When is the best time to write? (INFOGRAPHIC)

minimalworkspace6

I write three to five blog posts, articles or columns daily. I write all day but for articles that require deep thought and introspection, the evening hours are best for me. There are little to no distractions. I am usually at home then and it’s dark and still. There are not interruptions from phone calls and emails around then too. It’s the best for me.

I do and can manage writing in the day for late breaking news I want to write about or quick think pieces that need to go out so they can be timely, and capture search traffic.

The mornings are a great time for others. How about you? Check out QuickSprout.com’s recent infographic on the best time to write:

The Scientifically Proven Best Time to Think and Write Creatively
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

 

 

image: Minimal Workspace Tumblr

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Women: How to Create Your Own Corporate Ladder (VIDEO)

Video  Creating Your Own Corporate Ladder   POLITICO.com

Last month at POLITICO‘s “Women Rule Summit“, some of the top, well-credentialed and most impressive female entrepreneurs were on a stage offering advice and sharing their stories at the “Creating Your Own Corporate Ladder” session.

The event was moderated by MORE magazine’s editor-in-chief Lesley Seymour with Hint Water CEO Kara Goldin, Momofuku Milk Bar co-owner Christina Tosi, Bluemercury CEO Marla Malcolm Beck and winery owner Merry Edwards, California’s first woman wine-maker.

It was great. “You can have it all but you can do it in your own way,” was a great take-away. Check it out:


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50 Tips for New Media & Independent Publishers (FREE DOWNLOAD)

digital publishers 1.pdf

I’ve taken my summary of the infamous leaked New York Times innovation report that I previously blogged on here and condensed it into a  more functional ebook format that can be downloaded, put in a binder, photocopied and shared with your staff, marketers and content marketing and promotion team.

All you need to do to access the downloadable file is social share this post. Thanks for spreading the word!
 

 

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8 Interesting Facts about Blogs

im-blogging-this

A short while ago, blogging wasn’t highly regarded. Certainly, no one took anyone seriously if they earned a living running a blog. Several success cases and the fact many news outlets not publish blogs on their sites have changed the game.

Today, blogs are essential for businesses.

Here are some interesting facts about blogs and why businesses should have a blogs along with an informative infographic from BestWebHostingGeek.com:

1. A lot of people read blogs more than once daily.

2. The reading of blogs usually starts at 7.am and reaches a peak period at 10am.

3. While sharing on blog usually reaches a peak at 7.am, comments on blogs hit the highest point at 8.am.

4. The findings of a recent survey reveal that most prefer to read blogs in the morning that at any other time of the day. 79% of the people interviewed said they prefer to read blogs in the morning, 64% have a preference for afternoon, 51% prefer evening, and 40% favor night.

5. Businesses that update their blogs 20 times a month (i.e 4-5 times per week) generate 5 times more traffic than those that update their blogs less than 4 times a month.

6. Businesses that own and regularly update their blogs generate 4 times more lead than those that do not own a blog.

7. Blogs help to influence customers’ buying decisions and purchases. A sampling of customers’ opinion shows that the information on blogs assists 21% of the surveyed customers to make up their mind on the purchase of a product, helps 19% to fine tune their choice, provides answers for another 19%, helps 17% to discover a product or service, and serves as the inspiration for the purchase of a product or service for the remaining 13% of the surveyed customers.

8. Companies that have more than 51% articles on their blogs experience a 77% increment in median monthly leads.

The below infographic summarizes these and other facts:

Interesting-Facts-About-Blogging

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Sorry haters of the selfie culture, we’re not more narcissistic today

images

We’re not becoming more narcissistic as a society as critics of the “selfie generation” often muse.

According to behavioral social scientists, there is such a thing as “normal narcissism” which is unlike the true form of narcissism, which is a verified psychological disorder.

This excerpt from the Penn State University blog explains:

We are, in fact, no more narcissistic than we were decades ago…

“I don’t think people are usually referring to a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) when they toss around the term ‘narcissism’ today,” says Aaron Pincus, Penn State professor of psychology.

“Narcissism has both normal and pathological forms of expression,” he explains. “Most of the recent media coverage has focused on what I refer to as normal narcissism. It’s normal for individuals to see themselves in a positive light and to seek out self-enhancement experiences such as successful achievements and competitive victories.”

It’s also normal to want to show off your accomplishments, he says.

