Category Archives: Blogging

Liking Or Sharing Your Own Stuff With Others; Let’s Talk…

A couple of weeks ago the Hot Blog Tips Crew (without me these days…) did a video on the subject of what to share on Google Plus without, what Brian Hawkins of said Hot Blog Tips believes, is spamming. I thought it was a fairly interesting video, and since I’m not a part of it I’m just going to include the link to that video and tell you to check it out.

Sharing
ryancr via Compfight

One of the things he said in the video I totally disagreed with, and in thinking about that one particular thing it got me to thinking about some other things, hence I thought it was time to share some thoughts while asking y’all what you think of these same things.

There was another blog post I read a couple of months ago (from where I can’t remember) where the writer was saying that in today’s social media world sometimes you have to “like” your own submissions. He didn’t mean you have to like what you write as much as publicly affirm that you like what you write by clicking a Like button or a +1 button on those platforms that allow you to do it.

His reasoning was that often some of these items you share won’t get seen if no one ever clicks on them, even if they’ve viewed them, and he’d done a test where if he voted his own submissions upwards that they’d get more attention. He didn’t talk about YouTube so I doubt that was a part of his testing.

Frankly I think that kind of thing is dubious, yet if you create a Facebook business or fan page you actually have to like your own page to be able to access it properly, and the same goes for groups you might create. Thus, in an odd way you become the first person promoting you as an authority so that others can see what you like and potentially come by even before you invite anyone.

By the way, this isn’t the first time I’d seen such a thing. Another of my online friends had said the same thing over a year ago, but she was speculating without testing. I didn’t quite like it then and I don’t like it now, so I refuse to go that route.

However, Brian’s contention is that if someone shares something of yours on Twitter, G+ or Facebook and you give them a “like”, it means you’re suddenly spamming people because they probably have seen it already if you shared it. And, if other people share what you’ve posted and you like or acknowledge all of them, now you’re really spamming and people are going to hate you for it and possibly unsubscribe from you.

This is the concept I have a problem with, and I’m going to explain why. One of the things we all talk about is acknowledging people who share things of yours. It’s a nice thing to do and it encourages people who like what you do to share, knowing that you’ll appreciate it.

I think sharing should only be done if people have actually read the piece, which is another interesting topic of discussion because I know some people who share things from blogging sites or shared sites that they’ve never read to get rankings; that’s kind of smarmy, although if you do it you won’t see it that way. I never put my name on anything I haven’t read or looked at because I care about what I approve.

Anyway, if someone shares something of yours, how do you acknowledge it? Is there really a proper way? Maybe yes, maybe no; let’s look at it deeper.

Let’s look at Twitter. There you have two things you can do to thank people. You can retweet what they’ve shared and thank them or you can just thank them. Twitter moves fast; there’s tons of messages and still 24 hours to kill, and even if you share your blog articles 4 times it means you’ve missed 1,436 minutes where people might have missed it. Is it so bad to use the opportunity to share it again and let other people know why you’re thanking someone? Maybe if it’s been shared 20 times within an hour but if it’s shared 5 times total?

I think not.

Sharing
[Duncan] via Compfight

Let’s look at Google Plus and Facebook. You have two options there as well. You can +1 the article or “like” what’s being shared by someone else or you can comment on it.

Here’s what I’ve noticed on both. If you write something on those shares, people in your sphere of influence see it, whether you “like” it or +1 it or not. For that matter if someone comments on a YouTube video of yours and has it go to Google Plus, and then you comment on their comment it shows in both places, but on G+ others who weren’t connected to the original poster are now going to see it.

This means that if you decide you want to thank someone for sharing something of yours, it’s going to go out to the masses anyway. Are you spamming, or are you being courteous? Should you ignore people who share things you’ve put out or not?

One last point here.

Normally we think of spamming as more of an automated thing. I hate that stuff, and I notice on Twitter sometimes that some things pop up every 15 minutes or so. At some point if I get sick of it I’ll just unsubscribe from that person and get on with life because I know they’re not there and don’t really care.

To do the acknowledgements however, you have to be present. Truthfully, how many times for most of us does our stuff get shared? Maybe for someone like Ileane Smith or Adrienne Smith (no relation lol) they could get 20 to 25 shares per article, but that’s across all platforms.

