Boomer-Are You Ready to Blog?-7 Things You Should Do Before You Start-Part 1

Start with you MINDSET

I think all of you know what I mean. Most of us know the difference between a mindset that says “I want to retire” vs one that says “ I want to get refired” ( I also like to say “making a transition to do stuff I enjoy.”)

The same holds t rue with blogging. If you decide in your mind that you can do it than the rest is “Just do it”.

Now I know that sounds like a cliché and I do not say it lightly. Many of us face daily challenges and the older we get the more challenges we face. It truly is a tough life but someone has got to live it! If you really want to learn how to blog, you really can do it.

I met Stephen J Hopson two years ago at a National Speakers Association Conference in Orlando Florida. Stephen is a deaf pilot. His super blog , Adversity University should be read anytime you want to alter your mindset.

If after reading this post you are convinced that you just cannot blog then at least you have explored and acknowledge your feelings.  As long as you know the  difference between just not wanting to do something new vs not doing it because  you are afraid of failure or even of success.

So, please consider venturing out of your comfort zone and decide to blog your ideas, rants, expertise plus more. I am writing this to you right now as a black baby boomer woman born in the heart of the inner city on welfare. But even if I had not gone to college and graduate school I could still blog. If I can do it so can you. Just need the right mindset.


Boomers-Protect Yourself Online-Part 2

Just in case you did not see this comment I decided to repeat it as a post. I am hoping to get more stuff from experts like the Digital Defender. So security experts if you are out there, and I know you are, please send me articles to post with clear language us boomers can understand. Thanks so much

Here’s a tip for online protection for your email address. Spam “robots” scour the internet with automated spiders used to collect publicly posted email addresses from websites around the world. To avoid having your email address end up on a “CDROM with 600 million email addresses for only $99.00!” just use this tip:

When posting your email address publicly use a format that cannot be easily parsed by an automated spider. Here are a few examples:
Speaker AT(removeme)

Note that I left out the “@” symbol. Thats because my email hosting company will forward mail to anyone@ mydomain.

If you do not subscribe to that type of forwarding service you can include the “@” sign safely. When the spider collects this address from a publicly posted location, it will not be a emailable address.

Hope this is helpful!

Mike “America’s Digital Defender” Lattimore
email:speaker AT
Who’s Watching YOUR Computer?

Technorati-Powerful RSS Directory-What’s That?

I just signed up for Technorati. That is one of the most powerful RSS directories in the blogging world. Now, let me pause for a moment. What is RSS some of you are asking. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. The word simple may be in it but still does not sound simple. Well maybe maybe this will help. The RSS is also an acronym for Rich Site Summary. The terms represent all feed formats.

Feed Formats

A feed format is a summary of blog entries or posts that are displayed in newsreaders. The format(or language) used strips away all the graphic and other page elements. A feed will always have the heading and some of the text from the post. A feed gives the blogger the ability to syndicate the feed so that you really do not have to go to the blog to read it.  But the f eed always links back to the blog so t he reader can visit and leave a comment or what ever else they want to do.

Now, back to Technorati. It has been around for a long time. It indexes a database of over 16 million blogs. When you join the directory it will request that you either give them the password and user name to your blog or paste a code in your post so the spiders can search and insure that it is your blog. Well I am doing that right now. This is the link I want the spiders to find.

So I will be talking more, course I hope, about RSS and other directories. The main thing is to look for ways to make your blog visible to the world. Just because you build it does not mean folks will come.(smile)  Oh, here is the link for Technorati.


Blogging is more than a chance to rant

It is amazing how many Baby Boomers feel that blogging is a total self serving waste of time. Many have not looked twice at it because negative connections to chat rooms or political rants. Yet, even those have their place and readership with many people.

Note that when you blog you have entered into the BLOGOSPHERE. Now unless your blog is private the world can see it.The blogosphere is the universe of blogs and bloggers and the conversations that take place. There is a way to keep the conversation going and we will be talking about that here also.

Recently, a friend of mine became excited when I told her that even a personal blog can be monitized (Make money) even if you host it with a blogging system like blogger. Makes sense because blogger is owned by google and they make it real easy to set up a blog and host it with the blogspot in the domain name. One of the  tabs you will see when you set it up will be ADSENSE. That is the way folks can get revenue with google ads. But we will talk about that in other posts.

Some folks are excited to know they can write an entire book or booklet on a topic they like by combining all of their blogging posts. Thats right, a little systematic blogging can yield content that can be published. Now of course the objection I get is “Well all someone has to do is get all your good information of your blog.” That is so true. But I know few folks who will cut and paste 50 or so blog entries and compile them.

But do know that all your postings will be in an ARCHIVE. The archive is your blogs history of postings usually grouped by month and year. This is important to know when you are searching for your posts also.

Some folks also have such a powerful message that they want to get it out to as many people as possible. Blogging can give you that platform.

Blog on what you know and enjoy and develop a reason for doing it. Make it fun, informative and profitable at the same time.


What Can You Blog About?

