Weekend Coffee Share – It’s Only Been 11 Months…

It's that kind of postIf we were having coffee, I might apologize for the fact that it’s been almost a year since I posted on this site. I’ve had every intention of redesigning the site to be more of a showcase and personal website than a blog – that’s still probably going to happen.

And it has actually been more than a year since I have done a Weekend Coffee Share here – we moved those for a time onto ComparativeGeeks.WordPress.com. Which, oh by the way, is no longer a site that’s being updated! Nope, we have successfully migrated from a WordPress dot com site to a WordPress dot org site, which included finding a theme and learning it, designing new logos, creating a navigation scheme and category hierarchy, writing pages for various policies and information, and getting buy-in from contributors. Check out that final product on ComparativeGeeks.com!

One thing we did not do was move over the archives from the old site. Those live on on the old site, but we wanted a bit of a fresh start. Some of that is for considering advertising – it seemed easier to plan for that moving forward than to bring over the full archives from a site that was free. That does mean however that we are needing to build up an archives and readership so that advertisers will take the site seriously!

As to readership, we found out that WordPress can migrate your followers from a dot com site to a dot org site! You have to use JetPack I think to do it, but then it can be done. We hadn’t looked at any sort of migration because we weren’t moving the archives over, so we heard about it once the site was live, thanks to Gene’o! The new site instantly became a better place once our existing followers started seeing us in their WordPress feed again.

So what’s new on the new site? Why’d we do it? Well, one thing is we wanted to do more with original content, and first up with that is the Podcast. My wife and I have started up the Comparative Opinions podcast, and you can subscribe to that feed here, or find it on iTunes, or listen on the website. We try to limit it to 30-45 minutes, and hopefully you enjoy it! We go into detail about what it is and why we did it in the first episode.

I also have successfully (finally) started up a webcomic! I had discussed that idea here on DBCII as well as on Comparative Geeks, and had done some initial sketching and technology testing (with my tablet) on the Comparative Geeks Instagram. Well now it’s real! I wrote an introductory post here, and then at the bottom of each page I’ve been manually adding Previous and Next buttons to navigate through the story. I’m trying to think of better ways to do this – there’s probably a plugin for this, I’m realizing. Anyway, I’m really excited with how it’s been going so far, but I would love feedback from all of you!

The other big goal was just to get more people involved, writing, and talking. So far, that’s been going well – quite a few contributors, with more in the wings on the way. We’ve created a way to organize ourselves and communicate that has been a huge help. We’re also experimenting with a Forum section, with the hope that we can create conversations there that live on in a different way than a blog post’s comments section lives on (or disappears over time). The Forums are the most new sort of thing, so they’ve been somewhat quiet – but please stop on by if you’d like to chat! There’s a whole section for writers and another for self-promotion, and those are both open for business so go right ahead 🙂

As to the rest of the conversation, I suppose that takes readers! If you haven’t already, hey, it would be great if you followed Comparative Geeks, come check us out! And depending on your social media of choice, check out our Facebook Page (which has been growing nicely) or our unified Twitter account to get all the post updates. The Twitter, in particular, is quite new and could use some love! And if you’re already following us, hey, stop on by and say hi. Thanks!

Linkup

Thoughts on Instagram

I have recently started using Instagram, actually after a webinar I watched at work where the librarians were talking about what a great social media space it was. They had a lot of success with being found, with getting constant interactions on posts, and with being able to ask questions and get answers. Well, that all sounded pretty good. So I gave it a look.

So far I have really enjoyed Instagram. It doesn’t get spammed to the extent that something like Tumblr does, so I can in a few minutes scroll through and see everything that’s posted for the day. It’s visual like Tumblr is, though, so it’s easier and better for scrolling through and checking out on the fly than I have found Twitter or the WordPress Reader to be.

How do they pull this off? Well, for starters, there’s no sharing. At least, not that I’ve figured out yet – I do see the occasional “re-gram” with a little share symbol and username in the corner of the image. Not sure how that’s done, but it’s pretty rare. Unlike a space like Tumblr, where sharing is the majority of the activity. You can like and comment, both of which being closest to something like Facebook in terms of use and visibility. However, some things in posts or comments don’t work – like websites. No hyperlink. So it discourages going in and linkdumping – unlike Twitter, where that’s almost the whole deal.

So it’s a visual space that’s there for others to experience and interact with. And really, I’ve had more success there with interaction than on other social media accounts. Things on the Facebook Page almost never get seen. Tweets rarely get any likes or shares. Tumblr doesn’t see much action. Indeed, in a couple of months I have as many Instagram followers as Tumblr followers, and the latter account is over a year older. In other words, it ended up really being what was advertised to me: a fun space with good interaction.

So let me run down a couple of things I have discovered regarding how Instagram plays with my whole suite of other social media accounts, to give you a more complete picture of how it works!

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Standing at a Crossroads

Here at DBCII, I have been working my way towards doing more fiction writing – like I’ve discussed in posts like this last Six Word Saturday. Doing more than just blogging; the blogging served a purpose of getting me writing again and frequently, made writing part of my daily routine. But the blogging is both an outlet and a means to an end – but it is not the goal itself.

