Staying Creatively Involved – in a Social Media Overloaded World!

Needed

 

Why do we blog or tweet, share videos, stories, photographs, quotes and so on? Why? Well I’ve narrowed it down to three main reasons.

The first is desiring the activity itself of social interaction and connecting. The second reason is to sell something.

But the third reason is the one I find most compelling. And I think the truest reason that most of us (non-retail) people engage with social media. It is the very real and personal need to share ourselves with others. For others to know about us and how we feel about things, and to care.

We’re human and we need to be needed, appreciated, understood and considered to have value. Reaching out in the world of social media, in general, brings an interaction of like-minded people sharing ideas, opinions and creativity. Some of it’s bad, because there are a few out there who want to upset the apple cart, but most are like us, and they care and want the same in return.

As social media platforms morph and change, hang on to your personal sense of creativity; that is to say – how you feel about sharing. Because it’s working and your words and content do and are making a positive difference (even if you think otherwise).

We do need each other. And All are important in the scheme of “life’s” things.

I wish everyone a wonderful week ahead, may it be positive, creative and filled with love.

 

With affection,

~ Penny

What is blogging? Playing nice …

Credit line: © Michael Pettigrew | Dreamstime.com

… In The Sandbox of Multimedia!

If you’re reading this – you are probably a blogger. And if you aren’t a blogger, why not? It’s fun, fulfilling and creative. Kind of like having your own sandbox where you can invite others to play, when you want! And you get to go to their sandboxes too. Woo-hoo!

So we’re all adults, but as it turns out we still have the same needs and desires we had as a child (only we use bigger words to express ourselves) – wanting to share, be interactive, make new friends, have fun, be cared about, appreciated and loved. Some things never change.

Are there rules when we blog socially? Well, apart from the obvious rules centered around technical “how-to’s” for getting your blog pages set up so you can publish and be “out there”, there don’t seem to be any clearly defined guidelines. Just a bunch of understandings you acquire as you start-up your blog, publish posts and begin to be socially interactive online!

Although there is a wider audience online and they may stop by (because they’ve entered a few words in a search engine and the “tags” for one of your posts matches up) – your audience primarily comes from other bloggers, or from one of your other social media connections.  So, that being said, how do you make your blogging experience the  “best ever”?

I’m going to pass on a few thoughts regarding rules of the road, but I’d like to begin with breaking down the parts and pieces of how a blog is constructed and viewed!

  • The Content
  • The Comment Section

Okay, so only two things to think about … not really. You see, the content of your blog is also composed of several different things.

The Content:

The content for all blogging posts consists of 4 types of presentations you share with others. A thought, a message, something creative (written words, photographs, videos, music, art) or “how-to” instructions, often a mixture of several of these – a wide variety of topics related to your specific areas of interest.

The content is written in a manner related to your own personality (interesting isn’t it?) For example some use humor, some use a rather serious educational approach, some are very personal and chatty. Some, quietly formal. Some are totally off the wall, original and fanciful. Each manner or style of blogging is you expressing a part of your personality (well unless you’re copying someone else’s approach, in which case I encourage you to be yourself – you are vastly more interesting that way.)

Content is always personal (to both you the writer, and the viewer – a fact), there’s no way around this. Whatever you’re presenting, in whatever way you present it; bottom line is that people will view your posts as representative of you! And some will share their opinions about your content (personal) and depending on what they say and how they say it, you’re going to emotionally react to it (personal).

The Comment Section – Let’s move on to the second part of the blog – The comment section!

First part – your presentations (published posts).

Second part – your readers engaging with you by clicking on a “like” button, passing your post along through other social media (twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and leaving a personal comment (well there are those rather impersonal 2 and 3 word comments which can mean they really liked your post but weren’t sure how to express it, or they are speeding through their daily “follows” as fast as possible, keeping their comments short and thrifty! Or a combination of both! Don’t dwell on it, move on.)

