All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

How Can You Get Noticed On Other Blogs?

I’ve talked about two things on this blog often enough. One is that I want to be known as a big time blogger, or whatever; I just want to be big (and I don’t mean ‘body’). Two, that there are always ways to find inspiration for things to write about if you just pay attention.


Links
by Penelope Billington

In this case there were two different blog posts I visited that gave me a little bit of inspiration to write this one. The first was from a guy named Dragos (I’m trying to remember where I found him first), who wrote a post titled 5 Unusual Ways To Measure Your Online Reputation, where he talks about how he started to learn that he might be successful. One of his points was being quoted on other, non-related blogs.

The second was from a guy named Mitch Joel, who writes a weekly post along the lines of this one that begins with Six Links…; this particular post is his 20th. He doesn’t just pop up links to blogs he’s visited, but websites as well.

My thought on both of these is just what is it that makes people quote worthy, let alone link worthy? And how do we all capture that? Kristi of Kikolani has her weekly Fetching Friday series, which I’ve made a couple of times here and there, but hers are all topic related; if the topic is WordPress then she puts up 5 links that talked about something related to that. So even though it’s nice when you make it, you’re never going to be listed there “just because.”

I read a lot of blogs. One thing I’ve noticed I do that not as many other people do is link to a lot of other blogs, as well as my own blog, in my posts. I like acknowledging other people when I’m talking about a particular subject, even if it ends up not actually being what I’m writing about, if it inspired me in some fashion. And I’ve been known to link to someone else’s blog if I mention their name on this one as well.

Overall, what makes one link worthy to others? Is there a magic formula for success in that area or is it always just a roll of the dice? People who join blog communities think of it as visiting other blogs and leaving comments, but I think that kind of thought is limiting because commenting isn’t the only thing that helps uplift others. I mean, for what it’s worth, I just gave the two people above some serious link love, whether they care or not. And over the last few weeks I’ve visited blogs and seen people commenting that I had never seen on those blogs before, mentioning they had seen me mention them and wanted to see what those blogs were all about. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have helped bring someone else’s blog into the eyes of folks who visit here all the time.

Unfortunately, this time I don’t have a formula or even an idea. It’s just something I wanted to talk about to see if anyone else has thoughts on it all. Yeah, I know, that’s a lot to think about for a Monday. But think about how it might make the rest of your week go so much easier. 🙂


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Sunday Question – When Do You Like To See New Movies?

The next two weekends are going to be big for me.

This coming Friday is the movie Skyline, and I’m really looking forward to watching it, even though I have to admit it looks a little frightening, and I don’t like frightening. But I like alien movies, so this should work out just fine. Then the following Friday is the latest Harry Potter movie, and as you probably know I’m a major fan of the franchise. I’ve spent this week watching all the movies again so that I’m totally caught up to date on what’s going on. I’d have done all the books again, but I don’t have that kind of time. Besides, I’ve done the last book 3 times already; that should be enough, right?

Skyline trailer

I’m one of those people who loves seeing new movies on the first day. I do that because I don’t want someone ruining it for me by telling me how it ends. I don’t like taking that chance. Now, I have to own up and say that I don’t really go out and see a lot of new movies. I have my particular styles of movies, thus it makes people say I’m picky (watch, my friend Scott will come over and say something sarcastic about this one). I’m trying to think of this year, and I can only think of fouree movies I absolutely had to see in 2010, those being How To Train Your Dragon, Legend of the Guardian, Despicable Me, and the Last Airbender, and I enjoyed all three. Yeah, I’m a big kid at heart. lol

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows trailer

I know some people hate going to see new movies immediately because of crowds. Some people hate seeing them because of the costs. And some just don’t watch movies at all (Rummuser comes to mind). For those of you who do like movies, and will go to the theater to watch one, when do you like going to see them? Oh, by the way, did you remember to turn your clocks back?





Harry Potter
Hardcover Book Set
by J. K. Rowlings

 

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My Top 10 Favorite Operas

Every once in awhile I like to put together a post like this one. Most of the time they don’t get a lot of comments because, well, I figure that folks may look at something like this as taking a lot of time, and I know that the particular style of music or movie doesn’t fit everyone.


Opera Singer by Cliff

So why do I do them? Two reasons.

One, because I have lots of interests, and I like to share my thoughts on things every once in awhile.

Two, because I like to consider myself kind of a renaissance guy, and I know a lot of people wouldn’t think that I would be the type of guy to like some of the things I do. I don’t know why not, though; after all, I did do a post showing my 19 favorite classical pieces, my top 10 disco favorites, and my 13 favorite singers, and on the first and third some of what’s below is repeated.

