Tempting The Past With The Future

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Do you remember the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”?  This goes back to the days when people used to go out to the hen house and gather the eggs that the chickens had laid.  The idea was that if you put all your eggs in one basket and then drop the basket, or the bottom drops out, you lose all the eggs and all your work, and the work of the chickens will have been in vain.  But if you put your eggs into more than one basket, then if you drop one basket you still another basket with some eggs left in it. This cliché is used in life to remind us that that we need to have more than one plan, that we need to have contingency plans (plan B) just in case plan A fails.  Because if you have only one plan and it fails, then you are left with egg on your face and nowhere to go.

So why am I talking about an age old cliché? Earlier today I was sitting outside of a previous place of employment and while I was waiting I posted a question in my Facebook status which asked if I should be wary or skeptical about inquiring about a job which, back in February 2014, laid me off. Basically that was the question or statement. Since then, of course, I have inquired. Where did this impromptu visit stem from. Well, last night after dinner I was looking through job postings on Indeed and Monster and to my surprise I see the job posting. Now, I had been watching this company lately because I had seen other engineering positions post, but nothing related to production, that is until last night. I applied for the position through Indeed and really got to thinking, I need to make an appearance to show my face. Most of don’t remember names, but we almost always remember a face. So, I decided to hand carry a copy of my resume and show my face, hopefully to someone I knew since there have been many personnel changes over the last eighteen months. I was relieved to walk through the door and a dear friend had made all the cuts and survived all the changes. She filled me in on pretty much everything I was asking and so much more. We talked for about fifteen minutes when another familiar face came in. He looked very surprised to see me and also thankful to see me.

We talked. We had an informational talk in my opinion. I know, you want to know, was I hired? No, I was not hired. Why? Because the position doesn’t actually open until the end of the first week of August. But, I do have day to meet with the owner and his son at the end of next week. Yes, with bills stacking up the time seems like years not days or weeks. I had prepared for this answer actually with the full intent that I would carry on looking for work and not putting all my eggs into one basket in hopes that they hire me back. Only thing I have going in my favor at this time is I was the number one application and I gave face time to express my intent and interest. Maybe I was a bit eager or being naive instead of gun shy. I’m not a patient man, I’m not a person who likes to sit around answers or results. But, not working, all I have is time. Anyway, I just wanted to give a quicky update as I promised I would do. I keep my fingers crossed that something will break soon.

I Hate To Say It, But Here We Go Again

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Once again I find myself looking for a job in a sea of opportunity which I don’t have the qualifications for. But then again I don’t have the skills that “most” companies are actually looking for. There are plenty of jobs out in the greater Houston area for $10 per hour and over an hour away, but I can’t afford to take those jobs. So, I have been busy once again over the last three weeks looking for new opportunities. I won’t bore y’all with my resume here, but, if you are in the Houston area (north/ northeast) and looking to hire a disabled veteran and you would like to view my resume, I will gladly email it to you as soon as you send me an email. I don’t know what else to say, this feels awkward in so many ways, like I’m pimping myself out on the street or something. This is probably because I’m not very good at networking with people, when in reality that’s what I should be doing every day all day long. So, if y’all know something and wish to pass it on please email me. I’m return, I will send you my resume, it will come from my personal email and not the email you send your email to. Confused? My email is thestingofthescorpion@gmail.com and hopefully we can connect soon.

Should I Even Call This Mess A “Blog”?

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I suppose by “definition” what I have here could be considered to be a blog. Do you know the definition of blog? The simple version which concludes that a blog is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. Mine does that. I also do allot of Mobile blogging (moblogging), which is a method of publishing to a blog from a mobile phone. A moblog helps habitual bloggers (like myself) to post articles and pictures directly from their phones even when on the move. Mobile blogging has been made possible by technological convergence, as bloggers have been able to write, record and upload different media all from a single, mobile device. Mobile blogging is popular among people with camera phones which allow them to send photos and video that then appear as entries on their blog, or to use mobile browsers to publish content directly to any blogging platform with mobile posting compatibility. In the end, it is convenient because I can do when the moment arises or the thought crosses my mind. There are many advantages to being able to blog from anywhere and anytime. Mobile blogging is particularly helpful to travelers or people on the move when access to a computer with Internet connection may be difficult. The traveler can snap photos and with an enabled phone can easily upload such pictures with text descriptions directly to his or her blog. If the camera phone is equipped for Auto-geo-tagging, the blog may be able to show a map of the locations. With my new phone, (Motorola Droid Maxx),  which is less than a week old, has many new features which have been really exciting as far as being able to keep up with my blog and all the ones I try to visit regularly.

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A majority of the blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes a blog from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers throughout the world. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. I think I’m still qualifying as a blog. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs.

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People have different ideas when it comes to the length of post. Many people advocate keeping it short, however some of the best posts I’ve written or read have been long, some very very long. They were the best because they did not skim the subject so they gave real value and often told their story making it engaging by making a personal connection with me the reader. I believe that the posts that make that personal connection that resonates with the reader get more likes, more comments, and get shared more. Being I post allot of pictures here as well I often have very short posts because the “message” is self-contained in the picture.

