Wednesday, February 13, 2013

About Awards and Dragon's Purpose as Blogger



I think. Sometimes I think too much. Sorry for that. It's what I do best. Often it is the only thing I am doing. And in thinking I solve another riddle that helps me to get a clearer idea of my true nature and essence, for make no mistake: I *am* a riddle of riddles.

Not long ago I ran into a passionate comment in a friend’s blog. Its tone ruffled my scales although it didn't qualify as a troll. As a fire dragon, patience is not my strongest suit. However, as Father Dragon I know the rule is brain cells sparkle first. Spitting fire comes second.

A couple of misused adjectives turned my natural red more intense, but I found two points worth pondering.  One of them referred to the futility of awards given between bloggers. The other was along the lines of seeking true readers instead of “bargaining” for comments (i.e.  You comment on my site and in return I comment on yours.) Wrong market strategy, Anonymous stated, implying writers should aim for readers –potential consumers of his brand- not for other writers.

I was still “dissecting” these propositions when I read a post in another friend’s blog. He was giving his opinion on whether or not blogging was dying. And in between I read a golden piece of advice about answering to comments individually.

I am as new in the blogging world as they come. I am so NOT an authority in the matter that only six months ago I thought a blog was either a bloating ailment or some Facebook profile.  The Force guided my debut. I could only hope for the best. My goal was sharing and making contact. With whom? Whoever willing to believe in and talk to a dragon.

Three questions are the key of all Mother Dragon’s teachings. What do you want? Why do you want it? What do you want it for? These questions help me to unravel my thoughts and feelings about all these matters quite effectively. It’s thanks to them I got my final conclusions.

Sir David Powers King kindly chose me to receive the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I am expected to say seven things about myself, so I have chosen these:

1. I value awards given between bloggers as much as any other award. Bloggers are both writers and readers. But first and foremost, they are people who are granting me (the worldwide unknown Al Diaz) a bit of their precious time to read what I have to say.  They value my words and thoughts above thousands of bloggers out there. The fact they don’t belong to the Pulitzer Board doesn’t make their opinion less honest or their time less valuable to me.

2. I care for page hits as much as I care for a gazillion followers in Twitter. Mostly when 99% of those persons won’t even respond to a single greeting. Don't take me wrong. It would be nice for a million people to read me but I honestly care for people, not numbers. I care for interaction and to get to know the hearts of those behind the words I read. If I am to spend so many hours in front of a screen, I am doing so in order to find the humanity on the other side, not just a page hit. That’s why….

3. I love to leave comments on people’s posts and I cherish their comments on mine. That’s interaction. I know people by bits and pieces but that’s the way I have come to meet some amazing folks. There are a few around here whose essences I’ve caught filtered in a few words. How could I not treasure such comments more than a hundred hits?

4. I answer comments individually, not to increase the count number but because I enjoy it. Some people like coffee with milk, some like it black. To me, answering comments individually is like looking at the person in the eye or shaking hands. It is a matter of preferences really, and I do prefer it this way for now. Forgive me if I break the rule.

5. I would love to have a world of fans like J.K. Rowling but my dragon friendly folks are a world to me. Yes, I write and yes, I’ve dreamed the “Harry Potter dream.” Who hasn’t? Yet, even though touching millions of lives while earning millions in royalties would not hurt me at all...

6. I would consider myself a successful writer if my words touch and inspire one single life. Regardless the format they come or if they were given for free. A life is a life and I know something about the value of words in a moment of dire need. Little matters whether they come from a Best Selling writer or from an elder with no more wealth than his wisdom. By the Higher Powers I do know about that.

7. If blogging is truly dying, I’ll stick around anyway for the C.P.R., the autopsy and the funeral. Maybe afterwards, I get to hang out with those who attend the funeral. We can tell stories to each other while eating marshmallows.

Now this is my choice of bloggers to get this award. 


