Saturday, May 9, 2009

Support the OBS and Your Fellow Bloggers

© 2009 Albert A Rasch
“I wanted it to be more than simply a blog and a list of supporters. I wanted it to be the outdoor blogging organization!”
Kristine on OBS

Image Credit: MeFind
This is a reprint of the post I wrote for Outdoor Bloggers Summit some time ago. I think it bears repeating as many new members have come into the fold since this ran.

Kristine’s post, It’s Tough, But Oh So Worth It, challenged all of us OBS members to find ways of helping not only OBS, but our fellow outdoor bloggers in general. Kristine is taking OBS to the next level, and is asking us to give her our support in which ever way we can.

I mentioned it a few months ago right here on these electronic pages, ( Where Do You Go If Your Compass Won't Stop Spinning? ) how difficult things seem to have gotten. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when others say the same. I mean, really, I don’t have a monopoly on life’s burdens! But if you look at the comments, you will see that more than a couple of people feel the same way.

Image Credit: Linda Cronin
I really had lost my enthusiasm to write. There were more pressing matters to attend to. I didn’t even go out much, but then again, with fuel at four bucks a gallon back then, I don’t think anyone else did either.

Holly and Kristine tried to gently encourage me a couple of times to get in gear. Yet, it wasn’t until Sten, The Suburban Bushwacker , gave me a swift, and I might add proper, English kick in the posterior, that I started looking around again at what I did have.

Sten said,
“Just a few words of encouragement from me, keep the chronicles going, even if you spend so little time outside that your posts are limited to describing things you've seen growing through the cracks in the pavement (English for sidewalk) it'll be worth reading.

If anyone can, you can Albert. SBW”

(H and K, my wife says I don’t listen to nothing she says either…)

Funny as that may be, I guess I found out that folks actually missed my storytelling! (Who says American Culture is dying!) Well, that changed the equation. It is exactly at times like these, that a well thought out comment can make a substantial difference in the Blog author’s attitude. I have thanked Sten, and I'll do it again. Sten, Thank You Very Much!

Image Credit: Dooda
As I search out new blogs, I’ve seen the postings that indicate the author’s disappointment that more people don’t comment; they feel as if their efforts aren’t even noticed. I used to feel that way occasionally, but I wrote primarily for my own benefit and amusement. But looking at Google Analytics, told me a different story. Plenty of folks stopped by, they just didn’t leave a note. Not everyone knows about Google Analytics, so it is not a bad idea to mention it now and again when you’re cruising the blogosphere. If you aren't using it you are missing out on an incredible tool.

One of the things that I do regularly, is to take a moment each time I get on the net to look at a new blog. Using the Outdoor Bloggers Summit blogroll, I pick a blog to peruse. I try to get a good look at the writing, even going as far as checking the archives. If I like what I see, I make sure I leave a note. Nothing long or tedious mind you, just a note telling them I like what I saw! I don’t necessarily add them to my blog roll, but I do put them in my browser’s favorites or Google reader so I can check them out regularly.

Image Credit: ALittleBit
If I have time, I like to check their blogroll too. It doesn’t hurt to leave a note at those sites you go to, telling them where or how you found them. This does a couple of things, it lets them know that someone thought enough of their blog to put it on their blogroll, and it gives them an opportunity to check out your blog. I have on occasion gone as far as writing a short email to the author just to make sure the message gets to them.

I think it really helps if you put a link right in your comments. That way it makes it easy for visitors and comment makers to visit your blog too.

Occasionally I have found a blog that was good in one way, but plain stunk some other way. You can usually tell if the person just doesn’t know any better, or if they really are that way. My pet peeve is spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Granted we all make mistakes, but poor writing is just that. A close second would be what I would call “BlogTexting.” For Pete’s sake, write out the dang words! Back to the point I was going to make, don’t be afraid to offer some constructive criticism. Be polite, tell them what you like, and tell them how it could be better. I’ve asked first if I could mention a couple of things that might be helpful, and so far no one has told me to jump into a lake!

Lastly, offer something; whether it's good comments, blog-rolling, clicking on supporters, or a banner on your own site. Give a little and you'll receive a lot. Share what you know. Believe you me, we are but a microcosm of what is out there on the internet.

OK let’s review:

•Use Google Analytics.
•Visit a Blog you don’t know.
•Leave a comment if you appreciate the Blog.
•Leave your link!
•Use email as you think appropriate.
•Share what you know.

I want to remind everyone as to Why I Joined the OBS. I wrote this a while ago and if you take a look at it, it may remind you of a couple of advantages to being an OBS member.

Let us sum it up with Kristine's thoughts:

I've always had a vision for the OBS. I wanted to build it into something that really made a difference. I wanted to create an organization that supported outdoor bloggers, that encouraged outdoor blogging and that impacted the outdoor community in positive ways. I wanted it to be more than simply a blog and a list of supporters. I wanted it to be the outdoor blogging organization.” Kristine, OBS and Empress Over All She Surveys

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...


Brigid said...

In my brief association with them, I've met many really good people, like yourselves. Hard working, self sufficient people with an ability to express their live, both in words and in actions.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Albert, thanks for retelling this story. I was just telling Boyfriend last night how happy I was that you'd gotten rolling again and writing like crazy.

And btw, love the way you figured out how to do photo credits on images with text wrap. Brilliant! I'm going to have to copy that.

But for now, you'll have to excuse me. I think today is the day I FINALLY get to shoot my new rifle. About dang time!

Anonymous said...

Albert, having a blog is more than just putting something on the screen and creating a list of link's like you said.
A blog is actually and extention of yourself I think. What you write and how you write it. I myself am always trying to improve and in the past you have helped considerably, I just wanted to point that out.

Every now and then I think we have to visit our beginning's to regain our scope.

native said...

I cannot even describe how much you have taught me my friend.
Your patience truly is a virtuous asset and not to mention the fact that your storytelling is always entertaining as all hell!

All of the best is still ahead!

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hi Albert,
Thanks for stopping by our blog and leaving some advice about swales.
It seems that you like playing with words; do you like reading too? The reason I ask is that I've just finished Clear Heart by Joe Cottonwood, which I really liked. Great story, great characters and set against a construction backdrop, which is why I thought you might be interested.
Best wishes

Albert A Rasch said...


Do 3000 books in my library count as liking to read? LOL

I'll go and find Clear Heart, a referred book is usually a good book.

And thank you for stopping by here!


lralph said...

I'm new to the blogosphere, and I have already met so many good people and very intriguing blogs through the Outdoor Blogger Summit. Sometimes, I almost feel overwhelmed by all the other well written blogs, but still I press on. It has been an awesome resource. Another note, if you aren't using Google Analytics, it must be because you cannot figure it out. ITS FREE. If you need help, shoot me an email.

Stormdrane said...

Blogging, whatever the subject/topic, can be a lot of work. Kudos to those that stick with it and offer interesting information to draw readers in. I know I've enjoyed this one. :)

tom said...

Point by Point for grins:

•Use Google Analytics.
I really don't care who reads my words except for the people I know do anyway.•Visit a Blog you don’t know.
I might be bored and a bored Tom puts 52 round mags on 5.56 pistols and I'd rather do that than be bored.•Leave a comment if you appreciate the Blog.
Sometimes, depends on the attitude of me and the author.•Leave your link!
Not as many people as a delusional version of myself might think actually care about what I write or care about, for that matter. I sometimes also write about non-gun and non-outdoors things.•Use email as you think appropriate.
That's a GIVEN to anybody with a stick of politeness in their body.•Share what you know.

What I know that isn't subject to people reading the Orange Book?:-)


Scope is NEAR in the mail, the 6 one. (insider story)