How a #spring ruling on Content Curations made me a better person

My sister and I write friendly letters to each other by email, every other month or so.  She wrote to me this spring that she lately read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  She said the book impacted her interpersonal interactions at work.

Yesterday morning I opened my content curation tools on the internet, and to my surprise, the app appeared completely redone.  I had little idea of where to start.  If I’d never taken the notes that I did, I would have been at a disadvantage given that I needed to start over.


Photographer:
Jeffrey Betts

I work in a mostly volunteer capacity at a cemetery off the beaten track.  We operate a graveyard.  I put in duties as an SMM in order to reach the outside world.  http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

What the app revamp did was to require me to get honest about what I am interested in doing.  The reality of whether the more fringe areas of my research were or weren’t going to fly in the face of other people squarely confronted me.  Some of my ideas just weren’t going to work, I saw.

Our Facebook page is small, only sixty-five or seventy people, but those people aren’t going to be swayed, I now believe, by where I was putting my nose if I am being transparent.

There is an idea in business that employees don’t work for the boss, that in fact, the boss works for the employees, and it is true with our page.  I am an SMM, but I work for the people who like the page.  I don’t have the freedom to indulge every avenue I want to if I don’t want the people I speak to laughing at me, and it is probably true that new people I might interest will have similar sensibilities to those who are already involved.

If I’m not confident in my ability to bring my interests to the attention of those I work for, the people who like our Facebook page, I realize now that I can’t expect any newcomers to have any different opinion than those with who I already have a connection.

This is how the spring ruling for the content curation tools instantly makes me a better person.  

I am lucky.  While the reworking of the content curation tools is for relevancy’s sake, and while my hands are tied as to how to go forward from here, facing a truth that I wasn’t formerly comfortable with facing is now a solution.  I hadn’t been aware this was a problem, and without my input a solution presented itself.

I had envisioned that I would find a strategy to make this work when the time came, and the time came yesterday.  With fresh eyes, I began to see how to use the tools going forward.  In the process, I became, in a small way, a more honest person, at least more honest about what I am doing on Facebook and on Twitter.

As the Buddhist maxim states, “Never lie, cheat, or steal.”  I got a little more spiritual, yesterday, you might say.  It was unexpected all the same.

Maple Lawn Cemetery is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited 

Maple Lawn Cemetery

I’m on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons  

My content curation tools are provided by DrumUp, an app found on the world wide web at https://drumup.io (a shoutout).  The DrumUp starter plan is inexpensive and it offers a lot of use for someone with a business model utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn.

You’re welcome to “like” this post, to follow the blog, or to comment.  Have a great spring.

Resolutions for 2019

Seeking ideas for this small blog of mine, I began last month to refer to the weekly newsletter Publishous.  Publishous is a little more than a year old, with about 5800 supporters.  The newsletter is a collection of semi-connected ideas about content and the like and includes a writing prompt.

Formerly I would refer to WordPress’ own daily prompts before that came to an end, owing, I presume, to WordPress no longer wishing to organize their once-a-day prompts.

The prompt for the current newsletter is Resolutions.  I am late because I did less work between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

As you know, the custom among many New Year’s revelers is to identify resolutions for the coming year that mark a life change.  Resolutions can be in the spirit of fun, or they can be difficult to declare if a resolution requires the kind of change that is hard to make.

I kind of hate resolutions because I cannot think of useful ones.  I do have a few tactics ready, for better productivity in 2019.

I was inspired in 2018 to read Robert Greene’s book The 48 Laws of Power.  This book was a difficult read, but rich enough with great ideas to benefit from having read the book.  Even though 2019 was far off, I thought to resolve to make some attempt to apply the book to my strategy in the year ahead.

I was not confident that I could apply much of The 48 Laws of Power until I came across a Twitter account that helps by mentioning ideas from Greene’s book–
https://twitter.com/48tweetsofpower

I want to apply more commitment to the areas of work for which I am already present.

My digital social interactions are largely confined to Facebook and Twitter.

At the cemetery, we have been working together since 2011, and we soon thought that a page for the work we do would be useful.

Maple Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

On Twitter, I don’t specifically refer to details of the work I do with my dad.  Instead, I tweet a few articles, generally about tech, and some about charity and a few other concepts.  I have the idea that, if I do this, it could prove useful.

On Facebook, real “real estate” is hard to market, because of the competition among business users, to make ads which are interesting.  I wish my dad and I had a marketing budget, but we don’t.