Congratulations to them all! And Dragon hugs to all of you. Save them for tomorrow that's Valentine's Day. :)

59 comments:

  1. I'll attend that funeral with you! Congratulations on the award.
    It's not the numbers. I may have a lot of followers, but it's the friends I've made in the process that matter most. And hits certainly don't matter.
    And touching one other life is a very noble goal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you get to bring the marshmallows and I bring the fire, hahaha. :)

      Delete
  2. I'll be right there with you when blogging is buried, if it is truly dying (don't think it is).

    I'm all about making the personal connections while blogging by responding to comments when I can (mostly by email) and reciprocating by commenting back. That's what networking--and making new friends--is about. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Cherie. I like the making friends mostly. :)

      Delete
  3. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day isn't it?

    Well, I'm glad you stuck your long neck out there to make these honest comments. People do have their opinions, and most times I'm sure you don't get riled up. But it takes that one nuance to get under the skin (even you have skin, right?). Maybe his cluster of chosen readers are dying, but from my point of view bloggers are taking over!

    ...And I care about your comments too. :) Congrats on your award!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I do have skin beneath the scales, hahaha. Thanks Nancy!

      Delete
  4. Ahh Father Dargon, you warm my heart! I like the imbedded comments too...and if someone is really worried about the true comment count, divide by two. I feel like you do, it's more personal and direct.

    I was having a discussion about blogging just yesterday via emails with a writer friend. We decided hip doesn't mean squat to us. The blog is interactive, it's a conduit to reach people and a place for people to find us. I love my blog; I love my bloggie friends. So, if it's just you, Alex and me...well good enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, so let's do what make us happy. :D I think it would be quite a cheerful funeral if it would happen hahaha.

      Delete
  5. Oh and Cherie and Nancy too...they weren't there when I first commented...not trying to leave anyone out!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for that Al, I feel the same way. I was appalled when I read that answering each comment was 'padding' -- really. I don't read someone's post because they have lots of comments. I read it because it sounds interesting. I sometimes write comments that are paragraphs long because what they wrote hit a cord. Like yours. I felt as though I'd done something wrong, a dinosaur, too old fashioned for the in crowd. Thanks for making me feel less of a dinosaur and more of a human being just trying to share something with like minded folk!

    Well said! Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Yolanda, you may feel more of a dragon then, hehehe. But no, honestly, I do believe the comment thing is just personal preference. No right or wrong there. So as in writing rules, do what works best for you, I would say.

      Delete
    2. Agree! Thanks for stopping by today. I do apologize for the X-rating of the excerpt. Didn't remember that part being there, have now cleaned it up a little, but gosh -- what a surprise. I remember the book being 'hot' but not the excerpt. Oops!

      Delete
  7. Congrats on the award, loved the answers on your post.
    Take care.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Yvonne. Take good care of you too. :)

      Delete
  8. I kinda agree with Anonymous. I started my blog to appeal to agents, not because I have a burning desire to share the minutiae of my life with others. I notice that the few successful authors whose blogs I comment on do not comment on or follow mine. So I guess once you become successful, you are "read" and don't have to trade comments. But those of use who are nobodies have to make an attempt to get a platform - that's what agents and publishers demand these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's all right, Lexa. It all depends on those three questions. What do you want? Why? and what for?. You seek a different goal and that's fair. Each to his/her path. :)

      Delete
  9. I've stopped individually responding to comments, because lately it felt like all I'm doing is blogging and my writing time has taken a big hit. But of course, that pains me because I love everyone who takes the time to comment and I want to show my appreciation. As you say, it's about interaction. I will always comment back on the commenter's blog. I won't always be fast, but it will happen. That's my way of interacting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, time is not always that flexible. I can relate. Mother Dragon use to say the one who does what she can, does what she must. :)

      Delete
  10. Congratulations with receiving this award as you do deserve it. Thank you for passing it along to me as well. I love the honesty of this post and I also feel that I want my writing to touch lives, even if it is just one person. Blogging is my first choice of social media and I can't imagine using any other type. I guess I will be sticking around even if blogging is dead too.!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do prefer blog over other types of social media. It feels right to me. So I guess will keep it going then. Congratulations to you too. :)

      Delete
  11. Dear Scaly Lovable Dragon-- So glad you received this award. It's well deserved and so nice when another blogger recognizes you and wants others to recognize you as well.

