One for the good guys…

Hi there, dalecooper57 here, I’ve just popped in to tell you about my latest attempt to make the internet a nicer place to be.
Have a read and see if you’d like to get involved. You know it makes sense.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, bloggers are some of the nicest people I’ve met on the internet.
Whether it’s raising money for good causes, increasing awareness of social issues or simply providing help and advice to other bloggers and aspiring writers, there’s always someone who’s willing to lend a hand or act as a sounding board for new ideas.

Well I think it’s time we put some of that goodwill to good use.

The mass media, social media and the internet in general are so full of bad news, inequality and small mindedness these days, that sometimes it’s just good to read about something decent happening for the sake of decency itself, without any hidden agenda or need for personal gain being involved.

The amount of lazy, thoughtless racism and casual, allegedly comical bigotry that permeates the average antisocial network in the 21st century sometimes makes scrolling down a newsfeed an exercise in anger management and restraint, when it should be a reasonably innocent way of killing time and keeping in touch with friends.
And that’s without the videos of gratuitously violent executions, the inane rantings of Katy Hopkins or people trying to drink themselves to death.

Which brings me neatly to the subject of this post, the continued rise in the idiotic, dangerous and now officially deadly social media game, Neknomination, which has now claimed at least two lives as a result of “players” daring each other to indulge in massive alcohol intake in a short space of time.
Now however, the inventors of the game have begun furiously backpedaling in the face of the public backlash generated by the deaths, and by incidents involving kids unused to drinking becoming seriously ill after downing ridiculous quantities of alcohol.
In one case, a mother came home to find her nineteen year-old son unconscious on the sofa after having drunk three bottles of spirits and posted a photo of him covered in vomit on Facebook to teach him a lesson. He was lucky that he passed out whilst sitting up, had he been lying down he almost certainly would have died.

So the instigators of the craze have told their followers to switch instead to Donominate, the idea being that participants nominate each other to do “random acts of kindness” for strangers.

Now, call me cynical but I can’t picture the sort of bloke (unsurprisingly the players are almost all male) who’d drink a pint of whiskey with the contents of an ashtray tipped into it would suddenly take to carrying old ladies’ shopping or mowing lawns, just because some faceless internet goblin told him to.
I also have serious doubts about the sincerity of the goblins, thinking it rather more likely that they are attempting to dig themselves out of a hole of their own making, in the face of furious public opinion.

But let’s just for a moment be charitable and assume they are fully sincere and terribly contrite, the concept of doing small good deeds purely for the sake of it definitely has the makings of workable idea.
All it needs is a group of like-minded people who are prepared to put the idea into practice.

Do you see where I’m going with this…?

Yes that’s right, I am officially inaugurating a whole new branch of internet-philanthropy, Blognominate.

No, wait, come back!
This doesn’t involve donating money, sponsoring an event or even sitting in bathfulls of baked beans, all it requires is that you, the enlightened bloggers of the web, perform some small act of kindness for another person, whether it be a complete stranger or a needy neighbour, in the hope that the resulting karmic harmonics go some way to redress the balance of goodness in the world.

I haven’t been able to raise a team for this year’s Exmoor Startrek charity night hike and we haven’t had a chance to do any daft dressing up at work recently, so for my part it seemed as good a time as any to try and engage in some goodwill recruitment on the factory floor this morning.
And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the willingness of my colleagues to pledge their support to my plan, which is as follows;

I have asked my workmates for a list of candidates from which we can choose one or more people who we agree would benefit from a random act of kindness, and once we come up with a suggestion we shall organise a party of willing volunteers to somehow make their lives just that little bit easier or more cheerful.
It doesn’t have to be spectacular, it could be anything from tidying up a garden or doing a bit of decorating, to collecting shopping or clearing out a garage. Nothing that’s going to cost a fortune or require specialist equipment, just something to demonstrate that there are plenty of folks out there who are happy to make the world a better place by giving of themselves for no other reason than it feels good to do good.

Whatever we decide to do, you can be sure I shall document it with photos and possibly video in a future post.

So how about it, I’m nominating all of you, are you up for it?

Obviously you don’t have to be a blogger to take part, I’m sure anyone reading this has somebody they know that would appreciate a helping hand.
But if you have a Facebook account or any other social media profile, why not ask your friends to join you for the Blognominate challenge and help score one for the good guys.


Mega-Twits of the World Unite

So I been trying to increase my twitter following just lately. The more I use twitter, the more I like it. I can scroll through all the tweets of the people I follow and just pick the ones I want to read and open the links I specifically want to read rather than trying to find loads of blogs and other articles on the web.

