Thursday, July 18, 2013

We would like your feedback!

The MURDER IS EVERYWHERE blog has been appearing for nearly four years.  There have been 1253 blogs, including this one, and about 1,200,000 page views.  The blog now enjoys over 30,000 page views a month.

For this, we all thank you, the readers.

Maintaining a blog for this long is hard work, but we all enjoy it very much, although there are times when we cuss the blog deadline because of other life events.

Now we think it is time to ask you to tell us what you think.  Please take a few minutes and give us some feedback.

There are 8 questions below.  Please answer any or all of them.  You can type the number of the question you are answering, or just tell us what you think.

1.  The eight authors of Murder Is Everywhere write about different places, not always just where they set their books.  Do you like this or would you prefer they stayed in their respective countries?

2.  The eight authors have different opinions on many topics.  Do you enjoy reading about their opinions on topics other than writing and their books?

3.  If an author expresses an opinion that you disagree with on a topic such as religion or politics, would that make you less likely to read the Murder Is Everywhere blog?

4.  Are there topics you would like to see us address more often?  Less often?

5.  We all have guests blog for us occasionally.  Do you enjoy these?  Would you like to see more or fewer of these?

6.  One way we measure our success is by how many comments we get.  What can we do, if anything, to make you comment on our blogs more frequently?

7.  How often do you read the blog?

8.  Any other comments?

On behalf of my blog mates, I thank you for being part of our writing lives, and thank you in anticipation for your feedback.

Stan - Thursday

PS.  I cannot let this opportunity pass without wishing my hero, Nelson Mandela - Madiba - a comfortable birthday.  It is difficult to know how to react to his current, prolonged illness.  I just hope he is not suffering.


  1. #3--Definitely yes, when it becomes "insulting the other side," rather than simply expressing one's personal views.

    I get damned tired of the non-stop insinuations that people who hold my personal political views are stupid and evil, and that is something I see all over the internet. I don't mind it so much on "political" sites--that's what they're there for--but when I see political propagandizing/demonizing suddenly pop up on "entertainment" blogs or websites, that becomes just insufferable.

  2. I read this blog everyday and love reading about the different locales. Politics not so much unless pertinent to subjects addressed. Not so much about the writing angst either. Guest bloggers refreshing. Keep up the good work.

  3. Writers are successful because what they write is interesting to read. That's the bottom line, so keeping that in mind:
    1) Why set yourself boundaries that just hamper you?
    2) See #1.
    3) If 'you' are bothered by things that challenge your own world view, your own opinions, your own knowledge, why are you reading? If all I read are opinions I'm in complete agreement with, THEN I'll get bored. (Well, except for Jeff's... needling is its own reward.)
    4) Follow your hearts. The only Cardinal Sin in writing is being boring.
    5) More, less, who cares, as long as they're not boring. (I'm detecting a theme...)
    6) I usually only comment when I feel I can add something to a conversation (or when I feel like needling Jeff). I feel that continually posting little more than "Great post!" would become boring. :-) I know what it's like to speak into an echo-less chamber, so I try to comment if I feel I have anything to say.
    7) Pretty much daily, as life allows.
    8) Somebody buy Jeff some clothes that aren't blue. Sheesh. Blue pants, blue shirt, blue bench, blue sea, blue sky, blue hair, about the only thing that's not blue in that picture is Mykonos and Jeff's eyes! By the way, Jeff, were you getting ready to arm-wrestle somebody, or what???

    (And thanks, Stan, and everyone else, for gifting us with your thoughts and efforts, whether we thank you daily or not!)

  4. I meant to warn you, Stan, that offering up a suggestion box day was sure to draw the kooks down from the hills and right on cue who shows up but Everett, with banjo and corn cob tucked away somewhere, most likely in the back of his astro-turf lined pickup close by the dawgs. And God bless him for it!

    1. When you started talking about corn-cobs and "back of his..." I grew concerned that this conversation was rapidly devolving, but I was tickled silly to see that you managed to remain on the high ground. That's one of the reasons why, while I've never met you, I like you ALMOST as much as Tim (who I have met, and still like him despite that... er... anyway... um... even more?)

    2. I'm sorry, Everett, truly sorry. I never should have backed off on the corn cob, so to speak. I realize my hero Tim never would have, but that's why I'll always be #2, so to speak.

      By the way folks, as a spontaneous Question #9, does this sort of back and forth draw you in or send you screaming off in search of the original Punch and Judy?

    3. Jeff, you really SHOULD start a new series of novels (NOT that there's anything wrong with your Kaldis books, I do NOT want you to stop writing those!), something in a lighter vein, where your sense of humor can be "set free," or at least ridden with looser reins. I think you could definitely give Tim's Junior Bender books a run for their money!

    4. Thank you, Everett, but freeing my sense of humor runs the risk of "asylum" being linked more closely to my name than Edward Snowden's.

      Still, I must say that I am tinkering with a project involving a piano player in a gay bar who keeps a pet giraffe around to hit the high notes.

  5. Freedom of Speech is and should be just that.You may agree to disagree but that is your opinion
    I for one like hearing about lands I know that I will never get to see..people that are never met etc..Sure I might disagree with topics especially politics and faith but once again freedom of speech! I love my freedom and my country especially my Land of the Free. Be thankful my friends and count your Blessings for tomorrow may never come..Live..Life and Laugh my motto. Hugs to All


  6. I enjoy your posts because I feel as though I am leaning about places, and people I will probably never see. The badinage is fun because I get to see you all as human beings which is always nice when you get know the person behind the books. I also like when you respond to the comments. I think I'm beginning to sound like a groupie. I think I am, but i am very loyal :)

  7. 1. I like that the bloggers take "everywhere" seriously. As someone mentioned, the blog takes me places I will never go.
    2. The authors are erudite, well-traveled, and gifted communicators. That's what makes the blog interesting, educational, and enjoyable.
    3. This is where the educational part comes in. I want to know their opinions (see #2).
    4. I think the topic of the post has to be left to the author. The blog is always interesting because it is written by people who have such a wide range of interests.
    5. The guests on the blog provide other prospectives on "everywhere" and, as they are invited to participate by the core group, readers know they have something worth reading. But the core group shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they are the reason so many of us read it everyday.
    6. I leave a comment almost every day. Each post has so much in it that there is always something that pulls me in. Sometimes I wonder if I should comment less.
    7. I read the blog everyday, all 1253 posts since the first day. Looking forward to many more.

    I don't think some people realize that comments and the replies to them are a conversation. All the authors respond to comments and, in doing so, add even more information for the readers to mull.

    It must be pointed out that the authors on this blog are always respectful to their readers and, in particular, to those who take the leap of faith that precedes adding a comment.


    1. Please don't comment less, Beth! You add so much to the discussion.

    2. Thank you, Stan. Murder is Everywhere never disappoints. I have learned so much.


  8. #1 & #2: This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get, but it's all good.

    #3: No, I read them all. Some I think about long after I've finished reading...but isn't that the point?

    #4: See #1 & #2.

    #5: I really enjoy the guest writers. If having more eases blog deadline issues, by all means, have more! You could always add more permanent writers, too. Would rather see that than have this blog end.

    #6: I'd comment more often if I could use my FB account.

    #7: I read every blog, usually on the day it's posted.

  9. 1. Jump around as much as you like. You're all good writers with interesting observations -- go for it.

    2. See #1.

    3. I've no problems with a reasoned, reasonable, respectful discussion (or monologue) that is based on reality, as long as this doesn't start to dominate the blog.

    4-5. Happy with the mix you have, but feel free to experiment.

    6. I've found, posting to my library's Facebook page, a question is more likely to elicit a comment than simply presenting an interesting object or subject -- but this is an observation more than a suggestion. I seldom comment simply because I have nothing to say other than "Interesting post, thank you ..."

    7. Daily.

    8. For what it's worth: the posts I've been enjoying the most (not that everything else is dull!) are Jeffrey Siger's on the political situation in Greece. Ultimately, perhaps, the blog posts that have interested me the most are those offering insights into the country and its psyche, the sort of thing a travel book wouldn't necessarily include and a visitor is unlikely to see.

