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Showing posts from 2008

New Blog Stats

The State of the Blogosphere Report 2008 offers some really great stats that are important to any business or professional using the Internet for business. Here are some of the highest rated topics covered on blogs: Personal/lifestyle 54% Technology 46% News 42% Politics 35% Computers 34% Music 31% Some interesting demographics on U. S. bloggers: Male 57% Age 35 to 49 37% Employed full-time 56% College Graduate 74% So if you are a marketing or public relations person or someone who writes web content, these numbers are very important to you. You can find the report at technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere.

Go Green this Holiday Season

Check out the two web sites I've recently listed for buying handmade, eco-friendly gifts and personal items. Great companies are opening everywhere that are offering handmade soaps, toys, gifts, clothing, and just about anything you could ask for. Giving green says you care not just about the person receiving the gift but also about the environment. I've researched and written may articles on going green. It is a great initiative that is slowly having its importance downgraded by what is happening in the economic environment. I realize keeping one's home and putting food on the table every day has to take priority over trying to recycle, reuse or reduce. Nonetheless, the green initiative has to stay alive even in the smallest of ways. Buying green, giving green, receiving green or just keep talking green will all help. Do what you can do.....

Blogging Fever Rises

Blogging has become a past time for many business professionals, students, computer hobbyists, news junkies and the list goes on. I obviously enjoy it because I'm maintaining two blogs myself. 
Another activity that I would have to rate as one of my top five is to walk through bookstores (old or new, modern or flea market, any and all bookstores) and spend hours at a time looking through the book shelves of every genre. And, of course spending way too much time in the magazine and periodicals section. 
This past week I came across a magazine called Artful Blogging - a magazine dedicated to "Visually Inspiring Online Journals". 
The cover was artfully set and colorfully eye catching.  The entire magazine had pictures and descriptions of blog sites maintained by those who are artful and creative. 
For example, www.kellyinkstudio.blogspot.com is written by a nature photographer. A jewelry designer maintains a site at www.speckled-egg.blogspot.com. 
The magazine reviews blogs tha…

Blogging from Beautiful Hawaii

Vacationing is the best activity in the world - especially when it is taking place in Hawaii. What a paradise! It is the first time here for me. It is actually the first time I've seen the Pacific Ocean.

Tropical is what I'd like to write about today. The warmth, the humidity, the sun, the flowers, the palm trees, the warm never-ending ocean waves, the lifestyle. Why is it we don't all live in the tropics?

While I enjoy all of the comforts of the tropics when visiting, I image it takes a stamina for slow, for laid back, maybe today...or tomorrow living. I was born to multi-task and to put 30 hours of activity into every 24 hours I get in my life. I would love to retire in the tropics...maybe.

Visiting the tropics is what I like best. Living in the tropics probably would not be good for my personality. Of course, maybe in time I would be able to adjust that multi-tasking, hurry up and get it done so I can move onto the next project and let all of my go, go, go - go out with t…

Learn How To Do Anything

A great new site to visit is ehow.com. Of course, I am a little biased. As of two weeks ago, I am now a contributing writer to the ehow.com site. It is a fun and easy to navigate and to read site that provides how-to tips on anything and everything. It is a lot of fun to write for and a lot of fun to read. Take a look at it and let me know what you think of it....

Check out the New Items on the Bottom Right Column

Blogspot.com recently added several new features including the ability to add new gadgets to blogs. You can add gadgets to show photographs, quotes, myspace and thousands of other little gadgets.
I've added cheeky quotes of the day and digg.com. I'm an undeniable news addict and love to read the newspapers both in print and online. So digg.com is a great addition to this blog. 
I'm sure I'll be changing and adding gadgets regularly....

