A Lofty Existence Closing…For Now

alofty-night-sky

I have come to a decision: as much as I would like to, I will no longer be adding new posts to this blog on a regular basis. In other words, A Lofty Existence is closed. However, not completely. I will likely be adding new posts on an infrequent basis, so if you are a new reader or an old one and really enjoy the blog, you may want to keep your subscription or subscribe if you have not. The blog will stay up, complete with all posts and comments, and I will be approving new comments.

After three years of blogging on a regular basis, this was not an easy decision. I learned a lot in that time, and enjoyed sharing and interacting with commenters. I would like to say thanks to everyone who contributed to the blog, in one form or another. I truly do appreciate it and I’ll keep in touch!

alee

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A Lofty Existence is Three Years Old

third-birthday-cupcakeThis week the blog reached its third year in existence. A long time coming, for a tiny blog at the corner of the Internet.

Now that A Lofty Existence has reached true blog seniority, it is time to make a decision. Should the blog remain active and reach its fourth year and beyond, or has it served its purpose?

When I began this blog I had few plans as to how long it would remain open, I just knew that I wanted to write and have a place to share my thoughts, as well as connect with online acquaintances. And when I began this blog I was at a totally different point in my life than I am now. Currently, although I still love blogging, I don’t have much time to dedicate to writing posts. And as is obvious, a blog is nothing without its posts.

At the moment I’m weighing the pros and cons of two very different options — end my blogging by the beginning of the new year or make my new year’s resolution to stick to a strict schedule for posting and move my blog to a dedicated server. It will be a tough decision, but whichever option I choose, the blog will remain open.

As the new year is still several weeks away, I still have time to come to a decision, which I will post at that time. Right now, I’ll wish A Lofty Existence a Happy Birthday and all readers Happy Holidays!

Happy Birthday A Lofty Existence

two-year-birthday

This blog turns two years old this week. Hard to believe isn’t it?

I wasn’t sure the blog would make it to its second blogiversary, but here we are. The second year was a bit different from the first year of the blog in a few ways, like posting frequency, commenting, and visitors. However, much remains the same and the past 12 months can be seen as successful as the first.

So how did the blog do in terms of numbers for this year?

Posts: 212

Comments: ~5,600

Page Views/Hits: ~650,000

Social Network/Website Post Shares: ~1000

The top three posts for this year –none of which were written this year, unfortunately– by number of views and links:

1. Top Ten Signs Your Partner is Avoidant

2. Why People Become Attached After Intimacy

3. Attractive Features in Men

Random trivia:

Most viewed photo? The Enneagram map

Most clicked link? The relationship attachment style quiz.

Top commenter? Mira, of course.

Greatest number of visits in a day? 7,106 (on July 25, 2012)

Best referring websites? Google/Yahoo, Beyond Black & White, Reddit, and Facebook

Coolest referring websites? The Huffington Post and Beyond Black & White

I won’t make any plans for the upcoming year, as we never know what the future may bring. But if I had one wish it would be that this blog can continue to grow and evolve and develop, and that every following year will be better than the last.

See also:

The Future of A Lofty Existence, Part 2

rainbow-skyLast week I posted on my thoughts to close this blog and end a year and a half of blogging, commenting and discussion. Reviewing many factors, I wasn’t very pleased with what this blog had become and what I’d gained from my time here.

After thinking about the matter for another week, listening to the ideas of others on how to move forward, and remembering why I began A Lofty Existence, I’ve decided I will not close the blog, nor will I stop writing. For now.

It is true, as some may have noticed, I no longer have the time or enthusiasm to dedicate to this blog. I’ve also encountered behavior I hadn’t planned on from various visitors and commenters, past and present, which made blogging that much more of a hardship. But I plan to change that around. I try to give 100 percent in all of my endeavors and see it all the way through, so this blog shouldn’t be an exception.

However, there will be some major changes in the way this blog is set up and moderated, particularly involving commenting and interaction. The Commenting page will be updated shortly with these new guidelines, but here is a preview:

-No comments of a hostile nature will be accepted. This includes name-calling, bullying, and other personal attacks.

If you are a new commenter, your comment will not be approved, if you’ve commented in the past, your comment will be deleted when it is read and judged to be hateful or malicious. Debates are fine, fights are not. As always, attack the argument, not the person. Absolutely no exceptions. Just none.

I would like everyone to pay special attention to the above so there will be no surprises or resentment if your comment is deleted. As the owner of the blog I have to attempt to bring some harmony. Even if we are well-acquainted, you are not free to disregard this guideline.

