There are times when you battle with ethical issues, and you’re either ready to give up on them or just move on. I don’t struggle with that issue often, but once I think about something that involves an ethical decision, I just have to work my way through it.
photo by ryancr
This time, the ethical thing concerns images that I’ve been putting into this blog. Truth be told, for me there were two issues out there. One, those images that you knew belonged to someone else, and two, those that you couldn’t confirm.
Of course, there’s been the debates and the discussions I’ve seen online. My friend Scott, who has a photography blog, got me into a discussion one day on the topic. My point to him is that I have papers filed with the government proving my copyright, that I can put a symbol on any of my work (I’ve got music and my first book copywritten), and that by adding that copyright symbol at the end of my stuff (and, these days, that copyright thing you see at the end of most of my posts), show that I own the copyright. However, with images, if there’s no watermark, or no copyright symbol on a website, or no attribution anywhere, that it becomes very difficult to figure out whether an image has a copyright or not. His belief is that one can always find it; mine is that at times it’s literally impossible.
Regardless, the issue is still out there. Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to do this for every image, because I sometimes get an image from Imagekind, which I’m an affiliate for, and of course there are times when you know someone put together a mashup of sorts that, if there’s a copyright that’s been violated, so be it, but there is a way to help get around this type of thing.
If you notice, today’s image and yesterday’s image has attribution. It turns out that you can get images from Flickr, a site I’d never gone to unless someone sent me a picture they wanted me to send and it was there, and find images you can use. Seems there’s this search function you can select that will find photos based on a description you put in and, most of the time, they allow you to use the image if you give them attribution and link back to their Flickr page with the image.
I’m not going to portray myself as any kind of genius for figuring this out, however. I got the information from Hubspot’s story titled How To Use Creative Commons To Add Images To Your Blog. There’s a video there, and I’m really glad because I wouldn’t have figured it out without that. And there’s one other thing. Something they tell you that you can do in the video is actually something you can only do if you have a Flickr account, which I won’t because I don’t have any photos that I’m ever going to pop up on any site like that. So, I have to do it the long way, write my code and add the image in a much different way. But no matter; at least I’ve found a place where, if I use those images, I know I’m in the clear.
You know, often we think we know something but we’re never really sure. I did that workshop on social media marketing in July, and I have another one in 9 days. Still, I acknowledge that I have a shortcoming or two.
Actually, my main shortcoming is that I don’t know about all the technologies that are out there. For instance, there’s probably 50 different applications that can access Twitter, yet I found one that I liked and I’ve stuck with that one. There are many websites that one can sign up for that can access all your social media accounts, but that type of thing isn’t quite my style so I haven’t kept up with them. In other words, some of my technological knowledge is lacking.
Last Tuesday I found myself at a business meeting with an organization that I’m putting together a website for. Actually, it wasn’t quite confirmed that I was doing it, but I went to the meeting thinking that we were going to be talking about something else. Instead, the website and I turned out to be the topic of the entire meeting, especially talking about social media marketing. For 90 minutes I held court, giving advice and answering every question that came my way, and finally the guy who’d invited me told everyone there that they had just gotten a large amount of free advice that I could probably have charged big bucks for. One other guy there said that I had given him more information in 90 minutes than he’d been able to learn in 3 years. I also got some other platitudes later on; I just wish businesses realized that not everyone drinks coffee, so I need to remember to bring my own drinks.
So what did I tell them? Wouldn’t you like to know? lol I’ll give away a couple of things. One, I told them that trying to do a social media marketing plan takes time, no matter what type of plan they go for, and as a consortium of independent business people, they were going to have to agree on a plan and who would be doing what.
I talked to them about blogging and how it’s kind of a community, but that there are many ways to build your community. In their model, they’ll be sending out a once a month newsletter and a once a week email, so they can put links to blog posts there. I also told them how they could post their own article via the “pages” option within the blog, and that I would take that link and add it to their articles page. The blog will be put into a subdomain on their website. I recommended at least one post a week, and when asked what would happen if all of them wrote articles on the same day, not only did I say I didn’t see it happening, but that when they went to write actual blog posts that they’d see the previous blog articles with date and time, and could postdate articles so they’d post at another time.
And of course we talked about LinkedIn, Twitter, webinars, forums, etc. I don’t see them doing much of any of these things, but one never knows. Meanwhile, I felt good about myself as I left; it seems that I do know some of this stuff, and I’m happy about that.
