Community Group Spotlight Blogging on Google+

Blogging Community on Google+

I’ve been with this Blogging community for a long time and have contributed numerous posts to this community. I have viewed, added comment, shared and plussed many articles. This community has driven around 60% of my Google+ traffic over the time that I’ve been with Google+. I felt it was time to show my appreciation and cast a bit of light on this community and its characteristics.

The Community Link

Members

The group as of today (17th November 2015) has 89,185 users. This is not a bad number. That number would fit a good stadium.

As you can probably imagine, there are likely countless inactive users, it goes with the territory. I have made a rough handed segmentation based entirely on my own mad thoughts about how the community might be composed based on the length of time I’ve been with the community and the visual and rough trends that I see. You are welcome to challenge this perception in the comments.

Community Group Users – by means of Jacksonised Hyper-Generalisation

Insidious Members

Blog Post Comments

  • Passive Lurkers: Join up but never contribute, read, plus, comment or share. These are the types of Google+ user that have joined with their Blank Page or happen to be a Johnny No-Face.
  • Fly-by-Nighters & Early-Quitters: Join up for a short period with limited (but not entirely without merit) contact then go silent like the grave never to return.
  • Spam-Monkeys & Link-Droppers: Join with the clear intent of being entirely self-serving with their dodgy goods and services. Fortunately the moderators do a good job of sweeping them away from what I’ve seen.
  • Low rent negative commentators or Borderline Trolls: The epitome of jerk. People you’d happily punch in the balls or lack therein. Fortunately I’ve seen very few signs of these.

Middle of the road Members

  • Former contributor to mid-term passives: Have contributed in the past but are now more passive either because they don’t need the attention, aren’t all that bothered or just are time poor. They may shower with love on the rare to occasional but aren’t up to full operating speed.
  • Semi-regulars: These users pop up in fits and starts and then disappear again for undefined periods. They tend to run short to medium campaigns then pull up their capes and disappear to the Batcave.
  • Holiday-timers: Only seem to produce high levels of interaction during seasonal periods indicating that they are students of some form or happen to be constrained by their job’s calendar.

Active Members

  • Consistent contributors: They are weighted more to pushing their content or sharing others.
  • Consistent observers: They are weighted more to checking out what interests them, once hooked by the title, they are likely to view your content.
  • Consistent plussers: There are those who will + your shared work but may not necessarily have viewed the link you wanted them to follow.
  • Consistent sharers: Those who share other’s work consistently. Sharing is not such a common activity so this category rubber bands those people who share more occasionally than rarely.
  • Consistent commentators: Whilst these guys and gals don’t comment all the time, they sooner or later make an appearance, and you’ll be glad of their words.

Exceptional Members

  • Serial Commentators: Perhaps the least common are the serial commentators. These are dependable individuals who make an effort.
  • Serial Sharers: These individuals are also a rarity. Serial sharers normally exist with busy communities of their own and large numbers in their circle so are the types of people who like to feed their followers with content to appease their thirst for knowledge.

Other Members

  • Those that don’t specifically fit into any generalised box. The non-descript.

Distinct Community Contributors?

I don’t foresee that there are any specific long term contributors. This community is different in that way. Rather than serial contributors I tend to see a trend of those middle of the road type 1 users or “Former contributor to mid-term passives”. They ride with the community for so long then bow out leaving a clearing in the forest for somebody else. Handing-over quality is a characteristic that I like about the community because you can get pretty bored with the usual faces over time and I’ve been in other communities where some contributors get too big for their boots.

Common Themes in blog diversity

There are some blog themes that come up quite often in the group. I might classify some of these as common “magazine themes”. They are the type of content you might open the front page of a magazine for.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, marketing and business. A highly subscribed term of phrase for those bloggers who want to make money but also an area that is heavily crowded even at the sub-sub-niche level. This is why SEO practitioners, scientists and pan handlers spread their net wider with marketing and business leaving the audience with a variegated cornucopia of content (a mixed bag for the dim-witted).

