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 We should put as much time and thought into the words we type.

This. All this. I loved your experiment, Amy, and had a lot of fun taking part in it. But that one line right there? That's the gold right there. :)

8 hours, 48 minutes ago on I spent a day responding to Facebook posts with stickers

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@KarenD.Swim Thanks, miss, appreciate that, and here's to more dedicated time to us and those around us who matter.

1 day, 6 hours ago on What We Want Versus What We Need

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@DaveMurr  "A stigma only exists if we allow it to."

Amen to that, mate. 

1 day, 10 hours ago on Is ‘Mental’ Health a Misnomer? Why We Need to Destigmatize Depression

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@IrisSignals Glad you found it useful, mate - they just pushed out an update yesterday for the Alpha testers, which is pretty slick. You can see the redesigned options on my floating sidebar (how it handles flyouts when sharing). This also enables them to get even deeper into the behaviour of sharing - looking forward to seeing the new data they can provide. :)

1 day, 10 hours ago on Video: Why Flare Social Sharing is Much More Than Just a Sharing App

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@tobeyc Hi Tobey,

As @OpEdMarketing mentions, thank you so much for opening up about your own experiences. That can't have been easy, and - as you share - the ramifications can last long after the event. Thankful you're close to each other and helping each other, and thanks for all you do in helping others through your own story.

1 day, 12 hours ago on Is ‘Mental’ Health a Misnomer? Why We Need to Destigmatize Depression

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@ragtag1 Hi Karl.

You raise a very interesting point, mate (and both Rob and I have UK origins, so know the NHS and educational system you mention here).

There definitely seems to be some kind of disconnect that we're missing at the crucial juncture of children moving into adulthood. Perhaps one of the answers is in the way we approach not only fitness of body, but fitness of mind. After all, as this post highlights, they're both very much tied to one another.

Tanks for the thoughtful comment, mate.

2 days, 10 hours ago on Is ‘Mental’ Health a Misnomer? Why We Need to Destigmatize Depression

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Hi @OpEdMarketing,

First, I just wanted to say thank you, sincerely, for both opening up about your own trials, and the way you've handled this delicate and often polarizing topic. We both know the circumstances around this post, and I know the father of Lucas appreciated your thoughts.

I've written before on here about my own attempted suicide when I was 19, after a series of life-changing events in the same year. A lot of people, including close family and friends, told me I was "being soft", and that I needed to get back out there and show the world I was strong. That's a hell of a lot easier said than done when the sun is shining outside, though.

The pain I felt, I put down to having my heart broken (one of the events was breaking up with my fiancee of two years, who also happened to be my first love). The advice there? "Plenty more fish in the sea." Perhaps - but that's not what I wanted to hear. If there were plenty of fish in the sea, why did one particular one not want me? And that emotional pain morphed into physical pain, too.

I don't have the answers, and I'm not sure we ever do. But recognizing that "be strong" isn't the message people want to hear, and - like you so poignantly say - realizing that it's okay to "not be normal" is, for me, a major step in trying to prevent the need to understand the aftermath of such tragic events.

Thanks again, Rob, this means a lot and I hope it helps a lot of people.

2 days, 10 hours ago on Is ‘Mental’ Health a Misnomer? Why We Need to Destigmatize Depression

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@Rajesh Singh Hi there Rajesh,

I really like what you've said here:

Let the time decide what future holds for me.

That's a great way to look at things. Like you rightfully say, if we chase dreams that are unattainable, we waste time. If we waste time looking back on the unattainable, we waste time. 

Instead of wasting time, why not appreciate what we have now, and what we need may just show itself to be a lot less than what we want?

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, sir.

2 days, 22 hours ago on What We Want Versus What We Need

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@KarenD.Swim Right? If you think the latest iPhone has a hi-def screen, wait until you get a load of the real world beyond it! ;-)

3 days, 11 hours ago on Prediction: “Unplugging” will be a trend among 40+ crowd in 2015

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I really hope they do, mate - and not just 40+ year olds, but people in general.

I made a conscious decision back in 2010 to really pull back on where I was, and how often. It's no coincidence that came around the time of the birth of my son. When his sister came along in 2012, I pulled back even more.

Now, I probably blog around once a week, maybe twice. I switched to a newsletter format versus instant updates, so people could relax and read in their own quiet time, if they wanted to. I rarely jump on Twitter for extended periods, nor Facebook, nor G+. LinkedIn? Forget about it.

On the way to the office, it's a deliberate decision to sit on the train, and watch the world out the window. How the sun rises a certain way; how the early morning light tells different stories in different cities; how parks are filled with people enjoying the quiet time with their dogs.

