“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 OBSThis 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.
Image Credit: MeFind
Image Credit: MeFind
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.
“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: ALittleBitIf 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...