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Pimping the Details, Part 1: Post Content

In today’s highly competitive blogosphere, every edge counts. There are many aspects of a site or blog that can be easily acquired. Fancy themes may be purchased, nifty plugins are freely downloaded, and even snazzy content is immediately available. Indeed, setting up a decent-looking blog is so easy that virtually anyone can do it. Even so, just spend a little time at most sites and check out a few of the details. How is the writing — grammar, syntax, and punctuation? What about links and images — are they equipped with intelligent titles and alt attributes? As you read through […] Read more »

Three Must-Have Icons for Better Branding

I am going out on a limb here, but my guess is that most bloggers are not taking advantage of Gravatars. Most of the sites that I visit do, however, take full advantage of the opportunity to sport a favicon. Understandably, favicons have been around for much longer than Gravatars and therefore are much more prevalent. Still, I can’t help but wonder why more people aren’t taking advantage of the free personalized avatar service provided by gravatar.com. For every Gravatar-enabled site there are many opportunities to build brand recognition. And there are many Gravatar-enabled sites from which to choose. Just […] Read more »

A Moment of Clarity

Finally, after seven years of working online.. a moment of clarity. It all seems so clear now: your blog is an extension of yourself, a digital representation of your very being. Online, your site is you, revealing your interests, personality, intelligence, wisdom, and anything else that may be deduced from various levels of inquiry. Whether you realize it or not, your website is more than a well-presented database, it is your virtual self, your virtual existence in the infinite realms of cyberspace. Read more »

Do You Have a Year-End Maintenance Ritual?

Over the past several years working online, my year-end maintenance routine has evolved from simple website backups to a robust strategy involving many important and useful tasks. Some of the items on the list have indeed been performed multiple times throughout the year, but are included here to emphasize their importance. Additionally, many of these tasks are great for helping bloggers gain a clearer picture of their overall online empire, while attaining a sense of annual “closure” concerning the work of the previous year. So, let’s dig into my personal year-end strategy for cleaning things up and preparing for the […] Read more »

An Inside Look at the Hectic Schedule of an Internet Addict

Sure, I’ll admit it, I am addicted to the Internet. I am connected at work, at play, and at home. When access is unavailable, I go through withdrawals — headaches, nervousness, hallucinations — the whole bit. Over the years, I have learned how to take advantage of periods of Web inaccessibility, however, in general, my schedule pretty much revolves around the Internet. Thus, in the name of “everyone else is doing it,” here is an inside look at my hectic weekly schedule: Read more »

Bloggers Toolbox: Strategic Elements for a Perfect About Page

As a quasi-reclusive introvert with paranoiac-critical tendencies, one of my least favorite aspects of blogging involves creating those dreadful “About” pages that reveal unknown things about you. About pages are important to many people, providing a way to learn about and connect with the person or people “behind the blog.” After all, websites are relatively impersonal, as viewers are required to extract meaning and personality from behind a large, square piece of machinery. Regardless of the type of site or blog you happen to be creating, the About page is your primary key to connecting with your readers. In fact, when […] Read more »

Meditation on the Details

You want people to visit your site. Even better, you want people to stay awhile and enjoy your content. The more time visitors spend at your site, the more likely it becomes that they will notice the little things that make your site unique. As your guests scan your pages, you want to reassure them that you have accounted for everything. When I notice that a blogger has addressed the subtle nuances associated with running a site, I feel more confident that their blog is a source of authoritative content. If, for example, the posts are riddled with spelling errors, […] Read more »

Conversationalisms

I don’t know about you, but I have been fascinated with the fine art of interpersonal communication for many years. Specifically, I am intrigued by the complex subtleties involved with human conversation. Although I fail miserably at small talk, I enjoy following its unfolding and continually look for opportunities to lure the conversation into deeper, more relevant territory. Frequently, such attempts are met with unenthusiastic mockery, as conversing parties prefer to revel within the safe corridor of idle banter. I have to admit, jovial sparring and padded laughter have proven entertaining on a number of occasions, however I often find […] Read more »

