ALERT!!! PLEASE click SILENCE above, go to new layout. ;o)

Yep, blogging is dead...

Blogging is dead?? Really... ok.

/delete... :o)

Seems to be the thing going around lately, not that I agree with it at all, they are changing maybe, evolving, adapting, growing but certainly not dying!

Why do people email or DM via twitter asking if it's true?

"Is lifestreaming, twitter killing blogs?"
"Do I start streaming and delete my blog or just leave it up?"
"It's what **** and **** is doing, so it must be true?"

WTF?? Are you serious, really?

Will my answer or anyone else's answer influence it?
If it would, then you need to get out of that mindset fast, because that's destructive to you.
The only person who can kill blogging for you, is you.

The naysayers and doom mongers are always looking to stir shit like this, that's what they do. ;o)

If you insist on listening to others and taking it as gospel you will never get far with progress anyway because no-one has all the answers and they never will, as I have said before it's all trial and error, no way to escape that.
Jumping from one thing to another is no way to go forward really.

What you should have been asking me is ...

"Is lifestreaming worth doing and if so why?"
"Can it help me with my blog or site, or presence?"
"Can't I do both and should I?"

Are they more sensible ones to ask?
Then the magic ingredient is you make your own mind up after you look at it realistically.

Does it fit with what you do now?
Can it improve things?

Then deciding if it will be worth doing, then testing it, judging it by your OWN results.

Not take what some people say as gospel and steadfastly do what they say. That's the route to nowhere.

I am not going to stop blogging, far from it. :o)

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@ 4:23 PM, , create a link to this post

Heading for the gate of facebooks walled garden

Having written previously about facebooks walled garden, lame rules, guidelines and lack of help when needed, I hoped not to have to do it again.
The fact they will block you without question or explanation, then unblock you... only to do it again later because you still don't know what the limits or rules are as they never told you the first time is to me lame.

They should clearly know after the fist time you are not a spammer, abuser, nor did you clearly offend anyone as no-one complained, the fist block was 6 days, this one has been 12 so far!

It's the worse way they could deal with it in my opinion, not that mine counts for much anyway.

Why punish those who actively help grow your business?
Why punish good users on a user generated site?

Why bother?

Therefore facebook now turns into an outpost for me and nothing more.

I will never again help others join the place and help them get to grips with it, not that I don't want to help friends but anyone who has helped others knows it is not easy for everyone and there will be lots of comments back and forth as they learn, which means commenting too much, that's likely to end up in another block and more damn frustration.

No thanks...

I am sorry to say to you friends on facebook, I won't use it the way I did and now it will be an outpost for things I share with you.

I am heading for the gate out of the walled garden known as facebook!

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@ 10:35 AM, , create a link to this post

Blogging, there are no damn rules...

You will inevitably read that you "should do this, or do that" in regards to blogging successfully but it also comes down to what type of blogger you are, it matters, they all have a different style, plan of action, and possible results.

Being a successful blogger is like everything else in life, not easy, simple yes, not easy though. Success is a personal definition anyway, so it's you that defines the success you can/do achieve.

I wouldn't yet say I was entirely a successful blogger, how I define it, getting there in some respects and already there in other respects.

It's completely trial and error no matter how anyone else dresses it up, you have to just do it and learn what works for you, or not, then adapt and improve.

There are many things you can test, learn, alter as you go along with the added benefit of very real time results in some cases. Whatever style of blogging you do there is no rule book saying you must do this or that, nope ... nothing!

Part of the issue I see is a bit of a double edged sword, on the one hand if you get caught up reading what people say "works and you should do" etc, you will only be following others, blogging by their rules if you like, doing what everyone else is doing.
On the other you need to learn the basics from somewhere and it's good to save time avoiding the worse mistakes by reading these things and learning from others.

It's finding a balance and forging your own path, using your own style, voice that will make the difference.

With the increasing use of micro blogging I think that alot of blogs will die off slowly as people stop doing it so much, this is good for us. :o)

So should you start blogging or have started, just learn as you do and keep at it until you can at least judge it properly regarding the return on effort, whatever you decide is success with it.

Little things can make big differences, especially if you do them from the start, something as simple as adopting a better linking practice which can improve not only the reader experience but will help in long term SEO (search engine optimising) as well also actively building relevant back-links from other blogs, sites, instead of only linking out to others and writing.

Writing better post as you write more, it's inevitable your writing will improve just as practice does with anything you persevere at.  And you can write articles at least.

As yoda said : You do, or do not.

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@ 12:18 AM, , create a link to this post

Magical moments and why I want to make money online

This is why I strive to make money online, so I can travel and capture magic moments I live, luckily I do live in a gorgeous place that allows me to share moments like this with you.

A magic moment above wouldn't you agree? :o)

Isn't that what life's about, having magical moments?

