#NoCommentNoShare

#NoCommentNoShareBecause I am fed up with sites which expect me to register for another site, like Disqus, before I can leave a comment I am no longer going to share links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc for any site which I can not comment on.

I have not been blocked or banned from Disqus. I just do not want to register for an account. For years we have given our email and name to sites in order to comment. That was more than enough. Trusting sites to collect our email addresses and not sell them was much more than enough to ask when I only wanted to comment on a blog post. To ask, or expect more is too much!

Disqus allows guest comments. If the site owner chooses to enable the feature – you can leave a comment without having to login or register with Disqus. So, it is fully the fault of the site owner if people can not comment. The site owner uses Disqus to track people. They want to track everyone so they can’t let people comment unless they become a number.

Well no more for me! I deleted my account at Disqus last year when I was fed up.  Now I’m taking it a step farther and putting the blame right on site owners. So, any site which expects me to register in order to comment I will not be forwarding or sharing links on any of my accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Scoop.it and etc.

#NoCommentNoShare

Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors

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Today’s challenge is one I am skipping for now. I’ve got a lot of blogs I follow, years and years worth of blogs I follow and I almost never read them. I would like to take time to weed through my list to find which are link rot, moved and can have a fresh link and find new sites which I would love to add to the list. That all takes quite a lot of time though, more than one day for sure.

So this day three of the WordPress Blogging 101 will have to be on the list of extra things to do later. I’d like to do the same for all of my sites. Actually, links I have on the two main sites need to be sorted into relevant topics which would fit on the niche sites too.

Lots of work to be done!

 

Blogging is a communal experience; if you didn’t want anyone to read your posts, you’d keep a private diary. Today, begin engaging with the blogging community, the first step in building an audience.

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.
Why spend time reading other blogs?

Publishing posts is only half of blogging — engaging with the community is the other.
Considering what other bloggers write will inspire you and sharpen your thoughts.
Part of what makes blogging such a rich experience are the relationships we develop with people from around the world. Those relationships only happen when we engage with one another — just look at The Commons. Plus, reaching out to other bloggers is the best way to have them return the favor.

The first step is finding the people you want to connect with. By following topics you care about in the Reader, you’ll discover a world of blogs. Some of them will become favorite reads, and some of their authors will become your fans.

Want to share your great finds? Visit The Commons.
To get you started, review our tips on using the Reader to find and follow blogs that speak to you. A few of our editors have also shared their favorite Reader topics. Add five topics, so you can access them quickly whenever you feel like doing some reading. As you browse the topics, follow five new blogs, too.

The Blogroll on The Commons is another great place to explore. There are over 1200 of you participating — you’re bound to find some new favorite reads. Scroll through the list, and click on titles that intrigue you, seem up your alley, or make you laugh. (Adding the “blogging101″ topic to your Reader is also a great way to keep up with your co-bloggers.)

If you don’t blog on WordPress.com, you can still use the Reader if you have a WordPress.com username. If not, there are other ways to explore — your blogging platform may allow you to browse, or you can visit blogs you love and check out their blogrolls and commenters’ blogs.

Feel free to publish a post in addition to completing today’s task if you’d like! Write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog, or take a look at our prompts and challenges for more inspiration.

Blogging 101: Say Your Name

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I haven’t re-named any of my sites but I have gone through and put more thought (and some humour) into giving them new bylines. I can’t promise they will still be the same a month from now. But here they are today:

herebedragonswreckyratbird

diycreativeblogging

greenlivhistory

asciiartist

 

wordgrrls

Today’s challenge:

You set your blog’s address when you registered at WordPress.com, but your blog’s title — what readers see on your site when they visit — can be changed at any time. Today, let’s make sure you love yours.

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline.
Why?

The title is the first thing most readers will see.
Your title and tagline work with elements like like your address and theme to give visitors context and help them decide to stick around.
Your title doesn’t need to be the same as your blog’s URL — there’s no need to call it “maryjanesmith922.” Your title should reflect you.