It is also great for promoting my blog as my followers get links to my posts and in turn their followers can see who they follow and well it is self perpetuating (in theory).

But you see this is where I see a problem – I see all these people with thousands of twitter followers

Click image to follow me!

and I have to assume they follow most of them back.

I currently follow about 250 Twitterers and  it would take me all day just to keep up with the tweets I get everyday – and believe you me I do actually try to get through as many as I can each day. I would never get any work done. Now I am not even talking about actually reading every tweet, I’m just talking about scanning and picking out the ones I want to actually read.

So am I being stupid and does nobody else have this problem. How do all these #mega-twits (my name for a person who has thousands of twitter followers) actually read or even attempt to read any tweets?

Jus sayin……


I’m Not A Virgin Anymore!

It is my 2nd bloggerversary and I now consider myself as an experienced blogger.  I am not a virgin at this blogging thing anymore.  The last 2 years have been been absolutely amazing.  I have made some awesome friends all over the world and I would like nothing more than to do a blogger trip and meet some of you amazing people.   I have also grown in so many ways over the last 2 years.  I have found the path to rediscovering myself and I have my blog to thank for it.

I bragged about 6 weeks ago that I had just reached 100,000 pageviews and since then I have hit well over 200,000 pageviews.  I have spent many hours trying to understand the stats and analytics and read so many articles and other blogs about what influences the stats and what to believe or not believe.  For almost 2 years, most of my viewership were based in the USA.  Currently France tops the list and Germany is second on the list with viewers from the USA now in 3rd place. I have no idea what influences this and I finally give up and accept the stats for what they are.  Deep down inside I hope the numbers are correct but to be perfectly honest, as much as I love you all, I blog for myself and am grateful to anyone who takes the time out of their day to read my blog.  So a HUGE THANK YOU to all you fellow bloggers and friends and blog surfers.

Hope you have noticed that I have a new look and feel to my blog.  I am sure there will be some tweaking over the next few weeks so please be patient.  Constructive criticism is very welcome so feel free to leave a comment or recommendation.  I will also be introducing some new ideas and hope they go down well with you all.

You will also notice I have a blog roll in the left hand column of other blogs I read and follow.  Please take the time to pop on over to read them all and say hi.  I haven’t always got the time to comment on each of their posts but I read every post they put up.  Some of them have become very close personal friends of mine.

And then there are the tabs under my header – The ABOUT ME tab obviously speaks for itself.  I am also a contributing author to Ramblings of a Semi-Mad Man and these posts are listed under the RAMBLING POSTS tab.  And feel free to contact me via my FACEBOOK or CONTACT ME tabs.  I would love to hear from you all.

So let me know what you think of the new look.

Writer’s Block

I was complaining to a fellow blogger the other day about the fact that I just cannot seem to sit and write a post at the moment.  I can think of titles for posts.  I start writing the first sentence…… and then nothing.  I have no more words.  I have had this problem for the last 2 weeks.  One of the reasons for my Bananas post last week – and that went down very well just by the way…….

So we then started debating whether we were entitled to use the term “Writer” and in turn if we were entitled to use the term “Writer’s Block“.

To be quite honest, I actually don’t know what entitles one to use the term “Writer”.  At what point are you considered a writer?  Is this after you have been published?  Is it after you have sold any of your works or made money from writing?  Or does it apply to wider audience such as bloggers?

We then started playing around and making up alternative words to use in place of writer’s block.

Eventually we had a short list of 3 or 4 words and we eventually agreed to use the term “Blogstipation“.

So today I thought I would brag about the fact that I have coined a new term.  And then I looked the word up in Google – and guess what – the phase has already been coined:

Taken from Urban Dictionary:
n. Inability to blog regularly
n. Inability to think of anything to blog about

What’s My Blog Contest

I would like to thank Nell at the Rambling Couch Potato for including my blog in her What’s My Blog Contest.  I feel very special being included.

She has chosen 25 blogs and is asking 25 questions about them over the next 25 days.  Winner who answers the most questions gets a prize.

Mosey on over there and have a look…..

