New Scottish Culture

After the referendum last September, the Scottish National Party became the most popular political party in Scotland.  The reasons for this may seem unclear to people who do not understand Scottish culture.

 

Before I go into that, here is my own position.  As a former interviewer for a research organisation that formerly worked extremely closely with national government, I was initially a no.  I just could not permit myself the space to consider whether Scotland could afford the number of disabled, long term sick, or unemployed people that we support without the ultimate insurance of the UK.  When I finally discussed it with a friend who is a lot more interested in domestic politics than I am, I made the decision to take the risky, yet positive Yes route.  Why did I change my mind? Certainly not because of oil revenue.  Oil does not really affect Glasgow, it barely affects most of Scotland.  The chattering classes on the east coast would tell you something different, but the chattering classes on the east coast are not really considered to be very pro-Scottish by most of Scotland.  There are logistical reasons for this that most Scots, never mind anyone else, do not really understand.  There is also a strong sense of rivalry between east and west, which historically far outweighs anything as mundane as the price of oil.

So, first, the east-west divide:

When you drive to Scotland from England, you have three main options – the A1, which takes you up the east coast,  the M6, which takes you up to a fairly straightforward artery to the formerly industrial zones in the west, and a wee road that we like to send the English tourists through Galloway, via Moffat.  The Moffat road allows you to delude yourself that you are seeing pretty parts of Scotland, whilst gently directing you towards Edinburgh.  It never fails to make me chuckle, this idea that we are keeping the best bits for ourselves, and directing the tourist traffic away from Scotland’s actual capital, Glasgow.

 

I have lived in both cities as well as a considerable number of other areas in Scotland, and contentiously, I can tell you that it is a lot easier to live as a single person in Edinburgh.  Like Kent, it has a steady through traffic of incomers, and an arguably more cosmopolitan atmosphere generally.  Like Kent, although people are generally less friendly, they are actually a bit more tolerant of strangers.  I have shocked many an Edinburgh native, when asked about the two cities, when I have said this, as they assume a natural rivalry exists.  No, we in Glasgow are quite happy for Edinburgh to accomodate all the tourists they want.  It keeps the place tidy for the extended clans that prefer to do Scottish business and shopping in Glasgow, from most of the rest of Scotland, including places that are actually nearer to Edinburgh. Glasgow is designed for mercantile and domestic business, central Edinburgh is designed for something somewhat more genteel and anglified.

 

So what implications does the information I have given you so far have for the new Scottish culture that has developed since the referendum?

 

What do Euan McColm, JK Rowling, and  ‘what about my pension?’ Historywoman, all aggressive Unionists have in common?  They are all residents of Edinburgh.  They genuinely believe that their self-hating and often ill-informed opinions reflect the views of most of Scotland, because they are assured by their positions that the masses really care what they as individuals think.  JK, as it turns out, is a titanic egotist that believes the slavish followers that hang on her every word, without any alternative information to her apparent dislike of the country she is choosing to throw her money about in. They are apparently unconcerned who they are bombing, and whose house gets fracked, as long as they are right, right, right. Euan even tried to tell me that the SNP were at fault for the activities of SEPA, an organisation that I am familiar with from my days working for the main utilities companies in Scotland.  Sorry, Euan, but SEPA have never done what they say on the tin, it is nothing to do with the SNP, a party somewhat fettered by its own democracy.

 

As a result, many unthinking no voters believe that the question of Scottish independence is akin to a primary school exam question.  It is multiple choice, and all they have to worry about is getting the answer right.  They do not like the couthier elements of the SNP, or the devotion shown by some supporters (particularly those who are formerly left wing activists) and they do not trust that anybody in Scotland has sufficient wit to run a country. When you consider that Scotlands upper working and lower middle class are often heavy drinkers, who work extremely hard and have limited time for information gathering, never mind thinking, it is less surprising that they take the views of these people seriously and write the entire argument off as ‘lefties dreaming about oil.’

 

As the Scottish voting public have demonstrated since the referendum, the question of independence for yes voters is not at all about oil.  Whether you are left or right wing, it is about your idea of what a nation is, your level of self confidence as a person as well as a nation, and your opinion of how well the UK functions for you as an individual.  I am sure that if you are a mean-spirited academic worrying about your pension, a fearful author worrying about your house getting burgled by poor people, or a minor journalist who just wants to be in with UK bricks, the idea of independence is very frightening.

