All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Black History Month – The Wind Down

Yeah, I know. You thought I was done with Black History Month when I wrote my post at the beginning of the month talking about differences in people. Well, I thought I was as well, but there’s always something that seems to bring one back into the fold, even if it’s only for a brief visit. I’ve got a few things to highlight, and I figured this was as good a way as any to do that.


’68 Olympics

I ended up writing about Black History month twice on my business blog. The second post was yesterday, and I’d like to share it because I added 5 videos that show others either talking about the month or black people in general. I thought they were all pretty cool videos, but y’all know I also had something to say before the videos. That post is titled As Black History Month Winds Down….

A couple of weeks ago I heard about an interesting website that does a thing during Black History Month as well. It’s called 28 Days of Diversity. The person who runs the site features a different minority blogger each of the 28 days; not everyone is black on this one, but they are definitely minority. I like the concept, and if I have an issue with it that issue would be that the creator doesn’t link back to anyone. So, the honor is there, but this person is missing out on giving backlinks to the sites. I guess it’s year two, and I went through last year’s crop of folks and it seems at least 25% of those blogs are no longer around. I have an interesting post on this topic coming out on the 2nd, so stay tuned.

I have people that contact me for the strangest stuff; too bad I don’t make any money off any of it. Anyway, there’s this site calling itself Best Colleges Online.net, and for whatever reason someone wrote a post and popped it on that site called 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Black History Month. The bad thing for them is that they didn’t know I minored in African-American Studies in college, so I knew all of their facts. The good thing for them is that I’m sharing the link in case the rest of you don’t know the history. 😉

And finally, out of the blue our friend Mitchell Allen of Morpho Designs, with whom I’m playing email chess against (and losing :-(), mentions someone to me I don’t know, named Marlee Ward. And this month she put together an interesting plethora of thoughts from 31 black bloggers on the topic of What Does It Mean To Be A Black Blogger? I think you should check it out because there are a few people there that I know you know, some who comment on this blog, and of course Mitch is also part of the group. Man, I must be waaaayyyy off the grid! lol

And that’s all I have for the month. I decided it was time to add a little video to the mix, and I’m going with You Will Know by… well, officially the artists were called Black Men United, but in reality it’s a bunch of stars who came together to sing this song for a movie, and the message is motivational for any and everyone who’s struggled to make it in this world. Enjoy.

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What Is “High Quality Content?”

On the heels of my little rant on writing a few days ago, I find myself reading a blog post talking about ways to reduce your bounce rate and find myself getting irritated once more. It’s a guest post, which I figured it had to be because I’ve never seen the author, Karen, write anything this, well, I said I would be nice. So, let’s just jump to what’s irking me, as if you hadn’t already figured out by my title and by checking out that blog post.

The first recommendation is to write “Fresh, High-Quality Content”. Frankly, I see this particular phrase often, and at this point it makes almost no real sense. Well, not that it doesn’t make sense; it makes no sense that no one ever tries to explain what they mean by it.

Let me ask you this in two parts. One, how many times have you seen that phrase in some incarnation? Two, how many times have you actually seen anyone describe what they mean by it? I’m betting the answers are “a lot” and “none”.

To me, unless people start backing it up, it’s a useless statement. Here’s the reality; everyone thinks they’re writing high quality content. That is, if they’re actually writing the content at all. Scrapers aren’t writing anything so we know they don’t care. And the people who pay a dollar a post don’t care either.

But those of us who do care, me and all of you who visit this blog (and I thank you for it), believe that we’re writing high quality content. But are we? Well, for the first time someone’s going to break down what is considered “high quality content”. Yeah, it’s going to be me. Of course this is my opinion, and you can debate me on it later on. But I have a feeling you won’t, and either you’ll learn something new here, or be able to finally say “hey, that describes me” and know that you can pass right by any other posts that talk about “high quality” content as the way to get more visitors or subscribers or backlinks or reduce bounce rate or… well, anything that’s not actually new, tangible, or a case study.

1. If you’re writing about something that’s supposed to teach someone something new, did you explain it well enough? Did you write something like “take this code and paste it into this file, upload it and it’ll work”? Or did you write something like “if you’re trying to fix something add this code to this file in this place so that it will do this; then upload it and look to see if it worked? To me, if you take the time to explain in some fashion why you’re asking people to do something, or giving step-by-step instructions, you’ve just written high quality content.

