Thoughts While Traveling Down The Internet / “Interstate”


Hey WordPress! You have my gratitude. Why? Because 3+ years ago, you pulled off to the shoulder of the Internet / “Interstate” to offer this ex-MySpace blogger / hitchhiker a free ride and rent free home.

You have my admiration, too (re your survival instincts). It’s a no-brainer. Advertising revenue, alone, cannot fully prop up this platform. Consequently, you must make up for real / anticipated shortfalls by sales-pitching your visibility enhancing site plans / upgrades. In other words… you’ve been asking blogger moochers… such as moi… to show you the moola.

You have my regrets, too. You see, for the moment, I cannot buy into what you’re selling… on two levels…

1. My own survival instincts are telling me to limit discretionary spending.
2. My own common sense is telling me that a blogger, who barely averages one “like” per post just might not have any business being here in the first place.

Let’s discuss this further…

It takes far more than pricey website do-dads, bells and whistles to generate web traffic. To regularly attract the “likes” and comments from loyal readers, a blogger must post life enriching, inspirational / entertaining content.

If those basic benchmarks prove elusive, there likely are more serious problems, afoot, which no mere wave of the WordPress magical wand can ever solve. Sorcery can never pretty up what could very well be banal, boring and even depressing content.

More to the point… why upgrade the crap out of a site, today, if one’s crappy blogs will still be crap tomorrow… unread crap… unliked crap and devoid of comments crap.

Sure, I’d like to believe that my own site’s invisibility is due to being buried, alive, by the other, estimated 70 million per month, WordPress posts (btw, that’s a 2014 stat). But even if that’s my only problem, it would still be a daunting task for the virtual backhoe to dig me out from beneath that virtual Mt. Everest, sky-high “stack”.

Hey WordPress! You have my suggestion. I’m not exactly sure how this would work… or even if it would work… but… perhaps you could figure out some morale boosting freebie plan especially designed to promote promising and faltering bloggers. You could select and prominently feature their posts on a special website (working title?) This Week’s Top 100 Best Blogs That Nobody Ever Sees. Were our popularity to increase, so would consumer confidence. Translation: More moola for you when we respond favorably to your future sales-pitches.

You have my parting commentary, too. My having three decades of retail sales and management experience under my belt, I know what the true entrepreneurial spirit is supposed to be all about. To effectively, consistently sell a product or service, a salesperson must create a real or perceived need in each customer’s mind. However… bumming customers out in the process is a no-no. To be sure, this WordPress sales-pitch is a bummer. Sowing the seeds of blogger discontent in this manner… in this man’s mind… can only mess up my long struggled for and hard won peace of mind. Or, more to the point… you’ve been unduly challenging my long held concession that [1] it’s not always possible for all bloggers to achieve overnight success and [2] some of us never will.

You have my challenge, too. Prove me wrong. While I continue to pour my heart out in my blogs, guide me down to the first toll booth on that “Interstate” / Road to Success. If I’ve got a van full of “passengers”… maybe even one or two more vans tailgating me… I’ll be willing to buy into your visibility enhancing site plans / upgrades.





Followers For Sale! This Platform’s Alltime G.D. Low!


I’m not insensitive. I realize that it’s entirely possible for otherwise respectable folks to be driven to unwise “career” decisions… especially during tough economic times when the alternatives could very well be hunger, homelessness and hopelessness.

The big question…

Could that explain away the highly questionable words and deeds of one particular WordPress businessman / blogger?

Here’s what’s been happening…

I first became aware of him about a year ago when he became a follower of mine (even though he wasn’t particularly interested in my blog content). Upon paying his site a visit, I soon discovered his actual intentions.

He appeared to be suffering from an ocular malady. Symptomatology: neon green dollar signs flashing excessively in both eyes. Hell, his twin orbs were akin to dual stroboscopic lamps that’d be detectable even by ETs cruising in flying saucers beyond Pluto’s orbit.

Let’s now trade off lame attempts at levity for the more serious particulars.

That guy shamelessly fancies himself to be some sort of walk on water, miracle worker… God’s gift to blogosphere neophytes (such as yours truly). I’ll use my own words to capture the gist… the offensiveness… of his sales-pitch…

Cough up $100 and I’ll reblog a key portion of one of your posts. Once read by my followers… numbering in the zillions… they’ll be so WOWED they’ll come a’swarming at ya like virtual green bottle flies ISO a virtual dung heap.

