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  • drdianehamilton 9:58 am on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Infographics, Information graphics,   

    Create Infographics Easily with Easel.ly 

    Infographics can add some flare to an article. It may be a challenge to create one without the ability to navigate and comprehend complicated software.  That is why Easel.ly is such a helpful program.  In Edudemic’s article 10 Fun Tools to Easily Make Your Own Infographics, Easel.ly is listed as one tool that does not require a great deal of skill.

    It is simple to take a template and simply add and change things.  For example, the original template, looked something like this:

    easelly_visual

    While, this may be graphically appealing, it may take quite a bit of time to change something with this much detail.  If less information is required, it is simple to change a few things here and there.  Here is an example:

    OnlineStudentCareer

    It may be costly and/or difficult to find just the right visual for an article. This site may be a great source of choices that can be easily tweaked to fit the topic at hand. The site offers quite a few templates and is growing daily.

    To find out more, watch the following video:

    Related Articles:

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  • drdianehamilton 9:10 am on December 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Capitalizing, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Words to Capitalize in a Title 

    Bloggers and other writers may experience confusion as to which words should be capitalized in a title of an article.  I sometimes capitalize all words so that I do not have to look up the rules.  But it is good form to learn how to write correctly.  The following rules apply to capitalizing titles:

    • Always capitalize the first as last words of the title as well as verbs, adverbs, adjectives, nouns and pronouns.
    • Consistently capitalize or do not capitalize conjunctions (examples:  but, for, and) or prepositions (examples: words that show a relationship between the noun/pronounce with another word – example:  from, over, around, about, before, behind) with five or more letters.  Older rules required no capitalization and newer rules require capitalization if words contain five letters or more. Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.
    • Do not capitalize articles (example: a, an, the), prepositions (see examples above), conjunctions (see examples above) with four letters or fewer, and the particle “to” used with an infinitive (example: to do; to be).  Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.

     

    Never have your title all in CAPITALIZED LETTERS because this is not only incorrect, it is considered yelling. 

     

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    • MegansBeadedDesigns 9:20 am on December 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the tips!

      I frequently write specific words in all-caps, for a comically dramatic emphasis.

      That’s what I love about blogging, it’s a looser form of writing and it’s okay to mess up now and again. (For me anyway.)

      • drdianehamilton 9:25 am on December 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Megan,

        I think going for drama is OK. I’ve done that. Also . . . I make all kinds of mistakes (sometimes on purpose). I agree that blogging is more loose. I think there are those that want to know the rules though so I hope this helps. Thanks for the response. 🙂

        Diane

  • drdianehamilton 10:55 pm on September 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Animacy, Anthropomorphism, , Collective noun, , Computer program, Dissertations, , , , , , ,   

    Anthropomorphisms: When Not to Use Them 

    There is a really big word that students should know, but may not.  That word is anthropomorphic.  Technically it means to give human form or attributes to something that is not human. It is popularly used in children’s books.  However, doctoral students often have their dissertations rejected for including anthropomorphisms

    Anthropomorphism of a mailbox.

    Here are some examples of what an anthropomorphism looks like:

    • The study assumed that people would not be interested.
    • The computer program thinks that the results are accurate.

    Both of these sentences should not be used.  The reason is that a person can “assume” but a study cannot. Animate nouns are things like a person, a researcher or a participant.  Animate nouns can make an assumption.  An inanimate noun, like a research study, cannot.  Just like an animate noun, a researcher can “think”, but an inanimate noun, a computer, cannot. 

    To put it more simply, think of it this way:

    • Person, Researcher, Participant = assume and think
    • Study, Computer, Inanimate Object ≠ assume and think
     
  • drdianehamilton 3:22 pm on August 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Charts, , Economic, Graphs, , Kaiser Family Foundation, Methodology, , , Statistics, Trends,   

    Top Sites to Find Statistics and Charts for Writing Articles 

    Have you ever wondered where journalists find all of those great charts and graphs to show their statistics?  Here is a list of some of the most helpful free sites to find important data and charts to use when doing research for articles:

    • Alexa.com – “Free traffic metrics, search analytics, demographics, and more for websites.
    • Census Figures:  U S Census Bureau – Topics Include: People and Households, Business and Industry, Geography, Fraudulent Activities and Scams, Newsroom and Related Sites that include information about Jobs, Research Programs and Other Agencies.
    • Labor Statistics:  U S Department of Labor – Topics Include:  Inflation, Pay and Benefits, Consumer Spending, Unemployment, Employment, Workplace Injuries, and Productivity.
    • Morningstar.com – “Morningstar provides stock market analysis; equity, mutual fund, and ETF research, ratings, and picks; portfolio tools; and option, hedge fund, IRA, 401k, and 529 plan research.
    • Nationmaster.com – “a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations.”
    • Pew Research Center – Numbers, Facts and Trends:   – Topics Include:  Population Trends, Domestic Policy, Economics, Elections, Energy and Environment, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Internet and Technology, Legal, News Media, Politics and Elections, Polling, Public Opinion, Religion, Research Methodology, and Social Trends.
    • Quantcast.com – “Free direct audience measurement for all website owners including traffic, demographics, business, lifestyle, interests and more.
    • Real Time World Statistics:  Worldometers – Topics Include:  Current World Population, Current Government and Economics Statistics, Current Society and Media Statistics, Current Environment Statistics,  Current Food Water and Energy Statistics, and Current Health Statistics.

    Related articles

    Top 25 Sites to Get Statistics on Colleges and Universities

    Top 10 Websites Sites to Get Internet Usage Statistics

    Top Sites for Employment Trends and Statistics

    WorldBank Countries and Economies Statistics

    Statistics Every Writer Should Know

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:03 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , movabletype, , TypePad,   

    Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All? 

     

    There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both WordPress.com (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

    There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow. 

    With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit. 

    There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

    With technology constantly changing, people may find it difficult to keep up with it all.  To get an idea of just how many blogs and how much information is out there, check out the following graph:

     

    Ever wondered how many blogs are there on internet?how big is the blogosphere‘. How much revenue is generated from blogs? what are the key demographics for the blogging publishers? and what are the languages used used online? This Infographics is an answer to these questions.
    state_of_the_blogosphere
     

     

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:04 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Sentences, , Topic sentence, ,   

    Bloggers and Social Media Junkies: 5 Tips to Improve Your Writing 

    Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What are some things I can do to improve my blogging and writing skills?

    The Internet has turned lot of people into writers.  Bloggers and social media junkies may have great ideas to share but may lack some writing skills that could help improve the message they want to convey.  I know I make a lot of mistakes when I write.  I try not to, but when you blog as much as I do, it is inevitable.  I never intended to be a writer.  However, I found that I liked sharing information, so writing became a means to an end.  When I write my books, I use a professional editor.  Not all of us can be editing experts. It could be very expensive and inconvenient to have to use an editor for every blog and social media posting.  However, there are some simple things that can help to improve writing skills. 

    1.  Don’t End Sentences in Prepositions. The problem is that many people have no idea what a preposition is.  Susan Thurman, author of The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need, claims there is a trick to helping recognize a preposition.  “Look at the last eight letters of the word preposition; they spell position.  A preposition sometimes tells the position of something:  in, out, under, over, above and so forth.”  My seventh grade teacher suggested we think about a box.  For example:  in the box, over the box, and so forth. The following are the most common prepositions according to Thurman.  Try to avoid ending a sentence with any of these words:

    • About
    • Above
    • Across
    • After
    • Against
    • Along
    • Among
    • Around
    • At
    • Before
    • Behind
    • Below
    • Beneath
    • Beside
    • Between
    • Beyond
    • But
    • By
    • Concerning
    • Despite
    • Down
    • During
    • Except
    • For
    • From
    • In
    • Inside
    • Into
    • Like
    • Of
    • Off
    • On
    • Onto
    • Out
    • Outside
    • Over
    • Past
    • Since
    • Through
    • Throughout
    • To
    • Toward
    • Under
    • Underneath
    • Until
    • Up
    • Upon
    • With
    • Within
    • Without

    2.   Learn to Spell without Spell Check. If you rely too much on a spell checker, you may find that words you meant to write are replaced with words that have entirely different meanings.  I can’t count how many times that a student has sent me a note saying to “please excuse the incontinence”.   It is best if you take the time to learn to spell correctly so that you don’t have to rely on a device that may change your intended meaning. The following are fifty of the most commonly misspelled words according to author Gary Provost of 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing:

    • Acceptable
    • Apology
    • Appetite
    • Architect
    • Assassinate
    • Autumn
    • Calendar
    • Changeable
    • Conscious
    • Correspondence
    • Criticism
    • Deceive
    • Discernible
    • Embarrass
    • Eminent
    • Existence
    • Fascinate
    • Grateful
    • Hygiene
    • Imaginable
    • Immediately
    • Irrelevant
    • Jewelry
    • Judgment
    • Lovable
    • Miscellaneous
    • Mischievous
    • Mortgage
    • Necessarily
    • Occasionally
    • Occurrence
    • Omission
    • Orchestra
    • Potatoes
    • Professor
    • Pseudonym
    • Quarrelsome
    • Religious
    • Reservoir
    • Rhythmic
    • Scissors
    • Syllable
    • Tragedy
    • Umbrella
    • Vanilla
    • Vengeance
    • Weird
    • Wholesome
    • Youthful
    • Zealot

    3.  Vary your sentence length.  Some of my students like to write in either really long run-on sentences or overly short monotonous sentences.  Try to vary your sentence length.  Notice how the first sentence in this paragraph was longer and more complex.  That was followed by a shorter more succinct sentence.  It makes your writing easier to read if you vary the sentence length and mix it up a bit. 

