Pet Blogger Challenge

Pet Blogger's ChallengeThe Pet Blogger Challenge allows us to learn “how and why” we blog about animals as well as how that’s working for us as a group. Any pet blogger can participate. Just answer the questions on your own blog and join the link list below. It’s open through 11:59 Mountain Time on 1/11.

Thanks to Edie Jarolim, author of Am I Boring My Dog,  who was inspired to bring this challenge forth by Amy Burkert‘s post,  Bullied by the Blog. Together, they organized this project (with a little badge design from me).

1. When did you begin your blog?

Oh boy. Which one? This blog’s first post, Apple Picking Dogs, went live in November of 2009.

Truth be told, I had been blogging since 1997 when Geocities was the online neighborhood. I’d add fresh journal entries atop a static website while traveling the world as an international flight attendant. It was cheaper than phoning home and I was thrilled when the local pizza guy, whom I had never met, wrote to say he loved my adventures. (As it turns out, his website was just down the Geocities block from my own. Anybody remember when we clicked on houses rather than link lists?)

When I returned to college in 2006 to add an English degree to Graphic Design, I met WordPress during a class project,  fell in love and bore 4 blogs. This One Wild Life is my favorite brainchild, wrapping my heartstrings around its little finger, asking for constant attention and food for thought with that sweet, adorable face.

I still plan to compile my millions of notes, photos and video clips of my recent volunteer experience in Ghana on myCulture Trek blog, but the gobs of material is so overwhelming that it plays second fiddle for now.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

This One Wild Life was a therapeutic endeavor at the start. We had just lost Bill, 100 pounds of rescue love wrapped in a Pitbull/Border Collie coat, and had invited two new rescues to live with us. While still grieving, I wanted a way to record and remember favorite moments with these magnificent beings, exploring and sharing the human emotion attached to my animal relationships.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

It is. And it’s not.

If not, what’s different?

This One Wild Life, I suppose, wasn’t necessarily meant to be a niche topic. I chose the name because it represented all living beings in their many forms, all the magnificence that life has to offer, and an opportunity to appreciate each moment as encapsulated by each post, photo or clip.

Writing about my rescue animals’ integration and the ensuing household antics at the time, I’ve branched out only as far as politically charged animal topics, rescue, welfare, health, nutrition and product reviews since. Even my first travel log, Kim Clune’s Alaska, highlights mostly wildlife encounters with whales, eagles, Stellar sea lions, sea stars, bears, and the general beauty of Alaska, Palin-free. In every aspect, this blog has naturally developed around animals, if you include those that take human form.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

This One Wild Life still celebrates relationships with all things animal, vegetable or mineral. And those of us behind the blog, meaning my husband and I, do so every single day.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

Kim Clune and Darren RowseI started blogging as the spirit moved me and I loved it. It wasn’t until I decided to monetize that frequency increased to 5 days a week. I (unjustly) blame Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett, co-authors of the book ProBlogger, for showing me the path to The Great Cha-ching. I love these unbelievably nice guys and, as my blogging heroes, I will continue to learn from them for my business. But the business model is what nearly killed my passion for this sweet child ‘o mine.

Lara KulpaWhile attending BlogWord (The Movie) thanks to Lara Kulpa, my amazingly talented friend / consultant / fellow dog rescuer who also happens to be Darren Rowse’s right-hand woman, I absorbed a tremendous amount of terrific advice. Still, nothing was so powerful as the words spun into gold by Scott Stratten of Unmarketing fame. His message is simple: schedules squash passion and producing mediocrity hurts your blog.

In Strattens own words, “Blogging on a schedule makes me stabby.” (In mine, I say “Right on.”)

Kim Clune and Scott StrattenRelying on traffic for community building, it’s important to give that community only the best we have to offer. Reading schlock shaves valuable minutes from our all-too-short lives and I don’t want folks to hate me for it. As Stratten explains, “People don’t spread meh. People spread awesome.” People come to read awesome too.

