February 2009 newsletter

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Newsletter for the World of Words by Elias Tobias

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Poetry web blog traffic increases dramatically

Average daily page views from September 8, 2008 to January 30, 2009 were 989,586 and there were 514,640 average daily unique visitors. During this period there were a total of 73,593,540 unique visitors and 141,510,752 page views.
 “This is great news. It means I’m doing the right things for my audience. I will work to continue this trend,” Tobias said.
From September 8, 2008, when the World of Words registered with Blogtopsites, to January 30, 2009, there was a 3618 percent increase in unique visitors from 23,563 to 867,074.  A 4494 percent increase in page views was shown from the same dates, beginning with 38,870 to 1,755,397 page views.
On the eve of the second anniversary of the rebuilding of The World of Words by Elias Tobias, the numbers show that the move to the new host was one of the best things to do.  According to http://www.blogtopsites.com/stats.php, the World of Words is in the top 100 of all literature blogs registered with Blogtopsites, and the poetry blog is currently 94th.
Tobias started the web site 11 years as a way to get his work published.  For more information, go to http://eliastobias.net.

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Elias Tobias celebrates Obama’s  inauguration with poem
Elias Tobias has written a poem to celebrate the inauguration of the 44th President of the United State Barack Obama.  The poem, called, “Waiting for the Moment” is on the poet’s web blog , The World of Words by Elias Tobias at eliastobias.net.
This poem is different than most poems written by the author.
“Most of my poems are without a particular person named, and exact locations and circumstances are not usually defined. Also this poem is longer than most, but due to the nature of the subject, the length is justified.  This poem is unusual for me because of the subject matter. Most of the time, politics and poetry don’t go together.  This is about an unusual person in an unusual time historically, economically and globally. Besides, I can break my rules I make, sometimes,” Tobias noted on the web blog.
The poem is included the “Color My World” book or category on the World of Words.  “Color My World” is one of several collections or books available on the web blog, and placement of” Waiting for the Moment” is the best book for the poem, Tobias said.

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Register cell phone numbers on the national Do Not Call List
All cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies next month and you will start to receive sale calls. You will be charged for these calls.  To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National Do Not Call list.

It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number. It takes about 20 seconds.

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What is your inspiration for writing?

Any creative art, including poetry, does not exist without that spark of creativity.  Where does it come from?  For me, the poet is a story teller always looking for something to say.  The”report” is not a story in a journalistic sense with a rush of a deadline.  The best poems for me grow until I have the opportunity to get them into words, and this process can take days, weeks or even months, depending on the concept.
Inspiration comes from the least expected nugget of gold found in the sands of time, but the product of the inspiration is a fragile thing that quickly disappears in the stream of life’s activities.  I get up in the middle of the night to scribble something down that finally reaches the part of my brain that forces me to get the words out or go crazy.
What is your inspiration for writing?  Let me know.  Send an e-mail to contact(at)eliastobias(dot)net.
write_on1.jpg Poem of the Month
The Brightest Star

You get a chance to see the world,
and then you want it all.
You act like a conquering hero,
but get ready for the big fall.
History repeats itself for those
who are too blind to see
the books written by the scribes
for all of us to read
When you think you’re all alone,
and nothing seems to be right,
Just remember I’ll be with you, wanting
to hold you throughout the night.
All you need a little more time,
and you will find out who you are.
I’ll be waiting for you patiently
in the night sky as the brightest star.

What is your inspiration for writing?

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 What is your inspiration for writing?

Any creative art, including poetry, does not exist without that spark of creativity.  Where does it come from?  For me, the poet is a story teller always looking for something to say.  The “report” is not a story in a journalistic sense with a rush of a deadline.  The best poems for me grow until I have the opportunity to get them into words, and this process can take days, weeks or even months, depending on the concept. 

Inspiration comes from the least expected nugget of gold found in the sands of time, but the product of the inspiration is a fragile thing that quickly disappears in the stream of life’s activities.  I get up in the middle of the night to scribble something down that finally reaches the part of my brain that forces me to get the words out or go crazy.

What is your inspiration for writing?  Let me know.  Send an e-mail to contact(at)eliastobias(dot)net.