Most of the work I do for my dad’s little business is done on a volunteer basis, and I rarely include a call-to-action that deliberately invites business (you could say I leave money on the table).  It’s just not my responsibility.

That’s all part of why I struggle with effective New Year’s resolutions.  It is frustrating to think that life improvement could be worked out without a yin and yang down-side, that depletes the benefit of strategy in business, and in life.  I want to check the work in case there is a down-side, that I am blind to, that could defeat me.

I want to blog at approximately the same pace at which the newsletter prompts are e-mailed, in Publishous.  You may wish to check it out for yourself.

The spirit of the blog is to put out an “ask” identifying that I’m interested in taking “real world” work online and also that I’m capable as a creator, to use the buzzword, to keep active in a role which for now is valuable to my dad’s business in terms of the results I effect.  I’m an optimist.


Photographer:
Jiyeon Park

Thank you for reading my post here, and good luck with your own blogging in 2019. Take care, and all the best.

Be That You Would Rather Risk Temporary Shelf Life

Laneway

November 8, 2017, I published a post the day after Twitter began to permit tweets of a length of two hundred and forty characters, rather than the traditional hundred and forty.  It was one of those days that felt to me a touch helpless, or certainly awkward, and I’m not sure I responded adequately at the time considering many people on Twitter were clearly unhappy with the decision.

That was six months ago.  The social media conundrum has certainly multiplied since then.

Today I saw a blog post, Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Objects or People Older than 50 years, that inspired me to return to the post I wrote in November and curate it.  https://ceenphotography.com/2018/04/12/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-objects-or-people-older-than-50-years/  Cee suggested in one of the posts in her composition blog that photographers try the possible technique of desaturation in a photo.

I am just beginning to have the opportunity to enjoy browsing her blog, and I haven’t applied a technique like that very much, but I did give something like that a go when I curated my post https://findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/a-photo-of-harmony-do-you-agree/  I am going a stage further by reflecting on what Cee in her blog says about composition and techniques such as desaturation.

 In November I was thinking about WordPress’ Ben Huberman, who contributes essays to the WordPress photo challenges, and who wrote that bloggers should focus that week on the idea of Temporary, how it is things can be seen in the image that will no longer be there, as with autumn leaves in October.

Letting it out of the bag was a busy time.  I looked back at a photo I took Wednesday, October 15, 2014, when I was purer as a blogger, meaning not seen by as many (compared to me there are a lot of good ones).

It’s the trees shielding the cemetery and you can see the lane running behind Louth United Church.  Ben seems to be an understated champion of photography and also of blogging, with WordPress.

Where before I would have argued, if necessary, that the video capture look of the sky overhead reflected the idea of temporary all the more because everything that was in the sky had passed on, not content to be passively captured.

Now I think that desaturation in the photograph better suggests that the sight of the church is indeed temporary, where it had a congregation at one time but no longer does.  The sky overhead no longer looks so artificial and there is a hint that with time, as the church has grown very old, so too has the color of the photo faded and dispersed.

Laneway
Wednesday‎, ‎October‎ ‎15‎, ‎2014

I am a junior member of a not-for-profit that permits me some freedoms to explore possibilities with a blog, which you can see here for yourself.  We care for Maple Lawn Cemetery and we’re active on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Serenity at a cemetery
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eventually, following Twitter’s decision in November to begin its fateful change, I decided to do the free ten-day WordPress Developing Your Eye I email course, which for me meant ringing in the New Year with it, the end of December and the beginning of January.

When Twitter began to include tweets with a character length of two hundred and eighty rather than plain a hundred and forty, I was dismayed the same as the others who disagreed strongly with the corner it turned.  At the moment, I didn’t know what that would say about the future… or the past, either.

Twitter continues to prosper and while I have adjusted my strategy, I remain interested in the modicum of relevance it possesses.  You’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

Brief tips for keeping up

Church at cemetery

I am updating this a year later–this is the early morning of August 12, 2018, and I published this post after curating it from something I did October 20, 2014.  I am the SMM and junior operations director for a small not-for-profit cemetery.  I have my hand in as a blogger to complement my research and social media skills.

We’re on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

How is your content doing?  Are you keeping records?

There’s nothing intuitive about being outfitted for killer content.  It’s Internet 101.  There’s engagement and then there’s conversion.

  • Be relevant in a sprawling web environment

You won’t be able to see the horizon on the world wide web.  It goes on and on, and your time can disappear into it the way tree leaves lose their pigment and then fall.