A title is typically only a few words, so consider adding a tagline — a phrase that appears under your title and helps flesh it out. Think “Burger King: Have It Your Way,” or The Daily Post: The Art and Craft of Blogging.” Look at the post your wrote yesterday. Why are you here? Let us know in your tagline.

Here are the details on editing your title and tagline, along with some accumulated wisdom from other WordPress bloggers. Here’s one of our favorite nuggets of advice:

Try listing adjectives that describe your personality, and play around with the words until you can tweak them into a name that’s catchy but uniquely “you.” Puns always work well. Start with certain common phrases, songs, and literary titles, and then mix the words up. Or use your own name in a clever way.
She’s a Maineiac
If you’re already thrilled with your title or you want to do more, feel free to publish a post, too! Let readers know what inspired your title and tagline, or, If you need want writing inspiration, take a look at today’s prompt.

Buying and Selling Ads at Project Wonderful

Originally posted to HubPages, 2012.

I’ve been a member of Project Wonderful for more than 5 years.

projectwonderful1

You can begin running ads on your site/ blog without investing a cent. Publishing ads (as a publisher) is easier than starting to run ads for your own site (as an Advertiser). But, it’s interesting to create your ad campaigns and get more involved with selling ads as you get the hang of the Project Wonderful network.

If you do have any problem on the site, try the help section. But, Project Wonderful isgreat for giving real time support and feedback to anyone who contacts the site. This is one huge plus point in their favour.

This is what a Project Wonderful 125X125 Ad Looks Like on your Site

 projectwonderful2

Publishing Ads with Project Wonderful

Start by putting the code on your site. Wait for advertisers to begin picking your site to run their ads on. Then select the ads you want to run. You can investigate the ads and the products they want to sell. Just click on the ad before you accept it. I like to make sure the product being sold isn’t something I would find disagreeable. In the early years of Project Wonderful there were some spammy ads. I haven’t found that to be a problem these days.

Advertising on Project Wonderful

As an advertiser with Project Wonderful you don’t need to spend big money getting started. Ads can run for as low as one cent. You can even run your ads on sites which accept free ads.

I don’t run a lot of ads for my own sites. Most of the time I let the money I make build up and then I will run a few ads until I’ve spent about half of the money I made by just letting ads appear on my own site. In this way, Project Wonderful can be used without spending anything of your own money. If you want to spend money on running a lot of ads, of course, you can do that.

Read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Get started at Project Wonderful by clicking here and reading the FAQs on the site. If you need extra help send in a note through the site. They will give you any help you need to get started buying and selling ads on your blog or site.

Content Curation with Scoop.it

This was originally posted to HubPages in 2012. Moved it from there because it wasn’t being read.

scoopit3

Content curation is all about finding great links and resources to share with others interested in your topic/ niche. The great thing is creating a resource which give credit and promotion to great sites and knowing you are getting them the readers they want. Directed traffic. Also, for your own benefit, you build yourself as an authority on the topic you curate the content for.

There is limited customization you can use to decorate or fix up your topic on Scoop.it. If you use a paid account, of course, you have more options.

Scoop.it does let you export your topic as a widget which works well in your blog’s sidebar if you want to promote it and get traffic to your Scoop.it topic.

See my topic – Creative Writing Inspiration on Scoop.it as an example.

Update: Since I originally wrote this, Scoop.it has begun offering their content curators the ability to send newsletters out for each of their topics on the network. There is a new mobile app too. Take a look.

scoopit1 scoopit2

How to Use Scoop.it

There are a few elements to creating the post (once you have found the link you want to add):

The image which is posted with the link.

You don’t want to post an image which is not relevant to the post. Don’t post whatever image comes up first and leave it like that. You won’t build yourself up as an authority by being sloppy or careless.