    4.  Ask yourself some questions once you have finished your draft.  Does the initial paragraph let the reader know what your paper, blog or article is going to contain?  Do you have needless repetition of ideas?  Is your tone and tense consistent?  Does one paragraph advance to the next in a smooth fashion?  Does each of your paragraphs contain a topic sentence that conveys the thought you have developed throughout that paragraph? 

    5.  Work on expanding your vocabulary.  Rather than learning overly complicated words to express what you want to say, try varying the way that you say things by using a thesaurus.  If you are talking about a house, perhaps refer to that house as a dwelling or a building in the next sentence.  If you find that you are using the same word over and over, check out some alternatives words in a thesaurus to add dimension to your writing.

    I know I am guilty of making some of these mistakes.  Through practice, we can all improve our skills. 

     
  • drdianehamilton 1:48 pm on November 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BlogPress, , PageRank, , , , , WordPress Plugin Directory   

    WordPress To Introduce New Stats Features For Authors 

     

    Many blogs on WordPress are large enough that they have several authors writing for them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see which author is bringing in the most views?  Well now you can. 

    According to TimesoftheInternet.com, “Now, WordPress is introducing a stats feature which will allow the admin to see which posts are profitable and which authors are bringing in the most profit. This way, they can ask their authors to change their styles to bring in more profit for the site. This is one feature that is very useful for WordPress blog admins. They can easily manage their top authors from their dashboard and make necessary changes.This feature should be available very soon, probably in the next beta release of WordPress.  So if you’re running a WordPress blog, you could make good use of this feature which will help you manage your site authors.”

     
  • drdianehamilton 12:04 pm on October 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brand awareness, , Dana Kohlbeck, , , , , Postcrescent, , , , , SocialOomph,   

    Do You Need To Control Your Social Media and Build Brand Awareness? 

    There are many platforms out there that can help you manage all of your social media.  I personally like to use Posterous at times to share content due to their Share on Posterous toolbar option.  I think that Posterous is one of the easier ways to share things but you are still limited to the places where Posterous connects.  Check out my posterous site by clicking here

    I know Facebook can present a bit of a challenge about when and how often to post.  I don’t want everyone of my blogs to post on Facebook and overwhelm my contacts.  I tend to treat Facebook as a separate entity because of that and only post specific things there. 

    I also use some of the other social management sites like SocialOomph and Hootesuite.  I know a lot of people still go to each one of their social media sites to post separately which takes up a lot of their time.

    I think the following article by Dana Kohlbeck on Postcrescent.com does a nice job explaining some of the platforms available that can help you manage a lot of your social media areas in one location.

    Image via shoutmeloud.com

    If you’re looking to maximize both time and reach within social media platforms, look to applications such as HooteSuite or SocialOomph. These tools allow you to update multiple accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from one platform, as well as pre-schedule messages for consistency and strategic time release.

    According to a recent business.com study, 81 percent of marketers use social media to build brand awareness. What better way to spread the brand message than to customize your social media platforms to reflect that brand?

    To read entire article, click here:  postcrescent.com
     
  • drdianehamilton 2:03 pm on October 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Emily Molitor, , , News Feed, , , Smart Blogs, , Top News, Tuesday Afternoon   

    How to Make Your Facebook Content Top News 

    I utilize Facebook pages to connect with people about my books and writing, so I am always interested in finding out more about what makes a Facebook page become successful.  I ran across this very interesting article by Emily Molitor with Smartblogs.com . . . Here is an excerpt from that article.  To read the full article click here.

    Emily Molitor

    How to make your Facebook content “Top News”

    One of the main aims of companies using Facebook for business is generating awareness, as Jay Baer pointed out in his Facebook Success Summit session on Tuesday afternoon. The top way to do this, Baer says, is to win the News Feed. It seems simple: If you get someone to “like” your company’s Facebook page, then they receive the content you send out, right?

    Not exactly, Baer said.

    Click on this link to read the rest of the article: smartblogs.com
     
  • drdianehamilton 7:57 pm on October 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Are You Using Wooeb’s Interactive Search Engine Platform? 

    If you haven’t heard of Wooeb.com yet, you need to check out their site.  Wooeb is an interactive search engine platform.  Rather than having to wait for search engines to pick up your information, they put it all together in one place. 

    They did a nice job with with creating ads and banners.  This is an example of an ad they can create for you on their site.  You can also click on it to find out more about my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

    They also offer press releases that you can incorporate on your wooeb site.  To see my site, go to: http://wooeb.com/drdianehamilton

    Check out an article about the Top 5 Reasons Wooeb Boosts Your Online Presence by clicking here.  In that article they list the following benefits of using Wooeb:

    1.  Everything is in one place

    2.  You own your URL

    3.  It is accessible to everyone

    4.  Wooeb indexes search engines

    5.  Messages boards are included to discuss topics with others

     
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