7 Valuable Lessons Bloggers Can Learn from Construction Workers

Posted by damnedviper | | 1 comments »

On the job site, I dreamed about blogging while cutting wire, bending conduit, and connecting matching colored wires. I also took notes about how the construction lessons I was learning applied to blogging.

This post is a collection of those notes and reveals valuable lessons that bloggers can learn from construction workers to become better bloggers.

Construction workers aren’t typically reading types. Instead of reading about how to use a saw, they just start using it. A foreman never hands you a book; he hands you a bandsaw and tells you to get to work.

When it comes to blogging, the same is true. There’s only so much you can learn by reading. Eventually, you have to learn by doing.

You’re not going to start the next great blog just by reading about it. ProBlogger is a great resource for improving your blogging skills, but to really learn, the best way is to just do it.

On a construction site, tools are a worker’s best friend. If you have 1,000 screws to screw in, using a screwdriver drill bit is faster than using a screwdriver. A lot faster.

In blogging, you also want to know how to use your tools. You need to know how to use WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Feedburner to your advantage.

The more you know about how to use these tools, the more effective you will be at blogging. To become a better blogger, take some time to become familiar with your tools. In the end, you’ll be a more effective, more successful blogger.

In construction work, you don’t get paid for thinking. And you definitely don’t get paid for talking. You get paid for the amount of Sheetrock that gets nailed into the wall, or the number of lights that get wired.

This is what construction workers call “getting it done.”

As a blogger, you need to pay attention to getting it done. You can think and talk and tweet about blogging, but that’s not what builds a successful blog.

What builds a successful blog is the time you spend writing, re-writing, promoting, guest posting, and networking. What builds a blog is accomplishing goal-oriented tasks; not just making noise on Twitter or talking to friends on Facebook.

The point is this: consistent output is more important than over-thinking or over-planning. Instead of dreaming about having a great blog, put in the hours that it takes to create great content and build meaningful relationships.

In other words, get it done.

In the construction world, if you want to be a great carpenter, electrician, or plumber, you need to learn from a master craftsman. If you learn from the best, you can become one of the best.

The same is true with blogging. Do you want to become a problogger? Then you need to learn from probloggers. You need to pay attention to Darren Rowse and Gary Vaynerchuk and any other probloggers that you look up to.

You need to read their posts and study how the headlines and copy are crafted. You should pay attention to how they lay out their blogs, and how they build their email lists.You need to learn everything that you can from the best

To become a master craftsman, you need to learn from a master craftsman; to become a problogger, you need to learn from the probloggers.

On a construction site, it’s very important to plan ahead. You don’t start tearing walls down or bolting panels in without a plan.

First, you visualize the steps and figure out what tools and materials you’ll need. Then you plan what to do first and what to do after that. Otherwise, you might cut through the beam that you’re standing on or bolt in the wrong panel
first and need to tear it out. It happens.

When you first start a blog, you may not have planned that much. But once you’ve been blogging for a while, you need to learn how to think ahead.

Maybe you need to post twice per week, and you need to write one guest post per month. Maybe you need to devote time to write a series of posts.

Whatever dream destination you have for your blog, eventually, you need to plan how you’re going to get there.

Craftsmen don’t settle for just getting the job done. Craftsmen pay attention to details. They line up every screw and level every pipe to make their work look good and work as well as possible.

As a blogger, you want to be a craftsman. You want to pay attention to the details in every post. I once heard someone say that if you edit your writing 50 times, it’s 2% better than the version edited 49 times.

In blogging, you want every post to be 2% better. This means that you need to take time to craft better headlines. And it means that you need to edit every post more than once before hitting Publish.

Martyn Chamberlain of Two Hour Blogger says that you need to put at least two hours into each post. That’s a good rule of thumb if you want to be a craftsman. If you’re writing a guest post, you should take even more time than that.

If you want to create memorable content, you need to become a craftsman.

Building a conference center that seats 5,000 people takes time. You look at it month after month, dreaming about the day that it will be finished. That’s what its like to build something, and that’s why Rome wasn’t built overnight.

Building something worthwhile takes time. If you want to build a popular blog, it won’t happen overnight.

Your first posts lay the foundation. The posts after that build the framework. Each guest post puts up more walls. Eventually, the blog gets built. But a blog with 10,000 or more subscribers doesn’t get built overnight. Blogging takes time and patience.

Sure, you can take some shortcuts and drive traffic to a blog in a short amount of time. You can also put a tent up in a couple of hours. But if you really want to build a blog that will last, you need to take the time to do it right. In the end, it will be worth it.

Construction workers are required by law to wear hard hats. Hard hats protect construction workers from hitting their heads on steel beams, and from falling objects like wrenches and drills. It’s a good law.

Don’t worry about it. That’s why you’re wearing a digital hard hat. Interestingly, the more successful you are, the more haters there will be. Don’t worry about being criticized or making a mistake. That’s what your hard hat is for.

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How to Turn a Blog Post into a Press Release

Posted by damnedviper | | 0 comments »

So, if you’re ready to put your news out there, here’s some basic steps to re-writing your blog post into a press release. To get started, take a newsworthy blog post and…

A press release has to announce something. Unlike most blog posts, it’s not commentary, a how-to guide or a numbered list. However, the following blog post topics would work perfectly as the basis for a press release:

launch of a new companyclient success story (“Client Doubles Income After Completing Online Course”)new product, service or event announcement (e-book, webinar, meetup, seminar)awards, either that you’ve won or awarded to others (invent some!)new employees/hires/contributorsmilestones (one year in business, subscriber growth of 500%, etc.)survey results

If you don’t have any of the above news, come up with your own, like predictions (“ProBlogger Announces Top Blogging Predictions for 2012”), or a response to current news (“Company Provides Immediate SEO Assistance for Google’s New Algorithm”).

Both the headline and the body of the press release should be in the third person. Instead of “we” or “I” use the company name. Instead of “you” use “customers,” or “clients.”

Both blog posts and press releases ideally should have keywords within the first few words of the headline. Unlike most blog posts, press releases also have a subhead, which either emphasizes the headline’s point-of-difference—whyyour news is so important—or provides factual backup for the headline.

To format the headline and subhead…

Subhead in Title Case, Except the Little, Non-Important Words

Dateline: If you use a press release distribution service they’ll make sure you get this right, but if you’re writing it on your own, the format is: “CITY NAME [all caps], State abbreviation (Month Day, Year) – “ So as an example, you’d have “POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., (Aug. 31, 2011) – [First sentence starts here.]”Lead: The main news. You can be creative with your first sentence, but make sure you get the who, what, where, why and how in the first paragraph. Your keyword/s should be in the lead as well as the headline.Quote: A quote isn’t required, but it always helps to illuminate the press release and give it some personality. Go ahead and use “I”s and “you”s here. The quote is usually the second paragraph, but again, not required.Boilerplate: At the end of every press release, include a short paragraph about the company, again in the third person. Your website and phone number go here, too.

AP (Associated Press) Style is the writing blueprint for journalism—every grammar and punctuation question you have, the AP Stylebook has the answer. When I’m working on press releases, several unique-to-AP rules come up again and again.

For example, the AP Stylebook says that state names should be shortened like the old-fashioned mailing names. Florida is not FL, it’s Fla. And some cities are so well known (Chicago, Denver) that it’s not necessary to include the state. “Email” doesn’t have a hyphen but “e-commerce” does.

For a concise guide to the most relevant AP style notes, see this online AP Style guide from Purdue. AP continues to update its guidelines, so for the latest you can follow the AP Stylebook on Twitter.

For examples of press releases, go to sites like PR Newswire and PR Web and see what others have done.  Some of these press releases are not great, so use a critical eye. 

Many do not follow the “third person” and “AP Style” advice that I recommend (you’ll spot them right away … they look like blog posts), but please take a few minutes format your press release this way: it reflects expertise and professionalism, and in the end, isn’t that the image you want to portray with your blog?

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7 Habits of Professional Bloggers

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Professional blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme—and I’m sure you’ve discovered that for yourself. But although building a successful, income-producing blog might take a bit longer than you wanted, it’s far from impossible.

In fact, it’s just a case of slowly but surely improving your game. These are seven habits which top bloggers share. Are you missing any of them?

Being willing to learn, consistently, is crucial to success in today’s fast-moving world—but that’s especially true in blogging, where technological changes mean that last year’s top sites are this year’s has-beens.

As I’ve met more and more great bloggers, I’ve been struck how much they invest in learning. They go to conferences, they read ebooks and take ecourses, and they make sure they keep improving their skills in the two areas which matter most: being able to write well and being adept with technology.

Become a regular reader of great blogging and writing related blogs. My top three are:

Buy an ebook or take an ecourse that’ll help you take your blogging further. A great one to start with is 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, because it combines solid theory with practical exercises, and it covers a wide range of beginner-friendly topics.

Your blogging needs to be sustainable. While you might not be making much money to start with, you should aim to make enough to invest in some learning materials—and to cover your hosting, domain name registration, and other blogging expenses.

You also need to make sure that you’re being realistic about the time you can spend on your blog. Sure, you might have the energy to write all weekend when you first start out—but will you be able to do that month after month? An awful lot of would-be probloggers give up after a few weeks because their blogging schedule just wasn’t sustainable.

