Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

Some lessons about customer service and being a caring corporate entity.

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NOT a Penske truck pictured here, obviously. But, I needed a truck photo for this article and did not want to soil my page with something as unsightly as their logo. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Recently, we went on a one-way long-haul trip from Portland to St. Louis. After researching rental trucks based on pricing, we ultimately decided on Penske (over U-Haul and Budget). Pricings differed widely for the basic rental but, once you crunched the numbers with all of the add-ons (insurance, moving blankets, etc.), Penske came out a bit cheaper. So, we went with them.

Then we set out across America. It was February, which meant cold weather and the possibility of running into trouble. …


Diet, Weight Loss, Health

And here’s how I’m feeling.

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Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

Usually, when I want to tune up my diet, I return to raw vegan foods for a while — salads, nut dips, smoothies, etc. I actually love all of those things, anyway, and they’re super-healthy no matter what diet you’re following. So, if/when I slip back into eating too much pizza (and/or other rich food that makes me gain weight), raw vegan food offers a dependable reset. I talk about this in what somehow became a mini-viral post of mine:

This time around, though, my wife found some interesting stories about the “all-potato diet.” …


An idea with many go-to lists to get started

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Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash

Sometimes, even though we’re writers by vocation, we just need a prompt to get us going. For me, I’m busy with a few WIPs, and to be honest sometimes feel like I’ve touched on every topic imaginable when it comes to writing about writing. I got to thinking that writing about writing might be easier if someone were to ask me questions about it.

From there, I though of this as a writing prompt idea: Seek out some author interviews online, copy down the questions, and then answer them as a published article (not necessarily here in The Writing Cooperative


The polarized Post-Trump era could mean a new frontier for businesses, an important career consideration for individuals.

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Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Intro: I’ve been on a little mission lately to try out publishing with some larger Medium publications. It’s tough because you have to invest time into writing these things on spec, submit them, and then maybe you get in / maybe you don’t. This one didn’t make the cut for its intended high-profile publication, so I’ll just pop it here in my own blog, as I still think it has its decent points. And, I’ll keep trying with some of those publications. :-)

IMHO, politics has significantly divided us (esp. Americans) for quite some time (esp. since the rise of…


SEO

A look into a conundrum faced by many small business owners and also those who tend to micromanage.

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Why I chose this photo: Because this business woman is shown alone. Photo by Keren Levand on Unsplash

As far as I’m concerned, as a long-term web development and marketing professional, there are just a few broad aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). There is (1) your web site’s infrastructure, (2) your content (which may be on-site or off-site), and (3) how you distribute that content.

I do a lot of SEO work here at Array. Typically, a client will initially have some sort of vague idea about SEO. Often, there will be a belief that the web site itself…


Text / Writing Utilities

A handy utility that I made for my own use (but anyone can use it) for crafting specific-length chunks of text.

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Photo by Chris J. Davis on Unsplash

It seems like, no matter where you’re posting, there’s a recommended length (be it a minimum, maximum, suggested, etc). Twitter has a 280 character limit, Kindle has a 4,000 character limit for some of the descriptions, and I write for various publications here on Medium that ask for specific ranges for titles and descriptions.

To use the tool, just go here: http://jpdbooks.com/text-helper

By default, it’s on the “Twitter” setting (280 chars), but you can also check Kindle (4000), or…


Advertising

Frankly, the offer is potentially confusing!

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Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

The other day, I got an email from Google entitled “Reminder | Your $150 Google Ads credit is waiting.” Now, much like many of the people at Google, I’m a programmer. So, I quite often approach language in the same literal, rational way that programmers often do.

There’s this old programmer’s joke that I’ve probably mentioned before: A programmer’s wife calls and says, “On your way home, pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, buy a dozen.” The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.

I’ve seen a lot of…


Decluttering Mentally and Emotionally

This purge was WAY overdue!

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Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash. This is absolutely NOT my desk, btw.

Today, I went through a five-pound stack of papers that had been occupying my office desk drawer, untouched, for a solid decade. Prior to that, they occupied my life, untouched, since 1991.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Marie Kondo shows lately, but I had a strong urge to declutter — and to ask whether the things I’ve kept truly “spark joy” as she puts it. Turns out many of them do not.

While pursuing an MFA at George Mason University in Virginia (an awful story), I was made to participate in a “thesis roundtable.”…


Selected Samples

Kind of a highlight reel of various writings.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Business & Tech:

Writing About Writing:


Online Scams

🚚 An interesting one I stumbled across the other day. 🚚

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Photo from a current Facebook scam post. This one shows the “Spartan” model.

The other day, I was casually browsing Facebook Marketplace and happened across an ad for a covered trailer (listed as “Carmate Enclosed Trailer” but also appearing as “2016 Spartan 14X7 Enclosed Trailer” and probably a bunch of other trailer makes/models).

I actually wasn’t in the market for a trailer, but by coincidence was planning on renting a U-Haul soon that would set me back about a grand. So, when I saw an enclosed trailer listed for about the same price, I got to thinking, “Wow, maybe I can just…

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