Day 72 : Blog Paws Conference Preview


BlogPaws was founded in 2009 by three pet lovers and bloggers – Caroline Golon of and Yvonne DiVita and Tom Collins of Scratchings and Sniffings and Windsor Media Enterprises.

The conferences are a great way for pet bloggers to connect with other pet bloggers  They gather to share expertise, tell stories and support one another. The sessions offer educational training and insight from industry experts in all sorts of topics such as SEO, Branding, Publishing, Video, Email Marketing, Photography, Writing, Blog Platforms, and a lot more.

This year I finally get to attend!

There are just a few days before the BlogPaws 2013 Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference and I want to share with you what’s on my agenda for those 3 days and a few other thoughts from discussions, today,  with fellow members of the Blog Paws Community Conference Newbies Group.

On day one there will be a Be the Change presentation on animal rescue at Sandy Hook and a Bloggers vs Vets discussion on how the 2 sides can work together and network.

There will be an evening welcome reception as well.

On day 2 the opening keynote speech is by Steve Dale then I plan to attend these presentations:

1. Facebook: Building fans to your page.

2. WordPress for beginners and converts.

3. Purina will be hosting a pair of presentations and I chose to attend the 2nd one:

A. The Link Between Diet and Domestication: 10,000 Years of Dietary Influences on the Canine Genome presented by Arleigh Reynolds.

B. Pet Welfare in America presented by Brenda Bax and David Meyer (of Adopt A Pet).

4. Using social media to be an effective advocate,

KIRIL-21 On day 3 the opening keynote speech is by Clara Shih, author The Facebook Era.

The presentations I want to attend are:

1. Foundations of reporting for pet bloggers.

2. How to write and print on demand your book in 90 days.

3. Taking Twitter beyond a Tweet.

4.  Standing out in the popular niche of pet blogging.

The evening will be centered on events connected with the BlogPaws 2013 Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards and the “Pawty” afterwards.

Sidebar Badge1

There will be an exhibition hall, and plenty of free swag,

I am looking forward to meeting many of my fellow pet blogging friends and also meeting my friend, the creative idea gal, Amanda Socci.

It was announced today that BlogPaws Sold Out and there would be Livestreaming (Details about the livestreaming included).

I went onto the Blog Paws Community website for the first time since before my eye surgeries to catch-up and hopefully learn a few things to help this newbie survive the experience.

The hotel will have free internet for conference attendees, and many attendees will be bringing their laptops and even using them to take notes during presentations.

Me? I’ll bring my laptop, but will be using good old fashioned notepads and pen for note taking.

While the evening events will require business casual, or fancier, attire, many people will be wearing casual during the day, including t-shirts with their pets on them.

I will be bringing mine and will see about wearing it. It would definitely help people familiar with Nikita and Elvira to pick me out of the crowd.

I will be bringing all my Opinionated Pussycat business cards (around 200) and expect to be exchanging cards with many people.

I expect to learn a lot, make some useful connections and who knows what else. Most important I expect to have fun, loosen up, and relax among friends, people who understand me and my love of this particular niche of the blogosphere.

The Blogs of Kiril Kundurazieff:

1. Mad Macedonian

2. The Opinionated Pussycat

3. SMFCB: A 365 Day Project


Day 70: Making Category Titles Appealing on WordPress

As readers of this blog may have noticed the titles of my various Category Archives tended toward the looonnng side.

Having decided to see if I could shorten some of them I first went to my Typepad blogs because, there, when I changed the name of a category I could leave the original url untouched.

Having blogged for 5 years on one blog, and 3 on another changing the url on the categories would be a major hassle so I left them alone.

By running your cursor over titles, to see the url, you can see the differences on the ones I changed:

Musings of a Mad Macedonian

The Opinionated Pussycat

The first thing I noticed about WordPress was that the url changed to match the new name of the one category I tested by changing.

Wanting to learn if that was my only option I posted a question in the support forums and quickly got my answer:

ME: Can Category url remain unchanged when category name is changed?

I made a change to the name of a category. The url changed as well.

I want to change the names on other categories, reducing the name to 1 to 3 words on each.   Let’s say I want to change the name on the “Pinterest” category from what it is now to just “Pinterest”. I do NOT want the current url for that category to change if at all possible.

ANSWER from a fellow member, named timethief, who has a 5 yr. old WordPress Tips, Tools & Tutorials blog:

Category slugs (url’s) cannot be edited; they can only be deleted and re-created.