 

If you are a cultural observer, however, it is more of a question of how one would go about making the country work for people who have been forced to accept a culture of loss,  historically, industrially and in terms of the lose-to-win social housing rules. What Scotland actually needs is a generation of factories, in order to achieve future generations of bankers, engineers and designers to move the country forward.  Are we likely to achieve that by ensuring that we are under Tory rule from the over-populated England?  Many middle class thinkers in Glasgow apparently think not, going by the referendum results.  Despite an engrained class tension, exemplified by a friend of mine from Pollokshaws, who despite a £50,000 a year job as a builder, cannot imagine owning a house ‘because he has no capital like the middle-class c****,’ Glasgow apparently has the confidence that Edinburgh appeared to lack at the time of the referendum. What my friend requires, apparently, is an injection of morale that people like Rowling and McColm cannot find in their hearts to provide in the country they choose to live in.  Good luck with that stinking self-hatred you are punting.

 

Meanwhile, the English media would have the snarling chavs believe that the Scots are whinging cowards, milking the teat of English supremacy whilst complaining about their lot.  They have been trained to think this by enthusiastic misinformation, and they are very good at hating whomever they are told to hate.  Hating is apparently much easier than thinking, or hoping, or building anything new.  It requires no energy at all.

 

What the #SNPbad crew do not understand is that the SNP are a conduit.  They are not just one party.  Many of us in the party detest the couthier elements, but it does not mean that we will cease to support the SNP for as long as it takes to rebuild our country and create a new basis for healthy discussion.  No, we do not sit over a brazier discussing the good old days of scraping a living off the croft, people working in mines or tales of shipbuilding. Yes, we are aware that there will be decades of hard work, just to persuade people that it is OK to think, OK not to hate, Ok not to rely on past wounds for guidance. What we all have in common is this dream of self determination, unchained to the desires of public schoolboys lining their pockets with backhanders, defence spending and welfare pensions which relentlessly punish people who are without hope due to a lack of strategy from the top.

 

My view comes from one of the most stratified cities in the country.  Nevertheless, unlike the impoverished No voters, we managed to agree on one thing – Scotland needs to be Scottish in order to progress.

 

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All about Love

All about love

Well, yesterday’s post about Return of King’s author Roosh and his allegedly rape-supporting club of inadequate males went down like a lead balloon.  I took a gander at his facebook page today, and those people who would potentially be interested were very busy threatening to kill him.

 

I think it is possible to give such people too much credit.  He is just a little guy, after all. I took much the same view about Harley when Wolfe was at his most furious about him.  There are key moments in your life which define you, and getting annoyed by little men should count as moments when you realise how big you are.

 

In the case of Roosh, he is just trying to make a living like everybody else.  His points are fairly puerile, but there is a lot of money in the puerile market, especially in the USA, although he seems to think many of his fans are British.  I caught a video of someone trying to interview him, and the punters are all clean cut young men, which says more about their sense of society-grade emasculation than about women.  Far be it from me to pander to this market, but I strongly suspect that I could help them a lot more than he can. Food for thought.

 

So, all about the love. I have written on this topic before, so forgive me if you have read my books, or been around for a while and seen this stuff covered.  It is not quite my favourite topic, but it is something I know rather a lot about, in a variety of contexts.

Here is what love is not:

It is not a list of conditions or aspirations.

 

It is not a duty.

 

It is not a game.

 

It is not a weakness.

 

It is not about ownership.

 

It is not necessarily about suffering.

 

It is not necessarily about being together.

 

It is not necessarily about sex.

 

It definitely is not about being nice to each other.

 

 

Here is what love is:

It is irrational.

 

It is about self-development, in every context.

 

It requires focus and strength.

 

It requires the development of a high degree of self expression.

 

It is about stamina against the odds.

 

It is a self-challenge.

 

It is similar to a lengthy backgammon or chess match, depending on who you are playing.

 

 

 

Obviously, in my case, I am playing this lengthy backgammon match against me, as attempting to play against Wolfe would be rather pointless. He probably does not know how to play, for one thing, and for another I am a rather good player. So perhaps we should look on this as a lengthy exhibition match that I am playing for his benefit.

 

I do realise that a great number of my readers will wonder to what end I would pursue this project? Do I seriously want to be hooked up with Wolfe?

 

The answer to this question is obscure, even now.  I am working from a very small amount of information, delivered in some haste on a very limited number of occasions.  Without going into it too deeply, it does not take much information exchange to pick up several year’s worth of communication, and since I am, for some reason, hyper-sensitive to it, it is much better to avoid as much as possible. It would drive you insane, if you let it, so it is much better to assume that you are taking a small seed and growing it carefully for some unknown end.

