Friday, May 04, 2012

BLOG EVOLUTION (updated & re-posted)


Following on the heels of my ‘Just Trying To Help’ blog originally written a few years ago, I had followed that one up with a post called, ‘Blog Evolution…..And So It Grows’. I was reminded of that post recently when I came across LIFE WITH LUCI & LOREE & her thoughts on why she blogs. She brings up a some good points which reminded me of my original Blog Evolution post.

For many of us, writing is an emotional outlet & I certainly fall into this category. It is a therapy of sorts to put our thoughts & feelings into writing. To take some of that bottled up sadness, anger, excitement & creativity & flow it out of our minds into a readable & easily understandable format. People have been doing this for ages & it is a recommended way to deal with one’s inner thoughts & feelings. Also, I have always felt by going public with these feelings that it not only helps me deal with issues, but help’s others as well simply by knowing they are not alone, & yes, it’s alright to talk about things. It’s alright to admit your having a bad day or your feeling depressed or concerned about something. It’s alright to share your excitement over a new puppy or an upcoming trip. It’s fine to talk of your dreams, your hopes for the future & your memorable past. For me personally, I feel a blog is more than just a daily account of what I do all day, where I go, what I eat, or what I see.  If I chose to talk about it that is:))

Long time readers have read my ‘Blog Evolution’ before & I can here the ‘ho-hums’ out there but we did pick up a fair number of new readers this past winter & it is for these folks I decided to re-post this.  Anyway, for what it’s worth, here is my updated post from July 31rst, 2010 entitled, BLOG EVOLUTION....AND SO IT GROWS.   You might find the photos in this original post kind of interesting too.


Yes, I know just a few days ago I said, no more blogging topics for awhile but this one is ok & it's something I have touched on several times before. After some recent comments & emails I thought I would touch on it again because it does concern everyone writing a blog. Relax, it's not a 'do's & don'ts blog like before & this topic is survivable:))


I, like most other bloggers started blogging with the thought in mind of keeping family & friends informed of traveling whereabouts & activities. One of the side benefits would be in having a record of dates, adventures & places traveled. That was all well & the beginning. It soon became apparent that most friends & family members were not interested & very few of them ever checked the blog.  (I am happy to say there has been a few changes in this area:))  It seems friends & family not reading a person’s blog is a very common occurrence for RV bloggers. Well, that presented a bit of a problem because if nobody was interested, why write a blog (and Publish it) in the first place. Therein began the early evolution stage of my blog.


I have always had an interest in writing, photography, traveling & with the advent of the blogging era it all just magically fell into place. But, if family & friends weren't interested, who was.......if anybody. I belonged to an online forum group at the time called 50+ & every once & awhile I would write a little something & put in the forum. That was enough to get me further interested & before long the blog idea was born. We weren't traveling at the time but every once & awhile I would reach into my memory vaults & write about something I had experienced at one time or another along the highway of life. Had a few more responses & that spurred me on to write more.


As our travels increased, so did our readership. Very slowly at first but at least it was a start & most responses seemed to be coming in from other RV people.  The blog also evolved into a platform for my photography hobby as well. Noticed people were beginning to comment on some photos I included & that of course spurred me on to take more photographs. The blog was slowly growing.


I blogged occasionally at first while at home & then every day of our 07/08 Southwest trip. When we returned home for the summer in 08 I dropped the daily travel blogging routine but noticed within a week or so the comments, emails, & responses were encouraging me to keep the blog going. Well, encouragement was all I needed (never had much of that as a kid) and by the end of that summer I was blogging full tilt every day & have pretty much continued with that ever since. The evolution of the blog from beginning to present has had a lot to do with motivation.  I was motivated & encouraged to write the blog & take the photos by all the people reading & responding to the blog.  That is still my motivation today.


Some folks say they write their blog for themselves & if they didn't have anyone reading, it wouldn't really matter. Well, that's fine for them I guess but it sure doesn't work for me that way. If I was just doing this for me I wouldn't bother to hit the 'Publish' button at the end of each blog. It is people with an interest in reading my blog & looking at the photos that keeps my enjoyable hobby going & that is why I gear the blog towards people with like minded interests to mine. If I wrote the blog just for myself it would not look like it does today either. I would not bother with all the graphics, colors & sidebar stuff & it would probably not include any photos because there would be no purpose for me to do that. My blog journal would just be a plain white background with the standard black print & look simply like an everyday newspaper article. Not much imagination there so not much of a challenge for me. Just a simple journal with a few simple thoughts & events I suppose. Knowing me, I would probably get bored with that pretty quick & the whole thing would just simply slip quietly into obscurity.


