Blogging 101 | Post 3 – ‘ritin’ rampage!

cropped-new_writesomethingtoday1.jpgDecision to Quit

When I signed up for this course, I decided come hell or high water, I would complete it this time. I got behind, as expected, woefully behind. In fact, this is only my third post of the sixteen assignments we’ve been given so far. I actually decided this past weekend that I was going to give up on this again.

What Decision?

I woke up this morning and changed my mind. I decided, right or wrong, that I am going to get caught up before Friday and complete this course – finally. So, I’m starting a writing marathon, no, like the title says, a ‘ritin’ rampage. That’s what I’m going to do – go on a freaking rampage and write thousands and thousands of words and publish them all.
Let’s get started with this.

All good boys deserve a favor.

Four score and twenty years ago.

Whistle while you work.

Fly away little Starling…fly, fly, fly.


Sorry about that! Those quotes are completely unrelated to the topic at hand. They were just some poor, pitiful attempts at humor from poor, pitiful me. The topic is writing to get caught up, and I am starting with today’s assignment, since it’s easy – it’s already done.

Sharing and Publicizing, Oh My!

This is the real assignment for today, and like I said, I am already doing it. Currently, whenever I publish something on this blog, it automatically notifies or posts on these social media services: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, and Path. I have to admit though, either all the articles I’ve shared on social media were lousy, or the people who look at my social media sites aren’t interested in reading. Who knows, but I’ll keep at it.

So, This One is Done

The rampage is started, the coffee is flowing, and somehow the words are falling out of my brain onto the keyboard. Call this assignment done, if you will. If not, I will. Next up, I believe, will be a two-fer, if I can make it work.

Stay tuned!

Protect Net Neutrality | Join The Fight – Demand Congressional Support For a Free and Open Web

The Fight to Protect Net Neutrality


The FCC votes on net neutrality in 13 DAYS

Yesterday, I e-signed this petition from Mozilla. This is important. The web needs to remain free from any government control or interference. If you live in the United States, and you haven’t done so, you also need to sign this. Takes but a minute and Mozilla protects your privacy. If you aren’t in the US, you should familiarize yourself with pending net neutrality laws in your country and make your own stand for a free web.

The rest of this post is taken directly from Mozilla’s page urging us as netizens to take action.

We Are Close to Victory: Take Action Now

This is our final stand because the Web is not owned by any one of us; rather, it is shared by all of us. That’s why net neutrality is so important.

Sign the petition

If you live or vote in the United States, please add your name to the petition using the form below (if not, please forward this to anyone you know in the U.S.A.)

[This is the letter Mozilla will send on your behalf]

Dear Member of Congress,

The Federal Communications Commissioners will take a vote February 26th on net neutrality rules. I want the FCC to do all it can and put strong protections in place. I expect you to do the same.

As American citizens, we have been clear about what we want. To date, the public commented nearly four million times demanding that the FCC support full net neutrality. More than 300,000 of those comments were by phone — at one point reaching 1,000 calls per minute.

Clearly I am not alone in my belief that the Web is a global engine of innovation and entrepreneurship — a level playing field from which we can learn, connect and create. I stand with the millions of others in the global Web community that have opposed fast lanes which leave the majority in the slow lane, restricting freedom of choice online. There should be no blocking and discrimination of content online. If the FCC votes to uphold these protections, I am asking you to stand in support of full protections, and to leave a legacy that will ensure a free and open Web for generations.

Your name will go here

The Fight to Protect Net Neutrality

We are so close to victory after a long, sustained fight to get strong, effective protections for net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission is slated to vote on net neutrality rules on February 26th. Time is running out for us to speak out. That is why it is so important for every American to call or write their member of Congress now.

Momentum has been on our side, but the handful of powerful companies are pulling out all the stops between now and the FCC’s vote. The corporate Goliaths and their lobbyists are using their influence to get politicians to gut net neutrality as we know it and undermine the open nature of the Web. Don’t let them do this.

We’re so close to victory, but we’re not there yet.