Got a New Internet 'Toy" to Write About

This posting really does not have much to do with writing or being a writer.  Nor is it about reading. Unless you count the writing job listings or the fact that you have to actually read the site. It is really just about finding a good, useful web site that millions of people are using. 
You know how some people get when they buy a new thing - a car, boat, computer, etc. - it's like they have a new toy to play with. 
I just recently - the site has been around over ten years and everyone seems to be using it so I'm not sure how I missed it until now - found www.craigslist.org. It is like I got a new toy and just have to spend all of my little bit of spare time looking at the listings. 
If you have not visited craigslist, immediately leave this blog and and go to craigslist.org.
I have two sisters who both held garage sales over the summer and both listed on craigslist and lo and behold, they had a number of people mention that they found the garage sales listed on craigslist.
Aaaaa…

The Marketing Gurus Book Review

A recently released book called The Marketing Gurus - Lessons from the Best Marketing Books of All Time - is a great reference book for those new to management. It is also a great book for those who have been in management at various levels. Some of the summaries are of books that are over 15 years old. The Popcorn Report - for example - was published in 1991. Faith Popcorn was hailed as the Nostradamus of Marketing by Fortune Magazine. Popcorn was a creative director and is now a bestselling author, lecture and consultant. Many of the Ten Trends to Shape the 1990s provided in her book were right on the money. She predicted cocooning where people would be working and staying at home to do such things as online shopping etc. Staying alive is a trend she predicated that consumers would be highly interested in self-diagnostic tests and preventive health-care products. And, she foresaw the green initiative. Popcorn called the S.O.S. - save our society. The Marketing Gurus provides summarie…

Write-on - I bought an Apple Mac Laptop

I am probably one of the most conservative persons you could meet or ever want to meet. Wearing my conservative cloak at all times, I have always thought about what my family - more specifically - my son would think before doing anything including selecting certain clothing styles. My motto has been - not to do anything that would make my husband or my son embarrassed or not want to know me anymore. And, I feel that I have kept to that motto and have behaved exemplary throughout my adult life. That is until one day about two weeks ago when - in a true moment of wild abandonment - I let my husband buy me an Apple Mac laptop. My son - the truest Windows and Linux guy you would ever want to meet - is pretending that the Mac laptop does not exist. He has told me he is disappointed that I gave into the hype that is Apple and he is certain that I am no longer technology literate but have some how become technology illiterate. Having owned the Mac for a full two weeks - I admit that I do like…

Green is on - Green is Good

The green movement is really taking on momentum and I love it. My family is trying to make a difference - both in our personal lives and in our businesses. We are buying all of our new cleaning products in the many eco-brands hitting the grocery store shelves.

We are also recycling paper and cardboard - it is very distressing to realize how over packaged products are these days. Just in one box that we got a new ceiling light in had cardboard inside and out, Styrofoam, plastic, tape and paper. It is also very distressing to realize how much paper we waste when it comes to printing in the office.

Regardless of past practices, we have printers that can print on both sides of the paper and we are using that feature to the fullest - we have recycle boxes at every printer - we are recycling junk mail, newspapers, magazines and packaging paper. We are also recycling the cardboard that soda is packaged. In the near future, we will be recycling soda cans.

On the post-consumer side, we have been …

Selling to Big Companies What's Write Today Book Review

A book published in 2006 by author Jill Konrath titled Selling to Big Companies is the latest business and marketing book I've read. It was really like reading a book of affirmations because the author's entire sales process is exactly the way I've been selling and marketing for over 25 years.

The author is hailed as an expert in complex sales strategies and has become a sales trainer and expert to selling to the big corporate accounts. As with many of the sales advice books I've read over the years, her tips and tricks are more like common sense. I find it so hard to believe that some people don't do some of the items she mentions.

Take for example - she recommends to concentrate on the customer and the customer needs and looking for a good fit in being able to offer solutions. The author states many times that a sales person should NOT make sales meetings all about them or their company or product - make it and keep it customer centered.

Show your value - show your …

What's write today is all about going green

There is a new book out called Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach. When the first push to start recycling paper at home and in the work place occurred in the early 1990s, my family in lived in a community that immediately jumped on the band wagon and it took little time for it to seem like everyone was recycling - virtually overnight.

