September 13, 2012

Survey Results

Alright.  I've had a week to think about the survey results and a week to think about what I really want to do here on this blog.  It was so helpful to read your ideas and suggestions and I am really grateful that you would take the time to respond like you did.  I was floored that so many of you responded.  There were over 1500 surveys filled out.  I was so touched and I read through all of them.

It kind of gave me a pick-me-up that I needed.  I feel the same way so many of you do.  I feel connected to you.  You help me feel like I'm not alone in this journey.  I feel like we're friends and your thoughtful comments meant a whole lot to me.  Thank you.

Now I would like to tell you what I've been thinking.  I want to share some of the thoughts I've had and explain a few things.

Naturally, we all know we can't please everyone.  Some of you want more girl tutorials.  Some of you want more boy tutorials.  A few of you want boy tutorials, but not superhero stuff.  Some people love that there's a new post everyday.  Some don't mind if there are less.  It's challenging to read everyone's requests because I'm a person who naturally likes to please others.  However, I know that's not possible and I above all I need to make sure I love what I do (or frankly, you probably won't either).

So here are my decisions, responses, and plans for the next while here.  I've highlighted the questions and I'm giving you my take on things.  I put the most pertinent questions at the beginning, in case you don't want to read the whole post.  I know it's a bit long.

Are you going to quit blogging?

Someday I will, but I'm NOT going to quit tomorrow.  I still love it.  I appreciate all of you and feel the same way that a lot of you do.  Blogging helps me feel like there are other people in the same stage who I can relate to and I love the chance to share my ideas with you.

Let's get right to the controversial part and get it over with.  Are you going to truncate your posts?

If you indicated that truncating would be annoying, please hear me out here.  I will be as honest as possible.


While I didn't originally start this blog as a "job," it has helped our family a lot.  My husband doesn't have a "salary."  His job is 100% commission and that can be great at times and really hard at other times.  There's no guarantee with our finances and it makes me really happy to be able to cushion that and take some pressure off of him.  We've had major ups and downs in the past couple of years and now blogging is helping to even things out a little.

What does that have to do with truncating?  Because I am paid according to how many pageviews I receive.  If you read my blog in the reader, it's never counted as a pageview.  Ouch.

In any other job, this concept would be absurd.  Can you imagine what it would be like if fast food restaurants only made money if you came into the restaurant, but the restaurant never received a dime when people used the drive thru?

Blogs are free content.  It's like a free subscription to a great magazine.  However, the editor/author is only paid if you click.  I realize that 2 seconds to load seems like a lot for some of you, but it's FREE.
I think anyone who has tried blogging recognizes that it's a whole lot of work.

I will be truncating from here on out.

AND, if it's frustrating to you, I highly recommend trying out the "NEXT" button in google reader.  (Thank you ladies who mentioned it to me.)  I think it's a win-win situation for us.  I just switched myself and I love it.  Here's how it works.  Open your reader and click the drop down menu I circled in orange below.



These are the choices in the drop down menu.  Click on "reader settings."





Then click on the "Goodies" tab at the top of the page.






You will be taken to a page where you'll see these instructions.  Just drag the next button to your bookmark bar above and you're done.



Then when you want to read your posts you don't even have to go to google reader.  Just click the "next" button and it will take you to the next unread post in your reader.  The load time isn't bad and you get to see the whole page and header (which I enjoy on other blogs).  Plus, you help the reader of that blog because your pageview is actually counted.  When posts are truncated, they won't be for you.  You will see the full post.  You can even comment.  It's pretty sweet.

Most of my favorite blog truncated and I still read them.  I'm hoping you'll do the same, but if it's that big of a deal then I'm sorry to frustrate you.  That is NOT my intent.  No need to send me the raging emails.  I'm saying sorry now and that's all I can do.  I hope you understand my view.

Are you going to slow down your blogging pace?

Yes....a little.  I've blogged everyday for 2.5 years.  Just lately I've had the desire to change things up a bit.  I want to stay up on current events.  I'm trying to exercise more.  I want to go on more excursions with my boys.  I want a little release from deadlines.  I'm not slowing down a ton, but I'm just not promising 7 days a week.  Thank you for your kind comments in your survey about that.

What about Wake Up Wednesdays?

Most of you indicated that you like WUW and I'm so grateful for that.  I do Wake Up Wednesdays for two real reasons.

1) I am trying to become a better person.  I have a long way to go.  If I don't plan on doing good things then I don't do them.  It's sad, but true.

2) In 10-20 years I'll probably look back on most of my ideas here and laugh.  I'll wonder why I liked three doors for a headboard and I might even think chevron is ugly.  However, I believe that I will never regret trying to become a better person or encouraging others to do the same.  It's the kind of thing that lives on.  I believe it's more important than all my other content.

