How to blog? A Beginner’s Perspective

Blog: A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

I started to get involved in the world of bloggers just about a week ago, and I got to admit, it’s been pretty fun, it seems there’s an entire international subculture of bloggers I had no idea about, many interesting points of view in all kinds of subjects: books, politics, movies, photography, etc. Apparently, there’s a post out there for every topic you can think of, and after reading a few of them I realized there’s a lot of room for improvement for ‘my blogging’.

Up to this point I’ve just popped out any idea I’ve had, and wrote a short article about it, which is not bad for a first step, after all, you got to start somewhere, right? But perhaps is time to step up a little and manage things with a smarter perspective. So, I’m going to try to answer the question of this post in some summarized steps, mainly for myself but if I could help another beginner blogger that would be really something, so here we go:

1.- Research

If you want to ‘blog’, or do anything as a beginner, the first smart move to make, is to perform a research of your own, google it, ask other bloggers, watch some videos, etc. Yes, sometimes it may look a little boring, you are full excitement and want to start right away, I get it, that’s what I did, and like I said in the beginning, it is fine, whatever makes the ball start rolling (I guess that expression is accurate, if it is not, just act like it never happened). The thing is, when you want to take control of your actions, to scan the territory you’re getting into, just makes sense. That’s why in order to make this blog I’ll follow my own advice and take a moment to research for the answer of ‘how to blog?’

2.- Get a blog

Pretty obvious, right? probably you already did (in that case you may want to skip this point) but when you search for ‘how to blog’ in google or you tube, that’s the first thing it says, and is worth mentioning in case somebody out there doesn’t know how to. Is pretty easy if you choose the simple path, which is,  go to a well-known place on the internet like WordPress (this site was made there for free) and just follow the line, the site will guide you, you’ll find there are many options but if you’re a beginner like me, to keep it simple may be the right one until you feel ready to move on.  There are some sites to choose from, here is a list of them in case you want to check them out: http://www.dearblogger.org/blogger-or-wordpress-better. Just to mention the not so simple path, well, sometimes is simple but will definitely cost more, that is to hire somebody or an agency to make your blog from scratch, if they are true experts they’ll deliver something good but will charge you a lot, and will take some time. if they are not experts, they’ll will probably follow the simple path themselves but including their bill, or sometimes, they’ll deliver some crappy webpage for a price, it’s a big risk if you ask me.

3.- Define what you want to achieve with your blog

Do you want tons of followers in order to transform that popularity into money? Or perhaps what you want is to share your intimate thoughts and find people in order to make profound connections? Maybe your thing is to help others or just to share some sports opinions, whatever it is, to define what you want from the beginning will help you to achieve faster what you want. If you know exactly what that is from the beginning, then you’re really lucky, but if you’re like me then it may be a little unsettling, however, I’ve learned that sometimes it is a process. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what this blog is about, if you looked around, then you probably saw that there’s one post here about a movie, other over there about politics, and there are other two I had no idea where to put them so I created the category: ‘Divagations’, just for them. I’m still finding the spirit of this blog, and who knows, maybe that’s it, maybe my blog is about ‘movies, politics and divagations’, that’s the awesome about blogging freedom, you don’t have to be like everybody else, and your blog can help you to find out who you are and who you want to be.

4.- Admit you want to be seen

So maybe you’re one of those people that believe they don’t have to accommodate themselves for the rest in the name of authenticity, and if somebody follows them, that’s his gain, but if he doesn’t that’s his loss. The truth is that if you started a blog is because you want to be seen, you want to share something that’s important for you, there are millions of blogs out there and if you want to be seen among them you’ll have to make an effort, which takes me to the other steps.

