Thursday, May 31, 2007

More on Promotional Tools

Not only do I have a lovely new set of toys from Feedburner, but I discovered Blog Flux today as well. I’ve registered this blog with them. Obviously I cannot live without 42 different kinds of stats from 19 different places. At any rate, if you’re curious you can check out their Directory of Writing/Publishing Blogs and, if all goes well, I’ll be listed soon. Ah, I'm told to put Resources Blogs - Blog Top Sites this in here! Now, it doesn't give the the option of choosing writing or publishing as my blog type. I'll have to see how that goes.

Apparently they recently merged with Blog Top Sites and bought out Commentful last month. But what I like about their stated standards, as with blogcatalog, is that they are looking for sites that are not just lists of referral links or shilling for other sites. That’s not a crowd in with which I’d like to get lumped. (How’s that for an awkward grammatical construction?)

While I am getting a fair number of clicks from Technorati and mybloglog, I’d like to target more serious writers and bloggers. Not that I don’t appreciate the interest. I just don’t believe that they much care about the mechanics of writing. It seems that many bloggers are specifically interested only in how to make money. Money's lovely, but to me the act and art of writing are more important.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Guides to Writing and Editing

In my pursuit of better writing, I have found a few more guides to share. First, there is Dr. Grammar, who has this lengthy list of FAQs. You can submit a question should you be unable to find the answer there. Then, there’s the ever-popular Grammar Girl. She does tend to be pedantic, but there her detailed explanations tend to clear up complicated questions about a rule, rather than merely giving a too-specific example.

If the writing well has run dry for a bit, look for some writing prompts to get that virtual ink flowing again. The Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association has a nice list of 52 prompts - enough for a whole year at one a week. Karen Pruitt Fowler has an article at Suite 101 with 13 writing prompts.

Once you’ve written a piece, you can’t submit it for publishing until you proof-read it. Beyond looking for technical problems like grammar and spelling, you need to check for flow and logic. has some fantastic tips for doing this. They are geared toward students but are useful for anyone. The Sentence Opening Sheet and a seriously useful list of synonyms for the word said. For those of you who have difficulty with repetitive dialog (as I do) this may help or at least inspire you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Getting Your Feed Out There - Step One

So, no sooner do I post about how obsessing over stats is making me unhealthy than I come across two huge piles of “get traffic” information. But these blogs are worth more than just their tips on getting and keeping readers. The important thing is to write well and often, which is certainly covered in John Wesley’s post at about 27 lessons he's learned over the last six months.

Meanwhile, Brian Clark over at not only knows how to get and hold people’s attention but he’s also suave enough to pull of a post called zen and the art of blogging. He’s also got numerous posts about networking and other strategies for getting subscribers.

Probably the most common tip I’ve read is to make your feed readily accessible. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that my “subscribe” text is small and is at the very bottom of this page. I’m investigating feedburner and other sites to see what my options are. I have the widget on my sidebar, but not everyone is going to want something that ostentatious for my feed. And who in the world is going to take the time to go to widgetbox and customize it?

That’s going to be my blog-improvement project for the week. As you can see at the top of my sidebar, I couldn’t even wait to finish this post before I started. I love toys. I'll report back later in the week about the other services they offer.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Is Viewing Your Stats Bad For You?

While you can learn all sorts of fascinating details, sometimes I can't help but wonder if being able to see things like from where people came to your blog, how long they were there, and what they saw and clicked is bad for the average blogger.

On the one hand, I discovered that someone did a Google search for Deborah Ng, whose praises I have sung a plenty. Apparently my blog popped up and they wandered over, spending 14 mintues here. I love that person! But it is good for me to care so much?

Letting Other People Write The LinkBait is a lovely post by Andy Beard with which I whole-heartedly agree. What I write probably isn't over the heads of people who want to write well, but people who are on-line solely to cash in where they can won't understand what the heck I'm talking about. I am more than happy to have them visit, but I'd rather have people hanging around who share an interest in improving the tone of the blogosphere and of articles on the web in general.

The question is, does that make me a snob? Well, yes, but not necessarily in a bad way. I can admit to enjoying the toys and tools that come with various programs. I check my stats at MyBlogLog and AdSense and be thrilled with that day's numbers or despair about ever finding success.