I have since stopped pushing out content for the sake of it (although I never intentionally sent schlock into the blogosphere), allowing for time to recharge and be inspired by other people’s awesomeness. That, in itself, is awesome.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?

I may have generated enough cashola to cover hosting, and perhaps a box of crackers, but I couldn’t afford a free glass of water to wash ’em down. Instead, I have dog coats, dog beds, pet treats, cat toys and a BrewBot I received for review – and that’s pretty cool too. Yeah. Defining income as a sustainable proponent of my existence, I would never classify my blog’s direct proceeds in that way.

If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?

I started with Google AdSense and made my first two pennies in a day. I’m pretty sure a friend clicked through to help feed my fish,who has since passed on – although not from starvation. It took months to reach a single dollar and, in over a year, I’ve finally earned enough for Google to bother cutting me a check (you know, virtually). I’ve rotated some ads from Dogtime Media in the effective Google slot for months, but that’s done nothing for me and I’ll be dropping out shortly. In fact, syndication through them appears to be harming traffic, not helping, so I may drop that as well.

Affiliate links are far more productive for me and I participate in several programs (fully disclosed per FCC requirements, of course):

  • FatCow web hosting – I use this reliable, green web hosting myself and could conceivably make $100 from each referred web client. Sadly, most clients already have hosting elsewhere, but some have participated. (If you’ve ever heard me gripe about broken websites, this is due to my own incessant experimentation and is no fault of FatCow.)
  • Amazon.com – I offer sales links to products or books I review, but I haven’t made anything there… yet.
  • Shareasale.com – This site has offered the best rate of return and success while hosting ads for BlogWorld and the Genesis WP Theme. Sign up, get approved, and host an ad from them. You will do far better than Google AdSense.

Most effective is the indirect use of my blog for income. ThisOneWildLife.com is a living, breathing example of what I can help others develop as an add-on to their business. Rather than hitting people over the head with cold calling or mass mailing, blogging and social media generate business by forming relationships around a brand or product, ensuring its online availability and providing a wealth of genuine feedback when interested people are in the market. Web design and writing is what I sell. To that end, this blog has been a learning tool, is now an example and will forever earn me clients. That is worth far more than a few pay-per-clicks. Now if I’d just finish my own company website already…

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

I learn so much through blogging, whether researching a topic to write about, reading another’s informative take on things or adding a new technical skill to my box of tools. I love equally, or perhaps even more-so, the interaction, conversation and healthy debate brought about through posting and commenting. Some of the best people I have ever met have become friends through blogging and I’ve been able to learn, entertain, educate help and and relate with an entire community of animal lovers, rescuers, advocates, trainers, writers, product developers and, well, more animals.

I admit, I re-read my own posts for enjoyment, getting lost in the reverie of days and animals gone by. I still can’t believe how fast and how much our kittens have grown or all the trouble they have caused in their short, little lives. While it’s fun to revisit the joy that every one of our animals has brought, I also see many improvements with my writing, photography and video compilations. This space is, after all, my creative playground, making it fun rather than bothersome to improve the work I do. And if I screw it up, it doesn’t matter. This is where I can relax and be me.

7. What do you like least?

Since dropping self-imposed deadlines, what I like least is any task or errand (but not the living experience required to write) that takes me away from blogging. Really. That’s it.

Oh wait. There’s more (And yes, after accumulated hours of lost time, I’m obviously bitter):

  • I hate Blogger.com’s captchas, forms and previews.  It’s like trying to infiltrate a military fort just to leave a comment. Not friendly. Not nice. I no longer waste time crawling over the wall only to have my comment shot down by some system snafu, which always seem to happen.
  • I want to engage freely. Don’t you? Apparently not, as my comment awaits moderation. Don’t you know that sharing your post with my comment attached is much more fun? (Oh come now, we’re all this ego-centric.) Might I suggest an anti-spam filter like Akismet to keep the bad guys out? I’m a good person. Really. Why must you treat me with such disdain? And, by the time you approve me, I’m already long gone.
  • Disqus…  Why does this beloved comment system delete my often lengthy response  if I forget to sign in first? Or double-post my comment when I am signed in? I can make an idiot of myself just fine. I don’t need Disqus to generate more annoyance and idiocy, attaching my name to it. Oy.

