to catch up on anything they miss.

I really like that he uses tweets, that is something I haven’t done yet but think would be beneficial in helping generate traffic.

Looking at his archives he has a total of three posts from March and five from April.

He breaks down his posts into either college or nhl hockey.

Then back to what I noticed first, the tag cloud.

We start off at the beginning with three predication posts on the ncaa tournament. These posts he does a great job linking to the teams and to individual players. He mixes in team history and analyzes wins vs losses to make predictions. I appreciate his unbiased approach giving his opinion but based off of facts. He uses images of real players and rinks to accompany his posts, along with grids to highlight information.

2.) Jordon Malm

Next is Jordon and Study Tool Wiki.

Jordon finds effectiveness partially in his classmates responses to the idea of using Wiki’s and most seem receptive. His progress is mostly content related. Classmates like the idea of having an online study guide. Making sure there aren’t any dead ends in the Wiki.

On the left hand side of his Wiki he has his welcome center with an about, contact, home, links, and syllabus tabs. Each is helpful for a newcomer to learn more about the site, but also important information is easily to find such as the syllabus right away.

Then he has an assignments tab, I didn’t understand any of those but would make sense to anyone else in his class. Then he has notes, and lastly terminology. The terminology was most interesting for me to read through, I like how they link back to each other such as “abstract class” also links to class, and abstract method.

Everything seems to have it’s purpose for the site. I like the use of wiki’s as a study tool idea, I think it would be more effective if there were more contributes to it as most wiki’s utilize, but for a one-man show this has depth and usefulness in it’s subject matter and looks professional.

I wonder if there’s a way to use images on wiki? Even if so what ones could be useful for this project?

3.) Devan Bierbrauer

And finally it’s Devan with a Runescape Adventure Blog.

I’ve never heard of Runescape before this but would like to try it out. Devan has an easy to read writing style, she explains things in a way that I can understand but also entertaining enough to keep me wanting more. The very first post was most helpful when starting out, I highly suggest adding a link to it from your “About Page” since that is where I looked first to find out what the blog is about then figured it must be in the first post so a link at the about page would be nice a shortcut for new comers.

Devan uses images throughout her posts to illustrate them but also screen shots so as she is explaining an aspect about the game a follower can easily understand what she’s talking about. She also uses links throughout her posts that utilize helpful information as well.

I like how she explains her Runescape lingo and abbreviations for what they stand for. She takes us through the game without restating what the tutorial says but by giving basic plot points and discussing aspects of the game.

On the side of the blog she has her recent posts, then recent comments, then archives, then categories. It was easy to navigate the archives to find the order of the posts and to read through them and learn about the game.

Week 3 Project Review on Fiction Blog

Links to points of discussion:

  1. Fiction Post 1: The Omega……7 likes 1 comment (marked as spam)
  2. Fiction Post 2: Venom…….4 likes 1 comment (marked as spam)
  3. Author Notes: Thoughts…….3 likes 2 comments (Not spam!)
  4. Fiction Post 3: Depression…….1 like 0 comments
  5. Research/Review/Thoughts: No Comments + Few Likes 3 likes 6 comments!….so far.
  6. Side Bar Widget Changes: Blog Home Page
  7. helpful Comment: About Page…..2 comments
  8. New Character: Character Profile

(Links 1,2, 4) As I began this week I used Dianne as the narrator. I didn’t like writing with this character because she turned out being depressed. I know as a writing I can make my characters do anything I want but it just seemed fitting to have her be in extreme internal conflict due to the pressure put on her by her family standing.

I have quit bolding random lines throughout the posts since I’m not sure if it makes much of a difference or not. I didn’t get as many likes this week but that could be because of a few reasons such as the content’s conflicts were more internal than external which isn’t always exciting to read, and there weren’t as many fiction posts to draw in new readers every day since I spent more time making changes to the blog.