Tech. Everybody loves tech and this seems to surface quite regularly. A rather important aspect to tech is the choices presented, often there are a number of rivals in any given sector. We are all built into this cycle of constructive discontent by being guilted into the next iteration of a product so it stands to reason that each new generation needs a review and comparison.

Fashion. But not just English speaking fashion, oh no! I am a secret fan of the fashion blogs even though they don’t tie in well with the niche I’m in. Mostly because I get to have a look at some intriguingly dressed women. What’s not to love? Google translate, do your worst! Sandals with socks need not apply.

Relationships. Relationship blogs creep up a lot. I’m not entirely convinced on how they make money (but that’s most likely me being ignorant) other than pushing people towards dating sites but they do chart from time to time. Relationships are a significant element of a person’s life unless they choose to be alone so it stands to reason that there should be some blogs about them.

Fitness & Diet. Fitness has been a massive boom area online, mostly because it is very easy to develop a service/product mix and integrate tangible real world results quickly into blog format with, and this is important, videos. Fitness produces a lot of products varying from mechanical to pill based giving the marketer a wide range of scope. This coupled with the fact that obesity and personal image has become such a popular diversion spells a recipe for those energetic sales hungry individuals to care and share (but mostly share).

Miscellaneous. There are more topics in between but they don’t feature as prominently. That’s not to say that certain topics are any less important or less noteworthy, just to say that those varied niches don’t figure as commonly into the more traditional “magazine themes”.

Variety of Blogging Platforms

Predominantly I see both WordPress (.org and .com flavours) and Blogger platforms. I haven’t seen much in the way of Weebly or Drupal but there are the odd sites there to represent them. Of course there are platforms that rest outside of this and fortunately the sinister ones like the Empowerment network are very scarce and never gain a foothold.

Money bloggers versus Personal bloggers

There is a skew towards money bloggers or at least those aspiring to make money but I’m happy to see that some personal bloggers share their content as well. It is satisfying to know that not everyone is always chasing the green (insert your national denomination’s colour here) in their online pursuits.

Amateurs versus Semi-Professionals & Professionals

I would hazard that the balance of Amateurs versus Semi-Pros & Pros would be in the range of 7:1. For every 7 Amateurs there is 1 established blogger. Amateurs doesn’t necessarily mean newcomers with new blogs, more those who have not had sufficient impact or are still Income-Zero.

Method and variety of posts

The distinct and prime flavour of the posting is to involve images, images and images. Did I mention images? Images. Yes, images. The prime posting flavour also includes a link to a website, provided either with a shortlink or the full page URL. Because of the way Google+ works, it is preferable to place the full URL rather than a shortlink because it looks a bit sexier on the preview. If the link is shortened by Bitly or WordPress, the site shows a different origin in the preview pane of the post.

Those lazier posters sling the URL in the text element of the G+ post with no explanation and it’s lazy, don’t do it!

Rarely, a question is asked with no links. I like seeing those in the community and from time to time find myself being the first to answer. I’m often not sure why people hold off on helping out, it costs nothing in the end. So you risk looking stupid but normally with a few right answers people either leave happy or a bit less confused than when they started. Of course, on the rare occasion you will get a full “derp” question in which case, feel free to steer the answer barge clear.

Now that Google+ provides a survey post type, a few of these have appeared. These are quite enjoyable as long as I agree with the questions asked (and such a thing is always subjective to the participator). It’s always interesting to see the sway of public opinion!

Is this a good community to join?

The answer to that is you have nothing to lose. If you have a blog that needs a bit of exposure, this isn’t a terrible place to head.

There is a but…

Not everything works and you are putting your content in front of fellow bloggers. There is potential you’ll get copied if your ideas are of merit so watch out. Besides those issues you’ll have to work hard to impress but the added traffic is beneficial and there is potential to connect with a helpful community. A lot of the time it depends on what you ask and how you interact.

Feedback Welcome!

Had some experience with this community? Don’t agree with my views? Feedback welcome.

You can contact me at headboy [at] blogprefect [dot] com, via the contact page or through twitter via @blogprefect.

Big Wig Bloggers

What Is A Big Wig Blogger?

