Klout Revisited

Tuesday night on Twitter, some of the local folks started talking about Klout as a way to determine whether someone was good enough to be dating or not. Although they were having a lot of fun, and I chimed in, I wondered why my score hadn’t changed since the first time I wrote about it back in March of this year.

For a quick update, Klout is a service that supposedly helps you to see just how much influence you have online. To be fair, it only measures your influence as it pertains to Twitter and Facebook, so in a way you have to take it with a grain of salt. If you have 20,000 RSS subscribers to your blog but aren’t on Twitter, it will say you have no influence at all.

Still, I do a lot of Twitter, and thus I want my influence to be higher. It was still sitting on 56, so I mentioned it, and two of the people I talk to all the time said I could go to the second page and do a refresh. I didn’t have the refresh, so I did some reading and it turns out you have to register and let it access your Twitter page so it can actually start figuring things out. I had never registered, so the program was probably just guessing at things. I figured why not; what could it hurt?

I hooked up and it did its thing, and, well, suddenly my Klout score was 28. What the hey? I’d lost half my ranking by registering; that didn’t make me happy at all. Then I saw where you could add Facebook, and I had to think about that one a bit. The last thing I wanted was that score showing up on either Twitter or Facebook. I went ahead and added Facebook, since I learned I could go to Facebook and tell it not to broadcast anything from the website about me or Klout in general. That brought my score up 6 points to 34.

I still am not necessarily happy with that score, but I have learned that it grows or falls based on what’s going on with your accounts as time goes by. So, it seems the initial score I got back in March didn’t really measure what I do on these services. Also, it took last week’s information to help build its records, and last week I was out of town and on Twitter and Facebook rarely. So, I figure next weekend I’ll have it recalculate things, as you can only do that once a week.

I’m not going to get into all the ways it measures one’s information because they’ve written it all up on the site, which I really didn’t pay much attention to before. I will say this, though; I’m going to be checking it out for at least the next few months, because I want to see if it actually does grow with real activity. Now, one thing I does is checks to see who’s retweeting posts or comments on Twitter, so if y’all like anything I’m saying or doing please retweet when you can.

Man, growing influence really is hard, isn’t it?

Flip-Top M&M Dracula Halloween Candy Jar


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The Know-It-All Discussion

There was a post on the blog Search Engine Journal titled Get Rid Of Villains In Social Media Infographic that had this really large image based on an article written by another guy named Todd Helm, of the same blog, titled 8 Villains Of Social Media. It was an interesting take on the type of people who basically irritate most of us because they’re not really trying to be social, but trying to get on our nerves. What he did was identify types, then write his suggestions for how to handle these folks.

I don’t want to list all 8 types, because I think you might enjoy reading the article, and there’s some humor there as well, but I did want to take on one of the types because, oddly enough, I wrote about the type in my book on management and leadership, Embrace The Lead, which you see over there to the left.

That one type is called the know-it-all, and Helm states this:

The Know-it-all rarely comments unless it’s to disagree with or correct the content producer or another user’s comment. They’re generally great fact checkers and revel in correcting a specific fact, but would rather argue about opinions. They also love to point out grammatical errors.”

In my book, I wrote this:

…this person, unfortunately, is usually one of your worst nightmares rather than your biggest helper. If they don’t really know it all, it doesn’t stop them from telling you that they fully understand when they don’t. They’re also the first ones to try to help someone else understand how to do something, and invariably it’s incorrect because they didn’t fully understand it themselves. Of course there’s the know-it-all who really does know a large bit of it, and they want to take every opportunity to show people that they indeed know it all, to the point that they end up taking over and intimidating other employees. Know-it-all’s also are always interrupting you; they can destroy the flow of a meeting if not handled properly.”

So, we have a minor disagreements in how know-it-all’s act, because I’ve never known a know-it-all who isn’t always sharing an opinion or trying to correct someone, even if they’re wrong. As a matter of fact, I have someone in mind right now that I did a consulting assignment with, who would throw out all these “facts” that often I had to counter, and when I’d counter them he’d change up and say something like “oh, I was talking about _____, but you’re right, in that instance you’d do what you said to do.” Please! lol

Then Helm gave this thought to beating a know-it-all:

Strong (yet modest) arguments. It’s nearly impossible to change the mind of the Know-it-all. Your best bet is to respond to them with rational arguments that present a strong case in a modest tone. Let their arrogance and opinionated argument work against them making you look like the rational, impartial one to everyone else.”

