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Thursday, 16 October 2014

English: A Content Writer's Dilemma

On-line writers have a fairly difficult time in writing content for the Internet, particularly for those employers that seek a convincing means of attracting viewers and visitors to their sites. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the only method to attract traffic to these sites in order to give these websites  the ranking and visibility they need. SEO can be done in a number of ways in which I myself had the experience to learn from all of my previous employers during my stint as a writer for various products. Such methods employ organic traffic growth which means building internal and external links, consistent updated blogging and finding the right niche and keyword that the Google search engine and logarithm will easily understand. Others have resorted to dubious means such as automated spam blogging using article spinning software and HTML encoded links hidden within the article itself to promote their sites. 

However, despite various methods to siphon traffic into these sites, Google has instigated their Panda logarithm that hunts down these scrupulous sites in order to give each and every website a fair share on the traffic that Google has to offer those who are using the Internet. Unfortunately, some sites tend to be a wee bit greedy when it comes to letting smaller sites take a piece of the traffic that they all want to be on top when users click the search button. From the olden days of keyword stuffing, most web page developers employ HTML code tactics to try fool the Google algorithm, nevertheless, Google wins in the end as it always does, reducing the visibility of these websites that do not follow the strict guidelines incorporated by Google into their search engine.

Fortunately, there is one old practice that seems to work perfectly up to this day and it is called content writing. Content writing works as it did many years ago during the early conception of the Internet but it seems that writing well structured and well informed articles has taken a downside as it has to fall on a compromise with giving consideration to most people that can't seem to understand the basics of the English language. I do recall the times when I was confronted by my employer to tone down my writing as to make it easy for most people to understand the contents of my article. Which is proven true since most people, particularly English speaking countries, can't seem to contemplate their own native tongue when it comes to reading it. 

This comes as a surprise for most non-English speaking countries that are currently being outsourced to undertake various tasks such as copy writing, proof reading, transcribing and word editing. Is the English language still what it is? Or should we blame the Internet for diversifying how people should comprehend it? It seems more likely the later, since the English vocabulary started to lose its substance when the Internet became the primary means of delivering information in a global scale. Compromises should be made with regard to giving people the convenience of understanding what they are reading in a blog, website or just about any informative article that they may come across on the Internet. But don't you think that people should also come into terms with improving the way they are able to understand what they read?

In the Philippines, where most English speaking writers are outsourced and employed, there are a lot of  people who know to speak conversational English. But do not expect a lot from this country as most people know how to read and write in a most passive way which leaves only a few that really know how to speak and write it properly as it should be. Do not expect the King's English or some Shakespearean Prose to be accounted on their resume, for this is but a rarity in this part of the world, unless you should happen to come across someone who delves in such sort of things. English is a beautiful language and if I may say so, a language that most people use in a daily basis around the world on their endeavours. It still remains a question on how it came to be slenderized to conveniently conform for the convenience of those who can not properly indulge themselves in the simpleness of its use.

Writing has always been about imparting the clarity of the truth in a subject being dealt with and it is within the skills of the writer to give various aspects on what the truth is regarding a certain topic. If you are to write something that has nothing to do with the truth of what the subject matter is about, then it is quite clear that you are misleading your readers. Always take to account the ideals of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway as a basis on how a real writer should define a subject matter. There is nothing like the truth to stir the interest of your readers, no matter how dull, mundane or even blatantly boring the subject is. The true skill of a writer comes out when they are able to make the simplest subject matter interesting, whether you are writing about a technically immersed subject or even about rocks, it is always on the writers personal aspect and perspective in which the topic comes alive.

Never be afraid to learn new things when it comes to honing your craft as a writer, as there are a lot of open suggestions which can improve your skills that comes from people who know how to improve your particular writing style. I for one had the so called Hemingway syndrome, which makes me write very long sentences due to having been influenced by the true master of the one true sentence. As my employer pointed out, keeping it short and simple along with putting it in a straightforward manner always gives your readers the information that they are looking for. The Internet is about information and giving people the information that they need in the simplest possible explanation will entice your readers to come back to your web page. Pride should make you discern but gratitude for learning new things is more important to improve your skills as a writer. As a parting gesture, never forget to thank the people who made you see your mistakes as a writer, your mentors and your employers. Thanks boss, I really learned a lot from you. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Prisoner of the Mind

