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A Real River Run

An afternoon run looks like a run on the river!

river run, marathon training
Running down the River?

I went out for a Friday afternoon run at work. We were having another unseasonably warm day and I couldn’t resist. This was my second River Run for the week. When I ran across the Longfellow bridge on Tuesday there was a huge crowd on the bridge returning from The Patriots Victory Parade.

Today the crowd was light but my first mile pace was sluggish. Not sure why, but I ended up running an 8:23 pace over 5.03 miles.

When I got home and loaded my run into Garmin Connect I saw this interesting graphic. The green circle is supposed to be where I started my run. In the middle of The Charles River!

There is ice on the river, but barely enough for a duck to walk on. It’s mostly open water again.

Every once in a while I get a crazy result like this. I’m never sure why.

My watch locked onto satellites quickly and nothing seemed unusual. It was just another fun run along the river.

Do you ever get crazy results like this with your watch?

Run well my Friends and stay off the ice!


Abandoned Properties

Once a year I go through each of my social media accounts. Every time I do this I find Abandoned Properties.

What are Social Media Abandoned Properties?

You’ve probably guessed what I mean already. Abandoned properties are accounts where the author has stopped writing, updating or maintaining their account. You may be one of these people. When I started blogging almost seven years ago I had a free site. Because a site is free most people start there. And because it’s free anyone with an idea or opinion can set up their own soap box and have at it. Depending on your comfort with technology, you can have a blog set up in under 30 minutes. The environment is a free-wheeling and diverse universe to exist in. There are blogs on everything and anything that you can imagine. It is the epitome of free speech. There are the usual rules about hateful speech, exploitation, plagiarism etc. Other than that you can be as brilliant or stupid as you want. And there is plenty of both! Over time, many bloggers decide that they weren’t really writers after all, ran out of things to say or just don’t have the time to keep up with it.

Social Media Clean Out 2019

This year I went through all of my WordPress followers. Many of them followed me over from my site to which is built on allows you to have your own address, such as It also allows you to sell things such as My First 5K medals, display frames or pretty much anything you want. Some Fortune 500 companies have their sites on I discovered that many of my old blogging buddies have moved on. When the last post was from a few years ago, I could tell the property was abandoned. Others had messages saying they had closed up shop. Some old blog addresses were up for sale. More than one final post was written by someone dealing with a serious disease such as cancer. Those were sad to read. I hope those writers decided life needed to be spent elsewhere. A lot of Twitter accounts were also abandoned. Probably about 20%. Some of these were for events such as 5K races that have been cancelled. But a lot of them were personal Twitter accounts where someone just stopped tweeting.

How to Save Your Favorite Blog

Most of you are casual consumers of social media. Most of us are. There are plenty of corporations cranking out millions of words, info-graphics, memes and cat videos each day to keep you amused and sometimes informed. There are also millions of bloggers out there pouring their heart and soul into their work, just like a musician or craftsman. Many of them feel they are speaking in an empty public square or yelling into the void. For some writers that is fine. Writing let’s them vent and they don’t care if anyone reacts. They may prefer it. Then there are the bloggers who feel they have an insight, information or advice that they feel is worth sharing. For those writers, hearing crickets after they hit “Enter” is hard to take. From my own experience I know that some blog posts take hours to write over several days. Very few are spontaneous unedited articles. For anyone hoping to engage in dialogue about a subject close to their hearts the deafening silence can be discouraging.

What you can do

If you are reading articles on Facebook or 280 character excerpts on Twitter, try clicking through to the blog post. Clicking through to the actual blog post gives you the opportunity to like a post and even leave a comment. Leaving any indication that you actually read a post is very encouraging for most bloggers. Going to a writer’s blog also allows you to explore their other posts. Often you only see the latest post on Twitter or Facebook. Google and other search engines show you the most popular posts. But they may not show what is of most interest to you. As a reader you should take an extra minute to click through to the full article on the blogger’s site. I think lack of engagement is what causes many bloggers to close up shop. Why bother if no one is reading?

What can I do?

