All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Groundhog Day Your Way

Last week on my business blog I wrote a post called There’s Always A Chance To Start Again. The basic premise of that post was to say that no matter how many bad things happen in one’s life, you always have another chance to put it right, to start anew, and strive for better things. But I wondered a few days ago as to why one needs to wait until bad things are happening to start again.

I’ve never seen the movie Groundhog Day, but I know the premise. Basically the main character keeps reliving the same day over and over, Groundhog Day. Once he recognizes it he starts trying out all sorts of things, some crazy, some just plain stupid, but he doesn’t worry about it because he knows that when he wakes up again it will be Groundhog Day all over. Eventually he figures out that he needs to get on the straight and narrow and starts working his way towards things that will have a more positive effect on his life, even if it’s the same day all the time, because though no one else notices it, he starts growing within himself.

Life can be a lot like that if most of us give it a chance. I look at my life, for instance, and see how I’ve transformed myself many times over, and how I work on learning more and more because I know that every day really isn’t the same day, even if many other people live like it is. I see so many things as “today’s adventure” and I try to chronicle those things. Sometimes I end up writing about them, while other times I just let it roll around in my head to see if there was a lesson in there somewhere.

Where have I gone? I used to write music and now I write blogs and other items of nonfiction. I used to only read biographies, autobiographies, history and books on science and suddenly I’ve discovered the world of fiction, detective stories, Harry Potter, science fiction. I’ve been in health care for over 25 years, yet these days I’m as apt to work on social media and, of course, blogging.

I often wonder what the heck I’ll be doing 4 or 5 years from now that’ll be any different than what I’m doing now. I hope I’ve progressed in some fashion, but at least I know there will be something new going on.

Lately I’ve written about how blogging isn’t easy and how social media is a process. I needed to add something to the mix; actually, two somethings. One, as long as you can find a way to have fun with it, instead of making it a chore, it doesn’t matter if it’s hard or easy. You’ll at least love what you’re doing. And two, if you know what it is you hope to eventually be doing, then the process of getting there isn’t so bad at all because as you push forward you’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Or in this case the shadow that the light creates, because we all know that Punxsutawney Phil is seeing that shadow today, and we’re having six more weeks of winter. Where I live, that actually means we’ll have a spring, since our winters have a nasty habit of lasting into April, sometimes into May. Talk about your extended Groundhog Days! 😉

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My Top 5 Firefox Add-Ons

Suffice it to say, Firefox is my favorite browser. True, there are times when stuff acts up and I’m a little irked. Then again, what works perfectly all the time, right?

The best thing I love about Firefox is how you can customize it to do so many things for you. You can set it up to track stuff for you. You can set it up to connect with social media sites. You can set it up so you can change both the look of the browser and certain websites you visit. There’s just so much, thousands of things, that I decided to mention my top 5 here. One quick warning, though. Like people tell you with your blog, the more add-ons you activate, the slower your browser might run. If you have enough RAM, or run fewer than 15 add-ons, you’re probably good.

1. Adblock Plus – this is probably their most popular add-on, and with good reason. It blocks all types of ads, which is a great thing. Of course it’s not perfect. For instance, it blocks pop-up ads on news websites, but it can’t block those “subscribe” pop-ins you see on some blogs. It blocks Google Adsense ads unless you decide you want to see them. Since I visit lots of blogs sometimes I want to see what people are doing in case I want to try something. This one is a must have.

2. Stylish – I wrote about Stylish two years ago on this blog, so I’m not going to say much about it again except to say that right now what you see below is what my Wikipedia page looks like:

3. Rank Checker – This is a good plugin if you want to see where your website or other websites rank for search terms on the search engines Google, Yahoo or Bing. It’s great because you can add multiple search terms for one website and you can add multiple websites into one search as wel.

4. Greasemonkey – I’ve mentioned Greasemonkey before, but haven’t written a post about it so I’ll talk about it again here. This one lets you add code that other people have created that allows you to do things on websites that they might not want you to do. For instance, I can download any YouTube video I want to via a script I found. Also, many ads on Facebook are blocked, and many images will automatically pop up larger. It’s a great compliment to Stylish.

5. MultirowBookmarksToolbar – I don’t know why they didn’t separate the words, but I love this one as well. I had a lot of bookmarks, yet I only had the one row. That meant I had to keep clicking on this little arrow that was hard to see so I could see all the bookmarks that I wanted easier access to. With this addon it created 3 toolbar rows, though on the last one I only had 5 bookmarks and decided to trim a few out to get it down to 2 rows. Of course it works best if you have a monitor that has a lot of real estate, and since I have a 22″ widescreen it’s perfect.

And there you are. If you’re using Firefox do you have any favorites?

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SEO & Social Media Is A Process

“Digital marketing is not a one night stand.” – Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation

I have talked about both SEO and social media on this blog. I believe both are important for one’s online presence. After all, if you have a business website or any type of blog and you’re hoping people will find you, having your blog optimized properly gives you the opportunity to compete with the masses that might do what you do. And social media gives you the opportunity to continually drive people to your site by helping you to keep the masses informed in some fashion.


by Emanuele Tolomei

In Joel’s book, he mentions that it’s easier to connect with people online than it’s ever been before. He also says that it’s a process; very few people are going to reach everyone the first time out. That’s absolutely true. Most of us have been to blogs that talk about the same issues I mentioned above, as well as many other things. Sometimes these concepts sound so easy that they seem to lead people into believing that if they do any or all of these things that almost immediately people will be flocking to their websites and they’re going to make tons of money.

