Sunday, February 19, 2012

Social Media, A Work in Progress

Social media.  I am starting to learn, if only a little bit, how to use social media, thanks to Chris Pirillo and his band of Gnomies at  I joined the Gnomies about three weeks ago, and I have picked up a couple of tips which I am actually using in my blogging, postings, and re-tweets.  It is both something and amazing to see these tips actual work.  How about that.  They know what they are talking about.

There is more to blogging than actually writing the blog.  Before I added ads to my blog (so far I have made nothing by having ads on my blog), I would send out emails to my friends and relatives with a link to my latest posting of my blog.  We are not talking about a lot of friends and relatives, but still, I was not getting a lot of reads of the postings.  I did not start blogging to get rich or famous.  I started it as a way to express my thoughts and feelings.  If anyone read it, great.  If not, that was okay, too.  However after a while, I began to think it would be nice if more people read my stuff.  That is just human nature.

Since I now have ads on my blogs (I actually have two blogs, one for Geeks and one for non-Geeks), I can't send out links to my blogs via email since that is self-servicing (because of the ads), and the blog postings may be unwanted, like spam.  I send out links to my postings via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.   If a person wants to read my blog, that person just has to click on the link.  Otherwise, the link can be ignored.  I would send out the links after hitting the publish button, and again wait for the "pageviews" to climb in number.  Guess what, the number of pageviews was about the same.

Then I noticed on Twitter that I would see tweets from Chris Pirillo about a blog posting or a Lockergnome article more than once in a day and on different days.  Then I saw a Lockergnome article that talked about posting more than once on Facebook, maybe once every other day, and maybe on certain times of the day.  When you think about it, with all the postings that are on social media, it is very easy to miss postings from people even if you are looking for them.  Therefore it makes sense to post your links more than once.  You don't want to do it too often however.  The research in the Lockergnome article indicates the more postings you send out, the fewer likes, and the fewer pageviews, you get.  As a result of my posting my links more than once, my pageviews are up.  Granted, the number of pageviews are also going up because I have a larger audience now, the Gnomies.  However yesterday, I sent out the link to a posting that was a week old.  Not only did I get a bigger spike in my pageviews, but one person left a comment on that posting.  I sent her a comment back, and that provided me with an opportunity to engage with that person, something any writer enjoys doing.  Can't beat that.

Another tip I have received from Chris Pirillo is to add a comment to the posting when you send it out.  It is like a tease to a newscast.  I have started to do that not only when I send out the links to my postings, but also when I send out a link to an article I have just read and liked.  I am starting to see that people are more inclined to read and comment about an article if you give them another reason for them to read the article than just the title of the article itself.  If they do comment on the article, I will comment back if appropriate.  It is another chance to engage with someone.

As you can see, this old dog can learn new tricks.  I am learning a lot from the Gnomies, and I am looking forward to learning more.  I am even starting in a small way to offer my own opinion to the group.  Even Chris Pirillo knows who I am (I am the person who is always asking for help).  It is great fun to learn, to teach my GED students, and to write.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Simple Fix for a Slow PC

A couple of weeks ago I joined a business and tech group called Gnomies.  This group is led by Chris Pirillo, a well-known tech and entrepreneurial expert.  If you want to know more about Gnomies, go to

This blog posting is not about Gnomies per se.  This posting is about a tip that I heard from a couple of the Gnomies a few days ago, a tip that I have used before but had forgotten about.

In the process of joining Gnomies, I have been adding some software to my laptop to enable me to converse live with the Gnomies and see the Gnomies and be seen.  As a result, some shortcuts have been added to my desktop.  I already had quite a few shortcuts on my desktop, so my desktop was becoming cluttered.  I heard these two Gnomies say that they don't have any shortcuts on their desktops, that it is just as easy to hit the start button on the bottom left of their screens and access the programs from there.  That also reminded me that having a cluttered desktop can slow your system down since Windows checks the shortcuts on a frequent basis.  I have noticed my system has been slowing down, especially lately with the additional shortcuts.  Last night I decided to do something about that.  I deleted all the shortcuts from my desktop, and now I see a noticeable difference in the response of my system.  It is taking less time to start my laptop, and my system seems to be quicker in loading and running programs.  I am glad the Gnomies had reminded me of this tip.

Deleting shortcuts will not solve every speed problem on a PC, but it certainly is an easy fix to try.  It is another reason I am glad I joined Gnomies.  This organization is dedicated to helping the members, helping each other in both tech and non-tech ways.  Even Chris Pirillo, the lead Gnomie, has found time to help me on more than one occasion.  This posting is an small attempt to return the favor and try to be on the giving end instead of the receiving end of help by Gnomies.  After all, I am one, and I am happy to be one.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Is Vista Really That Bad?

I have been using the Windows Vista operating system for sometime, and I have not found it to be a bad system.  I have never had the dreaded "blue screen of death", which indicates that there is a very serious problem with your PC.  I do not seem to be having any other serious problems with Vista.  Maybe I am just use to them, and thus they, if any, don't bother me.  I have wanted to install Windows 7 onto my laptop because I have heard that it is an excellent operating system, but other priorities have prevented from me doing so.

Vista made a bad start when it first came out.  There were problems installing it.  There were problems running it.  There were a lack of compatible drivers for the PCs to interface with other equipment, like printers.  Thus it has a bad reputation.   I did not get my current laptop until about a year later or so later after Vista came out.  By then most of these problems had been resolved.  Thus I have not seen or endured through any of Vista's initial problems.  There is nothing wrong with Vista now that makes me want to upgrade to Windows 7.  It would be nice to have the enhancements of Windows 7, but Vista is running fine on my PC now.

Given that my experience with Vista is not unique, it goes to show you how important first impressions are.  Vista did not have a good first impression, and it is still paying for that.  Windows 7 made a good first impression (Microsoft certainly learned its lesson), and it has a good reputation.  I have been told that I should always make a good first impression.  I guess that adage applies to operating systems as well.