Essentials on #SEO, #Communication, Social Media, #Technology, Money, and More

Category: Weekly Columns


Between our The Evolution of Technology blog series and my other weekend technology columns, I’ve found that writing about technology and Social Media is not only fun but I bring, just as I do with my parenting writing, a unique point-of-view. How? Because: I’m NO EXPERT. I use and experience technology as a layman, but express it as a writer. My parenting “expertise” is exactly the same.

I have no degrees of import when it comes to parenting, but I have much life experience. Rather than extol the virtues or condemn the mistakes a parent makes from the lofty perch of an Ivory Tower and/or various degrees, I share my ideas from the gutter of living it.

Other than not having the experience of raising a daughter or kids with disabilities, I think I’ve gone through many of the same things most dads and moms experience, such as the joy of watching your first-born emerge into the world to the pain of divorce. I lived the 24/7 life of a single dad and the challenges of a 2nd marriage and blended family.

The same goes for Social Media and Technology. My only qualification in technology prior to this, my second career, was some familiarity and comfort with filmmaking from my first career. I understood story structure, editing, and other facets of the movie and television series processes but I wasn’t on the line for any specific aspect of it such as the director, actors, cameraman, prop-master, best boy (look it up), etc.

Consequently, given my generation (Baby Boomer) I had to learn new technology and Social Media with an inherent reluctance (“Why do I need Facebook, Twitter, etc.?”) and, frankly, a tad of fear as well. Learning new things can be frustrating, which is why I still leave most new tech purchases in the box on my desk for a while, working up the will and patience to deal with figuring it out once I open the box and discover there’s no manual (anymore) and whatever instructions that are provided look like Greek to me.

But, I’ve learned a lot. One thing I learned is the value of SEO and keywords; hence the title of this column; simply stringing together words that have worked for me in the past. I’ve also come to enjoy writing lists, from the fun and experience of having done 25 columns for

In no particular order, herewith some random thoughts and suggestions from this still-learning tech layman:

~~ You do need Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media platforms, especially…

Especially if you’re a parent. Your kids are living on Social Media. You care who their friends are, don’t you? Well, then if you’re not aware of their “life” online you’re not aware of their friends.

Secondarily, being active in Social Media is simply a part of a contemporary existence. Some people resisted the horseless carriage. Other resisted electricity, or the telephone. Resisting Social Media is simply foolish and denying the reality of the world today.

~~ Participating in Tweet Chats is incredible Brain Exercise

A good Tweet Chat like #blogchat or #DadChat is incredibly invigorating, illuminating, and instructive. #Blogchat has occasionally hit over 5000 tweets in an hour. 3,600 equal one per second. Following the discussion takes incredible focus, concentration, and practice.

I call it Brain Exercise and it keeps my mind in shape. I relish the challenge and I relish thinking on the run, so to speak. To be clever is an extra self-test and I love trying to come up with the quick quip or witty reply. I literally believe my participation in such chats has increased my brainpower. Now, if you ask my wife, she’d say it was pretty limited before so…

~~ Plunge in; don’t be a troll or a lurker

Plunge in to Social Media and technology and SEO. Don’t be bashful. Go for it. Try. Tweet chats can be intimidating. Most of them are incredibly friendly so why not dive in? What have you got to lose? The same holds true for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and so many others. As the slogan says, Just Do It!

~~ Social Media is free, but making money at it ain’t easy

There’s a naïve belief that Social Media is an easy way to make money. NOT TRUE. Like anything, it requires a certain time commitment, a certain skill-set, and certain luck. Don’t believe those “Get Rich” quick tweets or emails. Nothing in life is free.

~~ The more you give, the more you get

I believe that the more you give (in life) the more you get. With Social Media, this is even truer. When you support another blogger, you will get support. When you praise or comment another, you will gain respect and influence. You’d be surprised how almost everyone is accessible online.

~~ Comment, Comment, Comment

There are the three “L’s” of real estate (location, location, location) and there are the three “C’s” of Social Media. Comment, comment, comment. Again, like the previous suggestion, you will get as much or more than you give. And, you will learn. Choose good bloggers to read and comment on their blogs.

If you have nothing positive to say, don’t say anything. What’s the point of criticizing or attacking someone you don’t know who may be expressing their opinion? It will get you nothing but animosity in return. And, what for? Be positive or be gone!

I could continue with so many other things I’ve learned in the few years I’ve been a part of Social Media. I just “celebrated” three years on Twitter. I sent out over 78,000 tweets during that period, for a daily average of more than 70. My Facebook page has grown from a few “likes” to closing in on 5,000. I’ve virtually met people from all over the world and met many others in person at conferences across the county.

All of my effort in Social Media has returned value to me that is incalculable. I love it. Oh, and I met my wife online (really)!

Click on the image of my book cover below to buy yours on PDF for $2.79 or Amazon/Kindle for $2.99:

  • ginavalley

    All great points.  I am so glad that people like you who  have been active on social media longer than I have been are so willing to share what you have learned with newbies  like  me.  Sometimes keeping up with it all is a bit overwhelming.
    I’ve been impressed with how willingly people in social media help and advise.  
    I, too, have met some amazing, wonderful people on SM.  It’s worth the effort just for them.

    • Bruce Sallan

      We so agree Gina and thx for pointing out that typo…I hate when I miss them and LOVE when friends are kind enough to alert me!

  • David Weber

    wrote,  “I have no degrees of import when it comes to parenting ….
    Rather than extol the virtues or condemn the mistakes a parent makes from the
    lofty perch of an Ivory Tower and/or various degrees, I share my ideas from the
    gutter of living it.” 


    sounds dangerously close to calling into question a certain fundamental claim
    about what it means to have acquired a formal (university-level or
    degree-oriented) education.   Yes, it can be debated — and has been for
    decades, especially recently — whether or not a college education is
    “necessary” for such-and-such a person or members of such-and-such a
    collective.  That is, though, a different issue; and to debate it is to
    debate policy and practice in (among others) the domains of culture, sociopolitics
    and the education profession.  


    contrast, here is the claim to which I refer is: An education that is pursued
    intentionally and fostered accountably is ultimately not about WHAT degree
    is or isn’t earned, or what knowledge and skills are or aren’t acquired.
     Instead, the key concern is HOW one chooses to use or apply whatever may
    have been learned or gained by having become formally educated. 


    Your comment that I quoted in the
    first paragraph  APPEARS (and my
    interpretation could be wrong) to make an artificial distinction between the
    “Ivory Tower” of educational activities and practices, and the
    “gutter” of  life outside the learning


    Notice, though, how that
    distinction — one made, surely,  ever
    since there even were universities to separate conceptually from “real life” —
    misses a crucial point:


    There is a difference between, on
    one hand, the idea that certain persons who are members of certain
    organizations — which I infer are colleges or universities — and express
    themselves (i.e., to “extol or condemn from the Ivory Tower”); and on the other
    hand, the values held by founders, leaders, designers, professionals and
    functionaries operating  such an
    organization, and the transformation of those values into the mission and
    purpose of that organization.  


    have been in the world of colleges and universities since 1993 (first as a
    doctoral student in my forties, and for the past dozen or more years as a
    university professor, who came to this career after twenty years in the corporate
    world).  No college or university
    PROMOTES “weighing in” from what you refer to as the lofty perch.  No college or university in its mission
    statement, nor any component unit (e.g., professional school, college of arts
    and sciences, etc.) in its, advocates decontextualized pronouncements.  Yes, too many academic professionals “weigh
    in” and make such pronouncements.   But
    let’s make sure we understand that they are doing so based on their own
    imprudent or ill-informed choice.  To
    forget that, or to conflate such actions with the process of stewarding
    educational opportunities, diminishes what such opportunities are all about.


    and college professionals do not wish to teach students how to connect little
    or nothing learned in the classroom to the world outside that classroom.  Indeed, major and high-profile trend in
    higher education in the past 15 years or more has been the increased number of
    institutional missions  that revolve
    around what is variously called “service learning,” “outreach learning,”
    “applied learning” and other terms. 
    There are some specific, if fine, distinctions among these terms but all
    of them focus on one thing: Ensuring that what is learned in the classroom does
    not stay in the classroom … that what is learned, say, in a developmental psych
    or family communication course will may be tested and refined by students who
    apply the lessons to actual contexts.


    some courses may seem abominably narrow in focus and application, or reflect
    the ego of a professor whose fame in the academic world comes from a hands-off
    “Ivory Tower” consciousness.  But even
    that professor would not decide, “I’m going to design and teach a course completely
    unrelated to anything the students will encounter outside the classroom.”   That
    professor’s error — due to ego, naiveté or some other personal deficiency —
    would be to assume that the connection is obvious or that students will simply
    “get” how to apply the teachings once they are out of school.


    short: A professor who assumes that his or her theoretic insight will apply across
    the board in actual life experience is arrogant, elitist, imprudent, delusional
    … pick your adjective.  He or she got
    that way NOT because universities encourage that but because he or she happened
    to play the college professor game in a certain way.   That such a game CAN be played is a tragedy,
    and in practical terms, one that a number of universities would do well to

    • Bruce Sallan

      So, we agree Professor?

  • David Weber

    I just wrote a very long comment spinning of one one part of the column, so regarding another part of it: I have read about people tweeting while or just after having sex.  Very hot (although bizarre)!  Anyone ever encountered that?

    • Bruce Sallan

      No, but it sounds like fun!

  • Barry Birkett

    At your advanced age, Bruce, brain exercise is very important! 

    Seriously, though, this is a good discussion. I take exception, though, to your “if you don’t have something positive to say, don’t say anything” suggestion. Contrary positions, if appropriately stated, can be very productive in both stimulating discussion and providing more valuable feedback to the author than adding to a collection of pats on the back.

    • Bruce Sallan

      You’re right @twitter-19109017:disqus but the key words are “appropriately stated!”

  • Juliana

    Hi, can i use the first image?

    • Bruce Sallan

      It’s not mine to share…but, I don’t mind.