Tag Archives: blogging

Youtube Vlogger Accuses Dublin Hotel Of Bullying Her

From time to time, I come across posts encouraging bloggers to request “freebies” in return for either reviewing the product/service in question, or providing free publicity for said product and/or service.

A Youtube Vlogger, Elle Darby, approached a Dublin hotel asking for a free stay for her and her partner, over Valentine’s weekend, in return for providing the hotel with free exposure on her Youtube and Instagram. The hotelier, Paul Stenson was not impressed and informed Ms Darby of his displeasure in no uncertain terms. The exchange has now gone viral with a good deal of abuse being heaped on the vlogger’s head.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Ms Darby’s offer (and Mr Stenson’s response) abuse is wholly unacceptable and it is highly regrettable that Ms Darby has been attacked in such a personal manner by some who have commented on the story.

You can read more about the incident here, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5283551/YouTube-vlogger-accuses-Dublin-hotel-bullying-her.html.

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Blogging From The Perspective Of A Poet?

Licence to use image obtained – Copyright: 3dlabs2015 / 123RF Stock Photo

What are the pros and cons of blogging from the perspective of a poet? To answer this question one needs to consider matters which touch wholly on poetry, and issues pertaining to blogging more generally. The below should be read baring in mind the caveat that (to state the blatantly obvious) poets are individuals and what works for one will not (necessarily) work for another. With that caveat on the table, here are my pros and cons.

Pros

1. Publishing your poetry on a blog brings it to the attention of a wide audience. The poet gains followers who, in turn spread the word regarding the poet’s work, thereby increasing the blog’s following and enhancing the exposure of the poet’s writing.
2. Having a blog allows the poet to publicise upcoming poetry readings and, of course provide links to their published works (if such exist) on platforms such as Amazon.
3. One of the questions asked when I signed up for an Audio Book Creation Exchange (ACX) account was along the lines of “do you have a blog/website and, if so how many followers do you have?” From the perspective of ACX, they want to know that books published on their platform will sell and a person with an online following has an obvious advantage when it comes to selling books, as (to state the obvious) the more people who are aware of your writing (poetry or otherwise) the greater the number of titles you are (potentially at least) likely to sell.
4. Having a blog enables poets to connect with fellow poets thereby building up a community of like minded individuals.

Cons:

1. Responding to comments can be time consuming (time the poet could be spending writing). One can, of course disable comments on a WordPress blog (WordPress being my platform of choice). However (in my view) a blog without the ability to comment is a dead thing. Comments equal vibrancy and engagement which is why I positively welcome them.
2. Blog followers do not (necessarily) equate to book sales. People follow blogs for many and diverse reasons and some (having subscribed) will forget about your blog and never comment and/or like posts.
3. If all (or significant numbers of your poems) appear online, why should readers buy your books? (they have, after all already read your poems online).
4. Poems published online may (as with any other form of writing) be stolen. One can (and should) include a Copyright Notice on your site. This will, however not prevent the possibility of theft.

Conclusion

If I were not of the view that blogging is not of advantage to me as a poet, I would cease to blog. The fact that I continue to publish and engage online demonstrates that I believe the pros of blogging (from the poets perspective) outweigh the cons.

You Like My Poems? So Pay For Them

An interesting article by poet Wendy Cope entitled “You like my poems? So pay for them”, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/dec/08/featuresreviews.guardianreview14. In her article, Cope bemoans the tendency of people to copy and circulate poems that are in copyright without obtaining the permission of the poet in question.
Cope’s piece reminds me of an incident involving an acquaintance. The gentleman in question told me how much he had enjoyed reading one of my poems (on my website) and how it was now on his phone so he could refer to it more easily. On the one hand, I was flattered to hear that my work had brought so much pleasure to someone who I liked and respected. However, on the other I wished that my acquaintance had asked my permission or maybe even bought one of my books! Rather than embarking on a potentially embarrassing exchange, I smiled and said how delighted I was that my poem gave him so much pleasure.
Of course many of my poems are available online (on this website) and I have no issue with people using the reblog facility to share portions of them with their followers. Likewise I’m delighted when people share links to my work on Twitter and other social media. There is, however a difference between such sharing and copying whole poems without the poet’s permission. Many people copying and/or reproducing poems without permission mean no harm. It is none the less wrong for them to do so without the express permission of their creator.

My Experience of Organising A Book Launch

As many of you will be aware, I held a book launch for my recently published collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind” on the evening of 5 July.

I am pleased to report that the evening went well.

There were, however a number of “lessons learned”, which I have set-out below.

I hope this post proves helpful to others considering a physical (as opposed to a virtual) book launch.

Pros:

1. The venue (a pub called the Railway Bell) is within easy reach of Gipsy Hill station, making it simple for those attending the launch (and using public transport) to access it.

