Real Book Lovers Make their own Bookmarks

bookmarkI became more interested in bookmarks after my friend, Deanna, asked to use one of my drawings for a bookmark she wanted to print out for the First Annual Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention. Before that I never put a lot of thought into bookmarks. I had a few, I lost a few and a few were mangled when they fell out of my book and into the depths of my purse. Most of the time I stuck something in my page, whatever was around: a restaurant napkin, a store receipt, or a candy wrapper.

Sometimes I turned down the corner of the page I was reading, at the top. But, I didn’t really feel good about marking my page that way. Mainly because it seemed to be contributing to the future dog-earred look the book would eventually get it others continued bending it’s pages that way when they read it after me.

I did find a really nice bookmark which someone had made, not the conventional long, slender cardboard bookmark. Instead this bookmark was stiff paper, folded over to cover the top corner of the book’s pages. It was like a page cap, decorated too. But, I thought this would make a fairly heavy bookmark. For me, it was too likely to wind up falling off and being misplaced somewhere. Plus, it wouldn’t do much to save my place in the book.

When I read Les Miserables (a lengthy, heavy book) I picked up an elastic which had been used on a small box of chocolates I was given for my birthday. (From my hair stylist, Megan). It wasn’t just a plain rubber band. Shiny and golden and just the right length to stretch over the pages of the book to rest in the spine between the folds of pages. The gold elastic worked very well but I retired it when I finished the book.

I’ve seen clever bookmarks made from envelope corners, repurposing them rather than putting them into the recycling bin right away. I think this idea needs some engineering work though. I can’t see the corner of an envelope staying on the pages of my book for long. This may be great for people who don’t get into bookpacking (those who keep their book in one place rather than those take it on the road, the bus, the coffee shop, etc.)

I like using whatever bookmark the book store is giving away when I buy new books. I’ve had some nice ones, depending on which books were lately being promoted. I had one for Dragonology. I was sorry to see that one get a bit wrecked from a rainy day. It was inside my purse, in the book, but the rain leaked in and got everything wet. I have one from a website SmileyWorld. But I bought that one.

It doesn’t seem right to buy a bookmark when there are so many available for free, so may ways to repurpose something else as a bookmark and so many ways (simple ways) you can make your own bookmark.

‘Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark?’ – Steven Spielberg

jewelbookmark

Bookmark Making Ideas

How to Get Started (and Enjoy) Using Twitter

TwitterNote: Originally published on HubPages, July 2012.

What’s keeping you from using Twitter?

Twitter is easy to use. Basically you type in text and hit send. You can do more, but you can get started with the basics and even skip a lot of the extras and not miss them.

I’ve been using Twitter from the beginning. I like to try new things like Twitter and see how they work. I’m an explorer at heart.

I’m assuming you have already joined and created an account at Twitter. If not, go ahead and do so. You can sign up for an account, free, with your email address and have it link to your Facebook login as a back up login.

You’re going to need a user name on Twitter. Pick something you already use on social media accounts like Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Pick a descriptive user name but don’t let it get long winded. Keep it all one word, this just makes it easier for you to type. Once you get started with social media you will be typing your user name pretty often in order to pass it around and let people know who you are.

Compose New Tweet

newtweet newtweet2

 

Go Ahead – Start Using your Twitter Account

Login to the Twitter site. Click in the box and type something. You don’t need to add anything fancy. You don’t need to add your user name (Twitter adds it automatically once you send the post). Stick to 140 characters, this includes spaces and punctuation as well as each letter or number you type. Twitter lets you know how close you are getting to the 140 limit.

Don’t worry about the limited characters. Type in one sentence, Most sentences will fit into the 140 character limit easily. Twitter is meant to be quick, lively posts so one sentence is all you usually need. If you do need more to make your point clear think of words you can take out, words you can shorten with characters like &, for instance. Pretty simple so far, right?

Now that you have typed in your sentence, send it out there. All you need to do is click “Tweet”. Your post will be sent out to everyone on your Twitter list.

Click Expand to Retweet, Delete, Reply or Favourite a Tweet

retweet

 

So Now You’ve Posted But….

So you posted but noticed a typo/ typing error or spelling mistake. Just go to your tweet, click on “expand” and click on “delete” from the list of options. You just need to confirm that you want to delete that post and then it will be gone.

You can also retweet the post from someone else this way. Or reply to anyone who has sent you a tweet.

If you want to save or savour the tweet from a friend you can mark it as a favourite here. This will save the post on your Twitter account. The tweet is saved in a file on your Twitter account.

I have an extra option on my Twitter account. It shows up in the image I cut and pasted above. It’s called ClassicRT (Classic ReTweet). You can add this option to your web browser if you like. It’s an extra – but not essential.

ClassicRT for Google Chrome

ClassicRT Addon for Firefox

Find Replies to Your Tweets and People who have Mentioned You

connecttwitter connecttwitter1

 

Venture Out a Bit…

Wander off the Home section. Click ‘Connect’ at the top left. Now you can see who has mentioned you. Who has retweeted your posts.

I like to use this side of Twitter to reply to anyone who sent me a note. It is much easier to find replies here. (Especially once your Twitter account gets busy).

Block or Report Twitter Spammers

mentions1 mentions2

 

How to Report Spam Accounts on Twitter

On the Connect section you will eventually get Twitter spam. This is much like comment spam in a blog or on your posts on HubPages. You can (and should) block or report Twitter spam. Blocking the spamming accounts will keep them from posting to you again. So this is enough if you aren’t sure they are spamming. Otherwise, report the account to Twitter staff. Let them deal with it.

Click on the name/ user name on the spam account. This brings up a second window which lets you choose the options to block or report the account. Just click and be done with it.

If this were a friend you could send them a tweet this way as well or go to their Twitter profile. You can also choose to follow or unfollow the user account.

Never send a spam Twitter account a message. NEVER. You may think you are teaching them a lesson, giving them a piece of your mind, or giving them a chance to change their ways. But, all you are actually doing is confirming that you are an active Twitter user. They will put your account on a list which they sell to people looking for active Twitter accounts to send spam to. They will also dig for more information from your Twitter account, like your web address, blog or email address. So, NEVER reply to a spam account on email, your blog, Twitter or anywhere else online. Don’t do them any favours.

View your Profile, Change your Settings or Get Help

profile1 profile2

 

How to Change your Settings and your Profile on Twitter

Click the icon/ image of the person on the top right of the screen. This gives you options which can lead you to Twitter settings and let you edit your Twitter profile.

You can leave the settings as they are until you have an idea of how and why you want to change any of them. The basic settings will be fine for almost every beginner on Twitter. I’ve left mine pretty untouched.

I do like to play with the profile settings. I add my own image as face to the Twitter account. I created a background which has my links and whatever else I care to add. (You do need software for this, some kind of image software like Gimp). You can also write a blurb for your profile and add links.

Fun with #Hashtags

The last thing you need to know are hashtags. You may have heard about them already.

Hashtags are just a quick referral tag. Anything at all can be typed as a hashtag. You just add the # in front of it and keep it all one word.

Add a fun hashtag to your Twitter post to illustrate your point, catch someone’s attention or see if you can turn a clever phrase viral. (Viral being something that catches on in social media and spreads around in a huge way). Seldom will anything grow to viral proportions but it’s kind of fun to try now and then.

Don’t go crazy with a lot of hashtags. Consider how much you would want sent to your account before you go on a hashtag binge.

#ThisisaHashtagExample

A few last things to keep in mind…

This really is enough to get you started on Twitter. There’s a bit more about Twitter etiquette and just being a smart Twitter user (tweeter) in general.

Don’t follow a lot of people you don’t know or care to know. Having a lot of followers does not make you rich and famous. It does make you look like a possible Twitter spammer. Real Twitter users will have a balance of people they follow themselves and those who follow them back. You don’t want to have people following you from some Twitter follower service either. Those are all spammers who want to bloat their numbers so they can spam and look important. They may have you on account but they won’t be reading your posts, following your links or really care about anything you have to say.

Don’t post a lot of links or stale quotations. People want to know they are following a real person. They want to follow people who are using their Twitter account as READERS and WRITERS. They want people who will read their post, follow their links and give them feedback now and then. Isn’t that what you want from people on Twitter too? So make personal posts which don’t include links to be followed and do include some personal chatter. Nothing too dull. Come up with something interesting, something surprising that happened to you, something funny you noticed today… and so on.

Ask questions, send a note to someone using their Twitter name (@thatgrrl is my Twitter user name for instance) try to get a two-way flow of conversation. Don’t be afraid to jump into a conversation if you have something useful to add. Watch Twitter hashtags to find Twitter groups who have scheduled online meetings to talk on Twitter.

If you would like someone to follow you back let them know. Busy Twitter accounts have a hard time keeping up with new followers. Many of them are not sincerely following them but just want to get followed back and will likely remove them from their own list once they get followed back. Lost you there? Don’t worry about it. Just know that people you would like to notice and follow you back on Twitter will respond if you send them a post on Twitter. Let them know you followed them and tell them WHY you chose to follow them. Do they share your interests, do they write on the same site you do, etc.?

