Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Monday Morning Staff Meeting. Last week you got nothing but plastic wrapped fortune cookies but this week I made a trip out to the local apple orchard to pick up cider doughnuts for everyone.


This is a fall tradition in the midwest. And yes, cider doughnuts have cider in the batter. They are fried up fresh while you wait. Nothing better. Grab them while they're hot. And pour yourself a cup of coffee or glass of cider before we get down to business.

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What's on the agenda this morning? Well, first on the list is an invitation.

My sister and I are participating in a craft sale at Belvidere's Fall Harvest Festival. If you're in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, Iowa or Michicagn, you might entertain the thought of a beautiful drive in the country. Belvidere is west of Chicago and east of Rockfard.


If you find our booth and say hi, I'll have a special gift for you.

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It's with great sadness that I report that Mrs. Cleaver has passed away.

Barbara Billingsley, the actress who played the Beaver's mother, has passed away at age 94.

My childhood friend Edie, was possessed with a mom who was Mrs. Cleaver incarnate. She was from a time place where where women cleaned the house in shirtdresses and pearls. Believe it! Edie's mom was always dressed to the nines. I don't remember my mom cleaning the house in pearls but there were plenty of moms who did.

Leave it to Beaver is a classic and my siblings and I can admit that we found ourselves in some of the same situations as Beaver, his brother and Eddie Haskell. Didn't we all know a kid like Eddie?

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OK, I need to say something that seems to have popped up in a major way on blogs lately. Blogs I read. Blogs I love....or loved at one time.

Hey, we could use some revenue in this house, and I do have two itty-bitty, teeny tiny ads on my blog but SERIOUSLY.... I do not click on a blog to read a blatant commercial message. This has happened three times in the last week, on blogs I used to enjoy and respect.

If I find something that I love, you bet I'm going to share that information with you. And if someone offers me a product to review I will be up front with you about that situation. But to read gushing, obviously marketing-department written copy pawned off as your own endorsement is just too much!

I've been blogging from nearly the beginning and in the beginning bloggers struggled to be taken seriously. Now, with the advent of big advertising bucks we run the risk of becoming shills for these companies. Think long and hard about why you blog and what you're willing to do in the name of money.

At a recent blogging get-together I asked the ladies a question, "Would you still blog if no one was reading?"

The answer speaks to your motivation and passion.

If you're blogging simply to grow numbers and generate revenue, that's fine I guess. That's a job. Once this blogging experience becomes a job to me, I'm outta here because I want it to be interesting and fun and NOT a job.

I'm also no longer interested in reading "blog-erprises", blogs that have become enterprises with slick portals and multi-subject blogs that cannot possibly be written and maintained by one person. That's a business, not a blog. It's complicated though because I do need to advertise my sewing business and what better than a "Blog-erprise" to get my word out?

I'm conflicted! Any thoughts?

The blogosphere is changing. I'm not quite sure how this will all shake out.

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I'll be very busy this week preparing for the craft fair. I'll be back to share some pictures from the apple orchard and perhaps a story or two.

Now I'm turning the meeting over to you. Thanks for visiting with me today.


chocolatechic said...

I have had many people suggest that I advertise, but I refuse.

I can not stand going to blogs that advertise....however, I read so many of them in my google reader that I don't see if they advertise or not.

If no one read my blog, I'd still blog. I do it for me, and no one else.

Suzanne said...

Chic - I don't mind the blogs that run ads down their sidebar because I've found some really cool stuff in those small shops but I just cannot abide the blog entries that are out and out commercials.

Like I said, I'm very conflicted because my invitation to the craft fair could be considered an "ad". I just don't know!

Ang. said...

I wish I could come see you at Belvidere! We will be in town the next weekend for Pumpkin Fest. Its too much to make that trip 2 weekends in a row.

There are not the orchards in western Illinois that there are in northern Illinois. I miss fresh pressed cider and donuts. Yummy.

Anonymous said...

I just finished a sugared cider donut and fresh cider, great breakfast!
I agree with you on the ads in some blogs, I try to ignore them.
I would love to visit you at the craft fair, but its a bit too far. Hope you do well!

Debbie said...

Suzanne, as usual, I enjoy these meetings. I agree about the ad thing. I don't really understand it, have never researched it. I don't even know what kind of money we're talking about. But I have been surprised to see some blogs literally change overnight, visually and virtually, with ads! I always wonder what these things have to do with the blog or blogger I am following. But to each his own. If it seems too commercial, I'll stop following.
I've done some advertising of my own crafts on my blog a time or two. I have even bought some crafts from others who showed something I liked on their blog. I don't think that's a problem. If I came to your house and saw something you made, you'd agree to make me one and I'd pay you whatever you generally charge. But if I came over and you had 'billboards' and scrolling messages in your yard, your place might not seem so appealing anymore. Anyway, pass me one more doughnut, warm up my coffee, and I will have to run.
Later, Deb

Suzanne said...

Ang - Oh, I wish you could come! I saw them preparing Sycamore for Pumpkin Fest. You should have a good time. I don't know what I'd do without a trip to the orchard in the fall. Maybe you can squeeze it in next weekend. Try Kuiper's, just east of Sycamore.

Pam - Oh, drats! Too far. Maybe we can arrange a cyber-trip for you.

