Hello, dear friends, and hope you are well.
This is a completely FREE, public post on Patreon. In it you’ll find many important updates and announcements, which concern everyone!
(FREE PUBLIC ACCESS FOR ALL!)
Hello, dear friends, and hope you are well.
This is a completely FREE, public post on Patreon. In it you’ll find many important updates and announcements, which concern everyone!
(FREE PUBLIC ACCESS FOR ALL!)
Today, after much deliberation, I finally decided to start my new Facebook page. We’ll see how this page develops and grows, but my hope is that it will be helpful if you follow FuturisTrendcast, LadaRay.com, LadaRayYouTube and my work in general, and if you also have your own Facebook account. Info on my various works and offerings will now also be posted on Facebook. I hope it will serve as an additional community link between like-minded people.
So, if you are FuturisTrendcast/ YT/ Twitter/ LadaRay.com follower, listener and reader, and also have a Facebook account, please stop by to say hello!
For those who’ve asked, I also have the following Internet / social media presence:
Main blog & reader forum: FuturisTrendcast
Additional: Lada Ray Blog (you are here now!)
(Repost from FT: New Lada Ray Facebook page – and other social media)
American Freedom Radio, Author Lada Ray, Bitcoin, conspiracy, Empire collapse, Financial and political predictions, Gold Train, Paypal, Radio interview, Reinventing Collapse by Dmitry Orlov, The Earth Shifter, The Vinny Eastwood Show, US economic problems
On March 18, 2013, I have been a guest on The Vinny Eastwood Show! After having been on a loooong writing spree and basically in seclusion, which was necessary to produce THE EARTH SHIFTER, it felt great to show my face to the world. My hair usually grows fast (must be all that spiritual growth ;)), and so, while I was busy writing, it has grown substantially, reaching almost to my waist. It’s especially noticeable on the vid, but don’t you get used to this look, as I intend to cut it! Well…until I again immerse myself into the world of Sasha and the Key while writing THE EARTH SHIFTER 2. At that point, I’ll let it grow again.
It was also great to hear my own voice – I was already beginning to forget what it sounded like! Consider this a warm up. This is my first radio interview in my capacity as an author, but it certainly won’t be last!
And now, back to the show! Vinny and I have touched upon some very controversial and interesting topics, such as the collapse of Empires, including the Soviet Union and USA, my analysis and predictions of how the USA collapse is different from that of the USSR, and how both are similar. We’ve also discussed my spiritual awakening and my personal experiences working for major US financial institutions, including how said financial wirehouses stack the odds in favor of their large investment banking clients at the expense of small private clients. We’ve talked about the Bitcoin phenomenon, Vinny’s problems with Paypal, and my recommendations for resolving them.
Have a listen!
A special shout out to Mark O’Neill at royalmanaball.wordpress.com who turned me on to the radio/video interview process! I am starting to dig these cool and casual audio/video chats, and having discovered that I have lots more to say on various topics of interest to many, I’ll continue lining them up.
Anyone interested in interviewing me, just give me a shout! I am presently looking for the new interviews during THE EARTH SHIFTER launch, April 10-30! I’ll also post more interesting segments soon on the Lada Ray Youtube Channel. Stay tuned, everyone!
Incidentally, a few people have asked me how to correctly pronounce my first name and what it rhymes with. Answer: Lada is like the note “la” in the musical scale, but instead of “la-la” you sing “La-da.” Have fun! 😉
P.S. I just found out that after our show, which exposed Paypal practices, Vinny Eastwood has resolved his Paypal problem. That’s just awesome!
Albert Einstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Author Lada Ray, Bernardo Bertolucci, Blog awards, books by Lada Ray, Edgar Cayce, famous pisces, happy birthday, Liza Minnelli, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pisces, Sergei Rachmaninoff, The Earth Shifter, Tony Robbins
Happy March 15th, Ladies and Gents!
Why Happy March 15th? Aw well… because it’s my birthday, and also because it’s a belated 1 year anniversary of my blog.
