Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Puzzlement That is Meanderings and Muses.

 - - - - or

have blogs become passé?

Some people say they have.  And perhaps they're right.


I'm only going to worry about my own house, so to speak.

Meanderings and Muses started on a whim a couple years back and became more than I expected and way more than I hoped for.

And, just when I start thinking perhaps it has "done its thing" and that it might be time for us to hang up our spurs, I receive an email from one of my guest bloggers telling me how their sales spiked while they were here.  

In one case awhile back, someone brand new to the business let me know that I had helped in getting their name out there and not only did their sales go up during their visit, they stayed on a steady increase for about 4 months.  Word of mouth will continue to be a book's best friend, I do believe.  (And a blog's best friend - another topic for another day).

We've always been a place that gets a fair amount of hits.  Some days we get an astonishing number of hits.  But we've also been a place where people don't leave too many comments.  That used to bother me and I'd fret and I'd worry and now I finally realize, "it is what it is."

As long as I get the kind of feedback I do regarding helping writers find new readers, and helping readers find new writers, then I'm doing exactly what I want to do.  and life is good.  

The bonus is that I have a spot where I can jot down my own little scribblings.  I love that.  I can rant, I can post photos I love, I can cry a little, I can give a shout out and virtual hug to someone (or a virtual smack up side the head) or I can do a virtual happy dance in celebration of all good things life has handed me.  I can write.  All things I've done here, all things I will continue to do here for, I hope, a long long while.

But, I'm also thinking quite seriously about exactly what Meanderings and Muses will be next year.  I know one thing for sure - it's going to be a bit different.  But before I fully make up my mind just how different, I'd like to hear from you.  If any of you would like to tell me what you'd like to see here next year, I'd love to hear.  Tell me what you've enjoyed here.  Tell me what you haven't enjoyed.  And in a couple months, I'll let you know what to expect.  Whatever that might be, I hope you'll still be with me.  You've made this a fun and rewarding endeavor, and I thank you. 

So - step through the door, have a seat, tell me what you think . . . .




Patty said...

Hi Kaye

I love what you do! The various posts by authors, even if they aren't pushing a book, have made me go looking for what they have written. I haven't kept track but I'll bet I've picked up at least a dozen new authors just based on your blog. I comment infrequently, mostly because I'm always behind on reading various other things (Facebook is a huge time sink). Doesn't mean I don't read it, just that I don't post anywhere much, and probably here more than most! Keep up the good work.

Lillian Stewart Carl said...

Kaye, your blog is one of the few I read, but I'll confess I have to be directed to it by a note on DorothyL or Facebook. I suspect that there is so much to read and keep up with these days we're all getting addled because of it. Not because the input is uniformly negative---it isn't, and M and M is certainly one that isn't---but because our brains are not wired to deal effectively with such an incessant stream of it.

Patty said...

Oh, and I forgot to add, it is wonderful to be invited to create a blog post for you -- it amazes me that anyone cares what I think!

Peg Brantley said...

Kaye, I think the time for a lot of blogs has come and gone. Blogs with no purpose. Blogs that are more like a boring journal than an interactive community.

Meanderings and Muses is a vital blog, and it sounds like you plan to keep it fresh. Kudos to you for tweaking what is, quite frankly, already a good thing.

The biggest attraction to M and M? It's creator.

Vicki Lane said...

I especially enjoy your posts, Kaye. But you do the mystery community a great service by allowing us authors a well-regarded showcase.

Lesa said...

That's a good question, Kaye. I originally started a blog to have a place where I could make comments about the books I read. It became much more than that. Like you, I feel bad on the days when I have a guest blogger and few comments. On the other hand, a month after I reviewed something, I may get a comment on that post from a thoughtful reader who wants to talk about the book.

A few people commented that we get sucked up by Facebook. True. I don't read as many blogs as I used to. Time! I need more time! Between my job, reading, blogging myself, and occasional trips to the Poisoned Pen, I don't find I have as much time to read blogs, even though I seem to spend more time on the computer than ever. The computer is just a time-sucker.

It will be interesting to see what happens with your blog. I read it frequently, although I may not always comment. But, I love reading about you and Donald and Harley. I enjoy your guests. I'll just wait and see what you do. Have fun with it, Kaye. That's what counts.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I wish I knew the answer to this question, Kaye, because I'd like to rethink my blog's purpose as well.

I visit your blog when I can, and often come back and scan the list of guest bloggers to see where I need to catch up on my favorites. I also loved the posts about where you live (and the winter photos) and the fun ones with the sock dolls whose names I can't remember. I know that doesn't help much, but I'm a fan, whatever you do.

Sam said...