Debbie - Here's the thing. The bigger blogs - the really, really big time blogs bring in incredible amounts of money. We're talking.... your husband and you could quit your jobs kind of money. That's what is so seductive about it. But those blogs mostly stay on topic in their blog posts and put the ads on the sidebars and such. What I have a problem with is going to a blog and finding a post that says something like...."Oh, I LOVE this product. It contains 30% glycol and 20% blabbedy blah." You know for sure that the person did not write this copy... it's ad copy. I'm not interested in reading ad copy. For one thing I had to write that stuff for years!!!

jrmom said...

I'm on the fence about the whole blog advertising thing. I just purchased a book about professional blogging and its been an interesting read. However, at this point the blogs I read I enjoy and trust. If someone tells me they use a certain product I believe them and I fear if we start advertising for the products I won't have a trusted source for product endorsement anymore. One gal I follow does various segments (sports bras, granola bars, etc...), and the reviews are honest. How do I know? There are review that say things are NOT worth the money. I really don't want to lose that!

PamKittyMorning said...

Ohh interesting. I've been mulling over the whole blog thing lately. Do you think blogging is dead or at least dying? I've read about that and I wonder what other people thing? I feel a little intimidated by the beautiful blogs out there, where people blog clever stuff with beautiful photos ALL THE STINKEN TIME. Its a lot of pressure.

But yes the ads. UGh.

Spend the Thyme Farm said...

I'm new to the blogging activity. My daughters encouraged me to blog about our little farm. We have a 5-acre farmette and sell plants in the spring and pumpkins in the fall. Originally, it was intended to help get the word out about our little farm stand. But something happened along the way. I started sharing about life, farm, God, and so much more. I was just asking myself this very question a few posts ago. Why do I blog? Well, it is fun, it is a way to share our farm journey, and I have met some lovely folks who have left comments. So, I will keep blogging and hope to maybe encourage and share our story here in BELVIDERE, IL!!! So, how exciting is that! I am so excited to stop by your booth and meet you. How wonderful! Wishing you the best at the fair! See you then!

Anonymous said...

There are (were) a couple of bloggers that I used to enjoy, but because of the commercial aspect, I visit less frequently. How annoying is it to have an ad "crawling" across the page???

Thirkellgirl said...

I don't have any trouble with you advertising your stuff on your own blog. I do hate when blogs become nothing BUT commercials. For Dayspring (the Nester), for all sorts of companies (Young House), for Matthew Mead (Restyled Home). I just don't want to read that, and there are plenty of other blogs that have lovely photos I can peruse.

QuiltNCards said...

Hi Suzanne,
I love your MMM! and wish I could stop by your craft show, but I live in CA! I don't mind the ads in the margins, but the ones that are right down the middle annoy me. I have thought about allowing blogger to put ads on my blog, but I wouldn't want to have something there that I don't personally endorse or even like. I don't stop reading a blog because of the ads, but in a very ironic way I stop reading them when they stop blogging for a long while. I haven't blogged all that often. Maybe that is why I only have 3 followers, all relatives, but not all my relatives! I do love your blog! Keep on keeping on - and whatever you decide about ads, I'll be reading. <3 Terri

Anonymous said...

where can i get a good recipe to make these?

Lovella ♥ said...

As soon as I heard donughts were being passed around. . .I popped right over.
I love your staff meeting format. .it is interesting and made me smile.
I was watching the news about June Cleaver passing away. .I loved that show. My mom was like her minus the really perfected look.

About blog reading. I agree .. that it really must be a passion that one does simply to write and record memories or simply to put thoughts down on "paper".
I've been rather annoyed lately at all the spam coming through. I've removed my WV to make commenting easier but it may have to go back on. .I'll see how patient I can be.
In the meantime. .I just wanted to say thank you so much for visiting Mennonite Girls Can cook. .we value your visits and look forward to more. .
Lovella fromn MGCC

lifeinredshoes said...

Good morning Suzanne! I have a bucket of pumpkin bagels and schmear if we run out of donuts?
Blogging, I do it for myself, and for the feedback. I think most of us have at least dreamed of making money doing it, but few actually do.
I guess I would call it my hobby, and I'm also intimidated by all the fancy schmancy ones. But I think the true grit are ones like ours, homespun and genuine:)

Sure wish I could make to your show, I'll be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I have not been reading blogs for many years but I do really enjoy the ones I follow. I have stopped reading the ones with lots of ads and the ones that take a staff to keep it going. I really enjoyed that one the first few years but no longer. Keep writing, I really enjoy your blog. Thanks, Linda

Vee said...

Conflicted about the ads? Why, yes, I am. I have been asked to do a few reviews or to do some "subtle" advertising in exchange for a giveaway for my readers. That's hard to turn down, but I have turned down most of them. No money and no presents for me. And the thing is, in these extremely challenging financial times, so many of us could use an extra dollar so it's hard to be too judgmental about those who take the offer. Still, I don't like those jazzy blogs as much as I love a visit here or with Chocolatechic or Lovella. I can think of one blog that changed overnight and it's not nearly the fun that it used to be. On the other hand, I'll visit PW every few days and love it.

Millicent said...

Hi, Suzanne, I've never had cider donuts, but they sound yummy. I love your blog and the way you do it. Ads down the side are ok, but I don't usually look at them. Mentioning your craft show is not bad advertising to me, and if I didn't live in TX, I'd be there. You do a great job with your blog. Keep up the good work.

Farmchick said...

Enjoyed reading through some of your posts. I am a farmer's wife and a farmer's daughter too. So, I have lived on farms my entire life. Hope you can stop by for a visit sometime soon. ;)