Tuesday, October 02, 2007

2 Approaches to RVs -- Plus A Batch of Blogging Tips

Sights from a downtown walk yesterday. Here's an RV that's really equipped. Canoe. Bicycle. Wonder where the hang glider is hung -- perhaps on the other side. Or maybe folded up in that carrier atop this vacationer's funmobile.

But lack of Big $$ shouldn't get in the way of outback pleasure. Here's another approach to the question of how to live on less in the woods or desert --do it yourself. Both found in the same parking lot, BTW.

There's a reason for the RV pix, by the way. I've been tagged. Big time. By Rich, who currently lives in an AirStream over at Point of Rocks. He sent me a list of tips for bloggers. I'm to star the five items I think most important and then add my own tips. And, of course, tag other bloggers. Here goes. First the long list:

1. Look, read, and learn.
2. Be EXCELLENT to each other
3. Don’t let money change ya!
4. Always reply to your comments.
*5. Blog about what you know & love.
6. Don’t use filthy language-buy a dictionary.
7. Blog about something educational.
*8. Be yourself; others will follow.
9. Don’t have too many blogs that will become a chore to maintain.
10. Keep it simple, user-friendly, interesting and organized!
11. Keep the blog simple and sweet!!!
12. Share with others your thoughts and don’t be shy!
13. Never ask for link exchange. Blog hop to increase traffic.
*14. Don’t clutter your blog with ads all over the place. IT’S IRRITATING.
15. Don’t comment for the sake of commenting. Some looked too fake and it's a big turn off!
16. Share something interesting and you will gain more readers.
17. Show that we care to all bloggers, treat each other as friends.
*18. Pictures say a million words. Keep them coming!
*19. Blogging should be fun or you’ll get tired of it pretty soon.
20. Don’t think people will come to your blog if you’re not willing to pay a visit to them.
21. Everyone loves read short posting and, best, illustrated with a picture.
22. Try not to publish more than 5 posts in one blog a day. Even if it’s from feed reader, it’s quite hard to digest and catch up reading everything.
23. Blog: the other window to peek into people’s life, minus the trouble. Keep a certain level of privacy to yourself.
24. Never tell your readers that you are going on vacation. That’s basically telling them to not visit your blog for a week. Instead, write several posts, and take advantage of the timestamp feature.
25. Try and write with people in mind that are somewhat similar to you. Allow your audience to identify with your blog and feel at home.
26. The key to a good article is a good introduction. A joke, a question or a picture does wonders.
27. If you are looking to earn an income blogging read StevePavlina.com and Problogger.net, you will be amazed at what you can learn.
28. Write for yourself first. Remember that it takes time, effort, patience…and above all, daring.
29. Photos for your blog should always be shot in the RAW! No, not in the buff, but in RAW format. That leaves you a lot more room to play with your subject.
30. Blog about what you’re interested in, and what you want to share. And it’s your blog, you make your rules.

Now GrannyJ's two cents worth. Mainly about pictures, of course.

31. Scared of the new digital camera? Go out, take lots of pictures, slowly learn the bells & whistles. Enjoy!
32. I disagree with Rich -- until you're ready for heavy-duty PhotoShopping on a pro basis, stick with .jpg's. Easier to handle.
33. Resize your pix before downloading to the Internet; you won't eat up your on-line storage space nearly as fast. Remember, too, that the resolution on most screens is 72 pixels/inch. I resize all my pictures to 6" wide x 72 pixels/inch (and hype the contrast -- the Internet flattens pix). If you have a picture good enough to steal, it won't have definition good enough for a commercial use; let them get in touch with you for permission to use.

Now, just where do you get the software for an embedded signature on your photos? And, oh yes, I have to tag some knowledgeable folks:

* OmegaMom
* Chatoyance
* String Bag
* Loosely Speaking
* Life's Free Treats


OmegaMom said...

By "embedded signature", do you mean watermark? If so, you should be able to Photoshop it. There's a whole slew of folks in the parent-blogging biz who have recently discovered their pics were stolen; a good write-up of how to do watermarks is on this tutorial on layers.

Blogging tips, eh? Hm.

Granny J said...

You got it, kiddo. Just what I wanted. Tnx.

Olivia Kroth said...

I find this post about "Blogging Tips" very helpful, Julie. I am a relatively new blogger, having started at the end of June this year. Some of the tips are valuable to me.

By the way, I have not bought that cheap digital camera yet and am still borrowing photos from Wikipedia or other sources. But they are well liked and commented favorably. To produce my own photos stands on my agenda for this year.

Thank you for sending me your comment to put on my blog. I agree with the tip to visit other blogs regularly if you want to have these people in return. Blogging should be a mutual thing. I tend to lose interest if I am the one giving comments but do not get any in return. What do you think?

stitchwort said...

On holiday we saw a big RV towing its own CAR, as well as several with box trailers.

Clearly getting away from it all!

I'll have a think about the tag. Might take a day or two.

ktcosmos said...