The always on world of the smartphone can be a huge boon when needed; but it can also be the very bane of our existence.

We're called human beings for a reason - let's "be human" and untether the tech. If even just for a while each day. It's a start - and that can change everything.

Thanks for the thoughts this morning.

3 days, 11 hours ago on Prediction: “Unplugging” will be a trend among 40+ crowd in 2015

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Great analysis, mate, and completely agree. What I tend to find with a lot of these studies is they don't dig deep enough into the actual answers. 

Take pharma, government and financial organizations. By their very industries, they're too red tape-blocked to be able to really use social effectively (at least from a public discourse point if view). Can they use it for intel? Sure - but then even that's regulated by data mining legislation within these orgs.

Then you have the mountains of silos that many larger orgs have - they just don't know what each department is doing. You only have to look at how dysfunctional some of the bigger orgs are when it comes to collating all the social channels they participate on into a cohesive team. 

And don't get me started on "well, the CEO needs to be on social for the company to be relevant"..... ;-)

3 days, 11 hours ago on Study: Big Companies Lag at Blogging, Social Media

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@sublimereflection Hi Kimberly,

That's a great point about the passing of time making us more appreciative of what we have, both in front of us and behind us. It makes me wonder how we can maybe encourage that kind of understanding at a younger age. Perhaps educating better on the fallacy of peer pressure, perhaps?

Thanks for the comment, appreciated.

4 days ago on What We Want Versus What We Need

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@Howie Goldfarb Ha, my two year old daughter and four year old son are exactly the same, mate. I think we can cut them a little slack - for now.... ;-)

4 days ago on What We Want Versus What We Need

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@TheRealRobertGrant Hi Robert,

I think there have been various petitions on Change.org, some with varying degrees of success. However, since this is very much a cultural thing (even here in the West, where certain European countries have low age limits for the age of sexual consent), perhaps another way to highlight this is to look at countries that allow/condone this, and start petitions against brands that work with suppliers from these countries?

Often, money talks, and if enough people start putting pressure on the pockets of "civilized brands", it may start a bigger conversation?

1 week ago on You Are Not a Man. You Are a Child Rapist.

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@Jonathan Wells Cheers, Jonathan, glad it was useful. While I still get the odd dedicated spammer here, it's much easier to control and - best of all - block completely. Much more effective than trying to wade through tons of comments in the Akismet queue. :)

1 week, 1 day ago on Blog Comments, Digital Universes, and the Future of Social Conversations

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@Lindsey Tolino Hi Lindsey,

I hear you. It's the "well, it's okay if I don't do it this time, someone else will cover for me" syndrome. Been plenty guilty of that in the past - trying to be much more mindful these days. :)

Thanks for the comment!

1 week, 2 days ago on Redefining Ordinary or Why It’s Okay to Dream Small

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@Art of Breaking Out Glad it was useful, mate - I'm looking forward to seeing the future insights they're working on, given conversations with them. If they can pull these off.... :)

1 week, 2 days ago on Video: Why Flare Social Sharing is Much More Than Just a Sharing App

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@Frank_Strong That is the main challenge for sure, mate, especially given the investment put into creating memories on Facebook. Personally, I'd be more than happy to leave Facebook for intrinsically intimate personal networks - but persuading others would be the real challenge. And on we go. @AmyMccTobin

1 week, 2 days ago on Super Original Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook

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@Frank_Strong @AmyMccTobin Just adding to my original comment - something like Pushup Social:

https://pushup.com/

Now, given, that's more geared towards brands and organizations. But imagine something like this for families; alumnis; ex-colleagues; blogger communities. It's simply a matter of finding the right approach for what you want to achieve, and making it somewhere people want to come and hang out with you, versus their current fixes elsewhere.

1 week, 2 days ago on Super Original Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook

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Nice piece, @Frank_Strong, and it's definitely time for alternatives to Facebook. Like @AmyMccTobin mentions, though, both Ello's UI and UX are currently against it. It's a nightmare to navigate, and not opening up with mobile support is crazy in 2014.

My guess? More personal micro networks, run by people for their own little community. This can be via something as simple as BB Press, or with more advanced coding options. These will be based around like-minded folks on a mission; friends with similar interests; or simply friends filtering into networks they truly want to belong to, versus something they're forced to belong to because their friends are there.

1 week, 2 days ago on Super Original Thinking is Required to Topple Facebook

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@Rajesh Singh Hi Rajesh,

It beggars belief when I see stories like this. Like you say, you have to wonder what goes through the head of a man that thinks an 8-year old child is bride material. It makes me wonder if the "men" should be placed in the same category as child perverts in the West. Perhaps legal action may finally start the dissemination of a cultural mindset that thinks this is okay. We can but hope, mate.

Thanks for the comment.

1 week, 6 days ago on You Are Not a Man. You Are a Child Rapist.

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@IrisSignals  "...ultimately that is how we learn to grow."

Exactly, mate. Exactly. Cheers!

2 weeks ago on Why Weakness In Ourselves Isn’t a Bad Thing

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@Anne_Troop Hey there Anne,

That's a great point about who we let into our lives and influence our thinking. It's like the old saying, "You can choose your friends, but not your family." 

We have a choice on how we present ourselves, and that starts with the types of friends we're presented with. Here's to making the right choices. :)

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Why Weakness In Ourselves Isn’t a Bad Thing

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@Howie Goldfarb Hey there Howie,

You raise an interesting point about the "expectations" of high school, especially when it comes to extra-curricular activities that are carried over to college. One of my biggest beliefs for a long time is that we need to do a better job of helping kids through teenage years, which is where they (for me) decide what kind of person they're going to be.

Let's face it - no child is born racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or bigoted, etc. These come at a later age, usually through some kind of peer (or parental) pressure. But even parents can only do so much - you only need to look at some of the stats behind serial killers, and how many actually came from good, loving and supporting homes (as opposed to the broken ones much of the media would lead us to believe).

So clearly there's a disconnect at some point in teen life / high school. If we can catch that, then perhaps we can start to make that better humanity you rightly talk of actually start to happen?

As I was discussing with @annelizhannan over on Facebook, we also need to look at the double standards of "advanced Western culture" when looking at the practices of many Eastern ones. In Europe, for example, some countries have the age of consent at 12. Since when does a 12 year old's body become ready for sex? We need to look at how we define children, and how we can truly combat this disgusting mindset, before more innocents die, broken and bleeding.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on You Are Not a Man. You Are a Child Rapist.

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@SarahArrow First, Happy Birthday to your daughter, Sarah - hope you guys have a beautiful day together!

The descriptions you use, of a "normal" happy-go-lucky little girl that's finding out who she is are the perfect counter to everything that's wrong with this mindset. How any man can even think this is right is beyond me. How any culture can believe this is okay is beyond me. 

Truly sad.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on You Are Not a Man. You Are a Child Rapist.

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@belllindsay I hadn't seen that, Lindsay, but agree, excellent way to highlight this continuing issue. Updated the "recommended reading" to share, thanks.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on You Are Not a Man. You Are a Child Rapist.

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@tmoon57 Gah, that's what I was thinking. Oh well... :)

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Give Your Audience a Voice with Polls

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Hi Natasha,

Quick question - is this part of the Livefyre comments solution, or a separate app for businesses and up? (apologies in advance for the dumb question) :)

Cheers,

Danny.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Give Your Audience a Voice with Polls

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It all comes down to expectations of comfort, mate. If a blogger or content creator is all over the place as to when they publish, it confuses the audience and inhibits loyalty.

Regardless of whether you publish once a day or once a week, offer instant subscriber alerts or collate into a weekly newsletter, making sure your audience understands what to expect - and then delivering on that - makes all the difference.

Cheers, mate.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Study: Effective Content Marketing Has One Element

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@NancyDavis Hey there miss,

Knowing some of the stuff you've been through (and the challenges you continue to overcome, some of which you highlight here), I can attest to how weak you are not! Many people would have given up, or complained, or delved into self-pity. Not you, though. Not by a long shot.

I'm so happy to see you realize your value, and woe betide anyone who doesn't. :)

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Why Weakness In Ourselves Isn’t a Bad Thing

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@PeterJ42 "Knowledge feudalism" - love that phrase, mate, reminds me of the term "information feudalism", and so very true. Like you say, expecting to get all the knowledge we need from one main focal point is as unrealistic in school as it is anywhere else - and yet we allow that approach to propagate.

Perhaps it's time to rethink the way education is implemented - something definitely needs to change at an earlier step in our growth.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@Howie Goldfarb Beer commercials don't disrupt people from their homes. They don't devalue a community of people. They don't take away democracy from a town whose residents only found out about the event once it had been secretly agreed on and the incumbent mayor bought off for $500,000.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on How Anheuser-Busch Redefined Experiential Marketing

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Hi there David,

Great overview mate, and nice to see experiential getting recognized in this way. I used to lead the social component of an experiential agency a few years back, and it was always fun to see how far we could push things.