That’s not bad, but as a point of comparison I wrote this:

There are a few ways to deal with this type of individual, but the best is to let them have their say, regardless of the situation; at least initially. If they’re the type that’s always wrong, your employees will see this person for what they are and recognize that they’re not as smart as they feel they are. At some point they won’t waste their time going to this person for assistance. Also, this gives you a great opportunity to correct them in a group setting in such a manner that they won’t see it as your trying to show them up, unless you intend to do that, and people will generally benefit because some of them had probably thought along the same lines themselves, but were going to stay silent.”

I actually wrote a lot more than that, but this is enough for comparison’s sake. In this case, we kind of agree on the strategy of letting them hang themselves in spouting information that’s incorrect and then telling everyone what the truth really is. Sure, they might come back for a second round, but most people are rational enough to see when a know-it-all is scrambling to save some of their self respect.

Of course, I do acknowledge that Helm and I are writing for different audiences here, since he’s writing to blogging folks and I’m writing to managers, but the concept is still the same overall. I’m not going to lie; I’d love being a know-it-all. I just know that I don’t know it all, and sometimes these days I feel like I’ve forgotten more than I used to know; scary. But the one thing I hope separates me from a true know-it-all is that, except for this blog, I don’t have the yearn to show it off all the time. Sure, there are times when I’ve gotten what my wife says is a little bit mean spirited and crushed someone who irked me, but in general I like to think that, unless it’s an egregious error, I’ll let stuff slide (of course, Sire’s going to come back and say I’m always pointing out errors on his blog, but he does it for me as well).

What are your thoughts on know-it-all’s in general? And please, make sure you check out both the infographic and Helm’s post as well.

Trivial Pursuit Bet You Know It Edition

Trivial Pursuit – Bet You Know It Edition


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Top 50 Blogger List Aspirations

Yesterday I came across an interesting blog post titled 50 Most Influential People In Blogging 2010. This is a list, or at least the type of list, that I’m shooting for to get more recognition for what I do on this blog.

Whenever I come across lists like this, I tend to do a few things. The first thing I do is see who’s on the list that I know and have talked to in some fashion. There’s a few people on this list like that, so at least I know a few prominent people. Then I look to see other names I recognize, and that number here is just slightly higher than the first one.

The next thing I do is take a look at those people who are on the list that I’ve never heard of, most specifically to see what their rankings are compared to mine. After all, one wants to see what the competition has over you (I use “competition” here only as a comparison word, because I think the belief that we as bloggers actually compete against each other is ridiculous). And based on my perceptions, I believe I’ve come up with some differences.

The first difference is that about 70% of the people whose blogs I visited have a pop-up as soon as you get to the page. Most of them seem to be promoting either a product or newsletter subscription. Y’all know my belief on that one; if I have to add an annoying pop-up to my blog then I’m just not doing it. As a matter of fact, I tend to not visit all that many blogs more than a couple of times if they do have pop-ups. I don’t like toolbars either, but at least those things aren’t blocking the content before you get to check it out. Anyway, who do I know, or at least have exchanged a word or two with at some point on the list: See below:

Darren Rowse

David Risley

Erica Douglass

Denise Wakeman

Kristi Hines (buddy #1)

Zac Johnson

Lynn Terry

Hesham Zebida (buddy #2)

Congrats to the buddies of mine who made the list.

The second difference is cross promotion. Many of the folks who are considered big time bloggers all know each other in some capacity. So, they’re good at promoting each other, something that the rest of us aren’t always all that good at. Obviously I’m pretty good at linking outside of my blog to other people, and even better at internal linking, but not everyone does this. Thing is, if we do it to the big time bloggers, it’s already too late because they’ve pretty much stopped reading all their comments; okay, most of them. So, it’s left up to the rest of us to, when it’s legitimate, link to something someone else says that can help them build up their influence.