I have to continually remind myself that I have not been around long enough to build a base of steady readers. And obsessing over where those who visit come from on an individual basis is not going to help me over the long term. What I need to do is to watch for trends over time. To do that, I've got to give myself time.

I've been posting all over the place looking for feedback, too. I see that there have been quite a few people wandering by so I wanted to thank those who have taken the time. I'd like this to be an attractive and useful place. I appreciate the help!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Another Promotional Tool

I really want to get this blog into BlogCatalog - the even have a nifty button to add:
Submit Your Blog To The Blog Directory
But the first time I submitted it they said that it was too new. Since this is the 20th post, I'm hoping that they'll reconsider. I re-submitted yesterday, but forgot to add the aforementioned button. I'll try again today and see if they will let me play. [Edited to add that they did, indeed, let me in. Let's hear it for perserverance!]

I've got listings all over the place, and I've found that mybloglog, technorati, and blogcatalog are the ones from which that I get the most feedback, both in readers and in on-site comments. I've decided to narrow down my focus because it takes so much time to market yourself individually on 15 sites. Maybe I can get established better at these three and then expand. I don't really get how some folks are everywhere and seem to be up-to-date and responsive on all of the sites. Deborah Ng must have cloned herself a dozen times to keep up with her listings, her profiles, her newsletters, her updates, and still finding time to write to a couple of blogs, like Finding the Right Words. Deb, I wanna be just like you when I grow up!

Okay, that was my embarrassing gush for the month. It's hard not to be impressed by people who really seem to know where they're going. It's even harder not to be awed by those who have gotten there and never gloat about it. The key for me is to try being inspired rather than discouraged. I have to remember that all of the good writing jobs are not being snapped up in half an hour by far better and more experienced writers than I am. And that, if I don't try, I'm never going to get even one of them. In other words, I have to stop being a chicken and really put myself out there. That's part of the reason that I'm writing this blog. If I keep all of these resources in a place where I can easily find them then I can work up my courage to the point where I'll actually use them!

Friday, May 25, 2007

More Writing Handbooks and Some Courses

I'd never thought to look before. I did a short hunt and found that there are plenty more school-sponsored writing handbooks out there. This handbook for Amherst Students includes helpful information on logic and commonly misused words. Then there’s this one from, whoever that is. It’s got a pile of essays on everything from introductory paragraphs to footnotes and citations.

If you’re tired of reading about it, the St. Martin’s Handbook has a set of writing exercised built around its sections. George Mason University has a writing center that specifically focuses on business writing. And for those of you who are really serious about creative writing, check out the on-line writing courses called Writer’s Studio, through Stanford University. Ooh la la!

The whole reason that I’m pointing out ways to improve your writing is that people in general (not you, of course, you’re a wizard with words) can use the help. That includes me, naturally. I thought it would be handy to have a pile of resources all in one place. Each of the handbooks has a slightly different take on writing. Exposing yourself to different opinions allows you to build your own so that you can not only write well but offer specific criticism to those who do not.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Writer's Block and Writing Tips

I recently discovered Nate Whitehill, who has lots of great information about blogging and, this particular post, overcoming writer’s block. There’s also a lovely exploration of why blogs fade away. The point is basically that people who start a blog to make money get rapidly discouraged when the cash doesn’t roll in from day one. Understanding that building up your portfolio is the first step to writing successfully doesn’t apply just to blogging, either. I think he’s going to be one to watch!

Then I ran across, of all things, this Writer’s Handbook from the University of Wisconsin. It contains not only common punctuation tips but a complete guide (focused on college-type assignments) to writing from drafts to citing references. One of the best portions is section on writing clearly and concisely. That’s an issue on which I need to work, so I was doubly pleased to find it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google Sitemaps and Other Tools

As part of my attempts to make this a serious exploration of on-line marketing, I’d been adding Google products like AdSense and the search box above. Every once in a while, I run across a blog that really helps me to understand how to find the tools available and to use them. This post from Improbulus at opened my eyes to yet another opportunity – sitemaps. This is supposed to simplify the process by which you ping Google that you have a new post and thus gets your site indexed faster by the little Google spiders. Follow some of the links on the entry for more information – it’s very informative.

