SEPTEMBER 6, 2008 1:42PM

Mysteries of the Open Salon cover -- revealed!

Rate: 11 Flag

Rob has a very smart post, which sparked a thoughtful comments thread, over here. I was wary of even chiming in, considering how productive it has been without our input. I also don't want anyone to think there is a foolproof way to make it on the cover. But I thought I'd try to clarify a few issues that were raised by the post and in the comments:

1). If a story is on the cover, it should be an Editor's Pick. If not, it was oversight or error. When that happens, let us know.

2). All Editor's Picks won't make it on the cover. We just have limited real estate -- it's hard to get all the great content on there. We still hope that people will find that content through the Editor's Picks tab on the cover page.

3). Update times:  We're still sticking to the twice-a-weekday publishing schedule though, you may have noticed, we're mixing it up a lot more in between those two publishing times, hoping to get more content on there, especially during heavy news cycles.

Again, I'm wary of adding to Rob's list because, the truth is, there are great posts we all swoon over that are often unclassifiable. One of my first bosses, a brilliant editor, used to say he was only looking for interesting stories to run in the magazine -- maddeningly vague, completely subjective and totally true. The best content can sometimes never be predicted. That said, some general suggestions for writing not just for the cover, but for your own audience:

• Be a great filter. A number of posts have made it to the cover by alerting us to some great story (or video) somewhere else. Cam's piece alerting us to Obama's appearance on O'Reilly; Stellaa's post on the riveting videos of Sarah Palin before her congregation; a wealth of entertainment gossip that others have posted. We're looking for quality, but we're also looking to build a vibrant magazine cover -- interesting, breaking news or fresh information helps a lot. (Tagging it "breaking news" helps in these cases.)

• Back up your points with links to primary sources. We don't know if you're an expert or not, but we can tell if you're grounding your provocative posts in fact.

• Write for your audience. Internalize what their needs are, what questions they have, what will be interesting to them. Maybe you're trying to build an audience of, say, orthodontists, ornithologists or Japanese pop-culture junkies. Your posts may not make it on the Open cover that often -- or ever -- so don't write for us, write for the people you want reading you.

• Upload a photo in your profile account. It's hard to want to invest time with a post whose writer can't take the time to upload a simple author image.  

* Craft your headlines. Yes, we change them on the cover all the time (a lot of times, purely for space reasons). But in scanning through the Most Recent directory, a good headline (clever -- or even just very direct) can make a difference. Headlines, after all, are essentially ad copy. It's your hard sell.

Generally, on most days, there's just two of us reading through the day's offerings. It is, may I humbly say to you, a pretty great job. The quality is often remarkable. But it's a growing job, with 200 or more posts some days, a number that will only grow. We do rely on Ratings, we look at Most Read (which is getting a database upgrade -- but will return to the cover soon), we look at what's getting comments, we look at contributors who are consistently great. And still, we'll miss great stuff. But the cover isn't the ultimate metric. In the coming months, we hope to have traffic information easily available to all bloggers, so you can see just how many visits your posts get.  I can tell you that your blogs are also getting scanned by those pesky Google spiders, and you're getting traffic from the big search engines, too -- some of the most popular posts on Open haven't even made the OS cover but made big connections in the larger Web universe. More on how to optimize that later (unless one of you want to blog on how to use Google to build your audience? Alert me if you do).

Also: the share buttons in the top right-hand corner of most posts can really be valuable -- a story that gets a lot of bookmarks on Digg or Reddit will get an awful lot of eyeballs outside of our universe.

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Oh, another suggestion I forgot to post: Don't have pink hair.
Kerry, thanks for your insight on the criteria for the OS cover. At 200 posts a day and growing--that's a lot of reading and decision-making!
Kerry, I know that I've touched on this topic with you before, but the invisibility factor on OS is high even if you take the time to read and comment on many posts and add the bloggers whose work you enjoy as friends. I spend a lot of time digging and doing random searches, and I often find gems that have never been rated or commented on.

Solitude is sometimes a wonderful thing, However, here on OS solitude is not what we are seeking. I mean, how many of us write something just to blast it off into empty cyberspace like those satellites that have all kinds of memorabilia in their gut. Even if there IS sentient life out there, the chance of intelligent life finding that one tiny satellite in the entire vast universe is infinitesimally small.

