Michael Jackson Would Have Been 55 Today

Wow, can you believe it’s been four years since Michael Jackson passed away? Four years and three months, and today he’d have turned 55 years old. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have A Dream speech and the march on Washington DC, and I tried all day to make a connection between the two things, but it just wasn’t there.

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It still freaks me out that he’s gone and that no new music, other than that one song months after he was gone, has been released since. He’s actually still in the news with the lawsuit his family has going against AEG and that’s horrid stuff to be sure. However, I figured that since I don’t want to deal with that I’d instead share some links to stories or things I’ve written on this blog that involve him in some fashion; my own tribute of sorts if you will. I make no promises that the videos on some of these posts are still live; YouTube’s always cracking down on someone. 🙂 Here we go:

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson, written a year before he passed away.

I included a reference to the first live performance of Billie Jean when talking about my top 5 presentations in history; how the heck did I not include Dr. King’s speech referenced above?

I wrote this piece the day after he passed away, after I’d had some time to collect my thoughts.

In this post of my favorite singers, you know who was at the top.

I talked about my thoughts on the 1st anniversary of his passing.

Savorite disco songs? You know he’s in this one. 🙂

Did you know just what kind of impact We Are The World was around the world? Michael Jackson won a Grammy for this.

I asked people during my Sunday Question Series who their favorite entertainer was; yeah, mine’s easy to guess.

Later I asked what people felt was the last great album. Mine is the best selling album in history; now who did that again?

Ah, favorite songs from the 60’s; freaky that the first Jackson Five song that went to #1 was in 1969…

I answered 30 questions about music I liked, and MJ came up more than once.

Finally, I wrote a post about what motivates me and I not only mentioned Michael Jackson but included a video that leads to one of his most motivational songs ever.

There you go, my little tribute on his 55th birthday.
 

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What’s Happened To Clocks?

As most of you know by now, I’ve been spending a lot of time in airports lately. I’ve noticed a bunch of things, which I mentioned in that last post, but one thing in particular brought something home to me.

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What’s happened to all the clocks? There isn’t a single airport I’ve been to over the last 3 years where there’s been a clock anywhere. The funny thing is that airports are big on time. They put up these boards that tell you whether your plane is on time or not. They expect you to start boarding the plane at least 25 minutes before they’re ready to take off, and they’re sticklers with time; you miss getting on before they close that door and you’re stuck.

And it’s not just airports. I’m working these days in an office park for my consulting assignment, and I’ve noticed that there’s not a single clock on any floor. Almost no one has a clock on their desk either. There’s a break room on every floor, and on the first floor there’s a cafeteria where people can get food and drink… and no clock.

When I decided to stop wearing a watch some years ago, I figured that I’d have it easy because I have my smartphone with me most of the time, and there were always clocks around. But I was mistaken on that second part. Above you see a clock on the outside of my favorite grocery store; there are no clocks inside however. I like to go to the casino; there’s certainly no clocks in there because darkness never comes in a casino. There’s no clocks in the library I go to, even though they have a specific closing time.

What the hey? We live in a fast paced life, and it’s true that most of the time we have other alternatives for finding out what time it is. But it’s not always convenience to try to grab at my smartphone, and thus I might be sitting in a restaurant eating my meal and, because there are no clocks, I have no idea if I’m missing out on something.

I was visiting a friend of mine this weekend and he had an old time grandfather clock in the living room along with a baby grand. And it not only couldn’t keep the right time anymore, but it rang on the half hour rather than the hour, which didn’t matter since the time wasn’t close to correct.

Where am I going with all of this? We’re expected to be on time for many things. We have appointments of all types; meetings, doctor, kids, on and on. Many people say that they don’t have enough time to keep up with blogging; how do they know if they can’t chart time? Sure, they might have watches, but in my opinion even a watch isn’t enough to help you keep control of time.

What about me? Sure, I don’t wear a watch. But I have a clock in my home office that I can see above my monitor. I have two clocks in the master bedroom. There’s a large clock in the living room, a clock in 2 of my 3 bathrooms, a clock in the dining room, a clock in the kitchen, three clocks in the guest bedroom, 2 clocks in my wife’s sewing room, and two clocks in her office and in her bathroom.

