“Tweet”, “Viral” Top List of Banned Words, Again

For yet another year, terms used in the world of social media have become far too prominent in society’s everyday lexicon. At least that’s according to a Michigan school’s annual list of banned words, in which ‘viral’ was the most loathsome term uttered throughout 2010.

Since 1976, Lake Superior State University has released their much anticipated list on New Year’s Day. People from around the world submit entries to what is officially called ‘The List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.’ Every year the list captures the attention of the nation, accurately calling out phrases that have become meaningless and annoying. For a second straight year, social media has made words that once clever or creative, now are ugly and banal.

The call to ban social media terms from last year simply failed, so to speak.

This year ‘viral’ led the way in popularity, or unpopularity as it were, based on more than 1,000 submissions. “I knew it was time when the 2010 list of banished words appeared in Time magazine’s, ‘That Viral Thing’ column,” wrote in Dave Schaefer of Glenview, Ill.


For yet another year, terms used in the world of social media have become far too prominent in society’s everyday lexicon. At least that’s according to a Michigan school’s annual list of banned words, in which ‘viral’ was the most loathsome term uttered throughout 2010.

Since 1976, Lake Superior State University has released their much anticipated list on New Year’s Day. People from around the world submit entries to what is officially called ‘The List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.’ Every year the list captures the attention of the nation, accurately calling out phrases that have become meaningless and annoying. For a second straight year, social media has made words that once clever or creative, now are ugly and banal.

The call to ban social media terms from last year simply failed, so to speak. 

This year ‘viral’ led the way in popularity, or unpopularity as it were, based on more than 1,000 submissions. “I knew it was time when the 2010 list of banished words appeared in Time magazine’s, ‘That Viral Thing’ column,” wrote in Dave Schaefer of Glenview, Ill. Leer más ““Tweet”, “Viral” Top List of Banned Words, Again”

William Zinsser’s 5 tips for becoming a better writer

William Zinsser has spent a lifetime teaching people how to become better writers. Now at 88, the author of “On Writing Well” is just as much a student of the craft as he is a teacher.

He’s finding ways to remain relevant as a writer in a digital world because, as he says, he “doesn’t want to get stuck in the 20th century.” About a year ago, he decided to set up a personal website and start a weekly blog for the American Scholar. He still teaches at The New School and Columbia University‘s graduate school of journalism and spends much of his free time reading and writing in his New York City apartment.

In a recent phone interview, Zinsser talked with me about the craft and shared these five tips for journalists who want to grow as writers. [Más…]

Learn to take readers on a journey

Some of Zinsser’s favorite journalists are The New Yorker’s Mark Singer, Lawrence Wright and Jane Mayer, who he taught years ago at Yale University. He’s drawn to their work, he said, because they approach writing as an act of discovery.

“All writing to me is a journey. It’s saying to the reader, ‘Come along with me; I’ll take you on a voyage,’ ” Zinsser said. “These writers do that by never losing sight of the fact that they are telling a story.”

Too often, Zinsser said, people become so preoccupied with writing well that they clutter their stories with unnecessary words that lead readers astray. Good writers make every word count, and they avoid abstractions.

“Nobody wants abstractions,” Zinsser said. “They want specific details that help them discover something new.”


Mallary Jean Tenore by Mallary Jean Tenore
http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/112132/william-zinssers-5-tips-for-becoming-a-better-writer/

William Zinsser has spent a lifetime teaching people how to become better writers. Now at 88, the author of “On Writing Well” is just as much a student of the craft as he is a teacher.

He’s finding ways to remain relevant as a writer in a digital world because, as he says, he “doesn’t want to get stuck in the 20th century.” About a year ago, he decided to set up a personal website and start a weekly blog for the American Scholar. He still teaches at The New School and Columbia University‘s graduate school of journalism and spends much of his free time reading and writing in his New York City apartment.

In a recent phone interview, Zinsser talked with me about the craft and shared these five tips for journalists who want to grow as writers. Leer más “William Zinsser’s 5 tips for becoming a better writer”

Deconstructing Your Social Business Plan For 2011

It’s 2011 and as you gear up for planning initiatives for the new year, it’s the best time ever to take a step back and think about what needs to be done before you take action. But before even doing that, you may want to think about how you’ve approached initiatives in the past. Here’s a simple framework to consider:

Implementation & Execution
If you’ve launched anything—whether it be a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube, or an internal communication/collaboration platform then you are to be congratulated because you have executed. However, many organizations who have jumped into the social waters now find themselves dealing with new challenges. Large organizations who operate globally may have scores of digital embassies which do not coordinate or exist within any defined architecture. Departments may have launched pilots as rogue efforts which initially were successful but are difficult to scale. Marketing, customer service, HR, IT, and a host of other operational groups may be in turf wars over who runs what. Your business partners may be engaging in their own turf wars. In short, getting something executed and maintaining it is a great place to be in, but it also creates new challenges which require formalization as the space matures.