I'm sure that your post is a response to the many posts I've seen recently about not getting on the cover or not getting noticed. But most of the advice that I have seen is technical and I think that part of the answer is social.

I really think that some more advanced social features could facilitate a way for OS members to get to know each other as well as better support the work that they admire. Even a simple way to comment on comments would help. Now, if you want to have any discussion with an author or another member with the current linear mode it is necessary to go off comment and then it's impossible to keep track of who is saying what to who! So - threads perhaps? Or perhaps someone has a better idea.

In the past few days I've stopped writing at all to post a few things that just help people to get to know my personally,(and because I needed a break from politics) but I don't know if anyone sees those posts either.

No one likes those hideous counters at the bottom of web pages , but perhaps an invisible tally could serve to inform authors if anyone is visiting. If someone finds me and is uninterested, that's ok! I think I can speak for others when I say we'd just like to know if anyone is out there.
Oh and ::comment editing pls:: sorry for the typos
Kerry,
Thanks for explaining the editorial process. Major Kudos! I love Open Salon. I've been fan of the regular Salon for a long time time and am thrilled that there's an open environment for sharing and posting.
Julie
"Oh, another suggestion I forgot to post: Don't have pink hair."

Ahem. Despite this assertion, our pink-haired friend is on the cover right now, under 'top-rated 24 hours.'

Where there's a will, there's a way. Troll on, Freaky.

(And Kerry, thanks to you and the other editors for your hard work and good job on the site. It really is appreciated, and I find the site very well designed, easy to use, and terribly addictive.)
Thanks Kerry, it's nice to you validate what had been some pretty good intuition of a few members. Rob's post has great points, I think the best, and what you've reiterated here: have fun, speak to your audience/write what you know, and enjoy the journey.

You do have a great job. And thanks, I'm not sure I know of anyone who isn't happy to be along for the ride.
I've found that posting only my best material, or simply taking more time with my posts, helps get the ed. pick more often. I miss the pick generally when I'm just posting something quick, or something that I hadn't realized was already posted, although I often do see sparse or even sloppy postings make the front or the ed. pick. As with all things subjective, it's going to seem arbitrary to many people, but such is life.

I'm just not so sure about using ratings as a means to find front-page or editor's pick posts. Not all of us actively "network" here, and I for one am uncomfortable buck trading or appealing to "friendship" for views and ratings. A lot of others are probably that way as well, and likely don't get the high ratings as a result, despite having done great work.

I never check the "highest rated" column. I sometimes look at what my friends have posted recently, but most often I just look at the activity feed and click on things that sound interesting, or that are written by people with whom I'm familiar.

I don't know - I just hope this place never becomes a jealousy-ridden hive for favoratism, frustration, and desperation to be heard. The smaller community was nice for its slowness and intimacy. Now it's not necessarily worse, just different.
Yes to what artsfish said--thank you.

I'm trying to figure out what's different between my experience here versus at salon, and there's something more connecting about being on salon. I think it's because there I find threads where my "friends" are. Maybe that's true here as well, and I've just not been here long enough? Also, I find that I'm spending more time here and less at salon, and I'm feeling bad about that and pondering why. This site feels more social and that one more intellectual maybe--but I still feel sort of alien here. Not asking anyone to solve this, just observing. And it worries me that salon will lose its readership as people move here from there. I'm wondering what your goals are about this. Surely you don't think people magically have twice the time as before just because you've opened up a new forum for them?

Also, you still didn't really mention timing. If you get 200 posts a day, when do they come in mostly? Is it better to post with the flood or during low tide? Or are you sleeping during low tide?

I like to know stuff up front; I've not been here long enough to have the right to complain, but as artsfish says, occasionally I've found something that's just terrific and really feels like it should be highlighted, especially as compared with some of the more gossipy front page stuff that occasionally makes it.
Not to be trite, but ditto stellaa.
I agree about wanting to get out of the isolation tank, but I do feel like the political climate on salon doesn't engender much controversy. Everyone seems to be on the same side of the fence, pretty much. It would be more interesting if we had a few Republicans around here.

Kind of along those lines, and regarding the original topic: I think it's easier for nonpolitical posts to make the cover. That's because there are so many political posts that you have to be really good to stand out. I'd guess at least 50% of the OS blog posts in the last week have been about Sarah Palin, but only 2 or 3 of them make the cover at a time, with another maybe 7-10 cover posts that are about different topics entirely.
Yes, the goal isn't to create a political site, but to have a reasonably broad appeal for smart-set readers.