 

I would not, in person, be beneficial for Wolfe’s career, given the grief he has been given over the years.  I would not enjoy the public eye, and I would not appreciate the people that he clearly relishes being with.  The reality is, that despite my intuition, he would be much better off with someone less connected, less interested, and considerably more attractive.  This does not stop me seeing things every day that I am well aware he would find as funny as I do, and they are by no means obvious to anybody else. We should probably look on my project as a well-meaning and rather fractious hug from a very safe distance.  Whilst I am sure, in another life, it might have worked out very well, I have pondered this carefully and I do not see myself ever making myself a good fit for a power position in the sense that he appears to require.

 

I do not think that there is anything all that strange about this, but then I have been in a variety of very strange situations throughout my life, many of them extremely unpleasant.  This absentee situation that I have created, on the other hand, has been extremely fruitful and does not cramp his style one bit.  He is extremely welcome to do whatever he does, as long as it is not making him miserable.  If I suspected misery, it might be a different story, but I try not to look. In addition, the situation that I am in makes it impractical to either look, or worry.

So, then, to conclude:

The person you are in a relationship with is not necessarily the person you truly love, or end up loving, because love itself does not really require companionship, feeding, or conditions.  Those are earthly requirements, which Plato would refer to as bestial.  When he says this he means that you require those things as an animal, not in the modern context.

 

What we are looking at in relation to the Ina Disguise/Wolfe epic, is a tangible expression of what Plato refers to as divine love, which is a form of inspiration in order to express something which cannot normally be expressed.  An abstraction, which is not only useful, but has enabled me to unlock the door on my own peculiar brand of bravado.

 

It is not something that I expect poor old Roosh V will have much of a handle on.

 

 

 

 

 

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Roosh v male emancipation

 

Today, I learned that I am a fat cyborg.

I am a fat cyborg because all my friends are male.  I am a fat cyborg because my exs have come back so many times that I actually had to devote a year to telling them to fuck off and leave me alone because I was in love with Wolfe.  I am a fat cyborg because looking after my disabled mother 24 hours a day leaves me with little inclination to conform to Roosh’s ideal world of submissive women awaiting a charmless twunt to waste their time and presumably steal their diamond’s worth of hymen.

So, all in all, I am quite happy to be a fat cyborg.

I took the trouble of looking through Roosh’s blog to see if I could find any redeeming features.  This is not the first time that I have taken the trouble to investigate the world of male emancipation.  I previously infiltrated the male rights movement on Youtube, thinking that since I was quite sympathetic, I would find some interesting points.  This stems from my disappointment at university, in finding that only one student was studying gender studies from a male perspective.  Seriously people, this ain’t good enough.

Where does my sympathy come from?  Men, whilst their mistakes may seem unforgivable, such as suddenly remembering that they only really wanted to sleep with you until you got bored, as opposed to actually building a future together, are just like women.  The difference is that they waste a lot less time jostling with you for social supremacy, and they are unfettered by the constraints of a fertile life that really lasts only 25 years or so.  They do not understand that life is finite, because it is in the interests of the gene pool that they spray their tiresome seed around as much as possible until they are killed by old age, disease, or each other.  Quite a few of them just do not know any better, and why should they, if they can avoid the consequences?

The economy is set up in their favour for this very reason.  Were we to impose the constraints of fertility on them, that have been set aside for women, such as enforced leave, regardless of the source of their children, they would suddenly discover consequences for actions and we would quite rightly impose the same social norms “Why didn’t you keep your zipper up if you didn’t want kids?”  etc etc.  Instead of which, women continue to bear this burden.  Roosh, with his childlike sense of unfairness that his ass does not get kissed often enough, just echoes the views of many men, who quietly type with one hand and seek out big girl pornography whilst telling everyone how much they love anorexic chicks with fake tits.

The great shame of the modern male, in my view, is that they are being groomed to be just as neurotic as women when it comes to their looks.  It is undoubtedly great marketing for the personal hygeine products, and if you have some issues with body hair, I am sure that it is very nice that they seem to be taking umbrage with their own fur, but largely, I am afraid that I am with Germaine Greer on this one.  Anything over 5-15 minutes is a waste of your intellectual capacity and time, and you really should get a life if you spend it staring at yourself in the mirror. When it’s right it’s right, and you really will not care if your ultimate beloved has less than two eyes/arms/ears never mind if they have had twenty concubines, six wives or husbands, or have plucked their surplus eyebrows or beard. Sorry to burst your marketing bubble.