It felt good to get that out there… again. (I know I’ve said this before – somewhere.)

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011?

There are more travel-logs to come covering Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Cozumel. And we’ll be cruising south again soon. The latest plan is to wear a helmet cam and zip-line through the rainforest. (Go ahead. Have a laugh as I scream my head off.) And, of course, you’ll see plenty more antics from the household characters you’ve come to know and love. In fact, Jed cat has a new Jedi Window-walker trick and we’ve got hours of footage still in the can just waiting to be edited.

Come by for a play date soon. We absolutely love having you here – you know, when we’re around.

Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading more about you and your blog. Geocities?! What a flashback!

    I couldn't agree more with you on your comment-related response on #7. Captchas are the bane of my existence :p

    • Lori, I must admit, I wondered if anybody would remember Geocities. I Googled it (funny because it was run by Google) and it only closed up shop in 2009. I thought it was much earlier than that. I kind of liked those little houses. It really felt like a community and was kind of fun to see people move in and out.

  2. Great post, Kim! I enjoyed reading your thoughts, as always – you have a wonderful way of writing that just draws me in to each post. 🙂

    • That's so nice of you to say. I saw that Edie posted one thing about blogging she didn't like, the risk of putting something out there only to have an argument ensue or to be ignored. While I certainly understand and experience that myself, I feel fortunate to have people like you generally like what I'm doing, validating me just about every step of the way. Thanks for that. 🙂

  3. You are such a good writer and I enjoy the time and what you post about. Thanks for the insight of this post and as I am new I learn so many things I don't seem able to keep up. Thanks again.

    • Hi Carol,

      I have faith that you will catch up. It seems overwhelming in the beginning and everybody has an opinion, but we learn by reading and doing in the time with what fits best with your needs. Whatever happens, enjoy your blog. There's no point having one if you don't.

  4. This gives a lot of food for thought. Going through all the blogs in the Challenge, this is the first time I hear a "pro" blogger say to forget about the schedule – apart from Amy throwing the schedule out of the window for the coming year.

    I guess it must fit your personality. If you are not a person that can live in schedules, you loose your authenticity trying to write just for the sake of the publish button.

    Ha! loved you mentioned blogger.com's sad comment options and the way you described it as entering a fort 🙂 Wish everybody removed them from their comment settings, it is so simple !

    • Stratten surprised me too, Kenzo. And he made so much sense, although he admitted that abandoning his blog for 7 weeks was probably not the best plan either. LOL. Everything in moderation.

      I try to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a kind of happy medium. I'm also pretty sure that 5 hour editing sessions for each weekly video are far more taxing than just writing a post. It felt great to actually write again today, if only to conclude how exhausting my blog, BtC4animals and my job have been.

  5. Great post as always, Kim. I totally feel your pain with the commenting thing. I always, always forget to type in the hidden phrase thing, so my comments always vanish when I close the window. Sigh. Of course, mine has some moderation thing, which you've inspired me to (figure out how to) turn off!

    • Oh, Maggie. I've just encountered that very problem 4 times while visiting the list. Open browser windows are filled with captchyas that I hadn't completed. Seriously. I wouldn't even have made it that far but for truly wanting to engage in this group conversation. Thanks for making the effort to adjust your own blog. I was thrilled to no end when I dropped by your post. HUZZAH!

  6. I've enjoyed reading your blog since I began. I suppose I could tell that you are a veteran blogger. Thanks for the book references. I will definitely check into those. I think I might like to find a way for my blogging to make me a living, but mostly because I'd love to get paid for something I really enjoy doing. Keep up the good work.

    Opie's Mom

    • Thank you for the kind words! Getting paid to do what we love… Yes! I'm all for that. Thankfully, I love to write and make pretty images. If I could get paid to take pictures of my own dog all the live-long day, that would be just heavenly. If you have any luck finding a way to do that, let me know!