Are any of us really upset when we see different people sharing their things and then seeing them being thanked for the honor?

Are we really that sensitive to seeing things more than once when most of the time, because of how fast the internet and social media moves, we’ve probably missed it not only the first time but every subsequent time as well?

All of this is both my question and my opinion. Now it’s time to ask you for yours. Is the option not to ever thank people for sharing your posts and videos and whatever as opposed to thanking as many people are you can recognize? If you thank one person and ignore everyone else how to you think they’d feel? And put yourself into both of these situations; how would you feel if it’s you?

Making you think on a Monday; I’m so wrong… 😉
 

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Multiple Page Articles; Oy!

This is a minor rant, one I touched up a couple of months ago when I did a video rant; I’m including that below in case you want to see more things I griped about. lol

Idiot Box
Arti Sandhu via Compfight

About 2 years ago I wrote a long article on blogging. It was mainly for folks who were either new to blogging or had started blogging but found they were having some difficulties with it. My purpose was to write something known as a “pillar post”, where the intention is to highlight your expertise in something by putting a lot of information into one particular post. Search engines supposedly love pillar posts; I wouldn’t really know, but I was up for the challenge.

However, my post ended up being almost 5,900 words, and I thought that would be a bit much. Thus, I broke it into a 2-part series, starting with Better Blogging Part One and Better Blogging Part Deux. It seemed like a much smarter thing to do, breaking such a large post into two parts; I stand by that decision for the sake of the readers.

You know what we’re getting a lot of these days? These websites that will have something like The 20 Top Baseball Players Of All Time or 8 Actors Who Say They’ve Seen Ghosts or a host of posts like this. Sometimes it’s even stuff that’s good for you or knowledge you need, such as foods you shouldn’t eat or learning more about a pharmaceutical you might have to take.

And what to you get? You get the privilege of going through multiple pages to see them all; I mean, not even one page where you can see a list of all of them with any extra detail.

Now, if you’re going to give me 20 baseball players and you’re going to do a nice write up on each one, I could excuse you having 21 pages (the first page is the set up page). But having 21 pages with only the first page having any significant content… now I’m irked. I don’t know about everyone else but I don’t have the time to go through 21 pages for one article all the time. That mess got old really quick for me; I’m a curious kind of guy but my curiosity stops when someone is putting messy stuff in my way.

There are two reasons these sites do stuff like this.

One, because they know Google loves tons of pages, and even with the Panda and Penguin updates, and any other animals that might crop up here and there, these sites seem to be able to weather the ratings hit quite well.

Two, because of advertising. The sites rank high, which brings in lots of advertisers, and thus they can pack each page with a bunch of advertisers links and banner ads, knowing that an overwhelming majority of people are going to keep hitting those links to get to the next page.

A site that does a little something like this that I actually kind of like is called Cracked, which has very long and often quite detailed articles that they’ll break into 2 or 3 pages. In that instance you’re getting so much content that it makes a lot of sense breaking it up, and it’s quite entertaining stuff.

Some of you might be saying “hey, I never see any of those pages”… really? If you’d like to see an example go to CNN.com, click on any news story there, go to the end of the story you clicked on and look at the links to either more news stories or other goofy stuff. Ugh!

Now, it’s bad enough that websites are doing this, but now I’m seeing some blogs doing it. Most of them are blogs with lots of images, and what they’re doing is putting up a lot of pictures but making each picture a blog in and of itself, even if it’s a series concerning the same thing. These folks might write a paragraph about the picture if you’re lucky, but come on now… Sure, it’s building up your pages but it’s ridiculous to visitors and I’m doubting that all of these images are getting comments. The few I’ve seen have had very few comments; what’s the point right?

Maybe I’m being sensitive, so I thought I’d put it out as today’s question. Have you seen this phenomenon on websites and/or blogs, and if so what do you think about it? Does it irritate you or do you think it’s creative? Take your time in thinking about it while watching my rant video below lol:
 


 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Your Comments Going Into Spam For No Reason? I’ve Got One…

I have a few consistent commenters on this blog. Most of them I’ve known for quite a few years and they’re pretty popular commenters on the blogosphere as well. And yet, some of them have an interesting problem.

~Balance~
Stuart Williams via Compfight

They’re comments have been showing up in my spam filter, and spam filters of other blogs they comment on. They didn’t do anything wrong as far as they knew, and as far as I knew either. One day their comments were showing up fine, the next day and every time after that they were going to spam.

Now, I do have some settings where some people are going to go to spam. One too many words in the name field, email addresses that begin with certain words… that’s where you’re heading. If I’ve named you as spam and added your IP address, you’re going to spam. But that’s not what was going on with these folks.

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to check something out. I was talking to Brian at Hot Blog Tips about it and I asked him to send a comment to me using his smartphone. He did and his comment showed up without going into the spam filter. He thought that maybe it was coming from a different IP address.

I then wrote our buddy Adrienne about it in the private message area of Facebook and asked her to try the same thing. It worked for her as well. However, when I looked at her IP address I noticed it was the same as her normal comments, and when I looked at Brian’s I noticed the same thing. So it wasn’t the IP address.

But I had the mind working well at this juncture. I asked Adrienne to pull up a different browser and send me a comment. She did and it went through; yippee! I told her it worked and asked her which browser she normally used, and she said Chrome.

I then reached out to Brian and asked him to try leaving a comment on my blog using a different browser. At the same time I asked Mitchell Allen if he’d try leaving a comment on this blog using a different browser as well. Both of them did & their comments came through just fine.

What browser were they all using? Chrome! In my mind, it was a pretty good experiment and possibly the reason so many people were ending up in spam filters around the world! Well, that might be dramatic, but one of my friends is in India and he always goes to spam, and I’m not sure which browser he uses.

Firefox cupcake
Mixy Lorenzo
via Compfight

Now, whenever I see something like this that looks like a pattern, I always go to Google to see if there’s anyone else mentioning it. There were lots of topics that looked like it, but they were all talking about something else. So maybe I get to scoop them all! 🙂

Meanwhile, Adrienne decided to try something else first. What she did was uninstall Chrome, reboot her computer, run her antivirus program, reload Chrome, and try again. This time her comment came through perfectly; problem solved.

The only question would be what’s in Chrome that could be affecting so many people? Well, there’s a second question, which is what if it’s not just Chrome users this is affecting? Anyone else who shows up in the spam filter isn’t a regular writer, at least yet, so I don’t know if the initial problem could happen with other browsers and could be solved by switching.

So, this is a twofold testing question for all of you. One, if you notice that your comments, or the comments of someone who comments on your blog often, seems to be going into the spam filter, ask them to try a different browser to see if their comment comes through fine. If it does, ask them what browser they originally used and let’s find out if it’s a Chrome thing (by the way, I’m a Firefox user). Tell them that if they want to continue using their regular browser to try uninstalling, then reinstalling to see if that takes care of things (running the virus program wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not sure if that’s a part of it or not).

If it doesn’t, then it’s possible they’re really on a blacklist, which is a totally different issue and one I’m not ready to address right now. Still, I know I’ve taken care of a couple of people who comment so far, and maybe we can help some other people as well. As an addition, I was talking to Adrienne about this and supposedly some people have found that if they leave everything off before the domain name that it seems to work for them & CommentLuv still works. So try domainname.com to see if that might cure your issue also.
 

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What Is Your Reason For Blogging?

Some months ago I wrote an article here based off a question one of my friends asked me. He asked me “what are you getting out of making videos?” I responded “I like it.” Actually he never heard or saw that response, as I did a video first, then wrote the post.

Me_Shanice 01
Me speaking to a baby 🙂

In the last few weeks I’ve started thinking about this in a different way after having a Hangout conversation with my friend Joanne DelBalso. We were talking about business in general and she asked me what my intention was for blogging. She further explained she wanted to know what my purpose was, or what I was hoping to get out of it. Finally, she wanted to know if I had expressed that purpose anywhere, if I even knew what it was.

Of course I’ve known since late 2008 what I wanted the purpose of this blog to be. Okay, it has many purposes, but the main purpose is to get organizations to request me to come speak to them, and get paid for it. My long term ambition is to be a professional speaker and presenter. At this point I’ve spoken in 8 states but I haven’t given a presentation outside of my own area in 4 years now.

I had to think about it a bit to see if, at least on this blog, I had indicated that anywhere. I looked at my About page and realized that I had linked to a bio on my business page but never mentioned speaking. I looked at my contact page but there’s nothing on that page about it. It seems the last time I even mentioned it on this blog was on June 16th, 2010, on a post talking about social media strategies. Wow!

You can imagine how disconcerting that was to discover. How is anyone supposed to know what my intention, purpose and reason is for writing this blog if I don’t mention it anywhere? Heck, I didn’t even mention it on my focus post at the beginning of the year, nor put it into the video I recorded about the same subject; Oy!

All of us hate selling so much… at least directly. We also have this thing in our heads where we believe that self promotion is a bad thing. I’ve worked hard on breaking both of these because I’m self employed, and if I don’t promote or market I won’t get business, will starve, my wife will leave me and the dog won’t come home (I don’t have a dog; see? lol) and I’ll be forced to get a grocery cart to push my stuff in and eat in shelters because I won’t have enough money to put gas in my car (which is paid off; whew!) to stay warm.

Educational Postcard:  "If you want me to engage in learning..."
Ken Whytock via Compfight

By the time you read this I’ll have fixed that About page and added a little something to my contact page, but now it’s time to ask all of you if you’ve stated the reasons for your blogs somewhere? I’ll pick on my buddies Brian Hawkins, Adrienne Smith and Peter Pellicca, aka Sire for a quick moment. 🙂

A true intention for all of them is to make money in some way. Brian kind of hides it in the middle of a very long paragraph on his About page, but it’s there. Peter talks about it early on, saying that once he learned he could make money blogging and had passion for writing he was hooked. Adrienne doesn’t specifically say she blogs to make money, but she does mention her intention well by telling us she makes money via affiliate marketing and consulting others on how to create a presence online.

It behooves all of us to have a stated intention, especially if you’re kind of like me and you’re not writing a niche blog. Even with a niche blog, you should want your visitors to know whether you’re talking about something because you like it or because you’re hoping it works out in bringing you business in some fashion, whether through consulting or selling products or getting hired to do some work for them.

And… well… I guess you should mention it more than once every 3 1/2 years. 😉
 

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People Aren’t Getting Your Response To Their Comments – A Redux

Wow, how time flies. It was just over two years ago that I wrote a post asking people to check their blog commenting systems because many times when I comment on their blogs I’m not receiving anything telling me my comments have been responded to. That post was well received, and got a nice number of responses.

Thomas Leuthard via Compfight

You know what? It seems that it’s time to bring this subject up again, and in a weird way it ponies on a topic Brian, Sheryl and I were talking about once in a video. I was lamenting how it seems that so many times I visit blogs that have titles making me think I’m going to see something new, only to see the same, tired thing I’ve seen previously. And Brian said that even if something is old to us because we’ve been around a long time, it’s a new concept to someone.

That being the case, I’m bringing this up because I figure that many of you aren’t intentionally ignoring me and my comments. The thing is I visit so many blogs and many new ones that I don’t often remember where I’ve been. If I’ve been to your blog often I’ll at least remember to check back on that one but many others… nope, no clue. Thus, I might be thinking you’re a blankety-blank when in reality your commenting system isn’t letting people know you’ve responded to them. By the way, I always check the boxes asking to be informed of responses, though not all of you have that on your blogs.

What should you do to check things out? As I said two years ago (just so everyone knows I’m being consistent lol), go to your blog post (you might have to sign out or use a different browser), sign in as if you’re leaving a comment but use a different email address, write yourself a comment (make it short), and after you get your notification of your comment go into your blog, respond to yourself, and see if your other email address gets it.

You can do this on an existing post (if you do, I’d recommend being the first commenter so you’re the only one who’ll see it & you can delete both before anyone else sees it) or create a test post and go through the motions, then delete everything.

If you get it, then others should get it. If not… well, now it’s time to see what’s wrong. You might have your setting wrong or you might need a separate plugin to get it taken care of. At least you’ll know to take care of the issue.

My final words… this is happening on some of the blogs of those of you who comment here, whose blogs I may have written a comment on. I’m not calling out any names; if you check, you’ll know who you are. lol
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell