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Noteworthy Content of the Week

Written by Darice de Cuba on September 29, 2010

This week list is rather short, so was the 9rules feed with recent posts for the past seven days(compared to most weeks). Even so I came across a couple of topics that keeps us busy and might give you some thoughts.

Stone Creek Coffee Cupping Sketchnotes

Since this was my first tour of the Stone Creek Factory and a cupping, I decided to capture the experience as sketchnotes, to share it visually with others who interested in the cupping experience

If it something I would like to be able to do is drawing. To be able to ad my own illustrations to a post when needed would be useful once in a while. One doesn’t come across many weblogs where the author uses hand drawn illustrations and writes down a post instead of a few words.

Can you draw and have published some drawings alongside your writing? For us who can’t draw there is always the photo camera.

The Social in Social Networking

I sometimes think that social networks are a misnomer. Yes, they are networks, in that they let users connect to other users online. However, as for being social, that might be where the trouble lies. It’s social inasmuch as you can connect with friends. But it sometimes draws you away from actually connecting with your friends, whether online or offline.

I must say thanks to Facebook I have re-connected with people I haven’t talked to in ages. Not that now I talk to them regularly but the not haven’t seen and talked in years bridge is gone. Should I happen to meet them in person I would be able to easily start a conversation based on the info they provide on Facebook instead of the uncomfortable; “Long time no see, are you still in college or working?”. I find those chit chats annoying and impersonal.

6 things you can stick in your ears to improve your writing

If you think post is a bit silly and rather tongue-in-cheek, you’re correctomundo. But the truth is, we’re hugely affected by our writing environment and it’s important that we experiment and get it spot on.

This can be applied not to writing alone but also in working and studying environment. When I still was in school I would alternate between music in the background when I really needed my concentration or headphones when I was doing routine work. Even now that I’m deaf and noise doesn’t affect me anymore I sing songs while writing out of habit.

Hosting Is Important, Even For Small And Simple Web Sites

With web sites, maintenance turns out to be a lot more significant than the one-time software development, even for the small web sites.

This post reminded me that not everyone is tech inclined and would be helped with tips about selecting a hosting company. When you have a weblog, content and presentation are very important but they mean nothing if your website is down half the time. Since my online presence I have been with three hosting companies that weren’t bad but I couldn’t stand being dependent from them. Since last year I’m on a dedicated server giving me full control instead of sending support tickets all the time.

There is always something new to learn or ponder waiting for us on various weblogs of all kind of topics. The 9rules feed contains a lot more and you should browse it at least once a week to find posts or weblogs that appeals to you.

Noteworthy Content of the Week

Written by Darice de Cuba on September 22, 2010

When people talk about weblogging it is mostly all about traffic, ads, comments, SEO and generating link backs. This week I was reminded again that how you write is more important.

English is not my native language, I actually speak/write three languages daily; my native language Papiamento, Dutch and English. A couple of times a week I chat in Spanish too which is nothing to write home about as my Spanish is totally out of practice.

When I write a post it takes me extra time while I re-formulate sentences and look up words in the dictionary or thesaurus. I do my best and if I’m in a hurry and just publish right away it is a safe bet that the post will be full of stupid mistakes.

Getting critique on my writing has made me realize that writing is my passion otherwise I wouldn’t care about critiques but turns out I do care a lot. I just don’t know how to get organized about pursuing my passion more intensively and improving it.

As chance happens I came across great posts on writing about your passions, writing well with the correct use of words and the right attitude.

I Did it My Way: Long-Term Blogging Success Tips

Find what you are wildly passionate about and make that your top priority. If you are not passionate about it, no one else will be either.

That, There and Then

You can see how your writing has more punch when you eliminate these space takers.

How many writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Writers who have humility are aware of their shortcomings and open to feedback. They listen to others and take advice in the right way. When things go wrong, they try to find out why. When things go right, they celebrate accordingly.

The Best Books for Freelance Bloggers

Blogging for hire has been a subset of freelance writing, but there are many freelance bloggers who take on projects very different from what a freelance writer might take on.

Some interesting books recommended if you write for a company weblog or other commercial weblogs. Freelance writing jobs can be found at the FWJ freelance writers jobs board.

