You know, I feel like such a new blogger that it seems totally irrelevant for me to answer these questions, but then on the other hand, maybe it's a good idea to hear what a newbie has to say.I was blogging for my congregation--you know, just the weekly events, updates, kid's scavenger hunt, quarterly parent meeting notes, the back story on the story for all ages from any given Sunday. And then I went to GA and blogged about the week there. I had so many hits every day, I knew it couldn't be just my dear ones at home checking up on what was happening. It was so fun and so good for me to process my thoughts and feelings, I decided to launch a personal UU blog. Sometimes I cross post on both the RE congregation blog and Chalice Spark, sometimes I cross post on my personal blog, too. The life of a religious education professional is kind of that: a cross post of sorts!
- Why do you blog? What goals do you have for your blog?
I write to think and sort things out. And as I've heard Ms. Kitty say: I'm such an extrovert that I just have to share my thoughts and experiences, it's so much friendlier together. My only goal is connection.
- Who is your intended audience?
Thoughtful UUs as well as searchers.
- Who owns your blog? Does it belong to you as individual or to your congregation or other organization?
This one is mine.
- How frequently do you post?
A few times a week.
- What is the tone of your blog?
Personal, friendly, first person--intimate, it's actually much like the way I tell the Story for All Ages sitting on the floor in front of the pulpit nearly every week.
- What steps do you take to make sure that your blog is a safe space, both for you and for other participants? Do you have a code of conduct?
Maybe I'm just too new for this to have been a problem, we'll see when it comes up, Ms. Kitty did give me some sound advice early on about some particulars.
- What kinds of boundaries do you observe around confidentiality?
No particulars, I try hard to tell only my own stories.
- How do you respond to comments and email from readers?
I try to respond, of course always to requests, and also just as a thanks for stopping by.
- What are the most challenging aspects of blogging in your experience?
Thinking that anything I have to say is interesting to anyone else!
- What are the most rewarding aspects of blogging in your experience?
Hearing that anyone was affected by what I wrote--or that they used something I wrote.....like the Ten Ways to Take Action post following the shootings in Knoxville.
- What advice would you give to Unitarian Universalists who are new to blogging and want to get started?
Read lots of UU blogs. Start with Shelby Meyerhoff's The Interdependent Web and then go to UUpdates. Follow the blogs you seem to like, follow the comments on their posts. Before long you'll have your favorites and maybe do what I do....have coffee with some of your favorite UUs every morning.
- How do you evaluate the success of your blog? What have been your most successful blog posts or series?
Well, the GA series was fun, and the few following the shootings at TVUUC were so good for me to write. Success comes when a mom from the congregation tells me about reading her five-year-old a post about prayer or the Ten Ways to Take Action list winds up in orders of service all over the place. I think it's about the connections with people.
- What do you wish you had done differently in your blogging?
Started a long, long time ago.
- What other online tools do you use to promote your blog? (i.e. social networking sites, Twitter, social bookmarking tools, etc.
I'm trying to get Chalice Spark confirmed on Facebook (hint hint!), nothing else yet.
- Do you use an Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed? How many subscribers do you have?
Thank the goddess my dear son is a podcast genius and set this up for me. I have five subscribers, which, hey....is pretty good!
- Do you track site traffic? How many unique visitors do you have per day (on average)?
I do track hits, and I have no idea what a unique visitor is!
- Do you find Unitarian Universalist Association resources helpful to you as a blogger? What additional resources could we provide to Unitarian Universalist bloggers?
Hmmm.....I have no idea what is out there for support. This is probably a more personal blog than many, and the RE Blog for my congregation is pretty straightforward. Now if I didn't live with a techie genius I could probably use some tech support. And this new support on the UUA website will be helpful especially for new folks, too.