Saturday Night Ramble

So it’s fifteen minutes until I have to go Zoom with Australia, well, with Amy, but she’s repping Australia, and I’m sitting here WITH MAKE-UP ON (not a lot, but still) and killing time.

Love the Take a Liking To A Viking T-shirt, especially if it’s the college mascot. What’s the college name? Should avoid Leif Ericsson College for something more subtle. Because if there’s anything this story is so far, it’s subtle. (Face palm.)

I’m doing two chats tonight, one at ten and one at eleven. I like this form of conference. I don’t have to put on underwear and I only had to clean one corner of my hoarder-nightmare goest room where I’ve been living for the winter months. So easy. Of course my ancient face will now be on a Zoom camera, but you can’t have everything.

I’ve been talking with Bob about reviving He Wrote She Wrote. We’re both old and tired–well, I’m old and he’s tired–but we’re thinking–JUST THINKING–about going back to the old HWSW syllabus and talking about how we’ve changed. He says he’s a lot more intuitive now. I’m almost afraid to find out what that means.

The dogs and I went out in the rain today (I stayed under the umbrella) and it turns out, they’re not fans of rain. Usually they’d stay out for a good hour, but it wasn’t ten minutes before they wanted under the umbrella. I have wimpy dogs. And now they’re all sacked out on the bed, snoozing like they actually exercised today. I’d make mock, but I’m on the same bed, killing time until I have to sparkle and shine for Australia, so not in a position of strength here.

I talked to Mollie about setting up a new HWSW blog and maybe monetizing this one with ads. Argh will never have ads, but I am curious as to how that works. I hate the blogs that put ads in every paragraph or so, they’re damn near impossible to read, but I’d trust Mollie to come up with something subtle or at least non-invasive. Haven’t heard back from Bob on that one, but we are discussing ideas about how to do this. I’m trying to talk him into Slack chats–Bob doesn’t chat but he does a nice argument–because we could just turn those into documents and then edit them and slap them up as posts.

And we’d put the old writing posts up as an archive, so that could be good. I did go back and put the rest of my road trip posts up in that He Wrote She Wrote Page. They’re mostly nattering about the tour, not that interesting, but all of mine are up. Bob actually wrote more of those than I did. Normally, he’s not that verbose.

It’s about three minutes to Australia now, so I’ll have to go. You all have a good night.

“Hello, Australia . . .”

41 thoughts on “Saturday Night Ramble

  1. Hello to you, too.

    I’ve been working my way through the reposts of HWSW, and they bring me joy. I’m all in favour of more.

  2. Another author I once followed had a signature line: “I write and you read, if you care to.” I think he nailed it.

  3. OH WOW! HWSW might come back??? LOVE LOVE LOVE oh please. please. please. HWSW was what started me on reading author blogs. And Agnes is my favorite book ever. Would love to read you two new insights. Ads would be fine!

    1. I feel the same way. And thank you Jenny for posting more He Wrote She Wrote posts. I’m having a good time rereading them.

  4. This is so cool (a little 70’s regression here). I was just thinking that if you and Bob did Lily, you could assign him the plot – which you claim you can’t be bothered with and maybe Finn who seems a little thin to me. It’s nice Finn loves Lily and can illuminate manuscripts but maybe if he knows how to kill someone with his little finger, it would give a little dimension to him. A few guns and dead bodies could sharpen things up no end.

    1. Well, they’d lose me. I’m not a fan of the books Jenny wrote with Bob. Used to skip the violent stuff, and haven’t kept them. But obviously, if that’d be more fun for Jenny . . .

        1. Bob has no interest in collaborating on Lily, and I have no interest in collaborating with anybody again.

          This is how rumors get started, people (g).

          1. Agnes and the Hitman is my all time favourite book, I love it! Closely followed by all your others, collab or no collab!

  5. Hey Australia, *waves*

    Hmmm. You’ve just reduced your Argh load. Do you really want to take on HWSW load too?

    No that I’m not grateful for your time. I’ve totally added you to my morning prayers. Am not being all holier than thou, I pray for a lot of people. And I spend as much time with you as I do with some of them. Also praying ameliorates my anxiety. One less thing to worry about, don’tcha know.