Don’t ignore posts on Twitter from other people. Follow an interesting link, leave comments when the links go to blog posts and let people know you followed a link posted to Twitter. Give people feedback on Twitter when they make a witty comment, shared an interesting link, or have a typo in their post. People almost always like a chance to fix a mistake if someone notices and lets them know about it. Not so different from the spinach in your teeth thing. (A friend will always let you know about the spinach stuck in your teeth).

Use your Twitter profile – write something about yourself. Tell people who you are, what you are interested in and what you are doing. Include at least one link they can click on to find you outside of Twitter. If someone thinks about following you, that profile will be a big deciding factor.

Other Places to Find Twitter Help

Creating a Great Online Dating Profile

coupleasciiOne thing no one fantasizes about is writing that online dating profile, over and over again. Your name, age, looks aren’t too stressful to write about. It’s trying to come up with a pleasant, attractive and informative way of saying everything else that makes profile writing a troublesome aspect of online dating.

Consider the profile worth doing, rather than an aggravation. If you change your outlook the job is easier and can actually be fun. Think of this as an investment in your future. It’s a chance to market yourself to the people you want to meet.

When choosing a user name or login for the site take the time to come up with something you won’t dislike in another month. Don’t go for something cutesy or slutty you will be sick of and stuck with. Be creative too and not another Jenny29583 or Mark4Yu.

Write your profile in complete sentences. Check your spelling, grammar, punctuation and proofread for typos. Sloppy profiles are a turn off. This is your chance to make a first impression. If you don’t proofread and fix mistakes you give the impression of being sloppy, careless or not really interested in making a good impression (not really interested in who you meet). Who would be impressed by someone who doesn’t seem interested in meeting someone special? We each like to think we are special, in some way.

Be honest. Remember, the idea is that you will eventually meet these people. You can’t hide those extra pounds or the birthdays you’ve had forever. Just admit them upfront and be done with it. People reading profiles do look at them like a catalogue: sorting them by age, weight, non-smoking, kids, etc. because those are important to them in searching for someone. Hiding things can work against you because someone looking for you, as you really are, could pass right by because everyone is not looking for perfection. Whatever you try to hide or ignore, just be honest and it becomes a non-issue rather than a road block. None of us are perfect, we all have flaws, issues and things we aren’t real proud of. We are all imperfect.

Never include your phone number or address. Those are vulnerable to being picked up by spammers or someone looking for an ID to borrow. No one should need that much detail about you in an online profile. This should be social, not business. Exchange addresses and phone numbers when you find someone you really do want to meet face to face.

Read the ads others have written, what are they looking for and what parts of their ads appeal to you? Likely, you are looking for someone like yourself with the same general background. So, what appeals and attracts you to a profile? Use that information in making your own profile. Get a friend to give you some help with a self description. Make some notes. Take time to really think about how your profile will present you to the people you want reading it. Turn your quirks and flaws into positives. Show your good attitude.

Talk about who you are, not just how you look. What are your interests, hobbies, plans for the future? What places have you seen and hope to see later? What’s great about your life, your job/ career? When you read an ad how important are the little things like eye colour, hair colour and height? Put more effort into writing about more than your physical looks. Let people get to know you, your sense of humour, your geeky, brainy side, or your passions. Tell us about your life and the life stage you are at: kids, career, retirement, college, etc. Those are the things people will remember.

Choose a few favourite things and/or hobbies and write about why you enjoy them. Don’t try to list everything. That may make you seem too busy or scattered. Pick a few that sound good, that represent you well and may perk the interest of like minded people.

Write about yourself and then write an equal amount about who you are looking for. Try to write it with a positive spin. Don’t go on about negative things, think positive. Don’t write about what you don’t want – write about what you do want. Write proactively and avoid over used phrases like “looking for…” Or the routine list “cute, funny, smart…” Write something along the lines of “On a mission to find a partner for the upcoming ballroom dancing event in town at the end of summer.” This tells about you and who you are looking for and it’s a lot more interesting to read about something real in your life than just a list of attributes. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Also, what do you want from online dating? Something temporary, a friendship or a lifetime romance? However, don’t babble about being on a quest to find true love. Maybe that is your goal but you won’t find it reading dating profiles. It takes time to find someone you really know well enough to want something that lasts.