Gotta say that top camper is tailor-made for me--they're toting many of my life essentials!

Thank you, GrannyJ, for the great list and the tag. I have responded over at Loosely Speaking.

I am with Rich, btw, on using Photoshop, but not that you need to always shoot in RAW mode. That digital darkroom time can be eat up a lot of time when you could be doing something else.

Granny J said...

Olivia -- I'm glad that the list is of value. BTW, be sure to get that camera soon. I'm looking forward to pictures from your own point of view.

stitch -- in the States, we often see an RV dragging a car along for the ride. I guess it makes sense if you are one of those who lives on the road & doesn't always want to take the behemoth into town. Might save a little on gas, too.

kt -- I'm popping right over to take a look at what you've had to say. As for PhotoShop -- I always do a little touch up & it really does eat up time!

sheoflittlebrain said...

What a great idea for sharing how tos with us neophyte bloggers! I'm looking forward to all the tips and hoping I can summon up enough expertise to utilize them!

Granny J said...

Brain -- it seems to be that you're going great guns already!

Lucy said...

Some good tips, I think, but some unneccessary. He seems very preoccupied with making sure you get comments at all costs, then says don't comment for the sake of it. I usually do comment, at least somewhere, if I've been, even if I've not much to say. Most people, especially those who don't use statcounters and that kind of thing, like to know you've been there. The pebble emoticon (O) can be useful, but is sometimes used or interpreted as 'you leave me speechless' rather than simply 'I was here', so is not always clear.
Many of them are good but need to be broken sometimes or have exceptions. Write at length if the need arises, if people care they'll read it, and if they don't, if it's important to you to do so, who are you doing this for? In fact some people write lengthily a lot and still have loads of readers and comments. some people I read,eg Brother Bartleby, Paula, comment seldom or not ar all on mine or anywhere, but still dserve my loyalty for their sheer beauty. But they are exceptional.
The annoying ads; absolutely.

Granny J said...

Lucy -- I agree with most of what you said. BTW, don't blame Rich for that long list. I think it's been passed along through many hands. Of course, I enjoy comments -- but I certainly prefer those, such as your comment here, that adds to the discussion. I tend to comment primarily when there's something to be said! As for long vs. short, it all depends, as you said.

sheoflittlebrain said...

I'm with Lucy on this one. I think knowing that someone has taken the time and trouble to leave a comment is meaningful in itself.

Granny J said...

Brain -- yes, you are right about that. But it is also useful to know which posts did not interest people enough to comment!

meggie said...

Granny J, I am sorry to be so slow to respond to your mention! I agree with some of the tips, but I do primarily blog to please myself. The lauguage bit doesn't really bother me. Sometimes the impact effect is very effective to stress a point. I do agree it is nice to get comments, & also I try to leave one, to let people know I have been to visit. If I really admire a post, I love to comment. I admire many of yours, but dont always comment!
I must try to check out the 'embedded signature' thing... I have lots to learn.Thank you so much for thinking of me!

Lori Witzel said...

Yikes! A tag!

I'll respond sometime before the Workin' Whirled fires up again Monday...and, echoing Meggie, thanks for thinking of me, Granny J!

Re: RVs.
So very tempting to pile a bunch of stuff (or rather, other stuff, since I am overloaded with car-piles) into the Corolla and head out to the West TX mountains. But. Must. Stay. (For. Now.)

Granny J said...

Hi -- I'm looking forward to your thoughts on blogging, Chat. You have a different approach & I'm curious to see what you have to say. BTW, my SIL did his MS research in the west Texas mountains.

Gadget said...

Hey there Granny J!

Well, I did my tip on shooting RAW because the person who tagged me was loving the latest photos. So is the stock photo site that I now submit to. The biggest change, shooting RAW. And that was the tip my "tagger" was looking for. :)

I don't spend too much time editing. What I've found is that the camera's auto white balance and jpg compression really loose a ton in translation. Just something I learned recently in several books.

But yes, shooting jpg is quicker. In the end, I'm taking so many photos lately that time sorting is just a given. :)

And I totally agree with you. Shrink those shots before you upload!!! :)

Gadget said...

Oh, P.S......

I've started using Adobe's Lightroom Program (it's a photo management program). It will put a copyright watermark right on your exported resized (for the web) photos. Really wonderful program!

Granny J said...

Rich -- Point taken about shooting raw. I had always known that compression was lossy, but of course the white balancing also has an effect -- as it did in that batch of sunset pix I posted last night! The Adobe software sounds interesting as well.

Gadget said...

I've read several digital photography books lately as I've started selling stock photography, and all pointed me to lightroom. Also, every book said shoot RAW if I could. The difference has been amazing.

A fun thing you can do with a digital SLR is shoot RAW & JPG (you need some big memory cards). Then you can compare the two when you get home. Doing that sold me on RAW. :)

Granny J said...

alright, already,Gadget -- I'm going to get out the fat little, info-dense booklet that came with my camera & see if I can do the trick at all.

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