blogstars -online credibility

How to Stand Out in a Crowded Room.

by Alex on December 24, 2010

Welcome to the fourth and final installment in the inaugural BlogStars Series, covering Online Credibility.

So now it’s my turn…

The first thing I am realising is that going last in a series behind bloggers like these guys puts me in a dangerous place; for two reasons.
1: Hector, Kiesha, and Ana know their stuff, and all three posts have pretty much covered every aspect of building and maintaining online credibility.
2: The quality of their posts means that I had better make sure this one is at least grammatically coherent (puts down the Scotch)

But then I realised that I am in a fantastic position to use and abuse these guys, and in so doing – create a post of my own looking at Online Credibility from another Blogger’s perspective. So here goes…

When we talk about building credibility in our online presence we often broach the subject from the perspective of a new blogger trying to gain momentum, and so we share with the readers tips about what should and should not be on our blog, where in the blogosphere one needs to be, and the typical social media dos and don’ts.
Today I want to broach it from the point of view of another semi experienced blogger. OK so I am not Darren Rowse – not even close, but hey, I’m not Johnathon RhumenHeimer-Jackson either (who is that guy you ask? EXACTLY)

I knew Kiesha, Ana, and Hector long before this Blogstars Post Series was put into place, so I am going to share with you how THEY built their online credibility with ME. In so doing I hope to shed some light on the realistic nature of getting noticed in the blogosphere, and what it takes to standout.

How did Kiesha, Ana, and Hector catch my attention in the first place?

Hector Cuevas: Blog Commenting: Hector seemed to be commenting on every blog I frequented, but each comment was insightful and engaged both the blog owner and other readers. I had to go and see what he had to say if his comments were this good.

Kiesha Easley: Guest Blogging. Kiesha was a regular contributor to what used to be a very popular blog. I then found her blog through these guest posts and became a regular reader over there too.

Ana Hoffman: Socialite and Guest Blogging. I was regularly contributing to TechnShare.com when Ana showed up to do the same. Then I went to FamousBloggers.net to contribute and there she was again. I ran off to the sanctity of BlogEngage and found her as a top contributor – and again at SERPd and BloKube. Try as I might, she would not go away.

What is it about them that made me Subscribe?

I will look at each blogger individually but all three of these blogs have one thing in common, and it is this commonality that reveals the one true secret to blogging success:

content is key to blogging success

Content is the Engine, Not Search.

If you look at your Blog as a fancy car for instance, then think of the content as the engine. You can have all the bells and whistles you like, but no Plug-in or Widget – no matter how good is going to get you there when the engine stops turning.  Granted the trip becomes a little more enjoyable when your ‘car’ looks awesome, but  if the engine is not up to scratch then you are surely going to break down sooner or later. Then you can sit there going nowhere with your fancy Widgets and new look theme. Go You!

But Why EXACTLY Did I Subscribe/Follow/Stick Around?

Hector Cuevas: His Blog Design showed him to be both human AND accessible. He engaged with his readers through his content and the following comment threads, backing up and giving credence to what his blog design had already been telling me. The important lesson here is to make sure the design of your blog reflects the overall message of your blog and your person, but even more so – that YOU then commit to this trend.

Kiesha Easley: Kiesha is a well established blogger with an ever growing readership, and if her engaging content is not enough to entice you, her social proof certainly is! Over 3,700 readers subscribe via RSS to WeBlogBetter and yet I can spend hours on her blog without being sold anything. Kiesha has built credibility through honest engagement, and  clean honest content. No banner ads here folks.

Ana Hoffman: I subscribed to Traffic Generation Cafe because of two reasons: Content, and not wanting to get left behind! Ana has proven her credibility through brilliant and genuinely helpful content but more importantly – she seems to have a knack for being everywhere at once, and being there first. I better stick with her or I might miss something and get left behind!

How have they made themselves Credible in my eyes?

