Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Internet
Start your New Year out with some blogging tips!
In just a few months, I will have been blogging with this website for ten years. Kinda crazy! But that isn’t when I started blogging. I was blogging before there were blogs. I used to create webpages from scratch before any of the blogging platforms existed and would email friends a link to my post, like when I went to Alaska or flying with my dad. So when I started blogging, the Internet was a bit of a lonely place for blogs… but now there are well over 100 kidmin blogs worthy of reading! Over the years my blog has gone from in the Top 5 to now down in the mid-thirties on the “Top 100″ list – and I celebrate this decline! It means that there are many people contributing weekly to what has always been my driving passion - to equip and encourage those in children’s ministry. While much of my kidmin writing ends up on Kidology.org instead of my blog, I have enjoyed seeing the amount of help for kids ministers growing steadily every year, even if that means my blogs “ranking” goes down some. It’s a team effort!
But with ten years of blogging, I think I know a thing or two about how to do this. I’ve blogged some advice in the past on how to blog:
But as we head into 2014 and many folks are making New Year’s Resolutions regarding their blogs, I thought I’d share some TOP TIPS on how to make your blog successful and read.
Here are my “Ten Commandments of Blogging.” (Google that for many others out there on the web.)
- Blog often – if you neglect your blog, you will lose readers.
- Blog well – provide something helpful, insightful or enjoyable to read.
- Blog original content – don’t copy from others. If you are inspired by someone else, give credit. No one likes a content thief.
- Blog with a personal touch – share stories, pictures, videos and insights that are yours alone. A blog post that no one else could have written is the best. If it is just generic advice or “10 steps of this or that” the web has enough of that already. Be original!
- Promote your Posts – put a link to your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, it will gain you readership.
- Blog concisely – if you are too wordy, you’ll lose readers. Keep posts short. If you have a lot to say, do a series of posts.
- Invite interaction and feedback – ask questions, invite comments, and be relational. Respond to comments you get!
- Blog wisely – don’t get obsessed with tracking and SEO, but learn to use it to learn the impact and reach of your blog so you can improve.
- Edit Your Blog! Typos and awkward sentence turn away readers who won’t take you seriously. Ask for help if this is a weak area, often we can not see our own “misteaks.”
- Read Blogs – one of the best ways to improve as a blogger is to be reading others. Don’t be an island on the Internet, interact with others.
I look forward to more blogging in 2014, and if you have a blog, post it below in comments so I can be sure to read yours too!
As I have just spent the last two days driving across the “fruited plains” I have had time at the wheel to think again about the rich (and sobering) history of this Great Land. And I love to day dream about what life would have been like for myself and my family had we lived in a time when crossing it wouldn’t have been in an air-conditioned mini-van with cruise control and fast food stops or look-a-like rest areas on paved Inter-states – but perhaps along the Oregon or California Trails of 1840? A time when it took months at walking pace to travel hundreds of miles into the unknown leaving all comfort behind and going forward with only hope and courage.
What would “Karl the Pioneer” be like? I have often been called a “Pioneer of the Internet.” In today’s definition of a pioneer I suppose that is true. If being a pioneer is to ‘bravely go where few have gone before,’ then sure. O.K. I was a pioneer. I was building webpages in HTML when most people didn’t have an e-mail address and “blogging” before WordPress or Blogger existed. I survived the “Dot Com Crash” because I built my “Dot Org” on a membership model instead of advertising model before PayPal existed and before AOL even had the World Wide Web. So sure, I guess I “pioneered” the Internet.
But please. The more I learn about the Pioneers of our country, the more insulting it is to them to call anything we do today “pioneering.” We claim to “pioneer” a field of science or sports or entertainment or music. But do we face sickness? Starvation? Or death by some other horrible means if we fall short of our destination?
I’ve been enjoying the AMC series Hell on Wheels on Netflix. Now, I know some of my dear Christian brothers and sisters just choked on their Testimints because I typed the word, “hell,” and if so, they’d better not watch the show. It is a pretty gutsy and probably fairly realistic portrayal of a post-Civil War America that struggles to balance racial tensions, religion, national expansion and good ‘ol American entrepreneurism in the gritty railroad town of “Hell on Wheels” where the railroad is pushing West through Indian territory. It centers around a rough and tough character named Cullen Bohannon, and he ain’t no Roy O’Bannon. (If you know what I’m sayin’ – bonus points in comments if you know who that cowboy is!)
