Men Use Pinterest Too

You don't last unless you love it.

You don’t last unless you love it.

Writing reminds me of a hot, steamy and heavy love affair. When things are great you feel invulnerable, unstoppable and convinced that you have figured out one of the great secrets of life.

Then there are those moments where you sit there dumbfounded, slack jawed and amazed at how quickly your arch nemesis discovered and used your Kryptonite upon you.

And sometimes in the midst of you sorrow you discover not only did that bastard drop a dime on you, he took your girl and made a film of them doing things you never want to think about and now you curse having a more active and colorful imagination than most.

This is the moment when you figure out whether it is true love or not because instead of throwing that bleeping, bleepity bleep out you scream at her and tell her you wish you’d had never met her and seconds later you beg her not to leave because you can’t live without her.

Later on in the dark of the night when she brushes her lips across yours and wraps her body around you the anger fades completely and you remember that your invulnerability is based upon you working together as team.

Somewhere in the midst of the moment you forget about the hard times and smile because you are back.

Men Use Pinterest Too

I used to view Pinterest as being a social media platform for women. I didn’t care about dresses, frills or jewelry or need a place to search for recipes and crafty stuff that moms do with kids.

One day as my daughter did my hair and talked to me about stuff she wanted to do I thought about trying to come up with something that she would see as being special because it was just her and I and didn’t include her brother.

So I figured I ought to look at Pinterest because it would probably be a good resource and I discovered I had this silly, misguided stereotypical impression of it.

And as I spent time thinking about the The Pinterest Predicament & The Rule Of Four it became clear I could make my Pinterest boards into something that served my needs.

The level of my engagement there varies from week to week. There are days where I barely acknowledge it but I always do something with it.

Initially I did it because my focus was on trying to use it as a way to drive more traffic but somewhere in the midst of that I saw it as a great resource/tool for writers and that has been where my most recent efforts have gone to.

That is not to say I have decided against using it for driving/generating more traffic to my blog because that would be foolish but our time is limited so I chose to focus on where I think I will get the most return.

Why I Write Daily

I write daily because writing is the one mistress I dare not ignore and because when I want something I go after it with a passion.

There is no way to become better at this than through practice and since it is a true love of mine I never get tired of chasing after that brass ring.

Pinterest helps provide inspiration and food for thought. Sometimes I pin posts/articles/quotes there because I am using it as an electronic bookmark.

Don’t have time to read now, but I’ll check it later.

It is part of why I try to go through my boards periodically to delete what isn’t needed and better organize that which isn’t.

Writing isn’t always glamorous. You don’t always find yourself sitting by a roaring fireplace watching the snow fall outside of your chateau or on a beach chair at your island hideaway.

Sometimes it is a take your lunch pail to the quarry and hammer away at rocks until you get something suitable and then you collapse from exhaustion.

But I love that crazy chick far too much to ever go away so I guess I am here for the long haul.
Visit Jack Steiner’s profile on Pinterest.

Are Pinterest Analytics Killing Your Blog?

Hieroglyphics inside the tombs of the workers who built the Valley of the Kings.
Call me crazy but I don’t think the pharaohs worried or wondered about how many impressions, pageviews or unique users would be attached to the hieroglyphics in their tombs.

And it wasn’t because they operated in an offline world that preceded the digital one we live in by thousands of years either. Nah those ancient dudes didn’t wonder or worry because as gods on earth all that mattered was being certain their stories were told with the proper amount of grandeur and respect.

I suppose you could debate the importance of quality of content versus marketing because the blogosphere isn’t like Field of Dreams. There is no guarantee they’ll come if you write it.

Ask me for my professional opinion and I might tell you about the dumbest way to get arrested because some of you haven’t figured out the importance of focusing on quality content because it doesn’t matter how good your marketing skills are if you can’t hold the reader’s attention. And if you don’t recognize the significance of that you might very well be the person who gets arrested in the manner listed above.

Want to know what happened to Egyptians who did a poor job of painting hieroglyphics?

"A Workman's death"

Sadly those guys didn’t have unions or labor boards to protect them. On the other hand they did have hammers and rumor has it they inspired Pete Seeger to write If I Had a Hammer. Bet my dear Shmata Queen didn’t know that little historical nugget.

How Does This Relate To Pinterest Analytics?