Anyway, back to the youtubers.  It turned out that their victimitis consisted of wondering how they could shake off the psychopath they banged in the bar of a weekend, and why should they pay for their own offspring.  What lovely gents.  I note that Roosh would like to prevent women from working.  What a bleak future his offspring are going to have, given that he seems to think anorexic submissive virgins are in unlimited supply.

Should they all be white too, Roosh, given your evident hatred for immigrants?

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Advice for carers

There is a shortage of advice for carers, particularly those, like me, who did not start out in life with the idea that we would be spending the best years of our lives stuck in the house with an ill person, or people in my case.  I will give you a short history before I continue.

I finished up with postgraduate study in 2003, as by this time my father was bedridden and my mother, despite having the help she was entitled to, was struggling.  I continued to work as many hours as I could, some jobs being completed on the way home from other jobs, and found various inventive ways of fitting in as much work as I possibly could around providing support for her in the form of looking after her property and lifting my father when necessary. This still meant that I had to work in temporary, hence easily ditchable employment. My mother would not admit that she required help, and so the siblings found it quite easy to belittle my efforts alongside providing no help.  Just before she succumbed to a stroke I was working full time as a banking consultant, part time as a government research interviewer, and doing some corporate research during mealtimes.  A total of about 17 hours a day, six days a week, the remaining time being spent on maintaining the house and gardens and letting her get out.

My father became steadily worse over the five years between 2002 and 2007, and it was impossible to take the reins due to the fact that my mother was extremely difficult before her stroke.  When it became apparent that she had a heart problem, I spent two years arguing with her as I tried to tell her to go to the doctor.  It was obvious that she was not going to take this advice, and again the siblings ignored my entreaties to invite her to their house to give her a break, or advise her to go to the doctor as requested.  Therefore it became pointless to speak to them at all, since it was clear that they were not prepared for their parents dotage, nor willing to listen to me at all. I have never had much of a relationship with them, since my unexpected arrival over a decade after they thought the family was complete, came as a bit of a shock to them, so it was no great loss.  Their subsequent behaviour has been so poor that I frequently have cause to think I would be better off with no siblings at all.  These are middle class, respectable people who are in late middle age, so this came as quite a shock to me, never mind anyone else.

There is no legal or supportive body to go to if you are in this position.  I have been told by several care homes that I worked in on a temporary basis whilst trying to help my mother, that it is entirely normal for the absent children to attack the unfortunate carer, and there is no help for you on this basis at all.  You have the responsibility, you have the loss of your own life, and you have the daily drama of caring for your relative.  The last thing you need is to be attacked by your own family.  Having been through a particularly bad example of it, I can tell you that the only backup you are likely to receive in the face of such attacks is to be told, after investigation that you are off the hook.  You are basically at the mercy of adults who are functioning as particularly nasty children.

My advice is to opt out completely.  Despite what you may be told, there is no reason why you should make yourself available to be attacked.  My course of action was to ensure that I was notified of the impending visits in order to avoid them.  For the first few years of looking after my mother, I simply avoided the house during these visits.  Recently, I have been more inclined to guard my belongings, and ensure that my mother is not left alone as she tends to forget what she has been told within a few minutes.  I get no time off at all.  The vulture-siblings are not aware that she rarely gets through a night without needing something, and they have chosen to be so unhelpful and vicious that I am trapped in the house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is preferable to accepting help from a third party, with associated worry garnered from years of my eldest sister seeing any third party involvement being an opportunity to accuse me of things I have not done.

Considering the amount that each carer saves the taxpayer, in the course of their poorly paid excuse for a life, and the associated knowledge of the person being cared for, who is almost always receiving far better attention than they would in the conveyor belt care home system, I find this lack of support astonishing.  Yes, there are courses available, should you need them, to help you react correctly to the situations with the person being cared for, there are day care facilities provided by local bodies where you can drop off your patient, should they agree to it, but nobody cares if you are persistently victimised by your own family.  Nobody cares that your life has been destroyed, and nobody cares about your privacy.  You can, if you do not care about privacy, get help from a third party with the direct daily activity of caring, but in my position, with two vicious sisters, this is not at all helpful.  I have learned over the years to either take my mother with me, when I do need to go somewhere, or schedule it at times when it is either impossible or unnecessary to inform them at all.  All this to protect my mother and her assets from attack by her own family.

