I’m Your (Twitter) Pusher Mom

Not so long ago I was trembling with trepidation over Twitter. It’s only been a few days, and I’m already hooked. Hooked and recommending it to others.

I’m Your Pushermom

My Push Mower

I’m your Mama,
I’m your Daddy
I’m that blogger

In the alley
I’ll connect you
When in need
Want some clicks?
Have some tweets
You know me,
Get my feed
Your green thumbed

Stumble Mum

I’m your pushermom
I’m your pushermom

Tweak and test, coding clean
Super lean WordPress theme
Dealin’ good, for the brand
Betty Crocker, Take a stand
Quoterati, quickly read

Twitterpated, in the head

I’m your pushermom
I’m your pushermom
I’m your pushermom

Social life online
Woman of many favorites
A diva of social delights
Feed me readers, RSS
And I’ll dofollow all your best

SM traffic is a blast
How long can a good thing last?
Woo-hoo, no…

Got to network it, y’all
Gotta network it, now
Pushermom gettin’ linkin’, y’all

Branding mind, branding sign
Make connections all the time
My profile and just me

For all readers to see
Blogging queen is my thing
Writin’ posts is how I swing

I’m your pushermom
I’m your pushermom

‘Twitters, please’, for a generous post
Make your world what you want it to be
Gotta tell y’all I love community
Wanna give you somethin’ better than time

Been told my voice is fun to read
Can give a readership what they need
I know I can connect, I know I can build it
Just SEO don’t make it
SM, yeah

Got to network it, y’all
Gotta network it, now
Got to network it, now

I’m your Mama,

I’m your Daddy
I’m that blogger
In the alley
I’ll connect you
when in need
Want some clicks?
Have some tweets
You know me,
get my feed

Your green thumbed
Stumble Mum

I’m your pushermom

The Real Pusherman

I Dofollow Comments

My nofollow comment status is coming down.

Dofollow Comments as a Linking Philosophy

A good conversation is worth fistfulls of gofollows or nofollows or any kind of follows. Why? Because people who have participated in or read a good conversation on a blog are likely to come back and do it again. Unlike Search Engine algorithms, people develop loyalties, and blogs live and die by loyalties. Develop the network and the links will come. Use keywords and the Search Engines will also use those keywords – to make sense of the links.

Putting links before people is backwards, especially for blogs.

Risks of Removing Nofollow from Blog Comments

I’ve been thinking of removing nofollow for a while, and I’ve had reservations. I don’t like the idea of being sought out by quasi-commenters who search specifically for dofollow blogs. I imagine them using the search status plugin for Firefox to see just how “dofollow” a blog’s comments are, and deciding to make some lame link drop comment based on that.

I’d really rather never deal with link drops. Ever. Anywhere.

The fact remains that though a blanket nofollow on comments may make sense where comments aren’t carefully moderated and the blog’s owner isn’t around much, that’s not the situation here. I’m in here every day, and I’m a compulsive spam zapper. As as a forum moderator I have some serious practice at being consistently and conscientiously compulsive about such things.

And, the forum thing also has me predisposed to going the extra mile for a readership.

Once in a while someone will leave a comment that has a bit of their heart in it. For that, I’d like to hand out party favors or pour ’em a second cup of coffee, but being as this is a blog and I already serve up full feeds, the tender I’m intending to add to the pot is a little thing known as dofollow.

I’m removing nofollow from the comments on this blog, with some caveats.

Dofollow Comment Spammers Beware

  • I’m not allowing signature links to bad neighborhoods, no matter how wonderful the comment.
  • I don’ wan’ no stinkin crazy quasi SEO signature link text
  • Dofollow only kicks in for those who have been commenting here for a while
  • Last but not least, no “junk” comments. Some kinds of one liners with sig links are not comments.

“Thanks for sharing. Great blog.” Is not enough of a comment to disarm my anti spam radar. Likewise to a “Look here for your answers” that stops short of adding to the conversation here, and links to your own services. If you’re out searching for dofollow blogs that also have green fairy dust page rank, tread gently when commenting. I am a generous linker when someone has established themselves as a generous contributor. Otherwise, don’t poke the bear.

