• Why Blog, good question.
  • I have discovered I blog for two reasons. I have something to say, or I want to say something. As simple as that sounds that covers it. Nothing else seems to be needed, it covers everything, Every post in every blog I ever wrote were because of one of these.

    Rarely, and they seem to follow a wave pattern, I will have something to say. It will come in staccato bursts, brief, intense tributes to self importance. How can the world not see this, it is so clear? But, since they don't it is left to me, the poor unfortunate blogger to enlighten them.

    I am not sure what triggers this spasm of community service. It certainly is not because I think anybody is going to read the post and think, "dang, he is right, and I was wrong, all those years I wasted." I am pretty comfortable in the knowledge that most people are willing to ignore any evidence that contradicts anything they already believe. It is liberating, if a little foolish.

    And, sometimes I just want to say something. Most days take shelter under this umbrella. It is just a feeling, a notion, a siren song, calling to me. It is the same as freshly brewed coffee, it entices and pulls you towards the source. Sometimes it will go smoothly, sometimes it will be painful. Occasionally it goes where it should, most times it takes off, and leaves me trying to keep up. It is always fun, and it is never voluntary.

    Either way, it is one part of me. I took a class recently on writing history. As we were waiting for the class to start I was talking to a gentleman in the adjacent aisle. He wants to write a book on the history of a neighborhood. It is a great idea, it is an old neighborhood, with a history that would make a book worth reading.

    He asked what I was writing. I told him right now I am just getting my name in as many publications as possible, mostly for the thrill of seeing my name attached to something I wrote. My fifteen minutes of fame. I even shared my secret for getting published.

    "Does it pay?" he asked.

    I didn't bother saying I write for me, for the love of words, for the chance to share something
    uniquely mine, with anybody who wants. I write because it makes me happy. Yes, it does pay. But, I don't think he was looking for than kind of reward, so I said, "no."

    If you want to blog you should, if you have something to say, say it. If you want to say something that is a good idea too. Just do it for you.


  • So You Want to be a Blog n Roll Star

  • I am actually doing what I talk about here as I force a blog out. Yes, many people will tell you that forcing a blog out is the absolute worst thing you can do. Come to think of it I may have done that at one time or another, but I am willing to admit when I am wrong. This blog is being written for no other reason than "Blogaholics Anonymous" was at the bottom of my list, which means it has gone the longest without something being written in it. This means, of course that it is time for someone (me) to write something just to get it at the top of the list, and then when I see another one of the Whacko Blogs at the bottom of the list it is time for The Whacko behind the big curtain to work his linguistic magic on that one.

    Look folks, you want to be a blogger then the fist thing you need to do is have an interest of some sort. If writing is the interest, then that is ok, but with the interest of writing you better be damn good at writing about anything on a moments notice. We aren't exactly editorial writers here in the blogosphere but to gain any level of popularity, you better start thinking like one. This of course means that you have to write, even when you don't feel like it or have anything that you think is worthy of sharing. If I have proven anything over the years, it is that almost anything is worthy of sharing and there is someone that will read it. Sometimes a lot of somebodies, and believe it or not, some of those somebodies will actually like it and might even be waiting for more of it. Not giving them more of it is a let down, and they will often give up on you.

    Again the editorial writer has a deadline every week, and if they don't write, they lose their job. We may not actually lose a job over these things because we basically own the blogs that we write for, in theory, but it is basically the same thing. Now of course with the conglomeration of "Whacko Bloggers" that I have built, it spares me from always having to write in blogs that I haven't a thing to write about. Take the Tech Whacko or the Entertainment Whacko for example. I mean when I have something to throw in one of those I do, but there are other writers who usually have things to post in those, and thus they end up at the top of the list without me. Often Blogaholics Anonymous goes on without me, but of course sometimes it doesn't. Enter the obligatory post that I am throwing out there now.

    If you don't feel like you have time to post weekly, then that is ok too. Let me get that right out there, it's ok to blog once a year if you would like to, just expect the results of someone that posts once a year. Two readers most likely family members that you nagger to read your stuff. You may find this hard to believe but there are plenty of people out there that are happy with that result. There are people who would expect better results and be angry about it. There are people like me who call blogging a "hobby" and could give a crap if anyone reads anything I write, but that doesn't mean that I have to act like that either. No I have said before that I blog because I blog, and with that comes a certain "know it all" status about blogging. With that also comes a certain level of "knowing exactly how NOT to do it" which is unacceptable even in something that is just a hobby.


  • A Blogging Tale

  • I can't tell you how many people have written blogs about getting rich, or popular, or even to make a difference. Hell I just crossed the eleven year mark last July, and rich hasn't been an option, popularity has been here and there, and the only difference I have made is steering other bloggers away from the blogs that talk about being rich, getting popular and making a difference. Looking back on my first blog all I wanted to do was make sure there was no open spaces on my Yahoo profile. Everything between that point and this point has either been gravy or sour grapes, but as you can all see, I am still doing it. Tenacity has made me stand the test of time for the most part, and having a lot to write about has kept the blogs on the top of a few lists.

    I think any reason to write down your thoughts and experiences is a good thing. There appear to be a few people out there that agree with me, and the few that disagree with me, at least give me the occasional chuckle that they are explaining to a perfect stranger how they are wasting their time, all the while demonstrating what a waste of time looks like. Think about that for a moment. In reality the best bloggers are the people who somewhere along the line lose the need to be read, understood or even tolerated. Any time you see a blog that seems like a waste of time, you are probably missing out on some real gems. Anytime you aren't sharing your thoughts and experiences you are simply hoarding gems, and that doesn't do anyone any good, including yourself.

    Blogging of course also makes a great place to escape into your own thoughts. It is a place to simply start writing and see where it goes. I can't tell you how many times I have started running away at the fingers, just to click "post" with no rhyme or reason for anything I have typed, just to have it be pretty damn popular, and heralded as a masterpiece. Most of the time I can't even see it after the third or fourth re-read, and the fifth never happens because I am sick of it, and a little shocked that others aren't. For example my biggest blog entry week in, week out is in my Tech Whacko blog and it was a very badly written review of a very cheap tablet. It has garnered a thousand hits a week for over a year now, and I still don't get it. The good news is that I started writing it, let it fly, and clicked "post" or else I would have lost thousands of hits a week for over a year.

    Of course as I was forced to shut down the old blogging machine that is Jeremy for a couple of months, doing very little blogging, and watching my audience wane a bit, I didn't complain about it. The fact of the matter was when I had way too much on my mind and couldn't logically get any words out of me that made sense, I just slowed down. I didn't worry about money, or popularity, or making a difference. No I worried about other things a bit closer to home, and I got through them. I then did what I always do, and I came back to the keyboard and I started up again as I always do, and my thoughts and experience were there for me. Think about that the next time you ask yourself, "Why do I do this?" Chances are pretty good that you are doing it for the same reason I do. It's just what I do.


  • Blogging, Writing, and Art, They Are All One
  • For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a writer. Over the course of my life I have dreamed of worlds, apocalypses, space ships, all filled with people, all on a collision course with unavoidable destiny. Every single one of them ended up escaping disaster, narrowly, and ignoring the difficult lessons. It is kind of my view, kind of my belief, kind of how I see things happening around me all the time.

    So, to become a writer, I became a blogger. They may not be the same thing, they might, that is kind of a personal belief and I can live with either opinion. But, one thing is completely inarguable. Writing a blog is great practice. I like to write blog posts in Word, because it will check grammar and not just spelling. Though, sometimes I just ignore the critique. Creative license, you know.

    However, like any craft, or art, writing requires practice. And that is where I view blogging as being a writer. It is the act of writing. Coordinating words into thoughts, and sentences. Sentences into thoughts and paragraphs, paragraphs into thoughts and posts. Finding themes and moving through them.

    Recently I had an article published in a newspaper, it is called Street Speech, and it is sold by people trying to battle their way out of homelessness. It didn't pay, in fact it cost me $10.00 (I have included a scan because I adore you, the Whacko Nation) because I was so geeked about seeing my name in print I bought out two vendors supply.

    But, it has spurred me to bigger dreams, I have started querying magazines and websites with ideas I am fleshing out. I am working on my book. And I continue to write for Street Speech.

    All of this because I thought I could write a blog. So what is the lesson. The lesson is if you blog, you are an artist, and if you have aspirations beyond blogging I am proud of you. And if you want to know more about what I think, stay tuned, I just can't stop writing, it is like eating peanuts.


  • Blogging, A Gateway Drug?
  • Blogging is a community. As much as it may seem solitary, a lonely typist, lost, and confused, having suffered enough solitude takes a chance at being heard. And in some cases it might start that way. Sooner or later, though, if you stick with it long enough, you will find kindred spirits. And then blogging will change, and so will you.

    For years I wanted to write a novel. I had the seeds, of a weedy, rambling story rolling around in my head. A beginning, a middle and an end, characters, scenes. But, putting them together was daunting, frightening. But, as my blogging circle grew, and I "met" some real authors, I learned, by reading their posts that much of writing is a nuts and bolts craft. And I wrote a novel, and it stunk!

    So, I am rewriting it, with the same story, just a little more emphasis on the story, and less on the words. And, to me, it seems a lot better, though, there may be too many explosions, if that is possible.

    From +Adele Archer+S. Bradley Stoner, and +Richard G. Stevens and others I learned that writing is more about telling a story, more about communicating with a reader. It is a bargain you strike with a stranger. An agreement to entertain. Not a series of typed words..

    There is an art, yes. And if you read any of their blogs or books, you see that. But, more important to them is the craft of telling a good story.

    So, I say to all of you, in my circle of bloggers, thank you, for reading my words over the years, and forgiving my self indulgences. You have all been family. And to those of you with an idea. Fire up your keyboard and let it roll, we are all waiting to hear it.

    Until next time, don't forget to drink water, eat your vegetables, and floss. Trust me on this.


  • Blogging, a Chance To Start Again
  • Blogging has changed the way I look at the world. It has made me approach things as potential fodder for a blog post. It has made the world a happier place, it has made everything seem a little goofy, that is the whole approach of my blog. It has made me a happier person.

    Before blogging everything seemed to be conspiring against me, everything was dark and dangerous. Any meeting at work was an ambush, any meeting I was not invited to was a plot. Of course, it did not take long for the company to quit inviting me to meetings, which was a seditious act of prejudicial elitism. But, now I realize how lucky I am not to set through an awful round of performance art.

    Now, even the worst things are approached more clinically, more analytically. When an article about the release of methane once trapped under permafrost still troubles me, but I want to tell others about this. In a futile attempt to force concern on an apathetic population.

    My drive to work is filled with the opportunity to view mankind at its aggressive, monstrous, human
    best. Weaving in and out of traffic, cutting perilously close to the front of other cars. Dodging, darting, risking death just to shave a few seconds off their drive to work. This madness used to drive me crazy. Now they are all just actors in the play of life. And I am still working them into a story, or post or novel.

    Life is a great place, there are countless chances to enjoy the show. But, you have to look at it as a series of separate events. A sequence of opportunities to view the absurd drama that is life. Blogging has helped me reach that point.

    Give it a shot. You will find your voice, you will find yourself, and the world will find you. And everybody will be happier. Isn't that enough?


  • Blogging it ain't for everyone, Yes it is.
  • I read an article recently that talked about starting a blog. The premise was it was ok to be a little cautious, but don't be afraid. It brought powerful memories of the first timid steps into the world of blogging. Post, shut down the internet and not look for a couple of days. Honestly, I was terrified. Nobody even noticed though. All that sweat and fear for nothing. Blogging is a "victimless crime."

    Sometimes you will get lucky and somebody will notice, and sometimes you will get very lucky and somebody will react. Maybe a share, maybe a thumbs up, possibly even a comment. Most times it is only for the thrill of writing something that can be seen around the world, though.

    In the article it suggested starting with your Linked In page. It is free and requires no formatting, plus it has a built in audience. I have a Linked In page, but hardly ever visit it. I may try to write something and post it there, if I can find the right tab.

    But, the main point is, if you have something to say, this is your chance, your soapbox, your pedestal, your mountain top. Stand tall, stand proud, and say what you have to say. Maybe somebody will listen, maybe not. For me, though, it is too much fun to stop.

    You will "meet" some amazing people and you will learn a little something occasionally. There is no good reason not to start a blog, and so many good reasons to start a blog that I lost count. So, I will see you around, right.


  • Blogging, for everybody.
  • I started blogging about 5 years ago. The exact date is lost in dusty memories, and faded dreams of glory. It would be easy to find. But, it doesn't really matter. I know it was almost 5 years ago because that is when I quit smoking. Smoking takes a lot of time. With all that free time there were two choices, drive everybody I know mad with my witty, sparkling personality, and probably be murdered by a friend or family member, or find an outlet. I chose the latter.

    At first it was a random thing. Post something, close the internet, and hide in shame. A couple of days later I would look and see if anything bad had happened. Nope, still safe. Repeat the cycle.

    Then one day, while writing a post I laughed at the undeniable humor, my own humor, right there on the page. I killed me! I was sure sooner or later, it was only a matter of time, somebody would come along and throw money at me, just to do something I was enjoying so much. Huge piles of money. Obscene money.

    But, it never happened. And you know what, I am still blogging. And I am still having a gas doing it. And if you think that isn't funny here is something that isn't even funnier. I have been introduced to a whole new way of thinking. Not just about blogging, but life.

    There are blogs about almost everything. And reading them is one of life's true pleasures. Peeking into the lives and thoughts of bloggers around the world is revolutionary. People are people everywhere! Who knew?

    Bloggers everywhere, talking about their lives. Talking about the things they find important. Or (like me) just writing stuff to stay out of trouble. Together we are much greater than the sum of our parts.

    So, don't dismiss the blogger, they have the power to change the world, In fact, you should join in. Start a blog. You won't get rich (if you do tell me how you did it, please) but you will get smarter, and that is cool.

