Category Archives: Blogging

Five Top 10’s For 2010

The year 2010 was an interesting year for me. I had some successes and some down times, but mainly it was a good year. As I look back on the year I had some things occur that have never happened before, and in some ways I grew a lot.

As I head into the fourth year of writing this blog, I thought it would be interesting to document some things in a top 10 fashion. I’m going to highlight some posts and some people that I felt either made an impact or was something I liked for whatever reason. This isn’t anything overly new. I’ve done something similar to this in the past, and of course every news outlet in the country is doing the same thing. I figure it’s my turn; there will be some surprises and some happy people; let’s see where this takes us. By the way, this one’s going to be long; you’ve been warned.

First, I’m going to start by thanking 10 people who made a big impact on my life in some fashion this year. Some of them have websites, and I’ll link to them if they do. Others don’t, and, well, obviously I won’t be linking to them. Most probably most of these people will never know I thanked them; nothing I can do about that. My top 10 people to thank, in mo particular order, are:

1. My wife, who helped me in more way than anyone could possibly imagine. I guess that makes sense, being married to me. lol And she does have a website, which I wrote about some weeks ago, called Li’l Specs.

2. Mom, who also has helped me out in more ways than I can name this past year. I’m really glad she stayed healthy all year long, and I hope she stays this way for a long time.

3. Beverly Mahone. I don’t even know how many times I was on her Blog Talk Radio program this year, and I was also on her regular radio program as well. Last December her organization named me as one of the Top Baby Boomer Men of 2010, and I got included in her most recent book, Don’t Ask, and I Won’t Have To Lie.

4. Scott Thomas. One of my best friends, definitely my longest. We shared dinner and pizza, movies, and of course you saw that lava lamp a couple of days ago. He comments on this blog as well, and has supported me for years, as I try to support him. He’s got a few websites as well, but I’m going to highlight his photography blog, Views Infinitum.

5. Peter Pellica, aka Sire of Wassup Blog and many other blogs as well. Sire’s been the longest blog friend I’ve had, and we play a lot of chess also. We support each other online, and that’s a great thing indeed.

6. Renée Scherer. Her site is called Presentations Plus, and many of you know that we put on some presentations together this year. She also worked on getting me to networking events, and I probably went to more of them than I might have otherwise.

7. Keith Siddel. Keith was responsible for the majority of my income this past year, and for that I definitely owe him thanks. His company website is HRM, and if you decide to check it out and go to his partners page you’ll see my business listed on it.

8. Jayson Gibson. I did more writing for Jayson this year than for anyone else, and it’s been a pleasure doing it. I can’t link to where I write for him, but maybe he’ll stop by on one of his trips and see it.

9. John… I don’t know his last name, which is a shame because he’s my next door neighbor. What did he do? Earlier this year we awoke to more than 11 inches of snow in the driveway, and it was wet and heavy. My back couldn’t handle it, and my wife couldn’t handle it either. We barely made a dent in it over the course of 30 minutes. He saw our distress and came over with his snow blower and took care of it for us. Then two weeks ago, after going out to shovel, what, 6 days in a row, I awoke to another day of at least 4 or 5 inches in the driveway, and once again my back had started giving up on me. I decided to wait an hour, and in that hour he actually came over and did it again, without my asking. You just don’t always get neighbors like that.

10. Josh Shear, with his blog of the same name. What’s his contribution? Without him I’d have never gone to a tweetup, and not met many of the people that are joining my local sphere of influence.