This is where I live so it cost nothing to enjoy this and share it, yet for you it may cost money to come here and have the same. Likewise with me having to pay to experience it elsewhere.

Regardless ...

The best things in life are free ... there is so much emphasis on the money and not what magic it can give you, if you choose it that is. ;o)

A friend had just been to America on a road trip from west to east and shared some stunning pictures on his facebook page, that's what I would like to do, get out there and capture the moments, post them here or another specific blog for that and do that constantly.

You can't do that with a "job" unless that IS the job. Happy to apply if there are any lol! :o)

This is the appeal of working online, meaning you can work ANYWHERE and being in control of  not only your work but your lifestyle, which is the important one. Like they say, "you work to live, not live to work."

That is the dream of being able to make money online to me, to travel (take my sons too if they will) and capture more magical moments, everywhere, everyday and share them with you.

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@ 7:36 PM, , create a link to this post

Make money online blogging, internet marketing, or both?

Had an interesting email from a friend regarding how to make money online by either blogging or internet marketing ... I asked if I could repost it here, which they agreed if their name was changed, so below is the email snippet that matters for the sake of this post ... with certain words edited and mine in (italics) ...

Hey Rob,
Good to see you in town the other week, still looking rough (me : THANKS mate!) ;o)

Anyway you know I asked you about ya blog I seen on facebook and how I could go about having one for my ***** (passion niche, which I don't care to share and ruin for them), and maybe start selling ***** to earn some extra money?

You remember I told you about that ***** (contact) who says I can have ***** at a better price, like a mates rates? Well they got a website too which they can sell ***** from, so what should I do? Won't that stop me, I mean why bother doing a blog or whatever if they already have a website to sell from? How the hell am I supposed to make money doing that? What about Internet marketing, is that different than blogs or what?

Now, my mate knows I will help him, and he also knows I am gonna tell it as it is on here like I did in the email, so he never took (with email) or will take offence at anything here. ;o)

So, my message to them : GET YOUR ARSE IN GEAR and GET ON WITH IT! :o) Use what I shared with you in that email and GO for it ... you have a GREAT chance of making headway with it, won't happen overnight but it will happen if you act on it and stick to it, like I said in the email, give it some wellie in effort for the first few months... Plus you know where I am ;o)

Back to the post ...

Quite a loaded up question wouldn't you say, I bet there are plenty of people who have thought similar things, I did once too... ;o)

Let's just answer the basics on that shall we, the first positive answer is you picked a passion, a niche you KNOW you can get somewhere with because it does interest you, whether it's a profitable niche is a different matter, for this person it IS a profitable one, from what I can see it looks pretty decent too.
(may work with him on that to benefit him more as well as me learn a thing or two extra). ;o)

The second thing, you know it sells because you know someone already selling **** and you have the benefit of a chance to work with him in the sense of a good price for **** which helps you both.
The fact they have a website is actually a good thing because you can then just monetise the leads you give them, rather than do the actual selling and delivering of **** and all the other details.

So, the best thing is to ask your "contact" for a unique commission (mate rate) for leads to their website.

You could then just concentrate on building the blog as a good value resource with interesting information, a warm up or pre-sell style that readers will appreciate, having a link to your contacts site from which you benefit from if they click (what affiliates is all about).
Or use your own unique domain link as a redirect so you can track how many clicks etc.

Then start writing for more than your blog, meaning articles with a link to your blog on them to post to the directories, this is done for good ONE WAY backlinks and will produce traffic over time too.

Internet marketing is not a tool as such like a blog is, it's marketing online, in many forms, using many tactics to get results, in a way it's a mindset to approach what you do, whether it's using a blog, website, email, social networking etc.

My friend here will need to learn aspects of internet marketing of course, but thankfully they will be a blogger first!

So it can lead to asking, do you blog and then learn internet marketing to monetise the blog?
OR learn internet marketing and have a blog as part of your internet marketing arsenal?

May seem strange but I feel the best bloggers were just bloggers who then got into internet marketing to learn how to monetise and maximise their blog, they already had success blogging just not making the money from the blogging effort put in. They were in effect not doing it for the money, but then realised it was a good way to earn a living, rightly so.

The internet marketers who chose to start blogging usually have a different agenda from the start so they never quite get the results in the sense of readership. The relationship between readers and the blog and blogger is different.

So, how to go about it?

I think that you have to have in mind a monetisation plan, even if it won't bear fruit for 6 months, the action put in over them 6 months may well make a big difference to the monetisation ability of the blog 6 months on.

Internet marketing gives you a wide range of areas to utilise, look at the big sites like amazon, ebay, etc, they all utilise internet marketing even if indirectly, its a part of the whole and can't be ignored.

