All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Why I’ve Never FF’d On Twitter

If you’re on Twitter for any significant time, you know about FF, or Follow Friday. It wasn’t something that existed when I first joined Twitter, but months later it started up. People saw it as a way to help highlight people they follow, but it also promoted themselves because it was an excuse to put out a lot of posts without really saying anything.

I have to say that it’s nice being recognized on Fridays by a lot of people. However, at this point it’s lost its effectiveness. I have some people I’m connected to that do the FF thing every single day, forgetting it was originally only for Fridays. I have some people I really don’t know who do it all the time, and some of those folks aren’t even following me. And what also happens is that people will see their name on one of these lists, and they forward it as their own FF, and now you’re getting messages with your name on the same list over and over.

I never got into participating in the FF when it started. At first I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t a part of it. In retrospect, I think I saw what was coming and I didn’t want to start it and then have to decide it was time to stop.

I also think that it’s a strange thing to recommend that someone follow another person on Twitter without those people actually saying something that’s worth following. Whereas I think it’s nice that some people will send out my Twitter handle as someone to follow, the truth of the matter is that I don’t think I’m putting out ground breaking tweets that really deserve the kudos. I mean, all my blog posts go out, and I’ll share news links of stories that I like. And every once in awhile I will retweet blog posts that I like.

Ground breaking? Nope, not me. And not many people either. For instance, just what has Charlie Sheen said that deserves over 2 million people suddenly following him on Twitter? How are some of these individuals ending up with more followers than news services, which really do put out some pretty good information?

There are some thought leaders worth following, none of which I’m going to mention here because everyone has their own thought leaders that they like. I only follow a few of them, and only one of those people follows me. And I’m okay with that because in this case I want to be aware of what they’re saying enough to not worry that they may never engage me on Twitter. Strangely enough, every one of them has engaged me at least once on their blogs, so it’s all good.

Think about this concept of FF to see if it’s really in your best interest, or in the best interest of the people you’re recommending. Instead of a blanket FF, why not recommend one person at a time that you like and say why? Trust me, that will go a long way, and be much better, because it will stand out and really look more like a personal recommendation from you to your friends and followers. Of course, still check out everyone to see if what they have to offer works for you.

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Hyperbole And A Half

What the heck does that mean? I have absolutely no idea. Luckily, I don’t have to have any idea. I just have to highlight this new blog I’ve discovered through someone on Twitter, and has jumped into my top 5 favorite blogs of all time.

Of course it’s called Hyperbole And A Half, and I’m sorry to say that looking at the About page doesn’t tell us anything new. But it doesn’t have to because it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in, well, probably years on a blog.

What makes it so funny? We start with this post titled Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts. The blog is a mixture of macabre funny story and pictures drawn by the author. I haven’t quite figured it all out yet except to know that it’s produced by a female, and I think she’s married.

It doesn’t matter; it’s funny as sin! I was laughing out loud, and brought tears to my eyes. The images are so great and flow with the story perfectly. The posts are long, but mainly because of the images; I was going to print it out for my wife and it would have been 24 pages long; that wasn’t happening. So I popped the link on her computer and I could hear her laughing pretty early into the story, as she’s not a speed reader, even though the images help move things along.

This lady has violated everything I said I didn’t like with Blogger blogs. She has it ranked well because of, well, her instead of Google. The post I’m highlighting above has more than 2,000 comments; are you kidding me? Almost all of her posts have more than 1,000 comments. And so far, they’ve all been funny, and that’s enough for me. I don’t know if any of them are true or not; I figure the latest one about Wolves probably isn’t true, but the dog story… that sounds about right.

She’s definitely an artist, and she has a “store” page where she shows a couple of her items, then has a link to her actual sales page where, if you hover over any of the images, they kind of come to life; try it out. I’d never heard of Zazzle, but it looks like a neat way to sell your stuff.

Trust me; go check out this story, and try to tell me you didn’t laugh out loud; if you didn’t, you’re not a dog person.

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EzineArticles Plugin Is No More

Back in August I wrote about the EzineArticles WordPress Plugin and how easy it was to send some of your blog posts to that particular website. Well, let me be the one to let you know that it no longer works.

Why? Well, remember when I wrote about 3 weeks ago on the issue of article farms? What’s happened is the changes that have been made by Google have started taking their toll on the site. Rosalind Gardner covered it in her blog post titled Death of Bum Marketing when she quoted Chris Knight of EzineArticles in saying that their traffic has started to drop. She also mentioned that one thing he’s decided to do was stop allowing the WP EzineArticles Plugin to submit articles anymore because there was a lot of spam being sent to the site.

So, that’s it for the plugin, if any of you were actually using it. I got to submit maybe 6 articles from my business blog, but then I kind of lost interest so I won’t be missing it all that much.

However, I found it interesting that in Rosalind’s article she advocates something I’ve been saying for years, that being it’s better if, instead of sending articles you write elsewhere, you create a blog and put those articles there instead and enjoy the benefits all on your own. For me, most of the articles I have on the other site I’ve either had on my blog or I’d used as a newsletter and decided to spread it a bit further. However, none of those articles has given me the bounce I thought they would, and as I think about it I’m not necessarily all that crazy that those articles can then be put on other people’s sites without my knowing it, even though they’re supposed to link back to me.

