#Digiblogchat November 30, 2021 (How Play Matters for Kids of all Ages)

Image by Dawnyell Reese from Pixabay

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on November 30, 2021 is How Play Matters for Kids of all Ages! With the holidays upon us, there’s an increase in stress and anxiety, so “Play Matters” seems like a relevant topic. We hope you’ll join us for this chat. 

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PST for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. What ways do you make time in your day for pure fun? #digiblogchat 

Q2. If you have pets, what ways do you play with them? #digiblogchat 

Q3. How do your family/friends spend game nights? Do you have favorite games? #digiblogchat 

Q4. In what ways does play relieve stress for you? #digiblogchat 

Q5. How were jokes a part of your childhood and has that carried on into adulthood? #digiblogchat 

Q6. If you enjoy virtual activities (online gaming), how does that work for you? #digiblogchat 

Q7. How do exercise classes improve your sense of fun? #digiblogchat 

Q8. In what ways do you relax once you’re away from work? #digiblogchat 

Q9. How big a part does fun play at work if you think it’s appropriate at all? #digiblogchat 

Q10. If you had unlimited time, how would that change how much you play? #digiblogchat 

#DigiBlogChat November 23, 2021 (Gratitude Marketing)

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on November 23, 2021 is Gratitude Marketing! 

Image by 4653867 from Pixabay

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on November 23, 2021 is Gratitude Marketing! With Thanksgiving this week, a focus on gratitude and thankfulness seems like a relevant topic, and we hope you’ll join us for this chat. 

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PST for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. How do you thank your coworkers for a job well done? #digiblogchat 

Q2. How much gratitude is enough? How much is too much? #digiblogchat

Q3. What kind of impact does gratitude have on your business? #digiblogchat

Q4. What’s the best way to express your gratitude as a business? #digiblogchat

Q5. What do you think of loyalty programs and do you have a favorite? #digiblogchat

Q6. Give us an example of a time you went all out to thank someone. #digiblogchat

Q7. How is gratitude marketing underestimated? #digiblogchat 

Q8. How powerful is a thank you card when showing gratitude to a business associate? #digiblogchat 

Q9. What is your gratitude language? How do you like to be appreciated? #digiblogchat 

Q10. Is there someone you need to thank right now and how will you do that? #digiblogchat 

Seven Steps to Goal Setting Mastery

You’ve probably set loads of goals in your life before, and, with January coming up fast, you’ll probably set even more of them. But how do you set goals that last longer than the time it takes to write them down? There are a number of steps you can take to give those goals some staying power. If you want to master goal setting, that takes a little more time and thought.

Set your goals to become a goal setting master

Of course, you need to have goals before you can become a goal setting master. So you can start with a big brush and write out some notes before really buckling down. For instance, do you want to improve your health? Write it down! Want to improve your wealth or start a budget? Write that down, too. I’ve written about stretch goals before–you might like the article.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. model

Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. In this MindTools article on SMART goals, the S in Specific is achieved by using similar tools to those a journalist would use. That is: what, why, who, where, and which. So in the second step, make your goals more specific! What do you want to improve about your health? Do you want to lose weight? That’s one of the most popular and common goals for New Years Resolutions.

Make sure you can measure your goal

Don’t just say you’d like to lose “some weight.” Surely you have a number in mind. You can start with a small number and work in increments, too. For instance, how about five pounds? When you reach five pounds, you can reassess. Or maybe that’s all you need to lose, in which case you’re done!

Is your goal realistic?

If you want to become the world champion heavyweight boxer or enter the next Olympics, is that even a possibility? Sure, it’s great to be ambitious, but even the most ambitious person has realistic goals. Again, dividing your long-term goal into short-term steps can really help here.

Timely goals are important

If you don’t give yourself a deadline to get those goals finished, there’s probably no point in having goals! Otherwise, you might be looking at decades before getting your goals done. That’s if they get done at all!

Say them, print them, post them all over

That’s right–you need to make your goals into something you can repeat, like a mantra every day. This is where it helps to have just a couple of goals and not twenty or thirty of them! So print them–on your printer or by hand is even better, and then put them up. How about on your refrigerator door?

Look at your goals every day!

Sometimes I fall down on this one. In the past, I’ve put my goal list into a folder on my desk so I can see them every day. Or, make a shorter list and look at them while brushing your teeth. Whatever you every day, make sure you can see your goals and you can really cement them into your brain.

 

 

 

#DigiBlogChat November 16th, 2021 (Power Searching on Google and Beyond)

Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on November 16, 2021 is Power Searching on Google and Beyond! 