As for the echo chamber concerns: We're not trying to advance any agenda here. We'd love to consistently showcase a broad array of smart thinking, from across the political spectrum.
Pontificatrix -

I think you're right about that. They simply can't have the front cover be all politics (Palin) all the time.

For my part, political commentary (and sometimes satire) is my bread and butter, so I'm just going to have to deal with the consequences of running with a bigger herd.

Agreed also on the sentiment that there should be more Republican or conservative views, although they would probably appear in such small numbers that they would get torn assunder from all sides. This would probably then result in only the trolls being willing to show themselves, and so the obnoxiousness factor would skyrocket.

Even still, it would make for more interesting engagements. Nothing like a truly adversarial argument to bring out one's A-game.
pontificatrix: I noticed immediately that there was a different tone here than at salon. While salon got really nasty and sophomoric on the politics front, the comments here sometimes feel like pandering. I'd like a happy medium. Too much agreement leads to some sloppy thinking. For example, I'd like to have challenged some of the tarot-card reading/metaphysical-type posts as being decidedly anti-intellectual, but I've found it hard to disagree b/c I don't want to be seen as disagreeable.

I find McGarrett50 to be a thoughtful conservative type.

PS: LOL, even as I post this I realize my last two comments have been touting unity over divisiveness and here I'm looking for some contention. Maybe I need your couch!
Lainey:
Well I don't mind being disagreeable (that sometimes gets me in trouble) but I don't find a lot of stuff on here to disagree with.

I suspect the tone of the site is pretty well set but I guess our best shot at trying to get some differences of opinion around here is for all of us to try to voice our thoughts (even and perhaps especially the dissident ones) but also to be civil and welcoming about it.

I have not read McGarrett50 but based on your rec I will check him out. Thanks. :)
As the number of OS posts has increased, I find myself spending a lot more time commenting than creating new posts. In my observation, something that might be a so-so post can be a great comment.

And there is a practical consideration as well for anyone who wants to build a readership here. If you comment on a very active post, you are virtually guaranteed an audience. If you write a new post, it's kind of a crap shoot whether anyone will notice it. I see a lot of the new people writing posts, and unfortunately many of those posts aren't read very much. If instead they began by commenting on active posts their material would definitely be read.

There are very few posts that are great in and of themselves. Typically what makes for a great post is not just the original post, but also the comments. Commenting is kind of like being in a bike race -- you might not be one who crosses the finish line first, but you can be someone who helps the victor to win. In other words, we should look at great posts as being team, not individual efforts.

This is why it would be great if we could rate comments as well as posts, and be able to see not only the top rated posts, but the top rated comments as well. I think that would help new members become noticed and start to build a readership. I believe it would also cut down on the number of new posts, and that the remaining posts would be of higher quality.
pontificatrix, I do agree with you on the balance issue. We need to snag us some of them thar republicans! Some that are interested in discourse, not mudslinging. Oooo, that might be difficult. What could be the right equivalent of OS that we might scout from.......?
I'll second McGarrett as a thoughtful and worthwhile person to talk with on the other side of the political fence.
mishima666;
I think I have to disagree with you regarding the commenting to readership ratio. I spend a huge amount of time commenting, not because I want someone to notice me, but because I feel I'm in an interactive dialogue and I have something to say. However, I haven't noticed any difference in the response to anything I've posted. Possibly that's because I post very little that has anything to do with politics, or possibly what is there is of little interest.

In any case, as I mentioned above, there is no way to know unless someone comments or thumbs.

And another thought occurred to me; What about people who read who aren't members? A post can be found on Google, but if a non member visits they can only read.
Yes! Mishima 666: I think you've crystallized what I formerly called pandering. I think what I really meant was triteness. But it seems necessary to get noticed! Here's what I mean: People (and I'm a people too--not excluding myself here) feel the need to add trite comments like "Great post, so and so" all over the place--NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT in and of itself, just that it feels burdensome after a while to feel the need to show your face everywhere just to get noticed. I'd way rather comment fewer times but in places where I feel I actually have something substantive to add.

