All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Participating In Social Media Takes Courage

A few days ago, I had a post that also had a video where I ranted about MLM schemes. I can’t remember if I mentioned in the video that what prompted the rant was something that happened on LinkedIn or not, but that was the genesis for everything.


by Scott Feldstein via Flickr

One of the strangest things that came out of all of that mess, which continued until late yesterday afternoon when I finally decided my participation in the “conversation” had to end, is that the overwhelming majority of people who agreed with me wrote me privately rather than put their disgust out in the public like I did. As Sheriff Bart said in Blazing Saddles, “I’m quickly becoming an underground success in this town”. I got as many supporting messages in private as the guy who started the post got on the post itself; it did and didn’t help me, as you can imagine.

I’ve stated on this blog before that one of the gutsiest things a person can do online is court controversy, whether you started it or got yourself in the middle of it. Social media can be dangerous as much as it can be fun. This weekend another friend of mine posted something on his Facebook page that I kind of took exception to, so I commented on it. He said he had a right to express his beliefs, and I agreed with that while also saying if you have the guts to put out a belief like that in public you have to have the guts to take criticism for it from people who don’t agree with your position. I never heard back on that one.

How many reminders do people need before they realize that free speech really isn’t free? If people want to rant about things without giving others the opportunity to comment, set up a blog, don’t accept comments, and get on with your bad selves. 🙂

Unless you’re a big name once people realize they can’t leave comments they probably won’t come back, but you probably don’t care at that point. As Seth Godin seems to feel, sometimes getting your point out is more important to you than getting feedback. I find that sort of thing incredibly useless and selfish (I refuse to visit his blog or read links people share on Twitter), but to each his own.

Here’s my overall point. If you’re always afraid you’re going to create controversy, you’ll never be a good blogger. Controversy can pop up in the strangest places on the strangest topics. There is no safe topic, from babies to puppies to chocolate cake to the Muppets to weather. There’s always the possibility someone might not like what you said or how you said it. I once wrote a positive post where I mentioned my dad’s history and suddenly I was being attacked for talking about my dad being in the military. Didn’t see it coming, but I didn’t back down either, though eventually I had to block the guy because he became a major league troll; strange indeed.

Blogging isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re skittish your blog will be unreadable. Being flexible enough to see someone else’s point of view, even to the point where you sometimes might change your mind, doesn’t mean you don’t get to express yourself in your own way. Deciding not to change your mind and sticking up for your point of view, while trying to do it in a nice way, doesn’t mean you’re not flexible. Sometimes you have to adopt the position that my wife learned from Jack Canfieldone night: “What other people think of you is their problem.”

So, who’s ready to start blogging?
 

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Repurposing Your Own Blog Content; Good Thing Or Bad?

I’ve been thinking about repurposing some of my previous content. Repurposing is an interesting concept; using articles you’ve written before on your intended subject, maybe editing it a bit, and putting it out as brand new blog content. It can work well for those people that have written a lot of stuff, as I have, when they don’t have lots of time to write new things, or have a new audience to see some of what they’re written in the past.

by Cheryl via Twitter

Something I’ve wondered about lately is what the rules are, if there are rules, for repurposing your own content. What if you wrote something years ago that’s still pertinent and would benefit from being talked about again, especially since after a few years most of us will have content that the search engines have forgotten about?
Continue reading Repurposing Your Own Blog Content; Good Thing Or Bad?

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A MLM Rant

I’m tired of seeing them; the sneaky messages that never tell you what you might be getting yourself into, the ones that promise the world. Yes, I’m talking about MLM schemes, and they’re all over the place. These things waste my time and yours as well. And you’re not going to make all that much money from it.

I’ve written before about watching out for scams far and wide. Just last week I wrote about an email/internet scam that got sneakier the further I got into it.

What caused my rant? What do I recommend? What’s my opinion on it all? You know I did a video about it, right? Take a look, then let me know your thoughts:


 

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Black Web Friday – 2/10/12

Welcome to another week of Black Web Friday. Remember, if you’re so inclined you can go to Category and find this as one of the options to look back at the previous weeks, of which there are 3 at this point. No long lead-in today, so we’re just going to get into it; enjoy!

Black Web Friday

The first site I want to highlight today is called Black America Web, which is an entertainment website that was initially created to highlight the Tom Joyner radio program, but has grown way beyond that. Though it mainly talks about entertainment there’s are news and opinion sections on what’s going on as it pertains to black people. There’s also a link to the Tom Joyner Foundation, which collects money to help send college bound kids to traditionally black colleges and universities; I can’t tell you how many millions they’ve raised and how many kids they’ve sent to college, but it’s a good thing.

Next we have The Hustler’s Notebook, the website and blog of JK Allen, who’s a favorite of a lot of bloggers. He writes a lot about business and marketing and he recently wrote a book titled Driven To Learn, Learning To Win. He’s a very entertaining and smart guy and of course talks a lot about hustling, which in this case means working hard to succeed. And you can easily comment on his blog; you know I love that.

You can also easily comment on this next blog, Adria Richards But You’re A Girl. I like her site because it’s very conversational and personal, offering consulting services for technical issues, and her blog offers both technical tips and commentary but every once in awhile she talks about more personal things and, well, that’s what I do on this blog. Recently she talked about applying for a job at Google, and I have to say she looks good in the shirt. 😉

Because I didn’t have a real introduction, and because it’s Black History Month, I decided to add a fourth blog to the mix and explain my reasoning. I also think it’s the first Blogspot blog I’ve highlighted here, and y’all know I don’t like these blogs, but this guy’s done very well with it. His name is Wayne Hicks and his blog is called Electronic Village. He highlights issues that are of interest socially and politically to black people, and I originally discovered his blog many years ago when he used to publish a once a month listing of the top ranked blogs on Technorati, based when one could easily check such things. As it happened, around the time they changed is around the same time I started making the list; those weasels! lol Anyway, though he talks about issues pertaining to black people, he doesn’t only concentrate on black people, as he’s talked a lot over the past year about the tasering of people by the policy, many of whom don’t survive, including this guy whose family has filed a lawsuit against them because he didn’t survive. This is definitely a blog worth visiting.

That’s it for this week. Please visit these blogs and if you get a chance, let them know where you heard of them; it might give them a bit of a smile.
 

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Is Firefox Slow? Yes And No…

Back in October I wrote a post titled Firefox vs. Chrome where I mainly talked about how I liked Firefox versus Chrome for its customization and how it seemed that more sites I followed or checked on got more traffic from people using either Firefox or Internet Explorer, which I don’t like but it is what it is, instead of Chrome. At that time part of the discussion in comments was how Chrome ran much faster than Firefox, and I really couldn’t disagree with it, but stated that the customization was what kept me with Firefox.


via MachoArts.com

I do have to admit that sometimes the slowness of doing some things in Firefox got on my nerve. Copying and pasting things shouldn’t take any time at all, but sometimes things would hang up. I noticed whenever I wanted to download anything that the download window took exactly 8 seconds before the OK button would highlight, and then another 5 seconds before the explorer window would come up so I could select where I wanted to save something. Frankly it was starting to get on my nerves.

Notice I’m saying everything in a past tense? No, I haven’t left Firefox. Instead, I thought it was time to see if what the Mozilla people were saying all along, that Firefox was indeed as fast as Chrome, but what slowed things down here the add-ons that make the browser fun, things that Chrome doesn’t come close to having. Yes, experiment time!

I went into Tools then Add-ons and then Extensions. I had “only” 14 extensions running live on the browser, and in my mind I didn’t think that was too many. But I had to disable some of them for this test. I disabled everything except 3 things. I kept the Adblock Plus pop-up blocker because I absolutely hate those things. I kept my Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar so I could keep the 3 rows that I love so much on the browser. And I kept the Search Status plugin because that’s the biggie for me in checking webpage stats. Everything else had to go for the moment. I then hit restart and wondered what would happen.

What happened? It popped back up almost immediately, and suddenly everything was fast and immediate. See, the thing the Mozilla people have said all along is that except for Adblock Plus they they don’t make any of the other extensions; well, they don’t make many of them. These are added by other people who access the open source software and create either a need or a luxury. Some of them are created by companies such as Skype or Zone Alarm or even AVG to integrate with your browser to better communications or safety. In that instance it’s not the fault of the Mozilla folks that the browser slows down, or that it starts consuming a lot of resources, which used to shut down my computer until I upgraded to Windows 7.

I tested it for about 4 hours and the speed was amazing. It seemed to run as fast as Chrome and Opera, which still touts itself as the fastest browser online. If Firefox is slower than those other two, it’s negligible at this juncture because I’m not waiting for anything.

I was a happy guy… sort of. I’d gotten rid of a lot of things, but now I wanted to see what would happen if I added a couple more back. I did it piecemeal, to see if any one of these might slow things down. I started with the Download Status Bar, which I figured was the least intrusive, and my speed maintained itself. Then I realized that I needed to add Greasemonkey back because that added the option of being able to download YouTube videos, which I’d lost by turning it off. I restarted the browser and things were still fine. One last thing, and this was truly my luxury item. I wanted to see if I could add Stylish, which changes the look of many websites for my browser, without losing speed. I did that and my speed stayed the same; whew!

Which ones didn’t I add back? I left off AVG Safe Search, Colorful Tabs, Microsoft Framework .Net Assistant (I have no idea what that even does and I don’t remember adding it), Read It Later, Rank Checker, SEO for Firefox, Weather Watcher and Adblock Plus Pop-on Addition, which brings extra strength to the original Adblock Plus and works great.

I will be removing most of these since I’ve decided I’m not going to use them anymore, but some I’m going to keep and load only when I need to run them. Rank Checker is a great tool because you can use it to check your keyword rankings on 3 search engines at the same time, and if you have multiple phrases you want to check it’s perfect for that. I’m keeping the extra Adblock Plus because there are some websites I go to that always open up new windows that that’s irritating. And I’m keeping SEO for Firefox because it’s another great tool for checking SEO stats on websites. The others… they just have to go, and removing things instead of leaving them disabled supposedly helps speed as well.

Is Firefox slow? Not anymore! If it is for you maybe you should try my experiment, and then if it works see what you can live without. I did the same thing on my laptop and it was amazing, but since I didn’t have all the same add-ons there as on the main computer I didn’t add much back. Go ahead, try it. 😉
 

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