Where did the "Blogs I Love" section go?

I removed it about a month ago because it was really hard to keep updated.  I switch around the blogs I read a lot.  I felt bad removing a blog from the list when I stopped reading it.   I didn't want the list to feel exclusive.  If I left them all on and kept adding more the list would be enormous.

Will there be another round of "For the Love" series?

I really enjoyed this series.  I'm so glad we did it.  I plan on continuing to do charity things here, but they will probably be a little different next time.  I think we'll do something more like the Tohoku Tote.  It only took one post and raised a whole lot of money.  I'm open to ideas, though.  I'm still thinking about that one.

What about the content?

I try and create things I think our family needs.  I make boy stuff because I have boys.  (I do occasional girl things because I do have nieces, though.)  The content changes as our needs do.  When I decorate a room, you get a little more home decor posts.  When the room is done, there are more sewing posts.  I will still do some children's activities during the year, but they won't be as prominent as they were during the summer.  A few of you mentioned inexpensive, handmade Christmas gift ideas.  I'll get thinking about that one.  Thanks for the great idea.

If you liked what you've always seen here, then you'll like what's to come.

I hate sponsored posts!

A few of you mentioned that you don't like sponsored posts.  I understand that.  I prefer reading the articles in a magazine more than staring at the ads.  However, I don't take on a lot of them.  (In the last two months there have been 4 and that's including a Silhoeutte deal, which really isn't a sponsored post. I don't feel 4 out of 60 posts is something to complain about.)  If it's a non-crafty product I have always kept those posts for Saturdays so that they are easy to skip.  If it's a crafty product and I'm doing a tutorial for it, I will post it during the weekdays because it's still a craft tutorial.

I try to do very few sponsored posts.  I will say yes to sponsored posts with products I really want to try because I think that if I like them, you will too.  I like telling you about things I love.

"I want more Silhouette tutorials" vs. "I don't like tutorials requiring expensive equipment that I don't have."

There are definitely two sides to this one.  I remember when the Silhouette came out.  I wasn't in the first group that received one.  I wasn't in the second, third, forth, or fifth.  I was bummed because everyone was doing cool stuff with it and I didn't have $300 to whip out on one.

That's why I don't do a lot of Silhouette tutorials.  Sorry!

Now, here's the other side of the deal.  I do some Silhouette tutorials/posts, because I truly love the machine and I figure the person who created it deserves to spread the word about the rockin' invention to those who might be interested in it.  It's a great product and I tell you about the promotions for it when they come because I think it's worth talking about.

So, I'm trying to keep both parties happy here.
____________________________________________________

And that's a wrap.  Phew!  If you read all of that you totally rock :)  Thank you so much for reading this blog.  See you tomorrow.

56 comments:

  1. thank you for this post. It was very personal and took time to summarize all that info. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to whatever you have in store for us!!

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  2. Do you know if there is a way to "un-truncate" blogs using the mobile version of google reader? Sometimes, it takes like 10 minutes (ok maybe 5?) to load a web page, and I just give up. Depending on my wireless signal, sometimes the page never loads.

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  3. I didn't know that reading posts in reader made it so that I don't count as a page read. I have installed the next button and will read blogs like that when I read them on my computer. Sadly, I often use a mobile device where that will not work. I enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing with us all.

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  4. Great post!! and yes, I LOVE the next button!

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  5. Dear Cheri, I hope you made a mistype in this sentence:

    Are you going to quit blogging?
    Someday I will, but I'm going to quit tomorrow. I still love it.

    You're NOT going to quit tomorrow, right? Please? Pretty please? :)

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  6. Thanks for your tip on the "bookmark" in reader! That is awesome! I actually prefer truncated posts because I never have time to read all that is in my reader when I actually check it (I subscribe to a LOT of political and current events stuff and check to stay informed throughout the day). I love to be able to just open what looks like an interesting article in a new tab (so if you can truncate with a featured image would be perfect) and come back to it later without scrolling down forever before deciding I want to read it after all and then scroll back up to be able to open the link. With this new bookmark I don't have to clog it up with a million new tabs either!

    AWESOME!

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  7. I really do dislike truncating, but I will try your trick for absolute sure. I am constantly shocked about the gall (sp?) of some people writing nasty emails to bloggers about their content. Shocks me every time a blogger says it, so I just wanted to say, don't let the naysayers get ya down. You have a voice, use it. It's so easy to take it personal, but some people are just plain old grouchy, mean bullies - for no reason at all. Send them a virtual hugg and keep it movin. Here's to a fresh start.

