This month I reached two hundred followers with my WordPress blog. I am satisfied with the achievement, and I am grateful to the people following this blog for spending the time they do.
Publishous is a newsletter reaching several thousand subscribers and counting. I began reading it in December.
The writing’s pretty good, I agree, articles published on Medium. Medium introduces newcomers to a few free writing selections each month. Then, you either need to wait for the next month or to move up to a paid membership.
Soon I noticed the newsletter delivered writing prompts.
Writing for prompts feels like a shared experience. I miss the Daily Prompts organized by WordPress. I had thought Publishous could be a great new opportunity for quality blogging.
An example of the style of blog post I write can be found at the following link:
Since the last time I wrote, I received two more editions of Publishous. I enjoy them, but I have not seen another writing prompt. The newsletter exploded by 1500 subscribers in only several days. Did they abandoned their prompts? Or the prompts are not weekly, contrary to an assumption I made.
I feel like I’m getting behind.
In 2019 there are a lot of posts being written, I’ve long known. Expert and YouTuber Neil Patel suggests quality over quantity. He pitches one post a week or once a month.
Neil Patel is a gentleman with an ad agency, but I don’t want to wait the span of a month between posts.
#NeilPatel #ContentMarketing #Blogging
I’ve never tried tips such as Patel’s, but they could help. I try to think how I could deliver a better post.
If I’m fortunate, Publishous will again include a writing prompt. I will handle it as though I am alongside great people.
I’m ending with a question, one of Patel’s tips. Do you blog?
You’re welcome to “like” this post and/or subscribe.
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.
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.
Thank you for reading my post here, and good luck with your own blogging in 2019. Take care, and all the best.
December 2017 my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift for Christmas, a puzzle game celebrating The Beatles’ music The White Album. It is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white. It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.
I think of The Beatles being a radical success in music history, given the enormity of their popularity, even decades later.However, how does that view of The Beatles relate to contemporary ideas about success, and how it is won?
I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for the individual to pursue preconceived notions of success and how it is misleading. The first four were presented in a previous blog post. The remaining six are presented here.
Netflix is the leader of the pack, I believer, for video streaming. They devote an enormous budget to original content and their selection of existing content is good. That being said, Disney is entering the streaming video service market soon, as is AT&T, I understand. Netflix in my region is compatible with my TiVo, as is another video streaming service, the free video streaming site Tubi. The selection on Tubi is big, but they don’t offer original video. Both Netflix and Tubi are compatible with my TiVo, but the selection of videos on Netflix is good and for Tubi, not so much. I want to step out of the chain of logic to ask if that implies that Tubi is a weak link. Netflix is a completely enjoyable experience if you watch video and Tubi is an extra addition to the TiVo I watch TV with. It isn’t too hard to say which could be better assessed to be a radical success in the future. That being said, while Netflix needs to make a lot of important decisions before the day is done to remain ahead of the curve, Tubi is probably under far less pressure. Does Tubi’s relative weak link status mean that it isn’t a success? It is free.
Going forward with the theory that radical success means enormous difficulty, consider the contender that could grab much of Netflix’ market share, Disney. Disney is certain, given its weight as an entertainment brand, to include great films and shows, being known for its films, television, toys and theme parks.
Which of the two, Netflix or Disney, will be more of the radical success–that a good streaming service can be? Or will they both amount to great success? Disney has built in family-appeal given its products for both adults and kids alike; Netflix has been building that kind of appeal from scratch. Will either Netflix or Disney be a weak link? It seems important to me that entertainment be good when it is accessed or experienced.
It would be a shame, I think, for the bottom to fall out of Netflix if it were to become a weak link given competition. Netflix has a reputation for spending extravagant amounts of money on shows and films while not necessarily having a concrete plan in place to recoup its expenditures. As I said, Disney already has an enormous built-in capacity for success in the future, in addition to plans for its new streaming service
3. I started this post by saying there is a fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album coming 11/9. From what I understand about music streaming services, Spotify has a great conversion rate bringing customers from free use of Spotify to the premium version. I would ask if taken to task whether Spotify will be a “weak link.”
From what I can tell, the selection of music with Spotify is wonderful. I’ve never actually searched for The Beatles, but I am sure they are there. The selection is good. I have fewer specifics on hand, but I wouldn’t appreciate seeing Spotify become relegated to “weak link” status, as it seems to be an awesome service.
