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Web Publisher, Internet Author “To Don’t” List

Web Publisher, Internet Author “To Don’t” List
Stop

The internet is permeated with thousands of “to do” lists. In fact, if you are an author or publisher in the electronic realm you can get so caught up in completing your “to do” list that you never actually get to do much writing and publishing.

So, as I have a propensity for being a jerk reverse engineering, I’ve put together a little “to don’t” list to help nudge us all back on our chosen paths.

1. To-Don’t: Build self opening pop ups into your site.

Pop ups are annoying. Not only are they annoying, they keep me from the reason I came to your site in the first place, to read YOUR content. In addition, they slow down my computer and negatively impact its performance. Consider the bad experiences many of us have had with pop ups (installing files without permission, harvesting personal information….) before choosing to include them.


2. To-Don’t: Build pop unders into your site.

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Same reasons as above, plus a few others. Much of the pop under stuff that displays as we leave a site has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the site we are viewing. In addition Netscape can kick you all the way out of your access if it gets too busy blocking pop unders. Then you have to relaunch, and start all over searching for your site.

3. To-Don’t: Use widgets that only work with specific browsers.

I may not be using the same browser as you. On the other hand Netvibes promises their widgets are compatible across platforms. So, if you are interested in that I think it is called the “Universal Widget API.” Still, this is just for Netvibes widgets and its designed for developers not customer ease of use.

4. To-Don’t: Build in a lot of self starting video.

Automatic streaming video is cool, once. But, making it a standard on your site will cause a lot of folks to avoid you. It’s kind of like walking up to a stranger and saying, “I’d like to you feel comfortable and relaxed so I’m going to talk to you about your imortal soul, it’s impending damnation and your only chance for salvation, Jesus Christ.” See what I mean? My ideas of appropriate might not be the same as yours. And (yes, I know it’s bad to start a sentence with and) if I’m checking you out on my lunch millisecond I don’t have time to watch a video.

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5. To-Don’t: Build in self starting audio.

For the same reasons as number four plus, I may not want everyone in my office to know whose site I go to for information or my taste in music…”Whatcha gonna do when I benda block, pull up onat ____ with a bran-new drop….Gota get up oooon nat booty….” See what I mean? You may not find that track quite as kickin as I do.

6. To-Don’t: Automatically download a pdf when I access your site.

Let me choose. Feel free to promote the brains out of it but let me make the final choice about the down load. Some firewall configurations shut the browser down when unauthorized launches begin. If I haven’t book marked your site before this happens, I may not be able to find you again.

7. To-Don’t: Bury the lead.

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Tell me up front what the article is about.
If I’m using a feed reader I may only get the first couple of sentences of your article. If you haven’t laid your hook by then, I might not read the whole article.

8. To-Don’t: Offer the option to comment if you aren’t going to respond.

This really should be a no brainer. If you offer the option to comment you are encouraging dialog. If you don’t respond to the comments your disallowing that dialog. Plus, it’s just rude.

9. To-Don’t: Make it hard to find your profile.

I like to know about the people I look to for information. Plus, I’m going to google you anyway.

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10. To-Don’t: List someone else’s link without telling me what is worthwhile about it.

List as many links as you find of value, but tell me why they are of value. Leave the mass listing of links to Craig. Of course if you are Craig or your trying to become Craig by selling link space on your site, go for it. Otherwise, be a good friend and share your referrals with an accompanying recommendation.

Very well my kind and gentle reader, those of my Top 10 To-Don’t List Items. What are yours?

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at Elemental Truths.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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