Bookmarks are Reader Testimonials

You can hear the nay-sayers when it comes to web bookmarks and blogrolls. Not everything from the old, retro Internet has become obsolete.

Source: Modern SEO: The end of social bookmarking websites – BloggingConsult

But… are they right? Is keeping a list of your favourite links, the links you still visit to actually read, a bad idea? I don’t think so.

Of course, I try not to blog for SEO and Google in general. The very idea of doing all of this for a mindless machine is unappealing. Even if I don’t have many readers, or get feedback in comments or make fame and fortune through my sites… at least I’m doing something I really care about, my own way.

Back to the bookmarks!

People used to work at getting links from other sites. There were link exchanges, web rings and assorted other plans and schemes. Now Google put the scare into most people… duplicated content, too many links. etc. Google scares people because they want to be scared. In fact, Google works for us, the readers of blogs. Google wants us to find good content because then Google can sell more ads based on the people using Google and finding what they were looking for.

If we each keep a list of sites were really do like and find useful, we help our readers and we even help Google.

Each bookmark and blogroll link is a testimonial, a recommendation, from readers (real people, not machines).

I still look for a list of resources and links when I visit other sites. Isn’t that the point of visiting a niche site especially? You want to find information, resources and new ideas. Other resources are important.

Even if you have found a niche topic and you are the only resource there are still sideline resources, like supplies, maintenance and so on. Sidelines are great opportunities for you to run affiliate links for Amazon (for example) products/ books/ etc which you don’t offer yourself. Sidelines are a way to show readers you really know what you are writing about too. You can offer a complete package to readers of your site and keep them on your site by giving them all the information they need. Google will like you for it too.

Don’t think you can’t link to your competition either. You show confidence in doing so. Plus, you make yourself part of that group of well done, successful and popular sites in your topic or niche. Send a note to the other sites. Do not ask for a link exchange, be smart and offer them something they need: content and ideas. Interview them and post it to your site. Guest post (but make sure you have a great idea they really will want).

You can build your authority and readership with bookmarks and by having people bookmark you in return. But, the best are those who do it because they want to, not those done as an automated link exchange or some kind of deal about linking back.

Sincere recommendations and testimonials are the word of mouth you want people to hear. Blogrolls and bookmarks are not dead.

Obsolete and Forgotten – Technology Changes Lifestyle

So much technology is becoming obsolete right now. Our current time mirrors the Industrial Age for changes to mechanics, industry and our daily lifestyle.

I wonder how much we take for granted from the lifestyle of people before the Industrial Age. We imagine them like ourselves. But, think of the simple changes in our own life from cell phones. Wrist watches, pay phones, cameras and other gadgets and tools we relied on are now seldom used and, in the case of pay phones, rarely seen. This changes how we live, how we communicate too.

How different, therefore, would it have been for people living in earlier times? Their lives would have been different in ways we can’t imagine. We don’t have the experience to know the mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, the words and phrases they would have used for what was common then – forgotten now.

So many little things like the how a watch fob was used, the proper use and handling of a parasol, how to write with a quill and ink pot… we don’t really know (except in theory or descriptions from old records still existing). Even the old information only covers the resources and knowledge of that individual writer. We can’t assume they were all experts and, how much did they leave out, assuming their readers already knew?

We can’t bring the unknown from the past into our writing. But, we can wonder about it and wonder about our own future and what will be obsolete and forgotten then.

Bookbinding

Bookbinding is already becoming an obsolete, lost art, even before eBooks and eReaders. This was originally a free ecourse on SuiteU. Preserved here for my own interest, before SuiteU is taken down.

Bookbinding
By Kez van Oudheusden

Introduction

Bookbinding can be inexpensive, easy to do and can produce some unique and individual works. There are many basic techniques that you can use to create books and we will be starting with the simplest of all, a single section notebook that you will use for class notes and ideas. These techniques are easy to master. These are the basic techniques that you can use to build on to more difficult techniques. You can research other book artists work and combine with your own techniques to create unique books. This course will show you the basic techniques and help you get started. Once you have finished this course you will have the information you need to tackle your first project with confidence.

Don’t be afraid to experiment
There are many different mediums available to be made into a book – thick or thin papers, textiles, even bark or metal

HINT: Safety with chemicals: never combine eating when mixing chemicals; remember some are toxic. Don’t blow the dried chemicals off your work as they will rise and be inhaled. It is better to gently shake your book when dry if you are using the rusting method in Lesson 2. There is no mystery about bookbinding. It is a learning process for anyone. Take what you learn and be creative. Do you have the creative urge to express yourself but are nervous about how to begin? Simple bookbinding is inexpensive and one can begin with a very small outlay. COME AND MAKE A BOOK FOR PLEASURE!

