All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Ode To Joy Day!

This is something different from me. Ode To Joy is actually a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1800, but most people know it as the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the one he wrote when he was totally deaf. It has been performed in multiple ways throughout history, and it’s a piece I absolutely love.

It’s in that vein that I’m doing a video post of different ways the song has been performed. Some are goofy, some are eclectic, and some are outstanding; okay, in my mind they’re all outstanding. Yes folks, it’s the same song over and over, but something amazing with each one.

Let’s start with something funny, Beaker from the Muppets:

A flash mob performance:

How about hearing it via 10,000 voices?

A commercial with David Beckham

Pete Seegar’s folk music version with English lyrics; love this:

On a glass harp; amazing:

Piano variations:

A techno version; this is kind of extreme lol:

We started with Beaker, we end with Beaker:


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62 Blog Posts To Overcome Blogger’s Block – Book Review

I was asked to review the book 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block by Marcie Hill before it went out to the public and I was glad to do it for more than one reason. Marcie is a very good writer who’s got a lot of accomplishments, and I was honored to be given a preview copy. Also, I’m in the book; yeah, kind of a vanity thing but you folks know me; I’m going to tell it like it is. And I’m not getting paid for this; y’all know how I roll. 😉

First off, this isn’t a piece of fluff. It comes in around 166 pages and was well researched, as it took her a long time to compile everything and put it into a proper order. There are a lot of examples throughout the book, which helps to make it an easier read and I have to admit that sometimes I got caught up in wanting to look up the specific article examples she shared to comment on them; I did do that a few times anyway.

She separates the book into 11 main categories, then has multiple categories within. For instance, the section that includes me is listed under “multimedia posts”, and under that there are 10 more specific titles. I’m listed under “audio” because of the ReadSpeaker option I have on my blogs where people can listen instead of always having to read the entire thing. Of course my own vanity told me there were multiple places I would have fit in, but truthfully I’m not sure I’ve seen all that many blogs using the program I do so that makes a lot of sense and shows the type of research she did looking for things both common and uncommon.

The book is kind of a dichotomy; I love that. In one respect it’s laid out like a course, and Marcie indicated in the Google Hangout video interview I and my Hot Blog Tips buddy Brian Hawkins did with her, which is below, that she’s hoping to turn it into a training class of some sort. In the other respect it’s easy to read and get through relatively quickly because there’s not a lot of prose, instead opting for a list style of presentation which is easier to understand while having prose to explain the story behind what you’re about to see before she gives you the example.

I think you’d be impressed with some of the names that are in this book, all with approval. At least I am since I know a lot of these people. I highlight specifically Vernessa Taylor, who I highlighted in my Black Web Friday series and also thanked for creating some virtual book covers for two of my books, as she helped Marcie with some graphics as well as being highlighted in the book. A few other names, buddies of mine if you will, includes: Ileane Smith, Ching Ya, Ben Barden, Justin Germano, and Kristi Hines, and a couple of big names such as Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan; you really can’t have a major book about blogging without those two in my opinion.

The book can be purchased from Marcie’s site only at this time, and there’s also a companion guide that can be purchased as well. I’m going to tell you this up front; the book isn’t cheap. It is thorough though, so if you’re looking for blogging guidance or information you should at least check it out; after all, I’m on page 37. 🙂 If you’d like to see another review of the book check out this post by Sharon Hurley Hall, who was featured in my last Black Web Friday post.

And now, the interview:


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How To See What You Want To See On Facebook

Last week I wrote a post telling you about Facebook and its Edgerank process and how it limits what you get to see from business pages, fan pages, and even your friends. Personally I think that stinks. However, I also know a way to get around that if you really want to see whatever certain people or certain groups are saying without having to visit all of those folks or groups individually.

If you look towards the bottom of the left side of your Facebook page, you’ll see something like this. What you won’t immediately see is the “more” link, and all that takes is for you to move your mouse over there and it’ll come up. What you see here on my example is a link to my Facebook business page and two lists I specifically created.

Click on the “more” link and you will see something like this, possibly even this large:

You may have never seen this before. All those things you put in your profile that you’re not thinking about… they actually link to a page, whether there’s anything there or not. For instance, I went to high school in Limestone Maine for 2 years and I popped it into my profile, not even thinking about it. Facebook created a page for it, but if I click on the link no one else has ever joined. I can’t say that I specifically created it, but I’m stuck with it on my profile because it’s a real place.

As you’ll also notice there are some other interesting links in here that I didn’t create. There’s Close Friends and Acquaintances; you probably have those on your list page already. You can pull those up and add people to them. What’s funny is that every once in awhile, Facebook will ask you if you want to move certain people you’re connected to into Acquaintances, saying you haven’t talked to them in awhile so maybe you want to see less of what they put out in your stream. For me, close friends is the important one here, along with the other two that I actually created, which I mentioned before.

To create your own list, you see the tab there in the top right. Click on that and it gives you this:

Just name your list, then start adding people or pages you like here. You’ll have to know the names, which could end up being problematic initially because you might not remember everyone if you have lots of connections. But you can always come back to your list to add more if that’s what you want to do.

Once you do this you’re good. You never miss another post or missive from the people you put into these lists, and you can even create a list for people you really don’t want to hear from or see all that often, then hide their stuff from your stream. They’ll still be connected to you, and you can go look at them any time you want in that list, but let’s face it, some of our friends or connections post stuff we might not always want others who visit our page to see.

One last thing. Some of the lists you can delete and others you can’t. If you created it for your own purpose, you can delete it. But if it’s something that Facebook feels others might decide to join, such as my SUNY Oswego link (it already had State University; oh well…), you’re just stuck with it.

It might take you some time to set it up for perfection but once you’ve done it, you’ll never miss, or always miss, whatever you want based on how you want to see things. Cool or what?

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Are You An Online Troll?

There’s a guy I know who’s not necessarily a bad guy. Matter of fact he’s a pretty good guy. Loves his wife and son, treats his friends pretty well, and has a pretty good sense of humor as well.

Marcos Telias Barra via Compfight

And he’s a troll. He’d probably argue with me on this one but I’m going to state the case. He has a Twitter account not using his own name. That’s not a big deal overall.

He also uses an image that’s not his face but someone else’s face. That’s a bit bad because it reminds me of those dating sites where most of the time people aren’t using pictures of themselves, or are using pictures of themselves when they were 100 pounds lighter and 10 years younger.

With his Twitter account however, every once in awhile he decides to crash Twitter chats and says stupid stuff just to be annoying. He does this because he doesn’t like the concept of Twitter chats and thus feels its his right to say whatever he wants to, which is always something rude and off-topic, and on purpose.

That makes him a troll. It’s no different than someone showing up on a blog with a fake name and fake avatar and deciding they want to be stupid just because they can. It’s one reason why I will delete a comment in a heartbeat without worry about protecting anyone’s first amendment rights, which they don’t have, because it’s my space and I’m paying for it.

Are you an online troll? It’s an interesting question because though I gave you one scenario above, it can apply to multiple similar scenarios. I’ve talked about the trolls that write comments on news sites. Child bullies who pick on people in their Facebook groups are trolls, even if you get to know their names. For that matter an overwhelming number of comments on YouTube videos are from trolls. And, oddly enough, I have another friend who, on some of my serious posts on Facebook, will throw in a rude line trying to be funny, and in a way that makes him a troll.

What makes you a troll outside of the things I mentioned above? If every website you go to or every blog you comment on leads you to leave a rude comment, whether it’s on topic or not, you’re probably a troll. If you never have anything nice to say about anyone you’re a troll.

There are many people who live off that sort of thing. Trust me, you’ve never seen that behavior around here for long because I’m not putting up with it. But I thought about myself and wondered if I could be considered by anyone as being a troll. After all, I’m not necessarily always saying nice things when I visit blog posts I disagree with. And on Facebook, if you show any kind of insensitivity towards someone else, I’m probably coming after you.

Does that make me a troll? Nope, not one bit. I don’t go out of my way looking for trouble; I actually let a lot of stuff that irritates me pass. I set up a filter on Facebook to block a lot of stuff that used to get me riled up. I comment on a lot of blogs and talk to a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook. And for the most part I think I’m pretty nice.

Can you say the same thing? Can you say the same thing about people you know and their online behavior? And how do you feel about it?

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Facebook Edgerank, Et Al

Facebook pages; how much fun are they? Truth be told, obviously some people aren’t having much fun at all because they don’t put much new content on it, if they put content on it at all. Two weeks ago I spent some time going through some of the pages I liked to see if they were doing anything, and those that weren’t I “unliked”; you know, when I was a kid that wasn’t even a word. lol

Facebook pages are an odd duck, if you will. We create them because everywhere we’ve gone to talking about them says they can help us with our business. I’m not all that sure, but I do believe that if done right they can at least help give you a presence. But who’s seeing that presence, and what can you do to increase your presence?

There was this article on Jeff Bullas’ blog titled 6 Ways to Increase the Marketing Effectiveness of your Facebook Page, which includes this very cool infographic. It talks a little bit about Edgerank, which is the name of the algorithm Facebook uses to decide just how many people who have liked your page will have the opportunity to see whatever you put on your page. It’s based on a few things; how often those people have come to your site, so they participate in any way, do they ever share, etc. Actually, they use the same algorithm in determining how many of your friends and which friends see your general posts If you’re connected with 1,000 people on Facebook, you can bet that if 100 people ever see any of it you can count yourself lucky, unless you’ve made yourself popular.

Why do they do that? They do it because people share way more long form information on Facebook than they do on Twitter. On Twitter, every person I’m following has the ability to have me see everything they post via a general column. I have the ability to select certain people and put them in segregated columns so I definitely see what certain people post as opposed to everyone, but if I decide to check the general column the skies the limit.

On Facebook people share pictures, blog posts, etc. Some folks write long form prose of some type. If Facebook showed you every single thing that everyone posted, you’d be overwhelmed. Yes, you do have the ability to segregate your audience on Facebook at all, something I’ll cover at another time, but it’s still a lot of stuff.

So now you know why you don’t see everything from all your friends and why everyone doesn’t see everything you put on your Facebook page. How can you improve the odds of getting more people to see your stuff? The link I provided above gives you 6 ways. The idea is that, at least for your business page, you want to add more content to it so people have more to see, and you want to add more images because it’s been proven that people react better to them, but what if you’re not a bit time photographer, or the images you have don’t quite fit what your business is about?

Now, you might want to know how it’s going for me, since I adopted the process I talk about in my link about 3 weeks ago. I mainly post links from my business site since, well, it’s my Facebook business page. lol I do post a link here and there from this blog, the motivational stuff, but not all that often.

For the full month period before the last 3 weeks Facebook was my 5th best source of traffic, and I only had 21 visits. In the last 3 weeks Facebook has moved up to #3 and I had 55 visits in that time. Not only that but I went from a page duration time of 1 minute and 4 seconds to a whopping 14 minutes and 39 seconds. Why anyone would stay on a page for that long I couldn’t tell you, but what could be happening is that people could be sticking around and looking at other pages. And one more thing; from Facebook it’s a lot of repeat visitors, as the rate of new visitors is only 29%, as opposed to 95% from Google and 79% from Twitter.

Not so shabby I’d say. Anyway, I’ve told you about Edgerank, shared a link to an infographic, and a link to my post about ways of finding things you can add to your Facebook business page to help raise the number of people who come by. What else would you like to know? 🙂 By the way, if you’d like to see my page look to the left and click on the link that will take you there; always happy to have more likes for that page.

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