“Some people are focused on these things more than others, and some are self-centered to an annoying extent,” but if they can generally manage these needs effectively and “seek out their gratification in culturally and socially acceptable ways, and regulate self-esteem and interpersonal behavior when disappointments are experienced, that’s not pathological narcissism.”

For instance, there are those who “think highly of themselves and will let you know it,” says Pincus, “but in many cases such individuals are also highly accomplished. I think these are the folks most people are referring to when they toss around the term ‘narcissism’ today.”

Read more about what characteristics do make someone a true narcissist. HERE!

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What tech issues are on the 2015 congressional legislative agenda?

tech

I can’t help but think of that old hip hop group Leaders of the New School when I consider this week’s launch of the next congressional legislative session with a majority Republican House and Senate.

If the past couple of years was defined by stagnation because a divided Congress could not agree, the next two should be different as there is no excuse any longer for the Republicans to not be able to move their agenda forward now they are the leaders of the new school or era.

For those of us who follow tech, privacy, cybersecurity and intellectual property, we should also be on high alert on the new sheriff in town in our world as well: Darrell Issa!

If you thought Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) was known as a bull dog when he headed the House Oversight and Government Committee, can you imagine what he will have in store as chair of the House Internet, Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee?

This week, Issa signaled to the press that he is readying to dig his paws into the FCC and stopping it from what he foresees will be a heavy hand of regulation on Net Neutrality. Issa, who formerly headed of the Consumer Electronics Association before running for office, told reporters while briefly attending the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that he believed “the FCC is exceeding its legislative mandate” and will “be pushing hard against that.”

He isn’t the only one poised to shake things

Over on the Senate side, ranking Senators on the Senate Commerce Committee also have their sights set on net neutrality. Ranking member Senator Bill Nelson and Committee chairman Senator John Thune told reporters that the two are in works to craft language related to net neutrality. It could possibly also part of a Telecommunications Act rewrite and update. (the old one was adopted in 1996). Although he said they’ve just started, he promised that it will be “exciting”.

Well that’s a word you never see used while discussing things like Net Neutrality and Open Internet.

* Cybersecurity and privacy will be fast tracked, especially in light of the Sony hacking and subsequent high-profile hack jobs. It’s an area where there is agreement with the White House and Congress so we can expect movement there.

* Immigration: Visas for tech will be big back in play  They were put on hold after the influx of unaccompanied Central American children diverted attention from Republican initiatives to allocate more visas for foreign tech workers.  Although Obama is big on not out-sourcing jobs to South East Asia, he is also adamant about growing a tech economy and is likely to support efforts that promote that goal.

*Copyright, piracy and patent reform are all topics boiling to the top of the tech agenda.

That’s what I came up with! What about you? What do you foresee topping the agenda? And do you think there will finally be movement given Obama still has veto authority?

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This is what happens when a celebrity discloses she was paid to promote a product in social media

tamera mowry two and fam

Yesterday, with the reaction to TV actress & host Tamera Mowry-Housley‘s sponsored pregnancy announcement, we saw why celebrities avoid disclosing the fact they are paid to promote a product in social media. The backlash when audiences realize they are being paid to influence them can be fierce.

Mowry-Housley has been a spokesperson for the pregnancy testing brand Clear Blue since 2013 . Perhaps part of that deal, she mentioned the brand while announcing yesterday on her Instagram and Facebook accounts that she is expecting her second child with husband FOX News correspondent Adam Housley. The couple are already parents to  2-year old son, Aden.

 

 “We are thrilled to announce we are #ClearblueConfirmed! Can’t wait to meet baby #2! Love Clearblue’s pregnancy test with Smart Countdown. It helped me get through the wait to get my result by counting down with me. #spon,” the co-host of the FOX show The Real captioned her photo.

 Most people simply wished her congratulations but others peppered their comments with criticism over the sponsored share:

“Wow…awful product placement. Will she put ads on her kid when she shows the first photo of him/her?” one comment to an article in PEOPLE about the news stated.

“Was this an ad or an announcement? How much $$$ did she make for this plug? Either way congrats,” another wrote.

“Shamless product pimping,” a UK Daily mail commenter wrote.

Congratulations, although it kind of bothers me she turned her announcement into some kind of ad for clear blue. Js..,” a comment under the former reality-TV star’s Facebook version of the announcement read.

christine teigen

At least one other celebrity, Chrissy Teigen, controversial model wife of singer John Legend,  offered a critical “shade-filled” response in a tweet.

 I wrote about this a couple years ago in March 2013  when the  US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its regulations back then to require celebrities, bloggers and other social media personalities to indicate clearly and explicitly when they are getting paid in product or money to promote a product.

 The purpose, of course, is the interest of transparency and full disclosure so the public is aware they are being influenced by someone paid to advance the brand being promoted.

As a blogger, I have railed for years against the fact that I see so many celebrities promote products daily that they are getting paid to social share with their millions of followers but who fail to abide by the FTC disclosure rules. Yet, despite celebrities’ blatant disregard for the requirements, there seemed to be a focus from that agency to make sure bloggers, vloggers and other rising social media digital influencers are compliant.

Meanwhile, celebrities were violating the rules routinely and there seemed to be no interest in cracking down on them.

Technically, the brands are responsible for making sure celebs themselves do not break the guidelines and they, along with the celebrity, are responsible for any fines or repercussions of the violation.

 Now,  given the negative reaction to Mowry-Housley’s announcement, with some people calling the share “tacky”, it’s easy to see why many choose to just omit the fact they were paid to promote a product or service.

Consumers, apparently,  don’t take too well to paid promotions at all and will be less likely to trust the word of the person promoting the product if they feel there was compensation for it. They don’t find it as genuine. Perhaps it’s the same reason why people get up to use the bathroom during commercials but cannot avoid brands strategically placed on TV shows.

 It also probably has to do with the fact that people gravitate to blogs, online communities and social media to get the “real” experience and find dialogue. They probably find the exchanges there more trustworthy and honest than from scripted prose. It’s the same reason why people prefer the reality TV or non-fiction genre over scripted drama perhaps.

I am eager, however, to see if this announcement and the reaction to it will lead more celebrities and brands to continue to take the risk of an FTC fine by just not following the rules as they are already are.

….Or will it open up more audiences’ eyes to realize that they see thousands of product placements in tweets and IG shares daily and have been obliviously, subconscious and subliminally taking it all in and fine with it all the time.

 Note how audiences are not bothered when it was in their faces.

 So it seems people don’t mind being “influenced” so long as they’re not told they are.

But from the perspective of the brand, any controversy over the announcement is paying off as the news gets picked up and written about by major news outlets. Clear Blue is getting bang for its buck beyond Mowry-Housley’s fans and followers. It’s getting the millions of news media and gossip bloggers readers too.

That’s a win-win for them and perhaps why they made sure they included the sponsored disclaimer too. 

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2015: The new year of Internet Regulatory uncertainty has begun

uncertainty ahead

While many of us were busy wrapping Christmas presents and in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and 9 other Senate members were also busy doing their parts to try to enact new Internet regulations and  impose Net Neutrality principles on the web.

Mid December, lead by Reid, members of the Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.)—who is set to switch jobs with Reid this month on Net Neutrality. [It was also addressed to Republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota , who is slated to become chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.]

Given that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has been gathering information to update the close to a decade-old Communications act, the Senators said they wanted to ensure Reid and Thune move regs that are  “fully consistent with and protective of net neutrality principles.”

Specifically, the letter stated,. “We wholeheartedly agree with Senator Thune’s assertion that any action Congress takes to reform our nation’s communications laws must make sense ‘for today’s converged, competitive, and Internet-powered world.,”  adding that “Keeping the Internet free and open is essential to this goal….The FCC can and should take strong action to protect consumers as soon as possible.  We would forcefully oppose any reforms that would undermine the FCC’s authority to act to adopt meaningful net neutrality rules to protect consumers.”

Sen. Reid, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), and the nine other lawmakers also stated, “to be effective, net neutrality rules must provide maximum protection to consumers and maximum flexibility to promote the Internet economy.”

They pointed out at least four of the, mainly agreed upon, requirements for the new regulations: “they must prohibit fast lanes, prevent discrimination against and blocking of lawful content, prohibit throttling, and increase transparency,.”

[The other Democratic senators signing the letter were Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Al Franken (Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Robert Casey Jr. (Pa.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), and Martin Heinrich (N.M.) but note Cory Booker (NJ) wasn’t a signatory]

They stopped short of asking for Title II regulations imposed on the Internet which would be a disaster as the vibrant Internet economy, as the senators addressed, can not and should not be weighed down by a nearly 20 year old law that existed when the Internet was in its very nascent stage.

Still, we must applaud efforts to move the ball forward so there isn’t endless back and forth on this issue to the detriment of web-based start ups and entrepreneurs after seed and venture capitalists that are nervous amongst uncertainty.

Promoting the net is another agreed upon goal for all parties.

