Category Archives: Blogging

Time To Do It All

Yesterday on a Google Hangout, I led a discussion on the topic of trying to find enough time to do it all. I state how I’ve found it much more difficult to keep up with everything these days as I’m leading a plane-hopping life where only one of the 3 airports I deal with has free wi-fi, which means there’s an extra 4 hours of time I lose.

Keeping An Eye On Time
Ian Foss via Compfight

In the past I’ve been able to write content in advance, and in the case of this blog, I’d actually written some posts in advance. But it caught up with me, and thus here and on my other blogs I’m not keeping up as easily, though I’m learning a few things based on that.

One, I find myself having to pick and choose what’s most important. Therefore, this blog stays up to date moreso than the others. I also comment less, though I save a lot of links in my Evernote program so I can get to those I really have something to say on later. That’s actually a very helpful program because I have it synched with my main computer, laptop, smartphone and now my Nook; oh yeah!

I’ve found that it’s not just my social media or blogging life that’s suffered. Unlike when I’m at home, where often on Sundays I prepare meals I’m going to eat off for the week, I’m in a hotel room with two small burners and a small pot and small skillet. Those aren’t great accoutrements for cooking big meals. So I have to plan them, which means I eat out a lot. I try to find time to workout, time to do laundry, time to get to the grocery store, etc. Work is the only thing I’m always able to find time for; I guess that’s the important one.

As you’ll see in the video below, we discussed this and some options were offered, though to tell you the truth one of the options I already do, and the other options won’t help for everything. Still, it was entertaining, especially with our guest for the day; I hope you enjoy it.


http://youtu.be/lK6vqxckmdI

 

Insulin, Injections And Blogging

Some of you know that I’m diabetic. If you don’t, welcome to my world. Overall I go on about my business like everyone else but there are issues here and there. I’ve told the story about how I learned I was diabetic, how every once in awhile I have depression because of it and on my other blog talked about the day I had to start taking insulin injections, which I still do to this day.

insulin and needles

What I’ve never done is related any of the diabetes stuff, especially injections and the like, to blogging. Those who have been around understand how this works. I find that there are lessons one can learn in life that relate to other things. I’ve related blogging to quite a few things over the years including how blogging is like poker, chess, and visiting new stores. Now it’s time to make the connection to blogging, diabetes and insulin.

Before I begin, I’m going to explain why posts like this can work and why they might not. People love stories and don’t always like learning new things. But if you couch your points within a story, even if people don’t understand the full frame of reference, they’ll usually learn the lessons better. And with posts like this one, there are multiple lessons to learn about both blogging and diabetes and insulin. It’s all good! And here we go:

1. As you can see in the image above, there are two different ways of delivering insulin through a needle. I had to switch from the one on the left to the one on the right because of costs; I save more than 80% with the one on the right. I didn’t want to switch, but I did what was economical, ergo correct, because insulin can be expensive and going with a delivery method that was easier to manage rather than saving money on it so I could roll it over to something else just didn’t make sense.

When it comes to blogging, the switch kind of goes the other way if you’re serious about it, depending on what it is you’re looking to do. As both Blogspot and WordPress.com start coming down on more people who try to make money or write controversial posts through those platforms, and now that Yahoo has purchased Tumblr, more people are going to find themselves feeling squeezed by a presence that has the ability to not only censor but block you. Self hosting may not be free but it’s not expensive on a yearly basis and gives you much more freedom and way more choices of things you can choose from. It’s scary to switch from one thing to another; I get it. But sometimes you have to think about the benefit of doing so.

2. It took me about a week to get used to the new syringes as opposed to the big needle. That’s because the process totally changed. I went from screwing a needle on, turning the thing on the bottom to the proper dosage, pushing it into my abdomen somewhere and pushing the thing at the bottom to an alcohol swab on top of the bottle of insulin each time, unsheathing the syringe at the top and bottom, having to work the plunger around so I could do something with it, plunging it into the bottle, turning it upside down, having to try to balance it without bending the needle while pushing air into the bottle, then withdrawing the dose I need, and then having to figure out how to handle this little thing so I could push it into my abdomen and push this plunger.

