"Logarithm in base b of b to the power x" : Image by Mike DeHaan
While drafting an article for Decoded Science, I've created several images to illustrate the text.
"Logarithm in base b converts to a Natural Logarithm" : Image by Mike DeHaan
From my point of view, these images preview the contents of that article.
"Natural Logarithm as a Definite Integral" : Image by Mike DeHaan
However, I shall attempt to preserve some mystery by not explaining the images yet.
"The number e as a Sum to Infinity" : Image by Mike DeHaan
Naturally, I would not give away the secrets yet to be revealed in my future article.
Further Publicity for my Exponents Article
One Exponentially Growing Writing Tip
Mathematicians will appreciate that this does not actually grow exponentially, but this solitary writing tip will be revealed once the main article is published.
The tip does, however, relate to establishing my ownership over the images that I've created and published here.
As I've said in previous writing tips, it's easy for other web sites to use images without the original creator's permission or consent.
No matter how unlikely it is that someone would misappropriate my hand-crafted pictures, it still seems prudent to establish ownership by being the first to publish them online.
The real difficulty is not that the image is intrinsically valuable, but rather that a third party might suspect plagiarism.
By publishing my images for my "Base, Exponent and Logarithm" article here first, under my own name, I've pretty much established original use. That's the writing tip.
"Vitamin D Supplements with Calcium" image by szlea
Earlier this week I'd published "Three Reasons to Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency
" in my DeHaan Fitness
However, I was unavoidably detained from publicizing it by other tasks, as well as a brief vacation.The three health risks about vitamin D deficiency that I noted were:
These are simply "higher risks" rather than
- Several types of heart disease
- Respiratory infections in children
- Breast cancer
"you're doomed" scenarios, but it's well worth taking the safe road.I'd actually touched on the increased risk of breast cancer over a year ago, in
"Can Taking a Vitamin D Supplement Help Prevent Breast Cancer?
" at the Suite 101
: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not
be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
More Publicity for my Vitamin D Deficiency Article
A Therapeutic Writing Tip
I used this writing tip for this article, as well as my more recent "Autumn Jam by Occupy Gardens Toronto in September 2012
" in DeHaan Services
The writing tip
is to save time by re-using an appropriate image or picture from an older article.The image had better illustrate the point for your new article, or at least relate well.This tip lets you add an image to an article
without the time to search your favourite photo-sharing sites for appropriate pictures with the correct Creative Commons licenses. (I use "commercial re-use", since I hope to become fabulously wealthy someday).You do not want to
repeat the same image every time, or without enough time between uses. That makes people think they've already read your article.Sometimes I've shuffled
images and featured different ones. See my series in Decoded Science
, starting with "A Brief Introduction to the Turing Machine
". There just aren't many pictures of Turing available via the Creative Commons license. And just try to find a picture of a theoretical construct such as a Turing machine!With the "vitamin D deficiency" situation, there aren't many visible signs for impending heart disease. If I had included "rickets", perhaps I could have found a picture of some child whose legs had curved sideways.
Since that was not part of my article, it would have been useless.
re-use an image if you had special permission to use it the first time. For example, if I had received a particular dispensation from the photographer to show those vitamin D supplements for my first article, I would have had to obtain permission anew.
To summarize, consider re-using an image from a previous article if it is still available and relevant, and if you haven't used it to death in recent articles.That's my writing tip based on writing that DeHaan Fitness article about 3 risks from vitamin D deficiency.
"A Vegetable Garden in Sept 2006" image by lcm1863
Publicity for my 2012 Autumn Jam Article
One Tasty Writing Tip
Today's writing tip repeats what I had said before.
Today I returned from a couple days of vacation. When I had almost caught up with correspondence and both my Google+ and FaceBook feeds, I found a post shared by some Facebook friends.
That item stated that the garden planted by Occupy Gardens Toronto had been uprooted by a city works department. It turns out that this happened today, which is a day before the "Autumn Jam" event to celebrate the harvest.
You'll have to read my article, and then follow links to the Occupy Gardens Toronto website, for further information.
The writing tip is to stay on the alert for ideas that can lead to articles. In this case, it took only a couple hours to write this public service announcement about Occupy Gardens Toronto's "Autumn Jam" and then publicize it. Hopefully this is in the nick of time for my aritcle to get the word out to gardeners and Toronto residents interested in the Occupy movement.
"Map for St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church in Oakville" image by Mike DeHaan
Normally I only note events in Toronto, such as Nuit Blanche, but this time I was impressed with the reason for this Oakville church to invite its neighbours for their "Taste of" event.
Promoting my Nuit Blanche and St. Joseph's Church Article
A Writing Tip on Leading the Way
This might be a good time to explain, or perhaps to re-explain, why I've been adding a map to my articles.
First, almost every online article needs one or more visual elements. Some sites' editors insist on a ratio of 1 picture for every ### words.
Second, it can be a pain to find useful illustrative images, particularly when searching within the proper Creative Commons license. If you hope to make money with your blog, you really want to use "commercial-reuse" images.