Critical Thinking Excercise, Part One: Just Do It

An excellent way to exercise your critical thinking skills involves critically analyzing corporate slogans. Company slogans such as Nike’s “Just do it,” Budweiser’s “King of beer” and Fruit Loop’s “Follow your nose!” are ubiquitous in contemporary capitalistic culture. So, as you journey through your day, keep your eyes and ears open to the various business taglines that you will inevitably hear, and pick your favorite for further analysis. Read more »

You Know Nothing

One of my favorite things to do involves reading and listening to the opinions of others. This is great for me, because people and their opinions are everywhere. I derive pleasure from considering alternate points of view and even enjoy arguing against my own ideas. Whenever I think that I honestly know something, I try questioning it until I prove myself wrong or decide to try again later. It usually doesn’t take very long to realize that I don’t know what I am talking about. Read more »

Hello, I Hate You.

I have been fairly nervous about starting mindfeed.org*. Like you, I fear ridicule, rejection, and criticism. Although I don’t understand exactly why, I find myself differentiating between the criticism of others and the criticism of myself. Perhaps the reason involves the perceived intention of the criticism. I know that when I criticize myself, it is done with the purpose of improving or bettering some aspect of myself. However, improving myself is not the result of every personal criticism. During certain periods of my life, self-criticism nearly cost me my life. Nevertheless, in general, I employ self-criticism for beneficial purposes. Read more »

What are the Different Layers of the Blogosphere?

By now, everyone is familiar with the whole concept of the “blogosphere.” According to common definition, the blogosphere represents the virtual realm in which all blogs exist in an interconnected community of online social networking activity. Such blogospheric activity includes writing, posting and commenting, and involves many different types of blogs and bloggers. As with the atmosphere, the blogosphere consists of several, well-defined layers. Let’s investigate this hypothetical representational phenomenon.. Whereas the atmosphere may be divided into layers based on temperature and location, the blogosphere may be divided into layers based on popularity and purpose. Here is a summary of […] Read more »

Life, Twinkies, Zombies and Death

I have to admit, I am completely intrigued with human ideas, thought, and opinion. My favorite part of blog posts are the comments, and the best part of the newspaper is the opinion page. When talking with people, I am generally the one doing most of listening. In fact, I find that the more I listen, the more people are willing to talk. Often, they will talk with apparent and utter disregard for anything that I may have to add to the “conversation.” Just talk, talk, talk, because somebody is paying attention. Read more »

Everything is Relative

People love to argue. Often, to resolve conflicting opinions, people will “agree to disagree,” saying something like, “it’s all relative.” The idea behind this common statement is that everyone believes in their own version of the truth, which may or may not happen to prove true for other people. Saying that “it’s all relative” also implies that every version of the truth is equally valid. Unfortunately, important discussions are often abandoned to the familiar tune of universal relativism. Read more »

Notes and Tips for Better Social Bookmarking

For those of you still hiding your bookmarks within the dark confines of your browser’s “favorites” menu, may I suggest stepping into the “here and now” with a fresh new approach: social bookmarking. Hopefully, most of my readers are already familiar with the many wonders of managing and sharing your bookmarks online, but for those who may still be questioning the whole idea, allow me to expound briefly on several of the immediate benefits: Universal access to your bookmarked sites Forget about time-wasting browser extensions that fumble to synchronize your business; manage your collection online at a great site such […] Read more »

Five-Step Feed-Portfolio Makeover

Recently, I found myself drowning in an ocean of RSS feeds. Even after switching to Google Reader, which definitely speeds up the process of plowing through posts, I was wasting too much time consuming subscribed content. Thus, in an effort to find balance between saving time and staying current, I executed the following five-step feed portfolio makeover: Drop lame feeds. Previously, I had subscribed to a number of feeds simply because they were recommended or mentioned in an article somewhere. Unfortunately, sound referrals and interesting commentary do not necessarily equate with strong syndicated content. I often found myself reading post […] Read more »

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