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Showing posts with the label blogging

The Internet is the Dunning-Kruger effect in perpetual motion.

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"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."  --  Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park
The Dunning-Kruger effect can be summed up by saying that the less knowledgeable and skilled you are at something, the more likely you think you're pretty great at it.

Don't know what you're talking about? You're pretty sure you do.

Think you have a really smart comment to add? You really don't.

This cognitive bias in which someone who is ignorant thinks they are incredibly skilled and smart shows up on social media and in blog comments sections.

Perhaps the flip side of this is impostor syndrome, which I've seen crop up in a lot of writers and actual skilled people. In this, you feel pretty sure someone is going to find out that you're not that good and see you for who you really are, an impostor. No matter what you achieve, you're always waiting for the day when someone points to you and says "you…

You could drink from a toilet, but why would you?

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You can drink your water from the faucet or from the toilet. Both will quench your thirst, but you might have some problems from the latter.

With this idea in your mind, let me tell you that it's OK to block people, refuse to visit certain websites or information sources, and even keep their comments from reaching you on social media or blogs.

I stumbled upon a brouhaha regarding a generally loathesome blog (located nearby, in Montana!), and a call to block the blog's social media accounts and stop visiting the blog. I knew for sure what I'd see in the the second and third generation comments (those that respond under an initial comment).

1. "By telling people to do X, aren't you doing X?" This is the equivalent of thinking logical superiority has been achieved by you when your teacher tells you and your classmates to be quiet, and you call her out for talking in order tell people to be quiet. Go claim your trophy, little buddy.

2. "It's not a good i…

Obedience to God vs. my motivation.

My mom, sisters, and I have a tendency to try to make and sell things. None of us have gotten rich, but we've sure made lots of stuff.

I'm pretty sure, after working three or so years in online marketing, that the world has some tips for us. Market more, market better, gather data, hone in on your audience, tighten up your branding, stay on message, etc. etc. etc. I have a friend who owns a business who loathes the game privately--the fakey upbeat and motivational Instagram stuff, the requirement to play nice in the local startup/young business scene and spout the same platitudes (bootstrapping! intentional! dogfooding! long-tail! venture capital! growth! community! puke!), the local speaker circuit and participation at highly branded events--but play the game the business owner does, because that's how you sell, how you succeed, how you get mentioned in magazines, how you get more business, and how you succeed some more.

It's the oldest occupation, for the digital mar…

Grammar police, your contribution to this world will be forgotten.

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On my old blog, I first wrote a post in March 2014 about the online Grammar Police (or Grammar Nazi's, as some call them). It got an extreme lot of hits and discussion, most of which made me laugh. The comments were full of people agreeing and disagreeing with each other, some poking the hornet's nest by correct spelling, typos, and grammar.

I couldn't have asked for more perfectly fitting commentary.

A recent foray into combative comments reminded me of that old post, as the person responding to me first invoked Godwin's Law and brought up a Hitler/Nazi reference, and then went and corrected an error.


A bit later the fellow chimed in with another salvo of yada yada, ending with...the suggestion that I cannot comprehend what I read. With these folks, it's always the same. Their parry is sketchy, and their riposte is a jab at someone's verbal intelligence.



These folks are easy to identify by key phrases/ideas:

You missed the pointYou don't know what you'r…

We welcome your opinion.

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This is a day and age where everyone thinks having a strong emotion/opinion is justification for sharing. They think the First Amendment is somehow a guarantee that they get to share their opinion with anyone and that it must be given "due respect."

Due respect, indeed.

You may have the right to free speech, but I am not obligated to listen nor care.

There are only a few times I'm interested in someone's opinion. If you're an expert and you know what you're talking about and have solid information to share that you believe would be of helpful interest, OK. Or, if I came to you because you are an expert and you know what you're talking about and have solid information to share that I believe would be of help, OK. If you're a close friend or family member and you actually have some skin in the game of my life and care, OK.

But the shotgun approach to receiving unsolicited opinions from random strangers is of zero interest and curiosity, of zero value.

5 ways to be a safe driver in Hampden

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Internet marketing is awful.

I worked in that world for several years; I know the tricks. Just thinking about how much I could tell you about what really goes on behind all of the Shiny Happy Marketing People is absolutely wearying. It's enough for a book.

One technique to garner traffic is to create some generic piece of content, and then email all over tarnation to see if someone will use it on their website. There are a variety of ways marketers find and choose their email targets, some more thoughtful than others. Regardless, this is one of many reasons why you see what seems to be the same content everywhere on the internet.

I actually save those emails that I receive (and I get a fair number, since my name is on a lot of marketing blog posts from back in the day and people think I am interested) labeled as "great email examples", because some are so badly done I can't keep myself from going back and cherishing them. Clearly, the word "great" in the la…