Twitter Landing Page

There’s no secret I used (and talked about) Twitter a lot lately. I already wrote several posts about it this month, from Twiterring Heights, up to Taxonomic Twitter. I use Twitter for much more than answering to the question “what are you doing?”. I use this social service mostly to connect with other interesting people and … Read more

Posting Speed, Blog Metrics And Holidays

This my 12th post for this month. Starting with October 2008 my posting speed is part of my monthly goals. Each month I set up a certain target for the number of posts and I do my best to make it. In October I wanted to have at least 15 posts, meaning one post every other day. It went very well, and actually I ended up with 17 posts instead of 15. For November I wanted to publish at least 15 posts, but with at least 5 more. That would make a big total of 20, of course. I needed to put up a little stress to see if I can improve something in the process. It was a little bit difficult to make it, but with some effort I did exactly 20 posts. And for December the schedule is the same, 20 posts. So far, I’ve made it to the half of it, and I will do my best to keep up with the pace.

The most important ingredient in making this happening is time management. I don’t have any writer’s block, as they say, and I feel like I could write continuously for days, if nobody will stop me. But I need to isolate and allocate significant chunks of time for that. I work from home now and interruption are very likely to happen, but I try to keep them under control. It’s still kinda difficult to buy time chunks bigger than 3 hours at a time to work on. I guess I’ll have to find a solution for that: either learn how to manage smaller chunks of time, either buy bigger chunks of time. Whatever the solution, the result must be a constant posting speed.

This posting speed is not something I started in October this year. To be honest, my first challenge was in May, and it was about one post per day for 90 days. I failed miserably with only 17 posts, not even making 3 full weeks, and got ill starting with day 18. I don’t think it was a direct link between my blog challenge and my illness, but I know for sure that the blog challenge was a stress factor. It was way too high. So high that I sometimes suspect myself of not wanting to make it through, hence establishing such a difficult target.

The second challenge, in October, was way lower, one post every other day. It was sustainable and I was able to make it very easy. In fact, I even did more than that. In November I was almost to the limit and I suspect the same thing will happen in December too. 20 posts per month seems like something that I’m ready to do, but with some discipline and effort.

One may ask why I establish such goals, in the first place. Isn’t this artificially induced posting speed something that will take out the value in what I write? Isn’t it something that will suffer from lack of spontaneity? Not at all. In fact, I don’t have any problem with what I want to write, but with how I write it. This posting speed is related to the “how” portion, not the “what”. I already know what I want to write I only need to find a sustainable workflow for it. Maintaing a blog and making it work is not something trivial at all. The vast majority of people who start blogging fail at it because of the how not of the what. They all know what to do, but they don’t know how.

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7 Things About Me

Well, it seems is that time of the year. And I don’t mean Christmas, but tagging and meme games. This time is Stephen Smith from Productivity In Context, and it’s about 7 things about me. Tracking down the beginning of this meme was a little over my time but I can tell for sure that … Read more

Therapeutical Talking And Writing

Every time I talk about something that was on my mind for a lot of time, I have the tendency to forget about it shortly after. Just talking about things that really were on my head seems to make them disappear afterwards. I had this impression a lot of times. Lately, I experienced this almost on any topic I am thinking about. Expressing my thoughts in words, written or talked, made the topic vanish. It’s like giving the thought some shape pushes it out of my brain, into another realm.

I had this going on for many years. I ruminated about something for months, making it bigger and bigger in my head, and then, all of a sudden, expressed it violently. Either in form of a journal entry, a blog entry, or sometimes in a fight or controversy with somebody else. After the eruption, the inside volcano magically disappeared. I even forgot that there was a volcano in that place. Shifted my attention to something else, and of course, started another ruminating session on a different topic, soon to be ended with another eruption, in several days, weeks, or months.

This chain of reactions lead me to the concept of therapeutically talking or writing. In today’s blog post I’ll try to understand what are the reasons for this therapeutical dimension of talking. Why is this happening, what are the triggers and what are the limits of this behavior. Is this a good thing, a bad thing or just a thing that I have? We’ll see about that together.

Healing Talking

During the last 5-6 years I started to pay more attention to this phenomenon. I monitored those “eruptions” and the subtle mechanism behind them. Gradually isolated similar events and tried to build on a pattern. It seemed that every confusion, fear, worry or lack of trust was in fact a root for a ruminating session. Not being able to express in the very moment my feelings about that confusion or fear pushed it back into my mental backyard, converting them in seeds of some huge wild-growing plants. 

Without paying attention to those plants, they grew until they started to shade my normal thinking patterns. They grew so big that they took some of the whole garden light. So big that I was forced to confront them. And the only immediate action I could take was to cut them out. Talking them out loud, writing about them, bringing them into conversations or fights. I just cannot leave in the dark, so I had to eliminate the obstruction, most of the time by violently expressing it.

After I eliminated those huge ugly wild-growing plants, the backyard was clean again. No need for another confrontation, my mental clarity was not obstructed anymore. Those wild-growing plants were out for good, so the very topic that generated them was forgotten.

This pattern was so powerful that it become my way of life. Almost everything that wasn’t managed was staying somewhere back, waiting to reach an “explosion” point. After expressing my feelings out loud, the problem disappeared. I went on this rollercoaster for years, until I started to feel annoyed about something.

I didn’t realize in the beginning what was my annoyance. But things around me started to lose consistency. I was forgetting stuff, more and more stuff and more and more often. If there was something that I was already “erupted” on, I even avoided direct confrontation. I knew from the beginning that this will lead to a huge wild-growing plant that will need to be cut in a painful storm of words, so I was keeping the distance. I didn’t engage in a lot of activities, started to work less, to keep honest relationships away, to avoid social interaction. All of that was before a source of pain expressed by words, so it had to be avoided.

