Saturday, December 30, 2006

Derek Jones - Our Featured BLOG VILLAGER

Janey Loree: "Who is Derek Jones? Tell us more about Art by Derek Jones!"

DEREK JONES: "I am a professional artist living in the Scottish Borders - though I am English and have only been here for about 22 years so I am still an incomer(!) My main interest is figure drawing and painting using local amateur models. I show my figure work as far apart as Edinburgh and London and in the past in Amsterdam. I live near a working harbour and if not working with models I enjoy doing paintings of boats etc .... the colour and mess of a working harbour appeals to me - probably reminds me of my studio.

I am fascinated by techniques and at the moment am exploring the use of combining a pastel underpainting with acrylic to finish off. I am a traditional printmaker using etching, aquatint and mezzotint whereas with my figure work I am more experimental combining a mix of pastel, charcoal, collage, type, acrylic etc etc."

Janey Loree: "What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?"

DEREK JONES: "I started blogging because I am a bit of a hermit and it seemed a good way to communicate (though I don't use many words in mine!) and blogs seemed more dynamic than traditional websites."

Janey Loree: "When do you do your blog reading?"

DEREK JONES: "I have no set routine - I usually dip into various lists of blogs to see what turns up - but my interest is usually in blogs by visual artists of one kind or another."

Janey Loree: "Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?"

DEREK JONES: "I noticed the Blog Village link on several blogs I had looked at and took it from there."

Janey Loree: "Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?"

DEREK JONES: "I use the blog to keep folks in touch with my current work - if a gallery or individual shows some interest I ask them to have a look at the blog - I belong to some online gallery websites (such as this one which DOES INCLUDE NUDES so if that might offend don't look!) but the blog shows what is going on now."

Janey Loree: "How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain?"

DEREK JONES: "I have only one blog - There are lots of blogs of artists showing a new painting everyday and that interested me but I do try to show a new image as they are finished - sometimes daily sometimes every few days."

Janey Loree: Derek Jones may be well known as a figure painter, however his commissioned "Boat" pieces are my favorites. With the six pieces that he shares with us, starting with "small it is !" and working through to his latest "high and dry", Derek has captured the ambience of these little boats located in the local harbours in the Scottish Borders of Great Britain! I invite you to watch Derek's blog for the next painting in a "series of faces" that he will be showing in 2007.

As fellow BLOG VILLAGER red dirt girl has already stated, "…..your work is beautiful! hazy, re-living a dream......"

Art by Derek Jones is well worth the visit!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 249 Villager blogs.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Blog Village - A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere

Not long ago, Kilroy60 decided to celebrate the anniversary of his blog's first year on the Internet by having a Commentathon. His goal was to reach 365 comments within a month's time, and he actually came close, with at least 311 comments.

Many of those commentors were fellow Blog Villagers. This may have a little to do with his latest post, or maybe nothing at all. Who knows with Kilroy?!?!? Anyway, I encourage you to follow the link in the title and read and comment on some of the Villagers whom the big Kilroy has chosen for his Hitchhiker's Guide.

Thanks, Kilroy60, for giving these fine blogs a featured position on your blog. Let's pay back his kindness, folks, by visiting his Guide, choosing a Villager or two, and commenting on their blogs! Kilroy is not going to be upset with you if you leave him a comment, either!!!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 246 Villager blogs.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Get to Know the GateKeeper - Our Featured Villager

Janey Loree: "Who is The Gatekeeper? Tell us more about Pieces of Me!"

The Gatekeeper: "The Gatekeeper is a fictional character in my unpublished novel: Paragon: Swords of the Watchers. He is the keeper of the holy scrolls - recording the history of all the worlds in the universes of the Almighty One.

Thus (that's how the Gatekeeper speaks) I kept the name Gatekeeper for my blog. After all it's the pieces of my life he is recording. He also handles most of the posts at my church's blog, The Gate. How appropriate, don't you think?

Of course, when I'm not the Gatekeeper, I am known as Debby-a-stay-at-home single mom who's trying to write for a living. Christian fantasy is a hard sell but gaining popularity and I won't give up. In the meantime I'm just writing articles here and there. One story published in a local newspaper, one in the online magazine Dragons, Knights and Angels, and a devotion in The Upper Room, coming out in May, 2007.

By the way, I was born in Hollandia on the very big island known as New Guinea, just above Australia. I am the daughter of two wonderful people who survived a POW camp in WWII. There are many stories to write, and I've been interviewing my parents for a while now.

When I was two years old we were evacuated by the Americans and taken to The Netherlands - something about a war between the Dutch and Indonesians over ownership of New Guinea. If I did my research I would actually know who won that war. It wasn't my family. Time moved on and by the time I was eight I was relocated a third time. Queensland, Australia was our next stop. I almost made it through high school there but Dad was offered a pastoral position in a little church in Southern Cal. So off to the USA we flew. And here I am . . . still . . . thirty years later."

Janey Loree: "What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?"

The Gatekeeper: "Blogging for me seemed an easy and creative way to keep in touch with family, since we are pretty much all over the planet - Indonesia, Holland, Australia, Washington, Northern Cal, Southern Cal etc. So I built it, but nobody came. My brother left a comment once. Then I thought of journaling my daily life which seemed interesting enough to me. After all, I'm a stay-at-home-single mom (now there's a story of grace) with a daughter attending Biola University and a 14-year-old son (who I home-school) making a living in Hollywood."

Janey Loree: "When do you do your blog reading?"

The Gatekeeper: "My son is on the computer for most of the day so I read blogs in the evening. Sometimes I get carried away and read some good posts till two in the morning. There are some great writers out there with interesting lives."

Janey Loree: "Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?"

The Gatekeeper: "You know, to be honest, I don't really remember how I heard about Blog Village. It must have been while surfing other blogs and probably clicked on someone's banner. Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it."

Janey Loree: "Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?"

The Gatekeeper: "My blog is very personal. Sometimes I write about my kids, sometimes I write about writing. I like to do book reviews, Christian movie reviews and translate Bible stories the way the Gatekeeper would tell it . . . maybe . . . if he was funny. However, I've had to revert to writing ads so I could make a few extra dollars to pay the rent - we're trying not to spend the money my son is making."

Janey Loree: "How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain?"

The Gatekeeper: "I try to post every day to keep the content fresh and hopefully interesting. The ads seem to fit in with the rest of the posts. Usually it's hard to spot when I'm posting an advertisement, but sometimes it's kind of obvious. Sometimes it's just hard to miss. Nonetheless, I've promised to keep the integrity of the blog which was meant to be a positive influence on the web.

One of my writing buddies from my writer's critique group helps me out once in a while. She likes to write devotions and also records the minutes of our meetings. She gets very creative. My main blog is Pieces of Me , but I am also the "Keeper" of my church's blog, The Gate. If you visit us there don't let anyone know my real identity. Just kidding, of course."

Janey Loree: "Which BLOG VILLAGER would you recommend for the next interview?"

The Gatekeeper: "How about we hear from the Canadian missionary in Holland, Just Your Average Revolutionary, - sounds too interesting to pass up. I never thought of Holland needing missionaries. What was I thinking?"

Janey Loree: Stop by to see how The Gatekeeper organizes the chaotic and unorganized events in her life. The Gatekeeper has a unique way of writing that, if you don't watch out, will draw you into each post! Read The Gatekeeper's book and movie reviews, share what you think about her posts, and remember to vote for her in BLOG VILLAGE. Encourage her to share her parents enduring story, and catch The Gatekeeper's view on age old Bible stories.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 239 Villager blogs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

RED DIRT GIRL - Our Featured Villager

Janey Loree: Who is Red Dirt Girl? Tell us more about you and Red Dirt Poetry!

RDG: Well, the name "Red Dirt Girl" comes from a song title of the same by Emmylou Harris. It's a story about two best friends growing up in the red dirt hills of Alabama. I grew up in the red dirt hills of Georgia about 45 minutes from the Alabama state line.......I fell in love with the song and the name the first time I heard it. I've been calling myself "Red Dirt Girl" ever since.

I'm a 42 year old soccer mom of 3 and step-mom to 1, who probably should spend more time doing the laundry than blogging! Red Dirt Poetry is an off-shoot of my original blog, Red Dirt Girl. My initial intent was to do a 'fantasy' blog of high heel shoes that I'd love to own and wear intermixed with 'noteworthy words' such as quotes, my poetry etc. In putting that blog together, I realized I had written enough poems in the last 8 months that I could give them their "own space." So, Red Dirt Poetry was born!

Janey Loree: What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?

RDG: My first introduction to blogging came from a former boss of mine. I worked for a non-profit ministry part-time. One of the ways he kept in touch with missionaries from around the world was through blogs and blogging. He was the one who showed me how to set a blog up. At first I had thoughts such as: who would want to read my ramblings? what is the purpose of doing this? will it be too time consuming? But I went ahead and started a blog. I found that the blog became a creative outlet for me and actually encouraged me to sit down and write each day or so. What I love about Red Dirt Poetry is creatively combining artwork with the poems. I hunt the internet looking for just the 'right' image to convey some aspect of the poem written.

Janey Loree: When do you do your blog reading?

RDG: I have no 'set' time that I sit down to read. However, generally, I blog in the early mornings (with my morning cup of 'joe') right after the kids have been sent off to school. If I am around, I will read and/or post during the early afternoon until the kids are home. After that I have no time for blogging - my family and its activities take priority. I don't blog in the evenings nor on weekends!

Janey Loree: Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?

RDG: I saw the Blog Village banner on a couple of blogs that I had visited. I got curious one day and clicked on it. That's how I found Blog Village. I liked the concept a lot. It feels more like a community of friends here rather than a bunch of anonymous bloggers trying to get links.

Janey Loree: Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?

RDG: My blogs are definitely personal. I blogged, originally, because it gave my creativity an outlet and was a place to 'store' all my personal thoughts and feelings. As my blogs evolved and changed, I have to say that blogging is now also about having fun. I enjoy 'meeting' new people from all over the world through them. So, now, blogging is as much about making friends and maintaining a community as it is about being creative for me.

My poetry blog has introduced me to a number of other poets, writers and artists in the 'blogosphere.' Their work has definitely enriched mine, expanded my horizons and continues to inspire me each day. My poetry is becoming better and better as a result. Having a blog dedicated solely to poetry also helps to 'keep me on track.' I am forced to sit down and work with a poem or two each day, or at least jot notes down for future work. Part of the 'business' of writing is just sitting down and actually 'doing it.' Blogging helps to create the 'structure' and 'discipline' I need to write.

Janey Loree: How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain?

RDG: Currently, I am maintaining two blogs: Red Dirt Girl, and Red Dirt Poetry. I had two other blogs before these that were much more along the lines of personal essays, thoughts, feelings, and faith based discussions. However, because of their personal nature, my husband felt our lives were a little too exposed to an 'unknown' audience. So, I shut them down and started up these two blogs.