You will find that your house becomes messy very quickly indeed.  It is amazing how much mess one tiny woman can generate.  Your family may also attack you on this basis, especially if you lack the funds or inclination to redecorate frequently.  Personally, I spent several years decorating whilst caring for my parents and neighbour, and became a familiar figure, covered in paint, in my local area as I was rarely out of my painting clothes.  I am about to have to start again, as this house is large and I keep it on a five year cycle.  As long as you enjoy this process, it is something you can do whilst your patient is sleeping or watching TV nearby.

You will find yourself crying a lot, particularly if you are female and are looking at a life with no children or opportunities to go out.  This means that you cannot even hope that a gallant gentleman will save you from destitution in your dotage, so you have a bleak old age to look forward to, whilst your selfish relatives roll around in the money they were able to make by being selfish.  The only good part about this element is that you are forced to be inventive.  Towards the end of the period of my being able to work, I worked from home to avoid claiming the benefits I was entitled to.  This is considerably easier to achieve than it used to be, thanks to the internet, but particularly with a progressive illness, you will have to give this up eventually in favour of something that you can either do whilst providing care, or nothing at all.  Be prepared for some dark moments as you realise your hope of the life you previously worked for is diminishing with time.

As your patient’s illness progresses, it will become increasingly difficult to keep up with even the simple things that you were able to easily cope with, so it is wise to be extremely mean as you may have to draft in a gardener or painter that you did not need to begin with.  The time you spend in a chair with your patient is still valuable to them.  If you are fortunate, you will have some means of utilising this comfort companionship.  Artwork is particularly good for the elderly generally, so if you can find some creative spark, especially craft related since you can get them to help, this is a good way of reducing your inevitable feelings of helplessness and loneliness.  Again, being online, you can find various places to dispose of what you have made once you have come up with a product.  Cooking may be your thing, but make sure you have an audience to consume what you have made if this is the case.

There are some examples of fairly high powered people who are in exactly the same position as you, and who have admitted that caring is the hardest thing they have ever done.  You have to be tough and self aware to pull off the whole caring thing, and being a nice gentle person will not cut it when the person you are looking after becomes difficult.

Some days are horrific, and you will feel like the worst person in the world because you did not cope as well as you should have.  You are a person too, so it is important to remember that the scummy person criticising you has no idea what you are going through, or that nobody becomes an angel at age 70.  My elderly best friend was one of the most evil, fun people I have ever encountered.  She would have been fun at 30, and she was fun at 89.

There are times when your patient will start a fight out of boredom and frustration, and it is in the nature of dementia, in particular, that they will play people off against one another for sheer spite.  It is in your interests to remain out of it, for your own sanity as well as ensuring that your patient does not inadvertently catch themselves in the crossfire.  There are very few cases in which carehomes are the best option, so even if you have a bad month, it does not make you a bad person.  Two years ago, my mother did not let me sleep for more than two hours for four months.  It was appalling, but we got through it, just as we got through her stroke, the death of her husband and brother, and the dishonest and despicable behaviour of her children.

Finally, pat yourself on the back for your commitment despite all this.  You are probably stupid for being so softhearted and allowing everyone to take advantage of you. Congrats for having what it takes to tolerate the bullshit that goes with it.

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TV and alternative media coverage

Ok, continuing in my series on promoting yourself, here are a few avenues you may not have considered, or have felt to cowed to pursue.  There are a variety of avenues to go down.  In the UK, we traditionally prefer people to be on the radio before they are considered for TV, but this should not stop you registering yourself as an expert on some of the directory sites.  Some of these are quite well used, and as we know in the UK, you do not have to have a squeaky clean rap sheet to make it in the media.  Adopt the same principles as for your SEO – start small and diverse and generalize from there.  If all else fails, the channels are woefully short of ideas, and it is up to you if you want to try the various production companies to pitch a programme idea if you see nothing that currently suits you.  Well worth an afternoon or two of effort if your schtick is publicity.

Find a TV expert UK

TV connect Event London

How to be a TV expert Peter Shankman USA

Female experts wanted for BBC

Interview guest Directory

Expert file

What does it take to get booked as an expert?

How to get media coverage as an expert USA

Find an expert online

Expert Guide Australia

Expertise Finder

How to find an expert and tap research networks on deadline: Tips on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search

 

Pitching for TV

BBC pitching for TV advice – go for radio first (see below)

TV writer’s vault

How To Pitch A TV Show – The Pitch For The Wire

Pitching for Radio

Pitch Me a Story

Pitching Story ideas

Pitching for BBC radio

 

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Conscious Branding and business gurus

An interesting feature I have come across since embarking on my current course binge, is the rise of the digital hippies.  A great number of high achieving, big brand middle managers and branding specialists seem to discover yoga at a formative mid-life-crisis point in their lives, and are now making their living ‘transforming’ business.