MORE ABOUT PISCES & MY BIRTHDAY: Being a March baby is fun, as the spring starts awakening at this time of year. The week of March 15th is called the week of “dancers and dreamers.” Many world famous dancers were born during this time… and did I mention, I love to dance! Don’t even get me started on dreaming things up and making them come true! Those who’ve read my books know all about that!
Russian ballet dancer, Rudolf Nouriev. Born March 17th (sharing a birthday with my husband, who’s also a Pisces).
It’s so cool to share my birthday sign with so many innovators, visionaries, dreamers and EARTH SHIFTERS, including Albert Einstein (born March 14, just a few hours before me), Edgar Cayce, Rudolf Nouriev, Sergei Rachmaninov (March 20), Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Alexander Bell, Mikhail Gorbachev, George Washington, Frederick Chopin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michelangelo, Auguste Renoir, Ansel Adams, Tony Robbins, Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Bernardo Bertolucci, Glenn Close, Drew Barrimore, Bruce Willis, Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Russian singer Vitas, and many others… It’s a loooooong list for sure.
And another famous and inspired Pisces! In addition to inspiration, spirituality, dance, art, photography, dreaming, Pisces also rules film. Not surprisingly, the Oscars, Motion Picture Academy Awards Ceremony, traditionally takes place during the Piscean rule, in late February or March. The Oscars 2013 took place on February 24, when this prestigious award has celebrated its 85th birthday.
More about Pisces: http://www.thepiscessign.com
They say, a Pisces can dream anything into reality, like magic…
As you all know, in the past few months, I’ve been consumed with finishing and publishing my new fantasy/thriller, THE EARTH SHIFTER. It’s been a busy time, but also, extremely rewarding! I’ve dreamed it up and it’s currently available as ebook at Amazon, B&N, Smash. I will be releasing paperback in the end of March (pre-launch release).
Official book launch: APRIL 10, 2013!
Meanwhile, I also received a number of awards. I want to acknowledge the lovely bloggers who gave them to me and announce that due to my busy blogging and writing schedule, this is the last post about blog awards. This concerns only awards, so no worries. Lada Ray Blog is not going anywhere, and as a matter of fact, I’m planning a rainbow of wonderful new posts this year.
So, don’t you go away
as so much more is coming your way!
Bowing out gracefully: I want to thank all those who have supported and acknowledged this blog in the past year plus by giving it awards. I love you all, guys! I think awards are a wonderful way to support worthy bloggers and to spread the word about them. Below are the bloggers who have given me the awards recently. There were a couple more, so please forgive me if I have missed anyone (it seems I may have misplaced the links.) But know that I appreciate you all! Due to the severe time constraints, and – well – because it’s my birthday ;), I’m skipping the steps of passing on the awards and answering the questions (please allow me this indulgence). I’ve already said enough about me, and if you’re interested, please check out my prior awards and my bio page. Instead, I’ll concentrate on acknowledging those bloggers who have thought of me!
LIEBSTER AWARD, which I received from 3 wonderful bloggers. Here they are chronologically!
Jim L. Wright olbigjim.wordpress.com. A wonderful man, blogger, writer, and book reviewer, Jim is and American expat living his dream life in Jordan. How exciting! Please check out his awesome blog!
Jason Collins JJCollinsAuthor.com One of my favorite people and certainly my absolute favorite Irishman living in London! Jason is the author of several non-fiction books, his specialty being history and politics. Check out his terrific site & blog, where he shares book reviews and news about publishing industry. It’s a treasure trove!
Stefan Maxima hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com Spreading the love! Check out Stefan’s lovely and positive blog!
SUPER SWEET AWARD from the super-sweet Sofia Siberia – sofiasiberia.com. Yum! Sofia is a blogger, empath and healer, who is originally from Russia and Ukraine, and who presently resides in Lebanon. She is a very loving and giving soul and she has a beautiful blog where she shares her wisdom and her spiritual discoveries with the world. Please check it out!
I’ve also received A BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD from Sofia Siberia. This award I already have, but I am truly honored that Sofia has thought of me!
VERY INSPIRING BLOG AWARD – again, many thanks to the wonderful man and author, Jim L. Wright @ oldbigjim.wordpress.com for giving me this award! I’m truly honored!
