All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

No, Reading And Creativity Are Obsolete

A couple of days ago, Sonia Simone of Copyblogger wrote an interesting post called Is Writing Obsolete?. She answered “no” in her own way; I want to answer the question in another way.

You see it in my title here; no, reading and creativity are obsolete, or are moving in that direction. It’s getting to the point these days where it seems there’s no original thought almost anywhere, and people aren’t reading as much as they’re copying and trying to find ways to put it in their own words, but failing. It’s also harder to keep someone’s attention in an MTV world where reality TV becomes the norm because it’s harder for people to stick with true, episodic programs where we get to know who the characters are week to week and year to year.

If you don’t believe me, let’s look at movies. How many original movies came out this year? Not all that many; at least not the big name movies. Most have been sequels or remakes of past movies. Many are based on books, but aren’t anywhere near the book. I’m not commenting on whether they’re entertaining or not; I’m commenting on whether they’re original or creative.

On the radio this afternoon, I heard a remake of “Mickey,” the song Toni Basil turned into a dance classic in the 80’s. The only thing different than the original song was the singer and the bass line wasn’t as prominent. Can you say “dull?” Then I heard some other songs and realized they were taken from the past also. How many rappers are stealing from rap songs of the past nowadays? Sure, the original rappers sampled other people’s music, but they at least created something out of it that was original.

When I wrote my post on Blog Day a couple of weeks ago, I highlighted some folks who actually create some new stuff (though I did pick on Sire for writing something new about Blogger that I actually wrote on last year). However, all these folks write original content, even if it’s on a topic that others have covered.

I love reading original content; then again, I love reading. I can’t tell you how many times it seems like people have commented on something I’ve written and shown that they didn’t read the entire thing. Even on short posts, people miss what I’ve written. Is it a quest to try to read as many blogs as possible just to put a comment on it, or is it possible that, sometimes, if there’s too many words, they just can’t be processed by many people’s minds?

Grizzly of How to Make Money Online for Beginners wrote a post asking people to Write Something I can Send Traffic To, saying he loves sending traffic to other places, but can’t find enough to warrant the justification, though he highlights some people in the post. I’m thinking that’s going to be a goal as I near my 500th post on this blog for my next 100 posts. I want to share some love, and, who knows, maybe I’ll get some love back.

100 readers

Or maybe I’m already getting some. On the 4th of September, one day after my 50th birthday, I woke to seeing myself as finally hitting 100 readers through my RSS feed. It fluctuates all the time, so it might not be 100 when you see this. But 100 readers is a nice touch; I like being in triple digits, even as my Technorati ranking seems to be tanking these days. No matter; I’m happy for those of you who visit, whether you read every word I write or not.

Please, though, if you’re going to keep writing your blogs, be creative, and maybe I’ll spotlight you one of these days.


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August Income Report – Two Steps Backward

I hate when I’m right. After my best month ever, I mentioned last month that I didn’t think I would sustain it into this month. Well, I was right, but I hadn’t expected it to drop like this. First, here’s the figures:

Adsense – $61.86
Text ads – $19.83
Commission Junction – 70 cents
Chitika – 23 cents
Infolinks – 3 cents

Grand Total – $82.65

Yup, that’s it. Now, I expected most of those to go down, except for the Adsense. It was weird because after a couple of really high months, the first week of August showed me not making a single cent. That didn’t make any sense at all, but other people were saying that August was starting out badly for them also. I think Google did something to take away our revenue, especially since the rest of the month was something spectacular. Oh well, it is what it is.

So, am I expecting anything better for September? Nope, nada, zip. I think Adsense will recover, but otherwise, I just don’t see it. Sure, I’m running that new Commission Junction rotating thing on the side, but I think I need to move that to another site to see if it will do anything there, since two of my other sites are more geared towards sales and such.

Oh yeah, the text ads. I get those from a company that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned, but ever since this blog lost its PR the number of ads has been going down. If it stays at this level or goes down again, I’ll be dropping this company from this blog and working on a better way to get paid ads of some kind, the kind where I can throw on the nofollow so that the almighty Google will accept me back into their good graces once more. As I’ve said often, I don’t really care all that much about PR, but this was a PR 4 blog before they took it away, and if that will get some other advertisers, who aren’t as savvy on nofollow and dofollow, to think about advertising here, then so be it.

And let me add this; my visitors have increased again. I went up a little more than 16% this month from the previous month, 23% from June. I think it’s because of posting frequency, as I wrote almost every day last month, and I expect to continue that this month, where, in three posts, I’ll write my 500th post on this blog; wow!

So, there you are. Maybe I need to take Mirjam up on the Keyword Academy thing, eh? 🙂

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My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows

At this point, we all know that we love list posts, and this was confirmed by my top 16 sci-fi movies of all time post.