Don’t get too wordy and long. If you can stick to one or two paragraphs, do it! Your first sentence or two have the best chance of being read so focus there. Put your personality and the most essential information up front. A long profile looks intimidating on the page, it’s just too much information to get through and it gives the impression that you are trying too hard. You can write more about yourself once you have made the initial connection with someone.

Prepare in advance and then keep a copy of your final profile handy for posting. You can even save it as a file on your desktop so you always know just where it is. Plus, it’s handy if you have a spur of the moment blast of inspiration and want to make a change. If you have a picture available keep that on your desktop too. Post it to a free website like Flickr so you can quickly add the URL link (not every site will let you upload a file) when the opportunity arises to add a picture with your profile. Use a current photo that shows you looking relaxed and happy. Ads with photos get a lot more attention.

Good luck!

How to Keep from Getting Bored with Your Diary

diaryIf you’ve been keeping a journal. or diary, for awhile it can become a little stale just talking to yourself, the same monologue. Here are some ways to perk your journal writing back up and make it something you can look forward to again.

Start with a diary you like. Shop for a pretty or interesting blank book or make a cover (and even pages) of your own. Or, you might use an online diary and begin on a site like Open Diary, LiveJournal or Blogger.

If you really want to write every day, do it. Keeping a writing schedule is a great way to boost your creativity and discipline yourself to write.

If you don’t want to be a disciplined writer versus a creative writer then don’t push yourself to write ever day.

Whether you write daily or not, don’t always write a long post. Give yourself quick days so you don’t feel chained to your diary. Then, when you have something to say and really do want to write about your feelings, thoughts, ideas and happenings in your life, do so. Give yourself all the space you want to explore your own self.

Have fun with your journal. Draw in it, sketch, stick souvenirs or stickers inside the pages, Turn each fresh page into something uniquely you and don’t be too timid about trying something new. This is your diary, your journal, all the rules are your own to set, or even ignore when you choose to.

Be emotional. In life we are told to be nice, not to be too sensitive and not to get so angry. However, in your diary you can vent, you can pour out sadness, grief, envy, anger, bitterness, jealousy, loneliness, hopeless feelings – any and all feelings can leak out from your fingers, into your pen or your keyboard and onto the fresh white page. This is your place to be emotional and not be judged or told what you should feel.

Always remember this is your adventure on paper. Write it your way.

Don’t always write in the same place or at the same time. Take your diary on the road. Go out to the coffee shop, the mall food court, anywhere you can find a decent place to write. Don’t always look for quiet and solitude. There’s something kind of special, romantic and even mysterious about being a writer right out there where everyone can see you.

You don’t have to use your best penmanship. As long as you can understand our own grammar, spelling and punctuation, that’s all that really matters. (Maybe some day your diary will become a big, best seller) but right now it’s all just your own message in a bottle to yourself. Make mistakes, get messy and don’t go back and fix everything.

If you write with paper and pen take some time to try a few different kinds of pens. Experiment with ink colours, thick or thin nibs and different kind of grips on the pen itself. It’s really nice to have a pen that completely suits your writing style.

Write with pencil if you find yourself wanting to sketch or go back and fix your spelling.

Not everything in your diary has to come from your own brain. If you come across a quote by someone else stick it in the pages too. Write about why you like it, what was special about it for you.

Inspiration, Prompts and Articles for Diary Writers

Diary Groups and Projects

 

I Fixed My Yahoo! Account

Yahoo! Contributor NetworkI think… I finally got my Yahoo! account problem sorted out. By myself, with the additional help of the automatic bots. Yahoo! support was no help. Thanks for the all the form mails. NOT!

Anyway, the problem has been that I could not login to Yahoo! Contributor and I would like to be writing there. But, each time I tried to login I was told I already have an account on another Yahoo! account/ profile. This was frustrating because I could not merge the two accounts.

Yes, it would have been simple to just use the new account which was linked to Contributor BUT I use my Flickr account a lot and that was on the older Yahoo! account. So each time I would go to Flickr I would have to login again and then lose the other account which was kind of dorky and had a password too complicated for a human brain to remember.

So, this morning I decided to try again. First, I found the Yahoo! account look up. You just type in your email address and it will send you any account associated with that email address. Great. It sent me back 3 things, 2 were accounts and one was an email address at YMail. A bit confusing but I’m not a web newbie so I figured it out.

So, I went to Flickr and read the options with my account there. Very near the bottom it has an option to change the Yahoo! account associated with your Flickr account. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to do this before. I also don’t know why any of the support people at Yahoo! didn’t suggest this – likely none of them actually bothered to read my email because the replies they sent all came out of the same can.

