Monday, January 25, 2010

Fatigue and guest posting

I've been working too much lately. Seven days a week, five within an intensive retail environment. This is why I haven't posted anything for the last week. It's difficult to construct something worthwhile when fatigue has built up.

Fatigue I can handle, especially as I'm an insomniac. Fatigue is my modus-operandi. That and using outdated Latin phrases or wanky French words, which I just cannot resist. I love the French language and cannot wait to learn it fully, but first I must learn Mandarin for my upcoming journey to China.

But it's the stress of the position that prevents me from writing effectively. For example, if you look at the previous paragraph, you'll see how it's half finished because I went off on a tangent. Now, I love tangents, I'm always exploring them in my mind and when I'm stressed, I'm more likely to get sidetracked.

Now, even though my friends have found my randomness to be witty and humorous, it doesn't translate at all to writing. When I'm on one of my tangent fuelled rants, people have a lot of trouble following my logic or even what I'm saying. So there is a lesson to learn about writing. Keep it focused and on point, otherwise you'll lose your audience. Writing requires energy of a different kind to physical energy. You can still be exhausted after a long day's work and still write. But if you're distracted or stress, forget about it.

Despite not having the energy to post on my own blog, I have been posting regularly on other peoples Blogs as a guest poster. I'm going to start a new section tag for all the guest posts I've done (mainly to keep track of it for my own benefit), but here's a link to my first article which has been featured on the Idea Lady's website.

It's not my best work, I'll readily admit, but it's still my words being featured on other websites. And this is all part of social networking and getting your own brand name out into the ether.

Today, I'm entering my 17th consecutive working day without a break. I wonder how many more I can go?!

Adventures in Advertising
Pensive Video Gamer
Short Stories and other Curiosities

Monday, January 18, 2010

Google Reader and the Ninja

Google Reader is a handy application from google that organises and collates all your blog feeds. It gives you a powerful interface which displays the feeds without you having to visit all the sites individually.

What makes this application so cool? How about off-line browsing!

That's right with Google Reader you can download and store around 2000 articles (it will do it automatically for new posts) using Google Gears (a browser extension). This means you can now do your reading where ever you like, on the train, on a plane or even while on the can.

Pretty soon, there'll probably be an integration with Kindle and other types of e-Readers which will seriously make me consider buying one, including even selling out and getting an iPhone or perhaps the new Google phone.

The beauty of this application is that it's a serious time saver. Google are constantly upping the ante regarding their functionality and the Google reader is a serious leap forward.

There is also a hidden Easter Egg when you're on the main screen. If you press UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A you'll unlock the ninja display. That code is called the Konami Code because it's used in heaps of Konami video games.

It's integrated into Google completely, so if you have a google email account, it's ready to go. However, you don't need to register to use it, your other email accounts can also be used for verification. Go forth and explore it now!

Adventures in Advertising
Pensive Video Gamer
Short Stories and other Curiosities

Friday, January 8, 2010

Customising a blog: an ongoing process

Setting up a blog on the first run is a very time consuming process. For my latest blog (which I'd put off starting for months), it took me roughly 4 hours to create all the elements you see on the page and set up additional accounts (like flickr).

It's very tempting to sit back afterwards and look at all the work and think: "Phew! I'm all done, that's it for design!"

But that would be disastrous.

Designing a blog, or your page should be an ongoing process where you experiment with new widgets and new code to see how it integrates itself into the blog.

There are many advantages to doing this, like:
  1. finding a useful widget that makes your page more appealing to your readers
  2. upgrading your own knowledge of manipulating and tweaking your blog
  3. becoming more knowledgeable about products and services on the internet
  4. learn by physically doing instead of dry theory and words
By experimenting on your own blog, the site becomes dynamic and less likely to be stale. But too much change and you'll alienate your audience who may have gotten used to the particular way your site looks. Always have an outlet for feedback and a way your audience to contact you.

Getting back in the groove

It's been over 3 weeks since I last posted on this blog. Sure I have a great excuse of it being Xmas and New Years, and sure I can also say that I'm working 2 jobs and am flat out. But that means only that I've failed to do anything on this blog for 3 weeks.

I've succeeded in doing nothing.

And because of that my steady traffic has dwindled and now I must start raising my profile once again. Not only that, I'm out of the habit of making time to read/respond to peoples posts. The longer you spend out of the water, the harder it is to get back in.

At least the damage is only 3 weeks instead of 3 months.

In the past I've made the mistake of leaving a blog too long and having it dry up. Once the ideas stop flowing the blog will die shortly afterwards. To have a successful blog, you've got to keep at it and keep building your connections.

So learn from my mistake and don't procrastinate. Jump in and blog something.


Now that I've started, my next 2 blog topics have jumped out of the tangled mess that is my mind. See, you've just witnessed my advice come true in this blog post.

Yes, I totally agree with you...

I am awesome!