5.- Keep it interesting, keep it fresh, keep good quality

This was also a recurrent subject in the tutorial videos I saw, people want something new, something they haven’t seen before and that has good content. Find a rhythm for posting, perhaps one a day or four in a week, this will make people follow you, if you deliver what they want they’ll keep coming. Don’t make the mistake of burning yourself too quickly, making two or three posts a day for a week, and disappearing two months, will be like starting from cero every time. Remember the first step? It was research, it is actually helpful for everything, if you want to improve your content, research is the key, is not the same to say ‘Trump is an asshole because he twits bullshit’ as analyzing in a paragraph or two, how Trump’s latest twits affected the stocks values and their international repercussions followed by a few links to back up your statement (Ok, maybe that was a boring subject but it was just an example).

5.- Don’t be afraid of SEO

You’ve probably heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and if you´re not into web developing or programming, chances are it may sound a little scaring, something that’s just for web developers and programmers, but is not like that, entirely. First, what is SEO? In short words, it’s to improve your site in order for the search engines (pages like google) be able to find it easier, to master SEO may be hard, perhaps something just for developers and programmers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few simple things that you can do in order to improve your site, and that’s SEO, for example, adding some tags and links to your posts it will help it to be easier to find. If you want to learn more You Tube is a great start, in fact, here is an intro video class if you want to get into it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF515-0Tduk

6.- Be social

The more social you are on the internet the bigger chances you’ll have to promote your blog, take advantage of your social networks, places like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, are great to get your blog out there. However, if you’re shy like me, you may not be ready to share all your thoughts of your blog with the people you know, and that’s ok (for now, eventually we must overcome that I guess), but how about visiting other blogs, make some comments, give some likes, if you do this, eventually you’ll be noticed and the blogging community will be interested in visiting your page, that’s what I’ve done, and finally gained my first visits, they are just a few, but from cero to a few, it’s been a big step for me.

7.- Don’t give up and have fun!

Finally, an obvious tip, don’t give up, the more time you invest in your blogging, the better results you’ll get, you will improve, it will get better, I promise, and I may just be a beginner in blogging, but this advice applies for everything I achieved in my personal life and I don’t see why blogging would be different, as long as you do it consciously, you’ll improve your skills and get a few ones new in the process, have fun with it, remember that, it may be more important than it seems.

If you want to know more about blogging these are a few of the webs I looked into for this article:

https://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y0IAhqtsjw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A20x-LWX2ws

Bad days

Bad: not good; disappointing or unpleasant, or causing difficulties or harm...” http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/bad

Everybody have bad days, those that from the start you didn’t even want to wake up and when finally did, you knew you were going to regret it.

You look at your alarm clock and big surprise, after fighting for an hour with the snooze button, it’s very late. In order to catch up, shower gets skipped, you get out of bed, struggle to find something clean after realizing that the shirt you were supposed to use have a hole or a coffee stain, eventually, give up, take a little less stained shirt, and rush to the door getting out as fast as you can just to come back one more time for those notes you were supposed to take for that presentation you have, and, on your way to work, traffic is worse than ever.

When miraculously you get there, about 40 minutes late, everybody looks at you and when you’re thinking ‘is not like all of you always gets here on time, give me a break’ some coworker asks you if something’s wrong, you say no, go quickly to the bathroom and see yourself made a mess, like in one of your worst hangovers ever, red baggy eyes, hair is everywhere, forgot to shave (again, so you finally achieved that homeless look nobody wants) and just when you thought ‘fuck it, who cares, what is done is done and let’s do this´, you realize that the zipper of your pants has been opened since you put them on, with a crushed spirit full of shame, you take a deep breath, try to gather some courage, fix yourself the best you can and go to the meeting and, surprise again, the papers you took were the wrong ones.

My advice, remember that it’ll eventually pass, nothing is forever and there will be a tomorrow, even if you’re on a Monday, that means that you have many other days to turn things around and if you didn’t, the weekend will be there, just for you. 99% of the times things won’t change just because, you have to give it a try, to make an effort, be aware of what you’re doing and make the smart move to put yourself together, take a break if you can.

