Thursday, January 10, 2013

Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Well, actually, my FIRST annual - I was sure I'd participated before, but apparently those were other blog challenges, blog hops, etc.  I'm not quite sure how this one works - except I'm supposed to answer a set of questions and put some weird code at the bottom of this post.  Hopefully, it will take you to other pet blogs in this challenge.
Here's the 'rules' for anyone who is interested - if you live on the West Coast you still have three hours to complete it before January 10th is over.  In which case, you would have to wait until next year, I guess.

Here's the questions and my answers:
1. When did you begin your blog?
January 18th, 2008.  Good grief, it is my fifth anniversary in one more week!
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
I was a regular guest poster for a blog for a sanctuary I volunteered with.  When I was no longer involved with that group, I missed the opportunity to write about the humor and pathos of animal care.  I had four dogs, a cat, an alpaca, and 12 little potbellied piggies in my care and just HAD to share their stories with anyone who would listen.  The critters made me laugh and cry, and I wanted others to have that experience vicariously, and maybe even influence them to adopt or foster rescue animals.
Besides, it was one way friends and family knew I was still alive - I am a terrible at keeping in touch!
3. Is your current purpose the same?
Sort of.  I don't have as many animals now, but I'm still involved with rescues and I still write about animals.  I've also moved into photography, and write a lot about the beautiful area where I live - for a wider audience.  In a world with so much violence and ugliness, I want people to see beauty and humour and caring. 
And it still lets my friends and family know I'm alive. 
4. How often do you post?
Usually two or three times a week, sometimes daily, sometimes once a week. 
5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
As the spirit moves me.  
If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? How do you think your decision affects your audience? How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”
Too busy, not inspired, or no new photos to put up.  My audience increases considerably when I publish daily, decreases when I go for days without posting.  I have no idea how I decide something is post-worthy - usually if the sentiments come from my heart, and/or if I have some good photos to share!  
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.
Time varies - sometimes I rush something off, other times I'll spend hours getting it right.  I spend about an hour a day visiting other blogs - sometimes more, sometimes less.  I don't even try to stay on top of it all.  
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
Traffic, though the stats collectors I use differ in their efficiency.  And comments - I love comments! - though I know the security code thing drives people crazy and deters many from commenting.  I don't do facebook or other forms of social media, so shares are meaningless to me, but I do get a kick out of seeing other bloggers refer to my blog and/or link to it. 
Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
My stat collector tells me lots of stuff - About once a week, I do a quick scan of duration, paths followed, repeat visits from the same IP, etc, as well as how they found me (a google search for me personally?  for an image of a seashell or a sunset?  for information on dogs?).  
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
How do I put a watermark on my photos on blogger, without having to use something like photoshop which is waaaaay too complicated for me! 
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
Goals?  What are goals?  I write and post pics for fun - fun doesn't need goals. 


georgia little pea said...

Oi #93! You took your time. I'm pretty sure this is where I met you 2 years ago. You and the Queen of Bermtopia, which is why I'm very fond of this Challenge.

I miss your piggies. I remember lying in bed for 2 nights catching up on almost all your stories when I found you. Did you see the spike in your stats?! I so wanted to live like you.

Jean, whether you post once a week or every day and whatever you choose to write about, I love you and this blog. Thank you for being a good friend X

p.S. On a completely unrelated subject, it's your fault the rubber ducky song is now embedded in my post. Now, that's interactive blogging :)

Jean said...

GLP, I looked back and I think we met on a "Top Ten Bloghop" in which we had to list which ten of our own posts were our favourites:

I can't find a bloghop I've participated in that was specifically for dog blogs, though these questions did look vaguely familiar.

As for Rubber Ducky - I'm betting the song is also embedded in your head! It has been in mine ever since I saw the new items on TV. And now it will be embedded in the heads of everyone doing the bloghop! Bwahahahaha - we are evil!

georgia little pea said...

Crikey! You're right! I've been sentimental about the wrong hop BWAH haha! Can you imagine? I do one hop a year [this PBC] and that one top 10 hop, and I managed to get confused. My neck is aching from commenting on the linky link. Time to go scrub the bathroom X

Anita said...

I always start my day by reading your blog Jean. Gets me going in the right frame of mind.
Thank you for some wonderful stories and wonderful photos.

Anonymous said...

Jean, I mentioned on your comments not too long ago, that I was coming to your area from the Interior for a visit and now I am here enjoying my family.
I really loved reading your answers to the questions on today's posting and learning about you more.
If I am down in at the beach I will look for your dogs and introduce myself, so if you see a friendly face saying "Hi, are you Jean?" please don't turn tail and run! Have a good day,

Coralee said...

I love that you seem to take so much joy in your blog - and of course your animals!

Pauley James said...

I enjoy reading your stories & also viewing the lovely pictures that you post. I sometimes do not comment, because it seems that I am always saying the same thing; beautiful! Keep those posts coming.

Brenda Lee said...

It's fabulous to meet such an animal lover like yourself. I'll definitely have to add your blog to my reader. I saw you once had a pibbles too! Superfantastic! Great to meet your acquaintance!

Jean said...

Marie, do watch for Eddie and Riley and me. Or if you email me via the link to the side of the blog, I can send you my phone number and we can set up a time to meet. Welcome to the island!

Colby said...

I wish I had as many animals as you when I started my blog. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure an Alpaca would do that well in my condo. I wish I had an answer to your question, but I'm on WordPress and on WP the image editing tools are very limited (I think I can crop a photo and that's about it). I haven't watermarked my images in the past I'm wondering if I should think about doing it in the future.

Best of luck with your goals in 2013!

AJ of PupLove said...

I'm a Photoshop person, definitely, but I hear that GIMP (a free program) is good for photo editing. I bet you can use it to watermark your photos!

Amy said...

Hi there, Jean and thanks for participating in the Challenge. Any friend of Georgia's is a friend of mine! I use Pixelmator for my photo editing, but it's pretty intense. I've also heard about GIMP and it's supposed to be very easy to use, but I haven't tried it. All the best to you in 2013!

Tegan said...

Hi, nice to meet you. I loved hearing the story of how your blog started. All the best for a goal-free 2013!

Jean said...

AJ and Amy - thanks for suggesting GIMP! I did some searching around the internet, and lo-and-behold discovered our local Elder College is offering a course on GIMP this spring. I think I'll sign up for it!