On Red Dirt Girl, I post 5 times a week. I never post on weekends. Three of those days are fantasy shoesdays, where I post a pair of shoes. The other two days I reserve for a quote that has grabbed my attention recently - sometimes related to shoes, most times not. It's a quirky, eclectic blog and meant to be pure fun. In part, it's very funny because I am quite tall and do not wear high heel shoes!!

On Red Dirt Poetry, I post a new poem 2 to 3 times per week and occasionally a critical essay or quote on poetry from an outside source. During the week of Thanksgiving, for instance, I ran a week long series of my favorite poems from other poets. This blog is definitely more personal and intimate. I work with subject matter from my own experiences and life, including the fact that I have bipolar disorder. All of this becomes 'material' for poems. I select art that I love for one reason or another to help illustrate my thoughts and ideas. You really would have to spend some time at this blog to get a 'sense' of who I am and what I am about.

Currently, I am on a holiday 'hiatus' from blogging and will not begin posting new material again until January. So stop by Red Dirt Poetry when you have an extra minute or two and look through the site. I hope there will be a poem or two there that will 'speak' to you and your experiences of life!

Janey Loree: Which BLOG VILLAGER would you recommend for the next interview?

I would be very interested in reading about Derek Jones and His Art . I find his work to be dreamy, evocative - quite lovely. I've had contact with him regarding using some of his images to illustrate my poetry. And he has been quite kind and receptive to the idea. ~ Red Dirt Girl

For an e-clectic wandering through free verse, lyrical imagery and fantasy shoesday, Red Dirt Girl’s blogs not only include her poetry, but poems from her favorite authors, including a special poem written by her 11 year old daughter, a.k.a. “Mini Dirt Girl”. Stop by encourage our fellow VILLAGER, who posts “non-posts” while she is supposed to be on a sabbatical until January! – Janey Loree

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 235 Villager blogs.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Meet Our Featured Villager - BILL of NEW ENGLAND PHOTOS

Janey Loree, who has several blogs on BLOG VILLAGE, including Paper Doll Cut Outs and Mustang 'n' Cowboys, volunteered to interview her fellow Villagers for me, and I jumped at the chance to have her do it. So here's her first interview.

Good Morning Bill and Wendy,

In an effort to let the VILLAGE Community know more about you and why you blog, please answer the following questions:

1. Who is New England Photos? Tell us more about you!

2. What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?

3. When do you do your blog reading?

4. Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?

5. Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?

6. How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain? (add a plug for your website here!)

7. Bonus Question: Which BLOG VILLAGER would you recommend for the next interview?

Thank you for taking some of your precious time to let the BLOG VILLAGE Community know more about NEW ENGLAND PHOTOS!!!

Bill wrote:

“Who am I? I am a fifty year old New Englander from Granville, MA. My hobby before photography was restoring 18th century homes. Over the last 20 years or so we restored six homes, mostly in Litchfield County Connecticut.

A few years ago I had an internet provider that offered a free website; I thought “Why not start a blog”, so I put down some of my thoughts on the site. I decided that really was not me, so I decided to join Blogger and create a photo blog. I decided to show photos of New England, some historical, some scenic, some bizarre, some just real life, hopefully all interesting. The area is beautiful and I like to show it off.

I always have my camera at the ready; it travels with me everywhere I go. The few times I have been without it, I have been sorry due to missing some great photos; like that time a moose was just standing twenty feet from the road. I snap photos everywhere I go and then research most of them. I amaze myself with the amount of history that is all around New England, things that I have never even heard of.

I really like to hear from people that have moved away from New England and come to my blog to visit back home again. One woman who is in the Peace Corp. in Bulgaria wrote me that she liked visiting my site for just that reason. What I really would like is to hear from someone who used my photos and description in a class assignment or a teacher sending their students to the blog to see what the first Law School in America looked like, or something like that.
is my only blog and it keeps me busy. I post every day; in fact, I have over 1000 photos posted on my blog right now. Keeping this blog also keeps me visiting places all over New England and is making me more observant; I notice a lot more of my surroundings.

I get up early in the morning and surf through blogs while eating breakfast, I do my posting in the early evening so I don’t miss a day. I often think about putting my blog in a different format since I notice that people search for things on my blog and don’t seem to stay long enough to even find what they are looking for. I will have to work on that.

One day I got an e-mail from Rosemary inviting me to join Blog Village and here I am.

So stop in and stay awhile and see what my New England is like.

Bill Owens

New England Photos

Janey Loree adds:

Just as the name implies, New England Photos, is a photo blog filled with pictures and researched facts that give an excellent insight into New England History. Joining BLOG VILLAGE in early September of this year, New England Photos is currently in the Top 20.

With comments such as “I love your photos, and enjoy the time spent at your blog.” from Marion, and “Great collection! I've only visited New England once; I feel like Cape Cod became part of my soul.” from Kilroy … don’t you feel a tug to check out this photo blog?

Don’t forget to leave Bill a comment that you stopped by his blog. Remember to vote for New England Photo and rate the site back in BLOG VILLAGE. I just found out who invented basketball! ~ Janey Loree

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 233 Villager blogs.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Call for BLOG VILLAGE "Comment Pals"

Our own Villager, Tomas, of Captain's Bridge, has started a new blog, Modus Vivendi, about the Art Therapy Club he volunteers with at a mental institution in Lithuania. He and I have been emailing back and forth, trying to come up with some ideas about how BLOG VILLAGE might be able to help these people. We decided that they would enjoy having some "Comment Pals." They don't read English, and Tomas has the only access to a computer, so if we will all make a habit of visiting his Modus Vivendi blog and saying hi to the people in the photos, Tomas will translate for them, and I'm sure it will lift their spirits. Judging from the art work that can be seen, some of them are quite talented, and would appreciate the encouragement of some outside opinions.