Lesson 1: Making A Simple Notebook

This lesson will teach how to make a single book section and cover to be used for class notes. You will also learn to make a 3-hole single section of between 5 – 8 pages and manipulate the paper by various methods to create a unique book for each student. You can use this book for class notes, recommended reading, tips and tricks you learn along the way.

Materials needed:

about 10 sheets of standard size writing paper,
larger sheet of heavy cartridge paper,
large-eye needle and good quality heavy duty cotton to sew with,
inks, paints, oddments ie. old magazines, ribbon, string, buttons or other old pieces you have been saving for just such an occasion.

The one tool I consider an essential for any bookbinding is a bone folder to make sure the folds you make with paper are smooth clean folds. They are obtainable from bookbinding supply stores or online.

Instructions for Sewing

Step-by-Step Instructions for sewing section:

Measure the fold line and mark 3 holes evenly
Thread large eyed needle with strong linen thread and with outside cover facing you insert thread into center hole (#1) through pages.
Pull thread through hole #2 (to find this point easily from the inside, first push the needle through the marked spot from the outside to make a hole right thru)
Push needle and thread thru hole #3
and bring out thru hole#4 (which is hole #1)
Pull thread firmly and tie over the center thread securely.
Cut about 5cm (2inches) from knot.

Instructions for manipulating the finished book:

Tear pages, burn, drop ink, wax, cut windows, sew pockets. Use some of these methods for adding personality to your blank notebook.
Tear along page edges – wet edges for a different torn effect
Dip, splash or paint part of any or all pages with any of the following: eyeshadow, lipstick, tea, coffee, wax, ink, shoe polish, mercurochrome, gentian violet, gesso, shellac or bitumen paint – try wetting some pages first for different effects
carefully burn along some torn edges or make burn holes in pages
Melt a candle and dip the edges of pages into the liquid wax
Cut or burn a window in a page to highlight a feature on the following page
Cut a slot across page to insert small notes, photos etc.
Make a miniature one section-book to insert into a page.

Now that you have used your own imagination – download this PDF file and you may be inspired to have another go! http://members.optusnet.com.au/vanviola/…

Have a look at some of my books online for more ideas.

Lesson 1: Making A Simple Notebook
Making a Concertina Spine

In this section you will learn 5-hole sewing of book sections and how to attach sections to a spine to form a book containing 50 -100 pages. You’ll also learn to make covers for this concertina binding and end up with a book ready for decoration. Read the instructions below before beginning as you will need to follow these sewing steps with the folded sections held in place on the spine.

Materials and Sewing

quantity of papers,
heavy cartridge paper,
heavy cotton or linen thread,
firm cardboard or book card (from bookbinding supplier),
general purpose glue,
measure,
pencil,
cutting knife,
bone folder

Step by Step Instructions For Sewing Five Hole Section

Measure the fold line and mark 5 holes evenly
Thread large eyed needle with strong linen thread
and with outside cover facing you insert thread into center hole (#1) through pages.
Pull thread through hole #2 (to find this point easily from the inside, first push the needle through the marked spot from the outside to make a hole right thru)
Push needle and thread thru hole #3 and back thru 4 (#2 hole) .. brings you back to outside cover.
Take thread thru hole #5 and back thru hole #6
From outside again, needle thru #7 (hole #5) and finish up on outside thru #8 (hole #1)
Pull thread firmly and tie over the center thread securely. Cut about 5cm (2inches) from knot.

Lesson 1: Making A Simple Notebook
Attaching the sections to a concertina spine

To sew sections onto the spine (which needs to be a bit less height than your book spine wide) and about 40cm (34 inches) long,

fold the spine piece into a concertina length being careful to fold as evenly as possible
make as many folds as you have sections folded
mark the holes to sew on the back side of the spine and hold the sections in place as you sew each one into place
push the valleys out to sew
leave threads tie-off at back for added effect
experiment further with manipulating the paper; cut burn, tear, sew, splash, paint or rip

At this stage you might like to download some extra class notes. They will give you a clearer visual idea of what you are trying to achieve and hopefully add extra inspiration! http://members.optusnet.com.au/vanviola/…

Lesson 2: The Last Step – Making Covers

You will learn about materials as well as methods of making book covers suitable to use for books made in lessons 1 & 2. These will be folded covers, glued covers and wrapped covers. Click to enlarge We will start with simple book covers to use with books made in lessons 1 & 2. Then let your imagination move on to experiment further with manipulating paper – cut, burn, tear, splash, paint, rip and scorch!
Materials and Techniques

heavy cartridge papers,
strong cotton or linen thread,
beads,
buttons,
ribbon

You can probably think of other odds and ends for use in decorating your covers! Be imaginative!

