Category Archives: Writing

Weekend Reading, Sept. 14-16

Great links that found me over the weekend –

  1. On Caffeine and Writing: A fun read on how much caffeine it takes to kill you and where a good writing spot can be found. Of his list of caffeinated drinks, Starbucks Grande Coffee scaringly can kill you the fastest (although it would still take you a lot).
  2. More on Caffeine: I couldn’t help but follow the links from the post above and try it myself. The site is called ‘Death by Caffeine,’ and it allows you to choose your favorite caffeinated drink, enter your weight, and then it will tell you how many servings have to be in your body at one time to kill you. I tried Spark Energy Drink (my personal favorite – I’m drinking one right now), and I would need to chug 113 cups in one setting to go bottoms up.
  3. Marketing requires problems: A steady favorite of mine, the UberEye himself, shares an enlightening chart on the two kinds of problem solvers/starters in marketing.
  4. US Government now owes $9 trillion: Great random post to remind of us how messed up our government is.
  5. eHow: Came across this awesome site while refreshing my memory on how to change a bike tire. Great website! No comments allowed on me having to look this up.
  6. Kentucky Beats Louisville: To say “UK football” and “3-0” in the same sentence is unheard of, as is “Kentucky beats a top 10 team.” But it happened – can the Cats keep it up?
  7. 13 Tricks to Motivate Yourself: Good common sense ways to stay motivated, and a great statement on what’s wrong if you are never motivated (get a new job!).
  8. Unmarried America: Here’s a great summary from Church Relevance on the later ages that we’re all getting married at. He has some nice insight on what this means for singles’ ministry and the church. Maybe the singles pastor is going to have to come up with studies different from “finding the love of your life. . . . .”
  9. Someday it’ll all be worth it: Another excellent cartoon over at Indexed.
  10. Greatest Prank Ever: This is outstanding – enjoy!

The 10 Most “Robust” Words in Marketing Today

Cutting Edge AdvertisingDavid Meerman Scott has identified what he calls the top 10 “Gobbledygook” phrases used in press releases today. His entire manifesto is quite entertaining and informative, but I thought the top words would be worth a mention here.

How many are using on a regular basis?

  1. “Next generation”
  2. “Flexible”
  3. “Robust”
  4. “World-class”
  5. “Scalable”
  6. “Easy to use”
  7. “Cutting edge”
  8. “Well-positioned”
  9. “Mission-critical”
  10. “Market-leading”

Honorable Mention: “groundbreaking”

I’m guilty; are you?

Am I a Girly Writer?

Thanks to Ron for passing along this little time-waster: The Gender Genie. Basically, it takes samples of your writing and tells you if you write like a man or a woman. I picked 10 random posts to see how they ended up.

I’m a little worried about my results . . . .

  1. If It Ain’t Broke . . . = Female
  2. 10 Marketing Tips for Gym Owners = Male
  3. Lebron James Screwed Up = Female
  4. Is Your Marketing Half Full = Female
  5. Return on Attention = Male
  6. Norv Comes Out On Top = Male
  7. Here’s Feedback on Feedback = Male
  8. What Are You Really Buying = Male
  9. Get Grumpy and Get Stuff Done = Female
  10. Stinky Hands = Female

So when it comes to writing, I seem to be equal parts man and woman. Which means I’m a shoo in for anyone looking for a hermaphrodite writer. Or better, a “hermaphrowriter.”

How about you?

90 Days of Blogging: Lesson 1 – Read to Write

Lesson 1: If you’re gonna write a blog, you gotta read lots of blogs

Writing a blog is different than writing just about anything else. At least if you want to do it right. And to figure that out, you’ve gotta read lots of blogs to figure out what you like and what you don’t like, what appeals to you (and therefore will probably appeal to your readers) and what doesn’t.

So read blogs. Lots of them. Everyday. And start doing this BEFORE you start your blog.

When you’re reading blogs, here are a few things for you to take note of that might translate into your blog. By paying attention to this stuff, you can maybe shorten the learning curve a little:

  • How often does that writer post?
  • What reaction do you have when they haven’t posted in a while?
  • What do you like about the layout of the blog? Is it 2-column, 3-column or something completely different?
  • What links and widgets (the cool stuff in the sidebar) does the blog have?
  • How long are the posts on average?
  • How many different general topics does the writer focus on?

I’ve made no hesitation over several posts in my blog that Seth Godin is where it’s at. It’s after reading his blog for about a week that it hit me, “Hey, this blogging thing isn’t as corny as I thought it was.” Mainly, it’s because he writes about something I’m interested in. But he also has a great style and approach to his blog. His posts are simple, they’re frequent and informative. He seems to have just the right mix of his own riffs and rants molded together with lots of links to other sites and posts. In a way, I feel like Seth’s Blog keeps me in touch with what’s really going on with the web.

So that’s what you’re looking for: a few blog mentors. And by all means, if you’re gonna read lots of blogs, you’ve got to do it through an RSS Feed. I currently use Google Home Page (personalized), but I’m considering moving over to Google Reader. Either way, using this saves me a lot of time.

So, start reading. Needs tips on how to find blogs you’re interested in? There’s two major ways to do it: a) Check out Technorati.com – it’s a search engine for blogs (really, it’s a search engine for all kinds of social media) b) On blogs you already read, click the links on the side, the links in the posts, and the links in the comments. These are obviously people somewhat interested in what you’re interested in, so you might find some jewels there. That’s how I’ve found 75% of the blogs I regularly read.

In the meantime, if you like my blog, then here are some great blogs I suggest reading:

Lesson 2 is next! To catch the intro to the 90 days of blogging series, click here.
Here’s the link to Lesson 3 – 9 Ways To Generate Web Traffic Now.

You are part of the 40%

A telling bit of news here on Steve Rubel’s blog about new bloggers and new blog readers. Seems as though 40% of the population has a least read a blog post in the last year, and it’s climbing at a staggering pace. Interestingly enough, the number of bloggers is rather steady.

Here’s a quick two cents on this:

  • An increase in reading vs. a flatline in writers = more bloggers seen and recognized as pretty reliable authorities in their areas.
  • Content is king; give people something worth their time, and they’ll come back.
  • Make it quick – one of the beauties of reading blogs is that it is in crumb-sized pieces, and it’s focused.