A Decluttering Update & Problems With Some Comments

Back in January I wrote a post titled Decluttering My Online Life (Kim, now you don’t have to search for the link lol). In it I made some declarations as to what I wasn’t going to do to anymore as it pertained to helping to speed up my life online.


via Flickr

I’m one of those people who visits a lot of blogs. If I were a spammer, someone who writes horrible comments, that probably means nothing to anyone. But in general I tend to write comments that show I actually read the article, and sometimes mention some of the other comments as well. They’re not all super long, thank goodness, but there’s no impression left that I didn’t really read the post and that I didn’t attempt to offer some value. That is, unless it’s a funny post that I only have a one liner for; that’s rare, though, and most of the people know me already so they’re cool with it.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be even more people moderating comments than I would have ever imagined. Many of these people seem to be accomplished bloggers who you think would know better; obviously not. Some of them are people that were listed in my post last Friday on 21 of the Top Black Social Media Influencers.

That’s disappointing because I want to be supportive to this group and I want to help promote this group, but some of them have set their blogs up to be, I have to say, irritating. That just won’t do for long term comfort, at least for me. So, I didn’t subscribe to some of those blogs and probably won’t be going back either; it seems duplicitous but my reasons for highlighting someone and for then not going back are different; my conscience is clear.

One thing that helps decluttering is to have a plan and your own rules of engagement. This is the same in your offline life. I have certain rules for how I live my life, and I stick by those rules wholeheartedly. On my business blog the other day I wrote a post on race where I basically indicated that if there’s a racial issue that needs addressing, I’m going to do it. You don’t get away with racial slurs, or slurs about any other group, without my saying something to you about it, even in public. I just can’t let stuff like that go.

My decluttering has helped me to stay true to myself. I could still be following around 250 blogs if I hadn’t given myself some criteria. True, a few people get to slip under the radar because I know them and knew them before my declaration, but anyone new, nope, not doing it. So much simpler life.

When one thing gets simple, something else gets harder. In my case, it’s some of the comments I get on this blog. I have a comment policy that I thought would be sufficient enough but it seems it’s not. Oh sure, it’s made some things much simpler because I can exclude a few comments and not worry all that much about it. But then there are a lot of comments that are borderline passing; those are giving me consternation.

What’s the issue? I know these are people who have actually stopped by the blog. I know they know what the topic is because they address it in the comment. But the comment doesn’t really say anything. Something like “I have that and it happened to me as well” isn’t quite a developed comment is it? Writing a comment without separating the 2 or 3 shot sentences doesn’t give one pause that it’s overly legit either; even people who learn English as a second language are taught to put a space after the period.

And then there are those commenters that have missed the part of the policy that says I don’t allow fake commenter names unless I have a real name as well. Now, in my policy I state that I’ll change the name to only initials but I think I’m going to modify that to state that I will be deleting those comments from this point on. After all, I’ve noticed that no one ever comes back to check on a comment I’ve written back to them. Then again, most of the people doing that aren’t writing great comments anyway my responses back aren’t all that enthralling either.

What to do, what to do… I’ll put it out to some of you. What would you do if you were in this position? This one should be interesting for more than one reason. Those who actually read the post will probably give me something good. Those that are the types of commenters I’ve talked about either won’t comment here or will comment only on the declutter part because it’s easy. Let’s see what happens. 🙂

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When “Scam” Is A Scam Of Sorts

Last weekend I finished reading a book by a guy named Brendon Burchard called the Millionaire Messenger, which was recommended by Mitchell Allen of Morpho Designs. It’s a wonderful book with great ideas on how to earn money by promoting yourself as an expert.

I was curious as to what Brendon looked like because he’s a fairly young guy; actually it turns out he’s around 38, but I had the feeling he was much younger. I go to Google and start typing in his name, and you know how it starts listing topics. The second thing that pops up with his name is followed by the word “scam“. I was curious so I decided to click on that link to see what I got.

There were a lot of links under that topic, more than 60,000 to be precise. A lot of the links had his name and “scam” in the topic line. A few asked if it was a scam, and a few mentioned it in the description of what we might see.

Y’all know me; it was time for some research. I clicked on about 10 of these things. I discovered that none of these people actually believed he or his books or ideas were a scam. Indeed, all of them praised the book and the man, even though some didn’t believe it was the type of thing for everyone.

Suddenly I felt scammed by all these people and all the other people that had the word “scam” and “Brendon Burchard” associated with each other. And yet, I know this type of thing isn’t the first time I’ve seen it.