    1. No, I’m good, but thank you!
      We’d do this the easiest way possible: chats.

  6. I never got a chance to see the original HWSW posts, but I have enjoyed the few I have read. Some of them produced its a good thing my chair has arms or I’d fall out of it laughs, so I would love to see them again. And I would love to see a new HWSW blog if it’s not too much work for you.

      1. This depends on your definition of fun. Some of us LIKE dry craft stuff. Not to mention even your dry craft stuff is entertaining.

        1. I haven’t read those posts in years. Possibly they’re riveting. Probably not.

  7. It was lots of fun and if it earns you some spare change that will be good. You’ve got to keep the dogs in the style they are accustomed. You need to do what youtubers do and set up a nice wall with good light somewhere (studio wall) then you can just go back there every time you need to video conferencing.

  8. I’m afraid monetizing with no visible ads would mean selling our data, so the ads would pursue us elsewhere. Although I’ve used adblockers for a while, so see few myself.

    I wish the web had evolved with micropayments rather than selling users’ data. Too late now: we’re all used to everything being apparently ‘free’. But there should be a way for you to receive some income for what you’ve created here.

    1. No, we wouldn’t sell data, that would be awful. There’d be ads.
      I think there is a way to do micropayments, but I don’t want to charge for content.
      As of now, we’re still talking about it.

      1. You could set up a Patreon or Ko-fi and let people make micropayments, or monetize things like signed bookplate stickers or Argh logo stickers/t-shirts. I’ve followed a few authors who don’t charge for content but might charge for early access (Patreons see posts first, everyone else sees them in a month) or have swag on offer instead of content. Reminds me of my NPR membership–I pay a little bit every month for free content, and they occasionally send me a branded coffee mug or whatever.

        1. I’m a Guardian Member, which means I make an annual payment to support them – far less than a subscription would be – and I can read their content ad-free (I started before I had adblockers; though I do it because I want to support their independent journalism)

  9. I’m used to seeing ads everywhere, even though they aren’t my favorite thing.

    What about Patreon for ArghInk? I’d be happy to be a supporter there.

    I missed out on the original HWSW blog. I’d read a revival.

    1. I’m not crazy about asking for money for content like this.
      If I was going to put the Writing/Romance blog back up, that I could see charging for, but I’ve no plans to do that right now.

      1. Most if the Patreon accounts I see and the ones I support are voluntary. Their content is free, and if I feel like supporting them on Patreon, then I can.

        To me, that’s different than charging for content, but that’s just me. 😊

        Some of the accounts I support have additional content available only to Patreon supporters, and some don’t.

  10. Hope the Aussie chat went well. I’m sure it did. HWSW sounds like a great idea. Entertaining and educational in this time of not much fun.

  11. I’d also suggest checking out Patreon. I think you can set the monthly amount as low as a buck if you’re concerned about pricing out some readers. Or there may be a way to waive it like a scholarship in appropriate cases (not sure about that though).

    You can also lift the pay-wall from some posts, if you feel like offering a sample for free or if you’ve got a post that you want to be sure is widely disseminated.

    In any event, I would think a lot of people would be willing to pay twelve bucks a year for really solid writing advice from not just one but two experts. Even at 5 bucks a month, it would be a deal (and you could set it somewhere in between too). Especially since subscribers can start and stop as they wish. And then you wouldn’t have to deal with ads.

    I know Deborah Blake here has a Patreon account and she was kind enough to answer some of my questions about how it works (although I haven’t actually done anything with the account I started focused on patient advocacy).

  12. I would love to see HWSW again, if it didn’t stress you out or take away from Argh time.

    I see above that you would not sell data. Thank you. If I might suggest something: I use Duolingo. I do not pay for the app, although that is an option. Instead, I watch a brief “commercial,” which helps pay for the site. And (and I understand this does not necessary translate into anything you could do) I will opt to watch a video to get “coins.” I only need the coins if I’m using the app on the phone and make a bunch of mistakes and need a new “life,” but I don’t mind, because I know watching the ad helps me try to learn German for free.

    I think you could do ads subtly. Something like “You’ve read two pieces, please watch this ad (15 seconds or so) to keep our content free to you.” I completely agree that ads in the middle of paragraphs stink.

    I really enjoyed hearing Lani’s view on things, but I’m going to admit, I have not followed her to Patreon. Somehow, a monthly subscription for the amount of time I think I’d be able to spend on there never seemed to be a logical expense. I already know that finding time to read blogs is a treat in my case.

    I also see that Gin suggested a scholarship for Patreon, but I wouldn’t need that and would probably be embarrassed to ask for one even if I did. For me, the idea of the subscription is the problem. I’d rather see an ad or two.

  13. Thank you for these. And personally, I would be THRILLED to have a subscription/ads whatever site from you. It is truly lovely that Argh is free, but I would be happy to have even a small way to feel I was sending back something for all the hours of enjoyment. Other than buying your books, of course, at least twice in most cases.

  14. Pro tip for people over 40 on zoom calls – make damn sure the camera is at eye level. Nothing more unfortunate to look at than saggy faces looking downward. My stitching group zooms were positively scary until we all made that adjustment.

    1. Thank god I don’t see as well as I used to. Those little pictures in the corner on those chats are just so depressing.My therapist uses different software, but it has the same little picture, and I kept screaming “Oh, my god, I look like mother” which is not a good thing at this point and she finally told me to put tape over the camera.

    2. My work group went to Zoom group meetings (and a happy hour here and there). The other over-50 member and I were all, where is the app for instant facelift? Backgrounds, sure, cute, fun, whatever. WE NEED A FACELIFT.

      (I resorted to a craftily-assembled array of phone/camera elevation devices. Cheaper than a facelift.)

  15. In case you read even late comments, examples of advertising that I have actively read and enjoyed

    thebloggess . com
    she lists other people’s blogs under
    “I f*** love these people & not just because they support my wine-slushee habit:”

    and once a week at the end of an entry you get
    “This week’s wrap-up is brought to you”
    with links to sites offering things she likes herself.
    not sure how she combines I use/like this with they pay me

    or kevinandkell com has
    “Help support the comic strip by sponsoring for a day!”(believe it’s $5)
    where fans can put up a sentence or two of support, or happy announcements
    under the comic. There’s still a free comments section but people pay anyway

    I believe he also accepts paid ads, but directly, as they come, so he has control over what appears.

    I ad block but always whitelist(accept ads) from useful, or regularly visited sites. Though reminders to do it help me. I just don’t care to wait for many, maany ads to load only to find that it’s nowhere I’d spend time even if it did come up on google.

    I would be sad if it was subscription only, excludes people who can’t pay, or commit, or don’t want to deal with the tech. But I happily pay once offs on sites I love, often linked as “buy the artist a cup of coffee” or as may be a can of coke, treats for the doggies, new colored markers…

    1. Yeah, the basic blog has to be free.
      What we’re talking about now is extra content, a kind of premium thing where you get the new posts for free and then we do other things.
      The thing is, my first priority is Nita, and my second is Lily, seeing what happens there, so I’m not really up for a lot of extra work. On the other hand, if we could think of extra stuff that would really be valuable, it might be an interesting experiment. It would have to be really cheap, though. Now is not the time to ask people for a lot of money.
      We’re talking about it.

  16. Ads to the far right, text down the middle.

    This has been the most successful ad content I’ve seen on blogs – NOT when the ad content is plopped down in the middle of a paragraph. SO annoying.

    I’ve even seen a few ads placed in such a way, featuring things I found interesting and purchased. Is there a way to curate the ads? Or is it random?

    1. Smart Bitches Trashy Books has it set up that way and solicits ads in the ad section.

  17. SEP has been having Instagram live chats with author friends. I challenged her to get Jenny to do one with her, believing there was no chance. However, if you’re doing Zoom with Australia, maybe there would be a chance???

    1. Of course, there’s a chance. Except I have nothing to promote, so she’s probably saving me embarrassment.
      Note to self: Finish something.

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