2. If you’re trying to tell a story and you don’t skip on details, such that people are left wondering “what the heck was that about”, then you’re creating high quality content. No one wants to read War and Peace every day, but no one wants to read Dick and Jane anymore either. If you believe you can tell good stories and you can do it verbally, then you should be able to do it by writing it. Don’t try to finish your story too soon, and don’t try to be funny if you’re not funny. Tell it like it is, and if it’s a funny story and you tell everything that happened then it’s high quality content.

3. Are you writing something about a particular belief or thought? Have you taken the time to explain why believe as you do, or are you just saying something and moving on? Saying “I don’t believe in same sex marriages because the Bible says so” is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen or heard. Saying it and then getting into a rational reason (because there’s no place in the Bible that even talks about same sex marriages; people “infer” it from a few places, but it’s not there specifically), even if I or anyone else disagrees with you, ends up being high quality content. The same would hold true with “I think Lady Antebellum stinks” and not following it up with something that you really don’t like that makes sense. If you said “I don’t like the way they look”, that looks and sounds idiotic; if you have constructive criticism about it, or want to say that you like someone else better for whatever reason, that’s high quality content.

4. Are you being true to yourself? This is the real truth. If you’re writing because you want to get ratings and you’re trying to write what you think people want to hear, you’re fooling yourself. You can’t ever write high quality content if you don’t believe what you’re writing. Trust me, with all the blogs I’ve written for other people, there are times when I’ve looked at the content and said “man, this stuff is garbage”, and I knew it was. The people I sold it to thought it was great because that’s what they wanted, but it was garbage all the same. Some of what wrote for Demand Studios way back when was junk because that’s what they wanted; that’s why Google’s going after those article farms.

If you’re writing what you know, what you feel, to the best of your ability, you’re writing high quality content. And you know what? Unless you’ve cracked the top 100 blogger list you’re going to have lots of bounces. Unless you have a sales page that draws in a lot of people who spend a lot of time looking around you’re going to have a lot of bounces. And the best high quality content isn’t going to reduce it one bit.

Think of it this way. What we strive for is to get people to subscribe to our blogs in some fashion. We want them coming back. That’s our first goal. Our secondary goal is to try to encourage people to look at some of our other content in some fashion. I link within posts to previous posts on this blog. On another blog I use the recent posts widget. My two main blogs are both under 200,000 per Alexa, and both have bounce rates of more than 70%. That’s just how it goes.

Overall, you want to do the best you can. People love that, and they’ll love you and keep coming back for more. High quality content; you do that with every post you write. Keep that in mind; y’all are great! 🙂

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Despicable Me – Movie Review

By now, those of you who have read this blog understand that I love my animation. I love old Bugs Bunny cartoons the best, but I have to say that there are some modern cartoons, rather animation, that I’m just drawn to (hey, a pun!) for reasons I never really understand. But like most everyone else, if I see a preview that captures me, I already know I’m going to like the movie heading in; for the most part, that is, Skyline notwithstanding. lol

Despicable Me DVD (Widescreen)








The premise of this movie is simple. A career super criminal has the ultimate plan; to steal the moon. In order to do that, he needs to steal a shrink ray that a young and upcoming super villain stole from him after he stole it from someone else. He finds these 3 little girls that the other villain has ordered cookies from and decides to adopt them and use them to help steal the shrink gun. What he doesn’t expect is that he’ll fall in love with the girls as things move along, and thus we have our story, with me leaving out all the details and ruining it for you.

Our super villain, named Gru, has helpers along with way. There’s Dr. Nefario, his elderly main scientist who sometimes hears the request for a specific item incorrectly, and there’s the Minions, these little yellow weeble looking creatures, some with one eye, some with hair, many that look exactly alike, that are the workers and friends of Gru; he knows them all by name and can tell them apart, even if we can’t. They’re the great innocents in this movie; they do whatever’s asked of them, and when they’re not asked to do anything they just, well, do something; funny as sin.

Of course, it’s the relationship Gru ends up having with the 3 sisters, Margo, Edith, and the youngest Agnes, with the big brown eyes and, if you’ve ever seen any of the commercials, the one who utters “It’s so fluffy!” He’s really frustrated early because he’s never been around kids and could care less about being around them now, but as time goes on and he starts having fun with them that he never had in his life before, he starts to realize the value in sharing one’s love with others.