While I was reviewing other blogger’s sites, sometimes I saw a link to my blog listed on their “Blog Roll”. When I clicked through to my blog, I saw what I knew already: my home page needs to be rebuilt. Asking you to follow me is not enough. I need to make clearer what my blog is about. I also need to make it easier to follow my blog. On my home page I don’t have any options to follow me! On my blog page I only have two ways for you to follow me. As a blogger I can’t assume that everyone who comes to my blog knows anything about how this works. 99% of this stuff is still a mystery to me. How can I expect my readers to know what “follow me” means? I think some people are afraid to follow a blogger. Some of this is probably due to every store you’ve ever been to sending you 10 emails every day. I just can’t get my self to unsubscribe from CVS or Best Buy. I might miss something! All of us are buried in email already, who wants more email? Unlike CVS, most bloggers only post a few times a week. Most of us post once a week. It takes a lot of work! So if you follow a blogger, don’t worry about being inundated with email from them. If you do follow a prolific blogger you can always un-follow. You can mute a Twitter account also. Read well my Friends! Andy

WordCamp Boston 2017 Boston University

WordCamp Boston 2017 was another awesome event! WordCamp Boston is an annual 2-day conference for WordPress developers and users.

If you are a hard core coder or a business guy like me, there is something for you. WordCamps are held all over the country and WordCamp Boston usually takes place at Boston University in July.

WordCamp Boston 2017, Boston University, developers conference

For $40 you get two days packed with presentations, panel discussions, and a Happiness Bar. On top of that there are a variety of vendors there to learn from and get advice. They are there to sell product, but I’ve never has the hard sell from anyone. It’s just not how the WordPress crew rolls.

WordCamp Boston 2017 at BU

Saturday morning I missed the Opening Remarks, Keynote presentation and sessions. Lunch was all gone by the time I rolled in around 1:30 pm.

Mostly I attended sessions on using WordPress and topics for running your business on WordPress. I did sit in on a few developer and designer sessions that were only slightly over my head.

There is still plenty that I do not know or understand, and there always will be. I know what HTML and CSS look like, I just don’t want to look at that stuff for very long or I’ll fall asleep!

While I may never learn how to code a website from scratch, each year I learn a few new things. Three years ago I learned about the eCommerce platform called Woo Commerce. I still only know the basics, but it was a breakthrough that allowed me to move my web site to the next level.

This is why I go to WordCamp. One golden nugget like that is worth an entire weekend!

Last year I learned a lot from the GoDaddy team. It wasn’t as life altering as Woo Commerce, but it was still very helpful.

This year I sat down and spoke with a nice young lady about some issues I’m having with Woo Commerce. I knew many of her answers, but hearing them from an expert confirmed that I was on the right track and not wasting my time. It was great to kick around some ideas with someone who really knew their stuff.

It’s always exciting to learn something new and WordCamp Boston never disappoints. This year I learned some great tips about SEO that I actually understood and can actually implement.

If you use WordPress, look for a WordCamp near you. In the GBA we have a user group called WordPress Boston which meets monthly. You may have a similar group in your neighborhood.

Blog well my Friends!


Time for a Change

Time for a Change?

For the past few years I’ve had a newsletter for people who followed this blog. Most people follow my blog on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

For the people who subscribed to the newsletter, I would send an email for each new post. In addition to a link to the latest blog post, the email newsletter had additional “content” as it is called.

Basically I provided links to running articles that I thought were interesting. Often I would add comments on the latest blog post.

I appreciate everyone who subscribes to this newsletter.

Change for more time

It can take a few hours or a few days to write a blog post. Even for a race recap, it takes time to pull together the details and make sure I have them basically correct.

I also updated the newsletter for each blog post by adding some new information and comments, to make it interesting, entertaining and hopefully worth your time.

I know everyone is inundated with emails and Facebook posts and newsletters from major publications like Runners World and even Marathon Sports.

I had hoped to grow the list of subscribers and turn this newsletter into something. I’m not sure what I had in mind, but something.

Unfortunately it never turned into much of anything. Few people subscribed and fewer ever opened the email they received. I’m inundated also, I absolutely get it.

The time I put into the newsletter is time I take away from writing the blog and working on my business. Like everyone else, I only get 24 hours in a day.

So, to get a few hours a month back, I’ve decided to discontinue the newsletter.

If you are not doing so already, you can follow my blog on Facebook, Twitter. Pinterest or through your WordPress account.

Here are my links:




Run well my Friends!


Black Holes and Dead Ends

I see Black Holes

A black hole is an email account full of un-read emails. Most of us have multiple email accounts these days.

Some accounts were set up specifically to sign up for special offers and newsletters from companies we are really not that interested in. Mom has your real email address. Nike has your gmail account.

As a blogger, I have more email accounts than most people. I can’t possibly keep up with all of them all of the time. I follow about 200 bloggers and businesses who are constantly sending me their latest bit of wisdom or special offer.

As a blogger, I spend a lot of time at the keyboard and I cannot afford multiple black holes.

