The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Talk to the chair.... punk!

Talk to the chair…. punk!

The Nest is ready to tackle another juicy Friday Prompt from one of our gentle readers… and one that might very well get us up to our tails in scalding hot water.  But before we get into the juicy details of what will follow, it’s time for me to give you the link to the contact form where you can feel free to join the Prompt the Squirrel madness if you haven’t already done so.  And I won’t shut up about it until every single blogger on WordPress has prompted me!

Here's a prompt for you, stupid squirrel!

Here’s a prompt for you, stupid squirrel!

This week’s prompt comes to me from one of the interwebs’ original gangstas bloggers, Ally Bean.  She has been blogging for 12 years now…. no really, she has!  I hadn’t even heard of the word prompt logo“blogging” at the time she started posting her musings and life experiences.  We at The Nest doff our beanies to such amazing longevity in the follower eat follower world that is the blogosphere!

Oh yes… and her prompt she sent to me:

While the focus of your blog is obviously squirrels, what have you learned about people in the process of keeping your blog?  That is, what has surprised you in a good way about your readers?  And what has ticked you off?  Even an evil squirrel, such as yourself, must have had some nutty blogging experiences that pleased and/or confounded you.  Inquiring human minds would love to know.

Now you know why I said this prompt could get me in serious doodoo!

pot stirring

Oh well… it’s not like I haven’t stirred shit before!

Now as many of you know, I’m in no way a newbie to the social part of the internet.  I just recently celebrated my 15th anniversary as a member of what started as the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire message board on abc.com, a group which somehow has found enough cohesiveness of community that it continues to exist on our own member-run message board to this very day.  I have seen things happen there over the last decade and a half that would warm the coldest heart, and also blacken the most angelic soul.  Because of our longtime philosophy of one forum for all posting, you got to know everyone in the group whether you wanted to or not.  Such is not the case in the blogosphere where you are more than welcome to follow and ignore who you choose…

Sniff!  Everyone has unfollowed me!

Sniff! Everyone has unfollowed me!

So over here, I obviously only hang with those whose blogs and personalities I, at the very least, tolerate.  That doesn’t mean I still can’t come up with a list of blogging traits I consider to be negative…. but, we’ll get back to that later on…

First for the sunshine!

Let the sun shine in!

Let the sun shine in!

I’ve gained an appreciation that the same level of friendship I found in my much more closer knit message board community is not much different here in the more wide-open blogosphere.  I wasn’t even expecting to gain any friends when I first started out blogging three and a half years ago, but a lot of people took me in to their circles and I daresay I’m as comfy with my gang on WordPress as I am with the old crew on the message board… a number of whom I’ve even met in person.

Sorry, Regis.  You don't count.

Sorry, Regis. You don’t count.

I have been utterly touched by the talent and generosity of some of those I have befriended over here… especially my amigurumi-ists out there who have filled my critter shelf full of cuteness!  I’ve done what little I can to pay back, and even pay forward that kindness to others… but I can’t get over the fact that I’ve been gifted numerous works of true art just because I manage to entertain people on my blog!

Here's looking at you all!

Here’s looking at you all!

I have learned from my many followers who suffer from some type of depression just how these mental diseases really work, and how depression isn’t just a state of mind that can be willfully overcome.  I will admit to being one of those people who in the past would simply wonder why someone who was so sad couldn’t just “snap out of it.”  I have learned from those who freely talk about their conditions how lucky I truly am not to be affected by these types of illnesses, and to be more understanding of those who suffer from them.  More than that, I’ve learned to more greatly value my talent as an irreverent entertainer who can (usually) make people laugh when they need it most.

Take notes here, Sarah...

Take notes here, Sarah…

I’ve also seen other bloggers reach out to other bloggers in need of advice, emotional support, even ways out of financial hardships.  There really is a lot of heartwarming actions I’ve witnessed in my years here at WordPress…. but it looks to me like the skies are darkening… and you know what that means!

Wuss!

Time to open up the can of Whoop Ass!

Well… no, I’m not going to be outright and utterly mean. But since Ally asked, and it’s only fair I provide a counterpoint after accentuating the positives, it’s time to get into the things I have learned about my bloggers that are not so nice…. at least to me.  It’s blogger pet peeve time!

Kill the peeve!  Spill its blood!

Kill the peeve! Spill its blood!

