A recent topic picked up by some of the blogs I read is on mentors. Specifically, for the search engine marketing industry, the question was asked How can I get started and learn what you know? in a blog post by an SEOMoz blog staff writer.
This prompted Ammon Johns to write about it in Mentors, Inspirations, and Tuition.
I’ve had several mentors. They were all men, and the one woman who gave me my start in usability. The men intimidated me. They were competitive and at first, guarded their knowledge. The woman oozed patience, intelligence, and humor. She knew she was my mentor. She played the role by offering me books and resources, or many “sit here and let me show you something” moments.
The men played foosball, threw mini-footballs in the air and IM’d across the aisles whenever a set of nice looking legs walked past them. No matter what group of males I ever worked with, my introduction to them was to be ignored and unworthy, at first.
Bare Your Self
In the “back room” at Cre8asiteforums, (where the moderators hang out), some of us are having a bit of a chat about the definition of words and phrases that are not always understood globally. Some moderators are a little concerned that I’ve lost a few marbles, due to my loving our new emoticon that moons people. More to the point, the subject of my last blog post about sex and blogs has them curious about my state of being.
I mentioned I was “feeling my oaties” lately. This set off a hilarious conversation about what that means, especially for one British moderator who had never seen it before. Myself and another woman explained things as best we could, using horse-talk lingo like feeling “frisky” and “whips”.
I can’t decide if all the male moderators are thinking this is at all funny, but I know it worked well in my real life. There’s something magical about proving you have a dirty mind.
This experience has reminded me of how IT programmers reacted to me, one of the very few females anywhere near them. When they finally could see that I was open minded and had a sense of humor, they suddenly embraced me into their private club.
Then, they began to teach me everything they knew. It could be a male thing, where guys like to show off what they know, but I sucked it up with gratitude.
So for me, a mentor is not just “that great teacher” person. It doesn’t have to be a famous person. I became emotionally attached to them, and they to me. I worked with several different IT teams in different companies. The last one was with the group of Software QA Engineers who lured me into their industry and taught it to me. They became my adopted brothers. We worked, ate, slaved overtime and drank together. When I was laid off, during a 3rd round of layoffs during the dotcom crash era, these men cried. Including my boss.
You can get really close to mentors sometimes. I consider mine, gods.
If you have a mentor or two, what is it that makes them your mentor? What traits, practices, or methods worked for you?
Cre8asiteforums has launched something unique. Known for our Website Hospital and free user testing there, we have accepted a request by a company to test their brand new survey application. Functional testing, during a BETA test period, with live users, is not uncommon. This particular instance, it’s occuring in a forums environment, while the application is still in development (but ready for users, technically). Functional testing feedback for a software application in a live forums is risky. The search engines crawl these posts. If you want to see how we’re doing this, and want to join in, please see Survey Application BETA Test – JustASKthem.com, New Experience for Cre8asite Members
Related: View/test the new survey app in Blog Feedback
I’ve updated About Alt and Title Attributes
When you want to test your site on mobile devices, see How does your site look on a PDA, Google PDA proxy
Free advertising for events, jobs and new sites by Cre8asiteforums Events, for established members.
Free Usability Test Software Tool called Data Logger. “This spreadsheet allows you to measure task completion rates, analyse questionnaire data, and summarise participant comments. It even includes a timer so you can measure time-on-task.”
The longest post I’ve ever seen Andy Beal write. The Top 10 Business Mistakes Search Marketing Firms Make. Worth every penny of your time to read it.
Bill Slawski gets to talk, in 14th Colony interviews Bill Slawski about SEO and how patents can help anticipate changes in search.
Related resource: The Growing Power of Online Reviews
New Blogs (or some you may not know about yet)
Fresh Egg, a new blog by Fresh Egg. “Views and news from Worthing Web design and Internet Marketing team Fresh Egg.” Ammon Johns is on the writing staff.
SEOEggHead by Jaimie Sirovich, on SEO. It’s an excellent blog. He’s also writing a book!
Blizzard Internet Marketing Blog. Actually, this company has several blogs. This link points to their blog about blogging. This one is my favorite from them.
Joe Dolson on Accessibility. Get to know him.
Think Prospect. This company blog covers SEO, Usability and Web Design topics. Author, Sophie Wegat.
SEOPrinciple by Nadir Garouche is also on SEO and web design. The blog is nicely designed and easy to read, with the blocks of posts.