So what can you take away from this post?
  1. Start with your passion or interest, if you have a few do them all to see which is best and most likely to work for you.
  2. Check there is a possibility of getting readers, buyers etc, no competition in a niche can mean no-one is in it, for a good reason most likely!
  3. Monetisation usually comes last, but factor it in with all you do for the long term plan, done right things you do now should earn in a years time, two years time, etc.
  4. Do more than you need, write extra articles etc.
  5. Just DO IT. :o)
Any thoughts?

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@ 3:24 PM, , create a link to this post

Facebook = AOL...a lame walled garden!

Facebook, a strange set up with the walled garden that reminds me of the AOL days.

It's lame, yet I can also see why they have done this, as Jesse mentioned on a friendfeed thread they have control over it all ... the fact it's a walled garden means they should be able to sort the spammers from the real people fairly easily, yet they are lame when it comes to this sort of thing, nothing stopping a spammer getting banned then setting up a new account..

You give to facebook, they take away from you.

The Iframe they use is also a bad idea in my eyes, they stop people commenting on my blog itself by shoving that "comment" link on the Iframe leading people to leave comments on facebook, yeah selfish bastards.

How is that fair? WHY am I building their business up only to be kicked in the teeth like this?

Shame really as I was starting to feel like facebook will be my main social site, having real offline friends on there makes it so much different to other social sites.
There is a possibility I was "reported" by someone, if so, what a chicken shit.
But facebook won't share this with us, so it makes it hard to change anything.

They need to open up this set up more, start being honest with us all, clarify their lame rules and limits, else they will just drive people away like AOHell did.

I am very close to dumping it completely.


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@ 10:28 AM, , create a link to this post

Portland Bill's lighthouse, as it's not usually seen

Been a few days since my last post, had a busy time, a good weekend seeing friends and one in particular, well she was more than a friend at one time and that was a long time ago ... 17, 18 years or something.

All made possible because of facebook, getting us all in contact again and it was great to visit old haunts with the friends again, Portland has changed a fair bit since she was last here.

On the sunday we and a couple of friends went for a walkabouts down to Portland bill and had some dinner, the weather was nice to us too!

Managed to get a nice picture of the lighthouse from a different angle as you can see here. :o)

All in all a good weekend.

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@ 9:19 PM, , create a link to this post

Make money online or choose to be more social ...

Well of course I make money online passively with ease, while sipping cool drinks on the beach on a faraway island under the sun ... all because I put in the hard work of writing over time. Yeah ummmmmm right, not quite there yet! ;o)

If life was that easy, we would all be rich, happy, at peace and living the lifestyle we really wish for ... but it isn't, so we aren't!

We make bad choices, silly mistakes, regrets that can hold us back or just plain miss the path that was expected of us altogether!

Some end up living a lifestyle we would never have imagined one time, an old friend who is a tramp, an ex boyfriend who was good with you is now a married wife beater, the old shy school friend who sleeps with married men, the brainy one who is now an unhappy smack-head (heroin addict).

Sometimes it goes the other way ... the thick or ignorant school friend everyone took the piss out of who is now a multimillionaire with their own huge company, passively making money AND living the dream lifestyle they chose!

Non of us will always make the right choice, ever, mistakes are what allow us to grow.

Each of us will have bad periods in life, where it seems dark clouds gather and linger all too long, if you followed this blog you will know I've had them myself, I made choices and dealt with them but I also had to be patient, the one virtue we all need to utilise a little bit lot more ... people waste time not being patient.

Everyone wants everything yesterday! Won't happen!

The best thing about yesterday is what you put into action to make today better.

Lifestyle, isn't that the most important thing we can actually get to choose?
Doesn't that one choice effect all the other things?

If only we chose what real lifestyle we wished for at a young age, like when we leave school ... sadly we don't even have a clue at that age, we just daydream, and yet as we get older we realise those very daydreams weren't quite so far fetched or far from the truth of what we really should do to create the lifestyle we later wish we lived.

At 16 I just wanted to be a writer, or an artist, being either was a hard path to follow then. ;o)

Life is only a string of choices ...

It's your life, it's your fault, they were your choices!

I know how you feel, the mistakes, the dark clouds in my case were my fault too, taking some repsonsibilty for it means they get less grey. :o)

If you are you anything like me you felt the clouds came from nowhere, making it a bit overwhelming at times, the more you looked the darker they seemed to get ... you wonder what the hell happened to get it this way, so quick and so gloomy, your mood changes with it.

Stop, here's what I found ... looking back over things, you always in the end, came to a choice that you made which started the change, the catalyst from which things seemingly snowballed.

That choice may as so often happens have been so insignificant at the time it was made, it would be hard to have considered any other choice at the time, seeing it seemed so small a choice.

Show's how we really should make our choices better, think things through a bit more before choosing, even if they do seem trivial choices at the time.

Granted it may still not change the outcome, because we can't definitely know the outcome, but what if we did spot a small difference which hindsight later proves to be true?

Making better small choices where possible has to lead to a better path, less mistakes, better results, a better lifestyle.
Which is why the dark clouds are now passing for me, I've made better choices from the moment I took responsibilty for the choices made before, which were the root cause of the doom in the first place ...

Some of those choices weren't easy, they were needed though in order for me to see more of the light.
I have had to remove one or two friends, with nothing personal in the reasoning, from one or two places, because I can still see them on another site etc.
I am in a sense using different places in a different way and I feel they don't fit with how I use the particular site.

It's why I have been quieter on all the social sites, well, facebook being the main exception, there is a good reason for that too. :o)

Being social is all well and good, but it is not going to improve my lifestyle, only getting results will do that, although being social on these sites is fun and helps this blog with traffic etc, this blog is not one that I have set out to monetise or such.

So I am better off spending more of the time I use being social doing the things that will help me improve my results, which also allow me to improve my choices.

Writing is what helps me make money online, and doing that on the right blogs and sites is what gets results, what pays for the lifestyle I want to live. Seems I wasn't so wrong at 16!

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@ 4:00 PM, , create a link to this post

Portland Bill, the lighthouse and swings

Portland bill's famous lighthouse. Shame you never hear the fog horn anymore, some great memories of hearing that while laying in bed at the house in Weston street as a kid.

Visitors can climb up the stairs inside the lighthouse and have a look at the spectacular view from the top, not sure about times and days, so if that interest you, best to check it out beforehand...nevertheless just being here will put a smile on your face ... not to mention the sun on your back too.

Europe forced us to have new swings here, they are not even facing the right way anymore either...they are small compared to old ones we used to have here which faced south, the way I am facing taking this.

My son and my nieces, nephew all having fun here. Feel lucky to have grown up with this on our doorstep, and luckier our own kids have been able to enjoy summers out there too. Taking advantage of their nan and grandad having a beach hut out here. :o)

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@ 2:34 PM, , create a link to this post

Just a hunch, but it's usually right

Interesting day doing doing some basic cyber housekeeping on here and elsehwhere and while looking at the stats on my make money online blogs I noticed a few things that I have now changed, which I have a hunch should help me with better results mid to long term, on them and on here!

It's only a hunch, although as I say, they are rarely wrong. :o)

Do you listen to a hunch you have anytime you have one?

What was it I noticed?

80% of the traffic came through with one word in common or variations of the word, other words meaning the same thing ... I don't know exactly why it never stood out before, call it another hunch but it could be the fact statcounter has changed the data on keywords recently. :o)

So I changed a few post, the wording of them adding a bit more content, also in some newer post on them I added a keyworded backlink to older relevant post that people may click on if not the adsense ads. :o)

Just a hunch, one that could make a big difference but something I wouldn't have even had, if I never did the housekeeping on here a few days ago, which led me to doing it elsewhere.

If you get a "hunch" about something, take notice of it and act on it, hunches are rarely wrong and if they can help you make money online too, great!

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@ 6:48 PM, , create a link to this post

Portland Bill, the place to spend hot summer days

Yogi in a thirsty state, he had fun while me and my youngest brother Graeme took him and the kids and my youngest son out to Portland Bill, a go on the swings, a walk about and generally enjoying the sun!

The sky looked great out there too ...

We get clouds looking like this a fair bit through the summer here, some really interesting patterns too.

Hope you have a nice weekend enjoying the sun ... making the most of it really as it's not exactly known for it here in the UK. lol!

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@ 11:13 PM, , create a link to this post

Can you make money online then? Probably not...

I just wanted to know how to make money online, so I did what most would do, I went and searched for it, it was the dream of being able to make money while sleeping that got me asking and looking in the first place.

In doing so I got sucked into the internet marketing forums, which was a good and bad thing, good being it taught me alot and I became friends with some great people, I got started doing something because the friends gave me the confidence to just do and I knew I'd get nowhere if I never did anything!

I met people who had already done the things I were thinking about and shared their experiences so we had the benefit of being able to avoid any mistakes, we also had the benefit of other people understanding what we were feeling and going through. We were all in the same boat, as they say!

The bad side was the murkiness, incestousness, pitch-festy nature of the niche, to much misinformation that gets spouted in them by people who haven't a clue, too much taking advantage of noobs, newbies, whatever term you are familiar with.

I don't give a shit about any "marketers" who say otherwise, I have SEEN it with my own eyes and I KNOW many of you do take advantage, raping their wallets / purses etc while filling them with crap that gets them nowhere, it seems you don't really want them to succeed ... just keep giving you money!

The reason I feel most will never make money online, because of the crap information and misleading shit the IMers have shoved down peoples throats, some of it just plain lies!

The one thing about this IM was it fired you up, you start to chase that dream of making a success of becoming an internet marketer who makes a good income, or at least you think you can do, in reality most people sat on the forums discussing it instead of doing it. (Regardless, some did take action, not only that they left the forums too, I don't blame them either!)