In many occasions, when I thought I was paying for all my bad actions in just one day as a sadistic vendetta of karma, I found out that the feeling would dramatically decrease after taking a 20 minutes’ nap or having a sandwich, sounds too simple to be truth, right? But it makes sense if you think about it, when you feel tired and start walking around like a zombie, what could be more helpful than sleeping a little, and when you’re angry with no apparent reason, there’s a feeling of incompetence or misunderstanding that surrounds you and everybody who have the bad luck of crossing your path, what could be better than taking control of things by giving you a little treat? Your body knows most of the times what you need, matter of fact, it usually screams at you what it needs, listen, and remember that nobody in this life will help you as it will, nothing else is more important in this life than taking care of yourself (asides, family, values, etc. You get the point.)

If these bad days are too often and if it just seems impossible to change the tide, then it may be time to make a big change in your life, find the main reason why these bad days can’t go away, think about yourself and your capabilities to change things, be honest, don’t make the mistake of setting the bar too high, for example, if you’ve never been able to be good at social meetings, thinking ´well, it would all change if I’m more social, so I’ll start tomorrow´, won’t help, probably you’ll try a few times, then give up, and finally accept things won’t change… well, they won’t, not that way, like I said, you have to know yourself, in this example, if you´ve never been good at social meetings, it’s clear that social meetings aren’t your thing, and that’s fine, yes, you can try to improve it, but if you want the bad days to stop like, right now, perhaps is a better idea to change your environment, find another job, ask for another position, may be is the time for those long vacations you’ve postponed in order to get things in order, do it now, use your head and I bet you won’t regret it.

Blackhat (Spoiler alert)

“Blackhat: A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2717822/

Friday night after a nice but tiring family afternoon, I turned on Netflix, made some microwave popcorn served myself a tall glass of soda, and got ready for a good movie before bed. I expected a simple thriller movie when I came across Blackhat, I just knew it was about hackers; good guys vs. bad guys; some action perhaps, and after I saw the guy from Thor on the cover (I don’t follow actors and just know who they are after they are legends like Paccino or Harrison Ford), I was sold, after all, he was believable in Rush, and that’s one of my favorite movies of all times.

(Spoiler alert)

The beginning was nice, something in between the Matrix and CSI, I got excited for a moment, ‘maybe I got it right this time’-I said to myself-, sadly after that,  it all went downwards, the movie began to show signs of a cliché,  which is not that bad, I mean, it is Hollywood after all,  98% of their films are the same old stories told again and again, and there’s nothing wrong with that, they keep doing it for a reason, because most of times, we like them, however, this doesn’t mean that all of us will swallow anything. The base can be an old story, in this case a thrilling chase for a mysterious bad guy performed by a conflicted hero that must overcome his personal demons in order to succeed, that’s it, we’ve seen it many times, we’ve liked it many times too, but in order to achieve that, movies will have to be well executed, they must surprise you at some point, be a little original, funny perhaps, keep your interest throughout the entire movie, and this is how I felt:

– After the promising beginning, the plot started to get settled in a very tedious way, some international governments issues, a boring Chinese dialogue to underline the international part. At minute 27, the film was fighting for a 3-star review on Netflix.

– Most of what was going to happen you could tell after the first scenes, I suspected the Chinese girl was going to end up with the hero and that her brother was going to die, but I thought ‘no, that’s too obvious, this may be bad, but it’s not a cheesy 90’s movie’, but I was wrong, very, very wrong, it happened just like that.

– At 1h:02, they were still trying to make the villain more interesting by not showing him, which sometimes works when you really get the hint that the presence of the villain is there, you must get the feeling that this mysterious force is everywhere despite not being there, it makes you question if it is a she, or a he, or an organization, or something, but even if they’ve tried, it’s like the opposite force is not there, the main characters seem to be running around in circles. I was thinking if it should get 2 or 1 star.

-Suddenly, at 1h:42 I realized I didn’t know what was going on at the time, and, if I’m being honest, I didn’t care, I was too busy checking the boring messages of my Facebook wall, for a minute thought about rewinding to see what happened, but frankly, the thought of taking more time into this film frightened me, and when I saw that there were still 30 minutes left, I knew I’d had enough, turned it off and went to bed, and now I wonder why Nentflix doesn’t allow you to give a 0 stars review.

