Geek cat guards my iPad

It’s said that you’re either a cat person or a dog person. Having owned both I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a cat person. Now don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, and our gorgeous Springer Spaniel was a great companion, but there’s just something about cats. They are so independent that it makes it that much sweeter when they come to you seeking affection. Plus you don’t have to take them for a walk every day!

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child and adult with laptopsI make a deliberate attempt to not blog about blogging. It feels very insular and a little bit self-indulgent. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say about blogging, far from it – I did actually register a blogging-related domain name a few months back, with grand plans to start a separate blog all about blogging, but that hasn’t come to anything (yet!). It’s just that I don’t feel it’s necessarily of a lot of interest to my core readers. This week, however, I am going to be a little bit self-indulgent. The lovely Kate, who lives over at the Kate Takes 5 blog hosts a regular weekly “listography” linky, and this week her theme is “top 5 tips for bloggers“. I have read through quite a few of the contributions that she has had so far, and there are some great tips out there. I still don’t think of myself as a particularly established blogger, but I am getting to the stage where I feel I have some useful stuff to give back to the community, and so I would like to share with you my top five tips for bloggers. [click to continue…]


Tots100 BlogCampIf you follow me on Twitter you’ll have noticed me mention this thing called #BlogCamp a bit over the last few weeks. And it’s possible that you’re wondering what it is. Well, BlogCamp Manchester took place last Friday, and I attended, so read on to find out more about the event.

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MAD Blog Awards 2011
Blogging is a funny old business. It’s a bit like standing up on top of a wall, jumping up and down and shouting “listen! I’ve got something good to say!”, but without knowing if the people in the distance can see or even hear you. They might all be standing with their backs to you, for all you know. You publish your first few posts, you see your stats page report some people looked at them, but you’ve got no idea if it was real people or “bots” (automated systems that trawl the Internet cataloguing content). Then you get your first comment! Suddenly you know at least one person is reading, and has taken the time to comment. This motivates you to continue producing content. Each time you publish something new, something different, something a little controversial, or something that reveals a little bit more about you, you worry about how it will be received. Or at least, I do. My most nerve-wracking publish so far was the first video, which went just a little out of my comfort zone.

This is where the annual MAD (Mummy and Daddy) Blog Awards come in. This is where you, the blog reader, get the chance to recognise your favourite blogs by nominating them in one (or more) of 15 different categories. You can take a few minutes out of your day to let your favourite bloggers know that you are listening, not just standing in the distance looking at something completely different!

Of course, I’d love for you to nominate, especially in the Most Innovative MAD Blog category. I’m trying to do something new by adding video to the blog, and I hope you agree that that is innovative. I’d also be very grateful for a nomination in the  Best New MAD Blog category if you think I’m the best blog launched in the last 12 months.

Anyone can nominate – you don’t have to be a blogger, or a Mummy or Daddy, or live in the UK!

So please take a few minutes to pop over to the MAD Blog Awards nomination form and make your nominations. It’s a two-step nomination process – first of all you must nominate a “MAD blogger of the year” (and yes, I’d love it if you chose me for that!), and then you progress to the second step where you can nominate in as many or as few of the other categories as you like. Please vote. It will mean so much to all the bloggers who receive enough nominations to make it through to the voting round.