My Take on Blogger Mad Libs

Lately my kids are obsessed with Mad Libs.  Having boys, you can pretty much predict that there will be at least two responses having to do with passing gas, throwing up, belching or some other disgusting words that sends them into a tizzy of hysterical laughter when read back to them in story form.

It struck me that the fine folks at Mad Libs would do well to create a book for bloggers and social media geeks.  Here is my version of Blogger Mad Libs. I think I will call it something like Wacky Web Words. Play along, won’t you?

Yesterday I was writing a guest post for _______________ (name of a blog or blogger) called “How to _________ (verb) in ______ (number) Days.”  Guest posts are a _________ (adjective) way to connect with a ________ (adjective) audience and potentially get those ______________ (plural noun) to visit your site.

When you write a guest post, try to keep it to ______ (number) character(s).

Once your guest post is published, it is important to promote the post on social networking sites such as _____________.com (color), _____________.com (place) and _____________.com  (verb).  Be sure to promote your post in ______ (number) character(s) and include the hashtag #___________ (nonsensical word).  Tag as many __________ (plural adjective) as possible.  Ask every ____________ (adjective) person you know to comment, _______ (verb), tweet and stumble your post so you can get as many ____________ (body parts) to see your post as possible.  Do not forget the _____________ (type of worker) either because he or she can __________ (verb) your post on their iPhone. 

Lastly, be sure to reply to all of the ____________ (plural noun) who comment on your blog post even if they do not agree with your ____________ (adverb ending in ness)

 

Did you do it? If so, leave your responses in the comments below!

12 New Year’s Toasts for the Social Media Savvy

The presents have been opened, the family has gone.  All that remains are leftovers, items to be exchanged and decorations to be put away for next year.

Now that the excitement of both Hanukkah and Christmas are done, it’s time to get ready for New Year’s Eve!  If you are headed to a party this year with other social media geeks, here are twelve toasts you may find useful for the occasion.  Let’s bring in the new year as only we can do it.

  • Here’s to the days of good will, warm hearts and sponsored posts.
  • New Year’s Day is the time to make your annual resolutions. Next week you can begin tweeting about how much they suck.
  • We know what we tweet, we tweet what we know. May in the next year, your followers grow.
  • In the new year may you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to grow your audience.
  • An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year.  A pessimist just schedules the tweets.
  • Here’s a toast to the future, a toast to the past, and a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant; the past just a dream; may our audience remain faithful and dear.
  • May your blog crashes last as long as your new year’s resolutions.
  • To a year in which your greatest worry is whether to use your spare time on Facebook or Twitter.
  • We read, we tweet, we comment, we cheer.  And to all have a successful and happy new year.
  • Here’s to you a New Year’s Toast.  May you never have an issue with your host.
  • May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.  May new readers find you each morning and night.
  • If your fan page is lame, try as you might.  If your Klout score stays stagnant, maybe in spite.  If your followers just do not treat you right.  Happy new year to all, and to all a good night!

So there you have it. Twelve New Year’s Eve toasts for the social media set, brought to you by yours truly. Here’s wishing you more happiness than all my words can tell, not just for your blog but for the New Year as well.

How to Set Boundaries

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” -Lily Tomlin

With work-at-home jobs and the lines between work and family having become so blurred, many of us are trying to get a million things done at once.

More than once lately I have made dinner with my laptop next to the stove.  While everyone else in my family is asleep I am finishing up blog posts.  I help my son with homework while doing my own work. Clearly this is not the best use of my sanity. Nor is it fair to my family.  It is time to set some boundaries and more importantly, stick to them.

So, how do you set boundaries between working at home and family?  I started by asking around and here is what I learned:

First and foremost it is important to let the little things go.  Checking your email, Facebook and Twitter accounts may be addicting, but it really is just taking your time and focus away from something else.  And really, are you going to be a bigger success, see a huge boost in your fans/followers or land that amazing new client at 9:15 pm on Tuesday?

Elizabeth from PartyPlanningProfessor.com recently consolidated her emails into one account and then deleted email from her phone entirely.  She says that on occasion she will miss it but, “I know it is better for all of us in the long run!

Setting boundaries begins with choosing a consistent time to disconnect every day.  That way you can be present in the moment with your family.  Yet the times we choose to may differ from person to person based on each family’s needs and dynamics.

