Wit, Intrigue and Pragmatism…the ways to WordPress’s Heart.

The Freshly Pressed page: an honour, a privilege, a highly sought-after yet elusive territory into which every WordPress wants to gain access. If you aspire to have your much toiled-over blog post invited into this blogospherical popular group of sorts then you are very much like me. But don’t feel silly (I tell myself), don’t feel shallow (I tell myself) and don’t feel as if your priorities are in the wrong order (I tell myself) for the Freshly Pressed podium is simply a very effective method of exposing your message to a broader audience. And isn’t that the very purpose of blogging? (It is, it is!)

Freshly Pressed

Having scrutinised the Freshly Pressed page on a daily basis since the founding of Free Page Numbers, I’ve noticed a particular trend, one that everyone’s probably already aware of (I should stop flattering my own detective skills) but that I’ll point out anyway:

Titles of Freshly Pressed blog posts are usually one or more of the following:

  • Witty – Some even make you laugh out loud and you haven’t even clicked the link yet.
  • Suggestive of useful information – “Gee, I always did want to know how to do that!”
  • Intriguing – You just cannot help but find out what the title is alluding to.
  • Grammatically Correct – Rarely, if ever, will you stumble upon misspellings in the titles of the Freshly Pressed.

For example, there is currently a Freshly Pressed post titled ‘What Can You See in Fifty-Five Minutes and Thirty Seconds?’  which I judge to meet two of my four Freshly Pressed criteria: Intriguing and Grammatically Correct.

There is also one titled ‘How Watching Football is Like Dancing’ which meets three of my criteria: Grammatically Correct, Intriguing and Witty.

And if you’re still not convinced, here’s a final example: a recently Freshly Pressed blog post was labelled ‘How to Fake Your Own Death‘, a title that just so happens to meet all four of my criteria: Witty, Suggestive of useful information (who doesn’t want to know that?), Intriguing and Grammatically Correct.

So, having quite concretely established the keys to WordPress’s heart, I must now assess whether this post is worthy of some Freshly Pressed love:

  • Is it witty? Given that I think everything that comes out of my own mouth is utterly hilarious, I’m probably not the most unbiased source to ask but that small element of subjectivity aside, I think I’ll toot my own horn and say, of course it’s bloody witty!
  • Is it intriguing? “…the ways to WordPress’s Heart.” That’s intrigue right there, my friend.
  • Is it suggestive of useful information? Well, given that every WordPress blogger harbours a secret desire to be Freshly Pressed, I’m going to say that yes, a title that indicates a path to the Mother of Blogging’s heart is definitely suggestive of useful information. Vital information, even.
  • Is it grammatically correct? I am, if nothing else, a stickler for correct grammar.

Quite obviously and undeniably, this is a post worthy of a spot on the Freshly Pressed podium. Whether it actually features there or not is an entirely different story but let us all sleep peacefully knowing that it at least merited it!

So there you have it, my friends. If you want to win WordPress’s heart, make sure your posts are cocktails of wit, intrigue, pragmatism and grammar and you’ll soon all be partying it up in what is essentially the platinum lounge of the blogging world!

A Quotable Venture

To my dearest followers,

You have stuck with me through thick and thin, through bursts of intense blogging and through periods of none at all. You have commented, shared your thoughts and wisdom, played along and made me feel as if the nonsense I write has actual value.

Now, I invite you to join me on another adventure! I know I’ve alerted to you to many side-ventures that I’ve embarked on in conjunction with Free Page Numbers but this one is for real (in other words, I’m determined to actually stick with it.) My newest endeavour is this:

The Jungle Notebook – a blog devoted to the wonderful and intriguing world of quotes and inspirational literary extracts.

To quote what has become an adolescent mantra of 2012: You Only Live Once. So make sure you expose yourself to as much juicy, delicious and inspiring stuff as possible and let us all make this lifetime count!

Join me.

Itchy Feet

Itchy feet, wanderlust, the travel bug…whatever you want to call it, I have it. As you all know I’ve been campaigning for my own cause as of late: to raise the required funds to attend New York University. But NYU Welcome Week is in less than a month and I reached a point a couple of weeks ago where I could no longer deny the obvious…NYU is just not meant to feature in my very near future. Yes, I cried. A chucked a few things across the room. I wallowed pitifully in my own devastation. But the mourning period is over and I feel strangely liberated. My future is no longer clouded by one momentous, insurmountable goal but is instead a wide open playground of opportunity and adventure. What am I going to do with it? Eat, play, travel. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved travel. And at the ripe old age of nineteen, I feel finally ready to embark on my first solo exploration of the world. Who shall keep me company, you may ask? All of you! I plan to write about my travels, ideas, discoveries and so I’ve set up yet another blog: The Jungle Notebook. Named so for my love of the Disney film (based on a book) and for my plans to lose myself entirely in the cultural jungle that is Europe.

Join me, if you so please. Let us get lost.