You can blog about anything! For many people their purpose in life is to blog.(smile) Seriously, people blog about life, politics, religion, entertainment, gossip, art, and the list goes on. For example,if you create a news site it will be content about the lasted news stories.


The magic word here is CONTENT. The content will consist of articles, photos, videos, audios, sketches, and art. It all depends on the type of blog you have. Whatever form you take that content is sometimes called posts or entries. When someone says, “I posted to my blog today” that means they uploaded or wrote a new piece of content to the live blog site. Posts can be edited after they are published, if necessary or desired


The person doing the post is called the AUTHOR.  Yes, you can have multiple authors for a blog. But that must be set up in your blogging system. Most of the time blog authors develop their posts on a web-based interface built right into the blogging system itself.

Some blogging systems will also let you use programs like Outlook Express, Thunderbird (, and Eudora Mail to create your posts and post to the blog later.


And guess what, Some blogging tools offer you the ability to email your posts.directly to your blog, all without direct interaction through the blogging tool interface.  you can n your post content to a pre-determined email address your post is published!

This is a great time saver!

We have several blog we plan to set up but each will have a very specific purpose and related content. It is important not only for your intended audience but for your sanity.(smile)

So start now, if you haven’t already, thinking about content for your blog and how to start posting.




Blogs vs Websites

Before I begin I want to state that in my opinion they are both websites. They both have an online presence. A blog  or weblog is really a type of website. Many people are even considering using a well-formatted blog as their brochure website.

If you have the right template or theme, you can actually put your brochure on a blog.

To be very honest with you Ray and I love blogs because they give us the opportunity to make rapid changes.





Only if you seldom post



*****very interactive

You can put up surveys, polls and visitors can leave comments.

Can be but seldom

Search engines

Love blogs, fresh content makes it search engine friendly

Will have to work real hard to get good rankings

Fresh, updated content

**** You can update yourself whenever you want without a webmaster

Depends on how often you update pages. Most of it is dependent upon a webmaster. Creating a non-blog website can be hard.and the challenges discourage frequent updates.


Runs in the background of a blog. This software makes it easy to frequently add content to a blog.

Many blog programs and ready-to-use-out-of-the-box blogging services gets rid of the labor intensive function of setting up and building web pages.

Many website software programs depend upon you knowing HTML. Building a page the old way

Style and Design

 Oodles of templates available free with many blogging programs. If you run installed software, like wordpress from there are thousands of free themes. 

You can even have someone help you in changing the themes or  go with the ones available.

You can also purchase themes or templates with more bells and whistles.

 Yes, you have zillions of templates out there. And if you have a great designer you will have a good design.


 There are more things that can be said about the differences. But we wanted to present some of the points now and will share more along the way. 

Now you can create a blog page without it being any harder than writing and sending an email or posting a message to a discussion forum. Fun and informative blogs can be done with as much technical knowledge that it takes to send an email to your grandchildren.

Do you have some insights you would like to share?

Ray and Rosie

Boomers-Protect Yourself Online-Pt.1

It is true there are some real sneaky scams online. It is the fear many of us as Boomers have when it comes to the internet. Nevertheless, we can protect ourselves.

This month’s issue of Consumer Reports gave a great overview of some common swindles and some prevention tips. I will share part of them today and another part later.

Do Our Homework!

It is harder to be taken advantage of if we do our homework. Consumer reports suggests the following:

  • Always check out the license, reputation and references of any company or individual before we do business with them
  • Give up the dream of GETTING SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.
  • Trust our gut when something smells fishy.

2 Common Scams

  • There is a problem with your bank account.

You may get a message by email saying there is a problem with your bank account. Often you are asked to give your online password to a phony email account or web site. Consumer Reports indicated that that one recent e-mail “security alert” claimed to be from Bank of America and directed online users to “reconfirm” their a count information by going to a fake Bank of America Web site and entering their online banking ID and password.

  • “Help me move millions” unsolicited emails

Many of us have already gotten these emails. Now I notice they say catchy phrases in the address line like “God Bless you”. It is an opportunity to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that a supposedly government official is trying to transfer illegally out of a foreign country in return for bank account numbers or some other identifying information.

The best thing we could do is “Just Say NO! I also send the email to SPAM in my email service.

Many of us are just putting our toes in the water of doing things online. Now my grands want me to Blog? Ha! But it can we done with safety and security. We will just learn how to do it and keep our eyes open.

Source: Consumer Reports-September 2007

Pt. 2 will cover Identity Theft.

Do you have some online protection information you could share?


What is a Blog?

We thought this first post should tell you what a blog means. We never knew until we asked. So here is a quick and simple definition. Wikipedia is a great online encyclopedia. Now we know some folks may not like some of the postings which are all done by volunteers. But we think they are right on with their explanation of a blog. Here it is:

A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting) or sexual topics (Adult blog), and are part of a wider network of social media.

In May 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 71 million blogs.[1]

Note: This blog will never ever deal with Adult blog material. Just thought we should let you know right from the start.

Of course there are many many more definitions. So if you have a favorite one just click on the comment button below and leave it.

Thanks and we are going to have an exciting time.

Ray and Rosie

Art Coach and Idea Coach