Imagine someone who is going through an episode of panic attacks and incoherently shouting out on the top of their voices of things that do not make sense. These panic attacks are accompanied by intense bouts of paranoia making them think that people around them are out to kill them, even close family members. This is the usual manifestation of dementia associated with the degenerative condition caused by Alzheimer disease which affects people that belong to the age groups between 60 to 80 years of age. Despite research and intensive medical research to help slow down the advancement of this mentally debilitating disease, there is no definite clear path of clinical treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is quite similar to the symptoms manifested with ALS (amyothropic lateral sclerosis) in which the brain neurons start to disconnect from the locomotor connections that simulate muscular functions associated with movement, auditory sensors and mental faculties. Alzheimer's has been the key proponent in memory loss among old people in which 1 out of 10 is likely to show signs of classic senile dementia when they get to a certain age (60 to 80). Bouts of manic depression can be seen when a patient starts to hyper ventilate, complaining most of the time that they can not breathe even though the room is well ventilated. This quickly progresses to incoherent shouting stating that they are being held prisoner against their will.

Violence is a common occurrence as most patients will not let themselves be touched even though they can not longer manage to keep their balance. Most patients going through this episode prefer to take off their clothes completely without any reason at all, stating that they feel more comfortable that way. Decency should not be expected as most patients tend to exhibit child-like behavior that explains their often irrational answers to simple questions. Self denial can be considered as one of the most common psychological behavior that people affected with Alzheimer's often show. Interestingly though, there was a clinical study that positively confirms that there is a clear line that associates the onset of Alzheimer with people that have developed Diabetes. Study shows that 80% of people that were afflicted with diabetes during their senior years showed signs of Alzheimer's that rapidly progressed because of blood toxicity caused by the imbalance of their blood sugar levels that affected the neural connections of the brain. Another cause which greatly is being debated by researchers is the psychological fortitude of the patient's across demographical representations with consideration of race, social developmental factors and nutrition.

In third world countries, there are is large segment of elderly people that are affected with Alzheimer's disease because they lack nutritional value in their diet, particularly in the Philippines where the quality of life dips greatly below the poverty line. Most of the elderly people here are fed with instant noodles that contain harsh chemical flavorings and preservatives. Social beliefs are also a major influence along with educational understanding as there is a clear pattern that suggest that mental aptitude has a lot to do with a person's ability to discern the rationality of their emotions coupled with achieving their mental stability. Most sociologist have suggested that happiness, in all of its meaning is nothing more than a human condition, same as pain and both ambiguous just as well. As clearly seen with people with Alzheimer's, most subjects affected with this disease often cry out to satisfy their wants and needs. Religious beliefs, particularly the belief in salvation in all of its aspects are often shouted out incoherently which clearly states that there is a time that people affected with Alzheimer often come to terms in questioning the validity of what they have longed stood up for which has been an influence to their upbringing. There are studies that clearly indicate that countries that have a high diversity of religious beliefs show a high rate of elderly people that are affected with Alzheimer's disease.

Psychologist state that giving your mind too much to think about tends to wear down the neural connections that affect mental fortitude and rational thinking. Especially now that the way of life runs at a much faster pace than it was 100 years ago. Also, the quality of life that we live now has a great impact on how our bodies react to the various chemicals that it ingests from various food products that are formulated with synthetic flavorings and preservatives. Most people with Alzheimer's disease require to be kept in solitude and can pose as a danger to others and themselves if kept along with others that have a similar condition. There is no sense in talking to people with this disease to show them the rational perspective of reality as they have no more grasp of the actual reality that is happening to them. All they are waiting for is their time and Alzheimer is not giving them a chance to live their remaining time in this life with dignity. Most people that are inflicted with this mental disease often defecate within their room, even urinating on their tea cups. To say the least, they even tend to wake up in the middle of the dead of night and move about, turning everything inside their room into one big chaotic mess. Alzheimer's disease is the end of human dignity in which a person looses all rational mental faculties. Just goes to show how interesting the human body is and all of its splendor, after all, God created man in his own image didn't he? Then again, this may be a clear explanation in why this whole world is so messed up.