Spreading the Blogger Love

Versatile Blogger Award

The story of why this made my day yesterday (feel free to skip this entire section for the sake of your sanity):

I wake up, I get to the office, I boil the kettle (because nobody is safe until I am adequately caffeinated) and I stumble sleepily to my desk. Oh, Tuesday, how I abhor you. You already suck and it’s only 8:15 in the godforsaken morning. The photocopier from hell sits behind me gurgling and humming like some hibernating beast though little does it know, its days are numbered. If it keeps spitting my paper back at me without doing as I instruct, I may just have to borrow someone’s sledgehammer and teach the stupid contraption a lesson about how best to survive a Tuesday morning in my company. Tip one: do as I say or die.

I decide that today is not the day for me to commit mass homicide (not sure that I’d find jail too comfortable) so something ought to be done about my violently foul mood.  Let’s blog! Yes, yes I do love to blog and it usually manages to markedly improve my mood. Having recently finished the delightful little book, ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, I set about reviewing it and finish doing so in record time. I proofread my work and actually like what I’ve written. Hoorah! “Publish”. This is where things go horribly, heinously, dangerously wrong. An error. A godforsaken error sent straight from the fiery pits of hell and involving the complete and total loss of my work, bar the title. You may suggest that saving my work as I went along would have resembled something like common sense but common sense is actually quite foreign in my world. My darling, precious article…gone. Poof.

I start again in a blind rage, just about bruising my finger tips with the force of my furious typing. It’s a damn good thing that my particular brand of laptop is physically hardy and can thereby survive the brunts of my tantrums. Spelling mistake after grammar error after incorrect sentence structure, I splatter my virtual page with a mess of word vomit. Yay for all my readers… Fortunately though, I’ve inhaled another two cups of coffee and I’m starting to touch base with sanity again so I have the sense to not post my manic spiel that resembles a rant, rather than a review. I give my backspace key a bit of a workout and some thirty minutes later… voilà! A publishable review! And I feel a little better.

My marginal mood improvement is set on fire not too long after however, by an incessant stream of stupid, mindless, inane and idiotic questions, tasks and work-related mood-killers. Tuesday, let me reiterate my former sentiment: I hate you with the fire of a thousand suns.

So, when logging onto my blog upon arriving home, it was with delight, euphoria and ecstasy that I discovered a message about the Versatile Blogger Award. This, ladies and gentlemen, saved Tuesdays from being banished entirely from my calendar.

Now, to the actual point of this post:

The angelic blogger who nominated me for this gem of an award was Kasia from Writer’s Block, and she should know just how appreciative I am. This wonderfully fun award comes with a wonderfully fun set of rules and they (copied straight from Writer’s Block) are as follows:

  1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post. 
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along 15 or 20.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Share 7 things about yourself:

  1. I was born in Zimbabwe but moved to Australia with my family when I was only seven years old.
  2. I am an aspiring actress with a taste also for writing.
  3. I am a vegan though I despise tofu and would happily live entirely off peanut buttered toast and potato chips.
  4. My favourite films are ‘Into the Wild’, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Outbreak’.
  5. I am painfully awkward in most social situations and would far rather have a movie night than go clubbing.
  6. I am mathematically challenged. I adore words but despise numbers.
  7. I’m seriously contemplating moving to the United States before the end of 2012.

Pass this award along to 15 other bloggers:

My recipients of this award are all wonderful blogs with wonderful posts and wonderful authors and it is with absolute pleasure that I nominate them:

Now that I’ve completed the four steps of being a recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award, I can sit back and grin like a maniacally happy blogger, fully recovered from traumatic Tuesday.

The Leibster Blog Award

Never heard of it? Well, neither had I until this morning when I checked my blog and discovered a wonderful little comment informing me that I’d been selected as a recipient!

The Leibster Blog Award is an informal (but wonderful!) award given to favourite blogs! Having been nominated as the favourite blog of a lovely reader out there, I am extremely honoured and appreciative! It’s absolutely wonderful to know that what I write is valued and enjoyed! The next step of the Leibster Blog Award is that recipients can then pass it on to their favourite blog. There are a few requirements:

 1. Say thank you to the blogger that nominated you! 
I send a very warm and appreciative thank you to Olivia for nominating Free Page Numbers as her favourite blog! I’m so happy that you enjoy what I write and I also thank you for being such a supportive reader, often commenting on my posts!

2. Provide a link to the person that nominated you.

You can find Olivia’s blog, ‘oliviasopinions’ by clicking here!

3. List the blogs that have had a positive impact on you. 

Oh, wow! I am a read-o-holic so there a quite a number of blogs that I love. But those that have had the biggest impact on my reading, writing and living are:

For the Love of Bookshops  for their consistent and bookish posts, always full of anecdotes and photography!

and also:

State of Motion for their interesting posts and Yearly-Challenge style way of blogging about books and films (my favourite things)!

4. Leave comments on their blogs to let them know that you voted for them. 

5. Post to your blog if you want to continue the cycle of awesomeness!

I think this is a wonderful concept. As a writer, the best feeling is to know that somebody out their appreciates what you’ve spent your time writing. I get such a buzz when I hear that somebody has connected with what I’ve said, has been inspired or has just gotten a laugh out of it. The blogosphere is a community and I’m so happy to be a part of it!

Grammatically yours,

Free Page Numbers