Old Commentaries become Timeless

With over 2500 articles written over 10 years there are many of my commentaries that have faded in their significance, and the points made are no longer valid, however, that is easily remedied, with some judicious editing.

Many of my investing commentaries over the years leaving up to 2008, actually are becoming quite relevant to the current market situation, however, simply trying to pass them off as current commentary would be lazy and lacks a level of panache. If you add a simple preface to the post something similar to:

Do note the date of this original post, just before the great EXPLOSION of 2008, interesting the parellels eh? (When is next market crash 2007)

Suddenly that article becomes a foreboding warning, is it not?

Another simple tactic is just reading over a commentary about Debt and such and add in exact dates on when the commentary was being made, and remove any specific mention of coming current events (at the time), as I did with Great Canadian Debts, it had a reference to a coming provincial/federal election.

I am even following my own advice with this collection, updating Paypal Donation Buttons, which was previously a little short and didn’t really mention Paypal by name either. There are many similar posts here that really do need a bit of a clean up as well, and maybe some SEO work.

Timing is Essential

Sometimes if a topic has good timing you can get astounding results. As I said in Freakish Posts and Who Reads What? I really have little comprehension as to why some topics seem to really cause a great deal of interest and others that I think are interesting languish in a sea of disinterest, but sometimes Timing is Everything.

The day after the first full televised leaders debate here in Ontario, I didn’t have any new content, however, I Tweeted/Google+/LinkedIn/Facebook/Pinterest’ed a post titled Damn Rich Civil Servants, which was a rehash of some Stats Canada info about household income and showing that Ottawa is a pretty rich town. The Post caused a 110 reader spike in 1 hour (which was not sustained for the rest of the day unfortunately), but it caused quite the interest.

Why was this so darn interesting? The main topic at the Leaders debate, aside from corruption, was the PC’s plans to lay off 100,000 Civil Servants, and how that would save money. I saw that post languishing in my archive, took a chance and republished it using Social Media and it caused a very nice bump in readership.

As with all topics, timing is everything

Copyright messages and Scrapers

One easy way to ensure that your content remains your content is to add some kind of copyright statement on the copy, so that if someone borrows it for their own use, you could take legal action.

I have taken this is a step further by embedding in many of my posts the following HTML code:

This article is owned and written by Author: Me, all rights reserved. No part of any of the content of this article may be reproduced, distributed, modified, framed, cached, adapted or linked to, or made available in any form by any photographic, electronic, digital, mechanical, photostat, microfilm, xerography, mimeography, or other means, or incorporated into or used in any information storage and retrieval system, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of Me.

The added fun with that is that I put it in an HTML comment at the start of the document. You can do this by simply inserting:

< ! --- This is my copyright notice, no copying without my permission you salacious plagiarist --->
Copyright !

Into the HTML source for the document, the important parts are the codes at the start and end, so that the comment does not show up in your article. I have put a space between the < and the ! and the –, remove those to make it an actual comment.

Many scraping sites really don’t look too closely at the HTML coding of a page, and will typically steal this along with your content. The other fun thing is to include your own ads embedded in your article, that way your ads will appear in their re-authoring of your post.

Will this stop the scrapers? Not very likely, my only question is this really something I could use to prove ownership and such, but we shall see I suppose. One of these days I will need to sit down with a lawyer and discuss this stuff with him/her.

Why Do I Write So Much ?

That is a question I keep getting asked when I meet new bloggers, who have read The Canadian Personal Finance Place, they seem somehow in awe of my prolific output, but I think they forget some of the more dubious bits of writing that I have done over the past few years. I have even written about How do you write so much? on the site itself, but let’s look a little closer as to why Sisyphus and I have so much in common.

I end up writing 5 times a week, and I will also Tweet about 10 more posts from this site and from the Canadian Personal Finance site as well, just to keep the content in front of folks eyes. I use hootsuite to make sure I don’t create any Twitter Tsunamis and to time the tweeting a bit better (around lunch time is a good time to bring up older content). The one thing I am very careful with Hootsuite (which I’d like to replace, since it doesn’t do enough) is NOT use their URL shortener, but use the FULL URL from each post, so that Twitter counts that tweet (with the shortened URL it tends to ignore that fact).

All of this still only brings me about 4-500 viewers a day, and I seem to be stuck at that count for now. I am hoping to one day have a breakthrough of sorts, but for now, I guess I must be happy with the numbers for now.

M.C. Escher’s Hand Drawing Hands courtesy Wikipaintings

As for why I spew so much content that I can actually celebrate Post 2500 , I really am not too sure. There are weeks when it is quite painful attempting to piece together content, and other weeks it seems to flow like the Rideau River in May, but I also have a backlog of about 90 Draft posts that go from being almost complete to simple titles that I feel need to be expanded on. That alone means I have about 18 weeks or so of content still to develop.

A Few Changes Here

I decided to change things around here a little bit, as I have been using the same Theme (UBD Money Maker) for a long time and it was getting a little stale. The theme had served me well but the new Customizr theme does give me a little more flexibility without having to pay for a premium theme (i.e. it is free).

Customizr has a funky looking slider and an ability to highlight specific posts on the front page, so I will be looking into that once I feel a little more comfortable with things.

The other interesting plug-in that I am trying out here is the Google Publisher Plug-in  which is supposed to be from Google (in Beta) which helps with Adsense ads and hooks into the Google WebMaster tools as well, which (I hope) helps this site finally get listed on Google (again). Still having no end of issues getting any of these posts crawled by Google, not really sure what is the problem here, but trying many different things.

I removed the All in One SEO Plug In, because it didn’t seem to be helping and was creating a very odd sitemap.xml file, and I reinstated the Google XML Sitemap generator plug-in which seems to create a normal sitemap, which is still not getting me crawled, but at least I can read it.

I am glad I have this site to try things out, I just wish it was actually in the Google Index.

Addendum: And I turned on WP-Supercache as well, I had issues with the previous cach’ing program but this one has worked just find on The Canadian Personal Finance Place, so it is now running here as well.

Writing a Swerve Article

Another great wrestling marketing idea is the swerve, for those of you unaware of the term:

Swerve A sudden change in the direction of a storyline, to surprise the fans. Often, it involves one wrestler turning on an ally in order to join a supposed mutual enemy. Swerves frequently start feuds between the former allies. Also, when a booker leads fans to believe that something is going to happen (or someone will appear) at a show, before doing something entirely different.[1]

Slippery and Swervey

Writing a swerve post does not mean you suddenly change your point of view on something, unless you have suddenly realized you were wrong, no, the Swerve is making it sound like you are changing your point of view, but then using it as a “learning moment” for your readers.

An example of a swerve in my writing is In Defense of Pay Day Loans, which if you read the title you’d think I had completely abandoned my visceral hatred of the pay day loan industry, but if you read the article I haven’t changed my point of view, I am in fact trying to get folks’ attention. It’s useful sometimes to get people’s attention with a cheap trick but remember you can’t do too many of these kind of articles either, or they lose their shock value.