And last, but by no means least, SHINE ON AWARD, which I just received from a truly inspiring blogger and author, Rohan Healy at Rohan7things.wordpress.com. Rohan blogs about many things, but they all have a strong philosophical and spiritual connection. He is a thinker & a beautifully light soul, and I’m privileged to know him! Please check out his popular blog for many inspiring, entertaining and off-beat posts. Incidentally, I was recently interviewed by Rohan. Check out the interview as well.
P.S. I’ve just added this award, which I received from the lovely Ruby @ yourinnerfeathersbyruby.wordpress.com, who is a “spiritual life stylist.” I like Ruby’s blog so much, that I had to add this award if only to link up and promote her blog. Thank you, Ruby, and may you have a terrifically inspiring and spiritually rewarding year!
Also, I want to take this opportunity to wish a HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY to:
Jason Collins, Rohan Healy, Madeline Walsh (whose recent interview has become an inspiration!), M.C. O’Neill (check out his awesome Lada Ray Spotlight and review!), Jason Sullivan (whose amazing May Day Interview became the centerpiece of my GOLD TRAIN Blog Tour 2012!), as well as my many Irish blogger & author friends!
Here’s to luck and prosperity! Have a wonderful holiday!
Incidentally, my husband was born on March 17. How’s that for a coincidence! Our birthdays are 2 days apart and we usually end up celebrating them as one.
Birthday cake anyone?
12/21/12, Author Lada Ray, blog award, Blog of the Year 2012 Award, ebook, giveaway, metaphysical fantasy, NaNoWriMo 2012, National Novel Writing Month, scifi, The Earth Shifter, writing and publishing, Year 2012 Predictions, young adult book
First, THE EARTH SHIFTING news!
As some of you know, I have been consumed with finishing my new YA metaphysical fantasy/thriller, THE EARTH SHIFTER. It is presently being polished and professionally edited. Despite the upcoming holidays, I am making supreme effort to release my book on its original target release date of December 20, 2012. This date has not been chosen randomly, as it coincides with another date, December 21, 2012 – the notorious 12/21/12 – which some perceive as the “end of the world” and others as the time of great shift of consciousness.
THE EARTH SHIFTER is my unique take on what has been and what is to come, as we speed ahead toward our common future. As with all of my books, THE EARTH SHIFTER is a whimsical and original, yet satisfying, stew of fantasy and reality. The cataclysms and events described in it indeed took place, and those predicted may materialize, if mankind… But I’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide where fantasy ends and reality starts. This is BOOK 1 of the trilogy, with Books 2 and 3 to be released in the not so distant future.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be making additional announcements and posting THE EARTH SHIFTER excerpts.
To celebrate the book launch, I am planning a huge giveaway! And I mean HUGE! What will be given away is a surprise, but suffice it to say, it’s something really awesome & valuable, and you’ll definitely want it!
Enter the new world and join me on December 20, 2012,
when the epic EARTH SHIFTER journey begins!
Stay tuned, as much more is coming your way!
It is also my great pleasure to announce that I received the newly created and very exciting Blog of the Year 2012 Award from a friend and blogger I admire, Holly Michael.
Her blog, Writing Straight, is awesome and very much worth the visit! Here is the link to her post about the Blog of the Year 2012 Award. Also, special congrats to Holly on becoming a winner of NaNoWriMo 2012!
As you can see, there is one gold star with the possibility of six in total.
The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:
1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award.
2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen — there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required — and ‘present’ them with their award.
3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award —http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).
4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5 You can now also join our Facebook group — click ‘like’ on this page: ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award Facebook group, and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6 As a winner of the award, please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award, and then proudly display the award on your blog sidebar, and start collecting stars!
Yes — that’s right — there are stars to collect! Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once, this award is different! When you begin, you will receive the ’1 star’ award, and every time you are given the award by another blog you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect.
Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!