When you use Scoop.it you are able to add an image of your own choosing. So anything you cut and paste or even create yourself can be used. If I am not happy with the images to choose from I will use screen capture and take a quick capture of the site’s logo, part of the header, something to identify the link.

Also, whatever image you use is going to be a big factor in whether the link gets noticed and then clicked. Keep that in mind. The image is making a first impression.

Next up, the title of the link you are posting.

Don’t ignore the title. Scoop.it gives you a title taken from the HTML code on the site you’re linking to. But, not all titles are just fine right out of the box this way. Adjust them. You might even go all out and rewrite them to something your readers will be more likely to want to read.

Then comes the description.

I admit I get lazy at this point, probably more often than I should. If my title and the image are working I think that is enough. Most of the time. People are mainly going to notice the image and then the title to see what the image is actually about. So, a description is extra.

However, a description can be a nice extra. I will use “” and quote something from the post I’m linking to. Or, I might write a quick blurb about why I’m linking to that post. Something about my first impression or an idea I got from it.

Don’t forget to add tags/ keywords.

Scoop.it has the option to add keywords to each link. I leave it up to you to decide how valid this is compare to the extra time and effort it takes to forever be typing in the same words. This is one thing which doesn’t work for me at Scoop.it. I wish they would let the content curators set their keywords and have them posted automatically. Then, it would just be a matter of changing them if necessary, for individual links.

We already use a niche/ topic/ category to add the links/ posts we are linking to. So the topic is set and keywords could be set along with it. This would save some extra steps which seem pretty unnecessary to me.

With Scoop.it you can click where you want to share the link as you post it.

Pick your poison… Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Before you actually click on Publish, make sure you have set the category your link is being curated to on Scoop.it.

But, if you do send a link to the wrong place you can go back and edit it. Rescoop the link to the right category and then delete the one which was sent to the wrong one. No disaster to fix a little mistake but getting it right the first time will save you from opening another window on your web browser. I’m always using the bookmarklet in my toolbar when I curate content for Scoop.it, so I don’t have to go to the Scoop.it site to add content, I can just keep cruising along and find more.

Social Media Marketing Strategist

Social Media Marketing Strategist — Work at Medium — Medium.

Medium is looking for a social media marketing strategist to help support the engagement efforts of the platform’s five digital publications (Matter, Re:Form, among others). He or she will manage the creative, analytical, technical, and relationship aspects of all five publication’s social media channels. The role will involve creating measurable goals and conducting social experiments on a regular basis. This is a 3-month contract position with a competitive salary based in San Francisco.

This person’s daily responsibilities will include:

  • Building specific target audiences for all five publications using distinct voices and tones for each
  • Writing and managing all social media content for each publication
  • Creating and monitoring Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns, as well as other special engagement campaigns
  • Tracking and analyzing social traffic data
  • Optimizing strategy, content, and ads based on performance
  • Creating monthly social media content calendars for each publication
  • Crafting each publication’s weekly newsletter
  • Experimenting with new ways to increase engagement on the platform
  • Liaising with Medium’s User Happiness team on all support queries
  • Working closely with @Medium’s social coordinator to promote these publications across the platform and the web

This person should have previous experience with:

  • Managing social media content and campaigns

  • Experimenting with, tracking, and analyzing social data

  • Implementing online marketing strategies focused on community content engagement

  • Developing voices for brands

  • Copy-writing

Personal Life and Blogging by Choice

I’ve had sites up for more than ten years, more than a dozen years. In all that time my family showed little interest and never read anything. Maybe there was the odd skim if they remembered the link somehow. I never thought about what I was posting very much because it was all like writing a note to just myself anyway.

Now that has changed. People (my Mother and sister-in-law) have been reading what I write. My Mom even leaves the odd comment. That is ok. It is here, in public after all. But, it changes everything. Not in the way that I edit what I write about anyone else because I don’t write about family or friends much at all. In my mind this is another world from all of that. It does mean I’m getting feedback which I never asked for or really thought about.