Of course, getting your blog or web site started involves not only adding a pile of quality content but of arranging its appearance and tools for your maximum benefit. If you’ve been to this blog before, you’ll probably notice that it has changed. Every day I seem to find one more toy (like the widgets for my feeds) or tool (like the AdSense referral and search boxes) to employ. I’ve fiddled with my html and will do more to change the look of the site. But you have to find a balance (once again – it seems that balance is my theme this month) between implementing changes and keeping a recognizable brand.

For a blog just starting out, it is probably expected that it will evolve from day to day. There are so many ways to monetize and advertise your site that you could add a new button a day for weeks. At some point, though, you need to have a site that people will recognize when they see it. Drastic changes should level off after a few weeks and full re-designs would need to be accompanied by a post notifying folks to expect something new. Otherwise, they may think that your site is not the one they were looking for and will go elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How HTML Tutorials Help

I don't know jack about html. I can be up-front about that. But I do know that I can't get by on the Internet without being able to at least manipulate the basics. Those of you who are not familiar with the bizarre world of tags and img and href and those other abbreviations and codes, despair not! There are ways to learn and ways to cheat.

Most blogging and publishing sites have templates for people who can’t (or can’t be bothered to) parse their own html. To impress folks, you can go to sites like Widgetbox. There is a widget for just about any feed you can think of, including things like a Word of the Day and celebrity gossip.

Sometimes, though, the pre-set options just don’t give you the look you want. A section may be too wide or narrow, a color too yellow or blue. To adjust those things, you’ll need to learn how to manipulate the settings directly. Once you know the basics, you can fiddle with things in increments and check the results as you go. I’m a big advocate of learning by experience. And seeing how one tag or setting affects the finished product really helps you to learn what those codes mean.

But where do you start? With a good tutorial, of course. The one that I use is at Tizag, where they have a pile of other tutorials as well. If you don’t know what you’re doing, start with the first page and learn the terminology. If you have a basic understanding of the concepts, you can pick a particular subject and learn about the specifics. I know that there are plenty of others out there, but this one has been so helpful that I haven’t found the need to look for another. And no, they aren’t paying me anything nor do they know I’m posting about their site.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Improve Your Writing By Reading

Reading these sites, that is. I was perusing the Write 101 site and came across this page on common writing mistakes. They’re subtle, but at least I caught four of the five! Mistakes are much harder to see in your own work. I tend to set mine aside for a while and edit it after I’ve forgotten exactly what I said. If what you wrote is too fresh in your mind, you will read what you meant to say rather than what you actually typed.

Then, there is this guide to finding article topics and getting started as a freelancer from Jenna Glatzer, as posted on You can’t ask for a more fun and detailed explanation of getting your foot in the door. Ah, inspiration!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

MyBlogLog and HTML

MyBlogLog certainly is a wealth of information, even if it does look like the entire purpose of most communities is to post a link and then find another community in which to do the same. But there is some interesting information buried amongst the "Click Me!" posts. For example, I discovered The Web Marketing Blog's post for Saturday, which has some good tips for beginning bloggers. I doubt that I would have run across that on my own.

In my meandering around over there, I also came up with geckoandfly with their blogger templates. I may have to check these out, as I'm not overly fond of the background on this one and I don't really know how to change it.

Of course, I could just learn more HTML. These days, it's getting to be an essential skill for anyone publishing on-line. It's easy to get intimidated by all of that jargon and secret-code-like symbols that make browsers display amazing things. But there really is a way to at least learn the basics. I'll post a tutorial or two along the way here, as well.

I also wanted to point out that I have two new articles at Associated Content. I'm trying a few different experiments over there, including my newest article with a very searchable subject - How YouTube Got Don Imus Fired. We'll see how the hits on this one go, as opposed to the other article published last night. If only they'd update page views more often I could post updates here!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Follow the Yellow Crumb Road...

I thought it might be useful to give an example of what I mean when I say that I “followed a breadcrumb trail” to find a post. This is the one I followed this morning.

I was in the forum at Associated Content and saw the listing for Scott’s Web Writers CafĂ©. Naturally, I was curious, so I clicked for a visit. There I ran across a post referring me to Dr. Tony Hung’s blog marketing post on problogger, which led me to his article at about using mybloglog to create a social network of blogs.

