Google Penalty: No get out of Jail Free card

Life is going along in the flow. Paid work is coming in. Prayers are being answered. Whack! Suddenly an email appears from Google with a warning. Google Penalty: no get out of jail free card!

As a blogger online for years with minimal negative experience of the Google changing algorithms, even seeing the phrase, Unnatural outbound links, can momentarily raise the normal heartbeat.

When I saw the email the first emotion that hit me was confusion. Talk about stress. Google’s links in a penalty notice are anything but transparent! Oh, it’s clearly stated but they give you quite little to go on. You have to behave like both Christopher Columbus exploring new worlds, and Sherlock Holmes asking many questions.

Then, I found a video with Matt Cutts, Google’s main liaison with webmasters, saying Google is “trying to be more transparent.” You know what Star Wars character Yoda says about trying?

“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Transparency? Yep; Google is not. Oh there are some hints for you but, you are pretty much going to have to navigate, question and for me, in the end, hire a pro to get the Google Penalty removed.

Here’s my story, and I stick to it.

[Continue Reading...]

Managing as an Introvert and a Highly Sensitive Person: Bright Lights and Clothing Tags

HSP-introvert

As coincidence would have it, the topic of HSPs, highly sensitive persons, started being discussed in one of the introvert LinkedIn groups I belong too, at the same time this guest blogger, Jenn Granneman, emailed me her post.

It’s so spot on.

Now, keep in mind, you can be either an introvert or an extrovert and be an HSP.

What do you think – are you an HSP too? Here’s Jenn’s experience:

Some days on my lunch break, I just need to be in my classroom alone, with the door shut and the lights turned down. I don’t listen to music, I don’t check my phone, and I don’t try to multi-task by answering emails at the same time. I just sit quietly, let my mind relax and go where it wants, and eat my lunch.

I’m not doing this because I’m anti-social. I enjoy the relationships I have with my colleagues, and I’m pretty active with them socially. I love my job as a 4th grade teacher, and I have fun with my students.

The truth is, not only am I an introvert, but I’m also a highly sensitive person (an HSP, for short). Sometimes I need a break from the constant noise, activity, and stimulation that come from the work day (and especially from teaching rambunctious 4th graders!). My colleagues recharge by chatting with each other, but I need quiet space alone.

A highly sensitive person is someone who processes sensory data more deeply and thoroughly. An HSP’s nervous system is actually different –it’s uncommonly sensitive. This allows HSPs to pick up on subtleties in their environments that non-HSPs might miss.[Continue Reading...]

How to Boost Creativity – the Introverted Way

Creative-IntrovertsCreativity and introversion often go hand-in-hand.  Michaela Chung is guest blogging this, How to Boost Creativity – the Introverted Way. It is commonly accepted that creating art requires a certain degree of introspection and aloneness. We have a romanticized view of painters and poets as sensitive loners or emotional eccentrics.  After all, many of the greatest artists in history were exceptionally introverted.  Henry David Thoreau used to spend several hours a day walking through the woods alone. Pablo Picasso was adamant that “without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”

But what about the less obvious artists among us? What about the entrepreneurs, computer developers, scientists and advertising execs? Their jobs require creativity, too.  And, yet, our society isn’t as willing to accept the introverted advertising executive as it is the loner painter.

Many companies squash introverted creativity by focusing on groupthink and constant collaboration. This is unfortunate because introverts know a thing or two about how best to facilitate creativity.  Actually, there are five major ways that embracing introversion can boost creativity.[Continue Reading...]

Your invitation to a #BlogHop of writing passion

What a pleasant surprise to receive an invitation to Blog Hop! When I first heard the term a couple of years ago I thought, “Wow, that sounds fun. I wonder if it’s like one of my favorite childhood games, hop scotch?”

Enjoy “hopping” to the different blogs featured here. Broaden your contact sphere.

My invitation to blog hop, came from one of my long time blogging friends. I met A.K. (Kathy) Andrew on LinkedIn. Here’s a bit about the woman who invited me to this blog hop:

AK_AndrewA.K. Andrew was born in England, where she worked as a schoolteacher before becoming a Community Arts photographer and screen-printer in London.

In the ensuing twenty years, San Francisco became her home, and in it’s atmosphere of breaking boundaries and creative expression, A.K. became a painter and ultimately a writer. During a spell of living back in the UK, she completed a Creative Writing Certificate at the University of Sussex, Brighton in 2010.

Her current novel, in its final draft stage, is Under The Bed. Set during the Vietnam era in NYC, two women, a generation apart, each burdened by guilt regarding the death of a sibling, find their own lives in danger, when the older woman’s brush with McCarthyism emerges during their collaboration on her autobiography.

A.K. Andrew now lives in Northern California.

She blogs at http://akandrew.com/blog-a-writers-notebook/

A.K.s writing is superb. Every sentence pulls you in and gets you ready for the next one. So do hop over to hers only, once you finish reading here!

Part of this assignment is to blog post on the writing process, answering the four questions below.[Continue Reading...]

Introverts and Intimacy: Busting the Myths

Image http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASpeed_dating_wikimania.jpg

Image http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASpeed_dating_wikimania.jpg

Lily McCann has been a guest blogger here in the past. When she came to me with this post it struck a chord with me. Why you might ask, since it is somewhat out of the typical kind of relationship post you might read here. It’s because I could so totally relate.

I’ve been married just one time, for too many years to so without giving away my age which I loathe. It spoke deeply to me about me and my all out extrovert husband. I’m hoping you will like it:

Does being an introvert make dating and intimacy more difficult? There are many pre-conceived ideas and stereotypes concerning introverts and our intimate relationships, which may feed into a negative self-image and make connecting with people in an intimate way unnecessarily more difficult for introverts.

Relationships are often a minefield in any case, without worrying that an innate tendency towards introversion adds further complications. The popular perception of introverts, being by nature comfortable with their own space and less likely to feel a need for an intimate partner, is that they are also unlikely to find it easy to form intimate relationships, and that when they do so may find it more difficult to communicate openly with their partner. It’s also often asserted that, far from opposites attracting, a combination of introvert and extrovert within an intimate relationship is a disastrous mix. All this would seem to leave introverts out in the cold when it comes to the dating game.

However, recent research shows that this may be far from the case. A healthy dose of introversion may in fact be a beneficial factor when it comes to forming intimate relationships and certainly for making them last. Yes, even with an extrovert![Continue Reading...]