Circling around to important questions

At today’s Tuesdays with Deborah session, we engaged topics that are asked by reticent bloggers and often revisited by experienced bloggers.

What is a blog? What is a blog post?

A blog is a collection of web content, usually writing. A readable blog post is about 200 to 600 words long. A good blog post is something that will be found and read by someone who is interested in a topic. What topics do reticent bloggers have in mind?

Where are blogs?

The best place for a blog is high on the list of search results returned to a search engine user. Readers find bloggers who effectively refine their understanding of relevant search terms.

Who blogs?

Writers blog!  Businesses develop, grow, and maintain customer bases through relevant and timely blog posts.  People with common knowledge and information needs find each other through the authoring of, and reading of, blogs.

When is a blog post visible?

A blog post is visible as soon as the author decides to publish a piece.  Writers with experience in printed materials can be assured that a “published” blog post can be changed after it is published.  Each blogger develops an sense of when a piece is ready for publishing. Each blogger develops an individual sense of how often to publish new content.

How are blog posts created?

Blog posts are created using a software tool such as WordPress, the software used for the Tuesdays with Deborah blog.  Blogging tools have features that feel like word processing: writing, formatting, and saving. A key difference between word processing and blogging is a “publish” mechanism for making content visible to readers.

The content of blog posts is developed through each writer’s unique writing practice. When is a good time of day for writing? Where is a good location for the writing process? What gets in the way of writing – distractions? Multi-tasking? The internal editor who gets in the way of first drafts being created? Some writers identify clothing that makes writing easier or harder.

Bloggers discover that developing the content is more challenging than learning software features for creating posts.

Answers to the previous questions of who-what-when-where-and-how all come from the question:

Why create a blog? What causes a reticent blogger to enter the world of blogging?

There are many right answers to the questions of what to write, how often to post, etc. Good approaches for any one blog come from on-going refinement of a blog’s purpose.

Understanding a blog’s purpose is not a pre-requisite for beginning a writing/blogging practice.  Discovering a blog’s purpose begins with an idea, leading to some drafts, leading to some publishing, leading to some feedback, leading to a refined understanding of purpose and how to fulfill the purpose.

The current writing challenge is “Passionate Observations.” Here are examples about New YorkDenver, and our own area.

Reticent bloggers are invited to register for the site, read and comment on posts, try out what feels like a word processing tool for adding a new post, and then take a deep breath and press the “publish” button.

Right now, the editor in my head wants a few things different about this post. But the writer will press the “publish” button, in this safe space, and the editor can have a turn on another day.









Good Listener circa 1998

The “conventional wisdom” in the blogosphere is to consult the G-named oracle to see what is revealed. “Back in the day” before email, really, I responded to a SeattleTimes’ columnist’s inquiry about personal mission statements. Here is the link. 

Our now-nearly-twenty-year-old son was five.  I wanted to write essays (now blog posts). I wanted to be able to welcome new acquaintances (as I have never met a stranger) into our living room.

An emerging blog name – Takes 2 through 7

Takes 2 through 7: A clunky set of words is emerging, remember this is play dough, and it is all being formed by the comments of readers plus my on-going experience. Readers aptly point out that it is not only about “seniors.” Some long term care residents are people who are younger and disabled.
Revised March 15, 2011
2) Quality of Life Expectations and Reality for Seniors and Others
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future
3) Expectations and Reality for Seniors and Others
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future
4) Expectations vs. Reality
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future
5) Promises, Expectations, Fears, and Reality
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future
6) Authentic Quality of Life and Dignity
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future
7) Authentic Dignity and Quality of Life
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future

Take 7 seems to have “rhythm,” as mentioned by William. It uses the liberating word “authentic” lived and encouraged by Deborah, who asked me to try to discover what the blog wants to be called. The word wisdom is gone, but the word authentic is there. An early blog post, or “About” entry can incorporate the wisdom theme.

Thoughts are welcome, but I know everyone is pondering and writing other things, too. But if this play dough looks fun to you, know that it is for shared enjoyment. Thanks!