ME:  I see. That’s different than my blogs on a competitor who shall remain nameless. 😀   Of course, with only 70 blog posts it would be easy for me to change a link in any post where I might have directed people to the category so they don’t go to a blank page.   Thanks!

TIMETHIEF: You’re Welcome.

My next step was to change the names of as many of my categories as I could.

Let this be a lesson to you: Think short right off the bat and you won’t have to do what I did today.

The Blogs of Kiril Kundurazieff:

1. Musings of a Mad Macedonian

2. The Opinionated Pussycat

3. SMFCB: A 365 Day Project

Day 49: Typepad vs WordPress – My Experience 1

I first began using Typepad on 2004 and it was a major step up for me from what Blogger and MovableType were in those days. It was also comfortable to use. Complex, and complicated, in many respects, but I wasn’t interested in much of the more technical things involving CSS and HTML that I had no knowledge of back then.

Before I committed to using WordPress for this project I’d posted a few times on WP blogs, and left comments as well, and the blog editor didn’t present a problem for my simple posts.

I don’t have anything more to say on this topic until after I return from my surgeries, except to say that I am learning to be comfortable using WP’s blog editor, and still have a lot to learn and understand about the site, especially the relationship between the writer and those who follow, like, re-blog and comment on the blog.

Day 42: Hark! What Klout Throughout Yonder Internet Do You Have?

So, there you are, a humble cat, bat, or rat blogger, with years of writing behind you, 100 visitors a day mostly via Google searches, the occasional comment, a few friends on Facebook and Twitter, still trying to figure out Google Plus, and fascinating enough to spambots that 3000 of them a day stop by your blog to say hello.

And now, here’s this website encouraging you to see how much influence you have on your fellow users of the internet, through your use of a select group of social media sites; It takes you more than an hour to stop rolling on the floor with laughter, get back in your chair, and check out the website to see what it is all about.

Klout began in 2008 with the notion that we all have influence “the ability to drive action”. The purpose of the site is to show even you and me that we can influence the world and its future”.

Using Klout is supposed to empower you, the user, to unlock your influence and understand the power of your unique and powerful voice on others.

Back in November a friend tweeted that she had given me a “+K” on Klout. She had suggested I check it out, but I didn’t. The other day another friend did the same and, because my view on using social media tools had changed and I thought that learning to use the ones I was on, and learning about new ones would help me in my writing and platform building pursuits, I decided to join.

I will have more to say once my initial Klout Score and other info is calculated and shows up on my member page tomorrow.

When I finished signing up my initial score was 45, but I was assurred that would change as the system worked it’s magic evaluating all sorts of info from the social media sites I use that they track.

That could be good news or herald the coming of the apocalypse, so stay tuned.

Day 17: Social Media Fears – A Popular Discussion Topic Online – Pt. 1


Considering all the things I’ve learned to do the past year, in the realm of social media, one might ask…”Dude, what were you afraid of all these years?”

The short answer, I guess, is a combination of concern over not understanding a social media tool and being overwhelmed in the learning and using, time-wise.

The funny thing is… when I choose to “boldly go where” I’ve never gone before, like with performing at open mics, giving presentations in front of large audiences, attending film debuts and charity events I’ve been invited to, or learning to use various social media tools and sites, I find things easier than I thought.

Ever since I first went online, in 1998, my relationship with social media, not to mention familiar tools found on my computer has been a mixed.

I have learned to do so much in 14 years yet there were times where I tried to learn a new program, or join a writer’s community, but soon gave up, or discontinued membership, due to lack of understanding, lack of interaction from others, and/or a perceived lack of time to learn, or participate on my part.

Some programs, like various messenger apps, I stopped using because they were time wasters and spam attracters. I once contemplated podcasting, even bought the things needed to start, but nothing ever came of it for fear of not being able to learn, and not having the time or funds to keep it up once started.

Joining Facebook, then Twitter, as well as Yelp, and learning to make simple YouTube videos and a PowerPoint presentation, not to mention use Adobe PSE, have given me more confidence that I can learn to do things. Since last spring I’ve gotten more active in social media online, including starting a writer’s page on Facebook, a group on Facebook, using Pinterest, Google Plus, and now WordPress, as I have begun to look at my writing and blogging less from the point of view of a hobbyist and more as someone who is a writer in a more professional way. Looking at redesigning my blogs, building a platform to promote myself, and considering chapbooks and E-books as ways of publishing some of the best of my decade of blogging, and even new material, are all things I’ve overcome old fears and concerns, to do and consider doing.

In thinking about the question of social media fears I did a Google search, this evening, and found that the subject is quite popular, not just with ordinary bloggers, but businesses as well. That last makes sense because I can remember how, 3 years ago, when I began my cat blog, an effort to reach out to shelters and rescues, and other organizations, locally and nationally, by sending out over 80 flyers about the blog, by snail mail, met with utter silence.

You would think that, after 6 years of there being a pet blogging community that the national groups, especially, would be aware of the community, and at least be considering making connections, but no, at least not with me. That HAS changed in my case, since then, leading to several interesting, fun, and educational, interactions, even my being a runner-up in a Purina Cat Chow Pet Correspondent contest.

I have been going into pet stores and attending pet fairs and asking management, employees and others, if they were aware of pet bloggers and learning that many don’t know anything about blogs, period.

The success of the Blog Paws Social Media Conference (I’m going this year at last!), since its inception, in 2010, has begun to educate and inform, and connect, bloggers to each other, and to the industry, so there is real hope that a dent is being made in the ignorance and fear of using social media, found in the business world.

I found 3 interesting articles, going back as far as 2009, and an interesting take on the subject of social media fear on the newest “big thing” out there, Pinterest, and plan to discuss them tomorrow.

Day 18: Social Media Fears – A Popular Discussion Topic Online – Pt. 2

Day 16: Getting a Grip on Google Plus

Until recently I hadn’t tried to do much with my Google Plus account. I’ve long been a Gmail user, but I had to talk myself into giving this new thing a whirl. Seeing fellow pet bloggers, and writer acquaintances join I decided to as well.

The about page was simple enough to fill out, and adding profile and page header photos was easy as well.

It took me a while to figure out other things, though.

I learned that having circles is a fine way to organize all those G+ users you know and follow into easily identifiable categories that you name yourself. You can share your status updates just with circle members or with the general public as well, thus making it easier for other G+ users to find and follow you.

Click on find people in the more menu and you can search for others in G+ you may know.

I found this very easy to do. You can search for people in your Gmail, co-workers at past or current jobs, and old classmates at all the schools you attended as long as they list these businesses and schools in the profile.

You can +1 the things around the web you like, agree with, or want to recommend to others. That is, if there is a little G+ button on the site or page. Your friends and contacts may search on Google, and they could see your +1 of something they are searching for.

If you are familiar with Yelp and like sharing reviews of places with the world on that site, then being able to do the same, via Google + and finding your review turning up in a Google Search where a place has been rated and all the reviews of it, including yours, are listed for others to read, will appeal to you.

■ Anyone who views your profile on Google+ can see the review.

■ Anyone who searches for places, if they’ve added you to their Google+ circles can see the review.

■ Anyone who views places you’ve reviewed can see the review.

This evening I posted variations of two reviews I did on Yelp using G+.

I’ve shared photos, but not videos, and I’ve not yet tried Google chat. Hangout requires a plugin, for this video chat tool, and I attended my first one, recently, but didn’t get much out of it because I may not have downloaded the plugin. I am not sure if the plugin is a one-time download or must be done each time it is used.

Google + can seem intimidating, at first, and though I’ve managed to learn to do more with it that I thought possible, there is probably still more to learn.

Day 12: Facebook and I – Reasonably Good Friends Since 2008

Just why did I join Facebook in 2008?

Facebook says its mission is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

I wanted to connect with friends in blogging, and make new connections. I wanted to share my writing with a wider audience, hoping to attract more readers to my blogs. I wanted to share other interests, my photography, and interesting happenings in my everyday life.

I wanted to find other sources of the daily news of the day and enjoy humorous postings, thoughtful sayings, and more.

I didn’t give a crap about games, or Farmville, and other such nonsense. It didn’t take too long before I realized that games and apps of all sorts were time wasters. One could just as easily get glued to their computer screen on Facebook, as they could get glued to the TV set all day long.

I found adding photos a fun and easy thing to do. Commenting and replying in my statuses and those of others when entries of interest appeared was fun and often informative. Learning of events I might want to attend where I lived was useful, and wishing friends a “Bappy Hirthday” made their days.

In 2010 I made my first attempt at a Facebook Page related to my blogs, but had no clue how best to use it so retired it. I even gave my cat, Nikita, his own account but eventually gave up on it as a time waster.

During all this time I saw how others were using their own pages to promote business, blogs and writing careers. In the past year I began to consider the idea of opening a new Facebook Page devoted to me as a writer, one element of turning my various social media accounts into platforms to help promote my creativity.

This year I have not only taken the plunge and made a page, but even opened a group on Facebook.

Where all this will lead me I am on a journey to find out.