It is understood that The Beatles essentially recorded The White Album live to 8-track tape, and for everything they’d done in the name of their music they were in fact recording music that would be a bit of a farewell to their fans. If less scrutiny was being given to the music emerging on The White Album, would The Beatles have lasted longer and recorded songs for longer than they did? I think it is possible, for when something is intended to be “perfect,” it is often a departure the way a pinnacle climbed must then be descended.
4. If you are following this argument, you can guess that the weak link I’m referring to is the President of the United States. I don’t like to posit criticism of the United States or its politics, but an example of someone about who there is much to decry that could be a weak link is the President.
As he is someone who was a TV star, I think it is worth mentioning here the radical success that he is known for enjoying and how at the same time the President has mounting problems that he is both a radical success, being wealthy and commanding power, but also a “weak link” in that he could bring down the whole show if he is not effective. President Trump has a knack for appearing with ferocious emphasis again and again in the news, and yet he faces so much criticism and real-life repercussions and consequences that I think he makes a great example of a “weak link” who is at the same time a radical success.
The President brings to mind so many components and elements of radical success gone wrong that it is becoming clearer all the time that the President of the United States is an extremely divisive man. Donald Trump Says China Remix
Motivated to Entrepreneurship
5. The ninth reason I want to assert that a weak link can be very much undermining is the idea that if you begin to succeed as an entrepreneur you can find yourself under more pressure than you ever anticipated facing. Making money is many people’s idea of success, but you have to put in years of work to make dreams come true. And in this scenario, ironically, you yourself could be the weakest link if you don’t meet obstacles well.
Unless you keep improving, day in and day out, you could end up being the weak link in your organization simply owing to the fact that your luck could change. If you have found a strategy that makes you King Midas, turning everything you touch to gold, if all of a sudden your luck changes, you may now be suddenly in a seat of weakness. The Secret to Self-Motivation | Gary Vaynerchuk’s GREATEST Motivational Speech Ever!
You need to keep improving and being good. Everything that took you somewhere is behind you; you have to continue to make great decisions. I suspect you’ll see for yourself if you falter.
6. The final reason I want to take back to Geeks + Gamers. If you have someone, like Jeremy, who has more than one channel on YouTube, who is comfortable discussing games, films, and sports, a very articulate individual, who sees success coming from YouTube, from a Facebook group, from Twitch I suppose, who challenges who is at the top, as with The Last Jedi remaining a highly successful film, however vocal its detractors, I think it is a philosophical note to say that if you are at that pinnacle I referenced above, there is any number of reasons your descent will be hastened by those who come after you. You have to reach that pinnacle in excellent form; and you have to leave it in such a way that it endures, that there could be a fifty-anniversary, that there could be another billion-dollar blockbuster, that there could be a second term. This is all vital, from a philosophical standpoint, what must be done if radical success, like the kind that spreads all around the globe, is to be achieved and then preserved. CLICKBAIT : A YOUTUBE STORY
I was amused by the Christmas gift last year of The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family. If you have read this, please feel free to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.
Just the other day, I saw a WordPress blogger asking for debate if secularisation is good or bad. She defined it, and I take it she means the decline of the influence of religion, like, for example, the power of the Catholic Church, on society around the world.
This year I made time to read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, a novel about a man and his son trying to survive some time from now in the future when society no longer exists as it did previous to the events in the novel. I think of church attendance preventing circumstances in our world like that in this Cormac McCarthy book.
If strong leaders utilize the unitary values of religious institutions in a way that helps people lead lives of better prosperity, it would be likely, I think, that people will make better progress in the world, decreasingly supernatural as it is.
Reading The Road, I didn’t think much supernatural dread happened to the characters, probably in part because to create their own resources they were too hard pressed to deal with the spiritual implications of society being at an end.
If I think about secularisation as it could relate to the plot of the novel, I think that the leaders of the world which existed before the events of the book have failed in their ability to keep the structure of its society intact. Maybe this owes to an overall weakness in the story’s idea of religious institutions, but I can’t that except by thinking it is a possibility, judging that religious symbols seem to exist in the book. The man on the road is a little like Jesus, set apart from others by his singularity.
There isn’t an explanation for readers of The Road why society ended–it is a question only that it is gone, and how a much harder reality supplants it, the “road” of the title.
Isolation is the new struggle to overcome adversity, instead of questions like how did the world’s institutions fail and what can be done now, in their absence.
The novel’s interesting because society as a whole is over and done and there is no solution available. It is a story of apocalypse.
The man traveling in isolation with his son seems unconcerned if there were religious institutions before society fell to pieces. I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been institutions–in every other detail I can think of in The Road it matches the world as it’s known today, which leads me to think that parts of the world in the book weren’t secularised, as our world in real life remains only in part secularised today.
I tend to think that order would fragment in the event of too much secularisation because people need to feel that there is something supernatural about their lives, that they owe something to God.
I am optimistic about trusting religious authorities because I see a sphere of religious influence making a more positive outcome for our world.
I am glad to have had an opportunity to write a few thoughts on how thinking back to reading The Road helped me articulate an opinion on secularisation.
I was likewise glad that I took time this year to read the book by Cormac McCarthy, as well as having read Bethany’s post asking about secularisation. The Road is the only title of McCarthy I am familiar with, but the cover of the paperback copy I read advertised that it had sold well.
If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or “subscribe.”
I wrote this a couple of months ago, but the other day I heard remarks by Gary Veynerchuk, who I watch a little of some Monday mornings when I am starting the week with an hour of “Motivation Monday,” against the dream of a passive income. There is a Youtube video available that gives an idea of what Gary believes.
I already knew not to try to tell people what to say about content marketing on social media, because it’s a pointless maneuver, but I do want to refer to Gary’s position on passive income and note that his passion could be relevant to the decision to invest time in reading Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week.
I have read the Ferriss book three times over the years, and I think it’s an enjoyable read, but I wanted to curate what I wrote a couple of months back with the caveat that the dream of a 4-hour work week may not be right for you.
I ran into a disagreement, a stumbling block, but made a decision.
One of my uncles called me out for posting to our Facebook business page at a level above what he felt was my comprehension. I guess I was insulted, but maybe what he was getting at was true–I decided to make good on the advice and to improve my strategy for Facebook–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
Being a very small page on Facebook is a hard bargain–to be competitive requires strong content, and there isn’t money to spend to drive it.
So, in the several days since my uncle’s observation, I revisited The 4-Hour Work Week for the third time.
It’s a 2007 book by Timothy Ferriss that is a how-to on putting together a life of travel and wealth, particularly in light of opportunities afforded by the Internet. This is about getting past the need for a fulltime job.
I realize 2007 is a long time ago, but it is an inspiring read if you the reader are reflecting on what you’re doing in the course of your career that might be unsatisfying for you.
I was holding down a job the second half of 2007, which is when I was feeling comfortable but uninspired. 4-Hour Work Week author Timothy Ferriss recounts how he never could keep a job, although he is well-known for doing all kinds of amazing activities, including writing the bestselling book that I read again for the third time.
Admittedly, I am comfortable volunteering at the cemetery which I feel serves a purpose, owing to its continued interest by visitors who have loved ones resting there and who find the tendered grounds a suitable destination for introspection and solace.
However, I did again to my delight find 4-Hour Work Week an impassioned read.
Ferriss argues for the importance of the spirit of independence. This is instead of job security, Ferriss arguing that work for the sake of work is a pointless grind and that you would be better traveling across the world, for example. That, he affirms, is a far better investment of time and resources, than being buried, you could put it, in the demands of what might be eighty hours of work a week.
Some of the ideas Ferris had for the book remain relevant, like targeting ads with Google to create product sales to get you out of the gate and in charge. Ads like those Internet offers remain a profitable activity for people to make money at when they have a product niche and a matching headspace that’s geared to online sales with the Internet.
Ferris refers in his book to Pareto’s Law, the concept that 20% of your efforts achieve 80% of the results you get. It is a quirky theorem that is popular in self-management circles. For example, Ferriss thought of ways that 20% of his interactions with clients produced 80% of the sales he needed–and invented methods to bring down the time spent chasing the 20% without sacrificing the 80% payoff.
While possibly hard to measure, you could tap into Pareto’s Law in areas of your own life that need expansion, while synchronously cutting back on activities that only mean spinning your wheels. Ferriss in the book explores how.
Ferriss’ ideas include avoiding taking phone calls by getting people to email you rather than call, and then to check email only twice a day, at noon and at four. This gets the most important communications done instead of letting them control too much of your time.