Is Hard to Be Outside of Politics

“Politics (from Greek: Politiká: Politika, definition “affairs of the cities”) is the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Furthermore, politics is the study or practice of the distribution of power and resources within a given community (this is usually a hierarchically organized population) as well as the interrelationship(s) between communities.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics

The last few years, I’ve gradually stepped aside of all political debates, at least, that’s been my intention. When I was in law school there was a time I thought that I had to be updated in daily political news, after all, my plan was to work as a lawyer someday and laws are always changing (especially in little third world countries like my dear Ecuador) that’s why to be aware of what’s currently happening in my country and the world, just made sense. I started to follow the news, it was exciting, I found lots of intelligent people, you could easily pick up a vibe and start to divide the participants between good guys and bad, there was information everywhere and after a few weeks I even started to feel smarter. It became pretty clear that the government of ‘Alianza País’ led by the president Rafael Correa, were involved in a race to get control of all the powers of the Estate, but in a disguised way, backed up by the constitution they’ve changed to their will. This was heavily criticized from the beginning, even before the change of the constitution, the opposition had some of the smartest people at their disposal, and I thought we had a chance.

But with the passing of time nothing concrete was achieved, it appeared I was always on the losing side, and it became a little depressing, like a never-ending soap opera with no happy ending to be expected. I had still some hopes, but they were gradually killed by the fact that the government started to take over the media, and all news had to fit into the government requirements, which basically meant that if you’re news weren’t going to show a positive aspect of the government or a negative aspect of the opposition, they were soon to be taken out of the air, a big lawsuit was coming your way (or a direct fine if you were lucky) and not so subtle threats to you or your family were to be expected. This transformed the TV news in a continuous propaganda in favor of the government, and after a few weeks of it I was physically sick from it, headaches and anger were becoming more and more common, particularly  when I started to see that this propaganda was actually drilling people’s minds, the majority believed all the bullshit they were served, so in order to avoid becoming a maniac that tries to insert some sense in other people mind’s with a bat or a gun (face it, we’ve all thought about it at some point), I decided to avoid politics at all costs.

Time has passed and after 10 years of the same, now that terrible politics are submerging the country in debt and unemployment, I’ve stumbled in social media with some critics that actually make sense, finally people are waking up, not everybody, not at the rhythm I’d like to, but it felt like there was hope again to see a change.

It was election time just a few weeks ago, tension was at its peak, and the whispers of a fraud from the government were everywhere, I got hooked again, and now in the shape of a social media follower. Fraud took place, protests went to the streets but the government managed to keep them down by force and now it seems again that my little country is in the hands of the same dictatorship of the last 10 years, we’re heading surprisingly fast to become Venezuela, which btw is in the fast track to become Cuba. And once again, I hate politics, I must remember not to get my hopes up, and try to find a way to survive, democracy works when the big majority isn’t stupid enough to be convinced by thieves, again and again and again, and those that are able to see them like they really are, shouldn’t pay the price of being in the same boat, but sadly we are, so if you´re like me I recommend to stay away from politics, and focus more on saving yourself, after all, it’s not in your hands.

In case somebody is curious about the story behind the post: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/opposition-alleges-fraud-ecuador-presidential-vote-170403032910316.html

Are we really alone?

” Definition of alone: 1   separated from others…” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alone

I’m just asking in the simplest sense of the word, not the X-files TV show sense that wonders if there’s a top-secret conspiracy about aliens… just to clarify.