The biggest weapon we have in the fight for net neutrality is you. Will you make a last stand with us to make sure the FCC votes for strong net neutrality protections?

We’ll make sure to send your message — along with those of everyone else who speaks out — directly to members of Congress. Let’s protect the open Internet for all.

The poll is mine – not from Mozilla.

Please take a minute to respond.

Mozilla Advocacy Wordmark

Learn more about how Mozilla is protecting the free and open Web.
Visit Mozilla Advocacy

Blogging 101 | Post 2 – Did the Photo Entice You?

Winslow SunsetAbout The Photo

First, let me ask you a question. Did the photo entice you in any way to read this post? Was there any appeal? Do you think you would have bothered to read this without the photo? We’ll get back to this in a few minutes.

Failure to Lunch

It’s well past lunchtime. I decided not to take part, again. I’m too involved with the coffee I am still drinking, again. And I guess you might say I am involved with writing for this course. Again! I tried this past weekend to get caught up, though if I’m honest, I didn’t try very hard. Staying up all night to watch 12 straight hours of The Walking Dead then sleeping most of the following day doesn’t qualify as writing for this blog.

My Title and Tagline

But I am here now, missing lunch and drinking my coffee, to get back on track. As I said previously, I am determined to complete this course this time. The post I wrote for my earlier attempt to complete Blogging 101 pretty much covers my thoughts on my title and tagline. They both still describe what I want to accomplish with this blog. I’m not changing them.

Quoting My Own Article – Cool!

Although this is pretty cool, quoting myself is not the real purpose. Since I have blogged here for a while, I’m going to share a couple of tidbits that I have learned and wrote about. The quotes come from the article I published last November.

While we are taking this course, we kind of have a captive, willing, and participative audience. We all want other BU101er’s to read and comment, and maybe even follow our blogs. Michelle gives us the assignments and guidance, we do the work (even when it’s late) and post our links to The Commons, which gets us interacting with each other.

When this course is finished, and you start posting in the “Wild World of WordPress,” without the benefit of The Commons, this is what happens.

You write and write and write and edit and revise and write and edit and revise some more. Finally, you get ready to hit that publish button. First, though, you need to get your categories set and then pick your oh-so-important tags. Then you hit that magic button.

Within seconds, your post makes it to the top of the list for the tags you selected. For example, suppose you chose blogging as a tag. If you looked at the WordPress tag cloud page and selected the blogging tag, you would end up on this page, where you would find your post at or near the top of the page. But not for long! As soon as more bloggers post their content, they capture the top spot, and just like on Google, the top is the prime page real estate. That is why I wrote this.

Exposure [on WordPress], I believe, is a momentary piece of timing and luck. In other words, you have a very short period of time for readers to view your post and be compelled enough to read it and decide if it merits enough effort to investigate your blog further.~Rich Richardson, from my post Writing Success on WordPress

Back to the Picture

You’ve figured out by now that the photo is not related in any way to content in this post. That is why I asked the questions. Go back to the page with the blogging tags. Scan down and look at several posts. How many do you see with a photo at the top? I’ll venture that more than half of them do. My picture is there to entice you to read this, and if it helped at all, it served its purpose. That is why I wrote this, which is quoted from the same article.

Third: I believe anything you post is going to fail the timing and exposure tests unless you have a great, or at least good photo to go along with it. I believe this based on my own experience: To date, I have published 88 posts to this blog. Of those 88, the top three posts with the most “Likes” all included decent photographs. In descending order, they are: Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | 2, “Super Sport” | Photo Challenge – Letters, and Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life.~Rich Richardson, from my post Writing Success on WordPress

 Good Writers Write Good

Good writing, as with any other endeavor, requires mastering the fundamentals. For me, it means once again reviewing the basics, which is why I decided to enroll in the Coursera course Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade. It provides a really good review of the basic mechanics of writing English prose.

I’m also enrolled in Pre-College English, a free, online course from Saylor Academy.

If you feel like you need help with your writing, by all means keep writing, but find a course that suits you. There are plenty of offerings on the ‘net – just look.

Good luck to all.