If your hosting and other expenses mean that your blog’s currently running at a loss, find one simple way to monetize it. That might mean finding a great affiliate product to recommend, installing a donation button, or putting up Google AdSense.

Plan out major purchases—like ecourses or conference tickets—in advance. Look for ways to cover the costs from your blogging income, rather than out of your own pocket. The first time I went to South by South West, I released an ebook which paid for the cost of my trip (you can read how I did it here on ProBlogger).

Can you imagine reading a post like this on ProBlogger?

Sorry guys, I know I haven’t updated in a month, I’ve just been really busy…

Of course not. In fact, if even a couple of days went by without a ProBlogger update, I bet Darren would be inundated with emails from worried readers asking what was wrong. Professional bloggers post consistently—whether that means once a week or three times a day.

Posting consistently shows that you take your blog seriously. It gets readers into the habit of coming back to read new posts—and it gets you into the habit of writing regularly.

Decide on a sensible, sustainable posting schedule. It’s fine if that means one post a week—readers would rather have one great post every week than seven rushed posts one week then nothing for a month.

Write posts ahead of time, so that you’ve got some “banked” for busy periods. You can schedule a post to publish in the future using WordPress, so your posts can keep going up consistently even if you’re jetting off on holiday.

The sun’s shining outside. There’s a show I want to watch. And I really should do the dishes…

It’s all too easy to think up excuses to leave your desk and your blog. Even if you love writing, you probably find it hard to sit down and stay focused while you’re working on a post. I write for a living and I still find it challenging!

That’s why self-discipline is so important for professional bloggers. You need to be able to work on your blog without checking Twitter every two minutes, and without getting distracted by everything else that’s going on around you.

Self-discipline doesn’t just mean sitting down and working, though. It also means knowing when to stop working. That might mean being self-disciplined enough not to check your emails during dinner, or not obsessing over Google Analytics.

Next time you sit down to write a post, close your internet browser first. Don’t open it up again until you’ve been writing for at least 30 minutes.

Find ways to bolster your self-discipline by changing your environment:

Take your laptop to a coffee shop that doesn’t have wi-fi.Get up earlier so you can blog before work, rather than struggling to have motivation to blog when you get home.Block websites which you find yourself accessing too often.

This might seem like an odd habit to include on the list, but I think integrity is extremely important for professional bloggers. The best bloggers I know are people who I put a lot of trust in. I buy their products—and I’m confident that these will be worth my money. I buy products which they recommend—and I know that the blogger isn’t just hyping something in order to get a few dollars in commission.

I can’t tell you what integrity means for you and your blog. But I suggest that you give it some thought. It’s very easy to lose readers’ trust—and once you’ve lost it, they won’t be coming back. Worse, they might warn other people to steer clear of you.

Make sure you always disclose affiliate links. This isn’t just to help readers trust you—it’s also a legal requirement if you live in America.

Think through any moral grey areas carefully. For instance, would you run a sponsored post on your blog—and if so, would you disclose its status? Would you promote a product which you hadn’t tried out yourself—and if so, would you make that clear to your readers?

I’ve seen a few train-wreck situations in my time in the blogosphere, where comment threads have got out of hand, or where two bloggers have attacked one another in their posts. It’s never a pretty sight, and it always gives me a dim view of the people in question.

So courtesy is a vital habit. That means responding politely and pleasantly to people—even if they’ve said something which makes you angry. If your blog is still small, courtesy might also mean replying to all your comments. If your blog is too big to do that, courtesy might prompt you to explain on your “About” page that you can’t reply to everyone but that you do value their comments.

If you’re ever tempted to post a blazing angry comment, stop. Walk away for a while—at least an hour if you can.

Consider having a comments policy which encourages (or requires) all your blog’s readers to interact respectfully. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree—but they have to avoid using aggressive language or posting personal attacks. Remember that many readers may read the comments, even if they never post one.

Finally, professional bloggers don’t stay in the middle of their cozy comfort zone. If they did, they’d never have got far. They keep on growing—stretching themselves, trying new things, bringing in new readers, and launching new products.

Growth isn’t always easy. There’ll be plenty of times in your blogging journey where you’re nervous about taking the next step. Perhaps you’ve never sent out a guest post, because you’re worried about being rejected. Or perhaps you’ve not made a start on that ebook you’ve got planned, because you know it’ll be a lot of work.

But every single problogger had to write their first guest post, launch their first product and go to their first conference. I’m sure they were all nervous—there’s nothing wrong with that—but what matters is that they did it anyway. And that’s how they, and their blogs, grew.

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Windows Phone 7-style music player for Android arrives from the developer of LauncherPro

Posted by damnedviper | | 0 comments »

Any Android fans that envied Windows Phone 7's Metro UI style can have it for their media player (the WP7 launcher has been emulated before, try Launcher 7 in the Market), thanks to this app released by the developer of the popular LauncherPro homescreen replacement. As seen in the video above next to a real WP7 device, the look and functionality of the Zune player is present in a remarkably full featured interface despite its early alpha status, complete with features like scrobbling and playlists. The only thing it's really lacking so far is a name, and obviously any Zune software integration; while we wait to see if Microsoft has any reaction to this homage you can sideload the APK yourself from the source link.

Update: If you want to see the same app running on Honeycomb (and looking amazing) check out a screenshot after the break. [Thanks @Basil_Knows!]

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Waking Up

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On the atomic side, you’re an individual, and other people are individuals too. On the holistic side, we’re all part of a greater whole.

I’m not suggesting that any one perspective is best. All of these perspectives are valid. But I will suggest that it’s important to integrate the holistic perspective more fully into your life if you wish to experience a healthier flow of abundance.

“Waking up” basically means that you consider and integrate the holistic perspective as part of your daily life. Of course there are degrees of waking up, depending on how aware you are of the holistic perspective and how fully you’ve integrated it into your life. In the same manner, the cells in your body may have varying degrees of awareness that they are in fact part of a larger human body.

Alternatively, to be “asleep” is to be unaware of the larger holistic perspective. We could also define this behaviorally by saying that someone is asleep if they’re aware of the holistic perspective, but they don’t attempt to act congruently with it. In terms of semantics, I’d say that the first group is asleep, while the second group is trying to sleep.

At the individual level, fairness seems to be about equality. But of course we don’t see that much genuine equality in the world. It’s quite obvious that some individuals have more resources than others. Some people seem to be luckier too.

Does your own human body care about fairness when it doles out resources like oxygen and sugar to its individual cells? To an extent, sure. When resources are abundant, there’s plenty for all, but even then the distribution isn’t perfectly equal. And when resources become scarce, the body will starve cells that are less important to its survival to divert more resources to the most crucial cells.

So the question is, are you an essential cell in the larger body of consciousness? Or are you superfluous? Well… look at the resources that life sends your way. Do you feel all your needs are well met — your physical needs, emotional needs, social needs, self esteem needs, etc? Are you a highly self-actualized individual? Or do you have strong unfulfilled cravings for things that are important to you? Have you possibly given up on meeting some of your needs? Are you flourishing or are you stuck?

If you’re struggling to get your needs met, that’s a hint and a half that life itself isn’t particularly concerned with your well-being. Don’t fret though if this describes your situation. It’s a problem that can be fixed. Just don’t try to fix it by clamoring and complaining — that doesn’t work and will often backfire.

This may not seem fair, but in a way it is reasonable. You may be a very nice, kind, and generous person, but if your focus is at the cellular level, you’re probably missing so much of the big picture that in the grand scheme of things, your contribution just doesn’t matter that much, at least not from the perspective of universal consciousness.

You may be doing what could just as easily be done by someone else, which means you’re highly expendable. You may be playing follow the follower. You may be genuinely helping, but only at the cellular level. You may be doing nothing much, which makes it easy to ignore you.

If you live in such a way that doesn’t really contribute much, don’t be too surprised if it seems like life is starving you for resources. After all, life doesn’t need you as much if you aren’t actively helping with its expansion and growth.

Consider the cells in your own body. You may scratch an itch on your arm and kill lots of cells in the process without even thinking about it. Individual skin cells just aren’t that important to your overall survival. But you’re less likely to scratch off a patch of critical brain cells. A cut on your finger is no cause for alarm, but a cut on your eyeball is something you’d do more to avoid. Your body is even designed to protect some parts more than others. If something flies at your face, you’ll automatically throw up your arms to protect your head. But you won’t normally use your head to protect your arms.

Do you think you’re among the critical humans that the larger body of humanity would move to defend and protect? Or are you among the sacrificial parts?

What do you want as a human being? Think about your goals, dreams, and aspirations for a moment.

Now consider what an individual cell in your body would want. It wants oxygen and sugar. It wants to eliminate waste. Is this on the same level as your goals? Do you aspire to breathe, eat, and take dumps as your primary goals for the year?

Hopefully not.

Now look at this from the other side. From the perspective of the consciousness itself, your human-level dreams and goals seem petty. It’s important to keep people happy to an extent, but the fate of any one human is largely insignificant. Universal consciousness really doesn’t care if you have a job or an income, if you get the house you want, if you have a good relationship or not. It doesn’t care if you get laid or remain a virgin.

Well, it cares a little, but it’s not a major concern, just as you aren’t overly concerned about the fate of any individual cells in your body. It’s the body’s overall status that matters. And you probably identify more with your mind (your collective cellular intelligence) as opposed to your physical body anyway.

Similarly, universal consciousness is more concerned with the evolution of consciousness itself (our collective consciousness) as opposed to the fate of any individual human or even of humanity itself. Now the loss of humanity would probably be a setback, but consciousness may eventually recover in other forms.

What does consciousness really want? Like you and like your individual cells, it wants to get its needs met, and it wants to grow and evolve. But the level on which it’s capable of doing this goes way beyond what you’re capable of as an individual.

Look around at all the amazing — and accelerating — achievements of consciousness. It’s expanding in many directions simultaneously. Consider what’s evolving on earth. Humanity itself is becoming smarter and faster and more connected. And it’s having some health issues to deal with as well. And consciousness wants to keep going.

You can spend your life fussing over your own piddly cellular needs, but in the grand scheme of things, it won’t be anything to write home about. No matter what you do or don’t do as an individual, it’s just not going to matter that much.

The same can be said of any cell in your body. At the individual level, a single cell isn’t particularly important.

Imagine asking a cell in your body what he’s doing with his life, and he talks about the Bloodstream Marketing course he’s taking and how excited he is about all the extra sugar he’ll earn from his efforts. Oh boy!

But will his efforts pay off? Probably not. If he isn’t getting his needs met, there’s probably a good reason for it. The larger body will see that his needs are well met if there’s a good reason to do so. Otherwise it will divert resources where they’re needed.

This is how silly we humans appear to universal consciousness. It still cares about us and wants to see us happy for the most part, but it finds our cellular perspective to be rather limiting. If you push to get your individual needs met, but you do so in ways that the larger body doesn’t care about or which may interfere with its bigger plans, it will either ignore you, or it will swat you down like a mosquito.

Imagine if a cell in your body said, I just want to eat food and reproduce like crazy. That might seem fun from his perspective, but then the larger body has a tumor to deal with. Send in the white blood cells.

If you feel like some greater force keeps knocking you back down every time you try to get ahead, you’re not imagining it. It really is knocking you back down, and it will continue to do so until you stop trying to get ahead like a cancer cell would. Have you ever noticed, for instance, that as soon as you try to make progress on cancer-like projects, you keep getting distracted, so your attention has to turn somewhere else?

Quite often we cry “Life is so unfair” when from a larger perspective, it’s a no brainer that life is either going to ignore us or attack us. Humanity’s white blood cells will come after us and make life unpleasant for us when we forget that we’re part of a larger whole and that its well-being is more important than our individual well-being.

Now imagine if an individual cell in your body said to you, “Wait a minute. I get it. I may be just a tiny cell, but I’m a part of this whole body. That’s cool. Is there anything I can do to help?”

What would you say to it? You might wonder what one conscious cell could do for your whole body. Not much most likely. But then you might think, What if this cell could wake up many others, and what if those cells could awaken still more? Eventually you could have a body filled with cells that were aware of the whole body and seeking to serve it. This would fix a lot of your problems. You’d have much better health for starters. Cancer wouldn’t be able to take root. Most diseases would be eradicated easily. You’d always be able to maintain your ideal weight.

So you might tell that one conscious cell, “Go around and wake up more cells. Gather them together. Then we’ll talk.”

A conscious cell is aware of the whole body and realizes that the body matters more than any individual cell. The cells are there to serve the evolution of the body and mind, not merely themselves. There’s obviously a connection between the good of the cells and the good of the body, but it’s easier to have a healthy body if on some level, the cells are aware that the body’s health is more important than their own. A cell that works against the health of the body is a disease cell.

A conscious human being is aware of the larger body of humanity and has a sense of a greater consciousness that’s unfolding and evolving at a much higher level than any individual human can.

There is value in the lower level perspective. It’s not a perspective to ignore but rather to integrate with the holistic perspective. For example, through relaxed meditative breathing, we can connect with the lower level perspective of our own cells. Breathe in. Breathe out. We’re getting plenty of oxygen. Life is good. This cellular level perspective can help to ground us. Many meditations are essentially about tuning back in to this cellular perspective, while other meditations involve expanding to a more holistic perspective. The ideal is to be able to consider all of these perspectives as valid.

If our cells aren’t healthy, our bodies can’t be healthy, and so humanity itself can’t be healthy. And of course the opposite holds true as well. But there are ways of meeting our needs on different levels that are in alignment with all of these perspectives, and there are other ways that are out of alignment. To live consciously, we need to shift towards the ways that are in alignment, so we can meet our needs as we also meet the needs of the cells in our bodies and of the greater body of humanity.

I’m certainly not the first human being to have the experience of “waking up” and becoming aware of this. Other conscious humans helped wake me up and continue to help me stay awake… or to reawaken me when I lose that perspective. I also endeavor to do my part and help other people wake up to the realization that jobs and money and marriage and retirement just aren’t that important. There are more important things to attend to here. Meeting our cellular needs is still important, but we don’t want to fuss at that level too much. We have more significant work to do here, and we could be experiencing life at a much higher level of existence.

Living your life as a part of humanity will take your experience to a level that’s far beyond life as an individual human being. Even if your intention is to help people, try expanding it to a vision of helping humanity, as if humanity itself is a conscious entity. It’s a whole different level of being.

Now what I’m seeing is that the gathering phase is well underway. Many years ago, it seemed like conscious people were very isolated. Now they’re coming together in bigger and bigger groups. I’m involved in multiple groups of this nature, and it seems like every few months I’m hearing about new groups forming. The conscious humans are clustering, and these clusters are growing larger and more organized. It’s as if new organs are incubating with the larger body of humanity. Something is definitely happening, and it’s a wondrous thing to behold.

Consequently, while I know some people are worried about where humanity is headed, I’m not worried at all. In fact, I’m excited about it. I have the privilege of being able to see what many of these conscious people are up to, and they’re starting to create transformational ripples. If you’re reading this article, then these ripples have already reached you, and you’re being impacted by them.

Some conscious cells are still isolated, however. Others are in very small groups only. And of course there are lots of people who still primarily think at the cellular level (go Bloodstream Marketing). But this is changing.

Perhaps the simplest way I can explain what’s happening is that humanity’s Power has been increasing by leaps and bounds, and now its alignment with Truth and Love desperately need to catch up. Otherwise humanity will eventually crash and burn. For instance, the first atomic bombs were dropped only 66 years ago, yet now we must somehow ensure that they’re never used on a global scale, not even 1000 years from now. One serious mistake or lapse during any minute that we have nukes, and it’s a major setback for us all. That’s a tall order that cannot be satisfied at the cellular level of consciousness. We’ve had too many close calls already (see the documentary Countdown to Zero for details on that). The larger body of humanity is aware of this challenge, and it recognizes that we need more people who are Truthful, Loving, and Powerful to deal with this existential threat.

You’re going to start picking up on this at the individual level, if you haven’t already. For instance, you’re going to feel far less tolerant of political leaders who lie to you. We’re going to see different kinds of leaders emerge, the kinds of leaders we truly need in this day and age. There are plenty of people like that, but in order for them to become popular enough, we just have to continue waking up more individual people. Once enough people are awake (or stop trying to sleep), we’ll see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening in the world of business, where popularity with the masses isn’t as necessary.

What we’re seeing is that on some level, this higher consciousness is taking note of what’s happening, and it seems to be assisting and accelerating the process. It wants human beings to wake up because a body of conscious cells can do much more than a body of unconscious ones. So if you’re concerned that there are too many crises in the world, recognize that there’s an upside. These major challenges are helping more and more people to finally wake up. We can’t even begin to address these challenges with cellular-level thinking, so we have to wake up in order to solve them.

There’s a lot of rebalancing that’s occurring as universal consciousness and individual human consciousness communicate with each other about how to best meet each others’ needs. How can humanity continue to evolve and expand while keeping individual humans happy and healthy? For humanity to be at its best, enough individual humans need to be at their best as well. You’re going to see this reflected in your own life too, as you grapple with the challenge of how to serve some greater life purpose while also making sure your individual needs are satisfied. In a way, you’re helping humanity experiment in order to find good solutions, which it can then spread to other cells. This is why cells like me feel an undeniable urge to pass on what we’ve figured out thus far.

As I’ve seen in my own life, this higher level consciousness is clearly listening. Somehow it can perceive the level at which we’re thinking, and it responds in kind. If you keep thinking at the cellular level, this higher consciousness will keep trying to wake you up. You may lose your job and other possessions, for instance, until you finally realize that those things don’t matter. We have more important things to deal with right now.

I’m far from perfect in this area, but I’m gradually getting the hang of it. I’m noticing that whenever I slip back down to cellular level thinking, I get a good smackdown. I feel like everything slows to a crawl. And when I shift back up to a higher level perspective, it’s like I’m back in the flow again. The phone rings with fresh opportunities, money just shows up, loving relationships flow into my life, and more. Fortunately perfection isn’t necessary. We just have to shift the balance far enough to achieve critical mass.