And now, it’s time for champagne… The envelope, please! Blogs to award:
Ralph Whillier http://bluefishway.com/
Darlene Foster http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Michele Seminara http://micheleseminara.wordpress.com/
Russel Ray http://russelrayphotos2.com/
Stefan Maxima http://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/
Lesley Fletcher http://inspirationimport.wordpress.com/
Seyi Sandra David http://seyisandradavid.org/
Karen Robiscoe http://charronschatter.com/
Quillan and Angela http://toemail.wordpress.com/
Jim L. Wright http://olbigjim.wordpress.com/
Lori Lipsky http://poetrypatio.wordpress.com/
And last but not least – and in full compliance with the award rules – Holly Michael http://writingstraight.com/, because I would have given it to her regardless of whether I have received it from her or not. 🙂
Congratulations bloggers! I love to visit all these great blogs and I’m sure you will, too. Each one is wonderful, and each will make your life brighter and richer in its own, unique way!
P.S. Based on some questions about the upcoming release of THE EARTH SHIFTER I received from my readers, here are a few additional details:
THE EARTH SHIFTER will initially come out as an ebook available in all formats, incl. kindle, nook, PDF, etc. It will be available from all major ebook retailers and all buy links will be listed at the digital book store of my official author website, LadaRay.com.
I will certainly consider a paperback and later, perhaps an audio, but unfortunately, I don’t know much about audio books, so that could be a while. I’ll keep everyone posted of my plans, but your best bet is to read it as an ebook – if you want to read it early. It’s very easy by the way, and if you don’t have an e-reader or a tablet, you can simply download PDF to your computer. Who knows, you might enjoy this new reading experience!
THE EARTH SHIFTER description and details are available here: http://www.ladaray.com/the-earth-shifter.html
You can also sample my writing and sneak peek THE EARTH SHIFTER’s first 2 chapters, which are available as an excerpt with CATHARSIS, Legend of the Lemurians (a metaphysical fantasy novelette). CATHARSIS can be downloaded in any ebook format for free at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/235546
In the next 2 weeks, I’ll also be posting excerpts here, on my blog.
Ah, it’s that time of the year again. My favorite season plus the mega-popular NaNoWriMo is here! Come November 1, 300,000 writers – seasoned, aspiring and anywhere in-between, will be pulling college-style all-nighters in order to accomplish the admirable goal of finishing that dream of a novel, or at least enough of it (namely, 50k words) to paste the coveted “NaNoWriMo 2012 Winner!” badge on their website, blog, or Facebook page.
This year, I decided to join, too. As many of you know, I am working on my big project: THE EARTH SHIFTER, new metaphysical YA fantasy/thriller – anticipated release: December, 2012. Full-size cover, blurb and more here.
I will not be using NaNoWriMo to write my novel from scratch, but rather to finish it, polish it up and make it as absorbing and delightful to read as possible. THE EARTH SHIFTER is substantially longer than 50k words, so I have my work cut out for me. 😉
I went ahead and joined the Upstate New York chapter of NaNoWriMo. Writing is a lonely endeavor, therefore write-ins are a great way to break up the monotony and to meet fellow writers and kindred spirits (and potential readers, too). Write-ins can be done at participating library or book store, but for the real ambiance, a coffee house with wi-fi and all the writer’s best friends, namely coffee, tea and lots of chocolate, is highly preferred.
Image courtesy Latte Lounge, Oneonta, NY
I am looking for write-in buddies to meet at one of the following 2 places:
1. Latte Lounge, 196 Main St, Oneonta. http://www.the-latte-lounge.com/ If you are nearby and would like to join, I am planning on being there on Thursday, 11/1 3-7 pm. A couple of people expressed an interest in this write-in. We may make it a regular, if all goes well.
2. Daly’s Coffee Bar, 5410 Main St/Rt 23, Windham. http://dalyscoffeebar.com/ Time and date TBD. Possibly Saturday or Monday. One other person expressed an interest so far. Please let me know if you’d like to join our cozy gathering. Note, we may switch to Higher Grounds Coffee instead. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Higher-Grounds-Coffee-Co/302891989763169
If you live in Upstate New York and would like to join us, please let me know!
Cheers, and happy and productive NaNoWriMo 2012 to all!