Modus Vivendi will be joining BLOG VILLAGE soon, so you won't have too much trouble finding it. Please take this project to heart and show the community spirit that I know we have.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 230 Villager blogs.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

She's Not Tooting Her Horn, So I Will!

Our very own Villager, Sheila, of Alabama Kitchen Sink, has been asked to write a blog for the city of Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in the website. This is a big deal to me, as an Alabamian, because I use the site as a resource for all kinds of local information. I even find out where the Birmingham Estate Sales are going to be each Friday from that site!

She's just gotten started, but if you'd like to see what she's written so far, here's the link to River City Views.

I just happened to see this piece of news by accident, while surfing through BLOG VILLAGE. Do you know of any other Villagers who have won awards or been recognized in some way? We'd love to let everyone else in our Community know all about it, so by all means email me, and I'll get a post up about it as soon as possible!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 225 Villager blogs.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Our First Stick-to-it-tiveness Award Goes To

Well, have you ever had trouble getting your blog to look the way you wanted it to? If you can honestly say NO, you'd have to be in the minority, I suspect.

As the admin for our TopList, I've been able to help several Villagers, from time to time, get their BLOG VILLAGE voting link banner on their blog, so that it worked properly and looked the way they wanted it to look. Most of the time, that's an easy task, but every once in awhile, someone has a bunch of trouble with their template. It's as if the template is possessed.

One of our Villagers has been plagued by such a template lately, but she's been a real trouper and hasn't let that wayward template beat her.

I'd like to honor Merry Mama, author of the Six Kids blog, with a Stick-to-it-iveness Award for her persistance in working on her code until she finally did get the BLOG VILLAGE voting banner to show, at least in IE.

Why not stop by her blog and see what she has to say and give her a virtual pat on the back, OK? And now that her voting link is working, you might want to vote for her, too. I'm sure she would appreciate it.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 226 Villager blogs.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Verification, Moderation, Hurdles to Comments??? A Personal RANT

I've noticed that an increasing number of Bloggers in general are using the verification process to weed out comment bots. And I've also seen quite a few blogs that I frequent who've gone to moderated comments. These measures to prevent spamming and offensive comments kill the spontaneous flow of the conversation between the blogger and the reader, IMVHO. I, too, have used verification on my own blogs from time to time, when I seemed to be the target for these bots, but I try to take the verification back off just as soon as the spam storm seems to have passed.

I say all that to say that personally, I very much dislike to comment on someone's blog, only to find that I have to fill in a long string of letters. Usually, I've taken so long to compose my comment, that I end up having to fill out two sets of letters, because the first set has expired. There are even a few sites I've seen that make me do the verification thingy, and then they moderate the comment, too!!

I've been on dialup for the last week, and it's really made me appreciate just how cumbersome this whole verification process is. If you choose to Preview your comment, then you have to put in another string of letters in order to Submit your comment. Not to mention you have to wait while the slow dialup loads all this stuff.

Well, can you tell I'm just a wee bit peeved? Yes, I know the bots are out there. Yes, I know they can be a real pain. All I'm saying is, some of you have gone overboard and turned the prospect of commenting on your blogs into a real pain, too. I hope I've given you something to think about, anyway.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 226 Villager blogs.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Featured BLOG VILLAGER Janey Loree

I've already posted about two of Janey Loree's blogs on our TopList, but this busy lady not only sells online, but she has two more blogs on BLOG VILLAGE that she'd like to share with you.


The most important people in my life are my two sons, Travis and Tony, better know as TnT. It was not until after a car accident while moving to the west coast, back surgery a year later, and a move to the San Joaquin Valley, that my guys finally had a chance to own their very own horses.

TnT dreamed of horses all their lives and as a single mom, I didn’t have the means to help their dream come true. Every time we drove by a field with horses in it, we had to stop! My blog, Mustang ‘n’ Cowboys, is a way to journal the experiences that chronicle their dream come true with wild mustangs adopted from the Bureau of Land Management. They work for the Federal Government as Correction Officers at the prison located here in Taft, CA and appreciate the quiet time with their horses.

Interesting Note: I started this blog while TnT were on a pack trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. On phone silence from day one, (the cell phone was hidden in the emergency kit somewhere deep in a pannier box on one of the mares), I started this blog on the most trying day of their pack trip…


Because I am nostalgic at heart, I started this blog to have a place to note the things in life that touch my heart. It is my goal to touch your heart while sharing my thoughts on music, poems, T.V. shows, and blog articles that I come across. My heart felt notes will be sad at times, reflective in nature, but with an attempt at lifting your spirits.

After starting this blog, I have found myself looking for the good things in life, instead of dwelling on the bad. The artwork in our banner and on our website is drawn by my mother, Phyllis Mae Richardson Fisher.

I'm sure Janey Loree would appreciate you stopping by her blogs and chatting with her.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 217 Villager blogs.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Just a Little about Me, Your BLOG VILLAGE Admin

I thought you might like to know a little bit about me, Dirty Butter, or really Rosemary, the person who started BLOG VILLAGE. I've been into computers since way back in the early 80's. My very first computer was an Apple II+, which I still have. I learned how to program BASIC back then. Later, because our school district went with PC's, I bought my first Windows computer, and I've been using that operating system ever since.

My DH and I started selling online as a way to dispose of all the neat things we found when we emptied out his Dad's house, after we moved him in with us. He was a real packrat, and had saved lots of old things that turned out to have value to collectors. Then we started selling things we had in our own house, including toys our grandchildren had outgrown. That got us interested in selling plush animals.

About a year and a half ago I looked at my first blog, and I'll have to say it was not a pleasant experience. It just so happens that first blog was full of profanity and the pictures were child porn, as far as I was concerned. It's a wonder I ever looked at another one. But I had read some articles suggesting that blogs were a good way to promote an online business, so I decided to educate myself in this new medium. At first all I did was join some traffic exchanges and surf a lot, reading what appealed to me, and ignoring what didn't.

Finally, I took the plunge, and started the two blogs that are connected to our business, Yesterday's Memories and Plush Memories. Both have evolved somewhat from what I originally envisioned them as being about, but I guess that happens to a lot of blogs over time.

As I became more and more comfortable in the blogging community, I also became more and more disgusted by the large number of blogs that bombarded me with skin I did not want to see and words I did not want pushed at me, whether I wanted to read them or not. That's when the idea for BLOG VILLAGE began to form in my mind. I put those thoughts into action, with the kind encouragement of one of the monitors of Blog Advance, in May, and you know the rest of the story.

My other blog, Day by Day with Parkinson's and Peripheral Neuropathy started out as a private blog to play around with the new beta blogger and chronicle my life, as the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me. But then I decided to make it public, so I might possibly make contact with some other people who were experiencing some of the same things I was. I've continued to make it a very personal journal, and a few friends do stop by from time to time to give me encouragement, which is greatly appreciated. I realize this is not a blog that is interesting to anyone but me, but it is very helpful and therapeutic to me, so I continue to post almost daily.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 211 Villager blogs.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Our Featured BLOG VILLAGER - Janey Loree

Our Featured BLOG VILLAGER for this week is Janey Loree, a very creative lady who stays very busy with an online business and several blogs. We'll take a look at two of her blogs this week.


PJ’s Paper Doll Cut Outs is the “blogvoice” for the paper dolls created in PJ’s Corner. Rachel, a paper doll created from our children’s book “Twiglet” the Little Christmas Tree will be our “spokespaperdoll”! She has presented some of the paper doll memories that are already posted and will inform you when there are new memories. This is the place to share your paper doll memories with all our young readers.

When I was a little girl, my mother made my paper dolls. I can remember watching her create gowns with minute detail. The one that comes to mind was drawn on yellow lined paper, but my little girl eyes only saw a dress of long flowing black material that sparkled of sequins and lace…so of course the artwork in our banner and on our website is drawn by my mother, Phyllis Mae Richardson Fisher.


This is an advertising blog for a children’s storybook written by my family. “Twiglet” the Little Christmas Tree is a story of discoveries, miracles, and friendships as experienced by twins Rueben and Rachel Oliver. The images of Rueben and Rachel have been in my mother’s memory from the time she was a little girl. As an artist she was able to set those images down on paper as these cute little twins became paper dolls as well.

“Twiglet” the Little Christmas Tree is available through our website with a link from our blog. The book is comb bound so that it will lay flat and the story and pictures can be enjoyed without fighting turning pages! Along with 49 full page pictures, the book is filled with “art sparks” to enhance your child or grandchild’s reading experience. The illustrations and art sparks in the book, the artwork in our banner and on our website are drawn by my mother, Phyllis Mae Richardson Fisher.
Please take the time to stop by Janey Loree's blogs.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 206 Villager blogs.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Featured BLOG VILLAGER - Sheila

We have so many wonderful bloggers among our BLOG VILLAGERS, that I thought it would be fun to get to know a little more about each other.

Our Feature Blogger for this post is Sheila at Alabama Kitchen Sink.
I started my blog at the end of July and have been posting most days about life, politics, education, food, culture, design, religion and race. If those topics don’t fit the name of my blog, the (Alabama)Kitchen Sink, I don’t know what does. The original intention was to do a little self-promotion for my CafePress shops. Little did I realize how much I like to get on my soapbox. I rarely post about the CafePress shops, but regular readers will see examples of my designs from time to time, and I really do appreciate all who take the time to look.

I’ve met a wonderful assortment of people via the blog. Just last week a young man from Michigan wrote me to find out more about Montgomery neighborhoods, and he said, “I know you’ll be honest.” When our local school board wanted to fire the superintendent, I had people from all over the country reading about the struggle. And just this morning at a school meeting, an incoming board member congratulated me for my coverage of the issue. She’d figured out who I was. China, Norway, Great Britain. Wherever the Internet reaches, I’ve had visitors.

I’ve probably been more honest than is wise at times, but after facing what I’ve faced (you’ll have to visit the blog to see what that was), I really see no point
in not being passionate. I have causes and don’t mind spouting off about them. I’m always learning from my fellow bloggers.

And yet sometimes I wonder a bit who's reading. Those in the U.S. might have seen a new Sonic Drive-in commercial on television. The wise wife and her not-so-smart husband are talking about the delicious new strawberry milkshakes. Not-so-smart husband says to wise wife, “I think I’ll write about this in my blog. My readers would want to know.” Wise wife asks,“Who? Your mother?” He replies, “Well, she said she told her neighbor about my blog.”
Please take the time to stop by Sheila's blog at Alabama Kitchen Sink.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 201 Villager blogs.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We Now Have 200 Members!

