On The Matter of Memoir…

Memories...

Cartoon by Dan Piraro.

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My Dumbness With The Blogging

Dumb Owls

I learned something yesterday.

For those who subscribe to both this blog and the Doc Wilde blog, who may not want to get the same stuff in their inbox twice, I’ve been trying to keep from replicating content on the two blogs. This also helps with what’s known as “SEO,” Search Engine Optimization, which is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s ‘natural’ or un-paid (‘organic’) search results.” Posting identical content in multiple places puts you in competition with yourself with internet search engines and can make your pages appear farther down in search results, thus diluting your signal.

My approach, of late, has been to post most of my stuff here, but to focus the Wilde stuff mainly to that blog. Then I’d post a short note here linking to the post in question, but not repeating the information.

But, and this is probably common knowledge to those who care to spend time on such matters, apparently doing things that way doesn’t work all that well. Yesterday, I posted a blog post at the Wilde site which gave a lot of specific info about what’s happening with our current attempts to publish Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom to various venues. I put a note here that said, essentially, “There’s news, go to this link for all the juicy details.”  Exactly 25% of folks who read the note here clicked over to actually read the post.

75% didn’t bother.

I assume that most or all the people who read the note here did so because they were interested in what was going on, but they missed the information. The note here said “Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is DONE, the epic battle raging across the world in both digital and print form. Read the news in the latest post of the official Doc Wilde blog,” and perhaps I erred not just in requiring an extra click, but also in not being clear with the message here. Maybe people read the short version and thought it meant the book is actually out, when in fact we’re working our way through the obstacle course thrown up by the various vendors, from the persnickety formatting of the Kindle files for Amazon to the recalcitrant uploading process for Nook.

People who read the post over on the Wilde site know the particulars, but maybe folks who read the post here all thought “Great! The book’s available!” Which is annoying to me and probably to them, because if they go to buy it, they won’t be able to just yet.

Whatever the case, this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed that click-through on links tends to be low. It’s even the case when a post says something like “You really should go read THIS, it’s funny and fascinating and incredible.” Few people actually bother to go have the experience or get the information or whatever.

So I should probably replicate info between these two blogs, at least when it’s the essential info, so folks who read only one or the other will actually get the information. And with posts in general, I should get as much of the info into the post itself, even if I’m pointing to an interesting article elsewhere, because most people just won’t bother jumping to the article under discussion.

Lesson learned.

Malaprop 2: The Reckoning

NO! NO! PLEASE...PLEASE WRITE CORRECTLY!!!

Go to  Malaprop 1.

Last week, I shared some of my collection of malaprops, little bits of communications gone awry. I’ve been gathering this material for a while and am sharing it in doses so as not to fry too many of your brain cells all at once.

Time for some more.

One note: I had someone call me out on the tone of the first post, and upon reflection I overplayed the whole “idiot” thing. Some of these errors are from idiots, I’m sure, but many of them are not. They’re just mistakes in language perfectly intelligent folks have picked up without realizing. My rhetoric was meant in fun more than it was meant to antagonize or belittle.

Except when it comes to the real idiots. Screw them.

Now on with the show… Continue reading

Malaprop

I enjoy idiots, up to a point. Watching something like Fox & Friends can be as humorous as watching an old Three Stooges short, if less intellectually stimulating. But only up to a point.

(Hilariously, as I started writing this, Green Day’s song “American Idiot” started up on the random playlist I’m listening to).

But I wish the idiots weren’t so prevalent, particularly at the voting booth, but also on the Internet. As a writer, a reader, a person who values clear thought and knowledge, and an educated guy, I’m often appalled at what I see passing for communication among my fellow citizens.

A while back, I started collecting bits of idiocy I came across online. Now, I’m not talking about net-speak or texting shortcuts, or even persistent spelling stupidities like using “villian” instead of “villain.” I’m talking about people using words and phrases that don’t work the way they think they do.

I haven’t bothered sourcing these. My intent isn’t to embarrass anyone specifically. But my sources range from comments left on blog posts here and there all the way up to the Gray Lady herself, The New York Times.

I haven’t bothered with anything from the brain of George W. Bush, as the only torture he practiced that was more egregious than that he practiced on human beings was that he practiced on language. He’s in a class all by himself.

I’m going to break my collection up into serialized posts. I’m posting this stuff for two reasons: one, to laugh at the gaffes of those who can’t be bothered to make sure they’re saying what they think they’re saying, and two, to encourage anyone reading to please bother to make sure. Especially if you’re presenting your work as even semi-professional, much less professional, writing.

Now, onward to the flubs and gaffes. Can you identify them all? Continue reading

Memory Lane

Back in 2004, I started the first iteration of this blog on LiveJournal, but it didn’t last long because I felt like I was talking to myself and was disheartened.

This version has gone much better, and more readers visit all the time, but that earlier stuff has been languishing over there, orphaned and sad.

Recently, LiveJournal has been having serious problems, and WordPress established a simple tool for LJ bloggers to import all their entries to blogs over here. I just used it, then went through and deleted all the posts I felt were uninteresting even in a historical context, posts with dead links, that sort of thing.

So, if you’re interested in knowing where my head was back in February and March 2004, now you can find out.

Pretty exciting, huh?