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Anyone who surfs the “net” can find that the blogosphere counts several million active blogs offering a great variety of topics and content. The wonderful aspect of a blog creation is that anyone who has a particular hobby, knowledge, passion or a business to promote, can easily do it, and they generally do. I guess, looking back, the danger is starting a blog without a specific plan, target group, and more importantly knowledge of content for which the blog was created. Good content is the most important factor of your blog since not only it is the key to attract readers and turn them to loyal followers but also to increase your internet exposure via the search engines. I don’t look for search engine exposure, meaning I don’t do anything on purpose which gives me a ranking or page position. People just find me one way or another. I follow some basic rules of engagement in order to produce what I consider to be successful content and, at the end of the day, achieve my blog’s goal which is to get read and encourage readers to return back to my blog. Let’s explore my general rules of engagement and guidelines.

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The 10 Rules I blog by.

01. Define your blog and who you wish to target to read your blog. The 1st thing to do is to organize your ideas and define the main topic which will define your blog’s identity.

  • What do I want to write about today? The next day? 6 months from now?
  • What is my target group of readers, follower, and visitors?
  • What type of language should I use to communicate with my readers?

02. Make time to make posts.

  • A blog needs time and efforts to stay permanently active and help you interact on a regular basis with your readers.
  • Don’t risk losing your audience because of a lack of communication.

03. Take time to talk to your audience. Make them feel as though they can interact with you and make sure they get the interaction they are looking for.

  • Having defined your target group of readers, you will need to write in the appropriate tone and style to attract their interest and understanding; imagine having a conversation with your audience and write clearly and simply as if you were talking to them.
  • When I write, I write as if I am talking, whether just out-loud or physically to others.

04. Give your blog and posts a friendly and inviting format.

  • Even if you believe your post is original and really interesting, if it comes in a big block of text, no one will take the time to read it; you need to provide the reader with a friendly post format by separating it into distinct and concise paragraphs, preceded by sub-headings when needed, use bullet points lists where needed (like here with what I’m doing), illustrate it with images, use bold or italics to point out your key elements and you’ll get your reader’s attention.

05. When starting a new post use eye catching and attractive titles.

  • Once your post is written, take your time to come up with a fantastically eye catching title. Your title is how you’ll attract the readers repeatedly. It should directly inform the reader regarding what your post is about, a sort of “summary” of what he/she will read.

06. Be sure to use “tags” which will be effective in relation to your post.

  • Ask yourself which terms are more likely to be used by users when they search for the particular topic.
  • Then make sure you use the main keywords and come up with different variations that are likely to be searched when formulating your tags.
  • Finally try to incorporate the “tag” words in the keywords of your post in order to increase the possibility to be found in the search engines.

07. Update your blog frequently to keep the content fresh and inviting.

  • As mentioned earlier, you need to determine a time plan in order to frequently update your blog, ideally on a daily-basis.
  • This will not only keep the attention of your readers but also it will help you attract more readers and loyal followers to your blog.
  • The more content you produce the more traffic you are likely to get from your readers.

08. Use “social media” buttons to encourage your readers to share.

  • There are many out there, I personally use Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.
  • By setting up an RSS Feed and by encouraging your users to subscribe, you will increase your readers and you are more likely to get more returning visitors.
  • Note that most Blogging engines automatically support RSS feeds, so all you need to do is to place their button in a strategic position in order to help readers subscribe.
  • It doesn’t hurt to belong to a great blogging community either. My personal favorite is Blogcatalog!
  • Additionally social media can drive you lots of traffic and they can help you build steady communication with your readers.
  • Make sure you add sharing buttons in your blog and try to place them too in strategic positions to increase the number of shares.

09. Try to incorporate “how-to” and “top-10” posts on occasion to mix things up and keep the reader wondering what’s next.

  • The how-to guides and the top-10 articles usually become very popular on social media networks.
  • People love these articles and they are more likely to read them, like them, comment on them, and share them.
  • Additionally by creating such content you are more likely to increase your search engine traffic since many surfers search for such content regularly.

10. I have found that proof reading and spell checking are valuable tools.

  • This might be common sense but sometimes we can be so enthusiastic about a new post that we forget to take the time to proof read it.
  • Remember that you may be listed and archived in the Internet along with your grammar, syntax or even informative mistakes.
  • Don’t forget to be honest about what you share.
  • If you have the patience to keep being an active blogger and creating good content, you will be surprised to see your audience growing and your blog getting the success it deserves.

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I have learned over the years that my blog(s) tend to develop multiple personalities and sometimes I need to reel them back in. When I started here at WordPress I wanted to have one blog that expressed ALL of my ideas. I wanted one stop shopping. I combined 6 blogs to create The Sting Of The Scorpion which I feel know encompasses the message(s) I’m trying to express. My blog is very much a reflection of what mood I am in at any particular moment. In the end, it works for me and that results in more mileage for my blog. I am very dedicated to the upkeep and appearance of my blog. This keeps me active here which results in more posts for others to read.

All the pictures and some of this information was borrowed from the World Wide Web to be placed on The Sting Of The Scorpion, because everything else just bites. Remember boys and girls, eat it everyday, and twice if you are up to it.