December Newsletter

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Newsletter for the World of Words by Elias Tobias

red-kettle.jpg   The Season of Giving 

Thanksgiving is over, and the work routine has begun.  However the time to give and remember what we have been given has not ended.  The Christmas season is upon us, and giving and charity is the writing theme for December at The World of Words by Elias Tobias.
Christmas is a time when people expect gifts, but they may be reluctant to give themselves. By now, many Christmas trees have been set up, and homes decorated for the holidays.  The empty spaces beneath the trees can be filled by the spirit of giving and charity.
News accounts have reported that in general, donations to charity have decreased due to harder economic times and family concerns are more important. It is also the same sources who are reporting that worthy opportunities are experienced growth in donations to a variety of causes, depending on who is promoting certain charities.
The best way to help out is to find local opportunities through the workplace, church or social organizations.  Food and toy drives are going around this time of year.  Blood drives are also scheduled at various places. My apartment complex management is offering opportunities for all three types of drives.

The Salvation Army
Nationally, one organization in the spotlight is the Salvation Army. The volunteers at the stores are familiar, as customers leave the supermarket.  After an hour or so shopping for the best deals, and rushing to get to the car in the cold to a warm home, it‘s hard to dig for change or a few bucks leftover from a spent $20 bill. That is my situation, since most purchases are done by a plastic debit card.  However, there is one great way to contribute in the comfort of a warm house or business with your own plastic card.
The Salvation Army has a way that people, who have many people on their e-mail lists, can contribute. The Salvation Army Red Kettles have been an American tradition since 1891, and now this campaign allows you to host your own Online Red Kettle. By helping the Salvation Army fill the Red Kettles, you can become a vital part of the Christmas efforts to help those in need this Christmas season.
It is not that hard to get started.  By using their tools, you can build a personal Online Red Kettle page, upload an address book, and send email invitations and download widgets that encourage family, friends and colleagues to make online donations to help you meet your goal
The organization does not charge a registration fee to participate in The Salvation Army’s Online campaign. The system automatically generates an e-gift acknowledgment and sends it via email to the address provided when the online gift is made. This receipt is generated in a PDF format that can be printed for the donor’s tax purposes.
There are three kinds of online sites.

Individual Kettle – Host your own personal Online Red Kettle, then invite others via email and various fundraising tools to fill your kettle with online donations. A running count of kettle donations appears on the host’s Individual Kettle Page.
Team Kettle – Host a fundraising team made up of several individual Online Red Kettles. All kettle donations appearing under each member’s individual kettle are pooled together and automatically reflected on the Team Kettle Page. Donations may be made to the Team Kettle or to any of the Individual Kettle members that make up the team.
Company Kettle – Host a fundraising team made up of several team kettles in a co-branded environment with The Salvation Army. A link to your online Company Kettle Page is automatically emailed to you when you register, which you can place on your internet/intranet site or email to your employees, vendors, customers, etc. The amount of money collected in your Company Kettle and in each Team Kettle will be reflected in real time on the Company Kettle Page. The only option an employee, vendor or customer has from a Company Kettle Page is to make an online donation into one of the Company Team Kettles.
Here is where to go to get more information or to begin your own Salvation Army web site: http://secure.salvationarmyusa.org/site/Donation  or click on the red bucket at the start of this article.
There are other worthy causes that will take donations directly through the Internet, many like the Red Cross, that deal with health-related charities, and certainly religious charities will accept donations.  It really does not matter to whom you give, but the more that is given, the more will be returned to those that give, perhaps in greater measure than the original donation.

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Spanish-language poems to continue into 2009

Palabra de Inspiración, the Spanish-language poem book at The World of Words by Elias Tobias, will continue intothe new year, with the hopes that more people will continue enjoying the poems.  The poems are linked to the English version with a click.

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New Discussion Board designed for reader input

Poetically Speaking is a new discussion board created for the World of Words by Elias Tobias.  The Claiming your homestead on the wild frontier of the Internet article is the first entry for this discussion board.  The purpose of the utility to to act act a general sounding board for this poetry blog and for any specific  items to be discussed about poetry and the Internet. In the future, questions by Elias Tobias will be offered for comment, and readers are offered the opportunity to send in questions for discussion on Poetically Speaking by sending an e-mail to contact(at)eliastobias(dot)net.

write_on1.jpg Poem of the Month

The Only Gift

During Christmas, and even all year long,
Love is the only gift one can return
And still get it back again and again.
It’s not like a sweater that’s not the right size,
Or a tie that is designed to be a surprise.
You can but it online or on sale at a store,
And some times real love can be hard to find.

During Christmas, and even all year long,
Love is the only gift one can return
And still get it back again and again.
Love is a gift that always keeps on giving,
And it helps people feel they are alive.
Without those to continue giving
It would be hard for many to survive.

During Christmas, and even all year long,
Love is the only gift one can return
And still get it back again and again.
The reason for the season is Jesus,
Who eventually paid the ultimate price,
And he has showed us the way
How forgiveness leads to the Light.

During Christmas, and even all year long,
Love is the only gift one can return
And still get it back again and again.

 

Find other Christmas poetry on the World of Words by Elias Tobias by typing the word “Christmas” in the search box on the right side of the page.
 

New discussion board debuts on the World of Words by Elias Tobias

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New discussion board debuts on the World of Words by Elias Tobias

Poetically Speaking is a new discussion board created for the World of Words by Elias Tobias.  The “Claiming your homestead on the wild frontier of the Internet” article is the first entry for this discussion board.  The purpose of the utility to to act act a general sounding board for this poetry blog and for any specific  items to be discussed about poetry and the Internet. In the future, questions by Elias Tobias will be offered for comment, and readers are offered the opportunity to send in questions for discussion on Poetically Speaking by sending an e-mail to contact(at)eliastobias(dot)net.

How to start a free poetry blog in three easy steps

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How to have a free poetry blog in three easy steps or claiming your homestead on the wild frontier of the Internet

(Editor’s Note: see follow-up article, at http://eliastobias.net/?p=2386 )