 

Far be it from me to criticize this worthy effort, but I have to say the effects of this B2B marketing are variable.  I do like the manner of some of these uber calm Steve Jobs impersonators, but I am not at all sure that creating a kind of hippy subculture in relation to something as serious as ecological economics is entirely sensible.

 

Here are a few examples:

 

Conscious Business Institute – Peter Matties – Peter has a lovely manner, but is very keen to sell courses in leadership and culture transformation, as long as it suits his work-life balance at the time.  You can find more information from his website. Whilst, as a habitual overworker, I can see the value in ensuring that your (often very productive) time off to think is just as important as your time in the saddle, I question the general value of meditation and spiritualism in a business context, unless you can persuade everyone to do it.

 

Ulab Presencing InstituteOtto Scharmer  MIT has a department devoted to Otto, who has some interesting publications, and 28,000 people, including many from the Scottish Government, have embraced his notion that collective hivemind meditation will lead to a more progressive form of economics for the future.  Sadly, I missed the course, but I have some of the files from the 2010 course.  In the event that he runs another one this year, it might be worth taking a look at, since this seems to be the Scottish Nationalist/civil service equivalent of Common Purpose for the Labourites in the UK.

 

Robert Bo Lockwood Regenerating America. I am sorry to say that I was unable to complete Bo’s course as he has a bad tendency to stick to a script, to the point of rendering his course unlistenable-to.  He is using hippy imagery to sell a branding and ethical concept to American business.  Good luck to him, but he really needs to sharpen his act to appeal to a wider audience and cut down on superfluous words and uber-patriotism.

 

Seva business Networking A place for believers in conscious business to oil each other up, in the tradition of business networkers everywhere.  Again, good idea, but we seem to be creating a B2B niche, rather than genuinely making efforts to change business practice.

 

About Us

 

I am sorry, Cathi, but Abundance Reality Group rings serious bells of doom.

 

Conscious Business Network another network for practitioners of conscious business.  If you are in the USA, enjoy yoga, or sell to people who like talking a good game and selling themselves as ethical/sustainable/conscious this is possibly the place for you.

 

Fred Kofman

 

Fred Kofman has a book and some of the usual American marketing techniques, but this at least appears to be some attempt at a cultural shift in addition to money generation. The difference is that if a cultural shift were affected, Trump would be sneering about his better-than-the-opposition commitment to renewables, instead of dissing Mexicans.

 

Conscious Business Network UK the UK version, for serious worthies who want to meet, greet and market to each other.

 

How Conscious is Conscious Business?

 

Call me cynical, but I feel a style is developing in which people talk only to each other.  A worthy clique, or set of worthy cliques, is not the same as a cultural shift. I am working on a couple of relevant courses at the moment, and the spirit of perfectly normal marketing is strong.  Nobody is making any clear definitions, and nobody is being encouraged to talk about it rationally.  eg. Sourcing a proportion of organic cotton is not the same as recycling waste.  Hemp is not truly avoiding exploiting land for production.  Discussing the ethics of re-use in terms of lost jobs, is not the same as a genuine commitment to think differently.  Then, of course, you see a backlash:

 

Beware the digital hippies

 

Most of the genuine eco-warriors I know, who are carrying out perfectly normal, if technologically advanced, businesses in solar, renewables and alternative technical wizardry, would find this movement rather perplexing.  They have a completely different approach, involving a more scientific vision of the world, and practical methods of approaching change.

 

I’m with them on this one.  Either you make a policy statement if you are an artist or small business; you market, if you are an alternative health practitioner; or you learn and transform as an individual or academic.  B2B marketing is a different thing, and whilst I applaud the sentiment and the effort, I would caution people in the conscious business movement not to cling too hard to the sandals and dreadlocks. There are plenty of meditative pursuits that do not involve sharing a space with cross legged friends.

 

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Quick and dirty SEO

SEO is a terrifying mystery to many people, and there is a lot of money being made from people who simply cannot be bothered, or are confused into paying other people to do it.  Here is a fast tour of what sort of information you require, and how to find it fast.

Please use this in conjunction with the previous posts for best effects.  This is more important than posting on Twitter or Facebook and you should spend some time doing this unless you are, like me, not in a hurry for growth.

