Friday, June 4, 2010

Down on Blogging, Sickness, Confessions, and Alphabet Soup

I haven't posted this week because, to be frank, I am a little put off by the whole blogging experience right now.  It has started to feel more like a job than a fun hobby.  It will always frustrate me that I can't get more regular readers. I thank the handful of you that read every day from the bottom of my heart. It makes me happy to know that some of you will show up no matter what.

Lately I have not put as much effort into feeding and nourishing my blog. You bloggers know exactly what I mean. To keep readership up you have to read other blogs and comment regularly. I have struggled finding time for that lately and my blog has suffered. My readership is lagging. My comments are lagging, and that has left me a bit down on the process.

Maybe the biggest thing bothering me is that I wrote what I thought was a great post for Memorial Day. I was excited to post it and hear what people had to say. I thought surely this post would evoke some response. Several readers have said it was powerful so I am pretty sure it was good writing. Alas, to this point the post has garnered a measly 9 comments. That is what has got me down the most. Good content didn't move the masses either.

Now that I am done feeling sorry for myself I will post a few bullet points about what has been going on in the Life of a New Dad house. You know that I love bullet points.
  • Braden was sick again this week. Since February he has had problems with his severe pollen allergies about every other week. Those allergies often turn into respiratory infections and ear infections. In between allergy problems Braden has had the pink eye, hand, foot and mouth disease, and about 3 stomach viruses.  It is such a stressful thing to have a kid that just can't get well. Arica and I both feel terrible for him.
  • Right now Braden has an infection in both ears and is taking some sort of asthma like breathing treatment. I hate seeing him breathing through the tube. It is a sad sight. I hope he doesn't develop asthma as a result of his allergies. On the plus side he likes taking the inhaler. He thinks it's fun. At least we don't have to fight him. He went back to school today so hopefully the worst is behind us.
  • In a bit of good news, I passed my PE exam. The results were posted online and I just found out yesterday. I haven't had the opportunity to celebrate yet, but I think I might pop the top on a cold one tonight. I hope this license and the added letters behind my name will open up more career opportunities for me. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
  • Finally I want to put some silliness to rest. I think nearly all of you know this already, but I want to make it official. My first name is not Otter and my last name is not Thomas. None of my names are Thomas to be exact. My given name is Benjamin Buford Blue, but people call me Bubba. No. Seriously. My name is Robert Smith. I continue to parade myself around as Otter for name recognition only. So now you know.
Robert Smith, P.E. signing off.


WeaselMomma said...

A. Building a blogging audience is a long and frustrating process. We are not supposed to care about numbers, but we all do.
B. Memorial Day was a great post.
3. I hope Braden feels better soon.
C. Benjamin Buford Blue aka Bubba is a great name and was a good laugh.
5. Congrats on extending your alphabet with P & E.

Eric said...

Like 30 minutes ago, I seriously was like.. "I haven't seen Otter this week.. " More to myself than to anyone else. Mainly because they would have looked at me weird. Then I would have been like.. "You know.. Otter THOMAS!!!"

Sorry about your slump.. It's cool to take some time off for burn out or frustration.

Here's an idea.. Try a "giveaway"... Like a big giveaway.. Like a barbq grill. You'll get lots of comments on that you know. Then announce the "winner"..

The thing about the internets is that everyone is on it and everyone doesnt know everyone. And when you say that Luke Scarsdale from paris texas won, they'll be like... AWWW.. But they have no clue that there is no Luke Scarsdale from Paris Texas.

Sure it's a little misleading, but they're only being your friend for prizes anyways.

Melinda said...

I'm still around just finding it hard to find time to read a lot let alone comment.
keep posting, those that care will come around and for those that don't to h3ll with them :)

Katherine said...

First of all, congrats on passing your exam! That has to feel great!

Secondly, I know how hard it can be to have a child who seems to be sick all the time. Ethan has pneumonia again for the 2nd time in 2 months. It's a scary thing. I'm assured this will lessen as he gets older.

I loved your Memorial Day post. It is frustrating to concentrate on the numbers of commenters and readers, but we all do it.

I haven't had time to comment on other blogs lately either. I'm slacking! It's hard to keep up sometimes!

I call my brothers "bubba," just not in public!

I hope Braden gets better soon!

Tom said...

I hear you about the comments thing. You inspired me to write something about it, a cathartic response to what I've seen over the years. Keep up the great stuff!! And congrats on the PE - probably should try to get that myself.

Brandy said...

I think blogging dips in the summer. and I've upped my followers to 268 freaking pple and still avg 10-15 comments per "real" post. they are all there for the free crap and I'm not gonna worry about it. I like my regulars. and I'm blogging for me.

congrats on your test thing.
and so sorry about braden.
And I totally knew about your alter ego

Tyler Wainright said...

Considering how many Dad blogs are out there these days, 9 comments isn't too bad. I used to write Building Camelot and you're starting to understand why i quit - It became too much like work and between reading, writing, commenting, twitter, was taking up too much time. Plus, I needed another outlet away from fatherhood and that's why I focus on my photography now.

Can I suggest one thing, and this is just a thought...try removing your ads. You'll feel less obligated to write and, if you're like I was, you're not going to quite your day job off the revenue you make from Adsense.

Take care and I hope Braden gets to feeling better. Sick kids make everything a little harder :-)

Chris @ CleverFather said...

Ugh, I know how you feel. It always seems like the posts that you think will be huge hits flounder, while some quite gibberish turns into the greatest thing since sliced bread!

gotta love blogging!

SurprisedMom said...

Congratulations on earning your PE, Mr. Smith! that's wonderful!

Bubba? Is that Southern humor? Ok, I admit it, I was cracking up.

Poor Braden. I sympathize with all of you. I lived this what seems to be not too long age. Sickness stinks. I hope Braden is feeling better.

It's amazing that both you and another blogger we both know and read wrote about what I've been thinking about blogging lately. I hope both of us feel more inspired about blogging soon. I would miss reading yours and seeing Braden grow up.I know since starting my job at the docs' office, I rarely get more than one post a week up. I'm also discouraged about my lack of readers. But, summer is here and maybe the season will inspire me and you.

PJ Mullen said...

I think we've all been where you are right now. I only posted 5 times last month and 3 were Wordless Wednesday posts. I'm pulling myself out of my slump slowly, but I'll get there.

Sorry to hear Braden isn't feeling so hot. I hope he is feeling better soon. Ear infections are no fun at all, we've gone through a bout of them around here lately too.

Congrats on completing the PE. I know how much work you put into it.

Anonymous said...

As the girlfriend of a metallurgical engineer and friend to his many engineering friends who talk about the P.E. , I can appreciate (if not exactly empathize) how much of an honor it is to get to put that P.E. after your name. Well done!

Btw, I am a former lurker of yours. I wonder how many comments you would get if you asked nicely that the lurkers come out of hiding.

Otter Thomas said...

@anonymous: Thanks for the congrats and for coming out of the shadows. I often wonder how many lurkers there are out there. There is something called de-lurker day that I have seen, but I failed to ask for de-lurking on that day. Maybe I will ask on a day of my own.

And my apologies for having to hang out with so many engineers. That can't bee much fun.