12th May – Keep a One Day Diary for Mass Observation

May 12th 2016 is likely to be quite an ordinary day, but for those researching, the ‘ordinary’ can often provide extraordinary results.  The diaries will be held and used alongside the 1937 documents. We would be very grateful if you could document your May 12th for the future.

Please write as much as you can about what you do, who you meet, what you talk about, what you eat and drink, what you buy or sell, what you are working on, the places you visit, the people you meet, the things you read, see and hear around you, how you are feeling and of course what you yourself think.

Source: 12th May12may

Time to End Picture Book Blogging?

I think its time to stop posting images with every post for the sake of having an image with every post. Unless your site is showcasing your art, illustrations and photography, most of the images posted are just decoration. How many stock images do you really need to see in a day?

We are adults, we read books without pictures on every page. Usually the only pictures are on the book cover. Magazines and newspapers run images with articles but not random, meaningless images. Isn’t it time to put away the pretty pictures in our sites too?

Unless an image is required to illustrate a point or give directions, why are they needed? I know people think the images help with SEO, but do they really?

Want your site to load faster, dump the picture book images.

Often the image is something barely relevant to the topic. It does nothing but add colour. We are not children. We don’t need colourful picture books.

Treat your readers like the adults they are and put away your picture book blogs.

What do you Think About Gratuity Free?

gratuityfreeestablishment

The image comes from a restaurant owner in Brooklyn, NY, US.  The idea is older. Tips for service aren’t a new idea but the feeling that a tip is owed for service is still fairly new. I don’t like a tip being expected and I really don’t like (and won’t return to) places which automatically include the tip on the bill. Tips began as appreciation for good service. A way to show gratitude. When tips become expected they lose that meaning. I strongly feel I am not offering to pay anyone’s wages each time I use a service. The business owner is responsible for the wages for their employees, not me as the customer or client.

How do you feel about tipping and a restaurant which bans tipping?

In Canada, a restaurant tried to go gratuity free but customers did not like it. The restaurant went back to the old way of paying staff less due to expected gratuities/ tips from customers.

Would you tip for poor service? I know people will do so. Tipping is so expected that people fear a backlash if they don’t tip and tip well, no matter what kind of service they get. Gratuities has become a very socialist thing – everyone gets paid whether they work or not. Funny how turned around the concept of leaving a gratuity has gotten.

I worked as a cashier for years and did not get tipped. The only difference was in the wages paid to a cashier versus a waitress/ waiter. The job itself is quite similar. If wages were paid – which was the idea of having a minimum wage – the service people would be making the same money. Tips extra. Would you tip all the service people, cashiers included? Or do you tip out of obligation to pay wages to restaurant staff?

If you haven’t guessed… I only leave a small tip. I used to leave none, unless I really wanted to. Peer pressure about tipping got to me though and now I almost always leave a tip. I begrudge leaving a tip for average, standard service. As a customer and someone who has worked in the service industry it feels very unfair for restaurant staff to expect customers to pay them and for businesses to be not pay them the minimum wage due to expected tips.

I do not tip for poor service. I may or may not complain about poor service but I will not thank them for it.

Build “Near Me” Search

Smartphones link to all kinds of local information. Terms like “near me” “closest” and “nearby” are rapidly growing into the most popular search terms

Source: Build Your Business with “Near Me” Search

Not all of us have a brick and mortar business to apply a physical address to for this “near me” search idea. However, it can still work for you and your site.

Consider your content as a resource. First, the topic. It may be a physical object like electronics, fashion, etc. Or, an idea, hobby, like collecting stamps, help for hoarders, etc. The “near me” plan will still work for your site, and you.

Think about the resource you can build for readers who want local content and resources. Not just location but topic too. What other relevant or related topics could people be searching for in your niche?

If your site is about an idea or hobby find all the local resources and list them. Local to you is the easiest and most relevant list you can make. Not only can you find resources via Google search but you can talk to people in the community and find resources Google hasn’t found or not available online.

If you are writing about fashion, electronics or another niche topic you can also build up a list of resources for local search/ readers. Promote your resource as location based. Even if you just make it a page on your site, or a post, rather than turning your site into a local resource – you can still catch the “near me” searchers – and give them what they are looking for.

Ordinary Horror

Think of something ordinary and give it a horror story.

I like reading about objects like paintings, furniture and dolls which have stories of death and destruction behind them. I do wonder if there is some truth to it. Of course, people who tend to live with risk, take adventures and such, are likely to have accidents and die in crashes or even pick up diseases. So, you can’t take every story seriously and believe it just because you read it.