For those who are stuck at the cellular level of thinking, I suspect that life is going to become increasingly difficult for you. You’re going to see your worries, fears, and frustrations magnified. Life will seem to be getting worse. It may seem like important aspects of society are falling apart around you. This is happening for a reason though. These old systems are going to be dismantled. That’s actually a good thing. They’ll be replaced with better things.

For instance, you may be worried about debt, either your own or your country’s or someone else’s. But from the larger perspective of humanity, debt is meaningless. Humanity really doesn’t care if our financial system collapses or not. In fact, it may be better for it to collapse and be replaced by something else. So if you’re really attached to the current system and the money in your bank, you may get scared. But if you’re looking at the big picture, you’ll probably feel excited instead.

Be willing to lose what doesn’t matter, so we can all gain what does matter. Jobs don’t matter, but creativity does. Paying our bills doesn’t matter, but keeping our bodies healthy does. Getting good grades in school doesn’t matter, but preserving and passing on our collective knowledge does. Start reorganizing your life around what matters, and be willing to shed what doesn’t.

Try not to be too attached to remnants of the old cellular consciousness, like the money you have, the job you do, and the home you live in. The more you cling to those things, the more stressed out you’ll be. Just notice that these are all artificial cellular level concerns. What’s important is that humanity is evolving in a very positive way. You can resist that change and see your old goals fall apart, or you can flow with it and actively participate in the process of change.

For those who are waking up, life is going to become much easier in a way. Your life will explode with opportunities to learn, love, share, and grow. The good stuff will come from your alignment with the expansion of universal consciousness. But it’s important to keep the perspective of what really matters. Money doesn’t matter. Bloodstream/Internet Marketing is pointless and shallow. Waking people up and consciously co-creating something amazing is what matters.

When you align yourself with this higher level consciousness, abundance will flow through your life with relative ease. However, this type of abundance will be universal level abundance, not human level abundance. It doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have more money, a more luxurious home, or more possessions. That kind of stuff just doesn’t matter and represents artificial needs, not real needs. This level of abundance means that you’ll be experiencing the benefits of being in a healthier body. You’ll get more of what really matters — more growth opportunities, more love, more joy, more inner peace.

Focus on your true needs. What do you need to feel abundant? You need to keep your body healthy with healthy food, sunshine, and clean air and water. You need a reasonable degree of safety. You need love and belongingness. You need self esteem. You need an outlet for your creativity. Your true needs are quite simple in fact, and they’re easier to satisfy than your artificial needs. You don’t need the latest tech gadget. You don’t need a job or an income. You don’t need to get married. You don’t need to master Bloodstream Marketing.

Your artificial needs may not align well with humanity’s larger concerns. But your true needs certainly do align. It’s in humanity’s best interests to keep its best servants healthy, happy, and prosperous. In that sense, it you dedicate yourself to serving this greater body, it will surely watch your back.

In order to tap into this greater flow of abundance, you have to tap into higher level desires.

First, recognize that your human level goals are beginning to bore you. No matter how important you try to make them, you can’t get motivated to work on them. You just can’t get that worked up about making money beyond a certain point. People may tell you it’s important to have specific financial goals, but when you try to do this for yourself, it makes you feel yucky inside. You can’t get motivated to work on those kinds of goals. They don’t inspire you. And so you procrastinate and then beat yourself up. It’s time to end this cycle. It’s time to re-align your desires with something that actually matters to you. You can set better goals than the human equivalent of stockpiling oxygen and sugar.

Stop thinking about what you want for yourself as an individual. Start thinking about what you want for humanity as a whole.

In the past, you may have been hesitant to even think at that level. Start thinking at that level now.

What do you want for humanity itself? Where would you like to see this larger body go during your lifetime and beyond?

Do you want us to clean up the planet? Explore outer space? Improve our educational systems? Stop fighting wars?

Let yourself dream about what’s possible for humanity. Notice that these dreams are much more impressive than anything you could possibly do as an individual.

Become a billionaire? Who cares? Start a charity? Big deal. Discover a new planet? Nice try. When will you be ready to work on a real goal, a goal for humanity itself?

The best part is that you don’t even need to figure this out yourself. All you need to do is wake up to this higher level perspective, and then simply ping this universal consciousness to tell it you’re awake and ready to serve. Ask it for guidance, and guidance will come.

Just be aware that universal consciousness is frakkin powerful. It’s way more powerful than human level consciousness. When you tap into this resource and align yourself with it, your life is going to speed up. At first it may seem like drinking from a firehouse. It will take some time to get used to it.

If you feel that the flow is too much for you, you can ask it to slow down. I do this all the time. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I say to the universe aloud, “Okay… this is too fast. Let’s slow this down for a week or two and give me a chance to catch my breath.” Then when I’m ready, I ask it to speed up again.

With practice you’ll get used to this faster pacing. You’ll get used to things showing up when you need them. You’ll get used to experiencing synchronicities almost every day.

A synchronicity is no accident. Universal consciousness knows what you need, perhaps even better than you do. You really don’t even have to ask for your specific needs to be met once you ask to be a better servant of humanity. As Jesus said, just say, “Not my will, but thy will be done.”

Lately I’ve been holding off on setting specific goals for myself. Instead I’ve been saying to the universe, “Bring me what you want me to work on, and also please bring me whatever you know I need for optimal health, happiness, and flow.” And then I do my best to remain open-minded and detached from outcomes. I let the universal consciousness guide me instead of having to set specific goals and intentions. I still have an intention, but it’s simply to do what’s best for humanity as a whole.

Partly I’m doing this because I’ve reached the point where any individual-level goal would bore me, and I wouldn’t be able to motivate myself to work on it. I just don’t care that much about oxygen and sugar to make it the central focus of my life. So I’m willing to risk things like losing my money, losing my home, having my relationships disrupted, etc. just for the opportunity to see where this flow leads. And yet somehow when I move past this fear of losing stuff, I seem to gain much more than I lose. As far as meeting my human needs goes, they’re all nicely satisfied and then some. Bloodstream Marketing just can’t compare.

When you begin to align yourself with the perspective of higher level consciousness, your relationships with other people will shift. Try not to be too attached to what happens here. Your pairings with any one or more individuals aren’t necessarily going to be stable. It’s how your relationships affect the whole of humanity that matters. What ripples are you and your relationships co-creating?

People who aren’t compatible with this new perspective will fade from your life. At first you may fear that you’re going to end up alone, but there’s no cause for alarm. New relationships will come into your life, relationships with people who have a similar perspective. And these relationships will be much better for you than the old ones. They’ll help you hold the new perspective.

These new relationships will be different than what you’re used to, however. There will be less rigidity and more flexibility in this part of your life. Such relationships may defy traditional labels. You may feel a bit ungrounded in this new space. It takes time to get used to it.

Eventually you’ll realize that happiness and love can come from anywhere. You may have your emotional needs met equally well by a long-time partner or with someone you just met. Universal consciousness will guide you to whatever it is that you need to sustain your emotional health, as long as you don’t get too attached to how it shows up. If you remain open and flexible, your emotional needs can be satisfied with relative ease. Trust that universal consciousness knows just what you need, and it will deliver it right to you if you’re ready to accept it. Again, you don’t even have to ask once you’re on this path. It will satisfy your emotional needs because doing so makes you a better servant. You can’t serve humanity so well if you’re feeling lonely and disconnected. You’ll be more motivated if you have love in your life, so love will be delivered unto you.

Compared to where I was a few years ago, my relationship life might seem a bit strange these days. I have many relationships that would be difficult to label, but they seem to be healthy and flourishing in ways that are hard to get my head around. I can’t really define what they are, and I can’t predict where they’re going. But it seems like these connections are good and healthy for all involved. My biggest relationship challenge is unloading the traditional-minded baggage that nudges me to lock down and label each relationship, so I can feel like I understand it. But whenever I fall into that pattern, things get worse, not better. Conscious relationships don’t seem to like being locked down and labeled. They require more freedom and flow.

At first this sort of situation could make a person feel insecure. You may be accustomed to having a sense of security based on the stability of predictable interactions with people close to you.

However, when you align yourself with universal consciousness, you’re likely to move around a lot more relationship-wise. You’re going to meet and interact with a lot more people than you’re used to. Your social life will be rich and varied. Your stability has to come from trusting that no matter where you are, your emotional needs will still be satisfied. You’ll have the opportunity to share love, intimacy, affection, etc., and it can be more abundant than what you experienced at the individual level of being. I assure you that you won’t have to go it alone. This isn’t a lonely path — it’s actually an incredibly social path.

Your work life will be transformed as well. You’ll probably need to stop thinking of your career in terms of having a stable job and earning a set income. Serving humanity requires a lot more flexibility and flow than a traditional job can provide. Thinking of starting or running a business is equally limiting. This is human level thinking. What does humanity need?

Humanity is more concerned with things like creativity, purpose, and expansion. It would love to see you contribute to the ongoing expansion and evolution of consciousness. That’s what matters. The other stuff is too trivial to fuss over.

I don’t really have a job title. Sometimes I make one up like President or CEO when it’s required for social convention, but the title is meaningless to me. When people ask me what I do for a living, I don’t really know what to say. I don’t do anything for a living. I just live. In certain situations I might say that I’m a blogger, author, or speaker, but that’s mainly what I say to people who are asleep and I don’t have time to wake them up in that particular moment. If I’m talking to someone who’s awake, then either they won’t ask such a silly question, or they’ll understand my honest answer… and they’ll probably share a similar feeling about job titles.

