Talking about Blogger & SEO with Mihai Vasilan
An SEO Gig?Â
I met Mihai through the gig site Fiverr when I was looking for some help with theÂ Blogger site I was creating for this podcast; the site you are currently reading. I needed help making sure all the posts and pages loaded fast, some help understandingÂ SEO and testing to makeÂ sure that the blogÂ worked as well on mobile devices as on desktops. Mihai was the 3rd or 4th person I tried. Everyone added a little bit of value but Mr. Vasilan had more to offer, albeit at a higher price. Mihai is a 21 year old college student studying public administration but actually earns his living blogging, and helping others with their blogs.Â
What is SEO?
SEO is theÂ acronymÂ for Search Engine Optimization -- this is the art and science of making a web sites, web pages, pictures or posts easier to appear within a search engine results on Google or Bing. There areÂ legitimateÂ organic ways of doing this and that is known as White Hat SEO; there are some tricks and methods which attempt to "game" the search engines; that is Black Hat SEO. Mihai's SEO journey has evolved from trying all of the SEO tricks (and beingÂ penalized (by Google)Â for that), to becoming a self proclaimed White Hat SEOÂ practitioner. Mihai'sÂ specialty is hisÂ experience and expertise with Blogging which includes Wordpress, and general web sites, but his true expertise is in the Google owned Blogger platform.Â
Growing upÂ RomanianÂ
Besides talking about SEO, blogging and other geeky topics I was excited ask to MihaiÂ what it was like growing up inÂ Romania... After all, the fall ofÂ CeauÈ™escu happened in 1989; in Romania the advent of the Internet revolution largelyÂ coincidedÂ with the fall ofÂ Communism. In many ways Mihai discovered the Internet through blogging.Â
Mr. VasilanÂ has used his blogging skills to help a few localÂ charities,Â posts Photoshop CS4 tutorials plusÂ SEO tutorials for blogger and how-to's guides.Â One of hisÂ blogs has scored in the top 100 psychology blogs in 2015 and he reports his readers increase everyday. While is blog is aimed at a Romanian audience (and written in the local RomanianÂ languageÂ [Daco-Romanian]) Mihai has expressed interest in creating at least one blogÂ inÂ English.Â
Blogger or Wordpress?
A large percent of the Podcasting community uses and recommends Wordpress, which is a free and open source blogging and content management system. It is highly flexible andÂ is build upon a core platform with 100's or even 1000's of independently created modules known as "plug-ins." Plug-ins don't always work wellÂ togetherÂ and the quality of them varies. While hosting a Wordpress based website can be free, many of the plug-ins are offered for a fee, often on a yearly basis.
For a variety of personal reasons I selected Blogger as an alternative to Wordpress, which is certainly a minor (perhaps major)Â disadvantageÂ for a podcaster; however, the benefits of a stable and complete free platform (thanks Google) appeals more to me than the Podcast friendlyÂ advantages of Wordpress. For me,Â Blogger seemed more affordable,Â easier to get off the ground; my plan is to slowly adjust and improve this page (with Mihai's help).
Do you Need toÂ SEOÂ Optimize your website?Â
Mihai is available for hire and I have already recommended him to a few friends. His starting price is $75 (project basis), but he is willing to work on an hourly basis as well. For one friend in NY State, Mihai is providing weekly SEO trainingÂ via Skype (by the hour). Organic SEO is always the best approach as Google (and Bing) frequently change and adjust their searchÂ algorithms; aggressive SEO tactics are increasingly identified and sitesÂ employingÂ them are penalized. Mihai and I talk about this and more in the Podcast. I hope you enjoy listening.
How to Find Mihai Vasilan?