Third part – You engaging back by answering the comments of those who visited you. The key word here is “engage”. This is what all the “big boys and girls” in the commercial and government “online” world want their customers and perspective customers/voters to do. They know (through never ending research) that consumers/people who are engaged with them (giving opinions, entering a contest, etc.) are more likely to buy their product or message.

And whether you know it or not, you are selling something here on you blog  – yourself!

Therefore, this also applies to you, the non-commercial blogger, When you engage with another human being, each of you feels a connection. We NEED these connections. They validate us. They’re important. ENGAGING is huge – in the blogging world and of course in life!

So the rules for our blogging sandbox:

Content – Be your own person. Be creative. If you’re presenting a strong message, okay, this can be good. Today we need strong messages to stand out from the overwhelming volume of content we’re reading and viewing, each day! Be true to who you are but be respectful of your viewers and readers. Your viewers may not agree with your opinions, but there is no justification for being offensive with either your presentation or your response to comments including how you respond in the comment section of other bloggers.

Comment Section – Engage! The comment section is there for a reason. But please, don’t hog another person’s comment section. It’s theirs – not yours. Blogging is a step up from the random trivialities that are frequently found on Facebook.The Facebook “experience” is a form of connecting and having fun, an expanded “Twitter” sort of thing. Think about blogging and commenting to other blogs as being more thoughtful and considered with your approach.

Summation and closing thoughts for playing nice in the sandboxes of bloggers.

– Share, engage, be polite, don’t steal or lie.

– Be respectful of others. Their content, their creations, their time and their space!

In many ways we are all just kids! The only thing that’s changed are the dimensions of our sandbox – the rules of behavior stay the same!

Thank you, have a great day!

~ Penny

previously posted

Thank YOU – 100,000 visitors, I thank you all!

By mensatic

By the time you read this. I will have reached a milestone of sorts. I’ve had one hundred thousand visits from people from around our wonderful planet. Actually stopping by to visit from 155 different countries. I’m most happy and honored to have achieved this much, and am so very grateful for your friendships. I don’t have words to properly convey this as well as I would like so I’ll just repeat, with great sincerity from my heart:

Thank You!

Penny

This is my 1000th post!

thankyou

I really had to think about what I wanted to say in this one and naturally I spent no little amount of time reliving the last few (mostly) active years here at WordPress.

I have made so many friends, a handful of you guys right here on the Northwest coast of America and then so many more across the country. Then in nearby Canada and Mexico and down into South America with special mentions for Ecuador and Argentina. Many more in various countries around the world …

… England, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, France, Ghana, Spain, Japan, China, Australia,The Philippines, South Africa, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq, Dubai, Pakistan, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Egypt, India, and on and on. There are those (you know who you are) who have touched my heart and have found a special place there, even though most of us have never met in person, I feel as if we have.

The more I sat here thinking about all of you, your individual specialness, the creative good times as well as the times of sadness we’ve shared – it all boiled down to one thing to say from my heart. Thank you.

Thank You So Very Much

Penny

 

Therapeutic Twos – The essence of why we blog!

Horses

There is something therapeutic about things found in twos. A feeling of togetherness.

And although one can be alone, silent and strong in this singular pose, it is by the addition of other bloggers, one at a time, that there begins a feeling of companionship, a sharing of experiences that bespeaks of camaraderie and fellowship. And so we blog.

Cats

We validate who we are even as we interact with (and create) validation for others. Most often this is accomplished one blog, one post, and one blogger at a time, and although (as we know) social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, About.me, etc.) creates ‘the feeling’ that we are connecting with many more – it is most often the interaction happening in shared communication that is “one on one” that is the truth and mainstay behind our love of blogging.

white_pelicans

We are hopeful that many will come to our blog (and/or our other social platforms) and visit. We are even more hopeful that our artistic creations, messages, information and  services/products will be sought after.

dreamstime_xs_5244063

But blogging stays popular, ever increasingly so, because of the ongoing ever reaching (world-wide) relationships we make with each other as blogging companions.

stained-glass-praying-hands

“So, here’s a toast to bloggers everywhere,

the connection of ‘you and I’ in essence

– the two of things.”

