Post #802; An Interesting Period

Well, talk about a strange period. I wrote 102 posts actually in just over 3 months, to the point that I’ve gone a post over and this one is actually #803. It’s a far cry from how I got to post #701.

Over the past month, what I’ve done is written a bunch of posts in advance because of the social media workshop I had coming, and then when I had a couple other things that hit my mind, including that post last week on the process for updating Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12), I inadvertently went past the number without realizing it. No matter; I actually do these particular posts more for myself than anyone else so I can chronicle where I’ve been and where I’m going.

First, let’s stick with my norm, which is to indicate what my top 5 categories were for the month:

Blogging – 17

Sunday Question – 14

Social Media – 13

Personal – 11

Marketing – 8

“Sunday Question” was a new category for this period, as I realized that calling it “personal” just didn’t quite work. On it’s own, it should probably always make the top list since it inherently has at least 12 posts for its category for now. I’m thinking of running it until the end of the year, then evaluating it to see if it’s worth continuing. Sometimes it garners pretty good conversation, while other times people are somewhat reluctant to state their opinion on my questions. Hey, onward and upward.

One interesting thing I recognized for the first time while checking the stats for this post is that when I go into Google Analytics and pull up the individual posts that had the most activity during the period, it automatically resets itself back to a one month review, and I’d never noticed that before. Therefore, some of the numbers I’m going to post here are going to look skewed against past figures, but that’s okay. Actually, the funny thing is that when I changed the dates, only one article changed from what was in the original list. Three of the articles on this list were on the last list, and the one before it as well. And this time, as opposed to the last 100, there is one article written during the period that’s on the list, tied for 5th. Here’s the list:

Cleavage – Yeah, I’m Going There – 4,691

Webshots – 377

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird – 309

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 151

Should Sexting Be Illegal? – 151

I’m still amazed that article on “cleavage” is still going that strong; how amazing is that? The “sexting” article is the newest one, written in June, and the one on Google Desktop, written in November 2008, continues to be a big draw, even though I’ve written a newer one since then.

As for the posts with the most comments on them, I had one that really kind of took off, but otherwise comments were actually down this period, strange compared to activity. So be it; I’ll need to continue to work on things that people can comment on I suppose. Here are the top 5, though it’s going to be 6:

When Things Get Personal On Blogs – 58

Are Americans Stupid, Or Do We Just Not Care? – 46

My Hot Tub Adventure – 33

Sunday Question – How Much Do You Like Yourself? – 32

Anniversary #13; Hanging In There So Far – 30

Formatting Your Images On Your WordPress Blog – 30

During this period, I started talking more about the concept of influence, as I realized that to realize a lot of my goals I’m going to have to increase my influence both online and locally. I also learned how to add feeds to this blog, my other blogs, and some of my websites, that show the most recent posts from my other blogs. That’s my attempt to increase the visibility of everything I have across the board.

So I’m on my way, and I hope that over the next 100 posts, actually 97 posts I guess, I get into more topics that y’all will enjoy and learn from and share your thoughts on. I want to be as big as one of my favorite new blogs to visit, Twist Image by Mitch Joel. Check it out at your leisure.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.

Total Micro Auto/Airline Adapter for Notebooks






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Sunday Question – What Happened To Modesty?

Contrary to anyone’s opinion I’m not a prude, nor anywhere close to a prude. I do believe there are breaches of protocol as it pertains to young people, most specifically young girls, that leads me to ask the question “what’s happened to modesty?”


Modesty by Chris JL

I was at the New York State Fair on Friday with my wife, and we have very good time. What was troubling to me was the overwhelming number of young girls, most of whom had to be under 18 if not 16, wearing very short shorts and very tight shorts.

Like I said, think I’m anywhere close to being a prude, but when you’re seeing what is known as “camel toe” and you know you have to burn your eyes, scrub your brain, and say 20 Hail Mary’s when you get home, even if you’re not Catholic, you know that there’s a problem with modesty.

I’m not going to go down the moral road, because I don’t know that morality has anything to do with modesty in this case. I tend to think that teenagers in general are going to get away with whatever they can get away with without thinking much about consequences; they did that back in my day as well.

If they’re with a large group of people the consequences might be fewer than if they were in a small group, or if they were in a place less crowded than a major state fair. Yet, a young person could be separated from the group and grabbed by someone with a lot of guts and stupidity even in such a public place.

A big part of me asks where the parents are and what parents are thinking by allowing their young girls to walk around like this. I don’t mean alone with their friends; I mean with their parents!

