A history of the Dash Kitten blog? Well, it seems a good time to reflect on our journey, especially as I have achieved Finalist placings in the BlogPaws® 2018 Nose to Nose Awards. How far we have come, and how much learned over the past few years.
Many recent readers may not know the blog’s roots amongst the host of popular blogs now read online. When starting out I discovered blogs about life, about finance and most importantly for Dash Kitten, blogs about pets.
Some of the best blog samples inspired me to jump in and give it a try. Blogging superstars such as Sparklecat the Somali, and Katie and Waffles at Glogirly left readers like me awestruck with wonder that cats could blog. I had to try! Dash and I approached Sparkle for blog tips, she graciously responded, and the blog was off!
History of Dash Kitten – The Early Years
Dash Kitten started on Blogger, because for newbies and beginners it is a good place to start. The learning curve is not as steep as with WordPress and some top bloggers still call Blogger home.
Founder Cat Dash Kitten soon realised he wanted to be where the action was. For him this meant WordPress. DashKitten.com moved with assistance from Blogelina. As inexperienced new bloggers we needed help, and we knew it so to keep sane we paid for someone to move us!
Dash Kitten began as a helping blog. Dash, our Founder Cat gave the blog a focus after being one of the fundraisers in many of the popular online Twitter parties that helped raise thousands for charities, helped keep Twitter anipals in their homes, and sometimes help pay a desperately overdue bill.
The fun of these early parties was huge, dozens turned up, avatars were specially created for themed events, and teams of Twitter anipals co-ordinated their efforts in fundraisers sometimes lasting well over 12 hours, so that every time zone could be included. We even had security teams as spammers spotted the massive activity and tried to take the parties over!
Dash has made and kept some wonderful friends and, with talented fellow bloggers Nerissa from Nerissa’s Life and Savvy from Savannah’s Paw Tracks, launched a series of adventures that culminated in the team winning a BlogPaws Nose to Nose Certificate for Collaboration on a Blogging Project.
Sudden Tragedy at Dash Kitten
Things were developing at a fun and frantic pace and Dash was establishing a high profile as a fundraiser and organiser until his shocking death in a dog attack in 2013. His death stunned the blog’s readers and friends.
The response from his hundreds of social media friends in the blogosphere and on Twitter was immense and supportive. Sadly, the local authorities anywhere are not interested when a dog kills a cat. Twitter pal @NikePurrfectCat even set up a GoFund me and presented the blog with $600US to be donated to a local cat rescue here in New Zealand.
- Dash even got a shout out from kitty mega star @Sockington.
The blog took a time out while I recovered from the shock of Dash’s death then continued with its helping focus intact. Recovering from Dash’s death took a long time, but the support of Twitter friends and then returning to blogging was fantastic therapy. It kept me in touch with so many paw-some friends who remain close to this day.
The blog continued to fundraise for cats in need, helped share to find urgent shelter for cats, and also shared appeals. The Crew also began to take part in BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday, and discovered that BlogPaws was an organisation that could be of real benefit to us as cat bloggers.
A History of Dash Kitten – Moving On
I knew the blog would have to raise its game to make more of an impact in the blogosphere, so I began to study what BlogPaws had to say, and to learn and be inspired by fellow bloggers.
The journey is one every blogger makes. The blog began, I learned, I published, I learned more and more. So for any blogger just starting out, or transitioning to a new area, remember. It takes time, and it takes work. As bloggers none of us ever stop learning and improving.
I began to learn about taking better pictures and writing better posts. Then how to take keywords and Google seriously (well I try). I absorbed tips and tricks from bloggers on how to promote a successful blog. I also made some of the best friends I could ever have, fellow bloggers on their own journeys of discovery. The blog has continued its helping focus and the journey, so far, has been an amazing one.
The Crew have also not left their fundraising behind. Amongst the animals the blog has helped:
- Getting Bootsie the cat urgent medical care,
- With the help of Melissa Lapierre and Layla’s Woofs, we fundraised for Austin Pets Alive after Hurricane Harvey
Dash Kitten Sponsors Magic
Our sponsors are a select bunch who like our approach and the fact we love including videos in our reviews. They include the world’s most stylish pet cam Petcube, Dusty’s favourite feeder from SurePet, our cat locator Tabcat, Basepaws DNA and Pioneer Pet. Our DNA blog post has recently received a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association.
A ‘career highlight’ for the blog was being appointed the first BlogPaws International Ambassador in 2016. I visited the USA and took in the amazing State of Arizona, and the even more amazing heat. I was inspired to take my tinkering with movies to another level by Ron Lee, BlogPaws speaker!
By this time the blog had begun to get organised, I assembled our BlogPaws 2016 posts into a page of links for readers to enjoy and the DashKitten Crew burned up Twitter at the conference itself which was a lot of fun.
I learned so much at the conference, and have learned even more in the two years since. The helping focus remains for the blog, and now Dash Kitten helps newbies make their first movies, and make cat tech and science understandable to the ordinary cat and their human.
A History of Dash Kitten – 2018 Nose to Nose Awards
The blog has come a long way, and learned a lot in our blogging journey and, someone has noticed. The Crew are Finalists in three separate categories at the top pet blogging event, the 2018 BlogPaws Nose to Nose Awards.
Dash Kitten sits alongside some of the pet blogging world’s finest in the Best Cat Blog, Best Pet Video and Founders Award categories. We are in the company of cat blogs, dog blogs and blogs ‘beyond the paw’. Each of these blogs can teach us something, and some of which we taught as well through our 2017 #DKVideo challenge!
Dash Kitten Right Now
Win or lose at the Awards, I know that Dash Kitten will continue to be inspired by its readers and to help them understand the rapidly changing cat tech world around us, and to have fun with cats, and making movies.
The hashtag for the BlogPaws 2018 Conference is #blogpaws.
Will Dash Kitten and I see you on Twitter? Or will we see you for real in Kansas City, USA?
Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew