Blogosphere Monday Incoming special – Catch-up for Crusaders.

Okay, the Platform-Building Crusade is off with a bang, and I’ve been having a great time getting to know the other members of group 14 and the other crusaders who’ve dropped in to comment. I’ve also gotten a very warm and fuzzy feeling seeing my subscriber count and daily hits go up!

So, first off, I’ve got a stupid question that I hope somebody can help me with, and then, I’m going to steal a really good idea that I saw on another Crusader Blog to catch you up on what I’ve been doing lately.

EDITED – stupid question has been answered! To see the updates from blogspot sites that I’m following, all I need to do is go to – that’s the step that I was missing! (Full question ramble has been moved to the end of this post.)

The really good idea that I’m stealing, is to do a fairly quick catchup of some of the cool stuff I’ve been doing on my blog lately, along with links, so that if you happen to see something and think ‘Oh, that sounds really interesting, I should check that out!’ you’ll be able to do that easily and without much fuss. So – the Top Ten List of fun stuff I’ve done on my blog in the last six months…

10. Blogosphere spotlights. I tend to get a little too focused on what’s going on with myself and lose sight of the way blogging can be a social activity, so Blogosphere spotlights are a way of reminding myself to give shoutouts to other bloggers or fun blogging events that I run into – I often put my blogfest entries under the Blogosphere tag, or introduce things like the Crusade itself.

9. Hot water. Something that we all need a little of in our lives.

8. A Wizard of Mars. I finally got the new Diane Duane Young Wizard novel in hardcover, and I’ve been reading through it one chapter per week and sharing some of my favorite bits, going into her use of the writer’s craft and plotting

7. Fandom gatherings. I’ve done blog posts about a lot of conventions and other fun fandom events, including CSTS Toronto, Polaris 24, Fan Expo 2010, and the Browncoat Ball 2010.

6. Fanart flashbacks. Fanart is the practice of building your own pictures to convey something about somebody else’s creative world, usually a movie or a television show fandom. I’m not a great fanartist by any means, but I enjoy putting simple wallpapers and banners together, and I’ve selected some of my favorite creations to share with my blog audience and explain something about the basic tricks and why I love it.

5. Blog the cat. I’m interested in feature screenwriting and a Municipal Liaison for the Script Frenzy scriptwriting event. For seven weeks now, I’ve been going through Blake Snyder’s excellent book on how to write and sell a Hollywood screenplay, ‘Save the Cat’, and giving my thoughts on each chapter, including sharing my answers to the practice exercises.

4. Beat sheets. Before I began going through all of ‘Save the Cat’, I went through three of my favorite movies, and plotted how well their structure fit against Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet pattern.

3. Nanowrimo! I’m a regular participant in National Novel Writing Month, and made seventeen blog posts about Nanowrimo 2010, including three about the pre-November warmup, and sharing the highlights of my trip to San Francisco to attend the Night of Writing Dangerously with the Nanowrimo head office staff!

2. Snowflake method. I’m very interested in ways to plan out and structure a story before writing, and tried using the snowflake method in October 2010 as part of my preparation for Nano. I didn’t make it all the way through the full snowflake plan, but the results were interesting and helpful.

1. Blogisodes! These are little weekly stories that come in approximately 750 word installments, just the right size for a bit of light reading I think. I’ve done two blogisode series so far, one fantasy and one science fiction. You can find them both here.

I hope that this helps you feel more at home here, and I promise I’ll get my first Crusader Challenge posted by tomorrow.

**Full question text included here, though I am not looking for any more answers**

The stupid question has to do with Blogspot and how to be a follower. As you might have noticed, I’m not a blogspotter. When I started the Kelworth Files, for better or worse, I chose

I’ve noticed that most of you crusaders are on blogspot, and that you all seem to have that nifty little gadget that shows the face shots of all your followers. Rach said that I should be following other crusaders, so when I go to your blogspot, I can click on the ‘follow’ button with the Google logo, and add my own cartoon avatar to your army of followers. I presume that that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling too.

My question is – does it actually let me know when you’re posting new stuff, and if so, how? Google Friend Connect FAQ has been fairly unhelpful with this. I’ve gotten no emails letting me know about new crusader posts, and when I go to Google Reader, it’s pretty much empty. Is there something that I still need to do, am I missing the point, or do I need to go complain to support staff because what I’ve done so far should be working already and the fact that it’s apparently not means that something has gone wrong?

5 Responses to Blogosphere Monday Incoming special – Catch-up for Crusaders.

  1. Trisha says:

    For blogger users, you can see the latest entries of those people you’re following – but you can also use Google Reader if you have access to a Google account. As I use Gmail, it’s pretty easy to sign into that and then click on “Reader” in the links at the top. But as I understand it, you don’t have to have Gmail, you can just sign up for a Google account.

    Rachael wrote a great info post about using Reader, if you look down a few entries in her blog.


  2. Hi Chris!

    For people who use Blogger, following someone allows them to read other blogs through the Dashboard (the control panel). Since you use Google Reader, you need to add the blogs you’re interested in to the reader. You should see a “Add a Subscription” button in the upper left corner. Click that, paste in the blog’s address, and you should be all set. Hope this helps!


  3. Mike says:

    Looks like someone already answered your question. I think all you need is a google account which is super simple to setup.


  4. First of all, all your blogging ideas sound awesome. Secondly, I LOVE Diane Duane. Her So You Want to Be a Wizard series is amazing, and was pretty much a huge part of my intermediate and middle school years. One of these days, I’ll have to get around to reading the new stuff. 🙂

    ❤ Gina Blechman (fellow crusader)


  5. Well, I hope that you get it figured out. It is a really nice feeling to know when you have followers and when they are posting. Sometimes with WordPress, I don’t always know how to add them, other than email subscription so sometimes I copy and past the URL into my Google reader subscriptions. Best wishes from another crusader who is following.


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