The third difference is that most of them talk about making money, and that seems to be a major driving force when it comes to people visiting one’s blog. Not everyone, of course, but the overwhelming majority of folks are doing it. Actually, I keep wondering if it’s all that much different than mine. I certainly talk about it often enough, and I test things and tell what my experience is. However, I don’t make money blogging right now, so I talk about other things that have to do with blogging and other interests of mine, and thus those only interested in making money aren’t coming by anymore. That’s okay because I love the rest of you that do stop by on a regular basis. I’d just like there to be more of you out there; I really want to make some of these top 50 lists! lol

I discounted rankings as a difference because of three reasons. One, I actually rank higher than 3 or 4 blogs on the list per Alexa. Two, since I don’t have Google PR on this blog (taken from me), I can’t use that as a comparison at all. Three, the writer didn’t mention rankings as a criteria, and thus it would be presumptuous to think he based everything off that.

So let’s see… what did I learn that’s going to help me spread my influence enough so that I can make one of these lists? I have absolutely no idea. I still can’t talk about only making money by blogging, so that’s not going to get there. If anyone thinks that most of my posts aren’t personally engaging, whether you care for the topic or not, let me know. Actually, personality is a major trait for most of the blogs I saw, though a couple only give information without any extras. It’s certainly not frequency because I believe, writing by myself, I write as frequently, or moreso, as anyone else.

Then what it has to be is the cross promotion part. In other words, I, and by extension the rest of you, have to try to get people to talk more about you on their blogs. We all have to get better at linking to other people, and using what someone else has written as inspiration for us to have something new to write about from time to time, while giving those people a link and a mention when you can. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t give any name recognition to the writer of this blog because all I could find was Michael. He’s violating one of those rules I picked up from Darren Rowse about having an About page and/or Contact page on your site so people know who you are and can contact you. It seems he’s marketing a book or training course he’s created, yet you can’t learn his last name until you buy it; that’s an odd way of branding if you ask me.

Do you have aspirations to be a top 50 blogger on someone’s list? I do! Let’s help each other get there. Or, if you don’t want to get there, then help me! 🙂

DeLonghi 1500 Watt Oil Filled Radiator Heater With 3 Variable Heat Settings


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5 More Things To Know About Your WordPress Admin Area

About 3 weeks ago I wrote a post titled 5 Areas You Should Know More About In Your WordPress Admin Area. Some folks who commented said they’d love to know more. I don’t always do an “ask and you shall receive” type of post, but in this case I’m making an exception, so here’s 5 more things to talk to you about.

1. Screen Options. At the top right of every admin page, there’s something that’s called Screen Options. If you click on it, every box you see on that particular page will have a check mark in it. There might be some unchecked you want, and you might see some that you decide you don’t need to see anymore. This is another way to help customize everything, and if you’re someone using All In One SEO and you’ve done the latest upgrade you’ve probably noticed how it’s added some columns to your Posts admin page, and thus things are looking screwy. Going into Screen Options allows you to get rid of some of those things you probably don’t care about.

2. Permalinks. Unless you’re pretty savvy, you probably have the date contained within your link right now. That’s not a drastic problem, but it’s killing your SEO and making your link sometimes 8 characters longer than it has to be. If you look at it, you’ll see 5 options for changing how your link will look. I suggest going to the last option which has nothing there, then typing this in (or just copy it from this post): /%postname%/. What this does is puts your title in the link all by itself, with each word separated by a dash. Take a look at my link and you’ll see it there. Now, this won’t go back and fix any of your previous posts, but if you want to do that I suggest a plugin called Permalinks Migration Plugin. It works great, but then you’ll have to remember to go back through all your posts and in any of them where you linked internally you’ll have to manually change those links, otherwise they won’t work for your visitors.

3. Widgets. Almost anything you see in your sidebar that you didn’t actually go in and create is probably a widget. You have the ability to add, remove, or move these widgets around so that you can customize the look of your blog.

To get there, first click on Appearance, then click on Widgets. Once there, look to the far right. You’ll either have one sidebar option or more than one, depending on how many columns your blog has and how old it is. Click on the arrow next to the sidebar and you’ll see a list, if you have any widgets, of what’s in there. To the left you’ll see a bunch of other widgets that you can add to your sidebar. At the bottom you may or may not see some widgets. Anything not already in play can be pulled back in; all you have to do is click on the top bar, hold it with your mouse, and move it wherever you want it to go.