Does this make sense to anyone? (Again, not knocking earnest praise, just the system that encourages trite commentary).
Red alert! Red alert! artsfish and I posted simultaneously with contrasting opinions! We have ourselves a disagreement, folks! Put it on the front page!
But now I'm going to ruin my perfectly good disagreement with artsfish by agreeing with her that I've wondered, too, if outsiders should be able to comment on blogs. (Not rate, bc some of us have the unfair advantage of big families, but maybe comment. I'm sure there would be unintended consequences. Just a thought).
artsfish writes: "I spend a huge amount of time commenting, not because I want someone to notice me, but because I feel I'm in an interactive dialogue and I have something to say."

Sure, and that's a perfectly good reason to comment. But I think a lot of people come here because they have something to share and want an audience. But a good post can take hours to write. At some point many people are going to do a cost-benefit analysis and conclude that spending that amount of time only to have the post slide through the activity queue in a few minutes just isn't worth it. When that happens everyone loses.

artsfish: "However, I haven't noticed any difference in the response to anything I've posted. Possibly that's because I post very little that has anything to do with politics, or possibly what is there is of little interest."

Hmmm . . . . I'll have to think about that. In fact I'll check out your blog and see what you have been up to.

Lainey writes: "I think you've crystallized what I formerly called pandering. I think what I really meant was triteness. But it seems necessary to get noticed! Here's what I mean: People (and I'm a people too--not excluding myself here) feel the need to add trite comments like "Great post, so and so" all over the place--NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT in and of itself, just that it feels burdensome after a while to feel the need to show your face everywhere just to get noticed."

I also offer the "great post" type of comment, not so that I get noticed, but so that the post gets noticed. I do this especially on posts that I like but that haven't gotten a lot of action. It's way of making the post visible to others in the activity queue. Of course, if the post already has a number of rating and comments, "great post" doesn't add to the discussion.
I'm a little bit reluctant to comment if I don't have anything to say; I'll just Rate if that's the case. But I'll make an exception if no one else has commented and I think that encouragement would be helpful, either because it's a newcomer or perhaps a longtimer who's doing something unusual. (Or if it's someone literally begging for feedback, which sometimes happens. :-)
mishima666: It's just as burdensome to do for others what I suggested many are doing for their own. That is, the system sort of encourages trite comments to get posts noticed. But I really don't have a solution, so I don't mean to go on about it. And I suppose it's more democratic to have participants in effect "rate" posts that way, although quality is then less controlled by the editors, and the whole system becomes vulnerable to popularity contest culture. And it's true (as pontificatrix said elsewhere) that trite comments don't get much attention, outside of showing up on the feed.

I'm just thinking out loud, btw. (I suppose one might call that trite, huh? Maybe I'll go outside and play with my family now!)
Great post. :-) and great comments all. pandering checkbox.

I am new here to posting, but I will offer a few, hopefully coherent observations from the vantage point of a newby:

I find the level of discourse very refreshing. I have seen too many sites that are thread-based dissolve so quickly into sniping. In the few times that I have seen name-calling or baiting, either the original author or another called out of bounds and re-focused the topic.

There is a lot of commentary here and in other postings about liberals, left, progressive, right-wing, etc. and polarizing viewpoints. I try to keep track of how each writer is using each term, but it makes me a little bit dizzy.

If I could offer a humble suggestion, perhaps somewhere in there lies the start of another meta-thread from someone who gets more readers than I have (yet - is that more pandering? sorry, I stay hopeful).

I have paid attention to politics for about 20-odd years and the definitions of these terms have gotten fuzzier and fuzzier. Context is important. To my family in the South, I am a crazy communist liberal feminist. Yet, I feel fairly moderate compared to a lot of people posting here, and ones I know in Washington DC, Austin, Boulder and omg-NYC.

2c. The endless campaigning and spin-wars do little to clarify the debate. What's up is down, what's down is up. Some here argue for position/issue based discussion, but the issues by definition are framed within the labels.
e.g., I have a number of friends who consider themselves fairly liberal (i.e., tolerant or libertarian, really) on social issues but abhor big government. They identify as Republicans.
Yet, are the Republicans still the party of small government?
I know others who don't give a hoot about the structure of government, lean moderate to right on social issues, but saw the Iraq War as the primary issue the last two times around.

So, in summary - Are conservative and liberal only applied to the social issues? Or are they the only ones that are still clear. Which voices is it you'd want to attract.

All would be lovely. But also clarification and discussion would enlighten.

Thanks, Kerry! all!
I want to offer my own trite agreement with what Stellaa just said.
Thanks for the clarification and insight Kerry.

