It's been away for a while, but Blog of the Week is back. This week, Saz walks us through Jarfm.com.
When did you start your blog?
My first post was on the 6th May 2012 but that was on Blogger and I then imported to WordPress on my own website which I have had since 30th March 2004 after I decided I would like my own domain name rather than using the free service I was then using.
What were your reasons for starting it?
I was inspired by the other blogs I had seen through the Philofaxy community and thought it would be a good way to help me get writing. I love writing but until 2012 I haven't really written much apart from occasionally as part of the Media Team on a Scout Jamboree. For those that don't know what a Jamboree is, it is a big, usually 10 day long, camp that Scouts from all over the World come together to take part in adventure, challenges and learn about a variety of things and one of the best things about it all is you get to make friends from all over the World! During the Jamboree there is usually some sort of paper or newsletter containing news from across the camp site and about some of the participants. Being part of the team that puts together the newspaper for such camps has been fantastic for me, not only do I get to see a lot of the Jamboree from going around to find stories and speak to many, many people it has also given me a way to use my Media and writing skills as part of my voluntary Scout role in my area. My role is District Media Development Manager, which means I write and edit the District News (the newsletter that goes out every month to the Leaders), I also look after the District website and also get to work with local media to get Scout news in the local papers, although as I have only been in this role since December 2011 this is the area that is still to be explored as the main area I needed to work on was the District News and website. Although all of this writing through The Scout Association has given me a meaningful outlet for my work, I still wanted somewhere to talk about the other things I am passionate about. I have of course mainly blogged about my Filofax and stationery so far but I hope that in time that will evolve and further topics will be written about. I want to develop my writing further as I have aspirations to write a book or two someday.
Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?
I don't know how to check this as I am unable to install JetPack on my server and the view stats on my server control panel just show WordPress rather than individual posts.
Which post is the one you’re most proud of?
I think it must be the one about my Raspberry Pi Project because CPC, the company I ordered my 2nd Raspberry Pi from (that was delivered first) read it and Tweeted me to challenge me to incorporate my Raspberry Finsbury Filofax and Raspberry Pi as they hadn't seen anyone do something like it yet. As of yet I have not been able to do much towards this challenge as the A5 Finsbury is too big to use (and it contains my notes for the project...) so I need a Raspberry Filofax specifically for the job. I think a mini sized one should be large enough as the Raspberry Pi is only the size of a credit card with a few extra bits sticking up out of it! If anyone would like to donate a Raspberry coloured Filofax for me to complete this challenge then please get in touch! projectRPi [at] jarfm.com
What has surprised you since you started blogging?
Others comments on some of my posts. It always surprises me when people leave wonderful comments about my posts, it really put a big smile on my face!
In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to a Filofax user who hadn’t seen it?
Somewhere that documents how am setting up or using my Filofax along with stationery items I use, with a selection of other topics thrown in whenever something I come across makes me feel like ranting or raving about it! (OK it's a bit of a long sentence...)
Finally, what one piece of advice would you offer to other Filofax bloggers, based on your own experience?
Deal with your comments properly! This is two fold really, firstly I HATE Captcha's BUT when I first set up my blog I didn't have one on there and I was getting so much spam comments - I must of had about 700 spam comments, nearer 800 if you include random track-backs too! So I installed a simple Captcha which was literally one of the most basic I could find because I can never read/see the letters and numbers properly in many (they don't help a lot of people with Dyslexia like me) but I can see and deal with the one I found and use. Secondly, once you have cut the spam, make sure you remember to respond to your commentators!!! Sometimes I get so excited after reading the comment I forget to reply then a while later I suddenly remember and it's only when I get another moderate this comment email that I suddenly remember and end up having to reply to several at once. This is not the best way to keep people happy, much better to respond as soon as you get the comment.
My thanks to Saz for participating.
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I'm off to visit right now!
I love the filofax! Can't believe I havent discovered this blog before! I totally agree with what Saz says about CAPTCHAs, they are so annoying but sometimes necessary when the spam bots find you. I'm glad he chose a simple one though! I am also dyslexic and I find the google reCAPTCHAs so hard to read that I have started using a CAPTCHA bypass browser extension program called RUMOLA to enter them all in for me. Saves a lot of brain strain and is very effective. Would recommend to any avid bloggers!
I love your statement about dealing with comments. As a reader of hundreds of blogs and a fairly often commenter, it bothers me when writers don't respond to a comment I've left, especially if it involves a specific question. It makes me wonder if my comments are even read or cared about. So as a blogger, I answer every comment posted to my blog, no matter how short the response. Sometimes it hard to come up with something simple, but I feel that even the shortest response can make a big difference to my readers.
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