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Tag Archive for ‘Blogging’

Change is in the Air

Begining January 2014, I am moving to a new online home at TaniaGail.com.

Over the past two years, I’ve struggled with technical issues that negatively affected the performance of this blog.  I had already hatched the idea of developing a domain in my name and felt the time was ripe for going forward with that project. At the begining of 2013, I asked for reader participation in a survey geared to measuring the perceptions of this blog and its content. I have to say the feedback was fabulous. The information provided valuable insights that I incorporated into my working plan for the new site.

2014 will be a year of improvements and experiments  on content delivery to the blog and social media sites.  Also, I am looking forward to new collaborations the new year and can’t wait to share the details with you when I move into the new site. Despite all the exciting change happening, I remain committed to keeping this blog authentic, family friendly and fun.  What you see on the blog is who I am in real life – this tradition will continue on the new site.

Due to the plethora of technical issues on this blog, this will be the last post before moving on to taniagail.com.

While I am between blogs, I will be living on social media. You can keep up with me at the following social media sites:

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/taniagail

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skye820/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Skye820

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/taniagail/

Please feel free to follow me via these social media sites. I plan to send out many updates on the progress of TaniaGail.com through these sites.  Also, you can email me at midnightbluesays@gmail.com with comments, questions, jokes or marriage proposals.

All posts on MidnightBlueSays have been archived to a backup wordpress.com site.  I was shocked to see blog posts dating back to 2006. What an incredible journey this has been over the years.  You can view the posts here:


My sweet readers, THANK YOU for all your support over the years and I’m so delighted with all the happy connections this little blog has forged over the years.   Until we meet again – I wish everyone of my readers a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!


Blog Update

Let's Go for a Walk

Hey there, I hope your summer is going well. I’ve been quite busy myself with running, photography, and home improvement projects. Also, I’ve been busy collating design ideas for the upcoming blog redesign. I can tell you that it is quite a mess behind the scenes of the blog at the moment. I’m really looking forward to updating the look and functionality of this website. I’ve contacted Creative Kristi to work with me in the design and implimentation phase.  My overall idea is a clean, magazine style design that makes my photography jump off the page. Also, I’m incorporating the ideas readers so kindly suggested in a survey I posted in January.  I’ll be sure to post updates as the project moves forward.

I did it – I reserved a spot on September 8th to go skydiving! I’m so excited and nervous with an addition touch of excitement.  Just wait till you see the photos and video – hopefully I won’t look too terrified.

Later this fall, I plan on hosting a coffee talk with Philadelphia District Attorney candidate Danny Alvarez.   A nice, informal way for neighbors to meet the candidates and enjoy delicious baked goods.

2014 may find me traveling with The Giving Lens. It is a travel photography workshop that partners with NGO’s. Workshop participants learn more about photography and volunteer time with local non-profit organizations. Photography mixed with supporting a local non profit organization seems a win/win situation for me.

Stay tuned as there are lots of projects in the works and I can’t wait to share them!





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2013 Blog Survey Results

Turn To Clear Vision

In January I asked readers and followers on several social media platforms to share  their thoughts and ideas on how to make this blog a better online experience.  I have been able to extract a fair bit of quality data from this survey that I am happy to share with you. A review of the data confirmed a few general ideas I had about the blog and illuminated some new and pleasantly surprising perceptions. Overall, I found the data extremely helpful while I craft the next phase of ‘MidnightBlue’.

I had promised this data months earlier and apologize for the delay.

To start, I have released the top percentage answers from the eight multiple choice questions.

How did you find this blog?

  • Friend 29%
  • Link from other blog 21%
  • Twitter/Conference 18%

How do you follow this blog?

  • Direct visit 68%
  • Twitter 42%

Why do you follow this blog?

  • Sense of connection with the author 76%
  • Quality information 41%
  • Photo tips/Eclectic content 35%

What topics would you like to see more of on this blog? 

  • Politics 57%
  • Photography tips 46%
  • Opinion on current national and global issues 46%

Post frequency preference on this blog.

  • Whenever you post is good for me 64%

Would you be interested in occasional guest bloggers?

  • Yes 32%
  • No 3%
  • Maybe 53%

What type of posts would you like to see more of on the blog?

  • A mix of all the above 60 % (Interviews, Reader Q&A, Video posts, Photo essays, Podcasts)
  • Photo essays 40%
  • Video blog posts 29 %

Appearance matters. How do you like the overall design of MidnightBlue? What can be improved?

