November 13, 2016

To Blog Or Not To Blog

I am pretty sure today's blog title will drive a lot of traffic to the blog. It always does, right along with the titles that include 'deer', 'rambling', 'winston', 'stella ...'

But I don't blog to drive traffic. I don't do anything suggested to drive traffic to my blog. I has not been nor will ever be a blog that pays me with affiliate links. That's hard work and my blog traffic is nowhere near the total that would be needed to make some monthly cash.

No, this blog started out only as a journal as I started to explore the life in RV travel. Once I made the decision I would not be traveling with three hounds at the time, different than the three I have now, the blog turned into one about the daily lives of the hounds living here in 'the tropics'.

All of these pictures are ones taken today but I'll be talking about the why's and why not to blogging since it seems to be a popular topic recently from the list of bloggers on the left sidebar. Anyone that currently blogs has always thought about whether to stop or not. I even deleted this blog a few years ago but was able to reactivate it with all the pictures because I did it within a certain time period.

Chinle Miller was the first I guess of recent talk of blog closures. She spoke of internet addiction, getting back to old types of communications, etc. All good points for people to consider and probably really good for her. I was going to link her discussion from a few weeks ago but found her blog was set to private sometime since her announcement. You can find her here: Spotted Dog Ranch in case she comes back to blogging.

Kim over at The Travels of Kimbo Polo made her announcement the other day that she was going to leave blogging. I always enjoyed reading about her travels in a Class B RoadTrek. That might be a future option for me once the hounds are gone.

Mark over at Box Canyon Blog came back to make an announcement he was attempting to stop blogging. He had not blogged since he read Chinle's blog post a few weeks ago. He has always had great photos of hiking the mountains in Colorado, the BLM lands in Utah and mountain biking pictures. He has reasons to stop blogging and many of them are the same that most bloggers have asked themselves over the time they have blogged.

I've gone all through that mental torture trying to decided to get off the internet or not, stop blogging or not. I did stop for a time or various times in the past five years of blogging. I might cut down on the frequency of my posts from time to time but it is something I enjoy and more important fact to remember ... there are readers that like the pictures of the hounds and even some of my rambling about living in 'nowhere usa'.

A lot of them have told me they don't have blogs of their own. Some have never been to the Midwest and find the pictures of the field in different seasons interesting. Some just scroll through the pictures and want as many as possible. While all or some of them enjoy reading about what it's like to live somewhere they will never have the chance to see.

I find those reasons enough to take the time to blog and post pictures of the hounds or even me and my August 2015 Weed Pulling Project that for some strange reason turned out to be a blog 'hit' with a bump in traffic numbers.

Due to the fact that I do enjoy writing, I have two other private blogs that I write on not daily but frequently depending on what is going on in my life or the hounds life ... out of the ordinary.

It might sound strange but I write in those other two blogs to help documenting things that I might not remember in the future as my memory gets older and possibly not as accurate. For example it is always nice to go back to check if that water spot on the ceiling is something new or has been there for years.

Or maybe when you swear the field is slowly moving earth underneath toward and up against your house. When I can go back and look at the same pictures five years ago to compare, it can let me know if I am going insane or it's a legitimate concern.

There are always times you will have pictures that are not really for public consumption on a the blog but is nice to see and document as a record.

I also have a personal type journal in a private blog. I like the blog format better than using Word on my computer. There is nothing there that would cause me trouble if it were hacked and published. I doubt that Wiki Leaks would be interested in that information, then again it might be a book that's a best seller, so who knows.

I tried and have another blog here on Wordpress that has only a couple of sentences before 6-8 pictures per post. Some blog readers here take a peak over there at times but hardly any at all. I keep it because I like it, in someways better than this blog, it's easy to maintain and to post on. Meaning, it doesn't take a lot of time.

Time seems to be the major reason for stopping a blog. It does take time to take pictures, download them from the SD card to the computer, then edit them and in my case with an iMac ... export the pictures I want on the blog to a separate folder outside of my Apple Photos program ... then from the blog, uploading the pictures from that folder into the blog.

That takes more time than I like but with only 15-20 pictures in a blog post it's not that time consuming. I edit all of my pictures taken at the same time as the ones I export to the blog.

So another reason for my blogging is loading the pictures of the hounds with a little commentary, for those that enjoy seeing them and for me to look back on when I am at the age of drooling from my mouth and possibly not remembering my name ... lol

Now one difference in the three people that announced they were not going to blog any longer, they all have one thing in common but not with me ... they travel. They write about those travels. So take all of the time I mentioned above about just putting a blog post together and try to put that into a day, a week of when you are traveling. I would NOT want to blog if I was traveling.

In fact that week the hounds and I went out to Utah and Colorado in June 2015 I did NOT have any time available to put a blog post together. Not only that, I did NOT have the urge to blog during those days. I did not miss television, I did not miss watching baseball games like I do here at home, when I traveled that week. I did NOT miss the internet as far as surfing the net.

I used my internet connection for looking at maps and tracking that one storm that was moving our way in Utah, more than anything.

Now if I were staying in one spot for couple of weeks or longer I could see myself blogging while traveling, but not a lot.

One thing about this next picture. I am sure as I usually do with pictures of Heidi, that I will get at least one email telling me she looks so sad, that something has to be wrong with her. The fact is, the camera cannot catch her tail wagging non-stop nor her barking at me and Sadie right after I clicked the camera.

She wanted to go inside because it was 50° or 20° below her self imposed threshold.

So as far as the internet and blogging I am not changing my current lifestyle, daily schedule, just because I want to spend less time on the internet or the blog takes too much time.

Neither of those, internet or blog, has ever been the #1 priority of my life. I have never asked myself "would this make a great blog picture" before I take that picture. I take the pictures and decide later if it's a blog picture.

I have the ability to turn off the internet when I want. For example I track my data usage daily and plug the running total from my Exede page and log it into an Excel spreadsheet with a bar graph ... just so I can see if I am going to have to pay for more data at the end of the billing period.

For 24 hours yesterday I used a total of 19Mb ... 19. Showing I was not on the internet longer than a few minutes. I went online to print out my tv schedule of football games for Saturday.

So I am not really addicted to the internet nor need to run from it. It's a fantastic place for reference. It's a great way to stay in touch with friends that live 200-3,000 miles from me. I can get fast news and sports on Twitter than I can anywhere else. I also find Facebook a good too to keep in touch with friends that live far away from me. I post two or three pictures on Facebook of the hounds most everyday ... but mostly the Facebook pages I follow there keep me updated on bloodhound groups, basset hound groups and my sports teams.

I DON'T log my life on Facebook like millions of people do. In fact by choice I think I have only 27 friends on my list, not hundreds or thousands.

In the summer when I spend all day outside doing yard work or house maintenance I am not missing the internet nor do I have my iPhone on my hip so I don't miss anything ... it's inside on my counter while I am outside. There are some times I even turn that off to get away from the electronics of today.

Finally, any blogger that has decided to stop blogging, all have good reasons to do so. No one should feel any kind of obligation to blog only for their readers while it takes away from part of your life where you want to do something else. There are a few blogs I still have listed on my left sidebar that I loved reading and following ... they disappeared without any kind of announcement but that's okay, after all it's their blog, their life ... I was just an online visitor to their blog.

If I ever feel I am taking away time from my hounds, or things that I like to do such as reading or bicycling, or other people in my life then I'll stop blogging. In the meantime I have "tons of time" on my hands and I enjoy the picture taking, and the writing it takes to put a blog post together.

Thanks to all of you that stop by ... the hounds love the attention !!

Cold and sunny here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana.

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