WordPress vs Blogger: Blogger’s blogrolls are better

Blogger-logoI started out blogging on Blogger way before blogging was a common thing. I had a blog named Moreover the Dog went with Them, which had an Esperanto-language twin, Kaj la hundo iris kun ili. Later I ditched Moreover and had a blog called The Lina Lamont Fan Club which I used for years.

Then Blogger got too pushy about trying to force me on to Google+ and so I decided to start a WordPress blog as an experiment. I liked some of the features and certainly liked the way I could syndicate my blog posts onto Facebook and Twitter directly instead of having to go through Networked Blogs. And since Networked Blogs is no longer a free service and I have NOT as yet found a free alternative that works like Networked Blogs did, I pretty much HAVE to stay on WordPress.

One of the two main things I miss about Blogger blogs is the blogrolls. My Blogger blogs always had lots of blogrolls. Each could be set to display only the five most recently updated blogs, and would give the title of the most recent blog post. Which was very handy. I could read blogs and comment on them and didn’t end up looking at blogs that hadn’t been updated for six months.

If you are a blogger, blog reading and blog commenting should be a major part of your life. That’s how other bloggers find your blog. Some bloggers have started out with a tiny blog with no traffic and turned into mega-bloggers through daily reading and comment writing on dozens of blogs. (I’m lucky to manage 3-5 comments a day.)

A while back I created a blog on Blogger that held the archives of my Lina Lamont blog, and I started adding blogrolls just to make it easier for me to read blogs.  I’m revamping it to be a public blog about reading and interacting with blogs, so am adding blogs to the blogrolls often, and will be adding new blogrolls. (One will be for people who participate in some of the blog hops that I do.)

The blog is currently called Lina Lamont Blogrolls & Archive, which is an awkward name that will likely be changed soon— suggestions on the new name are welcome. I invite all of the readers of this blog to click on the link and visit my other blog to look at the blogrolls there. Maybe you will find some blogs you like to read there!

If you are a regular reader of this blog and you want to be added to a blogroll there, write a comment and tell me which blogroll your blog should be in and why. If there is no appropriate blogroll yet, feel free to suggest a new one. Or I can put you in a generic blogroll when I start one.

Questions: do you blog with WordPress, Blogger or something else? If you have used both WordPress and Blogger, which do you prefer and why? And what method do you use to read blogs?

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#CSFFBlogTour 3: Merlin’s Nightmare, the Review

MerlinsNightmare

The Review:

I just finished reading Merlin’s Nightmare a couple of hours ago. And what struck me about the book is that for Merlin, this is a time of making choices. He had reached a point where his life was pretty good. He and his wife had taken in the orphan child Arthur and were raising him as their own child, to keep him safe from the killer of the child’s family. In addition, Merlin and his wife had two children of their own.

But as Arthur reaches the age of manhood, Merlin is faced with the question of when he will tell the boy about his true heritage. His hand is forced when young Arthur, instead of going off to fight the Picts in the north, responds to an appeal to fight Saxen invaders to the south. Merlin must ride after him to prevent Arthur from presenting himself to the killer of his true father, and possibly being recognized by him.

When Merlin catches up, Arthur’s not pleased to learn that everything he believes about his family and heritage are not true. He goes on to win a victory against the Saxens. But Merlin recognizes that neither the Picts nor the Saxens are the most urgent enemy to fight. The Druidic forces controlled by Morgana, Merlin’s younger sister, are the most dangerous force and must be fought— even though those forces are lead by a werewolf.

The final battle is Merlin’s true nightmare, and is a thrilling bit of fiction. I will not reveal the spoilers, but simply say that the story of the Merlin Spiral trilogy winds up, and the Arthurian tale is set to continue in the Pendragon Spiral— something I am looking forward to.

The faith factor— Christian values are fully present in the story, but not in an intrusive or preachy way. It also rates high for being Catholic-friendly. The monks and the abbeys in the story are presented in a positive light. The Holy Grail is treated with great respect. And there is even a sequence when prayers in Latin are given! I did not notice anything that would present a doctrinal problem for the faithful Catholic.