Most important, Ferriss finds that a life away from the office should never be about getting back to work. He believes in automating as much as possible, and you probably already know that automation is a vital time-saving strategy to everybody who’s pressed for time.
In the first few chapters, Ferriss recommends a five-day information fast–no more news sites, magazines, or books, and only an hour of television viewing in the evening instead of the several that he says most people watch. Five days of this with the help of his book and you’re on your way.
He also illustrates a Dreamline and points out some ways you can reduce your present list of expenses so that you can readily find the money to tick off some of the items you have on your bucket list.
It is a pleasant dream to think of a life like that.
If you need some tips to deal with a job that’s turned out to be soul-crushing, this book is a good source of inspiration. The writing is both insightful and easy to digest. What we do with our time is what we are, and a bit of fun and freedom might be the ingredients you need to reconnect with your purpose outside of work.
I am illustrating this post with a shot I took of my copy of the Ferriss book and also a photo of Louth United Church, on the cemetery grounds where I work in an operations capacity.
And, please, you are more than welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.
“let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice.”
— UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
A few weeks ago Facebook faced a big data breach, which isn’t helping, I understand, in efforts to keep people’s trust invested in the social media platform.
I probably shouldn’t have overlooked the existing structure for receiving donations when I published this post this summer. I meant to say that the volunteers who run Maple Lawn Cemetery, where I work, don’t presently ask for donations on Facebook, because we are only a small page and we don’t have the budget with which to work.
Perhaps in the future, but admittedly unlikely, we could bring onboard someone younger to help with carrying out our operations with the help of Facebook, but at the present I am aware of the mess Facebook has run into owing to its exposed dealings with Cambridge Analytica and what that has done to Facebook’s credibility as a social media platform and to its use for small business (and in recent news the data breach). I want to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve their situation and remain effective as a tool for small business. I am optimistic that it will remain a good idea to publicize our work on Facebook.
Now is almost certainly not the best time to try to begin raising funds on Facebook, as the bad publicity is undeniable, I feel, but with Giving Tuesday still ahead in November I do want to keep my hand in the game in case the situation changes for the better. A little more money could certainly serve our needs. I am more concerned that Facebook will continue to grow to mean that the business page for our not-for-profit remains useful… https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
I am involved with a small business. We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.
This blog is nominally tied to it. I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.
I am the junior employee, and I help with grounds keeping. I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here: www.maplelawncemetery.org).
The senior employee is Peter.
Occasionally volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work. We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.
We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time. The cemetery is small.
To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits. LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.
What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought about making donations.
One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity. In Canada, it is my understanding that only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit. This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.
This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters. We can’t return the favor of a donation with an income tax deduction.
Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations. Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations. While we are a touch cautious about the possibility of a federal audit, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November.
I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy. Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday. We’re working at a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.
Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others. As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery. That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.
CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations. They work with thousands of charities. They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.
Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working until any set point in the future. I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church. I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.
Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them. I invite you to visit us on Facebook. You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.
If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help. I appreciate that you took the time to visit.
To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a couple of stock photos intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose. Thank you for bearing with me.
Today isInternational Museum Day. With respect, the most thought-provoking blog post I have had the positive experience of enjoying was recently published by beautybeyondbones about Catholicism and art. I suggest you go to it as well–
Returning for the weekly photo challenge, I returned to a picturesque spot in my city and took a point-and-shoot picture to illustrate what’s fluid. I am trying to advance my ability as a photographer while remaining in the same headspace as other WordPress bloggers interested in daily prompts and weekly photo challenges.
There are many bloggers active at their craft, and I likewise enjoying spotting some of those that are timely available.
Some of my background in the not-so-distant past include taking advantage of free courses from WordPress, both on studying a bit how to write poetry and how to proceed as a photographer. Writing is a major endeavor to tackle and it is very competitive, requiring an intense amount of activity at making it happen and making it successful. I usually admire people who have made a name doing it.
I feel brief blog posts for the purpose of hobby writing with other WordPress bloggers, both “large” and “small” how their subscribers are, is a sufficient task to practice at this time, in my life, for me personally. There is a touch of nostalgia attached to a hobby of this kind.
My blog is also nominally tied to a small not-for-profit for which I provide junior-level operations.
I believe Ben Huberman, who wrote this week’s photo challenge article, also lends his editorial talents to WordPress.com. Ben has written this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and the topic is accessible and interesting: his essay is Liquid