Having said that, I do have to wonder at what cost some promos come at. As you've alluded to in the post, there's been numerous examples of criticism around this particular promo, with the local mayor coming in for criticism for whoring out the town, and residents talking about boycotting all AB products (and that sentiment has been seen wider afield than the town itself).

Is viral buzz worth the negative sentiment promos like this can result in?

2 weeks, 4 days ago on How Anheuser-Busch Redefined Experiential Marketing

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@Rajesh Singh Hi there Rajesh,

Thanks so much for such an open and thoughtful comment. This part in particular stands out for me:

"I knew that I was more than just a developer, someone who cares about what good for our customers and providing valuable services to the users. For me doing quality work was more important that few thousand bucks."

That's exactly where everyone can start making a bigger difference in the lives of everyone around them. If we can truly begin to care about what we do, and how we do it, versus just clocking in for the sake of clocking in, the possibilities become endless, as many commenters have shown here.

Seeing comments like yours, and those of the others who have shared their thoughts here, give me hope for a much better future.

Thank you.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@MarSirMar Hi there Marcel,

And that's all it needs to take, that "little bit of discomfort", as you rightly say. Isn't a little comfort worth sacrificing to open up the possibilities?

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@Art of Breaking Out The fear factor is very true, and a definite stumbling block, mate. And, yes, sadly for some it's a stumbling block that just can't be overcome. It's down to the person as to whether that fear, or similar, is their final nemesis. But if they can take that small, yet singularly most important step they probably ever will, the results are worth the effort, as Billy (aka @southplatte) shares with his example.

Perhaps we need to look out for the signs more, based on our own experiences, and look to reach out (albeit in a non-invasive way) to offer support, guidance and the belief to push back when we recognize that fear in others?

Cheers as always, fella. :)

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@mickeygomez Hey there miss,

As I mentioned to @JudyDunn, seems like you both have very similar experiences. Are you besties or something?? :)

Yep, it's true - maybe it's a feeling of perceived power, being able to hold someone back by denying their right to question? "Look at me - I'm obviously better than you, because I won't let you challenge anything and there's nothing you can do about it." Except, there is, as @southplatte shares so eloquently in his comment.

It takes gumption, and not an insignificant amount of bravery, to push back. But the rewards can be infinite - you just have to realize your value.

Thanks for your comment as always, miss. :)

3 weeks ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@JudyDunn That's a great point about the work environment and culture, Judy. As @mickeygomez alludes to in her comment, if the atmosphere isn't one where people feel "safe" to raise issues, then nothing will ever be said. Even though I've always found the businesses that success more, especially when it comes to employee retention, are the ones that have a real open door policy. But, yes, the environment does dictate the "ease" of the ask.

It is difficult to reach out and ask for help - I recall in the early days of 12for12k, I felt bad that we weren't achieving the goals set out at the start of 2009. I was getting angry, as opposed to actually thinking straight about what it would take to success. It took the wise words of @JonAston to wake me up to the power of asking how we could make supporters feel involved. The rest was history, so to speak. :)

The education one is a personal bugbear of mine. As you know, our son Ewan is at a school that practices learning through play and experimentation, and asking stuff. I'm hoping that continues through his formative years and, as far as I know, it does, because he can stay at he same school all the way through to Grade 8, which is unusual in a lot of schools (you normally disperse at Grade 5 or 6). So, if his school continues the same mindset for young and younger adults, so to speak, as they do for the Junior and Senior Kindergarten, we'll be good. Then we'll just have to defend him at high school when he questions things, as opposed to accepts them. But that's a "fight" I'll be willing to have. :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, miss, particularly given your knowledge, appreciated as always.

3 weeks ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@southplatte Hey there mate,

I clearly remember some conversations we had via email around some of the crap you were going through, and always being impressed at how you weren't letting things get to you, because all you were focused on was doing what was right for your family.

It's something I see so many others not doing, and then wondering why their sanctuary of family life has fallen apart (just take a look at the "happy" social media speakers for an example). 

Hearing how your life has turned out, because you asked and said, "Enough is enough" should be all the inspiration anyone in the same boat needs, mate.

Here's to that ask of yours - cheers!

3 weeks ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@NancyDavis I completely hear you on the "feeling needy" part, miss. it's almost like admitting we're too weak - for want of a better word - to do something on our own. Yet none of us are the complete package (not even Batman) - everyone needs help of some kind. It's realizing that that can start to make all the difference.

Blogging is a tough nut, for sure. And when you change your habits, it takes a dip. I've reduced my content creation schedule, from daily to maybe twice a week at most, but very often just a single post. I've made many much longer, to really give readers something to (hopefully) chew on as opposed to just skim. And it's hit traffic.

But so what? In the grand scheme of things, is traffic the ultimate goal? Perhaps (and certainly for bloggers and brands for whom content earns them a living). But for me, and - as I'm seeing across the web - so many others, it's that impact your content has, even if it's just on one person, that really makes everything count.

This recent post might help a little:

http://dannybrown.me/2014/10/01/the-three-core-tenets-every-successful-blogger-needs-to-have/

And if not? Well, you always have a bunch of bloggers friends over on Facebook who would be more than happy to open up the questioning. :)

3 weeks ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@Howie Goldfarb These are some great points raised here, Howie - it reminds me of the science versus religion debate, and how intense that can get. it's scary to see how many people are willing to sweep away scientific fact - even when it's staring them in the face - because it goes against their religious beliefs.

While I'm not a religious man, I do respect those that are, and their beliefs. However, when those beliefs become quasi or fully dangerous, then you have to question at what point does the truth even matter anymore? Ideally, it'd always matter - just not to some, I guess.

I've never been a fan of the MBT - Vox ran a great piece on it earlier this year, well worth the read.

http://www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5881947/myers-briggs-personality-test-meaningless

3 weeks ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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@stephanhov Hey there Stephan,

This part of your comment really stands out:

"I wonder, however, if that issue stems from the feeling that you don't know your own strengths and business well enough."

It's so true. It's why so many freelancer writers, for example, accept small paying gigs, because the marketplace has essentially instilled the mindset that $5 for 500 words is standard, thanks to sites like Elance and Guru.

I think the issue is exacerbated by remote working. Many people feel they're worth less because they're not in an office environment, or similar, when in fact they need to charge their actual worth because they're often having to pay more overheads themselves (insurance, retirement funds, no sick pay, etc).

Here's to taking risks and asking, mate.

3 weeks ago on Why You Need to Be the Bane of the Status Quo

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"Who's that girl? Its Jess!" :)

3 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Jess Ostroff

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@davidjboozeronline Man, if we could all be the "Real Deal" from day one, we could be social media experts! ;-)

I remember @ChrisBrogan once saying it took him eight years to get his first 100 subscribers. Looking at what he's carved out for himself now, you can see where Patience and Belief will get you.

Cheers as always, mate.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have

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@IrisSignals I tend to agree with you, mate. If you have Belief as your core, the other two tenets I mention (as well as those that others use), will fall into place much easier, since Belief will offer the Confidence needed to get where you need to go.

Cheers, Kostas!

3 weeks, 1 day ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have

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@OpEdMarketing Funnily enough, I have another charity project I'm looking to launch in 2015 (yes, 12for12k was my baby back in 2009, with the help of some very kind and smart friends). Perhaps there's something there we could chat about? I know @jonaston is keen on getting if off the ground, we just need to get him over this way. :) @samfiorella

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have

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@OpEdMarketing Hey there mate,

Funnily enough, @samfiorella and I were talking about this very topic recently, since Sam is very much in a similar position to you with regards content and clients, so perhaps he could weigh in? In fact, this sounds like a reason to meet up for another beer and discussion. :)

One thing you could look at is what does meaningful mean to you, and what does meaningful mean to your clients, and is there a crossover there?

For instance, do any of your clients have an affinity to a particular charity category? If so, can you write posts that show how businesses can do more for their favourite charity with simple changes to the way their business operates?

I know, not the greatest example, but something to consider. Maybe I'll let Sam speak instead. :)

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have

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@Lisa Gerber That's a great point about discipline. We fuss and fret over the smallest things, all the while not seeing that these little things are simply holding us back. It's like the grammar police. I don't care if there's a typo, or an incorrectly used word, in a blog post - if the content is useful, I can "forgive" misspellings and non-Queen's English usage.

Give me value over perfection every time, indeed. Now, about that draft... ;-)

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have

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@samfiorella And now I need to know when Alison started, so I can compare before and after. :)

That's one thing that definitely stands out about your blog, mate, I always know it's going to be a very polished article when I read. Couple that with the solid content you produce, and more (business) bloggers should probably use a good editor to really shine.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have

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@markevans It would seem we share a similar mindset, mate. It's funny to think back on how different this blog was a couple of years back, when it was all about the numbers (rightly or wrongly). But I wasn't really enjoying blogging, nor getting the satisfaction I may have believed I'd get with higher traffic.

Now, like you, it's all about writing and creating content I'd want to consume as a reader. If others like it, great. If not - well, it's always a good sounding off base for ideas and thoughts. Which, at the end of the day, is where the real reward comes from.

Here's to more approaches like yours.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Why Thinking About Traffic is the Scourge of Great Content

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