How to Completely Disappear from the Digital Grid

Social networking users not interested in changing their names but still looking for ways to protect themselves online now have a new guide in the form of a book out this week from the ‘Dear Abby’ of disappearing, Frank M. Ahearn. What do you need to know? Call it the 21st century Wilderness survival guide.

Since Facebook has become a mammoth on the internet privacy issues have never been so talked about as nowadays. Even government of different countries are talking about imposing laws to protect online privacy.

Final Thought

I would like to note that I don’t like what they call grammar nazi’s. Mistakes happens all the time and unless you have an editor or two going over your posts you should not be too hard on yourself.

To improve my grammar and punctuation I ordered a book on better writing which will hopefully be useful. Do you take extra measures to ensure your posts are well written?

Noteworthy Content of the Week

Written by Darice de Cuba on September 15, 2010

The reason that I like weblogs so much is not for news and entertainment only but because I learn new things. Everyday I learn something new by reading weblogs, things I never new about or stood still to think about it. When I think about writing an entry I ask myself a few questions; Do I want to share an experience, tell a story or share information?

Other times I’ll write an entry to ask a question and hope a reader will share an answer or opinion with me. The core of the entries is always to learn something new whether I’m the one learning or my readers.

This week selection is all about learning about a wide range of topics.

How To Write Good

One evening on the NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw announced, “Just like men, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S.”

Writing good, something most of use could do with. English is not my first language so I’m guilty of grammar mistakes or badly constructed sentences. I always proof read my entries but sometimes it takes an extra pair of eyes to point out the mistakes.

Google Instant: Personalization, The Paradox of Choice and Altered Behavior

There are 2 subtle but powerful psychological reasons here that will make you more likely to click and explore the suggested results on the previous screen (with Google Instant turned on) than on this one.

I have been asking myself why Google changed their search method, I’m not particular fond of it and it’s taking me time to get used to it. This in depth article helps you get a better perspective on the why of this search method.

Sweet Corn with Haricots Verts

Are we perfect? Absolutely not. We still have a couple tablespoons of ice cream most nights for dessert, we drink, and we share a chocolate truffle nearly every night.

I’m always trying to eat healthy and I am mostly put off by the seemingly super healthy people who have no trouble keeping the ‘bad’ food out of their diet. It is nice for once to hear that they are not all perfect and that we should allow ourselves some pleasures too. As an added bonus the recipe they share sounds good for such a healthy salad.

Musings on Understanding Math

Natural numbers, as I have just re-learned, are the “counting numbers”, and there are two main areas of interest. In pure mathematics, there’s the exploration of the properties and “behavior patterns” of such numbers, which is called Number Theory.

Since reading books by Scarlett Thomas who writes about science and math I have been thinking about what exactly is Mathematics. Dave’s post is mind boggling and I had to read it twice to get it. A challenging post for sure.

Write for your distress and focus on your writing

What I am saying though, is write objectively. Don’t get tangled up in the emotional mire and let your standards slip.

About using your distress to write fiction although above quote is something a lot of webloggers should keep in mind. Writing when one is angry has caused quite some drama in different online communities.

Noteworthy Content of the Week

Written by Darice de Cuba on September 8, 2010

On the subject of companies or people suing a website due to a post or comment on it, it’s really starting to look like censure. The most known is companies who get bad reviews and then will sue the site due to it. Seems like analyzing if the bad review is right and improving their service or actually communicating with their clients through their own website and twitter account is not done.

Here in the Netherlands a well know car glass company wants to sue a guy who made a Twitter account with their name and tweeted that the company will sue anyone using a negative hash tag concerning the company. The company itself has no Twitter account nor did they turn to their weblog or website to clear things, they went straight for the lawyers. Putting aside that they got a huge and free marketing considering most people found it hilarious.

Even on the tiny island of Aruba where one online newspaper with a very active user comments ended in court with a lawyer suing the newspaper due to a comment against his person by a user using a nickname. The case was settled outside the court.

It can never hurt to find out your rights as a website owner and to have some disclaimer in place to avoid a legal mess of sue happy people and companies.

Of course this week has also some nice entertaining posts about music a chair and a supercarrier.