I am glad you asked and I shall answer. A while back I was doing the blogger content versus marketing dance which is a fancier way of saying I decided it was time to try to increase readership here and I began researching ways to do it.

Pinterest kept showing up on my radar screen as being an effective way to generate more traffic so I decided to include it in my social media strategy.

So I started looking for images that I thought would add something to the stories I told in my blog posts and would also make people want to pin them.

Time passed and I started to see an increase in traffic but I didn’t have as strong a handle on what was happening on Pinterest as I wanted to. I wanted to see what sort of activity was generated on Pinterest and whether that encouraged people to move from Pinterest over here to the grand old sailing ship of the dad blogosphere, TheJackB.

There was only one problem with that. I didn’t have access to Pinterest analytics so all I was able to see was how many people came here but I couldn’t tell what the hell they were doing on Pinterest.

Fortunately that was a short hiccup and was solved when Pinterest gave me access to a business account and analytics.

Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll see some of the fine information I received from my analytics.

Pinterest Analytics
What I see in the shot above is that I have managed to carve out a small presence on Pinterest but relatively few of the people who visit my boards are coming back to the blog.

It doesn’t provide me with enough information to determine how much crossover traffic there is. I am relatively certain that some of the readers of the blog also hang out on Pinterest with me, but I can’t provide you with hard data.

Are Pinterest Analytics Killing Your Blog?

Sometimes social media participation feels like we are all a bunch of hamsters running as fast as we can on a giant cyber wheel. There is a constant buzz and push to try to secure as many followers/readers as we can and that can be dangerous for blogs and bloggers.

Dangerous because it is easy to become overextended, easy to find yourself chasing and responding to the latest shiny object.

If you have set things up so your blog is supposed to be your online hub than those shiny objects can hurt them as well as help. That is because we all have limited time and resources so you have to be strategic about where you spend your time.

Sometimes looking at analytics can be helpful because it provides data you can use to modify your strategy and be more effective. The key is to be smart about how you use them and to not let those numbers push you into not spending your time wisely.

Be careful kids, don’t fall down the rabbit hole and get lost in the shiny objects. They don’t always yield the results you want. Bloggers don’t always need another ebook . It is a marathon and not a sprint.

And now if you will excuse me I think I need to send the Egyptian government an invoice for services rendered. My ancestors built the pyramids and never got paid. It is time to collect.

Pinterest Forced Me To Change How I Blog

oodnata

Pinterest didn’t really force me to change how I blog but it did push me to make some changes sooner than later. It is not because Pinterest has become a major source of traffic but because its success has reminded me of the value/importance in including pictures here.

Ok, the potential for increasing traffic did play a role but it is secondary. It is secondary because one of my focal points is doing a better job of securing the traffic that comes through here. My bounce rate is higher than I want it to be.

That is just a fancy way of saying that some people don’t take any time to stick around and see the sights here. I’d like to encourage them to take a moment to check out our wares and one way of doing that is to help distract them with bright shiny objects.

Where Do You Find Photos?

I am so glad that you asked. There are multiple ways to locate photos. I use my Zemanta plugin and I rely upon some of the services listed in the Best Places to Find Free and Low-Cost Stock Photos Online. And of course I use my own photos.

Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that you should check out my friend Suzanne’s photos too. Just remember not to steal her stuff without her permission first. If that is not enough you can get in touch with my buddy John and ask him about his work too.

Česky: Koala šplhající na strom. Vyfoceno 28. ...

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t know about you but that looks like one cranky Koala Bear to me. I can relate to being cranky but I don’t a clue why a freaking marsupial would be upset. Dude just has to hang out on damn tree eating Eucalyptus leaves and chilling out.

It is not like he is some crazy dad blogger trying to figure out whether to send the kids to public or private school. You won’t hear him talking about accountability and forgiveness. Speaking of which sometimes I like looking back at old posts to see what I had to say about apologizing  or begging forgiveness.

Why do I look back? Simple really, I am curious to see if my feelings have changed. Have I grown up or taken a different tack? Can’t say without looking back. Of course it sometimes makes me cringe to read old posts but it is part of how we figure out if progress has been made.

Can’t speak for you but by my way of accounting progress is important. I am pleased to say that I have gotten better at apologizing. There are still moments where I hate like hell doing it, but it doesn’t make me quite as crazy as it used to.

Does that mean that I am maturing? Don’t answer that, I like being the kid.