    I love to comment on blogs and respond to comments, although I hear Lynda's concern as well. It indeed can be time-consuming. I may cut back, but for now, I doubt I'll cut out. I have two blogs going and both have distinct personalities and purposes for me. Honestly? I'm not sure what I fully think about the blog world as it is now. I do smell an odor of change on the horizon, but am not sure what that will be. Bottom line, I think as long as you enjoy it, the process, and the people, the soul of blogging lives on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two blogs? Wow! I can hardly keep up with one. You're a tough woman no doubt and I'm your fan. :) About that odor in the horizon, it wasn't me. I took a bath last month. Dwarves however...

      Delete
  12. Blogging is not dying, it's just changing. I change my approach every year and see where it takes me.

    As for comments I get disappointed when I don't get comments, even though I'm not a particularly good commenter on other blogs (this is the first time in nearly two weeks I've been to other blogs), but when I get them I'm ecstatic.

    It's the interaction that matters. It may not be as immediate as facebook or twitter (which I'm still trying to get the hang of), but it's more 'literary' in that you get the chance to think before you post/comment. With other social media you are almost forced into immediate commenting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I am lost in twitter. Past the 30 following I couldn't possibly read them all and I seriously doubt someone with 2000 following would read me. I find more pleasure being social in blogsphere. :)

      Delete
  13. If you measure your success by touching someone's life with your words than consider yourself successful. I feel like I learn something new or I'm given something thought provoking to chew on every time I visit your blog. I don't come here so you'll come comment on my blog--even though I definitely appreciate it when you do. But I come here cause I honestly love this blog. And you definitely deserve all the awards you are gathering up. :) Love ya, Father Dragon!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment made my face the dragon simile of the Cheshire cat. Thank you, Tamara! :D

      Delete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You've made a difference, Al. Take it from me. Congratulations on your award! And to all he's shared it with as well. The potatoes are purple on the inside too, btw...who knew? I'll let you know how they taste after hubby fries them up. We can serve them at the funeral with the marshmallows, if they're really good. Best to you, kind dragon. As always, your posts make me smile :) (Typos - guess I need my glasses more than I thought!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking they taste like yams, probably. I like yams so you may bring them along. :)

      Delete
  16. Congrats on your award! I've still been meaning to put mine up. I've been bad about that. But awards between bloggers is like getting a greeting card that says, "hey, you don't suck." LOL... And I mean that in an honest to goodness good way. Sometimes it can feel like we blog for no reason, so receiving and passing awards is always an encouragement. There are some bloggers who leave comments that make me think, "why bother?" Keep bad comments to yourself and simply say nothing.
    But whatevs, so many of us have established genuine friendships thru blogging and I value them immensely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHA! "You don't suck" That really made me laugh. Yes, that's right Pk, and that's always such an encouraging thought. :D

      Delete
  17. You are exactly the kind of blogger/writer I want to follow and interact with. Being an expat and living far from my country of origin can be very lonely at times. The friends and interactions I've made with people from all over the world has, and does, mean the world to me. And I agree with PK Hrezo, a blogging award is like a greeting card and it's just as nice to receive as it is to pass along (thank you btw for the award). And remember this is your blog (err, I mean cave (: ) and you manage it the way that makes sense to you. I like replying to comments individually when I have time and few comments. When time is short, I'll group my replies or send e-mail to people who are not 'non-reply' commenters. So glad I found you Father Dragon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad too Elise. I am learning so much from all this blogging experience it has been worthy. Thanks. :)

      Delete
  18. I don't pay much attention to the award, blogging, promo discussions. I do what I like to do: blog what I want to blog, host writers who are trying to share their stories with readers, comment on blogs that are interesting or support other authors. While I do feel I've made some great friends through this media, I try not to let it replace my time making "face-face" friendships.