It took us five months to do it, but we now have our 200th member, with 198 of those having the voting link on their blog. I feel like celebrating!

I hope our Villagers are enjoying the interesting mix of bloggers that have joined our little community. I've tried not to block any type of blog from participation, as long as it met our original requirements. If you know of a blog that you'd like to see join us, feel free to invite them. I'll be glad to check them out. I do go back through the Archives pretty carefully on any blog that applies, and there have been a few otherwise good blogs that have been denied because of old posts. As for our current bloggers, I can't possibly read every post by every Villager, so if you find something offensive, please email me.

Today is the day that the list resets to zero, so don't be surprised when all the visit counts are gone tonight. That gives everyone an even chance at being on that all important front page for the next month. Why is the front page so important, you ask? When anyone votes for any blog, that is the page they are taken to, so those are the blogs they are more likely to click on, if they want to look at some more BLOG VILLAGE blogs.

It has been suggested that there be a way to search for a particular blog on the TopList, and I have passed that suggestion along to the toplist software owners. In the meantime, I would suggest that each of you try to make a habit of clicking on several Villager's blogs as often as you possibly can. Find several you can become a regular reader and poster on, and vote for them often. There are way too many of our Villagers who are only getting votes from me, and that must be very discouraging.

I would like to use this BLOG VILLAGE NEWS blog to feature our Villager's blogs over the coming months. If you are interested, please email me a writeup about yourself and your blog that I can use in a post. I'll use it as the basis of a post and give your blog some exposure.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 200 Villager blogs.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Do you PING??

Is page rank (PR) important to you? Is search engine optimization (SEO) a goal of yours?

Then you need to let the major blog services and search engines know that your blog has been updated. You should be pinging a large number of these services each time you post something new on each of your blogs, and also each time you reply to a comment.

There are quite a few pinging services, but these are the ones that I have found most reliable and easy to use:

King Ping



Maybe you have some other pinging services you would like to recommend?

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 190 Villager blogs.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Do YOU Respond to Comments??

You DO respond, don't you?? So many bloggers don't seem to, and it looks to me like they're missing half the fun, and value, of blogging.

I've noticed several different ways that bloggers use to positively respond to people who comment on their blogs.
Some bloggers email the person, thanking them for commenting and continue the discussion started on the blog.

Some bloggers respond to each comment with a comment on the blog, possibly continuing the discussion there.

Some bloggers use one comment to respond to several comments on the blog, sometimes continuing the discussion there, but not as often as the individual response does.

Some bloggers follow the commenter back to their own blog and thank them for the visit from there, maybe encouraging them to come again soon, and often commenting on their blog posts, too.
I'd be interested in knowing how YOU handle comments. Maybe you do something I haven't thought of. If so, please share with us! Which way do you think works best for you? Which way are you least likely to try?

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 184 Villager blogs.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Are You Playing Games with Your Readers?

What are your goals as a blogger?
Are you interested in getting a lot of readers? Are you hoping for a lot of comments? Are you looking for people to click on your ads? Do you have a product you want to sell? Are you hoping to meet people in a similar situation as you? Do you have a cause you want to promote?
Regardless of your motivation for starting a public blog, you probably need for people to come to your blog in large numbers to accomplish your goals.

My suggestion to you is to stop making your readers play Hide 'n Seek to help you.

If you want repeat visitors, follow them to their blogs and comment there, too. Respond to every comment, if possible. Make it a conversation.

If you want votes, or ads to be clicked, or products to be sold, etc., then make that clear to your readership.

Design your template so that it is attractive, easy to navigate, and it's easy to find all the important links.
Some Villagers have the BLOG VILLAGE voting link hidden behind a drop down list. Others have the lower case text link buried in a long list of miscellaneous links. Even if a reader wants to help you out, they will probably give up looking!
Want visitors to return regularly? Then you need to post regularly. People will get tired of coming back to a blog, if they keep finding the same old post at the top, time after time.

Having a blog with a large readership does not come without hard work and time. Take a look at the blogs at the top of the BLOG VILLAGE TopList. See what they are doing that you can use on your blog. Put the effort into it, and stop making your readers play guessing games and hide and seek games with you.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What Happened to All My VOTES?????

Some of our Villagers may be new to TopLists, and if they are, they may be wondering what happened to all their votes last night!!!

The answer is ... last night was the time for the monthly re-rank, which sets everybody back to zero.

Down at the very bottom of the TopList page there are some times listed. They show when the next Refresh will be (when new votes will show up) and when the next Re-Rank will be (when it zeroes out to give new members a chance at being higher ranked). It is set to re-rank once a month right now.

When I first started BLOG VILLAGE, it re-ranked every week, but now that the list is somewhat stable, once a month seemed more appropriate.

TopLists that get a lot of voting activity, such as Blog Advance Top Blogs, often re-rank daily. I would love for us to be able to do that, but that requires members to

1. Place the voting banner prominently.

2. Become more involved in promoting BLOG VILLAGE on each of their blogs.

3. Ask for votes, and vote for themselves consistently every day.

If you don't care enough to vote for your own blog, why should anyone else go to the trouble to vote for you??

Ask yourself:

Do they know they are supposed to vote?

Can they find the voting link easily?

Promoting BLOG VILLAGE helps each blogger in the long run, because it builds a community of loyal readers and commenters, who return frequently.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Search Engine Optimization, Page Rank, & BLOG VILLAGE

One of the advantages that you can derive from joining a TopList, such as BLOG VILLAGE, is the likelihood of adding some really good links to your blog. Our TopList has a community feel to it, and the Villagers are willing to help each other out.

