I’ve been trying to turn a lifelong writing habit into one that generates a little bit of income as opposed to just class grades. Toward that end, I began to submit articles to Associated Content – now the Yahoo! Contributor Network – back near the end of summer. I’ve enjoyed writing the pieces, interacting with the Yahoo! staff and fellow contributors, learning more about the new area I live in, and sharing what I’ve written with Facebook friends and family. I have also, frankly, enjoyed being paid for something that I like to do.
I’ve also come to recognize that I cannot continue to satisfactorily perform my four additional part-time jobs indefinitely. I just don’t have the time or the energy or the necessary immune system. So, I’ve been exploring my options and decided a month or so ago to try to increase my reads per article in order to increase my income. If I were successful enough, or if I was able to even see a hint in a positive direction, I could begin phasing out the least flexible part-time position I hold.
I began to read other Yahoo! authors in order to discern their advice on how exactly to do this and tried to follow the recommendations that I could understand. For instance, I started a WordPress blog that linked back to my articles. I continued to post my new article links to Facebook and also joined other social networks in order to post links to an even greater range of people. I changed my Twitter activity from infrequent and desultory to daily and peppy. I joined LinkedIn – I think – and something called Delicious and something else named Stumble! I learned about terms such as “search engine optimization” and how to do so, as well as backlinking, which I still don’t understand.
And thus, here is my rant: I’m a cardiac critical care nurse with a number of degrees. I’m not an idiot. Yet, these articles and the sites I’ve lost hours upon hours of time upon – time better spent writing – either assume a level of proficiency that I don’t have and/or adopt ridiculously complex terms for simple theories. And I don’t believe this to be my fault or my voluntary ignorance. Further, my profession has made it simple for Joe Public – even a computer programmer – to very, very quickly attach two paddles to someone’s chest and possible restart their heart to a rhythm compatible with life.
You see, in a day and time where company’s and community’s make AEDs, “Automatic Electronic Defibrillators” available to the public, why exactly are sites calling profile pictures “avatars?” AEDs only work for ventricular tachycardia or cardiac asystole. Does the American Heart Association instruct you to only attempt defibrillation of ventricular tachycardia or cardiac asystole and teach you how to determine if someone is suffering from any of these conditions or does it make the machine intuitively read for these rhythms? Would it be the latter? Really? Then why do RSS feeds sometimes attach to some sites, and sometimes not, without any explanation why? What exactly is the difference, really, between a widget and a tool? More importantly, on any given social site, are you allowed to do what you think you can before you spend eight hours on it and the article you had in mind earlier that morning is cold and dead on the pavement?
I have an ad in a local paper for a limited consultant. Because I’d really like to concentrate on this writing gig. But it astounds me that something as complicated as restarting someone’s heart can be made accessible to the public at the same time that computer “speak” seems to be becoming less so.