  • Perfect –  no changes 58%
  • Go with two columns 19%
  • Too cluttered 11%


Far and away take home message was the authenticity of the collection of posts through readers sense of connection with me. This sense of authenticity and connection has also been confirmed off line when meeting twitter followers.   I will continue to post in this manner across all social media platforms – I am me online or offline.

I’m not sure how to interpret the results of the guest blogger question. While I’m not philosophically opposed to guest blogging, I like to have a certain level of control over the content produced on this website.

Thanks again to all who participated in this survey. I learned quite a lot about how my content is received in public and hope to use this information to improve the level of content provided within this website.


Where in the Web is Tania?

The interweb is a huge entity and growing by the nanosecond.  It is a place that I find endlessly fascinating and have joined a social media site or two. To make it easier to find me, I’d thought I’d curate a list of other social media/websites that I’ve joined and actively participate:

RebelMouse is a curation of my social media expressions and now is a Page within this blog. You can click on Skye820 and view my curated social media footprint in one place.

Digital Rev
Great photography site with a social media backbone. Another area to get more eyeballs on my photography, learn new techniques and meet new photographers.

About.me will replace the About page on this blog.

Urban Garden Goddess
A blog I’ve had for a few years where I document my struggles and successes in urban vegetable gardening.

Tumblr - A place to share more of my Instagram goodness. Honestly, what else do you do with a Tumblr site?

Come join me on Pinterest, soon we will all be assimilated :)

These sites are in addition to the usual suspects of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


New at MidnightBlue – Calendar Page

Source: followgram.me via Tania on Pinterest



I’ve added a new feature/plugin for the blog. If you check the top bar you will see a calendar page. I’ve added events that are searchable via categories and tags. The color coded events contain information and links in order for the viewer to get more details about the event.

The All-in-One Event calendar by Timely:

I’m always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to share information on this blog. I’m planning to use this calendar to promote fun social events in the Philly area, conferences and fitness events. My hope is that the calendar will give readers a place to search for upcoming events that may be of interest and read my recaps of the ones I’ve attended, as well.


Pinterest Updates Terms of Service

Pinterest proposed changes to Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy will go into effect on April, 6th 2012.

In email sent to Pinterest users, several proposed changes were noted that address the copywrite and trademark concerns voiced online:

  • Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
  • We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.
  • We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.
  • Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.

Many online comments have pointed at Pinterest TOS taking ALL rights of original content uploaded to the site, including the right to sell you work. Honestly, it is good to read in the email the Pinterest team clearly defining their intent of NOT selling your original content.

Will this update solve all copywrite and trademark issues? Probably not. Pinterest did not kick off copywrite sensors, it is just a new iteration of a decades old debate.

In recent days,  Leela Cyd, a photographer by trade, sent a scathing letter  when she discovered her photo included in an article on Pinterest published in the New York Post.  The photo was incorrectly credited as “Courtesy Tory Burch via Pinterest.”  In her letter, Leela vents her frustration at having her original content re-pinned with out proper credit. She makes her living from photography and is not inclined to give freebies.

Trey Ratcliff writes extensively on the dilemma facing photographers who publish their work online and his solution to online sharing of his original content.

The links above give a good briefing on both sides of this issue.  I can empathize with Leela’s frustration over her work being unaccredited. I’ve encountered an instance of a photo of mine on a blog post that gave no photo credit. The author clearly was not making money off of the post, so I let it go. In most cases, however, authors do properly credit my photos – and they have appeared in articles, blog posts and even an online veterinary resource.

At the same time, Trey points out that open sharing can lead to real revenue and not everyone is out to steal your content. Trey relates that 15% of his blog traffic comes from Pinterest. Considering his blog has substantial traffic, this indicates that social sharing sites are rich resources to grow interest in your work.

What is the best way to protect your original work? That depends upon your personal comfort level in sharing your work online. There are several tools including digital watermarking, and registering your photos with a U.S. Copywrite. There will be unauthorized sharing of your online work, that is the nature of online social sharing sites, you have to decide upon an action threshold. What unauthorized use of your images will you accept and what use will cause you to pursue other options?

For Pinterest, if you chose to join, make sure to properly credit y0ur re-pins and if you post your original creations please note your sharing permissions in the about section of your board. Users will certainly appreciate your willingness to share your work and clarity on how you would like your content shared and attributed. For example, I’ve  given permission for Pinterest users to re-pin my photos.  I’ve also updated my Disclosure Policy to reflect Pinterest sharing permissions of my blog posts.

Full disclosure, I license my photos on Flickr to Getty Images and will soon migrate photos to Pitcha Global.

What are your thoughts on copywrite and photo sharing in the social media setting?

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