    Thank you, for reading.


  • Blogging, can it change the world, no, but it might change you.
  • To me blogging is the ultimate act of futile revolution.  It has no real benefit, no reward, no chance to really make much of a difference, but it is the chance to have a voice, to say what I feel needs to be said.

    Blogging is where I tilt against today's windmills.

    Do I expect to make a difference? Not at all. One thing has become abundantly clear over the course of a long life, Paul Simon, was spot on when he sang, "a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." People are not going to read my blog, and think "war is stupid we should stop." But, it makes me feel better saying it.

    Blogging is a place to expand ideas.

    For years I have had an idea for a book bouncing around inside the empty cavern of my head. But, I barely know how to make a sentence. So, I use my blog to try out ideas. See what looks good on "paper" so to speak.  I have found I need to make a chart of characters and their idiosyncrasies for the sake of consistency. It is turning into a cast of thousands, or at least dozens, and they are a strange bunch.

    Blogging is a great forum for sharing the things you enjoy.

    We all think "man, I have the greatest taste in almost everything." But, try convincing your co-worker that Bob Dylan is the ultimate singer song writer and they should listen to "Love and Theft" because it will alter their life, and you will spread a lot of irritation, trust me, I know. But, blogging provides a way to sing the praises of practically anything you enjoy. Sure, you might get some snide comments, but at least it was read.

    So, blogging is cool, and crazy. Join the fun, you won't be sorry. In fact, you might be happy, I am.+


  • How Now Brown Cow

  • I think it's pretty safe to say that Google has abandoned G+ and/or Blogger, for something newer and better. What that is I haven't a clue, but the fact that G+ is pretty broken, whether it be the interface, the feed, the +s or whatever it is this time, the tech support isn't there in the least. This effects Blogger for the most part, since the overall blogger who uses BlogSpot depends on the integration of the two, and that is quite broken. I have found a pattern of how and when the +s work these days, but it is rather skewed, especially considering that it is irrelevant to the system as it was set up. Your blog will retain a + for every reply that is placed on your blog. This doesn't count if someone simply reposts the share on G+. Wonderful!

    I've taken to trying to think up what Google has it's attention directed to now, that is going to be it's next great scheme, and that is a little mired in reality too. They redid the Blogger system lately so that anyone with a private domain (blog.thewhacko.com for example) instead of a generic BlogSpot domain can now take advantage of an encrypted connection. This used to be called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) but is more commonly referred to as Transport Security Protocol. Some assume that this is what has broken the system because what it does is makes it so that any connection between your blog and whoever is reading it is "secured" making it so prying eyes aren't reading along. Of course to most of us we just don't care how many people are reading along with our recipes, clothing suggestions, health tips or whatever we happen to be blogging about, but I am thinking Google wants to get it's hands on those that actually do. Those that would use their blogs to "sell" information instead of to just freely distribute it.

    In the end it really does put a strain on all of the people that have been using Blogger for X amount of years because we were already working within the model that they had, with no intention of branching out into the model they want. Theoretically I would assume that those who would be interested in the model they want have either already found it, or have no intention of getting Google involved. Now we are left with something that is broken, and again I don't get any impression that Google is doing anything to fix it, or will at any time soon if at all. This is frustrating to say the least and let me assure you that I completely understand as all of my blogs depended on the popularity that they maintained thanks to the G+ to Blogger integration, and now it has completely evaporated.

    I am not here to bury any sort of blogging dreams, but perhaps to bolster them. To do this I must reveal a few observations that I have noticed over the last few weeks using analytics and ad revenue. This may not be what you are seeing, but it is what I am seeing and it should give some people hope. Without the popularity ranking of a couple of hundred +s every day I am still getting a lot of traffic. As a matter of fact I appear to be getting a lot more traffic and I think that perhaps my blogs and more importantly the articles within them are better represented in the search engines. To that end I can also say that my advertising revenue has jumped a lot over the last month. Does this mean I am getting rich? Hell no, but going from about $20 a month to somewhere in the ballpark of $50 a month feels pretty good.

    Why am I telling everyone who is reading this about these things? Well it is simply a method of explaining how the things I have been saying all year are keys to actual goals. By building content (themed blogs) which bolster my brand (me) I have created thousands of pages of useful and timeless things that search engines are getting their feelers on and sending people to go look at. Many of these people are coming back, and apparently most of them are clicking into the ads that I have on my blog. Have you been building up your brand, and bolstering your content? Have you given up because you aren't getting the obvious attention (+1s) that you used to get before? There's an old saying that I would like to throw out there for anyone that is really frustrated with all of this right now, "Don't quit before the miracle happens" and trust me when I say it happens.


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