All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

When Behavior Isn’t Appropriate

Locally we had a tragedy last week. A young lady went missing, 20 years old, and many people mobilized very quickly in trying to find her. Her name was Jenni-Lyn, and unfortunately it didn’t end well. Last Saturday they found her body in a garbage bag, and they arrested her ex-boyfriend, someone who, it seems, didn’t quite feel the same way she did about ending the relationship.


Jenni Lyn

A friend of mine named Tim wrote about it in his blog, but he wrote about it with the title On Religion and Human Tragedy. In general, it was the aftermath of the event, when he went to church the next day, looking for some kind of mental peace, and instead was treated to what I’m calling the “same ol’ thing”. In other words, the person giving the sermon never mentioned the tragedy, instead going on about topics that are usually the staple of some religions.

I was feeling Tim as I was reading his post, for a slightly different reason. Three weeks ago I had a friend of mine pass away. She went for a surgery that, a week later, had complications that took her away from us. It took 10 days for her funeral, and of course my wife and I had to go.

The ceremony was going along normally. There was an opening prayer, a beautifully sung song I’d never heard before, then a parade of people who went up to the lectern and had lots of nice things to say about her. This part took a while to get through, but I learned through these people that she used to sing, that she had wanted to be a writer and actually had a poem published, and that she’d been mentoring a lot of young people over the years, even while raising her own two children.

After one more song, also sung beautifully, it was time for the reverend to give the eulogy. At first it was fairly calm and nondescript; he’d known her, and wanted to express his feelings upon hearing of her demise. I was ready for that part; I wasn’t ready for what came next.

Have you ever heard of “whooping”? It’s a style some preachers go into that, well, supposedly gets people worked up and gets the “spirit” into them. Here’s an example; you don’t have to watch the whole thing:


https://youtu.be/-Sl8rmguJig

I’m not religious, but I honor whatever ceremony people decide to have for their services. In this instance, I didn’t think any of it was appropriate. I felt that some of the things he was saying were out of line, and that irritated me. Another friend told me later on that I shouldn’t have taken any of what this man was saying literally, but I did and I thought that, with her children, ages 16 and 18, and her husband and mother, sitting in the front row, that it was out of place and unnecessary.

My wife and I were appalled. When he said she was ready to go to heaven, we got up and left. Seems he was just getting going, as I heard later on that he spoke at least another 30 minutes.

I wondered who all of that hollering was for. Many people jumped up and answered the call, but this wasn’t a Sunday morning church service. It wasn’t his congregation; truthfully, it wasn’t even his church. It was supposed to be a funeral service for someone I liked a lot; the focus was supposed to be on her.

I can’t say that he didn’t know his audience, but what I will say is that he didn’t know that there were many people in the church not ready for what he was about to deliver. I’ve been to a few black funerals, but never anything like that. There weren’t only people there who were church folks. People came to honor her memory; his presentation only talked about her half the time. If that had been one of my close relatives service I don’t know what I’d have done.


Joy Forbes

I understand that nothing is appropriate for everyone. But some things aren’t appropriate no matter who might think it’s fine. I don’t get to write a presentation for only black people if I know other people are going to be there. I don’t get to write a business presentation only for men if I know half the audience is going to consist of women. At least I shouldn’t. It’s not supposed to be about me but about the audience, the reason people are coming.

I feel I need to add this because it begs the rest of the question of what’s wrong with people. A day after the police found the body of the young lady in the picture above, some idiots hacked into a couple of websites that had been created in her memory and altered them in negative ways. There’s no clue as to who did it, but what has happened to common decency? I know if they’re ever caught someone’s going to say “we thought it was funny”; come on people, decorum!

To relate it to blogging, I guess that’s why I write what I do here in the manner I do. I mix it up because I figure it’s for any and every body. It’s also for me, but it’s not always about me. I hope you feel the same about your blogging space.

Rest in peace Jenni-Lyn; rest in peace “Mama” Joy.
 

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RockMelt Browser

Things are always changing in this world. One thing that really hasn’t changed all that much is the internet browser. Sure, there are many of them out here, and we all have our favorites for whatever reason they may be. But in general, a browser is a browser; right?

