When I was a teen, swimming class was a requirement for getting a high school diploma. So, sophomore year, 1st period, Monday through Friday, I attended swim class. I never could do the diving, even off the side of the pool. Each and every attempt I’d come up out of the water choking and gagging on chlorine-saturated pool water. I tried everything, holding my nose, blowing out, nose plugs, anything that I was told might help I tried. Nothing did. I was convinced the water must be flooding into my throat through my ears, closed eye sockets, and even the very pores of my skin… those that weren’t clogged with blackheads, that is.
As I said, I tried everything — well, everything that is except being one of those girls who refused to get their hair wet so they did nothing over the hour except hold on to the side of the pool kicking their feet like idiots. Now I think perhaps those girls were the smart ones. I mean, I’m pretty sure they were having more fun in swim class than I was… probably gossiping about the boys and their swim trunks while I had the nerve of pridefulness which meant I spent my weekday mornings drowning like a wet rat that cannot climb out of a toilet bowl.
But still, at the time, I handled swim class. I did, after all, have my cute little Speedo swimsuit which looked superfine on me… little did I know until the second-to-last day of class that OMG! it clung so snuggly it was practically see-through! Let me tell you that was much, much more horrifying than having to shower naked with 30 other girls of all shapes and sizes and personalities! We all know about mean girls, but in the showers and locker rooms, that’s where they could be the most vicious and you never knew who would catch the brunt of it from one day to the next. But aside from that very last day of class where I sat on the bench in full dress, claiming menses, I made it through that class and that entire year walking around with wet scraggly hair, faintly smelling of chlorine and I will, in time, as I did then, make it through this blogging course as well.
What does any of THAT have to do with social networking? Well, I’ll tell you. We all begin this adventure for our own personal reasons but quickly discover there is so much reward in it we immediately decide we want to make a big splash in the community pool known as The Blogging World. Blogging U is all about teaching us to sink or swim in the blogging world and their technique: Dive right into the deep end! LOL As I said, Blogging201 is kicking my butt with the speed at which it is propelling itself while I am back here struggling to doggy-paddle my way to the edge of the pool so I know I won’t drown!
All of Monday and all of today I have spent quietly here working on my blog. First on the to-do list: Check Blogging201 for assignments.
1. Set three Goals.
Seemed easy enough, I know my goals, why write them down and create a blog about it? Done, easy-peasy! (Maybe I should go back and actually write them down after all?) I mean, I know them, but it doesn’t seem like I am feeling any forward momentum despite my arms flapping through the air while my feet slap at the water!
It was pretty easy in Blogging101 for each of us to see the challenge before us and wonder will we sink or swim? I swam. I swam upstream the entire time, battling the currents and surviving until the end. And now here I am in Blogging201…OMG, we are only 8 days in and I’m already struggling to stay afloat! I think my eyes, nose, and mouth are all that remain above the water’s surface!
2. Audit My Brand.
Okay, this I can do. Header, title, tagline, widgets, yup, yup and yup, like them all. No changes needed, Done!
Okay, so maybe I was taking the D student’s approach at this blogging 201 course. Just keep your head down and your mouth shut! Now, like you, I know that is no formula for success, especially in the blogging world where everything is about community and connection! Today I read one of my fellow blogging201 student’s audit of her site, and man, it was a powerful read. Now I understand the assignment. Yep, I will definitely have to take a step back and audit my brand. Yes, it all fits me and my style and the whole meandering theme is consistently jumbled about. Did you catch that word, “jumbled.” It’s definitely like my brain and my life, a real organized mess! LOL
So I have already come to the conclusion that I was taking this super-duper Honors-paced course too lackadaisically and will indeed take it again. If only to catch up because I know I won’t get through every assignment. And so, just like the aforementioned blogger, I am learning how it feels to flunk blogging — which, by the way, is the post that led me to the site which has taught me so much!
3. Get Read All Over.
Well, I had totally missed this assignment and that puts me even further back than I knew I already was. Fortunately, with my cursory read it seems mainly that it is about familiarizing myself with how my blog looks on different platforms. Shouldn’t be too hard. This I think I will be able to accomplish, eventually. Sure hope it’s as little work as I am hoping!
4. Give ’em What They Want – stat analysis
Okay, so I kinda look at this every other day already. And because I don’t have much traffic I really cannot glean anything from it. It really hasn’t been a useful tool for me as yet. I am hoping as my blog grows I’ll be able to recognize patterns more readily, but then again, I have a brain for words, not for numbers or patterns. Did I say I’m flunking blogging 201… Yeah, well, I flunked math my entire life. I’m still flunking it. Yesterday I did, however, go through all of my old posts and truncate them because I was working on assignment number 5… and the result of the truncation was that I have seen a bounce in visits to my site. Rather than just viewing and liking me on the reader, people are clicking in so now my stat analysis actually has something to analyze!
5. Making the Most of Archives.
This I totally did. Really, check it out: I did a Best of Meanderings 2014.
6. Dig Deep into Social Networks.
(Um, that’s what this post represents). Basically, I had to skip this and do the events assignment yesterday because, by the time I finished with Assignment #5, they’d already posted yet another assignment. So I did a change of order, completing assignments five, then seven, and now six. So finally, my drowning body is beginning to relax and fear a little less… maybe I’ll be able to save myself after all! I mean, when I did my event, I totally included Twitter which was my goal to learn how to use and utilize that little bugger that’s a mind-boggling bungler! So with events, I actually did 2-for-1… Yay, me! I totally rock!
Say it with me, “You Rock, Memee!” And if you leave that comment in my post… Wow, you are one dedicated minion to have read this damn punch-my-teeth-out-sorry-excuse-for-a-post post!
7. Make the Most of Events.
As I said, it’s done! Took me five hours and today I got a whopping one participant, but hey, it’s all about learning, right, uh-huh, that’s right! I did participate in two other people’s events so I got a taste for it. I will definitely be trying mine again next month cuz I like the idea (of course I do, I created it, duh!)
To join my event which expires Feb 20, 2014, please follow the directions posted here: it’s a party so come one come all maybe you’ll even win a door prize!
8. Make your Blog a Hub.
Yay, a chance to breathe! Because isn’t this what we’ve been doing all along, by utilizing the publicize tool? I publish on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, WordPress and under my own domain name. That’s a lot of locations and 99.9% of my traffic is from other WordPress bloggers. But darn if I ain’t trying! Besides, it says in the rules we can take this time to rest or catch up or whatever.
I’ve not left my computer except to pee in 3 days now so I think for me, rest it will have to be!
And by the way, for the record, if you did actually read all of this you didn’t need to, the best part was all about the swim class! Let me know though, if I’m not following you right now and you read all of this, you’ve earned it! Let me know: Cut and paste this quote, “I swam this way, I swam thataway and I ended up drowning in Memee’s pool.” If you do that, I’ll follow you and give you a little special surprise too!