(Link 7) I read an article, I can’t find it now, but it basically gave advice on how to make a blog more ‘follower’ friendly. One was to have an about page that was more geared to personal over generalized professional. So I got rid of my resume’ style about paragraph and added a more personal paragraph with a obscurred image of myself to show that I am a real person.

(Link 7) I also received a comment from an uncle on my about page suggesting I give more back story for those not as well read in the genre of werewolves and vampires. That is a very good point and I will keep that in mind in weeks to come although I’m not sure how I will tackle that yet, perhaps I will make a separate page titled back story and add in a question and answer page.

(Link 3) I wrote a thoughts post and Morgan replied suggesting I use my own pictures. This means extra time find pictures, editing them, then posting them. I can do this, but since it’s winter here in Bemidji Minnesota, and my story is taking place in the summer, I’m not quite sure how to find pictures and my house isn’t very rich for material, but that is another point I am keeping in mind.

(Link 6) My widgets have changed! I figured out how to add in a hit counter, my community, added a larger recent posts, just about everything on the side bar I changed in order to make it more user-friendly. I really like having my community widgets, I think this will encourage more likes/comments since it shows them right on my page.

(Link 8) I changed up my character profile page. I used to have it based off of Laura being the main character, which I think the story is driven by her, but since each week I switch characters I couldn’t have her as the main character. I also added in Ryker, the vampire, since he has become important to the arc of the story as well.

(Link 5) best for last. As you can see in the post I talked about links and comments and gathered some feedback on the subject. It’s just polite to reply to commenters, if they take the time to say something then reply back.

Ok…I think I covered everything from last week…there’s just so much going on in the world of blogging it’s hard to keep track of it all week to week. See you all again next Sunday Review.
-Sarah D.



Sunday Review #2 on my fiction blog

First post: Ezrick’s Rage 1.1

This week I began writing with a new character. This post was rather long and no one liked it. I think it was repitive somewhat in content, but also since of its length I’m sure it isn’t as easy to read. So in my next fiction posts I decided to write them in shorter lengths.

Second post: Research on Blogs

12 bloggers liked this. After doing this post I viewed others and I wont call them out, mostly because the two I’m thinking of are very confrontational but that’s what I want to talk about. They are active with their comments, and this is something I will research/review in more depth next week. The pattern I’m noticing, is they write a controversal post, then follow it with an apology post, both gaining hundreds of comments.

Third post: 1/3 Ezrick 1.2

5 bloggers like this.

Forth post: 2/3 Ezrick 1.2

11 bloggers like this.

Fifth post: 3/3 Ezrick 1.2

7 bloggers like this.

These three posts are more or less one day combined. I realized that by breaking it up into shorter posts I’m more likely to get readers. I tried to stay around 900 words with the last post being over 1000. I figured if I got people reading the two previous posts if the third is longer they would stick around and read it. I really feel that LENGTH is what determines likes for me right now with the longest ones being less active than the shorter pieces. I also posted the first two of the 3/3 series on the same day shortly after one another so I’m glad that both gained likes although they were so close together. I found it strange that more people liked the second one.

Sixth post: Werewolf Thoughts

5 bloggers like this. I noticed that as I toured WordPress in search of fiction blogs, I was drawn into reading poetry on the topics I picked. So I threw out some poetry, and I’m not a poet so I know the poem wasn’t very good, but I got some likes and a follow out of it.

Seventh post: The Unwanted Pack Member

This post I screwed up on, saving it as a draft instead of publishing it on Saturday like I thought I did. So it has yet to gain a readership. Although it set me up nicely for next weeks line of fiction posts.

I know I wanted to write more research posts, but I’m still drawn into the fiction ones. Hoping this week I am more self disciplined and do the research/review posts more often than not. I want to discuss likes and comments in the next fiction post.

On another note, I allowed scam comments for a while and my post from last week, Nearby Enemies, ended up with 20 or so comments all from I think scammers. I find this odd. I also gained 9 followers since last sunday.

-Sarah D.