His scheme (or is it a scam?) to scare up some Internet generated income demonstrated an overt slickness and underlying sickness… all pointing towards a deeper issue worthy of a closer look.

In effect, he was planting the seeds of discontent within his targeted potential customers (or is that suckers?) for the express purpose of selling followers.


While this is human trafficking in its mildest form… nonetheless… trafficking is trafficking.

Humans reduced to lowly, commodity status. One has to wonder if they’ve been willing participants who are receiving “a piece of the action” from their owner? Or have they been totally unaware of his MO / low opinion of them?

Needless to say I showed him the door to my site by removing him from my list of followers. Oh… that’s not to say he readily accepted that. In fact I had to twice show him my exit signs before he finally got my message. FULL DISCLOSURE…

I have fully accepted my Interwebs insignificance. That’s not to say that I’ve totally given up in my attempts to remedy this. But DAMN IT, I’ll be doing so in a manner that’s respectful towards my followers / potential followers. If my site flourishes? Fine! If not? It won’t be the end of the world!

Digging a bit deeper into my blogging philosophy, I do wholeheartedly believe that a post’s quality speaks for itself and that word of mouth will do the rest. In other words, if I’m not attracting readers today, then it is incumbent upon me, ALONE, to [1] find more appealing topics tomorrow and [2] better communicate my thoughts in a more captivating manner.

So… why the hell have I opted to rehash this issue? Because…

[1] This same dude recently paid me another visit… tried his damnedest… once more… to reassert his unwelcome presence… to force me to buy into his “you are a failure message”… to thin out my already thin wallet.

[2] I want to publicly go on record that my values are NOT corruptible. I have not changed one iota these past twelve months… and never will.

On a more positive note… maybe actual green bottle flies are swarming to his dung heap site?

Seeing how he did need to return… to announce his limited time offer where he’s halving his $100 fee… one can only hope that flesh peddler’s sales-pitich is falling on deaf ears… that Mr. Walk On Water’s feet are getting wet.



“Exhuming” a Virtual Reality Literary Time Capsule


With each and every new post, we wind up “burying” many of our favorite past posts.

True, reblogging can “exhume” them but, recently, I began wondering if there might be a better, easier method? Perhaps, even a way to, simultaneously, post and selectively repost?

With that in mind, I created a new category, titled: “A-Graded Past Posts”. Admittedly, such nomenclature, at first glance, may seem akin to an overly inflated, self-appraisal but, I assure you, this was merely to get that new title to begin with an “A”… thereby positioning it near the top of my Categories Menu where site visitors will be more apt to spot it.

To complete this project, I next located / re-categorized many of my favorite blogs spanning the 2+ years since my arrival within our WordPress community.

Time permitting… I cordially invite you to check out my archived, select past posts… the subject matter inclusive of social / political commentary, human interest stories, humor, fiction, sci-fi, musical BlogCasts, song parodies, poetry, limericks and even one hybrid acrostic limerick and a parable.

To access them, either scroll down the right side of my home page to locate my categories menu title “A-Graded Past Posts” or click this link… “A-Graded Past Posts”.

As always, I am humbled by the mere notion that… with each click of that rectangular shaped, teal hued PUBLISH button… my outward rushing thoughts attain the speed of light to span the globe… to mind-meld with readers who I’ve already met… and readers who I’ve yet to meet.

I thank all of you kindly souls, who deem my posts worthy of your precious time.


“Exhuming” E-Buried Time Capsule Blogs


One reality, common to most blogging platforms, is everything gets archived chronologically. That means that, unless visitors have tons of time to browse, extensively, through a site’s archives and/or categories sections… far too often, a blogger’s favorite past posts do wind up languishing in obscurity. That’s akin to burying blogs in a time capsule.

True, WordPress does make “re-blogging” possible… but why take up the extra space?

My solution is to add a new category. I’m labeling it “A-Graded Past Posts”. Admittedly, to have thunk up such a title may suggest there’s an inflated ego in play. Even so… nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just that since everything winds up in alphabetic order, too, to situate this new category’s title near the top of my list, it needed to start with an “A”.

My game plan involves perusing my two years+ “deep” archive… to locate the blogs I wish to add to my new category.

If you wind up reading this blog within minutes of my posting time, you might only find this post. But rest assured, within the next ten minutes, you will find at least one past post… and I will be adding a few more in the days and weeks to come.

My launch of this new category will not only “exhume” my favorite blogs but make them more readily accessible to you… saving you considerable time… time better spent actually reading them!

As always, I am humbled by the mere notion that… with each click of that rectangular shaped, aqua hued PUBLISH button... my outward rushing thoughts attain the speed of light to span the globe… to interact within the minds of readers who I’ve already met… and readers who I’ve yet to meet.

I appreciate and welcome you all!



Pathetic PR Produces PO’d Patrons 


Incident #1: Bad Automotive Motives! Two decades ago, my car’s AC had conked out. Fortunately, one of the dealership’s mechanics, a man named Art (who could’ve been a member of an Indy 500 pit crew), quickly got me back on the sweltering, summertime road. Unfortunately, upon closer examination of my bill, I discovered I’d been charged for TWO hours of labor even though I knew fully well the mechanic had taken only half that time.

Suspecting a clerical error, I returned to have a talk with the service manager, who explained that… Art’s efficiency notwithstanding… it was customary to assess labor charges based upon the industry-set standards. This was so wrong on at least two levels.

[1] Art wasn’t idle during that hour he had saved for his boss. He promptly moved on to his next repair assignment, and that customer also got overcharged… and so on and so on. [2] The dealership’s swindle the customer policy was thumbing it’s collective nose at loyal customers. Case in point… my father, sister and I had purchased a total of five cars from them.

Even though this dealership has since changed ownership, whenever they service my car, my mind automatically flashes back to this incident. The only reason I go back there stems from my suspicion that auto repair ripoffs are also an industry standard.

Incident #2: Toxic Radio-Activity! Ten years ago, my local NPR affiliate had entered the final hour of their weeklong, fall pledge drive. Their station falling tens of thousands of bucks shy of their goal, the on air staff had promptly gone into panic mode… their fundraising tactics devolving into tackiness and offensiveness. They were practically equating non-contributers to lowlife deadbeats. True, nobody had actually uttered that D-word, BUT, their implication hadn’t even needed their transmitter to be heard loud and clear.

What they had failed to realize was how they were begging for money against the backdrop of 2008’s global, financial meltdown… while many of us were prIoritizing our own bottom lines over a public radio station’s. Since they had implied I was unwelcome… well… for the longest time… their guilt trip had caused me to totally stop listening to them.

Another thing they had failed to consider was how economic woes oft, eventually, go away. And then what? Would the listeners they had told to get lost even be around to hear their future pledge drive appeals? One wonders, too, whether or not the folks they had intimidated into contributing were even able to make good on their pledges?

Incident #3: WordPress Peer Pressure! Recently, a fellow blogger began bombarding his followers’ Readers with his posts offering his FOR A FEE, Mr. Know-It-All / Mr. Fixit services. His claims were that [1] once we ponied up, we’d soon attract multiple thousands of adoring followers and attain the blogosphere straosphere AND [2] sans his help, we’d remain clueless flounderers. Folks… NOBODY… and I mean NOBODY… not even a masochist… ever wants to be demeaned in that way… especially on a daily basis.

To sum up these three incidents… savvy businesspersons ISO $$$ understand that [1] they (literally) cannot afford to offend either actual or potential consumers… [2] people never take kindly to shoddy treatment… [3] pissed off people have long memories… and oft take to the www / log in to social media sites… to vent their grievances… as my post amply demonstrates.


Mountaintop Blogging Gurus (Part 2)


While this blog can stand on its own two feet, if you’d like to read the original, related post click here.

Something happened this morning that I’ve never done on WordPress. I un-followed someone. But not just an ordinary “someone”.

Purportedly, he is one of those walk on water, “blogging gods”. As such, within each of his posts, he incessantly brags that multiple thousands of followers are finding his website irresistible. He then attempts to capitalize on his status as the means for selling his services to his followers. Reading in between the lines of his sales pitch, he’s practically saying…

You are in the presence of god’s gift to the blogosphere. Cough up your hard earned money and you, too, can achieve that exact, same ‘eat my dirt’ status.

