Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 21, 2013
I was listening to this presentation by some woman on a TED talk on the subject of lying and telling the truth. Her premise is that all of us lie in some way, in different degrees, and a lot of it is based more on who we’re talking to than what we’re lying about.
I found that intriguing, and I don’t remember any of the numbers right now because I was doing somethings with numbers at the time and didn’t want to mix these things up. However, it got me thinking enough about the subject to decide to write a blog post about it; that’s inspiration for you.
One of the major recommendations I always make when it comes to blogging is that you should be truthful in what you write about because people can tell if you’re putting them on. When I think about my own writings, and if I was going to be honest, I’d probably have to say that I’m at least 90% honest in all the blog posts I do.
You’re wondering where I’m lying, or why I’m not owning up to a full 100% right? Well, based on what this lady was saying, if we sugar coat certain things so we don’t hurt people’s feelings, or withhold some things that we think might coat us in a negative light, or someone else in a negative way, that’s a form of lying, if indirectly doing so.
It’s in that vein where I may be lying to you sometimes. I don’t often set out to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. I certainly make sure I choose my words fairly carefully when I write blog posts, even if I’m telling a true story. For instance, when I wrote my post about bullying on blogs and mentioned my friend’s blog and video, if you visited either one of those you’ll see there was a lot more emotion in what she wrote and words that I’d never use in person, let alone write on my blog. In my mind I told her story in my way, as honest as I could with my personal demeanor, but not as brutally honest as she told it since it happened to her.
So, was I lying? Directly no. But based on some of the comments the post received I had to wonder if they would have been different if I’d told the story differently, showed way more anger than I did, told more truth than I did in my post about her experience, maybe shared more of one of my own experiences from my past. Is that lying or a writer’s prerogative, and does a prerogative negate something as a lie or not?
I’ll put the question out to you, because who says that experts always know what reality is anyway? lol Often I think reality is what we believe it is and science is what it thinks it is, and the two don’t always agree. So, when we don’t tell it totally as it is are we prevaricating or are we still being truthful, just in our own way?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 16, 2013
Before I get into this post, I’d like to mention that I was interviewed for the first time about my finance site, which was pretty cool. I also wrote one of my rare guest posts for Sonia of Logallot titled 7 Certainties Of Blogging That Prevent Boredom. Check those out if you’ve got the stomach for it.
Last September I wrote a white paper and put it up on my business website for potential clients to download. I decided I wanted to capture email addresses so I could follow up on some of the people who downloaded it. That turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and I’m still paying for it. And I should have known better.
It worked pretty well initially, as more than 50 people downloaded it. Then suddenly I started to get a lot of returned email, only I hadn’t sent these emails out. It seemed that my business email address had been scrapped because of the script I used and was now sending spam email blasts out with my email address, though not from my IP; thank goodness!
Not only that, but these scammers have hacked into multiple people’s email accounts, though I haven’t been able to figure out which ones, because every email that comes back my way has a different person’s name on it, and every once in awhile when someone responds to it I can tell that they know the person by name.
I should have known better because this type of thing happened to me back in 2007 as well. At that time I created my newsletter page with a script so that people could give me their email address along with a message and also tell me which newsletter they wanted, as I was writing two at the time. Within months the same thing started happening, though not at the volume and length of time this one is. All I did then was remove the script and it stopped within a few weeks. This time around it’s been almost 8 months; help!
Actually, the official term is spoofing, and it seems there’s little I can do about it except hope it slows down at some point. One blessing is that, unlike years ago, my email address hasn’t been put on a blacklist. That’s because these days IP addresses are logged instead of email addresses, and none of them are coming from my IP.
Most of the time I delete the messages, but every once in awhile I download one and try to track down the IP address, though I know that’s fruitless. And I will download any emails where someone thinks they’re responding to their friend and tell them what’s going on, hoping that they’ll contact their friend and that they didn’t click on the link in the email.
What are the lessons to learn here? Check this out:
1. Find ways to verify any scripts you put on your websites. Maybe instead of just scraping your email address someone will figure out a way to get into your website or blog and hack it; it’s been done often.
2. Make sure that if you’ve got an email address on a site like AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc, that your password is strong. Don’t make it easy for scammers to find your stuff; use caps, numbers, symbols if allowed, and try to make your password at least more than 10 characters; I only have one that short.
3. If you ever receive an email from someone you know but there’s no signature file at the bottom of it, don’t open that bad boy. And if most emails you get from your friends don’t have signature files to begin with (shame on them), just look at the email and see if it resembles what you’d normally get from your friends. Some folks are just so trusting…
4. Make sure you have a good antivirus program running just in case you have a lapse of mental faith and decide to click on a link without thinking. Good software will prevent the virus or malware you just invited onto your computer from getting there.
So, feel sorry for me while taking precautions of your own; protect yourself, because there’s a lot of nefarious people out there.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 12, 2013
We all have to deal with the negativity of others from time to time. That’s just how life is; nothing stays perfect for long, if it ever reaches perfect.
Something I’ve always recognized, yet haven’t handled as well as I wish I had, is that sometimes the negativity I experience is more my perception of what someone else has done rather than their intention. Let me explain by using an example.
