All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…

I was alerted to a post written by our friend Holly titled Spammerview. It’s a very witty representation of the problem most of us have with spam, told in a story form that, while you’re reading it, easy captures all the different types of spam we seem to be getting these days.


No Spam by David Hegarty

My mind harkens to last week when I keep thinking I saw a post titled something like “Does More Spam Mean I’m Successful”? I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile, and I’m starting to think that there almost has to be a direct correlation between spam and how well your blog is going. After all, does anyone get all that much spam if no one is visiting your blog?

I still get a few one liners here and there, but today’s spam is definitely getting a bit more sophisticated. As I wrote about spam back in July, some of it actually seems to be on topic sometimes, though if you read it well you can tell, especially when the same message appears on other posts at the same time. Another trick is its copying someone else’s comment on your post and using it as theirs, which might be hard for some people to remember if they have lots of comments on that post. And finally, now some of the spam actually figures out your name via the name of the author of the post, and that might make you think, at least initially, that it’s legitimate.

Days ago I had a review of this blog written by Forum Spotlight, which was very nice, and the first comment was a spam comment. How do I know? It never mentioned my blog, which it supposedly didn’t like, and it talked about all the images, and it said it liked images being transparent. If images are transparent you can’t see them, so it’s spam; by the way, I hope you drop over there to take a look at it.

I just think we’re going to be stuck with spam, but I’ve decided that, as much as I hate it, I’m going to do whatever I can to increase how much of it I’m getting, because that might eventually mean I’m rocking this mug! 🙂

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Cuisipro® Ice Cream Maker – 1 Quart






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The Art Of Public Speaking

Most of you know I’ve been doing these workshops and seminars on social media marketing. You might even know I’m now doing another seminar on October 2nd locally; I’ll be creating my “sticky post” about it soon. I’ve had many people come to me and say “I could never stand in front of others and give a presentation.”


English Speaker
by Fabio Trifoni

I can honestly say that I can see why it would freak people out. One of the issues with blogging is that we all put our thoughts and beliefs out here for the masses, and at some point someone could come along, say something bad about it, and pretty much ruin your day. If that happens in person, it could feel like it’s even worse than blogging.

The fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, alternates almost yearly as the biggest fear of most people, only supplanted by death. It’s hard for someone like me to believe that people can actually have that much fear of speaking to others, but I guess it could be because there are way more opportunities to speak than there are to die, morbid as that sounds.

I have never had an issue with public speaking. Even as a kid, I could get in front of a room of other kids and do my thing. I’m not really sure how, since I have my periods of being an introvert, and other periods where I’d just rather be hidden and not have to worry about people looking at me. However, I guess those periods where I have to do what I have to do come out, and after all, how could one want to be a public speaker if one couldn’t figure out how to speak in front of others?

So, what are the basics of the art of public speaking? Here are my 5 basics, some of which I’m assuming you’ll have seen elsewhere, and some of which I hope I’m the first one who’s saying it, but I doubt I am.

1. You need to like what you’re talking about. How come you can tell jokes to a group of your friends at a party? Why is it that every kid in the world can learn song lyrics to music they like yet can’t pass a history test? Because you liked the joke when you heard it, or kids liked the song they were listening to. It’s why many guys can quote some of the most obscure sports stats sometimes. If you like what you’re talking about then it’s an easier thing to deal with.

2. You need to know what you’re talking about. Our new friend Patricia knows a lot about lavender, and I hope you’ve visited her blog. If I asked her to talk about RAC audits (don’t ask) she’d be way out of her league. She’d probably sweat and get really nervous and try to do some research, if she even agreed to talk on it at all, but she’d never get comfortable with the topic. The same goes for me and lavender; I know what it is, I like the smell, and I’ve used the oil, but there’s no way I could ever get up and talk about it. If you know your topic, it becomes easier to talk about it.

3. You need to rehearse what you’re talking about. When I’m going to be giving a presentation, I go into the living room and I rehearse. I go there because my wife has four mirrors on one wall, and that gives me the opportunity to practice looking around the room so that when I’m doing it live I’ll remember to do that same thing. Even when I’ve done the couple of webinars and podcasts that I’ve been asked to do, I’ve rehearsed as if I was giving a live presentation in front of others. Even Zig Ziglar, who’s been giving presentations for more than 40 years, says that he rehearses before each speaking engagement, even if he’s speaking on a topic he’s addressed in the past.

4. You’re allowed to have notes or outlines or anything else you need to help you stay on point. Most of the time when I’m giving long presentations, I will have a powerpoint presentation along with me. When I rehearse I always have an outline to work with to make sure I stay on point. When I’m putting on a relatively short presentation, as I did with my Keys To Leadership seminars, I did them without notes, but because I had rehearsed I know what I was going to talk on and only had to memorize the topics. People who come to watch you give a presentation aren’t looking for perfection all the time; they’ve either come for the knowledge or because they like you as a speaker.

5. Remember that the majority of people who are there to see you are not only there to hear what you have to say, but they’re sitting there amazed at how brave you are because they can’t see themselves standing in front of anyone doing what you’re doing. That’s actually the first thing to try to recognize once you’re close to giving a presentation. The difference between a good and bad presentation often comes down to confidence. If a speaker can project an air of confidence, people will be on their side. No one wants to see any speaker fail, especially if one is interested in the topic. Of course, don’t be so overconfident that you forget why people are there in the first place either.