I thought that I had joined mybloglog, but it turns out that I hadn’t. Of course, that’s what I’ve spent half of the morning doing – adding widgets and setting up screen shots and filling out profile information. Hey, sometimes you’ve got to play!

Once I got tired of that, I explored the communities tagged for writing, where I found Writers Edge, which led me to linking information from Jack Humphrey, which led me to Brian Clark on copyblogger (where there is a ton and a half of great information) which in turn led to Kevin O’Keefe.

So I visited or found eight great sites, starting from an innocent post in a forum. While I’m not going to go and notify every one of these people that I’ve linked to them here, they may find out anyway through pings and other tracking widgets. Then they could come and read at least this entry, if not be fascinated by my scintillating wit and sparkling personality. And I got a free post out of it, too!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Writing tips, trackbacks, and job sources

I found some great advice at sapphireknight for blogging and article writing. Rather than rehash the information, I’ll just agree and move on.

Then I wandered by Ask Dave Taylor. I found this post explains pings and trackbacks, which was helpful even though apparently I can’t activate them on this blog. At least I know what they are and how they work!

Being full of fascinating information today, I also discovered Freelance Portfolios, where you can post a profile and portfolio for free. It looked like the jobs that were posted there for bids were pretty low-paying, but it’s a place to start!

There’s also a list of writing jobs posted at, which has some posts in common with The more you explore on-line job postings, the more you’ll find that there are some main sources that are vetted by experienced folks. The trick is to find people who know enough about the market to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ethics, Blogging, and the Paid Review

I discovered this interesting post on blogging ethics at CyberJournalist. I was pretty happy to see that the number one bullet on the list is “Never plagiarize.” Some of the other items are a lot harder to comply with, especially the ones that tell you not to sensationalize. How could you run a celebrity blog otherwise?

The list of ways to be accountable is excellent, except that doing paid reviews blows a lot of those criteria out of the water. However, being open about the fact that you do is probably enough to get folks to take your entries with a grain of salt. I have only done one, but I’m hoping to do more. I’ll bet you can tell which recent post was for a site I was paid to review, too.

As mentioned in the second blog link from yesterday, being paid doesn’t mean only saying nice things. The site that sent me the review specifically noted in their user agreement that I was not required to post a positive review. If they hadn’t, I would not have signed up. I don’t see any reason not to get paid to review a site, if the owner is asking, but it’s important to be honest about what you see. How else can you hold up your virtual head?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dave Pollard and Kevin Muldoon, More Tips

I ran across a link to Dave Pollard’s blog on not just how to blog but how to do it well and how to get better. There are several insanely useful links in this post, so I'll just link to the whole thing. I've got a sneaking suspicion that my readability is not quite where it ought to be, under these guidelines. Then again, maybe I don't want it to be.

Again, I think the readability of your blog is an act of finding balance. I don't want to "dumb it down" to the lowest common denominator, but then again I don't want to alienate folks, either. If someone is looking for tips it isn't really going to help them if I like to stretch my vocabulary muscle rather than remembering that these posts are not solely for my benefit (or entertainment). I ran this post through the readability tool in Microsoft Word and was pleasantly surprised to see that I’m doing better than I thought. I was pretty close to Mr. Pollard’s specified target numbers.

As promised, I did take a peek at Kevin Muldoon’s blog as well. Apparently it’s only been up since March of ’07 but he’s packed a ton of information into it. There was an interesting entry on doing paid reviews on your blogs. It makes some good points about how to do them better and thus how to get paid more. He’s got a pile of information about making money on the web. The only real criticism that I have is that he has a tendency to forget his capital “I” and skip spaces after periods. That’s distracting for a grammar freak like me.

Friday, May 11, 2007

And some thoughts on writing and blogging

I wandered across mskzalameda’s blog, whose post for today was about John Chow. Being me, I followed the breadcrumbs to this post about inspiring yourself to find blog topics.

These are all good ideas, not only for blogging but for finding article topics as well. If you’re suffering from writer’s block (or writer’s bore, which is when you just can’t muster enough interest in your current topic to write well), give these things a try to jump-start your creativity and flex your writing muscle. Not to mention that it’s a good example of linking to your own posts!