Well, maybe not. There’s a brand new browser, so new that it hasn’t really officially launched, although you can get it now if you so choose. It’s called RockMelt, and it’s pretty much been created to be a browser for folks whose lives are built around social media. It was brought to my attention by my friend Monica of Clarity Management Consulting.

There’s really no way I can explain it better than their own video explains it, so let me just share that with you so you can make up your own mind, and after watching the video, which is only about 2 1/2 minutes, let me know what your thoughts are.

And that’s not all. Flock, which called itself the original social media browser, has an update trying to compete with it; here’s that video:

New Flock from Flockstar on Vimeo.

Yup, a short post, but the videos are enough to keep you going. And in case you’re wondering, I’m sticking with Firefox for now, but if it keeps hanging on me from time to time… 🙂

Lighted Cloisonne Mickey & Pluto With Gift Christmas Figure






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Simply Hide Pages Plugin

You see all those things along the top of this blog? All of those are pages that I’ve created to share stuff with y’all. Anyone with a WordPress blog at least has an About tab up there, though some have even more pages than what I’m showing above.


Hide and Seek
by Dar’ya Sipyeykina

Here’s the thing. Sometimes you want to be able to write a page, yet not have it cluttering your list at the top. Actually, you don’t want it showing at all because you have a different idea you want to use it for. Yet, you still have to have pages, and you’d like some flexibility in what you want to show or not show.

The Simply Hide Pages plugin is one way you can go. I’m part of a health care group that’s kind of a consortium of people with different skills that they can offer to providers. I’m pretty much the website guy, even though I have other skills as well. I created their website, and I created their blog. One thing they wanted the ability to do was get articles up on one of their pages. But they were going to be tasked with sending me the entire article and having me create a new page each time.

With the above plugin, I told each of them to go to the blog, paste their article into the box, and save it as a draft post. What I then do is go to the post, go down to the area below that says “custom fields”, type “hide” in the first box, then where it says “value” type the number “1”. That’s it. When you then publish the article it’s there, but it won’t show up above.

What that allows me to do is only have to add a link to the articles page instead of adding lots of individual pages. Now, there’s a benefit and a negative to that. For SEO purposes, one negative could be that a site could lose a bit of the benefit of having an extra page if the blog isn’t hosted on the same site, which in this case it is so they don’t lose anything.

A benefit is if you wanted to create a membership site, or at least a membership area of your site, because you can have pages with your content, make it hidden, and feel confident that it’s not at the top of your blog. Yeah, some people might think to use their posts area for that type of thing, but I’m someone who believes there’s a major difference between what I’d put up as a post and what I’d put up as an article.

Anyway, there’s the plugin, and if you want to use it for any other reason that I haven’t mentioned at least now you know it’s there.

Gifts Under the Tree Tie by The American Necktie Co -  Red Microfiber

Gifts Under the Tree Tie by The American Necktie Co – Red Microfiber







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Traffic From My Campaign

As you know, last week I decided to take a shot at writing two posts a day, with the second daily post highlighting a product of mine. I thought that waiting a couple of days and then looking back at how it all went as far as traffic and analytics went would be an interesting thing to see.

I have to say that “interesting” really is the correct word for it; “well” definitely is not. Whenever you try something new, you need to have at least a couple of things you want to track as far as seeing what happened. In my case I wanted to see three things: one, would anyone actually read the product posts; two, would my traffic go up because I had two posts a day for a week (okay, six days); three, would I send any traffic to my other sites, where all my products ultimately reside.

Let me start with this; I never expected to sell a single product. If I’d gotten lucky maybe one or two sales might happen, but I wasn’t expecting it. That’s because this blog really isn’t for that type of thing. What I expect I’ll do is run the same exact series on my business blog, almost word for word, and see if it generates anything there, though that blog isn’t nearly as popular at this one.

Now, a quick look at my three things. The first was whether anyone would actually read any of the posts. Well, I think I knew someone would read them, but how many folks. It turns out not all that many. None of those posts made the top 10 visited articles for the week, though 5 of them made the top 20. That’s not so bad until you see the numbers overall.