It all changes when someone else sits in judgement on you. Let’s not pretend there isn’t judgement. Because there is. In my family it is all about competition, winning and who is on top. I don’t live that way, well, I have tried not to. Mainly because I am always on the bottom. I feel like I’m in a bottomless pit at times and that isn’t all bad. Without a bottom are you ever really on the bottom? Pretty good, eh?

Anyway, it is too bad that this has all changed from freewriting to unfreewriting at just the time I am working on fixing myself and actually making some progress. Slow progress. Bittersweet progress and sometimes I feel like I’m just stepping into hotter water, but it’ all in the name of progress.

I’m not asking or expecting anyone to stop reading. There is only one way to prevent that and I don’t want to make this a private site. That was never what I wanted. This has been an outlet into the great, wide world for me. I’m not much of a talker in person. So this was such a nice random, free and risky way to be out in the world without having to change out of my nightgown even. Online, no one can see you haven’t even brushed your hair yet.

I’m going to keep writing but I am going to expect people to keep their judgement in line. I don’t expect anyone to read here or ask for comments about what I think, what I have done in the past or what I may do in the future. I have not caused intentional harm to anyone. I work at being a good person and I am the only one who decides what that means for me. I write some adult content, I like some adult things… I’m almost 50 and I can make those choices for myself.

Anyway, this is only here. I won’t be talking to anyone about this post. Family can read it, make their judgements and their own choices. There will, however, be no discussion about this post, posts in the past or those in the future. If you read here understand that this is personal, yet available for public consumption because that is my choice. I write about stuff but I do not choose to talk about it.

Retiring my Old HubPages Profile

Laura is secretly handling the Canadian World Domination plot. It’s all very polite and litter free but for the odd moose rampage.

Laura is an eccentric and reclusive ASCII artist. In her spare time she is a freelance writer, running several blogs and social media type sites. She calls herself an Earth Witch (or a Pagan atheist) when no one in particular is listening.

Laura disappears for hours, even days on urban and rural explorations. She travels with the wrong shoes and the right Ontario road map, looking for ruined buildings and abandoned farm houses.

Laura collects postcards, stones, old Canadian coins, bone china bouquets, hand drawn maps, dust bunnies, books about writing, dragons (real ones) and assorted oddities to which she won’t confess. She likes to crochet, embroider, crazy quilt and sew. Her Grandmother used to say, “Once Laura sews on a button it never comes off again.”

“Adorable, in a wicked, modest way that only the ego-maniacal can pull off.” – Says Gracie (friend and fellow web writer).

“This girl writes like other people breathe.” Comment from a regular reader.

Canadian freewriting niche blogger. Online since 1996.

This profile was written by Laura who thinks no one should have to type their own name this many times in a row.

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http://thatgrrl.hubpages.com/hubs/latest?rss

Just seemed like time for a change. Not even sure what I will do with two accounts on the same site. I would have stuck to just one but with the merge from Squidoo we all had to start fresh, new accounts on HubPages.

Content Designer/ Writer Job Post

Found this posted to FreshGigs.ca

Content Designer/Writer Full-Time

Our philosophy is and yours should be ‘people using our products come first’.

We’re working to create marketing products that people want to use and words play a big part in that. Join the Trade and Marketing Division of the Ministry of Economic DevelopmentEmployment and Infrastructure where you will write, design, develop and produce marketing content, materials and products to market ministry programs and initiatives to target audiences through multiple content formats.

What can I expect to do in this role?

In this role:

  • you will create marketing products to market ministry programs and services using the written word, digital technologies, graphic design and other media
  • you need to be user-focused and know how to write and create with a real-life person not a department in mind

How do I qualify?