No comments using a proxy or IP cloaking will be accepted. If your visit can not be properly recorded, then neither will your comment.

All emails sent to my blog email address must be related to the blog. Emails of a personal nature will not be replied to. Personal comments directed towards me will be replied to at my discretion. I’d like to be friendly with all the blog’s visitors, but let’s keep the friendship contained to the blog.

If three or more of your comments have been deleted and/or never approved, you should take it as a sign that your comments are not welcome on the blog. It’s already too late for apologies.

Overall, I want to emphasize that comments and/or commenters that are meant to be hurtful, spiteful, or invasive will not be given the green light. I’m good at judging intent, but I’m not good at forgiving. Keep that in when you’re thinking of clicking,”Post Comment”.

I am not adding these guidelines to be tough or strict, but it’s clear that they are currently needed for the overall welfare of the blog and its commenters. If you’re commenting with good intent and boundaries, you’ll never have to worry about anything.

As for my posting schedule, I will try to post once or twice a week, minimum, though I can’t make any guarantees. I will also try to post these on the same day, every week, but the best way to know when new posts have been published is to subscribe using one of the options on the sidebar.

The first post following this time frame should be published late this week or early next week. Thanks to everyone for your support and understanding.

The Future of A Lofty Existence

sunset

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve nearly reached a decision. I’m thinking of discontinuing my writing on this blog, and shutting it down for good.

Why am I contemplating this? Two major reasons.

First, I simply don’t have enough time to devote to this blog as I used to. One post every week or so is not often enough, in my view, to keep a lively and enjoyable blog. It’s not fair to regular visitors and commenters to arrive hoping there will be something new and see the same post they’ve already read. My schedule won’t be changing any time in the near future –except to become more hectic and busy– so closing the blog seems like a possibly good option.

The second reason is probably the most important — the visitors. I’ll just be honest and say that a certain segment of semi-regular and regular visitors I find intolerable, if not horrid. They don’t motivate me to write or share my thoughts on this blog or elsewhere, and in fact I’ve cut down on my time here knowing that they are around or will be around.

When I began this blog I hoped to create a place where I could share what I’d been researching or thinking about at the moment, and a place where people could come to discuss life issues and happenings and just hang out, free of worries. And for a good amount of time, this blog was that and was fun for me and hopefully for others. It was a place I loved and was proud of. Not so anymore.

Beyond the more frequent disagreement that come with a more established and growing blog, nowadays I feel as though I should be Mirandized before adding to this blog — anything I say can and will be used against me. This has led to me avoiding the blog and contributed to the infrequency of my posts and comments. I just don’t trust some that visit this blog, and if I can’t trust someone, I can’t continue to interact with them, directly or indirectly.

Some of these visitors-I-could-do-without are people I’ve since known to dislike me for their personal reasons, but others I’ve considered friends and acquaintances in the past. The latter group particularly worry me because I’ve devoted so much time and energy to this blog and the people in it. I meant it when I said that I truly do care about everyone I’ve interacted with here, and it’s just off-putting to know that these same people don’t have a shred of care for me. I’ll never understand how you could be so completely malicious and heartless, but I’ve given up trying to understand.

This doesn’t apply to all visitors. Many of you I enjoy and like very much, and I very much hope that things would remain that way. To those who it does apply — you know who you are. One would think that if you disliked me you’d just stop visiting my blog. If only I could be rid of you, experiences I’ve had with you, and everyone associated with you, I would consider myself so lucky. But it’s clear that you’ll never leave. So I’ll leave instead.

This isn’t so much an “I give up” as it is an “I won’t do this any longer.” As mentioned, this has been a long time coming. At this point I no longer have the time or energy to deal with this blog and those who surround it. I am open to other suggestions as to how to move forward, but my current thinking is to close the blog.

One Year of A Lofty Existence

first-birthday-cake

This week celebrates A Lofty Existence‘s first birthday.

The blog was opened to the public one year ago today — the first post was created November 05, 2010, but was not completed until three days later. The first year has been successful by most measures and I thank all that were involved in the blog throughout this time.

Some stats on the first year of A Lofty Existence:

Posts: 161

Comments: ~4,000 (excluding The Clouds commentary)

Page Views/Hits: ~200,000

The top posts of the year shed some light on what the readers of the blog are interested in reading and discussing.

Top two posts:

By number of page views:

1. Adam Levine

2. Top Ten Signs Your Partner is Avoidant

By number of comments:

1. Open Question — Cohabitation: Helpful or Harmful?

2. Why Friends With Benefits Does Not Work

By number of links:

1. Top Ten Signs Your Partner is Avoidant

2. Interracial Marriage and Divorce: The Study

3. Do Men Like Strong Women?

As seen from these lists, the top posts appear to be about relationships, especially relationship issues.  Social issues come in a close second — around a third of the top ten posts (not seen here) are about topics dealing with society and its people.

