Archives for January 2012

Does Your Blog Need A Logo?

web 2.0 logo deadpool

Does your blog need a logo is the sort of question that usually sends me off on a five minute rant about stupid headlines. That is because lately I have become even more enamored with describing myself as your favorite dad blogger turned curmudgeon.

Granted I am the writer whose disdain for these things has been well documented. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading those posts I’ll do you a favor and share a bunch with you. Go. Read. Now.

Go, I said. We’ll wait for you.

  1. Great Headlines Are Overrated
  2. Great Headlines Don’t Drive Traffic
  3. More Proof That Great Headlines Don’t Matter
  4. How To Write Powerful Headlines
  5. Cheaper Than A $5 Whore With Less Risk of Infection

I left out a bunch of others like the one about the talking penis or the other in which I said that I should have slept with her again. And yes dear Jayme, I understand that some of these are going to attract a different sort of element than I want, but I know how to deal with them.

You see I am at my best when I am unfettered and feeling feisty. Take off the gloves, remove the chains and watch out because when the words are flowing and fingers are flying I take great joy in pounding the hell out of a…keyboard.

Answer The Damn Question

The answer to the question is yes, your blog needs a logo. It needs some kind of image that helps distinguish it from the others. There is an awful lot of noise out there and if you want to memorable and recognized a logo can go a long way to making that happen.

But bear in mind that it doesn’t replace the need for good content. Anyone who says otherwise is a damn fool and in need of my size 12 boot in their ass. How is that for a friendly sort of hello.

Ok, it is not very friendly and not particularly endearing unless of course you like grumpy forty something year-old men who blog about anything and everything. Did you know that the social media experts tell you that it is a mistake to do that.

Those exceptionally intelligent men and women think that readers are too stupid to read more than 120 words and that you have the attention span of gnats.

I’ll make like the Redhead and say that they need to be slapped, beaten and told to fuck off. But the thing is that I am not her and I don’t want to be her. I like being a man. Maybe it is because it is all I have ever known or maybe it is because I like being equipped to put out camp fires without fear of torching my butt.

Why Are You Blogging and What Do You Hope To Accomplish?

If you are blogging for business and can’t answer that question we should probably sit down so that I can knock some sense into you. Why would you spend time doing something for work without knowing what it is you are doing and what you hope to accomplish.

That is just a waste and you should treat yourself better than to throw away your time like that.  This is important so I will type slowly for those who have trouble keeping up.

You need to know why you are blogging and what your objectives are because that is the only way you can determine whether your effort is successful. It is the only way that you can establish metrics that are usable, measurable and valuable.

I am not a social media expert. I am not the world’s greatest businessman. There are people who are smarter, richer, happier and a host of other ‘ers as well.

But I do know a couple of things about all this and that is why Jack, the grumpy old dad blogger who hates posts that are stuffed with keywords and looks at headlines with disdain is sharing this with you.

  1. Determine why are you are blogging and what you hope to accomplish.
  2. Figure out what metrics you need to determine whether your effort is successful.
  3. Get a cool logo. Yes, I know that I need one. I haven’t done it yet but I might try someone on Fiverr.
  4. Have Fun.

My apologies. I planned on writing more but I have go make dinner. Some of the social media experts will tell you that it is a mistake for me to stop in the middle this way. I will tell them to go play in the street and remind you that there is no one way to do this.

Social media is about people. Some of you will love me. Some of you will hate me. Some of you will be ambivalent. But if I show up on a regular basis and engage in normal conversation with you good things will come from that. And if I do that for an extended period of time more good things will come from that.

Remember the pyramids weren’t built in a day but many were built by my people which reminds me that I am going to submit an invoice to Egypt. Those hieroglyphic painting, slave owning, pyramid building yahoos owe me a chunk of change plus interest.

Wonder if they’ll give me ownership of the Sphinx. Ok, off to dinner now.

Try not to take life so seriously, I don’t.

What Is A Person Worth

My friend Bill wondered aloud what name the witness protection program gave me this week and I had to laugh. All he had to do is ask Gini and she’ll tell him that I am Abigail Van Buren.

I couldn’t quite decide to write about this evening so I decided to take a glance at a bunch of old posts and see if anything struck my fancy.

I don’t know that I would characterize these as my best or worst posts. They’re really just a random sample of things I have written about, but I like a lot of what I see in there. Plenty of material to expand upon and some good memories.

Spent a few minutes today thinking about social media and what happens within it. Social media is about people but we have this habit of not treating them as well as we should. Instead of looking at people as people we talk about followers, fans and subscribers.

Instead of engaging with them we are collecting them like trophies. I try to give the benefit of the doubt and say that most of us aren’t doing this to be mean, nasty, uncaring or insensitive. But there is limited time in the day and once you reach a certain place you can’t interact with everyone.

All you can do is be open and try to have a conversation with the folks that visit you in the places you hang out on. And yet while I think out loud I still ask you to like my FB fan page and to subscribe to the blog.

Does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe it doesn’t because I am honest when I tell you that I am trying to grow my platform and gain more attention.

Maybe it doesn’t because the reason I want to do this is because I am working on a writing a book now and I am trying to use all of the resources I have to make it happen.

You are welcome to follow along over here. That last link is to the blog I set up for the book.

Check it out. Read some and you might find that you like it. Sometimes I can spin a decent yarn and that joint has more than a few of them in it.

Want a sample? Here try this:

There was a time not so long ago when you used to let me see you. A time when youweren’t guarded or reserved. You didn’t hide behind the walls of the fortress you built. The castle doors were wide open and the knights that served as your gatekeepers would welcome me.

They knew that my arrival would fill your heart with the same joy that I felt and so they’d send you word of my approach. I’d ride over the bridge and find you waiting for me, arms wide open and a smile that put the Cheshire cat’s grin to shame.

I’d slip off of my horse and find you in my arms. And for a moment we’d do nothing but hold each other in silence. Later we’d walk off holding hands and share the stories of our days and the things that happened while we were apart.

It was our secret world.

And then something happened. Things changed. I left the castle and when I returned the gates were closed and new guards had been placed were the old had once stood. New guards who didn’t know my name and didn’t care to learn it.

I tried to explain to them that they had made a mistake. I used logic and reason and calmly expressed my concern over their ambivalence to my position. And when logic and reason failed I promised to bring down the castle walls upon their heads. I made a blood vow to see that they received their just rewards and promised that their intransigence would be met by an iron fist.

None of it made a difference. They stood firm. And just as I was ready to launch my personal war upon Troy I learned that you were behind it all. Discovered that you had given the orders not to let me in. I was more than a little dismayed by this news.

I stood outside the walls and in the pouring rain I screamed your name. And for just a moment you appeared at the walls. You stood in silence, a pained expression upon your face and then turned and walked away. “Don’t go,” I shouted. I yelled again and tried to remind you that we could work it out. But you kept on walking.

So I got back on my horse and left. But not before I promised to come back again. Like Macarthur I swore that I would return. And I did…many times.

More than once I have set up camp at the base of the walls. And more than once I have found you standing there in silence. You don’t invite me in but you don’t tell me to go either. So I continue to search for the key that will open those gates. I continue to look for a way to tear down your walls.

I work in darkness and I work in light. In spite of adversity I work to find the way back to our secret world. Only time will tell if this is a fool’s errand or a noble quest. But at the end of the day I do what I must so that I can accept whatever the outcome of this journey may be.

This story that I am working on is what it is all about for me. It is part of a grand adventure in which I do my best to live my dreams and not dream my life.

The last handful of years have been lousy. There have been some significant bright spots but there has been a lot of crap too. I have been plowing the fields with my mouth and wandering through hell covered in gasoline.

But I am a fighter, a scrapper, a doer and most importantly a father. That means there is no quit in me. I don’t give up. I turn my face up at the sun and smile because if you keep walking you get beyond the challenges and out of reach of those crap flinging monkeys.

In the interim I am trying to remember to treat the people I meet like people and not just a number because a person is worth more than that.

This was written as part of the Just Write project. It is one of my favorite link ups and definitely worth a look.

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