Blog/Website: Gandim Rational - Dezvoltare PersonalaÂ
The continued discussion from part I. We talk about everything from Steve's appearance on America's Got Talent to what he wants to do with his future!…
Talking with Steve Price about STEM Education and Chain Reaction Art
Steve Price is a Chain Reaction Artist
You may know him from America's Got Talent... Steve Price is a full time college student (Junior), and when not in school spends his time thinking about and building complicated constructions of dominoes, chemical reactions and other physical elements that once started "detonate" in one long chain reaction. Here is a great example on YouTube:Â Steve Price (Sprice) on America's Got Talent.
Steve's web siteÂ |Â Steve on TwitterÂ | Steve's YouTube Channel |Â Sprice Machines on Facebook
Help Support STEM ED
There is a lot of Science, Techonology, Enginering and Math (STEM) invovled in Steve's creations... It is a way to make STEM very real and tangible for students and of course when a chain reaction detonates it is also a lot of fun.Â
Kickstart Steve & his 15 Friends
Besides trying to support STEM Education, Steve his 15 friend will be trying to create two records. The American Domino record, plus the world record for Rube Goldberg Devices.Â
LINK TO The Incredible Science Machine KICKSTARTERÂ (Ends April 20, 2015).
Some Of Steve's Work:
Talking About Social Media with Dr. Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno)
Business leaders in the Spring of 2015 (at the most senior levels) are still not using social media tools themselves (even senior PR Pros). Yet there is plenty of data suggestingÂ thatÂ when the C-Suite uses social tools,Â it helps them and their teams strengthen consumer trustÂ in their company. The sad factÂ is that often C-Suite executives are unwilling to learn the needed skills or are simply just risk adverse.
Game of RISK:
In academic circles these same two issues are often seen as a barrier. There are some who only see social media (especially Twitter) as a tool for youthful and trivial interactions instead of for its untapped potential: a gate-free medium that canÂ facilitateÂ cross generational and cross cultural communications.Â Â
Santa J. Ono, PhD.
Dr. Ono's usage of Twitter has beenÂ recognizedÂ Â as a leading example that academicÂ leadershipÂ can harness social media to accomplish personal, professional and institutional objectives. This leadership has been recognized within the UC Community,Â locally in Ohio, and by researcherÂ Dan Ziaontz.Â It takes a bit of fearlessness to present yourself to your stakeholders without a safety net; it is a common perception of social mediaÂ that aÂ tiny misstep can lead to embarrassment. Dr. Ono's acclaim stems in partÂ from his ability to market himself adeptly in the social media realm.
Ono on Social:
President Ono recommends that individuals, departments, and companies need to find their "authentic voice." My impression of Dr. Ono is that he considers authenticityÂ of voice to be a critical requirement for using social tools like Twitter. While Dr.Â Ono makes use of a variety of social networks, his reputation for using Twitter is significant. Students at UC haveÂ analyzedÂ his tweets, and he has taken their advice to heart, proving that his use and command of Twitter are both dynamic and evolving. He informed me during the interview that a student in Canada isÂ analyzingÂ his Tweets as partÂ of his PhD. research
"Santa J.Â OnoÂ is the 28thÂ President of the University of Cincinnati, one of the nationâ€™s top 30 public research universities. An avid user of social media, he is also an accomplished researcher in eye disease.Â A new book called #FollowtheLeader (Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs) says that with his use of Twitter, Dr.OnoÂ â€œepitomizes the institutional championâ€ â€“ 'highlighting his universityâ€™s achievements, both academic and non-academic, interacting with key stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners; and also serving as â€˜cheerleader-in-chiefâ€™ whenever possible.' "
Judith talks about the great Hartford Circus Fire
The Great Hartford Circus Fire
Judith talks about growing up in rural dairy farming Bloomfield Ct, her neighbors, and even Mr. Webster the local butcher.
Judith SurvivedÂ The Circus Fire
"One of America's greatest fire disasters occurred on July 6, 1944 in Hartford, Connecticut"Â
She talks about surviving the great Hartford circus fire including her rescue and the aftermath (starting at the 00:08:23 mark). Judith considers herself to be the "girl in the little yellow pinafore dress" written about by Henry S. Cohn. (The Great Hartford Circus Fire: Creative Settlement of Mass Disasters Yale University Press, 1991).