Hector Cuevas: Consistently good content. By this I mean content that is relevant, useful and most importantly – comes from the experiences of someone taking action! Hector has started a Podcast for Business blogging, has created his own Build Your First Blog Course, and is the one who came up with this Blogstars series in the first place – and he’s only been blogging since April! THAT makes him credible in my eyes.

Kiesha Easley: Kiesha is in my eyes at least – a fairly big blogger in the scheme of things, yet she is so accessible. Her Blog is not only a source of relevant and helpful information, it is also a community of like minded individuals – who all genuinely want to help. The old adage of ‘Give to Receive’ is brought to life at WeBlogBetter and if Kiesha is not raising awareness for Charity, she is giving awesome stuff away on her blog! That makes her Credible in my eyes.

Ana Hoffman: Ana is also a relatively newcomers to the blogosphere but she has proven her worth at all four corners. Ana’s content comes from a wealth of knowledge and from someone who obviously takes action, and she stays connected! Ana keeps her ear to the ground at all times, and as a result knows what is going on, when it is happening, and whether she needs to be there or not! The resulting online presence alone is enough to make her credible in anyone’s eyes – but for me it is cemented by the fact that she actually knows what she is talking about!

What Can I Take Away From This?

I think the recurring theme speaks for itself in that content and engagement are clearly key. Being everywhere is important, but if you do not have something valid to say then you are wasting your time. Be honest, be engaging and be helpful and you are on your way to building credibility in my eyes.

Oh and above all else – Enjoy what you do! These Bloggers I speak of here clearly do -and it shows. If they were not into it, I would not be into them, so to speak.

You Want Credibility Online?

  • Then Take Action,
  • Write About It,
  • Share it Everywhere,
  • Engage in the Conversation,
  • and then do it all over again!


More on this topic

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

cyberdv8 December 24, 2010 at 10:36 AM

some great points made and yet more blogs for me to follow. Merry Christmas Alex , have a wonderful time with your family and i hope Santa is good to Adelaide and Harrison xx

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:50 PM

Thank you Dani :)

And you too babe – really hope you get the peace and serenity you deserve.
If not – RIP THEIR THROATS OUT! … I mean Peace :)

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cyberdv8 December 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM

i ended up with a migraine, throats were ripped out this morning when i got up to a trashed lounge room lol, peace has been restored for now :)

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Brankica @ Live Your Love December 24, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Those three bloggers and few others I follow built their credibility with me the same way.
Everyone was a new blogger once. They did not forget how it was to start doing this. And they return by helping out so much.
Their communication skills are great and I love the fact that once I have a problem/question and ask them I will get a reply and a solution for it (includes you too , Alex :) )
I guess I just wanna say that you are right to the point with this and that you have chosen great 3 bloggers to tell us about.

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Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter December 24, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Hi Brankica,
I’m glad to know that you’ve found me to be a credible blogger – but I still feel bad for taking so long to answer your question. My inbox is really a monster – I need to just delete everything and start fresh, but I’d probably just end up deleting something of great importance.

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:49 PM

Thank you Brankica!

I really appreciate the insightful comment and sentiment.
This is what it is all about right?!

Merry Christmas Brankica – look forward to a powerful 2011

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Lye Kuek Hin December 24, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Hi Alex,

This is a unique way to complete the “4 BlogStar Series”. I like the fact you give a clear explanation of what exactly the other three bloggers do to become credible online. Hector is a creative blogger who has tons of idea towards blogging. I never know he started in April. I am also a loyal follower of Keisha and Ana and always anticipating their post with great admiration.

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Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter December 24, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Hi Lye
It means a lot to me to know that you’re a loyal follower :) I’m glad to have the opportunity to bring something of value to you.
It is a pretty unique series, huh? Hector is full of awesome ideas!

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Hey Lye!

I appreciate the feedback – especially considering how unique and engaging your blog has been of late :0
Glad to see you working it mate – and I look forward to more in 2011

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Patricia@lavenderuses December 24, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Hi Alex

I follow all 3 bloggers you have mentioned for the same reason you do. Just started following Hector and when I saw his photo was surprised how young he looks! His writing seemed to me to be written by a very wise older person.