Technically, the truth is that, as sad, lonely and sorry we’d like to feel about ourselves, chances are we’re not really alone, of course, unless you’re living in a cave or some sort of desert fortress away from everybody (in which case I have no idea how you managed to read these words).  We’re all living in communities, big or small, it doesn’t matter, you’re probably surrounded by people just a few meters of distance. However, all the people I know have been terrified of loneliness at some point or another, many of them have made a stupid decision in an attempt to fix it, also known as marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage could be a good thing ,theoretically, but getting married just because you don’t want to feel lonely, that’s stupid, and this is why:  like I just said, physically we’re not alone, people are all around us, at work, at home, when shopping (as a loner is actually, quite exhausting) physically we can’t consider ourselves alone when just a few meters separate us, but, the feeling of loneliness is another subject, you feel alone because you can’t connect with other people, at least not about the things that matter to you, or the way you’d like to, perhaps you’ve tried to bond about them with friends, family, or coworkers, but when you fail, and fail again, that’s when you start to feel lonely, and the thing is if you don’t fix that feeling by just a simple relationship with somebody, it won’t go away just because you’ve managed to cage yourself with somebody else, in fact, making the attempt to connect and fail repeatedly will probably will make you feel worse than in the beginning.

So, what to do?, Sorry mate, no magical answer here, we all have to find the answer by ourselves, but from my personal experience if you are feeling lonely the first thing is to realize that the problem is not physically but mentally instead, or perhaps even spiritually. It won’t be solved because you force yourself to be with other people you can’t stand, focus on yourself first, find out what is that subject, theme, idea, you want to share, then find people that are more likely to share those things with you, and the most important, it doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed, is not the end of the world, you can try again tomorrow, feeling alone is just that, a feeling, focus on something else, nobody understands how important is your career for you? So what, that doesn’t mean your family don’t care about you; You just can’t find somebody to share you passion with? Who cares, chances are there’s a friend that would accept having a beer with you and listen to you complain about it, just because you can’t connect at somethings, it doesn’t mean you don’t have many other connections around, and many times they are truly more important.

 

Is just my Opinion Man

“In general, an opinion is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement that is not conclusive. It may deal with subjective matters in which there is no conclusive finding. What distinguishes fact from opinion is that facts are more likely to be verifiable, i.e. can be agreed to by the consensus of experts.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion

Frequently, I look at the rest of the world and I just can’t figure it out. Depending on who you meet, what news you read or the last movie you saw, the world is rather a magical place that’s in a mystical era of self-discovery in which every time there’s more people opening their minds welcoming revolutionary ideas that are based in acceptance, love and union, or, on the other hand, we’re living at the gates of a biblical apocalypses in which everybody is afraid, children are dying on the streets from hunger while pollution, war and terrorism are at their peak and perversions of all kinds can be found everywhere, including ourselves… Good news! (or bad news?) I realized both statements are 100% true, it all depends on perspective.

We all have our own points of view and they are never exactly the same, we can take a posture about some issue, but there are never two exactly perspectives about something, how we feel, think and act, are motivated by unique circumstances in our lives, starting from genetics to the social environment that surround us, even twins, the fact that one was born before the other it means that he is going to see things different, in his mind he’ll always be the older one and that’s a distinctive way of thinking when compared to his brother. This fact is often forgotten, we attempt to connect between us by classifying everything and try to fit into one group or another, we may agree in something, but the percentage of how much you are committed or satisfied with that agreement is hardly the same for both sides, and even if in a hypothetical case that happens, for how long will it be that way? And what about other issues?

This is something that we must remember, especially in these days where technology allow us to express ourselves about any topic, anybody and everywhere, I’m not saying don’t judge, please do, judge, become a critic, make a comment, I hate the new trend that say the opposite in the name of avoiding people from getting offended. All that I’m saying is that before you do, try to think about it, really think, consider the facts you have and your current situation and the facts and situation in which other people may be, especially if you’re planning on making a comment about their reality, if you’re truly interested make your own research, ask and discuss with the people involved in the subject. If you just want to say what’s in your guts that’s fine too, but you’ll have to be prepared to assume the consequences, mainly two, the first one, not having a valid argument to refute when other people tells you the opposite and the second, having to stand other people’s opinions when they tell you that you’re an idiot or that you’re talking bullshit, knowing that in that particular situation, there’s a big chance they are right.