If you see a blog or two on BV that's similar in some way to your own blog topic, don't hesitate to ask them to swap links with you. It will help both of you, as such links are one of the things that Google and other Search Engines look for in determining Page Rank. It's generally NOT a good idea to swap links with sites that are totally unrelated to your own site, however.

And why, you're saying, should I care about Page Rank? If you are strictly blogging for the fun of it, maybe you shouldn't care, but if your blog is in any way related to your business interests, or you are trying to use the blog to earn Adsense dollars, the Page Rank is very important. The higher your PR, the more likely your blog will be to get hits from Search Engine searches. If they can't find you, they won't read you. If they don't read you, you won't earn any money!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I've Been PLAYING - Can't You Tell??

We're up to 145 members as of today! The rate of new members being added has begun to slow down, as one might expect, considering how fast we have grown, so I decided to play with the look of the BLOG VILLAGE TopList site itself, now that I had some time.

Hopefully, I haven't made any decorative changes that bother any of you, and please let me know if I've done anything to make it harder to navigate or use easily. If you have any suggestions for how to improve the look or functionality of BLOG VILLAGE, by all means express your ideas. That's what this blog is for, anyway, right?

Pssssst Don't forget to vote for yourself each day ... If you don't think enough of your own blog to vote for yourself, why should anyone else spend their time voting for you??

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Burned Yellow Musical Pony

I'm going to break from my usual posting habit to tell you about a lady who has been searching desperately for a replacement for a stuffed yellow musical pony that was burned up in a house fire in 1997. It was all I could do to keep from crying, just thinking about how much this toy must mean to her to keep looking for it so desperately for so many years.

I'm hoping to spread the word about her search as far across the Internet as I possibly can, so would you please read her story on our Plush Memories blog? If you can add any information about the toy, that would be great! Otherwise, would you please post something on your blog, similar to this, linking back to her request?

(If you use tags, would you please use this tag?)

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hooray for All Our BLOG VILLAGERS!

Our TopList will be 2 months old in another week, and we have about 125 members!

No matter what you're interested in, you're likely to find bloggers among our community who are interested in the same things, and post on it regularly.

Artists, Musicians, Scrappers, Dieters, SAHM's, Dads, Gardeners


Football Fans, Poets, Authors, Personal Journalists, Political Commentators

Members of Different Religious Faiths, Proponents of Healthy Lifestyles

Photographers, Pet Lovers, Computer Techs, Politicians, Humorists

Movie, TV, Book, and Comic Book Reviewers

Fashion and Body Image Consultants, Decorating and Organization Experts

Americans Living Abroad, Futurists, Homeschoolers, Unschoolers, Gamers

Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Toy Specialists, Medical Experts, and


Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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PS: BLOG VILLAGE has now changed to a 30 day voting time limit, so your votes will accumulate for a longer time. Vote for your favorite blogger each day, by clicking on the BLOG VILLAGE link or banner on their blog, and then clicking on the vote button at the top of the gray page. Thank YOU!!

Monday, July 10, 2006


Our One Hundredth BLOG VILLAGER joined today, and we started our TopList less than two months ago!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Does Profanity Bother You???

Our position on sexually explicit pictures is pretty easy to understand. But there still seems to be some confusion about the position the BLOG VILLAGE TopList takes on Profanity.

For instance, this comment was made on a forum recently:
I guess I'm just not understanding why the profanity can't be in post titles, but can be in posts.
This was my answer:

The idea is to have blogs that can be on the monitor with the children in the room, without being concerned about what they are seeing. It's not meant to censor what an adult is reading. Each member of the Village can decide for themselves if they want to read those blogs that have profanity within the posts or not.

I hope that helps a little.

We continue to grow. As of this writing, we have 97 active blogs! We're looking forward to many more bloggers joining us.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sweet Land of Liberty

I'm thankful that I live in a country where we have Freedom of Speech, where we are free to say what we want to and show the pictures we choose to on our blogs, as long as they do not break the law.

I uphold the right that any blogger has to use profanity in any way they see fit in their blog.

I uphold my right to not have to read those blogs that use profanity and sexually provocative pictures in a way that is not comfortable for me personally.

God Bless America!!!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Family Friendly Does NOT Mean It's for Children!!

Our BLOG VILLAGE TopList is having a birthday! Our baby is one month old!!

At this moment, there are 61 blogs on Active Status, showing on the TopList. We have 7 more members who, for one reason or another, are on Inactive Status at this time. That's a lot of members for such a short period of time, I think. I'm so very pleased that there are that many bloggers who are of similar mind with my feelings about opening a blog and having objectionable material thrown at you.

There do still seem to be some folks who are unsure as to exactly what kind of blogs are eligible to join BLOG VILLAGE. There really are only two things I look at when I check out a site. Is it in English? That's easy to tell.

The other criteria is not always as easy to decide on. I look at the home page to see if any of the titles or post titles have profanity or sexual words in them. I also look at all the pictures on that opening page, to see if anything would be considered to have sexual connotations or be pornographic. If everything still looks OK, I check back through the Archives and randomly view several more pages, looking for the same things. Do I read every post, looking for "dirty words"? NO! Do I agree with the content or position of every blog on our TopList? NO!!! We're adults. If you find a blog that makes you uncomfortable, or a topic you find objectionable, don't read it again.

Many of the blogs on our TopList are mommy blogs, as you might expect, but not all. Some are quite controversial, some espouse different religions, or no religion, some are rather difficult scientific blogs, there are photo blogs, and there are a few political ones that get rather heated at times. And yes, there are objectional words within the blog posts of some of our Villager's blogs.