In short, I’m putting Lucia in charge.

Lucia’s Linky Love

Lucia’s Linky Love was is a beautiful dofollow plugin. Check out some of the configuration options:

  • Dofollows are added to the author “name” and links in comment text after a commenter leaves some minimum number of comments. The blogger can set this minimum number to anything between 3 and 10. This encourages regular visitors to comment, but discourages spammers by forcing them to visit your blog many times before they get “dofollows”.

  • Gives peace of mind. Dofollows will not be added to comments left more than 14 days after you published your most recent post. This is a safety feature that prevents your blog from becoming a link farm should you ever be unexpectedly absent from your blog due to illness or any other major life event.

  • The blogger may refuse “dofollows” to “names” that contain too many characters. This can be used to avoid giving “dofollows” to commenters who claim their name is “cashmere dog sweater”.

More About Nofollow and Dofollow

Ultimate List of Nofollow & Dofollow Plugins – Andy Beard’s February 2007 post is still a good resource, over a year later. He has this to say about Lucia’s Linky Love: I was going to liken this plugin to a Ferrari, because it is built to be fast, but it is probably more like a Subaru, not just fast but designed for rugged terrain and can handle the twists and turns of comment spammers without slowing down.

Twitter – A Digital Game of Hot Potato?

sprouted potato

How many dozen screens has this potato passed through since it was last touched by human hands? And yet, in our mind’s eye it’s touchable, as fresh as it was the day it was first “screened.” You can almost smell it.

Let’s Play Pass the Idea

Yesterday I passed on an IM about a Stumble about a blog post about a Tweet, and it was good.

The very concept of passing on an IM about a Stumble about a Tweet, voluntarily, is dizzymaking. A shiny idea-nugget caught my attention, and, ping a ping ping, it was tripping through three screens for me, two of which I changed or created, and then it made a progression through a couple more screens on my chat friend’s end.

On the opposite end of the breadcrumb path, my idea-nugget had gone through several more screens to get to the originating blogger and become part of his blog post. Yon little tweety thing had been quite the traveler, before we even get close to the Tweets that inspired my happy chatty “Oh cool! I know someone who has to hear about this.”

Moving information from person to person is like a digital game of hot potato. In the case of tweets, let’s call it a game of toss the digitater, with many, many branches.

Follow me on Twitter.

Image Credit to ThrasherDave

RSS Subscribers Got Green Hunger?

Recent ups and downs in my RSS subscriber numbers are making me curious. I’m wondering if there is an unmet need for information that would help bloggers who combine “green” or cause marketing with the usual WordPress-and-content stuff.

Early in the morning on April 22nd I published Cre8Green: Small Steps for Big Causes, my Earth Day post. At the end of the day my FeedBurner stats showed a 48% jump in my RSS subscribers, taking this blog to an all time high. I’ve had a few 20% subscriber ups and downs, but nothing larger. 48% is an anomaly.

I followed up with a post I’d been working on about my user statistics, and some of my own attitudes about goal setting and benchmarks. My Bouncing Baby Benchmarks seemed like a safe (and fun) bet. Let’s face it – I happen to know that are a few of you have a high likelihood to be stat-curious.

The day of my stats post, my subscriber number went back down to exactly where I was the day before my Earth Day post. I’ve returned to my previous gradual building, with occasional fluctuations in line with previous my history.

Pure Green Hunger Speculation

Now, statistics are crazy. Any change in a smaller readership looks more important than it is, as a matter of scale. A one-time 48% jump in the subscriber number of a relatively new blog is not as statistically relevant as a trend at a more established blog. The people behind that 48% could have subscribed and unsubscribed for 101 different reasons completely unrelated to each other, or my benchmark thoughts post, or the Earth Day thing.

However, if a demographic slice of blogging greenies are roving around looking for web nerd marketing blogs with a green focus, I’d like to know.

