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.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Apr 30, 2013
This post is a bit of fun, as the British like to say. It started with this guy Lamarr Wilson who mentioned that he saw a Tumblr post of someone (he mentions the guy but didn’t link to it) who had 30 questions on music and that he wanted to answer some of them for his video post. He tackled 10 of them, doing a bit of performing for each of them as well. Then Brian Hawkins of Hot Blog Tips sent me a video of a lady named Tomeka Haywood who did a video response to Lamarr’s video.
I thought about doing a video as well, since I’ve been doing a lot of videos lately, but decided that I’d rather write down my responses to all 30 questions instead for two reasons. One, if I performed or even talked about all 30 of these questions that could take awhile, and I don’t feel like only answering the ones I like necessarily. Two, I’m not performing any of them, thus why do it as a video? I’ll get better use out of doing it as a blog post; at least I hope so.
This is the kind of thing that bloggers can do to have fun every once in awhile and add a bit of content to their site. Some might say it takes away from one’s niche but come on… what’s the niche of this blog anyway? So, here we go, with explanations if I’m in the mood, but expect a lot of songs involving Michael Jackson here.
1: A song you like with a color in the title
Little Red Corvette, Prince
2: A song you like with a number in the title
The One, Elton John
3: A song that reminds you of summertime
Dancing Machine, Jackson Five (came out summer of 1975)
4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about
Feelings, Morris Albert, although it’s the guy I’d like to forget about as well as the fact that such a lame song hit #1
5: A song that needs to be played LOUD
Get Down Tonight, KC & the Sunshine Band
6: A song that makes you want to dance
Shake Your Body To The Ground, Jacksons
7: A song to drive to
Walk Away, Donna Summer
8: A song about drugs or alcohol
The Piano Has Been Drinking, Tom Waits
9: A song that makes you happy
I’m using this one to answer the question “what’s my favorite song”, that being I Want You Back by the Jackson Five
10: A song that makes you sad
Sometimes It Snows In April, Prince
11: A song that you never get tired of
I Love The Nightlife, Alicia Bridges
12: A song from your preteen years
Sugar Sugar, The Archies
13: One of your favorite 80’s songs
Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
14: A song that you would love played at your wedding
The song I did play at my wedding as our first dance song, How Deep Is Your Love by the Bee Gees
15: A song that is a cover by another artist
Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart’s cover of a song by Eddie Floyd
16: One of your favorite classical songs
17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke
I actually performed this song with someone at a wedding, Endless Love by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
18: A song from the year that you were born
Charlie Brown by The Coasters
19: A song that makes you think about life
Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson
20: A song that has many meanings to you
Keep The Faith, Michael Jackson
21: A favorite song with a person’s name in the title
Gloria, Laura Branigan (only because I already used Billie Jean lol)
22: A song that moves you forward
2 Legit To Quit, MC Hammer
23: A song that you think everybody should listen to
A relatively new song, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
24: A song by a band you wish were still together
Happy Together, The Turtles
25: A song by an artist no longer living
Remember The Time, Michael Jackson
26: A song that makes you want to fall in love
Bring It On Home To Me, Sam Cooke
27: A song that breaks your heart
I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, Aerosmith (cursed Armageddon movie…)
28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love
You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban
29: A song that you remember from your childhood
ABC, Jackson Five
30: A song that reminds you of yourself
Home, Stephanie Mills
That’s all I’ve got. Comment below, or write your own post I share with us.