R.E.M., “Drive” – 11.19.92

It was kind of a perfect storm: R.E.M. had released what is easily one of the best albums of the decade and, months later, the Reagan/Bush era had been put on notice thanks to Bill Clinton’s win in the 1992 presidential elections.

This post starts like the beginning of a good book. The 90’s seems such a long time ago, pure nostalgia.

Get Angry: Blogger Sued For Comments On Their Blog

In general, the “owner” of the comment is the responsible part for their actions. Unfortunately, there are legal decisions that state that if you moderate and edit your comment queue, you are responsible, thus attackable, for any comments that appear on your blog.

This is happening more and more, it’s a good idea for all webloggers to be aware of their rights.

Boarding the USS George Washington

The USS George Washington supercarrier (CVN-73) is powered by two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors. It can hold about 80 aircraft composed of F-18 Hornets, EA-6B Prowlers, anti sub helicopters and an array of other weapons that bring the total cost of the carrier alone to over USD $4.5 billion. The USS George Washington is also an ideal venue for a mean cocktail party.

The things you learn from weblogs, the biggest thing I have set foot on/in is a Boeing Jumbo Jet.

Review: “Sumo Sway Couple” Bean Bag Chair

After about 30 minutes I woke up and realized I’d fallen asleep in it. It’s a VERY comfortable chair, and in the winter I can imagine it being a nice place to snooze in near a fireplace. Because it’s a “shaped” bag chair, it actually has a back you can rest against.

This is one review that left me wanting a comfy chair right to put beside the central heating right away. With the temperature starting to drop I only want to sit in a comfy chair under the covers.

A Digger Explains Why Diggers Feel Betrayed… And What The New Digg Looks Like To Him

In the previous system, you were forced to take a look outside of your site (unlike the new one where you just have to plug a RSS feed) and see what Diggers prefer etc. In this new system you don’t have to take a look at what’s popular, just submit your stuff and that’s it. There is no incentive for big publishers to make Digg a better site for its community.

I’m surprised that it was after Digg v4 went live that the Digg community came down on Kevin Rose, v4 was in beta trial for some time before going life. As an outsider I can totally see the community point. Digg is now mostly news from mainstream websites with almost no chance for small sites to make the frontpage.

Noteworthy Content of the Week

Written by Darice de Cuba on September 1, 2010

Vacation is over, schools are in, autumn has started and most of us are or soon will be spending many hours again on the web. Now that the weather is colder and I feel less like being outside I’m starting to get creative and getting ideas on topics to write about or projects to undertake.

I’m not a fan of cold weather but the fact that the new TV seasons starts and that people publish more makes up for it. Get some advice on writing, read about the joys of a new school year and more beneath.

Simple Rules for Writing Fulfilling Web Fiction

The majority of your readers will never comment on your work. If and when they do, why not do the one thing that would keep them commenting? A quick response tells them that they’re valued. It keeps them coming back. Given enough time, they’ll begin debating with each other, and that’s the best metric possible for the quality of your community.

Some good advice here that applies further then fiction writing only.

The Tram

I had my seat and at the next stop a woman got on the tram holding her toddler on her hip. I ummed and aahhed, tossing up the possibility of giving up my seat. I didn’t really want to stand all the way home but I thought if I were her I’d probably like to sit down so I didn’t have to carry that heavyweight on my hip so I asked her.

As someone who travels only by public transportation I can completely understand the frustrations and I’m sure others do too. My biggest gripe is unhygienic people and people who take more then two seats with their bags.

Perfect Match: Why U.S. Open Tennis Is Made For Social Media

This year, the players’ stakes are the highest, with recent shakeups in the rankings and the new largest ever prize in a tennis tournament: a base prize of $1.7 million for the champion. And what is a high-drama sports event better for than social media? Here are the top reasons why the U.S. Open works perfectly for the social online world.

Lessons Learned after 5 Years of Blogging

Ultimately, when it comes to blogging, your audience defines you. There are pros and cons to having an audience of your own. Without an audience, you can do and say pretty much whatever you want with no issues. The larger your audience becomes, the more scrutiny your words are going to receive.

A long but very good read and so true.

Back to School!

To keep things in perspective, I have to remind myself each year that for the new students, things have always been the way they know them. Part of our job as teachers is to widen their horizons beyond what they have always known and thought.