Not only that but everything else in my house that can keep time is set, although the time is different if I set it than if my wife sets it, as she has this thing about setting clocks at least 4 minutes ahead of the actual time; what is it with wives? lol

Still, we have a handle on time at home, whether we schedule anything or not. When I write my articles for the Hot Blog Tips Newsletter that goes out once a week, put out by Brian Hawkins, I’m looking at the clock before and after I write each article, as I write 4 or 5 of them at a time to take care of the entire month up front; I’m not quite sure what he thinks about that or even if he believes I’ve written something that fast.

If you say you don’t have time to blog, or that it takes a lot of time, are you looking at a clock, or a watch, or even the lower right side of your computer to see if that’s true? Are you off watching TV or playing pool or reading magazines or eating popcorn (okay, I’m with you on the popcorn) instead of putting a blog post together?

How are you controlling your time? Where have you noticed that there are no clocks around that shocks you? My belief is that you haven’t even thought about it until reading this; now that you’re aware, take a look and let me know what you see.
 

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5 Ways Blogging Is Like Traveling Through Airports

Yes, this is another one of my comparison posts on the overall subject of blogging, this time relating it to airports. I’m in my consulting mode these days which means I’m flying a lot, although most of the time when I’m consulting I drive. However, I’m 17 hours away by car, thus this didn’t seem to be the smart thing to do, as I kept hearing from my wife. Lol

Syracuse Airport

The thing is that there are some things about blogging that really can compare to being in airports. If you’ve only ever been in one or two you may not be able to relate to these, but if you’ve flown at least 3 or 4 times you’ll see that I’m right on this one, even if you never thought about it before. Let’s begin.

1. There are some processes that never change. In airports, you always have to first get past the person who checks your ticket against your ID. Then you have to pull all your electronics out and put them in a tray, take everything out of your pockets and put them into a tray, take off your shoes and belt and put them in a tray, walk through the scanner and hope you’ve passed, and then put all that stuff back into where you took it from. Then you wait at your gate, walk forward when it’s your turn, put your stuff in the overhead, sit down, put on your seatbelt & fly to your destination. No matter what else happens, no matter the deviations, you always do these things.

When it comes to blogging, you probably always do these same things. You think about what your topic is going to be that you’re writing on, you verify your facts or your opinion, you open with your premise and then you write your post. Afterwards you check it for spelling (please do this lol), verify your keywords, then publish your post so others can read it and bask in your brilliance. Your process almost never changes once you get it down; if it does, you’re probably not writing all that often.

2. Often things are out of your control, no matter what you do. I’ve had a couple of flights canceled or altered because of the weather. I’ve had seats where I’ve paid for an upgrade taken from me for whatever reason. I’ve been pulled out of line and I’ve been selected to have a bag or two go under extra scrutiny. These are irritations but we get through them and move on with life.

With blogging, you can write what you feel is the best thing you’ve ever written and have no one read it or comment on it. You can set up all sorts of protections on your blog and still get hacked. You can have your hosting company suddenly go buggy and no one, including you, can get to your site. Some of these things are more critical than the others but you need to know that you can always overcome anything. Waste just a little bit of time worrying about it, then either get back to what you know or move on.

3. You can never find enough charging stations. At least there are places where we can charge up our phones, laptops and electronic readers these days. But there are never enough of them, and they get scarfed up pretty quickly. Every once in awhile there might be one last remaining spot but there are no seats close by, so you have to make a quick decision as to whether you trust the people who stand around the station or not.

For many bloggers, there are those days when you think and think and think and just can’t figure out what you want to say. Maybe you have a germ of an idea but you just can’t put it together. One of the realities of blogging is that you write an article, put it out, and at some point you have to write another post. It seems like there aren’t enough ideas or enough ways to come at your topic. But there are; look at what I’m comparing blogging to in this post. : – )

4. If you travel a lot you get to a point where you see the same thing over and over and some of it loses its excitement. When that starts to threaten to happen, you have to try to find new things to concentrate your mind on because, in reality, there’s always something different. For me, I’ve started people watching, and it’s the most amazing thing. As I write this there’s a kid who’s climbed up on one of those arrivals boards, a really attractive woman in very high heels and the tightest pants standing at the charging station in front of me typing away on her phone as if there’s nothing else in life to do, a Hasidic father and son, both with high black hats, looking for their gate and next flight, a young mother playing with her cute baby, and some people just chilling, watching TV or talking on their phones because they have a long wait for their next flight.

In blogging, sometimes it seems like you’re seeing the same thing over and over, whether it’s your blog or someone else’s blog. I lament often that I see multiple blogs writing the same thing all the time, as if they’re copying each other. The thing is that you should be able to have 30 people write about the same thing and end up with 30 totally different perspectives and taken on that subject. If you’re seeing the same thing over and over you need to broaden your perspective and look for other bloggers who can offer something different. If it’s your writing, work on your creativity and stop being so pedantic in using the same language and terminology.

5. Even in airports it can be all about networking and relationships. This is the 4th month of traveling for me and what I never really thought much about until it started is how often I see the same people. What’s also stunned me is that with so many people passing through airports every day that some of those people will remember my face. Though I don’t remember their names I’m familiar with certain flight attendants, the guys who load and drive the bus from one terminal to the next, some of the people working in certain restaurants, and some of the security people who check to make sure I’m not trying to sneak anything onto the plane. There’s a comfort in the familiarity and it helps in knowing that those times when they have to pull me out for a random heck there’s nothing personal about it.

The best blogs will have a consistent group of people who stop by to read and comment, and if you’re a smart blogger you’ll not only welcome them by responding to their comments, but when you can you’ll visit their blogs and try to find something to comment on. When all is said and done true blogging is about relationships and networking, whether you’re trying to make money or not. I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say that you’re building friendships as if those people lived in town all the time, but you’re building friendly interactions and trust, and some of those people will help to promote you when they like you without your asking. There’s never anything wrong with that.
 

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Where Do You Stand On Same Or Similarly Named Blogs?

Almost 4 years ago I approached the subject of looking up your own name on search engines to see how you rank, if you come up, and to see what people might be saying about you. Probably every six months or so I hit Google and look up my name, in quotation marks, to see where I come up and with whom I’m competing against. I’m being killed by Jimi Hendrix’s former drummer, but otherwise I do pretty well with my name.

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Anna Fischer via Compfight

Last night I decided to try something different. I decided to see what I came across if I looked up the name of one of my blogs to see what else was out there. Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any other blogs that I could find with the name I’m Just Sharing, so instead I decided to look up my eponymously named blog, Mitch’s Blog, my business blog on leadership & other business topics. I knew there would be some out there by that name, so it was a nice test.

The best thing is that my blog comes in #2; the worst thing is that my blog comes in #2. Come on now, #2? With over 1,100 posts and for it being live 8 years, and attached to my business website that I’ve had for 11 years, it only comes in at #2?!?!? And the other guy’s link doesn’t even have the name “Mitchell” in it? And he doesn’t write nearly as often as I do? And finally, it’s ranked lower than my site on both Alexa and Google’s page rank?

Well, I’ll let that go for the moment… I’ll try at least. lol There are lots of blogs called Mitch’s Blog it seems, so I took a look at 9 others so I could have a great round number of 10 to view. What I saw wasn’t great overall yet it’s still interesting.

Two of the blogs have a line or two, then links to either videos or sounds; that’s it. A couple other blogs are associated with universities, and don’t have a lot of posts on them. Many of them don’t have a new post for the last 3 months or more; sigh… One guy has his blog as part of an acne forum; I kid you not. One was on Tumblr; that doesn’t count, but he sketches and they weren’t bad, but he hasn’t put anything up in way over a year.

I did find one that I thought was intriguing enough to link back to. The guy’s name is Mitch Matthews, and I guess he’s a professional motivational speaker with a weekly radio show. It looks like he only writes once a month in his blog, his Alexa rank is over 13 million, and it’s attached to his business site. I actually hope you drop by and take a look and maybe find something to comment on because he seems like the kind of guy many of us might like to know.

