All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

What Message Are You Trying To Project?

A strange thing happened to my wife and I last Saturday.

Some Saturday mornings, we decide to go to what’s known as the Regional Market of Central New York. People from all over central New York sell all sorts of things there like fruits and vegetables, candies and cakes, candles and perfumes, fish, clothes, foods, etc. My wife goes almost every Saturday. I’m kind of a part time guy; I invariably have a good time (when it’s warm weather), but you have to go early if you want to be close to everything, otherwise you could have a long walk coming.

This Saturday was going along like any other. I was saying hello to babies, being my naturally friendly self, while my wife was looking at produce that she and a friend were going to share later. This particular week there happened to be a Christian group booth in the middle of one of the display areas, and as we got there I got distracted by some honey roasted cashews on a table to my right. I’m not sure what my wife was doing, as she was slightly behind me, but I heard the man ask her if she would take a flyer he wanted to give her. She politely said no, and his response was “are you ready to die?”

Because I knew she wasn’t in danger I didn’t turn around, but kind of out loud I said “I’m thinking that’s not the best sales pitch I’ve ever heard.” The women in front of me heard it and laughed, and one of them turned around and gave me a high five. I accepted it, but I was thinking “what the heck was that all about?”

In the next display area we came to, a man was smiling and holding out his flyers. This time I said no thanks and walked on, but my wife decided to take his flyer. On the front was what you see in the image: Muslims for Peace. Later on, while sitting in the car while my wife went into a new hair salon to ask some questions, I pulled the flyer out and read through it, and found it somewhat illuminating.

No, I’m not about to go out and become a Muslim. However, I have to say that the two messages my wife and I got literally within minutes of each other were drastically striking and contrary. If my only experience ever with both Christianity and Islam had been these two men, you know which way my support would have gone. The way information was presented was way different, and even though I understand the message the Christian man wanted to convey to my wife, in a public forum with lots of other people around and one chance to make a good impression, he uttered a statement that could have been taken as a threat, but was definitely taken as one of strange intolerance for someone else’s position, all from deciding she didn’t want a flyer.

Lately here I’ve been talking about influence and social media marketing, but in the past on my other blog I’ve talked about consequences and perception. Giving people a reason to dislike you more because you said something wrong rather than stating an opinion someone else may or may not like is almost never worth it if you really care about getting business, making friends, etc. I’ve talked a lot about how social media can be your friend, but sometimes it can also hurt your online and offline business if your timing is bad and your words not quite correct. Of course, as I’ve always said, if you’re ready to deal with the consequences you can say anything you want.

Of course, I have no religion or faith, so I’m not going to be changing to anything any time soon. Still, if I were at Hogwarts I’d probably have given 50 points to some house and taken 50 points away from another. I wonder who ended up scoring better on the day once my wife and I left last Saturday.

Love Couture Love Peace Sequin Tunic






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Images Used By Permission & Copyright Laws – Guest Post

Following up on my post yesterday titled The Quest For Legitimate Images, I was able to convince my friend Scott Thomas to write this post explaining his position on the topic as well as giving us some insight into the issue.

Used by permission of Scott Thomas Photography

Mitch and I were discussing the use of photos on this blog a couple of weeks ago. I told him he should find the person who took any photo he uses on his blogs to ask permission to use it. What he said disturbed me and I find it is a prevalent attitude found around blogs, websites and even in advertising and other media. He said if he can not find the person who created the photo and sees it in other locations, he saw no reason not to use it.
Continue reading Images Used By Permission & Copyright Laws – Guest Post

The Quest For Legitimate Images

There are times when you battle with ethical issues, and you’re either ready to give up on them or just move on. I don’t struggle with that issue often, but once I think about something that involves an ethical decision, I just have to work my way through it.

photo by ryancr

This time, the ethical thing concerns images that I’ve been putting into this blog. Truth be told, for me there were two issues out there. One, those images that you knew belonged to someone else, and two, those that you couldn’t confirm.

Of course, there’s been the debates and the discussions I’ve seen online. My friend Scott, who has a photography blog, got me into a discussion one day on the topic. My point to him is that I have papers filed with the government proving my copyright, that I can put a symbol on any of my work (I’ve got music and my first book copywritten), and that by adding that copyright symbol at the end of my stuff (and, these days, that copyright thing you see at the end of most of my posts), show that I own the copyright. However, with images, if there’s no watermark, or no copyright symbol on a website, or no attribution anywhere, that it becomes very difficult to figure out whether an image has a copyright or not. His belief is that one can always find it; mine is that at times it’s literally impossible.

Regardless, the issue is still out there. Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to do this for every image, because I sometimes get an image from Imagekind, which I’m an affiliate for, and of course there are times when you know someone put together a mashup of sorts that, if there’s a copyright that’s been violated, so be it, but there is a way to help get around this type of thing.

If you notice, today’s image and yesterday’s image has attribution. It turns out that you can get images from Flickr, a site I’d never gone to unless someone sent me a picture they wanted me to send and it was there, and find images you can use. Seems there’s this search function you can select that will find photos based on a description you put in and, most of the time, they allow you to use the image if you give them attribution and link back to their Flickr page with the image.

