Middle School Magic Meets Blogging Blues

My old friend Mr. Buffet is playing in the background while I sit here, beer in hand and brain in motion. I am thinking about the story that Judy told today about this song and her days as a teacher.

Her story makes me smile and well, Jimmy’s song and this beer make me think of other things, mostly a soft sandy beach, endless blues skies and summer. Yeah, I know you thought that I was going somewhere else with this and the answer is that I did but I didn’t share it with you.

That is because I am more focused on the other old man in this house, the one who started middle school last week.

He came home today and told me he got an ‘A’ on his science test and followed that up by telling me why he hated lunch. It would be great if I could say it was the cafeteria food. That would be beautiful and poetic but it is not the case.

Nah, he ate lunch by himself and was angry about it. There wasn’t any space at the table so he felt “like a loser and lonely.”

I told him the great joy of middle school is that we all feel left out and lonely.

Blogging Blues

My blogging blues aren’t exactly blue. I am not depressed or upset. Irked is a good description and so is mildly irritated.

That is because there are a few technical issues that are impacting this joint and I am not really in the mood to deal with them. That doesn’t mean I won’t, just that I’d rather focus my energy elsewhere.

Here is the short list:

Feedburner– Word on the street is that Feedburner is going away. It comes from reliable sources so it is worth checking out alternatives. I won’t tell you about the negative impact RSS has had on blogs, at least I won’t in this post.

What I will say is that I don’t want to spend any cash on the replacement, at least not now. I am making a few bucks here and I like seeing a positive cash flow. Not quite the internet tycoon yet so I am cautious about the cash I put out.

Triberr– Overall it has been a great experience but man some people just aren’t carrying their weight. It reminds me a bit of group projects in school where we all received the same grade but some people did more work.

Not especially thrilled about this. Hate sounding whiny, but something has to change and it will probably be me. About time to evaluate my tribes and see if they all make sense. Some of them are filled with members who haven’t officially dropped out but are still listed.

Good time to clean house.

Fake Editors“- I won’t ever say my writing is perfect. You won’t hear me claim to never make any errors or produce content that doesn’t ever need to be rewritten but some of the “collective” needs to learn something about editing. There is such a thing as style and you need to know when to leave a piece alone because you are killing the voice and when to edit because it is gibberish.

Sometimes writer and reader are poorly matched. By that I mean sometimes we as readers just don’t “get” the writer. Our lack of understanding/appreciation isn’t always indicative of something being poorly written either.

Tonight I sat on the floor in my son’s bedroom and told him about how there were many times when I felt like an outsider in school. I told him that it still happens to me sometimes and I am ok with it.

I told him that I don’t expect him to be just like me, but that sometimes this is how life is. There are moments when we feel like we are on the outside looking in and moments when we feel like we understand every secret life has to offer.

This was a big moment for us. I could see his eyes and the expression on his face told me he only sort of got it. But that sort of got it look also told me the boy is soon going to be a pre-teen.

It reminded me a bit of when I used to swim competitively. That moment just before the race was the time when I cleared my mind and then took a deep breath because I knew the gun would go off and I would hit the water at breakneck speed.

That is what this feels like, the pause before the race.

One More Word On Blogging

If you open yourself up to the blogosphere and let your community in you will find that you get more than you give. There is magic out there, floating in the ether and all you need to do is let it in.

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  1. Penney Fox August 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    You had me at Buffett ….
    I just had that kind of conversation with my son on Sunday – and he’s only 8 and in 3rd grade!. YIKES … it gets worse? I have to remember your little speech in this post and try to use it the next time we have this conversation.

    • The JackB August 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      @penneyfox:disqus I don’t know that it gets worse. My daughter is the same age as your son and she also started attending a new school this year. I think the big difference between the two is that middle school is bigger, but change is still hard at times.

  2. Seattledad August 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I try to give about as much as I get with Tribbr. It’s hard to gauge, but I am at least using it and approving most of the posts out there.

    Middle School seems every bit as harsh as I remember it too. Sounds like you are handling it right.

    • The JackB August 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      @ff82f50cbbf6bbfa1e32ec116f491472:disqus That is all we can ask. My experience is that we all benefit when our fellow tribesmen are diligent about working together.

      Middle school has been ok. We haven’t run into too many hiccups…yet.

  3. Nina Badzin August 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Oy– if Feedburner goes away do people who subscribe by email have to RE-subscribe??? I’m going through that now after changing from Wp.com to a self-hosted blog. I’d be really embarrassed to ask people to resubscribe again.

    • The JackB August 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      @twitter-111710312:disqus It is possible. It depends on what happens. If Google shuts Feedburner down and there is no replacement for it than it is hard to say what will happen.

      There are some other services out there, but whether they will step up is a different story.

  4. Julie August 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I love RSS but if Feedburner is accurate then almost all my people subscribe by email. Go figure. So do people really take the time to open and read each email one by one to catch up on reading?? Or is there a better alternative coming down the pike?
    I’ve not touched the blog in some time other than changing my offerings and a photo. I think I’m at the point where I need to hire someone to pull it all together for me (especially with my course coming out soon and needing to set up shopping carts etc) but like you, I am just not in the mood right now. Way too many other interesting things going on.

    • The JackB August 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      @JulieAClearSign:disqus I don’t know how many people use RSS versus email. I don’t use either. I prefer to visit blogs directly.
      The best advice I can give you right now is to map out what you want to see happen and then figure out what tools/resources will help accomplish that.

  5. Ralph Dopping August 28, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Jimmy Buffett looked like the quintessential 70’s porn douche. We all loved the guys songs but what a look. Not so unique then, I suppose.

    I tend to skirt around the edges of Triberr. I am only in two tribes and I do share what comes my way. The thing I am not sure about is your comment about people not pulling their weight. Are they just not around?

    Blogging is a funny thing that way too. Everyone has their degrees of involvement. Some more, some less. When you work in a team environment there are always different folks that bring different skills to the table and some folks naturally rise to the top. As a leadership professional my job is to recognize and promote the talent and coach the people who need help. I do that with my team as a collective.

    Subtle as a mallet, I know but that’s how I feel. I think you may be saying a similar thing just with a little more finesse.

    I like this place. Always makes me think.

    • The JackB August 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      @twitter-229922134:disqus He does look pretty bad.Fortunately we weren’t really old enough back then to share that look. You are a little bit older than I am. but not so much that you had that look going on.

      I am in several tribes with dead weight. The members have their posts coming in but they are either barely active or dead. So what happens is their posts come through and you are there to take care of them but no one is there to take care of yours.

      I like mallets- sometimes subtle is overrated,

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