Firefox and I have always had a love – less love kind of relationship. I left Netscape for Firefox and I never looked back; I often thought that maybe I killed Netscape (no, we all know who killed it), but it didn’t matter. Firefox was better than IE, and that’s all that used to matter.
There are just so many things to love about Firefox. I love the add-ons. I love how I can change the look. I love how I can go into the config.about settings and change stuff if I really want to (don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing). I love how it’s just a bit more protection than IE. I love the tabs. Frankly, there’s not much I don’t like about it.
And yet, there is something I don’t like, something that’s irked me for years, the one thing that I just can’t overcome. Sometimes Firefox hangs, and when it does, that’s it. By hangs, I mean that it just suddenly stops. You can’t do anything because it’s pretty much said it’s had enough. You can’t even go into the task manager and turn it off; I mean, how many programs do that?
I have researched this issue for years and tried to find a workaround. It was suggested to remove Zone Alarm because they don’t play well together; I tried that. It was suggested that maybe it was AVG; I tried that. It was suggested to change your profile; I tried that. Nothing has worked. There have been some suggestions that I don’t have the technical knowledge for, so those I haven’t tried. However, my thought is that someone at Mozilla, the group that makes Firefox, would have addressed the issue at some point.
You know what? Never. Now, that’s a strange one, isn’t it? Through all the forums they have, with this issue coming up often enough, not a single Mozilla person has ever chimed in with a fix. They won’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem; isn’t that weird? I mean, even Microsoft eventually came clean on the dog that is Vista (which I’m still stuck on). And folks, it’s not Vista that’s hanging Firefox, because I had the same issue under XP.
So, I’m stuck. I’m not crazy about Opera, even though it’s never hung on my system, and I’m not a major fan of Chrome. Don’t even try to talk me into, what, IE 8 or 9 now? I guess I’m stuck in “bootup loop” city, and I’m not overly happy about it. There just has to be a solution, right? Someone? Anyone?
I’m not someone who really likes summer all that much. I don’t like it when it’s too hot, because it’s just miserable trying to get cool again. When it’s hot and humid, I feel like I’m going to melt, kind of like that Snickers commercial with Aretha Franklin:
No, I don’t whine this much, mainly because I drive all the time, which means I get to control the temperature. Actually, in my car, each side gets to control the temperature, which is a pretty nice feature. Anyway, when I think about my perfect weather day, it’s actually coming in with a temperature between 69 and 74 degrees, with blue skies, very little humidity, and a soft breeze blowing. Man, like just doesn’t get much better than that. On a day like that, even the mosquitoes are happy taking care of business elsewhere because they don’t want their day disturbed either.
I know some people like it much hotter than that; I’ve heard some Australians actually wear coats or sweaters if that’s the temperature. I don’t really know about all that, so let’s just put it out there for the masses; what’s the weather like where you consider it a perfect day? And, since it’s a lazy Sunday, how about a couple more videos? The first one is of bad weather shots via National Geographic:
The second is by a group called Weather Report (see the tie-in?), a song that many people know called Birdland:
I’ve seen this often enough, and I decided it was time to say something about it.
When you add images to your WordPress blog, do they show up like this:
Notice, it’s sitting out there in its own netherland, not quite falling into place with the rest of my text? That has to be somewhat irritating, because it takes up space and, well, it just doesn’t look all that good. No matter the size of the image, having it pop out like this makes it seem like it’s not a part of the post. WordPress seems to do this as a default for many blogs. There are certain themes that will render the images properly, but for the most part I don’t see that happening with a lot of people.
You’ll notice that when I post images, they’re part of my content. it wraps around the image, and is under some kind of control. It’s integrated into things, and I can move it left, right, or in the center if I so chose, although I’ve never wanted to have an image in the middle as far as I can remember.
How do I do it? I add a little bit of HTML code to my posts, and whether or not you like doing it or understand it, I think by showing you what I do that you might like how it looks in your blog posts. And then if you can’t remember it, or even if you do, all you have to do is remember to go back to posts where you’ve used the code, copy and paste it into your new post, and then just change the image link. Having said that, I decided it was easier to show it to you as an image, and this time it’s intentionally in the middle so you can see the code without it disappearing:
As you can see, at least I hope as you can see, it’s not difficult code, but it’ll wrap your text around your image and thus blend things in better; at least that’s how I see it. I hope it’s a helpful tip; any questions, just ask.