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Table Manners! February 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Poetry.
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As students cleared the halls
And their shuffling feet grew still
Principal Berlin cleared his throat
And placed the mic up on the sill

Students, we need to talk about your table manners
And why we needed to remove the cafeteria sports banners.
While we’re pleased you’ve stopped painting graffiti on bathroom walls
And that you’ve been well behaved, as you move about the halls

In the cafeteria, we seem to have, a bit of a messy impasse
The ketchup you’ve decorated with causes the other decor to clash
We know the walls are rather drab and that the food’s not great
But your daily chocolate pudding fights, we can no longer tolerate

So, if you don’t enjoy your meal, please throw it in the trash
Or we’ll have no choice, but to break this nutritional impasse
By handing out paint and brushes, instead of ziti and meatballs
And you’ll spend your lunch breaks . . . re-painting cafeteria walls.

Principal Berlin paused a moment
To let his comments sink in
As students laughed and hollered,
“Food fight!  Let the games begin!”

 * * * * *

Submitted in response to Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ MANNERS

What Blogs Do You Read & Why? February 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Writing & Writers.
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First, an easy question:

How many blogs do you follow on a regular basis, by subscription or otherwise? 

Ten, Twenty, Fifty, More?

And now a slightly tougher question:

Why, out of the millions of blogs circulating in the blogosphere, do you read those specific blogs?

By no means an exhaustive list, here are a few possibilities to consider:

1.  Friendship ~ You know the bloggers (or feel you do after exchanging cyber comments for a time).  You want to support the writing and blogging efforts of cyber friends.  You enjoy the blogger’s personality and want to get to know them better.  Their posts seem honest, sincere, and from the heart, offering a down to earth perspective to regular readers as well as first time visitors.

2.  Subject Matter ~ You respect and admire the blogger’s view of the world.  They teach and educate, reinforce what you know, entertain you, make you laugh, or help you see the world from a different perspective.  You find the subject matter of their posts riveting, fascinating, helpful, or supportive.

3.  Writing Style ~ Reading the words of these witty and talented writers adds to the quality of your day.  Their eloquence brings you to tears or makes you laugh out loud.  Their writing shows true genius and you want to be able to say you knew them when.

4.  Giving Back ~ You want to reciprocate for the time they’ve spent reading and commenting on your posts. You enjoy exchanging comments on a variety of topics.  You remember being the new kid on the blog, and want to support blogs still looking for an active  readership base.   You want to share what you’ve learned, contribute to the discussion, reinforce the message they are sharing, or offer a slightly different view of the world for consideration.

5.  Exposure (to Gain Readers) ~ You’ve noticed that commenting on  other blogs increases traffic to your blog.  You’re looking for a larger audience and want to encourage new readers to swing by your posts.

6.  To Grow as a Writer ~ Reading well-written blogs helps you improve your writing skills.  Reading less than stellar posts helps you improve your editing skills.  Seeing varied styles increases your confidence and reminds you that your own posts are “good enough.”

7.  To Gain Blogging Skills ~ You’re reading and commenting on lots of blogs to improve your cyber-confidence so you can begin blogging with a vengeance.  You enjoy seeing how other bloggers format posts, share photographs, respond to comments, develop rapport with readers, and handle constructive (and unconstructive) criticism with tact and diplomacy.

8.  Procrastination ~ You’ve been writing, writing, madly writing, and need to distance yourself from your work in progress.  Reading blogs gives you a break from Tweeting, Twittering, Stumbling, and Texting.  Playing video  games from dusk to dawn no longer appeals.  Two words:  Writer’s Block.

9.  Addiction, Obsession, Compulsion ~ You’re lost in a maze of words, posts and blogs, and can’t find the exit sign.  You’re addicted to surfing the blogosphere and keep promising yourself, “Just one more.”  Reading about the self-created dramas in other bloggers’ lives makes your life look pretty darn good.  You are afraid that you’ll miss something important if you don’t keep reading.

10. Entertainment & Comparison ~ It’s F-U-N  exploring amazing blogs  circulating in cyber-space.   Seeing how others cope with challenges and adversity keeps you going for one more day.

11.  Compensation ~ You’re a literary agent or publisher searching for undiscovered novelists because there’s so much self-publishing going on that queries have stopped flowing into your in-box.  Narcissistic bloggers are paying you to read and comment on their blogs to increase blog traffic.  You’re a paid consultant hired to evaluate blogs and share your professional blogging secrets.  You’re writing a book on blogging pitfalls and pinnacles.

12.  Curiosity ~ The blogger’s self-proclaimed expertise  seems at variance with his or her typo-riddled posts and comments; you  suspect they may be delusional, deranged, or both.  The blog has been nominated for the Sexiest Blog Award and you want to see whether it really is “too sexy for its site.”

13.  Other? 

My reasons for reading specific blogs vary from blog to blog.  On some, it’s the quality of the writing.  On others, the subject matter aligns with my interests.  On still others, it’s the personality of the blogger that keeps me coming back for more.

My favorite blogs?  A combination of the three ~ quality writing, varied and insight-filled posts, and more than a dash of personality and pizzazz!

How about you?  What are your primary reasons for reading the blogs you do?

No rules.  Just write!

Quote:  There is only one trait that marks the writer.  He is always watching.  It’s a kind of trick of the mind and he is born with it. ~ Morley Callahan

Related posts:  Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time? * 40 Bloggers to Watch in 2011Blogging: Making First Impressions (My Literary Quest) * The 2011 Sexiest Blog AwardDown The Blog Hole * I Can Name That Theme in 3 Notes *  Great Blogging Tips (WP Daily Post) * Dear John Blogger Letter (Col’s Blog) *  WP Daily Prompt ~ Why Did You Start To Blog?