I hope that you have a plan because goals are incredibly important.  You have an uphill battle to face already, and without clear goals for you to pursue, you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere.  I definitely wish I’d tackled it more systematically years ago.

Try challenging yourself by investigating new techniques for setting goals, and see what you can put into effect.  I realize this is advice for a beginner, but if you are new and you read this, please understand that I am doing my best to run over some basic tips that you can put into practice for yourself.

You can prioritize what you want to achieve if you put some planning into what you are about. If you have the spontaneity and creative mindset to be headstrong, I’m sure that’s ok. If you are overwhelmed, and you could be, you need to throw down some controls on what you are doing.

Church at cemetery
Louth United Church

  • Read success stories and compare them to yourself

The world wide web is cool, so don’t fret.  You do need a plan of attack.

Organize your efforts so that they resemble the kind of list in which you might write what groceries you want to buy.  It’s a start!  

Don’t dismiss the inspiration you find by learning about what people who are achievers did to get where they are today.  Above all else, there are plenty of people with good intentions to who you can reach out on your journey across the Internet.

  • Find release in a second hobby

The world wide web has a lot to offer, but you probably need a second hobby if you’re feeling troubled.  Something that you can do in the outdoors might be good, to keep your mind active on more than one front (on more than just your life computing).

Maybe you should be writing offline, to keep your engine fresh.  Reading real-world books is a good idea, especially if you can learn something from them.  That’s a concrete example of how and when doors will open for you.

Speaking of the real world, interaction outside the digital corridors of the Internet has its place for you, distinctly.  Don’t go too far afield by forgetting what’s out there physically.

Dimensions: 1920 x 1440
Photographer: Burak Kebapci

Are you struggling with your brand identity?  Leave a comment for me if you think of something I strongly need to see.  I’m curating this based on a blog post I did the twentieth of October, 2014, which rather needed an update.

I wouldn’t mind hearing of others’ efforts as you keep on descending into the backwaters of the Internet.  I know readers may be reluctant to comment, but you’re very welcome to note here where your online journey has taken you.  And if you do relate, and in fact have found help.

You can “like” and/or “follow” as well.  Thanks!

Deriving Inspiration from Marvel Avengers: 14 Common Misconceptions You Can Correct

Unusual sky

Marvel Avengers Alliance Redux-Alpha 3 preview!

I’ve decided to return to my explanation of the Marvel Comics game Marvel Avengers Alliance, through the “lens” of the renowned treatise on military strategy, The Art of War.

Dimensions: 4880 x 3107
Photographer:
Suzy Hazelwood

1. The Laying of Plans, Calculations and Estimations

In Marvel Avengers Alliance, you have to “earn” gold, and this is achieved by spending money (such as $5 on ten “gold”). Gold can be exchanged for command points. A combination of silver, which is available for free in the game, and command points together, train your superheroes at the ready–so that they go up a level.

2. Waging War – The Challenge

The game Avengers Alliance consists of a number of challenges between its “bosses,” who are wicked opponents to the Avengers, and yourself and your heroes. Come each time you defeat a “mini-boss” or a “boss” you have won a game mission, and the next mission awaits. That’s the gist of the game, which is good fun.

3. Attack by Stratagem or Planning Offensives

In the game, you have a ready store of gear, supplies and more so that with “research”, carried out inside the game, your superheroes at the ready can advance to more dangerous fights than they have previously taken on. You can also recruit heroes and send them into battle (when they are not “busy” getting you silver) at the outset of each fight, so that you have enough superheroes at the ready.

4. Tactical Dispositions or Positioning

Tactical determinations aren’t a major concern in Marvel Avengers Alliance, but there are opponents against whom you must battle, that protect their own by getting in the way of your attacks.

5. Energy & Direction

There is an energy component to Marvel Avengers Alliance which restricts you by the number of fights you can lose, at which point you need to wait until your energy comes back. Or, if you have energy in reserve to use, which is an extra in the game, you can bring your energy back instantly.

6. Weak Points and Strong / Illusion versus Reality

The game is entirely about illusion, and the superheroes at the ready are the Avengers, who you know from comics, and film. The Avengers have many illusory powers which they wield. Likewise, the villains are monstrous!

7. Maneuvering and Dealing with Direct Conflict

Typically, the fights of the game are three against three, or occasionally fewer. The maneuvering in battle consists of directing your team’s attacks so that the enemies are reduced to zero and fade away.