Back to doing things the “hard way” it seems. For me, though, I think I’ll stick with my own thing.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Are You Ready For “Controversial”?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post based off a blog post I read where the person was talking about the concept of “high quality content” without actually explaining what it was, a pet peeve of mine. Well, this one isn’t quite a pet peeve, but it’s something that, once again, I see recommended often, and I think it’s a horrible recommendation.


by Enokson

That recommendation, as you have already guessed by the title, is to write controversial posts. Though I hate that as a recommendation, the truth is that I’ve written a couple of those in my day on this blog. I wrote a random thoughts post where I touched upon crime, hate, physical abuse and President Obama, among other things. I wrote a post where I said President Obama called Rush Limbaugh a racist (he didn’t, as I explained in the post). I’ve gone after writing groups like Helium, busted on a guy because he saw himself as better than everyone else and got called on it, and I’ve tackled the subject of health care a couple of times.

Still, it’s not always the best way for everyone to go. Controversy doesn’t always get the desired effect you think it might, and sometimes you just might be unleashing the demons from Pandora’s Box and not have the ability to get them back under control again. That plus you risk being labeled if you don’t get your message right the first time out and could end up with a mess like our friend Rummuser ran into, for which he wrote apology for after the fact, but possibly still lost a reader in the process.

Controversy obviously sells; look at what it’s done for Charlie Sheen and all the Twitter followers, over a million in 24 hours. But it can also take away. For instance, there’s a guy whose name I forget that used to be big on the blogosphere and even stopped by here to comment every once in awhile. His blog was very controversial, highlighted by his video posts going after this person and that person, using lots of colorful language. It was all fun and games until he suddenly started losing contracts because some of his clients discovered his blog, didn’t quite like his style, and decided to stop doing business with him. We’re talking six figure contracts suddenly drying up, and he immediately stopped blogging and removed every single video he’d produced.

Then there was a guy who supposedly built his blog on the backs of top bloggers by bashing every single one of them as harshly as he could. His blog grew greatly, and Darren Rowse, one of the people he attacked, grudgingly admitted it was an interesting strategy of success. Then one day the guy stopped, and when Darren was able to reach him to find out why, the guy said that he had hoped to get business from his blog by being seen as an expert in a particular area, yet all anyone could see was him as the angry blogger and no one wanted to work with him. So again, he shut down his blog in hopes of reinventing himself once time passed.

Even I had a brief encounter via a post on my business blog where someone thought I was writing directly about her, complained to her manager, who contacted someone I was contracted with to do work, who then called me and asked me if I’d change it. I said absolutely not, then asked him if he’d read it, to which he replied no. Then I read him the first two paragraphs and he said it wasn’t bad, and was actually true and positive, yet still asked me if I could be more circumspect when I wrote blog posts while we were actively working with a client. I told him that if it ever happened again he needed to go read the post before calling me about it because many of my posts I write in advance, and it’s not my problem if one person thinks it’s about them in that regard.

I’ve always been ready to back up my position on something I have to say. I also say my piece in non-threatening ways; I choose my words carefully, even when I’m mad. I’ve had people take something I said in the wrong way, and I’m ready to defend that as well. I don’t head lightly into controversy, and it’s not the thrust of this blog. I’d never want to make it the thrust of this blog. But I won’t step away from something if it irks me.

Still, I’d never recommend that someone be controversial just for the sake of being that way. If you have something to say, something that’s really bothering you, then by all means share it, get it off your chest like I did with my writing post and video, and move on. Otherwise, don’t make controversy your norm; you might not like how it all turns out.

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Sunday Question – What Do You Look For In Reading Other Blogs?

When I first started blogging many years ago, I was just writing my posts and moving on. Eventually, after a couple of years, I figured out that maybe I needed to go looking for blogs that might help me increase visitors to my blog. I learned that from reading a blog, and learned it about the same time I learned about pinging.


by edenpictures

At the time I was stuck; what types of blogs did I want to visit? And what was it I wanted to get from other blogs other than potential interest in my own blog?

This was actually a major question for me, and it was something I took a little bit of time thinking about. I was lucky to have the time, as I’d just finished a long project, and thus I had a lot of money put aside for awhile.

I decided on two main areas at that time; leadership and internet marketing. Today most people see it as “make money online” but that wasn’t a term I knew. My plans were simple. I would post on leadership blogs, showing my expertise in the field, and then I would read internet marketing blogs to learn how to do it better, as I was interested in passive income streams after reading Robert Allen’s Multiple Streams of Internet Income.

You know what I discovered? Most of the blogs I read about leadership were boring, and most of the blogs I was reading on internet marketing didn’t teach me anything. That was really disappointing, and it left me with little to comment on. Now what the heck was I going to do?

I decided to see if I could find information on blogging to see what I was doing wrong. And suddenly, now I was seeing things that were a bit more interesting. I learned a few things here and there, and I finally had a bit more direction. I also realized that I needed a practice outlet, and I signed up on one of those vanity services. It wasn’t bad, as I was anonymous pretty much, but the first one closed, I went to another service and that one closed, and after the third one, where the owner pretty much messed things up, I decided on this domain name and blog. And I’ve never looked back.

I still read a lot of blogs. I look for information of all types. I look for opinions on the concepts of blogging and writing. And overall, I look for people who have something to offer, whether it’s funny people or people who tell great stories or people who rant about things I’m interested in. I look to grow as a person and as a contributor and as a blogger and in every other way that it’s possible to grow. So I read a lot of different things every day.

But that’s me; what do you look for in reading other blogs?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell