Bloggiesta Finish Line

Posted in Event at 10:43 pm by Amber

The Bloggiesta Finish Line!

The Bloggiesta Finish Line!

I didn’t get to stop by all of the mini-challenges but this was a great Bloggiesta.

Here are some of the mini-challenges I was able to complete:

  1. On a Book Bender’s mini-challenge on Organization and Scheduling Posts. I came up with a new posting schedule. And I printed off some calendar and weekly pages to get me through the rest of the year. They are now in one of my binders which I can look at weekly to know what I have ahead of me. Lastly, I learned about a handy dandy new plug-in called Duplicate Post which should cut down on my review posting time.
  2. GirlOXO’s mini-challenge on 20+ Discussion Post Ideas. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of comment love on the site. I got some ideas for my “tally” category using lists. Hopefully they will generate some discussion and can be revisited again in later years.
  3. Smash Attack Reads Grade Your Website. It’s been years since I graded my site. I dropped way down to 67% due to mostly social media. Imagine me speaking in my best shaky old lady voice, “Back then the grades were all about SEO, not about social media!” Yes, I’m resistant to Klout. Probably because I see a stream of messages in a row on Twitter where people gave or received Klout from someone. It feels like spam to me.
  4. Jessica of The Blue Stockings on Revitalizing Old Content. I’m sure a plug-in might help to highlight old reviews but what I’m walking away with is a plan to highlight old author events. For example, I’m a big fan of the Thurber House so each time I post about one of their events I can include links to some of my past posts.

Did you participate in Bloggiesta?


Bloggiesta Time!

Posted in Event at 7:45 am by Amber

BloggiestaHave you ever participated in Bloggiesta? It’s a weekend dedicated to getting bloggy things done. Over the years I’ve made a gravatar, placed copyright notices on the site, and tagged my old blog entries among other things. (Yes, that was something like two years of posts!)

This time Bloggiesta is being run by Danielle Smith of There’s a Book and Suey of It’s All About Books. Even if you aren’t a book blogger, you’ll find the mini-challenges relevant.



Bloggiesta June 2010 Edition is Done!

Posted in Event at 7:50 am by Amber

The Bloggiesta Finish Line!

The Bloggiesta Finish Line!


This edition of Bloggiesta is over for me.  It looks like Pedro and his friends made it to the finish line before I di.  Let’s review the weekend: 

  1. Review posts from 2009 for missing SEO information.  (I’ll save 2008 posts for another time.) Update: Finished January and February 2009.  Halfway through March 2009.  It looks like I started using my SEO All In One plug-in in June 2009 so only a few more months to go.
  2. Type up author interview questions for late June post. Update: Researched previous interviews so I don’t ask the same questions.  Half of the questions have been typed up.
  3. Type up five book reviews.  (I have more I can write but I’ll shoot for that as a minimum.)  Update: One book review is ready to post.
  4. Updated all of my WordPress Plug-Ins.  I didn’t realize four of my plug-ins needed updated.
  5. Attempted RSS Mini-ChallengeUpdate: Failure on my part for trying to work on it so late into th day on Sunday.

Overall I spent 5 hours working on items for bloggiesta.  The most mind-numbing of all was trying to update my SEO information for 2009 posts.  Fortunately, the blog cheat sheet from the last bloggiesta helped me.  Each month I have recurring posts and my blog cheat sheet has the SEO keywords associated with those posts so those were the easiest posts to update.


Bloggiesta RSS Mini-Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:42 pm by Amber

I’ve attempted the Bloggiesta RSS mini-challenge hosted by Puss Reboots and have failed.  Here is what we’re supposed to do:

  • Check to see if your blog or website has a feed. WordPress has one for the site.  I also have a feed with feedburner but haven’t done anything with it.
  • Set up a feed if it doesn’t.
  • Set up a subscribe by email option. Haven’t figured out how to do this.  I also installed two different feedburner plug-ins.  One was recommended by Google and the other was not tested with my version of WordPress.  Neither worked and I had to deactivate them to get my site looking normal again.
  • Validate your feed. I know the WordPress feed works because it’s what I use on my Ning pages and Yahoo to know if it’s updating or not.  Although I don’t have the feedburner address linked anywhere, the current site content did appear when I checked the link.
  • Put an RSS icon that linked to your feed and another for your email option.  This involves messing with the code in my sidebar which I’m none to happy about doing on a Sunday at 10:30pm at night.  It took me months to get my site to say on all my pages that it’s powered by Corgis and have it look right.  Programming was not my strong suit in my computer classes.
  • Add the RSS feed to your header so your browser auto-detects the feed.  Again, more programming.  Puss Reboots was kind enough to provide the code but I will have to mess with it another time. 
  • 06.12.10

    Bloggiesta Day 1 and Day 2 Update

    Posted in Event at 8:51 pm by Amber

    No progress to report for Friday.  I spent the entire day at the doctor’s office and work. 

    Here’s what I’ve done so far for Saturday.

    This afternoon we went to an early showing of No One Knows About Persian Catsfollowed by lunch at Cuco’s! 

    Cuco’s is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in town.  It was originally a grocery store with a small restaurant.  Now it’s all restaurant with several shelves of grocery items.  They are big soccer fans and we expected it to be packed because of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Instead, it was mostly new university graduates and their families.

    Almost 7 hours later I am still full from lunch.  I planned on making chipotle meatballs tonight from  my Mexican Everyday cookbook by Rick Bayless.  There is nowhere in my stomach to put them.

    I’ve spent about an hour and a half on bloggiesta so far.  You’ll notice I’ve completed a few things that weren’t on my original list.