If entering the marketplace or engaging in SEO for first time – best to use keyword modifiers to narrow your optimised searches to begin with and strip it down from there, rather than try to compete in a crowded and established marketplace – start diverse and become generic. Choose an area in which you can compete and widen from there as you grow.

 

Free ways of shamelessly self promoting

Free PR training and resources

 

Web developer toolbar – you will need to download and install this to look at your website, and competitor website html for the purposes of generating keywords.  Look at terms used by top ranking sites – are they relevant to you? Available as plug ins for firefox or chrome. Note – you do not require any knowledge of html or scripting to evaluate meta data in the html file.

Inbound links from other sites – .gov  .edu .mil sites are better for backlinks due to percieved influence of google search.  Worth checking authority on other sites in terms of finding ways of getting better quality links than they have for your own site.

On page seo/inbound links – always use anchor text for hyperlinks rather than plaintext weblinks.  Embedded links are always better, rather than risking losing the hyperlink by allowing people to copy paste.

Off page seo – meta data – meta keywords/descriptions/tags – title tag can be viewed in your own or competitors html under view source from the developer toolbar/tools.  Browser page title – meta description –  snippet in page results – can see in google – need a different yet related one for each page – idea is to come up first in search for categories not title or consistent words – most read this part of website due to appearance in search.

Dynamic and generic meta data – not the job of a webdesigner – may instruct google to use page text in html – SEO costs extra. need to specify keyword rich descriptors for each page and avoid generic descriptions to avoid being overlooked eg.  page may come up top of search but have vague or irrelevant descriptions meaning people do not click.  Keywords often left blank as Google may ignore this due to blackhat gaming (see below).

Basic keyword discovery demo – steps to finding keywords to rank for  Show search tools when searching on Google. Check related searches to find keyword terms, particularly for local businesses.  Do not be afraid to use words such as cheap in seo that you wouldnt use in advertising. Use keyword planner in Google (see above) in addition to examining source in webpages using your developers toolbar. Use Google insights for search to isolate use of terms, geographical relevance if necessary.

Keyword modifiers – if search range is too wide – use modifiers – eg dog training singapore may have too many established sites so try best, best local, best local obedience etc.  Start narrow and then drop modifiers as site gains traction. Do not pick keywords that get searched a lot to begin with as unable to compete. aka Long tail SEO – choose rarer keywords that others may not be optimized for.

Keyword density – density pretty much useless unless you are in a sector where nobody knows anything about SEO.  Not about saying same words – same thing in a different way – high relevance rather than repetition

Analyze competitors via inbound links – use opensite explorer (see link below), google tools to see what successful online businesses are doing in addition to looking at html with developers toolbar.  eg.  If a sales site is using aggregator sites – may have thousands of backlinks from very few sites. Could also be sockpuppeting own reviews on aggregator sites.

SEO for mobiles – more difficult to compete internationally, since search results will always be localised. Boosting local profile good for mobiles. eg.  Offering a local class may make you more relevant if your business is international for mobile searches.  Foursquare important.  Yelp also may be of relevance. Mobile is the future – make yourself relevant on mobile. Not just apps – browser access.

Writing for search – direct clear and under 40 characters for titles.  Lots of related words in text.

SEO generally – benefits from press releases, articles and alternative information (see previous articles)

White hat seo/black hat seo  ethical versus cheating SEO eg. using aggregator sites and posting own reviews.

Sources – the excellent free SEO courses on Udemy from Tolga and Eric

For more see their websites:

Tolga’s site

Eric’s site

Their courses:

Complete Search Engine Optimization SEO Course

Search Engine Optimization for Business

You will also need the following tools:

 

Open site explorer from Moz

Beginner’s guide to SEO from Moz

SEO book

Ranksignals backlinks tool

open site explorer

Adwords Keyword Planner

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool

This page is likely to be updated as time goes on, feel free to check back.  If it seems rough, please invest the time in taking a course or two and reread this quick memory aid to steps in SEO.

 

The post Quick and Dirty SEO appeared first on Ina Disguise – Author.

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Free shameless self promoting

Free shameless self promoting
For bloggers, marketers and shameless self promoters alike, there are a wealth of ways to put yourself out there which do not cost you anything but time.  I am sure there are far more, and more efficient ways of doing it, but here are a few, which I have thus far picked up both from courses, and a cursory search.