2. The venue being a pub, meant that it was easy to arrange for the provision of alcohol (and other drinks) to my guests. I provided wine and orange juice, while my guests had the option to purchase additional refreshments at the bar.

3. The management where extremely obliging and went that extra mile ensuring that things ran smoothly.

4. There was good audience interaction with a number of interesting questions being addressed to me.

5. I sold (and signed) a number of copies of “My Old Clock”.

6. People stayed on afterwards for a drink in the pub garden which was most convivial.

Cons:

1. I advertised the event on my blog and Facebook. In addition a number of bloggers, friends and acquaintences very kindly shared the launch on social media including Twitter, Facebook and reblogs on WordPress.

This was all very much appreciated and I would like to send a big thank you to everyone who took the time to share the event.

However, despite all the publicity (including the news releases sent out by the publisher to local poetry/literary groups), those attending where all known to me either as friends or acquaintences.

It was, of course wonderful to have the support of close friends, however having new faces at the event would have been the iceing on the cake.

WordPress provides an effective platform for building and cementing a following and I greatly appreciate every single person who takes the time to follow, like and comment on my poetry and other posts.

My blog has enabled me to reach out to people all over the world and form valued connections with those with whom I would never otherwise have become connected.

However the vast majority of my followers are not in the UK so (although many of them generously shared the event) they could not (for obvious reasons) attend.

Consequently while WordPress is a wonderful platform it possesses limitations as regards getting “bums on seats”.

Facebook didn’t yield any new faces at the event (despite it having been advertised on local Facebook groups), which appears to further underline the limits of social media as a means of drumming up support for events.

2. I scheduled the event at too early an hour (6:30).

Given the London rush hour and issues with transport, I decided to hold off until approximately 7:20, which meant that most people had then arrived.

In retrospect I should have specified a starting time of 7 pm (with the expectation that most people would arrive between 7 and 7:15) and I will certainly do so the next time I organise such an event.

3. While beer and books are a fantastic combination, beer on books is not!

On entering the pub I enjoyed a quick pint prior to the event starting.

I had hung my bag of books on a hook under the bar (they where in a padded envelope within a carrier bag).

I managed to spill some of my drink into the envelope but luckily (and much to my surprise) none of my Fosters got onto my books.

Next time I shall keep my books well away from alcohol or any other liquids!

4. Any profits made from the sale of books require to be balanced against money expended in the provision of refreshments.

However even where spending on refreshments comes close (or even eats into any profit made), one has to consider the benefits obtained from the publicity generated by the event.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the event was a success.

People enjoyed my reading, there ensued an interesting discussion following the reading and a number of books were signed and sold.

While it was wonderful to see so many old friends there, it would have further enhanced the event where new faces to have appeared alongside them.

As previously stated, I possess a loyal blog following and I’m grateful to all my followers for their ongoing support.

However given that most of my followers are located outside of the UK they can not (for obvious reasons) attend book launches and other similar events.

I will look into streaming events live the next time I launch a book enabling the event to be seen by as broad a range of people as possible.

(“My Old Clock I Wind” is published by Moyhill in paperback and ebook formats and can be found here, http://moyhill.com/clock/

Its my blog and I’ll swear if I like …

Licence to use obtained – Copyright nazlisart at 123RF

I recently read a post in which the author liberally employed the use of expletives/swear words. The article was on the subject of marketing and made a number of valid points. However the utilisation of foul language detracted from the points being made (to my mind at least) and had it not been for the employment of swear words I would have shared on Twitter.

I don’t consider myself to be a prude. There is a place in factual articles for the employment of expletives. For example a report of court proceedings will (quite properly) report that the defendant swore at a police officer and repeat the words used. I am frustrated when certain newspapers refuse to print expletives in full. Adult readers know what foul language is and are perfectly able to cope with reading it when it is necessary to their full understanding of a court case or other similar situation.

I also believe that the utilisation of swearing is justified in the context of literature. For instance a novel portraying the lives of gangsters would, in my opinion be wholly unrealistic where all the criminals in it to speak as though they where monks or nuns. In short what I am objecting to is the employment of 4 letter words for no good reason. To my mind the utilisation of such words merely to provoke a response conjures up an image of a person with a limited vocabulary (they use foul language due to their inability to find other words to express themselves). In many instances this may not be the case. None the less the liberal use of expletives gives that impression to me at least.

I am not in favour of banning things. Each blogger is entitled to write as he (or she) sees fit. It is, however a matter of regret to me that a minority of people seem to believe that it is somehow “cool” or “clever” to sprinkle their posts with bad language for the sake of doing so. I for one find it offensive. As always I would be interested in my readers views.

Kevin