Archive - November, 2010

Reflections and Reviews of Novembers Gone By

At the turn of the calendar, let's revisit some posts from this and past Novembers:

November 2010

Previous Novembers

Inside my head: It's fun for me to travel through the archives, but I also hope that these posts assist both long-time readers and newcomers.  Enjoy – and remember: Blog Posts are Inventory, Blog Sites are Displays




Ideas from Walking the Stacks

2769705905_bcb5037345_m I love walking through bookstores and libraries.  Watching people browse titles, sitting and reading, or (ssshhh?) conversing over their favorite reads is always fun.

Yet, some of the best moments "walking the stacks" are getting ideas. And I do travel through every section.

Ideas jump out in so many forms

  • Book Titles
  • Magazine Headlines
  • Music covers and song titles
  • Tabletop games
  • Tables of Contents of all the publications
  • and new discoveries almost every visit

It's one reason why The Bookstore Lesson is among my favorite lessons.

What do you like best about "walking the stacks?"

Photos on Flickr by me


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Give Your Readers Gifts with Every Blog Post

Among the things the best teachers and literacy coaches share with their readers and writers is the craft of giving gifts to the readers by writing with the reader in mind.

Scanningread In these days of web browsing and internet reading, we should be aware we now live an an age of Skim, Scan, and Save. Whether we like or agree with the practice is moot. Readers of our content are skimmers and scanners.

By writing with gifts, we ensure they get the "take-away" or "money-quote" and help them slow down their reading. This also helps you as the writer, as your words are more likely to be read and shared.

These gifts are what I call eye-rests on the information highway. Much like a long drive on an interstate, these "eye rests" act as rest stops (or at least slow-downs) among the congestion of information.

So what are some of the eye rest gifts you can provide your readers?

  • Shorter paragraphs
  • Bold Phrases (not just a keyword, but a take-away phrase or money quote).
  • Images that puncuate your post
  • Contextual hyperlinks
  • Bullet-pointed lists

You don't have to include all of these "gifts" in one post, but a few gifts now and again sure would be nice – especially in a long post.

As one of your readers, I'm hoping (begging?) for such gifts.

Photo on Flickr by paulpker121


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Operate in Faith and Not Fear (A TEDx Talk)

Let’s hit the ground running tomorrow, hmm?

Scott Rigsby at TEDxPeachtree (Click through to watch video)

Conquer the Unthinkable, Anything is Possible.

Craft Beer: More than a Social Media Metaphor

CraftBeerDisplay So many labels, flavors, manners and mannersisms. And such great words (flocculation)!

Much like social media, the craft of beer has A-listers and Z-Listers, pros and amateurs. And the content creates great conversation.

In my recent move from Iowa to Southern Oregon, I've enjoyed the privilege to work closely with (and learn a lot from) Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer and her husband, Larry Chase (Head Brewer at Standing Stone Brewing Company).

Having immersed myself into the industry, conversation, and publications (and sometimes the actual content) for the past few weeks – I've learned of the great and growing passion and appreciation for the craft of beer and brewing.

There are so many social networking (from Brewery Fans to Beer Mapping Project) and mobile applications available (over 500 apps just for the iPhone), and conferences (Beer Bloggers and Beer Makers), and publications for both brewers (Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing) and consumers (All Beer Guide)

One thing I have seen, and much like social media, is craft beer has no single absolute immutable law to the creation or consumption of the content of the glass. Just bring your passion, your appreciation, your clean palate (and open mind).

Discovery, experimentation, ideation, fermentations and mashups (beer & food combos) are all great fun to listen to and learn from.

To borrow from my buddy Mike Wagner – Keep creating … exciting explosions in my taste buds.

To borrow from my pals Larry and Ginger – Cheers!


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Whistle Stops 11/28/10

Whistlestops_39_3 Whistle Stops are conversations, eye-openers, or tools representing the brain train discovered while traveling along the Conversphere.  From business to education, life hacks to giving back, these are the posts and links that have in some way grabbed my attention this week!


Happy Travels:-)

Small Business Saturday – Not Just a One-Time Thing #SmallBizSat

I have a heart for some of the small rural businesses in our country.

Black Friday and the rush to the big-box stores was in part a reminder of how the rural or small business owners have their work cut out for them these days.

The rural or small business on Main Street, Oldtown, USA? Many face hard times. It's one reason I continue to do single-page websites for rural and small business for $150.

A few years ago, on a drive to a client appointment in Centerville, IA (about 2 hours south of Des Moines) It was early December. Driving through the tiny town of Albia, IA, I noticed that most of the stores had already closed, and the drug store and furniture store were going out of business. It's the holiday season, and they are closing up shop?

In my new home of Southern Oregon, the small communities of Phoenix, Talent, and White City all face similar challenges.

Yet, we can bring hope and keep these fantastic culture building business alive and thriving with some support.

Tisha Oehman of Finding Brand offered me a different and better reminder today. Her piece on Small Business Saturday is a gem, with a clarion call to support these small businesses not just today, but to make every Saturday a Small Business Saturday (a mission and movement for Nov. 27th).

If you are an owner of a Small Business, I'll encourage to read Small Biz Survival and Small Biz Trends on a daily basis.

And as Tisha suggest, let's make tomorrow's Small Business Saturday rock — and then do likewise every Saturday in the future. (Great Idea, Tish)


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Prolificity Trumps Profundity

Especially when you first start out writing, for prolific writing begets profound writing.

Just Spill

Prolificity trumps Profundity.

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Thankful For Things That Happen

4014605524_9f734d6beb_m In this season, we have the chance,
to think on things gone by
Some experiences make us smile
Others we remember with a cry.

Part of living is falling down
A bigger part is getting back up
And really, how do we ever learn
Unless we sometimes empty our cup.

'Tis a choice we have
A choice to look at a thing good or bad
And what better time to reflect as such
For the experiences we've had

So rather than sorrow how things come to an end
Remember how wonderful that it happened at all
All things happen for good, you'll see
Cheers and thanks, live life as it should be- have a ball.

This season, I am thankful for all things that happen




It’s the Holiday Season – for Cocktails & Conversations

271059142_dfa66c153a_m'Tis the season for holiday parties.

Laughter. Libations. Listening

These gatherings often provide a glimpse of the conversphere. A crowded room may have several small chats going on at once.

On the outside of the chatter, the whole sounds like noise. But upon engagement to any of the conversations, you will find out the topic of the talk. You may listen for a bit and join in, or possibly decide to move on. Noise on the outside, Signal upon engagement.

Once you find a good conversation to join, watch how you respond. I'm willing to bet it goes a bit like this:

  1. You listen for a bit.
  2. People begin to acknowledge you've joined in.
  3. You'll silently agree to something with a nod or raise an eyebrow at a point being made
  4. You'll engage with your voice.

It's rare anyone jumps into a circle of talk and takes over the conversation.  As a matter of practice, I will submit the most popular conversationalists are … the listeners.

This holiday season, drive safe and listen generously.

Photo on Flickr by MrGiles

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