If it were not for the blog I would not have all the camera equipment I have today & what camera equipment I had would probably be sitting in a dust covered camera bag in the bottom of a closet somewhere. Again, the evolution of the blog & it’s positive effects are apparent. As stated before, I have no interest in photo contests or printing pics to hang on walls or putting in albums. The blog's photo platform has given me a way to display my photos for anyone interested & I am totally happy with that. If readers enjoy looking at the photos as much as I enjoy taking them, then that is good enough for me.


In early 1993 I lost all interest in photography & packed all my 35mm equipment away simply because there just wasn't any point in wasting money on film & processing just to look at the pics a couple times & then throw them in a box or slide carousel. Aside from doing some travelogues I just didn't have a purpose. And, the problem with doing travelogues was my fear of having to stand up in front of a bunch of people & narrate my slide shows. I used to do some Sunday afternoon travelogues at the Stratford Art Gallery years ago & that was a real nerve buster for me standing up in front of a bunch of seated people.  Now I can get my pics out there from the quiet comfort of my recliner chair, the Motor Home or our scenic sunroom. No need to get all nervous anymore and it's all because the blog has evolved from it's original concept into a purposeful relaxed platform for me.


For Kelly & I, it has been the RV community that has been our main blog supporters & we have met more people on the road & made more friends on-line than we ever have here at home. And, it has been the blog that has done all that.


Your blog is whatever you want to make it as you, along with your blog, evolve with it's growth. If you are new to blogging & are finding friends & family not as responsive as you hoped, don't give up, just take your blog in a different direction, change your priorities & let it evolve into something you enjoy doing. Find a niche & share your thoughts, feelings, & interests with others.


So, in conclusion I say to all my fellow bloggers.....keep on blogging & grow with your blog. May your purpose & ideas evolve into something greater than what you started out with.  Mine did:))


And, just in case you were wondering....all of tonight's photos were caused by a dripping garden hose on a cold January Arizona night a few winter’s ago while we were staying at a Ranch near McNeal, Arizona.............:))



A drunk staggers into a Catholic Church, enters a confessional booth, sits down, but says nothing.
The Priest coughs a few times to get his attention, but the drunk continues to sit there.
Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall. The drunk mumbles, 'Ain't no use knockin, there's no paper on this side either.


- Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.

- Home is where your pet is:))

- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right  now...AL.


  1. I really enjoyed your post today.

    I started blogging many years ago to show pics of family get-to-gethers. I think I was the only one that looked at it.

    Later when I started fulltiming I thought a blog would be a great way for my family to keep up with my travels. HA! Again I was the only one even looking at it.

    My sister finally told me one day that if she wrote a blog about cooking would I read it. No way Jose! So that explains why family isn't really too interested. They aren't doing it themselves.

    I enjoy my blog especially because I can keep track of where I have been and enjoy looking back over it at times.

  2. Great blog tonight! I understand the creative outlet part, for sure, and I for one have had my life enriched by your blog.

    And I would've never guessed what the photos were, I was puzzled with each new one. I knew it had something to do with ice, but it didn't look like a stream or lake...

  3. Great explanation.
    Same here. We met a lot of nice people because of Peter's blogging. For him it is a must. He must write. Has always done, letters, essays, short stories. Mostly for family members. With blogging he found a world wide audience. And family is complaining - because he writes in the "wrong" language.:))
    About the water leakage: I hope the tree survived the icy coating.

  4. Well..Mr. Al, you have certainly caught the attention of many and deserve a standing ovation for your ability to "freeze" moments in time both in words and with camera for all of us to enjoy! It was wonderful for us to "see" through your lens the beauty of our jeep trip. We learned so much that day! Thanks!

  5. Excellent posting today. I think that you put my thoughts into words that I could never express. Wish that I could write like you do. I do my best and just keep plugging away at it

  6. Sure enjoyed all those photos, Al. I was convinced that it was ice about half way through. Thanks for the final explanation. Isn't that amazing, the shapes and colors? Thanks for your point of view, and the links. I'll keep reading your blog and enjoying your photos as long as you want to keep putting them up there!