Since I already posted once today, I’m going to keep this short. But I may just check out Super Kevin Muldoon whose site Chow reviewed yesterday. That's exactly the reason Mr. Muldoon paid Mr. Chow to do the review!

Web Conferencing Software - Some thoughts.

I never really gave much thought to how you would organize a video conference or, even more complicated from my point of view, web conferencing. Then I got a link to the folks at It turns out that there are companies that do these things for you – all you have to do is pay (of course). They even have their own blog. It’s mostly press-release-style information, though, and hasn’t been updated since January.

Their hook is that MegaMeeting is comparatively inexpensive and you don’t have to sign a contract. You can even do personal videoconferencing with 5 people for about $30 a month. I hope my sister never learns about that! Their site is visually interesting and they have all kinds of little toys, like the “interactive” bandwidth chart. There are plenty of testimonials on the site as well.

Like I mentioned, I hadn’t really thought about organizing these things. Now, at least I’ve got a place to start comparison shopping for web conferencing software, should my boss get it into his head that we need to hold one.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More places for learning to write on-line

If you’re having trouble writing well enough to get paid, check out the free on-line tutorials at (Danny Sanchez again, although I did not realize it until I checked for this post). This is a site I intend to explore more thoroughly as there are a ton of great links and videos offered.

Speaking of a pile of useful information, check out the site for papers on web writing. Some of these articles are nearing a decade old, but there are new ones as well. All of them contain at least a little nugget of useful information. They cover a wide variety of subjects, including how other people will read your text. Now I’m worried that my blog entries are too long and that I’m keeping too many of them on the screen. I think it’s likely that both of those are true, hence the short entry today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Job links and a new article experiment

Yet another breadcrumb trail today led me to The Dabbling Mum, which is looking for all sorts of things. The pay is decent, especially for reprints of articles that are already up, and you don’t have to give them exclusive rights for original material.

They do have some pretty strict submission requirements, though, so make sure you pay attention to what they want and how they want it! I am currently trying to figure out how to get a headshot without asking someone to take a picture of me. I picked that one up from this forum, run by another AC guru, Michy.

I tried a little experiment with Associated Content. They require a minimum of 400 words for article submission, and in most cases I have no problem hitting at least that if not 500 or more. News articles, on the other hand, tend to give me much more difficulty. In part this is because I pick only slightly wacky things to post as news, and in part it is because it was an event that may not be finished playing out, as with the one I chose for this experiment.

I wrote up my article and discovered that it was just under 275 words. My previous low-count article (also a new story) was about 100 words more than that and I figured it was so close to the 400-word minimum that they just didn’t mind. My experiment was to submit this one anyway. I got a rejection, of course, but not because it was too short. The rejection was because they didn’t feel that enough people would care that this recently-released murderer had bitten his girlfriend’s forehead. I can’t blame them for that - they're probably right. But it did ease my concern that I would have to pad short news bits to get them published.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Where to start looking for work on-line

Being as afraid of rejection as I am (and as busy as I can stand to be without committing myself to a deadline), I haven’t tried for any “real” freelance jobs. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know where to find them! My link of the day is Deborah Ng’s fantastic resource. Of course, she gets a lot of her postings from the freelance mecca that is craigslist. If you haven’t heard of these two, you really are a beginner!

Now, craigslist can be difficult to navigate from the link above. It’s got a link to about a thousand cities (that would be a rough estimate) and of course you don’t need to be in the city where a publication is based to write for it. That’s where the freelance job links come in. They take the time to go through the listings and skip and garbage, only posting what they believe to be good offers. For instance, you won’t find this one on Ms. Ng’s blog. I’m interested in it because I like to write those reviews anyway. If I can get them published in print and read in a nearby city (and have them on hand to brag about!) then why not give it a shot?

Since you don’t get paid for this one, most folks who write for a living won’t be interested. But you have to either read the posting to find out or find listings that have already skipped offers like this or worse ones like this. I’ll try to post a couple of links a week to such lists, just to save some time and collect them in one spot. There will, of course, be a certain amount of overlap, but you never know who will find that gem that fits your style and ability perfectly.

