Saturday, January 16, 2010

Disclosure Statement

Disclosure Statement for my blog to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials 16 CFR Part 255. The following information was prepared January 16, 2010. This disclosure applies to this blog, Grand Gravey.

Amazon Associates and Other Affiliate Programs:

I am an Amazon Associate. Purchases made through Amazon affiliate links on this blog pay a small referral fee to me. This applies to all purchases made on Amazon regardless of whether the product the consumer purchased was mentioned by me or not, so long as you clicked the link going to Amazon.com from this blog. The consumer’s purchases are confidential and I can not track who has purchased items using my blog’s Amazon Associate links.

I have written reviews of products that I use personally and provided links to those products via Amazon.com but I was not paid by anyone to do so.

Google Adsense:

I participate in Google Adsense advertising. I do not endorse the products from the Google Adsense ads displayed on my blog but I do receive money for displaying the ads on this blog.

Any other reviews or recommendations I make on this blog are my opinion, I am not paid for those opinions or reviews. This statement may be amended as needed, an update will be posted if any changes are made.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Blast From The Past

I have been updating many of the profiles for the different sites I use and while working on my Google profile I did a search and came across one of my first websites. I began this site in late 1996 and I quit updating it in 1998. Back then I was trying to build myself up online as a fine artist. I put a lot of effort into hand coding this site in notepad and making what I thought at the time a good site. After running through it though, I can't believe I ever published it.

So, I have a dilemma of sorts. I like it being as is for personal history, the place I got my start online, etc. My problem with it is the site comes up in the top ten Google search for my name. I could possibly change it and get new traffic from the old site. So, my question to you is do I change it or do I leave it be and let it stay personal history? Or, as a third option, leave it pretty much like it is just update it to today's Internet standards, keeping the same theme and adding new works to the gallery?

My final problem with all of this is the site is hosted on the free account site Fortunecity.com. They have these big advertisement banners on top and bottom of every page. I think I could redesign the site and make it look pretty good, add some functionality to it, update all the info and works, and make an interesting gallery site for my fine art. But, I would have to deal with those banners, they are large and in charge. Another small problem is the link on google leads to the old URL system on fortunecity.com not the newer system so they could drop the old directory system sometime and I would loose the rank advantage of Google. Anyhow, if you wish to check it out head on over to Tijir's Art Gallery.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

31DBBB Day 16: Solve a Problem

The sixteenth days challenge, Solve a Problem - 7 Ways to Identify Reader Problems [Day 16 - 31DBBB], is to identify a problem my readers might have and solve it. I think I might fail this one. I am working on digging through data on the blog and such and don't know that I can figure out a problem my readers might have. I am not giving up on it, I am just not getting it done today. This whole 31DBBB process is turning into real work, which I am glad of. I just do not have as much time as I would like to do it right. I am very busy with work for a client that is time sensitive and I can't take time away from it for working on my personal blog. I am keeping a list of the things I need to do to finish the challenges, I just won't get them done in the thirty one days.

Monday, April 20, 2009

31DBBB Day 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15

Due to work and the kids I have fallen behind in my 31 Days to Build a Better Blog postings. I am combining five days in one post to catch up. Since all of these challenges were related in some way I think this will work out fine.

  • The eleventh days challenge, Come up with 10 Post Ideas [Day 11 - 31DBBB], is to mind map ten post ideas. The process is fairly straight forward, you write down the past five post topics and mind map (brainstorming) extended ideas for the posts. I am working on this and will try to get it done in a day or two. Did I mention I am real busy with work? Yeah, so I will work on this as I get time.

  • The twelfth days challenge, Develop an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog [Day 12 - 31DBBB], is to take the post ideas from the last challenge and create an editorial calendar. I won't get to this until I finish the mind map but I think I will end up doing something along the lines of a certain type of post per day. Such as my #followfriday Link Luv posts.

  • The thirteenth days challenge, Take a Trip to the ‘Mall’ and Improve Your Blog [Day 13 - 31DBBB], is to go people watching. It's an observation exercise. I must say, this one threw me until I read further into the challenge. You watch people shop and take notes on what they are doing, buying, seeing, etc. Then you sit down and go over your notes and see if you can find lessons to apply to your blog. I will try and do it this weekend. Not sure I will find the time but I will try.

  • The fourteenth days challenge, Update a Key Page on Your Blog [Day 14 - 31DBBB], is to decide what key pages might need a refresh on your blog. I have been working on this since I began this challenge. I added an about me page back to the blog, I have been updating the sidebar and will continue to do so and I am working on updating the gallery to something more aesthetically pleasing which I hope to have done by this time next week.

  • The fifteenth days challenge, Find a Blog Buddy [Day 15 - 31DBBB], is to find someone to collaborate with. It's more than that though, it's someone to bounce ideas off of, help encourage when things get slow, partner with on stuff, etc. This will probably be the harder of these five challenges for me. My blog is not really a niche blog other than being an artists thoughts about stuff and showing off my work. I have posted in the 31DBBB forums to try and find a blogging buddy, we will see how it goes.