My business cards have the wrong address because I haven’t updated them in 5 years. My website obviously isn’t the prettiest one out there. I’ve never spent money to market or promote my website, book, or workshops. I don’t think it would be a bad thing to do so; it just hasn’t ever been necessary. Humanity takes care of all my marketing and does a better job than I could.

Last year I uncopyrighted all my blog posts and podcasts, so you have just as much ownership of this article as I do. From a cellular level, that might seem like a foolish decision. But that isn’t the level at which I made the decision. What does a copyright mean to humanity? Of course it’s meaningless. What would you think if one of your cells tried to patent the Krebs Cycle? Silly cells…

Some people are repackaging and selling my work for money. Does that bother me? Of course not. Even though they may be operating at an individual level of consciousness, they’re actually helping. They’re spreading ideas that humanity wants to spread; after all, humanity gave me those ideas to share in the first place. They’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. I think some of them have been donating back to me as well, since I’ve seen a modest increase in donations lately. But I didn’t do this to get more donations. I did it because it should help the ideas spread and get more people thinking about living consciously. It really doesn’t matter which humans get credit or make money from it.

I think my business actually works better because I don’t manage it with a cellular mindset. Millions of people have been drawn to my work, and it’s been translated into more languages than I can track. People keep sharing it, with or without my permission. New opportunities keep showing up. Money keeps flowing. Everything works. Well, aside from my web server, which I may have to upgrade yet again due to traffic growth. But that’s a good problem to have, isn’t it?

Why does my business work? Because it’s not really a business. It’s a service, not primarily for individual humans, but for humanity itself. The purpose is to help enough people wake up and live more consciously, so that humanity itself may continue to survive and thrive. And by performing this service for humanity, it takes care of all my needs. It’s really good at it too. I barely have to lift a finger to attend to such things. I rather appreciate that.


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San Francisco’s real multi-billion-dollar war. Hint, it’s not Amazon vs Google. Why isn’t Techcrunch covering it?

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If you read other tech blogs this morning you might get an idea that the next multi-billion-dollar war is over Google vs. Amazon.

Now that’s an interesting battle, but I believe it’s small potatoes compared to the real war that Marc Benioff started more than a decade ago: over how we all work.

See, Salesforce was the first to see weakness in Microsoft’s “install software everywhere” model and exploited that weakness to build a great San Francisco company.

But what did Salesforce do? It showed a raft of companies how to compete with Microsoft. Now it’s a full-blown movement that insiders are paying big attention to. Box.net has five million customers and is doubling every 14 months. Yammer won Techcrunch 50 and has hundreds of workers who are toiling to take enterprises away from Microsoft Sharepoint. Jive, SocialCast, SocialText, et al are on fire, too.

Come deeper into Silicon Valley and you’ll find one company that’s hiring all sorts of ex-Microsofties (I met one of Microsoft’s smartest strategists working there) among others and who today announced a new cloud app store for businesses: VMware. Don’t miss this company and what it’s doing.

GigaOm is right. VMware is the new Silicon Valley company to watch.

But don’t look at these companies one-by-one. It’s clear there’s a new movement and it’s radically changing how we work. Add in Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets, Sococo’s new virtual office, Twilio’s new phone APIs, amongst many other examples and you see this is the real San Francisco multi-billion-dollar war that hasn’t gotten good coverage in the tech press.

Why isn’t the tech press covering this San Francisco tech story?

Oh, sure, it’s Enterprise. Mike Arrington told me once he gets bored with enterprise companies. It’s not as sexy as anything Apple or Google are doing. Partly because VMware’s PR team isn’t interested in waking up the bears (Microsoft and other enterprise-focused companies) by shooting off Jason Calacanis style missives or playing PR games the way Facebook got caught doing last week. Nah, they are understated. They underpromise and don’t try to hype things up too much. That doesn’t fit how the current tech press can get onto the cover of Techmeme or Hacker News.

But don’t miss this battle. It’s way bigger than the battle over tablets or consumer app stores and will shift billions in revenue from Redmond to San Francisco.

Here I visit VMware to find out why they are buying startups like Sliderocket and Mozy, plus I get a look at their new single-sign-on cloud service management tool, Horizon, in a talk with Noah Wasmer, director of product management, advanced development. That announcement is covered more over on Building43.

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Why Apple is trademarking Thunderbolt and why Sony might be left out

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Apple Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt (formerly known as Light Peak) may have been developed by Intel, but it's Apple that's been snatching up all the trademark glory. The company first filed in November of 2010 in Jamaica, then followed up in February of this year by securing the rights to the name in Canada, before registering similar claims in Europe, China, and now the US. This raised some interesting questions about Intel's claim to be the exclusive trademark holder (see the more coverage link) and whether or not other companies would be able to use the Thunderbolt brand. Intrigued, we did a little digging and you'll find what we uncovered after the break.

We spoke to Intel, and it turns out that as part of its collaboration on Thunderbolt Apple filed the initial trademark requests before transferring them to Chipzilla. So, there are no worries about this being a Cupertino exclusive on branding. The connector will be known as Thunderbolt across all platforms provided it meets some basic requirements. As Intel's Dave Salvator told us, "a Thunderbolt implementation needs to use the controller chip, and the Thunderbolt connector." That means if Sony is in fact using a USB port, instead of the Mini DisplayPort-like jack found on MacBook Pros, then it will have to find another name for its high-speed peripheral interface. That's not to say it couldn't made compatible with a simple adapter, after all it's just PCI Express in cable form. But, whatever it looks like, it couldn't be called Thunderbolt.

While Thunderbolt requires a chipset that is, for now, built exclusively by Intel, there is nothing preventing other motherboard manufacturers from integrating it into their products. That's good news, especially for AMD fans afraid they were going to be left out. In the future the Santa Clara-based company may bring others into the fold should market demand exceed their manufacturing capabilities.

For now there doesn't seem to be much of a reason to worry about Android-style fragmentation of the Thunderbolt platform. In fact, Intel expects to seen the brand in "many places in early 2012," but there does seem to be room for others to muddy the standard. Meanwhile, USB 3.0 just keeps marching its unified front towards peripheral dominance...

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PSA: New Nook Color partitioning only leaves 1GB for music, other sideloaded content

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If you're planning to pick up a Nook Color, keep an eye out for a little blue dot on the box -- no, they're not defective, but new models with the dot have been tweaked to make sure Barnes & Noble retains control of most of that (already limited) internal storage. Updated partitioning leaves just 1GB of internal storage for sideloaded content, such as music and movies, with the remaining 4GB reserved for content purchased from the book and app stores. Previous models allowed sideloaded content to utilize all 5GB of available storage, but the change was made "to ensure ample space for a customer's Nook Library and Nook Apps," according to B&N. We're sure you could figure out how to reclaim those extra gigs, but you won't be able to transfer your entire music library out of the box. Luckily, the Nook still has its microSD slot, allowing you to add up to 32GB of storage for music, movies, and whatever other content you need to keep yourself from using your e-reader to actually read.

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WIN: The Rapture Business Plan

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Incorrect source or offensive? Copy & paste this:
epic fail photos - WIN: The Rapture Business Plan
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols! This fail picture or video was posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2011 at 9:00 am

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HP's Pavilion dv6t and dv7t available with 1080p screens, people who bought three months ago sigh

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 When HP's Pavilion Quad Edition dv6t and dv7t went on sale three months ago, we couldn't think of too many detractors, but we did take issue with the fact that these 15.6- and 17.3-inch screens maxed out at 1600 x 900 resolution. If you fall into that camp, well, the Powers That Be over at HP heard you -- both machines are now available with 1080p displays, for an extra $150. As before, both come standard with 2GHz quad-core Core i7 processors, AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics with 1GB of video memory, 4GB of RAM, and 640GB hard drives. HP is also offering free upgrades to 6GB RAM and 750GB hard drive space, though no promises on how long that'll last. Before you get too excited, though, 1080p displays are only an option on these so-called Quad Edition models and the dv6t Select Edition -- meaning, you can't opt for a lower-end dv6 or dv7t and expect to upgrade it. Confusing naming conventions aside, if you're tempted, we suggest you avail yourself of some sweet coupons at the source links.


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After 12: How Many Beers Until You Can Make THIS Face?

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Incorrect source or offensive? Copy & paste this:
epic fail photos - After 12: How Many Beers Until You Can Make THIS Face?
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols! This fail picture or video was posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 4:45 am

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Unclaimed Money In Your Name?

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I remember opening a couple savings accounts as a kid in the town I grew up in. But I don’t remember ever closing them.

In my case, after doing an unclaimed money search, I was dissappointed to find out that I did close them and I didn’t have thousands of dollars sitting in a forgotten bank account.

But maybe your story will be different. If you have 60 seconds to spare you can check for yourself over at missingmoney.com.