The difference in our TopList and others is that all the sites are safe for anyone to casually view the monitor. Our Villagers use no profanity in titles or banners, and there are no pictures with sexual connotations. If the boss doesn't mind you surfing the net on your break, you don't have to be as concerned about what he might see on your monitor, if you're surfing BLOG VILLAGE blogs.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

You DON'T have to HIDE the SCREEN!

The kids are running through the house, and you're blogging in the Great Room.

Your mother is curious about blogs and you want to show her some.

You have company, and you're checking your email and a few other sites. While you're online, you decide to surf a little on a traffic exchange to earn a few credits, so your blog will be seen today.

What are the odds that your children are going to pass by while some nude or sexually provocative picture is splashed across the screen??
What is MOM going to think about all those choice words in those blog titles and post titles???
Will your friends be offended by the heterosexual and homosexual nudes, plus the profanity all over the blogosphere???

In some houses, these scenarios would never happen, or no one would care.

In other homes, they would be offended or traumatized.


Bookmark this TopList, and you will have a variety of blogs to enjoy, all chosen to contain no pornographic images or titles containing profanity.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006


Happy Father's Day to all you Pops, Dads, Daddys, Dads, Pere's, Papas, Cupojoes, and Papa Mouses out there today in Cyberland. May you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

How to Create a 468x60 Banner

If you do very much on the Internet at all, you're going to need a 468x60 banner for your blog or website. Many of you already have one, but some of you don't, or you don't have that size. So I thought I'd share some places on the net that will help you make a free banner, with some quick samples.

(Click on the banner to go the site to make your own banner.)

3D Text Maker

3D Text Maker

This one seems to work with IE, but not with FF.

I'll add some more sites as I find them, and you can find your own by searching for +create +banner +free. I hope this helps you.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

VOTING on a TopList

There are lots of different platforms for running TopLists. Some of them are free, such as the one BLOG VILLAGE runs on (which explains the ads across the top), and others the administrator pays for. Some require considerable programming knowledge, and others do not (the BV one requires no programming skills, thank goodness :)).

With that in mind, an explanation of how I have things set up on BLOG VILLAGE is probably needed.

For right now, at least, while we're still growing so fast, I have the voting set to return to ZERO every Wednesday evening about 4:00PM Central Daylight Time.

Your RANK on BV is determined by the number of INCOMING HITS you have during the voting time period. Incoming hits are how many visitors your blog has sent to our TopList, using your link code.

You will also see statistics for OUTGOING HITS on the TopList. Outgoing hits are how many visitors looked at your site, after they came to the list from clicking someone else's voting link. This is traffic directly generated for you by our TopList. Some of those hits will be from me, checking to see if you have the BLOG VILLAGE voting link displayed on your blog. And from time to time, I go through and vote for everybody on the list, too! Gotta help out my buddies!!

I have the list set to show 20 sites on each page, so only the top 20 sites have their banners showing. This is the page that will get most of the Outgoing Hits, so it makes sense to position your BV voting link on your blog in a prominent position, and ASK for VOTES!

There's bound to be something I didn't think to write about, so by all means, ask away, and I'll do my best to answer you.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How to Get Full Benefit from a TopList

Belonging to a TopList is not a magic trick for getting readers for your blog or website. There are certain things you have to do to make the list work for you.

One of the first things you have to do is decide on the best placement for the TopList's Voting Banner or Icon. (Most TopLists do have a text voting link option, but it is nowhere near as effective as a graphic link, IMVHO.)

It's a good idea to ask for votes, as readers don't know that's what the Banner is for, unless you tell them. Just a simple "Vote for me on " next to the Banner will usually do it. It also helps to place the Banner near the top of your home page, rather than bury it in some obscure spot.

Why, you ask, is positioning for maximum votes so important?

As our BLOG VILLAGE gets more members, for instance, only the top 20 will have banners showing on the first page. When someone votes for one of these top sites, they will see banners, or titles and descriptions, of 19 other sites. Don't you want them to be attracted to YOUR site? That's not as likely to happen if you're on the second page.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

You Are Invited to Join BLOG VILLAGE - Our Brand New Family Friendly Blog TopList


One of the ways we have found to promote our blogs and increase traffic and readers has been through joining TopLists, where readers vote for our blogs daily to help move our banners up to the top of the list of sites.

The problem for us with these TopLists has always been that most of the blogs that get most of the votes are sites that feature a lot of skin, or use profanity or crudity in their blog titles. We tried to find a TopList we felt comfortable joining and couldn't find one, so we made one ourselves!

That's how BLOG VILLAGE was born.

Our goal is to have a full mix of all kinds of blogs - political, personal, business, hobby, all religions, all viewpoints, you name it.

Here's the only Rule:
There will be no blog titles or post titles containing profanity, or pictures of a sexual or suggestive nature.
This should make any blog on BLOG VILLAGE family friendly, so that you would not have to be concerned about anything that would pop up on the screen when clicking on any blog from our TopList.

We know there are many blogs that would qualify for our TopList, and we'd like to invite you to join us, and make our list THE place to go to find a family friendly place to surf for quality blogs. Please wait until you have been blogging for more than one month, with at least 10 posts or so, before applying.

We have added some policies about being an ACTIVE Villager, and maintaining your membership in BLOG VILLAGE. Before you apply, please read this post. If this sounds like the community you can support, then by all means, apply!

Apply HERE
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