  7. Loved tonight's one point I thought it was ice cubes in a drink, I got the ice part right!

    Great topic tonight. I started my blog to share my love of birds and the photos I take. Most of my posts are just photos as I figure no one wants to hear my boring ramblings. Maybe I'd be surprised if I wrote more ;-)

  8. I enjoy your blog Al, and the pictures are just an added bonus. Although I can't get revved up to write everyday I do think of everyday things as bloggable stuff. It just seems that my fingers tell me when I need to write something. Till then I am at a loss for words, and unless I catch a good photo or something that just can't wait to get out my blog seems to be a weekly thing now rather than a daily one when we were traveling fulltime.

  9. butterbean carpenterFriday, May 04, 2012

    Howdy Al B,
    For a self-confessed dumb butt you sure do make some very intelligent
    remarks.. That was very intuitive
    and from the heart.. You may have stirred someone else to thinking about blogging or just speaking out when they have a need to speak.. Of course your amateurish pics which you pooh-pooh so much are really darn near professional looking!!
    Boy, you're just plain goood!!

  10. We too have found that many of our friends DO follow our adventures but not so with the family. They rely on our texts and phone calls to fill them in. What about the photos?
    Speaking of photos...yours are awesome. I tried to guess what they were but wasn't even close. Great job!

  11. You sure spoke to me today. I did start the blog for family and friends most of whom may perhaps read but never comment so how do I know.

    I am a journaler of many years duration and the blog, while not as personal or whiny (mostly) as my journal, is another outlet for what is happening in my life.

    But you are right in that I wonder if no one ever commented if I would keep it up.

    Thanks for the honesty here.

  12. It really made my day that someone actually reads my blog and thought i had some good points to ponder :) thank u so MUCH!!! And that it was YOU, Al the guru of blogdom!!
    I do so enjoy your thoughts & Pictures..something to aspire to.

  13. Al, I appreciate you admitting that you publish for people to read. I was feeing a little grandiose and ridiculous, after reading so many people saying they only blog for themselves. No. I blog for other people. It makes me happy for other people to read it, so there's self involved there, too.

    I also started the blog for friends and family, and although some of them chime in now and then, I suspect the dew is off that posey for them.

  14. Great post always, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings and being real.

    Your photos tonight snared me from the beginning and just kept reeling me in. I figured it was ice, but your final explanation of the picture's origins was unexpected. Great shots.

  15. the evolution of blogging? has created an 'internet family' so to speak!..most times we get along and sometimes we don't!..great thoughts as always, Al!..I, for one don't see anything wrong with writing about how you are it happy, sad, is the sharing of those feelings that makes us all seem so much more 'human'! is okay to read all about the life events and such but sometimes what is going on in someone's head is much more important than grocery shopping, yard work and trials and tribulations of life!..
    sometimes we need to stop and say 'How are you?..and actually stop to wait for an answer.

  16. I like what Donna said. .. I too like your blogs because I like "real" When we can read your blog and feel your that's real. And beautiful pictures coming from a "real" person...makes for a really great blog. I look forward each day to see "The Bayfield Bunch"
    ~Betty and Joe from Milwaukie, Oregon

  17. I love how blogging is our own personal platform. It helps us grow as writers, photographers and friends. And if our family, like mine, doesn't read it, it's really their loss. Great post. And love the frozen water drips which I didn't figure were in AZ.

    Keep making us smile, please.

  18. It never hurts to re-post an award winning blog...I forgot about those great ice photos...Keep on keepin' on, Al.

  19. Those little translucent ice blobs served as a looking glass, your photos your palette and words your thoughts/soul. Pretty remarkable post until the end with groaners. LOL!


  20. I had my blog "stealth" up until a few weeks ago when I dared to make it public again. I like blogging as a way to keep a sort of "diary" of my life, maybe my son will look at it years down the road and smile. Lots of great memories and photos there.
    Check it out sometime!

  21. Those photos are absolutely amazing, especially after you see where they came from!! And I love your approach to blogging. Will have to see if I can start moving in a different direction on day......

  22. I started mine for my family... yah right! Often I mention something and they are totally unaware. I say: "Geee... it was in my blog!" heh heh.

    From there I went to totally copying and pasting my entire blogs INTO an email to send to them. Ummmm not sure if they even open them?

    So I re-focused that my blog would be for my Rving pals, my fiber pals, and maybe, once in a while, a family member might check in on it?

    But the joy and warmth I get when my RVing and fiber pals respond to something I have written about? PRICELESS!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  23. Reading your other comments, I see that family and friends are often absent from our blog readers. I got an email from a friend back in NY state, who was visiting upstate and wanted to get together. I had to tell her we'd been gone for a year. Don't you read our blog?? Crushing to imagine there are people who aren't interested. :D

  24. What a unique group of photos. Loved them. I always enjoy your blog too.