Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Congratulations to all those who’ve made it to the short-list…. well done you!

I haven’t, but no matter.  I was in the ‘personal’ category this year…. which I thought strange, but I guess it is how ‘you’ out there read my blog and categorise it…. it is not my opinion that matters.  And, of course, thank you to whoever you are that nominated me!


photo courtesy of Blog Awards Ireland

photo courtesy of Blog Awards Ireland


I volunteered to help with the judging this year, as I have done for the past three years.  And, yes, didn’t I write a blog post about learning to say ‘no’ to volunteering…. I am still learning!!!!!

Obviously, I didn’t get involved in judging in the category that we were nominated in, but I did do a few others, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Firstly, I think every blogger should volunteer to judge.  It is good for you.  You learn a lot.  You will see what amazing talent is out there, and appreciate the competition!  You will be blown away by the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes… mostly on a voluntary basis.

Through judging I have found blogs (and people) from around the world, that I would perhaps never have found, and now I communicate with them on a regular basis… they’ve become virtual friends.

I’ve had people say to me that they would not know enough about some of the topics to be competent to judge them.  To that I say ‘stuff and nonsense’.  It is up to the blogger to bring you into their world, and enthral you with their passion. You will learn from that.  I couldn’t write a ‘humorous’ post…. but I do know when a post makes me laugh or giggle.

So to all of you I say, give a little time.  Don’t say you are ‘too busy’ – we all are! The call for volunteers usually goes out in June or so… be ready next year.

My second point today is to all those new bloggers (there were over 200 of them this year).  I know as that was one of the categories I judged. Or if you are thinking about starting a blog…. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure to put in an ‘About’ section.  So many of the ‘new’ blogs didn’t have an ‘about’ section…. it is very difficult for the reader to establish where you are based, what is the purpose of your blog, why are you writing.

Just a little detail about who you are, why you are blogging, even explain the name of your blog.  Just anything to make you a real person.

To all you finalists, fingers and toes are crossed for you on Saturday night.  Of course, I have already chosen who my winners would be…. let’s see if I’m right 🙂

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As if I needed prompting!

This is what was said to me just a few months after I lost my job in 2009…. just at a time when I was job searching and trying to find a way to make a living.

I knew this person, and they knew my circumstances.  They were then, and still are, working in the public service for over 20 years.  Take a 2 week foreign holiday every year, change their car annually,  and are on a damn fine salary and pension.

I remember standing in front of her, wondering is she in the real world at all?  I was too dumbfounded to even respond.

Looking down over the valley

Looking down over the valley

In the past few months I have been angered by people who have approached us and asked us to work for ‘free’.

We both do our fair share of volunteering and are glad to do it.

However, like everyone else we need to make a living.   Hence the reason I put this up on the blog and on the website.  And, yes, it is tough out there.

There are weeks here when we wonder where the funds are going to come from to feed the pigs.

And yes, we know we are lucky too, as we have a very good life, and are luckier than some.

We’ve had people approach and ask us to share how we built the market for the pork.  How we cost and price our product?  One person even wanted us to write the Business Plan for his pork business!!!  I kid you not.

However, perhaps the worst – and I had to calm down substantially before I could write about this – was being approached by a Government agency twice in recent months and asked to write blog posts for FREE!

On the first occasion I decided, in an effort to stay calm, to ignore the email – the topic was not even relevant to any of you, so why would I write about it?

The second time around – the agency was asking me to promote another commercial business – but again I would do so for FREE.  Of course, I would – NOT.

The topic, by the way, would have put me in a difficult position with some other local producers.

I calmed down, and waited overnight to make sure I was calm.  I wrote back and politely said that writing blog posts is what I do to promote our business, and that I occasionally will write a sponsored post, if it ‘fits’ into what we do here.   I explained that while I would be delighted to advise the company on how to use social media, etc. to promote their business, naturally I would have to charge a fee.

To say their response was ‘out of order’ is putting it mildly.  They were actually rude and totally out of line.

You can probably sense that I am still angry!!!!

This all coming from a government agency whose whole remit is to ‘support and assist’ small businesses.

Is it any wonder this country is in the mess it is in?

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