8. Variation in Tactics aka The Innumerable Changes

Your team has their equipment and superpowers so you can choose your tactics while in the heat of battle. That’s a major part of the game, and if that kind of diversion interests you, Avengers is good fun.

9. The Army on the March / Moving the Force

To collect silver, which goes with training and research, you can send heroes to various parts of the world as it is understood in the game, where your heroes spend time “policing,” which plays into the game to help with your advancement.

10. Terrain or Situational Positioning

The game doesn’t include a terrain component, which is good because the app would be all the more challenging. Each fight resembles good or evil at the centre of the fight.

11. The Nine Situations / Terrains

Author Elish Bul-Godley discusses Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu in: Why Wall Street Loves “The Art of War” – A 13 Point Plan To Mastering Business Strategy, and if you have a thirst for combat, perhaps Sun Tzu’s strategy will appeal to your better judgement.  Bul-Godley quotes Sun Tzu saying: “Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.”  Indeed, often your fights will be against a trio of evildoers, and you have to decide how best to attack your enemies.

12. The Attack by Fire

Fire-dealing weaponry is part of the game, and an arsenal is available both to you (who is the “Agent” in the game), and to the superheroes who have fire attacks at their disposal.

13. The Use of Spies / Intelligence

Fortunately, Intelligence, by which you gain information, factors into the game as much as the story does, keeping the fights coming, as a mission is always ready for your heroes.

14. There is no #14

Sun Tzu must have won the war at 13, for The Art of War stops there.

Unusual sky
Sky opening on the horizon

If you have an interest in a game like Marvel Avengers Alliance, feel free to blog about it and I shall enjoy reading you!

Verbal Confirmation: Assigning a Speech Label

Louth United Church

Looking back to the early reaches of my blog, I saw I wrote a post for the Oct 1, 2014, Daily Post, Verbal Confirmation

The Daily Post
To be, to have, to think, to move

 

I like to delineate.

VERB
describe
indicate

 

I belong to a small not-for-profit which consists of a small cemetery in our care.  Once in a while, at the cemetery, I assist with burials.  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

We have a ledger outlining in orderly fashion who rests where in the cemetery.  It does delineate how those departed rest.

Louth United Church
Maple Lawn Cemetery

I delineate other aspects of my life as well.  I like to delineate.  In social media, people are delineated.

When I wrote this, the first of October, 2014, I put it in language that would ultimately become true of Twitter several months later–I had insight into what would be on the platform.  I was already thinking of Twitter users you follow being like lists of accounts you can define and utilize.

https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/twitter-lists

I simply look at random intervals of time and glance over what people are tweeting.  The different declarations of this and that is lively and that is how it is remarkable.  When a great recommendation to go to an article is posted, it is good fun.

There is more in life that can be delineated, of course.  It goes without saying that compartmentalizing tasks on an ongoing basis is very much delineation.  You can change gears from one objective to another by delineating them.

However you proceed, you can find yourself rapidly delineating your day so that things work in your favor.

I don’t play cards, but an instance where you can delineate is a hand of Solitaire.  If you do play one of the varieties of Solitaire, you know you delineate a deck of cards into piles.  The pleasure of the game, I imagine, is how chance itself can be delineated within the rules that bind the cards into a game.

I like to delineate, but I simply don’t play because I am too interested in how chance changes without the limit of rules on a deck of cards if it is possible to notice and observe such a thing.

Points of interest in a travel situation can also be delineated.  When somewhere new or far from home, you can explore a little and many do by delineating a number of spots where you can go.

With only a little time and energy, you can enjoy many sights and sounds having delineated what is now near to you.  I wish I’d traveled more.

The idea of here and there, once delineated, becomes accomplished.  To many people, that is a rewarding feeling, and you will have stories to tell back home.

I would like to feel I am characterized by the verb to delineate.  If I get the chance for advice, my favorite kind of advice is how to organize and make the most of your time.  Both productivity and efficiency interest me.

Every Monday morning I try to spend an hour on YouTube watching videos with the message to be motivated.  It may not immediately sound like the most constructive activity to perform.  It is a habit I have for starting the work week off with a positive mindset.

Ironically, I don’t place a lot of importance on spending time in full force or with efficacy and that kind of thing.  I just like to think about it!  I like to delineate.

Thought and action may well be the name of the game for delineation.

That is why I choose, as my favorite verb, to delineate.

NOUN

portraying something precisely

the exact position

19 August is World Humanitarian Day.  Supporters join the rallying cry to protect all civilians