All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

I Love Infographics But You Won’t See Any Here

As some of you may know, in recent months I’ve fussed about guest post requests and link removal requests that I’ve been getting a lot of email about lately. There’s one more email type that I’ve gotten a lot lately as well, although this isn’t quite as irksome.

Universe Zero
Kevin Dooley via Compfight

People send me email for 4 of my blogs (they never send anything for my local blog) sharing a link to an infographic they’ve got, wanting me to see it and then asking me to share it with my readers. In essence, what they’re trying to do is get me to write an article and link to their site without their having to pay for it, free promotion if you will.

As sneaky as that is, truth be told I love to look at infographics. I’m not artistic by any means, and that includes having the mindset to know how to put one of these things together so that they look visually stunning. Not that all of them do but many of them do, and when I have the time I like to go take a look. However, I also write every one of these people back and tell them the same thing; I don’t put infographics on my sites so I won’t be promoting them.

Truthfully, I may have promoted one or two in my past, but nothing lately. However, I can’t conceive of every putting an infographic on my site for one main reason.

They tend to take up a lot of valuable real estate that’s called my blog writing space and, well, let’s face this fact that almost no one wants to visit a blog post that not only has a long infographic that’s sometimes hard to see, but then have to consider going through a long blog post as well. So most of the time when you see big infographics there’s little content because no one wants to look redundant.

As I said, I’m not against infographics, and it’s possible that some people might benefit from them. And if you’re lucky to know someone who can create a cool app that makes those infographics a little less cumbersome while still being seen by everyone (such as the one on post by Marcus Sheridan), that becomes a game changer and, if that became available for everyone, I might even consider changing my own policy in the future.

But for now y’all are just going to have to make due with my miasmic rambling missives of fact and opinion; I hope we’re all up for it. ๐Ÿ™‚
 

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Blog Action Day 2013 – Human Rights

Today is Blog Action Day, an event that I’ve participated in a few times over the years and one that I’m having a say on once again this year. The only thing I won’t be doing this year is helping to promote the event on Twitter because by the time this posts I’ll be in a board meeting at a convention in New Orleans, hoping there will be something for me to eat.


Courtesy of
www.blogactionday.org

In previous years, the topics I participated on were poverty, food and the power of “we” on this blog, and also addressing poverty and food on my business blog. This year I’m only writing on this blog, and the subject is human rights.

This is a much different topic to address than in previous years because anything that personally touches me is more through anecdotal items than personal history. Even though I was born in the south in 1959, when Jim Crow laws were still in effect and outside of the military base my parents had to look for “colored” whenever they wanted water or a bathroom or places to eat but being young I don’t remember that. I don’t remember when my parents had to drive through some states or pull over to the side of the road to catch some sleep because there were hotels where black people weren’t allowed to stay. Sure, I had some incidences when I was a little younger of being pulled over without knowing why, but could I prove that my human rights had been violated? Nope, and I was never arrested and always allowed to move on.

Is there still racism? Absolutely, to the extent that even now in the 2010’s there have to be resolutions in Congress to extend the Voting Rights Act; are you kidding me? Also, there’s never been any movement in passing a rights bill for women and, oh, the commotion in passing one for gender rights. At least the government finally saw fit to pay for past discrimination against Asian Americans, black and Latino farmers, and some native American communities, but there’s still so far to go.

And yet, this isn’t an issue that only involves America. This past week we had the story of Malala, a Pakistani girl who only wanted to get an education and was shot by the Taliban for it because she’s female. We’ve heard stories of rapes and acid being thrown in the faces of young women for trying to learn; can you imagine?

We hear of stories of rape in countries like India and South Africa, and legal punishments against women in places like Saudi Arabia and many other countries too numerous too mention because men decide that women aren’t really people, per se, less than human, thus they get raped and then go to jail for enticing men; wow…

We hear of countries like Syria unleashing poisonous gas on its own citizens and are reminded that Slobodan Miloลกeviฤ‡ did the same thing against his own people back in the 90’s and that Saddam Hussein also engaged in the practice. These days we know all the bad things the Taliban and Al Qaeda do against anyone who’s not them and doesn’t believe as they do, all in the name of “religion”; phooey! For that matter we might as well group the people in this country who hide behind religion to abuse and disavow rights to those who aren’t like them; just because they’re not carrying bombs around doesn’t give them a free pass.

Where I linked above when I mentioned human rights is what’s called the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, which has 30 points of view that they’re calling articles that they believe should be incorporated by the United Nations to protect the human rights of people around the world. All of them are equally good, but for me #3 stands out, and it’s the one I’m closing this article on, and hope all of you believe as I do:

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
 

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Do We Know Who We Know On Social Media?

Well, this was an interesting interaction. Yesterday a local friend of mine came over to help me move a rock. That sounds weird until you realize the rock is more than 400 pounds. It’s actually a boulder that I bought at the beginning of September to try to keep people from hitting and breaking my mailbox time and time again because they come around a corner too fast, skid into my yard, and crash into it. I figured with the boulder, which can’t be missed, might be a deterrent and slow some people down.

Hit_boulder

Nope, didn’t happen. When I got home after two weeks out of town I was informed that someone had hit the boulder and it had moved. It moved to a point where it wasn’t protecting the mailbox any longer so it did its job, but it needed to be moved back into place. My friend Jesse came over, strapped the boulder, and pulled it with his pick up truck; all good once more.

I thanked Jesse in public on Facebook because he really didn’t have to do it but I was happy that he volunteered. He responded and all was good, but then someone else responded to him and they started having an interesting conversation. She was attractive so I decided to check out her page (for scientific reasons you know; cough) and they I asked him who she was, but where she could see it since it was my thread.

Talk about embarrassment. Turns out I had met her and was already friends with her on Facebook from two years ago; oy! But I’d added her after meeting her so I didn’t know her that well. Then she told me we were connected on LinkedIn; I went over there and saw that we weren’t and I told her so. She wrote back saying she thought we were, and we connected with each other to get that taken care of.

It got me thinking about social media, people we’re connected to, and how much we know of the people we’re connected to. Whereas I realize that many people I’m connected to on Twitter I don’t really know and almost never talk to (or never have talked to), I thought that everyone I was connected to on Facebook was someone I’d be talking to on a regular basis. I hadn’t seen this lady in two years, not in my stream and she’d never seen anything else I’d put out. If it hadn’t been for a mutual connection and a fluke yesterday we might have gone another 2 years before connecting, and I still wouldn’t have known who she is; guess I’m a bit more memorable sometimes since she remembered me and where we met (I got it like that with the ladies lol). ๐Ÿ™‚

When we talk about social media and social media marketing, our expectation is twofold. One expectation is that people we’re connected to will respond to what we say and do and offer and will jump at the chance to participate. Two, we hope that they’ll like it so much that they’ll share it with others and help us grow even more.

But we also talk about making relationships, and it seems to me that if we don’t even know the people we’re connected to in places like Facebook, what does that say about our own relationship marketing? Why should we be expecting anything from anyone when, in the long run, we don’t really know who they are? I think about my Twitter stream and realize I’m connected to nearly 1,000 people, but I think I might really know only 100 of them; isn’t that a shame? How many more people on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus am I connected to for one reason or another who I wouldn’t recognize in a heartbeat if they suddenly appeared in my stream? And the lady on Facebook was very attractive; how’d I forget her for reasons other than being an old married man? lol

While it’s true that if we’re looking to branch out and reach as many people as possible that it makes knowing everyone we connect to impossible, it should remind us that we need to find ways to make ourselves more memorable and to try to bring more people closer to us if we have high aspirations for visibility on social media. I still believe Chris Pirillo is right when he talks about having those 100 core fans if you will, but how many of us can actually say that we have that? Yeah, Adrienne probably does. ๐Ÿ™‚

Something to think about on a Monday morning; enjoy the rock, who saved the day and probably got the best of the encounter with whoever hit it.
 

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Do You Know When To Ignore Or React?

This past week has been something else. As much as I’ve tried to stay out of the news arena it’s just hard not to see things that you don’t like, especially when it comes to politics. I then made a minor mistake by writing one line on Facebook, kind of an opinion thing where I also said that I didn’t want to talk about it, and that was my first mistake.

scream and shout
Mindaugas Danys via Compfight

This guy I was connected to (he left) came back in disagreement with me and posted a news link in my thread. He led with the line “how can you say that”. I wrote back that it was my profile and I could say whatever I wanted and left it at that. He countered with “I expected more than that from you”.

What the heck? Who did this guy think he was, saying he expected more from me on a topic I didn’t want to talk about? I got angry and responded, and man did I respond. I wrote the equivalent of 4 paragraphs in one (you know how Facebook is in its comments area) and told him if he really wanted to have this discussion I could come to his page and bury him in information (it’s an area in which I have lots of expertise). Seems he didn’t like that either and said some more thing, so I buried him in more, adding some facts and some passion (but never bad words; I never use bad words) and, well, never heard from him again.