This is the cutest movie and very funny as well. The music was done by Pharrell Williams, which gives it a much different quality than any other movie, as it was his first time working on a movie. As you can tell, I’m recommending this movie, and I’m sharing this little clip, doctored and chopped up, as a mini-teaser. Buy this movie; I’ve seen it more than 40 times by now.

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Trouble With WP Images? You May Be Stuck With Some Of It

Every once in awhile I have problems uploading images to my blogs. I wasn’t sure what the deal was, but I finally decided it was time to go after the problem, as y’all know I will almost always do eventually. If you’re having problems uploading images, your reason could be in here.

Frankly I had multiple issues. One, I might try to upload an image and get this weird error message about my homespages and running out of space. Two, the image might upload to my computer, but wouldn’t give me the option of adding it to my post. That obviously does me no good whatsoever. And a couple of times it would just quit in the middle, and that would be that. I could just upload the image to my server and then pull it in, but that negates the WP Smush-it plugin I use to try to reduce the size of some of my images.

So I went online looking for my solutions. The most common solutions I came across were to increase the size of the memory of your site via adding code to a file called php.ini. Not everyone has that file, but it’s easy to create and add, and it actually has solved a problem for me in the past when I had problems after upgrading to WordPress 2.8. But across the board, it doesn’t always work.

I went looking to find out why all the recommendations weren’t working and I came across something interesting and, of course, it makes sense. I have what’s called “shared hosting” via 1&1. The main packages of all the large hosting companies are shared hosting, which keeps the prices down. It’s a great deal, and you pretty much get a lot of space.

Pretty much, that is. It turns out that not all hosts will allocate you all the space you think for everything you do. One of the things about 1&1 is that they restrict the total size of images you can upload in a month. I never knew that until I started doing some reading. However, it doesn’t only depend on the images, strangely enough. It seems that one of the things taken into consideration is the space your plugins take up as well. So, for most of us, we get between 30 and 40 MB of space.

Since I knew I couldn’t do anything about the images, I decided to look at my plugins, which I’ve never really thought much about before. By totally getting rid of 5 plugins, it seems I cleaned up lots of space, and if I make sure not to upload a lot of large images, I shouldn’t have that problem anymore.

Ah, but my problem wasn’t completely over. At this point all that had improved is that images were uploading; I still couldn’t seem to access them. That meant it was time for more research, and after a long while I came upon something that I’d never considered. It seems that, depending on which browser you use, you could have problems uploading images after a certain point. I use Firefox, and I have always used the browser upload for my images. The recommendation I came across was to first clear the cache on my browser, close it, open it back up, then switch to the flash uploader instead.

Hey, I’m game for anything, even if it seems kind of petty. Lo and behold, it worked. It seems using flash overrides whatever blog you were having, and though it seems to take a little longer to process your images, at least it processes them. I did a test on an older post where I had uploaded a very large file, and it handled it with no problems. That turned out to be great because they WP Smush-it had the opportunity to make it a much smaller file, which would help that particular post load much faster.

There you go. If you find yourself having any problems with your images, it could be any of the reasons I mention above. The fixes are relatively simple, and it’s probably best to at least give them a try to see if they resolve your issue before going any further with all the files and such. One other recommendation was to call your hosting company to see if they would increase your file storage size, but everyone said it was doubtful that would actually work.

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Writing – A Rant

Lo and behold, today I’ve got a video for you, and I’m ranting about writing. I’ve had something on my mind for a couple of weeks and I’m trying to get it out of there so I can move forward. Sometimes you just have to take an action to get bad stuff out of your mind. In my case, it’s this video. More after the jump (I wonder why they call it “the jump):

If you’re wondering, yes, I did feel a little bit better after getting that off my chest. Of course, I’d look a lot better if I’d remembered NOT to record in Hi-Def. lol I’d really like your opinion on the topic, if you watched it. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for blogging tips or book writing tips, which are in actually just more writing tips, look at the page tabs above and click on one, then check out any of the articles on there. I actually have to update those, and by the time you see this post I hope to have done that. After all, writing and blogging are subjects I’ve talked about often enough here.

So, is this considered a short post or not? Eh; doesn’t matter. 🙂

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