My recent DeHaan Services article, "Toronto Unity Festival 2012 at Various Venues", promotes a four-day fundraiser for a worthy charity.

"Rocco Rossi Kicked Off Unity Festival at Yonge-Dundas Square in 2010" by Rocco Rossi
The article explains why I used this picture of Mr. Rossi, but more importantly, it's a guide to the Unity Festival and the sponsoring charity.

The most important fact in my article is that it reveals the date and venue for the free concert!

As always, I also publicize my article in my Xanga blog ("A Unity Festival for Toronto in 2012").

New Writing Tip based on my Toronto Unity Festival Article

This new writing tip, geared mainly to online blogs and articles, has two parts.

First, be sure that you write something useful in your article. For the Unity Festival, I highlight the free concert and also provide background about the Unity Charity, all in one concise page.

Second, always provide a link to your major references. Your readers may need to find more details. The Unity Festival site provides the means to buy advance tickets at a discount from "at the door" prices. It would be irresponsible of me not to provide that link. In other cases, the reference links prove that you've done the research.

Just be sure that it was worth your readers' time to review your article before clicking to the reference. I certainly hope that was the case for anyone reading my article about the 2010 Toronto Unity Festival.
DeHaan Services continues to inform residents of upcoming Toronto events with "Summerlicious 2012 Hosted by Top Toronto Restaurants".

"Mousaka at Ouzeri in 2010" by onlyandrewn (Andrew Nguyen)
Ouzeri is just one of about 180 participating restaurants. Even with a well-organized web site hosted by Toronto City Hall, Summerlicious deserves some extra explanation.

Promoting my Summerlicious Article

As always, my article also is featured in my Xanga blog ("Summerlicious 2012 Features Restaurants in Toronto").

Writing Tip from Summerlicious 2012

Today's writing tip is: add value when writing articles that ultimately point elsewhere. That's my main consideration in writing articles about Toronto events, since my blog post invariably includes a link to the event's own site.

It's one thing to be a restaurant critic or movie critic or travel reviewer. You go, have the experience, and share it with others. Generally, those others can decide whether it's worth following in your footsteps.

I prefer to write about upcoming events so people can choose to attend. My preference is for events that don't do a lot of publicity for themselves; why editorialize on behalf of someone who buys advertising copy?

I'd like to have the first site that people check when thinking about festivals in Toronto.

In fact, I've positioned my "DeHaan Lens of Annual Toronto Events" as both a calendar and hub for my Toronto Events articles.

The big trick, and the lesson that Reddit seems to try to teach me, is to add value beyond just pointing at someone else's comprehensive web site. That's a real trick, and I hope to master it sometime soon. My "Summerlicious 2012" article may or may not have that special ingredient.
This article is neither magic nor geometry; it simply promotes five recent articles.

"Northern Snakehead Fish, or Channa argus" by brian.gratwicke
"Has the Northern Snakehead Fish Invaded British Columbia?" is still an unanswered question in Burnaby, BC. Naturalists are searching the lagoon to confirm or deny the presence of this invasive species.

Nonetheless, my Environmental Graffiti article includes background and images gleaned from other sources.

Two Articles in Double Fitness

I wrote "One Timely Weight Loss Tip" to summarize new research indicating that disciplined timing of meals can help one lose weight.

David Haas submitted a guest article, "Healthy Habits for Coping with Cancer", explaining why cancer patients should start or maintain a minimal exercise program.

My DeHaan Fitness and Weight Loss site had been in need of new articles, but not neglected since I continue to document Mayor Rob Ford's progress in his "Cut the Waist" challenge.

Double Posts in DeHaan Services

I wrote two articles in DeHaan Services for Toronto events.

My answer to "Can the Toronto Centre Island Ferry Schedule be Improved?" is "Yes"! They had not brought all the ferries into service in time for the Victoria Day weekend. Why wait until the next weekend to provide full service?

I stumbled into a promotion for DesiFEST, and decided to give them some publicity in "Visit DesiFEST 2012 for a Free 12 Hour Concert".

One 5-Pack Promotion in Xanga

I wrote one promotional entry in my Xanga blog for precisely the same reason that this Weebly article holds a fist full of publicity: I was too busy to write individual blog posts.

"5 DeHaan Articles in May 2012" covers precisely the same ground as this article.

A Single Writing Tip

Today's writing tip only relates to one of my articles: "Visit DesiFEST 2012 for a Free 12 Hour Concert".

The tip is to plan your content before simply writing an article or making a blog entry. This applies even to simple, personal articles; but it is more important if you do research and expect to have your facts straight.

I had to make three trivial updates to that article.

  1. Although I had checked the TTC home page for warnings of service interruptions, I had to go back and update the article because the Yonge subway really is closed downtown this weekend. (Only the Yonge line from Bloor to Union; you can take the University line instead).
  2. I forgot that Rogers supplies internet, as well as cable TV and cell telephone service.
  3. Most foolishly, I forgot the disclaimer that I don't have a financial interest in the event.
I do blame the way the TTC home page avoided mentioning the planned work; it was noted on the page for the Dundas 505 streetcar instead. The other two were avoidable mistakes, and I should have been more thoughtful from the start.

Learn from my mistakes, and apply this writing tip to your own articles!

Thanks for reading my publicity for: snakehead fish in Burnaby, BC; timing meals as a weight loss tip; maintaining fitness despite having cancer; improving the Toronto Island ferry schedule; and noting a free South Asian festival in Toronto.

Some may remember that I had posted a pictorial in Environmental Graffiti called "TorontoHenge: When City Grids Align with the Sun" in October of 2011.

As the year spins, so do opportunities for capturing sunrise or sunset in conditions similar to Stonehenge.

This is my preview of the images for my next article, "Torontohenge Imperfect in 2012".

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #1" by Mike DeHaan
All the comments will be in the article.

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #2" by Mike DeHaan
Therefore these pictures are presented without discussion.

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #3" by Mike DeHaan
Do they speak for themselves?

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #4" by Mike DeHaan
Will anyone wade through them to read the writing tips?

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #5" by Mike DeHaan
Feel free to leave a comment if you are underwhelmed.

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #6" by Mike DeHaan
Of course, I would take more pleasure in approving comments.

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #7" by Mike DeHaan
Here is the penultimate image for this blog post.

"TorontoHenge Apr 2012 #8" by Mike DeHaan
Was it all worth the effort?

Would you also see my promotional articles in DeHaan Services ("A Disappointing TorontoHenge for April 2012") and in my Xanga blog ("Making Use of a Poor TorontoHenge in April 2012")?

Writing Tips

Today has a double writing tip.

Online articles need images. Sometimes the best images are those you take yourself.

Ensure you first publish your images online in a site where you can demonstrate your ownership. I use my Blog of Writing, since it also serves as a blog post and as publicity for my article. Many people use Flickr or some other online image publishing site.

Taking my own pictures of TorontoHenge in April 2012 was fun, easy and an excuse to wake up at 4:30am.
I added a new article to Suite 101 yesterday. "American Lutherans and Mennonites to Reconcile in 2012" explains when and where two denominations will meet for that purpose.

An "Evangelical Lutheran Church", image by Jason Riedy
Perhaps more importantly, I discuss why two Christian denominations would need to get together and settle an old feud.

Previously I reported on a European version of this same process, in "The Origins of the 2010 Lutheran and Mennonite Reconciliation".

Promoting Mennonite and Lutheran Reconciliation

More accurately, I'm promoting my own article on this subject in DeHaan Services ("Lutherans and Mennonites in the USA to Reconcile") and in my Xanga blog ("Peace in the USA for Lutherans and Mennonites").

One Favourite Writing Tip

This situation is an example of a serendipitous application of a favourite writing tip.

Write a series of articles, even if you have to keep following themes in the news!

I had not expected to find a second news item about Mennonite and Lutheran reconciliation, but this jumped out at me from a denominational news magazine.
My latest Decoded Science article, "The Universal Turing Machine is a Turing Machine Emulator", explains how this mathematical "construction" works.

"Escher Drawing Hands like Mutual Universal Turing Machines" image photographed by rrenzoo
Although this was not my choice for the article's "featured" image, in retrospect I appreciate the editor's choice. This allows me to ask "What does Escher's drawing have to do with Universal Turing machines"?

My article answers that question, naturally.

Promoting my "Universal Turing Machine" Article

As always, I also publicize my articles in DeHaan Services ("The Universal Turing Machine is an Emulator") and in my Xanga blog ("A Universal Turing Machine is Math, not Astronomy").

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip may seem recycled, but that's almost exactly (but not quite!) what it is.

Rather than trying to cover absolutely new themes in every article or blog post, develop a series about one theme or concept.

Do ensure that there is enough material for two, three or  more articles.
Do your research early and separate the rough notes into a logical sequence.
Then go for it! Regular readers should appreciate getting more detail than could be covered in one large article.
By inter-linking your articles, you can help new readers find the first article regardless of where they started.

I used this approach for Mennonites in Suite 101, and obviously am pursuing it for Turing machines in Decoded Science.
My latest article for Decoded Science, "The ACM Awards the 2011 Turing Prize for Computing to Judea Pearl", reports exactly what it claims in its title.

The title of this article in my Blog of Writing refers to the writing tip in the final section.

"Judea Pearl" image from The Big Picture by Vic Rubenfeld
Additionally, that article also names the first Turing Prize recipient.