I sit down to write and get sucked into a day of reading and or deleting hundreds of emails. Many blog posts I get in my in box are great and interesting and that’s why it’s such a time suck. If I have two hours on a week night, I might spend an hour on email!

Strategies to manage black holes

To get anything done and still have time for work and a life, I’ve developed several strategies to wrangle black holes.

One strategy is to monitor several email accounts daily on my phone. When I have a minute I go into an account and clean it up. I’ve found that if I spend 5 minutes a day on these accounts I can keep them under control.

Industrial email accounts

Another strategy is to use certain accounts for specific purposes.

I have a few email accounts that I use for my business. One is [email protected] To keep this account under control I manage it daily. I also have very few general interest emails going to this account.

This is a high volume account, but only receives high value email for the most part.

I have another account where almost all general interest email goes. I follow about 200 bloggers and businesses, so I get a ton of email into this account. I followed these bloggers and businesses for a reason. Quite often they send me interesting articles to read.

This is a really high volume account that I can’t possibly manage on 5 minutes a day. It’s become a habit of mine to scrub this account about every three months. I do manage to clean out some email daily, but the deluge is too much to keep up with.

Strategies to manage Dead Ends

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Image Credit –

This brings me to Dead Ends. Over a three month period several bloggers will abandon their blog. I may have twenty emails from them and then they go silent.

Over time a blogger may decide blogging isn’t for them or they never reached the audience they hoped to, so they shut things down.

Blogs turn into dead ends for other reasons also. Sometimes I loose interest in the blogger’s topic or they change direction. Until I click “unfollow” their emails continue to flow into my mail box.

It’s easy to delete the bloggers who gave up. The ones I’ve lost interest in are harder to delete. I’m always hopeful they will have something interesting to say, and don’t want to miss it. I usually give these guys a few passes, but eventually they get cut.

When I do my email clean up every three months, I delete the abandoned blogs from my feed also.

Twitter black holes and dead ends

Twitter can be another massive time suck. The flow of tweets never slows. Not only do you get tweets from people you follow, you also get tweets from people who pay to get in front of you.

A few times a year I go in and clean out tweeters I’ve lost interest in. I also clean out the hyper active tweeters and the dormant tweeters. Some twitter accounts can send 20 or more tweets a day!

To manage the Tweeters I do want to follow I’ve been using lists to keep things organized. By grouping Tweeters it makes it easier to find tweets relevant ti what I’m interested in or working on.

See my post on using Twitter Lists.

Black holes and Dead Ends

With limited time to read and write, I’ve had to develop and practice these strategies. I’m still buried, but I am actively trying to manage the situation so that I can spend more time reading what really interests me, and of course trying to write what really interests you.

  • Are you buried in emails?
  • How many email accounts do you have?
  • Do you un-follow and un-subscribe?


Read well my friends and watch out for black holes!


How to use Twitter Lists

I started using Twitter about three years ago. As a blogger trying to reach as wide of an audience as possible, it made sense to create an account and engage with this community.

twitter lists,social mediaLike any other social media platform, I soon found there were thousands of interesting people and communities that I wanted to follow. There are currently over 310 million Twitter accounts around the world. Even if 0.1% were of interest to me that is over 300,000 accounts to follow!

About a year ago I hit what I termed “Twittamax.” When I started following about 1,000 Tweeters, Twitter would not let me follow additional accounts. This was very frustrating as I kept finding interesting people to follow. I learned that Twitter has a secret algorithm to determine how many accounts you can follow.

One day I noticed the “Lists” option and started exploring. I found out that I can add people to a list even if I can’t or don’t want to follow them. Twittamax did not affect how many people I could add to lists. This allowed me to keep collecting interesting accounts. Anyone I follow I can also add to a list.

You only receive Tweets from people you follow, you do not receive Tweets from accounts only on a list.

Eventually I gained approval from the secret Twitter algorithm to start following more accounts. As I started following new accounts I rediscovered the use and importance of Twitter Lists.

How to create Twitter Lists

Go to your “Profile and Settings” and look for “Lists” on the drop down. Click “Lists”

If you already have lists they will show on the next page.

On the right side of the screen you should see a button “Create new list.” Click that button.

A pop up will let you name your list and give it a description. You can also make your list public or private.

Once you create a list you can add anyone that you follow to your list or lists. You can also add accounts and not follow them.

Just as your list of accounts can get out of hand, so can a list. You may want some lists that are very specific and some that are very broad. It is easier to take a few minutes and think about this before you start to build your first list. Otherwise you have segmented chaos into smaller segments of chaos!