Happy Birthday Grandpa

It is officially St. Patrick’s Day but to me it will always be my grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 98 today and I would have had great fun asking him to tell me what he thought of President Lincoln or what it was like to hang out with Moses.

He would have laughed and we would have engaged in our usual banter. At some point he would have reminded me that grandma’s birthday is a couple of weeks away and that he should probably start looking for a gift.

So grandpa I think that I’ll help you with a different sort of gift. I think that you’ll appreciate this

Yep, that is grandma’s tombstone and here is a link to Beloved Wife. It is my way for helping to make sure that grandma isn’t forgotten. I know you were worried about that. I have to tell you that I remember the night you told me that grandma had a great ass (you were both in your 90s) and the look she gave you.

It was a combination of irritation and love but I always appreciated it.  When I think about your last few years together the image I have is of the two of you sitting together holding hands.

It was good to see you two the other night and I won’t complain if you choose to visit again.

Pinterest, Pictures & Stories

I am not just a dad blogger who is also a writer. I am a storyteller. I suppose that is part and parcel of being a father. Anyhoo, I am grateful that Pinterest helped me to remember that sometimes pictures are the most important part of a story. They don’t say that a picture is worth a thousand words for nothing.

What do you think?

The Great Pinterest Experiment of 2012 Meets Gladiator

For those who are interested here is the video I was talking about:

And just for kicks here are links to some recent posts:

And for good measure here are a couple of older posts too:

The Pinterest Predicament & The Rule Of Four

Before we speak of The Pinterest Predicament and the Rule of Four we need to spend a moment addressing line of sight.

In this particular situation I am not referring to the line of sight that refers to any sort of military application. This isn’t about firing missiles, guns or anything of that sort.

Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon NLOS-C

Image via Wikipedia

Rather this is tied into our perspective and how children impact it.

Those of you who have had to baby proof a home probably recall that one of the things you try to do is target the dangerous items that are in a baby’s line of sight.  I am sure that you also remember as your child grows their line of sight adjusts accordingly. When they are crawling it is at one level and at another when they start to walk.

I suppose that we could say that our line of sight continues to change as we grow and that it doesn’t stop until we stop growing. We could also say that our personal line of sight varies from those we live with, that is assuming that those you share a home with are of varying heights.

Though I am tempted to spend a few moments discussing the business applications of line of sight I think we’ll save that.

The Pinterest Predicament & The Rule Of Four

Until relatively recently I didn’t pay any attention to Pinterest. I didn’t see any value in it for me and ignored it  but then I read a few posts about and it started to wonder if I had made a mistake.

When I said that I saw it as being “estrogen centric” I wasn’t trying to be cute, ok maybe just a little. But from what little I knew, had read and had heard it sounded like something that was geared for women and I wasn’t particularly interested.

Part of that is based upon The Rule of Four which is a law I created for myself that said I could not participate on more than four social media platforms for the simple reason that I don’t have enough time to do it.

So the last thing I wanted to do was get involved in something else. I didn’t and so I continued to ignore Pinterest. Along the way I made a few snarky comments about it and chuckled at my very funny jokes.

Line Of Sight Revisited

Ready for the big punch line? My line of sight changed and I signed up for Pinterest. Here is why.

Pinterest is growing at an enormous rate and it is sending large volumes of traffic to blogs.  A Shareaholic study from January 2012 shows that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

Remember that although I am blogging first for me and then for you I have several goals in mind for my blog. Many of them are tied into the success of my blog.

One of my dreams is to turn my writing into a full time gig. I want to finish writing my book, publish it and write more. I don’t have  an agent or a publisher. Frankly I haven’t made an effort yet to secure either. Who knows, maybe I’ll forego both and self publish.

I don’t know but I am certain that it can’t hurt me to have a larger platform to promote my writing with. So from that perspective it makes sense to me to try and obtain some of that Pinterest traffic.

There are are two other factors that play into my decision. It is not unusual for me to take on social media projects for work so it only makes sense for me to become more familiar with Pinterest and how it functions.

Perhaps the most important factor is that I suddenly realized I had a very strong personal interest in it. For a while now I have been looking for more ways to express myself and to cultivate creativity and this seemed like it had potential to scratch that itch.

So it is official now, I  ate the apple. I look forward to seeing what happens. If you would like you can follow me on Pinterest right here.

Are you on Pinterest? Do you like it? Do you have any recommendations or advice for me?