Meanwhile, on Comparative Geeks I have been considering one of our ongoing features, Science Fiction Today. As I discussed in posts like my year-and-a-half recap, I have been giving this feature or category a lot of thought. I have a ton of ideas of topics to cover, and thoughts on how to approach them or at least get started. And the question is, do I just work this into the flow on Comparative Geeks? Or do something more with it? Read more of this post

Six Word Saturday 1

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/479420986207371264]

Here’s my first Six Word Saturday! I have started posting some #sixwordstory stories to my Twitter (@dbc_ii), to see what I like for Saturday when it rolls around!

In some ways, this one felt like cheating: by adding the Twitter hashtag, I was giving you a way to think about the six word story that might be considered to be breaking the rules of said story. It’s a seventh word. It’s a concept. A genre. #zombies.

However, this one was also interesting, in that it almost immediately got noticed and shared by a feed that’s just watching for stuff that is tagged #zombies. So I thought that was fun and worth sharing.

Want to see more #sixwordstory? Follow me on Twitter or check back next Saturday for more Six Word Saturday! Want to join in? I am not alone in using #sixwordstory; there’s a lot of different types of stories being told!

Yes, Hashtags Are Helping.  Or: Why Shonda Rhimes Doesn’t Know What She’s Talking About (The Sunday Re-Blog)

Fantastic look at how social media can be used, and how it should not be discounted by people just because they do not understand it.

Also, this is a great blogger whom I highly recommend, and I’m not just saying that because she took my comments and edited them into her original post. Yay writers!

Sorry for my absence! Blogging, Contributing, and #SixWordStory

Well, I can’t believe over a month has passed since the end of the A to Z Challenge! It’s been a busy one for me, with lots of blogging, but it probably doesn’t look like it here! I felt I needed to take a moment, after finding new readers and connections through A to Z, to talk about what I’ve been up to!

My main blog, that takes my most time and interaction, is Comparative Geeks. I post there three times a week, and after the A to Z Challenge over there, we had a lot of catching up to do on things. I think I’m approaching caught up to the present, or at least only a couple of weeks out from the movie I am highlighting this week – X-Men: Days of Future Past. So we’re almost stable again there.

I’ve been working on growing the related Tumblr for Comparative Geeks, with one post queued up for every day. That, along with the blog posts, means there should be TWO posts there most days! Granted, half of them are shares from other people’s stuff, but those are good too. I have shared a few of the more original memes or images I have put together, and those definitely are more successful, or at least the notifications track back to us! If you’re on Tumblr, give us a look and a follow!

I’ve also started contributing to a blog – I’ve shared a bit on that here. It’s a good feeling to have someone else accepting and sharing your work, to have new readers look at it, and also to work on integrating with the content and posts on that blog. Hopefully you like what I write there – trying not to just do my same sort of posts, but to mix it up. Much like my posts here end up quite different from my posts on Comparative Geeks! You can find my contributions and more over on Sourcerer!

My wife and I were also asked to contribute on another blog, but this is already filling up my weeks quite a bit. That’s four nights that I tend to be doing blogging, a fifth night where I am working a freelance job (the proceeds from which I use to pay for a lot of the games/movies/books/comics that we discuss on Comparative Geeks!), and that’s five days. I’m also working six days a week between two jobs, you add in serving on two non-profit boards, a little bit of church and volunteership, some social media, and I don’t have a lot of week left. I would like to do more contributing, but I think I need to add these sorts of things one-at-a-time.

The other impact, unfortunately, is that I really have not had/taken time to do much of any writing here, nor much of any fiction. And if I am going to fit more into my busy life, will it be blog posts here? Contributing to blogs elsewhere? Or writing fiction? I don’t know.

Well, we did a little bit of writing on Saturday, on Twitter with the hashtag SixWordStory: Read more of this post

A to Z Recovery and Reflections

Hello all! Thanks for stopping by my blog once more. Last week saw the end of the A to Z Challenge here on DBCII, and a great many other blogs, and it was a genuinely fun time. Just looking at my archives, that was by far the most posts in a month that this blog has seen. It adds a fantastic collection of reflections on writing to the blog, really beefing up the purpose of the blog. And, with completing the challenge on two blogs, it really got me writing!

survivor-atoz [2014]I did a reflection and looking-forward post on Comparative Geeks yesterday, and it was good to do so. For Comparative Geeks, it was a zero-sum change in the amount of content we did in the month: we regularly post Monday to Saturday, once a day, so the challenge’s rules matched perfectly. We went with a theme, so it got us blogging about characters for a whole month, which I think is good. Our character studies are regularly some of our most popular posts, so I think all of these are going to remain popular over time. At least, I hope so; I hope that the challenge-themed titles and such don’t detract from the posts. The one that got away from me was the one on Hermione and Harry – and the recent J.K. Rowling comments surrounding them. Which is a fun and relevant post here, too: does the author really get to challenge the meaning or content of their stories once written? Feel free to check it out and join in the conversation!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking and decompressing, and a four-day vacation helped. But it has me thinking about the state of the blog; the purpose of the blog, and my blogging; the future of my writing. Which is all supposed to happen, I think, doing something like this challenge. So below are some of my thoughts after working through the A to Z Challenge.

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