It should be fairly obvious what a Big Wig Blogger is but if you were under any illusion then I would explain that essentially a big wig blogger is a guy or gal who made it. I would go a bit further in that definition to say that a person who both made it and flaunts it.

The definition is quite important as Big Wigs, by nature, are quite vocal about their accomplishments.

This is not a post I’m trying to rank for, its more an explanation for readers who see me incessantly clarify a phrase that I use quite a lot in some of my deeper looks at blogging and those who blog. Now I actually have some point of reference which I can link to.

Big Wig Bloggers Guess Who

6 individuals you might recognise even though I’ve distorted them.

Top Left: Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

Top Middle: Seth Godin of SethGodin.com

Top Right: John Chow of JohnChow.com

Bottom Left: Gary Vaynerchuk of GaryVaynerchuk.com

Bottom Middle: Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com

Bottom Left: Tim Ferriss of FourHourWorkWeek.com

What classifies as making it?

  • Sustaining a decent turn of profit
  • Being a respected authority
  • Being a niche leader

I’m sure you can think of some more titles to throw into that mix but I’ll explain those in more detail.

Sustaining a decent turn of profit

It is rather a sad thing to say that money and profit must always feature at the top of the list but it is the reality we are faced with.

Due to the changing nature of the Internet turning a good profit can be unpredictable and can decline. The aspect of a master is being able to maintain such profits over the long haul by moving with the environment and the customer.

Often the individual will branch as they find areas that they can exploit and talk ad nausea about further entrenching them in a unique corner.

Profit is a sizable motivator for anybody with a business brain.

Being a respected authority

You become the man or woman that forms a “go to” for many items in a subject. This means that you can own a series of loyal fans. Fans can sustain you even if the search engines don’t. Fans are repeat customers. Fans help you. It is beneficial being the first person someone turns to when they have a problem. This means they’ve memorised your website address and can look you up, bypassing the search engine route.

Being a niche leader

This means that not only are you proven as an authority, and can turn a decent profit, but you have a certain amount of control on the direction in which the niche as a whole, turns. You are ahead of the curve because you in part decide the direction of the curve.

Flaunting it?

Big Wigs are very vocal about their achievements because blogging by nature is a sharing place which fosters the notion of sharing positives (and sometimes negatives) with others. Flaunting is an important concept, a privilege of making it.

  • Reputation
  • Using Numbers
  • Dropping Names
Big Wig Flaunting It

A selection of flaunts from the 6 big wigs mentioned above.

Analysing this from left to right we can see the following:-

Gary Vaynerchuk using 30,000 subscribers he terms as “insiders” to tempt you into the mailing list.

Whilst a more modest boast than the others, Seth refers to himself as “best selling author”.

John Chow’s media bar boasts not only 301,273 followers (at time of writing) but 301,273 “active daily readers & followers”.

Pat Flynn’s looming monthly earnings is always a blow away statement. $119,023.72 is an astounding sum.

Tim Ferriss and his rather showy top 10 most highlighted book of all time.

Finally how Neil Patel managed to elevate a site’s traffic to 500 million page views a month.

Reputation

You can hang a lot of business on reputation and reputation management is a key element of a Big Wig Blogger. Reputation can mean repeat or new business guaranteed.

“I know a guy/gal.”

Using Numbers

The psychology of numbers is something that Big Wig Bloggers can use to their advantage; 500,000 followers, 100,000 subscribers, 50,000 members, 10,000 sales. That’s something you have to exploit when you get to be a Big Wig. Big numbers attract and even if you are cynical about using that number advantage, it wins through in copy.

It all sniffs like money doesn’t it!

Dropping Names

Schmoozing your pants off is a blogging staple. Networking is a basic requirement for a Big Wig. When you get to be a Big Wig, you start to get these other famous Big Wigs that lend their support because when Big Wigs collaborate, big things happen.

With all names dropped the Big Wig blogger has some form of relationship through meeting them at an event, having casual conversation and otherwise being completely recognised and sanctioned. You can’t buy early access to being made popular.

Where else can Big Wigs win Big?

Being an Intermediary / Brokerage

Some big deals can happen in cyberspace and some of those big deals can be handled through networking. Big Wigs can exploit their knowledge of the market to complete deals between 2 or more external parties. They can acquire a fee just by setting up the players.