Finally and most importantly, some people may need directions to find the location. I like to include a map, and usually mark it up to highlight any important features.
Yes, it is possible to find a location under Google Maps or another online map service, and then imbed or link to that saved location. However, that does not allow you to highlight the map.
Yes, often the official site that I reference for these "events" articles does include its own map. That feature is sometimes hard to find in a large site, so I prefer to make it easy.
In fact, that final point is key to most of my events articles. I try to find several key points that might be buried in the organizer's pages, discuss them, and then link to the official site.
To conclude: today's writing tip is that including a highlighted map can be an effective, appealing and useful visual addition when your article references a specific place. In this case, the location of the St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church in Oakville would be less familiar to my readers than Nuit Blanche in Toronto.
Today's task is to tout three Toronto treatises.
"Statue of Terry Fox in Ottawa" image by vlitvinov (Vlad Litvinov)
The first article is "Terry Fox, Applicious Fair and Ukrainian Festival in Toronto
The annual Terry Fox Run
commemorates a true Canadian hero, and continues his goal of raising money for cancer research.Applicious
is an annual Fall Fair in eastern Toronto.The 2012 Ukrainian Festival in Toronto is yet another street festival where everyone can enjoy one culture's music and cuisine.
"Map to the Metro Toronto Zoo" image by Mike DeHaan from Google Maps
"The 2012 Metro Toronto Zoo Run Benefits the Zoo
" is an accurate assessment, since the charity partner for this event in the Canada Running Series is indeed the Toronto zoo.If you want to run in September, you need to register by late July or so.
"Dragon Kite Flying in the Wind" image by exfordy (Brian Snelson)
"Wind, Water and Words in Toronto in September 2012
" promotes three events. Toronto WindFest
2012 flies kites on Woodbine Beach; this is its third year of celebrating the power of the wind.In the St. Lawrence Market district
, the Market Gallery hosts an exhibit honouring Toronto's "water czar
", R.C. Harris.The 2012 Word on the Street event in Toronto
is held downtown at Queen's Park.
One Triple-Threat Writing Tip
As always, my Xanga
blog ("Promoting Three Toronto Articles at Once
") also promotes my articles.My writing tip is that
it's best to not allow your other work to interfere with your self-promotional efforts.My usual practice is to add my article to a selection of article index sites, as well as to write quick promotional articles in Xanga and here in my Blog of Writing.This time around, I was too
busy catching up on other activities to touch these two blogs. I did follow my highest priorities, but I still missed my best practice.Whether I lost readers directly or not, this was also a missed opportunity to add these links to enhance my page rank in the search engines.The writing tip is to publicize yourself on schedule.
In this case, do as I say rather than as I did not.
Today I'm promoting my latest DeHaan Fitness and Weight Control
article, "Corn May Be an American Dietary Nightmare
".It was inspired by an infographic called "Big Bad Corn" that its creator, LearnStuff,
asked me to share.
"Coca-Cola and Effect Energy Drink" image by by tskdesign
Taking the weight control and fitness angle, I put the emphasis on high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS.
Their infographic raises other concerns as well, largely tied to the way agriculture and industry in the USA grow and promote corn products. These products range from HFCS as the sweetener in energy drinks and soda pop, to ethanol as a biofuel.
Publicity for my Corn Nightmare Article
One Diet-Conscious Writing Tip
I may have dealt with this writing tip before, but it's very appropriate here.
Sometimes people are kind enough to offer material for your blog or website. How might you respond?
If your goal is solely to present yourself and your views, then there's no sense in diluting your message.
However, most of us don't mind cooperating with like-minded fellow travellers. Both you and your contributor will get some publicity, page views or promotions out of the arrangement.
When I accept an infographic, it's only after checking that the information makes sense and fits with my views and my site.
My second action is to add something. It's always possible that the infographic will be featured on other sites as well. I have a responsibility to my readers to provide some extra value as a reward for visiting my site.
In this case, I put the emphasis on the health and weight considerations. Were I writing a blog on economics, I might have put my focus on the American agricultural subsidies for corn. I would have addressed environmental concerns about corn as a feedstock for ethanol as a biofuel in a different setting.
So my writing tip is to take it as a compliment when someone asks you to promote their work. If it is indeed suitable for your site, add some text as introduction or conclusion, and publish away.
"Log Cabin with Heart Quilt (89 x 102 inches)" for auction at the 2012 Black Creek Pioneer Village Relief Sale
The quilt auction provides the focus for the event, although we Mennonites will sell and eat a great deal of excellent food throughout the day.Last year I'd written
"The 2011 MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village
" with a bit more background about "MCC" and its charitable efforts.I must disclose that I currently serve on the Board for this Relief Sale; I will also sell you a Sloppy Joe
in the village square.
Promoting my Quilt Auction 2012 Article
Disclosing One Hand-Crafted Writing Tip
Today's writing tip is about "disclosure".
In DeHaan Services, I usually include a "disclaimer" to say that I am not paid to write about an upcoming event.