Tour Links:

Merlin’s Nightmare –  http://www.amazon.com/Merlins-Nightmare-Merlin-Spiral-Treskillard/dp/0310735092/
Author Websitehttp://www.KingArthur.org.uk

Blog Tour participants:

How many of these blogs have you visited? I’m hoping to visit and comment on them all by the time the tour is over, and I heartily recommend that you take up the challenge and do the same. And after the blog tour is over? Don’t lose this list! When you are looking for blogs to comment on, this list is a handy one to use. Remember, there are those out there who comment on as many as 100 other blogs a day. I’ve been doing 5 a day, and recently tried to get up to 10 a day. And if you do that, some good blog lists are helpful.

Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams

Twitter!

I must here give my mea culpa. I said the appropriate Twitter hashtag for the blog tour was #CSFF. Actually, a better one is #CSFFBlogTour. Sorry about the misinformation.

On to the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop!

The next blog event on my schedule is the IWSG blog hop on the first Wednesday of next month. There are a number of Christian authors on the blog hop list, so it’s a good opportunity if you are looking for new blogs to comment upon. (Commenting on other blogs is the best way to get attention to your own blog.)

 

Asperger Syndrome and Blog Commenting Anxiety

IM001173As a person with Asperger Syndrome my blog is my safe place in the wilds of the internet. I can post what I like, and if people want to bully me, harass me or insult me in the comments section, I just won’t approve their comments.

But I want my blog to be read. And so I participate in blog hops, which requires me to do something scary— comment on the blogs of strangers.

My Asperger Syndrome makes it very difficult to initiate contact with other human beings. I have a deep-seated fear I will just annoy them. My life experiences have shown me that no one is eager to be my friend, or even to communicate with me when it’s in their interest to do so. And commenting on a strange blog is a form of initiating contact.

Initiating contact is so much harder when you are afraid everyone will respond with hostility or indifference because you are a weird Aspie and don’t function like normal people. The tendency is to withdraw from others so you won’t be hurt any more. But I have to force myself to take the risk because I want the blog to succeed.

Before yesterday’s IWSG blog hop, I had been trying to comment on 3 blogs a day— often blogs I knew already. Yesterday, I made a total of 17 comments, nearly all on blogs I’ve never seen before.

The interesting thing is this— when you are making mass numbers of blog comments, it’s a bit easier than when you are only doing a tiny number. So I’m planning to continue down the IWSG list today, and make 10-12 comments today.

Will any of the people whose blogs I comment on rush out to read my blog? Probably not. But some may come to comment once in return. And in the technological magic that is the internet, perhaps that raises my blog’s profile. I don’t know.

My goal is to find some people who enjoy reading the sort of things I write about. Is that possible when I’m a weird Aspie who doesn’t write like a normal person? I don’t know. But maybe someone will come here for the kitten pictures and get hooked.

Like this blog? Visit my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NissaAnnakindt

Question: Do you find commenting on new blogs easy or stressful? How many blogs do you comment on during a typical day? How many blogs do you think you SHOULD comment on?

 

Author Blogs that Connect Only With Author Blogs

Umberto and Charybdis nap on towel

Umberto and Charybdis nap on towel

OK, you’re an author, or an aspiring author, and you have a blog about that. You want your blog to be read. What do you do?

You have to start connecting with other blogs— which means reading a selection of other blogs, commenting on them, and following blogs. One way of finding blogs to do that with is to join blog hops. Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, of the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop, is said to comment on thousands of blogs a day.

But there is one little problem— that’s when we as author-bloggers connect mainly with other author bloggers, and participate only in writing-related blog hops. We may connect with author-bloggers across the spectrum or within our own genre communities. And so we are promoting ourselves and our books only to other authors who have their own books to promote. It’s like a salesman giving his sales pitch only to other salesmen.

We need to find non-author blogs to comment on, to make connections with real people. But not just any non-author blogs. You need to get the low-hanging fruit first, and find blogs that connect to the kind of person you are and to what you write.

What do I mean? There are blogs about your various interests, whatever they are, ones that share your beliefs on faith and politics, ones that you just find to be fun. And there are blogs about stuff that bores or appalls you, insults your beliefs on faith and politics, and that you just don’t like. Find the blogs in the first group to comment on.

What to looking for is not the top blogs with many comments on each post, but the lonelier blogs that are grateful to get a comment every now and again. That is where your comments will have more of an impact.

So— the blog search begins. I’ve already found 3 interesting blogs to follow on a list of Catholic blogs. I wish my readers success in finding their own new categories of blogs to follow.