She has chosen the following blogs (I’ve put some of the links in):

1) Ramblings From an Upside Down Life
2) Chasing the Donkey
3) Life Cherries
4) Free is My Life
5) Good Golly Miss Hollie
6) Menopausal Mother
7) Pleasantly Crazy
8) Jayme (The Story Corner)
9) Katerina Wilhemina (Chatter Busy)
10) Rednecklatte
11) Tamathaa (Recipe for a Home)
12) Casey (A Dull Roar…)
13) Crystal Reads
14) Style4Curves
15) Martha Preston
16) Marieesbella
17)  PamelaMKramer (A Renaissance Woman)
18) Glitter
19)  Dana McIntyre (Home is Where Your Mom Is)
20) Ybonda
21) Life N Canvas
22) Mom n Stinks
23) Circusmum
24) The Southern Lady
25) Ont Jokes


My eldest sent this to me this morning and I had a good laugh.  I thought it was good enough to go on my blog….

My hubby always gets my birthday and our anniversary dates mixed up.  At the beginning of May each year he says: “Just remind me – is your birthday on the 21st or 29th?” At the beginning of September each year he says: “Just remind me – is our anniversary on the 21st or 29th?”   

At least he gets the months right!

It’s my First Bloggerversary

It is my first bloggerversary today.  It is hard to imagine life without blogging – and to think I have just been doing this for a year.  It all started in June last year when I attended a social networking workshop.  There were these 2 young ladies boasting about their blog at the workshop.  And I actually felt quite threatened that they could do something I could not.  So it all started as a personal challenge.  If they could do it, I could do it better.

So I came home and did some research and Voila!  Lifecherries was born.  The name came about by pure trial and error – I tried so many names and combination of names but they were all taken.  The official title of my blog is “Life is just a bowl of cherries” buy I typically shorten it to Lifecherries or Life Cherries.

When I started blogging, I thought I would do a few posts to prove that I could do it.  A few months in I was still going strong and then decided to get my own domain.  I try to post at least twice a week but this is not as easy as it sounds.

The greatest challenge about blogging:
Trying to find things to write about.  Writing does not come naturally to me.  I have to think about things – alot – and by the time I press the publish button – I have read and re-written the post a gazillion times.

Pictures is another challenge.  I spend ages looking for just the right picture – and then you find the right picture but you don’t have the right to use it.  I have even contacted a few fellow bloggers and requested permission to use their pictures – only to find they have ignored me.  Paying for pictures is all fine and well, but when you are posting a few times a week it can become a costly affair.  Especially if you don’t make any  money from blogging.

The greatest joy about blogging:
Blogging is like having your own shrink with you 24/7.  It is so therapeutic.  It gets things off your chest and just makes the world a better place.  It is difficult to explain this to people.  You don’t necessarily have to blog about the person or thing that is pissing you off the most to feel a sense of relief – just spewing out words gets things off your chest.  It makes you feel like someone is listening to you and you do matter.  It is also the one thing that is all mine.  It does not belong to my hubby or kids or anyone else – just me.  And it is really good having something that is all mine.

The hardest thing about blogging:
Getting an audience.  Pageviews shouldn’t matter – but they do.  And I spend hours and hours researching and trying new things and seeing if I do this or that brings more people.  The truth is that none of it makes any difference – you just have to keep on posting – and the more you post, the more people will be drawn to your blog.  There are literally millions of blogs out there and I am honored to have 1 person read my blog – so I am eternally grateful to all those who read my blog.

Comments is another thing.  I don’t get a huge amount of people commenting.  And I do understand why – I read a lot of blogs everyday, but if I commented on them all, I would never get any sleep.  So I suppose it works both ways.  I comment on a select few blogs regularly and find they generally comment on my blog in return.

Finding an identity:
I struggled with my identity and I still don’t think I have got this sorted yet.  I did not want to be labeled as a “Moms Blog”.  But the reality is I am a mom and this is a big part of who I am.  I am also middle aged, going through menopause, struggling with my own sexuality and sensuality.  And I like to write about all of it.  I wanted to write about anything and everything and I did not want to be dictated to about what I could and could not write about.  This is where the risque part come in and I have had to be honest in admitting that my blog is slightly risque.  I have had so many conversations with my friends who don’t read my blog because they think I am a little too “racy”.  I have also had conversations with some of my friends who appreciate the fact that I am open and honest and write about anything and everything.  I like being a little risque in my blog and I am not likely to change this anytime soon.

Have I benefited from my blog:
YES – Not financially but I have become friends with a few fellow bloggers.  One in particular who lives in Florida, USA.  She has become a huge influence in my life and I feel I can talk to her about anything.  I don’t have a lot of close personal friends so having her is about as close to a personal friend as I have.

I would like to thank all those who have visited my blog and especially those that come back regularly.  I really appreciated your patronage and I hope you keep coming back.