Thursday, July 26, 2012


So thank you thank you all.
Absolutely fantastic feedback and suggestions from everyone, I am very pleasantly surprised with the amount of detailed comments that everyone left.
I really had no idea that there were so many attentive readers of my little travel photo journal out there, so thank you all very much for taking the time to answer my survey request. 
Very very touched and humbled I am. 
I got to hear from a few people I met last year in the US, and I even got to hear from my cousin in Ireland whom I have not seen or heard from in about 30 years. Last I saw her she was my little cousin, she's now a Mom.
Where does the time go.
As Paulo Coelho once said, "Do it now, for one day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted".
Words I live by.

So, to address a few of the main issues here from the comments I received.
From what I read there appear to be 2 things that are top of all of your lists in terms of issues or things that you don't like so much on the blog, and they are: 
a. The issue of the RSS feed.
b. The white lettering on black background.

White on Black
 When I started this blog a few years back I picked out the black background as it sets off photography much better than a white background, it gives much more of a dramatic feel to the images, and I didn't write that much in the beginning either, but over the last year or so the narrative on each post seems to have increased, and has turned it from a photo blog to a photo essay journal. I have tried to like a white background, but it just doesn't do it for me or my photography. To me, it's bland and boring, there is no depth or dimension to white. But, I'll look into a dark grey and see what I can come up with, but a white background I can't see happening, but I never say never..........ever. 
I may try the white for a month and put it out there for your thoughts. 

RSS Feed.
I have read a number of comments from you about this, one indicating that if the whole post is not all RSS syndicated, that if you're forced to 'click through' to my site to read the whole post, then you'll unsubscribe. Really?.

 Well, here's my dilemma with that. From a statistical standpoint, I need people to 'click through' to my site, it's the only way I can generate traffic, and traffic for me will hopefully amount and equate to a sponsor or two or three advertising or supporting me with their product and some funding, as thats the direction I am going with this. 
I myself do not have the means to self-fund this whole trip, a 7 yr or even 5 yr Round the World trip of this magnitude on my own, I need sponsorship help
 and your support also. In fact, I really only have enough money left to keep this  going on my own for another year, two years at the most. After that it's no more pictures and no more blog, because I will not be able to afford to travel to the places that I would like to to be able photograph and write about.
I am spending the bulk of my savings on getting this sidecar outfit built here at LBS Sidecars, and all of the travel expenses incurred in getting me and my motorcycle over here to begin with have all come out of my own pocket, as have the last two years worth of travel and blog posts that you all have been reading.

And honestly, I put a tremendous amount of work into each and every post and article here on, even though it may not seem like it, what with high quality photography, photo editing, narrative and proofing to make sure I put out the best article that I can. I take a lot of pride in this. And, it's all free here on my blog for everyone to read. 
But to get it up on the blog is not free for me, I invest my time, travel expenses and camera gear (approx $12k worth) to get these articles published. You, the reader get a birds eye view of where I am and where you can't be, free.
The ONLY thing I ask is that readers 'click through' from the RSS feed to, that's it, for now anyway. 
Is it really to much to ask to click through and go on to in return?.
I don't make money at this, I'm trying to, what with selling a few articles, some decals, some photography prints,and donations, but for now the best I can hope for is to break even with expenses, which it's nowhere near breaking even yet. 
So I'm running out of money.

 I wish I didn't have to care about money to keep this going, I wish I didn't have to care about generating traffic or hits on my little blog here, but until I hit the lotto, I need to generate traffic. Aside from sponsorship and money, site traffic is the main thing that will directly help me.

I read of a blogger that rode down to South America on his motorcycle a few years back , went down there for a couple of reasons, one was to get dental work done that in the US would cost him about $15k, but he got it done for $3k down there instead. He also lived with a family and did an 'immersion spanish' course, he paid $500 a month for a room, 2 meals and 6 hrs a day of immersion spanish lessons. 
He set up his blog so that when all his friends came to his site and clicked on the links there, he ended up making between $100- $200 a month out of it. But he couldn't do it without the help and support of everyone of his readers clicking on the links on his blog. 
That's the direction I'm heading with this if I can, I need the support of you, the readers, to help me do this. I have no outside funding for all the work I put into this blog, no paid subscriptions, I don't get free camera gear, no free tents, no free BMW service or parts, nothing, everything I have I have bought and paid for myself. 
If you think about it, would you go to work everyday and not expect to get a paycheck at the end of the week?. Well, this is my place of work, only difference is I don't get a weekly paycheck. Am I worried?. Yes, a bit, sometimes a lot. 
Sometimes I feel like I'm probably the worlds most irresponsible person, I should be keeping what little I have left, get a job, even if it's a minimum wage one, and just toe the line. I have good days and bad days, otherwise known as depression. Not so much now that I'm sober. When I drank, I was like a pendulum, I never knew what the morning vs. the afternoon would hold. But I try to be pro active and positive in my daily activities, as when I look around and see decades of abuse and neglect turn ordinary people into shells of their former self, I don't want to live like that. I would rather live one day to it's fullest than a week just going through the motions of life.