It's not long until you're working all day at the day job, getting home, having some food then jumping on the PC until early the hours of the morning doing this or that ... then grabbing a few hours sleep before getting up for the day job again ... and so on!

That crazy feeling of not being able to switch off in order to sleep, I now see people saying on facebook. ;o)

Put simply, it's all addictive, it sucks you in, the difference though is the IM niche makes you think like a marketer with added thoughts of psychology, human behaviour on and offline etc, it got you thinking about the "herd" so to speak, it's good and bad again. :o)

Nevertheless, I do see it happening with friends on facebook now, some are up until early hours of the morning, knowing they have to get up for the day job just a few hours later ... but to make it worse I have even had a few there ask me about how they could make money online.

That's ok, the question I ask them is "do you want to be sucked into this or do you really want to make money online?

There is a big difference!

You either will make money online or you can't! ;o)

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@ 11:02 AM, , create a link to this post

Bloggers beta dashboard is interesting

As part of my make money online attempts I aim to utilise blogger and blogspot in particular, as I mentioned in the last post I am still debating on whether I will move this blog to another platform like WP or keep it on blogger.

I never noticed until now but there is a blogger "beta dashboard", silly the links are right at the bottom of the dashboard page, lots of blogs makes it drop right down there out of the way, the beta is where the newest changes are shown for using or testing out would be a better description and there are some interesting improvements, namely the time and date stamp being at the time of publishing rather then when you opened the blog post editor.

Good for scheduled posting and in the cases where you run out of steam but feel you still need to add more to the post, up till now I'd use Gmail drafts or notepad and save to desktop until ready to post.

Another good thing added is the "add location" whch utilises the google maps, will use that on the Portland blog.

I think blogger is only going to get better so I will put off any moves and such with this blog but look forward to testing beta more, using it with the make money online blogs, in other words the niched blogspot blogs.

Have you tried using the beta dashboard yet?

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@ 7:55 PM, , create a link to this post

Why can't blogger

Or why I am seriously re-thinking of moving this blog to wordpress. (WP)

I set this up before they started "custom domains" so use FTP, now emailing via Gmail a post to the blog is one good way of speeding up the "publishing" of the blog ... always been a boon to FTP users.

But there are two ways to have images show in the post using Gmail to blog, either adding image icon in rich text format and uploading that way, or by attaching the image which will post it between title and content.

The problem is, the first way doesn't seem to work for me, I have to manually go to blogger dashboard and add it using html!

The second way, the image shows ok like in the post below...but the image doesn't show in the feed in a reader!

*sigh ... hassle!

I have always been a blogger user, nothing will change that as I think blogger used with blogspot is still worth doing, using them for niche blogs or such works but I don't seem to have "issues" this way, is that an intention? No idea!

I do know I always seem to have issues with this blog so feel I would be saving myself hassle by simple moving it to WP and learning more about Wordpress itself, it does have some great advantages over blogger.

Then just using the blogspot I can keep on niche blogging, it's costing nothing but time and effort aka WORK... or at a push if needed, a custom domain a way there is no point if I can use WP with it once I am ok with it.

I do look forward to blogger implementing new things and such, but wish it would hurry up in a sense so I can decide what I would rather do.

Thing is I could move it back to blogger if WP drives me nuts...

I would rather someone created a dashboard based on bloggers, with all the same and better functions blogger has, the template page etc to use as our own, that would be nice, publish right from the desktop to server.

So I am in two minds what to do at the moment, I want to revamp this blog anyway, change and improve it, even edit some of the older post to better SEO them and target the focus of the blog more.

Plenty of things I have done a shit job of on here, and plenty of things I have done right, so, it's now sorting out the crap and getting rid of it, then improve and do more of what I got right ... it really is no more no less than that. How we learn.

I am writing this for me from now on... that's not dissing you the reader, I just have the experience and stats that tell me what I need to know and what I need to do.

Right now ... blogger with this blog is getting on my nerves, and WP is looking more and more appealing!


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@ 4:21 PM, , create a link to this post

Need I really say more?

Just about sums it all up perfectly.

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Google wave, an exciting innovation

Googles new ...

google_wave_logoave is exciting to see.

It really could change the web, Lars Rasmussen described it as simply ... "Wave is what email would be if was invented today" ... and the inspiration for this started in 2004.

Lars and his brother Jens along with Stephanie Hannon, all from the google office in Sydney, Australia have come up trumps with this in my eyes, you really need to watch the video to see it in action for it's potential to make sense.

These are the guys who gave you google maps, which is succeeding very well and being used probably more than even they anticipated, I see it on photos, tweets, the social sites, blogs, search ... everywhere.

Googles waving!

So I hadn't got around to watching the wave video until recently, maybe you've already seen it, read about it somewhere, if not, although the video is over an hour it is worth watching. Even if you have no intention of using wave itself, it shows where the internet is really going from here.

Once you see it in action, you realise email and IM messaging (chat) seems to be so lame, old, stale and yet this so much more than simply email, IMessaging in a new form, almost everyone uses email and chat so that most likely includes you and this will change how you do it, should you use it when it's available.

This is by far the biggest and best web innovation I have seen online, to be honest it blew me away watching it, the possibilities, the sheer usefulness of it, the "liveness" of it.

And yet it's still in raw form, meaning it's as basic as it will be the way you see it now, they stressed the point it was in it's early stages a few times, yet there can only be improvements once all the smart developers start building things for it, like "add on" developers do so well with firefox, it's users that make it what it is.

But for the rest of us who will simply use it, most will love it once it's out there to use I think ... maybe some will be late to try it, others will be onto it asap (I can't wait!), whatever happens it will change the way the web is used.

It's simply a new better way of communicating and in real time too, google is leading the way with wave as there really is nothing else to compare it to.

Use Gmail?

If you have a Gmail account, the look in wave (right click, new tab, window, for pics) will seem somewhat familiar, the left sidebar panel is where the navigation and friends show (google contacts), in the main page where your inbox would show in Gmail is where the collection of waves if you have more than one are show as a list.

Each wave when clicked on opens as whole on the right side of the main page and it's in threaded form, but unlike threaded emails of text, waves can have anything added to it, pictures, links, whatever content you want to share. (check first pic)

Much like in Gmail, you can contact multiple people and have several responses all threaded together in one massage ... unlike Gmail, with wave you can pick and choose which person sees what in the wave, while keeping it all in context. (first pic, right hand side) The people in that wave in the pic are shown on the top of the wave itself.

Get this ... anytime in the Gmail, if I wanted to share an email with someone new I would send the whole message, they would see all of it and from all who responded but would have to sit and read it all as it is and make sense of it, even though its all out of context as a thread.

Not so in wave, they have this great feature called "playback" as you see on the button at the top on the pics, clicking this shows the new added person not only the whole thread in the wave, but how it happened, what got added where, when, what led to it, what was changed, the progress as it happened etc ...

Like watching a rewind on a mixed video/sharepoint/doc/picalbum/IM !!

Powerful as a collaberation tool!

Powerful as a storyboard!

Powerful as a mastermind!

Then say that new person wanted to share something private with you, something regarding an idea about the wave which was best not being said in the wave for all to see, they could make a part private to type to you, they would leave the actual message in the wave keeping it in context ... so only the two of you see it!

A hypothetical wave!

Many of my friends on facebook go on holidays, all at the same time quite often yet in different places. They normally post a status or two while on holiday, as well as add a picture album (or two!) to their profile to share with us all.

Let's imagine three groups of four have all gone on holiday ...

1. Four girls have gone to Ibiza (as you do!)

2. Two couples have gone to NZ ... (lucky buggers!)

3. Four lads choose Tenerife. (No surprise there!)

The tags can help people find the "scattered over several (12) profiles" pictures and comments etc, yes I know, so fragmented, so awkward not to mention dealing with all the notifications when others comment!

Use a wave...

For ease we call the wave "summer hols 09" which is simple to remember for all of them and others in the future.

Group 1 touchdown first... it's late in the evening, they comment in the wave and post a pic of the scene from the bus / coach as it takes them to the hotel...

Others online (me!) at the same time can comment in the wave, the girls can reply without leaving the wave.

Next morning, group 2 hit the runway in NZ, on the way they send pics from the plane to the wave, commenting along with it, again anyone online at the time can reply in the wave, to a comment or about the picture.

The couple spot the girls pics and comments from the night before, they comment too.

Others join in as they find the wave.

Later the night the lad in group 3 fly out to Tenerife, three hours later they are hitting the hotel to drop their stuff off and then hitting the bars and clubs, they post a pic or two to the wave, they also comment on the other two groups things.

Luckily the girls are online...they start chatting to the lads, in real time. Others join in.

All this "experience sharing" in one wave, all in context of how the holidays unfolded.

An experience in real time of three holidays all happening at once!

After everyone is home, they can continue to share and comment on the wave about their experiences and more.

A few weeks later, a friend who has not been online much may ask about the holiday now it gets interesting, because instead of saying, yeah we posted pics to facebook and the comments...well you will spend days looking for share the wave!< The friend only has to hit the "playback" button to see the whole "shared experience" of 3 holidays between 12 people and all in one smooth flow, like watching a real time video/screencast as it unfolded. That is neat! :o) That is just one "fun" way of using it, and you have a digital memory bank of it. I hope you can see why the wave looks exciting, not only as a fun thing but a serious breakthrough in how we communicate and share things. It will also have great uses for work, brainstorming and more. I for one can't wait to try it out and see how I can utilise it in several ways. What about you? "waves" :o)

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If only YOU took action

...way back at the turn of the year, well we are already half way through it shockingly, you would have had a good 6 months of learning, doing, improving and growing your blog or website. It wouldn't have all been fun or easy but it would have worth it regardless of the result simply because you learn more than you think you will. 