I asked my wife what her thoughts were. She said there was no way in the world she would have allowed her daughters to walk out of the house dressed this way. In many instances, it seemed like what they were wearing was way more revealing than if they were at the beach wearing bikinis.

Much of this could be me suffering once again from the generation gap. After all, I remember back in the 70s when there was all this concern about girls wearing mini skirts, hot pants and tube tops and thinking that some adults might be behind the times. I also know that a lot of those girls put that stuff on once they left the house so their parents wouldn’t find out.

Then again, I also remember being young and enthusiastic and enjoying those times when I could take a peek at what a lot of the young ladies were wearing, and since they were closer to my age I didn’t have a problem with any of it. Sorry ladies; I was a normal teenager! lol

I’m reminded of a coworker back in the mid-80s who had a very shapely body and occasionally wore this pink sweater dress that she loved. I remember our conversation one day when she said she was never going to wear that dress again because she started to notice how older men were staring at her and didn’t like how she felt with their stares.

When she said this she’d just turned 20, and I remember thinking that I met her when she was only 18, and how naïve I thought she was in wearing that particular dress and some of her other outfits at the time. That she had this epiphany for the first time as she was leaving her teens helped to highlight the fact that teenagers really don’t have much of a clue as to the effect their appearance has on those of the opposite sex, no matter what their age is. That’s why I’m putting it on the back of parents; they should know better and attempt to teach their children better.

I also have to say that it wasn’t only young teenage girls were dressed this way, although overwhelmingly it was. I understand the concept of “if you got it flaunt it”, but usually you’ll see a few 30 and 40-year-olds dressing that way if they still got it… or think they do. But when they “don’t got it” and are still dressing as if they do, and you see bulging stomachs hanging outside of shirts that are too short because they’re trying to dress like the kids of today… well… you know…

So… what happened to modesty? Is it a product of the generation gap, a sign of the times, or something else I’m not thinking of?
 

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My Top 10 Disco Favorites Plus One

If most of us are products of the era we grew up in during our formulative years, then I’m a product of the disco era. Even though I was quite cognizant of war, civil rights and the like, I came into my own when disco became prominent. I remember loving Rock Your Baby the first time I heard it, and I never looked back. Sure, there was other music I enjoyed, but disco is what made me move, made me feel really good.

Later on there were a lot of people who said they hated disco, but I was always of the opinion that they said they hated it because it seemed to be in vogue. After all, I was in college during some of those years, and they’d have parties on the floor. What I noticed during one party, in which I refused to participate because I didn’t drink beer and I hated smoking and rock music at the time, is that people stood around and talked and did nothing else. One night on my own floor I decided I didn’t want to hear all that noise anymore, so I put on my disco records and turned it up loud. Within 10 minutes someone was knocking on my door, and when I opened it they asked if I could keep my door open because they wanted to hear what I was playing. And shortly afterwards, everyone was dancing and the rock music was gone. One thing guys never understood back then, and I’m not sure they understand now, is that girls love to dance.

With that said I decided to put one of my compilation posts together and highlight my 10 favorite songs of the era, with one added song that wasn’t of the era, but is about the era. This was hard because I could have selected 50 songs. But these 10 were the ones that got me up every time, and even now when I hear them in the car I jack the base up and my wife knows why. And she loves them as well; both children of the same era. Some of these I have stories for, others I just loved the song. Any for many of you too young to know some of these songs, I’m betting you’ve heard them in your favorite commercials.

If You Could Read My Mind – Stars On 54; this wasn’t a real group, and it wasn’t from the disco era. But it was from the movie 54, about the famous club in NYC back in the disco era, and I’ve loved this song from the first time I heard it. Of course it’s a remake of a Gordon Lightfoot song that I also liked a lot.

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey, and my first introduction into the reality that there were women who played instruments and got down with the best of them. Who could resist that bass line; not me!

Staying Alive – Bee Gees; by the time this song came out we were ready for a revolution. John Travolta was already big on Welcome Back Kotter, and this showed him and the music in a different light. What disco didn’t have a multi-colored dance floor once this movie came out?

Turn The Beat Around – Vicki Sue Robinson; I don’t have a tale for this one, and I have no idea why I love it so much.

Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry; are there too many more distinctive opening riffs than the one for this song? I have to admit that it wasn’t for at least 10 years that I learned these guys weren’t black; shows how I never paid attention to the lyrics of a song that I actually knew all the lyrics to.