I’m not going to portray myself as any kind of genius for figuring this out, however. I got the information from Hubspot’s story titled How To Use Creative Commons To Add Images To Your Blog. There’s a video there, and I’m really glad because I wouldn’t have figured it out without that. And there’s one other thing. Something they tell you that you can do in the video is actually something you can only do if you have a Flickr account, which I won’t because I don’t have any photos that I’m ever going to pop up on any site like that. So, I have to do it the long way, write my code and add the image in a much different way. But no matter; at least I’ve found a place where, if I use those images, I know I’m in the clear.
 

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Do I Know Social Media Marketing?

You know, often we think we know something but we’re never really sure. I did that workshop on social media marketing in July, and I have another one in 9 days. Still, I acknowledge that I have a shortcoming or two.


photo by birgerking

Actually, my main shortcoming is that I don’t know about all the technologies that are out there. For instance, there’s probably 50 different applications that can access Twitter, yet I found one that I liked and I’ve stuck with that one. There are many websites that one can sign up for that can access all your social media accounts, but that type of thing isn’t quite my style so I haven’t kept up with them. In other words, some of my technological knowledge is lacking.

Last Tuesday I found myself at a business meeting with an organization that I’m putting together a website for. Actually, it wasn’t quite confirmed that I was doing it, but I went to the meeting thinking that we were going to be talking about something else. Instead, the website and I turned out to be the topic of the entire meeting, especially talking about social media marketing. For 90 minutes I held court, giving advice and answering every question that came my way, and finally the guy who’d invited me told everyone there that they had just gotten a large amount of free advice that I could probably have charged big bucks for. One other guy there said that I had given him more information in 90 minutes than he’d been able to learn in 3 years. I also got some other platitudes later on; I just wish businesses realized that not everyone drinks coffee, so I need to remember to bring my own drinks.

So what did I tell them? Wouldn’t you like to know? lol I’ll give away a couple of things. One, I told them that trying to do a social media marketing plan takes time, no matter what type of plan they go for, and as a consortium of independent business people, they were going to have to agree on a plan and who would be doing what.

I talked to them about blogging and how it’s kind of a community, but that there are many ways to build your community. In their model, they’ll be sending out a once a month newsletter and a once a week email, so they can put links to blog posts there. I also told them how they could post their own article via the “pages” option within the blog, and that I would take that link and add it to their articles page. The blog will be put into a subdomain on their website. I recommended at least one post a week, and when asked what would happen if all of them wrote articles on the same day, not only did I say I didn’t see it happening, but that when they went to write actual blog posts that they’d see the previous blog articles with date and time, and could postdate articles so they’d post at another time.

And of course we talked about LinkedIn, Twitter, webinars, forums, etc. I don’t see them doing much of any of these things, but one never knows. Meanwhile, I felt good about myself as I left; it seems that I do know some of this stuff, and I’m happy about that.

Office Star Air Grid Back Leather Chair with Platinum Finish Metal Base - 3680

Office Star Air Grid Back Leather Chair with Platinum Finish Metal Base






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Firefox, I Love Ya But…

Firefox and I have always had a love – less love kind of relationship. I left Netscape for Firefox and I never looked back; I often thought that maybe I killed Netscape (no, we all know who killed it), but it didn’t matter. Firefox was better than IE, and that’s all that used to matter.

There are just so many things to love about Firefox. I love the add-ons. I love how I can change the look. I love how I can go into the config.about settings and change stuff if I really want to (don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing). I love how it’s just a bit more protection than IE. I love the tabs. Frankly, there’s not much I don’t like about it.

And yet, there is something I don’t like, something that’s irked me for years, the one thing that I just can’t overcome. Sometimes Firefox hangs, and when it does, that’s it. By hangs, I mean that it just suddenly stops. You can’t do anything because it’s pretty much said it’s had enough. You can’t even go into the task manager and turn it off; I mean, how many programs do that?

I have researched this issue for years and tried to find a workaround. It was suggested to remove Zone Alarm because they don’t play well together; I tried that. It was suggested that maybe it was AVG; I tried that. It was suggested to change your profile; I tried that. Nothing has worked. There have been some suggestions that I don’t have the technical knowledge for, so those I haven’t tried. However, my thought is that someone at Mozilla, the group that makes Firefox, would have addressed the issue at some point.

You know what? Never. Now, that’s a strange one, isn’t it? Through all the forums they have, with this issue coming up often enough, not a single Mozilla person has ever chimed in with a fix. They won’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem; isn’t that weird? I mean, even Microsoft eventually came clean on the dog that is Vista (which I’m still stuck on). And folks, it’s not Vista that’s hanging Firefox, because I had the same issue under XP.

So, I’m stuck. I’m not crazy about Opera, even though it’s never hung on my system, and I’m not a major fan of Chrome. Don’t even try to talk me into, what, IE 8 or 9 now? I guess I’m stuck in “bootup loop” city, and I’m not overly happy about it. There just has to be a solution, right? Someone? Anyone?

8399 UltraClub Adult Cool-N-Dry Sport Color Block Tee








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