 

Scoop it

Reddit

Stumbleupon

Vox

Plus social good

Inbound (for marketers)

Article Alley

Articles Base

Seeking Alpha (stockmarket insights)

Viral content buzz

Article City

Article Cube

Hubpages

ezinearticles

buzzbundle

List of 80 sites from ranktactics

250 pr articles submission sites

That should keep you busy for a while.  These links are tried and tested apart from the last two. It is time consuming to set yourself up on some of these sites, but you will find with time that it takes little more time than maintaining your website, blog and online promotion.

 

And drop in on this chap, he has lots of experience.

Philip Kleudgen

 

Ina

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Published on January 26, 2016 03:20 • 10 views

For bloggers, marketers and shameless self promoters alike, there are a wealth of ways to put yourself out there which do not cost you anything but time.  I am sure there are far more, and more efficient ways of doing it, but here are a few, which I have thus far picked up both from courses, and a cursory search.

 

Scoop it

Reddit

Stumbleupon

Vox

Plus social good

Inbound (for marketers)

Article Alley

Articles Base

Seeking Alpha (stockmarket insights)

Viral content buzz

Article City

Article Cube

Hubpages

ezinearticles

buzzbundle

List of 80 sites from ranktactics

250 pr articles submission sites

That should keep you busy for a while/

 

Ina

The post Free ways of shamelessly self promoting appeared first on Ina Disguise – Author.

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PR resources

Public Relations training and resources

This post follows on from my previous post, useful to marketers, authors, artists and educators alike – for those who are not familiar with the term, public relations is your lofty voice to the world, stating your mission for the benefit for the public and spinning your errors so that they no longer look like errors.  a good grounding in public relations will save you money and benefit your efforts in SEO.  This post will also help you gain traffic at the cost of time rather than money:

 

 

 

Free ways of shamelessly self promoting

Public Relations

Please find below, free training and implementation resources to conduct your own public relations campaign and expand your audience.  There will be further posts in this series, designed to help new businesses, time poor individuals and famewhores alike on their way to glory:

 

 

 

Five free Online Social media PR courses

 

 

 

Our courses

 

https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/25-best-free-online-resources

 

 

 

PRSA

 

 

 

PR web

 

 

 

PR Leap

 

 

 

Free news release

 

 

 

Free press release

 

 

 

I newswire

 

 

 

click 2 newsites

 

 

 

Pressbox

 

 

 

This list will be added to as time goes on, these links are mostly free.  You can find guidance from the courses on offer as to how to frame your press release.  I have tried at least one of these, and I got a very good result, but as I am in no hurry to grow at present, I thought it might be helpful to share.

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Free online courses, free and paid for

Online Education, free and paid for

 

Please find above, part 1 of this article.  Since last week, I have completed 6 courses, and signed up for about 30, with around 60 or so pending once I have completed my first targets.

So far, Udemy is the most genuine, with certificates issued as jpg files, which you can save to your computer for later collation into one document, or printing off as separate certificates. Quality of courses varies,  but I have been quite impressed by the overall quality so far.

Alison.com, the other Irish site, also has a function allowing you to print off your Learner record, meaning that you have the option of paying for a certificate and helping to fund other learners, or simply printing off your record if you are not in a position to do that.

FutureLearn, a site offering free University courses from the UK, has many useful courses.  Again, they fund the site via purchase of certificates, but the really strong point is networking with other students, so if you like to socialise, this is a good way to do it.

Open2Learn, a site offering free University courses from Australia, has a few interesting options, and I look forward to evaluating this one as I have signed up for a few courses here too.

Udacity and Coursera lack a search function for free courses, and so I have not signed up for any current courses, although I will get to it as I get through the initial burst of enthusiasm. Udacity is particularly useful if you want a job in silicon valley as far as I can see.

EDX has quite a number of extremely worthwhile courses, although they are so interesting that I have gone a little off track with my sign ups on this one.  I am regarding these as self development courses, as they are not really relevant to my current course of study, but I figure the fact these are more challenging than most of the others makes it worthwhile.

I have also found several sites offering subject specific free courses, so it is well worthwhile to spend a bit of time searching for the topic that interests you. I do not like the idea that a degree is part time over one year, that seems to be creeping out from the USA.  There is nothing wrong with calling a one year course a certificate, two years a diploma, and three or more a degree, and at least everyone in the marketplace knows what you mean, as opposed to this idea that a few months of blagging your way through a multiple choice option course gives you the same qualification as someone who has undertaken gruelling study for three to five years.

Anyway, have a look over the options, the initial links are in part one of this article series, and you are of course, well capable of searching all by yourself.

 

Ina

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