  7. Wow, I actually met you when you were still a newbie!

    I can't thank you enough for dissing Disqus. What a horrid thing to subject one's readers to – it's completely disjointed and I see fewer comments on Disqus than any other platform.

    Here's to a busy 2011 for all of us. 🙂

    • Thanks for validating my Disqus(t)! Ba dum bum. Maybe we should host a gripe hop to educate bloggers about the importance of an open commenting format. 🙂

  8. Ok, I admit to being totally awed that you hang — hung? — with Darren Rowse and Chris Garret and had the confidence to take your own path. Which is a very impressive one.

    I agree with you about Blogger's comment system by the way — I just gave up in disgust trying to communicate with a pet blogger I met during this challenge. And I can imagine I'm not the only one.

    • Edie, my meetings were short and sweet and the guys were both humble and gracious. I, on the other hand, was busting on the inside, a true-to-form tech geek groupie. Hopelessly in love with blogging, I have great admiration for the pioneers – apparently enough to become a humble servant. On a soda run with Lara for a small afterparty in Darren's suite, I was honored to carry the chips back. In my days touring with rock bands, I never felt such a rush. (Well, maybe.) The day that Chris Garrett friended me on Facebook, I was floored. He liked the photos I took of him, a rare occurrence by his own account, and he has since used one for his profile picture. That was probably the blogging-related highpoint in my life. I, as yet, am still a nobody, feeling less than anonymous in the presence of greatness. LOL.

  9. Hi Kim! Just wanted to stop in and check out the blog after seeing you stopped by Banjo & Millie today (thanks!) I have enjoyed reading about "This One Wild Life" and can't wait to hear more! It seems you are quite an experienced blogger – you should write a post on how us newbies can grow our blog follower base or perhaps a post on advertising or sponsorship how-to's!

    • Hi Layne,

      Nice to meet you in return! I'm humbled that you would value my insight so highly but, as for posting about the technical side of blogging, you won't likely see more on that here. While I'd love to talk tech and marketing in my professional space, I reserve this blog for more heartfelt musings and entertainment. I've offered a list of every successful and unsuccessful technique I've tried above as well as a link to the PoBlogger book. Those are terrific places to start. Give them a whirl!

      Give Banjo and Milly a head scratch from me. 🙂

  10. Okay, okay – I'll be getting rid of Disqus. 🙂 Seriously, this was a great read. Thanks so much for participating in the challenge, thanks for creating the badge, and thanks for giving me another project to work on. LOL!

    • Uh-oh. Too much peer pressure, Amy? I know how much you love Disqus. If it works for you, that's great (cough, cough). Don't let my opinion, or Neil's for that matter, dissuade you from using it (cough, cough). Can I get a glass of water over here? 🙂

  11. Love your answers, particularly the one on what you hate! And yes, I hate the same things also! PetMD even has math equations to post a comment – now, come on, I don't do math!

    • That's too funny, Jana. I'm not much of a math fan myself, yet I can't help thinking, "At least I can read a math equation." What's the deal with some of these captchyas? It's like taking part in a psychiatric test and I'm not sure my interpretations say good things about me!

      • I LOVE THAT! "At least I can read them" LMAO

        Yeah, I don't know what the deal is. Some are impossible to see what they say, some are just crazy …

        I appreciate the reason behind them, but man!

  12. Hahahaha! Your rant reminded me exactly why I loved you so much – not that I'd forgotten. I despise Blogger and their captchas and other craziness. It can take up to five minutes to leave a comment there sometimes. Disqus isn't much better. So many times I've just given up because I couldn't handle the stress.

    I also don't really understand heavy-handed moderation unless it is a very controversial subject. What's the deal with not letting people speak freely? Spam filters keep the junk out and if someone says something you don't appreciate, there is always the handy delete button.

    You are an inspiration. I am adding you to the list of people I want to be when I grow up.

  13. I am with you and Lori, captchas drive me nuts.

    I've decided to go another route- put a deadline on how long comments will be accepted. Do people really comment on posts over a month old? Probably not… if they really want to comment they will comment elsewhere.