http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2011/01/sb_2011.html

Screen shot 2011-01-02 at 9.22.14 PM
It’s 2011 and as you gear up for planning initiatives for the new year, it’s the best time ever to take a step back and think about what needs to be done before you take action. But before even doing that, you may want to think about how you’ve approached initiatives in the past. Here’s a simple framework to consider:

Implementation & Execution
If you’ve launched anything—whether it be a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube, or an internal communication/collaboration platform then you are to be congratulated because you have executed. However, many organizations who have jumped into the social waters now find themselves dealing with new challenges. Large organizations who operate globally may have scores of digital embassies which do not coordinate or exist within any defined architecture. Departments may have launched pilots as rogue efforts which initially were successful but are difficult to scale. Marketing, customer service, HR, IT, and a host of other operational groups may be in turf wars over who runs what. Your business partners may be engaging in their own turf wars. In short, getting something executed and maintaining it is a great place to be in, but it also creates new challenges which require formalization as the space matures.
Leer más “Deconstructing Your Social Business Plan For 2011”

A Year In Stats For A Social Media Blog – Analyzing The Trends

I’m obsessed by stats. I follow all sorts of trends online and always like to have as much information as possible. If there is one thing that annoys me it is how secretive websites and blogs are with their traffic stats and if there is one thing that I’d love to open source and let everybody have open access to it would be website traffic. With that In mind I thought I’d have a look at our own site and see what sort of traffic trends we experienced throughout 2010. I wanted to see in particular what sort of an effect social media had on traffic here and which of the big social networks sent the most traffic. Ours is a small blog that is 18 months old and last year saw some good growth so I also hope to show with these stats the potential growth curve there for others starting their own blogs and show what channels work best and should be focused on. Here are the stats (Google Analytics) for the Simply Zesty blog for the entire year of 2010….


I’m obsessed by stats. I follow all sorts of trends online and always like to have as much information as possible. If there is one thing that annoys me it is how secretive websites and blogs are with their traffic stats and if there is one thing that I’d love to open source and let everybody have open access to it would be website traffic. With that In mind I thought I’d have a look at our own site and see what sort of traffic trends we experienced throughout 2010. I wanted to see in particular what sort of an effect social media had on traffic here and which of the big social networks sent the most traffic. Ours is a small blog that is 18 months old and last year saw some good growth so I also hope to show with these stats the potential growth curve there for others starting their own blogs and show what channels work best and should be focused on. Here are the stats (Google Analytics) for the Simply Zesty blog for the entire year of 2010…. Leer más “A Year In Stats For A Social Media Blog – Analyzing The Trends”

When Bieber tops the list, is influence dead?

I’ve written a bit about influence online and it’s an area that really fascinates me. But when social media service Klout currently have Justin Bieber at the top of their top 20 list for influence, you have to wonder if this is pretty spot on, or if it actually means that influence is dead? I’m inclined to think, unfortunately, that influence is dead. That’s not to say that I don’t recognise the huge popularity that Bieber has online, but can you really classify him as more influential than Barack Obama? They shouldn’t really even be in the same list.

The first problem is how you define influence. Is it the power to make a ruling over one of the most powerful countries in the world (Obama) or the ability to encourage thousands of retweets of one your random thoughts (Bieber). If influence is to mean anything as social media progresses, then we need to seriously redefine the meaning. The problem doesn’t lie with Klout, who have developed one of the most sophisticated systems for determining influence, but rather in how we interpret influence and what it means today.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/liquidsunshine49/5146648169/I’ve written a bit about influence online and it’s an area that really fascinates me. But when social media service Klout currently have Justin Bieber at the top of their top 20 list for influence, you have to wonder if this is pretty spot on, or if it actually means that influence is dead? I’m inclined to think, unfortunately, that influence is dead. That’s not to say that I don’t recognise the huge popularity that Bieber has online, but can you really classify him as more influential than Barack Obama? They shouldn’t really even be in the same list.

The first problem is how you define influence. Is it the power to make a ruling over one of the most powerful countries in the world (Obama) or the ability to encourage thousands of retweets of one your random thoughts (Bieber). If influence is to mean anything as social media progresses, then we need to seriously redefine the meaning. The problem doesn’t lie with Klout, who have developed one of the most sophisticated systems for determining influence, but rather in how we interpret influence and what it means today. Leer más “When Bieber tops the list, is influence dead?”

WordPress SEO Plugins – 2010

I haven’t done an updated “Reccomended SEO Plugins for WordPress” since 2008, so I figure it’s about time to correct that problem.
SEO

Surprisingly, the number pure SEO plugins is relatively short. This is due to two factors: my use of Thesis as a Theme (see Thesis Theme Review) and WordPress SEO Plugin.