Kaye, you described your blog's "purpose in life" brilliantly. You are doing something for the reading community - connecting authors with new and potential readers to a degree that both benefit.

That is precisely why I keep doing what I do on Book Chase. I'm approaching a five-year anniversary and, although I'm almost quit from sheer fatigue a time or two, feedback from writers is what keeps me going. I most enjoy talking about indie writers and publishers because that's the group that can gain the most from this word-of-mouth thing we are doing here on the net.

Don't change too drastically on us - you're on to something pretty damned good already.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Thanks, everyone!!

You have all said things I've loved hearing.

Patty, I'm thrilled that you've discovered new authors here! That is the most fun thing ever! And you will always be invited to participate. You kidding?! You're a major part of the M&M family. always will be.

Lillian, I too need a nudge to some of my favorite blogs. I have too many favorites. When I was taking the time to read them all, I was shocked at how much time had zoomed by. a huge portion of my day. Now that I've cut back, I miss them, but know that I have to work at scheduling my time or I'm one who would sit in front of this computer all day and do nothing else. and yep - I am a lover of Facebook.

Peg, Thank you! Vital. I love that. But I also don't want to stay too long at the fair. Carol Burnett had it right, I think. And interactive is what I really do strive for, which is why I was concerned in the beginning when I wasn't seeing a lot of comments. Now that I realize people are reading and enjoy but don't feel they really "need" to comment all the time, I am very happy with that.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Vicki, Thank you! I love posting, and by having guests, it does take a lot of pressure off me to have to do it so often. At the same time, I sometimes feel like I'd like to do more. 'Tis a dilemma.

Lesa, I was hoping you would chime in. I do not know how you manage to do all you do and still keep the blogging bar set so high for the rest of us! Which is a good thing. You, sweetie, are the master and when I start feeling, like Sam, that it's sometimes too much, I scoot over to your place to see what you're doing. You motivate me.

And Sam - so do you! I ALWAYS discover a new writer, a new book at your blog. I love that. and I always feel like you know I'm hanging around, even if you don't see a comment from me. I hope you stick around for a very long time to come, my friend.

Patricia - I remember when you first popped up and told me you had been reading Meanderings and Muses for awhile and finally introduced yourself. I thought that was so cool! That I had people reading who I didn't even know. Or even know about. That was a huge "wow" moment for me, and I belatedly thank you for it. Your blog, and Vicki's are two that I go to for inspiration. Often!

Thank, everyone. Very much!

You'll be among the first to hear if and when changes come about. I'm pondering, pondering and may ask you individually for advice in the near future.


L.J. Sellers said...

I've enjoyed many of the author guest posts, and I always love your rants. :) I admit I haven't stopped in as much as I used to, but that's true for many blogs I used to frequent. It's a lack of time, not a lack of interest. I've neglected my own blog too, because guest blogging is more productive for me. If you love hosting the blog, by all means, keep it coming.

cncbooks said...

Kaye, I often feel the same way you do but I think we, and other bookloving bloggers, fill a void. There's so much to read these days that an author can easily get lost--trampled, even--in the shuffle. With your blog, you help readers and authors make that all-important connection.

Lelia Taylor
Buried Under Books

Bobbi Mumm said...

Kaye, I have found at least three new mystery authors to read from your blog. I love the authors' stories and the little vignettes of your life. I always try to imagine you speaking it and in my imagination you have a honey-drenched drawl. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do a guest blog here in January.

I read approximately three blogs regularly, and like Lillian, I need to be reminded to check them out either by Facebook, by email, or by Twitter. Thank you for what you do!

Brenda Buchanan said...

Hiya Kaye,

I'm a regular reader and seldom commenter also. Like the others, I applaud you for what you have done with M & M. I'm sure it takes a lot of your time, even with guest bloggers most of the time, as you need to do the formatting and such.

If you want to change it to make it less time-consuming for yourself (so you can read more, for example) I think you should. But if you want to change it because you believe it has grown stale, I would respectfully disagree. M & M is one of my favorites because it always either entertains me or gets me thinking.


Brenda Buchanan

Glenda Beall said...

This is my first time here and I enjoyed what I read tonight. Like you, I find it hard to keep up with the blogs I manage and Facebook as well.
I enjoy blogs far more than FB. I will list Meanderings and Muses on my blog list and I will be reminded to go and read it.

Margaret Maron said...

Ah, Kaye, I'm another who's guilty of reading and enjoying yet not commenting as often as I should. I love reading about Harley and Donald and the "new" life you're creating in retirement and should miss it if you leave, but I do know it's work. Do you have a counter that will let you see how many "hits" you get every day? I think that would convince you how many people value this sitel