However, I do think strong emotion hangs around in places and objects too. There are places which give people a strange, out of sorts, feeling. There are people you meet and dislike right away, without any reason. Almost everyone has walked into a room where people have argued and felt that tension – without anyone saying a word. So it does seem possible something like that could stick around. Possible but I wouldn’t say I believe fully.

It does make a good story. How would you write it? What object or item would you pick? Was it stolen from an ancient site? Did it belong to a murdered woman? What was the tragic event connected to it? What happened to people who owned or used it since then? Pick an outline and give it a good story. Try to spook yourself with it.

Source: 25 Terrifying Objects That Are Genuinely Linked To Freaky Paranormal Events

Message in a Bottle Delayed

messageinabottleSource: 25 Incredible Stories From The World Of Ships, Boats, And Sailors

Pretty unbelievable. One of those things you would guess as false and yet wonder if it’s just odd enough to be true.

Imagine you found (by some long chain of events) a message in a bottle from a long forgotten relative. Just as in this case,  written as he or she was dying then left to be found. You could create a whole story about how the message was left but lost and wandered around for centuries only found by some odd mixture of events. It wouldn’t need to be a message in a bottle. It could be found in a time capsule. It could have been under the floor boards of an old house being demolished. So many options to choose from or invent.

Write the story, from start to finish, all the places and people who became involved in that old message along the way.

Hey Guys We All Know… These are Offensive Phrases

We all know that…

That phrase really bothers me. I don’t like the cajoling, persuasive feeling of those words. I don’t like the assumption that there is a “we” and that I have anything in common with whoever is speaking or writing those words.

Yet this phrase comes up so often. Why? It’s so phony. So irritating and so slimy! I change my mind about whatever “we” are all supposed to know or think or feel as soon as I see or hear that.  I have a mind of my own, thank you! I don’t have a love of all popular culture, the entertainment industry and I don’t own a mobile phone. I’m an independent, free thinker as often as I choose to be.

So, whatever you think “we all know”… I’m just offended and contrary enough to unknow it on purpose!

The other phrase I just can’t stand is anything referring to people as “guys”.

Hey you guys…

Obviously you are only talking to the men because I’m not a guy. I never have been and don’t intend to change that.

Why, when the media is so heavily pushing transgender issues are we also all being called “guys”? Why ask people which pronoun they prefer when you call them all guys and think it’s ok?

Both of these phrases offend me. I hear (or see) them almost daily in advertising, online media and casual conversation.

In short, keep your little marketing hands and small marketing mind to yourself. People are don’t come out of a box each morning – we are unique individuals and we are not all men.

Dear JetPack…

Can we have a feature to mass update JetPack’s modules for all our WP sites? I have had to reinstall JetPack due to update problems and each time my modules need to be re-set. This is time consuming and a little aggravating to do for several sites. Today 6 of them need to be reset and I can’t find any enthusiasm at all for the job. Could JetPack set this up as WP.com has made it work for updating plugins for all my blogs now?

PS- JetPack should not be on the WP.com updates. It does not work well with others there. The time before I forgot not to update it and this last time I was optimistic and thought it would work this time… But, no. JetPack has some kind of conniption each time I update it on WP.com, especially if I have other plugins to update. Why not just have JetPack update from JetPack and keep module settings there too? Please. The multi-bloggers will love you. For a few minutes at least.

I sent this request to JetPack tonight. I’m sure someone will read it but, tonight, I am still fixing/ adjusting modules cross checking between sites and wishing there was an easier way to do this.

The Fear of Darkness

Darkness is one of the more interesting things to fear. You could write mountains out of molehills about darkness and still not really know what it is. Beautiful, mysterious and full of space for your imagination to wander. Why fear something like knives, water or bacon splashing you when there is the dark to be looked into. It’s a magical fear.

I don’t fear the dark myself. It’s more about the other side of the darkness when the lights come back on and the world, people, life floods back in filling all the little niches and cracks and making you be something understandable again. The darkness is kind of nice, simple, blank and limitless. It’s the opposite of a blank, white page waiting to be filled. The darkness is already complete but you can always add whatever comes to mind, if you feel the need. The darkness always has room for more.

How do you feel about darkness? What could you write about it and a fear of the darkness?

Keanu Reeves has been open about his fear of the darkness and sort of assumes that it comes from a philosophical standpoint: perhaps a fear of death.

Source: 9 Celebs and their STRANGE Phobias  DailyForest 

Miscommunication?

I don’t think this is sending the message they really want the public to receive.

It almost made me laugh. I come from a background of small business owners, often working on call seven days a week. I myself have mainly been in customer service or freelancing which has few days off, lots of being on call and I only get paid if I show up and keep working. So, I was surprised and then almost laughed out loud when I saw this come up on a website for a union. unionjobSource: The Media Union of BC