  10. I'm for all of it, writing about books, politics, art, countries' histories and current situations/woes, whether they're the locations of bloggers' books or not, opinions, the more the better.

    I have enjoyed Jeff Siger's posts on the political situation in Greece -- and some of the history from WWII as well.

    I enjoyed and learned a lot from Leighton Gage's post on Brazilian history, art, architecture, political situation, music. Would hope he'll resume blogging here.

    Guest bloggers are fine.

    Enjoy blog posts with opinions and the comments that ensue, agreement, disagreement, etc. All contribute to the discussion. As long as differing views can be posted, fine.

    I read the blog a few times a week. It's only because I read several blogs and news sites that I just can't read everything I want to every day.

  11. Don't change. I thoroughly enjoy reading from and about different parts of the world and quirky subjects (beer in London?). If political you lose me if its long. However others will find it interesting, so carry on. Fully understand if its not as often due to time constraints. I usually read the blog every week. I love the variety of subject and different authors. Thanks to all!

  12. Thank you all for your comments. Keep 'em coming!

  13. Love this blog - read it most days but in the form where I get it as an e mail - which means no reply possible. If I really want to reply it's not that hard - just log on - but it is that tiny extra effort that makes me quieter than I otherwise would be. Agree generally with other posters - I like the variety, and the insight into other countries from either natives or residents, as opposed to transient visitors. Like the politics mostly, but prefer the kind of stuff that is everyday knowledge to residents, and total news to outsiders. As for guest writers - no problem if they are as interesting as the core group - and so far they are. So thanks for your work - and please keep it coming

  14. I love this blog and read every entry. It has introduced me to new writers in a genre that I really enjoy. I have purchased and read books by every one of you except Annamaria Alfieri and in all cases have gone on to read everything that the authors have published. I will be reading my first Alfieri shortly and have high expectations that she will become another one of my favorites. I also love the variety of blog topics and the interaction between the participants. I know that it is hard work for all of you to keep this blog going, but your work is much appreciated. Thank you.

  15. 1. Discovered Murder Is Everywhere through Jeff Siger's books re Greece but every country is interesting.

    2. Opinions are fine although occasionally it seems as if stumbling into a private discourse amongst friends.

    3. Still follow but less inclined to comment. See 2.

    4. Mixture seems good.

    5. Enjoy.

    6. See 2.

    7. Usually daily although computer virus has had me at the library.

  16. 1. Yes.
    2. Yes.
    3. No.
    4. No.
    5.About the same.
    6. I'm not a commenter, just a reader. This is a rare exception.
    7. At least weekly.
    8. Fun read.

  17. 1. I hope the authors will continue writing about anywhere and anything that interests them.

    2. Yes, opinions are good.

    3. No, there are a lot of opinions other than mine in the world…they’re allowed.

    4. No, picking topics is your problem (and part of the reason that I’m a reader not a writer).

    5. I have enjoyed reading the guest posts. Have them as often as the regulars need a break from blog writing.

    6. Aren’t there automated counters to keep track of the number of readers you get as opposed to commenters? I enjoy the blog but don’t often comment since most of my comments would be “me too I liked that”.

    7. I read the blog about once a week.

    8. Please keep on keeping on; I enjoy the blog and think you are an interesting bunch in both blog and books.

  18. Drienie (Hattingh)July 22, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    No blogs about politics, religions, sport, travels, personal opinions... If I start reading a blog and it's about any of the above, I delete it. I only read the blogs dealing with murder and mystery and how the authors deal with writing this. And I love to read about the authors books and their journey to get to that and experiences on their book tours. I thought that this is what this blog was supposed to be... "Murder is Everywhere!" Sorry, you did ask for my opinion, Stan! And I do apologize... I am guilty of not posting comments... I know how that is. Having been a columnist for many years, I always love feedback. If you don't get that, it's like talking to a person who cannot hear. I promise to acknowledge and comment on blogs dealing with murder and mystery and the writing of it! Thank you for all you do!