What Do the Words “Online Community” Really Mean?

Yesterday I had appeared on the IndyTalk WI Radio Show discussing online reputation management, strategies for creating content, etc. with a Web 2.0 lens. (Special thanks to Wayne who invited me on the show.) Even I have a few posts planned as a follow up, to show you “how” I manage my content with the tools available, I find myself asking a very, important question. “What does ‘online community’ actually mean?”

You see dear readers, the challenge that I have with the words “online community” is that I have experience with what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that everyone will automatically be respectful, open-minded and kind. Of a community that involves 1,000 people, you might get a few in the bunch that create some tension. This, to me, is not a “good” thing or a “bad” thing — it’s how people are. In an ideal world, we would all get along with one another and be supportive. It is not an “ideal” world, however. It’s the real world, one that you and I have to navigate in order to maintain healthy relationships and further our professional and personal lives.
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How Much Should You Get Paid to Blog?

Are you new to blogging? Do you know how much writers typically get paid per blog post? Back before blogging existed, most writers would get paid by the word. The higher the word count, the better pay a writer might receive, the more prestigious the publication. For example, publications with national distribution models might offer $1.00 a word on up. Fiction, on the other hand, ranges from free to 5 cents a word on up. You can see a huge disparity in how fiction is paid even through the two, free fiction directory websites that I had listed earlier.

Taken from the perspective that writers should “charge by the word,” I’ve run into the challenge of explaining not only “what” blogging is to some of my fellow writers, but how much they can expect to get paid. One example of this, is that I forwarded a job listing for freelancing to a writer who was looking for work. The job was pretty decent: $10-15 per 300-500 word post on a regular basis. The writer responded by telling me that the company obviously couldn’t afford them, even though they had never blogged before.
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Guest Post about Goal Setting Success: Magic Checkmarks on Your Goal List

Today’s guest post about is brought to you by Elliott Kosmicki, the founder of Good Plum. Today, Elliott sits down and talks with us about how we can achieve the goals that we set down in writing.

Setting goals has been widely promoted for centuries as one of the most powerful methods to become successful. You’ve probably heard it, you probably have even tried it, and if you’re like most others, you’ve probably “failed” trying.

That’s a good thing.

Setting goals does not alone bring success, even though that’s the primary way it’s taught. The idea that simply writing a goal down will somehow make it come true later on sounds like wishful thinking. Impossible, right?

The question we need to ask ourselves then is “Why do some people think goal setting works at all?”

The answer lies in the examination of two separate groups of people. In one group, there are the self-help “gurus” who believe everything they’re taught and then simply pass that information along to you – with no real knowledge of WHY it works or doesn’t work. The other group consists of people who have found that setting goals DOES work for them. They know it, too, but very few of them actually know WHY it works for them. Even if they do know, they can’t figure out how to teach it because they don’t really know how to translate that mysterious process into something that works for you! Follow me so far?
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10 Things You May Not Know About Me

It’s been pretty frigid here the past couple of weeks, and I spent a lot of time embracing Twitter and Facebook moreso than I had in the past. Part of that “social media” hug was to keep up on the tools since I’ve been using them for work. The other part to that online touchy-feel goodness, was because I needed a boost in this post-holiday slump.

Since there’s so many new people that I’ve come into contact with through various channels, I thought I’d offer ten things you may not know about me, as a way of “breaking the ice.” (So to speak.) Without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

    1. I don’t have a favorite color. Meh. So many to pick from, why choose just one?
    2. My cats are named after ancient Mesopotamian gods. Zakar (god of dreams) was a rescue cat. He’s a manx, orange tabby with lots of toes, very sweet and VERY spoiled. They were going to put him to sleep because he “wasn’t perfect.” Needless to say, he’s got a great life now. Rimmon (god of storms) is just like his namesake. He talks pretty much non-stop and enjoys following Zak around, causing trouble. They both like jalapenos, though. Go figure.
    3. Typically, I only read a book once. I read pretty fast, to the point where I inhale books. If the book is fairly complex, I may pick it up again to ensure I didn’t miss anything. Otherwise, I just read it the one time.
    4. Growing up, I wanted to be the female version of Indiana Jones. World-wide travel? That massive compendium of knowledge about ancient cultures? And a cool hat?
    5. I don’t believe in astrology. As part of my writing, I’ve researched a lot of different unusual topics that range from ghost hunting to astrology. I know some people really believe in it, but it’s not something that really resonates with me.
    6. Haven’t run a mile in years. *sob* Yeah, so I’m on a program right now. It’s called the “couch potato to 5k” program. Just when I was getting started, I had to get new running shoes. Then? I made the mistake of working through my lunches instead of taking that invaluable “off” time. So getting back on the wagon and hope to change this shortly.
    7. I’m actually quite shy around people I don’t know. Hard to believe, eh? I practiced like crazy for my last interview and — whenever possible — I’d prefer to know people at a “new” face-to-face outing. Kind of glad a few conventions are coming up; since I spend a lot of time writing and with my loved ones, it gets harder and harder to be outgoing and bubbly every year. ‘Course, this frigid icy winter might have something to do with that.
    8. I have a background in music. Played piano, choir and flute for a number of years with a strong focus on classical. My favorite composer was/is Mozart; I used to memorize (on average) 15 pieces every quarter for performances, contests and such.
    9. I don’t really like roses. Roses are not my preferred flower of choice. I like really brightly-colored, sweet-smelling flowers like carnations and wildflowers.
    10. The first horror writer I read was Edgar Allen Poe. Most people might respond with “Stephen King,” but not me. I remember “The Telltale Heart” very vividly. Oddly enough, I didn’t read Lovecraft or understand his influence until about five years ago. Strange how pulp and literary worlds don’t collide, but should.

What about you? Have anything to share?

The No-Brainer Way Twitter can make Money

As a follow-up to this week’s earlier post about what social media means to me, I’d like to talk about Twitter and money. Twitter decided to hire somebody whose job it is to make money this past week, but the concept of monetizing Twitter isn’t new. Several people have jumped into the fray citing ideas like 5 ways Twitter can make money or Ways to Monetize Twitter which includes quotes from Jason Calacanis (@jasoncalacanis and others.
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