Since I am indeed on the Board for this organization, it's important to disclose that fact.
If you frequently review movies or restaurants, most people will assume that you're not related to anyone in the business.
But it's become more and more important for writers to disclose any and all perquisites ("perks") or favours. If someone pays for your travel, lends you a car, or gives you a free coffee for your article, then tell your readers.
Now if only we could get news reporters to admit that the price for access to politicians is favourable spin...that might improve democracy.
So please do your part in telling your readers whether...or not...you have any vested interest in something covered in your articles.
In this case, I do actively support the charitable work by MCC, as well as raising funds at the annual Toronto's Black Creek Pioneer Village MCC Quilt Auction 2012.
"Dragon Boat Racing at Wellington Waterfront" image by 4nitsirk (Kristina D.C. Hoeppner)
Dragon boat racing is just one event in Toronto for the weekend after Labour Day. Four street festivals compete for our attention, along with vegetarians and a visual art exhibit that's closing at the Papermill Gallery.
Publicity for Toronto after Labour Day 2012
A Writing Tip about Research
Today's writing tip is that sometimes it pays to do a batch of research in one shot, then write the articles later.
A few days ago, I researched many of the Toronto events for September, and sorted them chronologically. I also ensure that I had images to go with most, if not all, of these festivals.
Today, with the deadline for offering guidance for the upcoming weekend, it was a swift matter to write the various sections for my article.
Admittedly, I did follow up and cross-check today...and found a couple of street festivals that had escaped my first sweep. But I would have been at a total loss without the prior research.
Regardless of your blog's subject matter, try researching more material than you need for just the next article, but save all the reference links. Later, write one article at a time but just re-check the references you had already found.
Not everyone will benefit from this; but this approach is especially helpful if you have to break up your writing efforts anyway. Rather than getting half-way through a combined "research plus write" session, stick to research one time and then write the next. If it helps, great; if not, my apologies but you're one step further in self-knowledge.
That still does not help me get to four street festivals, an art exhibit, vegetarian cuisine and Dragon Boat races in one weekend; but at least I know what I'm missing.
"Male human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis" image by Gilles San Martin
Pediculosis, or "head lice infestation", is an annual problem noticed when children return to primary school. My article summarizes the usual treatment, provides some other advice, and links back to my much older article
"Itching to Get Rid of Head Lice
" in Suite 101
as well as to some more definitative online resources.
Promoting my Head Lice Treatment Article
A Writing Tip Worthy of Killing Head Lice
This is actually a double writing tip
. It applies equally to any annual or repeating topics, whether a health issue such as pediculosis at the start of a school year or to annual Toronto events. (Why do I mention "annual events in Toronto"? See my "DeHaan Lens of Annual Toronto Events
" in Squidoo
!).Assume you had covered a topic that deserves a re-visit. You have two choices:
- Publicize the previous article.
- Write and promote a new article.
It's fine to publicize the old article. Also, with any luck and justice in the online world, search engines will lead readers to find it.If the old article needs an update, then you need to do that if it is possible. Suite 101 currently permits
writers to polish or correct old articles quite freely; some sites do not.Whether for altruistic or selfish reasons, if you need to write a new article, it's important
to avoid copying much of your previous work. First, it's plagiarism (even from yourself!) if the articles are published on different sites. Secondly, the search engines may notice the similarities and conclude that one or both are copies or "spun" (spin-off) articles.Avoid the penalties by writing something new and valuable by iteslf, but also referencing your old article to fill out details.
That's not guaranteed to win everyone's hearts, but helps to serve readers at one or the other site.Try to optimize keywords differently between the two articles. This is your chance to garner extra readers.Finally, I put the greatest emphasis on providing value in each
article. That's especially true for someone in a hurry to learn how to kill head lice.
"Brazilian Flag" image by Douglas Fernandes (South America "addicted")
The problem was that I had not known about the Toronto events until the Labour Day event at Yonge-Dundas Square was almost over.
Fortunately they had three separate ways to celebrate, and one is yet in the future. Thus, I found an excuse to write my article and, hopefully, be better prepared next year.
Further Promotional Consideration for Brazil Day Festivities in Toronto
A Writing Tip from Brazil Independence Day
I have a sense of deja vu concerning this writing tip.
The repeated idea is to stay alert for potential themes for your own writing. Keep your eyes open in your neighbourhood, chat with people, and consume the news!
However, the regular news may not give you much warning. I hadn't heard about the Brazil Day Festival at Yonge-Dundas until the party was already running. Yet I'd checked off a number of other events I'd publicized, such as the Labour Day Parade, as they came up.
Regardless, even if it seems too late to meet your own deadlines, check out the topic anyway.
You might still find an angle for your article. If you cover scientific discoveries, and you miss a scoop...what if you ask your contacts for their sober second thoughts?
In this case, I found an event yet in the future...which is my self-determined mandate. (I let other people review events that have already happened; my preference is to help people make plans).
So keep alert for topics; the trite "better late than never" did apply to my Brazilian Festival article.