Archives for 2012

The Mighty Search Engine God

thinking

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

The Gods of Google and all search engines told me that if I don’t feed their hunger they will unleash the Kraken upon my fair City of Angels and sadly I have acquiesced to their threat of terror.

Those few of you who know me well are probably shocked by this because you know that ten times out of eleven I would go fight the Kraken in single combat. Not only would I fight that big old monster, I would win and I would do it without resorting to the cheap trick that other guy used in his battle.

No need to use Medusa, not today, especially since it won’t work anymore.

That is because the new algorithm Google Medusa is about to be released and it is going to be much worse than Panda and Penguin.

That Last Line is Fake

Read the subhead again and take a deep breath- I made up Google Medusa. Unless they start taking orders from me or I have unconsciously locked in on some other secret there is nothing to fear here.

That’s because this post isn’t about how to use my SEO tricks to become an SEO god who can generate 1 million page views from viral videos and SEO tricks that will make you millions.

My tricks are limited to trying to produce good content, build relationships with others and to sustain your effort. This is a marathon and not a sprint.

BTW, some of the SEO advice you see being pushed around the blogopshere is worth as much as it costs to read it- did I mention those posts are free.

This Is Not A Dead Week

Some people will tell you the week between Christmas and New Years is a dead week- they are mistaken. Traffic drops but it doesn’t disappear.

Why is this significant?

It is useful and significant because if you aren’t among the bloggers who go on vacation you have less competition and and opportunity to grow your readership.

I can’t promise that you will do so but I can say you have a good chance but it is still predicated upon providing  good content. What that good content is will vary from person to person.

Several Links To Read

I aired out some of the archives here and have some posts for you to check out:

  1. The Pain In My Grandfather’s Eyes
  2. Walking With The Dead
  3. Goodbye Grandma
  4. Use Your Time Wisely
  5. Things That Matter
  6. Dear Stephen King- Writing Is Lonely

Sleep calls and I must answer.

See you in the AM on the last day of 2012. Someone tell the Mayans I’ll buy them a calculator.

The Tradition Of Too Many Gifts

My son turned 12 yesterday so we spent a big chunk of the day celebrating. The not so little man has a list of “birthday traditions” he wanted to experience again and so we did our best to make it happen for him.

It was fun but I have a confession to make:

Some of these traditions make me freaking crazy.

There are family members who give him too many gifts. To be fair they spoil his sister this way too but it still makes me crazy.

It is a sore subject for me because part of me loves that they are spoiled but another parts of me has a serious dislike for it. I don’t want the children to think of worth being tied up in what they have and sometimes I worry that so many gifts send the wrong message.

All these gifts create other issues because I think some family members feel like it is a competition and that drives me crazy too. Everyone knows better and the thing is individually we are all on the same page about possessions and self worth but it doesn’t change how it all shakes loose.

So the tradition is for me to enjoy everything up to the gift giving part and then I slip into the corner of the room and try to not to fume. It is a stupid thing to be upset about, but sometimes it just grates on my nerves.

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a
brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking.
  • This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it
    accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

What Is a Father’s Advice Worth?

English: A puppy with a Kong Wubba, a Kong pro...

English: A puppy with a Kong Wubba, a Kong product. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Son,

In a few hours you are going to turn 12 so I find myself sitting here lost in the memories and moments of your life and mine.

When I think about what sort of blessing I want to give you my mind goes many places but it always touches upon my friendship with ‘G‘.

You have heard the story about how we met the first day of kindergarten many times but I don’t think you understand yet how lucky I am to have a friend like ‘G’ because not everyone shares in that luck.

That is what I want for you. I want you to have a friend like ‘G.’  I want you to have the kind of friend who will always be there without question.

I want you to watch the clip here and relate to it because you understand the friendship between Kirk and Spock. When you hear Spock say “I have been and always shall be your friend” I want you to feel an ache in your soul because you know what that means.

The Puppy and The Big Dog

Sometimes when we wrestle I tell you that the puppy isn’t ever going to beat the big dog, but that is not entirely true.It is going to be years before you are even close to being able to handle the kind of fire I breathe, but that is because I have size, strength and an ‘old man’s cunning.’ You won’t be able to match that until puberty and life experience kicks in.

But the thing is that doesn’t apply to thinking games.

When we play Chess I have to pay attention because you have gotten too good for me to just ignore. You have learned many of my tricks and come up with more than a few of your own and I have paid the price.

I lost.

You beat me and I couldn’t have been happier or more irritated.

That’s because my competitive spirit doesn’t like to lose to anyone, friends, family or my children. Yet at the same time I love that you beat me because it is a clear indication of how you have grown and continue to grow

My ‘Job’

My ‘job’ is to teach my children how to grow up to become productive and self sufficient members of society. I love doing it so I suppose it is not entirely fair to call it a job or work.

In the ‘real world’ your supervisor sits down with you at least once a year to give you a ‘performance review’ where they review your strengths and weaknesses and then you work on a plan for the coming year in which you figure out how to improve your performance.

But in the ‘real world’ of parenting performance reviews are different because so much more is riding upon them. The consequences of failure are much more severe which is why I have spent so many hours thinking about how I have done and am doing as a father.

I can’t take responsibility for everything you do, good or bad. Much of that falls upon you because all I can do is try to teach you the right way to do things and then hope you do them, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t try, hope and wonder.

What Advice Can I Give?

So what advice do I have for a 12 year-old boy of the twenty-first century? What can a twentieth century lad share of life that will help you along your way?

Don’t regret not living your life.

Don’t let fear of circumstances and consequences prevent you from going out there and living your life. I have very few regrets but those I carry are major and I don’t want that for you.

Don’t make excuses and think that you will have time to do things later because sometimes today is the only day.

I used to hate it when ‘old people’ spoke that way, but sometimes it is true.

‘G’ and I spent a few minutes today catching up and reminiscing. We have been through the cycle together, school, weddings, children, divorces, funerals…

More than a few of those things were unplanned because sometimes life decides to push you off of a cliff to see if you can fly.  Some people can’t. Some people won’t.

You aren’t ‘some people.’

You are my son and I know that is more than my bias speaking when I say you can and you will do it.

Love,

Dad

There Is A Difference Between Best & Most Popular

I never suffer from writer’s block but I sometimes struggle with finding the appropriate words to use in the posts you read here.

That is because this joint is a cross between a personal and business blog so the readership isn’t always prepared to find some of my more colorful language on display.

During the Jurassic period of my blogging adventure I never worried one whit about what expressions I used because I was writing solely for me, but things have changed a bit and so has my approach.

So when I say some of you need to invest in remedial reading courses to work on your comprehension it is my attempt to be more polite because in the old days I would have quoted Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam and said “You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.”

My good friend Inigo Montoya does an excellent job in The Princess Bride of expressing some of the consternation and disdain I feel for some of you, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Words Have Power and Significance

This really isn’t supposed to be a rant so we’ll stop talking about people who will read those words and smirk because they aren’t smart enough to realize who they are really directed at and will move on to the power of words.

More specifically let’s address the plethora of “Top Ten Post” lists that are being pumped out around the blogosphere now.

Since we are days away from 2013 it is not unusual to see many bloggers adopt a more reflective stance in which they talk about what they wish they had accomplished or what they hope to do in 2013.

Nor is it unusual to see bloggers review their ‘Top Ten Posts” of the year.

Whenever I see these posts I think about the difference between Best and Most Popular.

What Is The Difference?

The method that many bloggers use for determining what their top ten posts are is usually predicated upon which posts received the most traffic and or comments. That doesn’t always translate as to “best” because in many ways it is most similar to “popular.”

I don’t know that there is any real significance or substance to the distinction other than sometimes I look at my “top ten” and see posts that I don’t think were my best. Sometimes they are very good posts but they aren’t always what I consider to be my best.

I wrestle with this sometimes because I am not always certain what I consider to be my best. In some ways it is a bit like being asked to choose favorite child.

There Is Nothing Wrong With The List

There is nothing wrong with having a top ten list. The reality is that it is useful information that you can leverage to help build your blog. And with that I am pleased to share you with a list of what Google Analytics says were among the most popular posts here between January 1 and December 26, 2012.

FWIW, that may include posts that were written prior to 2012. Sometimes they get picked up by StumbleUpon or linked to from other sources that drive buckets of traffic.

  1. A Letter To My Children-2012
  2. What Happens To Your Facebook Account When You Die
  3. Jesus Hates Tim Tebow & 17 Other Reasons Why Your Blog is a Failure
  4. There Are No Coincidences
  5. Two Things That Are Killing Twitter
  6. The Pinterest Predicament & The Rule Of Four
  7. The Etiquette of Unfriending
  8. She Doesn’t Want To Break His Heart
  9. The 100 Year Old Penny
  10. Sometimes Fathers Fail
  11. An Uncertain Certainty
  12. 1 Foolproof Way To Become a Better Writer

A List of 12

Yep, there are 12 items in that list and not ten. That is what happens when you hang out with the big rebel of the blogopshere. 😉

On a serious note I am thinking about going through all of the posts I wrote this year to see which ones I really think were my best. It kind of sucks when they don’t get the same “play” as some of the others.

There are much bigger problems to have, but I figure it can’t hurt to spend a little time there.

Value Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

If you want to gain a greater sense of things that drive me then watch that clip and you’ll gain just an inkling into how my mind works.

Unfortunately it won’t show you the goals my children scored this last season during their soccer games and even if it did it wouldn’t provide enough context to show you what I want you to see.

Because I’d want you to understand they were solid members of their teams but not the players you looked at to score the goals. Some of that is because most of their time was spent on defense and it is much harder to find the opportunity there.

We talk about opportunity often and they have heard me stress not being afraid to take the shot.

I am always proud of my kids but their goals stood out in my mind, daughter from the left of the net and then my son put two in off of corner kicks. They were rebound shots on all three of those scores and worth just as much any other.

Value Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

My son told me that after his second goal one of the players on the other team tried to minimize and devalue its importance and I laughed. I told him that value is in the eye of beholder and that I could make a case for it being worth more than the others.

If you take a clinical look at it each goal is worth one ‘unit’ so ‘technically’ there is no difference between any of them. However if you look at them in terms of what they do for or to a team they take on a different meaning and the weight of the moment changes.

That is because both beauty and value are in the ‘eye of the beholder.’

People assign and define these moments. We hold this power and it is up to us to figure out how we choose to use it. That is an important lesson that I often remind myself about.

Sift through the posts here and you’ll find lots of musings and memories about this and that. Some of those include my thoughts about how life has been more challenging than I would like it to be.

Some of those include my frustration about fighting battles that I didn’t start and being asked to work harder for less because of choices others made. It is not always glamorous and there is a reason why in one post I referred to life as a real motherfucker.

Sometimes I feel like Wile E. Coyote because just when I think I have caught that damn road runner I slam into a wall, fall off of a cliff or see the anvil coming straight for my head instead of my target, but that is ok.

How To Catch A Road Runner

The way to catch a ‘Road Runner’ is to do two basic things:

  1. Never give up trying.
  2. Learn from your mistakes and change things up a bit.

That is not particularly profound or insightful but it is ok because it works.

Success in life doesn’t always come from the glamor shot or being pretty. Most of the time it happens to the people who are willing to grind it out and who stay ready for the opportunities that present themselves.

Part of that happens by figuring out what works for us on an individual level. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than highly skilled, but most people can’t rely upon luck to see us through.

Instead we have to rely upon hard work because we can control how much effort we put in and how hard we work.

If we take a moment to pay look and listen we can adjust things so that anvil doesn’t smack us in the head and so that we don’t run into a wall.

What I Love About Rudy

The clip at the top of the post comes from a movie called Rudy. I am not going to tell you that I love it because the little guy made the big play because size isn’t what moves me here.

What I love best is heart, determination and effort.

Rudy finds a way to overcome challenges and to live his dream instead of dream his life. That is what gets me excited.

Grinding it out isn’t always the pretty way to do things but life isn’t about looking pretty, at least not to me.

Value is in the eye of the beholder.