Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Blog, A Class Project?

I receive all sorts of emails, some good and some awful. This was one piece of email that I wanted to share with my readers.

A young lady wrote saying that she is a Journalist student at a University. She had come across my blog when she was searching for a website for an upcoming project for a class. She asked if she could ask a few questions about my blog and use my answers for her class. I was both surprised and flattered.

Below are the questions she sent, and my answers:

1) When did you start blogging?

My first post was in late December 2010.

2) Why blog?

I initially started it because I thought I could pass along a good story or two. I spent a lot of time in the Marine Corps, in Security, working horses and cattle while holding various jobs. I've traveled overseas and throughout the United States. I've seen most of the country and met a lot of interesting people, so I thought I'd pass along some of what I found - the people, the places, and the pulse of America.

Besides passing on a good story or two, I became interested in writing about factual history because it seemed to me that there are people -- some of who are my close friends -- who simply accept Hollywood's version as the truth when it isn't even close most times.

After a while, I found that something else started happening. After a few posts, I found myself defending America and our values, our heritage and traditions, and even our system of government. Since I'm not a Political Science expert, I think I look at politics more cleanly and unobstructed. I don't deal with theory, just right and wrong.

I look at politics from the point of few of a man who has been a blue-collar worker, a man who knows how it feels to have to budget and stretch a dollar, lie to collection agencies, and knows how it feels to be out of work and worried about how to make ends meet. I think my opinion on politics is closer to how regular Americans look at politics.

3) What is The American Cowboy Chronicles all about?

The American Cowboy Chronicles has sort of evolved since I first started it. As I said, I wanted to pass on a few stories. Since then, I've written 390 posts. And in an effort to be accurate, some are way too long.

My blog, The American Cowboy Chronicles, is about American virtues, values, pride in our nation, respect for our heritage, and understanding of how we got here. It is about what one cowboy has learned in his life. Without sounding too pretentious, that "cowboy" is me.

It is about dispelling the myth that America is evil and that those who blame all of the world's ills on us are justified when they are not. It is about knowing who the real villains are in history, who are the real heroes of the Old West, and who was phony baloney. It's about those who have and are helping our nation and deserve respect and praise, and who are hurting their own nation and should be condemned.

It is about spreading the news, giving commentary, and passing along good clean facts and information that empower us all. Whether it's about "rural America," how to select a horse, fire a gun safely, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, the importance of the rights we share, America's First Principles, about our need to drill for oil in America and the 6,000 produces we use daily that is made from oil, or about the reason that things are the way they are, who should be held accountable for their actions, or about what really happened in the Old West, I'm trying to provide information that people can use.

4)  Motivations to continue blogging?

Right after the election, I felt empty and used up. I had done so much research on the candidates, all the while trying to put party affiliations aside. I couldn't understand how anyone could vote for Barack Obama since he has been such an utter failure. He's been completely inept. And frankly, his pitting race against race, and other methods of divisiveness at every turn, are all hurting our nation.

For a moment, I was going to give up producing articles on politics and what's in the news. But then, Obama became arrogant and demeaning. His whole "screw you" attitude bothered me. He sounds more like a bully and a punk these days. He embraced those who were in favor of violence against others. I found lie after lie while he seemed to only represent only those who voted for him.

And lately, instead of putting the concerns of our nation ahead of those of others, like never before he has revealed a contempt for our nation and our way of life that I've never seen in a President nevertheless a politician. His disdain for Americans is ever-present.

So now, I continue to write about politics. And no, not only because I enjoy writing, but also because I have readers who want to hear a voice that calls it like it is -- and read something interesting. 

5)  Do you earn money from your blog?

No, I don't. I've been part of an Advertising Program but that hasn't paid off at all. I'm probably going to end my association with them because of that.

I do support certain organizations with ads and back-links to help them out because I believe in their cause -- like the Marine Corps, Saint Judes Hospital, the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, Stolen Horse International, and others.

As for me, I am hoping to get donations here and there, and maybe a sponsor or two somewhere down the road. It would certainly help with the horse rescue that my wife and I are doing these days. But if I don't, that's fine.

6)  How do you manage your blog?

I manage my blog like a blind man with a shotgun. I hear a noise and fire! And yes, I'm afraid that that's more true than not.

What I mean by that is that I read a lot of different news agencies. I scan Fox News, The Washington Times, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner, The DailyMail out of the U.K, the US Farm Report, and many others for what's going on out there.

My philosophy is this: I don't want my blog to sound like everyone else. While some stories can't be neglected -- if everyone is doing articles on them then I'm only part of the choir. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being part of the choir, but it would be nice if I can do a bit more research on a subject before my blog sounds just like everyone else.

Of course, then there are those stories that others aren't talked about that get my goat. And yes, that's when I fire away! Of course, my pleasure is writing about my favorite subjects such as American history, especially Old West with a focus on Vigilante Groups and the period we know as "The Great Depression," guns in general, horses, the cowboy lifestyle, living in rural America, and of course Civics and Conservative politics.

Now as for managing my blog posts? Well, I find that I get a fairly good response when I'm doing current events, news, and politics during the week. I find that my articles on the Old West, horses, and guns, do better on the weekends.

7) Strengths of your blog?

Wow! That really is a loaded question. I really don't know what the strengths of my blog are. Actually, I don't know what weaknesses I have other than the fact that my articles are way too long.