Affiliation and affiliate sales work very well for Big Wigs. Big Wigs with large audiences can negotiate higher returns.

Launching Products

Big Wigs can launch their own products that ultimately reward with much greater profits than third party offerings. They can use their existing marketing platform and are able to capture greater take up from tried and tested methods and loyal fans.

Prestige and “Goodwill”

Big Wigs can expect to access greater rates of saving, greater rates of affiliation and can sell their property for more. “Goodwill” in a business context is the measurement of the brand and how that can be used to leverage custom. It can be used when selling a business and Big Wigs can sell their properties for more than those who have not attained the same numbers. Goodwill can be used when negotiating rates and when buying products.

When creating associated offshoots from their main business, a Big Wig can attach the branding which generates a certain level of shared and complimentary prestige.

Celebrity Status

Just by being a Big Wig, certain individuals can profit from endorsements, paid interviews and paid testimonials. Big Wigs as celebrities get invited to lucrative meetings, exclusive conferences and rub shoulders with other celebrities.

The Big Wig Curve

Big Wigs don’t last forever like all things in life.

Big Wig Curve

Inception

This is the tipping point where a blogger on the quest of making it crosses the goal line.

Being considered a Big Wig is an intangible measure. Mostly you would know when other people are singing your praises. Many individuals don’t realise they’ve made it until something prompts them to this observation.

Growth

The stage in which a successful blogger begins to grow into their Big Wig celebrity status.

At this juncture you know you are famous and are building on that reputation. Growth at this stage will skyrocket as you’ve already attained backing and credence by the right people in the right places.

Maturity

The point at which a Big Wig blogger has reached the zenith of their reach.

There is always a peak but you never know you’ve reached it until you start tumbling down the other side. Certain niches and areas of topic can only reach so far but there is no precise measuring stick to say how far that is. Big Wig Bloggers normally span a number of topics with more than one business.

Retirement

The winding down of the empire through sale, handing over or eventual decay.

Some Big Wig Bloggers do choose to retire. Shock horror. It is a hard job keeping at this all the time even with assistants and once a Big Wig wins Big they may wish to spend the fruits of their labour.

Sometimes the site might be made obsolete through changes in technology and audiences moving away from certain niches altogether.

Very rarely, the blogger might die or otherwise be unable to continue.

Pressures on a Big Wig Blogger

Success has some drawbacks because in a Newtonian sense everything you do has an equal and opposite reaction.

Apologies

When you are a little guy or gal and you get it wrong there is no urgent sense that you have to say sorry. If you mess something up as an amateur you can put it down to the learning curve and move on. Most people who have scruples do apologise but when you are small, the amount of people you have to apologise to is tiny.

As an established Big Wig, you don’t have the same option because people look at your achievements more critically. You have to be on the ball and honourable in defeat because you are scrutinised all the time. You may at times need to make a statement to define the issue and you may have had to pass it by your legal bod first before publishing it.

Trolls

Trolls are an unpleasant dimension to the Internet as a whole. The more success you gain, the more envy you are likely to attract. Because I mentioned that Big Wig bloggers are likely to flaunt their success they are going to attract the envy of some. Because a Big Wig is a big target they are also likely to attract more. No matter how you deal with trolls, they are time consuming and can take wind out of a Big Wig sail. Some Big Wig bloggers resort to blanket punishment by removing all commentary from their creations at the cost to dutiful followers.

Casual Brainless Trolls

These guys and dolls are the classic no brained individuals who just do it for a laugh. They don’t keep it up for long.

Pre-Meditated Trolls

These individuals are considerably more dangerous. Mostly the jealous individuals who feel slighted, a devious competitor, or another person who has a personal issue with you or someone else on your comment roll. These types can be in it for the long haul.

Overload

It becomes much more difficult to micro-manage when the size of your intake magnifies to unmanageable sizes. Inboxes can overflow, comment moderation can grind to a halt and much can go unchecked.

The only way to get around this is to involve lower order management and leave it in the hand of paid professionals because there is a limit to what you can automate.