Anyway, it is all working beautifully now. The one thing I did have to do was make sure I had closed all the web browser windows which I still had open using the old Yahoo! account. That was mucking things up until I realized I had missed one.

I also reactivated the Yahoo! email account which I had set up for that newer account. So, a bit complicated but situation resolved! Finally!

Post Internal Links

Use internal links on your posts. It’s good for getting more of your posts read, keeping people reading your site, it’s good as a way to fight content scrapers who take your content and copy it on their own sites (all your links included) and it’s something the search engines will like too.

  • Link to other content relevant to the post you are making. Maybe you have already written about the same thing a year ago and this is an update post. Or, you may have written something similar with a different slant. Or, you may be arguing the other side of an issue. There are all kinds of reasons you can have a reason to link to one of your older posts. (If you are new and have few posts, write a series of posts for the same topic and link them all together).
  • Create the link using a keyword in your post. Pick one word or a short phrase. Don’t use a whole sentence. It ends up looking sloppy in your finished post.
  • Shorten a long post by creating a “Read More” anchor link. This will work as an internal link too.  WordPress has an “Excerpt” feature which will do this for you.
  • Make it easy for people to use your social links to share and connect your post. Don’t forget to add links to your own account/ profile on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, whichever of the social media sites you actively use. If you are not active, don’t promote the link. Mention it on your About page, but don’t send people there from your posts. Don’t promote and show off a slow, inactive account.
  • Exchange links with other bloggers.  Join groups and be active. Don’t join more than you can participate in regularly. Just join one busy group if that’s all you can handle.
  • Blend your own links in with links to other sites which offer good information and points you didn’t think of yourself. Instead of including their points in your own post, link to them as a resource instead. You could make a list of resources, adding your own older post on the same topic, to the list.
  • You can use a WordPress plugin which will add links to related posts at the end of each new post you make. But, you can also get a plugin which stays in the sidebar and brings up links to your old posts, or related posts.
  • Don’t go with a quantity of links, use quality links instead. Don’t load on links just to have internal links. One good, relevant, informative link is great. Don’t add more links if they really aren’t adding something of real worth to your post.
  • Use an author resource box at the end of each of your posts. This puts your name and social links right at the end of each post you write. You can even add a link back to bring people to the top of your site again, an anchor link to the top of your blog/ page.
  • Use links when you add images. Make sure they have a full link back to your blog (if they are your own images, created by yourself).
  • You can add a meta description and keywords to each post. Use this feature sparingly. Don’t go overboard on the amount of text you add.

Amy Lynn Andrews: How to Use Anchor Text to Boost SEO
SEOMoz: How to Improve your Rankings with Semantic Keyword Search

Typographic Decay

Flickr: Typographic Decay

About Typographic Decay

“An investigation of what happens to typography, when it’s given a fixed ephemeral existence and allowed to interact with its environment.”

The photos being shown in this group are a collection of individual explorations, and naturally found occurrences in both digital and analogue mediums that attempt to explore this statement.

Typographic Decay is a term coined by Edrea Lita and Marek Okon in 2007 when they both were investigating how physical typography interacts over time within a physical or digital environment. This investigation later became a paper they presented in October of 2007 at Plus+ International Design Conference held in Birmingham, England.

I found two similar groups on Flickr:

Flickr: Ghost Letters

Flickr: Fragmented Urban Language

You can also find many sites and groups about Ghost Signs in general.

Canadian Cemeteries

People are interested in cemeteries for an assortment of reasons: local history, genealogy, and an enjoyment of religious artifacts and old things in general.

Canadian Cemeteries

Ontario Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Ontario

Elgin County Gravestones

Buried in Niagara

Niagara Cemeteries and Spooky Places

Vancouver’s Cemetery – Mountain View

I’ll probably find more links later. I started looking on Flickr and found enough to keep me busy awhile.

Why would you explore a cemetery, during the day when you can actually see what you’re looking at. Write about an adventure that happened while exploring an old cemetery.

Day2Day Ordinary Beauty

Simply take One photograph every day from Monday to Friday. The subject and composition is up to you but I would encourage you to use manual settings and natural light on your camera wherever possible. Add your photo to the pool tagging it “day to day” and blog a few lines about your shot, either on flikr or on your own personal blog. You might choose to look at a theme over the five days, blogging them all as a set or choose random daily snapshots into your surroundings. The beauty of a short series of five is that you can choose to focus on one thing and aim to perfect it using different settings if you choose.

via Flickr: Day2Day- Take Five Ordinary Beauty

We need to step back and see ordinary things rather than passing them by and taking all the little things that make up our lives for granted.