"As for the echo chamber concerns: We're not trying to advance any agenda here. We'd love to consistently showcase a broad array of smart thinking, from across the political spectrum. "

This is very good to hear, because as Stella alluded to, I think it only helps us raise our game when we are challenged (constructively and respectfully hopefully), and consider other viewpoints.

I love the forum here, and don't get to spend nearly as much time reading and commenting as I would like. I use my blog here to pursue the topics that don't necessarily fit with my audience and intent in the other places I write, and find this audience really invigorating to continue to work through my craft, not to sound to high falutin, but there it is.

Thanks for this community, and the exposure/substantive feedback it allows us!
Totally second Stellaa's suggestion, and Mishima's for the ability to rate comments. (And love the bike racing analogy.) And to add one of my own- what about blogs for OS feature requests and How Tos that would stay permanently at the top level, so we could review/add to rather than regenerating the lists here, there and everywhere.

(And Kerry, you really know how to make a grown troll cry, I am not sure what Freaky will do when she reads your comment waaay up there. Of course, I can't wait to find out.)
Regardless of the limitations of OS to find and promote content that will please the writers and the readers equally, I know I was immediately drawn to it because it is a way to blog with an audience already built-in. You're not always going to get read by a lot of people but the chances of getting actual readers at ALL (compared to say, Blogger.com where, unless you have a firm grasp of how to use it or already connected to an audience, you're not likely to get ANY readers.

It may not be perfect, but it's still an amazing conception and is very user-friendly AND gives you a shot at gaining an audience without having to immerse yourself in metatagging and other web promotion methods.
newby question - what is the etiquette of cross-tagging? with Facebook? Digg? Is it encouraged/discouraged? of either my own posts or someone else's that I find particularly noteworthy.

I can see wanting to attract a larger audience but it would also seem to attract lots of troll-like behavior.
No one's answered this yet, Lisa, but my impression is. . . encouraged. And here we see one of the interesting tradeoffs that Open Salon has to make. Should non-members be allowed to rate and comment? That would expand the community, but it would also make trolling much easier. Hard to predict the results.
I resent the idea that a simple response of "Great post" or a similar one-liner would be seen as pandering. There are many reasons to leave a quick line and the least reason (for me anyway) is to get myself noticed. Sometimes a rating just isn't enough, and all the relevant comments have been made, and I want the author to know that I like their stuff; I totally agree with their opinions; or I thank them for putting something wise, or personal, or just plain interesting out there. Are there many authors here who don't appreciate knowing that one more person took the time to read and respond positively to their efforts? Dammit, I don't want to feel self-conscious if I want to compliment the author but don't have the time or desire to post an intellectual discourse on the matter.

Maybe I'll add the second line: Note - I only have one out-dated blog posted so do not feel obligated to check me out.
I have a really busy life and sometimes I make a brief comment like, "Great post" because I really mean it and I want to quickly let the writer know that I appreciate, truly appreciate what they've written.

Since discovering Open Salon, I will say that I am not a "social networker" kind of person because of the full and rich life that I have. But I have been taken by the people here and the quality of the writing and the people themselves, and the almost complete absence of malice and snarking that is unfortunately common in many social networking sites.

Since the short time I've joined (August 12th), I've had the good pleasure of meeting in person 5 On Salon bloggers: Joan Walsh, her daughter Nora, Dave Cullen, Lonnie, and JD. This has been unexpected and delightful fantastic. I've made other online friends as well and hope to meet them some day.

I write on a variety of subjects and humor is something I usually inject into everything I write about, as well as my therapy practice. I
find that humor is a potent stress reliever, tension easer and practical. Laughing out loud on a daily basis can add 8 years to your life!

I have no expectations. I've had some of my posts end up as an Editor pick and some land on the cover, much to my unexpected delight.
My 2 cents - OS seems to be a great site for people who post daily, and even better, multiple times daily. I suspect it's a numbers game, the more you write, the more you are read. My main job is not at a computer, and I'm not a professional writer, so any comments I do get are gold. Having said that, getting on the cover twice so far was thrilling and I got kind of hooked. But, reality set in - I can't spare the time for writing. Hence, readership tapers off.

Also, I'd really like to have page views. At least I'd know that someone visited, even if they didn't rate or comment.