I think that cause marketing has some special challenges and opportunities. Though you could make a case for a cause being just another Unique Selling Position, in cause marketing there is also perhaps a deeper tension around trust. Causes need supporters. Support is in theory altruistic, given freely and linked strongly to trust.

Though the urge to support something good is strong, the backfire can be just as strong if trust is broken.

Cause-related sites that push their issues in an unbalanced way can lose credibility. On the other side of the equation, posturing to seem more attractive to cause evangelists is especially repugnant, and a disappointed evangelist is a force to be reckoned with.

You can be punished for doing wrong, just as much as you could be rewarded for doing what’s right. My intuition is that this would be more intense with cause-related marketing.

Do Cause Marketers Have Special Web Needs?

I wonder if budding “cause” bloggers need extra support, as they deal with both the cause related stuff and the need to learn about what makes a Search Engine friendly site.

I want to walk up to each and every one of the 48% who unsubscribed and ask them what they wish I’d said next. If you happen to be one of them, walk right up to my comments form and tell me and my readers all about it.

Speaking of which, this is a good time to tell me what you want, especially if web dev type blog theme tweaks are part of your needs. I am mapping out the game plan for a series of posts documenting a WordPress theme re-design, using the WordPress Default theme as a base. I will learn from you, with you and for you.

When my theme re-design series is completed it will be available for purchase as an ebook, screen shots and code and all.

This is also a good time to subscribe. The first week of the series, May 11-17, RSS subscribers will receive a special link where they can register to get the ebook for free.

WordPress 2.5.1 Adds Security and Bug Fixes

Whenever WordPress sends out notice that an update includes a security fix, I install it on my own blog right away, for two reasons.

  1. That phrase security fix
  2. I want to know how it acts on my blog, before I need to use it on someone else’s

The folks at WordPress are telling us that WP 2.5.1 includes a very important security fix and over 70 other fixes. They’re plowing through the most annoying WP 2.5.* bugs and improving performance. The security part is what gets my attention:

Version 2.5.1 of WordPress is now available. It includes a number of bug fixes, performance enhancements, and one very important security fix. We recommend everyone update immediately, particularly if your blog has open registration. The vulnerability is not public but it will be shortly.

WordPress 2.5.1

Give wp-config.php a SECRET_KEY

Reading the official wordpress.org blog is a good idea. Sometimes you learn things. Today I found out about the secret keys that are available for WordPress config files.

Since 2.5 your wp-config.php file allows a new constant called SECRET_KEY which basically is meant to introduce a little permanent randomness into the cryptographic functions used for cookies in WordPress. You can visit this link we set up to get a unique secret key for your config file. (It’s unique and random on every page load.) Having this line in your config file helps secure your blog.

Upgrade Advice

Deactivate plugins before upgrading WordPress. Usually, even if you forget to deactivate plugins everything will be OK. However, once in a while a plugin will conflict with an upgrade, and reactivating them one by one will help indicate the culprit.

My opinion is that it is better to drop a plugin than put off a security upgrade. Plugin authors who are actively maintaining their plugin are usually pretty good about speedy updates.

Protect customization. If you use a customized version of WordPress Default or Classic, consider naming your version and moving it into a folder of its own. No matter how careful we all are, there will come a day when something important gets copied over. If your theme folder is not part of a standard WP install, there is no way that upgrading can accidentally copy over your work.

In case you’re interested, I wrote a brief guide about how to use WP Default to start a new theme.

Mom Remodels WordPress

Yup. That’s me. Empty nest and all, I am forever “Mom.”

::waves to a certain grown one who sometimes reads this blog::

I, the Mom afore mentioned, mentioned in my 101 Day Round Up earlier this month that I was up for doing a little documented WordPress theme redesign, starting with the WordPress default theme and working from there, step by step and out in public, if there was interest. Well, there was interest. :-)

This is the plan. I’ll start by installing an almost completely uncustomized version of the WordPress default theme on May 11th, Mother’s Day. Yes, Mother’s Day. Humor me. It’s a statement of solidarity for, um, nerdy mamas everywhere.