You know what? After a week I started to prefer the syringe. The thing is that as tiny as it is it’s set up for more stability when it’s time to inject myself. Whereas I was hurting myself at least 3 times a week with the big pen, I only hurt myself once every 2 or 3 weeks now; I never saw that coming.

My impression of syringe needles was so far off that I had built up this major fear factor without any real history or research to base it on and it turned out to be nonsense. Not that I want to inject myself at all but with the lack of pain, I’m more inclined to make sure I take care of my personal business every night.

Something that stymies many bloggers is this sense that they’re stuck in a rut and have to do things one way and one way only, otherwise they have to shut things down, intentionally or not. When I started this blog, even though I had another one, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, how to write it, or really what I wanted to say. I only knew I was going to say what I wanted to say, whenever I wanted to say it.

Within a few months I’d pretty much found my voice, but I did keep changing things up here and there. Now, even though I’ve found my voice, I doubt anyone can say that they always know what to expect when they read a post from here. For instance, did any of you even dare to believe one could tie in blogging with the other topic from today?

It’s okay to take chances with your blog, to shake things up, to go off topic here and there. It’s what makes you interesting and keeps people coming back to see what you’re going to do next time.

Diabetes in the US
GDS Infographics
via Compfight

3.You know what? It’s possible that half of you reading this post right now are diabetic; isn’t that scary? What’s even more scary is that some of you know it, or know that you’re possibly pre-diabetic, yet you won’t go to the doctor because you don’t want to know.

Here’s the truth; whether you have diabetes, cancer, MS, or bad breath, nothing goes away until you know you have it and can start to do something about it. I may not always be the best diabetic, but I know the rules, know what I have to do to be good and feel better, and I know medication helps. If my wife hadn’t encouraged me, with help from my dad, I might not have gone to check things out, but I should have been more willing to do what was best for myself to begin with. It’s a major lesson to learn, as Beverly reminded me days ago about a review of her book I wrote in 2011 that contained a quote by yours truly; check out the link because it’s a very good book.

With blogging, you never know how far you can go until you give it a try. Yes, I’ve asked if you’re ready to be controversial but I’m not saying you have to go quite that far. If you think your blog writing is boring spice it up. Look through a thesaurus and use some different words. Try being funny, try using images or different images if you’re already doing it. Try adding a video, whether it’s yours or one on YouTube that you like.

Most fear is when you’re scared of things you don’t know about, but some fears can be conquered. Some can’t, such as my fear of bugs (ick), yet I’m never afraid to take a chance on things where I have to make a decision one way or another. You shouldn’t be either; why?

4.Even though I said earlier that I’m more inclined to take care of myself at night, it doesn’t mean I’m perfect at doing it. Some nights I just don’t get around to taking all of my medication. Some nights I don’t remember if I’ve taken it. I have a pill box that maybe once every 3 weeks I remember to put pills into so I can remember.

I’m also kind of a reactionary eater. If I want dessert I’m eating it. I’m good at staying away from pasta most of the time, as it’s worse than desserts, but I’m not as good up front as denying myself other foods when I have a craving that, later on, I remember are high in carbs, thus bad for diabetics (contrary to popular belief sweets aren’t the worst things for diabetics).

In other words, sometimes I make mistakes in my care and in taking care of myself. However, I always make up for it the next day and usually for a few days afterwards. Actually, I’m pretty good probably 90% of the time I’d have to say. I think my mother is the only person I know who’s perfect at taking care of herself, when she eats, how much she eats, when she takes medication, when she brushes her teeth… on and on. She actually has a written schedule. The only thing she’s bad at, which I inherited, is having a specific time to go to bed every night; no one’s perfect.

When it comes to blogging sometimes you’re going to make a mistake, even if you didn’t know it at the time. Hey, it happens. Typos, misspellings, not getting facts totally straight, merging lines… we all do it. Don’t ever be afraid to take a chance at doing something out of the norm, or even in the norm that you’re worried you might be making a mistake on. For some backup, check out this Google Hangout video that I led:



http://youtu.be/TMVPogrwuwM

5.Over the 16 years since I was first told I was diabetic I’ve learned a lot. I don’t always apply it; sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes I don’t work as hard in overcoming some of the challenges that make it hard to keep up with, such as when I’m on the road and trying to follow all the proper rules, which includes exercise. What I have learned though is that when I’m good and apply everything I know and stick to the plan, things always end up better for me. If feel healthier overall, my glucose numbers (these days they call it blood sugar but I just don’t like that term) are better, my outlook on life is better (and my outlook on life is usually pretty good so having it be better is miraculous)… life is good.