I have a friend I went to college with who was also my roommate in senior year. He’s a funny guy and we’ve always had a lot of fun together. However, he also has a mean streak that sometimes irritates me; he rarely used it on me, though it was back in college. He’s not the kind of guy who necessarily sees the best in people; some folks just have to live their lives like that unfortunately, but usually his heart is in the right place.
Every once in awhile he’ll comment on something I put on Facebook, as it’s the only social media thing he cares about. Sometimes the comment is relatively normal. Sometimes it seems, well, spammy, based on what we would consider as spam in blog comments. When he does that I get really irritated, and one day on the phone I asked him why he does that sort of thing. His response; he thinks it’s funny.
Here’s the thing. No matter what he says or how he says it, I’m responsible for my reaction to it. I know the guy, more than 30 years, and I know what he’s like. In person, if he said something I’d just look at him and move on. But online, sometimes I work too hard on protecting my reputation in public spaces when there’s nothing to protect. At least not so much that I need to get upset about it; who agrees with that statement?
It’s in that vein that I decided to do the video below because this past week I’ve been watching a lot of videos on YouTube that weren’t from my normal channels and I’ve been amazed at some of what I’ve seen and how people have reacted to it. Sometimes we really can learn something from young people.
After the video I’d like to know how you respond to negativity of others, both in public and online. I’m working on it and I’m getting better, but I’m not quite there yet; I have 50 years of stuff to work on.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 8, 2013
Those of you who visit this blog often know that I often have a new post every 2 to 3 days. I always have something I want to talk about so writer’s block isn’t a problem I have. Sometimes even I have things that get in the way of keeping up a heavy blogging schedule because not only do I have the 5 blogs to keep up with but, as an independent consultant, every once in awhile I need to concentrate on other things for awhile to bring in some cash so I can play around for awhile.
The gap this time around had nothing to do with either of those, although I’m writing this from another city in a hotel room with a relatively slow “high speed” internet connection. But it’s free so I’m not overly complaining.
Many of you saw my last post titled Don’t Be Bullied About Your Blog Or Web Space; if you didn’t see it please check it out and the blog and video that’s linked to it. In my opinion it was a post that deserved to have some time to catch on without a lot of other stuff getting in the way. I could have had a post ready to go the next day or two days afterwards, but the way I saw things it would have done a great disservice to the post.
Here’s two realities. The first is that if you write more you get more traffic. A few years ago I tried an experiment where I wrote 2 posts a day for two weeks. My traffic jumped nicely, and I proved my point. I also proved another point; the traffic I got for one post was different than the traffic I got for another post. That means those posts got almost no comments, even from people who were regular visitors. Thus, I didn’t quite get what I wanted even though I got what I wanted; you get that?
The second reality is that sometimes you have to step back and let a post germinate. When that happens, when you really touch a nerve, you can end up getting more traffic from one post in a particular week than you might get from combined posts.
In a 2-week span the post I linked to above got more visitors than the next three posts combined. Only one other post in the top 10 had people staying longer, and it was a pretty long post that also had a video at the end, but I wasn’t in that video, although I wouldn’t have griped much if I had been because the ladies in that video were pretty attractive.
Sometimes you have to recognize when you write something that you feel might be important, or you have to be cognizant in paying attention to how a post is being received and decide to hold off on when you want your next post to go out. The way I see it, that post had some legs, needed some time for its momentum to play out a bit, get some comments, and then be ready to move on. I think at this point it’s had its run, even though it’s still getting comments. And people have been supportive of my friend, so much so that a lot of you have gone to her blog and made comments; thanks for that, as it proves that we bloggers really are a community that looks out for each other.
Have you paid attention to your blog posts to recognize when one might need more time? What about posts that need less time; have you ever thought about that as well? Let me know; meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your week!
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 3, 2013
Well, I’m on a two-day “mad” if you will, and it’s something that really has nothing to do with me. A couple of days ago I was alerted to the fact that one of my local blogging friends was bullied by this guy who owns a gym. In my opinion he’s been bullying her since the first day she showed up but I think she missed it.
Anyway, the main thing he bullied her about was writing about his place in her blog. He told her if she wrote about the gym he’d ban her from coming. The reason she went in the first place was because the gym misrepresented what it did and, in my mind, the guy was worried that if she wrote about it he’d be discovered.
After awhile he went too far, she got upset, and she both wrote about it and did a video. Her name is Reneè and her post is titled The Wrong Way; I hope you visit it, read it, and offer her some support because this could have been you.
Anyway, I’m obviously writing about it here, I wrote about it in this week’s Hot Blog Tips Newsletter, and I did the video below, which I’m going to share in multiple spaces. No one has the right to bully people for what they do in their own space as long as they’re not intentionally hurting someone. You’ll see how she was bullied and insulted in her blog post so I’m not going to repeat what he said, but I’m thinking that he probably wouldn’t have dared say it to another man. Obviously homeboy has no idea what the power of social media can do; he’s going to find out real soon, as I’ve done my part. As I said, I hate bullies.
I hope you watch the video below and I hope you like it, share it, comment on it and this post, and help spread awareness about bullies trying to stop people from doing what they want to do on their blogs and in social media.