As it turns out - recycling has continued to be practiced at almost all levels from the one person apartment renter to business, government, schools and universities. We now have an entire generation that has grown up seeing those recycle bins in their homes, schools and workplaces. And, it continues to make a difference in the environment.

Bach details 50 ways you can take going green up a notch from paper recycling. He starts by telling you how to determine your impact on the environment or your carbon footprint. From there he provides easy and doable ways to go green in one area or all areas of your life.

For many people, changing vehicles to smaller and …

All the Information That's Fit to Know

On a recent book buying spree - one of my regular rituals - I bought The New Times Guide to Essential Knowledge. The book is as thick as the title is long. The tag line on the cover reads, "A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind."

This is not one of those cover-to-cover reads - it has over 1,300 pages and thousands of bits of information. The inside book cover flap reads, "This one volume is designed to offer more information than any other book on the most important subjects as well as provide easy-to-access data critical to everyday life."

It has facts and figures on science and technology, business and finance, geography, literature, dance, music and the environment. I love being able to read about the history of mathematics or why the currency exchange matters.

Granted, I could type any of those questions into google and find information. Nonetheless, flipping the pages of this bible-size book, I find answers to questions that I didn't know I had in the back o…

Online Newspaper Advertising Marks Big Gain, Again

According to DIRECTnewsline's online newsletter, online advertising on newspaper webs sites increased to 18.8% or $3.2 billion in 2007. It was the thirteenthconsecutive quarter for an increase in online newspaper advertising.

The flip side is that print advertising dropped over 2 billion dollars for the same periods. So what does that mean to the consumer or to those working in or with advertising? It could indicate that Internet usage is up by all age groups. It must mean that those advertising in the online newspapers must be seeing a return on their investment. On the green side of life, it could mean that there is less paper and ink waste in the world (although energy usage would be increased).

Is there a downside to less print advertising? Well, there could be because print newspapers can only be printed when there are advertising dollars to do so. Newspapers are still making money with the online advertising so they could just be printing fewer newspapers in order to be able …

Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday is Sweet

John Steinbeck is one of my all time favorite writers. Many years ago, there was at least one Steinbeck always in my "current" stack of reading books. I had to stop reading him about ten ears ago because I actually started writing like him.

That would be a great thing but that he writes everything - in my opinion - as if writing poetry. His writing is filled with in-depth descriptions - to the point that you feel as if you are in the book and a part of his story.

When going through my bookshelves recently and revisiting some old favorites, I stopped at my section of Steinbeck's and picked up Sweet Thursday. So, I decided to give it a re-read. It feels comfortable and much like visiting an old friend - Steinbeck that is.

Here is passage out of Sweet Thursday as an example of how Steinbeck's writing takes you away with it - "Change may be announced by a small ache, so that you think you're catching a cold. Or you may feel a faint disgust for something you loved …

Columnist and Author Anna Quindlen is What to Write-on Today

I have several favorite columnists - some local - some regional and some syndicated. My top of the list includes Anna Quindlen. Her professional bio is impressive. She was the third woman to write for the op-ed page in The New York Times. She is a Pulitzer Price winning columnist. She is a best selling author of numerous books and she currently writes the last page column of Newsweek magazine.

She is my absolute favorite columnist and if I'm ever asked who I would like to most write like - it would be Anna Quindlen. I don't always agree with her position but I do always agree her writing is top-notch and never off pitch.

She is sharp - she is smart - she can be humorous - she writes about what's important today and she is the total writers package. To get to know her and get a good sense of her writing, read her two books, Thinking Out Loud and Loud and Clear.

In my own writing career, I would like to be a syndicated columnist even more so than being a top selling author. I …

Scott Adams is What's Write Today

I'm sure you know who Scott Adams is by now. He is probably as well known as Charles m. Schulz. If you're not quite sure who Mr. Adams is, check your local newspaper in the comics section - he is the creator of the Dilbert cartoon.