Why opera?

First, I was a music and history major in college, and I grew to enjoy opera a lot while in college, probably because of music history class, where we had to listen to all sorts of songs and be able to give all sorts of information about what we were listening to.

Second, as I listened to a lot of this stuff, I realized just how many of these songs were in the Warner Brothers cartoons I grew up watching and loving.

Third, my dad loved classical music and loved to sing, and every once in awhile he’d be watching opera on TV and I’d sit and listen with him. Whenever I’m on the road, the day I come home always starts with an opera in the early morning, and when it’s done then it’s time for something upbeat. But opera always comes first. 🙂

Did I always know what was going on? Not even close! Sometimes I did, and when I started going to operas, they’d have the lyrics posted above the stage so you can kind of follow along. You see in English what they’re saying in other languages. I’ll tell you the truth, most of the time I love the choruses more than the solo performances, probably because I was in a choir, and my dad loved choir music a lot.

What you see below are my top 10 favorites, in reverse order. I’m not giving the kind of detail I often do with these things, but I will tell a few stories before I start.

For instance, the reason Carmen is at the top of my list is because it’s the first opera I ever saw live.

Porgy & Bess is here because I knew a lot of songs from it before I ever knew it was an opera, and almost all black people at the same time; imagine my surprise at that one.

Lohengrin is on here because I had always planned on having a chorus at my wedding singing the Wedding March, which comes from it, but of course that didn’t happen.

Hansel & Gretel is the first opera I ever remember seeing on TV, and I watched it with my dad.

Most of the rest… well, I love the love stories in operas, even though they don’t usually end well, and most of these are, to a degree, love stories. The Mikado; it just makes me laugh.

Who says I don’t have culture? Anyway, that’s that; enjoy!

10. Tristan & Isolde


https://youtu.be/OAEkTK6aKUM

9. Otello (Kiri Te Kanawa)


https://youtu.be/0EtH3ErPaHo

8. Madame Butterfly (movie)


https://youtu.be/XcQNjV-YSiM

7. Romeo & Juliet


https://youtu.be/VpYXKgg-oWo

6. HMS Pinafore

https://youtu.be/zRhdtpWmzi4

5. Hansel & Gretel


https://youtu.be/-TstW0w3xFc

4. Lohrengrin (wedding march)


https://youtu.be/oqp6zinI7ok

3. Porgy and Bess

(On this one, if you remember the TV show The Jeffersons, the lead singer here was the second Lionel, before they went back to the original for the last year)

2. The Mikado


https://youtu.be/1NLV24qTnlg

1. Carmen


https://youtu.be/K2snTkaD64U

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Four Things I’ve Noticed Lately

I love visiting a lot of blogs and leaving comments where I can. Because I’m all over the place, I tend to start noticing some things that maybe others hadn’t noticed. There are 4 things in particular I’m going to mention today.


by Steven Bridger

The first is that I’ve noticed on many blogs this thing at the bottom of the comment area asking me to click the box to prove I’m not a spammer. I thought that was a little odd until it hit me that it’s come about because of a new plugin called the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin, created by Gail Gardner and Andy Bailey. This is in response to problems they and others have had with Akismet, something I don’t have a problem with but I understand the issue. Many people have said they haven’t had a single bit of spam since adding it; a couple of people said they’re still getting some. Still, it might be a nice addition for some of you to check out.

The second is that I’ve noticed that WordPress.com blogs aren’t sending me email asking me to subscribe to comments anymore. Man, that was greatly irritating to me, as you know if you’ve read this blog, because that’s the reason I was hesitant to leave comments on those blogs, just as I still am with Disqus blogs. I also noticed that I haven’t gotten that message from the last two Intense Debate blogs I wrote a comment on as well. Now, here’s the other side of that. To date, I’ve only gotten two notifications from blogs I’ve left a comment on as it pertains to any of these, and both were WordPress blogs. This tells me that either the owners of the blogs have to go in and select to send notifications to people they respond to or it just doesn’t work for everyone for some reason. I’ve tested this by going back to see if people have responded to a comment of mine, and if they have then I know I never got the notification. I’ll just ask those of you who have WordPress blogs on their site to check out your settings.

