All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

My Gripe With Blogger/Blogspot Blogs

I’ve come to a realization of something, and I’m just going to get it out now; I hate Blogger blogs! There, I’ve said it; now I’ll talk about why.

To begin with, I don’t have a Blogger or Blogspot blog; never have, never will. I do have a sign on, though I have no idea how it got there. Actually, I think one of my friends put it on there some years ago when I said I didn’t want to have to log into anything to make comments. This isn’t a new position with me, and I even wrote about it on this blog.

Truthfully, I do understand how one has to log into certain things, such as forums, in order to participate, but I’ve never understood all these people who want you to have to register to leave comments on their blogs, then gripe because no one is commenting on their blogs. Heck, you can’t have it both ways. Just as you have to decide that you’re going to comment on other blogs as well as not waste anyone’s time, you have to decide if you’re going to make it easy or hard to do so.

So, my first gripe is that many Blogger blogs are set up so that the only way you can leave a comment is if you have a Blogger account; I absolutely hate that. My second gripe is that if some blogs do open it up so that you can leave something other than a Blogger account, it limits you to name and link. I guess that’s not overly bad, because many people not on Blogger do that, but I’ve just gotten so used to CommentLuv (no, I’m not linking to it again right now; looks like I’m pimping for Andy!) that I hate not having the opportunity to direct someone to a specific post if I comment on their blogs, though one can easily link to an article from their blog that they want people to see.

My third gripe is just how many Blogger blogs look the same. Come on folks, there’s tons of colors and styles; break it up some. Okay, I’ll own up to this; I hate green, and, even though I live in Syracuse and our local football team is the Orangemen, seeing green and orange together really freaks out my system, and adding that pukey looking brown, or tan, with it,… just too much folks. Anyway, there’s just so much “sameness” to so many Blogger blogs that I don’t even want to bother taking the time to read many of them, as I’m bored as soon as I look at the page. Unfair, I know, but true.

And finally, my fourth gripe, that being that I’ve yet to see a Blogger blog where, if you’re already reading the main post, you can’t just put your information in there and write your comment. Instead, you have to click on “post a comment”, then go into another window to write your post, and not everyone has it set up so that you can click on a link to see exactly what it is you’re commenting on. Yeah, you’d think we’d all remember that, but heck, I’m getting close to 50, and my short term memory sometimes fails me; nope, not proud of that, but it is what it is.

Okay, I guess Andy’s CommentLuv is going to get a little bit of love because he recently modified the program so it will work on Blogger platform, so maybe that will help bring many of those blogs up to what the rest of us have been enjoying with WordPress. And, I will acknowledge that a few people have figured out how to use the Blogger platform and change the look so that it doesn’t look like Blogger anymore, even if it still behaves that way. Man, I much prefer WordPress’ blogging platform; talk about being a “homer”.

I guess I shouldn’t complain; at least I’m not being subjected to eating Nutraloaf. Still, Blogger could do better if you ask me.

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A Point About Commenting On Blogs

Here’s a regular conversation I have with most of my friends:

Them: “Did you see what I wrote on my blog?”

Me: “Yes, I read it; very nice.”

Them: “How come you didn’t comment then.”

Me: “Because you’ve never commented on my blog.”

Them: “I don’t have time to read other blogs, let alone comment on them.”

That, plain and simple, is one reason why there’s so many blogs without comments, and so many people deciding that they’d rather give up the ghost, rather than participate in the process. As I write this, I have at least 10 friends who have blogs. I can count on three fingers how many of them have ever written more than one post on any of my blogs, and my other blog has been in existence at least four years by now. Those without blogs; I can’t even count how many of them have been to each of my blogs more than once. I think that’s a shame.

And it’s not that my friends don’t know about my blogs, or my websites. In each regular email that goes out, all of my websites are in my signature line. In each of my business emails, my business blog is on each one. And for most emails for my other sites, I usually have one blog or the other tucked in there somewhere. On Facebook and Ryze, I have both blogs listed. On every forum that I’m a member of, I have my blogs listed.

Do you notice that little red, moving button on the side there? Basically, it says if you comment, I’ll follow back to your blog and, hopefully, I’ll be able to comment. That’s what CommentLuv does for you also, and if you comment, and your previous blog title looks intriguing, people will follow you to your blog, and comment there. You know, I thought the CommentLuv concept was very easy to understand, but I’m finding that my friends don’t get it, and if they don’t get it, then maybe some of you don’t get it either. If you have a blog and leave your blog address in the little box underneath your email address, CommentLuv will go back to your blog and select your last post to broadcast for folks. And, if you sign up at CommentLuv, then you’ll have the option of selecting from one of your previous 10 posts, in case you’re looking to spread some of your posts around in different places, or if you happen to comment on a particular post on someone’s blog more than once. I even talked about it here.

This post isn’t about pimping for comments; it’s about fairness and balance when it comes to comments of some kind. Sure, the big time bloggers don’t comment much these days, but if you’ve gone back through their archives, back to the days before they were getting tens and hundreds of people commenting, they regularly responded to everyone who posted on their blog, and of course they visited other blogs and commented on them, trying to raise awareness of their own blog.

So, if many of you believe that commenting on other people’s blogs is beneath you, or you don’t have time for it, or you only want to concentrate on your own thing, you’re missing out on a good thing. And, if you’ve read this post, I’m not only happy, but now I can say that you understand what it’s all about, this commenting thing; no excuses anymore.

But don’t leave junk posts like “nice post” or “good job”, and leave it at that. That kind of thing doesn’t do you any good, and it stinks; just ask Chris:

Dealing With Zombies

Taking a moment out for a little fun, suffice it to say that I’ve always had a problem with zombies. Way back in the day, they were slow and plodding, and those were relatively easy to handle. Yet, people always ran inside the house, and that’s how they’d eventually get caught. Nowadays, zombies are actually as fast as the rest of us, sometimes faster, and their stamina is amazing for creatures that supposedly aren’t breathing. And they think; who ever heard of thinking zombies?

Of course all of this is fanciful stuff, and yet, every once in awhile, I’ll have a zombie dream. At different stages of my life, I’ve had series of zombie dreams, and I don’t care how many psychologists say if you have a bad dream just go back to sleep, I’m not doing it because I’ve entered right back into a dream I’ve left more than once in my life.

So, is there any real escape from zombies? Well, how’s about this little video tutorial about it; I wish I’d seen this yesterday, while it was still Halloween, but it’ll work here just as well:

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October Report; The Good And The Ugly

Well, this should prove to be interesting; nah. The stats are in for the month of October, and I’m only going to talk about what I made with the blog and nothing else. But I’m also going to talk stats.

So, for the month on the blog, I made,… $9.44. Hey, it’s a start, and for the blog, it’s my biggest month. Isn’t that a shame? Well, even with a number like that, there’s some positives. Even though I still am undecided on it, I made $7.60 from Text Link Ads, and that was for just over 2 weeks of being on the site. And I made .36 cents from Widget Bucks, and that wasn’t up long either. The other money was .98 cents from Adsense and .50 cents from one of my Commission Junction ads. That’s the first money I’ve made off a CJ ad, so I’ll take what I can get.

Now, some other stats. Per Google Analytics, I had 1,169 visitors in October, the most ever. Of all things, traffic started taking off with the first, then the second post about Blog Action Day, a very personal post on a very big day internationally. So, this shows that participating in a community effort can be good for your traffic, as well as your soul. Also, it’s the first month that visits to the blog surpassed visits to my business site or business blog; need to work on that some more, I see. Per my ISP, I had over 12,200 unique visitors for the month, another high, more than 4,000 more than last month, which had been a previous high for me. Here, however, it’s far lower than my business site, which was just 65 visits under 20,000, which is actually down from the highs I had over the summer; so be it. One day someone will be able to explain to me what these visits mean compared to Google’s Analytics, but for my purposes, I’m figuring Google’s telling me who’s actually stopping by.

And there you go. Of course, I’ve already said that I was going to step up marketing efforts this month, so maybe I can increase some of these figures more. But I still hope to provide intriguing content otherwise.

By the way, I’ve mentioned about the newsletters that I write for my main business on business topics, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared a link to a newsletter. So, I’d like to share one with you, the one previous to my latest one, on credibility; it was what led to this blog post on credibility. I guess I can even inspire myself sometimes.

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Making A Playlist on Windows Media Player

You know, I’ve been running some version of Windows Media Player for years, and never even thought about making up my own playlists until today, when, of all things, I noticed that my wife had set one up. And the funny thing is that I’m usually the one showing her how to do things.

No matter which version you have, it’s pretty easy to do. You first have to go to your music library so you can see the list of songs you want to select from. Since I have my songs categorized by genre, I went into each genre and selected the songs I wanted. I’m in the mood today for upbeat, happy music (presently listening to, talk about timely, my favorite song in history, I Want You Back by the Jackson Five), so I’m going through each genre looking for music that makes me smile.

Anyway, the next step allows you to do one of two things. One, you can right-click on a song, then slide down to “Add To Playlist”, where it’ll move the song into your made up playlist. Two, you can drag the song over to the playlist. Either way works fine, but the one thing dragging a song gets you is that you can place songs wherever you want to, whereas the first option just adds the song to the bottom of the list.

If you’re so inclined, which I’m not total but could on another day, you can actually save your playlist. All you do is go to File, then slide down to where it says “Save Playlist As”, and you’re good to go.

For some of you, this is old news, but for others like me, who’ve never thought about it before, this could be a boom to listening to exactly what you want to listen to, when you want to listen to it. Great stuff!

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