Serial Episode/Emptying Spam

Apologies for missing off the episode of ‘Outside’ yesterday. It will be posted later today.

Sorry to say I am getting between 70-100 Spam comments arriving in my Spam Folder every day at the moment, something of a ‘Spam Avalanche’.

I just don’t have the time to check them individually, so if anyone’s comments are being put in Spam by mistake, I apologise in advance for missing them.

I am just using the ‘Empty Spam’ option, to delete them in bulk.

Back, But Not Quite Back

Well, I am back from my holiday week by the sea, and delighted to report that I am smiling! The weather was perfect; nice temperatures combined with blue skies and a sea breeze. The one shower we encountered was when we were driving back from somewhere, and it only lasted for ten minutes.

All in all, the perfect English seaside holiday.

Ollie enjoyed his change of scene, and made new friends too. He even got to sample a special canine ice cream, and there will be a photo of him enjoying that in due course. As we have been to that same place on four previous occasions, there will not be many new photos other than some of our accommodation, and Ollie relaxing.

But returning home to a house left closed up for seven days means there are jobs to be done, so I will not be back to blogging until next week. Meanwhile, I have had to delete hundreds of emails and post notifications, so apologies for not being around your blogs. However, I will do my best to reply to all comments left during my absence, and will get on that starting from Monday.

My thanks to everyone who continued to read this blog while I was away, ensuring that I had steady numbers of views even when I wasn’t around.

Best wishes to you all, Pete.

Serial Review: A Good Runner

My recent serial ‘A Good Runner’ has now ended. As usual, I like to offer an overview of how it was conceived, and how well it was received by readers. Those of you contemplating writing a daily fiction serial might like to know about that, but if you have no interest in such things, feel free to skip this post.

The idea came about as I was walking Ollie to Hoe Rough. Crossing the bridge at Fakenham Road, I saw an old car driving toward us. It dated from the 1950s, and was immaculate. The man driving was relatively young, and that made me think about who might have owned the car from new, and the many hands it might have passed through over the decades.

By the time Ollie’s walk was over, I had the idea for the serial, and the last episode in my head. I came home and made some notes, then started Part One by working back from the ending to the first person to buy the car new. I set the start of my story in the 1960s, a period very familiar to me from my youth.

This serial was very well-received, and generated quite a lot of comments for each episode. It also enjoyed a consistent readership, with a minimum of 110 views every day, up to a maximum of 140 views (so far) for the final episode.

Allowing for an average of 115 views for each of the 35 episodes, that gives me a total of 4,025 views for the serial, and some are still coming in for that last part.

I will soon be publishing all those episodes as one complete story, for those of you who prefer to read it as a novella.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and liked. Also to those who reblogged, or shared any part of it on social media.

Best wishes, Pete.

Just Back

Hello to everyone. I have just returned from my four day holiday in gloriously hot and sunny weather.

During that time away, I did not look at any emails or blog posts, did not turn on my mobile phone, or watch anything on TV.

After unloading the car, I have just logged on to find 96 posts, and around 30 comments on some of mine. I cannot possibly catch up on the posts I have missed, so will be starting from scratch from tomorrow. My apologies if that means I have missed something crucial or important. If so, you can let me know by email.

The latest fiction serial ‘A Good Runner’ will continue from tomorrow. Sorry to have interrupted it, and I hope that hasn’t ruined your enjoyment.

I will do my best to reply to all comments on my posts as soon as possible.

Best wishes from an unusually sunny and warm (hot) Beetley.

Pete.

Apologies For A WordPress Glitch

I have to break my rule of not posting so much to let you know that many comments from regular blogging friends have gone astray.

I was about to empty my Spam and Trash folders earlier, and I was shocked to find 45 genuine comments had been dumped in there by WordPress. I have just had to manually approve and reply to them all. If you left a comment that I did not acknowledge, the chances are it has been trashed and deleted by WordPress, definitely not by me!

Apologies to everyone who kindly left a comment, then must have thought I had completely ignored it. It wasn’t my fault, and seems to be yet another of those random WP glitches that cause me so much annoyance and frustration.

Anyone wondering my my replies have come so late now knows the answer.

My suggestion to you all is to quickly check both Spam and Trash folders.

Comments from your blogging friends may have been dumped there without you knowing.

Site Title: New Bloggers Please Note

I get a comment on a blog post. It says “Please follow my blog”.

Nothing relevant to my post. Just that one short line.

The same blogger also appears as a ‘New Follower’.

I check out the origin of their blog. Who knows? I may like it, and want to follow.

But it is just called ‘Site Title’.

There are no published posts.