"You never know until you try" as they say ... and what if you DID have great results? 

What if you also now realised you could possibly replace your "Just Over Broke" within another year plus having the potential to do much better in income and lifestyle terms over time?

What if you failed miserably at it all but found a new passion and skill with the same potential if utilised, which you would never have found without taking the action in the first place?

These two scenarios do happen, the second is probably more likely in most cases ... for example ... 

I have a friend online who gave blogging a really good go for almost a year, he didn't like it much, it bored him to write and such, yet the one thing that gripped him while blogging was graphics. (logos, badges and header images for example)

He became passionate about it, he soon realised it was a skill worth utilising for an income, so started to create them for other people, companies and such as a freelancer while still blogging AND working his J.O.B. 

He dropped the blog after a while simply due to the fact it wasn't a good use of his time and effort and focus as it was a generic theme, until the turn of the year where he set out to blog again but based on ... graphics!

And having a website to showcase the work with while adding the blog as a part of it for progress of work and teaching tricks etc.  

Got a little feeling that site and blog will put him into the first scenario too.  ;o) 

Finding a skill you have a passion for is a great way to do something like this, anything which utilises that said skill to maximum effect will be easy to keep on doing as opposed to something that bored you. 

No matter what skill there will be some way of utilising it. Most people say they don't have the time or energy to try these things, normally we overcomplicate things, heck, you could even change things by simplifying it all, this way you can get some energy and make time... ;o)

The friend above started his new site and blog almost 5 months ago and says he spends between two and three hours a night, 3 nights a week after work creating and an hour promoting just 1 website link ... he simply turned the TV OFF and is now building an asset of value.  

Consider that ... ;o)

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Taking the social out of social media sites

Facebook, twitter, friendfeed, etc all social sites like these rely on you the user to be social, without the users they are nothing, so I find it a bit crazy that they limit how social you can be.

Twitter has an API limit which I have only hit twice in all the time I have used it and it usually only stops you for that hour. Although the first time it was more like two hours before I could tweet again. People can use other platforms like tweetdeck to avoid this limit, I don't use other platforms, prefer to use the twitter site itself. Twitter should stick to the hour if they say it's an hour.

Friendfeed may not have this "blocking" type of stupidity on their users, they want you using it as much as possible, although I have to say I am starting to see a fair bit of ignorance there nowadays, some people there will slate me for saying it but I couldn't careless, I am not going to tell you anything but how I see it. Someone can post one word there and get tons of response, others get no response. I feel less likely to be social there if I am ignored.

It's now just somewhere for me to find interesting stuff. I loved it at first, but I am not the only one who is getting turned off by the way people tend to ignore things, Scoble could post one word and get tons of comments, it IS a Scoble fan club.

Facebook, well they have some pathetic rules on their limits and are so vague with them too, having hit a limit last night, I know silly me, being social with my friends... sheesh how dare I be like that!

It was commenting on statuses that I hit, the very social part of the whole damn site is commenting with friends. The limit warning popped up saying it could be hours or days before it stops. How pathetic, and they treat their users terrible. They take liberties because they have so many users they feel you are IRRELEVANT and a pain.

There is no way to deal with the limit, they will not even check before blocking you, it's a case of like it or lump it.
Even groups on facebook have been created to complain about how the users get treated.

Listen up faceache... without those users your site is NOTHING!

Why bother creating a social site and limit how social your users can be?
Dumb move, must be run by dumb people with no idea. After all we know facebook is making no money, they NEED us, should everyone dump facebook they would be in the shit then.

I think all of these social sites should start to consider the fact people will get annoyed at being treated like crap, that includes the users too!

Take the social out of them and they are just dead, empty spaces, user generated sites rely on users so don't piss them off!

Another great reason to stick to building your own blog, site, business. In a year or two other sites will pop up and take users away from these places.

What are your thoughts?


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5 steps to a better blog...

... and maybe I should take my own advice! :o)

Like most bloggers, I have a hit glass ceiling with regards to growing the blog reader count here, nothing wrong with that as we expect to hit one sometime, after all we can't do it all alone and we only have a certain reach.

Also like most bloggers I keep an aye on my stats and where they can be improved if possible to do so, which is most areas if we are honest, and the reason we test things ourselves. YOUR stats are the most accurate for your blog after all.

We can all read the top blogs like problogger, to learn of how things we need to learn but we still have to test things for ourselves so never take what any one blogger says as gospel ... yes, take this post with a pinch of salt too. ;o)

I can only share what I've learnt from my blogging experience and these 5 tips are what I think will improve things and it's what I will work on, things I should already be doing better!