Next, I’m going to tackle the top 10 posts as far as visitors that were written in 2010. This one took awhile to research because many of my most visited posts are older, but the one at the top, which overwhelmingly blasted all the rest, is quite familiar to all of you at this juncture:

Cleavage – Yes, I’m Going There – 10,247

Webshots – 663

Should Sexting Be Illegal – 541

My Top 19 Favorite Classical Pieces – 365

Are You Obsessed With Numbers? – 242

Images Used By Permission – Copyright Laws – 225

My Hot Tub Adventures – 204

PDF My URL – 204

My Top 10 Fictional Characters – 171

Setting Up Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12) -155

Next, another switch. Time to thank my top 10 commenters of the year. Some of you will be surprised by the figures, but this is how it’s played out for the entire year, and I thank y’all for visiting:

1. Sire (368)
2. Dennis Edell (154)
3. Carl (multiple websites) (123)
4. Carolee (120)
5. Patricia (109)
6. Val (109)
7. Charles Gulotta (105)
8. Rummuser (67)
9. Kissie (56)
10. John Dilbeck (55)

Next, something slightly different. There’s a plugin you can use that will tell you which of your posts were most popular via social media. It’s called PostRank, and it gives each of your posts a rank based on a number of criteria such as how many times it was retweeted, how many times it was posted on one of the other outlets such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, et al, how many times it was commented upon, and some other factors. The higher the ranking, which is based on a 10 point system, the more buzz that post generated. It doesn’t count page views, so for once the Cleavage post and some others won’t be on this list. Here’s that top ten, with rank:

First Page SEO Basics – 8.6

Would You Be Missed? – 7.8

Sunday Question – What Happened To Modesty? – 7.7

Sunday Question – What Do You Hope To Accomplish In The Last 3rd Of The Year? – 7.6

Twitter Plugin Changes Coming – 7.5

Why I May Not Comment On Your Blog – 7.4

Sunday Question – What Do You Really Think About Blogging? – 7.3

A Networking Meme – 7.1

Don’t “Stink”; Not Quite A Rebuttal – 6.9

And finally, something for myself. I took a look at more than 300 posts of mine and selected what I considered were my top 10 posts of the year, whether they got much attention or not. Here are those posts:

The Ethics of Your Writing

Are You A Lurker Or Participant in Life?

It Takes Guts To Have An Opinion

Expert, Specialist, Professional or Hack?

10 Things That Lead To A Happier, Healthier You

The Business of Blogging

The Myth of Link Building

Does Your Content Stink – Kind of a Rebuttal

Using Social Media To Grow Your Influence (with a picture of me as a kid lol)

SEO Is A Practice Like Medicine, Not A Science

That’s it; yeah, many of you might not care, but hey, it never hurts to take a look back at the past to see what one has done before, and then formulate where we’re going towards the future.

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What Do You Want For Your Blog?

Last week I was reading a post on Mike’s Life blog titled Why Businesses Should Blog Outside The Box. It was written well, and it made an interesting point in saying that once he was able to convince a friend of his to find a way to convince people who didn’t know they needed him and his business that his friend’s business skyrocketed once he figured out how to reach that particular market.


Dream On
by Gisela Giardino

It was interesting to think about because I believe most of us really are searching for those people who we believe need us or want what we have to offer in some fashion, and we don’t really think as much about reaching out to those people who may not know they need us. Of course, that really would be thinking outside the box, and I’m unsure how we’d get it done.

Actually, that’s not true at all; at least for me. I find myself always trying to convince people I meet to stop by my blogs. Most of them aren’t really interested in many of the things I talk about… at least that’s often my first thought. Then I start thinking that there are people who visit this blog because one never knows what the heck I might be talking about, and I invite people to stop by once I’ve had a chance to talk to them. I often find that I’m talking to someone that mentions something I’ve written about on this blog, and I’ll say to them “hey, I wrote about that; you should check out my blog.”

Of course, just because I get people here doesn’t mean I know what I want for this blog. It’s something I’ve been thinking about as we get towards the end of the year, and as I start the creep towards post #1,000. Some think I should talk more about myself; some think the path I’ve undertaken in the previous posts over all these years is sufficient. Frankly, I haven’t fully come to grips with what I want for this blog.