What’s the “almost” in an “almost completely uncustomized” installation? Well, besides wanting to keep a few niceties like my FeedBurner link, I was thinking of going to a girly header color for the week of Mom’s day. Hey, it’s my party.

Next, I’ll start making small changes, complete with screen shots and code, on Mondays and Thursdays. I’ll keep writing other sorts of posts in between. That way, people who don’t want to follow a WordPress remodel will still have something to look forward to.

Making WordPress into a real web site

Just customizing a theme is not enough to make a blog into a real web site. I’ll also be adding reviews of some of my favorite plugins, and some mini tutorials on blog basics. Blog basics will include a step-by-step, screenshot-enhanced guide to some of the frequently asked WordPress questions of total newbies, and pointers on a few attributes of full-fledged web sites, such as privacy policies and “About” pages.

Yes, there will be an eBook

After I’m done with the WordPress remodel I’ll offer up the whole series as an ebook. There will be a reasonable fee for the ebook. However (marketing alert) anyone who is subscribed to my RSS feed during the week of Mother’s Day (May 11-17) will see a special link where they can register to get the ebook for free.

Public Project, Public Opinion

Since I’m doing this in public already, I’m going to take advantage of being in front all your lovely eyeballs and ask for what features you’d like to see demonstrated. Leave your suggestion in a comment on this post, and I’ll consider adding it to the list.

Here are some of my to-do notes, in no particular order:

  • Print style sheets
  • Contact forms
  • Spam control
  • Comment policy considerations
  • Privacy policy considerations
  • Custom category pages
  • Adding analytics
  • Adding a favicon
  • Widetizing a footer
  • Going to dofollow
  • Basic blog security
  • Total beginner’s guide to making a blog post
  • Installing FeedBurner

What’s on your to-do list? Or your wish list?

Free Beer? Not From Most Brochure Sites

Yesterday Cre8asite had a brief fling with free beer.

I believe that the ability of a title tag and description tag to pull an unusual number of clicks in the SERPs is one of the most powerful parts of SEO. It can certainly yield traffic, put people in a certain mood… and the search engines might count it as part of the ranking algo.

Here are a couple ideas for “Eliciting the Click”… I hope that each person who reads this thread will ad at least one or two more.

Eliciting Clicks: Free Beer While It Lasts!

“Beer” sent me straight to musing about wanting German beer and a few other things to go with it.

Beer. German. Dark. Yum. With a slab of good cheese and a big chunk of that sour whole wheat bread with the great crust.

Today, wow oh wow, I am having cravings for German beer, a slab of good cheese and a big chunk of that sour whole wheat bread with the great crust.

I would so click on the right beer, bread and cheese title if it were in front of me now.

If I were to put [german bread] [location] into Google and get a good looking local search result nearby, I would so be there to pick up some lunch makings. [german deli] may also do it. An eat-in place or a bratwurst stand would do, too, and some of that warm German potato salad would be nice. I’m ready to buy. Sell it to me.

The wrong landing page would send me back to whatever I already have in my fridge.

Show me the beer, already!

If I were writing a beer, cheese and bread title to target myself today, the cravings title would be a little different than the curiosity title or the research title, and the content would be different, too. Different target audience = different content.

How many small business people who would like to sell me on their beer and cheese would give their web designer latitude to tempt viewers like me, viewers who may have almost pre-sold themselves on becoming customers? How many web developers would go toe to toe with the business owner and tell them that the brochure page they’ve requested is not going to bring home the bratwurst like more and better content could?

Pet peeve alert – Small business web sites being what they are, SERPS are likely to serve up brochure sites that are more about the business than my craving.

A basic brochure site is by nature egotistical. It is about the business. A basic brochure destination might be for a German deli that has a map to their door and a list of their services. I want to assume that a brick and mortar already has a location and business hours, at least. Giving them to me online is offering a convenience, not a strong selling tool.