My Twitter Lists

When I was freed from Twittamax I quickly grew my list to over 2,000 accounts. At the same time I realized the difficulty of screening out the noise without muting accounts. I might not want 20 fitness tips a day from someone, but I do want to see what they have to say sometimes.

I follow many accounts that are quite prolific. Some I have muted, some I have stopped following.

To make the best use of my limited time I decided to re-visit Twitter lists.

twitter lists,twitter followI initially had lists like “Runners”, “Business/Social Media” and “Beer/Food/Nutrition.” I wanted to organize the runners I followed, both the pros and people like me. I also wanted to track businesses and social media companies and people.

My use of lists was and is quite simple. No black hat stuff here. Sometimes I wasn’t sure which list to add someone to, so I probably added them to a list they may not have felt reflected their interest, mission or business.

I tried to keep my list categories broad to keep things simple. Recently I created a list called “Non-Profits.” To this list I’ve added obvious non-profits such as various YMCA , schools and PTO/PTA organizations that might have 5K races to raise money for programs and operations.

My interest is to help non-profits increase fund raising with the “My First 5K” medal, so I need to be able to organize these groups.

I have also added individuals and businesses that work with non-profits or help non-profits manage their 5K races. Some of these companies are for profit and I’m sure some of the owners smirk when they see that I’ve added them to my “Non-Profits” list.

Why you should use Twitter lists

Besides making order from the chaos, lists can also make you more efficient.

By grouping accounts by interest you can focus on one interest at a time by selecting that list. This allows you to screen out all of the noise and actually engage in a meaningful way.

By having fewer Tweets in the list stream you avoid the constant barrage of new tweets. Imagine seeing an interesting Tweet and being able to come back to it later in the day, and still be able to find it? With a well defined list, you can do this.

Show people you are interested in them. People and organizations see when you follow them, they also see when you add them to a list. Anyone can follow anyone. We all have followers and have no idea why they are following us.

I have a contingent of college age followers in the greater Galveston/Houston area. Most of them are into clubbing, their particular college/university and fitness. Most of them seem to be gym rats and I’m a runner. Somewhere along the line we hooked up through mutual follows and possibly an interest in fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

If they had included me on certain lists I would know if they were interested in me for my fitness writing, enjoy reading about beer drinking at races or if they are looking for a club buddy. Some of them are very attractive young ladies and I’m a middle-aged Yankee. It’s gotta be the running. Right?

So while it’s fun to have pretty young things follow my Twitter account it seems arbitrary and in congruent with what I’m doing. A list helps clarify your interests in a Tweeter.

23 Seldom-Used Ideas for How to Use Twitter Lists

In this 2014 article written by Kevan Lee for Bufferapp, you will find some additional ideas to take your use of Twitter lists to the next level.

Some of them are very business focused such as #2, “Event attendees and conference-goers.” For a business this is a great way to follow thought leaders from an event, keep up with their latest ideas and communicate your great ideas to them.

For a personal tweeter idea #3 is probably more appropriate, “Mini-communities of those with shared interests.” This is pretty much what I do. I have my “Runners/Athletes” list where I group any athlete, team or coach etc. The list has grown substantially and at some point I will need to break out runners and perhaps other categories.

Other business related Twitter lists ideas include:

  • #1 Staff Directories
  • #4 Helpful resources for your customers
  • #5 Accounts you recommend to follow

To help attract the attention of people you want to follow you and engage with:

  • #7 “Notice me” list – add accounts to a list to let them know you have more than a passing interest
  • #10 Thought leaders for your niche – named appropriately this could be another way to attract the right people


Check out the Bufferapp article for additional idea that may be of use to you.

Are you on one of my Twitter lists?

Sometimes I add accounts to lists when I have a few spare moments. Sometimes late at night before I shut down for the day. If I’ve added you to a list that you don’t think you belong on, I’m sorry. I definitely could put more time and energy into managing my lists.

Just because I added your very profitable business to my “Non-profits” list doesn’t mean I think you’re not making any money or are a charity. It may have been a mistake or because your business works with non-profits and I’m hoping that perhaps we can work together.

If you are on one of my lists it means I’m more interested in what you have to say than other tweeters. If I have you on the wrong list, send me a tweet!

  • Do you use Twitter lists?
  • Do you have a structure to how your organize your lists?
  • Have you had any great successes using Twitter lists?
  • Do you have any tips or ideas I missed or that Bufferapp did not discuss?


Tweet well my friends!


© 2016 andrew nagelin