Tell the truth; doesn’t it bother you when a headline totally misleads you? I see this type of marketing all the time; as a matter of fact, many of the so-called online marketing gurus tell you this is a great tactic to increase sales, whether you believe a product is a scam or not. I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll check out these types of sites, but I think it’s disingenuous to us, the readers. Hence my calling it a scam in and of itself.

For the record, this guy’s very legitimate, and he’s got a lot of energy. He’s written some other books as well. He talks about how he’s made millions and talks about pricing and marketing and getting the money you deserve to get. He also talks about everyone being an expert in something (with his definition of an expert being to know something others don’t know, even if you don’t know it all). He gives you both pointers and motivation. True, it’s really not for everyone, but what book or program is?

This had to follow up my post about not falling for scams, didn’t it? I dislike people who report something as a scam only to find out it’s not a scam; that’s the real scam. I wouldn’t buy anything from these people; I’d find someone else who was talking about that product legitimately and buy from them instead. I can’t imagine supporting anyone that tricked me like that; would you?

Or am I being too sensitive about this type of thing because I wouldn’t do it? What do you think?
 

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Firefox 5 Already?

Wow, that was fast. It was only in April that I was giving my review of Firefox 4 and now Mozilla is already releasing the Firefox 5 browser. Is there a major problem with Firefox 4? As it turns out, no.

It turns out this is the plan by Mozilla and the way they’re going to be doing things from now on; at least until they get tired of doing it this way (that’s my prediction). Their expectation is to have a new release every 3 months to try to better keep up with quick and ever-changing web technologies. The fact that, in my opinion, Firefox 4 was much better than Firefox 3 (though one of my friends differs on that view) and now we’re switching to something else is slightly irksome, but it’s hard to gripe about someone that actually keeps improving on things that we’re not paying for, unlike my rant in January about many things being new and unimproved.

What’s new in this release? Other than a few cosmetic changes the only thing I’ve heard about is a few bug fixes. Frankly, that leaves me less than impressed, but it might turn out to be a big deal. This time around I haven’t heard anyone talking about reducing how Firefox hogs resources, and that’s a major difference in past browser updates. Also, I wish someone would work on updating the Adblock Plus add-on to better help us block things we don’t like such as popups and the like.

And, based on the speed that we’re now going to see, we can look forward to Firefox 6 and Firefox 7 coming out before the end of the year or possibly at the beginning of January; gush! This is the way things are going, so it’s probably a waste of time asking what your thoughts are about the speed of coming changes, but I’m going to do it anyway; how do you feel about all of this?

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21 Of The Top Black Social Media Influencers

I know a few of you are saying “hey, didn’t Mitch do something similar to this at the beginning of the year? Actually yes, in December I did something I called 8 of the top Black Individual Blogs. That was a tough one to research based on my criteria and the fact that I didn’t really have a place to start. This one’s a little bit different.

Before I tell you what I did, I want to tell you why I did it. This year, I’ve seen a lot of lists from people that announce the top blogs or top influences or top social media whatever for the year.

There are tons of lists telling you “this is someone you should follow.” I think that’s a wonderful idea, because it’s always great giving a bit of love to people that deserve it. Where my gripe is in that almost never are there any black people on the list. This week was a great example. One list came out highlighting 25 women bloggers you just have to know; the other was 50 social media influencers you had to know. Neither list had a single black person on it. Asian sure, but black person; not one.

The argument one gets is “I don’t know any of those people”. Sorry, I’m not buying it. That argument pretty much says “I don’t care to know any black people” because we’re here. Heck, I’m here. This blog’s been out 3 1/2 years, and my business blog has been out at least 6 years.

Why is this important? Beyond the fact that everyone deserves being known if they do pretty good work online it’s also got a monetary consideration behind it. When people are known for their influence they get invited to conferences, whether to speak or just to participate. Often they get paid; who’d turn that down?

Do we need another list with Chris Brogan, Gary Vanderchuk, Darren Rowse or any of those other top guys that are already millionaires on it? Maybe, but not today. Today is the 10th anniversary of my being in business, so I get to do it my way, to help highlight some folks I believe really deserve it.

This is a group that needs a list But I didn’t want to just find any ol’ people and put a list together. I wanted a list that had some kind of meaning after all. I had to have some standards, and I think the one I, and the person I’m naming first off this list, came up with.

Her idea was to maybe do something based off Klout. I wasn’t sure, as I’ve written about Klout twice before. And yet, it’s an easy measurement to track. Pretty much like other stats that people either believe or disbelieve, the better your number is the more influence you probably have. There may be flukes that keep you ranked lower but there’s no fluke that ranks you higher.

So Klout it is, but I still had to have some standards. I wasn’t about to try to go through every person in the world that’s on Twitter; I’m not crazy! What I did was go through people I’m connected to on Twitter. Now, Twitter isn’t the only determinant for Klout influence. They have a connection with both Facebook and LinkedIn now. So, that means that their algorithm is supposed to be an amalgam of all of these, although LinkedIn is pretty new for them so it probably has little influence thus far.

And they’re still not connected to blogs. I used that as a major gripe when I had a chance to talk to a Klout representative during a Twitter chat session once, and the lady said that was something they’re working on. I tend to believe that many people would greatly benefit if our blog rankings were included, or the number of blogs we have meant something.

So, here were my rules. One, I looked at people I’m connected with already in some fashion. Two, every person except one that’s on this list had to have at least one blog; I’ll name the person when I get to him. Three, no celebrities; sorry Shaq and Oprah, you don’t count. And four, as much as I could determine, you had to be an individual; no group bloggers on this list. Sometimes that’s hard to know, but so be it.

I don’t make any claim that this list is perfect. If someone’s missing it either means no blog or I’ve never heard of them; believe it or not all black people don’t know each other. I hope you visit these people and I hope you find something to comment on so you can tell them they’re on this list. I even personally know a couple of these folks; they’ll probably be shocked to see their names on the list. Actually, I’m wondering how many of them will pay attention to find out they’re on this list in the first place; hmmm…

Oh yeah; I thought about creating a badge of some kind, but I really have no creativity when it comes to that type of thing and didn’t want to create something I consider cheap like last year, so all I have is what you see above; it’ll have to suffice. And I know I’m missing some folks, but man, it took almost 3 hours to find the folks I did; seems the plugin I used to help me get it done slowed things down considerably. So, I apologize to those of you who should be on this list that I missed.

And in case you were wondering, as a point of comparison as I’m writing this my Klout score is 63. Now, to the names:

Ileane Smith @BasicBlogTips 53
It was Ileane’s idea to put a list together with this kind of criteria, so I thank her for it. Ileane’s got a very highly ranked blog and it gets lots of attention so she definitely should be showing up on people’s radar. http://basicblogtips.com/

Scott Williams @scottwilliams 69
Scott talks a lot about leadership and social media, with a religious background. http://www.bigisthenewsmall.com/

Wayne Sutton @waynesutton 69
Sayne talks a lot about social media and technology. http://socialwayne.com/

Justice Wordlaw IV @justicewordlaw 67
Justice is a young guy that talks a lot about social media and internet marketing. http://justicewordlaw.com/

JAWAR @jawar 65
Jawar is the only guy on this list that doesn’t have a blog, but he’s got over 111,000 tweets and is kind of a multimedia mogul, so there’s no way I could keep him off this list. http://www.jawarspeaks.com/ Update – turns out he does have a blog, which you can find here.

Ronald Jackson @ronaldjackson 63
Ronald talks about historical issues as they apply to minorities and he’ll keep you on your toes if you’re strong enough to hear it. http://nowandthen.ashp.cuny.edu/

Fields Jackson, Jr @fleejack 62
This one’s pretty easy; Fields talks a lot about diversity issues. http://racingtowarddiversity.com/blog/

Jill Hurst-Wahl @jill_hw 62
Jill is a local celeb of sorts in that almost anyone that knows anything about social media knows who she is. Her background is in library science, and she travels the country giving presentations at many conferences. http://hurstassociates.blogspot.com/

Faydra Deon @faydra_deon 60
Faydra is a former officer in the military that’s taken social media and internet marketing by storm. I have a story in a book that she’s marketing on Amazon. http://myqotd.com/

Rachel Rodgers @RachRodgersEsq 58
Rachel is a lawyer, hence the “esq” after her Twitter handle. You don’t get a lot of lawyers that blog; I like that. http://rachelrodgerslaw.com/blog/

Tami Gaines @tamicgaines 56
Tami talks about a tough subject, premature births, and gives counsel to parents of those children. http://www.preemieparents.com/

Shallie Bey @ShallieBey 53
Truthfully, Shallie hasn’t written anything in her blog in a long time, but she should. She’s a small business coach with lots to offer, but maybe needs more time and encouragement to blog more. http://shalliebey.blogspot.com/

Yasmin Shiraz @YasminShiraz 52
Yasmin’s going to be big, and probably already should be there. Books, movies, speaking engagements… she’s got energy to burn and a lot to share. http://www.yasminshiraz.com/