This is different than a page that would get me in there to the beer and bread and then inspire me to tell others about what a cool thing I’d found. I wouldn’t be going there to worship at the altar of their map and list of services.

I’d want facilitation of temptation. Selling to me is about me and my hunger. Period.

Often, there simply isn’t enough room for a good, deep sell on a brochure site.

Sell me on Satisfaction

You want to sell me a beer and a sandwich? To sell me the sandwich, sell me the satisfaction I crave. Show me satisfaction. Puleeze don’t stop at showing me that you sell sandwiches and have a map to your door. Telling me how good your business is won’t do it either. Show me the sandwich. Show me you believe in that sandwich.


Got both sandwiches and traditional German potato salad? 101 other menu items? Pick a few. Hit me with your greatest hits.

Describe the scent, the sourdough tang, the old family recipe. Tell me you kept looking until finding cheese with just the right old world characteristics. Tempt me with your mustard and gherkins, and tell me why you care about the beer. I want luscious details I can taste, and don’t forget the pictures, baby. Lay it on, like the product would if I was hungry and there in person talking to a sandwich evangelist at your door. Do whatever it takes to give that landing page a quality of experience for the viewer.

While you’re at it, also make it easy to find the map and notice that you can set up an entire beer garden at my next event. The brochure stuff may facilitate, but the greatest hits are your selling points.


Added — Little did I know I was channeling Seth Godin’s blog post from earlier today. He cautions against getting hooked on traffic, and makes some of the same points from my post.

I think it’s more productive to worry about two other things instead.

1. Engage your existing users far more deeply. Increase their participation, their devotion, their interconnection and their value.
2. Turn those existing users into ambassadors, charged with the idea of bring you traffic that is focused, traffic with intent.

From Silly Traffic


My Bouncing Baby Benchmarks

My measures of success are a little different than most blogs. Though I like traffic and subscribers, at least a little, at this point my priorities are more towards personal connection, enjoying writing and the occasional nerd post. I’m all about the personal value judgment.

I did promise some statly benchmarks, so here they be. Get ready for a journey into Elizabeth brain gently seasoned with stats.


Benchmark: I want some. LOL.

Specifically, I want enough to tell what you like and how what I am doing is working. Other than that, I’d rather have a life than put my all into growing quickly. If this blog was all I did, or if there were two of me, I’d be doing whatever it takes to post something substantive five or six times a week for the first few months.

I started this blog not expecting much traffic, and not intending to chase traffic for a while. I, errr, Stumbled into traffic and then I wanted it and watched for it in spite of myself. I started out at absolute zero in late November, and gradually built to about 100 uniques a day by about the end of the second week of February. The third week in February I hit a wall, desperately needing time to myself, posting here only once. Ironically, that week’s post, Creative Blogging: Plans Versus Experience, is still getting a trickle of traffic from Stumble. Nice. I want that, too.

By March 1st I was up to 1,000 uniques a week, and then I needed a break again. No matter how hard I want to push myself here, I also I need to feel free to pull away now and again to, well, incubate elsewhere.

Right now I’m at 250-350 uniques a week, and I try not to worry about traffic, though I check it every day and I’d like it not to go away, please!

For the next few weeks, my goal is to average four posts a week, two of which I have a strong personal connection to, because I want what that kind of productivity does to my readership interaction.

Creative pressure is one nice side effect of a traffic goal. How goals work out depends on what you want, and how you’re wired. I am learning that, for me, writing with a sense of personal connection requires incubation time. When I’m on a roll I’m the ever-ready blogger, and when I need incubation time that’s all there is to it.

Writing for SEO is more straightforward, more of a get it, got it, good: know the audience; pick and research the topic; check the terms; outline the article; check the facts; write the article; re-check the terms. If I were here to to build traffic and sell widgets, I’d map out a framework of SEO-oriented posts and sparingly sprinkle in spirit-connection posts as needed to keep myself sparky and readers entertained.

Bounce Rate

Benchmark: LOL. Don’t tempt me to say anything sparky about the term “bounce rate.”