Life doesn’t work like that. Even if late night TV commercials promise you the moon, think about how long it’s been since a human has been to the moon again. Goodness, the first trip to the moon took 8 years, and landing on the moon took almost 10 years. If the analogy were taken to its next step then you realize that the moon might be attainable, but it’s not easy and it’s definitely time consuming.

I was talking to someone about this subject last week. The conversation got to how long it would take before her site really started seeing visitors and taking off. I answered that it was an unknown; it’s a question that is impossible to answer for almost everyone. There are so many factors involved that if anyone ever gives a blanket response to this one they’re lying and are going to take your money, then give you excuses later on.

This is just a quick cautionary tale. Any advice you get as far as driving traffic to your site or blog, take it for what it’s worth and just realize that it’s all going to take time, and that you’re going to have to continually work on the process. It’s definitely not a one night stand.

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Sunday Question – Who’s Your Favorite Musical Entertainer Of All Time?

This is either one of the easiest or hardest Sunday questions I’ve ever asked. I say that because, for me, there’s no content, and readers of this blog know my response already, and probably why.

Michael Jackson is my favorite entertainer of all time. I wrote the reason why on my business blog the day after he passed away. Throughout my life he just seemed to always be there when I needed a boost, and even now I can always think of a Michael Jackson song whenever I need something to help me think things through.

It’s amazing how music can touch all of our lives. I’m not sure that everyone knows when they started liking a particular musician or what song they might have heard that sparked something in themselves that they’d never ever want to give up. I know that I had heard many other songs beforehand that I liked, but wasn’t really tied into the musician.

For instance, I loved the song Daydream Believer by the Monkees, but I wasn’t a Monkees fan as far as the band was considered, though I watched the TV show. The same goes for Sugar Sugar by the Archies; loved that song, but it was a cartoon band after all. I didn’t learn until 10 years later that an actual band was traveling around in the early 70’s playing the music from that cartoon.

Anyway, that’s the question of the day. It’s not who your first musician entertainer was that you liked; it’s who your favorite is. Let’s see how you answer this one. And by the way, in lieu of an image, I share the “latest” song and video from Michael Jackson called Hold My Hand; I wonder how many of these will come out as the years go by.

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Don’t Mix All Your Social Media Stuff

Last week I wrote a post saying that social media isn’t for everyone. Well, some folks have found their way into the social media world and have gone gangbusters with it. This is both good and bad; I’m here to talk about some of the bad.

Without a doubt, the big 3 of social media right now are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Depending on your business, embracing one of those 3 will definitely help you get a lot of visibility. Some folks new to social media, yet very enthusiastic about it at the same time, have gotten into all 3 and are really feeling it.

However, there are some downsides of it for the rest of us. Here are a few things that I believe we don’t want to encourage all that often.

1. Don’t put all your tweets on your Facebook page, and almost none of them on your LinkedIn page. I’m not going to lie; I cringe when I see all those Twitter messages showing up in my stream on Facebook at the same time. Not like there isn’t enough to go through already, right? Especially from people who tweet a lot; it just becomes overwhelming. Some tweets definitely work in both places.

The same can’t be said for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is business networking; it needs to be held to a different standard. There’s nothing saying that something you posted on Twitter might not be legitimate to post on LinkedIn as well. It’s just that the way the message is delivered needs to be different. After all, Twitter is set up for very short messages; how do you convey yourself as a business professional on LinkedIn if you’re trying to do that same type of thing?

2. Be relatively discreet if you’re going to try to drive people to one of your other social media areas. Don’t keep putting a message out on LinkedIn to join your Facebook page; it totally takes away from attracting people to just join you on LinkedIn. The same goes for Twitter. It doesn’t hurt to mention here and there that you have a Facebook business page or a LinkedIn account, but doing it over and over diminishes the business aspects of each.

3. Be really discreet in whom you’re inviting to your Facebook account. Let’s face this fact; almost no one only has business messages showing up in their Facebook stream. Unless you block your wall entirely, which one of my Facebook friends has, you’re going to end up having messages show up that you might not want everyone you’re courting for business to see. As you notice on this blog, I have that Facebook badge directing people to my business page on that site. I don’t have anyone going to my main page, although they may end up there eventually.

4. Remember that you’re presenting yourself differently in each media. Your LinkedIn profile should be different than your Facebook business profile, and certainly much different than how you present yourself on Twitter.

Your LinkedIn profile should read more like a resume of sorts. You want to highlight things you’ve done as well as your business. The idea is to get people to contact you for business, pure and simple.

Your Facebook business page, if you have one, will only talk about the business or businesses you presently have and nothing else. You will pop information in there to help lend credence to your authority and hopefully try to get people engaged. LinkedIn isn’t great for engagement unless you join a separate group of some kind.

Twitter, for a business sense, is where you get to show some personality while highlighting some business issues, specials, etc. Done properly, you’ll show a nice mix of engagement and information, and hopefully people will pick up on it and then visit you in some capacity.

In all 3 cases, they need to be “you”, or a representation of your business, yet you should set about presenting yourself differently to fit the medium.

By the way, I will say there’s one thing where you should be linking the 3 in some fashion. If you write a blog, you need to find a way to make sure your blog posts show up on all 3 sites somewhere. That’s not quite linking these 3 as much as linking to all 3, but I wanted to get it out there because I think this is an important way to drive traffic to your business.

And there you go; my thoughts on it at least. How are you using these social media outlets, and are you trying to be different, or just pumping information out to see what catches on?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell