Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Few Words About Words, And Another Tool




Around this time forty years ago [my goodness, I wasn't even of legal age back then], the number one song in the US of A was the one sold in the sleeve pictured above; Tighten Up, from Archie Bell And The Drells. Propelled by a strong bass line [still pretty tasty today], as well as a relatively clever dance of the same name, Tighten Up is still a very popular tune in the Oldies world.


I bring all this up to note that tightening up your posts is good advice. Of course, there are times when you need to use every word to tell a story, paint a verbal picture, or explain an idea. Most of the time, though, fewer words are best. When you finish a post, and before you hit "Publish", look it over carefully. Pretend that you're not being paid by the word [for most of us, who don't get paid at all, this should be easy]. See if there are simpler ways to express your ideas. Make cuts and rewrites as needed. Then, and only then [after using "Spellcheck", of course], send your words to the Blogosphere. Those who will read your posts thank you.


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In a few of these posts, I've complained bitterly about the difficulties of properly sizing images for various purposes [my gripes were centered around EntreCard's "125x125" rule. I don't mind the size specification, but I couldn't find an image sizing tool that worked accurately enough to suit EC's limits]. But now I wish to show my gratitude to a programmer, or programmers in The Netherlands [flag depicted at left] and our good friends at Google [they're just everywhere, aren't they?], for pointing me to:
http://www.resize2mail.com/. As you might guess from its name, it's really designed to resize digital photos for e-mailing and other similar needs. But it also works quick and easy for resizing any gif or .jpg image. Here's how it works:
1. / Scroll down to the area under "3 easy steps"
2. / Under "options", select "on your own" [interesting way of putting that, isn't it?]
3. / Type in the correct dimensions where indicated
4. / Press the "okay" [another interesting term] button
5. / Your resized image appears. Save it to your computer, then take it to your favorite image modifying site [Splashup: http://www.splashup.com/ is very good for this], put in any copy, save it, then submit it to EntreCard [or wherever else you plan to use it].
Caveat: I've only submitted one card. It did work, though. Besides, if any of you have taken college-level science courses, you should know that the Lab Supervisor [me] usually leaves the research work to the lab members [you]. E-mail me if you have any problems. I probably can't fix them, but if enough of you have issues, I'll write another post completely denying authorship of this one. C'mon people! I have tenure on the line, for goodness sakes!
-Mike Riley

4 comments:

Erica said...

Tightening up your posts is really sound advice that I think most people could benefit from.

Tix•R•Us said...

Boo yeah! Your blog is like a breath of fresh air. No crappola about SEO or monetizing. I'm sick of that stuff and most of the people who blog about it don't know what they are talking about anyway.

BillyWarhol said...

I love that Tighten Up Song!! Classic + still sounds Fresh today!!

;))

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Cheers Everybody!! Billy ;)) Peace*

Dan Thornton said...

Don't forget Tighten Up Part 2...

Or the Sam and Dave classic 'SEO man'