Tag Archives: dogs

Twitter, Google Plus Communities and Linking

When I first started using twitter people actually communicated in 140 characters. They wrote whole ideas that did not need a link to follow. It was headline communication. Now it seems twitter is a massive link broadcasting system. My impression of the current Twitter is that it’s more about sharing (promoting) links than bite size information. Some of my friends who are marketers never respond to me on twitter, but I get a whole lot of links from them.

Most of my business/marketing friends on twitter would think it’s a waste of time and a tweet if you are not marketing while on twitter. Although it can be a very soft sell. You could even call it selling without selling. But it does not have the same feeling of real sharing that it did in the early days.

Dogs Community on Google+
Dogs Community on Google+

My experience with twitter is shaping the linking policy on my Google Plus community. I would like people to get the majority of community information from the community not from a linked website. As Google+ becomes more popular it will get noisier.

The way G+ communities are designed makes them less valuable for link broadcasting than they could be. That same design element also means that important community news is difficult to see for the casual user.

One of the benefits and drawbacks to the community design is that posts go by in a stream of information. In fairly active community such as Dogs you may need to go thought 200 or more posts to see what happened that morning. Less now that I have implemented a new policy about picture posting. More on that in a future post. But, having content pushed down does makes it so link-litter gets buried fairly quickly. That is unless the volume of lint-litter increases significantly.

There are two YouTube Communities I belong to. One is well moderated and does not allow outbound links, the other is a free-for-all post as many YouTube video links as you like. The one with a lot of links is basically useless to all but people who want to post a link. Where do I share information and go to talk about YouTube, yes the one without links.

Lax outbound link policies lead to link-litter and caned lunch meat
Lax outbound link policies lead to link-litter and canned lunch meat

I did an experiment and lightly moderated the outbound links on the Dogs community for a day and a half. I did not allow spam, but I did leave links I would normally remove because of not following guidelines. There was a noticeable increase in link-litter and spam. During this time I also posted about the rules so those leaving links would have a chance to read about the guidelines. And I hoped come back to edit their posts. Not one post was edited to comply with the linking guidelines. I even left a message about the rules on one post and the poster responded with less than flattering remarks. Silly me, I thought they would edit their post.

I tried to be more considerate to those who wanted to post outbound links in the community. However after a day of being blog post friendly, people simply started ignoring the guidelines. I ended the experiment a half day early because I did not like where the lax policies were taking the community.

That little experiment led me to the new policy – no outbound links – except for a few of my own. No links is very easy to understand. I have found that people still have a hard time following even a simple rule. The no outbound link policy is also easy for me to administer.

When I allowed links I felt like I wanted to know where the links went to and what the content was like. I was always judging content which I don’t really want to do. Especially if those people are also in my dog blog community.

One problem with G+ communities is there’s no way to have a sticky post (we can now pin post to the top) at the top of the conversation. This means if people want to read the rules they need to go to the categories in the left side menu. Most people don’t even know there is a left column navigation menu.

You can read more about the community guidelines in the rules and announcements categories on the Dogs Community page on G+

What do you think? Are communities better with outbound links, or do outbound links just lead to link-litter?

Wishing you the very best in dogs and in life,
you can add me to one of your circles on G+ at
Andrew Ledford
My dog training website is OCDogTraining.com

Dogs Make Life Better Dog Centric Social Enterprise Almost Nonprofit

Why a people and dog centric social enterprise almost nonprofit?

Touching and Sensitivity Training
Touching and Sensitivity Training

I believe what I call the human / dog experience is the most important purpose dogs serve in a modern society. The human / dog experience includes people who do not personally have a dog. It even includes people who don’t like dogs. While the Human / dog experience is all inclusive it does place the greatest responsibility on dog enthusiasts and dog owners. People who love dogs are an important part of society, on many levels.

There is some discussion as to how much the dog has contributed to the advancement of culture in the early days of civilization. It could be that we owe dogs more than a passing thank you.