He is an incredible guy and I haven’t known him long but have a lot of respect for him already. Look forward to getting to know him and his blog better in 2011.

Great roundup and thanks for your input too Alex. As always, really enjoyed your post.

Have a wonderful Christmas and here’s to a great 2011.

Patricia Perth Australia

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Hector Cuevas December 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Thanks so much Patricia. I really appreciate everything you said. I look forward to getting to know you better in 2011 as well. And I agree, Alex did an awesome job with this post. I’m glad he agreed to be part of this series.

Wishing you a merry X-mas
Take care
Hector

p.s. I’m 24 ;0)

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:47 PM

Thanks Patricia!

I hope that you continue to make waves in 2011 and I look forward to hanging on for the ride ;)
Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to you and yours – from me and mine :)

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Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe December 24, 2010 at 1:52 PM

You definitely knocked this one out of the park, Alex – love your creativity.

When Hector told us about the series, I knew I better pick the topic fast; otherwise, I might actually have to think about it and come up with something unusual. Glad I did and left all the heavy lifting to you – you did a fantastic job at it.

There is nothing new to the topic – really. All of it is common sense. All of it is constant engagement and hard work. And all of it is absolutely necessary.

Good to have you as a friend and someone to keep up with – you keep me on the edge of my seat just as just as I keep you on the edge of yours.

Ana

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Thanks Ana!

I appreciate the feedback and support, and …phew :)
You did such an awesome job on yours that I was left with a half written post that covered a lot of what you covered – so I had to go here – glad it worked.

LOL @ the thought that you are keeping up with me. But then we are always our own worst critic aren’t we.
Take care and my blessings to you and yours this holiday season

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Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter December 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Wow, Alex! What an awesome spin you put on the topic – and a great finish I must say!! I think you just blew the lid off of what it means to be trust worthy and credible, if a reader didn’t know before, they certainly should know now.

It’s brilliant how you dissected each one of us by picking out the pieces that you believe demonstrate our credibility – I follow each one of you for the same reasons – I thought I was the only one whose head was spinning from Ana’s ability to clone herself :)

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Thanks Kiesha!
It was fun writing it because I took a trip down memory lane back to the TIP days when I first started – of course you were there already and welcomed me with open arms – so you had me at Hello :)

Good to hear I am not the only one seeing double with Ana ;)
Thanks for stopping by Kiesha – have a wonderful Christmas and New Year

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Hector Cuevas December 24, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Bro.. this is an awesome way to end the series. This post was amazing – not only because you said so many great things about me (lol) but because the lesson behind the compliments was presented brilliantly.

This really does sums it up real nicely:
* Then Take Action,
* Write About It,
* Share it Everywhere,
* Engage in the Conversation,
* and then do it all over again! – I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Thanks so much for being part of this series Alex.. I’m gonna continue sharing this post all weekend – I wish you a Merry X-mas and lots of gifts..

talk soon bro
Hector

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Thanks Hector, appreciate the support mate :)
And thank you for coming up with this awesome idea – can;t wait to see the topic and bloggers you pick for round 2. Keep on killing it mate – I’ll be watching

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Devesh @ Blogging Tips December 25, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Awesome post Alex. Those are three are great bloggers. Ana and hector are my favorite.
Actually love the posting style of Ana. She always write awesome articles on her blog.

Hector is another great blogger with tons of awesome posting ideas. I love the design of his blog. He is doing awesome work in blogosphere.

Kiesha is another great and established blogger. Her blog is getting better and better!!

Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays.

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:38 PM

Thanks for the support and show of appreciation for these bloggers. You can say that because in my eyes you are up there with them, maybe even above in some cases ;)

and Merry Christmas to you and yours too mate

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Alex@Jocuri December 26, 2010 at 2:28 AM

Hey Alex, I don’t know why you were worried because this post is great.
The bloggers you mentioned have a great standing because they don’t talk bull and everything they write is honest and helpful, they share the information they think is useful without even blinking.
They have a vast knowledge and help the community without asking anything in return. And when you see that they provide useful content post after post you will know that they know what they are talking about.
And one more thing that builds credibility is being seen “hanging out” with other influential bloggers.