Cut 2 pieces of heavy card about 1/2cm (1/4 inch) larger all around than book.
Using bookbinder’s glue or a good quality all-purpose glue, spread evenly onto end pieces of your cartridge paper spine.
With plastic between the end pages, fold book into shape and press firmly under a heavy weight (a board and bricks) until glue has dried.
Cover can be decorated with the items listed above or aged as discussed later in this lesson.

Instructions for making fold-around cover with tie fasten

Lay your sewn book section onto a large piece of heavy cartridge paper
Mark about 1/2cm (1/4 inch) above and below the book and tear or cut along this line
Wrap the cover around your book to overlap a bit on the front. Tear or cut this size.
Sew a button/bead or decoration that can be used to wind thread around to the under side of the wrap. making sure it is clear of the foldover.
On the foldover side secure a double thread in line with the button holder.
Wrap thread around button

How about experimenting further with manipulating the paper! Cut, burn, tear, sew, splash, paint or rip!

Have you started using the book you made for class notes and ideas? Here’s another way to change the appearanceof your book. Roughly tear off the edges of the pages and dip the book into shallow wax. A candle melted in a frypan is one way to do this. I love the feel of waxed paper and will often wax a whole page. Looks good with waxed notes!

Lesson 2: The Last Step – Making Covers
Decorating Covers for a Rustic Effect

Treating the books and/or paper

In this section you’ll learn some methods to give your book an individual look – ageing the book. I have included a recipe to age paper for various uses.

If you would like the whole book to look aged, dip the whole thing into the mixture following the recipe. Lay on newspaper to dry, checking often. When the pages are just damp, using your bone folder between the pages, gently separate them. This might have to be done a few times while they are drying, to prevent them sticking together. Follow the same process after rinsing under running water to remove chemicals. It requires a bit of time and effort but is well worth it. Put on your rubber gloves and get ready to have some fun!

The Rusting Recipe

Here’s the basic recipe which is called Rusting and gives the paper a very aged and interesting surface. You can use any paper – I used plain photocopy paper for most but also some nice textured papers and heavier ones.

You’ll need to experiment to get the effects you like best. It works differently on different paper.

It’s a 3 part process so you need 3 trays about 2″ high and bigger than the paper.
You also need a couple of 5 litre (about 1 gallon) plastic containers to store the made-up chemicals.
Always wear rubber gloves as it can be dangerous on your skin.

You’ll need:
Ferrous Sulphate (or may be sold as Iron Sulphate, available in a good garden supply shop)
250grams (8 ozs) in 3 cups of water dissolved in a plastic ice-cream container.
Pour into large container and add water to make up to 5 litres.
Fill one tray about halfway.
Caustic Soda (sold in most supermarkets) – 2 tablespoons gently sprinkled onto water in plastic container than made up to 5L same as above and pour into another tray.
Strong Tea – take 30 – 50 teabags and pour boiling water over in ice-cream container. No need to store this, just pour into labelled tray (make sure the trays are all labelled)
First – dip your paper into the ferrous sulphate, drip the excess off over the tray – a minute or so
then dip the same paper into the caustic soda. Drip that over the tray again
then dip into the tea tray and do the same.
Lay on newspaper to thoroughly dry – maybe overnight or longer.When dry – fill a sink with water and wash the paper (don’t rub it, just make sure it is really wet) – and again leave to dry thoroughly before using.
Read previous notes on keeping the pages of a book separated while drying.
As an added protection against any chemicals rubbing off you can spray the finished paper with a fixative or even lightly with hairspray before using it.
I sometimes add a varnish to book covers with Shellac (from hardware stores)- mix half and half with methylated spirits and lightly paint book or paper with a soft brush.

Lesson 2: The Last Step – Making Covers
A Few Last Words

I hope you find this as exciting a process as I do! You never know exactly what will take place as the chemicals dry and you’ll create some accidental wonders for sure!