You just enter your first and last name and city you live in (or lived in) and it spits out a bunch of results for your to peruse.It even gives you a general clue as to how much unclaimed money you could have sitting out there.

unclaimed money in your name

So if you haven’t checked for unclaimed money in your name before, I recommend doing so. At MissingMoney.com it only takes about a minute and who knows what you find! C

Let us know if you strike it rich!

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Hulu Plus on TiVo promos pop up in stores and online, suggest launch soon

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Although TiVo announced it would offer Hulu Plus back in September we're still waiting for it to arrive on those Premiere DVRs. Twitter user @dlayphoto spotted these materials in their local Best Buy promising six months of the $7.99 / month service for free with the purchase of a new box -- with a new price tag -- although it's hard to see if this will apply to existing users as well. The URL on the cards leads to a (now deactivated, but larger screenshots are over at Zatz Not Funny) page where TiVo owners can input their serial number and email address to get access. Judging by the dates on the promotions, things should get rolling within the next month or so, but we'll let you know when we hear something official.

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5 Ways Blogging Can Make You a Better Person

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Image is author's own

How wrong I was! Looking back, I stand amazed at the ways blogging not only launched my writing career, but also transformed my life. I know I’m not the only one who stumbled into the blogosphere for one reason, only to discover other blessings and benefits as well.

Here are just a handful.

Many of us who read ProBlogger started our blogs with the hope of growing a readership and eventually earning an income. Blogging opened doors for me I didn’t even know existed (Who knew it could be a job?), but it also has done wonders for my writing ability.
Am I the only one to inwardly cringe while rereading some of my earliest posts? Two years into this gig, I now feel much more comfortable in my blogging skin and my virtual corner. The daily act of writing cannot help but improve our skills. With each act of pressing Publish, we gain experience, insight, and feedback we didn’t have the day before. Collectively, this momentum refines and improves our abilities as encouragers and providers of information.
William Zinnser, author of the bestselling On Writing Well, said that “writing is a craft, not an art.” Craft improves with practice, practice, and more practice.

Just like a runner training for a marathon, we learn about endurance on the race to better writing. Fitting blogging into an already busy life has taught me both perseverance and self-discipline. It has also thrown insecurity and self-doubt my way, at the same time giving me the urge to overcome them.
Haven’t you had days when you wanted to shut your laptop and call the whole thing off? Days when the stats don’t add up or readers aren’t responding? Yet those of us in this for the long haul, sense a deep conviction—something within that pushes us to keep going. That resolve can’t help but spill over into other parts of our lives.

I have the blogosphere to thank for introducing me to the whole foods movement. I’d always attempted to feed my family well, but had never seen nutrition presented in a simple, manageable way until I began following links from one foodie’s blog to another.
Coconut oil, brown rice syrup, tofu? These once-strange substances now feel like familiar friends. I even found the courage to make my own yogurt and become a vegan for 30 days earlier this year.
Bloggers add a personal voice to the nightly news statistics we hear about food, health, and disease. A snapshot inside someone else’s kitchen transformation serves to inspire our own.

There’s no question that I am a better parent since I started my first blog.
As a blogger who writes about motherhood, I expected to share my knowledge and experience with others. But I never imagined the depth of inspiration I would find myself. Whether it comes from a comment someone leaves, a random link that points me to a much-needed resource, or a post that reminds me of the bigger perspective in the midst of the daily grind, there’s no end to the ideas I’ve gathered. My three young kids have the blogosphere to thank for the mother I’m becoming.
On top of that, I now have a built-in community—virtual kindred spirits to approach when life gets tough or questions arise. Our fellow bloggers become friends in every sense of the word, and mentors too.

Anyone who doubts the power of the blogosophere hasn’t heard of Compassion Bloggers. Comprised of over 30 writers who have traveled to seven countries, Compassion has proven that blogging gives a personal face to massive global issues, releasing children from poverty in the process.

Or consider the example of Love146, a global charity seeking to abolish child sex trafficking and exploitation. My husband serves as CEO of this organization, whose blog and social media presence have sparked a worldwide movement of abolition. William Wilberforce didn’t have Twitter on his side when stirring up advocates against slavery; we do and we can use its power to influence the world for good.

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TMS RamSan-70 SSD packs 2GB-per-second throughput, up to 900GB capacity

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Texas Memory Systems Unleashes the 900 GB Gorilla

Texas Memory Systems, Inc. introduces the new high-performance RamSan-70, a 900-GB half-length PCIe card featuring Toshiba's newest 32nm SLC Flash.

The RamSan-70 "Gorilla" is a high-performance, half-length PCIe card with 900 GB of usable SLC Flash capacity. Delivering 330K IOPS and 2 GB/s of bandwidth, it offers higher performance and greater capacity than any other half-length SLC Flash PCIe card.

Texas Memory Systems, Inc. (TMS), maker of The World's Fastest Storage®, introduces the new high-performance RamSan-70, a 900-GB half-length PCIe card featuring Toshiba's newest 32nm SLC Flash. The RamSan-70 carries on Texas Memory Systems' tradition of delivering a complete integrated RamSan® storage solution on a single board.

The RamSan-70 is the first product powered by Texas Memory Systems' new Series-7 Flash Controller™. Based on high-performance Xilinx FPGAs and a PowerPC processor, the Series-7 Flash Controller handles all Flash management functions without impacting the host CPU. It incorporates patented Texas Memory Systems reliability technology, yielding an expected lifespan of 6-10 years. Its proprietary enterprise-level reliability features include chip-level RAID and an advanced ECC algorithm, correcting more errors than required by the manufacturer.

The Series-7 Flash Controller is field-upgradable, ensuring that Texas Memory Systems customers will always have the best performance and latest features. The Series-7 Flash Controller, combined with Toshiba 32nm SLC Flash, provides the enterprise-level performance and reliability customers expect from The World's Best Flash Storage™.

"IT managers are always looking for ways to increase I/O performance, reduce latency, and improve overall system efficiency," said Jeff Janukowicz, Research Manager for Solid State Storage Technology at IDC. "A PCIe Flash SSD, such as Texas Memory Systems' RamSan-70, can solve many of these issues for IT managers and delivers a cost-effective solution for most demanding enterprise applications."

Designed specifically for the OEM market, the RamSan-70 is the ideal in-server storage solution for data warehousing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), sophisticated data acquisition, scientific computing, and web content.

"The RamSan-70 establishes new capacity and performance standards for direct-attached storage customers," said Dan Scheel, President of Texas Memory Systems. "With this next generation of PCIe SSD innovation, we will continue engineering The World's Fastest Storage for the full spectrum of customers."

The RamSan-70 is scheduled for initial delivery in 4-8 weeks. For more information about the Gorilla, swing by http://RamSan.com/Gorilla.

About the RamSan® Series-7™

RamSan® Series-7™ storage products represent the 7th generation of the RamSan product family, beginning with the first RamSan system in 2000. RamSan systems can be configured with Flash or RAM storage media, and are available in form factors ranging from PCIe cards to 4U rackmount systems with 10 GB/s bandwidth and 1,000,000 (1 million) IOPS. The variety of RamSan configurations available allows the user to choose the best configuration for their application's needs. All Series-7 RamSan products deliver cost-effective performance and reliability.

About Texas Memory Systems, Inc.

Since 1978, Texas Memory Systems, Inc. (http://RamSan.com) has designed and built solid state storage systems that accelerate demanding enterprise applications. Its award-winning RamSan® product line, known as The World's Fastest Storage®, has continually delivered fast, reliable, and cost-effective solutions to a broad range of enterprise and government clients around the world. All Texas Memory Systems products are designed and manufactured to the highest standards of excellence in Houston, TX, USA.

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Wet Floor FAIL

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epic fail photos - Wet Floor FAIL

Incorrect source or offensive? Copy & paste this:
epic fail photos - Wet Floor FAIL
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols! Swing FAILStop FailAutocomplete Me: Jesus...Take hope in quest yours parents find. This fail picture or video was posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 2:00 am

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What I learned by interviewing 23 startups in past few weeks

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I’ve been slowing down my blogging lately. This has happened for a few reasons:

1. I was speaking at the Next Web a week ago in Amsterdam and wifi there was crappy.
2. Right before that I took a few days off to be in Yosemite with my family.
3. After I got back from Amsterdam I overscheduled myself, which means I got a ton of interviews done but had no time to upload those videos or process them or blog about them.

Anyway, this weekend I caught up and uploaded 24 videos. Which pissed some people off over on Facebook as I flooded their streams.

But, one advantage of doing and posting so many videos all at once is you start seeing patterns. So, here’s what I’m learning.