When it comes to blogging, it’s great to find a routine and pattern that works for you and then try to stick to it unless you can improve it. Routine doesn’t mean if you’re boring stay boring. What it means is that if you need to set a schedule for yourself to make sure you write a blog post a week, then do it. If you have to give yourself an hour to write a post, do it. Sure, you’ll slip every once in awhile, but consistency is the key to not only great blogging but great participation from others. When you do the things you should be doing for your blog you’ll feel better, it’ll perform better, and you’ll be a happy and positive person.

There you are; I’m betting you didn’t think I could do it. I hope you’ve learned lessons about both and are not only willing to try it yourself but to give me a good comment below on your thoughts of this venture. Come on, don’t be afraid; didn’t I cover fear above? 😉
 

Some Blog Posts Deserve More Time

Those of you who visit this blog often know that I often have a new post every 2 to 3 days. I always have something I want to talk about so writer’s block isn’t a problem I have. Sometimes even I have things that get in the way of keeping up a heavy blogging schedule because not only do I have the 5 blogs to keep up with but, as an independent consultant, every once in awhile I need to concentrate on other things for awhile to bring in some cash so I can play around for awhile.

3D Cause Awareness Ribbon
Scott Maxwell via Compfight

The gap this time around had nothing to do with either of those, although I’m writing this from another city in a hotel room with a relatively slow “high speed” internet connection. But it’s free so I’m not overly complaining.

Many of you saw my last post titled Don’t Be Bullied About Your Blog Or Web Space; if you didn’t see it please check it out and the blog and video that’s linked to it. In my opinion it was a post that deserved to have some time to catch on without a lot of other stuff getting in the way. I could have had a post ready to go the next day or two days afterwards, but the way I saw things it would have done a great disservice to the post.

Here’s two realities. The first is that if you write more you get more traffic. A few years ago I tried an experiment where I wrote 2 posts a day for two weeks. My traffic jumped nicely, and I proved my point. I also proved another point; the traffic I got for one post was different than the traffic I got for another post. That means those posts got almost no comments, even from people who were regular visitors. Thus, I didn’t quite get what I wanted even though I got what I wanted; you get that?

The second reality is that sometimes you have to step back and let a post germinate. When that happens, when you really touch a nerve, you can end up getting more traffic from one post in a particular week than you might get from combined posts.

In a 2-week span the post I linked to above got more visitors than the next three posts combined. Only one other post in the top 10 had people staying longer, and it was a pretty long post that also had a video at the end, but I wasn’t in that video, although I wouldn’t have griped much if I had been because the ladies in that video were pretty attractive. 🙂

Sometimes you have to recognize when you write something that you feel might be important, or you have to be cognizant in paying attention to how a post is being received and decide to hold off on when you want your next post to go out. The way I see it, that post had some legs, needed some time for its momentum to play out a bit, get some comments, and then be ready to move on. I think at this point it’s had its run, even though it’s still getting comments. And people have been supportive of my friend, so much so that a lot of you have gone to her blog and made comments; thanks for that, as it proves that we bloggers really are a community that looks out for each other.

Have you paid attention to your blog posts to recognize when one might need more time? What about posts that need less time; have you ever thought about that as well? Let me know; meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your week!
 

Don’t Be Bullied About Your Blog Or Web Space

Well, I’m on a two-day “mad” if you will, and it’s something that really has nothing to do with me. A couple of days ago I was alerted to the fact that one of my local blogging friends was bullied by this guy who owns a gym. In my opinion he’s been bullying her since the first day she showed up but I think she missed it.

bullyingDM2810_468x720
Pimkie
via Compfight

Anyway, the main thing he bullied her about was writing about his place in her blog. He told her if she wrote about the gym he’d ban her from coming. The reason she went in the first place was because the gym misrepresented what it did and, in my mind, the guy was worried that if she wrote about it he’d be discovered.

After awhile he went too far, she got upset, and she both wrote about it and did a video. Her name is Reneè and her post is titled The Wrong Way; I hope you visit it, read it, and offer her some support because this could have been you.