Mike Linksvayer, Creative Commons and Free Society
Guest Mike Linksvayer:
Mike talks about the economic value of information and why the freedom of information should be valued by a free society. Mike talks with Harry Hawk about his previous role as the CTO and VP at The Creative Commons.Â
I've known Mike for about 20+ years... and have followed his transformation from technology hacker to a hacker of society... trying to create a more free world by freeing some of the worlds most important information.
I talk to Mike for about 28 minutes and we cover some of his work story and try to understand some of the critical aspects of the creative commons licenses.
Raw & Uncut:
My entire conversation with Mike took over an hour and forty-five minutes. Click here to hear the entire discussison from start to finish, raw, and uncut.
Mike's Web SiteÂ | Â Mike's BlogÂ |Â @mLinksSVA
Wikipedia Entry for Mike
About the DMCA
Peer Review Comes to Wikipedia
Talking About Competency Based Education at College For America with Chief Learning Architect Yvonne Simon
Learning without grades
Education in America is focused on how many days you spend in the classroom, and the grades you are assessed. Education in America rarely focuses on mastering new skills and quantified evidence of learning. If you show up for every class and you get a passing grade, you have passed the course, even if you haven't mastered everything covered in the course.
Students who wish to complete a course or a degree don't have to really strive -- they just have to figure out how to pass a few tests, and how to impress the teacher enough to get a passing grade; students have been known to beg, cry or even cheat their way to a better grade. Students learn that theÂ emphasisÂ of their studiesÂ should be focused on jumping through the right hoops, at the right time, and cramming for tests. Sure there are some students who really try forÂ deep learning and put all their effort into their studies, but the vast majority are there to do just the most minimum effort.
Master The Skills
College for AmericaÂ CFA) has designedÂ a new approach to higher education, and theirs is the first program accredited by the US Dept. of Education based authorizing funding/payment based on skills learned vs. time spent in the class (contact hours). Students do not get letter grades, and they are not subjected to theÂ vaguenessÂ of Pass/Fail; there is no teacher to beg for a better grade. Students are assessed with either Not Yet or Mastery. They need to fully master 120 skills to graduate, and can move through the course at their own pace. TheyÂ negotiate theÂ length of time they will spend on assignments (projects); they even get to pick their own graduation date. Miss a date? No problem, they are learning through their own "failure".
Blue Vs. Purple
Students at CFA have to complete about 40 unique projects. Smaller projects that are easier "to eat" are called Blue Projects. Purple projects are more complex, and involve more skills. Every student needs to complete at least 3 Purple projects, in addition to a few group projects in order to graduate. It is easy to reject any educational scheme that doesn't involve the letters A, B, C, D & F --- because we have been conditioned to see those letters as the gold standard of education.
No Grades - Self Paced & NO Teachers??
Typically only a few students get As and that means everyone else has failed to grasp all of the material. How can that be the gold standard? Everyone learns differently and the online, self paced courses offered by CFA compel students to master each of the skills not 60% or 70% but 100%. The educational coaches at CFA, and the structure of the Blue & Purple projects, and even theÂ negotiationÂ over the time limits forÂ the assignments "force" students to not only learn, but to think about how theyÂ learn, and to learn enough about themselves to master their own educational journey.
Today CFA is open to students whose employers are partnered with College for America. This includes many famous companies like McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, The Gap, GULF Oil, and ConAgra. They have also been cited by the White House and President Obama as one of the examples of how American education needs to transform. One of the benefits that will appeal to both students and employers is the Associate degree costs $2,500 per year. Finish in a year and $2,500 is the total bill -- often paid by the employer through theirÂ tuitionÂ assistance program. CFA also offers a BAÂ in in communications and healthcare management (with more on the way);Â students need to complete the Associate degree first. The BA is also very affordable.
CLA Yvonne SimonÂ
In this episode of Talking About Everything, I discuss education theory and the practical implications for this new style of education with CFA's Chief Learning Architect Yvonne Simon. Yvonne is the former CEO of theÂ SNHU OnlineÂ education program and was the co-founder and VP at Six Red Marbles.
Lead Learning Coach
In this episode I also speak with Deo Mwano who is the lead learning coach at CFA. His personal journeyÂ is remarkable but no more so than the 100s or even 1000s of educational journeys that he and his team help CFA students accomplish.
"Deo Mwano joined College for America at Southern New Hampshire University in January of 2013 as a Learning Coach and was part of the original pilot program launch. The coaching team and he developed the coaching model with a focus on the student experience. His focus was on helping students adapt and succeed in a personalized online competency program. He learned how to work with a diverse group of students and had some of the first graduates.Â
Today, Deo is a Team Lead Learning Coach. He develops student success skills through coaching and training other coaches and partners. He oversees coaching development strategies by researching and conductingÂ studies on other effective coaching methods. Deo works closely with employer partners to customize the coaching support to the studentsâ€™ environment.Â His experience with College for America hasÂ strengthened his ability to help a wide range of people achieve their personalÂ goals."…
#FollowTheLeader with Dan Zaiontz
College/University Presidents Learn Social Media
Dan Zaiontz, a faculty member ofÂ Seneca College,Â started researching senior academic usage of social media while completing his Master's degree in CommunicationsÂ (MCM). That research is now part of a book calledÂ #FollowTheLeader,Â which is being published byÂ M. Stoner; January 20, 2015 is the publication date.
Dan talks about several educational leaders he admires, likeÂ Santa J. OnoÂ (@prezono) fromÂ UC, andÂ Paul LeBlancÂ (@snhuprez) fromÂ SNHU.Â I'm a particular fan of Dr. LeBlanc for many reasons including that I am an SNHU alumni. Being a leader on social media doesn't mean filling their Twitter streams with lofty quotes; often it means reaching out to rank and file members of the community and being simply accessible to students.
While Dan says he reached out to as many as 150 individuals, all of the folks in the book wereÂ initiallyÂ contacted via Twitter. College and University presidents who use Twitter are not only setting the pace for their institution and their community, but also making themselves role models for all types of enterprises including businesses and non-profits.
Warmly yours, Harry Hawk (@hhawk)…
The Naked Rowers
Everyone know that sex and sexy sells.Â Example: decades of posters, calendars and advertising have often included photos and illustrations of younger, attractive often busty women.Â Learn how Angus Malcolm and the Naked Rowers have used nudity and social media to engage, influence, and tell a very unique story about sports and inclusion while raising "nearlyÂ Â£100,000".Â Listen to my Interview with Angus from July 2014;Â this is "raw and uncut edition."
My interview with Angus Malcolm
Naked Men? Yes.
The male, mostly straight rowing crew at the University of Warwick have turned this traditional on it's head. First to raise funds to keep their "cash strapped" club afloat, but now to increasingly raise money toÂ fight offÂ homophobiaÂ in sports. The first timeÂ Angus MalcolmÂ uploaded images from one of their shoots "within 24 hours it generated over 36k downloads." A "making of" trailer from their 2014 effort generated more millions of downloads from at least "1.5 million unique viewers."Â Angus is the photographer on all of the Warwick Rowers photos below.
Angus Malcolm, the producer of the Naked Rowers Calendar notes, "The tradition of the naked college calendar" doesÂ existÂ in the United Kingdom. A quick Google search turned up a mix of naked men, women and coed charity calendars from Universities in Oxford, Bristol,Â Nottingham,Â Sheffield, Liverpool, Kingston, Exeter, Aberdeen, Birmingham, and Cardiff.Â Sheffield Hallam University's Men's Rugby Union has produced naked charity calendarsÂ since 2001 yet has a Twitter page with 858 followers. In contrast theÂ Naked Rowershave nearly 22k followers and 15k Likes onÂ Facebook.