1. The iPad is encouraging some interesting new businesses to form, like Pose, which is a cash register and inventory-management company for retail stores. Video.
2. Health tracking and apps that help you keep your health up continue to pop up. Fooducate is a good example, it shows you whether the food you are picking in grocery stores is healthy or not. Video.
3. iPhone app store is too hard to use, so we’ve seen a ton of companies come out with ways to improve that. The latest I’ve seen is Zwapp, which shares apps with each other in a neat social way. Video.
4. Photo/camera apps continue to be hot. Especially true since Instagram took off and Color got $41 million. Here Pixamid has an easier-to-use and understand social camera than Color. Video. And Photogram has a new competitor for Instagram that lets you upload groups of photos to Facebook or Twitter. Video.
5. Enterprise collaboration service space continues to be hot. You know, the space occupied by Jive, Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, SocialCast, SocialText, etc. Here Moxie hooked up with design firm IDEO to make the best designed and easiest to use collaboration service. Video.
6. Traveling brings about new business opportunities, especially as regular travelers realize they are being slammed with high roaming fees. Here two startups really help out. Onavo compresses your iPhone’s data, which saves about half on data roaming charges. Video. And MaxRoam gives you a SIM for unlocked phones that saves you a ton on voice calls. Video. Plus, a third company, Abukai, helps you do your expense reports when you travel by scanning the receipts with your mobile phone’s camera. Video.
7. The Web isn’t forgotten. Scrible helps you research things on the web and save and share them. Useful. Video. Silk is building a new kind of database which will be used first by the Next Web to build a startup database. Video. Shufflr.tv helps you find more and better video online. Video. Webdoc helps you build a new kind of rich, expressive, site. Think a modern Blogger or Tumblr. Video.
8. But the most interesting set of companies is being built around smartphones and here, for the first time, Apple’s iOS doesn’t have the coolest apps. For instance, Innobell lets you add social apps to a phone call. Only on Android today. Video. TekTrak gives you really great security. But mostly on Android today. Video. And WalkBase lets you track your phone’s movement through wifi and assisted GPS patterns in the room. Again, only on Android because Apple and Microsoft don’t let WalkBase talk to the radios the way Android does. Video.

Anyway, here’s all the videos embedded, so you can enjoy them. These are all on my YouTube Channel, if you like them please subscribe there.

Talking iPad apps and accessories with Sam Levin:

Android app WalkBase tracks wireless data to tell whether you’re in the same room:

VUFind lets people play and share around their visually-recognized interests:

A must-have when traveling: MaxRoam, saves money on roaming calls and data:

Mobilistar makes world clickable with mobile augmented reality:

Why you should jailbreak your iPhone:

Scrible helps you research the Web (cool tool!):

A new way to do expense reports with your mobile phone: Abukai:

Mobile wireless compression from Onavo saves TONS of money when overseas:

A “social camera” Pixamid:

A new dating service: Kismet:

Zwapp helps you find better apps for your iPhone:

Silk: a great new database powers new Next Web site:

Shufflr.tv helps you find better videos online:

Cool Ring prototype shows new way to use Tablets:

TekTrak makes your mobile phone more secure:

Must have mobile app at the grocery store: Fooducate helps you make healthy choices!

Webdoc brings you rich expression on the web:

Moxie competes in enterprises with Yammer and Salesforce Chatter with a better design:

Exclusive first look: Photogram, new kind of photosharing app for mobile:

Small-business cash register comes to iPad in Pose:

Loqly: ask questions about local businesses:

Add social apps to phone calls with Innobell:

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Android Market Movie Rental Service Blocked on Rooted Devices

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Google started blocking their new Movie rental service on all rooted Android devices. Google announced the service at Google I/O earlier this month, along with their music streaming service. The service allows users to rent movies to their android devices straight from the Android market. As it transpires, Google specifically locks out users of rooted devices for copy protection reasons.

You'll receive this "Error 49" message if you attempt to play a movie on a rooted device. Rooted devices are currently unsupported due to requirements related to copyright protection.

"Rooting" is a common practice in the Android world, this allows the removal of applications that came pre-installed which users may not want. Rooting allows the use of applications which wouldn't normally be possible on an Android device, such as screenshot taking apps and the ability to block ads and quite a bit more. It's also normally the first step before installing a custom ROM, such as the very popular CyanogenMOD.

There's a likely possibility that the movie studios are the ones behind the decision, unwilling to let Google license anything without some form of copy protection in place. Because of this, many legitimate users will feel they're being punished for the sake of preventing something from leaking on the Internet, which in all likelihood will already be there anyway.

Of course, the Android community will find a way around this.

[Source: Android Market support. Via: Android Central]

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HTC Evo 3D, View 4G available for pre-order at Sprint

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Sprint customers holding out for the HTC Evo 3D can now inch slightly closer to that glasses-free display -- without dropping by RadioShack. The carrier has confirmed that you can reserve the WiMAX handset by visiting a Sprint-owned retail store and plunking down $50 for a gift card. There's still no word on when you'll be able to get the device in-hand (and the 3D's exclusive carrier is mum on pricing), but, if you don't mind reserving a phone without any hint as to how much you'll eventually need to pay, then Sprint seems happy enough to swap your Grant for a spot on the list. It's also taking names for the Evo View 4G tablet and, like the 3D, that $50 deposit can be used to take a bite out of a 2D handset. You know, in case you decide that a third dimension is too hot to handle.

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7 Tools For Your Financial Toolbox

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The toolbox in your garage wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have a few basics: hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, etc.  The same is true with your financial toolbox.  Most of these ‘essential tools’ are basic items that you absolutely need to have.  A few of these might be good goals to work towards if you haven’t already incorporated them into your financial picture already.

Don’t worry, I won’t give a tool reference for each of these financial essentials, but I have to say that a budget is like the toolbox of your finances.  Without a budget, you’ll have a difficult time organizing and prioritizing your dollars.  Sure, you can do the job without a toolbox, but it’s much more difficult.

Check out these budgeting resources if you’re looking to start or revamp your own budget.

We have to do all we can to prepare for retirement, and using a Roth IRA can make getting there much easier.  The withdrawals from a Roth IRA are tax-free at your retirement (including interest if the account is over 5 years old), so this can mean huge tax savings when you retire.

If you feel a little lost when it comes to Roth IRAs, check out this great article on Roth IRAs.

If you’ve been diligent in your savings, you want to make sure you put those after-tax dollars to use.  You can invest after-tax dollars in mutual funds or even take a little more risk and fund a social lending account like Prosper or Lending Club.  Both options can help your money earn a great return.  For a simple approach to investing, look into Betterment.com.  (You can read ChristianPF’s review of Betterment here)

If you have an emergency fund and want to keep it liquid, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still get a great return on your money.  Online accounts like ING and Sallie Mae are paying 1% to 1.1%  Much better than putting it under a mattress or in a no interest checking account!

Yes, you know that having a will is important and if you’ve already created one, that’s great!  If you haven’t drawn up a will yet, that’s something you should put on your To Do list right away.  Legalzoom.com can guide you through a basic will and it costs about $70 to do.  Also, be sure to establish a durable power of attorney POA, which allows someone to act on your behalf regarding financial, legal, and health care decisions if you become incapacitated.  Sample POA documents can be found on the internet, but you can use legalzoom.com to create one for about $35.  You’ll also want to make sure you have a notary present when signing these documents.

These are a few specialty tools that can really do a lot of good for the right people.  You’ll probably want to meet with a financial planner or planned giving attorney to discuss the best approach for these tools.

This is a special type of trust that allows someone to create an income off of appreciated assets while paying as little as possible in taxes and give to a charitable organization at the same time.  By using a charitable trust, you can sell appreciated assets and receive a substantial charitable income tax deduction.  These annuity trusts will also provide fixed income over your life or the live of someone else (like your spouse or a child).

For someone who is older, a charitable annuity trust can be a great tool to help with your overall financial goals.  A person at age 70 might receive an annuity payment of $25,000 per year from an annuity trust when they fund it with an asset valued around $500,000.  They receive this income for the rest of their life and the ministry of their choice can receive the remainder of the trust (oftentimes this amount is larger than the initial gift!)  In most cases, the average payout to the annuitant is oftentimes very close to the original amount invested.

A planned giving attorney and financial planner can help you to establish a charitable trust if your financial situation warrants one.

A gift annuity can provide a fixed payment for your life while also providing you with an income tax deduction when you fund the annuity.  Let’s say you’re 60 years old and you have a property worth $500,000 that you paid $300,000 for.  If you sell the property, you could be faced with a potential capital gain tax of $30,000.

If you gift your property to a charitable organization by using a gift annuity, you could receive upwards of $26,000 each year as a payment (based on a 5.2% payout), while the ministry receives the full $500,000.  It’s a great tool if you are someone who is charitable, but still needs an income to live on during retirement years.

Most financial planners can help you to in knowing if a gift annuity is right for you.

Do you use any other financial tools that should be included in someone’s toolbox?

Photo by yoppy

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Thoughts on Buying, Selling, and Commerce

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You walk into a Starbucks and hand the barista a crisp five-dollar bill. They take it and hand you that Venti Frappuccino you’ve been craving all day long. How does this work? One word: trust.

Because they trusted that the paper you were handing them would profit their company, they took that five-dollar bill. This happens every day in many different types of transactions, all around the world.

And it all had to do with trust. Physical money has no value unless people assign it value.

Growing up, I always viewed money as something concrete that was spent and obtained by calculated transactions. It was more of a science than an art. I’m starting to change my view on this, as I’ve found that the only standard by which people trade items (for example, a five-dollar bill for a coffee) is that of mutual trust. Nobody ultimately determines the price at which items are traded, the market determines that. And if somebody stubbornly decides not to lower their price, or somebody decides the price is too high, nothing happens.

It all boils down to the art of negotiation. All transactions are completed only because both parties agree to it. Of course, there are pressures on our psyche to buy or not buy that can’t always be measured. There are a number of variables that take place during times of immanent transactions.