I have been thinking about what motivates me and I have realized a common theme. That theme seems to be helping, mainly helping people. The desire to help people may simply be pragmatic. Although if you delve deeper you will find there is more to it than just helping people. I don’t necessarily want to be a rescuer or an enabler, but I do want to help.

All types of people keep dogs. People who have dogs range from overbearing dominant personalities to very sensitive and caring people. What we need to do is accept who we are as individuals, and dogs can help with this. Once we accept who we are as individuals we need to accept who others are. Again we can learn many important lessons from our dogs. Accepting ourselves and others will make us happier and more loving. “To understand dogs is to understand life.”

Today I want to talk a little about a large group of people who have dogs. They are the ones who feel the social pressures of society more severely than more outgoing and gregarious personalities.

Many people who are drawn to the companionship of dogs are very sensitive. Often sensitive people find dogs more comforting than interacting with the diverse personalities we come across when dealing with other people.

There are some interesting reasons for this that I won’t dwell on here.

I tend to be on the sensitive side. So I know some of the struggles sensitive people go through. However, we can’t give up on struggling through the social landscape of humanity. We can use dogs as a model for what we find most noble in social interactions. We can rely on our dogs to take the sting out of social interactions. But we can’t abandon our fellow humans.

Sensitive people have a gift that more pragmatic people don’t always posses. As a sensitive person you need to accept who you are and contribute to the overall good. This is hard to do if you are hiding alone in contemplation. Dogs should serve as a catalyst to elevate the individual to rise above the adversities of life. Dogs not only make life better, they should also make us better as people too. This is the foundation of my book Best Friend Learning Together. It will also be the foundation of the social enterprise – not quite a nonprofit I am starting.

Today’s post was inspired by a couple conversations I had today on Google plus.

Wishing you the very best in dogs and in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website
OCDogTraining.com

 

Canada Wants Laws For Dogs To Be Trained In English And French

I think requiring dogs to learn command in two languages is a little ridiculous, but other may see it differently. I admit it is good to use a common language but understanding dogs and how they communicate is more important than the words we use.

This politician does have a good point about using dog training to better understand another language. In fact I have developed a program for teaching English using dogs and dog training. I think it could also be used to teach French as well.

Montreal bylaw requires dogs understand commands in both official languages

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website
OCDogTraining.com

Dogs and Clients A Few Observations About Me

A thought for the day
True virtue, integrity, and happiness is found when serving others.

Custom Training Means Every Dog And Its Owner Is A Celebrity
Custom Training Means Every Dog And Its Owner Is A Celebrity

A few observations about the dogs and people I’ve interacted with over the last few days. After talking to a couple clients today I got to thinking that I try to treat all my clients like celebrities. When I used to work for other people, celebrities would always get customized training programs with little extras. I try to give my best to everyone I work with. I don’t always tell people/clients, but I do very customized training programs and packages. however people need to work at training their dogs, accept the realities of the situation, and cooperate with me.

Am I A Celebrity Dog
Am I A Celebrity Dog

Just getting off the phone with a client and I realize I am not a good business person. Why do I say this? Because, I recommend what I think is really best for the dog and the owner, not what will make me the most money.

Earlier in the week I was talking to a client and they were telling me how their dog was really coming along nicely. It also turns out the people are learning useful skills that can be applied to areas other than dog training.

The important take away from today’s post about “a thought for the day” deserves to be repeated.
True virtue, integrity, and happiness is found when serving others.

I’m still looking for a way to help people discover me online. There is a new reality to getting found online and it is not just creating content. At least not for me. I am working on getting a facility for a new online promotion. Always trying something new, in the meantime you can help by giving me some online love. How to do this you say? By clicking the G+ or sharing on FaceBook.

I am also interested in hearing from you, so leave a comment.

As always I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
dog training website
OCDogTraining.com