    Ranting in your comments… sorry 🙂

    There's more- what is the deal with Disqus? What if I don't want to comment via my Twitter or Facebook account or whatever? If it's possible to just link to my site I haven't figured it out and I'm a relatively intelligent person so it should not take me more than a couple minutes to figure it out.

    Okay, I'm done.

    I enjoyed your answers 🙂

    • Oh boy. Look what I've started. Amy is going to hate me. She might prefer not to know how much people don't like Disqus. (Not really.)

      Setting time limits for open comments is is great if that works for you. It wouldn't work for me, I'm afraid. Consider this:

      – If I link to a previous post while making a comparative point or writing a "best of," when people get there, they can't continue the conversation.

      – Google brings people through many points of entry on my blog. They aren't searching by date, but by topic. I like the idea that a conversation can resume down the line.

      – I find more spam coming in on new posts than old ones, making the point moot here. Apparently my spammers only find "fresh meat" to be worthy.

      – I use LinkWithin to add related thumbnail links at the bottom of each new post, which increases traffic and time spent on my blog. People hop around to any point at any time and I think closed comments would make the post feel old rather than undiscovered.

      I'd love to hear what your experience is like. Do you find it helpful? Were you getting a lot of spam on your site's older posts?

      And please, feel free to rant, recognize that rant, and keep ranting – anytime. That really made me laugh. 🙂

  14. First of all, thanks for visiting my blog and for the nice comment. I am trying to do everything you've advised me, but it takes time and I don't usually have a lot of it.

    You sure sound like you have a lot of experience with blogging. It's nice that you have fun doing it too.

    However, I have to admit one thing… I really don't like WordPress. But leaving my personal opinion aside, you're right about comment moderation and captchas. That is why I disabled both, they are really useless. I'd be lucky to get any comments, let alone need to moderate them.

    Thanks again for sharing your opinions!

    • Hi Lavi,

      Thanks for your nice comment in return. Whatever you do, do it at your own pace and read around. My opinion is just one in a sea of many and what works for me may not work for you. And you aren't alone in preferring Blogger over WordPress. Many like the ease of Blogger, although it offers less control. (I prefer total control.) That your happy with the platform you use is what matters. "Hurrah!" for disabling captchyas and moderation!

  15. Hi Kim,

    It's so great that I found your site (plus so many other cool pet ones) through this challenge. Your sense of humour in your post really appeals…….I have to say, I totally agree with everything in point number 7!! Can I also add, sites that don't have a notify me of replies to my comment button, I love the conversation aspect of blogging and I'm terrible at remembering to go back and check to see if I got a reply 🙂

    I love your list of places you're off to visit, sounds great, especially Grand Cayman, have you been there before? I used to live there and still have lots of connections with it, including my sister living there, it's a greeeeat place!! Hope you have a fab time….

    Ok, off to find your sign me up button now……:)

    Annette and Snoopy

    • Thanks, Snoopy. Awesome point. I love that notification feature too. In fact, I used it heavily for the Pet Blogger Challenge. There are just way too many comments to track – and I've only been able to visit half the list!

      Yes, we went to Grand Cayman last year. It was a quick day stop where we walked around town but we also took my 89 year-old father-in-law 100 feet below sea level in the submarine Atlantis. He was in awe as we made our way around the coral reef and ocean shelf. Of course, so was I! How great that you have connections there. I would love to go back. This year we're Mexico-bound.

      I'm so glad I found you, and that you found me back. Thanks again!

  16. I had a two comment rule for moderation set up on WordPress. A user had to make two comments before comments would appear instantly. Recently, I removed that and have relied on Askimet to catch all the spam and it's doing a pretty good job! The less barriers to a conversation, the better!

    Blogger personally drives me nuts! If the blogger doesn't have the name/URL feature set up, I don't even bother commenting. I don't like using my Google User ID and since I have a hacked version of WordPress, that doesn't work, either.

    Thanks for sharing your afilliate strategies, I'm going to look into ShareASale.

