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In order to keep track of any gossip about me online (ahem! like there’s so much), I have a Google Alert on my name. It also helps me to see the other Mary Warners online (there are many). If you spend a considerable amount of time in the online environment, particularly if you’re prone to opening your virtual mouth, this is a smart strategy rather than a narcissistic one. (Okay, it’s a little narcissistic, but still necessary. We’re talking your personal brand here, mmkay? You’ve got to actively manage it.)

The other day, my Google Alert informed me that my blog is now listed with Newsbobber, a directory of blogs specific to Minnesota. Of course I had to check out my listing (actively managing my brand, right?) and a portion of my blog’s description immediately caught my eye. Here’s how Newsbobber describes my blog:

Mary Warner is a creative writer. She shares her insights and experiences every day about nearly everything — cars breaking down, grocery trips, sex talks, her hubby. She also publishes her poetry and short fiction on the blog.

Can you see what might have jumped out at me?

Sex talks.

Like I’m a non-stop sex-talking machine. Yeah.

Not that there would be a problem with being a non-stop sex-talking machine, but it’s such a small part of what I blog about. And I can prove it.

I am a relentless categorizer and tagger when it comes to my blog posts. I have 142 main categories into which my blog posts can be slotted. Early on I determined I would assign categories for anything I talked about often, so I would haven’t to keep typing in the same tags. I use tags for things I seldom mention. Because of that, I have 4,553 tags. (See what I mean about relentless? It’ll be more after I post this.) It’s a system that works well for me.

WordPress, God bless it, keeps track of how many times I have used each category and tag. I have used the “sex” category 17 times. I’ve also used the “religion” category 17 times. Does that mean my blog is about religion?

In comparison, here’s how some of my other categories stack up to “sex” in terms of times used:

    – life = 784
    – minnesota = 583
    – family = 382
    – husband = 301
    – children = 263
    – writing = 230
    – book = 180
    – writers = 173
    – culture = 150
    – music = 137
    – body = 134
    – author = 130
    – food = 127
    – nature = 116
    – pop culture = 109
    – technology = 103
    – reading = 102
    – emotion = 98
    – creativity = 87
    – weather = 81 (you can’t be a Minnesotan and not talk about weather!)

Considering the frequency with which I mention my family, husband and children and the fact that our children were the result of sex between Hubby and me (Kids, don’t think too closely about that), I suppose I am a non-stop sex-talking machine, but that’s stretching the “sex talk” description too far. Why not use “music” or “food” or “technology” to describe my blog seeing as how I’ve written about them more than sex? Heck, I’ve written about “candy” (20 times),  “death” (39 times), and “plants” (46 times) more than sex. Why is my blog not described in those terms?

Alas! The “sex talk” is an attention-grabber. Sure got my attention, didn’t it? In all fairness, whoever wrote the Newsbobber description did say I talk about “nearly everything,” although I don’t blog every day. I have a feeling the reference to the “sex talk” was about this particular blog post.

I’m not upset about the sex reference (in case you think I doth protest too much), I just find it interesting how others describe my work, what sticks out for them. Maybe I need to write more about sex.

In any case, Newsbobber had another surprise for me – my Newsbobber Score. Newsbobber ranks on a scale of 0-10 using a bunch of mumbo-jumbo metrics, including Google PageRank (mine’s a 3) with 10 representing the most popular blogs in Minnesota. My rank is a 4.1. Respectable I think, considering I’m not a celeb. I’m just a writer, quietly poking away at her keyboard.

And then I took a look at the Newsbobber Scores for other Minnesota blogs and discovered that Jason DeRusha’s is 4.9. (Scroll down list on this page to see it.) Really? Come on! His blog should have a Newsbobber Score higher than that. And he really does talk about everything because Minnesotans ask him all those Good Questions.

(Does Jason DeRusha have a Google Alert on his name? He should. Then he’ll see that I’m gossiping about him.)

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