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Alex,

I think that for someone that does not blog about blogging, you hold the most credence of anyone I know – which proves that blog commenting is also a good way to go about building credibility :)
Your last comment made me smile – why you think I am hanging out with them ;)

Have an awesome New Years Mate

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Adam December 26, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Hi Alex,

excellent contribution here. I agree that if you want to get out of that crowd we all talk about you need a unique content. All 3 blogs you mentioned got this and therefore it is not hard to engage with them. On the other hand is this enough? Of course not, there are plenty of blogs with pretty engaging content, however they do not have even friction of Kiesha’s blog traffic. Why? Because they are not active elsewhere only on their blogs.

Today it is more important than ever before to be active on social networks and of course on all places where bloggers and other same-minded people are.

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:34 PM

Adam,

Some well thought out and constructive insight added here!
I appreciate the comment – I definitely want to see More Moo from you if this is the calibre of your comments.

Have an awesome new years

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Adam December 27, 2010 at 12:24 AM

You are on my feed list. So let’s have a deal: You deliver an awesome content (as you do:) and I will be here to share my little insights, what do you think?

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Deal! (Shakes Virtual hands LOL)
Thanks again Adam!

Happy New Year too btw :)

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Jessilicious December 26, 2010 at 11:49 PM

Hi Alex!

I find it interesting that all three of these bloggers were everywhere, you kept seeing them commenting on blogs, guest posting, and in various places across the web. That shows how important it is to be out there, engaging with not just your own community on your own blog, but in other communities, as well.

This is definitely something I need to keep doing more of, particularly the guest posting and contributing to other communities. :) Thank you for this great article!

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Alex December 26, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Hey Jess!

Good to see you again – and not sure if you kept to your own ‘community’ for a while, but I am seeing you everywhere again too now. That IS how I found you the first time though – so you know what you are doing :)
Thanks for the insightful comment – and here’s to you and yours this holiday season – from me and mine :)

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Jessilicious December 27, 2010 at 12:15 AM

Hi Alex!
Yes, I kept to my own “community” for a while – got overwhelmed with trying to keep up with the outside world, so hid away for a bit. lol. It’s good to be back, though! I am enjoying once again meeting new people, engaging with “old friends” and seeing what the rest of the blogosphere is up to. ;)

And Happy Holidays to you, as well! :)

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:45 PM

I know the feeling Jess!
Think I need to take a sabbatical myself actually :)

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Erik Emanuelli @ FreeMakeMoneyAdvice December 27, 2010 at 4:31 AM

Hi Alex,

thanks for your post.

You always link to cool people and their blogs,
I just visited their site, very interesting.

Great sharing.

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Thanks Erik!
I never said this – but I love your Gravatar – really stands out and easy to see -perfect!

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JohnG@Home Loans December 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Hey hey. I agree with most comments here, if you aren’t out in the space making relationships then you aren’t necessarily doing your job as a blogger. You are part of a huge community of people sharing their thoughts in a web of influence. You mention that you don’t like to blog about blogging. I HIGHLY appreciate this. It seems as if every other blog around specificly talks about blogging. 10 best ways to blog! How to blog when you have writers block! Blogging better!
There isn’t a point to content like this! It’s just repetitive procrastination!
Cheers!

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TheInfoPreneur December 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Well, Alex,
Yes, you were right, those were tough acts to follow. You really did an excellent round up, and I enjoyed the read.
You are right…content rocks….and you do a great job of it yourself.

Later Gator,
Brandon

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Thanks Brandon!