So I dream and think, and in sharing it maybe you’ll dream and share. I’m not about to lay out my goals for 2011 on this post; that’s later. But here are things I’m thinking about. Do I want to make money on this blog? Do I want to increase my overall influence through this blog? Do I want to keep increasing all my measurable numbers, as in more subscribers and a lower Alexa ranking? Do I want to talk more tech or talk more blogging and writing or share more stories or add more motivational stuff? Do I want to add more video (can’t just yet) or audio? Do I want to use this blog to get more business overall?

What do I want for this blog? I’ll be thinking about that over the next few days. What do you want for your blog? Have you thought about it, and if not, will you?
 

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Why I May Not Comment On Your Blog

It seems to me that there’s enough information online and people talking about this subject that other folks might start listening to it in some fashion. Alas, it’s not the case, so I’m here to be the guy to bring it up, popular or not. It’s probably going to come across as a harsh post, and that’s not its intention. Sometimes I just have to be real; this is one of those times.


Comments by Boltron

I comment on a lot of blogs; I visit a heck of a lot more. It still surprises me that so many people have set things up that discourage many of us from commenting on your blog. I mean, it’s not hard; it’s not rocket science. All that’s needed is a thought about where your blog is, how your blog is set up, and what you’re hoping to get out of your blog. Making it easy for people to comment on your blog, no matter what; is that too much to hope for?

Okay, some of that might not be fair, but then I haven’t gotten into any details yet. I guess that’s where I should start, so we can get a discussion going.

1. If you’re moderating comments, you’re getting on my nerve. Moderated comments tells me that you care more about spam than about thanking people for wanting to comment on your blog. If it worries you so much, then put up a disclaimer up front that you’re moderating comments and I won’t waste my time. But then, if you did that I, and maybe a lot of people people, won’t comment on your blog. That’s somewhat disingenuous, isn’t it? The other thing about writing a comment on a blog that moderates comments is that suddenly you’re getting bombarded with a bunch of comments all at once in email, and if the owner of the blog isn’t putting any names in, you have no idea which response is to you, if there’s one to you at all. I hate that, but it leads to point #2.

2. If you’re not responding to my comments, you’re getting on my nerve. I didn’t just stop by and write “good post” and move on. It might not have been the theory of relativity but I at least gave you a response that showed you I read what you had to say. Now, do I expect a response all the time? Actually yes I do, but if you miss one or two I won’t mind. But if you seem to exhibit a pattern of not responding to my comments, I probably will stop coming, and I don’t want any complaints about it, whether you visit me or not. Goodness, I’m as busy as the next person, and if I’m responding to almost every comment I deserve knowing that you appreciated my taking the time out to respond back to you.

3. Are you still using Disqus, or one of those other services? Haven’t you realized yet that you’re losing comments? Obviously you didn’t see Sire’s poll, which is still ongoing by the way. I mean, 45% of people said they wouldn’t leave a comment on one of these blogs; are you really getting enough comments that losing 45% of potential visitors is okay for you? And, by the way, if you read the post, you’ll see that some of the people who said they’d still leave a comment overwhelmingly said they didn’t like it, and didn’t do it on all blogs that run this service, but most of them. So, add at least another 25% to the mix and then ask why you don’t have lots of comments. By the way, you’re a dying breed; so many people lately have jumped on the CommentLuv bandwagon and found other ways to block spam and they’re starting to thrive. One guy told me his comments jumped threefold; how’s about that!

4. Are you verifying that people are receiving your responses back to them? This one’s dicey because of you folks running free blogs on WordPress.com. It doesn’t give you the ability to set things up so you can make sure people are seeing that you’ve responded to them, and that’s a shame. Since I’m someone who won’t subscribe or login to receive comments when I get that email (after all, I already checked the box on your blog that asked if I wanted to subscribe to comments), I’ll only revisit blogs of those of you I happen to like; you know who you are if you’ve seen my comments on your blog. If you’re answering a lot of people and rarely hear back from them, this could be an issue for you. But I’m not the guy who can tell you to spend your money on self hosting and a domain name; spend your money your way. However, I am the guy to tell you that it’s the way to go if you get serious about blogging.