Response Rates

When you reach overload like above, getting back to people in a timely manner can prove taxing. Big Wigs will prioritise on what can make them the most in the smallest amount of time expended which may mean they no longer make the same efforts they did for the individual in the audience.

Comfortable with Formulas

All big corporations face this issue. They become less flexible to new risks and get caught up with trying to perfect functioning models. The eventual demise of a Big Wig can be traced to this one incumbent’s trait as can all Corporations.

IBM and Xerox are both good examples of organisations who had once been trend setters but became bogged down with maintaining the status quo. They had golden opportunities to dominate even more avenues but failed to push the big red button. IBM dominated PCs for years but lost their grip and whilst they are on a resurgence recently as a solutions company, they’ve had some dark periods and some major loss. Xerox could have emerged in many great directions from just printers and high grade photocopiers but they decided not to and have limited their growth as a result.

Formulas avoid risk and risk aversion can eventually be costly.

Even if organisations do supposedly “innovate” it is as a response to the changes that a similar rival made with the benefit of hindsight. With that approach, you’ll never win as much as being the first. Essentially you are perpetually behind the curve.

Greed

Whilst optimising is no sin getting greedy is. I have mentioned the “smell of sell” before and often it has an off putting ambience. The level to which you exploit your audience is a personal choice but Big Wigs use every tool and every avenue to milk you as the “leads” that you are. You become less a fan and more a number.

Marketing is somewhat of a plague. We all know examples of bad marketing. Going to sites that claw at you and having adverts that follow you often feels like an invasion. I can think of many times when I’ve been to America and been weighed down by the horrifying amount of adverts that make many popular shows unwatchable. Could you be making your site unreadable with your “grab marketing”?

Weight of Expectation

The weight of expectation on a Big Wig is immense. Unlike an amateur, they are required to perform consistently, any bum notes are scrutinised and they can’t rely on too many off days when they have other Big Wigs chasing their heels. Big Wigs start developing taxing calendars and over commit themselves.

Time

Time is simply the enemy to a Big Wig. They only have time to manage their sheep and become far less capable of jumping on new things in time.

  • They have less time to spend with their ever growing fans.
  • They have less time to explore before they must comply with their next item on the calendar.
  • They have less time to fight growing competitors.

How can I best win against a Big Wig?

So you are grinding your gears trying to become a Big Wig all by yourself. There are some gaps in the armour that you can exploit.

Being Personal

Because Big Wigs have less time to reach people on a personal level, you have a golden opportunity. Being on the ground level to help someone creates a much stronger relationship.

Being Flexible

Many big companies have sprung up by being quick to market on an idea. It was a big risk but because you got their early, it worked out. Big companies weigh pros and cons up longer and can be slower to market. Sometimes just a matter of timing is more important. If you are flexible with enough small items, you begin to carve out a destiny. When you become big you are less likely to take risks in order to protect the status quo.

Boundless Enthusiasm

Being enthusiastic about your destination means you’ve got motivation and with motivation you can accomplish far more than a person who has reached their personal plateaux. Many ideas often copy old ideas but with the right dose of enthusiasm and a fresh presentation you can storm in from nowhere. Google did it to the search engine world as they weren’t original but they did it simpler. Dyson did it in the vacuum cleaner world with a bagless cyclone design.

Sincerity and Empathy

As Big Wigs grow into their dominance they eventually start losing touch with the Average Joe. Their language changes and no matter how hard they try to register with the common individual, they are streets apart. You, as the little guy or gal, can still see the same dirt on the street as your audience and can use that to your advantage.

 

In conclusion

Big starts come from small beginnings so the saying goes. Everyone knows that blogging isn’t an exact science and that you can’t always apply logic to your audience. It takes time to bed in and be spotted and for a period of time you are going to be producing content that doesn’t live up to its full potential.

 

Over to you

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3 reasons why you shouldn’t blog if you’ve got nothing to say

Well sports fans, it is late at night and I need to get a post out to indicate that I haven’t slipped into a coma. The sandman is calling and with each granule of sand my eyes get heavier but I press on regardless for my beloved Blog Prefect audience.

