Thursday, March 03, 2011

Scenes from our Barnyard and Blogging Thoughts

To say that this winter has been amazing would be an understatement. There is still 3 feet of snow on the ground. Most of our farm equipment is buried beneath snow. 

 

We've had 3 appointments at the processor for lamb that we have had to cancel because we couldn't get the trailer out from under the snow. Finally, last week we borrowed a neighbor's trailer so we would be ready for any calls we get for Easter lamb. Catching and loading sheep in the snow and ice is no fun, let's just say that. 

Recently there was a study done in the UK about sheep intelligence. I thank the readers who pointed me in the direction of the study. You can read a brief summation here. I really wasn't surprised by the researcher's findings. Our sheep are intelligent. They remember where to turn on the road when we move them back to their winter quarters. They remember where the salt is over a year after they have been at a location. And in the winter, the little lambs know how to keep dry. They climb up on their mamas backs and sun themselves.


Or just take a nap.


We're still having newborn lambs but the pace has slowed down. I'm glad for that because it has been pretty impossible to do anything but farm. 


Feeding hay, watering, feeding eleven bottle lambs, and feeding again. While the mamas are eating, the little lambs run around the barnyard exercising. 
 

The lambs also feel safe resting in the feed bunks when they are empty. They squeeze their little bodies down in and have a nap.

 

I've had so much guilt about not posting photos but there is not a lot of time to spare. I've also been realizing how much time my blog takes up and am looking at ways for it to generate income. I have for years said I wouldn't have any advertising but I'm re-thinking that notion. I would appreciate any comments you might have on that subject. Do you stop reading a blog when they host advertising? For me, between taking photos and writing, each blog post takes a minimum of two hours. That's a lot of time when I consider it over a whole year and the number of posts I prepare. I also know how much it means to many of you from the private e-mails I receive.

I've been subscribing to some great "blogging" blogs and have lots of ideas for possible new products and income ideas. Check this one out if you are interested. I've also come to realize that I really do LIKE to blog and put my thoughts out there. The time frame for blog publishing (IMMEDIATE) vs. the time frame for print publishing (one to two years) really doesn't compare. With the advent of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry), I thought blogs might disappear. Now I do not think that is the case because it's really hard to give excellent content with 140 characters. What do you think about the subject? If you don't want to leave your thoughts in the comments, don't be shy about sending an e-mail.

45 comments:

Amy Lagerquist said...

Golly, I read blogs regardless of whether or not they host ads, as long as I love the blog. Yours? Love. :)

Bridget said...

I read the blog because I like the content. Advertising doesn't bother me. But then again, I think capitalism is a good thing (both parties benefit). Others might not agree. I think Ravelry does a great job of having advertising, but not so much or so intrusive that it distracts from the content.

Susan said...

I enjoy advertising on a blog. It opens my eyes to a much wider world out there-especially since I try to limit my blog reading. If your ads are relevant to your content (like purl soho's) I like to explore when I have time.

Anne said...

I agree that the advertising does not have to be a problem. I don't even mind when an ad opens when I first go to a site. I get frustrated if repeated ads open so that I have to break from the reading to close them. Thanks for asking!

Kere said...

On the ads, if the ads have flashing lights, pop outs or animation or make noise (when I have the sound on, I generally don't unless the blogger has posted a video I want to see) then yes, I do drop it off my "must read" list. I have an ASD (Asperger's) and the "loud" ads really tweak my buttons. I just can't abide them; it's too much peripheral sensory input for me. I don't know if you read Crazy Aunt Purl, but she does it well on her blog. I can easily look right past them. If more blogs did subtle ads like she does, I'd read more.

On the other hand, I almost never click through ads on a blog. It's just a weird thing I do. Um, don't do.... My favorite online retailers are all bookmarked and I tend to Google when I need to find something new. It's because of the issues mentioned above. All of my bookmarked sites are ones that don't utilize the bright, flashy or loud graphics and sound.

loripall said...

I don't have a problem with ads on a blog. I realize someone is trying to make a living or at least cover their server/provider costs. If the blog content is good, it stands on its own merit, ads or not.

Bonnie said...

I agree with previous posters - I have no problem with ads. Ravelry is a good example of a site that offers relevant ads. I do click through on them, in fact fairly often.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with what has already been said. Ads don't necessarily bother me. I appreciate it if they are not intrusive and interfere with my reading. (I also hate the popups and anything that covers the text I'm trying to read.)
I really enjoy your blog, enjoy reading your perspective on things, and like learning about your farm and the sheep.
Thanks.

Charlotte said...

I don't have a problem with ads, too, if they accompany blogs that are "real". I actually feel so grateful to those of you who write these gorgeous, interesting entries and let me read them for free! It also makes me more willing to spend a little extra money to buy a book directly from the seller (rather that amazon) or a somewhat expensive individual pattern - I figure it can come out of my entertainment budget!

Reading what others have said, I would second my hate of pop-up ads, but I'm guessing you weren't thinking of going in that direction, anyways.

Sally said...

Just do it, K. We'll still love you.

weavinfool said...