5. Some of you know I don’t like Blogger/Blogspot blogs. I don’t like them because you have to create a login name to comment so that you’ll get responses back. I have one for my business name, and I’m still trying to figure out how that happened, but not for any of my other blogs or websites, including this one. Some blogs I want to comment on aren’t appropriate for my business account, and thus I’ll either skip it or comment using the email for this blog, but of course Blogger won’t let you put in an email, and thus you never know if you got a response or not. This fact impeded a lot of blogs I wanted to check out when we had that network meme a week or so back. On this one, same answer I gave to the previous point; I can’t tell you what to do, but if you’re serious about blogging, think about it.

That’s it; that’s my rant. I’ve actually ranted on all these things in the past, as you can see from some of the links, but I guess it’s been awhile. People forget, and thus I figured I’d bring it up again. If you don’t really care, then that’s fine; if you do, well, at least think about it.

Buffalo Bills Red-Navy Blue Pleather Varsity Team Tall Sizes Full Zip Jacket

Buffalo Bills Red-Navy Blue Pleather Varsity Team Tall Sizes Full Zip Jacket






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Akismet Is, Well, Too Good?

The latest update to Akismet has been an interesting one. There are some changes that are apparent because of it, and one that’s kind of driving me nuts.

The first changes concern the extra notification on both comments and on spam comments. On the first, you see something telling you that they’ve approved the comment being there. That’s pretty obvious since the comment is there, so that seems redundant. If you make a change, such as sending a comment to spam or trash, it tells you what you did. That’s redundant as well since WordPress tells you that same thing. Oh yeah; it actually flagged a comment I wrote as needing to be moderated; that’s never happened before. And when I finish writing my comment, it tells me it’s approved it; interesting as well.

As it regards spam it tells you that it’s decided a post is spam. That’s obvious because it’s in the spam filter, and thus it’s redundant. And if you move it out of spam it tells you that you’ve moved it out of spam, which is redundant because WordPress tells you that as well. So, both of those moves were unneeded.

Here’s the biggie, though. Immediately after I upgraded on all 3 of my blogs, suddenly I had tons more spam. I was used to getting a lot of spam a day, but I could check in a 4 hour period and I might have between 15 to 20 spam messages; that was okay. Suddenly I was getting between 30 and 80 every hour; what the hey? And trying to be conscientious, I was looking through all of those messages, and out of 3 blogs I only found 2 comments that I thought were legit. Suddenly spam was an issue, and not because Akismet wasn’t working.

Where did all those messages suddenly come from? Freaked me out, to be sure. The first thing I did was go to the discussion tab under settings and change one of the parameters to close comments on all blogs more than 90 days old on all 3 blogs. But that troubled me because I don’t really mind getting legitimate comments on old posts. Then I realized I did have an option, and decided to go for it on two of my blogs.

I decided to go ahead and try the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin to my other two blogs; I haven’t added it to this one. Most of you know it adds a little box for people to check to prove they’re not spammers. Frankly, I don’t get as many comments on those two blogs, and they both seemed to be getting way too many spam messages. I added it, then waited an hour and checked both. All that spam… gone. Whew!

So why haven’t I added it onto this one yet? Strangely enough, it’s because I’m actually on this blog most of the day, or at least have the administrative area open. I check it often, and thus it’s easier for me to keep up with all the spam. For now, I can still deal with it all. But I’m not going to be hesitant to add it if things get out of hand. It does work well, which I figured it might. I don’t want to add something extra that might impede comments, but one sometimes has to pick their battles.

Update – As of the 12/17 update, it looks like Akismet has removed those notifications from the comments area; thank goodness! I haven’t noticed a change in spam just yet, but I’m going to be monitoring my other sites to see what goes on.