By Elias Tobias
For serious writers, there comes a time when various types of contests, open poetry nights,  and sharing works to friends and family are just aren’t enough.cowboyportraitbw.jpg
Publishing a book with a traditional concept, even with publishing-on-demand companies on the Internet, still takes some sort of cash investment.  Self-publishing is how many great writers received their start, and it remains an option, if money is available.  Like the open ranges of the Old West, the Internet offers alternatives to getting published without great costs for writers.
One option is to start a free poetry blog, and it can be done in three basic steps.  First, decide what kind of blog will be created. Then get a free quality host that offers an independent e-mail option, and then third, maintain and promote the web site through personal and online network techniques.
Getting Started
     I was at this point 10 years ago when I started my World of Words by Elias Tobias.  I had a computer full of poems I wanted the world to read, and I realized I wasn’t going to get paid for it.  Unless the writer can arrive at a way to get advertising on the web site in an appealing manner, forget the money reward.  Getting exposure may lead to being paid as a professional in the future.
Some people are afraid that the work maybe stolen, copied or used without their permission.  That is a reality for all Internet content, and all blog content is basically copyrighted, except U.S. government sites, which is in the public domain.  There is a modest fee to register a copyright for a web site for those who want to make blanket coverage for their work.  Of course, all content featured and not original material should be cited to protect the copyrights of other authors of record.
Before hitching up a wagon at the Independence, Missouri, of the Internet, even with the call of “Go West Young Man (or Woman)” ringing in your ear, think about the type of audience to be sought.  On the Internet, there is certainly the good, bad and the ugly, so think of how the blog should be viewed.  It needs boundaries.  I have mine rated G. Content can’t be libelous, racist or discriminatory to any race, ethnicity or country of origin, sexually explicit or pornographic, extremely violent in nature or display excessive use of profanity,  or terroristic in nature or supportive of terrorist activity.  Some of this usually ends up in some form as a privacy policy for the web blog.
Erik Deckers, director of sales and marketing at Vision Direct in Indianapolis, Indiana, has become a renowned blogger and social networker. Since information on the Internet has a way of staying around a long time, don’t be negative about other people and situations, he suggested. The whole world may be watching what is posted anywhere on the medium, including videos, and you don’t want to end up as the subject of a story on the TV news.
I have a test of credibility, called the Mother-in-Law test.  My mother-in-law occasionally responds to me via e-mail about something posted, so I know she reads it.  I need to look good as a son-in-law, so I figure if what I put on my web blog is acceptable to her, the world is at my feet.
Also, words and images on the Internet are published, like a newspaper.  Articles can be deleted on blogs, but once the message goes out, the deleting work won’t always repair damage already done.  Also, work must be proofread. I have learned that from experience. Typos and inconsistent style on the web blog are items that can also damage the credibility of a person’s work.  The blog is a reflection of that person, seen 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Getting technical, sort of
Loaded with a wagon full of supplies, poems, thoughts, ideas, it’s time to hitch your wagon to the stars, or Oregon, whichever comes first.  Aware of the outlaws, ruffians, changes in the weather, a variety landscapes and other obstacles, you strike out on your own, along with other hundreds of people who have their own wagons in the wagon train.
Deckers has his favorite blog creation web sites among the many available today.
“I recommend, especially from someone who is not real computer savvy and they don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, www.blogger.com/ or www.blogspots.com/.  There is not much you need to do. You need to pick out a name for the blog. They even check to see if that is available for you. Then you pick out your theme, and that is actually the hardest part. You pick out the colors you want. Not only can you pick the layout, but you can select the colors that appear for background, text, etc,” Deckers said.
He said the name of the web blog should be original and contain the name of the thing you want to be known for.  My title, World of Words by Elias Tobias” is exactly what I wanted to say in a title.  If poetry is the main aspect of the web blog, the keyword “Poetry” should be in the title.  If the name of the writer is more important, the name should be in the title since search engines use keywords in titles for locating the new web blog.
With these two favorite beginning blog sites, there are two advantages over others, besides being free, Deckers said. First, they are owned by Google, which means the new blog is likely to be rated higher at first when the blog debuts, and to get the blog, you need to sign up for G-Mail, another service owned by Google, for another e-mail contact for the new blog.  He did not recommend using a personal or work e-mail account for the blog.
An option for those who want a more direct route to the web blog with their web address is to buy a domain name from www.godaddy.com or another name registration site, and the yearly fee for this is usually $8 to $15, Decker said.
“You can do that, and I recommend it. You can do it fairly cheaply, but that won’t stop you from having a blog. This is useful if you are really trying to create something you want to be known for, whether it’s a product or an art form,” Deckers said. “If a person is doing this for fun, I would not knock yourself out trying to buy http://www.poetry.com/ or http://www.indianapoetry.com/. Something may be available, but there are so many people doing this that I’m sure that everystatepoetry.com is taken.  You might have to do ‘Indianadot poetryblog.com.’ “
As of Oct. 8, 2008, http://www.indianapoetry.com/ is still available, by the way.
A regional or geographic name included in the title of the web blog can not only add variety, but make the blog stand out in that region or area for search engines on the Internet, he said.  A localized blog name attracts viewers looking for topically specific sites for that area. If the title included “Poetry” and “Indianapolis,” it would be easier for a person to find poetry web blog in Indianapolis.
For the more technically minded, Deckers recommended Word Press for another blog creation site.  It has plug-ins, or programs that can be included to add functionality to the web blog.
Now that the journey to start a web blog is about to the Oklahoma Territory by now, and you have survived the pouring rain and hot days, the journey is really just getting started.  The site has been created and now it’s time for the reason why you got this far, to publish your work.  Categories can started as books, as I have on my web blog.  Static pages for things which don’t change can be set up, and these are good for biographies, since readers want to know more about the people writing the poems.  Any privacy policy can be established.  Content can be discussed around the nightly camp fires with other fellow travelers and their wagons in the wagon train.
Feedback is important to blogger, so a good e-mail with spam filter capabilities is needed to stay in contact, and Deckers said G-mail would be preferred over free e-mail accounts from places like Yahoo because of the spam problem. One tip he gave to stop much spam to begin with is how the link is set up on the blog.  Automatic spam programs look for the “@” symbol in the e-mail address. Spelling out the e-mail address will  help prevent this problem, and the link should be written out as “eliastobias(at)gmail(dot)com” within any text content.
Getting the words out
Somewhere about now, some of the people in the wagon train have decided to settle along the way or maybe heard of greener pastures in California, so the number of wagons headed north to Oregon may be smaller.
Choices are being made with your web blog that deal with content. How you set up your blog pages will determine how often search engines find them in the Wild West of the Internet.  Use of videos can greatly improve your visibility, and a link to YouTube can bring unlimited number of videos to your viewers, Decker said.  Many PC’s have built–in movie-making type program to create simple, but effective videos from video clips or still pictures. Be aware of copyright issues here from work (including music) that is not in the public domain.
I have nine videos associated with The World of Words by Elias Tobias.  Decker said that inbound and outbound links increase the networking profile of the web blog. Outbound links to other web sites show that web blog is connected to other sites, and inbound links from other web sites will complete the cycle and bring people to your web blog.  I have the International Poetry Link Exchange to offer new poetry bloggers to those who put a link to the World of Words blog.
Using the Notepad function on the PC’s can remove all pre-existing format issues.  The process is easy. Copy the text, probably written in MS Word, paste it in Notepad.  The copy the text in Notepad (as plain text), and paste it into the content area of the blog.  All preset formatting styles on the blog will then apply to the content.
The more activity on the blog will give the blog a higher Internet rating since bloggers like fresh material, Decker said. Entries should be made at least once a week, and they don’t have to be long.  A good 200 words will do just fine.  Two entries a week are better and daily is the best way.  Those who write every day usually set up a week’s worth of blogs as drafts, and then post them each day as if they are new, he said.  I usually have two or three poems per week ready to go as drafts. It saves time.
After typing the title of the page in the blog, repeat the title in the text of the blog.  This will help gain search engine exposure.  Bold facing the title won’t do much for the page, except look better graphically, Decker said.  By going into the HTML through the HTML button on the blog page, change the headline in the text a larger font size.  Put  brackets<> before and after the headline with H3 in the first bracket and /H3 in the second. It should look like this:

Title of article

on the page. This change will get the attention of the search engines and more traffic to the page.
Don’t forget the impact of networking, either person to person, or via the Internet.  Business cards with the web blog logo can be made by popular easy to use desktop publishing programs and good quality card stock with perforated edges that pop out cleanly from the page. Also, they can be ordered on the Internet for free at Vista Print, with paid shipping and handling.  Hand the cards out an every opportunity.  Internet blogs like Smaller Indiana are networking sites with other bloggers, and genuine comments on their sites can bring traffic to your site, Decker said.  Mentioning an event with more information at your blog address will increase traffic to your web site, he suggested.
Another way to get attention is to publish press releases for free on the Internet, and I recommend prlog.org.  There are others out there, but at Prlog, you can register and links to the web blog are included for free (that word again).  Put the press releases, by date, in a special place on the web blog for others to use.
Home Sweet Home
Now you have arrived at your destination, and it is time to built your cabin by the stream and be a pioneer in the Wild West of the Internet with your new poetry blog.
Build reader interest by getting the readers involved. The World of Words is set up to be more than just another poetry blog.  The World of Words by Elias Tobias has several free opportunities for its readers to become part of the web blog.  First, it is very easy to send a comment about any poem on the screen. Your course content can be individualized to make the character of the web blog all your own.
On my Web site, go to the right side of the page and see link to the free poetry first-aid section, the free poetry forum for  those have poems to submit to others to read,  free poetry posters, links to other poetry Web sites, free tips about how to get published, free poetry writing lessons, and even a short story that makes for good bed-time entertainment. Have opportunities for promotion from others by offering downloadable screensavers and such.
Poems and photographs on the web blog are put together in electronic books.  Look on the right side of the page and see the categories.  There are several books to read.  The titles include: Love Notes, Figments of My Reality, 99% Fat Free Elias-Brand Poetry, My 60 Favorite Poems, Color My World, Words on the wall: Mental Grafitti , Grace and Glory and Palabras de Inspiración, the set of poems on Spanish.  Each book has a different theme and the books grow with each blog entry since the poems are logged in to the books when they are posted. As an added bonus, most of the poems in the Love Notes have audio tracks so that you can hear Elias Tobias read the poems aloud.
A monthly newsletter can be a useful tool for a poetry blog, and I have The Exponet, a newsletter that introduced a theme of writing for each month, along with other information.   Your course content should be individualized to develop the character of the web blog.
In time, the cabin will grow into a home as you include more information and way to get people to enjoy what you have to offer.   If there are any questions about this article or topic, please contact me at contact(at)eliastobias(dot)com.