*

Have an excellent weekend,

~ Penny

 

 

Searching for Why!

I woke up extra early this morning, aided and abetted by my two cats. Once awake, I began my search.

With freshly brewed cup of coffee in hand, I took myself outdoors and searched there. Amid early dewy grass and glorious sunrise, I took a little time to feed and water (it’s very hot right now) various animals during the process. As far as the search went – no luck.

I came inside the house, walking slowly through each room, searching as I went. Looking at my various accumulated treasures (to me) I found nothing there. Opening my PC, I searched the web, the blogs , all the various multimedia – didn’t find it there either, although I did find a whole bunch of other people searching too.

I turned on the TV and went through channel by never-ending channels (now that was seriously depressing, because of all the worthlessness being displayed).

I checked my smart phone for new texts, contacts, but for the most part everything was repeating what I’d viewed on my PC.

I went for a walk by the river. It was soothing and refreshing, but no luck with finding what I was searching.

Returning home, I sat mulling over all my various searches when it dawned on me I’d overlooked one area. So I looked there – inside me, inside my heart and, of course, I found what I’d been searching for.

…My reason for being.
…My reason for existing.
…My reason for who and how I am.

I found love of life, love of others, and love of self.

And the reason behind all of this love?

Because I care, and I found that even on a bad day, a seemingly empty of “positive things happening sort of day” – that this is reason enough! The health of our human condition depends on the caring of …

We humans are truly one of a kind for not only do we have the ability to care deeply, we also have the very unique ability to communicate/share and give this to others.

And I find this a most excellent reason Why!

~ Penny

Writer’s Tip (content, promotion) – Who are you writing for?

Be sure your subject matter is something your reader can really get into! Something they will enjoy! Something that holds their interest.

… Once upon a time there was a village filled to overflowing with many delicious and succulent humans!

By SDRandCo
“Well now that sounds really interesting.
I think I’ll read some more of this fine story!”
*****

(A good tip to think on! Are you writing for yourself or for your reader?)

Thanks for stopping by. Have an excellent week ahead!
Penny

The Flow of Words , haibun writing – an assignment!

By nioanto

Hi everyone,

I’ve been working on a blog dedicated to the writing of haibun for awhile now, but it has been ‘slow going’ for a variety of reasons. Today I’d like to pass along some information from a recent posting in The Haven of Haibun (this blog is still a work in progress – very few posts to date – but do visit if you’d like to.)

As for those interested in the ‘haibun style of writing’ read on:

Focus, Observation, and Flow of words. Key elements.

Consider the art of writing haibun from the singular purpose of capturing a flow when you write.

Your Assignment -Watch the flow of moving water in nature for awhile. Focus on the flow, observe its nature.

By vilhelmJourney to a nearby river, stream or the ocean and shore line. Even a fountain in a park will do. Any body of moving water near you. Take a journal along. When you arrive at this location, be in the moment mentally and physically. Take the time to experience everything happening with the water.

Walk along the water (if possible) for awhile. Watch the water’s movement. Observe the various currents. The water’s ebbs and flows. Whether rapid, fast moving swollen rivers, or gentle gurgling streams, notice the changes. The flow or flux (variability) of moving water in nature exhibits many of the characteristics with which we humans contend in our own emotional natures. There is a connection to be made here. You want your visceral experience to relate to your written word.

Think about how the water flows.

Haibun words should move in a like manner. While sentence structure defines how we connect words to one another to create expression and/or narrative, of even greater value for artistic writing is the ability to consider positioning or placement of each word used from the perspective of flow. A few examples:

There is a flower growing in the meadow.

a meadow flower grows.

Growing flower of the meadow.

*

Completing your assignment with your written words: Write a haibun that is a thought or memory of an experience regarding the flow of water. Sensations and emotional feelings can add much here.