Car Wash – Rose Royce; I heard this song around the time the movie came out, and the combination of the two cemented it in my mind. Of course, the movie was fairly stupid, but it had some big name performers in it, including Richard Pryor.

I Love The Nightlife – Alicia Bridges; here’s another song where I’m not really sure why it meant so much to me, except that I love how she says “disco round”.

Ain’t No Stopping Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead; the first time I heard this song I knew it was something different, something inspirational, and I pull it out from time when I feel I need a mental boost.

Shake Your Body Down To The Ground – Jacksons; come on, Michael Jackson and his brothers after all! I actually saw them in concert a month after this song hit #1, but my friend and I, being stupid, left a little early to try to beat the traffic home and missed them performing this song, a mistake I didn’t make a second time when I saw them in Buffalo 4 years later.

We Are Family – Sister Sledge; I loved this song a lot already, but then it was the theme song for the 1979 baseball champion Pittsburgh Pirates, when I was a big fan, and thus it worked its way deeper into my heart as my second favorite disco song.

Last Dance – Donna Summer; I loved Donna Summer, and I love Donna Summer now. This song almost seems to have been the last song of the disco era as well, but my mind is probably romanticizing that. It came from the movie Thank God It’s Friday, so technically it’s not a Donna Summer song, but no one else could have pulled it off and made it such a great song from a mediocre movie.

Disco Fever:
Turn The Beat Around



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10 Things I’ve Learned About Giving A Workshop

As y’all know, I’ve been doing some workshops on social media marketing. I expect to do more, and I’m working with my friend Renée to possibly do a local workshop the first weekend of October.


To Be Taught
by Katrina Lopez

It’s actually the first time I’ve done the same exact workshop more than once, and if I’m going to be doing it more and more I need to continue to refine it to a degree. This is different than a one-and-done, which I’m usually used to doing, mainly because some of the participants might talk with other potential visitors, and thus you want to always try to be better each time you do a live presentation. However, sometimes it’s not all that easy. Here are 10 things I’ve learned from the first two presentations.

1. You can’t control the traffic. Of all things, there was a major tractor/trailer accident on the major highway to get to where I was giving the presentation. It took them 6 hours to clear things up, which of course meant that all the people who were on their way were going to be late, since it seems none of them had listened to the news to know the accident had already occurred. The seminar ended up starting 80 minutes late; oh well…

2. There’s a different between a formal group and a nonformal group. With the first group, I didn’t know any of the people who came. With the second, I knew everyone who came. The first group listened intently, asked questions when they had them respectfully, and all was good. The second group had a couple of people who wanted to try to share what they knew about some of the things I was talking about and basically just blurted out things as they saw fit. That made for a rough day, especially since they still insisted on finishing at the same time even though we started late.

3. People form their own expectations of what they think they’ll get out of your presentation, no matter what you tell them. I think the flyer was very clear on our objectives; you will learn what you need in order to create a social media marketing campaign of your own for your business. First time around, one lady said she came to learn ways to keep people from asking them a lot of questions. This time around, one guy said he was hoping to learn how to find time in his busy schedule to do this type of marketing. Both said they didn’t get what they came for; that was expected since I wasn’t teaching what they were expecting, and didn’t come close to indicating that’s what I was going to do.

4. When people think they know your topic, they actually don’t most of the time. One guy at the last workshop said he used LinkedIn a certain way. When I made a suggestion based on my material and knowledge he said he didn’t want to use it that way. I said that was fine, went on with my presentation, and he kept interrupting to counter how it wouldn’t work for him, which was disruptive, until I got to one point when he finally said he got it. Another guy said his impression of Twitter was that it was writing things on the internet via one’s cellphone. He also said he’d spent the previous day participating in a webinar on social media marketing. Either he missed that part or it wasn’t very good if his impression of Twitter was so bad. But early on he’d been someone who said he didn’t want to talk about Twitter much, and it was based on his misperception of what it was. He’s still not going to do it, but at least I now know he understands what it’s really about.

5. When people think they know you, sometimes they just don’t understand how to respect you. I’ve thought about this one a lot over the past few days. One of the people there does presentations around town, and I’ve seen him in action a couple of times. I know his topic, as I’ve read many of the same books he’s read. I’ve written about his topic on both this blog and my business blog, and in other articles in other places. Yet, whenever I’ve seen him present, I’ve never interrupted him or called him out on something I’ve read, and rarely offered anything else. In my mind, he’s the presenter, the professional at that moment, and it’s not about me but about what he has to share, and if I can get a nugget then it’s all good. However, it seems many people aren’t like that, and thus you have to work on building up a thick enough skin to deal with it at the time, and figure out what to do with it later on. I’m still working on that second part.

6. It’s always nice when you see someone have an “aha” moment. At the first workshop, I happened to mention Meebo and how I use it for business. This one guy thought it was a great idea, and on the spur of the moment he figured out many ways he could use it in his business and the customer service benefits of it. And the thing that felt good is that he was a marketing consultant who came to learn about social media marketing and actually got something really beneficial out of it.

7. Doing a workshop is like trying to teach someone how to play a musical instrument. I play piano, and while I was in college, people would ask me to teach them how to play. So I’d start by telling them where middle C was, and they’d invariably say “I don’t want to learn all that, I just want to learn how to play a song. In music, you can’t learn how to play anything until you know a couple of foundation pieces to help you know where you need to put your fingers. With social media marketing, if you have no idea what it is or why it can be beneficial then it does me no good to tell you how to use it. A couple of times I got interrupted by someone asking me how they could use something when I was still building the foundation as to why it was important. Since they already had my presentation in their hands, they knew what was coming. I would always have to say “I’m going to get to that”, which is irritating, but you do what you have to do.

8. Building the foundation is important. Why? Because at the end of each workshop there was at least one person who came to me and said they didn’t know any of the stuff I taught them, and how much they appreciated that I took the time explaining it all and then giving them ideas on how to use it. That’s what it’s all about, and the thing anyone who gives a presentation of any kind has to remember. Because…

9. You can’t please everyone. Well, if they’re open to what you have to say maybe you can, but in general you’re going to hit some home runs, and you’re going to have to bunt to get on base a couple of times. I go to very few things where, in the long run, I didn’t think I made a good decision. That’s called evaluation, and if you have everything you need, you should be able to evaluate whether something will help you or not. I know that the two workshops reached the majority of the people who came, and I’ve always been a numbers guy, so in my mind they were both fairly successful.

10. Rehearsing is paramount. I can’t believe people will put together a presentation and not rehearse it, then wonder why things didn’t go well. The first presentation went six hours including a 45-minute lunch break. The second one went 4 hours and 45 minutes with a 30 minute lunch break. I presented over 4 hours both time, yet ended up not quite giving the same presentation each time. Without rehearsing, timing different concepts to see how long they would take for me to talk about, building in what I considered was legitimate question time, I wouldn’t have known how to change things up to achieve my objective. And I really needed that skill the second time around.

I could add more but this post is already long enough. Suffice it to say I’m definitely doing more of these, and hopefully each time I do it, I’ll learn something else I can use the next time.

Dalite Whiteboard Accessory Package








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Businesses Without Websites

Many of you know that I write blogs for others. One of the sites I write for is a massive real estate blog. It concentrates on home communities and home builders, though I also get to write some commentary here and there.


World Wide Web
by Anthony Mattox

What surprises me is just how many home builders and contractors there are that still don’t have a website. Sure, they’re listed in some fashion via Yahoo maps and Google maps and Manta and other phone number tracking sites, but beyond that there’s no further information on these companies.

It’s frustrating for me because I try to find out more information about either a community or a home builder, and there’s nothing there. In many areas around the country they don’t have home communities, just neighborhoods, and sometimes it’s hard trying to figure out who built those homes. And when you can find them, there’s nothing about them, just a phone number. You don’t know if they build single family, multiple family, condominiums, townhomes… nothing.

Of course it’s not just home builders, but many brick and mortar businesses in general. My wife and I were trying to research snow removal companies that were in our area, but there were only two online, and neither one specifically near our home. Sure, there are plenty of numbers on the search engine, but it would be nice to know which specific neighborhoods these snow removal people like to work in because my wife leaves the house by 5:30 in the morning and it doesn’t do us much good if the builder is on the other side of our town most of the time.

I wrote an article on my SEO website titled Should You Have A Website, and of course I come out on the side that says “yes”. However, I also mentioned some reasons why a business might want a website, and though I could see why someone might, my bet is that most of these companies that don’t have websites do so because they just never thought about it.

In this day and age, when so many more people are internet savvy and would rather look information up on the search engines as opposed to grabbing the Yellow Pages and looking at an ad, it would behoove any legitimate agency to have a website, put up some examples of what they do, and let their online marketing serve their business in ways they’ve never imagined before. It’s the wave of the future; heck, it’s the wave now!
 

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