Kelvin Ringold @kelvinringold 51
I’ve known Kelvin about 12 years now. He’s moving into the direction of motivational speaking but also knows a lot about marketing. He has multiple websites and a motivational daily newsletter, along with this blog. http://ringoldnet.blogspot.com/

Darnyelle A. Jervey @darnyellejervey 51
Darynelle is a business coach and consultant who’s also a published author. I’ll admit that some of what she writes feels above my head, but other stuff is right on point. http://www.darnyelle.blogspot.com/

Andrea Amir @AndreaAmir 50
Andrea talks a lot about ways of saving and managing one’s money, along with help in getting out of debt. http://smartmoneychicks.com/

Lisa Irby @2createawebsite 50
Lisa Irby has the highest ranked blog on this list, so high that I’m stunned her Klout score is only 50 and that she’s not being invited to every social media conference that’s out there. http://blog.2createawebsite.com/

Marlee Ward @marldble 49
Marlee talks about online and internet marketing and gives a lot of great advice through her usage of video; great stuff. http://marleeward.com/

Leesa Barnes @leesabarnes 46
I’ve known Leesa the longest of anyone that I met online, as we originally talked when we were both on Ryze. She talks a lot about making money virtually, while also being a favorite at a lot of events in Canada. http://virtualeventsuccess.com/

Vernessa Taylor @coachnotesblog 47
If you look to the left and see the image for my book, Vernessa made that for me. She does online business development and coaching and talks a lot about technology. http://www.localbusinesscoachonline.com/coachnotes/

Beverly Mahone @bevmahone 45
If you read this blog often you see Bev’s name here a lot. She’s a media consultant, helping people learn how to get known in a variety of ways to help increase visibility. She also has multiple blogs and websites that you might enjoy. http://www.beverlymahone.com

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Doing YouTube Video Correctly

I’m writing this post with the expectation that everyone else was doing things the right way already, but maybe not because they’d never thought about doing what I was trying to do. Yeah, clear as mud, but don’t worry because you know I’m about to explain things.

When I loaded my first video back in January, I came into things with some rules for what I didn’t want to see. I didn’t want to see any negative comments on my YouTube channel. I didn’t want a lot of nonsense in any fashion. I didn’t see myself putting any advertising into the video unless I was going to do a review. And I wanted control over who would see my videos.

So, when I uploaded my videos to YouTube, I changed the setting to “unpublished”, which meant people could only find the videos if I basically sent them the link, or if I embedded the video somewhere. In my mind, that was the best way to go and still have control over everything.

And it worked; kind of. I had control, but not total control. What was lacking?

It seems that even though one has an account, if you select unpublished you can only find one video at a time. And I don’t only mean visitors, I mean the account holder as well. I’d been wondering why I could only see one video even though I’d uploaded 5 videos; actually, I wondered after the 3rd video but I kept questioning myself on it. Finally with this one I just had to solve the issue.

The issue was with “unpublished”. It seems that if you select that one you’re also saying you don’t want visitors that see that particular video, whether they see it elsewhere or decide to pop over to YouTube, to see anything else you might have produced. It doesn’t even tell people you’ve got another video up.

Well, that wasn’t quite control, was it? So I went in and took a look at all the settings. I found two things. One, publishing so any visitor can see all the videos available was the main option, and thus it’s probably what everyone else already knew. Two, there’s a secondary option which allows you to denote how you want to handle comments. I decided that I would moderate comments; therefore, no comments will show up on YouTube on any videos without being approved.

Yeah, I know, I talk about moderation on blogs all the time so what gives? The difference is that if a comment is over the line on the blog I’ll know about it almost immediately and can go in and remove it if I have to; luckily, I haven’t had to so far. On my YouTube page, nasty stuff could be there for a long time before I saw it; I decided I just wasn’t having that.

I won’t over-censor there though. Since I don’t expect very many people to find anything I’ve got there unless they know me I shouldn’t have many visitors; I can’t figure out what someone would put into a search engine to find it, since it’s not under “Mitch Mitchell”, which is also odd since, if you remember back in January, I said I never even knew I had a YouTube account to begin with. But it eliminates any confusion with the more famous Mitch Mitchell, so that’s good.

Anyway, if you happen to be someone that did what I did and went through what I went through, now you know why you can’t find your other videos. If not, well, you can laugh at me for trying to control everything, but now I am controlling everything; Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha! 🙂

Oh, while I’m talking about YouTube, I shared this video on Facebook about a month ago, and my wife is still laughing about it. And if I got her laughing, then you’ll enjoy it as well; poor dog:

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