Category Archives: blogging

The real question about those one-star votes


OK, I’m bored, and I need a break from grading, so I’ll take the bait.

I’ve wondered about the motivation within the person who occasionally finds it meaningful to jump on my blog here and give one-star votes to everything on the first page of posts, regardless of extremely wide differences in the content of each. It has happened before, and this week, happened again.

These disapproving votes first appeared shortly after I added a link to a reputable charity seeking to help Syrian refugees, who through no fault of their own have been forced from their homes with their children. So I suspect the voter dislikes Syrians or Muslims. I wish it bothered me more, but that sort of dislike has become cliché.

However, for me, at the moment, the motivation behind the one-star votes is not the real question.

The real question is why, after voting one star on six posts on my homepage, did the voter fail to click that single left-hand star on the final post?

The homepage, the landing page, always displays seven posts. Until the post you’re reading right now was published, the seventh post on this page stood without a vote. It was right there, barely a mouse-twitch away. I assure you that post is just as hostile as the six previous posts to everything the voter stands for. Now it’s gone over to the second page, out of reach to quick protest votes.

So, since the voter missed it, I’ll extend the opportunity and give the link. It’s right here. Go click one star on the post you missed, right here, right now.

One star is better than nothing. Thank you.

So, I took the bait. You’re welcome. Thanks for the break from grading.

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Footnote: Blog Stats at the End of the Semester


I just took some time out from the final grading crunch to peek at my stats. It’s interesting to see which blog posts get hits during the end of the semester—more interesting than some of the stuff I’m grading.

To be clear, I don’t think the hits come from the university where I teach, but based on stats, I think it’s fairly obvious students near and far are searching the Internet for sources and backgrounds.

I don’t see huge numbers, but I see some definite clusters. Of particular interest at the end of the semester are my previous posts here about Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Chekhov, Bart Ehrman, Stoicism, and Paul Holmer on how literature functions. Last week, I even saw a referring link from a plagiarism-detection site, suggesting that, whether someone gave proper credit or not, info in one of my links appeared in a research paper.

More pleasantly, and probably not due to college students, another trending post is “The Cultivation of Christmas Trees” by T.S. Eliot.

Now, for me, it’s back to grading fiction portfolios.

Nominated — and nominating — for The Versatile Blogger Award


The Versatile Blogger Award logoThank you to Finish That Novel! for nominating Public Work for The Versatile Blogger Award! I’m grateful and excited.

As a nominee, I am required to complete the following steps, which I’m happy to do. (I hope the blogs I’ve nominated will also complete these steps:)

  • Show the award on your blog.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 blogs (or as close as you can. . .)
  • Link your nominees’ blogs and let them know!

7 Facts About Me

  1. My wife and I have three daughters, ages 14, 12, and 9.
  2. I had three major stints in the newspaper business, totaling about 11 years. I’ve also been a freelance writer and columnist.
  3. For three years, between a couple of the newspaper stints, I owned and operated a combined coffeehouse and used-book store. The business was a hit but not a success, possibly due to the number of books I took home and kept.
  4. I’m 45 years old.
  5. Like many so-called Generation X-ers, I’ve never outgrown the musical tastes I developed in high school and college, including classic rock, hard rock, some heavy metal and some jazz of the John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus variety.
  6. I teach composition (with a side of old-school rhetoric) and creative writing at a four-year university. I love it.
  7. I’m not a serious cyclist, but I like to get outside on my bicycle and zip up the streets.

My Nominations

My nominations for The Versatile Blogger Award are:

Homeschoolers Anonymous: A Project of Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out is an outstanding blog. Although my wife and I home-school our daughters, we know several dark forces have wormed their way through some parts of the home-schooling world. This blog provides first-person accounts as well as investigations and updates regarding key influencers.

Emilio Cogliani: Environmental Care, Web Insights and Emerging Trends is a consistently interesting blog. Driven by news and emerging trends, Cogliani’s blog always has specific, concrete angles on big topics of the day.

The Science Geek: Astronomy, space and space travel for the non scientist provides clear, easy-to-understand posts about all things outer-space.

Saphiophile — Selected articles and the questions they answer gives a brief summary of current articles and tells you what you can expect to learn from each article. This blog is like an annotated bibliography for new articles.

ladybug and lulu — two little ladies. one continuous adventure is more than a Mommy blog. While mommyhood is the starting point, the blog branches out into related topics, like the recent “Everything They’ve Told You is a Lie: An Open Letter to Newlyweds.” Like that post, some posts are written as letters, which makes for a nice change.

Lemanshots — Fine Pictures and Digital Art displays a fantastic diversity of photography. Subjects include close-ups of fellow humans, still-life images, slice-of-life moments, city scenes, and architecture — all rendered in sharp, compelling detail.

Rob Moses Photography — This Camera Life includes landscapes, city-scapes, and people in action. Scroll through these photos, and you’ll feel better-connected to the world and its people.

Take a look at these blogs — you’ll enjoy each one.