Are you beginning to see that most of my benchmarks for AbleReach consist of my own engagement?

My bounce rate is ginormous and becoming ginormouser – now up to 83%, after a low of 39% in January. I expected a high bounce rate, because social me has gone after Social Media traffic. Actually seeing it in my stats has been a heart-stopper.

When my traffic was at its highest, my bounce rate was 39% – not nearly as terrible as 83%. My theory as to why is that once Social Media users come to a site they are going to be hungry for more, especially more that is new. So far, it looks like when I have more than one fresh post that Social Media users like, my bounce rate for that day can shoot right down to about 40%. I think that this is helped by adding forward/backwards links between older and newer posts.

It is important to remember that Social Media traffic does not behave like search traffic: Social Media users are grazers, not concrete searchers.

Returning searchers may be coming to a site for the keywords, independent of any loyalty to a site. Returning searchers may be information driven, looking for search terms that they know are covered on a particular site.

My belief is that though Social Media users are attracted by titles and pictures and what their contacts have bookmarked, returning social media “grazers” are more likely to be fans of the specific site. They need to be attracted – a little different from information driven users. We’ll see how that plays out.

Feed Subscribers

I have two personal benchmarks for RSS subscribers:

  1. More, please
  2. Enough subscribers to give me insight on what motivates clicking through to my site. I find motivation to click to be verrry engaging.

My subscription number is a little higher when I have built anticipation of what will be appearing next, and it goes down noticeably when I post less than two or three times a week. I’m learning that I should not promise ahead. Creativity flows, but not necessarily as projected. The best possible situation is to have some “get em, got em, good” SEO-type posts written ahead. I’m not there, yet – LOL – and, until I am, there will be fewer promises.

The momentum needed to build an RSS subscriber base can be grueling. Anyone who calls blogging “passive income” has not done it for real.

Clicks are cool. Feedburner’s graph of RSS users’ clicks back to my site shows a dramatic increase that seems to be paralleling my dramatic bounce rate, click-through volume going as high as 80% of my total subscriber number. This fascinates me, especially since I offer full text feeds. RSS subscribers already have the full text, so why are they coming to http://ablereach.com? What should I be looking at?

Time on Site

Time on site is my favorite statistic. I have no benchy mark for TOS because I can never get enough. TOS can be…. heartwarming, in an admittedly nerdy way. Is “heartwarming” a benchmark?

For instance, my favorite TOS numbers come from my WordPress tutorial pages. It’s very rewarding to look for what pages have the highest TOS and see that users have spent 8-14 minutes looking at a sidebar tutorial. I imagine that they are working through my tutorial, with their WordPress install open in another tab.

My average TOS is just under a minute, with about 1.36 pages per visit, more TOS for returning visitors and less for first-timers. Most posts are too long to read in under a minute.

I have a few theories for the low Time On Site. RSS readers who click through may have already read the page. Sphinn traffic, I am convinced, either doesn’t read or has already read a post elsewhere in feeds or through other social media. Social Media traffic in general can be made up of skimmers who stay just long enough to decide if they wanted to be there at all. When my SM traffic is high, TOS is really, really low. Most of my new visitors are from Social Media. New visitor TOS is averaging about .26 minutes, whereas returning visitors, including SM, average about two minutes.

Though my TOS goals are strictly feelgood, my version of feelgood always wanders over into user experience. For instance, I wonder if my SM TOS will increase if I start adding images to break up the page a bit: would that help skimmers read? So many things to experiment with, so little time.


Got ’em and love ’em, and am always pleasantly surprised.

For a newer blog, comments are like a magical life force. Once in a while I even get personal emails. I especially like getting personal emails on slow traffic days, because they remind me to have faith that my invisible friends are reading and enjoying their feeds.