We have now completed the final lesson of Creative Bookbinding and you have been challenged with a variety of techniques and papers during this course. We have covered different simnple binding methods and techniques and once you are confident you have mastered these you will be ready to go on to learn more. I am sure you will derive much pleasure from the books you make. Remember to look in this course resource section for different ideas on ways to fill your books.

a. observe.

b. experiment and explore.

c. apply.

Above all enjoy your books!

Kez

Will Cable TV Become Obsolete Before the Printed News?

I should start collecting information on this, but for now I’m just posting this link. (See below).

I think there’s a chance cable TV service will become a dinosaur/ obsolete before the print newspapers even. People talk about the demise of publishing in print, but it costs less than a dollar to buy a whole newspaper and a whole lot more to keep your cable account paid each month. Which would you stick with longer?

Nielsen: 1.5M U.S. households cut the cord in 2011 — paidContent.

Analog Renaissance: Have you Seen your Last Typewriter?

The Typosphere – A term for bloggers who collect, use, and otherwise obsess over typewriters and other “obsolete” technologies, including, but not limited to, handwriting, pens and ink, paper mail and mail art, knitting and fibre arts, film photography, chip-less combustion engines, and related ephemera.

Flickr: Anablogger Archives – “A repository of film photographs, doodles and drawings, pages hand- and type-written that appear on blogs.”

NaNoWriMo’s Typewriter Brigade – “This group is an online meeting place for members of the NaNoWriMo “Typewriter Brigade”. Also welcome are: those who are not yet members but are feeling that sudden, unexpected desire to pound out 50,000 words on an old-school typing machine, as well as those offering moral support, and gawkers of all stripes”.

Flickr: Typewritten – Post anything created on a typewriter.

Flickr: The Dead Technology Society

Retrotechnologist

Flickr: Lost to Progress

Flickr: Functional Antiquated Living

Ancient Industries

Flickr: iAnalog

I Dream lo-tech

Obsolete Skills

Strikethru

Travelling Type

Fresh Ribbon

Clickthing

Tlogging in the 21st Century

Adventures in Typewriterdom

Flickr: TypeSwap – “a forum for typewriter users, collectors, and businesses to buy, sell, trade, or pass along typewriters, parts, tools, manuals, and other typewriter-related materials and information”.

Flickr: Typewriter

Flickr: Writing Machines – “Typewriters, printing presses and movable type – anything to do with the mechanical reproduction or creation of the written word”.

The Classic Typewriter Page

Flickr: Typewriter Ribbon Tin Menagerie

Turn Your Keyboard Back Into a Typewriter

USB Typewriter. Customized from old typewriters.

Lovers of the look, feel, and quality of old fashioned manual typewriters can now use them as keyboards for any USB-capable computer, such as a PC, Mac, or even iPad!  The modification is easy to install, it involves no messy wiring, and does not change the outward appearance of the typewriter (except for the USB adapter itself, which is mounted in the rear of the machine).  So the end result is a retro-style USB keyboard that not only looks great, but feels great to use.

Would you go back to using a typewriter now, even as just a keyboard? I know I’d never want to go back to the days before word processing on the computer. That was a lot more work and even Liquid Paper left a clumpy mess if you were allowed to use it for fixing things. (Not every admin. asst. job would accept fixed mistakes, some insisted on having the whole page typed over fresh and perfectly).

I don’t think I would even want to go back to using a typewriter. As glamorous as they make look those old typewriters were hard on fingers. It took quite a whack to press down those keys. Now and then one would come out too light. You could customize a modern typewriter but what would be the point. They don’t look all that different from a standard keyboard anyway.

Still, there is the allure of the old fashioned and the appeal of re-using and recycling something considered retro on a good day and just plain obsolete most days.

Would you go back to your typewriter?

Interview Yourself

Interviewing is a nice skill to have. It’s more than just being social, able to keep a conversation moving. There is quite a bit of preparation involved before the social part even starts.

What questions will you ask during the interview? Think about what you want to know yourself, that’s a good place to start. Then research about the person, their projects and other information and see what new information you come up with. If you discover something unique ask about it at the interview.

An important thing about an interview is to get new information. Rather than rehashing the same old stuff see if there isn’t some new tidbit, a new twist on an idea or something old that has since stopped working (become obsolete). It all depends on who you are interviewing and what the topic is. But keep the idea in mind that you want to have something fresh for people to read.

To practice coming up with interview questions try interviewing yourself. What questions would you write up for yourself? You already have the background information, the current projects and your own permission to be interviewed… so get started.

Come up with five good questions that would work for an interview with yourself.