Performance Gear UHF Wireless Handheld Microphone System



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Recovering Old Blog Posts

Back in 2005, I started my first blog, which was my business blog. It was going along okay until March of 2006, when things started looking a little shaky with the hosting company. My friend Kelvin had learned that the hosting company was having issues, while at the same time trying to get someone to buy them out.


Google Logo by Keso

Lo and behold, in April everything just up and crashed. By crashed, I mean all their servers went at once, including the servers that they used to back things up. In an instant, all was gone, and it looked like it was gone for good.

Luckily, I had all the pages for my website on my computer, and was able to get that back up quickly once we moved to a different host. However, the blog was totally gone. I had to make a decision; start all over or give up the ghost and move on with my life.

On a fluke I realized that I could actually recover all of my posts via Google. It seems they had cached every post I’d written; whew! However, now was the long part. I had to look up each post individually, copy it to my computer, then paste it into my blog space. I decided I wanted them in date order as much as possible, but I know I didn’t get them all in there properly. At a certain point I didn’t care. I had recovered about 125 posts, and decided to leave some that really didn’t say much alone. It literally took me about 12 to 14 hours to do it all, but I got it done. That was one of the ugliest days I’d ever put in, but I felt it was necessary to get it all in.

Of course, most folks would say just to backup your blog and it will all be just fine. Actually, that’s not totally true. Depending on your host, it’s possible that your backup file will be much too big to just move over. That’s the problem I ran into when I was trying to upgrade my blog to PHP5. The size of the file I backed up was around 4.3 MB, which isn’t super huge to me, but the largest file one could import to my server was only 2.5MB. Luckily I was able to convince them to help me out, as they said it wasn’t something they normally did for their customers. And I was glad I didn’t have to do it for my other blogs, which were already on PHP5 but weren’t showing it until I did what was required of me in that post above.

I mention this because there’s a possibility that I might be doing a recovery project for someone that’s going to involve this, as well as image searches for the posts. It can be a long and detailed project, but it’s nice to know that the search engines cache that stuff and gives you an opportunity to recover whatever you need for at least a short period of time.

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Sunday Question: What’s Your Favorite Pet Animal?

Suffice it to say yesterday had periods of being depressed. Therefore, it’s time to lighten the mood a little bit.

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I love dogs, especially puppies. We don’t have a pet because my wife says she’s not having any animal messing up any rugs she’s probably going to end up laying on. I can’t dispute that, because I know dogs sometimes just have to drag their behinds along the floor. Nope, not in that kind of mood!

I love looking at dogs and puppies and I like playing with other people’s dogs here and there, although I have to admit that when they don’t calm down I do start getting irritated here and there. One thing some owners need to learn is that not everyone appreciates their pets jumping up and down on them, especially unfamiliar pets.

Dogs are pretty much the only pets I like. I can tolerate cats, and often it seems I’m a cat magnet. Some of them have been fine, while others… let’s just say I’m not a fan of cats who can’t control their claws. And please, don’t come to me, have me petting you, then swipe at me and run away. Dogs don’t do that; course, they also rarely just walk away either. 🙂

So, on what I hope is a calm Sunday, what’s your favorite pet?


10% OFF Iams Dry Dog Food dog.com

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9/11/01 9 Years Later; Never Forget

A relatively short post today. Last Sunday I asked your thoughts about 9/11/01. All week long I thought briefly about it, but wasn’t getting too deep into it because, well, it seemed that life was going on, and people were saying they were ready to move on.

I changed my mind. I’m not really going to dwell on it all day long. However, it’s important to show a few images from that day, some very disturbing things, and then close with something sort of positive, though not exactly what I wanted to show. And this article is posting at the time the first plane hit.

This first clip is of the first tower of the World Trade Center being hit. There’s graphic language, but I believe it can be forgiven this one time:

This next clip is of the second tower of the World Trade Center being hit, with commentary about the first one going on before you see it. Strange thing that there’s not a single clip of anyone on the other side of the WTC getting a real shot of it being hit, but seeing this plane, which I saw live at the time, is still chilling after all these years.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any real clip of the Pentagon after it was hit, and the same obviously goes for the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. The folks who helped take that plane down and giving their lives for many others took a lot of courage, and in my mind they were heroes as well as anyone else.

This next clip was the first large assembly of people in the country after this event took place, and I watched it live because I wondered what they would do. The WWE has always been upfront in its support of the troops of this country, and they didn’t let me down here.

This final clip isn’t the one I wanted to show, but NBC has a lock on the copyright and, to date, has never allowed the clip to be seen by anyone after the first few copies got out. Saturday Night Live did a show 4 days later, which was the opening show of the new season. They asked Paul Simon to come in and sing The Boxer, and had Mayor Rudy Guiliani and a host of police and firemen standing behind him as he performed the song by himself with just his guitar. I thought it was drastically inspiring, and why NBC has kept a lid on it I’ll never know. No matter; here’s a different clip of Paul Simon singing the same song, in an odd way more of what New York City used to be than it is now, or actually was on 9/11/01.

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