Tuesday, August 26, 2008

To Blog or not to Blog – that is the question.

Good morning. And for my taste, it’s too early in the morning here in the heartland because I had BIG, big plans to sleep in today.

I’ve been on the move a lot lately and had promised myself one lazy indulgent morning of basking in bed until, oh, eight or so, but whoops. I woke up at 5:34. Why? Because it hit me that I had forgotten to write my blog post for this morning. Soooo. I’m up!

But I’m not feeling very bloggie. (Is that a word?) Or very clever or very bright and it also feels like the old creativity meter has dipped way down into the low voltage zone.

As I sit here thinking (tough trick today, believe me) I THINK I realized what my problem is. Here at the Topdown, the Crew has been discussing the finer points of the blog lately. Wondering what makes people visit, what makes them come back, what’s in it for YOU, what’s in it for US, (other than the fact that we LUVS YA), what value can we lend to the blogging community, etc. So I figure that maybe I’m in blog ‘flux’, so to speak, because of all this thinking and not knowing what you might like to read about.

The off shoot is, I’m going to throw some questions at you today and let you all join in on the discussion.

What DOES make you come back to a blog? What DO you like to read about? What questions do YOU have that you’re just waiting for one of us to answer? And for the statistically inclined, how MANY blogs do you visit per day on average? Do you like guest appearances? And if so, what guests would you like to hear from other than other authors? What have I missed? Let me know, okay? We love being a part of the blogging community but since we’re here, we want to make the experience the best we can for everyone.

Okay – let the questions begin. This is YOUR opportunity to weigh in and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say.


Keri Ford said...

Don’t know if they’ll be helpful, but here you go!
What DOES make you come back to a blog? I like the people creating the blogs. Yeah, lots of help for statistics, I know. But that’s the basic. I like ya’ll. So I come back—Or should I say I remember to come back?
What DO you like to read about? Just about anything. I’m easy to please.
What questions do YOU have that you’re just waiting for one of us to answer? Hmm…I think some first call stories would be fun. Or things that YOU did that you think made a critical point in finding publication.
And for the statistically inclined, how MANY blogs do you visit per day on average? Uh, let me go count…a little embarrassing, but 16. But I don’t comment on them all. When I’m trying to figure out where to go next in a story, I surf the web for a few minutes and the answer will come.
Do you like guest appearances? And if so, what guests would you like to hear from other than other authors? As a writer, industry professionals would be great. Your agents or editors.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Keri. Thanks. Great info. Appreciate it.

As for you top down crew members, do you have any questions to add?

Anonymous said...

Good morning Cindy!
considering that in Italy we are already in the middle of the afternoon, I should probably say " good afternoon" Lol!
For me ,blogs are good because of the great variety of subjects that they have.But ..they all MUST travel on an a parallel lane with the mood of the writer ,on that day! One day it can be serious ,another day completely funny and very "light" and that should depend on what the person posting the blog is feeling in that moment.
Look at your post today, it's a perfect reflex of your mood and I love it.
I wouldn't change anything in this blog and I would keep hearing from other writers ,having guest appearance ! I discovered new authors in that way.
So keep going Cindy

Cindy Gerard said...

Ciao to you in Italy. You are such a sweetie. Thanks for the affirmation that you like what's happening on Topdown.

lois greiman said...

As for me, I only do our blog. Time is not my friend.

But just to let everyone know, I've asked my agent to do a blog with us, so she, or actually, her assistant should be chiming in with us before too long. I'll keep you posted.

Cindy Gerard said...

Great, Lois. And i hear you on the time issue.
I'm working with the publicity dept at Pocket and hoping I can get someone from there to blog. Sound interesting to anyone?

Playground Monitor said...

I only visit about 5 blogs, and only 3 of those are regulars including the one I do with 4 other writers.

I like guest bloggers from all areas of the writing and publishing world -- authors, agents, editors, publicists. So yeah, I'd like to hear from the publicity department at Pocket.

At the Playground blog we try to find stuff that works for other writers as well as folks who are just readers. Of course, up until a few weeks ago, none of us had a book out, but our first published author's book hit the shelf earlier this month -- while we were at RWA actually. And a second has sold to Mills & Boon, so that changes the dynamic a bit.

I like when a blog has a good mix of personalities -- like the Top Down crew. Your blog is a nice slice of life, or to be more accurate, slices of many lives. It's been fun to learn about you and your families and where you live and the circumstances of your lives. All that makes for a great patchwork of life.


flchen1 said...

Hi, Cindy,

I agree with some of the other commenters--I return to a blog when I like the mix of personalities and when I feel like they all contribute to making a sort of community that I like to visit again. I prefer blogs where the posters comment back when possible throughout the day--it helps create a conversation, and that sort of interaction is appealing. As for topics, I find a mix interesting--anything from information about your stories or your personal lives or your craft or visits from guest authors or observations about the Olympics or hunks or ???

Thanks for the chance to weigh in ;)

Cindy Gerard said...

Awe, Marilyn. You're a doll.

Cindy Gerard said...

Great comments from you as well. You all are reinforcing what we've got going here. That's great - but we still aim to do more :o)

flchen1 said...

Oh, and as for number of blogs, it's embarrassingly high, although I don't comment on them all--probably something like 15 to 20 that I stop by? (as time allows, because boy, there aren't enough hours in the day!) :)

flchen1 said...

Yep, what you've got going on in the convertible works, at least for me :) But still more, huh? What might you have in store for us?? Curious minds want to know! ;)

Playground Monitor said...

One fun thing we did recently was to have some of our commenters guest blog the week we were in San Francisco at conference. We put out the call on the blog and they had to pitch their blog to us. My mother ended up guest blogging on my regular day. And the others who blogged did a great job.

Perhaps you could have a guest rider who isn't an author/agent/editor/publicist -- someone who just loves to read romance.

Playground Monitor said...

Uh... my mother did a great job as well. Not that she'll read this but I never know. She Googles my name. ::grin::

Michele Hauf said...

Hey! I'm planning to blog about my first sale next week!
I like hearing everyone's comments. It does reinforce what we're doing here, and good to know we're not boring anyone. Are we? :-)

I do a blog surf every morning to wake up and insinuate myself into the world. I have about a dozen blogs I stop by to see what's new with them. SOme authors, some group blogs. I do like the mix of personalities in group blogs.

I also never start a day without going to I Can Has Cheezburger. Gotta start the day with a laugh!

Kylie said...

I hang out at blogs where I enjoy the community and the changing topics every day. Also the give and take between the bloggers and blogees--ok I know that's not a word!

Cindy Gerard said...

I can see I've got to start surfing the blogs more. and yes. If blogging and bloggers is a word, then blogees absolutely makes the cut.

and Michile - sounds like I need to check out I Can Has Cheezburger. In fact, I'm going there right now!

Anonymous said...

I check about 10-12 blogs regularly. Some (about 5) are must stop daily blogs, and the others are check a couple of times per week.

I enjoy reading blogs that have a group of contributors that post in rotation, like RWTD, especially when they blend well together, and comment with the rest of the backbloggers.

If I like the voices of the contributors, I'll read most anything that gets posted. As a matter of fact, one of the regular contributors on one of my daily stops posted her grocery shopping list today because she's too sick to "really" blog. The comments are hilarious. We've included our own lists and started created menus from the details.

I enjoy the sense of community created on my favorite blogs.

You've earned a nap Cindy. Anytime before sunup is just ridiculous.

Marcia in OK

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Marcia
I'm with you on the nap business. and when my new series starts coming out back to back (Oct, Nov and Jan) you'll understand why I'm so tired.:o)
And well, maybe I have been playing a bit lately too... but a girl's gotta have some fun.

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, man! Why didn't I ever think of posting my grocery list.

Oh, yeah. I don't do th grocery shopping.

Okay, yes, I know that was showing off. (g)

Great topic, Cindy.

Like Lois, time is not my friend lately so I only do TopDown and the Bell Bridge Books blog over on LiveJournal. And if Deb Smith sends me to a blog to read I go.

I check out www.ManuscriptMavens.com becuase they are fabulous. Great blog. It's probably the one blog I actually read on a semi-regular basis.

Great community. Commenters. Fun industry, writing and life posts. Good mix of published and unpublished.

And it's fresh. One of the things I like about TopDown is that even though someone might be a little late with a day's blog we're always going up with fresh content.

Michele Hauf said...


Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks Michele. I went there. TOO CUTE. I'm going to have to have me a daily fix of that place too :o)
Oh - and Michele - the hero on the cover of Dark Rapture reminds me of a young and sexy K Costner. Yum.

And Deb - I agree with you about TD. We all have something to say but often from very diverse perspectives.

Michele Hauf said...

Thanks, Cindy! I'm finding that hero not so attractive myself, so I'm glad others can find him good looking. More on that when I blog next week. ;-)

catslady said...

I must go to a couple of dozen blogs. What keeps me going back the most is the interaction. People who actually talk to each other. I can't stand blogs that are extremely large and no one ever talks back and forth. An occasional contest is always nice :)

Cindy Gerard said...

Agreed, Catslady - contests are our friends :o)