Great to see you again mate – and it was good to connect again :)
Someone commented on the old post I wrote when I first joined the TIP Team and it got me all nostalgic like LOL – Had to say hi after that :)

Appreciate the kind words Brandon – chat soon mate

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TJ McDowell@St Louis Photographer December 29, 2010 at 1:41 AM

Thanks for the insight on what made you subscribe to the blogs you mentioned. For me, I’d have to say that I’m probably more selfish than you are. One of the biggest factors for me is how they respond to my comments (if they do at all) and of course whether they visit my blog =)

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:41 PM

ah crap – better pop over now :)

I appreciate the insight – and I think you raise a good point because in a way this underlies everything doesnt it!
Thanks for stopping by TJ

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TJ McDowell@St Louis Photographer December 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Ha – thanks for the visit back on my blog man! I think people definitely care largely about the benefit to themselves. That’s why I’ve got no problem with the CommentLuv plugin. It’s a small reward for the time it took to post a comment.

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technosuman December 29, 2010 at 6:57 AM

Happy New Year! to all. Very nice post, first of its kind. Whether it is online or offline a community to a person is very important. We should be in touch with all our friends and colleagues all the time.

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Amen to that brother!
And Happy New Year to you too :)

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Betty December 29, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Really great points you made and these bloggers set excellent examples. I agree with Erik, you alway link to the cool people.

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Thanks Betty!
I love your domain name btw!
What Mother isn’t I say LOL!

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Heather C Stephens December 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Hi Alex!

Glad to have found you through Hector’s blog! I’m new to both you an Kiesha’s writing, but excited to be connected.

I have something to add, that helped me to build trust for you and Kiesha…social proof-AKA-guilt by association. I highly respect Hector and Ana and have followed them both for several months. To see you and Kiesha participating in a series with the two of them adds huge amounts of trust for me.

As stated in the book The Psychology of Influence by Caldini, social proof is a trigger for a lot of people. Most of us love it when someone we trust recommends something to us because it saves us time and energy having to research it all ourselves. What mom wouldn’t feel more comfortable leaving her kids with a babysitter that came highly recommended by a friend she trusted, instead of a complete stranger?

I also loved your analogy of the content being the engine of the blog. It’s so true!

“Vroom, Vroom!”

Heather

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Heather!

Where to start with such an insightful comment :) First off I had to laugh at your version of social proof. LOL – very true! And you go on to back it up with a very good point, so thank you for sharing that. Something about social proof that you mention is that the power is not so much in the numbers as in the ‘who’ is telling you. Thanks for sharing Heather!
Glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope to see you around :)

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Heather C Stephens December 30, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Thanks Alex,

I’ll be around. :)

Happy New Year!

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Johanna @ GIJoh.com December 30, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Hi Alex,
It’s my first time here on your site and I’ve been absorbed into reading your post twice already! I’m just quite new to blogging and came across your site through blog hopping, and I’m glad I did. I’ll be sticking around if you don’t mind. Will be reading your previous posts too :)

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Alex December 30, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Johanna!

For a first time commentator you sure know how to leave an impression.
What can I say but thankyou, and welcome to the blogosphere!
You have a very memorable URL I must say :)
Look forward to more conversation GI Joh!

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Johanna @ GIJoh.com December 30, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Hi Alex,
Thanks for welcoming me to the world of blogging. It seems you’re the first one who had “officially” welcomed me to the blogosphere after all this time, LOL!
I’m glad you find my URL easy to remember (I did spend a lot of thinking on it). Most of the people I knew (who don’t blog) thought I based it on the name “G.I. Joe” and they thought it was funny! Even if some or most people think it’s funny, I don’t mind at all as long as they remember it easily. :)
I’m a newbie on Twitter too, so please do pardon me if it seems I’m ignoring messages there. You see, I only get to my blog and everything else associated with it after work or during my free time.
Oh, and thanks for stopping by at my blog too. :)
Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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Alex January 3, 2011 at 1:42 AM

NO worries Joh, any tips I can give feel free to email me, especially for Twitter – once you get it, it’s Tweasy peasy

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Riley Harrison February 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Hello Alex,
I think for me a blog has to be either informative or entertaining – preferably both.
Riley

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