Archive for the Category »Social Networking «

Since blogging basically has no rules,

it’s time we stop believing it does.

~Barbara Swafford

Before our first post is published, we’ve usually done enough homework to educate ourselves on blogging; from choosing our blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger, or other) to what we’re going to write about.

The rules of blogging or the lack thereofIn the process, we’ve probably learned a little about what blogging is, what to expect and what not to do.

Today’s Lesson

Depending on from where or whom we learn about blogging, often determines how often we blog, the theme we use, how we build our blog, plus much more.

Some bloggers believe the magic bullet is to follow the rules of “abc”, whereas others proclaim it’s “XYZ”.

So, who’s right?

Neither.

What’s happening is bloggers are sharing what works for THEM. Since we’re not THEM, there’s no guarantee what they do will work for us, no matter how hard we try.

Granted, we can learn the basics of blogging and tips from others, however to stand out from the crowd and to feel authentic, we need to be creative, step out of the blogging box and ask ourselves questions such as:

  1. Do I really need to publish a post every day? Week? Month?
  2. Does my theme reflect who I am, or am I copying someone else?
  3. Is guest posting all it’s cracked up to be? Or am I better off showing my writing talents or knowledge in a different venue?
  4. Is it really necessary to market myself and my blog on Facebook and/or Twitter, or is there a better way to promote my work? Or, do I want to (self-promote)?
  5. Is commenting on other blogs helping to drive traffic to my blog? If not, does commenting have any benefit?
  6. Does it matter if what I post might go against what others believe? Do I care?
  7. Instead of just looking at my blog as a place to share, can I use it as a vehicle to propel me further? If so, how?
  8. Is the time I spend socializing with my online friends helping me to advance? Or is it just a distraction which keeps me from my fulfilling my dreams?
  9. Are affiliate links the best way to monetize my blog? What about Google AdSense? Or do I even want to monetize my blog?

How we blog and why we blog is up to us. Let’s remember that and learn to enjoy the journey.

Happy Blogging! 8)

Today’s Assignment

What “rule(s)” of blogging have you found to be false?

Have any “rules” you’ve followed proved to be true or beneficial?

Care to share?

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When you think about it, the internet and all that is shared on it is powerful.

Mainstream media now has competition with alternative news sites, as do governments.

People voice their opinions or share what they believe to be fact, whether it be in comments, on social networking sites, or in blog posts.

Anyone can be a broadcaster of sorts.

Today’s Lesson

The article titled, Secret Media War of 2012 states, in part,

Throughout the heyday of print media and radio and recently, even cable news, the job of the press has been to manipulate and control public opinion as well as voting blocks. The elites bought and controlled most media outlets and developed and promoted a controlled political opposition, on both the left and the right, that allowed them to set the parameters for discussion and debate.

That’s true. News, as well as other information, used to be (and in some cases, still is) manipulated and does not necessarily consider what’s in the best interest for the public.

Before the internet, all we had were TV channels, radio and print media to depend on and what we believed was often based on limited information.

In fact, if those in powerful positions didn’t want us to know additional facts, they weren’t published.

No one was the wiser.

Until today.

With the advent of blogs and social networking sites, the doors to information from all sources are now open and although at times it may feel like we’re being bombarded with too much data. we can pick and choose what to believe.

WE can make up our own mind, and not feel like we’re being brainwashed; not feel like we don’t have access to all of the facts.

Additionally, as bloggers, we have more information at our fingertips. More arguments to make. More ways to inform our readers.

And although we’re not technically journalists, we can broadcast newsworthy stories or share posts which can help others in unimaginable ways whether we have one reader or a million.

Today’s Assignment

Do you realize what you post can, and does have an impact on others?

Do you feel like a newscaster, or do you think what you publish is unimportant?

Care to share?

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“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

~Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Nowadays, this quote has been changed to “The keyboard is more powerful than a gun. “, which to me means, some of the words which are posted online (or in texts and emails), can, in some instances, hurt another person so badly, they decide to end their life.

When I hear stories of children committing suicide because they were bullied, it breaks my heart.

Because of words, and possibly the inability to defend themselves, the self esteem of these children ended up in the toilet and they (probably) felt like life wasn’t worth living. Maybe they felt worthless. Or felt they were a burden on society. That no one cared about them. Maybe they didn’t feel loved, wanted, needed and/or heard.

Because I haven’t walked in their shoes, I can’t say exactly why a child would take their own life, but the world won’t be the same without them. They will be missed.

Today’s Lesson

Cyber bullying is on the rise and as more young people sign on to social networking sites or start blogging, the problems will undoubtedly escalate.

Cyber bullying won’t go away, but it can be minimized.

When I analyze social networking sites and blogs, I see how problems can emerge.

Let’s look at Facebook. They utilize a “like” button and label those we communicate with with as “friends”.

Most adults can differentiate between real friends and online friends, but canĀ children?

We enjoy the “like” button as it’s a quick and easy way to give a thumbs up to what others are sharing, but children may feel if no one “likes” what they post, then they’re not liked either.

Sites like Twitter with their “followers” and Google Plus with their “circles” use different terminology, but it still comes down to who “accepts our request(s)” and follows us back. Who likes us, so to speak.

It also makes me wonder if bloggers contribute to the problem.

In my travels around the blogosphere, I’ve seen where some blog authors let their commenters rate other comments as “winner”, “loser”, “spam”, and “like”. Although this gives others a chance to quickly share what they think of other comments, it also lets fellow bloggers be the judge and jury.

Instead of verbally disagreeing with the opinions of others, we can instantly place a virtual “loser” stamp on the comment/author.

If children observe adults doing this, might we be teaching them to do the same? To label others?

Although some will say it’s solely the parent’s job to be a good role model and monitor what a child does online, a parent cannot realistically be with a child 24/7. Plus, even if we are doing everything right to raise well balanced, self confident children, a child is more apt to listen to the words of their peers rather than those from a parent.

With cyber bullying, it’s words which are killing or negatively affecting our young people. Words which hurt. Words which others don’t take responsibility for. Words which are often published in haste.

I wish I had a sure-fire way to stop cyber bullying, but I don’t.

What I do have though, is a blog; a place where I can ask you for your suggestions.

Today’s Assignment

How do you think we can help solve the cyber bullying problem?

Care to share?

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Cyber bullying resources:

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