Now it’s time for a new list, and the idea for this one comes from Extreme John, who wrote this post about his top 10 favorite TV shows, and asked people to tell him what they were on his blog. I decided to do it here instead and link back to him, giving him credit for the idea, mainly because it allows me to talk about why I liked these shows, as he did, possibly add a short video, and of course add an affiliate link to each of them, just in case you loved the shows also and I spark enough nostalgia in you that you just have to go and buy it. No, it didn’t work for the movies, but one never stops trying, right?

I have to admit that this one is tougher than the movies were. The rules have to change somewhat, since, as you’ll see, some of these kind of have the same title. But they were different shows, so it doesn’t count. Here we go.

10. Family Guy – The first time I saw this show, I laughed like there was no tomorrow. When they took it off, I thought someone was the biggest moron I’d never heard of. When they brought it back, it told me that someone was paying attention to the fact that they had an irreverent hit on their hands, not typical fare, and people liked it. How many other shows went off the air for 3 years, then came back as a hit; oh yeah, none!

9. Flip Wilson – This was the first black hosted variety show that lasted for longer than 15 minutes, which is about how long Nat King Cole’s show lasted back in the 50’s. Flip Wilson’s show was something much different, and for four seasons, he ruled Thursday nights. Something about NBC and great Thursday night shows over history.

8. Bugs Bunny Show – This one might not count, but I’m putting it here because I just couldn’t wait for Saturday mornings so I could watch this baby. For those of you much younger, we used to only have 3 channels in the days before PBS, and, for me, CBS ruled because they had Bugs Bunny. Man, when I finally got to see them in my own home in color,… I almost burst! They shut down the embed for this one, but you can check it out here.

7. Simpsons – We owe a lot to Tracy Ullman for having these short cartoons throughout her weekly TV show. This show is now in it’s, what, 12th year, and every show is still something totally brand new and offbeat. How many Simpson characters can you name in one sitting? Can you think of any other cartoon that has so many characters in an episodic setting that you know how each one is supposed to act, let alone sound?

6. Law and Order – I was late to this show, but once I started watching it, I was hooked. I love the formula, where we establish the crime, solve the crime, then try to prosecute the crime because sometimes we didn’t quite solve the right crime and the right criminal. It’s formulaic, but it’s comfortable, and you never quite know the outcome.

5. Sanford and Son – You couldn’t get away with this type of show in today’s world, but the world was ready for a break down and laugh out loud show starring a black actor. In this case it was Redd Foxx, who had previously been known for what were then known as “party records,” or raunchy comedy records. Bill Cosby and Diahann Carroll may have come first, but those two shows were muted by comparison. White folks at the time weren’t ready for this show, but black people were; especially this clip, which they won’t show on TV anymore.

4. Star Trek – This was the show that started it all for me. This was the more serious show, at least most of the time, to its outer space counterpart at the time, Lost In Space. I have to tell you folks that I kind of owe my life to the concepts of logic and Mr. Spock, but Captain Kirk has given my the most endearing line of my entire life, something I will always live by and, I believe, others need to live by also: “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” Okay, that’s from the second movie, but still,… Take that, Kobiyashi Maru! What Star Trek fan hasn’t at some time found themselves humming this tune?

3. X-Files – If you can imagine a single guy looking to go out on Friday nights but having to stay in and watch a TV show first, that’s what X-Files did to me. For eight seasons this was the show that I just couldn’t miss, and man, I really wanted Scully to finally see those aliens. The science on the show was just plausible enough to pass the muster, and as a thriller it was unsurpassed as far as TV fare went, and that was good enough for me.

2. Star Trek – Next Generation – Okay, you’re probably wondering why this show ranks higher than the original Star Trek. It’s mainly because I felt like this cast was a part of my family, whereas I felt like the original Star Trek cast were people I needed to look up to and respect, more like, well, parents. Most of this cast was close to my age except Captain Picard, and tell me has there ever been a cooler short, bald man? Except for Data, and possibly the captain, these people were folks I could have hung out with, even if I didn’t understand every word they were saying. I almost cried on the last episode; now that’s dedication.

1. Muppet Show – Okay, like y’all didn’t know this one was coming, with all the Muppet clips I post on this blog. Oddly enough, not counting sports, this was the only TV show I watched while I was in college. There was just something about Kermit and his goofy friends that resonated with me, and of course the guest stars were something else. My favorite episode ever was the one with Harry Belafonte, but since I’ve already posted that video, here’s another classic that I’ve always liked, that I’ve never shared before.

And there you are, my top 10 TV shows. Go ahead, comment, share yours if you wish, and have fun with it.

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Blog Day 2009

Yup, it’s that time of the year again, Blog Day, where we’re all supposed to give our favorite five blogs for the year. This year, there’s even a link for it to Technorati, which I’ll admit that I’m not sure what it’s really supposed to do. But hey, I’ll go along with it. Here’s the link to last year’s Blog Day 2008 post.

Last year I had all these self inflicted rules on myself. This year, I’m not having any of that. I’ve yet to decide if I’m doing it on all of my blogs or just this one; I’m thinking this will be the only place I’ll do it, though I could change my mind, since I’m actually writing this one ahead of time. You can see who I recommended last year on Mitch’s Blog.