    • Yes, Karen. Do check out Shareasale. I made 90 bucks through them since October. You choose the ad you want to host and get the code. That's it. Pretty sweet.

      Thanks too for the validation that you don't like using Google ID and that Blogger's WP login doesn't work for you either.

      – My Google ID leads to my former Blogger test profile, one Google doesn't allow anyone to delete, so now I can't even direct it to my gmail profile/avatar which at least has my blog URL listed as my main website. That infuriates me to no end. I've spent days trying to get around this and just gave up.

      – And I can't sign in with WP either, hacked or not. (How do you hack WP?)

      – I tried to sign up for Open ID but learned you have to pay for it and it requires fiddling with your DNS c-name listing. This is not for the less-than-tech-savvy.

      So YES! I just want the name/URL option too. Which reminds me… Even with that, I hate that non-Blogger users don't even get a placeholder icon. It makes our comment blend in with the one before it.

      Google, if you're reading this, I hate your exclusive, if-you're-not-on-Blogger.-your not-in-the-in-crowd attitude. Grow up already.

      Updated since originally posting: Akismet is terrific, in my opinion. Only rarely does it tag spam that isn't and my filter is always full of scanned crap that never made it public.

  17. Jen (MyBrownNewfies) says:

    Hi Kim,

    Wow! I really enjoyed learning more about your blog and your insights!

    I also love your landseer, he is gorgeous! My first Newf was a landseer and will always be the love of my life:)

    • ALL Newfies rule… and drool. Last night, when I went up to bed, I found Shamus laying between the sheets with his head on my pillow. What, what, what? No way was I using that pillow case again, not without a good washing first. I'm so glad I use pillow case liners so the wet spot couldn't soak through. 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by!

  18. So sorry to hear about the fish!

    • Thanks, Debbie. That was a sad drama for my poor cichlid and me. Cichlids are so responsive and he truly was a pet. He was with me for 2 years but a recurring skin disease kept eating at him. It must have been so painful and treatment kept failing. It was at that point I learned the most humane way to put a fish to sleep: placing him in a container of water in the freezer and letting the slow drop in temperature shut down his systems. It certainly didn't feel humane but his pain is gone. Ugh. So sad, still.

  19. Great post! It's been great going through the list and reading about what makes people tick, love the idea! It was good to get to know more about you, I really enjoyed it and thanks so much for the top tips too!

  20. hi there ms klune. i have to tell you, this is not the 1st time i've been here but i was too afraid to comment before because you look like quite a serious blog :p

    you certainly have a lot of experience as a blogger! probably the most of any of these challenge posts i've read. i didn't realise blogs even existed in 1997, albeit in a different form. i should, because i'm old enough!

    as for the moderated comments…SORRY! i do find them useful in one way. it doesn't matter which post the person comments on, the notification actually lets me know. i've also seen some blogs that activate the moderation thingy because of spamming. of course, i wouldn't know anything about spamming because i'm not big enough to be spammed. thank goodness for small mercies.

    anyway, thank you for your comment on my post. it sparked off a new story for me, and some awards. haha! have a lovely day 🙂

    • Me? A serious blog? Oh dear. I'll have to fix that! Ha!

      I visited your post. Awarding commenters – with very cutely named awards, I might add – is an awesome idea! Glad to have inspired it in my all-seeing, all-knowing (and wholly blind and unintentional) way. 🙂

      As for notification, isn't there way other than comment moderation? WP sends an email every time somebody comments, regardless of moderation. I'm not sure that option exists in Blogger. If it doesn't, it should. (One more reason for me to intensely dislike them if it doesn't.)

  21. I'm so glad to hear you say some of the things about syndication and disqus. That's always been my sense too, and I'm glad I never wasted time on experimenting with them.

    • I'm still torn about Syndication. Thinking out loud…

      If we believe that folks must see a brand 3-5 times before registering any kind of recognition, I suppose syndication might offer that. If so, is it better to have Dogtime Media's 25 million of readers access me somewhere, anywhere? It certainly doesn't help my own traffic with only 3-4 click throughs all year. And none of my own advertising is on their pages, meaning they make money off of me and I get nothing. But how many people know me there and I'm just not aware? Unless they start offering analytics on our individual posts, I'll never know. Still, I can't help but think DogTime readers barely see my name in a flash as I'm buried by the next 30 posts per minute. Perhaps scarcity would add value to This One Wild Life, not mass exposure in unregulated spaces.