WordPress SEO – In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of all-in-one SEO plugins, but this year Joost De Valk changed my mind. This plugin does the work of 8 plugins. It builds XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, builds the canonical tag, takes care of robots, Google analytics, and more. Really, if you use only one plugin from this entire post, this is the one to get.

Scribe SEO – Scribe SEO is a plugin that checks your post for keyword focus and bunch of other SEO factors (see my Scribe SEO Review for more details). This plugin is part of paid service, but I can tell you it’s one I use, and it makes me more money every month. For an example on how to use it, check out How to Perform a Content Audit. [Más…]

Dagon Design Sitemap Generator – An HTML sitemap is one of the key features of making your website more crawlable. This plugin builds the sitemap and updates itself when new pages or posts are added.

WP Super Cache – With the announcement that site speed became a ranking factor, you need to pay attention to site performance. Caching is one of the easiest ways to do it.

WPtouch – As smart phones become more ubiquitous, everyone is going to need a mobile-friendly version of their website. Rather than having two versions, though, this plugin takes care of all the heavy lifting for you.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – This is a great plugin because it allows you to expose your readers and the search engine spiders to other related content.


WordPress

http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/wordpress-seo-plugins-2010/

I haven’t done an updated “Reccomended SEO Plugins for WordPress” since 2008, so I figure it’s about time to correct that problem.

SEO

Surprisingly, the number pure SEO plugins is relatively short. This is due to two factors: my use of Thesis as a Theme (see Thesis Theme Review) and WordPress SEO Plugin.

WordPress SEO – In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of all-in-one SEO plugins, but this year Joost De Valk changed my mind. This plugin does the work of 8 plugins. It builds XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, builds the canonical tag, takes care of robots, Google analytics, and more. Really, if you use only one plugin from this entire post, this is the one to get.

Scribe SEO – Scribe SEO is a plugin that checks your post for keyword focus and bunch of other SEO factors (see my Scribe SEO Review for more details). This plugin is part of paid service, but I can tell you it’s one I use, and it makes me more money every month. For an example on how to use it, check out How to Perform a Content Audit. Leer más “WordPress SEO Plugins – 2010”

Web Design Trends in 2011

There is a thin line between design and development, and as we move into a new decade, this line is becoming extremely blurry. Is it enough to draw beautiful mock up in Photoshop? Maybe 5 years ago. These days, the average internet user requires more. All beauty, with no substance, gets boring after a while. If your only goal is to impress a community of fellow designers with your flashy designs, you’ll find yourself quickly beneath the tide. 2011 is not about beauty, it’s about function. The trends for this new year and emerging decade are responsive design, constant connection and virtual reality.

How will you stay relevant as a designer in 2011? The ultimate goal of a designer is not to dazzle but to entangle. Any designer can get ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ that are easily forgotten. The supreme designer is able to create an environment which charms and captivates the user to the point where he does not want to find the ‘Back’ button. Several elements come together to forge such a wonderland: harmonious color scheme, intuitive design, easily accessible information and fast response. Additionally, one can never under-estimate the power of simplicity. Of course, this has always been the case, but in 2011, you are no longer at the forgiving discretion of the desktop, or even laptop, computer. Now, your design must contend with smart phones, netbooks, tablets and the like. Are you ready?

Take a gander at the top 11 trends for 2011.


There is a thin line between design and development, and as we move into a new decade, this line is becoming extremely blurry. Is it enough to draw beautiful mock up in Photoshop? Maybe 5 years ago. These days, the average internet user requires more. All beauty, with no substance, gets boring after a while. If your only goal is to impress a community of fellow designers with your flashy designs, you’ll find yourself quickly beneath the tide. 2011 is not about beauty, it’s about function. The trends for this new year and emerging decade are responsive design, constant connection and virtual reality.

 

How will you stay relevant as a designer in 2011? The ultimate goal of a designer is not to dazzle but to entangle. Any designer can get ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ that are easily forgotten. The supreme designer is able to create an environment which charms and captivates the user to the point where he does not want to find the ‘Back’ button. Several elements come together to forge such a wonderland: harmonious color scheme, intuitive design, easily accessible information and fast response. Additionally, one can never under-estimate the power of simplicity. Of course, this has always been the case, but in 2011, you are no longer at the forgiving discretion of the desktop, or even laptop, computer. Now, your design must contend with smart phones, netbooks, tablets and the like. Are you ready?

Take a gander at the top 11 trends for 2011.

1. More CSS3 + HTML5

What a gratifying sigh of relief! CSS3 and HTML5 have been on the distant horizon of web design for the past couple of years, but now, in 2011, we see an explosion of it. Designers are finally starting to let go of Flash. However you may feel about Flash, you do know that it does not play well with some of the hot, new technology available to your current and potential visitors. In 2011, you will slowly step away from Flash and embrace the magic known as HTML5. Look at the amazingly similar comparison:


Leer más “Web Design Trends in 2011”