But that was even worse. My way of dealing with negative emotions or situations was keeping me from experiencing a true and sincere life. Everything was thrown back and vomited weeks after in order to keep me clean. And between those periods I was almost invisible. I wasn’t doing much on my own. It was this chain of non-confrontation and therapeutical talking that took command of me. It was an auto pilot.

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Freedom

Today is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I’ve joined a cause on Facebook related to this event, which basically aims to raise awareness about human rights by using the power of blogging. On this date, December 10th, each and everyone who has joined the cause must write something to support it. Before reading further on this post, I highly encourage you to read the posts on onedayforumanrights.com and see the details at the Facebook event page. 

When I think about human rights I always think at my first half of life. Until the age of 19 I lived under communism, a dictatorial regime ran by Ceausescu. At the end of 1989, after a series of events often cited as the “Romanian Revolution”, the communist regime was down and the conditions for free elections created. The next years were chaotically to say the least, there was a lot of social turmoil and economic downfall but overall, the human rights started to be respected. It took about 5-7 years until the social climate become more transparent. During that period, we still had bad things running around, like large scale manipulation or social violence – sometimes to the extent of a civil war, with communities of people (miners) violently attacking other communities (students).

Fortunately enough, after 10-15 years, everything is going much better in my country of birth, Romania. But that first period, my early childhood and my primary education are tainted for ever with marks of an unbelievable way of life. Yes, it’s unbelievable now to think that you’re going to prison for criticizing the political regime. It’s unbelievable to think that you can’t leave your country whenever you want to. It’s unbelievable to think that you can’t say what you want to say publicly.

That first part of my life was a prison. I wasn’t confined at a closed facility and attended social structures like school. But the school, the other social structures above the school, were walls of a bigger prison. Every structure of the regime was a twisted and closed parody of what a free life should be. Everything around was a lie, and nobody ever said what he really meant.

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The Fake Saint

I talked the other day with an old friend. We talked on messenger because he didn’t find the time to see each other in the real world. His job assignments become too time consuming and his schedule quite hectic. I know how it is. Been there, done that, had to manage my own company for 10 years… But he wasn’t like this before. When I used to have too many tasks and a rather hectic schedule he enjoyed quite a bohemian period. Time took a turn and now the situation is somehow reversed. But I remember with a lot of deep joy those times, 4-5 years ago when we spent nights and weeks on a rather hippie timeline.

During that period he had a lot of talking. About our goal in this life, about astrology and about healthy food. I must admit that I owe him some of my current passions like astrology, or some of my health habits like raw food and the road I’m walking right now was first pointed during those times. But now things have changed for him and he started to feel a little embarrassed with what I write on this blog. To make a long story short, he thinks I’m cheating. In his own words: “I’m posing as a fake saint”.

I thought a lot in the last few days about that. I really did. Also, during the last few days I had some turmoil into my personal life. I won’t go into details but there is a wind of change in some other areas of my life. Something must be destroyed to let other stuff growing. Don’t know what exactly started to go down and when it will completely disappear, but I know for sure it’s happening right now. Things have come to a point when friends are asking me: why don’t you apply what you write on your blog in your life too? And I thought about that question also…

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Getting The Best Out Of Twitter – Introducing MrTweet

My Twitter mood is continuing these days. After a general post about twittering heights and a more technical one about hashtags in Twitter, today I’ll write a short review of one of the most useful applications you can try to enhance your Twitter experience.

The application is web-based and you can find it at mrtweet.net. MrTweet offers two simple, yet powerful features so far – the app is very young, 4 weeks at the date of this post, if I’m not wrong – and those are

  • listings of your followers that you should follow back
  • listings of the key influencers in your network

In order to measure the quality of the followers you should follow back and to define the “influencer” MrTweet uses a few ad-hoc metrics.  Based on what you already have in your network of followers, MrTweet will harvest a report, in fact, just a simple list. The report shows near each person their ratio of following / frollower, the number of tweets per day and the recipricity: how that person replies or not to non-follows. On top of that, it shows a list of the persons in your network who are already following that person, and, if you really want to know more, it also shows you the latest tweets of that person in your browser. And of course, if you like the guy, you can follow him on Twitter from within MrTweet website.

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Twittering Heights

It’s not a secret that Twitter, the 140 characters blogging service has become mainstream. For those of you living on planet Mars, who haven’t yet heard about it, Twitter is a place where you can communicate in a very short way -  140 characters maximum – the answer to a very simple question: “What are you doing?”. Other people may follow you, meaning they will actually see what are you doing / writing. And you can follow other people too, meaning that you can see what they are doing. Simplicity at its best.

But out of simplicity the best things in our life came. And out of simplicity you can create some of the most interesting and challenging things in your life. In today’s post I’ll try to share my opinions on using Twitter in the last few months. I’m approaching my 1000th update on Twitter and that will be one important milestone in my Twitterer career. Joking, of course.

All About Me Versus Sharing Others

Being on Twitter and being engaged in social interactions on this media is a surprisingly interesting activity. Most of the time you’ll be inclined to respond to that fundamental question: “What are you doing?” and unveil your life and day to day activities in short, yet compelling pieces of informations.

But after a while and after reading other people’s timelines you’ll find the need to share some pieces of other people’s life. You’ll start to re-tweet (quote) other people ideas, links, quotes or findings. You’ll start to be a broadcaster for others. In fact, you’ll soon find that one of the key metrics in being a successful twitterer is the “me versus other” ratio. And by “successful twitterer” I don’t mean a popular one, but a person who extracts the best value out of this.

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