As for this other guy… hmmm… No, I’m not going to share a link because I don’t want to help give him a bounce of any kind. Me being me, I went into his source code to check things out. What did I discover? Nothing! He has no keywords, doesn’t seem to have a specific topic he likes to stick to when he’s writing, he has few comments… In other words, he’s defying everything that convention says about SEO and writing on certain themes and having a domain name that relates to something you do… and he’s got my blog’s name and comes up higher on a Google search than me. And there’s no reason why… hmmm…

Is there a lesson here? Yes, there are a few lessons. One, if you don’t know where you stand then you can’t do anything about it so go check yourself out, even possibly just your name, and see where you stand. Two, Even if you’re not at the very top it doesn’t mean you’re not successful in some fashion. Three, you just might find something you like. And four… following conventional ideas just might not be enough to get you to #1. Now, how am I going to reconcile that one? How would you?
 

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Interview With Brian D. Hawkins Of Hot Blog Tips

I’ve known Brian for quite a few years now, and these days I’m part of the weekly Google Hangout series and the weekly newsletters we put out along with Sheryl Loch; we’ll have an interview with her one day as soon as she gets around to it. He’s been in the blogging and online game for a much longer time than almost anyone I know, and is probably one of the most genuine guys I know online. If you ever see the blooper video Scott Craighead created you’ll know what I mean. Enjoy this interview and learn from it as well:

1. What was the inspiration for Hot Blog Tips?

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It was a cool domain name. Seriously, that was the original inspiration. I was collecting domains for some reason and I found HotBlogTips.com was available for registration. I registered it and started a quick blog with the intention to flip it. I sold the blog yet I found it in my lap again a little over a year later. It wasn’t long before Hot Blog Tips became my primary focus and I haven’t looked back since. More on that in question #3 so don’t stop reading.

2. You’ve owned a lot of domains and had content on lots of them. Was there a strategy behind that and is it something you’d ever recommend to anyone else?

Yes and no. The strategy was based in several layers. First, I believed, and still do, that we need several streams of online income. Second, I was playing the AdSense blog game. While I still recommend multiple forms of income, AdSense blogging, at least the way I was going about it, is dead. There is still a lot of money in niche blogging for those willing to learn how to do it right.

Back to the question, was there a strategy behind that; back when I had safe lists, forums and traffic sites, some might call it throwing mud on the walls to see what sticks; others might say it was more like twisting in the wind without focus or direction. With that said, I managed to profit from every one of those. In fact, my partner from eleven years ago still makes a very nice income from those same types of sites today.

3. You mentioned in one of our Hangouts On Air that you gave up blogging at one point but felt compelled to come back to it. Tell us about that.

Sure, when I had several blogs running and began seeing a little income from internet marketing, AdSense blogs and one of my membership sites, I decided to follow the money rather than my passion. I sold a couple of my blogs and focused on generating income. After a year of “work” I found myself spending a lot of time on other blogs wishing I still had my own. I had Hot Blog Tips parked for while by the time Google took a huge bite from my income and I decided to take that as a sign and brought the blog back to life.

4. Why do you think some people get into blogging and only last a month or two while others, like us, can last for years?

I heard a wise man once say because blogging is hard. lol It really is true though, blogging has to get into our blood to make it worth our time and energy. Without the passion, the blog dies a slow death.

The other reason, I think, is that people come into blogging and other forms of online business with unrealistic expectations. They think because it’s online, or they’re doing it from home, that everything will be easy and they won’t have to put in a lot of work. Once they get a taste of late nights trying to drive traffic, creating content, learning SEO and all of the other things required, they go back to barbeques and nightclubs or wherever they spent their time before the notion of online income occurred to them. Just a theory. lol

5. You are one of the most visible people online yet you have a full time job as well. How do you find the time to do it all and does it mean you don’t have any other hobbies?

It’s funny; I just spent the last month on a 30 day challenge just to get enough sleep for a change. 😉 And just this week, I’ve listened to three separate podcasts by Pat Flynn on productivity hoping to get more out of the time I have. So, truthfully, time is something I’m struggling with myself so I’m probably not the best person to ask.

With that said, I do manage to keep the ball rolling and that’s with 12 hour days, five days a week driving a truck locally. I spend most of the time that’s left at home on the computer when I’m not with family. It’s all about making the time to do what we enjoy and I enjoy blogging. I’ve never been one to go to the bars, watch sports with the boys or sit at a friend’s house for hours on end so my “personal” life doesn’t really get in the way of blogging. Outside of family, blogging and social media is my personal life. How sad is that? Lol I have no other hobbies to speak of but I do find time to ride my bike when weather permits and read a little each day.

6. Since I mentioned our weekly Google Hangouts On Air, what made you think about the idea and how surprised were you that Sheryl and I decided to come along for the ride?

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I’m not sure where the idea came from, really. I think I mentioned it to Sheryl, or maybe it was even her idea; I have no idea. lol Surprised? Not really but I’m very surprised how well we work together and how long it’s lasted. It’s taking a while to build that momentum but I think it’s been a fun ride at the same time.

I also think some of the benefits that slowly grow from that type of partnership would be tough for many people to see so I have to give you and Sheryl a lot of credit. I have no doubt that the videos have helped grow our overall online influence. That influence can go a long way, depending if and how we use it. I have an image I created a while back and haven’t used yet but it reads, “Authority + Trust = Influence”. The videos allow people to see what’s behind the blogger and see they can trust us and that we know what we’re talking about [cough] most of the time. With three of us working at the same goal, the word is spread much more quickly than if we go it alone. I know I got a little off topic there but that’s just what I do. 😉

7. You’ve often said you just want to be helpful to people. This is a strange way to ask this question but with all the spam we both get and the few comments our videos get, do you think people appreciate either the videos or the blog posts from most of us?

You know, I really do. We do get comments from others that say a post or video has helped but, for the most part, I think people tend to take the information and run. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t helpful or unappreciated. I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past. Now that I’ve been doing this for so long, I try to comment and let the author/speaker know it helped but I can remember a time when that would have never occurred to me. Even a how-to video on replacing a toilet wax ring or getting my car’s brakes back together, I wouldn’t have left a comment in the past. We search YouTube, find the answer and put it to use. Very few are going to think to hit the like button, much less leave a comment.

8. What is your process for writing blog posts and do you think it’s something that could work for other people?

My process… I need one of those. lol My mind works pretty crazy sometimes. It usually starts with an idea when I have no way to act on it, like driving a tractor trailer down the interstate. That’s generally a bad time to start drafting a blog post. I’ll wait until I get home and start a post draft, often with nothing but the title. That’s my way of not forgetting the post “idea” I had. Later on, I’ll go in and break my thoughts into chunks, add subtitles, find an image and start working on things like keyword research, speling <- (see that) and fact checking or research. I might publish it right away, I might save it until we record a hangout on the topic or it might sit forever if I’m not satisfied with it.

9. Time to bring this question up; do you think, if you decided to dedicate your life to it full time, that you could make a sustainable living at blogging, or being online in general?

Absolutely. If time wasn’t an issue and I could spend my days learning, networking and blogging, I’d make more money than trucking ever will. I still expect that that to happen, just at a slower pace.

So why don’t I do it already, right? That’s a question I ask myself often. I can say it’s a $150,000 mortgage, supporting five people, all of the years I’ve invested with the company I work for, and on and on. What it all boils down to is I’m just chicken. I know I could do it but I also know I’d probably risk losing everything I have by the time I could generate enough to replace my income. At this stage in my life (I’m very old), I’ll just take my time and keep what I have on the way. Like I said, chicken.

10. Let’s see how good your marketing skills are. Tell people why they should be watching our Hangouts On Air every Sunday and why they should be reading your blog.

I’ll do one better than that, I’ll let one of our readers tell you.

Seriously, between the three of us, we have over twenty years of blogging under our belts and none of us are too shy or selfish to offer our advice. We might not be the prettiest people on YouTube but we are entertaining and very informative. There’s truly not that many groups like ours that can say that.

And, of course, there’s our secret weapon – Sheryl Loch. You’ve said this before, Sheryl teaches some of the most useful things when it comes to video than anyone else we know. I’m just blown away at how up to date and knowledgeable she is when it comes to YouTube and Google Plus.

I’ll conclude with this… I’ve known both you and Sheryl for a long time and I can’t think of anyone else I trust and respect more. I also know my intentions are sincere so, the best reason for anyone to watch is we are trustworthy. We go out of our way to help others, at our expense, because we care. No one has to read in between the lines trying to see our ulterior motive because there isn’t one.
 

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