The funny thing is that the next day another friend decided to pony in a comment that had nothing to do with the original comment, and I decided to ignore that. I found that intriguing in that I didn’t respond to her because one, I wasn’t mad anymore, and two, because it was off-topic and, well, she had a good point but it was one I really didn’t want to discuss either. lol

I’ve thought about this particular situation all week and I find that interesting in a way. Yes, I do think about things for a long time because I ask myself how I could have handled things better, even when I handle things in the correct way. The one question I ask myself is how I’d have responded to it if I’d made my original statement on the blog, followed up by a lot of information in its own right.

Well, I know one thing for sure. If someone responds and puts a link in the comment it automatically goes into the spam filter, so there wouldn’t be any worries there. That’s kind of a cop-out but it’s nice having legitimate reasons, so to speak, for not addressing certain things. I do the same with my comment policy, though I’ve noticed that no one who’s ever ended up in the spam filter because of a comment that’s somewhat dodgy has ever come back and mentioned it, and that would probably happen more often than not.

However, that doesn’t quite answer the question of if any of us knows when to ignore stuff we don’t like or when to respond to it does it? Do you have any criteria set for it? I actually do, and I’m going to share it, because it’s important for all bloggers to have some kind of standards to follow in their own space.

The first is if someone disagrees with you on your point of view but stays on topic. If you can’t back up your point of view on your own blog then you shouldn’t have said anything to begin with. Of course you have the right to expect a certain type of decorum when being responded to, but if someone gives you a cogent response I feel that you now have an obligation to respond.

The second is if someone else is being attacked in your space. I’ve done that often enough here over the years because this isn’t the place for personal attacks. I’m especially protective of my online and real life friends; heck, I go to bat for them on their blogs if someone behaves badly so you know I’m protecting them here as well.

Those are the only two times when you should feel obligated to say something to someone else. After that, if it continues just block them and move on with life; it’s not worth it anymore.

What if it’s a personal attack against you? Well, that’s somewhat different isn’t it? Truthfully, I’ve allowed it twice against me here, and the first time I battled with the person and she left, never coming back again, and the second time I never responded, left her comment there, and she came back some time later, apologized, and we moved on from there. In both of those posts the article was fairly broad and didn’t go after anyone specific, but for some reason it touched a nerve for each of them. However, the first person wanted to justify her bad behavior; nope, wasn’t having that.

Still, no one deserves to be bullied in their own space if they didn’t deserve it. If they did deserve it (and yes, sometimes people actually do deserve it), that’s another tale, but my warning to all bloggers is to never deserve it; you know better than that. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’ll ask this question: how do you decide when to ignore or react to negative feedback, and how do you do it? Let us know.
 

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Annoying Link Removal Requests

Curse you Panda, Pony, Red Fox, or whatever all those Google updates are called. You’ve caused a lot of trouble to many of us bloggers whether that was your intention or not. And to all of you phony SEO folks; fie on you as well (sorry for my language lol).

oXidation: Time goes by...
Alfonso via Compfight

What’s the deal? By now I’m betting that every legitimate blogger in the world has gotten at least one email from someone asking if you’ll remove a link from your blog because one of their SEO “experts” has determined that it’s hurting their website. You’re also probably correct, if you’ve thought far enough ahead, to know that probably 99.9999999% of those links are on your blog because of comments, not because you’ve linked to someone in your content.

Frankly, it’s irritating as sin, almost as much as those things on some blogs that are irking me to no end. In this case I didn’t do anything except write my blog posts and put them out for some people to hopefully enjoy. I didn’t ask anyone to comment, though I’m always hoping to touch someone in a positive way. I can block lots of spammers because they’re easy to spot. But I can’t blog legitimate comments, so to speak, from people who are paid to comment and wrote something that was actually pertinent to the post; at least I haven’t figure out how to do it.

What’s worse than these requests? Some punks have figured out how to take care of their competitors, whose commenters might have left pretty good comments, by writing you as representative of those competitors and asking you to remove those links because of what I mentioned earlier. What?!?!? Now we’re tasked with trying to protect others who did the sneaky thing and hired someone to comment on blogs for them as well?

What’s a brother to do? Well, in my case I’ve come up with some rules for how to handle this sort of thing. I did it mainly because most of the requests I get are directed at my finance blog, the one where I allow guest posts, and it’s those very same people who had representatives beg to have their posts included who are asking me to now remove their links, including comments with those links in them; the nerve!

You’re wondering what I’ve done? Notice that video below? Check that out and find out; yeah, I’m mean, but at least it’s not on my channel. ๐Ÿ™‚
 


 

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