It is key to note that the Senators also acknowledged in their letter that the Internet is responsible for $684 billion dollars in revenue-generation, a generous 5% of the nation’s economy and lead to the employment of $466K+ people in the tech sector from 2007 to 2012. There was a mention of the interest of permitting consumers (and innovators) to have maximum flexibility and optional.

While there isn’t too much disagreement regarding throttling, discrimination and blocking, I still am anxious and worried.  

With each proposal that gets presented, we will see more flexibility and creative options which is good.  But I note how several have already circulated and were batted down because of the fact they were incomplete, infinite and dependent on unknown factors, including some that may be unforeseen given the rapidly changing nature of technology.

The reason why the risk of uncertainty is so high is because as soon as regs are put in place, innovation and ingenuity may quickly make them outdated.

 My other  fear is it that all this uncertainty will not only lead to litigation, but will also drive investors away from new and up and coming Internet-based companies. The vets, with already established cash flow and presence will do fine, but what about the rising next generation?

Further, with mention of flexibility from the Senators’ letters, I also think of the various different broadband access options that other nations and economies are experimenting with to increase adoption by underserved and unserved markets. Flexibility must not flow in one direction if our goal is to enhance and advance maximum adoption and ensure that the majority in our population is connected and exploiting all opportunities.

We are starting this new regulatory era full of options, which ordinarily is a good thing unless they create an environment for stagnation that may leave a once open and vibrant ecosystem stifled and weighted in uncertainty.

See the complete letter HERE!: 

2014 12 18 to McConnell Thune Net neutrality MC Joint EC

Read and share your thoughts below:

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Brainstorming 101: How to come up with new ideas

brainstorm

The first of the year is a good time to refresh and switch things up for your blog or website.  You can get someone else to re-design your layout or you can come up with new ideas on your own. But if you are not good at coming up with novel new concepts, you’re going to have to brainstorm. But what if you cannot brainstorm? WowItsNews.com came up with a strategy:

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU BRAINSTORM 

You don’t have to be creative. Some people are brilliant and some have to work hard at it. Brainstorming trains your brain to think creatively.

  • Forget about the practicality. It’s quite easy to think of an idea and dismiss it quickly because it sounds too dumb, outlandish or impractical. Write it ALL down. Many times the “outlandish” idea ended up working—or at the very least served as a springboard to an even better idea.

HOW TO BRAINSTORM:

Don’t confuse brainstorming with a plain ideas generation. Those are great too but sometimes our brains need a little more hand-holding. While you may picture a brainstorming session as the idea frenzy where ideas just magically pop out of your brain and onto paper, getting to that point may require a little bit of practice. I’m here to walk you through it so you can unlock some brainstorming awesomeness of your own.

Read more at here!

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20 Inspirational Home-Based StartUp Workstations

 

minimaldesk

I am a minimalist. I detest clutter. I constantly re-arrange my workstation throughout the day to eliminate tiny messes that may  crop up. Blame my Type A personality, on my being a Virgo or the eldest child, but I function best and am most productive when there is no dishevelment within my line of vision. Unfortunately, as a home-based entrepreneur who currently shares her office space with the rest of her family, you can imagine maintaining the balance and neatness is a challenge.

However, as a holiday gift to myself, I have decided to invest in a new workspace situation and am actively scoping design and home magazines and websites for ideas and inspiration.

Here are 20 of the best minimal workstations I encountered in my research that I truly love and thought to share.

Which one is your favorite?

mimial workspakce99

minimal workspace 9

microstartup

 

micro minidesk

 

 

minimaldesk4

 

minimal desk8

minimalworkspace6

minimal workspace 7

ivanka workspace

 

dumbo


best work space

best workspace 5

best workspaces

The sandbox

minimial desk 90

 

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

minimal89

minimal fengshui

workspace

 

sources:

http://lifehacker.com/5735033/the-home-office-sandbox

http://lifehacker.com/the-eye-level-workspace-1646912230

http://thenextweb.com/us/2012/03/22/dumbo-startup-lab-expands-as-brooklyns-tech-scene-grows/

http://minimaldesks.com/post/96022668551/reader-ayn-submits-his-startup-workspace

http://www.kaskus.co.id/thread/517cf56e2575b41341000005/workspace-meja-kerja-para-graphic-amp-web-designer

http://inspirationhut.net/inspiration/taipei-apartment-transformed-functional-studio-residence/

http://theultralinx.com/2014/04/70-inspirational-workspaces-offices-part-21.html

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