Blog views and other obsessions – Facebook pages and the news feed feature

One of the things I’ve found frustrating about Facebook pages is that the news feed feature disappeared one day without explanation and the pages I liked through my pages wound up on my personal news feed. That feed is now a mess. I barely look at it and never interact because it’s just too complicated to switch back and forth between my personal account and my pages.

I recently got a tip (thank you A!) that if you change your pages to business pages, you can access the news feed so I jumped on Facebook to check it out. At first, after I switched them to business pages, I had trouble seeing the news feed, then I found a hack that instructed me to add /news_feed to the URL. Voila! It was back, or so I thought. When I went through my feed, I only found posts from a few pages I liked, but most of the feed looked like paid posts.

I hopped over to my Books to Pen page, did the hack and got an official welcome to the Facebook News Feed. Yay! I followed the steps that prompted me to follow pages I’d already liked and off I went, tapping Follow for each. About halfway through, I was bounced out of Facebook and had to log back in. When I got back on the Books to Pen page, I had a new button for News Feed and a pretty healthy feed, although I have no idea if all the pages I like will actually show up, since I wasn’t able to follow all of them. The same thing happened for my dad’s page.

Sometimes I get the News Feed button…

Today I went on Facebook to look at my pages’ news feeds and the buttons were gone. So I typed in the hack and got a message that the link was broken. Boo!

…and sometimes I don’t.

Well I fiddled around, jumping back and forth between my pages and using the hack and I eventually got the news feed button back for two of my three pages and I can access the third feed if I add news_feed to the URL.

I don’t know. Does Facebook even like us? And do they want us to interact with other FB folks?

Have you tried accessing the news feed for your pages? Leave a comment below.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s January 2021 Recap

We are in the midst of a winter storm and pretty much snowed in with more to come. I was just beginning to think we were going to have an uneventful winter.

January came and went! I only read three books this month, but I’m already on track to read more in February.

Here’s a quick recap of book reviews and other things:

The Searcher by Tana French

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders


Blog views and other obsessions – two great tools for your blog – I’ve been spending a lot of time on Canva, which I talk about in this post. I have much to learn, though.


I featured two indie authors this month and have more lined up. Look for new Author Updates too!

Who’s That Indie Author? Kaitlyn Jain

Who’s That Indie Author? Bruce W. Bishop


Based on all the comments, I think we all had fun with this “How Well Read Are You” challenge. If you haven’t tried it, hop over and see!

How well read are you? Take this challenge and see!

Books on my list – based on the above challenge


What’s happening now? After finishing The Woman in the Window, I was in the mood for another psychological thriller and recently finished The Perfect Wife by Blake Pierce. Keep an eye out for my review. Right now I’m reading a new biography by Scott Eyman – Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise. It’s long, but I’m enjoying it very much and will probably review that before I get The Perfect Wife review out. I have two more books lined up. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel and My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing.

Pretty soon, I’m going to get up from under this blanket and make some soup for dinner. Back to work tomorrow! What are you doing on this winter day?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Blog views and other obsessions – two great tools for your blog

Like everyone else, despite the tough year we’ve all had, I learned a lot of new things in 2020. Today I’m sharing two great tools that are great for blogging.

Canva

You’ll feel like a graphic artist once you get familiar with how Canva works. It’s a graphic design platform with thousands of templates to use on your blog (like my new banner and this blog’s graphic) on social media and for other print items. The free version has loads of options. I had to learn how to use it for work and I’ve started using it more for my blog. What I like best about it is that the images you create are custom-sized for posts on a blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. so you don’t have to worry if you have the dimensions right. And I also like how they suggest color schemes based on any images you upload. Really great!


Linktree

I learned about Linktree from my boss. You know how on Instagram you can only have one link in your profile and that any URLs you include in a post are not actually linked to anything? And on Twitter, even though you can include live links in your tweets, you can only have one link in your bio. Kind of frustrating. Well Linktree lets you put all your links in on one link – it’s clean and easy and the free version is all that I need. Thanks, Boss!

I hope these are helpful tips for you, too. What new things did you learn this year about blogging and social media?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Blog views and other obsessions – the block editor

After a lot of talk and several blog posts about the new block editor, I finally made the switch. That’s why my blog looks a little different. I have to say, I mostly like it, but I’ve been frustrated about a couple things. I figured one out, but I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do the second one.