I’m convinced that as a merchant, you must gain significant mindshare in order to be successful. It all has to do with the number of contacts you make and the quality of those contacts. Build trust with your clients and ensure they are taken care of. Don’t leave them hanging!

Many times people find a company or person that they trust and stay loyal to the brand. For example, look at the tremendous following Apple Inc. has right now. They developed a methodology to build fantastic products and a marketing machine to get their message to the masses. There are many other companies growing quickly, and they all know the value of paying close attention to the detail of their products and services. People aren’t afraid to pay a little bit more if they know that they’ll be getting a quality product.

People buy things because they believe those things represent who they are and what they stand for. It’s all about lifestyle design. Even for the frugal at heart, they choose not to buy certain things because not doing so represents a piece of who they are or are not.

We also buy because we trust that what we are getting is worth what we are paying. I believe there is also a loose correlation between how much money we make and how valuable we feel our money is. For example, wealthy people might be more willing to pay top dollar for services because more money was earned by them in a less amount of time.

All of these concepts I’m discussing are trends I’ve found to be generally true. But sometimes the “human” variable takes over, and people prove just how unpredictable they are. Have you ever worked as a salesperson and were dumbfounded how your customer could simply walk away from a transaction in a quick second without warning (maybe they had a budget you were not aware of)? Were you surprised by how the next customer would buy more than you were trying to sell them?

There is a “human” variable to commerce that can’t always be predicted or understood. Financial bubbles occur because people sometimes assign value to things they shouldn’t. Sometimes people don’t put enough value on the essentials. What are some human variables you have discovered? Moreover, what does the Bible say about money and commerce?

What are some observations you’ve made about money and commerce? There’s so much to discuss here. Let’s meet you in the comments!

Photo by Steve Snodgrass

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Apple patent application reveals an LCD with switchable, privacy-protecting viewing angles

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By Dana Wollman posted May 22nd 2011 5:48AM Don't you hate it when the guy next to you on the subway is looking over your shoulder, watching you screw up in Fruit Ninja? Well, Apple could have predicted your discomfort -- back in November 2009, before the iPad was anything more than a unicorn, the company applied for a patent on an LCD display with adjustable viewing angles, explicitly designed to "shield the display away from unintended viewers." According to the filing, the display would include steering modules made of liquid crystal material, which aim the so-called scattering modules that sit on top of them. The top layer then redirects the light, making it possible to narrow down and alter the viewing angle. The patent specifically calls out cellphones and laptops, paving the way for discreet displays on MacBooks and iPhones, though the broad phrase "other portable electronic devices" leaves plenty of room for iPads and iPod Touches. No word, of course, on when or if Apple will secure this patent and if so, what devices might incorporate such screens. We may just be seeing this concept go public now, but it seems consumers could use this even more today than they did back in the fall of '09, when all they had to worry about was a stranger squinting at their 3GS' 3.5-inch screen.

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US lags in broadband adoption and download speeds, still has the best rappers

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US Ranks #9U, S, A! We're number nine! Wait, nine? At least according to a recent broadband survey by the FCC, yes. The good ol' US of A ranked ninth (out of the 29 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in fixed broadband penetration on a per capita basis, and 12th in terms of pure percentage -- behind the UK, South Korea, Iceland, the Netherlands, and plenty of others. Though, granted, these nations lack the sprawling amber waves of grain that America must traverse with cables. The US also trailed in wireless broadband adoption, ranking ninth yet again, behind the likes of Ireland, Australia and Sweden. Worse still, even those with broadband reported slower connections than folks in other countries. Olympia, Washington had the highest average download speeds of any US city with 21Mbps (New York and Seattle tied for second with 11.7Mbps), but was easily topped by Helsinki, Paris, Berlin, and Seoul (35.8Mbps). Well, at least we beat Slovenia... if only just barely.

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3 Tweaks that Helped Double My Blog Traffic Almost Overnight

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One thing many bloggers don’t know is that irrespective of who you are, you’re a very unique individual with at least one or two factors that will greatly interest your readers. By making use of these factors, you can easily boost your traffic.

So many people believe there isn’t any importance in making themselves known clearly—we’ve all seen blogs that have no About page. But it is evident that the most successful bloggers are those who make themselves known to their readers. A great testament to this point is Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com.

I’m not talking only about having an About page: I’m talking about showcasing your bio, linked to your About page, on every page of your blog. By doing this, I’ve made my About page the most viewed page on my blog, and my blog traffic has increased tremendously.

What I did differently was showcase my About page on every single page of my blog while indicating clearly why readers should read my blog. The area “above the fold” on every blog is the section of your page that your readers see when they first arrive, without scrolling down. What I did was make my author bio the number one thing readers will see when they visit my blog. I highlighted my success and unique factors (which is making $5000 online monthly and being only 17), then linked to my About page so that readers could learn more about me.

My reason for making this change was just to make myself more known to my readers, yet my traffic skyrocketed overnight. I started seeing more traffic to my blog, more links to my blog, and more emails from readers.

Maybe you have also seen the advice that having an optimized homepage title is the best thing to do for your blog. But which is better: having an optimized homepage title, or a more solid personal brand? I’ll choose a more solid personal brand. Visitors who reach my blog by typing its name into a search engine spend the highest amount of time on my blog and, because of a single change I made, my blog name is now the most-searched term that brings people to my blog from the search engines.

What I simply did was put the name of my blog first, before the keywords in my homepage title. By doing this my traffic increased in leap and bounds without my search engine traffic being affected (despite what most people will tell you).

My former homepage title was something along the lines of Young Entrepreneur Blog|Young Blogger| Achieving Online Success. I simply changed it to √¨YoungPrePro — Young Entrepreneur Blog| Helping You Achieve Online Success. You’d be amazed to see the traffic increase I got from search engines through searches on my blog name—as well as through direct visits to my blog. Prioritizing your readers and brand ahead of the search engines can go a long way to increase traffic to your blog.

This worked like charm. My income and traffic reports are the most popular articles on my blog. My blog posts average about 300 views in one month (except for the really exceptional ones), but all my income reports have exceeded thousands of views. In fact, my first income report has been viewed almost 3000 times, generating more daily traffic and subscribers.

I know there is a limit to what every blogger is comfortable sharing, and some people detest the act of sharing things like their income on their blog. My point is to try to be more personal by using personal case studies on your blog. I blog about making money online and marketing your business, so there’s no case study as realistic and relevant as showing people how much money I make and how much traffic I get—as well as how I do it.

Try to look for a way to show your readers that you truly know what you’re saying while being more personal. My income and traffic in my reports aren’t just bragging—I also teach people extensively how I achieved those results. Readers really don’t care about what you do; they only care about how you do it.

Are you ready to double your traffic?

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Finding Your Blog’s Unique Voice

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Your blog is not you. It is not your personality.?? It does not have your brain or your body or the sum of your life experiences. It cannot think for itself. It doesn’t have a soul.

But it needs a voice.

Your blog, regardless of how you’ve branded it, is separate from you. It can, by no means, represent all the complicated nuances of your persona.

Even if your blog is about you, it’s not you. It can’t be. Your blog is an entity that is separate from you and needs to be treated as such. Give it a voice. And make it unique.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably already realized that there are certain topics on your blog that get more attention than others.

You may have even seen that people have started to associate your blog with a certain idea or theme.?? You may have vented on your blog in a burst of uncouth sarcasm and anger only to find that your influence grew, albeit accidentally. You acted ridiculous, and your audience loved you for it. Who would’ve thought?

These are all examples of blogging voices.

A voice, with respect to your blog, is a feel or style evoked in your writing that causes the reader to personalize what she is reading.?? Your readers begin to construct a person based on the voice of your blog. And
when that happens, your blog ceases to be all things to all people and becomes something very particular to a certain group of people.

And that is okay. That is the whole point.

If you’re already blogging, look back at some of your most popular posts and ask yourself, “What kind of mood was I in when I wrote this? What emotions am I portraying here?”

Observe the vocabulary you used, even the punctuation and formatting style. These are all essential elements in creating a voice for your blog. The trick here is replicate what you were doing when you were successful and do it again (and again).

If you haven’t started blogging a lot, you can start from scratch: ask yourself what you want your blog to sound like.

The voice of your blog should be a natural tie-in with its goal. Here are some examples:

If you are selling real estate online, your blog voice might be personal, attentive to customers, and professional.If you are doing technology reviews, your voice may be snarky, clever, and terse.If your blog is a personal blog about your life, your voice might be sincere, passionate, and vulnerable.

A good exercise (whether you’ve been blogging for a while or are just getting started) is to brainstorm a list of 10-20 personality attributes that you want your blog to have, and then cut it down to three to five key aspects that represent your blog’s voice.

The next time you write a post, consult that list and use it as a checklist to ensure you’re writing style fits the personality you’ve created for your blog.

If you’ve effectively created a voice for your blog, you will inevitably exclude some people (because you simply can’t write for everyone), but you will also create a more loyal readership.

A writing voice on your blog will strengthen your brand and give you focus. Furthermore, it will create a lasting impression with your readers, allowing you to better fulfill the long-term goals of your website in a more sustainable

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