Category Archives: Random

Blog Copyrights

If the item protected is a file or a HTML page, a single registration is created. This registration includes the text of the page, if an HTML work, a hash of the registered content, a date/time stamp of when the work was submitted and a My Copyright Number, or MCN, for easy reference.

If the registration is an RSS feed, then all of entries in the feed are indexed separately and all future updates to the feed are picked up automatically on a daily basis. Each entry is given its own registration, including MCN, hash and date stamp.”  (From:  http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2007/12/11/myfreecopyright-free-copyright-verification/).

So when I post a blog, I receive an email which looks like this which shows when, where, what time etc.  Clearly I am the author.

I am not suggesting that this is the way to protect your work.  I am just sharing because it gives me a little sense of security to believe that there is some proof out there, that I am the author of my work.  Anyone interested should research the topic for themselves and weigh up the different options before making a decision.

And if I am wrong, or if you find something better, please let me know!

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Social Platforms

I spent the morning looking at, and registering on various other social platforms.  I did it firstly to secure my name.  Secondly to create other blogging and communication options.  You can for instance link your wordpress account to tumblr so that when you blog on the one, it automatically goes to the other.  However, this might not be wise because search engines do not like duplicates.  I am still investigating.

 

 

Tumblr is a blogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. The service emphasizes ease of use.  A tumblelog (or tlog) is a variation of a blog that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumblelogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, tumblelogs are frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences while providing little or no commentary. Some platforms geared towards tumblelogging, such as tumblr, facilitate quick and easy posting of single items, such as audio files, single images and embedded videos, by providing streamlined functionality.

 

 

Posterous is a simple blogging platform started in May 2008, funded by Y Combinator. It boasts integrated and automatic posting to other social media tools such as Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook, a built-in Google Analytics package, and custom themes .

 

 

Goodreads is a privately run “social cataloging” website started in December 2006 by Otis Chandler, a software engineer and entrepreneur.[2] The website permits individuals to sign up and register books to create their library catalogs and reading lists. It also allows users to create their own groups of book suggestions and discussions.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.  It is mainly a business network platform.

We all know and have Facebook.  This social networking website launched in February 2004 that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc., with more than 500 million active users in July 2010.

Twitter is a website which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read other users’ messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page.

 

 

Google+ launched as an opposition to Facebook and says this about themselves:  “Google+ makes connecting on the web more like connecting in the real world. Share your thoughts, links and photos with the right circles. Use easy, spontaneous video chat to strike up conversations with as many as nine people at once. Get everyone on the same page with fast, simple group chat. We’re very excited about the new approach to sharing we’ve created through Google+, but this is really just the beginning.”

Pinterest is a virtual pinpboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

And then Amazon of course, everyone should have an account with Amazon.

Finally I also wanted to register a domain name.  After looking at various options, I chose register.com.  For only $5, I secured a domain name for a year.

 

So, now I will have to get to work on all of the above.  Will keep you posted!

 

 


Partnerships

The ship that rarely sails.  Or that sets off and glides along for a good while before hitting an iceberg or a rock.  Or where a mutiny on deck causes a power shift and a new commander makes for ports unchartered for.

Why is this?  Because of inherent differences in people, their opinions, visions and goals.  Often times it is due to unscrupulous partners and greed.  The lack of hesitation in using another for personal gain.  Seeing a talent, skill, attitude or attribute in someone else that can be used to one’s own personal advantage.  Knowing full well, that when the usefulness of the partner has been spent, he will be thrown overboard somewhere at sea.  Having brought to the table what the vulture needed, but could not supply himself.

Signing contracts are of no use.  It will eventually cost more to get out of a contract through a lawyer than what it will to just walk away.  And as always, the lawyer will be the only one who makes a profit as he feeds off the lack of knowledge or understanding, differences of opinion and misfortunes of others.

When two people shake hands, it is on the assumption of mutual trust.  No one does this if they imagine that the other has diabolical intentions once out at sea.

There is the ship owner that offers shares in a vessel as well as a captaincy to another.  The latter mans, repairs, cleans and loads the ship and sets of to trade, waving goodbye and bon voyage to the former standing on the quay.  But no sooner has the ship disappeared from view before the original owner sets off in full pursuit, clambers aboard and wrenches back the controls in an act of piracy.

Then there is the partner that offers a partnership and initially works hard, side-by-side.  But as time goes by, he starts missing voyages due to other commitments and eventually completely fails to board.  The other is left with a 100% of the work and only 50% of the profit, yet is expected to be, and act grateful, forever and ever amen.  This while lining the coffers of him no longer there.

True also is that rosy skylines are marred by partners that are always late, and those who never take calls or return messages.  All of which could lead to mutiny.

Even under the best of weathers, with the most trustworthy of partners, and without an ounce of maliciousness on the horizon, the partnership will have more stormy waters and rough seas to contend with than could ever have been envisioned at the outset.  This ship has the potential to ruin even the finest of friend, or family relationships.

So dear seafarers, I wish to encourage you to study carefully the character of another, read again and again through a ship’s logs and papers, suspiciously revise the behaviour of sea routes, calculate costs, conjure up future scenarios ,weigh, weigh and weigh options, both personal and financial, before ever stepping aboard another man’s ship.


Blissful Escape

Most Interesting Bookstores of the World:  http://www.miragebookmark.ch/most-interesting-bookstores.htm

I love books.  I am still teased today because at family do’s I always had my nose in a book.  It was, and is, a blissful escape.  I escaped so much that I have more memories of fictional characters than of my own childhood.

My mother always warned me that reading in bad light would affect my eyes.  She was right.

I will only touch on some authors and books here because I am not writing a book and it is inevitable that I will leave some out that are just as important.

The last book I read was ‘George Sand A Woman’s Life Writ Large’ by Belinda Jack.  All I will say about George Sand is:  “Wow”.

Right now I am reading ‘The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, written by Himself’.  Only on page 5 but looks like it is going to be fun.

I am also reading ‘If You Want to Write’ by Brenda Ueland on my Kindle.  She draws from William Blake who is, oh, so heavenly.

One of my favourite authors is Charles Dickens.  Nobody else has developed characters as full and rich as he has.

I love Mark Twain.  I have all of his books and letters on my Kindle.

One of the most profound books I have ever read was ‘The Autobiography of Madame Guyon’ by herself, i.e. Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon.  One does not have to agree with her understanding of spirituality to know that she was preciously rare.

Stephen King is an awesome author.  I have only read about three of his more twisted tales but do check out ‘On Writing’.  It reads like a memoir.  I am awaiting my order of Secret Windows Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing. 

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift.  Swift was a master satirist.  The story of Gulliver is about people.  And how ridiculous we really are.

‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck.  Let me quote the Amazon description:  “The story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity”.

‘Out of Africa’ by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen).  The opening sentence “I have a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong hills ……” is the beginning of a journey that cannot but stir you deeply.

‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ by Irving Stone.  Michelangelo brought to life.

Wally Lamb writes beautifully.  ‘The Hour I first Believed’ and ‘I know this Much is True’.

One of my favourite local books is The Deneys Reitz Trilogy – ‘Adrift on the Open Veld.  The Anglo-Boer War and its Aftermath 1899 – 1943’.  History is fascinating to me, particularly the Anglo-Boer War.  A better account has yet to be written.  This historical piece reads like a novel.  You feel as though you are in the saddle with the young Deneys.

Dalene Matthee introduced me to the wonders of Knysna, the Tsitsikama Forrest and surround.  Her stories are based on fact and wonderfully funny, complex and spell-binding.  ‘Moerbeibos’ being a favourite.

At a quick glance, the books here mentioned (and ommitted) have a couple of things in common:

  • They are well written, but some were crafted
  • Most of them are amusing, and those that aren’t, still produce deep emotions
  • Many of them were biographical in nature, or based on fact
  • But they are ALL, inspirational

Wish there was more time … … …


On blogging

I am now in my fourth month of blogging and I have decided to capture the experience so far, in the hope that when I look back, perhaps in a year, that I, and the experience, would have matured or altered in some way.

Why did I start in the first place?  For one reason and one reason only, to get back into the habit of writing.  I had stopped for so many years that I just the thought of writing scared me.  I saw blogging as a way to get back into the groove, which meant, writing daily.

Initially I found it difficult to blog every day.  I had a million excuses and fifty other things to do.  I would stare at my blank screen, read my mail, write a sentence, check my Facebook page, etc.  Ad nauseum.  I do still do it but less often.

I have learnt that you can skip a day or so, but missing a week diminishes traffic to such an extent that you almost have to start from scratch.  Or maybe just when You are a new blogger.  Anyway, the discipline that goes with the exercise has been so beneficial.  In the beginning I felt that I had to finish my daily post by a certain time.  Now it doesn’t matter anymore, as long as I write.

With a bit more writing behind me, I have found that the editing time has decreased somewhat.  Initially I would write for thirty minutes and edit for three hours.  Now I am less anal about it and to be honest, I really don’t have that kind of time.  I have eased up on myself, allowing for the fact that nothing in life is perfect.  Anyway, even had I edited one post for twenty hours, I would still not have been satisfied.  At some point one has to let go.  Put the baby in the crib so to speak.  A useful tool that I learnt early on in life is not to start editing until I had finished writing.  Editing while writing takes long and is discouraging.  Writing should not be a chore.

At first I had difficulty coming up with daily ideas and made use of Digg, Plinky and similar websites.  Now, I grab an event or a thought that stood out during the day, and elaborate on it.

Today strangely enough, was different.  I had no clue what to say.  I turned to my son for ideas.

Typically boy, he replied:  “I don’t know Mommy, anything” .

“Please Kyle, just throw words at me, anything that comes into your head”.

“I really can’t think of anything Ma, why don’t you just write about blogging”.

Thank you Kyle.

I have learnt a load of new skills.  From blog building to tagging and publicising on other platforms.  The list is endless.  And as life would have it, no sooner had I learnt a new skill than I needed it for another area in my life.  For once I did not have to waste time asking Google.

I must confess, I do not look for blogs, simply because I don’t have the time.  But, when someone likes one of my posts, or comments on it, I take the time to read their About page as well as their latest post.  If it appeals to me, I follow the blog via email so that I can read it on my phone at night.

As for my own blogging style, it is not topical, nor am I concerned with current events.  I have opened myself up and I blog honestly, about myself.  I do refrain from using names when I write about others because I have no intention of offending or hurting them.

I don’t know if my blog is enjoyable, or whether any of it speaks to anyone.  What I do know is that if only one person learnt something, laughed at something, or thought about something after I had shared of myself, it is a bonus.  Over and above what I had set out to do.

There is a lot I still don’t know about blogging but I know that in time, I will learn.  I don’t know what would be considered a good amount of traffic.  What is a good hit rate after six months, or a year?  But I don’t care about that too much.  Like I said, I blog for no other reason than to write.  I would be lying though if I said I did not like seeing feet through my cyber heart.

In summary I can say that on the whole, blogging has been richly rewarding to me personally.  Not because thousands of people read what I have to say, but because I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I press ‘publish’.  I really do.  And it is because I did what I love.  The reward is even greater on the days that I did not feel like it.

So, as for my blog and I, we shall soldier on.


On Driving

I am, apparently, a bad driver.  This is according to my father, husband and sons.  Oh, and every other man that has ever seen me drive.  Do I agree?  Maybe.  Do I care?  No.

I believe that men are better drivers than women in one specific area.  Spacial awareness.  Most women (and there are exceptions), have no concept of the space around them.  They cannot judge distance.  It annoys me to no end in the school parking lot where one woman will take up enough parking spaces for three cars.

I last parallel parked twenty-odd years ago when I went for my driver’s licence, which I had to re-do two or three times.  And then about two years ago when my son challenged me.  I did it successfully but have to add, it was a huge space.  So I would rather drive around looking for parking, than trying to parallel-park.  It is for men.

I am a bit of an aggressive driver, I will confess.  And I tend to drive fast.  I have no patience on road and cannot stand snails in the fast lane.  Why, why, why are you sitting in the overtaking lane, when you need to be overtaken?

I use my hooter a lot and if you have ever been on South African roads, you will understand the necessity thereof.

I overtake and tailgate, I signal, hoot and gesture.  I worry that when I stop doing it, it will be a sign that I am getting old.

But here I have to add something.  The car you drive makes a big difference to how you drive.  Or rather, a good car increases impatience.

I drive a 320d.  A Beemer.  And no thank you, I don’t want any other car other than perhaps a 330d.  My car is like a faithful Boerperd (South African horse breed).  It is willing and has all the power necessary to do what I ask.  I never have to use force; a gentle nudge is all it takes.

And for people who complain about BMW drivers, this is what I say to you:  “I drive like this, because I CAN!”

Now move over and go sulk at home.


Success Achieved

I saw it happen with three people in the last two weeks, but only figured it out last night.   The moment you achieve a goal you have worked for, you will hit a downer.

Initially you enjoy feelings of elation but immediately afterwards, emotions of self-doubt appear.  You will question whether you deserve your success.   You  will wonder whether you are good enough and ask yourself what will happen when your family and friends realize it?  You will understand that your bubble can burst any second.

Someone that achieves success needs reassurance for a moment because they are vulnerable, almost depressed.  I understand the reason for it to be this – Everything that goes up, must come down.  It is a physical law.  In order to reach equilibrium again after intense feelings of ecstasy, the bottom emotions must also be experienced.

Goals are often achieved through years of hard work and perseverance, where the driving force is the belief in one’s self.  During that time there is no time to doubt, so it sets in only after the goal is achieved.

Luckily though, is just is as it is, and normality will return.