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A Networking Meme

I’m giving up my normal Sunday Question once again to be a small, outside of something that I think could end up being kind of cool; or not, as my wife sometimes thinks my sense of cool is skewed.


Meme by Michael Boston

Back in late November, our friend Kissie wrote a post talking about having what she was calling a Community Networking Meme. She wanted to set something up that was kind of formal for bloggers to answer some questions about themselves, ask other people to participate as well, and visit the blogs of those people who were participating in the process and comment on those blogs.

I love the idea; but I’m not someone big on formality, as you know. Still, I wanted to play in my own way, so I’ve decided that I’m going to play with answering the 10 questions and inviting other people to write about the same thing on their blog, and if you’d like to link back to this blog and Kissie’s blog so we can come visit you to see what you’ve written. Or not; you can comment on what I write here and leave it at that, or you can answer your questions here, or you can just read and leave; that’s what freedom of expression is all about.

She did have one rule that I might end up breaking. She said that one should answer the questions with something that’s different than an answer you might have already given if you’ve addressed these questions in some fashion previously. Well, I have about 900 posts on this blog, and I have no idea what I’ve responded to before or how, so I’m not making any promises along those lines. That plus I’m writing this post two weeks in advance, so who knows where my mind will be by the time this is posted.

Okay, enough of that; let’s get to the questions, and please don’t forget to “like” this one and of course retweet!

1. If you could interview anyone on your blog (alive or dead) who would you choose and why?

Sure, let’s start off with the hardest question. I was going to cheat and list my top 5, but I’m going to play fair. But how does one do it? Do you pick a hero, someone important to history, or a family member who you’d love to glean information from? I decided to go with history and I’d pick Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, the 3rd president of the United States, the guy who really could have abolished slavery and didn’t, the guy who pushed through the Louisiana Purchase, and probably one of the smartest guys to ever be president of this country.

2. What do you feel is your strength as a blogger?

I have a vivid imagination, and the only thing that stops me from writing more is time.

3. Can you share a little bit about yourself that you have not already mentioned on your blog?

I’m trying to think of what I’ve never revealed about myself on this blog that I’d even think of sharing with someone else, and it’s a hard one. I guess I’ll just say that I have a very finite set of principles that I believe many people would equate with what they believed those who believed in any religious principle might want to live by, yet I don’t have a religion, don’t believe in an entity of that sort, and I’m hoping I can figure out a way through all the science books I also read to stay alive forever. I think that’s going to be a losing proposition, however.

4. If you were forced to change the name of your blog, what would you change it to? Why?

Silly as this sounds, I’d change the name of the blog to I’m Just Saying, since that’s actually the expression I use all the time. lol

5. What do you think is the most fulfilling part of being a blogger?

The people who stop by for a brief chat and meeting new people by visiting their blogs as well.

6. What would you do with your last day if you found you had only one more day to live?

I’m gonna get a fly girl, gonna get some spank and drive off in a def OJ for a quick stop at a Chinese restaurant, then to a chocolate shop where I’m only going to eat chocolate and chocolate covered stuff while listening to Jackson Five and Michael Jackson music and writing that final blog post until it’s time to go.

7. You’ve been doing medical research for decades and have finally found a cure. What was it that you found a cure for and why did you choose this particular ailment?

I chose cancer. Yes, there are a host of things out there that can get you, but cancer is the only one that can strike everyone no matter whether they’ve lived a healthy life or not. No one is really sure where some of the cancers come from nor how they get them, and my dad had lung cancer as well, so it’s the one that gets my initial attention.

8. What is your most guilty pleasure?

Are you kidding me? Chocolate, and I don’t feel guilty about it one bit! lol

9. Answer only one. What is your favorite book, movie or TV show?

Star Trek, all of them.

10. What do you think is the very best smell in the world? The one smell that can take you back to a time and place of a very vivid memory in your past?

Chocolate; hmmm, seems I said that already. 🙂

Winter Wonderland Imagekind
Winter Wonderland
by Ginette FineArt

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