Take 1:
Senior Living Community Wisdom
Becoming informed consumers to honor our elders and our future


Think of this “draft” blog name as play-dough that I am inviting you to enjoy with me, if it seems like fun.

The term “Senior Living” is more “inclusive” than “long term care,” because “care” living is only one subset of senior living. The wisdom accessible through this blog will discuss more than the “care” subculture. I expect the term “senior living” will be SEO-friendly.

The term “wisdom” is more appropriate than “information,” because this is not an encyclopedia. There will definitely be “point of view,” voice, heart, and compassion.

The term “informed consumer” is key. None of us would be consumers of headphones, an automobile, or a credit card without becoming “informed consumers.” We use “independent” information. We do not rely only on information from the salesman. Likewise, it is time we become informed consumers in the senior living world. This benefits our beloved elders and our future. It is neither completely altruistic nor completely self-interested. Simply….. wise.

The term “community” is important. There will be links to articles, facts, and opinion. I will ask questions that invite comments.

Do you, friends of Deborah D, have a response of blogging wisdom? Perhaps a story about how you chose your blog name? Perhaps a sense, in retrospect, of how it might have been named differently/better? Do you have an immediate response, positive, negative, or neutral, to the draft blog name?

Benefit of bloggers’ group session

We discussed how to focus blog posts from the point of view of readers who come to “the web” with a question in mind – with search terms for a search engine. We want our blogs to be found by people who have….. what questions in mind?

I am trying to discover a name for my emerging blog, as described in a previous post.

After yesterday’s session (Tuesdays with Deborah on March 6, 2012) I realize I want my blog to be found by people with these questions in mind:

How can you evaluate the quality of senior living options?

Is there anything like Consumer Reports for senior living?

How do you know if your loved one’s senior living is actually any good?

What can I learn about [this event] that happened in senior living?

Are there any independent ratings of senior living?

How do residents and family advocate for quality service and quality care in senior living?

Now repeat those questions, substituting other words for “senior living.” Those other words would be nursing home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living, veterans’ home continuing care retirement community, and adult family home, because those are the terms used in Washington State.

Now I will ponder what those questions “in people’s minds” would sound like in SEO search terms.


Going along with Steve Kenagy’s thoughts about blogging time being interrupted…  When I’ve been able to blog in the morning, I’ve found that it really helps to set order to my day.

When I blog in the morning, it’s pretty “set.”  Drop the child at the bus.  Get back to house.  Finish cup of coffee.  Blog for a half hour or so.  This schedule follows through the rest of my activities for the day, bringing a lot of order into my life without a lot of effort.  I like that quite a bit.

When I’m blogging at night, I’m only doing so because I have something else scheduled in the morning.

Next week is going to be interesting.  Child back at Mom’s.  Holiday week.  Having to put a 6 year old on the morning bus is very important to the foundation of my schedule.

Scott Bell


I’ve been away for a while. I just noticed the scoreboard. WOW! I do not feel so bad about my reticence, reluctance and belligerent attitude toward blogging.

In some ways, I like keeping score. I like to know where I stand. I like to know how I’m doing, for my own benefit. Catch up, slack off? Where do I want to be?

This blogarama has been a great experiment for me. I’m thinking about blogging, when it wasn’t even in my vocabulary 3 years ago. I’m sitting down to write absolute blather and I don’t care. Just pump out 100 words.

There! As I have always said (well, recently), “Do is half of done”. That’s 121 words, including the title.

ciao, Pete

The Minimalist Strikes Again

What one hundred word essay will come to mind today? I don’t know. Let’s see.

Shut up and just write.

A shout out to the lovely and talented Deborah Drake, the blessed instigator and protagonist for this project. When she started her writer’s support group for reticent bloggers, I was right there the first day, to support her and announce my belligerence toward blogging. One and a half years later, I am still a belligerent, grumpy old man (envision Oscar the Grouch meets The Grinch) about blogging.

Nevertheless, when the gauntlet was dropped, I got suckered in. I love a good challenge.

Do I dare say this post was written the night before (over-achiever me) and it exceeds one hundred and thirty-six words. Damn! If I can do it, YOU can too.

ciao, Pete