    1. Review posts from 2009 for missing SEO information.  (I didn’t add my SEO plug-in until sometime that year.  I’ll save 2008 posts for another time.) Update: Finished January 2009 and started on February 2009.
    2. Type up author interview questions for late June post. Update: Researching previous interviews so I don’t ask the same questions.
    3. Type up five book reviews.  (I have more I can write but I’ll shoot for that as a minimum.)
    4. Updated all of my WordPress Plug-Ins.  I didn’t realize four of my plug-ins needed updated.


    And So Bloggiesta Begins!

    Posted in Event at 5:00 am by Amber

    Are you ready to join Pedro  in a weekend of blogging fun?  Our friend serves as a reminder to: Plan.  Edit.  Review.  Organize.

    From experience I know it’s impossible for me to keep up with all of the mini-challenges during the weekend and I work on Friday which cuts into my time.  That’s why I’m writing this post Wednesday night (and sleeping while it publishes) with my goals. :)

    1. Review posts from 2009 for missing SEO information.  (I didn’t add my SEO plug-in until sometime that year.  I’ll save 2008 posts for another time.)
    2. Type up author interview questions for late June post.
    3. Type up five book reviews.  (I have more I can write but I’ll shoot for that as a minimum.)

    After work on Thursday I will go to the grocery store to buy some food for this fiesta.  The menu includes tacos, chicken with rice and meatballs.  All recipes are courtesy of Rick Bayless.

    What kinds of goals have you set for Bloggiesta?


    Get Ready for Bloggiesta!

    Posted in Event at 5:48 pm by Amber

    Pedro and his friends are ready to see everyone again later this month (next week!) for Bloggiesta.  Natasha at Maw Books Blog hosts Bloggiesta to help bloggers of all kinds improve their blogs.  So what do bloggers accomplish during Bloggiesta? 

    All kinds of things.  You can:
    Write future blog posts.
    Work on a series of posts.
    Setup a favicon for your blog.
    Get your blog graded and make improvements.
    Clean up your tags or categories.
    Change your layout.
    Edit pages.

    Those are just a few of the things you can do this June 11th – 13th.  Every blog needs a little facelift or maintenance.  During the last Bloggiesta I made recipes from my Rick Bayless cookbook to keep the mood going.  I may do it again this time.  It’s a nice break from being on the computer.


    Mailbox Monday – May 3rd

    Posted in Event at 5:09 am by Amber

    Mailbox Monday

    It’s Monday once again.  A big thank you to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday.  In case you’re not familiar with Mailbox Monday, it’s a meme that can make your TBR pile bigger.  Participants note which books arrived in their mailbox (or email box) during the week.  Then we all look at the other entries and figure out which books we want to read.

    The Unnamed Book CoverThis week I unexpected received a copy of The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris.  I don’t keep a list of which books I’m expecting but I generally have a good idea of what is on the way.  Since most of my books come from the publisher or publicist there is usually a trail of emails.  In this case, it took me about a day to remember.  I won this as part of Bloggiesta!

    What arrived in your mailbox this week?


    Bloggiesta Finish Line

    Posted in Event at 3:00 pm by Amber

    The Bloggiesta Finish Line!

    Pedro and his friends are done with Bloggiesta!  I’m not sure how they made it across the finish line with the weekend we had. 

    Friday was the giveaway for Liza Palmer’s A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents.  I also listened to her radio interview and called in with questions.  That afternoon I completed the mini-challenge from Jackie of Farm Lane Booksfor backing up blog content.  I already have a WordPress plugin that does this for me on a weekly basis.  Now I know how to do it manually.  And I created a folder for all the pictures on my blog for easy retrieval.  I did begin writing two reviews that were on my to-do list but I did not finish them. 

    Saturday I slept in.  Later in the day, I did sign up for the comment challenge hosted by Pam from MotherReader.  The goal is to leave five comments on book blogs a day through January 28th.  This is really harder than it sounds.  A blog may have an interesting name but when I read the content I’m not moved to make a comment.  Other than the content that’s being reviewed, I haven’t figured out why that’s the case.  

    My meals had a distinctive Latino flair to them.  Lunch was chicken soft tacos from Chipotle, dinner was red chile enchiladas with chicken and cheese (prepared according to the instructions given in Rick Bayless’ cookbook, Mexican Everday) and my snack was baked scoops tortilla chips with salsa. 

    Protecting blog content can be a headache but it’s easier if it’s copyrighted.  I completed the copyright mini-challenge hosted by Pam from Bookalicio.us.  The evening was finished up by sending out  interview questions to one author and starting a second set of questions for a second author. 

    Sunday was spent wrapping things up.  I created a cheat sheet for some common posts for the mini-challenge hosted by Danielle from There’s a Book.  Included were html and SEO settings that don’t vary from one post to the next.  It’s been uploaded to my Google docs account.

    I didn’t get to do everything I planned but it was time well spent.  All in all I spent about 6 hours on Bloggiesta.  Big thanks to Natasha for Bloggiesta hosting duties.


    Starting Bloggiesta

    Posted in Event at 11:17 am by Amber

    Last night I made a list of all the things I want to accomplish during Bloggiesta.  They fall under three different categories: Book Reviews, Interviews and Story of the Month.


    I have the day off work and it started with sleeping in until 8am.  The Resident Corgi was not an early riser this morning.  Now I’m ready to start my day and start Bloggiesta

    Looking over the new mini-challenges there are some great ones.  In fact, I’ve already started one hosted by Jackie of Farm Lane Books about backing up your blog.

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