See if you can match the flow of water to your words. Follow the general rules (read more here if needed) for writing your Water Haibun, (one or several paragraphs with accompanying haiku) and be sure to enjoy the process.

Good writing be with you,

Penny

penny l howe

Poetry and Contemplation!

I’ve been pondering quite a bit these last handful of months as to whether or not I wanted to continue blogging. The friends I’ve made here in blogland are awesome (you know who you are) and I can’t say or feel enough good things about you!

I have been going through the archives of some of my older posts and found a couple of poems I’ve written that I decided to share (or if you read them before, share again).

Hoping your weekend is a great one for you, with much love – Penny!

Solitary contemplation of the kitten kind! While musing over the unfinished strings of life.

Life – A Privilege to Nurture

The first to give honor
The second to share,
The third to be humble
and try to be there.

~

When making the difference,
in that which you do,
you make for a difference
the truth within you.
*

Penny L Howe, 2013

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For all That I am Not

If I be poor in spirit
may I be rich in deed,
If I be poor in doing
May I still plant a seed.

~

For all that I am not
may I be something more,
For all that I can be
Is what I’m striving for!
~

“It’s the doing of a thing, that makes it happen!”

~ Penny L Howe, 2013

~*~

Ethereal Life

Enjoy what you are given – in the moment,

From one heartbeat to the next it can be gone.

Share what you’ve been blessed with – in the moment.

From one heartbeat to the next it can be gone.

Laugh with the richness of life – in the moment.

From one heartbeat to the next it can be gone.

Love all you can love in the moment.

From one heartbeat to the next it can be gone.

Live every moment of your life to the fullest.

From one heartbeat to the next it can be gone.

Penny L. Howe, 2012

~*~

Walkabout – Mentally Speaking!

It’s been 7 days since I’ve posted or read a blog. Not very long in everyday terms, but in online social connection terms (Blogs, Tweets, Google+, Facebook, About.me, Linked in, etc.) it does seems as if it’s been much longer, doesn’t it?  Time passes differently while online and so while only 7 days, I’ve missed my connections with you all so very, very much.

Here, where I live, in Northwest America it snowed briefly and gently this morning. A quiet, crisp and clear beginning to start one’s day! A place you’d want your thoughts to dwell as much as possible with today’s hectic lifestyle. Change being the only constant in all of our lives.

In the past week I’ve been doing a mental “Walkabout” as Australians might refer to it. I’ve had much dwelling on my mind. Questing my “role” in things you could even say.

In ‘personal life’ adventures, nothing has been handed to me easily. I’ve worked my way through various stages of life while not necessarily emerging as a victor, none-the-less I also did not come away as a victim and instead am wiser in spite of cherished things that have been lost.

All my life I have tried to avoid direct confrontation and yet even through fears, stood as brave and strong as I could when it was needed. I’m ‘tempered’ as a metal might become by a clever blacksmith of yesteryear. I know my shortcomings and my strengths, but more to the point, this means – I know yours too.

We (all of us) live in a period of time where negative thinking about yesterdays, today and tomorrows must not be allowed to win over us. We are a strong people with strong wills – when we put our minds to  it! I know this about you. All of you. It is a truth. You are more capable than you can possibly know. In fact it’s only necessary for you to “know” and believe a thing for it to become a thing.

There is an astonishingly true “might and capability” that lies within each of you. Never forget that!

We, of humanity are on a glorious quest for life – but the quest is not an easy one. Yet, it’s the best game in town and I’m happy to be a part – in whatever role I play, and wherever it leads me to be.

Thursday is a Thanksgiving Holiday in America and as William Faulkner (an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi) once said about the giving of thanks and gratitude:

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity;
it must be produced and discharged
and used up in order to exist at all.”
– William Faulkner

.

I agree with him. Love to you all. Stand tall. Be brave, live life, give thanks and always remember you’re never alone! I (for one) am here, thinking of you with “very fond affection and good wishes” for a wonderful day and better tomorrow.

penny l howe

– Penny