Life is a long conversation

I’ve had a couple people ask me recently how to build traffic and readers on their blogs.  So for some of you who are new-ish to the blogging world, and since this is something I’ve spent a pretty good amount of time on lately myself, here are two new blog and conversation tools I’ve discovered recently.

New favorite tool: from Stumble Upon (pronounced “super”).

This tool lets you update both your twitter and your facebook status with a shortened url that simultaneously pings Stumble Upon.  You can then “thumb up” your post and write a review so people know what it’s about.  This tool was designed by the Stumble developers to help people get more traffic.  And you can feed your blog feed to and it will update your twitter automatically.  Plus, you can schedule tweets and status updates based on the powerful analytics that places at your disposal that not only show you clicks in real time, but also recommended posting times based on traffic to your Stumbles.  Gotta love it right?

Click on the small screen shot of the dashboard below for a bigger version.

Cool new search engine: Topsy, powered by tweets.

Topsy’s about page says that they view the web not as a series of pages but as a series of conversations. (which makes me want to sing Josh Joplin “Life is a long conversation…”). Because of this view, they search your terms based on what people are linking to in their twitter statuses.  And they have a tweet plugin for wordpress and buttons for your website that will count tweets much like the TweetMeme button, but in my experience with both, Topsy’s button works better.  It has the ability to do an @ response to your twitter username when people click to tweet or retweet your post, and it trackback pings your post when there’s people talking about it on twitter, sending you to the page were you can see all the tweets. And to top it all off, you can change the colors of the button, right in the plugin settings.  How cool is that?

Let it snow, let it snow, let it… woof?

Twas a snow day at Havenknoll
And all through the house
My fuzzies were sleeping
and couldn’t be roused

(okay so Lacey was more like a little kid that kept looking out the windows)

(and not wanting her pics taken)

(and Adelaide was more interested in purring at the birds, but hey, I’m trying to rhyme here! and no this pic isn’t upside-down)

Their paws were all curled up
To keep them all warm
While I spread some bird seed
and fed birds in the storm.

(I love the Tufted Titmouse’s little mohawk!)

And then Otto decided he had to check out a noise, and it turned out to be one of my neighbors 4-wheeling in the snow, so then he had to go bark at the neighbor to make him (or her, whoever was so bundled, I couldn’t tell who it was) go away.

See his hackles?

Get off my property!!!

Mo-om, why won’t you come bark with us?!?


yeah, they totally weren’t feeling my poem and snow day coziness. *sigh*

Today's Randomness

So did you hear I started a new blog today?  Random, right?

I had a three shoot day which always makes me tired and sort of hyper-observant at the same time.


Playing outside with my dogs despite the 22 degree weather.

Seeing Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” on the “books for cooks” shelf at Target (my apologies to all of you who have seen the movie or read the book).

Reading Ben Witherington’s excellent take on Downey’s Sherlock Holmes, which I recommend despite the fact that he called Doyle’s lady foil “Irena” Adler instead of “Irene.”  Ben, Ben, what am I going to do with you?

Passing a fairly demure older gal as I was coming out of Target and hearing an award winning burp from the same vicinity (I won’t say it was her, but it sure wasn’t me!).

Having the guy at Starbucks ask me where I was from because I replied “no worries” when he apologized for the wait.

Breaking the “rules” of photography and taking pictures into the sun.

Reveling in the lens flare.

Enjoying the quiet of woods asleep for the winter, bathed in a winter afternoon sunset.