First, two bits of timely business:
Mandisa is going to be on Live with Regis and Kelly today! If you go to their site, you can get a free download from her CD, which releases on Tuesday, so check it out. I really did like the two songs that I received on the CD single from her label.
The Dog Days of Summer made my sitemeter go crazy, like nothing before. Yes, bigger than the Blog Party from 5 Minutes for Mom, bigger than the mama of all events, the Bloggy Tour of Homes. Because I got my name in the top 20, and because bloggers love books, I guess, I had 600 hits the first day. 600!! Then 300 Tuesday and 200 Wednesday and then still a few extra visitors with 150 Thursday. Wow.
So, thanks everyone! I hope that some of you will check in here or Mondays at 5 Minutes for Books regularly to see what else we are giving away.
So--the winner of my Pick a Book is comment number 27, Becky at beckbeck. I am going to be generous and allow her to pick up to three books from the list, instead of just one. Email me (check the sidebar or my profile for a link) with your book choices and your address!
Secondly, I've wanted to talk about comments. I love to hear from my readers. I don't mind or think it's rude if people "lurk" (read without commenting), but I have realized that one reason I really like blogging and keep blogging is community. So that means I usually comment on blogs I read (not every post, but if I'm reading, you'll hear from me), and I like it when people add to the thread by giving me their thoughts or reactions. *Update at 11am* I certainly am not implying that every single reader should comment on every single post that they ever read, but just that it's nice to hear from you once in a while, especially if you have something to share.
If you check the box, you are more likely to hear from me in reply to your comment. I don't leave replies within the comments, because I don't think that people regularly check back, unless someone asks me a specific question and there is no other way to reply. Do you, as readers, expect me to? I don't want anyone to feel as if I am ignoring them or unappreciative of their thoughts.
Also, even though I don't select my blogroll based on "I'll read your blog if you read mine," I am more likely to check in with your blog if you comment here. Partly to be nice (you know, like returning a social call), and partly because I'm reminded about the blog (as I was recently when Jen Rouse commented, and I was so glad because I found her cute post on Confessions and Contradictions), and mostly I think it goes back to the community thing. I do moderate my computer time somewhat by not checking many blogs every single day. It's quicker and more efficient for me to check in every few days or weekly. However, if I do have a minute, I am more likely to want to drop in with someone who I feel like I have a relationship with. I'll stop now before you call the internet stalking police on me.
And finally, I have updated my blogroll. I have decided that I instead of just having my must-reads on there, and some rotating spots (who was I kidding--those have been up for 3 months or more!) I have a feeling that it will change in the next couple of weeks, because I'll gasp and think, "I forgot X! I love checking in with her occasionally. I can't believe it!" But I have found that if it's not on my blogroll, I forget to check in (whether it's once a week or even less frequently than that). *Update at 11am* I sort of have it there in the sidebar. Flooble doesn't appear to be fully functioning, so I'll have to be sure I entered all the code, so it won't collapse, which I think is fine for a while. I also don't know how to change the color to make my background, but I know someone who will be able to help me, but unfortunately, she's a bit busy this weekend, so I will leave it as is for the time being.
That's all. Any thoughts on these issues??