The Top Posts of 2016

The holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family. We risk the unpredictable nature of winter travel (and cold and flu season), clear our schedules, and take time off from work.

I’m taking the week off this week. Instead of a new post, here’s a look back at the top six posts you might have missed this year. They’re the most-read, most-shared, and most-loved posts of 2016.

Grab a warm beverage and a warm blanket and curl up with the smartphone or tablet of your choice and enjoy.

The Best Posts of 2015

The holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family. We reflect on the year just ended and look forward with eager anticipation to the blank canvas that is the year ahead.

To that end, this week’s post is six posts, but they’re all posts you’ve seen before. Or maybe you missed them. They’re the most-viewed, most-shared, and most-loved posts of 2015.

So grab a warm beverage, ask Siri to play some Christmas piano music, curl up under a warm blanket, and enjoy.

See original posts for photo credits.

2015 Reader Survey

Your Chance to Help Shape This Blog

I want to make this blog as useful and relevant to you as I possibly can.

Would you please help me out by telling me a little bit about yourself and what you’re looking for? I’ve kept the survey short, so it should take you less than two minutes to complete.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/BillionPhotos.com

Lyrics: My Way

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way

Yes, it was my way

Frank Sinatra, “My Way”, 1969

The Best Posts of 2014

The holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family. We reflect on the year just ended and look forward with eager anticipation to the blank canvas that is the year ahead.

To that end, this week’s post is six posts, but they’re all posts you’ve seen before. Or maybe you missed them. They’re the most-viewed, most-shared, and most-loved posts of 2014.

So grab a warm beverage, put on the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas, curl up under a warm blanket, and enjoy.

Please see original posts for photo credits.

The Convenience of Digital Books

A couple years ago, a friend was living in a downtown condo. He and his wife had instituted a “one in, one out” policy for books—if they wanted to get a new book, they had to get rid of one first. It wasn’t an arbitrary (or easy) decision. They simply didn’t have any more room for books.

They snatched up a first-generation Kindle as soon as they were released. They loved it. Soon, they were buying most books for the Kindle simply because they didn’t take up more shelf space.

Print books are wonderful, and I doubt I’ll ever banish them from my life. But most of my reading has transitioned to digital books because they have several distinct advantages.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / maglara

In Defense of Print Books

In fourth grade, my sister’s class had an assignment to count the number of books in their home. She stopped counting at 375. (Second place had 92.)

My parents’ home was filled with books. Every available foot of wall had a bookshelf against it, and the bookshelves were packed. At every birthday and Christmas, they gave each of us at least one book. I never realized how intentional and deliberate that was until recently, when we were discussing Christmas gifts for their grandchildren.

I love digital books. They’re terribly convenient. More and more of my reading takes place on my iPad. But I doubt I’ll ever say goodbye to paper books completely.

©iStockphoto/Shevchuk Boris

My Favorite Posts of 2013

The new year provides us a great opportunity to reflect on what we’ve done as we look forward to the year ahead. In that spirit, I wanted to reflect on what I’ve written this year and call out some of my favorite posts.

In order of their appearance:

Have a safe and happily holiday season. Here’s to the wonder and potential of a new year!

Turn Readers into Visitors with Short URLs

Make it as Easy as Possible for People to Find You

Recently, I saw a printed flyer with the following call to action:

For more information or to sign up, please visit
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QvxtR69vFLfy
F5WdfqnKg6dKl_Fbf3ppWo7rf6vdyEo/edit!

I’ll be surprised if they had more visitors than you can count on one hand. It’s not easy to type that URL in correctly, and most people won’t even try. How do you get people to actually visit your site? Use a URL shortener.

Photo © 2013 Colter Reed