Reciprocal interaction is the key to any good relationship between bloggers.  Some bloggers clearly fake their end of the deal, though.  About once a week at least, I’ll publish a post that will draw a Like or two from one of my regular readers before the cyber ink’s even dried on it yet.  Come on… Evelyn Wood can’t even read one of my typical 1,200 word posts in 15 seconds.  Either read it or don’t… but please don’t hit Like on something you clearly didn’t read.  Don’t resort to the same level of fake interest as a WordPress spammer…

Must LIKE all of the posts!  Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like...

Must LIKE all of the posts! Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like, Like…

Don’t drag me into your fanfests or feuds with other bloggers against my will.  Just because someone is your friend and we should all worship at their bloggy feet doesn’t necessarily mean I want to make a pilgrimage to their altar.  Likewise, just because you hate someone’s guts doesn’t mean I have to stop liking and unfollow them as well.  I’ve found myself in the middle of both of these kinds of situations before on WordPress… please, just let me do my own thing!

Welcome to junior high!

Welcome to junior high!

If you were to take a cross-section of the most common traits of those in my following here on WordPress to form an average Joe, you would end up with a blogger who is an aspiring writer, fiercely liberal, and clinically depressed.  This leads to a lot of posts in my reader that are:

  • Debbie Downers, which are often difficult for me to read, not because I’m not sympathetic or caring, but because I’m so un-serious all the time that I dislike having to read material where I’m forced to keep a straight face.  This is why I avoid the news media…
  • Political views slanted in the same direction over and over again.  I avoid discussing politics at all costs on my blog, but for disclosure,  my views are pretty middle ground… yet my WP peeps often make me feel like Rush Limbaugh in comparison!
  • And for you aspiring authors out there…. would it kill you to upload an image or two to break the endless barrage of black and white in your posts?  If the word count is in four figures, my eyes are going to glaze over if all I see are words upon words upon words…
This is why Al Gore invented Google Images.... comic relief in captions!

This is why Al Gore invented Google Images…. comic relief in captions!

Please note, the preceding isn’t an indictment on what anyone posts.  Your blog is your blog, and we all have our different reasons why we blog, and I totally respect that.  It’s just the view I get here from The Nest for what it’s worth…

Probably not even what I could sponsor a child for if I didn't want to get that cup of coffee.

Probably not even what I could sponsor a child for if I didn’t already know that Sally’s eating all the humanitarian profits.

And hopefully my readers will not further surprise me by forsaking my blog because of this post.  Chance are, though… if you’ve stuck around with me this long and have actually read enough of my material to know me, you have a pretty thick hide anyway that is not easily chafed…

Or, you'll just get even by slapping the shit out of me...

Or, you’ll just get even by slapping the shit out of me…

Thanks Ally for the chance to applaud, and even jeer my fellow bloggers!  Assuming I haven’t been run off of WordPress on a rail, I’ll be back next week with another one of your thought provoking prompts!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
This entry was posted in Friday Prompts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

  1. great one… I agree for the pictures, black and white can look good but if it looks like me e-reader my eyes get tired :o)

  2. Mental Mama says:

    1. I am a VERY fast reader, 2. I have a screaming fast internet connection at work, 3. There are occasions when I don’t have time to read every word but I’ve enjoyed the pictures so I click the Like button, 4. I’ve got my email open pretty much the entire time I’m at work unless I’m in a meeting and even then if I have my laptop I’m usually screwing around and not really working. What else is there to do then but sit and wait for you to post?

    So suck it. 😉

  3. draliman says:

    I wish I’d known about that bit about clicking “Like” 2 seconds after you’ve published earlier so I could’ve clicked “Like” 2 seconds after you published ha ha. I’ve seen that happen on my blog occasionally, though to be fair, my posts tend to be pretty short.

    • That would have been funny… and in fact, I did linger for a minute after publishing it to see if anyone would show a quick trigger. Nobody did… and I don’t know now if I should be happy or disappointed by that!

  4. I read the whoooooole thing before I clicked like…I promise. 😀

  5. Ally Bean says:

    Thank you for answering my question in such a honest and delightful way.

    I, too, have become more kind about other people’s difficulties since I got into blogging. After reading about so many scenarios and realities that I’ve never encountered, I find it amazing how tough people can be.

    And I agree about the instant Liking phenomenon. In fact, I only implemented the Like button a couple of years ago. While I appreciate getting attention, I would prefer if it was sincere. But then that’s a lot to ask of the blogosphere, isn’t it?

    • I don’t often have a comment to add to a lot of the posts I read, so I like for there to be a Like button to at least show “Hey, I took the time to read this!”,,, but it is annoying to not know who’s really reading and who’s just floating by. I could have hundreds of people on my follow list at one time if I did that!

      • Ally Bean says:

        I agree with you. I use the Like button for the same reason that you do. By it’s those float-by likings that make me wonder at times.

      • Just as a note, I finally cut down my follow list by more than half and I felt bad about it. They hadn’t done anything wrong, but I was overloaded, It was like running a daily blogothon, barely time to glance at the post, then gallop on to the next. Everyone has a limit. The whole Superwoman thing got old.

  6. Merbear74 says:

    I know my posts are often sad and woeful, but I appreciate that you take the time to read them anyways. And I am starting to think that you do want me to slap the shit outta you. Kinky.

    • If I were in your situation, I certainly wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses either… though I would get a brief moment of joy by slapping the shit out of kinky squirrels! 😉

  7. Thank you for tolerating me! 🙂 And yes, I click LIKE alot…but it’s because I read your post…and I liked it. That’s my 3 Canadian cents. 🙂

    • For the record, neither you nor anyone who’s commented on this post so far were ones I was thinking of when I pet peeved about driveby Likes. I think it’s mainly a trait of bloggers with extremely large followings who could never possibly have the time to keep up with all of those they follow. This is why I keep my follow list manageable… to keep my interest real!

  8. Trisha says:

    Your blogging pet peeves are pretty similar to mine, although I haven’t been pulled into a middle school style drama on WordPress, yet. Facebook, different story! But then my list of Facebook pet peeves is longer than my friends list.

    • I can only imagine I would hate Facebook if I were ever stupid enough to wander over there. I’m sure there’s more drama there than you’d even find on an amateur baseball team!

      • Trisha says:

        Probably, although amateur baseball is never lacking in the drama department! I consider deleting my Facebook account more often than I actually go on the site. In addition to the drama, it’s just so junky with ads, useless annoying crap and more useless annoying crap. WordPress is the best community I’ve found on the Internet! Yet, it is used by people so there are bound to be a few peeves.

  9. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I worry about being a Debbie Downer at times. It just seems that when I am in a low point, that is what all my posts reflect, and then it swings back the other way (eventually).

    AMEN to the bloggity worship/name dropping of some people! And about those 15 posts on the same day for a “virtual book tour”…I get that self-published authors need all the networking they can get, but pace it some and don’t give me anything you don’t want an honest review for (that’s for anything, and why I will never get a sponsorship deal…I get paid to be tactful at work, personal blog is free game for my real thoughts)

    I could go on forever, but I shall refrain…not sure if you have a peeve about long comments 😀

    • I think you try to interject some lightheartedness into even your downest posts. It’s one of the reasons I so love people like you and Merby and Goldfish and others… you can keep it real without driving everyone away with an endless barrage of pity and woe.

      15 posts in the same day would certainly be on my list if I didn’t pretty much cut the cord immediately with anyone who has nothing better to do than jam pack my Reader.

      I love comments of all shapes and sizes… and especially by those who, like me, prefer to be offbeat, comical, and even sometimes totally off topic!

  10. fanrosa says:

    Ha! Even though I’m sometimes among your first likes, I’m not going to take your comment personally because by now you know quite well that I only like something if I actually like it. “Like” is right up there with “friend” as one of the most meaningless words on the planet. Damn you, social media!

    Also, I can take constructive criticism and will try to add more pictures of nail polish to my posts, strictly for your reading pleasure….

    PS I’m not going to like this post, just because. But I’m sure you already knew that…..ha!

    • LOL! You go with your bad self, Fanny. If I have helped the cause of getting more nail polish pictures out on the internet, I can be rest easily knowing my legacy has been assured…

  11. I use the “like” key to get from the email to the blog. I know I’m going to read it anyway, because I always read your stuff. I just “like” it first, read it second. Otherwise, I’m likely to forget to “like” it at all, even if I love it. You are the ONLY blogger who usually writes long pieces who I pretty much always read. It’s not 100% but it’s damned close. Is it a love of squirrels or a love of squirrelly-ness? Whatever.

    I’m deep into a predictably non-productive battle with BCBS. I know I can’t win, but it actually makes me feel better to make these assholes feel like crap. I’m already feeling crappy, so bringing a few corporate mouthpieces down to wallow with me is the only satisfaction left. Much to my surprise, it seems to have a positive effect on my blood pressure. Instead of brooding on injustice, I can tell the distributors of injustice that I think they really SUCK, and “I’m just following orders” is NOT an excuse. A war crime is a war crime.

    • I don’t think I ever realized you did the Like before the read… I know of another follower of mine who always comments before they like, but of course, since they are commenting, they’ve obviously read it.

      I try to keep my posts that stray past 500 words loaded with silliness to keep reader interest… and of course, break up pretty much every paragraph with a funny image/caption. I honestly think it makes the posts seem shorter than they really are, because time only drags when we are bored.

      Mecca switched its associate coverage from BCBS to UHC a couple years ago, and UHC is a joke compared to what we got under BCBS (but at least the premium is way cheaper). Then again, the kind of coverage and customer service you get is pretty much tied into the specific plan you got, not with the corporate entity itself. They’re all pretty much the same, I would imagine… bring them down to your level and then kick them while they are down!

  12. JackieP says:

    After reading this, I feel honored that you have been reading my story. 😉 I do try to keep the chapters a reasonable length, as I don’t like to read over long posts either. Just ain’t got time for that. Otherwise, yup I can pretty much agree with it all. I don’t have too many times where someone clicks on like seconds after I hit publish, but it has happened in the past. I just shake my head at it.

    • It helps too that your story is interesting, and especially that it has caught reader interest. You could write 2,000 word chapters and still keep people reading because they want to know what happens next! I got the same reaction when I posted my multi-mega part Millionaire story last Spring/Summer/Fall… some of those chapters easily exceeded 2,000 words, yet I had my audience hooked… and of course, I kept it interesting and loaded with goofy pictures!

  13. I will try to add more pictures even if I have to draw them myself. Thanks for mentioning the crap-slapping bloggers (feuds and fanfests.) Ugh. I’m kind of alone in my little teeny tiny corner of the blogging universe and can’t fit in that kind of negativity or posts that I’m just not into. OK I do have some posts I’m just not into but I write those myself and take full responsibilities for any “fails.”

    This was a great post Mr. Squirrel. It should be shared by all writing groups with beginning bloggers.

    Ohhhh, I have a true story. A long long time ago Sally Struthers sued a former employer of mine for collecting money for “the children” and not giving it to the children. Hey fur coats are expensive and you have to come up with the money anyway you can. AND my former boss said she was Sally’s best friend. Ugh. After I left everyone with a good office went to jail.

    Hey, you need a love button for Saturday Squirrel!

    • Every blogger’s going to have shitty posts… Lord knows I’ve had my share! If my posts aren’t cute or funny, chances are, they’re not going to be good because those are about the only two things I do well…

      Ha! Your former employer must have been a real Meathead…

      I’ll get with WordPress on adding that Love button. Tomorrow’s post should be well worthy of it…

  14. calipatti says:

    I’m a non blogger, just here to enjoy a good read, different perspective or have Ali scare the bejeezes out me,
    do I get a extra point?

    Often a blog is my only interaction with a person for days.
    Keep on blogging, you would be missed.

  15. Oh I love the pet peeve! I wanna crochet one but I haven’t got time. I think I sometimes like and then read but other times I forget to like which I notice when I click on a back link and see I commented but not liked. Calipatti gets my vote for WINNER! ❤

  16. Great post! I will have to tell Hodge and Podge to cool their little clicker fingers and wait an additional 10 seconds or so before clicking Like. They have ridiculously short attention spans, but you know, they are squirrels.

  17. Sometimes I’ll “like” a post and come back and comment later. Sometimes I’m even up to speed on my reading!

    • It might be really odd to Like a post, then come back and comment on it three weeks later. If you get caught up far enough, you’ll see where yesterday Draliman intentionally hit Like on one of my posts right after I posted it, only to be disappointed I had it scheduled and was not actually online to get to enjoy the “instalike”…

  18. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was actually a pretty well done flick for a spaghetti western. I love Clint Eastwood. Wait… what was the ?? Uhm.. Oh yeah!
    Thanks for your words. I concur 100% Alas, I do not always “Like” your page but I do stop by. My life doesn’t always allow me to visit everyone I follow but there are some that stay in my Inbox until I can get to them. Your blog happens to be one of them. I get a chuckle and a smile from your awesome drawings. Thanks for that btw. I will Like more often so you know I have been here!
    Keep on keeping on.. Oh Evil One! 😛

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