Welcome to Challenge Interview #12 with Lisa Coleman the hostess of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. I met Lisa through Terri Webster Schrandt hostess of Sunday Stills. Lisa has been collaborating with me to help me and any of you to organize our digital photos both in and out of WordPress.
We have been chatting through Zoom and on the phone. I did not record our conversations, so my apologies for the paraphrased answers come from my lack of note taking ability when I’m having fun chatting.
When I began this series last summer, I wanted to find out what makes challenges successful. I love to know the back stories the history of the challenge and why they work. In 2012 when I first started blogging, I thought if I put up a Photo Challenge page on my blog everyone would flock to my blog and respond to my challenge. Of course, that didn’t happen, and I realized so much more went into being a host or hostess.
Now I love interviewing these lovely bloggers to honor their work and learn from them. I hope you enjoy them as well.
Welcome Lisa Coleman.
History of Bird Weekly
Lisa started blogging in July of 2019, about the same time that Granny started her Bird of the Day challenge. As a new blogger, Lisa loved responding two or three times a week to the Bird of the Day Challenge hosted by Granny Shot It. I tried unsuccessfully to look Granny up, then Google found my friend Cee Neuner, the record keeper of all things challenging and of course, she had a link to Bird of the Day challenge.
When BOTD stopped on November 4, 2019, no one carried it on. In May, 2020, after Lisa lost her job due to COVID 19, she made plans to pick up the challenge and make it her own.
“It kept me sane. Mostly I love birds and this gave me a way to share that and to teach people about birds.”Lisa Coleman
After spending a month building her page, Lisa posted her first challenge on June 12, 2020.
She laughed as she talked about how many people responded. “Here let me count, five.”
Lisa did something on her Bird Weekly Challenge Page that helped. She started a list with the first post linked at the top instead of the most current.
“That way when people went to my page they could immediately click on that first post. They liked what they saw and started responding.”Lisa Coleman
After we hung up from our phone conversation, I immediate went to my page for Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge and reversed the order of my list. Thanks for the tip, Lisa.
As you read Lisa’s posts each week, of course she has stunning phots but you also learn tidbits about different birds. In her most recent post, Birds Starting with the Letter E right off the bat you learn, “The feature image is a Snowy Egret in breeding colors. You can tell by the pink color near the eye called the lore. The lore is the region between the eye and the bill on the side of a bird’s head.”
Challenges motivate people to help each other. In her post Lisa tells about an encounter she had with another photographer.
“I met an up and coming birder on our birding trip to the Viera Wetlands last Thursday. We were on the driving trail and pulled up next to her and she was looking for a Painted Bunting in some bushes. I wasn’t too optimistic and after some conversation, we moved on. A bit down the road, I got out of the car and started taking some photos. The woman pulled up and started talking again, asking all kinds of questions. She had captured a bird on her camera and needed help identifying. I was able to do to that quickly. She had just seen and photographed her first Eastern Phoebe. I thought to myself, “E” birds are coming up, but I have one in my yard so no need to backtrack. I did, however, tell her about Ebird.org and the blog. I hope she finds as much joy in her new found passion as we all have.Lisa Coleman
She also helps bloggers each week by posting a “Round-up” of pictures from each blogger that joins the challenge for that week. Almost all challenges have links to all or some of the blog posts of those who participated. Here is Lisa’s link list from a recent post.
- Ark – A Tale Untold
- Kate – XingfuMama
- Aletta – nowathome
- Brian – bushboys world
- V.J. – One Woman’s Quest II
- Marilyn – Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth
- Cee – Cee’s Photo Challenges
- Terri – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives
- Susan – Life Through My Lens
- Beth – Wandering Dawgs
- Brian – Butterflies To Dragsters
- Lisa – A Day In The Life
- Nora – norasphotos4u
- Joanne – Joanne’s crafts and adventures
Those links and encouraging participants to visit each other are essential for forming community. I cut and paste links to others in the community into my blogging journal to make it easier for me to visit everyone in the community that week. I have been starting to publish a short list of participants on my own posts an idea I got from Donna from Retirement Reflections.
Lisa takes roundups to a new level. She publishes her favorite picture from their link along with the link. FYI, this process takes her about two hours because she revisits all her participant’s posts and picks out one picture she wants to use. She also opts for a higher WordPress plan to cover the cost of having extra images in her media file.
Lisa gives all the credit to Cee Neuner for her Love of Challenges Page. Once Cee published the Bird Weekly Challenge in her list of challenges, Lisa’s participation levels rose. Each week she averages about 15 participants as you can see from the links above. Many of these people are active in other photo challenges or are challenge hosts themselves. Terri Webster Schrandt often links her topics to follow Lisa’s. Bloggers seeing Cee Neuner or Becky from Becky’s Squares participatory posts also alert their followers that Bird Weekly is a challenge of interest.
Like many of the challenge hosts, Lisa designed a beautiful badge for participants to bling up their sidebars or in their posts. This draws additional interest to her blog and builds her community.
In our hour or two phone call (I lost track of time.) Lisa managed to answer all my questions and even give me some photographic advice. Blogging for Lisa is a hobby. A graphic artist, she also has an Etsy shop which she opened after she lost her job. The provides essential income as the Pandemic continues and unemployment runs out and jobs don’t open up.
Lisa has two published books. If you are interested in learning more about Florida, she has written two Images of America books, one about Tampa and one about Clearwater.
Thank you for your time, Lisa. It was fabulous talking to you and getting to know you better. I’m looking forward to our next collaboration Organizing Digital Photos in WordPress coming up soon.
Writer’s Quotes Weekly Writing Challenge “Citizenship” This is women’s history month. Share a quote from your favorite woman in history.
Writer’s Quotes upcoming topic – “Family” Share a favorite quote about family or from your family.
Story Chat – There’s still time to stop in and discuss “Wanda Lust” with author A. Kid from Carrot Ranch Saddle Up Saloon and all the others in the Story Chat gathering. Who kidnapped Wanda?
Shorty began. “’Cause Carrot Ranch is a safe space fer real folks, but the fictional fact a this story is— Wanda’s been kidnapped.”
At that proclamation Ernie howled like a sad ol’ coyote. Ain’t gonna lie ta ya. First thought was Wanda’d done wandered away agin, ‘count a her nut-orious Wanda-lust. But some folks figgered Wanda an’ Ernie was back permanent since he give up drink an’ was workin’ on his inner calm.
“Whut makes ya think it were a kidnappin’?” Pal asked.
“She’s been gone a while, an’ nowhere’s ta go,” says Ernie. “An’ if it were her Wanda-lust she’d a left a note; she always leaves a note.”
“Really? What’s her notes say?”
“Say, ‘I’m wand’rin’ off ta pick up a nuther man.’ She kin do thet too, she’s mighty strong. Kin haul full kegs a corn liquor ‘thout no hep.”A. Kid
Have a great week, and I’ll look forward to your comments and links. 🙂