8) Target audience?

I don't know if I really have a target audience as of right now. As of right now, I'm putting out a lot of different articles on a lot of different subjects while trying not to let politics consume me.

I want to put my blog out there. I have different subjects for my readers to choose from. I really don't want to make my blog into a purely political Conservative voice and just be that. I really want this to be more "Cowboy" or "Western lifestyle" related than anything else. Some enjoy reading about guns and the Old West, others horses and cattle, and some like reading my 9/11 articles to keep in mind what took place just 12 years ago.

There are articles on my blog for Cowboys, Farmers, Ranchers, Gun enthusiasts, history buffs, Veterans, Conservatives, as well as students and others interested in reading about things in the news these days. And yes, there are things on here that don't make the front pages. But seriously, I kind of like knowing that it's all here for folks.

With that, I'd say my target audience in the future will probably be determined by what attracts people and what they request more of. Right now, my audience for my Old West articles is growing. I really hope that there's a time when I can do primarily Old West history or American history in general. I believe there is an audience looking for that. Besides, there is so much that we can all learn from our history. 

9) Statistics (i.e profile views from other people, followers)

As for my profile views, I have no idea. As for followers, I think I have a few right now. As for "hits" a day, I'm averaging between 300 and 400 visits a day these days --which is great for me. Just prior to the election last November, I was getting around 900 visits a day. After the election, things dropped off and I attribute that to the depression folks are feeling over Obama being reelected.

Now I see my numbers raising again because people are angry at what's going on in Washington DC. So who knows where the numbers will go.

Another thing is that there is a difference between the weekdays when I do Conservative politics, current events, and that sort of thing, versus the Old West articles that I put on on the weekends. The numbers for the weekday traffic are not really growing while weekend traffic is steadily growing. This is encouraging me to open up my old travel journals and relate to my readers what I found in my looking at historical people and events.

I find what I have learned during my travels to be very interesting. I've also found that what I've learned during my travels and looking at historic events and people, especially those in the Old West, didn't always agree with the so-called "Historians" who wrote this or that book. It's true, after seeing things for myself, I came to the conclusion that some of those guys really didn't know what they were talking about at all. 

That takes me to my pet peeve of providing sources. Some so-called "Historians" provide sources using the research of others. That's a pet peeve of mine. I've read a lot of so-called "Historians" who provide tons of sources at the ends of their books. 

Most don't mind quoting the books authored by others. They use the work and research of others to justify their findings -- but they usually provide very little explanation about what they themselves found. So really, most seem to simply be regurgitating what someone else has found or said -- even if they are wrong.

In the Inspection Industry, which I worked in for quite a few years, that would be considered fraud. As an Inspector/Technician doing industrial inspections, it would have been considered criminal for me to base my findings on what some other Inspector found during his examination. It would not matter one bit how respected that person was who did the previous inspection, I couldn't base my findings of an inspection on the findings of someone years before. Because that's my background, I prefer to do my own research, read archived newspapers, wade through the court records, and try not to let someone else's finding sway what I'm looking at. 

10) Advice to other bloggers.

I really don't know if I qualify as someone who can give advice to other writers. I read a number of blogs, most of which I don't have listed on my site, and I admire other writers a great deal. Most have a way with words that I have never had. They are brief and to the point like a good swordsman. For me, I flounder around writing and rewriting and rewriting and on and on into the wee hours of the morning. I admire people who don't have to do that and can still tell a good accurate story.

Yes, I really do have a great deal of admiration for other bloggers, especially if they are Conservatives who may feel outnumbered and swimming upstream all the time. Of course, I'm sure that I'm not alone when I say that I do find that my disappointment over things going on in the Obama administration helps me write. It's probably out of a sense of frustration and disappointment with him.

Maybe there's something to the notion of writing more when you're unhappy with things around you? If so, then maybe that's the answer to why there are so many Conservative Blogs popping up. Seems there are a lot of unhappy folks these days. Especially when one looks at how Obama keeps increasing the number of rules and regulations that Americans have to live by now.

You asked who I am?

Well, I am now retired. My wife and I live in Glencoe, California, with a population of 189. I spend most of my time caring for rescued horses, volunteering, and researching newspaper archives, old court records, journals, and such. I'm a big believer in hard work, integrity, commitment, duty, respect, and treating others as I would like to be treated.

Though I live in California, a person can leave the doors unlocked here, make an agreement with a handshake, and care for the land and people a lot better than the government can. There isn't any hustle and bustle or pushing and shoving here like there is in the cities.

The only drawback as to what's happening in this part of "rural America" is that as more and more people move up here from the cities in Bay Area, the drivers are getting rude and everyone in the nearby big town of Jackson (17 miles away) are all starting to act like they do in the city. More seem to be in a hurry while going nowhere. Even though that's the case and things are changing, all in all, I wouldn't trade my country lifestyle for all the tea in China.

These questions are not something that I've really thought about. It was sort of fun examining what my blog is all about. I hope she does well. In fact, if you're reading this, I wish you Good Luck!

Tom Correa


  1. Thanks a lot for your help.

    I know your blog would come long ways and serves as an inspiration to people just like what it did to me.


  2. You're not taking up teaching are you Tom? Haha. Just kidding. Cowboys belong on the range. As always, your friend Benny. And remember. Get your own Doritos.


Thank you for your comment.