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PST for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. When you really want to find something online, who do you ask for help and how does that work out? #digiblogchat 

Q2. Which alternatives to Google have you used before and how do you find them? (For instance, do you use DuckDuckGo? #digiblogchat

Q3. If you wanted to do a visual search for something, where would you go? #digiblogchat 

Q4. What ways do you have to combat fake news when searching? 

Q5. Have you ever used Reverse Image Search on Google and if so what were the results? #digiblogchat 

Q6. What’s the best place to search for free images for your website or article, and what search terms do you use? #digiblogchat 

Q7. How often do you use a colon within Google search to drill down into a website? #digiblogchat 

Q8. How are you training your apps to search for you? Most social media platforms will serve you more of what you’ve been searching for! #digiblogchat 

Q9. How do people search for and find YOU or your business? #digiblogchat 

Q10. What have you been searching for and unable to find? #digiblogchat

What to Do When Writer’s Block Has Got You Down!

We’ve all had those times when we really feel like there’s nothing to say. Or when you think someone else has already said it and said it better than you! Not every day is going to be a productive day, but some days are terrible! Does that sound like you? Maybe writer’s block is keeping you from even starting on that project! If that sounds like you, stick around!

Review your old posts

Go through your old posts until something makes you look twice. Maybe something didn’t “click” the first time or the images weren’t correct for the post. Whatever it is, revisit it and look at it in a different way. Maybe the timing was off? This kind of review can really assist with your writer’s block.

Sleep on it

Right before you go to sleep, suggest to yourself that you’ll wake up with a topic. This often works for me, especially if I keep a pen and paper next to the bed. If you don’t have a way to record your idea, though, often it’ll disappear into thin air!

Take a walk

If you take your mind off your subject, often you’ll be inspired. A walk or a change of scenery often does the trick! Maybe you don’t like to walk. Then take a drive or call a friend instead. I’ve written about social media burnout before, and you might like that article: Social Media Burnout. There’s a link to forest bathing in it, too.

Eliminate distractions

Is that donut in the kitchen calling your name? Are the kids crying (if you work at home)? Is there loud music somewhere in your workplace? Getting rid of those distractions can often help with writer’s block. I’ve written about writer’s block before. You might like: How to Cure Writer’s Block: 10 Best Ways.

Put the seat of your pants in the seat of your chair

This is the one that has the most impact on me. Simply setting aside the time and writing. It doesn’t always have to be good writing! That’s why ideas like NaNoWriMo work so well! Try it and see if you can write more this November (it’s not too late!). You don’t have to write a million words in a month, but try to write more than you did last month.

Write for 15 minutes

Could you write for 15 minutes? Of course you could! So write in whatever way you want–with a pen, pencil, or keyboard in a Word doc. Whichever way you decide to write, just do it for 15 minutes. Even if you write the same sentence 15 times, it’ll get your brain in the right mode to write and that has to be good, right?

Make an Editing Checklist

Friend Randy Clark has a nifty list of things to watch for in his editing checklist on his article about How to Defeat Writer’s Block. And you might want to read it just because he writes a lot and you could find inspiration there.

 

Search Like a Pro and Save Time: Seven Ways

Everyone uses search all the time to the extent that Google has now become a verb. We don’t even bother saying we’re going to search on Google. We just assume that you’re using Google to search. Google is wonderful and I use it every day, but how can you optimize your search results? And are there other search engines you could use for other purposes? Why yes and yes! Stick around while I help you search like a pro!

Duck Duck Go

If you really want to search like a pro, try asking a 12-year-old. Yes, don’t be so full of yourself that you don’t think you can learn from kids because any 12-year-old knows a lot about how to search and keep it a secret. Want to know about that weird medical condition that you might have? Or want to find out the latest cannabis recipe without being followed all over the internet? Try Duck Duck Go!

Pinterest Search

Say you want to knit a sweater, but you don’t know exactly which one? Get on Pinterest. You can enter something like knitting pattern sweater and you’ll get a visual result of knitting patterns. I’ve written about using Pinterest as a search engine before here: Why Pinterest Isn’t Social Media–and Why It is. But you can also use Google the same way. Try the same knitting pattern sweater and you’ll get similar results in your search. You can narrow your search further by specifying images on Google (click on the images tab).

Google Scholar

Need to combat fake news? You can search for academic studies, articles, dissertations, and abstracts with Google Scholar. Of course, there’s a WikiHow on the subject that can explain this better than I can: 3 Ways to Use Google Scholar. Note: the best way to use Google Scholar is to sign into your Google account. Another note: there are ways to optimize your search within Google Scholar just as there are ways to optimize your search within Google itself. Scroll down in that Wiki article and you’ll see.

Reverse Image Search

This is one of the best uses of technology out there. Go to Google, type in reverse image search, click, upload your image, and voila! Recently, I was visiting a friend and she had been looking for an image’s source for months. With Google reverse image search, we found it in a matter of minutes. Here is how Google explains how to use reverse image search.

Use the tabs to search like a pro!

As mentioned above, you can use the tabs in Google search so that your search is visual. But there are other tabs, too! There’s a news tab, a maps tab, and a more tab! You may see a shopping tab and a tools tab if you click on the more tab.

Use a colon to search on a specific site

We’ve all come across those annoying websites where you can’t find anything! But! Did you know that you can use a colon to drill down in your search? Here’s an example. (And I’m not saying the Homeless Garden Project has an annoying website, either.) Search for the Homeless Garden Project’s store on their site as follows:

store: https://homelessgardenproject.org/

Start with a simple search

Chances are, you’re already doing this. Start with the most generic search and then make it more and more specific. For instance, if you want to know about artificial intelligence and its risks, first search artificial intelligence, then narrow your search further.

 

 

 

 

#Digiblogchat Questions November 2, 2021 (Giving Tuesday)

#Digiblogchat Questions November 2, 2021 (Giving Tuesday)

#Digiblogchat Questions November 2, 2021 (Giving Tuesday)

The Topic for #DigiBlogChat on November 2, 2021 is Preparing Early for #GivingTuesday with @BridgetMWillard and @WarrenLNaida. This year Giving Tuesday is on November 30, 2021. 

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for this Giving Tuesday:

Q1. Do you donate to nonprofits on #GivingTuesday? Why or why not? 

Q2. How do you decide to donate on #GivingTuesday?

Q3. What would make you donate to an unknown nonprofit on #GivingTuesday

Q4. Would you donate to a campaign you see online on #GivingTuesday? Why or why not? 

Q5. Do you have a yearly budget for online donations? When do you tend to spend it? 

Q6. Have you worked with a nonprofit to help their #GivingTuesday campaigns? If so, what was that like? 

Q7. What do you wish nonprofits did better on #GivingTuesday?

Q8. What nonprofit do you want us all to check out?

Q9. What’s the most interesting nonprofit online marketing you’ve seen?

Q10. If you don’t donate financially to a nonprofit, what other ways could you give?

Five Reasons to Have a Home Generator

Friend Terri Nakamura and I have been talking (via tweets, mostly) about home generators and power outages lately. And she said she thought I should write about having a generator, which never occurred to me! But many people could use a home generator right now. If you’re thinking about getting one, here are some reasons you should. While I haven’t written about home generators before, I’ve written about emergencies. You might like How Natural Disasters Can Make Us More Grateful.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that you can keep your appliances going (especially if you have medical appliances such as a CPAP machine), your refrigerated items cold, and your heat on for your babies gives you peace of mind. Now a generator won’t necessarily run everything in your home, but you can get by with one. A whole-house generator will cost you a lot more, but give you even more peace of mind if outages are really bad where you are. For me, a home generator is just the right size.

Climate change is getting worse

When we first moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains, we rarely had power outages. Even though it seemed like we lived in the middle of nowhere, the power stayed on. And even though I could’ve gotten a Tesla Powerwall, I didn’t. Now of course I wish I had! Because they were around $5,000 then and now the price has tripled, if they’re available at all. And our power outages are happening all the time. To give you an idea of how often the power goes out, we sometimes don’t even bother resetting the clock on the microwave after it goes out. If we’re having a bad storm, we’re certain the power won’t stay on, and we’ll just have to reset it again. This time around, the power only went out for a few minutes, but we still didn’t reset the microwave clock.

Independence during storms

As I write these words, we just went through a pretty bad storm. Our area got about 10″ of rain. We were warned to stay off the roads, and watch for fallen trees and downed wires, which we did. With a generator, we could stay home, be able to cook and charge our devices, and stay out of the way of the emergency vehicles. Police and fire departments were out mopping up debris, downed trees, and helping people who got stuck in the storm. Even though we didn’t have to use the generator (this time), it was a godsend knowing it was there .

Five Reasons to Have a Home Generator

Losing food, even if you get reimbursed, is a hassle

You really don’t want to lose everything in your frig. Even if your local power company reimburses you, do you really want the hassle? Filling out forms, saving receipts, and waiting for reimbursements? Don’t we already do that with insurance claims? Who wants more bureaucracy? A generator costs relatively little when you measure what your time and the hassle cost you. Mine cost around $500, by the way. And also, if you don’t have food you’ll have to run to the store during a storm or emergency, which is not fun–and that’s if you can find one that’s open and has the supplies you need. During the early days of the pandemic, some of our local stores didn’t have much fresh food, and many lost their frozen food as well, since they didn’t have backup generators!

You can set up a home generator!

There’s no reason you can’t set up a generator. If I can do it, you certainly can, too! It’s really not that difficult. You may need some additional things, such as the following:

  • A heavy-duty extension cord to go from the generator to the frig;
  • A gas canister (make sure your generator uses the type of fuel you’re buying!);
  • Gasoline or some type of fuel (check which type of fuel your generator needs–I know I said it twice, but it’s critical);
  • Some fuel stabilizer so the gas doesn’t go bad when you store it. Bob Vila has a good article on gasoline and keeping it fresh.
  • A place to store your generator when not in use. You can get a shed if you don’t have an ideal spot to store your generator.Other than the above supplies, a generator is fairly simple to operate.

There are people to help you

Odds are one of your friends in your neighborhood already has a generator and can help you set it up and learn to use it. When there’s a storm, walk around your neighborhood and listen for who has one. There is also YouTube University, where you can learn more than you’ll ever want to know about this or nearly any other subject. Luckily for me, my friend Annie and her wonderful husband offered lots of help. Maybe you have an Annie in your life who could help you! Actually, she volunteered her husband and that worked out perfectly!

#DigiBlogChat Questions October 26, 2021

The topic for #DigiBlogChat on Tuesday, October 26th is Ghouls and Ghosts: Why Automation is Bad, with topic and questions by @AdventureGlass. (Image stolen from Beth Staub’s Facebook page.)

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions:

Q1. The Ghouls: Should you automate content? If so, when and why?

Q2. The Ghosts: By automating, can you miss out on real-time opportunities? Explain.

Q3. The demons: Can reputations be ruined via automating? Any examples?

Q4. The Ghosts: How do most people respond to automation? How do you know?

Q5. The Demons: Does automation foster real engagement? Why or why not?

Q6. More Demons: How about that timing? Any examples of auto posts gone wrong due to disasters

Q7. Ghoulish behavior: When does automating work? Give example(s)!

Q8. Ghosting? Does automation mean set it and forget it?

Q9. Demons? Does automation really save time? How?

Q10. Angels? Can you use automation and gain something from it? How?

What Are Some Good Writing Topics for Transitions?

What Are Some Good Writing Topics for Transitions?

Right now, we’re experiencing a number of transitions. You may be facing some of these transitions, too. So here are some ideas for writing about those transition times. After all, you never know who is handling the same transition. Your words might make a difference for someone in a similar situation.

Transition between fall and winter

It’s not quite Halloween, and the weather is warm during the day but cold at night. So why not write about how to prepare for the upcoming winter season during the quiet time when not much is happening? With climate change affecting nearly everyone, we can all learn from each other. For instance, how do we prepare for flooding if an evacuation is needed? How do you stay on a diet during a pandemic and have a good holiday season? Here’s an article you might like: 10 Social Media Transitions and How to Use them.

Fire and rainy season

Here where I am, we’ve had a horrible fire season. Much of California seems to be on fire. So one transition for us will be between the dry (fire) season and the wet (rainy) season. This upcoming week we are promised an “atmospheric river” with possibly over 5″ of rain. Yikes! Again, why not write about how to prepare for the rainy season? Are there things your readers can do now to get ready?

Time before winter holidays

We’re coming up on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve and Day. So you could write about how to prep for those. What will you say during those holidays? Time tends to speed up during November and December and now is a good time to prepare! Get those articles written, or at least started now. Don’t think you have time? Here’s an article that could help: Time Management for the Busy Professional.

Covid and post-Covid

For most of us, this is a huge transition. And the transition is happening at different speeds for different parts of the country, and the world. Here in California, the transition seems fast. People are almost acting as though there never was a pandemic. You could write about what that transition is like in your part of the country or the world. Or how you wish the transition would be, or how the transition could be eased or improved.

Personal transitions

Have you had a major transition? Maybe one of your parents passed away, or you lost a partner or beloved pet. Chances are, someone else has gone through the same transition. Your words could help soothe someone else. Or your words could help someone know what to do and how to emotionally handle such a transition. For instance, what is the mourning process like for someone who’s lost their partner? That’s a process that we rarely talk about. By the way, I highly recommend the movie Departures, about a Japanese man who is a ritual mortician. Don’t be put off by the subject matter–it’s very sweet! And that was recommended to me by a friend, Terri Nakamura!

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