The Text widgets all need some kind of customization, because they’re empty. This is where you’d pop in code for things you might want to see, such as affiliate banners or books like I have or other such fun things like images. For all the other widgets, there might be some minor customization you can do before saving the widget. For instance, if you add the Archives widget, you’re given 2 options and a chance to rename it.

4. Categories. If you’re writing on a general topic but there are different issues involved, you wouldn’t hurt yourself to add categories to your posts. Oftentimes your blog will start ranking well on search engines because you end up having a lot of posts in certain specific categories that you’ve defined up front, and it gives you something easy to do internal links to from time to time. You can do it one of two ways. You can add a different category every time you create a new post, or you can go to Categories and put some in there ahead of time. This is also where you can delete categories if you’d like.

To get to Categories, click on Posts, then Categories. You’ll see on the left is where you create a category, and on the right is a list of categories. If you’ve never created any thing all you’ll have is probably Uncategorized; that’s terrible for your SEO, so I hope no one has kept that. Put in your category name in the first spot. Where it says “slug”, just ignore that. I have no idea how that could help anyone unless you have a very long category and want to shorten it, but that wouldn’t help your SEO all that much most of the time so just leave it be. The next thing is Parent, and I leave that alone, but you don’t have to. For instance, if you were writing about Roses you might decide to then add categories such as red roses, pink roses, blue roses, planting roses, growing roses, etc. Or you could just always select the general category of roses, which is what I do. That is, on something else, not roses. lol Hit Add Category and it will show up on the right.

5. Media. I’m not sure why they didn’t just call it Images, since all you’ll see in there are images. Media is every image you’ve ever put into a blog post. The only thing you might ever really want to use this for is if you want to change the written information about the image, or delete an image without having to go back to the post. If you click on Edit you’ll see the choices of information you can modify, including the title of the image. All of these choices are the same as if you were adding images by using the little box above the area where you write your content.

And there you go. If these 10 things don’t help make you more knowledgeable about your admin area, I don’t know what will. Happy reading!


Everything for the Fan

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Sunday Question – What’s Your Favorite Animated Movie?

Well, I’m really making this one difficult on myself. On Saturday I bought How To Train Your Dragon. The only reason I didn’t buy it on Friday was because I was out of town and couldn’t get a ride to Barnes & Noble. I wrote a review of it back in March, and was waiting for the day it would come out.

I finished watching it and it brought a smile to my face once again. It then made me start thinking of other animated movies I’ve seen that I thoroughly enjoyed. Weeks ago I saw Legend of the Guardians and liked that as well, though it didn’t touch me on as emotional level as this one did. And in the last couple of years there’s been Kung Fu Panda, the Incredibles, Aliens vs. Monsters, and a host of other movies that I’ve enjoyed. Actually, there isn’t one I’ve seen that I didn’t enjoy.

Of course there’s the issue of the ever changing types of animation that somewhat skews things. I mean, can one really compare Sleeping Beauty to Final Fantasy, one drawings while the other is computer generated? What about the serious themes of Fantastic Planet to the realistic scenes of American Pop? For that matter, how does one classify any movies with Muppets in them?

Since it’s my question, I guess I’ll have to say that the Muppets don’t count because they’re not cartoons. What about Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Well, that has cartoon characters with real people, but no, that’s not animated either. So it does leave computer generated and regularly drawn cartoons, which we probably won’t see much of at the theaters anymore unless it’s based on a cartoon that’s on TV now. Heck, they just CGI’d Road Runner!

With all that said, I have to say my favorite animated feature is Happy Feet. I loved this movie so much I wrote a review of it on my business blog back in 2006 and talked about leadership lessons learned from it. It just makes me smile and it’s got a serious message at the same time and, well, I love the music, which of course is music of my day, other than a Prince song and this one upbeat kind of reggae song; one of these days I’m going to find out who those guys are.

Anyway, there’s mine; what’s yours?

Muppets Take Manhattan/
Muppets In Space


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