So, there you have it five days that kind of all fit together. I will be working on these things through the week as I have time as well as working on each new challenge as they are posted. Pile on top of that my make a living work and I am swamped for the week. Hope the kids can entertain themselves a little more this week or I might not ever get caught up!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Earth Day Design

Last night I got a little restless and felt like creating something that had nothing to do with work or clients. So, I sat down and checked my messages over at deviantArt and read a message there about an Earth Day contest dA was hosting. I decided to see what I could come up with on short notice. Six hours later I had Earth Day Buzz, a text art globe of the Earth using many of the buzz words or slogans from Earth Day.



I have also uploaded it to my Zazzle.com gallery, after speaking to the contest holder to make sure it was OK, and have shirts and other products available with the Earth Day Buzz globe on them. If you are shopping for an Earth Day shirt or poster, please stop and check it out. I am thinking of doing a wallpaper for download as well, though it will be a bit more than just the globe. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Go to Earth Day Buzz or Earth Day Buzz in white and click on the image if you wish to see a larger version or download the full sized image (2644 x2500) by clicking download.

#followfriday Link Luv for April 17, 2009

Once again it is time for recommendations. Every Friday I will be making a post linking back to my commenters web site as well as posting my #followfriday recommendations for Twitter. This week I have had a couple of commenters.

First up is Sheryl Loch of Life as a Wham blog. Sheryl covers the subjects of Family, Natural Health and Marketing help on her blog.

My other commenter this week was George Ford of the Addanac City comic strip. Check out the daily adventures of Hank Addanac. Pretty funny comic strip, good for a daily chuckle.

On Twitter this week I recommend following these people:
So, there you have it. My #followfriday luv of this week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

31DBBB Day 10: Moniter your Niche

The tenth days challenge, Set Up ‘Alerts’ to Monitor What is Happening in Your Niche [Day 10 - 31DBBB], is to set up a Google alert for keywords in your niche and maybe a vanity alert as well. This is something I have been doing since the day Google Alerts opened. I get five or six daily emails about gaming, technology, art, my name and Grand Gravey. This is a great idea for anyone, not just bloggers. For bloggers though, it will definitely help you stay on top of what topics are being discussed in your topic of interest. You can go to Google Alerts and have it send you emails as things happen, once a day, or once a week. I would suggest the once a day option, the as it happenes option will end up spamming your inbox with a lot of messages.

Here are more articles about my participation in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

31DBBB Day 9: Join a Forum

The ninth days challenge, Join a Forum and Start Participating [Day 9 - 31DBBB], is to join a forum and participate. I am a member of many forums relevant to my blogging topics, I just do not participate as I used to. I will make it a point to start participating in forums again once or twice a week. This used to bring me some traffic when I was active so I know it works. It is also entertaining to communicate with others who have the same interests as myself.

Here are more articles about my participation in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.

Grand Gravey Podcast?

I signed up for voice services at Odiogo. The service transcribes your blog posts into audio format with an almost human but still computer-ish voice. With the plug in for blogger it lists a link to each audio file just under the title of the blog post. Over in the right panel down around the subscribe link is a link to be able to download or subscribe to all the Grand Gravey podcasts. I didn't think about it as a podcast until I had signed up for service and checked out that link and saw you could subscribe to my blog through various services such as iTunes and Zune. Let me know what you think of the service, if you decide to use it. I listen to every post now, after the podcast becomes available, helps me to hear mistakes in my writings if I hear it out loud.

Monday, April 13, 2009

31DBBB Day 8: Interlinking Blog Posts

The eighth days challenge, Interlink Your Old Blog Posts [Day 8 31DBBB], is to go through my old posts and add links to other old posts or new posts on the same topic. I have done this on and off in the past to relevant topics and will continue to do so. I went through all the 31DBBB posts today and interlinked them using the label/tag/topic link. I do not think that this is what was meant when linking posts to other posts but on such a large series of posts I think it is best. As I have time I will go through some of my older posts and link them up as well. This is a great thing to do for SEO if nothing else but it can help readers to find other things on the same topic you have posted about. Of course at anytime on any page in my blog at the bottom of each post is a list of topics you can click on that will take you to a list of posts on that topic.

Here are more articles about my participation in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

31DBBB Day 7: Link Post

The seventh days challenge, Write a Link Post [Day 7 31DBBB], is to write a link post. I have been writing a link post every day of this challenge by writing about the challenge itself and linking back to the daily assignments. I know it is not the intent of the assignment to use it as the link back but I did not really have the time to site sit down today to research and write a decent link post. I will get busy on the link post and tomorrow's assignment tomorrow. I am just to worn out to do much else tonight.

Here are more articles about my participation in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

31DBBB Day 6: Tips and Tuts Homework

Blah, I dislike homework, always have since the beginning of my school days. Well, this isn't actually real home work is it?

The sixth day's challenge, 27 Must Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers [Day 6 - 31DBBB], is a reading assignment. Darren has posted up links to some good articles on many different blogging subjects all to do with growing your blog, making money from it, or getting more readers, etc. There are some really good articles here and if you have a blog, I would highly recommend reading them. I am not done with all of them but it will take me the day, between family breaks, to get through them all and I am not sure I would have time later to post. If I find the time later I will update this post with some thoughts on what I have read.

Here are more articles about my participation in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.