Posts Tagged With: direct communication

Day 1071: Freshly pressed

WordPress recommends five ways to get freshly pressed, as follows:

Each weekday, we select about ten new blog posts for the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress.com homepage. These posts represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire.

Getting promoted to Freshly Pressed is a major traffic win because WordPress.com receives a high volume of page views. And, we have a feed set up so people can subscribe to Freshly Pressed. Why do we do all this? It’s our way of saying we like you. We really like you.

So, by now you might be wondering how to get featured. It’s all about the content. Here are five bits o’ advice that will increase your chances of landing on the homepage:

1. Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.

Each post that makes it to Freshly Pressed contains original content created by the WordPress user. Bad stuff includes (but isn’t limited to) plagiarism, hate speech, fear-mongering, adult/mature content, improperly used images that belong to someone else, spam or content that is primarily advertorial.

2. Include images or other visuals.

Although not every topic can be illustrated, we believe most blog posts can and should have a visual element. We like original images (meaning, your own), but if you don’t have any of your own and decide to use someone else’s, be sure you properly credit the original source. Video rocks, too. You may get a request from us to add an image before you are promoted to Freshly Pressed — the faster you can respond, the more likely we’ll put your post on the homepage.

3. Add tags.

We find new posts by surfing the tag pages. If you don’t use tags, we can’t find you and how sad would that be? Also, don’t use tags that are too obscure (“beauty tips from the ancient world”) but rather more common tags (“beauty,” “history”).

4. Aim for typo-free content.

We know, we’re human, too — errors happen. We recommend using our Proofreading feature before you hit “publish.” If you’ve got a few typos but we really like your post, we may ask you to fix them. In most cases, we’ll put your post on Freshly Pressed after you’ve made the changes.

5. Cap off your post with a compelling headline.

Your headline needs to stand out. Avoid swear words, excessive punctuation or vague statements. We love a clever headline, and that’s often the reason we click on your article in the first place.

Examples:
Good headline: I Won the Lottery and You Didn’t!
Bad headline: U Loserz, i WON!!!!!11!

Go Forth and Create

So, that’s it! Once you’ve been promoted, you’ll receive an email from us, and you also will notice your page views and comments increasing. Enjoy the ride! You deserve it!

As far as I can tell,  I’ve been following this advice every day since January 1, 2013.  Why, then, hasn’t WordPress said that they like me, they really like me?  Is it because my tags are too uncommon? My headlines not compelling enough?

Actually, why am I asking you?  As I recommend to people in group and individual therapy, direct communication is best.  So I suppose I should ask WordPress why I have yet to be freshly pressed, after 1070 consecutive, free-of-bad-stuff-and-typos days.

In the meantime, though,  I’d better include some images or other visuals in this post:

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Which of those photos seem the most freshly pressed, to you?

And, since WordPress says “Video rocks, too,” here‘s a rocking video for today:

 

Happy  Hanukkah, Chappy Chanuka, and fresh pressings to all and to all a good day!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 611: Saying No

Two days ago, I showed photos with No’s, including:

IMG_8572 IMG_8584

IMG_8576

If you checked my tags for that post — Day 609: Invisible —  you would have seen this one, at the end:

What trees might feel about being cut down

Just now, I added another tag, there:

What trees might say about being cut down

Does everybody know what a “tag” is, in the world of WordPress?

If you said “No,” here’s some information about tags:

Tags provide a useful way to group related posts together and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Tags also make it easier for people to find your content. Tags are similar to, but more specific than, categories. The use of tags is completely optional.

If my new tag had made more than fifteen tags for that post, I would have said “no” to another tag.  Regular readers might be surprised at my saying “no” to a list entry, because I never say “No” to a good list.  However, my memory is that  WordPress says “No” to excessive tagging, and I quote:

Your posts will appear in the topic listings of any tags or categories you use. Therefore, assigning tags and categories to your post increases the chance that other WordPress.com users will see your content.

However, you don’t want irrelevant content showing up on the topic listings or search, and neither do we. That’s why we limit the number of tags and categories that can be used on a public tag listing. Five to 15 tags (or categories, or a combination of the two) is a good number to add to each of your posts. The more categories you use, the less likely it is that your post will be selected for inclusion in the topic listings.

Hmm. I could have sworn I saw a more direct, obvious “No” about using more than 15 tags at WordPress. My memory is that WordPress told me that if I used more than fifteen tags, all my tags would become invisible. Let’s see if I can quickly find something about that.

No.

It looks like I may be starting a false rumor (something I always try to say “NO!” to).  While I may have a distinct memory of seeing a firm WordPress “NO!”  to more than 15 tags, here’s what I just found:

Is there a limit to the number of tags I can have?
Yes, the sky. In other words, no.

So if there ever was such a tag-limiting rule, WordPress has said “No” to such limits.

I like WordPress’s answer  to its own question about tag number limits, especially because it includes “no” AND its opposite “yes.”

Is everybody with me?

I’m guessing I got some No’s in response, there.

What else do I want to tell you — about “Saying No” — right now?

  1. Yesterday, my downstairs neighbor, Karen, said “No” to my assumption that the tree in back was being cut down that day.  The tree has a one-week reprieve and will get its final “No” next week, on September 9 (my late father’s birthday).
  2. Yesterday, I set limits with somebody at work, saying a firm “No” to attempts  to push boundaries with me.
  3. Yesterday, people at work said a resounding “Yes!” —  with no “No’s” I could hear — to a proposal I’ve made about improving the delivery of behavioral health services at the hospital’s primary care practice.
  4. Yesterday, I found out (from a third party) that a person, outside of work, who had contacted me about a possible “Yes” to something I want, has decided to say “No” … and is taking their time telling me “No” directly. (This is a style of communication I say “NO!” to, whenever possible, and which I’ve written about here, here, here, AND here).

Is all of that clear? I would assume No, since I need to be unclear about details here, sometimes, because of confidentiality and other issues.

I would love to say “YES!” to clarity at all times, but I’m doing the best that I can.

Is it time for me to end this post?

Not yet.

Today is the day my 16-year-old son, Aaron, returns to school.

Based on past experiences, I’m assuming he might want to say NO!! to all that.

Here’s some actual dialogue we just had:

Me: Do you feel okay?

Aaron: No.

Me: Is there something I can get you?

Aaron (who usually says “No” to breakfast): Yes.

Me (expecting to hear “No” to this next question): Do you feel ready for school?

Aaron: I guess.

Me (after I put breakfast out for him): Is there anything else I can do?

Aaron: Probably not.

Here’s a photo, I just snapped, of Aaron eating some friggin’ thing:

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If you’re wondering if I have any negative feelings, right now, about anything I’ve mentioned in this post, the answer is

No.

Finally, here are some things I saw yesterday, which might get a “No” and/or a “Yes” from you:

IMG_8615 IMG_8616 IMG_8617 IMG_8618 IMG_8619 IMG_8620

How might I respond to those signs?

Guess.

Thanks to Aaron, to WordPress, to those who tag (in any form of that word), to people who say “No” and “Yes” as best they can, and to you, especially, for saying “yes” to this post, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, pride | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 604: Direct communication

This morning, I would like to present some random thoughts I’m having about direct communication.

I need to warn you, before I begin, that there ARE obstacles to direct communication, here and elsewhere, including

  • the wish to avoid hurting somebody’s feelings,
  • confidentiality issues,
  • uncertainty about what is appropriate to reveal in different circumstances with different people,
  • realizing that people can be uncomfortable with direct communication, at times,
  • the fact that direct communication is not easy and takes practice, and
  • confusion about what direct communication actually IS, especially if it wasn’t practiced much by the people around you, when you were growing up.

I want to be direct, now, and share with you, if possible, a simple definition of direct communication.

Okay, I’m having trouble coming up with this, right now.

Maybe an example would help.

Nope, I’m having trouble with that, too. All my current examples have to do with issues at work and in my personal life, and I don’t feel comfortable revealing any of them, in the blogosphere, right now.

I want to talk directly to the people involved, before sharing details with you.

It might be helpful — and it might give this post some more direct value —  if I check my past blog posts, to see if I’ve written about this before.

Aha!  I have! Approximately 225 days ago (but who’s counting?), I published Day 375: Direct Communication.

I’m skimming that post now (with one eye on the time) and wondering this: “How direct was I being in THAT post?”

OMG!  I just realized — as I was linking to THAT post — that we have an unprecedented three-fer or three-peat, ladies and gentlemen, here in the Land of Living Non-Judgmentally. To be more direct, I  wrote ANOTHER post with the same title, over a hundred days before that one:  Day 172: Direct communication.

I just skimmed that earliest of my Direct Communication posts  and I directly want to say this:  I recommend that you read that one. It’s short, to the point, and helpful, in my opinion.

But of course, I wrote all of them, so how credible is my opinion, in this case?

What else would I like to directly communicate to you, right now?

Just this: I’ve learned something, this morning. Direct Communication is an ongoing issue for me. That is, I  still have much to learn about this, before I am done.

How do I know?  Well, to communicate as directly as I can:

I keep writing about it here, don’t I?

I’m not sure what I’ll be able to directly communicate, now, with recent photos from my iPhone, but here goes:

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Love,

Ann

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 375: Direct Communication

I am having lots of thoughts, right now, about the topic of “Direct Communication.”  The challenge (as usual) is translating those thoughts into a blog post that’s coherent and enjoyable (enough), today.

Allow me to start out with a short trip down memory lane — that is, a return to yesterday’s blog post, called “We’re doing the best we can.”

In that post, there was (at least) one thing I communicated indirectly.  Because direct communication is very important to me,  I will be more direct about this, right now:

I wanted you to notice my cool umbrella, in yesterday’s post.

Here’s a photo of this umbrella, which I have been enjoying for many years:

Image*

I have been considering featuring that umbrella in a blog post for many months, because it always cheers me up.

Yesterday, I was hoping that somebody would notice that umbrella (which appeared in two, very similar photos). However, nobody commented on it.

Here’s  one of the photos from yesterday, which included the umbrella.

Image

I don’t want to indulge in the human cognitive distortion of mind-reading, but hey!  Why should I be any different from anybody else?  Here are my guesses as to why nobody noticed that umbrella in yesterday’s photos:

  1. The umbrella is being upstaged by Fenway Park.
  2. Those aren’t great photos of the umbrella. Maybe the umbrella isn’t even recognizable there, but hey! YOU TRY taking a good picture when it’s freezing, the light sucks, you don’t want to be late for work, and you’re trying to capture a favorite ballpark and umbrella, while balancing an iPhone, your mittens, AND that friggin’ umbrella! **

Ahem.

Please forgive the somewhat hostile tone of #2, above, which is most likely due to the cognitive distortion of Mind Reading (see here for the complete list of those common judgmental ways of thinking) and perhaps other things, too.**

What was the topic of today’s blog post, again?   Oh, yes, direct communication.

At this point, I wanted to look at what’s been getting in the way of my direct communication about my umbrella:

  • Sometimes, being coy can be fun.
  • Saying, “Look how great this is!” can feel uncomfortable, especially if it’s about something of yours.

Also, when I’ve considered being more direct about that umbrella, before — that is, featuring it more prominently in its own blog post —  these things have gotten in the way of that:

  • Hassles, discomfort, and absent-mindedness (I write my blog posts in the morning and my umbrella lives in my car).
  • Superstition (it’s bad luck to open an umbrella inside).

What else did I want to tell you about direct communication, this morning?

Just this: I’ve been thinking about something my son told me, after he had his teeth cleaned for this first time by my new dental hygienist.  (I wrote about my first visit to her, here.)

My son told me some very positive, flattering things she said to him, about me.

Now, this dental hygienist, named Michel,  is a very direct person, I think. That’s one of the things I really like about her. However, I was surprised by what she said to my son, about me. As a matter of fact, some things were SO positive,  that I’ve been holding on to them, as gifts, to help me feel more confident and secure, and to help me replace old, negative (and very common) types of self-judgmental thinking.***

So I wonder why she told my son these positive things, instead of telling me?

I will tell you this: Despite Michel’s directness (which I’ve observed in other ways), she did a similar thing about praise, regarding my son. That is, the next time I saw her, she raved about how wonderful HE was.  But she didn’t tell him.

I think there are lots of reasons why people don’t communicate directly, including their positive thoughts about other people.

I might wish other people would be more direct, more often, because I think that helps.

However, I believe that everybody — including Michel — is doing the best that they can.****

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is something else I wanted to communicate directly, in yesterday’s blog post.

Thanks to all who are doing their best at communicating directly AND to my wonderful readers, whom I probably don’t praise enough (which would include you, y’know).

_________________

* I found this photo through Google Images, which informs me you can find this umbrella many places, these days, like here.

** Regular readers of this blog might have considered another Usual Suspect: hunger.

*** Hey!  I’ve now linked to the same page three times in the same blog post!  A new personal record!

**** Which does NOT mean that people can’t improve, grow, mature, evolve, and get better in many ways.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 28 Comments

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