So why would I follow a blog that has no title, and no posts to read?

Answers on a postcard, to the usual address.

Making Your Blog Hard To Find

This is a post of yet more tips for new bloggers.

I have mentioned not linking your blog to your Gravatar previously, but so many of you still don’t bother with that, I’m giving up.

On this occasion, I am talking about the (mostly) new bloggers who seem to think that style beats substance, where blogging is concerned.

It doesn’t, believe me.

Everyone knows by now that it is my habit to visit the site of new followers, and leave a message or comment on one of their posts.
(That cannot happen if you don’t have any posts, or an unlinked Gravatar image by the way.)

So here is what seems to be happening a lot lately.

The blog has some kind of Home page, or perhaps an ‘Introduction’ page. But neither allow comments. Then to actually find the blog, I have to look in the side menu or top line for the word ‘Blog’. Then when I click on that, I get a selection of small boxes or images with a ‘teaser’ for the posts they contain, but little or no idea what they might be about.

Sometimes as I am trying to figure this out, an image of some kind blots out the text, and superimposes itself on the whole page. That image may well be relevant in some way, and it certainly looks swish and professional to many people. But the truth is, it’s just really irritating. And it’s not always apparent how to get rid of it, to get back to what I was looking at before it turned up.

But by this stage, I am already thinking about clicking the ‘X’ at the top of the screen, and not bothering.

Then there are the bloggers who require a comment to be filled out in a separate ‘Contact Me’ section. Scrolling down, filling in my name, email address, website details, etc. But if I do this, the comment is not on the blog post I just tried to read anyway, so why should I bother? Sometimes, this is caused by the choice of theme. Best to change your theme, if that’s the case.

Take this top tip, free of charge. If you want followers, if you want blogging interaction and comments, if you want to be part of a blogging community, do these three things.

*Allow real comments on posts, including ‘About’ pages, not just ‘Contact Me’ boxes.
*Make each post clear and separate, so we know what we are looking at.
*Cut out the fancy moving images, and the bizarre colour schemes.

Otherwise you are going to be a very lonely blogger.

Increased Views=Increased Spam?

Most days, I get anything from 30-40 Spam comments captured by WordPress and consigned to the Spam Folder. However on Monday, I had an an increase in the number of views on this blog after posting five rather random articles.

In that 24-hour period, I received over 800 views, which was very satisfying.

But on checking my Spam Folder, I found not the usual 30+ comments locked in there, but an unusually high 160!

So I have come to the conclusion that more views generate more Spam.

Enjoying A ‘Wallow’

Maybe it’s the time of year, the dark afternoons, or just my age, I don’t know.

But for the last couple of days, I have been enjoying a nostalgic wallow in the early days of my blog. (Hence reposting one of my original ‘Significant Songs’.) Picking a header comment, photo, and theme. Never sure if you got the blog name right, or if anyone was ever going to read so much as one word that you wrote.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I got excited to receive as many as two comments on a post, and sometimes even six likes! I would return to my old computer and check on the progress of a post, just to see if anyone else had left a comment.

One of the sad things about revisiting those posts from the first eighteen months of blogging is seeing comments from former ‘regulars’ who just disappeared, or decided to stop blogging. I wish they were still around, and if any of them read this, I hope you are well.

Using the stats page to see which posts are being read is often a revelation. People have been reading posts that I had forgotten about, and in some cases don’t even remember writing. I love it when someone randomly reads very old stuff, as it reminds me of a time when I really didn’t have the first clue about blogging. (Before you tell me, I know I probably still haven’t)

FR (Fragglerocking) wisely counsels me to always look forward, and to never dwell in the past. But I can’t help myself, especially where my blog is concerned.

I am sure you all remember those tentative first steps. Checking your post over and over before hitting ‘Publish’, then wondering if anyone other than your best friend was ever going to bother to read it. The first time you were notified that you had a follower whose name you didn’t know, or received a comment from an experienced blogger who said something nice about your post.

Blogs needs to evolve to survive, and to remain interesting. But there is little to compare with that thrill of those early posts, and the feeling of dipping a toe into the vast ocean of communication and community known as Blogging.

So if you will forgive me, I am going back for another short wallow.

Comments Awaiting Moderation: A Warning

In the past four days alone, I have counted fifteen comments awaiting approval that were merely links to a post or product for sale by the person supposedly commenting on my post. I have warned you before, and here is that warning again.

A link to what you are selling is NOT a comment.

A link to your post is NOT a comment.

Just asking me to follow your blog is NOT a comment.

Anyone who does this on my blog is instantly SPAMMED, and the comment deleted.

So don’t tell me you haven’t been warned.