While I wish most online businesses prosperity, I find unabashedly boastful proprietors to be irritating… and unworthy of my patronage. Bragging is only acceptable when it takes on the form of genuine, unsolicited, clientele testimonials… i.e., when… IF… a businessperson has actually bettered a customer’s life.

While every blogger does hope for success, I find that dwelling excessively upon achieving such a goal counterproductive to the true blogging spirit. It robs all the joy and fun out of the entire experience.

Of course… one does have to wonder… beyond the cold, impersonal data found on the WordPress statistics page… is that man’s blog site really flourishing?

Additionally, how can he reconcile his success story with one of his other, oft repeated posts…

Ever since his computer has died, he’s been presenting his “oh woe is me” blog where he’s holding out his virtual tin cup and begging everyone to buy him a new one. Yep, he’s been shamelessly asking for donations from his followers (“even if it’s just one dollar”).

While I could accept such an appeal from starving musicians, authors and artists… and more importantly… from charitable causes… e.g… those which feed the starving and/or provide aid to the infirm… I do draw the line at con artists.

Of course, whether or not he actually is a con artist… well… whether or not he realizes it… his tactics to do tend to paint that portrait of him.

Even if he’s unworthy of that characterization, this still raises the questions…

Is he not concerned how his panhandling could easily undermine his “as good as gold” image?

Can website businesspersons even claim modest success if their fees cannot cover their operating expenses… inclusive of buying new equipment whenever needed?


Mountaintop Blogging Gurus: Sagacious or Avaricious?


Perhaps my 4 websites and 12 years, to date, blogging creds don’t qualify me to comment… especially since I’m still an obscure blogger… BUT… what the hell… somebody has to call into question the motives of the so-called, robed, living in rarefied air, mountaintop, blogging gurus… i.e., those who claim fame can be well within our reach… uh… for a “nominal” fee!

Indeed, these pros don’t even bother to hide the dollar signs flashing in their eyes. Their typical sales pitch goes something like this…

If you pay them “X” amount of bucks, you will be entitled to participate in their boot camps… where they will unlock all the mysteries of the blogging universe… whisper into our ears the secrets to attaining the blogosphere stratosphere… lecture us from a slew of their “how to” manuals, which will teach us HOW TO blog… HOW TO overcome writer’s / blogger’s block… HOW TO choose appealing topics… no doubt… even HOW TO properly dust off the screens of our devices and manicure our fingernails!

If they’re providing spelling, grammar and punctuation tutorials, I suppose that could be helpful. But, what about what truly matters… e.g., creativity and passion? That comes from the head and the heart… that comes from life experiences… none of which can ever be drilled into you by any boot camp, drill sergeant / commandant.

Even if you’re not finding blogging easy, don’t give up. In the immortal words of NIKE™, “Just do it!” Blog only one paragraph…. even one sentence… hell, busy WordPress readers oft prefer brevity. Just keep on posting and maybe, someday, you’ll find your niche… maybe you won’t. There is no right or wrong here.

Bottom Line Time… succumbing to the materialistic, regimented HOW TO approach can only suck the life force from bloggers… and worse yet… suck the money from wallets, too.

Folks, instead of pissing away your hard earned bucks on some boot camp, why not invest that money on some fun, real world experience and then blog about it!

Sans any robe and mountain top perch, I’m now going to share some observations… and I won’t even charge you one penny. What makes a website popular oft defies logic. I’ve heard of people flocking, in droves, to a long ago webcam website… just to track the daily progress of a growing cornfield. As for what makes a particular blog popular? Beats the hell out of me! In my own experience I’ve even received 3 Likes for THIS BLOG… and my readers… that’s three more LIKES than on many of my other posts… many of which I’ve spent far more time on.

There is one inescapable truth. The blogosphere is so vast that it’s inevitable that millions of us… through no fault of our own… will never achieve fame and glory.

And you know what? In spite of my past posts where I’ve groused about the lack of blog response, I’ve now gotten to the point in my life where I don’t give a damn anymore! If fame happens it happens… if it doesn’t it doesn’t.