Finally, I'd really like the option to headline (and subhead) my post myself for the cover. No offense Kerry, but you've missed the mark on what I was trying to convey on both of my cover posts. I've noticed other folks' complaints on that subject too.

I wouldn't mind having a deck (subhead) and the option for call-outs in the body of the post itself as well - may as well ask!
I kind of like it that the editors re-headline cover posts. My own headlines are pretty boring and straightforward - I don't write them with an eye to making good cover copy. The editors jazzed them up a bit for covers. They also picked out quotes that made my stuff seem cooler than it was, doubtless enhancing the click-through rate. I appreciated the buff 'n fluff.
Hmm, pontificatrix, you have a point. I should say I would like to do it because I used to be an editor and wrote all the heads and decks and I enjoyed it. My main point was, Kerry or whoever is writing them, has miscast some stories with their headlines. And, probably, I did that when I was editor also.
A couple of suggestions. First, perhaps there is an easy way to tag posts as political vs. non-political. I notice that my political posts get much more notice than my non-political ones, which is to be expected at a political site, I guess. Nonetheless, I like non political posts and seek them out. Maybe there could be a separate tab for non-political posts. This might help the hidden diamonds to shine.

Also, I hope you can make it clearer/easier for members to promote posts they really like. You are telling us here something worth remembering -- that posting a comment makes the post more visible to the system. Tell us what else we can do to bring the light to the good work we uncover.

What if there were some kind of a starred rating system that let users rank posts? This might help visitors find some of the less traveled roads. It also allows better resolution than the simple "thumbs up" designation we have now.

I think the key to promoting the best posts is to allow readers (rather than writers) to make recommendations. I know this would be a software challenge, but Amazon has that very nice feature in which readers get a message saying "People who looked at this item also looked at these items" or "People who rated this item highly also rated this highly."

I know such a system is very difficult to implement. But if members can recommend posts to other members, as in "if you liked this you'd also love this" that would help. There is, of course the risk of abuse, but simply establishing the rule that a reader can't recommend his own work would help control this.
I'm taking everything said here to heart. Thanks Kerry-poo.
This would probably then result in only the trolls being willing to show themselves, and so the obnoxiousness factor would skyrocket.

Even still, it would make for more interesting engagements. Nothing like a truly adversarial argument to bring out one's A-game.


U R A Chode, Chode.
Hi there, and Happy New Year! I'm resurrecting this rather old post in order to try to call the editorial staff's attention to the following exchange between Mick Arran and myself about possible ways to change the Cover so as to make it easier for like-minded OS bloggers to find each other despite OS's phenomenal growth. Please take a look at our suggestions, here. Thanks!
Agree with most everything here - (Stellaa and Chris for two), amazingly even with the people who disagree with each other (artsfish and Mishima). Thanks Kerry, for this great site and for the work you guys are doing to keep it so. I wish for one, that we could post stuff and then say something like "comments to me privately please" because I find myself getting into comment threads that can, seriously take an hour to untangle myself from - commenting, being referred to another post, reading THAT post and THOSE comments, finding someone I like and going over to THAT one, and then seeing one of their friends with a great title and going to THAT one... sometimes I literally get lost and it takes me a while to find my way back to the original post! On the other hand (here I am disagreeing with myself), I do love the comments which is getting to be one of the reasons why I post so seldomly. I'm too busy reading posts, making comments and reading others comments, like, say, now. Maybe it's just my own lack of discipline.
This is fascinating. I joined Open Salon because I am primarily a poet, a literary fiction writer and a ranter! I am not at all a journalist so it would unlikely that I would make the cover with a "breaking story.." I seem to attract a lot of comments because I am sharing my own personal experiences in a humanistic way, and I hope my writing is compelling enough to classify it as creative non-fiction, however, according to what you look for, it probably will not make it to the editor's pick. I had no idea who or what my audience would be until I started posting--I was really working blind, and as I said, I am SO NOT a journalist! However I have found through the comments I receive that my work has touched some people so I guess I'll keep going, and I really enjoy the outlet and opportunity to share work with such a smart, perceptive and discerning audience. I post poetry and have no idea whether people like it or read it or not, but I am treating my blog as a work in progress, as a kind of writing experiment and as a learning curve. I am an optimist so I think that if one puts energy out into the world it will find its mark.
I love this field of endeavor and I absolutely love the intelligent posts of other writers that I enjoy reading every day.
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