Publicity for my 2011 Turing Award Article

As usual, I also publicize my article in DeHaan Services ("The 2011 Turing Award Went to Judea Pearl") and in my Xanga blog ("Judea Pearl Received the 2011 Turing Award").

Writing Tip

When I began writing about Judea Pearl's award, I wanted to add a few snippets about some of the other Turing Award recipients. However, there were too many, and any selection (other than the very first person) was too arbitrary.

The editor at Decoded Science agreed that, in lieu of writing one long article with an odd selection bias, that instead I should consider a series.

That's the reason for this Blog post title. Should I treat the 2011 Turing Award as a single event, or write a series about all the recipients?

The writing tip is: always consider whether your topic has enough material to become a series.
Along with warmer weather and "springing ahead" to Daylight Savings Time, one sign of the changing season is a shift in statistics at Suite 101. Readers begin to find my older insect articles as they search the Internet for information.

As a public service, therefore, allow me to present some of these articles oriented to springtime. (My apologies to Australia, South America and parts of Africa and Asia: you're heading into autumn).

The final paragraph is a writing tip, since it's become a standard feature of this blog.

Revealing the Earwig

Earwig image by Siga
Hosted at Environmental Graffiti, "The Secret Life of the Earwig" reveals an insect that lives in gardens but can invade our homes.

Meanwhile, "The Earwig: A Best Friend To The Garden Or A Health Hazard?" lurks in Suite 101.

Entertaining Social Wasps

Social wasps also deserve at least two articles."Convincing Social Wasps To Leave The Party" has some advice on how to encourage these insects to stay away from your garden party.

"How Can a Worker Wasp Become a Queen? By Face and Fight" follows my gee-whiz-how-interesting approach to articles about Nature. Unlike honeybees, wasps do not hatch with the instant destiny of worker or queen status.

Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose; prevention is always the preferred option. "How Deer Ticks Spread Lyme Disease", as well as "Defeating Lyme Disease Transmitted by Deer Ticks", provide answers that can save people from a significant problem.

Mosquitos and West Nile Virus

Sometime in spring or summer, many of us will experience the bite of a mosquito. This is almost always a mere nuisance. However, "The West Nile Virus Triangle: Mosquitos, Crows and People" explains why and how we should protect ourselves.

Tamarisk Leaf Beetles on Our Side

"The Tamarisk Leaf Beetle Battles Salt Cedars in the American West" brings us back to an insect that actually is ecologically helpful. It's a pleasant surprise after the gloom and despair about diseases carried by insects!

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is pretty obvious.

Some older online articles deserve to be publicized from time to time. Some topics in "Nature" arise every year because of the changing seasons. Income tax advice, or holiday suggestions, revolve around human customs. If your articles deserve to be noticed annually, remind your readers.

This approach also reminds the search engines.

Thanks for re-reading my springtime insect articles.
An important local conservation effort gave rise to my Environmental Graffiti article, "Burlington Acts to Protect the Jefferson Salamander in Ontario".

The Jefferson Salamander

"Jefferson Salamander image" by US Dept of Agriculture via Ooinn
Isn't this a handsome amphibian?

Publicity for the Jefferson's Salamander

As always, I promote my article in DeHaan Services ("Burlington Grants Jefferson Salamanders Safe Passage") and in my Xanga blog ("Burlington Gives Jefferson Salamanders Safety for Breeding").

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is new to this blog, I believe.

Although I may have said "Keep your eyes open for article ideas" before, the new point is to watch for good news, too.

Sometimes I've put my focus on disasters because they can be "compelling". Other bloggers write about products to entice advertising.

But sometimes, just for a change, give your readers a chance to see some pleasant scenery.
May I promote my current Suite 101 article, "Cities Mix Sugar Beet Juice with Road Salt as Highway Deicier".

I took a decisively environmental spin on the subject after explaining how the new technique works.

"Red Snow Plow Plowing Snow" image by ww3billard
Although the red snow plow is not terribly important in the article, it's a lovely graphic and more appropriate to the subject than a field of sugar beets.

Promoting my Sugar Beet Juice Article

As always, I also publicize the main article in DeHaan Services ("Toronto Tries Sugar Beet Deicing Fluid") and in my Xanga blog ("Sugar Beet Juice plus Salt Equals Less Ice on Roads").

Writing Tips

My first writing tip is to select the "spin", slant or approach for your article.

For my sugar beet juice article, my original plan was to simply report on an interesting new technique for deicing roads. However, as I checked the Suite 101 categories, I decided that the environmental impact was most appropriate. That gave me a requisite focus.

The second writing tip is a reminder from previous tips. I had selected this topic back in January, but led off with "Sugar Beet: Sugar Cane's Unsung Rival" in Environmental Graffiti. There was more than enough material to write about sugar beets and the sugar beet juice deicing technique in two articles, so I selected the most appropriate online magazine for each topic.

    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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