The Story Behind your Profile Picture?

Creepy Query Girl wants to know: What’s the story behind your profile pic and what kind of background would you get for your author’s portrait?

I know most of you through the smiling faces of your profile pictures. Some of them look professionally done. Others look they were taken in a natural setting when you just happened to be smiling. And others might be a cartoon or movie character or some significant piece of art or a label that you feel represents who you are here in the blogosphere.

I was thinking the other day about what kind of picture I’d want on the back of a book I wrote. Most authors go out and get professional photo shoots just for the occasion. Would I want a woodsy background? Or would I go with some kind of solid color? Or what about a sandy beach!…ooh…with sparkling turquoise water and white sands…and dolphins!?

Modern Proverbs for the Digital World

From Ben’s blog, Spam Comment, I am taking the idea of Modern Proverbs.

To start, here is my favourite from his series of 5 modern proverbs, each gathered from comment spam left on blogs.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
If you’re too open minded, your brains will fall out.
If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
The above are from The Humor Bin: Modern Proverbs

Keep your friends close and your enemies on limited profile.
There’s more sushi in the sea.
Out of fashion out of mind.
These are from My Modern Met: Modern Proverbs by Nikki Farquharson

Feeling inspired? Try writing some modern proverbs. Think of our digital/ virtual webby world. Try to come up with something that reflects today’s culture rather than the old proverbs your Grandparents used to know.

Guest Posts Boom Now Bust

Writing guests posts was an excellent way to have someone else give a voice to your blog and be able to take a day off from writing something yourself. it also let new writers break into new blogs, new topics and get some attention/ promotion for their own sites in return. But, like so many other things, guest posting has had it’s boom of activity and now the spammers have busted it.

Now when you get requests to write a guest post for your blog it is very likely a spammer who has found guest posting as a great new way to get his ad for free. What a neat trick. Instead of offering to pay, pretending to do a link exchange or anything else that would require a lot more thinking and planning, the spammer just offers to do a guest post where he/ she adds all their links in the post itself as well as the writer profile at the end of the post. What a swell freebie! I don’t blame them for latching on and sucking up this one as quickly as they have. It was everything they wanted on a platter.

For me it was not everything I wanted. Closer to nothing I wanted. First, if you accept a guest post you have to read it, edit it (though the spammers have made sure the post is well written you may still need to change some HTML for bold tags where you don’t want them, etc.). You also have to reformat it to fit your blog. Usually this means I go through the end of every line and take out the carriage returns. This way it will wrap itself into the space it’s given.

Then I check the links in the post. Where do they actually go to? But, don’t stop there. Check the HTML of the links and the rest of the post. Do you see anything out of the ordinary, suspicious? Any extra code at all should be considered suspicious and be deleted. The only HTML you should allow is the standard for adding a clickable link. If you don’t know what the code is, you should learn it.

Once you’ve got that far you can post the guest post, if you decide to do so. But, was it worth it? Is the content anything new and interesting or is it mainly the same old same old stuff regurgitated again? Does it just cover basic stuff? Could you have written something else more interesting, unique and personal yourself? Yes. You could have. So, what is the point of the guest post. Does it bring you new readers? Does it interest your current readers? Does it even at least give you the day off from making a post? No. You didn’t write it but you still had to spend time making it work, checking it.

To top it off, the links you’re posting are links they could have paid you to post. I get paid to post text links, a yearly rate. They base it on the PR your blog has, but the amount is decent enough. If they can get a guest post however, they get their links posted for free and they keep them up for as long as your blog stays online. After all, you aren’t likely to go back and delete the guest post. But, you could deactivate the links. You have no contract for the guest post. So this would be up to you and what you feel is fair.

Guest posts just aren’t the way to go any more. They’ve had their time and now they are abused by spammers as are so many other ideas which were great in their time. Spammers pollute absolutely.

53 Links about Cell Phone Photography

I didn’t know about iPhoneography until reading the word on BinaryDad’s Twitter profile. I don’t have a cell phone and haven’t looked into them. One thing I know about myself is the enjoyment of not being entirely connected. I like having that edge of escapism, the hermit in me. So I resist getting a mobile/ cell phone; a needy creature that will leach onto me 24 hours a day insisting I actually give it my time and attention.

I know some can take a photo. I don’t know which have the ability and which do not. I have my digital camera so this isn’t a feature I’ve given much interest either. However, I don’t like to be ignorant so I have been looking at the cell phone photographers/ mobile blogging it also seems to be called by some. Seems the proper term for the camera phone is moblie phone, which becomes mobile blogging if they are used in that way.

Resources:

General Mobile Phone Photographer Resources:

Others for Specific Types of Mobile Phones:

Best Twitter Profile of the Month…

I clicked on Grumblelina in a feed on another Twitter account. I thought it was a clever take off on Thumbelina. I could only read part of the profile at that point so I had more of a laugh when I got to her profile and read the whole thing. It probably seemed funnier because of that. But, I like the clever tacked on ending.

What’s in your Twitter profile? Could you write something with a surprise ending? A Twitter profile with a short twist of sarcasm?

My favourite Twitter bio/ profile so far… was DPopTart. I also posted about writing your own Twitter profile.

New is the New Black

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge… N is for New

I’m setting myself up on a new (to me) profile network. I guess that is what it could be called. I’ve seen a couple of other networks/ sites like this. You set up a profile with all your social links, your blogs, something about yourself and other odds and ends. Then it becomes a landing page, where you can send people who want to find links back to you. Instead of listing just one blog on a comment you can leave a link to your landing page and have people choose which of your sites interest them, or they can look at your Twitter, Facebook or other profiles.

Right now I’m working out what to write about myself. I get tired of coming up with something for profile information. Everything I write starts to sound the same as everything I have ever written about myself.

Maybe you would like to give it a try. Take a look at About.Me and see if you want to set your own links up there.

Not Another Profile

In the time I have been online (started 1996) I’ve written a lot of profiles, bios, etc. It does not get easier. For some reason I don’t ever like to write the same thing twice, for any site or network. So, finding something to inspire new ideas is a nice find for me. I found this profile on Studio 30 Plus, written by Kelly.

Kelly – Administrator (Twitter)

Kelly isn’t your typical narcissistic blogger so she won’t mention her blog (Naked Girl in a Dress) or places her work has appeared (IndieInk, Blissfully Domestic, Studio30 Plus Magazine, Girlfriendology). She also avoids promoting her writing and gathering followers on social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook). On the rare occasion when Kelly isn’t re-reading her own writing, she is probably texting while listening to Pandora.

It’s not something completely new but it’s not the standard either. I appreciated it and decided to pin it up as an example for everyone who needs something to inspire them for writing yet another profile, about me or bio.