I enjoy the give and take of comments. Here, I’d like to encourage lower traffic bloggers who want more comments to do three things:

  1. Directly ask friends for feedback – email, chat, telephone, whatever it takes to reach out and touch someone
  2. Be available for the same for them
  3. Leave meaningful comments on other blogs
  4. Link to those you admire
  5. Link to friends and fans
  6. Enjoy the process


For this site, now, my definition of conversion is when readers are motivated to do more than read what is in front of them. For instance:

  • RSS subscribers clicking through to the site
  • Readers leaving comments
  • Readers who Stumble, Sphinn or bookmark

Keeping an eye on what seems to be causing these three things will continue to give me ideas about how to get more of them, as outlined in various sections above. Though my priorities are a little different, I still can use what benchmarks are reported for similar sites to give a heads-up on where I may have problems. IMHO “problem” is another word for “unmet potential.”

Four months into this blog, having identified these three things as “conversions” gives me a frame of reference for measuring success, and that’s what benchmarks are for.

Cre8Green: Small Steps for Big Causes

On Thursday last week I mentioned having a secret. By now you’ve probably figured out that my clue-comment about “cousin Cre8asite in the kitchen with the team” had something to do with cooking up the idea for Cre8Green Week.

A few days ago Kim Krause Berg, our fearless leader at Cre8asite Forums, had an idea. She wanted to loosen our no self promotion rules for Earth Day, to allow us and the community to discuss freely any and all sites, SM networking sites, and projects (profit or not) that relate the day.

I had four reactions:

  1. Oh, I like our Kim.
  2. How can we promote this?
  3. When is Earth Day? That soon?
  4. Good ideas never have enough lead time.

Actually, there was another thought in there: gee, does this mean I’m going to put off my stats/benchmarks post again? Nevermind. Back to business. I have a few ideas to share.

Ideas come at a time of need, not at a good time to start getting ready for the need. Thinking in small steps that are reachable and definable can put doing something about the Big Need Stuff into the realm of the everyday. It’s not like most of us would think, “today I’ll get caught up on the laundry, and tomorrow I’ll be the next Martha Stewart.” Why should that kind of attitude apply to making a difference for a cause?

Real life is more like, “yesterday I brought my own cloth grocery bag, and today I’ll start sending notes to those people whose Stumbles I’ve been reading.”

Goals are about results, but life is about the experience of living. Living is doing, interacting, deciding, and more often than not, going for it though the pieces of a master plan are a little half formed at the time.

I surrendered to going for it.

Soon, I was wrapped up in thinking about community, and how to draw in some of the people I’ve connected with through SU. Some have privately mentioned enjoying participation in Cre8asite in the past, or even having enjoyed my posts there, which is kind of sweet.

Living online can create an invisible extended community, and I was curious about what I could do to bring invisible “friends” into our Cre8asite Earth Day conversations. Even if very few people come out and post, those few will have an encouraging effect.

Social media is about the conversation. I got that one from Li Evans – hi Li! It’s a no-brainer that Social Media is more like face-to-face networking than keyword-driven Internet marketing.

Networking is about relationships. I sent a lot of Stumble messages last week, and this week my extended community has a few members who are less invisible. Life is good.

Marketing is by nature selfish, as far from generosity as East is from West. That’s not to say there aren’t generous connections that can happen in tandem with marketing, for both marketers and “target” audience. Go East enough in this big world and you will end up at West, or some friendly middle place, in the company of marketers who have at some point in the marketing process ever-so-generously connected with what is important on a human level.

Marketers are idea people, and ideas need cross-fertilization. Enter Social Media, and the drive to share.

Real communication is always personal. When I communicate online I imagine shaking hands in a face to face situation, with a real interest in eye contact. This can be disconcerting on my end. I never know if I connect, unless someone takes the time to let me know, and getting people to let me know is hardly the point. It’s not about me.

I think the same can apply to work done in support of a cause: sometimes you just do it, and believe it matters. It’s not about you, and you may never know what effect you have on others.


…one of the charms of an official holiday for something like Earth Day is that the day becomes a public party for those of us who do whatever the cause is about in little ways year round. It’s cool.

So, here’s a shout out for Earth Day, and marketers with heart, and invisible friends of all stripes everywhere.