1. Better content always wins.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, (last post) there is no other bigger priority when it comes to blogging, look at any of the top blogs online and the one main thing they have in common is better content.

That is better than the rest, else they wouldn't be the top blogs ;o)

What other reason do you read any blog for?

None, the content is the most important thing on any blog, website.

Good content is good ... better content is best and one of the best ways of making better content is to make evergreen content as the people like Darren Rowse and Steve Pavlina do, they consistently create content that will be as relevant in two years as it is now which also makes more likely to be shared by others too.

My action : To improve all post as much as possible because the main thing is to improve your experience of reading it and one thing I have noticed is the post(s) I write from a more personal point tend to get bigger traffic which leads me onto ...

2. Being authentic matters.

There is no-one else like you ... likewise nor is there anyone like me. :o)

Have you noticed how some blogs, and it's of course more so with corporate style ones, seem to lack any personality?

They are so ... boring at times they cry out for a bit of personality to be added.

It's all very well being professional about things but drawing the mine somewhere is sensible if you ask me, most people relate to people better when they are authentic.

Being ourselves is one of our biggest pluses so don't hide the real you as you only take away from yourself and your readers.

My action : I think I am pretty authentic on here, at least I try my best to be. Telling it like it is helps. :o) More than that ...

3. Honesty pays.

No-one likes a liar, the truth always outs as we always hear as kids, so it is in reality.

Telling lies of any sort nearly always bite you on the arse somewhere down the line and it can be worse online with it there for all to see, save, share etc.

This also ties into one of the areas I feel people really shoot themselves in the feet ... or come damn close to it and by the skin of their teeth survive.

I am talking about the "fake it till you make it" types.

You know the ones, they say one thing but the reality is quite another!

These people lack point number 2 badly.

There is no need to fake things and lie, being honest and upfront with your readers shows them the respect they deserve.

If you start playing with small exaggerations they soon grow into a monster you can't stop.

I have seen bloggers post about traffic stats and such which others have shown up to be false by a bit of detective work doing due diligence.

It all comes back in the end, never worth staking any reputation on lies or silly claims etc to try and make your reality appear better than it is.

My action : I hate lies, nothing to change there, why hide what's best to share and honesty is worth sharing, more so when you consider ...

4 Learning is the only real progress.

Not one of us knows it all and that goes for the pros out there too as they would certainly be the first to admit. The day we stop learning is the day we stop growing.

With every day we blog we learn a little more about it, we have that extra stat to consider within the bigger picture. Each day brings change which  means you cannot afford to sit still, you have to learn as the changes happen, online change is more rapid than ever but getting these simple core basics down mean everything else is in a sense secondary.

So much time is wasted (and yes I am guilty of it) learning about things we simply don't need to learn as it doesn't help things directly effecting whatever it is we are doing.

Doesn't mean we should not learn things, just that we ought spend our time learning only what we need to learn so that we can benefit from it.

My action : Cut out trying to learn what I don't need to learn, and I have done this too often! At least I learnt ...< 5. Being consistent is important.

Whatever you set out to do, be consistent at it and you will get there, people get used to you being consistent, enough to be consistent themselves in reading your blog! ;o)

As we all know people like routine, it's easy to maintain, easy to stick to, easy to follow, being consistent in the right areas is what makes the difference, in my view.

Most of all, being consistent in the above 5 tips has to be of benefit to every blogger.

Be consistent in improving everything as you go, learn, grow and maybe that glass ceiling will shatter. :o)

My action : To consistently improve all of the five above points as well as I can and stop worrying over the things I cannot control.

Will these 5 tips help you?

Do you have 5 tips of your own?

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Better content, more consistently ... the real blogging secret.

I recently mentioned about the other ways to read this blog, utilising the blog feed which in some bloggers eyes is not the best move, arguing that they want eyeballs on the whole blog and not just the content, ie, the ads on the sidebars etc. 

That may well be true for them, not me, I go by my own stats, which are on the blog that matters, mine. the only thing that really makes the difference is the content itself, that's what readers want and come for, not ads. 

Every blogger should just worry about delivering good content.

Even the copy on salesletter style sites are good content as it's what matters. 

All the people who ask about SEO, traffic tactics, ideas for getting more RSS subscribers, etc can all make a difference just delivering better content, there is the reason the top blogs get so much traffic ... great content. Nothing else.

Great content always gets shared, talked about, tweeted, blogged about, linked to and this with the other golden rule of blogging, that is ... consistency, it can only generate more of the same. 

There are no rules about having to post a certain amount of times a week, having to post a certain style of writing, what to write about, the only rule is to be consistent.

People like routine. 

So there it is, my only goal from here on is to give you better content, in a consistent manner. 

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