I have been surrounded by engineers most of my life - my brother was an electrical and mechanical engineer - my husband is an electrical engineer - my son is a mechanical engineer and my father inlaw was a civil engineer. So reading Dilbert has been a part of my regular repertoire of things to do for many, many years. And, will no doubt continue long into the future.

Scott Adams has also written several books including The Dilbert Principle, Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook and his most recent Stick to Drawing Comics Monkey Brain. The Dilbert Principle was Scott's attempt (he confesses to it on the inside cover flap) to "cash in on the lucrative business book market".

The book was published in 1996 and I do remember it as be…

What's Write Today is all about effective sales training

I just read a really great article in Selling Power magazine (Nov/Dec 2007) about training a sales team to give effective sales presentations. A large part of my diverse professional background has centered on selling. Be it selling (pitching) an article or an idea to an editor, providing training solutions to the adult workforce or selling my own contract writing services - selling has been a driving force to my success.

Having written all of that - I also have to say I've read so many books on selling such as:

The Nordstrom WayThe Greatest Salesman in the WorldWords that SellZig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the SaleCold Calling TechniquesThe 10-minute SalesmanMarketing MindsGuerrilla Marketing AttackSeveral Peter Drucker booksSeveral Tom Peters booksMcDonald's Behind the ArchesValue Added Selling TechniquesWhy People Buy Things They Don't NeedWhy This Horse Won't DrinkWriting Advertising That Sellsand on and on and on.All of the theories and all of those great min…

What's write today is being the pack leader

I just got the book "Be the Pack Leader" by Cesar Millan - the dog whisperer. I've only read the first 30 pages but the lessons have been surprising - pleasantly.

My first impression is that this book has a three-fold purpose in this world. First, it is meant to help dog owners be the leader of their pack of dogs. Second, it gives an excellent perspective on getting to know who you are inside. Third, it is a really good lesson in human pack leaders of human packs.

Cesar's mantra is to help you understand and read your dog's energy and then use that understanding to better connect to your dog. Good advice. You could easily substitute the word human for the word dog and a second powerful piece of advice is garnared from the statement.

He also suggests that you use the calm - assertive energy that you use to be the pack leader with your dog or dogs in your relationships with friends, co-workers and family. Calm - assertive - energy - once again this is very good advic…

What's Write Today is The Secret

There is a great book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Actually there is a DVD, a book and a Web site at www.thesecret.tv about the secret.

The secret, according to the Web site is, "The secret teaches us that we create our lives, with every thought every minute of every day."

Big secret! I think I've known that since birth. The true secret is how to change your thinking when your thinking is destroying your life. The book does try to provide ways to change one's thoughts to be more positive and more grateful. I've tried these tips and techniques to no avail.

It's hard to turn over 40 years of thinking one way to thinking in another. I've tried. I've failed. Nonetheless, I believe in the secret and thinking the book is the ideal self-help book. The secrets of a successful happy life are simple and the book does not try to complicate matters.

It tells it like it is. If you think it, feel it, see it in your mind's eye, believe it --- it will happen in…

What's Write Today is Print Lives!

One of the great debates of late is whether print media is dead - killed off by digital media. I've read several articles of late that prove otherwise.

Print media is still king. One of our local newspapers had an editorial last month by the city editor that claims the newspaper's sales for the printed version are stronger today than ever. And, the full paper is online for everyone to read for free but they continue to sell the printed copy. And, they have even increased readership and sales because of the online version.

Selling Power magazine's publisher wrote in his editorial (November/December 2007 issue), "Last month I asked Selling Power readers to share your thoughts about print vs. online. I was floored by your overwhelming response in support of print."

Readers sent in commentary about their experiences with print vs. online. One reader commented about a business in northern Ohio going paperless then going out of business. Another reader commented, "We…