    I'm glad that you broached these topics, and from the answers you're receiving it seems that others are of like mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, indeed. Face to face relationships should never suffer for the time one spends in the web. I do agree. And enjoying what you do is like the primary goal for one's happiness. If you can't do what you enjoy, then seek to enjoy what you do. :)

      Delete
  19. Hi Al,

    Another Award for you. You were voted for in the Paying Forward Awards and came second as New Blogger with Most Potential. Please stop by my blog to see how you can claim your prize.

    http://sylmion.blogspot.com/2013/02/finally-i-announce-winners.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Misha. Seems there is a plot around to keep me blushing often. :D

      Delete
  20. Congrats on the award. It's well-deserved. I like your philosophy on blogging and interacting with others. I think we reach out to so many people with our words, whether it be on social media or through published writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reaching other people is always nice, isn't it? Thanks, Medeia.

      Delete
  21. I love your reflections Al! So true.
    For me, it's about the human connection!
    And congratulations on your award!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes a lot bunch of us then, hahaha. Thanks Michelle!

      Delete
  22. Hello, I desire to subscribe for this blog to get hottest updates, therefore where can i do it please
    assist.

    Feel free to surf to my web site - cash advance payday loans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, on the right side bar there are a few options. You may either subscribe from google account or follow by emails (below the Twitter button).

      Delete
  23. I don't believe for a minute blogging is dying as some have recently proposed. I think these are people seeking a controversial and passionate topic to attack so they can get their names and faces in the news.

    Regarding comments, I admit I do not reciprocate for each comment on by blog. But I do try to hit everyone two or three times a week and in the end I think things balance out fairly well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Stephen. About comments, sometimes we have to work it out with our schedules and yes, keep things balanced. :)

      Delete
  24. I don't believe blogging is dying either- maybe just settling. I try to reciprocate for each comment, simply because I'm touched these people visited me and I want to do the same. My follower list isn't huge, but I've found it's already hard to keep contact with all the wonderful people I've met. There's just too many nice folks out there :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't visit all everyday but try to alternate. As you say, too many nice people and that's good. :D

      Delete
  25. I answer comments on my blog individually too. I don't care if someone thinks it's "padding" or not - all they have to do is take my number and divide it in half.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only heard about 'padding' the other day. I'm on the fence about that one.

      I used to reply to every comment because I wanted to appear friendly and appreciative, but then I realized that most visitors don't return to see the reply. I considered replying by email, but a lot of bloggers have the 'noreply' feature on, so it bounces. *shrugs* I finally settled on letting a return visit to their blog suffice unless they asked me a direct question - then I find a way to email.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I really don't think the comment number is really such an important matter but you are right. All they have to do is split it in two. :)

      Delete
  26. I love your attitude, Al. I doubt this blog will do anything but grow. No blog funeral for you!

    I'm also relatively new to blogging, and I'm trying to find what works with comments vs emails vs return visits, etc. Like you, I'm not obsessed with numbers. I just want to meet people and let them know they are appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melissa. I see your comment above and you actually mention another doubt I did have. How many people return to look for replies? I'm still wondering. Anyway, I love your visits. :)

      Delete
    2. I subscribe to replies so I don't miss out. I don't know if very many people do that but a few of my blog commenters do, because they come back and reply to my reply. ;)

      Delete
  27. Excellent post...and congrats on the award. I value awards and the recognition they represent, however, usually I don't have the time for all the hoop jumping commonly associated with them.

    Blogging...like Paul McCartney...is alive and well!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks DL. You're right there. Sometimes they are a bit time consuming. :)
      Long live Paul McCartney! :D

      Delete
  28. I like to respond to comments individually too. I guess I'm one of the few who actually return to a blog to read a blogger's reply to a comment I left (if a reply was warranted.) Also, responding on the blog itself does let new visitors know that their comments are read and appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am only finding out that not all do that, but I answer anyway. Glad to see you btw. :)

      Delete
  29. Thank you for passing the award on to me and for thinking of me!

    Rules are made to be broken. Blog the way YOU want to blog. Follow the rules you want to follow. Make your own. Dance to your own drummer. Don't let others make you feel bad about your choices. None of these blogging rules are hard and fast.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wise words, Shannon. I like them! :D

      Delete