3 reasons why you shouldn’t blog if you’ve got nothing to say

3 reasons why you shouldn't blog if you've got nothing to say

Image Source: Pixabay by Lizzyliz

Reason 1 – Because empty vessels make the loudest noise

“If you haven’t got anything good to say, don’t say anything at all!” – My mum

Sage words indeed from my mother dear. Have you ever come across a blog where someone puts an article out just for article’s sake. Its no crime to go quiet and many of the bigger bloggers do have pregnant pauses from time to time. In order to curate excellent works, sometimes you need a little reading time or just plain downtime. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The audience you are trying to encourage, don’t like it when you flounder on flowery topics, which they know in their heart of hearts they could have read in more detail somewhere else.

Reason 2 – Do the best job tomorrow rather than “good enough” today

There’s always tomorrow.

You might come back more refreshed after letting your brain get some vital REM sleep. I’ve talked in great depth in a previous article about how you can prepare yourself better with some downtime. I have also proved that longer articles outperform shorter ones in the long run.

Fighting the Brain Strain when Blogging

Reason 3 – Passion

You can lose your passion if you over expose yourself. Whilst blogging can be performed for many reasons, at the forefront, you should enjoy the process. Feeling like you have a gun pointed to your head won’t always help you in providing the best work you can muster. Life is a balance of many things.

Overexposure in Blogging

 

Bonus reasons

For ranking purposes Google likes its bloggers and website creators to produce some juicy text of a set length. You start hitting pay dirt after 300 words although on rare occasions you can do more with less. If you start writing too often you start running out of ideas and when that happens your articles become thinner on the ground. Those who post more frequently but have less manpower have to economise on post length if they aren’t a full time blogger.

Reflection is an important part of learning and often we learn best when we’ve had time to turn the coals on our mini project for a bit. Don’t let guilt cloud your judgement. So you missed the window, so what. If it wasn’t worth doing, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. You shouldn’t rush for small returns. It is the bigger returns you really crave and you should use appropriate resources to generate appropriate returns.

Okay, so its midnight plus 54. Night night. zzzzzzzz!!!

 

Karma, A pause from the ordinary

I don’t intend this article to preach to you because nobody likes a blunt force preach about something they don’t altogether agree with. This is why often there is quite a backlash about “A” list Hollywood stars talking about Religion or Politics because we want them to be a blank slate. If we know they put their name to something we don’t agree with, that taints our relationship with them.

 

Karma, A pause from the ordinary

Karma A pause from the ordinary

I’m an Anglican, Church of England Protestant. That’s me. I don’t go to church so that might in some way infer that I don’t practice (but I take it with me a bit like a snail takes its home on its back). I’d like to think if pressed I’m a good Christian.

Reincarnation

I believe in reincarnation, mostly because I have a strong feeling I was somebody else before this life. Reincarnation has something to do with Christianity but it is not exactly a religious fit. It’s more a separate belief because you believe in reincarnation without being religious. Basically I believe my soul, or a facet of it, was second-hand. I have a vivid calling to South America even though I’ve never been there. On rare occasions I get flashes of being on top of a sacrificial altar on a South American Ziggurat (one of those cool ass square pyramids). I know it sounds crazy but I believe I either was sacrificed or was the honcho behind that sacrifice and that image has been burned into my soul.

Karma

Getting to the nub of this particular article I believe in Karma. Karma is more a part of eastern religion, central to many Asian beliefs but I feel it is a great fit with Christianity. You basically have two flavours of Karma, good and bad or if you want to look at it more scientifically, positive and negative. If you look at Karma in the latter way you could argue that whilst positive Karma might have a good outcome, it may not necessarily be good for everyone and vice versa with the negative side. By sending out good Karma you hope to receive that in return, or at least balance out any negative Karma you may have generated.

 

Reciprocity (getting back what you give)

Many people who exist within social media try to depend on “reciprocity”, the reciprocal return of a deed well done. In basic terms, being thanked for helping, by being given something of even or uneven weight in return.

 

Why am I mentioning this Karma?

I was out and about on Sunday in a coastal town known entirely as Worthing. The UK is experiencing some glorious summer weather at the moment (possibly the best I can remember bar one year where the council had to water a great many trees). Worthing is a coastal town with a pier, tons of shops in a rather well situated shopping centre and a good vibe. There were a lot of people out on Sunday and I was with a friend on a merry walk around the place.

Part way through this walk I caught someone out of the corner of my eye with a bicycle. This person was a middle aged bohemian looking (that’s code for great unwashed) woman. The particular thing that caught my attention was the fact that she looked utterly miserable, on the verge of crying. She had spotted that I had noticed her and started giving me a sob story but something in me decided that this wasn’t worth the listen and I marched on. My friend did the same and didn’t challenge me not stopping, in fact they did the exact same. I made a comment, “Yet another Random” before moving on.

This incident lodged in my memory though.

I felt some guilt that I hadn’t been more Christian in my sympathy.

Putting myself in that person’s shoes I would have been even more miserable if someone had just blanked me like that, if I had genuinely been upset, that is.

 

The turn of the knife

My parents have pre-conditioned myself and my sister to stay clear of these types for many reasons. The top two include; personal safety being at the top, followed by the knowledge that if this person is an alcoholic or drug addict, I’d simply be fueling their suffering. There is also that point of thought that if you keep supporting those people with the begging bowls, you would drown in bowls eventually.

I made a split second decision, I chose no. Don’t bug me on my day off. Bug somebody else.

She could have been putting it on. That’s what I told myself… But as you can guess, I still have some doubt there.

My Karma serving was somewhat delivered in reverse. I was feeling awful that day because I woke up at 5:30 in the morning to another stinking migraine. It took me until 10am to shake it after 2 rather vocal vomits. I was still feeling as sick as a dog on my drive to Worthing, I’d only had two fingers of a KitKat to resemble breakfast and lunch because I was too nauseous to go for anything besides liquid. Obviously I didn’t drive with the full-blown headache and light sensitivity (because that would have been stupid). Needless to say someone was not looking out for me on Sunday.

 

Being charitable

I have noticed that charities have had to try harder to earn their crust nowadays. There have been a recent spate of stories on the news and on special programs like Panorama about how charity money is not really going to the people who need it most. This, among a series of other factors, has caused a slump in takings and some charities have taken a hit from a surge in people not consigning their tributes to the cause.

The sheer amount of charity is staggering in the UK. We have an industry for it almost. There are many charities that feel very corporate and take big cuts of that charity income to spend on expensive advertising campaigns and other frills. There could be claims of misappropriation, of cloaking as a goodwill but coining in on the cause.

Other than just sheer number, many people have grown thicker skins to the over-exposure of crisis on the television and on the internet. We grow somewhat weary of appeals when we are suffering financial crisis in our own land. We are kind of wondering when someone is going to start giving back to us.

 

Reasons to doubt validity:

Britain operates with a class system. It is still here but it has fragmented quite a lot from the time before the 1st world war.

You still have:

  • Upper
  • Middle
  • Working

But you get a few things in between:

  • Upper Class Old money
  • Upper Class New money
  • Upper Middle Class
  • Middle Class
  • Lower Middle Class
  • Working class
  • Benefit class  aka non-working class
  • Common or garden vagrant (shiftless character of ill intent)

Because we are the 6th richest country in the world and because we now work towards a more service based industry having no big stake in manufacturing or minerals, we have a somewhat uneven proportion of classes and they have blended somewhat.

It can often become difficult to determine the origin of someone from a specific class based on what they look like, we’ve had a few MPs (members of parliament) who’ve dressed like bag men and ladies in the past, so how people dress bears no semblance to where they fit in that fragmented picture.

There are many cases of middle class people, dressing up like homeless people, making a lot of money from begging in London. Organised crime makes a lot of money from begging rackets and fake charity collections. There is a whole industry based around fakery and hoodwinking.

 

In conclusion

Was I a bad person for blanking that woman? Did I deserve my slice of negative Karma in reverse? Am I guilty? Will Jesus be taking one Jesus point off my tally? What’s your thought? Similar story? Similar guilt pang?