I read this blog just before going out to feed my sheep. I agree, they aren't dumb. I do, however, believe that they share a brain amongst them. The leader seems to have the best smarts and when that one dies it takes awhile for the flock brain to enter another head. In the meantime they are disorganized. I don't use dogs so they get no help from that source.
I find them fascinating to work with -- most of the time.

Rain said...

I read blogs because of content- and love yours! you obviously put a lot into it-so should advertise to help with expenses! Please don't stop-we need you!! Have a great weekend! Although of course a farmer is seldom off on a weekend!!

Kieren said...

I read blogs because I like them, esp the ones with great photos,and I like yours! I'm a blogger too, trying to figure out this relatively new world of sharing. So far I haven't done the ad thing but am thinking about it, myself.I will be curious to see how it works on yours, and will check out your links (thanks!).

Jenmarkow said...

Go forth, Kristen. Your blog is great! I usually like the adds as it directs me to products that I may like. And, you should earn money for what you do. Best of luck, jen

Kathy said...

I'll always read your blog, ads or not. I totally enjoy what you have to say, and to show us through your excellent photography. Thanks for taking the hours each week to do it and enrich our lives.

fracksmom said...

your blog is my favorite, even with ads I will be reading it. i have learned so much about sheep and farm life. i love your pictures. Please don't stop doing your blog, if you need to get ads than get them

Fast Hands said...

I don't mind advertising. I enjoy seeing ads that
are knitting, spinning and generally fiber craft related.

FoodiesHeaven said...

I think the main thing with advertising on blogs is that its related in some way to the subject matter and not just advertising for advertising sake, the main reason people read blogs and will continue to do so is the content and the information that they gain.
If you are supplying good content then advertising goods etc that are related is surely an added benefit to the reader.

JackieLemon said...

Don't mind ads at all. If the ads are related to the content of the blog, they are not distracting. Love your blog. Do what you must to help with the cost.

Mimi said...

A agree with previous posters; ads don't bother me at all, especially when they direct me to other interesting and beautiful things. Thanks for taking the time to blog. It's very inspirational!

Sigrun said...

I love your blog and that will not change with some ads appearing on it :-)

Kathryn said...

Hello:

The Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef blog has ads. First she blogged that she would be doing ads, but only ads of products that she used and felt she could recommend. When she has an ad blog post, she lets you know that it's an for a product that she's being paid to blog about. If she has ads on the sidebar, I haven't noticed.

constantly knitting said...

I discovered you very recently and have been avidly following since. Your blog is so unique; it has a window into the mind of a brilliant designer combined with the real life experiences that go hand in hand with living the farm life.

I would welcome advertising on your blog, but I'd love to see some advertising for farm stuff as well. Maybe hobby farm magazine (although yours is certainly NO hobby) for those of us who might want to dip a toe in the water but know the scale of what your family handles is too much to start with?

I know blogging takes up a lot of time, and really appreciate every post you write. Thank you for sharing with us!

India said...

Interesting to read this just when I'm considering taking a leap into blogging myself... Ads relevant to your subjects, and no popups/flashing lights/etc would not stop me from reading your blog, though only rarely do I click through on a blog ad. Because this blog is so connected to your livelihood, it seems reasonable for it to generate some income!

Lisa said...

I am interested in the advertisers who I see on blogs and don't find them a deterrent. Would definitely consider advertising on "Getting Stitched ..."

carol said...

I read blogs that peak my interest, knitting, gardening and cooking. I'm constantly learning so many new things reading these blogs. The ad's don't bother me as long as they are not annoying pop-ups which would not stop me from reading anyway. BTY I love your blog and read it daily.

MicheleinMaine said...

the important thing is that it works for you. Advertising is my business so no, they don't bother me. I see them as content enhancement! And I would definitely consider an ad on your blog if available.

Laura said...

I don't mind ads when I'm reading blogs that I love - and I love yours! The only ads that I hate are the blinking ones, or the ones that get bigger when you roll over them like on MSNBC. But I haven't seen any of those on blogs. Do what you need to keep blogging! Please?

Carol said...

I've wondered why you haven't had ads. You have a very successful blog and you are a knitting professional - this is how you make your living. I wouldn't mind it at all. I would rather see money generating ads than have people give up on their blogs.

bookagent said...

By all means you should generate income. I love your blog. Related advertising can be a good thing as it directs readers to places of interest without them having to do the research. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

Don't apologize or fret that you might need to consider getting something ($) for the time you're investing in blog-keeping. I LOVE blogs as an efficient, vicarious way to share in other people's creative lives. Ads that pop up on favorite sites don't keep me from visiting there again, and by now most of us are used to seeing them and don't bat an eye, unless they're truly offensive. Also, I like to see what other folks use or trust as resources, be they commercial or inspirational. It can actually enhance your blog's usefulness, in a way, to include links to places or businesses that might fit my needs.

BTW, I just found your blog abaout 10 days ago and am loving it. Your gift with color is amazing, really God-given. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Kate G said...