You’ll need to put down your “it has to be Sunday School pure” grid in order to travel back to a time where life was rough and God was hard to see. While certainly not a Christian show, there are glimpses of grace at work in several of the toughest characters and you can see God working if you look carefully. It’s interesting to see that woven in even as the “preacher” isn’t one of the most redeeming characters. It’s a raw show, but then, so was life back then. So it accomplishes it goal of pulling back the curtain on a time that shaped our nation, for better or worse. As the iron tracks made their way across the beautiful pure land, greed and impurity and the worst of fallen human nature came with it. Driving these roads today, it is amazing how much we have “cleaned up” after ourselves, to some extent.
But when I watch things like this (and The Patriot, one of my favorite movies) – I can’t help wondering, “How would I have coped in those times?” Who would I be? How would I have survived and gotten by? What would my occupation be? If I am considered a ‘pioneer’ today, would I have what it took then to be a pioneer?
What you have been? A business owner? A law man? A gun slinger? An outlaw? A farmer? A pioneer? One third of the people heading West were women. So this isn’t just a question for men!
Would have left the security of the East Coast and headed West in search of gold and a promised prosperity? (People expected to pick up gold just lying on the ground in California!)
Would you have what it took to be a Pioneer when the word truly had meaning?
This may not appeal to many, but one of my many pet peeves with Apple Lion (the beginning of the decline of Apple with the passing of Steve Jobs) is the STUPID “All Files” default view whenever you open a new finder window. One by one I am learning how to undo all the insane “improvements” Apple made to the once inherently and intuitively awesome Mac, but lately they add stupid features you have too Google how to fix. (Like the vanishing scroll bars. Arrrg. Fixed that!)
Why oh Why would you want a window that lists every file on your Mac and that takes an insane amount of time to load? The chances of something you actually need appearing in that window is highly unlikely. So you have to wait until it is done loading to click on a useful folder like Documents, or your home folder to get to what you need.
So, if that has bothered you, I have found the fix!
Simply open a new Finder Winder and go to Preferences, and under “New Finder windows show:” choose what you’d like to see whenever you open a new Finder.
While only a few options are provided, you can choose ‘other’ and as you can see from this screen shot, I choose Dropbox, since I manage all my working files in a Dropbox folder, so that all my files are always backed up and accessible on all my computers (or any computer!) as well as my iPad and iPhone. (or any ipad or iphone) and easily shared. I highly recommend Dropbox. Join using any of the links you see in this paragraph and you’ll give me some bonus space! (Thanks!)
If you are looking for a simple and kinda cool way to get an overview of your day – and doing some planning for the year, I just stumbled upon a cool new App you might enjoy.
It is called Cue, and it links you calendar, contacts, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or whatever accounts you might want to link into a single simple view of your appointments and events for the day. It’s a pretty slim and sleek way to see what’s important for the day.
Also discovered, is a free Office App called CloudOn – integrates with DropBox. Looks very powerful and helpful. Worth a look!
If you have found some great new apps for 2013, let me know in comments below!
My favorite GAME is Air Wings! If you are in Game Center, my username is Kidologist, friend me, and I’ll blow you out of the sky!
I look forward to playing you, or hearing what awesome apps you plan to use to help you be more productive or successful in 2013!
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Ladies… if you really want to impress your husband for Christmas this year. Don’t get him a tie. Get him something, anything, from Scottevest.com
I’m serious. And no, I’m not getting paid for this blog post, and get no benefit from it. I’m honestly just doing all the ladies out there a HUGE favor.
Your man loves his gadgets. But he doesn’t want to look like a nerd or dork carrying them around. He loves his iPad, but he doesn’t know how to carry it around without looking like he is taking work with him. He doesn’t want to be one of those guys… You know the type, with the batman utility belt filled with gadgets (like the step dad in Night at the Museum)
And he’s not going to wear some STUPID tech belt like I saw on my last flight in Sky Mall Magazine:
Are you kidding me? RIGHT.
But with a Jacket, Trench Coat, Sport Coat, Vest, Hoodie, Shirt or even boxers from Scottevest – your huck of love will be able to hide his tech gear and look like a normal sharply dressed man you won’t be embarrassed to be seen with. (Until he pulls out that iPad in the middle of the movie* from that hidden pocket to check IMDB to see who that actor is.)
So make this the Christmas you score major points, and tell ‘em @Kidologist sent you in the check out. (Just for fun)
And ladies, if you want to indulge yourselves, go for it!
For extra fun, try to find me in the 2012 catalog while it is still available.
*You can’t pull an iPad out of the boxers, just FYI.