      Hmmm. Will ponder.

  22. Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know about the hip replacement surgeries! I had been dreading when the time actually comes for Riley to have the surgery but now I know that it does get better once they've had the surgery. I guess I'm really just dreading the weeks of crate rest. One of my old dog trainers has Rottweilers and they've gone through 4 or 5 hip replacements and came out fine so I really don't know why I'm dreading it so bad! Anyway, thanks for the encouragement!!

    Elyse (and Riley)

    • Riley needs a hip replacement surgery? How old is he? (btw mom-in-law had one, helped a lot)

    • So glad I could help! I'm not saying the weeks of crate rest are easy. We all went a little stir crazy, but when it's over, that's never the part you remember. I remember most that my sweet Bill was happily playing tug of war right up until the day he died (an undetected tumor ruptured then) and Jack had one less thing on his plate while entering cancer remission. That, for both dogs, was worth all the inconvenience in the world. As I said before, I suspect the Newf is next – and then my husband with a knee replacement. Our dogs's successes has certainly given Tim confidence.

  23. Okay, Kim…I've got a bone to pick with you…BOL…

    First let me say, I'm on Blogger, and I DESPISE that stupid captcha thing! Comment moderation is also a big pain in the rear, and I've probably neglected way too many great blogs just because I didn't do the Disqus correctly – I think a lot of them never went through. I have to admit, I've had a lack of the name/url option on mine, simply because everything I read when trying to figure out how to set the comments basically referred to allowing 'anonymous' as something along the lines of the bogeyman. You may now freely comment on my blog, you'll be happy to know I've changed it.:) (Just don't sign as Bogeyman)

    Want a real kicker? Digging through "help" forums, I came across a back-and-forth about the comment options; a third-party system was highly recommended—-Disqus!!!!

    Proof: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thr… (near the bottom of the discourse)

    I about fell over laughing!

    Finally, thanks to you, my head is hurting. You give us all this information to think about, stuff to check out, and then slamdunk it with blasting the blogosphere right through the atmosphere with your #7. Wow.

    Seriously,though, thank you, Kim!!! This is an awesome post, it's chock-full of some heavy-duty help! And of course, as always, I just have to say I love reading whatever you write/photograph/videotape!

    • Uh oh! Looks like I'm stirring pots everywhere!

      THANK YOU for changing your comment system. I say this on behalf of not just myself, but every other blogger who commented here in similar frustration – and surely the bogeyman too but we'll deal with him in other ways. 😛

      That leads me to your next point: the recommendation of Disqus. In the forum you list, it was offered as a solution to Blogger's flawed system, not necessarily to tout how great Disqus is. Still, some A-lister bloggers love Disqus, like Scott Stratten – who gets more comments than God and probably doesn't even know if he loses a few along the way. What he likes is being able to delete spam via email notifications. Others don't like this method at all, like Chris Brogan who takes response to his audience very seriously and wants the system to flow as openly as possible. I'm not saying Stratten doesn't, he just prefers a different method. By the wayt, Stratten goes OFF about comment moderation in his BlogWorld keynote. He seriously hates the way it kills the flow of communication.

      Last but not least, thank you for the very nice compliments.

      Now take two aspirin and call me in the morning. 🙂

  24. Loved your post! I always wondered why so many have comment moderation. BTW, your (and Amy's) BTC4Animals inspired my very first blog post. Thank you for that and for the Blogger Challenge badge too!

    Diane and Cosmo

  25. This is the first time I've been to your blog and I'm glad I stopped by as your insights give me some things to think about. Thanks for being part of the challenge.

  26. Kim – I always enjoy reading your posts. Your passion always comes through and I love that.

    This was a great post. I learned so much more about you and how you got to be such an awesome blogger! Here are some thoughts I had reading your blogger challenge responses:

    – I never knew she had a dog named Bill OR that he was a pitbull/border collie mix (I bet he was an interesting looking dog. I wonder if she has any pics of him on her blog?)

    – Wow! She only started this blog in 2009? I thought it had been around forever since it is soooo good and looks so professional.

    – Lara Kulpa looks like a very fun person to hang out with. Seriously. I would love to meet her. I bet she's a stitch.

    – Totally agree on offering just the best and not blogging on a schedule (I think I'm rethinking my blogging focus for 2011. Hmmm…..)

    – Kim creates websites and offers support for bloggers? Who knew?

    – Yup. So agree on the "like least" list.

    – I can't wait for the travel-logs!

    – I wonder if Kim will be sharing a picture of her cat injury? 🙂

    Honestly Kim, it was really great to read your thoughtful, informative and funny responses. So glad I finally made it to your blog on the Pet Blogger Challenge!

    • Hahaha, Mel.

      Thanks for the oh-so-serious feedback!

      – Yes, I have a photo of bill under Cast of Characters> Dogs We've Fostered

      – Yep, 2009. Is it wrong to say I'm kinda glad you're all duped? I mean, is it wrong to say I'm glad I never looked like an amateur?

      – Lara Kulpa, a stitch? Hahaha. You don't know the least of it. I met her after tweeting snarky comments from the parking lot of an event she spoke at. When I walked in, I didn't realize a giant screen displayed tweets with the event's hashtag. Lara recognized my avatar, stuck her finger in my direction and said, "YOU! You're effing FUNNY!" – only she didn't say effing. I had no idea who she was or what she was talking about, but we've been friends ever since.

      – Schedules are great for business blogs. Passion is great for hobbies. Mixing both just requires some schedule tweaking that keeps the passion alive.

      – Who knew? I knew. I just assumed other pet bloggers did too. Not that I was putting it out there. Kinda funny, really.

      – The “like least” list is generating a lot of fandom. Happy to be validated!

      – The travel-logs won't likely run as long as my Alaska series, but I'm going to have fun with it and I'll try to be sure you have fun with it too!

      – A picture of my cat injury? Uh. No. Jackson's claw hooked into my forehead without dragging so the mark looked too wimpy for all the whining I did. Not worth a photo at all.

      As always, Mel, I love our dialog. 🙂

  27. Kim, I especially loved part of one of your replies: "Google, if you’re reading this, I hate your exclusive, if-you’re-not-on-Blogger.-your not-in-the-in-crowd attitude. Grow up already."

    Awesome! Thanks for the great Pet Blogger Challenge post (and for the creating the badge!) I look forward to reading your blog regularly from now on and following the adventures of your cast of characters!

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years

    • Chandra,

      I found that statement particularly satisfying too. I needed to release all that pent up resentment of, "You're Google. Can't you do better than this?"

      Thanks for climbing aboard This One Wild Life!

      I'll do my best to keep you entertained!

  28. Read your post the first day–I'm still getting around the blogs leaving comments. I think I was slowed down by some bad Blogger comment mojo so I feel your pain.

    I think it's obvious from reading the comments that if Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett are rock stars to you, you're a rock star to many of us. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I love the awesome videos from Alaska.

  29. Pamela,

    I'm sorry to hear that your comment mojo was thwarted. Glad you came back here to say so! And, good grief, I am no rock star. The closest I come is playing an unnamed, lower class, colonial wife on the History Channel. Ha! But I thank you for your kindness all the same and I'm so glad to know you traveled Alaska with me!

Trackbacks

  1. […] 2011 Pet Blogger Challenge Beyond the Honeymoon. Oour relationship once reached toward limitless horizons representing all that life had to offer – until your  animal welfare addictions and product review promises eclipsed my vast and varied interests. I began to resent your commitment to others over your commitment to me, aching to indulge in South American travel logs and fully flesh out Ghanaian volunteer notes into colorful adventures with you by my side. These needs starved for your attention.  […]

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