Special thanks to Christelyn of Beyond Black & White, and Nikisha and Cipriana of UrbanBushBabes for being the top referring websites to the blog, besides the almighty Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. And Mira, Jasmin, Nkosazana, and Jessica for most interaction as measured by number of comments.

For the second year and into 2012, some minor and major changes are planned for the blog:

Suggestions Page — a main tab where suggestions can be for new post topics, features, and tweaks to current features.

Quote Wall — a main tab to memorialize the funniest, most insightful, and just plain interesting comments on the blog.

New Design — all-new hosting, theme, and layout

Here’s to another year of A (Very) Lofty Existence.

What are your favorite posts and experiences with A Lofty Existence?

A Lofty Existence Topics: Poll

 

Here’s your chance to help decide what topics will be featured on A Lofty Existence from now on.

A Lofty Existence started out and is currently a blog without a niche — the posts don’t focus on a certain topic or person, e.g. a personal blog or a relationships blog. Instead it features a variety of subjects, which can be related, but for the most part are not.

Conventional blogging wisdom holds that blogs which center on a specific topic or group of topics –niche blogs– are more enjoyable. Both because readers like to know what to expect from day to day and because the blog becomes a place where they can read about a certain topic they are interested in.

As A Lofty Existence nears its one year anniversary, I’m welcome to changing things around, including its subject matter. Blog statistics suggest that most who read this blog are interested in certain subjects and not so much others. But what do you think? Should A Lofty Existence have a niche? If yes, what should that niche be?

You may choose up to three answers. If you choose “Niche: Other” or “No Niche: New Topics”, please explain in the comments section.

Note: Regardless of the outcome of the poll, The Clouds section will remain an off-topic area where all subjects are welcome.

Suggestions

suggestions

Do you have an idea for a post, article, or feature? Interested in guest posting? Suggestions for posts, articles, and features is now open.

Guidelines

The only major guideline for post suggestions is that a post topic or subject fall under the blog theme of culture, relationships, and life issues. Culture includes popular culture.

If you aren’t sure whether a suggestion fits under the topic umbrella you can ask, or check if a prior post is similar to your suggestion; if it is, then the post likely meets the guideline.

Guest Posting

If you’re interested in guest posting, you can send an email to aloftyexistence at gmail dot com. All guest posts should meet the general post guidelines and will be reviewed and edited as needed before publishing.

A Suggestions page will be added for future suggestions and guest posting, but you can add any suggestions in the comments section below.

A Lofty Existence Must-Reads

must-read-booksOne of the major downsides to blogs is that posts leave the homepage as new posts are added, so newer readers and visitors may not get a chance to view articles that they may like and find useful.  Everyone doesn’t have the time or energy to read through the archives.

Eliss of Integrated Memoirs was tagged in a blog meme where bloggers are asked to identify posts on their blogs of certain types  —  a blog superlative. Since this blog has a number of posts now, I decided I’d use the meme as a chance to share posts which you may or may not have read. I’m occasionally asked why I chose to write a certain post or why I write what I do in general, so I’ll also share my reasoning for writing each post which is featured here.

Any comments on a specific article can be written directly on the article’s comment section.

Most Beautiful Post:

Do You Ever Get Over a Past Love?

I’m assuming the word beautiful in this context refers to something emotionally moving or touching. Most of my posts aren’t of a very personal or emotional nature, but this is one of those so I’ll choose it for this category.

I didn’t plan to write this post, but thought I should. I wanted advice and feedback on a recurring situation. Much has changed since the post was written.

Most Popular Post:

At A Lofty Existence there appears to be two types of popular posts: one which is popular with search engines and/or social media, and one which is popular with regular readers and commenters. Few posts are popular across the board (although this seems to be changing). So I’m going to break this category into two.

This article has a thousand more views than it does comments — literally. Most of these viewers are searchers from outside of the United States, particularly from European countries. But it’s also been popular in social networking sites like Facebook (again, with Europeans).

I wrote this post because I am in love with Bat for Lashes and her music. I relate to them on a deep level.

There is a tie for this category but the other post will be mentioned later.

“Friends With Benefits” sparked discussion on not just the title topic, but casual intimacy in general and the way men and women approach it. People love to talk about what’s done behind closed doors.

This was just an idea I’d had one day, after studying the friends with benefits dynamic.

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