Marketing and Communications Knowledge and Skills:

You are able to:

  • create marketing content using a wide variety of media including written, digital, video, graphic design, etc.
  • take complex language, concepts and processes and make them easy to understand
  • clarify and communicate content objectives and bring a broader perspective to a topic so that it can focus on the right information for the user

Technical Knowledge and Skills:

You have proven experience:

  • writing for the web and creating marketing content that is clear, accessible and usable
  • developing marketing material in a variety of mediums and formats
  • choosing the best format for communicating information to the user
  • using existing content and repurposing it into alternate formats for additional uses
  • implementing content marketing strategies
  • using metrics and user feedback to define/refine content
  • marketing in a B2B setting

Analytical and Evaluative Skills:

You can:

  • analyze client needs and target audiences and recommend the most appropriate approach/medium/format, etc.
  • plan and design user-focused content
  • identify content gaps and overlaps and map out content strategies for different audiences using different formats
  • work with a multi-disciplinary team to understand user behaviours and feedback and develop effective content

Bloated Self Importance on Video

Each time I see someone with a video post I think of all the people who can’t or won’t be watching it.

Video posts are for people with money to burn. In the US the Internet is cheaper. In places like Canada, Europe and the rest of the world, the story is different. I pay almost $100 per month for the Internet, that’s before adding in the cost of my landline phone. I used to have cable TV but paying $180 a month for all three services was too much. Plus, the prices were going up another $5 for Internet and TV the next month.

A very big part of the cost for the Internet is bandwidth. How much you use, not in time but in load. How bloated are the files you are loading onto your computer from the Internet? Have you thought about it?

Uploading is about the files you put from your computer onto the Internet.

Downloading are the files you bring from the Internet onto your computer. Downloading used to be about software you get from the Internet, mostly. Now it is about looking at websites, software, advertising and everything else you view while you are online.

Did you know you pay to watch ads online?

Each ad you see is costing you bandwidth.

A plain text ad costs you almost nothing, not enough that you could even notice it. An ad with an image costs a bit more, especially if the image moves or lights up or does anything other than just be an ordinary image. A larger image costs more, of course. But, ads at this point cost so little bandwidth you would not notice them unless you visit a lot of sites with a lot of ads all the time.

When you get up the food chain to ads which use scripts and then video… you’re paying enough to notice the bandwidth each month.

I use add-ons to turn some of the bandwidth sucking advertising off. It is not 100% but it helps. It helps keep my Internet bill from being even higher each month.

I have to pay for bandwidth each month. I used to have the light Internet account, paying about $50 each month. That was enough to pay. Over 12 months I’d be paying $600, plus tax (which is also higher in most of Canada than the US). What could you do with an extra $600 in your pocket each year?

Anyway, to help make the Internet affordable again I had the cable TV turned off and I began doing what I can to shut down all video posts and ads. Using the web browser add-on will only go so far. The other thing I have done is to not watch video posts.

Seems a simple thing to just choose to not watch video. But, it’s not.

Video posts come up all the time.

When I want to find a tutorial for using a WordPress theme or plugin… it’s in a video post. Annoying when this happens, especially when I have paid for the theme or plugin and now have to pay to use it (or at least to understand how to use it).

Network sites I write for want video added to the posts I write. This means going to YouTube to find second hand content which I have to watch in order to make sure it is relevant and will add some information or resources to my own original post for the site. This annoys me because I have just written original content and now I have to link to someone else, giving them my bandwidth, my time and space in the post I worked on. Aggravating all the way around and this is where most of my extra expense comes from each month on my Internet bill.

Even with protection from browser add-ons I still get caught with video advertisements. There are still more of them out there which have found a way to get around the blocks I have set up.

I think people who post videos (without giving a text alternative) are arrogant or just thoughtless.

It is thoughtless and careless to assume everyone else around the world is just like you. It is arrogant to post videos just to make yourself seem important.

The one time I think a video post is a good and sensible thing is for a tutorial – where it will help people to see what is being done and how it is done. Any other video posts are just people showing the world how important they are. It should be more important to make sure you are communicating with your audience, in a way which suits them best, rather than catering to your own self importance.