999 Seagulls…and 1 Pigeon

January 2008, Newport Seaside Resort, Miami Beach at Sunny Isles. Old high school buddy Ray S. running the joint. There with Nancy; we drove down in a 2000 BMW 328i that we’d just bought for the trip and we’d been talking about feeding the seagulls, which there are no shortage of whether you’re in a parking lot in Canton, Michigan or right by the Atlantic…especially.

You throw a handfull of cheap chips in the air and within 30 seconds, every seagull is your friend. We felt like we were running the world for two minutes there, and we were.

What I wouldn’t give to throw a bunch of chips up in the air with her again, but God called her home on May 1st. Enjoy every moment you can with those whom you love…because you never know. It’s as simple as that.

Sticky Eyeballs: How to Write a Better Blog

sticky-eyeballsIt’s quite simple: Blogs are meant to be read, meant to keep people coming back, meant to influence and inspire and to call folks to action. Engagement and retention are the new code words for “sell.” This is a blog entry which harks to a great and eminently practical 5-point guide I found on Mashable. We’ll come back to that.

If you are genuinely interested in, and committed to producing regular content that will build an audience over time–no easy task, but a worthy one–read the rest of this entry and pluck your own nuggets. Come back to the above live link and click on it if you remain interested, and hopefully hellbent, on becoming a writer of “sticky” blogs.

Here’s the first thing to remember: Consistency. You, me…any of us…will always come back for more of something that we can use. Useful information, entertaining and practical and easy-to-apply information, entertaining information that promises to make us rich, flatten our bellies, attract more of the opposite sex, whiten our teeth. Entertaining information. Get it? Of course you do. You and I have clicked on ads promising such things at least…say…ONCE in our on-line lifetimes? Maybe twice?

Depending what YOU are blogging about, from flipping houses for a quick buck to finding the best method for removing spots from one’s clothing, it’s all about the perceived utility of your column. Of course, the more engagingly, charmingly, cleverly, interestingly you can write your blog, the better. Here’s the formula:

Entertainment X Information = Engagement.

Got that? Equal dollops of the first two, mixed and shaken–with humor, a bit of hyperbole (look it up!) and clear, concise, well-structured exposition–a battle unto itself–and you’ve got it.

You only need to repeat it mostly daily, ad infinitum.