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  8. Awesome post! I just wanted to mention-- I use firefox, and I use ADP (ad block plus). I've recently started disabling it on mom blogs (like yours). I didn't realize that I was causing you all to make less money. Also, blogging is hard work! (really, really, hard!) You should definitely be compensated for it. (and not feel like you have to apologize.

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  9. I am fine with truncating when I am on my computer, but for using mobile devices, its a nightmare. I like being able to read one or two posts while waiting in lines, but its so inconvenient with truncated posts. I usually wait until I am at a computer, but I am also much less likely to read the post, or I let them build up and read a bunch at ones. Its not that truncating is terrible, it can just alienate readers who use a mobile version.

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  10. I was one that would have been annoyed at truncated posts, but now that I know the reason for doing it, I wholeheartedly support you and thanks for sharing the "next" button!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing the results of your survey. My friend and I are starting a blog and the information gives me food for thought. I also don't like the truncated posts, but now see the reason for them. My Google reader is really slow and so I usually only go to truncated posts if they look really interesting. I have installed the next button and can't wait to see how it works.

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  12. That was great. I hope you feel settled about your worries. Remember, we're here because we like you. Keep up the good work.

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  13. I don't comment often on blogs I read but wanted to thank you for this post. I'm so glad you mentioned the next button in Google's reader. That will be awesome and my favorite blogs will get all the page counts they deserve. I've enjoyed your past content and look forward to the new as well. I understand there are other reasons for truncating posts that help protect the the blogger's work. That being said I'm all for truncating. I enjoy your posts and thank you for all your hard work. I have small boys close to yours in age and enjoy seeing the things you do with and for them. Your boys make me smile and appreciate mine.

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  14. I just tried the next button and I LOVE it. It is actually way faster than reading in my reader and bloggers will get credit for me reading their posts. Thanks for the info.

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  15. I've been reading your blog almost since the beginning and though I definitely love some parts more than others, I keep coming back because of your honesty and creativity. If you lose some readers because of changes you need to make you shouldn't worry too much because you'll surely gain new ones who appreciate what you do. I stopped posting on my blog almost 2 years ago because I couldn't post everyday and it seemed like that's what you have to do to be read. Now I miss sharing things I make for my children or my home. Do what you have to do and we'll still be here. Thanks for your honesty, as always.

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  16. Good for you - I'm glad you sorted it all out. I enjoy your blog and I am waaaay past you stage in life! I just find it very uplifting and worthy of my time. I'm glad you make money blogging and that you're able to help out your family. Family is what it's all about! Follow your heart!

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  17. I hope that the survey results helped you feel more confident in the directions you want to take your blog. Remember we're here because we like you so just follow your heart :)

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  18. Thanks for such a thoughtful response. Be yourself, everyone else is already taken, or so I hear. And I'm on board with truncating, makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for adding to our daily lives.

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  19. i love bloglovin...it shows me all the new posts and i can easily mark as read if it's something i want to skip...AND when i do go read it takes me directly to the blog page. i have no idea any blogs are truncated unless i go there looking for something and have to scroll through tons of posts...
    AND sponsored posts are like commercials....and we all deal with those...

    and i love you and your blog!

    the end.

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  20. This next button is fabulous! Thanks for telling us about it :) And thanks for blogging. I really appreciate it!

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  21. Love the Next button!
    Seriously, you share the content for free, so none of us should complain about anything you do that would pay for you to do this. I recently started advertising on my blog and I made 36 cents last month. Yeah...that's a load of money. Lol.

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  22. Thanks for letting us know that reading you in a reader does not count for your per click. I had no idea. I for one have no problem clicking over to see your amazing content. You deserve all the due credit for your hard work. I just love your blog and have been encouraged to try many new things. Thank you for your time and effort.

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  23. Thanks for letting us know that reading you in a reader does not count for your per click. I had no idea. I for one have no problem clicking over to see your amazing content. You deserve all the due credit for your hard work. I just love your blog and have been encouraged to try many new things. Thank you for your time and effort.

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  24. Great info on the Next Button! I installed it today.

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  25. It ALL makes perfect sense to me! Once again you have taught me something I didn't know about google reader. I love what you said about looking back 20 years and not liking some of the things you have done but being happy that you are trying to be a better person. I am sure you get lot's of comments, not always nice ones, but you are a smart chick and you have your priorities straight, don't let others lead you down the wrong path to please them. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for the future! xoxo

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  26. I haven't been as faithful of a reader as I used to be so I missed the survey. Not because I don't still love your blog! I have just been trying to stay offline more. But I wanted to say, I think what draws me to your blog the most is seeing what a good person you are. You are the type of person I want to be. Caring and giving towards others and an awesomely involved mom! While I am always aspiring to be more of that type of person, you definitely help encourage me and inspire me even more! I think your blog is exactly how a blog should be...one that changes and grows as you and your family do. I will be here reading as long as you are blogging! And as a mom of 3 boys, I am loving the boy tutorials! There aren't very many blogs out there with boy ideas! Keep doing what you love! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  27. Yay! This is all so good to read! Truncate away my dear!! So relieved that your not going anywhere anytime soon :)

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  28. This is going to be random but follow your blog post:
    I love google reader next button, I've used it for more than a year now, and it's great to see the blogs themselves when you read the posts!. I don't think your blog should ever overwhelm you, nobody works 7 days a week and if they do they really shouldn't, everyone needs a break. I loved your blog even when it was mostly boy tutorials and I didn't even have a boy. I have a boy now and I get really excited when I see a boy tutorial! ;) I love how true you are to yourself and I love the Wednesday posts even if I don't always read them if I'm in a rush(but you still get my pageview lol)...they remind me to be purposeful.
    And sponsored posts don't bother me, to an extent. There are some blogs that I used to love that I unsubscribed to because they started to have more sponsored posts or go-buy-this-thing-so-i-can-get-free-credit-on-this-site type posts than actual content posts, or at least it felt that way. I only have so much time to read/comment on blogs, when I do have any lol, so if more than half the posts are consistently basically ads or dealsite alerts, I do unsub and hope to see their stuff on Pinterest. Your blog has never even come close to bothering me even a little bit! :)

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  29. Thank you! I enjoy reading your blog because you are uplifting and creative and you think and care about others. I think you ought to get paid and you are clever for being able to. I read your blog through my reader on my phone, but from now on, I will open it in a new window.

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  30. I really appreciate your explanation of why you do certain posts, but I feel it's a bit sad that you're trying so hard to please others with YOUR blog! Do what is best for you and your family, and I'm sure we'll see how much you're loving it and will continue reading along. You're a beautiful mom and I love what you have to say about your world. Just keep being true to yourself and I'm certain things will work out!

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  31. I just think you are so great. You are sincere and real and just wonderful. That's all I have to say. :)

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  32. OMG, the Next button rocks! Thanks for that tidbit.

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  33. I want to apologize. I read you blog all of the time; I think it's wonderful! I didn't know that I was depriving you (or any of the other bloggers) of my head/click count when I read through reader. I've set up my next button and I'm excited that I'll actually reading through the page not only because it helps all of you wonderful bloggers but because it makes it easier for me to read the comments too-- win/win! Thank you for giving us the 411.

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  34. Note to self, don't type and help your kids on the computer at the same time: ) Sorry about the typos: )

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  35. I enjoyed reading this and seeing others input. I also love the NEXT button and use it most of the time so people get their page views. I'm glad you explained that useful bit of info Cheri. You are a great person and inspire me and so many others!

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  36. oh my goodness- thank you for the next button! i had no idea it existed. i recently started using a reader because it was so much easier than going to each blog individually, but i also missed the cozy feel of being at the webpage. and youve just fixed that for me with the added bonus of the page view counting! thank you!

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  37. Thanks for the next button! I love the reader but hate that it doesn't count toward page views. I'm glad there is a way around that. Keep up the good work. I love to read your blog and see your tutorials. We all have different talents and skills and I envy yours with your decorating and ability to come up with cool boy ideas. I have 3 boys and have always struggled with that. Thanks for all you do!

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  38. I am trying the next button. When you truncate you feed, please please put a picture in so I can see what you are up to. I find I click far far more often when there is a tempting photo.

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  39. I can't believe you haven't been truncating your posts all along! If it were me and it meant additional income, I would have been doing it all along. :) Clicking over from Reader is no big deal. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

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  40. I had no idea that my 'reader' reads didn't count. That sucks! But thank you thank you for the 'Next' tip. I just stuck it up there, so here's to 'Next'! I think it's wonderful that you try to please all of us; I'm not really that kind of gal most of the time so it's refreshing to hear of one. At the same time I truly believe in doing things that make you happy. So I applaud your 'I do it cause I love it' attitude as well and encourage you to keep at it.
    PS: This is the first time I've ever commented on a blog. EVER! :)

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  41. I've been reading craft blogs for a couple years, and I can count on one hand the times I have commented. Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog :) It's great and your boys are adorable. I love that your posts are down-to-earth and that you're trying to be a better person through your wake-up-Wednesdays. Keep up the great work!

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  42. One last thing. I always use google reader (which obviously I'll have to change from now on) and obviously you've started truncating them. But I almost didn't click on the link because in the reader it doesn't show a "Continue reading" or "read more" link. The text just stops, so I thought maybe there was just something wrong with the post and it wasn't published completely. Granted, I know some other truncated blogs do that same thing, but if people don't yet know that you've truncated they might think the same thing, too. Just a thought :)

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  43. Thank you so much for the tip about the next button! I use Google Reader, and I've often wished it was easier to visit the actual site to leave comments, etc. while still keeping track of all the blogs I read!

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  44. Cheri,
    Thanks for being you! You really inspire me to be a more thoughtful blogger, to plan things out and ask myself, why am I doing this? I appreciate it and everything you do.
    xo
    Heather

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  45. I didn't realize that it didn't count as a page view when you use reader. Thank you for that bit of information! Just added the Next button! Love what you do and hope you keep doing it for a long time!

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  46. Whatever you chose to do, I'll be reading! And I'll make sure to click over as often as possible so they "count!" Have a great weekend!

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  47. I am so glad you told us about not getting credited with page views in Reader. I really didn't know that. Going back to using my NEXT button for sure! Want to help out my favourite bloggers any way I can.

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  48. I was kind of irritated that you started truncating your post. I do totally understand why. I have other blogs I follow that do the same thing and they have explained why. It makes perfect sense. You absolutely have the right to make money at your blog. It's YOUR blog. Not mine or anyone else's.
    All is forgiven though because you have told me about this "next" button. I love it!! Thank you so much for sharing that. I do really like to see everyone's actual pages but once I discovered Google Reader, it made my blog reading so much easier I just went with that. I will be using the "next" button all the time now.
    Thank you for everything you do here. I really look forward to your posts.

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  49. Thanks for explaining the reasoning behind the truncating. It makes a little more sense, now that a blog owner has explained it.
    But, I don't really like it. I'm mostly on my iPhone all the time, and loading the page separate is time consuming. I know everyone does not have this problem, but it really affects those who do.
    Thanks for all you do.

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  50. I'm actually glad you won't be posting everyday! For me that gets overwhelming, I like a good post at least once a week but I'm ok with every 2-3 weeks too (I know I'm weird ;o)

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  51. What you have in your truncated post was enough to send me over read the rest of what you wrote. I love google reader so I can make sure I hit a blog that has updated content, but when I read something that is interesting I click over, usually because I want to pin it or tweet it. Keep up the good work.

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  52. I'm still not sure I completely understand trunicating (but it's almost midnight so) but that has to do with the ads here on your blog? If I continue to come here every day directly to www.iammommahearmeroar.net you'll get paid for it or am I suppose to be going to my google dashboard? I hardly ever read any blogs through my google dashboard and honestly I forget about it. I'm just trying to understand and so I can make sure you do get paid for your awesomeness!

    I enjoy your blog very much! I said in my survey, I understood if you had to lessen your time, because you have a beautiful family too to be with. I still love everything you do here! Especially the boy things, because I have a little boy and there aren't very many boy things. Continued support-Betsy! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Coming straight to my blog always works. It's just the technicality with google reader. You are fine. Thanks for asking! You are so kind!

      Cheri

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  53. Since my own job situation changed and I started to work at home, I don't take time to browse blogs on the computer. I only read on my Touch. I hope that someday the rules/software changes so those visits count for bloggers like you need the page views to count. For now I will bid you a fond farewell and look forward to whenever our lives line up again!

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  54. You are awesome, Cheri.

    The best part about the "NEXT" button is that when you catch up on your reader, you get this message: "Congratulations, you've reached the end of this internet." That makes me happy.

    You are a wonderful, inspirational, lovely person. Do what you need/want to do and we'll keep following.

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  55. I just wanted to add my thanks about the "Next" button from Google Reader! I hate having to click all the way through all the blogs I follow (which is why Google Reader is so great!) but then I'm also aware that you don't get my page-view count and ad-view count. The internal struggle between my guilt and my laziness has been making me feel quite bad [seriously...I'm weirdly sensitive like that!].

    I now get to read every blog I follow, without the hassle of clicking up and down a menu, without clogging up my bookmark bar and also without feeling like I'm robbing my favourite bloggers of valuable income. THANKYOU!

    p.s. I teach at a secondary school - my form group are 15-16 year old boys (with a single girl!) we love your "Wake Up Wednesday" Feature as we get to try something new every week. Admittedly we don't always manage each challenge, but we always think about them and do something "nice" to make up for not meeting your challenge. Thankyou for inspiring us!

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