Shortlinks

Anyone have trouble finding where they are? After clicking around and around I finally looked it up and discovered it’s easy:

In Edit Post, click on the greet Jetpack icon located in the upper right of your screen. The Shortlink is about half-way down the vertical scroll sidebar. Problem solved!

Look for this icon.

Wrapping text around images

This has really puzzled me. That was one of the features in Classic Editor I used a lot. There’s a block called Media and Text that lets you put text next to an image, but it doesn’t wrap when the text runs below the image. Here’s what happens:

Here’s a nice image of a Thanksgiving turkey that I downloaded from Pexels. I used the Media and Text block. I selected Normal size font and you can see that once the text block becomes longer than the image, it doesn’t wrap around it.

Has anyone else run into this problem? How would you fix it? I’ve tried looking it up and after about twenty minutes, I gave up. I’m wondering if I care enough to figure it out or if I should just adapt to the new way of doing things. I guess you could end your text block just as it reaches the end of the image…

In general, I like the block editor and I really like the star rating block. That comes in really handy and I like how you can use the half stars.

What has your experience been? Leave a comment below and thanks for visiting!

Book Club Mom’s August 2020 recap

August was a good summer month for me. A few socially distant day trips to the beach made these summer days seem like normal. We still have more days of summer ahead, but yesterday I spotted candy corn and mini pumpkins at the grocery store. Is anyone thinking about Halloween? I’m not!

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve been doing:


Book Reviews

Near Prospect Park by Lawrence H. Levy

Sadie by Courtney Summers

The Deadly Houses by Charlie Gallagher

It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way by Mary Rowen

Short reviews from 2013: The Fault in Our Stars, The Silent Wife and Old School


Miscellaneous posts

Book Club Mom’s recommended biographies and memoirs

Bloggers’ recommended biographies and memoirs

Last lines of my Top 15 Faves

Latest and greatest book lists

Blog views and other obsessions – random thoughts


Who’s That Indie Author – new interview questions and a new look!

Who’s That Indie Author? Robin Delnoce


I hope you’re all healthy and doing well – leave a comment with any news!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Blog views and other obsessions – random thoughts

Hi Everyone! Today I’m sharing some random thoughts about blogging.

The blogging world is constantly evolving, whether we like it or not. Technology has changed dramatically since I started my blog seven years ago. I’ve always been interested in how things connect and for me, blogging and connecting though other social media is fun, but time and patience have their limits, don’t they?

I’m not dreading the new WordPress editor. I’ve already used it on my new blog, Books to Pen, but I’m in no hurry to convert Book Club Mom.

My blog has grown slowly, but steadily over the years and my focus has changed during this time. I’d like to have unlimited content ideas, but I don’t! That used to bother me, but now I don’t worry about it and wait for an idea to come to me.

I have a good idea for a new YouTube video, so stay tuned for that.

As for growing a blog – I wish WordPress would make it easier to follow and be followed. Even when I search for blogs and get a list, it’s still cumbersome. And it would be nice to see what blogs my favorite bloggers follow. Twitter has it all figured out in that department IMO.

I see a lot of swishy new blogs out there and I’m always looking for ways to update my look. I like my basic blog design but I’ve recently changed some of my banners. Last year I tried displaying book covers in more creative ways, but I moved away from that. I like the creative displays, but doing them myself felt like a force.

I’m getting ready to start an Instagram account. I resisted at first, but now I’m ready.

What’s new with your blog?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Many thanks to my recent Top Commenters!

Image: Pixabay

The nicest thing about blogging is engaging with reader comments. Today I want to thank my recent Top Commenters who always visit and stop to chat. They are terrific supporters of the blogging community and I consider them great blogging friends.  I hope you will visit their blogs too!


Fiction Favorites with John Howell – Thriller author John Howell started his blog as a forum for the free exchange of information and ideas. John follows a daily schedule of entertaining themed posts. From views of his neighborhood, top things not to do, and posts about the family dogs to John’s own “Johnku,” personal thoughts and original fiction, there is always something interesting going on at Fiction Favorites.