Hi Kristin, I've been reading your blog since it started. I would continue to read it with advertising, but, do you really want to manage advertisers and your blog? Advertisig does add to the workload and if you're going to add to the workload you will make more income off your own original products (which also keeps your brand robust).

Just a thought. Whatever you do, I'll still be a loyal reader and occasional consumer.

Sharon said...

I ready your blog because I enjoy it. I will still read your blog with advertising, it is no different than buying a magazine filled with ads. Please continue regaling us with your life on the farm and your crafting. It fills a craving for that knowledge for me. Thank you.

Jo Griffith said...

I love your blog and advertising doesn't bother me in the least. But I'm in advertising, so I guess I'm a bit biased.

Linda said...

I actually like to check out ads with one BIG exception. Some bloggers have gotten so ad heavy that it takes forever to load the page. I used to follow one blogger that eventually had 2 columns of ads that usually was much longer than the blog itself. (Like 30 or more ads!)I stopped following it. I often use the Reader on my I Phone and that particularly bogs down with excessive graphics.

Julia said...

Like the others, I love your blog and would read it even if you accepted advertising. I read other blogs I'm fond of that do accept advertising. That said, I think if anyone is on the fence it might make a difference if:
--the advertising is thematically appropriate (so I'd be really happy if you didn't run that add about tummy fat!) I agree with the commenter who said that ads can enhance a site if they're on topic (but not if they're about random things like whiter teeth...)
--the advertising isn't intrusive; I really do mind reading past ads that intrude in the text flow
--the advertising doesn't hold up the page loading (very important!!!!!)
--the advertising doesn't wiggle or flash or blink or tell obvious lies

So, ads for wool/sheep products/knitting needles/vermifuges/hoof trimmers/wool prep/sheep shearers... would all be great! Please no tummy fat or Groupons!

Paula said...

It is wise to consider whether or not you need to add advertisements to the blog given the time that you give to the blog. As others have stated, it would be helpful to avoid ads with action that slow the page loading.

emeselle said...

I read blogs with or without advertising. I am glad to have the opportunity. However, I visit less when blogs have ads that slow things down, and I don't like pop-up ads.

If something takes time, it is worth compensation, and if you can get some revenue from ads, you should.

Whiffletree Farm said...

Many bloggers are considering or trying out advertising for the very reasons you give. I think, as mentioned above, that you should either endorse your advertisers or at the very least believe in their products. You will have to introduce them on the blog anyway as "sponsors." The income, determined by you, will be a nice addition to the farm income.

Also, many people prefer blogs to facebook. They seem to have more depth, literary character and diversity.

Anonymous said...

I concur 100% with emeselle. No problem with advertising per se but if ads slow down a page loading I click "close."

Anonymous said...

Ads don't bother me if they don't include sound or pop-ups or flash and if they are related to the blog. If they slow things down, however, I may give up on the blog. I don't twitter or do facebook so I don't see blogs going by the wayside. Your blog is one of only a few I read regularly and I hope you can find a way to keep making it work for you. I love having a window into the world of sheep farming and vibrant knitting. I think you do a great job of sharing your world, Kristen, and it obvious that there are many folks who appreciate all the energy that you give to blogging. Thanks.

Nik said...

I would still read the blog if it had ads. Ads tend to be unobtrusive, so a reader can quickly look at them, see if they interest them, and move on if they don't.

I also thought blogs would go away with the other forms of social media. In my case, I have found that the people don't stop reading, but the bloggers stop blogging because they get all their good thoughts out via Twitter and Facebook. I've become conscious of that and have started trying to put my knitting thoughts on the blog instead of other places.

ellen said...

I prefer blogs with no ads (of course) but when a blogger I follow starts running ads I figure the blog has to wash its own face and I still read. If you're willing or able to work for free that's really nice, but if you'd like some payment for your time I can't very well object! I don't care for loud or wiggly ads, like everyone else.

Ann said...

I don't think blogs will go away. It's a different kind of communication. I'm on FB because my friends are (I'm 56!), but I don't find it all that satisfying. I love your blog and would not be bothered by ads at all. I find it cool people can make some $ this way--it feels counter cultural.

Anyway, I admire you and your family for making your life this way--especially this year--and being real about it (sometimes I get a little worried that the farming revival will end up the way it did for so many people I knew in the 70s--when they hit 30, people seemed to flee to the city again). Also-- I'm a lifelong New Englander and generally pride myself on my stoicism here in central Maine. But I'm so DONE with this winter!

natalie. beyond the reef said...

We have never met. We don't know each other. We live different lives. I'd love to come visit, tho, and help.
Aside from that, while visiting Idaho I learned a very important phrase from a marketing/advertising person.
EARNED Advertising.
I make no money from my blog. But I keep in touch with those that know me that I know and it's not costing me.
In reality, it gives back. Every time I blog (let's call it journaling) and every time someone leaves me a comment...I get back 10 fold. I hope now we know each other just a little better. And if you need a hand, Buddy the dog and I work for room and board...and a place to quilt...keep going, it's your passion!!! People will recognize that, and THAT will be your payoff.