Cold Lunch and New Editors Room

In the EzineArticles lunch room today is cold-cuts of Ham, Turkey and Roast beef…along with fresh fruit.

The new Editors room is getting carpet cleaned today and lights / desks installed Wednesday.

Working within a budget we were able to find a local carpenter to create custom desks for each Associate Editor at about the same price as buying commercial desks from the local office supply store.

The room is wired with gigabit ethernet (thankfully one of our developers is also very handy at pulling Cat5 through the ceiling and walls) and I just won 11 used Samsung 24 button office phones victoriously off eBay at a price of about the same as the cost of one of them brand new.

For fun, our team is creating an EzineArticles logo stencil that will be hand painted in the room along with red/black accents to give it a branding touch of unity, etc. :-)

A Members Brush and Lessons Learned

Yes, we still keep our eyes and ears to the ground to hear what others are saying about us, both positive and negative. This post by Geoff from Cincinnati caught my attention today: My Brush with EzineArticles Death

It’s weird that he makes a comment about our market strength and then in the very next paragraph slams the basis for why I think we have market strength: “If there is any downside to EzineArticles, it is their strict usage guidelines and submission requirements.”

There is another point Geoff made that’s worth repeating: Never rely on us to be your article backup service provider…ie: Always keep a local copy on your own hard drive of every single article you submit to us. No, you shouldn’t have to worry about this with the insane redundancy that we’ve invested in (server-wise), but it’s just good business sense to have backups of your articles.

I didn’t go digging further to figure out who Geoff was (EzineArticles membership wise) as usually we don’t seek to advance relationships with affiliate marketers due to the lack of original quality content that usually spews from this segment of the market (sad, but too true)… and just in case Geoff does read this blog entry: Thank you for only sending in quality and ORIGINAL articles that you have the exclusive rights to the content. :-)

EzineArticles For Mobile

Got a cell phone that can surf the Internet?

Surf our new EzineArticles For Mobile version: EzineArticles.mobi

For version 1.0 of our mobile site, you can search for articles or authors and browse by category. Open to your opinions and feedback suggestions on how we should improve it? Be sure to post your cell phone model, carrier, and any specific requests for improvements that would make this new mobile site more useful.

New- Auto-Save Every 2 Minutes

This new feature is a “Behind the Scenes” function programmed with AJAX that will Auto-Save all of your article changes and updates once every two minutes.

This feature is enabled/disabled through your Account Preferences, when you log into your Membership Account. (**In order for this function to be available, and to work properly, you MUST have JavaScript enabled in your browser.)

How Does the Auto-Save Feature Work?
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LSI and Article Writing

Yesterday an the author was encouraging his readers to consider LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) when writing articles. *yawn*

In a 500 word article, he went on that you should repeat a key phrase approximately 15 times to get the LSI SEO advantage. *more yawning*

If you follow his advice, we will ban your account for keyword or keyphrase stuffing. Heck, we get jumpy seeing the same keyword or keyphrase more than 3-4 times in any article length. The funny thing is that he didn’t follow his own advice, probably because he knows it would create a spammy low-value garbage article that we’d have rejected.

Bottom line: Write for the end reader (instead of the search engines) and don’t keyword or keyphrase stuff your articles — as that’s a credibility buster.

EzineArticles Wikipedian

The EzineArticles Angel now has a new role to fill: The EzineArticles Wikipedian

We created this role about a month ago and the primary purpose is to represent the interests of EzineArticles in the Wikipedia.

Specifically, that means she will be defending others who reference an EzineArticles members content as a credible source for citation when relevant, work as a liaison to identify overzealous EzineArticles members who might try to spam Wikipedia (no EzineArticles author should ever list their own EzineArticles article as a link source in any Wikipedia entry), and be present in discussion disputes with other Wikipedians who are unfamiliar with our long-term approach to responsible content publishing.

Pen Name vs Real Name?

RC writes in and asks:

What is your opinion on writing articles with a pen name versus a real name?

First a definition: A “pen name” is a pseudonym created by an author for numerous reasons. Also can be referred to as a “nom deplume,” “nom de guerre” or “literary double.”

Authors tell me that their biggest reason for using a pen name is to not confuse readers…similar to my theory on Authors with Multiple Brands.

My advice: When possible, you create strength, confidence and credibility when you write articles under your OWN name, especially if you’re driving visitors directly to your primary website.

With that said, here are some legitimate reasons to write articles with a pen name:

  • You want to appeal to a regional demographic and by making your pen name more like common names in the region, your content will be better received as an insider.
  • Your real name is way too difficult to remember, spell or pronounce.
  • Gender issues: If you think your message will be taken more seriously if written with one gender or the other, go for it.
  • Prolific writers syndrome: To avoid over-exposure of your real name, you can use pen names to write about different viewpoints that might conflict with each other.
  • Different pen names for different niches that you are an expert… even though I like the idea of variations of your real name instead for this purpose. All depends on how diverse the areas of expertise are.
  • You hired a ghostwriter and want to isolate your real name from works produced by others for under a ‘work for hire’ contract. Personally, I’d have a problem hiring a ghostwriter to write content that is later published under my own name, but I wouldn’t have a problem hiring a ghost writer to publish works under a unique pen name that I created.

What to avoid when choosing a Pen Name:

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Please Don’t Hesitate

I saw this in a resource box today: “Please don’t hesitate to visit my website at: http://your-company-name.com/ “ (actual name of URL changed to protect)

My point: Please don’t hesitate. Please don’t hesitate. Please don’t hesitate. Please don’t hesitate.

What are you thinking about? Most people would say they are thinking, “Hesitate or Hesitating.”

Little NLP (Neuro Lingquistic Programming) for you on this fine Sunday: As children, we grew up learning to ignore the word “don’t” because we often wanted to do exactly what our parents were telling us to “don’t” do. This means that most people would hear this message: “Please hesitate to visit my website at:…” … because it’s human nature.

Therefore, if you’re going to give commands in your Resource Box copy: state it always in the positive: Visit my website at: or Please visit my website at: or Surf [website URL] to get more of [insert benefit here].

Make sense, now doesn’t it? Yes. :)… as you smile.

Editorial Team Expansion Project

Instead of an article writing or marketing tip/lesson today, I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes hammering, sawing and construction action going on outside of my office:

We’re adding another 521 sq. ft. addition to our current office to make room for an editorial team expansion project to be completed in about 3 weeks.

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Author Professional Photo Tip

This time of year seems to be a great time to get your author photos updated, perhaps have new ones taken that reflect the better looking current day version of yourself. :-)

Here are two tips that you probably were never advised before to do when having your author photos taken:

  1. If you are appealing to a Western / English audience, consider facing slightly to the RIGHT so that the eye scans from left to right of your nose to the back of your head. Never face to the LEFT. Want proof I’m right about this tip? Which side of the interview desk does Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien sit on? It’s ALWAYS on the right side so that the viewer has a left to right visual experience that makes the interviewer look better.
  2. Don’t look directly at the camera lens. Instead, focus your eyes past the lens and imagine yourself looking square on with the media within the camera that is recording your image. For most SLR cameras, that’s about 1/2″ to 1″ inch directly above the camera lens. If you want to stop someone’s breath when they look at your photo and invoke an emotional response –> look directly at them by looking past the camera lens and directly into the media within the camera recording your image. Sounds geeky I know…just try it.

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