Also, what I’m supposed to do is let those people know that I mentioned them. I don’t think I did it last year, since only one person I wrote on actually found it and made a comment on the post. I’ll have to think about this one as I’m writing this post, although I could probably just link to the last post of the blogs I’m recommending, and they’ll see the trackback in some fashion. Yes, I’ll do that; thinking as I go along. 🙂

So, here we go, in no particular order, but without the shackles I put on myself last year. These are 5 blogs I actually make sure I read often.

1. Sire’s Wassup Blog. I talk about Sire all the time here, and I think we’ve actually educated each other on many thing over the past year and a half. I actually met him on one of those diary blogging sites, but we didn’t know who each other was at the time. I find his blog entertaining, and I rarely miss a post. What’s his blog about? Whatever he wants it to be about. I like that; independent Australian thing. 🙂

2. Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online. Man, Marelisa makes me think every time I read a new post of hers, and it’s all good stuff. She takes a lot of time crafting her posts, and there’s never any junk in it. In an odd way, she reminds me of how I might write if I didn’t try to have a post almost daily. As a matter of fact, I’d love for you to read this post on Freedom, Nonconformity & Unconventional Living. Her blog is about changing your mind towards better things; gotta love that.

3. 21st Century Affiliate Marketing. John Dilbeck might give you the impression of being a mountain man, but this is one of the smartest guys you’ll ever deal with. I love reading his posts also, as they’re always very thoughtful, and he’s one of the best commenters you’ll ever see. He talks about affiliate marketing and, lately offline marketing also.

4. HSH Financial News Associates Blog. Tim Manni writes this blog, which is all about financial news and the like. I discovered it just after I started writing my finance blog, and it’s very good, and always up to date. Sometimes he beats me to a story, sometimes I beat him to one. I love the challenge.

5. Electronic Village. I met Wayne Hicks on Facebook after I created my blog sharing group there. He was one of the first people to share his blog with all of us there. His blog has to be something special if I keep going back to it, since most of you know how much I don’t like Blogger as a blogging site. This blog is all about black news issues, and it’s always timely and well written. Once again, we sometimes are competing on the same stories around the same time, but I get so much from this blog, I must admit. Now if I can only get enough overall support to one day end up in his top 25 blogs written by black authors, my life would be complete.

And that’s that. I hope y’all check these folks out, because all of them write quality stuff. Onward to 2010!


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Take Responsibility For Your Blogging

Some people have a lot of chutzpah. They do something they should have known better not to do. They get caught. Then, instead of owning up to the event, taking it like an adult, apologizing and moving on, they get stupid, look for a scapegoat, and act as if they never did anything wrong to begin with.

Such is the follow up to the post I wrote a couple of days ago when I talked about a blogger who hid behind a fake name and pretty much slandered this model. Through a court order, Google gave up the email address, the model learned who it was and talked to the woman, and all should have been over at that point.

Instead, said “slanderer”, named Rosemary Port, decided that not only was she wronged by Google for giving out her email address, but she’s now going to try to sue Google for $15 million dollars for violating her privacy in responding to that court order.

Okay, the obviously stupidity of the lawsuit aside, can anyone tell me what this woman is thinking, other than she wants her own little bit of publicity now? She stated that her original post only had two visitors before Liskula Cohen, the model she decided to slander, decided to sue to find out who she was. She’s trying to say that Cohen pretty much made a big deal of this, and in fact is the one who violated her privacy with the original lawsuit.

Oh come on now! This is beyond a pot calling a kettle black. This is definitely not taking any responsibility for one’s actions; can anyone say “clueless?” Google has never told anyone that they would have absolute privacy in using Blogger or anything else. We all have heard where, with a court order, Google will release search records of people being investigated by the police or other law enforcement groups. What makes this woman think she deserves any more immunity for what she did than what some of these other people have done?

Of course, there are some free speech advocates who believe this is the start of something bad. They say that, in many circumstances, people deserve to have their anonymity protected, so the rest of us can get information we might not otherwise get. I don’t dispute that, as I wrote elsewhere about someone who lost her job after being as a community blogger, a move I disagreed with because the woman hadn’t written anything disparaging, as far as I could see, about the company she was working for. The sensibilities of companies these days, who feel they have the right to control what workers do outside the workplace as much as within the workplace, is a slippery slope that people balance every day. In my previous post I talked about my own belief in privacy issues, which our friend Sire disagreed with and ended up writing a post on drug testing that’s gotten some very interesting responses both pro and con. It sometimes seems as if we’re moving in a direction where the divide between privacy and doing what’s right is getting wider.

Anyway, I don’t see this woman’s lawsuit going any further than being allowed to file it. She’s having her 15 minutes of fame right now, and she’s the only one responsible for it. If I were Cohen, with this latest move, I’d sue her for slander and defamation just to make a point. But I’m like that; what are your thoughts?

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