Friday, February 19, 2010

Other blogs to tend


A little more than a year ago I took a buyout after working for more than three decades as a news photographer. It was a shock to the system. No job. No daily demands. I had to hang up my cameras as I walked out the door.

A year ago, the economy was in tatters along with my retirement portfolio. Both were bleeding oodles of green; This was serious financial hemorrhaging. I kept enough money to weather the financial disaster and then I dumped all my spare retirement change into the market. If the financial world was coming to an end, I wasn't going to miss it. We were going down together.

Never spend more than four percent of your retirement portfolio in any given year --- this is an oft repeated rule of thumb which has some validity. Note the word some. This is a very conservative approach and as one gets older, one can comfortably get bolder.

I'm up almost 30 percent since retiring --- the world didn't come to an end --- and I'm well prepared mentally and financially for the next correction. I'm not that old but I am that bold. I'm grabbing a babe, my wife, strapping a suitcase to the back of my Morgan and heading west come the end of May. I'm sure our daughters, son-in-law and granddaughter will keep the home fires burning for us --- then maybe not; It'll be summer.

Come July, maybe earlier, this blog will be revived. It has just been too much fun. But long before that, the end of May, Rockinon: Travel will carry a day by day account of my adventure crossing the States and Canada by English roadster.

This blog was an experiment and in some ways it has failed. It gets thousands of hits and has been linked to by a small but eclectic mix of websites. I'm still getting referrals for my post on preparing for the inevitable after my post made it onto the Anvers Wines Facebook page.

I now have a bottle of Anvers fortified shiraz gathering dust in my 'wine cellar' waiting for the moment. I figured a very good, and also very strong, drink might be in order. (FYI, a friend read my piece and insisted on sampling a bottle. I went back to the wine store and bought a second bottle. It is a very nice wine. I served it before dinner with some cheese.)

But blog visits do not translate into money if the folk doing the visiting are not also hitting the ads --- and you are not. I don't blame you; I rarely hit ads on blogs. But there have been some good ads and those have attracted attention. My best day times 365 would be a very nice sum for a retired blogger but it is not happening. It is much closer to my worst day times 365.

And so I am turning my attention to my photography blog, my financial blog and my travel blog. All will be fun to tackle and all may attract a better, more focused class of ad. The blogging experiment moves into its second year. My goal is to pay the insurance on my two cars with the return from my online stuff. We'll see.

My 'London Daily Photo' has been picked up by two sites tracking the daily photos posted by bloggers all around the world. This has made LDP worth continuing. It gets enough hits to make it worthwhile and it gets me out walking, running, exercising. LDP is good for my health.

One thing I must say before ending this is thank you to all those who have made this year a gas. I do hope we can connect, at least world wide web-wise in the future.

I cannot get over the immense number of comments that I received, and am still receiving, for the stuff I posted to Art Wanted. This is a site for selling art but I just display my stuff. Everything I shot in the past year was done with a little point and shoot; The file sizes are too small to make large, good quality prints.

And I have also enjoyed posting to Group Recipes, the food social network. After one posts enough recipes, the site starts suggesting visits to
other foodie bloggers with whom you appear to share food interests. The algorithm seems to work well as I have found some good recipes in this manner.

I have also learned why journalists like Paul Berton, editor-in-chief of The London Free Press are pulling out their hair. I file stories occasionally to the Digital Journal. I posted a silly little story about a fellow being ejected from a Jazz flight because he had such awful body odour. This little, silly piece of fluff is outdrawing every other news item I have posted. We're talking more than a thousand hits in 24 hours! Aaauuugghh!

As Digital Journal pays better than any of my other online endeavours, I'm going to be devoting a bit more of my time to citizen reporting. I'm slowly building up contacts and getting on various local mailing lists. It's fun.

In closing, if you are new to this blog, please check out some of my favourite posts.


Where were you when . . .

I'd love to get this post out to journalism schools everywhere. It is a good story.

To big to succeed. This one has been hit regularly by newspapers. I wonder how they find it.

Your meet the nicest people on a Honda.

That's me on my Honda. It was a killer machine with a 305cc twin cylinder engine pumping out 33 hp. I rode this bike down to Daytona Beach one Easter break. I have pictures from that week in a box in my basement.

My blog on I.F.Stone was a pleasure to write. Don't know I.F.Stone? Read my post.

More red is redder than less red. I believe this post was hit by governments around the world. Their computers thought it was a post on communism; It isn't.

My post on the factory farming of pigs is still getting a steady stream of hits. Although it got the most hits when the H1N1 flu was on the front pages of the world's papers every day.

Newspapers get so many stories wrong. This should not come as a surprise; Newspapers are simply the daily reports of a staff of fellow human beings. But it does come as a surprise doesn't it. And it will get worse before it gets better as the media giants show more and more staff the door. I like this post on a story that got so mangled and so consistently that the story will never be straightened out.

Lastly, the video, Giggle Me Baby, is terrible. It just screams out for decent lighting. But the moment is beautiful. Don't view this critically. Just view it for the pleasure of watching a baby laughing with pure, innocent pleasure. I love the little squeal of glee as the video fades at the end.


1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed your blog, though I admit to being one of those who never clicks on the ads (nor do I click on them on any other website!)

    I look forward to your travel blog though, crossing the States is something I always really wanted to do, though the financial disaster that is language teaching in Spain has certainly put that plan on hold for quite some time!

    Good luck!