Top 100 Nature Blogs
Wild Ozark is honored to announce that it was recently listed on the Feedspot curated list of Top 100 Nature Blogs. Feedspot is a RSS Feed Reader service.
I’m pleased by this award and happy to know my Nature Blog pages are being read and ranked well by Google.
Does a Feed Reader Pirate Content?
Some people think that feed readers pirate site content.
They do not.
What they do is act as a delivery service for your reading content. They don’t “steal” website content and put it in their platform.
The only way you’re able to view the content is if you ask the service to seek out and serve up a website. Sometimes the reader service curates good sites and offers them to their subscribers within their service. That’s not the same as pirating.
That doesn’t mean feed readers don’t have a dark side, though.
The Shadow Side of Your Feed Reader
While it doesn’t hijack or steal or pirate content, it WILL redirect your readerly relationship away from your source (the blog or website you’re reading).
That gives the love to your feed reader service instead of the author of the blog you love.
What is a Feed Reader?
Most websites produce a “feed”. Sometimes you see it referred to as RSS. It’s not something that is easy for humans to read, but is easy for a feed reader to read.
Here’s what Wild Ozark’s RSS feed looks like: https://www.wildozark.com/feed/
A feed reader takes that hard-to-read information and serves it up in an easy to read format, kind of the way a website serves up content instead of the HTML code that was used to create it.
The advantage to a feed reader, from a reader’s perspective, is that you can scan headlines of many blogs and pick and choose which articles you actually find interesting enough to read.
Feedspot is one of many RSS feed readers. I use Feedly because I like the way it’s set up better, but many people seem to like Feedspot.
RSS Feed readers are incredibly useful tools, but from a website owner’s perspective, they can be problematic.
Don’t Let Your Feed Reader Hijack Your Author/Reader Relationship
When I’m using a feed reader, the one thing I don’t like about it is that the blog or website owner doesn’t get the benefit of knowing I read their post.
Unless I click OUT of the feedreader entirely to go to the website itself.
So that’s how you can let your favorite blog or websites know you still love them if you’re using a feed reader.
If you’ve found a headline that intrigued you enough to read the article, just click out of the feed reader to go to the actual website.
Once you make that click, you’ve given that site or blog a dose of readerly love.
You’ve initiated communication.
Communication is the Key to Relationships
Communication is vital to creatives.
Our work is our attempt to communicate to the world.
To understand how communication works, an understanding of what the word means is important.
Communication only happens when there is both a transmission AND a reception.
Without both, it is not communication. It doesn’t matter whether the transmission is in the form of radio waves, tangible or digital art forms, or written word.
Writers and artists get emotional sometimes trying to get their messages across. However, it doesn’t matter how loudly we speak, how angry we get, or how lovely our prose is, or how moving the art is – if it is not received, the communication has not occurred.
By nature, creatives are transmitters. For creatives – whether blog post authors, novelists, or poet, or any sort of creative artist at all, being read or seen – received – is as important as the air we breathe.
Reception is Important
We only know we’ve been read or seen if we keep an eye on our statistics or if some incredibly appreciated soul leaves a comment on our sites. And if our site was only viewed from behind the protective walls of a feed reader, we will never know our words or art was received.
When someone responds to what we’ve created, we are like sponges and soak it up. We love to receive the transmissions from our readers, viewers, or listeners.
And any time you click out of your feed reader to go to the website, you’ve just sent a transmission. If the website owner knows how to read their stats, they’ll know a visitor came to the site and your transmission (in the form of your click through) will have been received.
If you leave a comment, that’s the kind of transmission that could open up more depth in the relationship.
It Works Both Ways
There are the creatives who are so introverted they don’t want feedback, conversation, or relationship of any sort with their audience. I’ve written comments on blogs before and don’t know if I was received or not. So did communication happen? I don’t know. Maybe for the creator, it did, if they saw that I’d been to the site. But it didn’t for this reader.
I think there exists an obligation to acknowledge communication. When someone comments here, I want them to know they were received. So I comment in response.
Some artists and authors who are not online gain their audiences through real-life interaction. That used to be the only way it was done. Artists would have shows and receptions, and many still do. Authors have book signings still, but it’s less common now than it was in the past.
At any rate, if you use a feedreader and click through to pause in the real space of this website or just hop around to the blogs you enjoy, thank you for stopping in.
Your transmission was received 🙂
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.