The third thing I’ve noticed seems to be happening only to me, unless other Firefox users have seen it but haven’t said anything. This is in relation to the CommentLuv plugin, which I absolutely love. Lately it seems I visit some blogs, write a comment, and the CommentLuv thing doesn’t see my blog. I thought that was wonky and decided to write the folks about it. However, I closed my blog once, popped it back up, went to the same site and put my information in and suddenly it was working again. This tells me the problem is with Firefox and not CommentLuv. I have absolutely no idea what that’s about or how to fix it. I do know that I went through the last update for Firefox and maybe it’s related to that somehow. But I haven’t been able to find on the search engines where anyone else has complained about this.

The fourth thing is that it seems that Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12) isn’t fully working properly. In this case, if I write a post in advance, when it posts Twitter Tools doesn’t show it. It probably took me a couple of weeks to notice this, and it seems to be holding true for all 3 of my blogs. If I post immediately, it goes there, but otherwise, it’s a no-show. This is problematic because I write most of my posts beforehand and schedule them, and if I have to go back and post the link manually it defeats the purpose of having the plugin to begin with. On this one I’ve seen other people complain, but to date there’s been no real fix for the issue, though many think it’s related to the Twitter oAuth thing we all had to do back in August.

That’s all I have. If you’ve noticed anything odd, or wish to comment on any of the above, please share.


Buy Team Comforters at FansEdge.com

 

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Can You Change Writing Styles?

Last week I was reading a guest blog post on another blog when the writer wrote one specific line: “Get to the point as quickly as possible, say it in as few words as possible, and you’re done.”


by Markus Rodder

And he was. For a guest post I was thinking how relatively short the piece was. Frankly, it didn’t have a lot of personality in it, but I overlooked that so I could think about it some over the weekend. I don’t remember the blog, but I’ve heard and read that statement many times before, and thought it deserved to be addressed.

I tend to believe that we all need to learn how to write for the moment and purpose. As you may know, I do a lot of writing, not only for myself but for others. When I write on this blog, you’re “hearing” my voice, the way I normally speak. When I write on my business blog, sometimes you don’t hear the same type of conversational voice, sometimes you do. It depends on the topic. Actually, even on this blog you’ll see that when I’m talking about something technical, or a step-by-step process, it’s pretty straight forward.

I write for a couple of different industry blogs. One is real estate, and for the most part it’s fairly flat writing because, well, there’s really nothing about real estate that allows for much conversation and deviation except for the news about the industry. Where I differ there is that I don’t just write about the news; I kind of give an opinion about that particular bit of news and then hopefully end on a happy note to encourage people to continue looking to buy. Overall though, it’s pretty straight forward; nothing extraneous.

That differs with a wedding blog I write. I have a lot of fun with that one. It’s a mix of news, recommendations, and opinions. I’ve gotten really good with that topic, and thus I have a lot of fun with it and I put a lot of personality into the writing. Yet it still remains upbeat at all times, as well as instructional. If you saw any of the posts on that blog (sorry, can’t share the link), you probably wouldn’t know it was me if you compared it to this blog because I use a different “voice” for it.

Same thing with writing papers for others, whether it’s white papers or term papers, so to speak. In those instances those papers are very straight forward, no personality whatsoever, because they’re purpose is to explain, not entertain. Also, I know that the person with a term paper is going to have to change up some of the language so it looks like they wrote it; it has to sound like them, and I don’t know those people to try to sound like them.

I think what makes a person’s blog different is how they decide to use their language to enthrall our mental ear so that we see them as unique, entertaining, and worth giving time to. On this blog, I often try to use a storytelling technique when I’m talking about things because I’ve found with my newsletter that people really started sharing it with others, and thus it started growing, when I went to that format. I think we all like stories; who here can honestly say they didn’t enjoy having their parents read stories to them as a child?

Of course, there are times when getting to the point is imperative. If you’re asked a certain question or want a certain answer, you don’t want someone to pontificate for 45 minutes then tell you what you want to know; you want your answer now. That’s one of my gripes with how many people conduct webinars and podcasts, and why the hairs on my neck go up with many of the free presentations that say they’re going to tell you how to do something, then spend hours telling you everything except that to get you to buy something from them. Promising something and not delivering; I hate that.

Just something to consider when you’re writing your blog. To me, this is imminently more important than sitting around thinking about SEO when writing your post. Boring keeps people away; entertain them, and they’ll keep coming back for more. Kind of like adding a video as an entertaining touch:

San Francisco Giants Shirts : Majestic San Francisco Giants Black 2010 World Series Champions Having Fun Caricature T-Shirt

San Francisco Giants Black 2010 World Series Champions T-Shirt






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