BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Who Are You Strange Men, and Where Have You Come From?

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In the past two weeks or so there have been a number of new followers to BulgingButtons. This makes my little blogger heart happy, since a follow generally indicates that the reader has enjoyed something he has read.

Yes, I used “he” on purpose there. You see, I’m a fat middle-aged American woman writing about earth-shattering topics like cleaning up my house and trying to get healthy. Yes, I also write about education, and you’re a fool if you don’t think that’s an important topic, but generally this is a mostly self-indulgent little blog about me trying to get by in the world, doing the best I can. So why, then, are most of these new followers men?

I’m not sure, to be honest. Maybe they’re all fake; you know, the spambots people are always warning us about? But I’ve gone to their sites, and they look pretty legit. None of them tried to sell me time shares or sign me up as a mail order bride. Maybe, just maybe, they read something they liked?

I do try to follow some of the golden rules of blogging, but I’m not always successful. What I try to do:

  1. Provide something of value to the reader. Maybe it’s a good idea I’m sharing, or inspiration, or just the knowledge that the reader is not alone in whatever foolish thing they’ve┬ádone.
  2. Keep my blog posts easy to read. I know I tend to ramble, so I work to keep it under control. I also use paragraph breaks and lists to help make text easier to get through.
  3. Write about things I care about. If I’m inauthentic the reader is going to pick up on it instantly and stop reading. I may sometimes be raw, but at least I’m real.
  4. Polish my work. I try to put out blog posts that are carefully checked and as error-free as possible. Yes, sometimes mistakes slip through. When I catch them, I do go back and edit. I think readers deserve to read error-free content.

Still, there must be something. I would love some enlightenment. New followers, you are certainly welcome here. We’ve been doing this thing for about four years now, and we’ve built a terrific little community here. Feel free to join the conversation, and if you’re willing to share, tell us what brought you here in the first place.


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To Follow Stats or To Ignore Them?

In education there is a huge trend toward examining data. Test scores are valued so highly that we have meetings to discuss them virtually every week. At times it’s overwhelming, and frankly, something of the spirit of the child gets a bit lost in these discussions.

I won’t get all soap box on you, but my point is, the data isn’t the whole picture. That being said, it does have value. I just think a balanced approach is probably best.

The balanced approach is usually best, in my opinion. All or nothing rarely works out well, in my experience, especially when it comes to diet and exercise (this is where I get into trouble, but this isn’t THAT kind of post). Moderation is key. You know, balance?

That’s why I more or less ignore the debate amongst bloggers about statistics. Some live and breathe them, others say ignore them completely. I’m in the middle camp (is there a camp in the middle?). I enjoy taking a peek at them, and I get a not so secret thrill when I see lots of activity on the blog. followed-blog-200-1xBut do I obsessively examine them for trends? Do I throw in random asides to generate more traffic? Do I cross post all over the internet? No. I do not. I don’t have the time or the desire to do those things. If you do, I have no problem with you, it’s just not my thing.

Still, I was thrilled to see this number. Two hundred. It stands for two hundred follows. I feel like I’ve been waiting for a while to see it. I set a goal, visualized it, and it happened. How cool is that? So even though I know some of those follows are from people trying to pad their own numbers, I’m okay with it, because I know there are loyal readers, and many of you slog through each post and take the time to offer feedback. That’s what I find so rewarding about blogging, and for that, I thank you.