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Thinking of You + Thinking of Yourself

2015-12-19 in Uncategorized

About a week ago, I discovered a quote by Chloe Thurlow. I disagreed with what she wrote, but enjoyed that she chose to write what she thought, felt, whatever. I exchanged some chat with Chloe and I find her very authentic (and I find authenticity a very attractive thing).

I have been thinking a lot about these thoughts and ideas related to owning your own ideas for quite some time now… — and that’s probably why I thought some more now and finally managed to write something more about it again (see “Something to Hide: Nothing to Show” — it’s the same link all 3 times 😉 ).

I bet among the strongest recent influences on my thinking were another post of Chloe’s (see “How To Start Thinking For Yourself“), a post by Sean Werkema back in 2013 (a copy of which I have managed to salvage from the so-called Internet Archive), and also — sort of in the meantime — from some of Adam Curry‘s rants about “the American Dream”.

I wish you pleasant reading! 😀

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Write Like Somebody’s Listening

2015-01-21 in Uncategorized

People love feedback. It is simply a good feeling to know that someone cares about what you think… — but in some cultures, it is not socially acceptable to need such validation. In such a society, such behavior is often referred to as something like “needy” — and in such societies, it is widely known that neediness sucks.

read my lips

“Please like my page”. No, thank you.

I don’t know who reads what I write. I could monitor statistics about how often individual pages get loaded, but I still wouldn’t know who read them, or even whether the person who loaded the page read what I wrote. I can push a page under someone’s nose, and then ask them whether they like it. If they say “yes, it’s awesome”, I still won’t know whether they are being polite.

This is why most people give up on writing. Of course it would be nice to know that what you are writing is going to reach those people who you intend to write for. You will never know, but you can always imagine how wonderful it would be if that were so. If you are able to do that, then you should have no difficulty in becoming a star!

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Insecurities

2014-12-25 in Uncategorized

Self esteem may not be very high on the totem pole of most people. The word “self” does not even appear on any list of words young schoolchildren easily identify, even though first-graders find it easy to recognize “sell” or “stuff” (and even violent, militant words — such as “war”).

The other day, I asked a couple of my “facebook friends” to check out a site I had created (very similar to this website, but more “exclusive”). These are people I do have some trust in — ranging somewhere from good online friends to well-acquainted acquaintances and friends “in real life”. They agreed to check it out, but perhaps they decided the site was “not for them” — since it was more or less “empty” of content.

A blank page can be very intimidating — especially if you are a little insecure to begin with. Many — if not most — people prefer to follow others, to consume, to be entertained by a rapidly flowing stream of content,… — to sit back, rather than to lean forward.

Perhaps they may become inspired to gain self-confidence, to “lean in” and join the gang — but a blank page is probably not going to be the type of inspiration they look for. If you compare a blank page to a steady stream of advertising, somewhat surprisingly quite a few would probably choose the ads. 😐

I have thought a lot about why this is so, and this is how I have come to the hypothesis that it is down to some sort of insecurity. The question I was trying to answer goes something like: Why would people rather limit what they are willing to share with others to a relatively small group of friends? (rather than to post it for the entire world to see) I think they are afraid that someone might consider something they share to be wrong or in some sense objectionable.

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Managing your own content

2014-12-19 in Uncategorized

Using WordPress, managing your own content is relatively easy.

For example: When you add a link to a post, that link is precisely the link you intend to add. In contrast, when you post a link to “social” websites like facebook.com, twitter.com or even google.com, those links are actually “recoded” to go somewhere else (so that those social sites can more easily track you, your readers, etc.) — for example, you might have seen links to “t.co” or “bit.ly” (or any of a wide range of many other sites) instead of the link you wanted to add. When people click on these links, the “social website” companies record this activity and then forward to the link you had originally intended to add.

On another level, downloading “your own” data is also easy with WordPress. Note, though, that these days it is really hard to define what is “your data”. Of course, if you are an administrator of a blog, then everything on that site is your data. (many people seem to believe that when they post something to facebook, it is still their own content — they probably never consider that it might then also be facebook‘s content). But what about if someone writes a comment on your post — whose content is that?

There seems to be a convention that says this content is part of the author’s post. There have been several attempts to develop “commenting systems” that keep track of comments (these are usually linked to the email address tied to the profile making the comment)… but this is usually considered “overkill” when considering what is “my content” (probably only very few people wish to know about all of the thousands of comments posted to Mark Zuckerberg’s posts — perhaps Mark Zuckerberg himself doesn’t want to know about that level of detail).

Personally, I feel comments are more or less “throwaway” remarks — they are relatively inconsequential. If I have something important to say about something someone else has posted, then I will write a new post about it, perhaps I will quote an excerpt from the post (to point out which particular part I wish to reply to), and then link to the original post.

This goes back to the original meaning of a link — it is the electronic version of what was referred to during the paper era as a “footnote”. Today, marketers usually don’t even think about how a link is related to the footnote — so called “search engine marketing” (SEM) is all about paying for links (which Google usually says is prohibited — unless you’re paying Google! 😛 )

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Guest Blog Posts

2014-12-16 in Uncategorized

Today one of my friends mentioned a “guest blog post” — well, actually: They linked to a blog post that mentioned in a self-referential way that the post was a guest blog post. I guess they were then going to introduce the author, but I had already lost interest and didn’t read any further.

Why would anyone post anything on someone else‘s blog? This seems to me to be based upon a fundamentally flawed sense of identity. The idea that someone copies and pastes someone else‘s content into their own blog post, and then says “this was actually written by someone else, I’m just fooling the software into thinking I wrote it” is completely absurd. It shows that the blog’s author is not familiar with blogging software.

Every blog (website) can have multiple authors. If you don’t know that, you need to learn more about blogging.

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