Saturday, January 30, 2010

The tradition of leaving comments or writing letters to the editor

Letters to the editor have been a long-standing tradition with magazine or newspaper writing. There was a time magazines would offer prizes for the best three letters to the editor( I think most of them still do). The letters, not just established the magazines popularity, but also,  the writer’s credibility if the article evoked any kind of response. While some people like blatant praise, for me the ideal response is when the reader either shares his/her experiences or comments on something that was said in the article.

The tradition of writing letters to the editor has extended itself to the online medium in the form of comments on articles or blog posts. The dynamics of internet marketing demands that one leaves comments, along with the website or blog url to get back links.  So , this exercise in a way self-serves. If, this is the primary reason for commenting, you will eventually find that you are just commenting to get links. I prefer to comment on something that interests me or evokes a reaction or response in me. I think commenting has a lot to do with being passionate about a subject or life in general.

What do you think? Should you react or not? Do you feel like sharing your views with others? Do you leave comments and why do you leave comments? Do you read comments made by other people? Do you feel passionate about sharing your views with others? More musings later………

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Life and color

Everybody’s life could do with a little or lot of color. Colors add spice to life-- I mean literally and figuratively. Today, I want to explore what color means to each one of us, besides, the obvious one that it adds a little spice to life.

Most women’s and feature magazines carry articles on the significance of color and the content often is centered on, statements like, blue stands for moods and red for energy.
As a child I was obsessed with the color red. Whenever I had a red colored dress I used to wear it all the time so much so, that people would begin to notice it and even comment on it. The little rebel in me refused to conform to what people wanted me to do and I continued wearing red all the time.
However this is not what this post is about. I want to explore whether one’s liking for a particular color has something to do with inherent tendencies? Is there a deeper psychological significance to the use of color. I had once read a book( I have forgotten the name) which had a set of cards in 7 colors with the book. You were asked to pick the cards and the order in which you picked the cards revealed certain aspects of your personality.
I do not know how accurate  the analysis was, because, when I first  looked at the cards, I didn’t like any card in particular, as all the cards had a slightly dull shade of that particular color. It  comprised of a dull red, dull blue, green was bright and so on. It honestly was hard to pick one or actually decide whether the book gave an accurate explanation. The whole exercise was however quite thrilling, similar to getting one’s palm read or one’s handwriting analysed.
Do colors have a meaning beyond the obvious? I wish many people comment on this post so that I could get a wide spectrum of views to derive a conclusion. Please feel free to comment on what color means to you and why you choose a particular color? Do you feel colors have a deeper psychological significance?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Writer Scams

Have you come across writer scams? I do not mean fake projects posted on content mill sites, but fake clients, who buy your article at low rates, as low as $1 for a 500 word article, then they slap their name on to the article and pose as writers and sell that article at higher rates to other clients. This is honestly not even ghostwriting. Some even use your samples to win projects and then do not give you work.
Many content farms are thronged by such people. Their project description reads something like this: “ I’m looking for a writer to write good quality 500 word articles on various niches. I’ll pay $1 per 500 word article, or $3 per 500 word article. Rates are not negotiable, please do not bid for the project if you do not agree with the price. Only native English speakers please. You must meet the deadlines. Article should be 100% copyscape free, no grammatical error, no plagiarism will be tolerated.”
After all this when you bid for the project, one person will ask for your gmail/msn id. Will begin chatting with you, completely ignore the bid amount even ask you to lower the bid amount, one wonders why are such people allowed to post. They should not be allowed to contact the service provider other than through their system. This not just gives a bad name to the site but to the people who are posting projects there. There are several good clients too. I also came across a client who asked everybody to do a free sample and I’m sure he gave different topics to each writer. He said only if I like your sample I’ll pay for it. I did not send him the whole article. I just sent him 3 paragraphs and told him if he likes the tone, I’ll continue, he later wrote to me that the project was closed because he had sent a sample of another writer to his client who had rejected it. This way he might have got some 20 samples without paying. I’m already wise about such clients so I just sent an excerpt, but many sent the whole article ( especially newbies). I appeal to all freelance bidding sites to watch out for such people who have great reviews but do not write on their own.
They are responsible for the low quality articles found in article directories.
I request all writers to watch out for such scams.