Tag Archives: HowTo

What Makes a Good Blog

  1. Good blogs have a voice. Who wrote this? What is their name? What can I figure out about who they are that they have never overtly told me? What’s their personality like and what do they have to contribute — even when it’s “just” curation. What tics and foibles fascinate make me about this blog and the person who makes it? Most importantly: what obsesses this person?
  2. Good blogs reflect focused obsessions. People start real blogs because they think about something a lot. Maybe even five things. But, their brain so overflows with curiosity about a family of topics that they can’t stop reading and writing about it. They make and consume smart forebrain porn. So: where do this person’s obsessions take them?
  3. Good blogs are the product of “Attention times Interest.” A blog shows me where someone’s attention tends to go. Then, on some level, they encourage me to follow the evolution of their interest through a day or a year. There’s a story here. Ethical “via” links make it easy for me to follow their specific trail of attention, then join them for a walk made out of words.
  4. Good blog posts are made of paragraphs. Blog posts are written, not defecated. They show some level of craft, thinking, and continuity beyond the word count mandated by the Owner of Your Plantation. If a blog has fixed limits on post minimums and maximums? It’s not a blog: it’s a website that hires writers. Which is fine. But, it’s not really a blog.
  5. Good “non-post” blogs have style and curation. Some of the best blogs use unusual formats, employ only photos and video, or utilize the list format to artistic effect. I regret there are not more blogs that see format as the container for creativity — rather than an excuse to write less or link without context more.
  6. Good blogs are weird. Blogs make fart noises and occasionally vex readers with the degree to which the blogger’s obsession will inevitably diverge from the reader’s. If this isn’t happening every few weeks, the blogger is either bored, half-assing, or taking new medication.
  7. Good blogs make you want to start your own blog. At some point, everyone wants to kill the Buddha and make their own obsessions the focus. This is good. It means you care.
  8. Good blogs try. I’ve come to believe that creative life in the first-world comes down to those who try just a little bit harder. Then, there’s the other 98%. They’re still eating the free continental breakfast over at FriendFeed. A good blog is written by a blogger who thinks longer, works harder, and obsesses more. Ultimately, a good blogger tries. That’s why “good” is getting rare.
  9. Good blogs know when to break their own rules. Duh. I made a list, didn’t I? Yes. I did. Big fan.

And, yeah, you should disagree with potentially all of this. It’s because I have an opinion, and so do you. It’s why you probably have a blog. See? The system works.

43 Folders® is a registered trademark of Merlin Mann. All posts and comments © their original owners.  This post is not to seen as evidence of endorsement and is purely for your knowledge in case you missed it on 43 Folders.com

Source [Merlin Mann of 43Folders]

The Best Comfort Macaroni and Cheese

Freshly made bread crumbs are the key to achieving a crisp, golden crust, the hallmark of perfect macaroni and cheese. You can make bread crumbs from slices of stale or fresh bread. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, place in a 300º F oven, and bake until they are completely dried and lightly toasted, 20 to 35 minutes. In a food processor, pulse the bread until the crumbs reach the desired consistency, then season with salt and pepper. You can also flavor them with butter or extra-virgin olive oil and fresh herbs or minced garlic.

Feel free to substitute another cheese for the cheddar. Gruyre, Fontina and Emmentaler are good choices.

Ingredients:
4 cups milk
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 whole clove
1 bay leaf
1 white onion, peeled
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 tsp. dry sherry
1 lb. dried macaroni
1 cup bread crumbs

Directions:
Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 375ºF. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan. Keep warm.

To make the roux, in another medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foaming subsides, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the flour and butter thicken into a paste and smell fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not let the roux brown. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth and blended. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent lumping and scorching, then reduce the heat to low.

Using the clove, attach the bay leaf to the onion and add it to the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the onion, add 1 cup of the cheese and stir until blended. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg, add the sherry and stir until blended.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 Tbs. salt and the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until al dente (tender but firm to the bite). Drain well.

Transfer the macaroni to the prepared dish. Spoon the sauce over the macaroni, scatter the remaining 1 cup cheese over the top and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese. Bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Why you should not use Adblockers

What we know about ads: they are annoying and are everywhere, only few websites are not showing ads. From ads point of view, the websites are divided in 2 categories: websites showing ads near content, and websites showing content near ads. From both categories we will get content and ads.

What happens if a website owner from the first category earns a lot of money by displaying ads? He can quit his day job and can focus on writing good content. motivated by the fact that more content means more money.

What happens if a website owner from the second category earns a lot of money by displaying ads ? He will understand that good content will generate good money, and he will try to add more good content.

What happens with a webmaster who owns a website from the second category if he will not get any money from ads, even if his website provides good content ? He will stop writing and he will find something else to work for money.

What happens wih a webmaster who owns a website from the first category if he will not get any money from ads ? He will lose his interest to post good content and he will end posting once per month, or he will forget about his blog.

Now, the connection with adblocker. What will happen if 80% of internet users will use adblocker software to block ads on any website ? Bloggers will lose interest in posting good content, experts will find posting their thoughts and experiments useless, they will prefer to concentrate everything in paid books. Some webmasters are already considering the option to prevent displaying the website for users with software that block ads. Currently i don’t see this as an option, but if 80% of internet users will use adblocker, i will do this too.

Are ads really annoy you ? You can’t read the content from a website with ads on it ? You don’t need to read ads, but you should know that there are ads. In the same way the television works: when commercials appear, you switch the program until they finish.

But, how a new website or product can be promoted if not on commercials or ads ? It is not a bad thing if you don’t read ads, but you can at least let your browser to display.

The percent of adblock users is rising quickly, I will come back with explanations about techniques used by webmaster to block adblocker users.

Did You Know? This Will Blow You Away

Did You Know?

This is a presentation stolen and updated to be more broad as it was originally made by two teachers who are upset at the current lack of car our government gives to education.

It is worth your full attention for 5 mins. you may want to watch a second time or more and stop on the slides that hurt to watch the most. This is why we need to start paying more attention to what is going on around us and not be such a me generation.

Please pass this along to as many people as you can.

HowTo: Carry Lotion in a Contact Case

I saw this and thought it was pure brilliance. I have been traveling to the west coast very often and am learning to travel light. I have noticed when going to the Norstrom’s or Macy’s looking for small sizes of after shave moisturizer the little containers are a major rip-off. Hey, No people, I’m not metro I have Pseudofolliculitis Barbae so moisturizing after a shave is paramount.

I found this article on LifeHacker that shows how to use one of the abandoned contact cases that are floating around in your bathroom drawers. This was a awesome revelation just make sure you mark it good or you’ll be shoving Kiehls in you friggin eye.

Twitter for Beginners

twitter

When I started to use Twitter, I wanted to see how easy it was to use and why people would want to use it. Essentially it appears you can use Twitter for three reasons, firstly; for purely social objectives or secondly; and more commonly as a way of promoting your business your ideas and your brand or most likely a mixture of 1 and 2. The easiest way to describe Twitter is that it is text messaging on the Internet. You only have 140 characters to post a blog so there is an art in itself in getting your message over with this limitation. To quote Winston Churchill “I don’t have time to write you a short note so I will write to you a long one”. With such a limited number of characters you do have to think quite clearly about what you’re saying, which in itself is no bad thing.

So I’m assuming, as I do that you want to use Twitter to build up your network and promote your business is a few tips on how to get started. Firstly I would say that twitter is incredibly easy to use. But before you start you need to decide on your persona. That is to say do want your tweets to be of a personal nature or of a business nature. Perhaps we should look again at it in a slightly different way and ask yourself the question do you think that some of your personal messages would be inappropriate for your business contacts two receive, if you think the answer is yes then you should open two twitter accounts. If the answer is no, or probably no, then one will be sufficient.

Getting started is easy once you have signed up get your home page and it settings. Let’s not worry about pictures and suchlike at the moment, and concentrate on settings. The most important section is the one line bio. Give some thought about what you want to say, as potential followers will read this bio and use it to decide whether to follow you or not. A poorly written bio will not encourage followers.

Right we are now ready to go. So what do you say, at this point it’s a learning curve for you so I had just try a few different posts to see how comfortable you are with them. The most important thing is to be yourself, remember this is not a 5 minute wonder, potentially you’ll be using this medium for years to come. To build up your network you need to find some people to follow, and you need some followers. The best way to start, if you can, is use to connect with some of your friends who already use Twitter, that gives you a place to start.

Go to one of your friends pages, and on the right hand side you will see the word following and underneath that I will be a number of mini pictures, choose one at random and click on it. This will take you through to that person’s home page, read their Bio and if you like it, just below their picture you will see a radio button which says follow. Press it and you are now following that person and they are part of your network. Repeat this process as often as you like and you will quickly build up an understanding of those individuals who are of interest to you and those who are not. The current etiquette is that if you follow somebody, but they will for the most part follow you back.

For the first few days, don’t worry too much about growing your network, your best spending your time understanding how twitter works. You’ll get a sense from reading of the submissions and from that you should start to understand the best way for you to communicate via twitter. A couple of other ways to speed up the building your network is to use something called “twitter local”, download it and use it to identify people close to you who are on twitter. Follow them and as you are local they are very likely to follow you back.

So that’s a quick way of getting started. More on this when I have learned more myself.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbin.com

Laurence Ainsworth is using is founder of Exigent Consulting which provides advice and support for small to medium businesses. Exigent specialises in Business Turnaround, Sales and Marketing and Mentoring & Coaching. He can be found ontwitter.com/laurenceexigent and at www.exigent-uk.com He is a regular contributor of articles on marketing and sales and is a frequent Blogger and Twitter-er