So I ask for your time to come here to my site and help generate traffic with your support, maybe tell 1 or 2 or 3 other friends about it. I would like to have a readership of a few thousand per day if I can, thats my goal, and I can't do it without your help.
If you purchase prints, decals or even help with a small donation, even as little as $1 a month, it helps a lot, more than you know. Gas is my biggest expense here in Europe, it's nearly $10 a gallon.
 I am working on some merchandise, some of you have suggested T-shirts, and another few readers suggested to put more of my prints up on my Smugmug Photo Account, I know I have to get the pricing sorted out there, so Scott and Sara, thanks for the push, and I am working on it.

So, I leave you with some more images from Holland, and hope to hear from you regarding this new post.

Interior of St. Catherine's Church near Market Square, 
Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Traditional Thatched Roof Farmhouse,
Elsendorp, the Netherlands.

Early Morning Sunrise, Uden,
the Netherlands.

Have the day of your choice......



bernard cogan said...

I love the church interior, its seems more beautiful in B&W than it might be in colour.... beautiful.

Bernard Cogan

Unknown said...

I'm fine with your new RSS feed policy (I've been spoiled with full posts on Google Reader for the past few years). However, can you at least provide the first few sentences or paragraph as the excerpt? Otherwise, it's the Post Title + "from Where the hell is Murph ?.... by (IRISH Murph)". A little easier on the eyes.


JackAZ Photography said...

Hey Murph, I appreciate your candor in replying to our responses to the survey. It is possible to include affiliate links and advertising in the RSS feed, however, I would much prefer to click through to your site. In having a few days to think about my statement that I would unsubscribe if the entire post did not appear in my feed reader I have realized that my statement, thus far, has only applied to blogs that post on a daily basis. Since about 90% of my media consumption is done on a mobile device clicking through is often a frustrating annoyance not worth the effort. Based on the average rate at which you post, and the content, losing the ability to see it all magically appear in my feed reader is not a requirement. In reality it mostly boils down to content. I have my feeds sorted by topic within the exception of my "daily" folder. This is where I place the feeds from sites from whom I do not want to miss a post. Often times this is the only folder I check. WtHiM just happens to be in that folder. So I have to say the content is important enough to me that I would click through to continue getting it. I do agree with the above comment about how the excerpt appears in the reader. Makes it very helpful in prioritizing my reading list. Thanks gain for taking reader feedback and "Keep on Truckin'."

IRISH Murph said...

Well Jack, I'm appreciative that you put me in the "Daily" folder. I hope to keep on giving you and all the other readers here the content you have all been getting, but hopefully better as my travels start to go farther afield.
In September I leave out from Holland to Denmark, where I'll be spending 2,3 or 4 days there. Then it's up to Sweden and on up to Nordkapp, the most northerly point you can drive to.
I'm only in year 3 of this 7 year RTW, there's a lot more to come.

Regards and appreciate your continued support,


IRISH Murph said...

Thanks Bernard, you're right actually now that I compare, the B&W adds a air of yesteryear to it that just doesn't come out in the color version.



IRISH Murph said...

I think that's the way I have set it, but if it's not, please let me know immediately.

Thanks for following along.



Anonymous said...

First off; NEVER GIVE UP !
even when health issues get you down or set a different course from what you wanted, keep the dream alive.

I'm not very computer literate and don't have much disposable income now, but I would like to help keep you on the road. How do I buy what you have for sale or how can i try and send you a few $$ now and again ??

Unknown said...

Actually, your latest post is still just headline+author:

"MURP'S HOLLAND..................the Bicycle Dairies Pt II.
from Where the hell is Murph ?.... by (IRISH Murph)"

that's it. Not sure how Blogger works, but WordPress allows you to either paste a separate "excerpt" (essentially a teaser with a "more" link to go to the whole article), or the capability to "Insert More Link" which allows you to place exactly what is displayed (on both blog and RSS) before the "more link".

Good luck!

IRISH Murph said...

Sorry, I did programme the feed for 'short' which is supposed to include the first 400 characters or so.

Thanks for taking the time to let me know, I will try to figure out how to fix this.

Please do not hesitate to keep e informed if it's not too much trouble for you.

Many thanks,