In case you don't scroll down to the bottom, I inserted my RSS feed (thanks to the work-around from these folks. I don't really care for the way it displays, and once Blogger has fixed their feeds I'll change it to the provided page element that will, hopefully, better match the style of this template.

Powered by Feed2JS @ Modevia Web Services

Monday, May 7, 2007

Links for Writing Better News On-line

In my browsing today, I ran across Paul Bradshaw’s post about the future of magazines, which made me think of Associated Content as a sort of out-of-control magazine trying to be everything to everyone.

The problem with that is that things are spread so broadly that it’s hard to find anything specific. Having enough sub-categories to make things findable will only make the submission process harder. Then again, not having specific enough categories makes browsing an exercise in frustration or boredom, wading through 700 articles that do not interest you to find three that do. I think everyone knows that people are not that patient in reading on-line.

And following a trail of breadcrumbs from Mr. Bradshaw's post, I found this post from Danny Sanchez filled with resources for learning about journalism on-line, many of which are free. I know I’ll be checking some of these out. I don’t do well with third-person writing and I could use some pointers on story composition. From who better to learn than the pros? I dugg this one and couldn’t believe that no one ever had before.

I’ve submitted this blog to two places, already. There’s Blogarama - The Blog Directory
and Internet Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory. I've also submitted both of my blogs to Blog Listings and Blog Directory & Search engine.

I may tackle a few more from this submission site list later. I have my older blog on these two as well so I already had accounts set up.

While I’m tiptoeing forward, I’ll be checking out AdSense here on Google as well as finding more freelance and on-line journalism blogs to help expand my knowledge base. And of course, I’ll be posting my findings and experiences here.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

More thoughts on blogs and article writing

For my "non-me" link, I'm going to point to the blog (and thus the articles) of one theBarefoot. He has an edge you could slice bagels wtih, but is probably the most helpful AC resource out there. He's snarky and funny and does not suffer fools lightly. These are all things I look for in an author. Okay, not the AC part. How many of those do you need?

In writing that, and in re-reading my last post, I realized that I neglected to mention one crucial element to developing a network, a following, and thus a real income from writing on the web - good content. If you can't write for beans then that's what you'll make. Now, I like to think that I can put together a sentence that will stand up to grammar and spelling freaks alike, but I know that I need to work on my flow. I tend to babble until I get around to the point, which is okay for posting at MyLot but does not lend itself to serious writing. Thus, I spend an inordinate amount of time editing the fluff and the meandering out of my work.

In my world, that means that I write less than a lot of people. It rather appals me to see posts from people who practically brag about writing two or even three articles an hour. I could do that if I researched a subject and had three sub-topics from that research, but as a rule it takes me at least an hour to compose an article I'd let out of my sight. Hopefully, the time that I take makes my articles and posts better than the average dreck you can drown in on these sites. Then again, you can't take yourself too seriously or you'll never accomplish anything. Writing on-line has been an exercise in balancing for me. I'm still learning where the fulcrum lies.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A brand new blog for a brand new attempt

This blog is intended to be something between and continuation and an expansion of my existing blog at Live Journal. I have had minor success writing at Helium and Associated Content, but I am given to understand that I'll never make real money if I don't promote.

Now, promoting is not as straightforward as it sounds. I thought I could just link to myself in a few places and talk about my writing on my little blog and that everything would build. It isn't quite that easy. Not only do you have to talk about yourself, but you have to talk about other people, what they're writing, and where. Then they find their link on your page and perhaps mention it on theirs. Bingo - another link in the chain.

All of this theoretically puts your blog (and thus your self-promotion) higher in the search results for the topics you are covering. So does adding to to blog rolls and various listing sites, if I am to understand how this all works correctly. I just didn't feel that Live Journal was the place for me to do that. There isn't squat for visibility over there and finding communities and folks that shared my interests was very difficult. That was because of both difficult navigation and a lack of folks who were doing what I was doing.

The point of this blog is to do all of those useful and well-behaved things and to see (and post about) what happens. Of course, I'll post to my new articles as I write them. Heck, after a few weeks I'll probably write an article about being here! So this is one step forward for me, hopefully on the long road to building a real name for myself.