Amazon, Author Lada Ray, book promotion, book trailer, classical music, Film, Gold Train, Goodreads, Green Desert, images, indie authors, movie trailer, music, nature videos, photography, Shutterstock, Smashwords, Social Media, Stepford USA, trailer, United States, video, Windows Movie Maker, YouTube
Authors traditionally rely on writing to spread the word about their books. Yet they often overlook videos as a fabulous promotional tool. Trailers historically have been reserved for movies. But with the advent of Social Media, it became possible to make book trailers at low or no cost.
A book trailer adds an extra dimension and visibility to the promotion of your book. And in our competitive world, we, authors, should use every advantage we can get. This, visual dimension can be quite valuable. A book trailer can be posted on your YouTube channel, website, author Amazon and Smashwords pages, Goodreads, as well as a number of other places.
I know, I know. You think it’s too hard. It actually isn’t, but there is a learning curve – a rather steep one. One point I want to make is that the trailer doesn’t need to be overly complicated. For example, you don’t need to make it into a movie, unless you like that kind of thing. It is very effective to use pictures/photos, together with a snappy narrative and suitable background music. This is my preferred way of making a trailer, but of course, use your imagination and let your creativity tell you what works for you and your book. Sky is the limit!
I estimate the learning curve for making a trailer at about 50-60 hours. So, if you can’t afford to dedicate this much time to learning about movie and trailer making, than you are better off delegating this task to someone else.
But if you are up for the challenge, here is what you need to know.
First, you need to start a YouTube channel. It’s easy to sign up and setting it up takes no more than half an hour.
Mine is called Lada Ray Channel and for now, I keep it simple. So far, I’ve made 4 book trailers and a bunch of nature/Halloween videos. But I may expand my channel in the future, time permitting.
Take a look at my channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/LadaRay/videos
Once you’ve set up your Youtube channel and learned the ropes, you can start making your book trailer. Estimated time for each trailer: 5-10 hours.
Here is what you will need:
1. Find and upload on your computer a movie maker software. Google it. There are several that are free, including Windows Movie Maker. Of course, you can also pay for a more sophisticated version.
2. Think about the theme and flow of your trailer. I love this part! It’s like directing your own movie. I usually write down the narrative for each frame and visualize what kind of picture would work with it.
3. Write out the narrative. Don’t overwhelm your trailer with text though. Remember, you are making a movie, not writing a book. It’s supposed to be snappy, entertaing, and a feast for ALL the senses.
4. Gather enough images to be used in your trailer before you begin. My advice, have plenty of extras. You can always discard the ones you decided not to use. It is much better than coming short while in the middle of your trailer-making process.
To find the images, go to a website like Shutterstock, where you can purchase royalty-free photos inexpensively.
I love photography, so whenever I can, I use my own pics for trailers and videos.
5. Find the music that works with your trailer. You can purchase a piece of music online, or use a royalty-free piece that is past its copyright. These are usually classics. A word of warning: classics are great if they go with your topic and presentation. But I sometimes see pieces that are completely mismatched. Try your music for size before applying it.
For example, check out my STEPFORD USA trailer.
The music used is a classic: Second Waltz by Russian composer, Dmitry Shostakovich, written in the 1940s. And it works very well with this particular piece.
6. After you’ve assembled all the elements, the real fun begins! Upload your images into frames, add text and music! Enjoy!
1. To make my videos look and feel more professional, I usually play with extending or narrowing time frames depending on how long I want every image to linger.
Check out my GOLD TRAIN trailer.
Notice how the music changes and highs emphasize the narrative and work with images?
2. Always fit your music to frame. Otherwise it will be too long or too short. This will make it look sloppy and unprofessional.
Check out my videos:
to see how the music precisely matches the length of the video. Unfortunately, not every video has this, resulting in a period of silence or a cut off piece.
3. YouTube offers some very cool video enhancement tools, like color enhancement, moving frames and text, etc. I used some of them in my videos. See if you can spot what enhancements I used in the following trailers and videos:
These video enhancement tools are great fun and I enjoy playing with them. Word of caution: make sure they work with your particular piece! And sometimes less is more.
Good Luck! If you decide to make a book trailer or if you already have one, feel free to post a comment together with the link!
P.S. When you set up a YouTube channel, make sure you subscribe to Lada Ray Channel and let me know about it. I’ll be glad to reciprocate!
Copyright Lada Ray, 2012
A few days ago, I visited the blog by my new friend, a San Diego photographer, Russel Ray (no relation).
I was intrigued by one of his posts, entitled: “Is there a WordPress store where one can buy likes and comments?” It sounded kinda funny, yet kinda disturbing. To make a long story short, Russel stumbled upon more than one blog, which were started as recently as one or two months ago and had very few and very lack-luster posts, yet boasted hundreds and hundreds of likes and comments per post and had over a thousand followers.
Here is the link to this very interesting post: http://russelrayphotos2.com/2012/06/04/is-there-a-wordpress-store-where-one-can-buy-likes-and-comments/
If you blog, you would know that oftentimes a really great post generates just a few likes and comments, especially if you are new to the blogging realm. I’ve been blogging since January, 2012 and can personally attest how much hard work goes into creating great content, and how hard earned each and every like and comment is. It takes a while to generate loyal and interested readership. Getting 600 likes and 800 laudatory comments for a tiny, 2 paragraph entry that hardly says anything at all, if you’ve only started blogging 6 weeks ago and have 6 posts all together, seems more than a little incongruent.
The post on Russel’s blog generated tons of comments, in which people were speculating what could have caused such an anomaly. Suggestions included: this individual had another blog and when he transitioned to the new one, he took his readership with him (highly doubtful with that kind of puny content); he has great following on Twitter/Facebook and these followers come to his blog to comment and like; he has great search engine optimization and gets lots of hits from Google. Interesting suggestions which I’ll analyse and refute below.
Russel mentioned several different blogs and here are the links to two of them:
http://travelagos.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/happy-1050th-follower/#comment-744 (notice: in this post he’s bragging about having 1050 followers, and this is comment number 744)
Now, I want to mention that in the past 6 months I met some wonderful bloggers, who put out a truly awesome content. There is a number of people I could mention here, but suffice it to say, any praise they get is well-deserved.
And then, there are these… I went on both of the above-mentioned blogs and confirmed that indeed Russel was correct: way too many likes, way too little content!
I am usually not the one to complain, lament, or point a finger. I usually look ahead, concentrate on doing my best, and see the silver lining, however slim. But this one hit too close to home. And so, I wrote the following comment:
“Russel, this is a very interesting post and food for thought. I looked at both blogs, and it really is very, very curious.
What someone suggested, that these guys have a huge following on Twitter or Facebook doesn’t hold water. I looked at their stats, and each has 2-3 Twitter/FB mentions per post. Which means that these posts have hardly ever been tweeted/FBied. Which means that Tweeter/Facebook are NOT the driver here at all.
You can trust me on this! I have over 6,600 Twitter followers and if you look at my blog, http://LadaRay.wordpress.com, especially older posts, there are 40-100 tweets each and at least several FB mentions. I get mentioned on Twitter a lot, yet very few of my tweeps have WordPress accounts. Many still use Blogger. And unfortunately, these two blogging platforms don’t talk to each other. So, there goes this idea.
Then, what is behind this situation?
I think it would be useful to compare these two blogs to the Lada Ray Blog.
It is a good comparison, since I started my blog not too long ago, in January, 2012. But I think that’s where the comparison ends. I have written something like 55 posts by now, many very substantial, highly informative posts with tons of really great pics about world cultures and travel, especially Russia and China, 2012 Predictions, feng shui articles, and other unique and great stuff you won’t find anywhere else. As a result, I get tons of search engine viewings. In 6 months I have over 20,000 hits. I noticed that one of the blogs Russel mentioned has something like 22,000 hits with what, 6 short posts?
Every day I get at least hundreds of hits, especially for my posts about Russia and China. Many, as I mentioned, originate from the search engines from all over the world. Someone suggested in a comment that search engine hits may result in likes. This is almost NEVER the case, because people who visit your blog that way are interested in specific info they were searching for. They, most likely, don’t have a WordPress account, therefore can’t just click on like that easily. I think they have to sign in, provide email, possibly answer security question, etc. Very few have time and patience. Even if they really loved your post. I get comments sometimes, often from foreign countries. But these people hardly ever click on likes.
I also have close to 200 subscribers, but still get VERY few likes. Sometimes, I get more comments than likes. It actually saddens me, because I put all that work into my posts. I put them out so people could learn something, experience things they wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise. In return, I’d like to see at least some response and validation. At the same time, I see other blogs, with posts that are puny, oftentimes not even remotely interesting or even nonsensical, and they somehow get tons and tons of likes and comments. I do realize that perhaps these people have been around for a while. But looking at examples Russel provides, this argument flies out the window.
Yes, it is possible that these people had previous blogs with a large base of followers. It is also possible that they bought following. It’s even conceivable that they are somehow famous or notorious in certain circles, but it would not be FB/Twitter for sure. See my explanation above.
What I think though is that these new bloggers are using one trick. They go from blog to blog and subscribe to lots of blogs, as well as flood them with comments. And people reciprocate. Unfortunately, many people who like as return courtesy, don’t even read the posts. But all these hundreds of likes stroke one’s ego and make one look good, even if there is absolutely no content to back it up. Meanwhile, the really great blogs seem deserted, because their authors actually spend time creating content and have no time left to fleet around randomly.
As a result, a potentially great tool, which is supposed to be used as validation and recognition of someone’s efforts to provide great content, is corrupted. Unfortunately, social media can be a blessing and a curse. And often, it is too easy to manipulate it.”
One of these bloggers, named Lagos, actually responded to Russel’s question, defending his blog by saying that it is beautiful, that TO HIM it is the greatest thing since the sliced bread, that he has lots of friends and relatives who support his blog, and also that different people like different blogs.
Here is the link to the exchange between Russel and Lagos: http://russelrayphotos2.com/2012/06/08/extended-hours-at-the-san-diego-zoo-begin-june-22/#comment-3953
I decided to contribute to this conversation:
“Hi Lagos, I read the exchange between you and Russel and I checked out your blog. Unfortunately, I have to agree with everything Russel said. I started my blog in Jan. 2012 and created 55 great, substantial, unique and beautiful posts since then. I have over 6,600 Twitter followers and close to 200 blog followers. My blog is not only informative, but also beautiful, with lots of great pics, history, etc. I also got 20,000 viewings in 6 months. However, since I don’t have time to randomly go around clicking on likes for people I never met and because I don’t have a family who’d like my posts to death, I get 8-12 likes per post. And these are all hard earned likes.
I am inviting you to visit my blog to see for yourself. So, my friend, I am afraid, the verdict is that you are using some kind of trick(s). This is not real, and that’s sad. Very sad.
The question is, what’s the point in putting out great info? Let’s all create this illusion of being popular, instead of actually doing something worthwhile that justifies these likes. Yes, people are different, but they are not stupid.”
The way I see it, we all have a choice: why bother creating content if you can go around clicking on likes and flooding other blogs with comments. Some will reciprocate. This will provide the illusion that one is popular – a great ego-stroking tool! Let’s forget content, let’s forget beauty, humor, information. Let’s be mindless, indifferent, let’s exist in an illusion.
But I chose another road – in blogging and in life. It may take longer, and it may be a lot of hard work. And perhaps, I’ll never get 800 likes and 900 comments per post, or perhaps I will. But I’ll do my best to make each post unique, entertaining, intelligent and beautiful! And I’ll always make it real.
In the end, I know, my reader will find his/her way to my blog. And if each reader takes away a piece of knowledge they didn’t have, an inspiration they needed, or a chuckle that brightens their day, then my work is done!
A note to my readers: And what’s your opinion? I am thinking about bringing this post to the attention of WordPress admin. Don’t get me wrong, it is marvelous that bloggers talk to each other and visit each other’s blogs. But as Maddy @ 1EarthNow blog has pointed out in her comment, “likes” should represent feedback, not a popularity contest like Facebook likes. Blogs should be more meaningful.”
Great point, Maddy! Worpress seems to be taking a somewhat dubious turn with its overemphasis on likes and underemphasis on genuine blogging. As a result, it becomes gimmicky and discourages great content.
How do we strike the right balance between the two? That is the question!