That’s because now we have to look at the second thing, overall traffic. And my overall traffic was down for the week, even with two posts a day. It dropped precipitously after Monday, and by Saturday, I was showing visit numbers lower than normal. Okay, it was a holiday week in the U.S., so I’ll try to take that into consideration to a small degree, since most people still have internet access during holidays, but even I wasn’t as active online as I normally might be. I will say this, however; those folks that did read the product posts spent more time reading them than my normal average except for one post, so that’s a bright spot.

That brings me to the third thing, which is if I drove any traffic to my other sites. On this one I’d have to say that the word “drive” is ambitious. A couple of people came over and looked at a product, but left almost immediately; average page view time was 16 seconds. That’s on the business blog. On my SEO website, only 3 people clicked on the product, and it averaged 0 seconds; how does an analytic show 3 visitors and no time on a site? Well, it did; freaky.

What can I take away from this? Actually, I’m not sure. Do I go with my entry premise that almost no one would really care about my particular type of products on this site? Actually, I think I can say “yes” to that one. Is this an indictment against 2 posts on one day as being too much? I’m not as sure on that one, but it’s possible that it could have felt like overwhelm. Some folks might have seen two posts, been unsure which one to click, and just avoided both of them. Maybe Chris Brogan’s thought on multiple posts a day doesn’t work, but I can’t be sure about it. Will this type of thing work better on my other blog, where that’s really the audience I want to reach for at least some of these things? I’m not sure about that one either.

Hmmm, maybe this one wasn’t as scientific as I had hoped it might be in the long run. Too many extenuating circumstances to get a clear thought on it all. Then again, it gave me something to write about, and once again proves that one can find inspiration anywhere. You have any thoughts on it?

Casio Desktop Printing Calculator






Don’t “Stink”; Not Quite A Rebuttal

Last week, Mitch Joel wrote a post on his blog titled Don’t Suck. It’s a tongue in cheek yet kind of harsh statement on what you shouldn’t do if you don’t want certain negative things happening to you online or with your products.

Whereas I kind of like it, and I understand its purpose, I have to kind of counter it in saying that I don’t believe that it necessarily means you or me, well, stink (yeah, I changed up the word; so sue me, but I just don’t like that term) just because you have difficulties doing certain things or achieving certain results. True, there might be something lacking here and there, but that doesn’t mean you stink.

For instance, this missive: “If no one “like”s you on Facebook…” I’m not sure one thing has to do with the other. I see lots of things I like and comment on that I forget to “like”. I have many posts on this blog that people don’t end up “liking” for whatever reason. I see many things on Twitter that other people write that are very good with very few “likes”. I’m just not sure that a Facebook “like” is the end all – be all of one’s popularity or competence.

Another one is “If no one is leaving comments on your Blog…” I’ve talked about it often, as has Sire, in determining that some of the best writing we’ve seen will show up on blogs where almost no one comments, mainly because bloggers haven’t quite figured out the community part of it all. True, there are some folks that have no real sense of community that will do very well, but I tend to think that’s more of a fluke than the norm.

Finally there’s this one: “If no one is clicking on your banner ads…” Almost no one clicks on any of my banner ads, and I think that pertains to lots of other people who blog. Does that mean we all stink, or does it mean that people just aren’t clicking on them because it’s not why they’re visiting your blog, or even website, if you have a sales website, so to speak? Even if I happen to write about a product and add the link to it at that point, and no one clicks on it, does that necessarily mean I stink, or anyone else stinks, because no one clicks on it? And, by extension, does it mean I stink if no one visits any of the products I posted last week on this blog, even if none of those products apply to the audience I’m writing to? Or do I stink because I know the folks visiting this blog aren’t the market for those products and I wrote it anyway?

As I said, I really do understand the premise behind the post, which is this; “be good!” Heck, it’s probably “be outstanding”. Those who exceed will achieve better than those who are just middlin’, who don’t give full effort, who leave the public wishing for more. If you can go over the top with what you do and people see it, they’ll flock to you and your products and you’ll do well. If you don’t give your all, or you present something lackluster that people feel they were cheated on, not only might they ask for a refund but they’re going to spread the word about you and, unless you’re really big already, you’re going to suffer. That’s never good.

I hope you read Mitch’s post (yeah, I like the name :-)) because overall it’s pretty good.


Vantec DSH-200U2 Laptop Docking Station
from Tiger Direct
 

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