Anyway, I’m obviously writing about it here, I wrote about it in this week’s Hot Blog Tips Newsletter, and I did the video below, which I’m going to share in multiple spaces. No one has the right to bully people for what they do in their own space as long as they’re not intentionally hurting someone. You’ll see how she was bullied and insulted in her blog post so I’m not going to repeat what he said, but I’m thinking that he probably wouldn’t have dared say it to another man. Obviously homeboy has no idea what the power of social media can do; he’s going to find out real soon, as I’ve done my part. As I said, I hate bullies.

I hope you watch the video below and I hope you like it, share it, comment on it and this post, and help spread awareness about bullies trying to stop people from doing what they want to do on their blogs and in social media.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT25XC9SHMQ

 

30 Questions About Music I Like

This post is a bit of fun, as the British like to say. It started with this guy Lamarr Wilson who mentioned that he saw a Tumblr post of someone (he mentions the guy but didn’t link to it) who had 30 questions on music and that he wanted to answer some of them for his video post. He tackled 10 of them, doing a bit of performing for each of them as well. Then Brian Hawkins of Hot Blog Tips sent me a video of a lady named Tomeka Haywood who did a video response to Lamarr’s video.

ph-10441

I thought about doing a video as well, since I’ve been doing a lot of videos lately, but decided that I’d rather write down my responses to all 30 questions instead for two reasons. One, if I performed or even talked about all 30 of these questions that could take awhile, and I don’t feel like only answering the ones I like necessarily. Two, I’m not performing any of them, thus why do it as a video? I’ll get better use out of doing it as a blog post; at least I hope so.

This is the kind of thing that bloggers can do to have fun every once in awhile and add a bit of content to their site. Some might say it takes away from one’s niche but come on… what’s the niche of this blog anyway? So, here we go, with explanations if I’m in the mood, but expect a lot of songs involving Michael Jackson here.

1: A song you like with a color in the title

Little Red Corvette, Prince

2: A song you like with a number in the title

The One, Elton John

3: A song that reminds you of summertime

Dancing Machine, Jackson Five (came out summer of 1975)

4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about

Feelings, Morris Albert, although it’s the guy I’d like to forget about as well as the fact that such a lame song hit #1

5: A song that needs to be played LOUD

Get Down Tonight, KC & the Sunshine Band

6: A song that makes you want to dance

Shake Your Body To The Ground, Jacksons

7: A song to drive to

Walk Away, Donna Summer

8: A song about drugs or alcohol

The Piano Has Been Drinking, Tom Waits

9: A song that makes you happy

I’m using this one to answer the question “what’s my favorite song”, that being I Want You Back by the Jackson Five

10: A song that makes you sad

Sometimes It Snows In April, Prince

11: A song that you never get tired of

I Love The Nightlife, Alicia Bridges

12: A song from your preteen years

Sugar Sugar, The Archies

13: One of your favorite 80’s songs

Billie Jean, Michael Jackson

14: A song that you would love played at your wedding

The song I did play at my wedding as our first dance song, How Deep Is Your Love by the Bee Gees

15: A song that is a cover by another artist

Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart’s cover of a song by Eddie Floyd

16: One of your favorite classical songs

Habanera, Carmen

17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke

I actually performed this song with someone at a wedding, Endless Love by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross

18: A song from the year that you were born

Charlie Brown by The Coasters

19: A song that makes you think about life

Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson

20: A song that has many meanings to you

Keep The Faith, Michael Jackson

21: A favorite song with a person’s name in the title

Gloria, Laura Branigan (only because I already used Billie Jean lol)

22: A song that moves you forward

2 Legit To Quit, MC Hammer

23: A song that you think everybody should listen to

A relatively new song, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

24: A song by a band you wish were still together

Happy Together, The Turtles

25: A song by an artist no longer living

Remember The Time, Michael Jackson

26: A song that makes you want to fall in love

Bring It On Home To Me, Sam Cooke

27: A song that breaks your heart

I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, Aerosmith (cursed Armageddon movie…)

28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love

You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban

29: A song that you remember from your childhood

ABC, Jackson Five

30: A song that reminds you of yourself

Home, Stephanie Mills

That’s all I’ve got. Comment below, or write your own post I share with us.