Jill Weatherholt – Jill is the author of inspirational romance novels and has just finished her fourth, A Home for Her Daughter, in stores August 25. Jill is a great supporter of authors and bloggers and a great blogging and Twitter friend. One of my favorite things about Jill’s blog is her “Would You Rather” feature – great questions that make you think!


The Chatter Blog – Author Colleen Faherty Brown is also a talented artist and deep thinker. She posts original sketches with philosophical thoughts, sometimes light, sometimes heavy and always thought-provoking. I especially like when she adds her drawings to the photographs she takes.


Darlene Foster’s Blog – Darlene is the author of children’s stories, a retired employment counsellor, and ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. She created her blog for writers, readers, travelers, dreamers and friends, old and new. She believes everyone has a right to dream and everyone has the capability to make their dreams come true.


Retirement Reflections – Prior to retirement, Donna lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years. Leaving international life behind, she and her husband retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. She started her blog to document both this transition and their new adventures. Her hiking photos and descriptions make me want to get outside and experience the same!


Robbie’s Inspiration – Robbie Cheadle is the author of children’s picture, middle grade and young adult books. She also writes adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie is an expert baker and fondant creator and she shares her artistry on her blog. These creations also appear in her Sir Chocolate children’s books. Robbie is a wonderful supporter of bloggers near and far.


Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s April, May and June recap

It’s no coincidence that I haven’t posted a monthly recap since this pandemic started. I haven’t felt like there was much to say or report. But now that three months have passed, I thought I’d better get the recaps back on schedule.

I’m sure we are all doing many of the same things. The empty shelves were really frightening to me in the beginning, but now the grocery store seems to be much better stocked. I missed out on the mad paper products run back in March, but we made it through without running out just the same.

I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. Have you?

I’ve mentioned our bird feeder in other posts. It has been a major form of entertainment for us and the subject of many conversations. Here a woodpecker is pretending no one will notice that he’s way too big to be on the feeder. He doesn’t care and jams his beak in there to get whatever he can get.

Last week we had a summer rain right before dinner and soon we had a pretty rainbow. Rainbows never get old, do they?

So, on to the blog. Here are links to my posts in April, May and June, in case you missed them.

Book Reviews

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
The Tenant by Katrine Engberg
A Hero of France by Alan Furst
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey
Yellow Door by C. Faherty Brown
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
Outsider by Linda Castillo

Marian Longenecker Beaman
Jason R. Koivu
Matthew Arnold Stern
Eileen Stephenson
Christy Cooper-Burnett
Cendrine Marrouat
Alice Benson
Lillian McCloy
John W. Howell
Darlene Foster
Dorothy A. Winsor
C. Faherty Brown
Graeme Cumming

Miscellaneous book and blog talk

Short reviews from 2013: The Cay, The Giver and Orphan Train
Blog views and other obsessions – coping with the coronavirus part 2
On animals, nature, books and live feeds
On YouTube today – books coming up and what I’ve been doing
Pretty, colorful and unique book covers
On audiobooks and coloring
Blog views and other obsessions – switching to new WordPress Block Editor on June 1
On virtual book hauling
Book talk – epistolary novels
Celebrating 7 years of blogging!

How are you doing? Did you settle in to this new way of life? Are you now adjusting to re-openings? Leave a comment and tell me how it’s been.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Celebrating 7 years of blogging!

This month is a big month for me because I reached my 7-year blogging anniversary and I’m also celebrating 1000 WordPress followers. So yay!

Today I’m sharing three of my most-viewed posts.


“House of Flowers” by Truman Capote


The Grapes of Wrath and the Great Depression


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


Thanks to everyone who follows, reads, comments and shares. I’m ready for another 7 years!

 

Blog views and other obsessions – switching to new WordPress Block Editor on June 1

Source: brainsonfire.com

You’ve probably already seen this announcement after you log in, but it snuck up on me. As of June 1, the old classic editor is out and the new WordPress Block Editor is in.

A brief explanation:

If you’ve launched your WordPress.com site in the past year and a half you may have never seen our older editor and are likely already using the more recent WordPress editor. Those of you who have an older site, though, might recognize this editing experience…Read more here.

I talked about this in an earlier post and there was a lot of discussion. Since then, I’ve only had a little bit of experience using the Block Editor on my other blog. I was hoping to have more practice before the launch. I guess we will all get used to the new one, but I’m sure there will be growing pains!

Are you ready?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!