The Warwick Rowers Prove Organic Reach Works
Six Calendar Years
Now in it's 6th year, Mr. Malcolm who has a long history working with non-profits as a professional communicator, attributes the success of the Naked Rowers calendar to many factors including:
"Give people what they want"
"Produce high quality content"
"Be relevant to the people who support you"
"OpennessÂ of the mostly straight rowers who are comfortableÂ being naked [for a cause]"
The power of organic reach: "we don't pay for promotion"
"The project is student run but itÂ isn't amateur"
the 2015 "crowd funder" has just kickedÂ off (July 2014).Â Watch the 2015 Trailer.
Smashing Burgers 001
My Love Affair with Burgers: StartingÂ To Flip
I've helped sell more than 100, 000 burgers and I've cooked them 5x at the James Beard House. I also won the 2008 Burger Battle of the Boroughs. This is my story about my love affair with the hamburger. I've decided to start to tell this story because on Jan 17th 2015 I'll be cooking a burger pop-up in Brooklyn. If you are reading this before that date, you can buy some tickets and taste my burgers --> Jan 17, 2015 Tickets.
You can visit the Schnack Web SiteÂ which is still online, or check out the Blog. I mention the Gowanus Yacht Club in this episode, learn more here.
A Juicy well cooked, medium rare slider burger (a Schnackie) on a NY Handmade Breads Brioche bun.
This "Slide" ran at the local Clearview movie theater promoting Schnack burgers and meals.
A view inside of Schnack designed by James Mamary the most amazing restaurant designer I've ever met.…
PUT is Down -- Full Length (00:16:17)
So in America more and more homes only have high speed internet -- that means no cable TV subscription. This was written about in MediaPost.com by Wayne Friedman in an article called Broadband-Only Home Accellerate Cable TV declines.
PUT is the acronym for People Using Television. Since Nielsen started counting broadband only homes in 2013, the broadband only category has grown to be "2.7% of the sample size."
That's not a huge number but it is growing and it's bigger when they look at younger viewers where it's down about 7%.
Local TV Should Be Free!!
Let's face it, the old ad driven model of TV was fairly reasonable. You watched TV and you watched Ads; now you pay to get cable and you STILL have to watch Ads. That the FCC allows TV stations to charge cable companies for local TV doesn't harm their ad revenue -- since it keeps people watching their shows, stations are paid by their advertisers and they get to do FCC Approved Double-Dip.
Stop: FCC Approved Double-Dib
The good news is that you don't need an act of Congress to stop this double-dip. Just get a $50 or less digital antenna; it is a one time cost and once again your local TV will be free. Then use Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime, Apple iTunes or Google Play to get all the other shows you want; or watch them on YouTube, or the networks web sites.
Back to the Fireplace
Of course if you don't want to spend any money you can go back to the good old days and start watching your food cook by the fireside.…
Talking About Everything hangs out with Ken X Ruan.
I was joined by Ken to talk about society and marketing; topics we also blog about (here).Â This was a test of how well we could record together over Skype, testing out Ken's Microphone, and of course getting used to speaking to each other while recording everything we said. This is episode is the edited copy which has a running time of about 27 minutes.
We talked about our person biases, what Ken might look for in a wife, a few of Shelly Turkle's books, Ken's affinity for getting random strangers to make a "selfie video" with him (on the mean streets of NYC), and we talk about technology,Â Â antipositism, and politics: Libertarianism, Communitarianism, NeoliberalismÂ and my meeting 20 years ago with Machinery of FreedomÂ author David FriedmanÂ and his son PatriÂ (picture).
Here is a picture of Ken X Ruan…
Episode 0 - My 30 Second Promo
Talking About Everything, a podcast with Harry Hawk offers a wide range of interviews, rants, discussions and more. Please use this promo if you would like to help me promote the show. Please consider subscribing on iTunes and giving us an honest review.
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