Our rule has always been that when we get home from work there’s no computer and hopefully no phone until the kids go to bed…. Set out a certain time daily that you will not be on the computer or phone and work on keeping that promise.”  Candice at FashionablyOrganized.com

Designate a time every day that you disconnect and give that time 100% to your family. So from 4-7 every night (and lots of other times besides this, of course) I am completely 100% disconnected.”  Stacie at TheDivineMissMommy.com

I tweet very little on weekends and rarely blog.  I commit to the boys’ activities and date night and leave blogging to the work week. I aim for only email communication once the boys are home from school because phone calls are almost impossible.“ Rachel at BacknGrooveMom.com

I try not to write during the day since my girls are still home for most of it so most of my blogging was happening at night. But then my husband felt neglected. We worked out a balance where he bathes and put the girls to bed, cleans the kitchen, and chills out while I blog from 6:30-8. At eight the computers go off and we hang out together.”  Kate at TheGuavaliciousLife.com

As much as we’d like to set those boundaries, it is also somewhat important to keep your approach flexible.  After all, life happens – and as we all know it usually happens while you have other plans.  So create a routine but be prepared for life to get in the way on occasion.  There will always be sick kids, school closings and rescheduled conference calls.

It’s all about balance. For us we aim to leave computers and phones off from 3:30-7:30 but sometimes I break that rule if it’s necessary.  In most cases that’s because I have traded off by spending the morning at school or something similar.  I also unplug for the weekend.  If I need to catch up on work I leave home so they kids can be without me trying to find quiet in the house.  It helps that my husband is so supportive of my endeavors.  We make time for date night once a week where we have no phones or computers.” Kelly at TheCentsibleLife.com

So here’s my new vow.  I am going to do nothing but work three days a week while my kids are in school.  One day will be set aside for errands, appointments, laundry and the like.  Fridays I will play catch-up in the morning then spend time with my son who is home in the afternoons.  I will be off my pc from 4:30 until 8:00 every night. (I’m still bringing my iPad to karate though. It is 1.5 hours a week when I like to catch up on reading other blogs.)  Exercise will have to be fit in somewhere, but I’ll figure that out too.  Oh, just one more thing.  No laptops in the kitchen.  Now, you are going to hold me to this. Right??

How do you maintain boundaries between home and work?  Do you have any tips to share?

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.-Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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What’s With All the Haters?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

Since June I have heard multiple stories from bloggers regarding haters in the blogging community. Just to be clear, I am not talking about mild disagreements or people who just don’t click.  I am talking about vicious comments on blogs and Twitter, bullying, threats and sabotage.  That’s not even mentioning the entire sites devoted to hating certain bloggers.

Prior to becoming a blogger I worked at a media company which has competing entities under its umbrella.  Competitors working in the same building.  Yet, the tension there was not nearly as thick as some of what is happening lately in the blogosphere.

I don’t get it.  What’s with all the haters in the blogosphere?  Why can’t we all just get along?  Seriously, folks.  Aren’t there better ways to spend one’s time than spewing hatred on Twitter?  Shouldn’t we instead be celebrating one another’s success?

When I first started in blogging I was the subject of some rumors and whispers behind my back.  While I didn’t want to let it bother me, it really did.  Friends told me not to waste my energy on it but we all know that it’s so much easier to say that than to do it.  Finally, after months of hurt feelings and anger I was able to let myself ignore it and just move on.  Fortunately at about that same time, those who had bought into the hype began to recognize the real situation (and my experience is small potatoes compared to what some of these other bloggers are dealing with lately).  I have found great friends and supporters through this sphere, some who I know only through Twitter and others who I now call friends ‘in real life.’

There is enough room here for everyone to have success.  Differing opinions are not just allowed, they are welcome.  That’s what sparks interesting conversation and friendly debate.  However, as the saying goes, when we start to attack the messenger rather than the message we have lost the meaning of the debate.

Those who are the subject of hatred did not ask to be placed in that role and all of it, albeit deflating, is not ultimately going to change a thing.  For the most part, those who are the subject of the hatred are in that position because they are successful.  These attempts at bringing them down are not going to work and may even help to boost their success.  So why bother?  What are the haters going to prove, anyway?

Let’s face it.  These haters are not going to disappear any time soon.  I guess it’s up to those of us on the outside to either ignore the nonsense or, at the very least, give it due diligence before drawing any conclusions.

And so I ask again.  Can’t we all just get along?

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