Tag Archives: michael hyatt

Making the Most of Facebook


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been trying to get my online time parred down to a minimum. It’s hard to do! The biggest problem is not wanting to short-change my “Friends” on Facebook. And not wanting to short-change my household or ministries.

So I feel as though I’ve learned a “flow” for getting the most out of Facebook in the shortest time:

Use your own time. As a matter of integrity, I use my personal time to interact with friends on Facebook. Employers trust us to do their work on their time. We’re free to do our thing at other times–lunch breaks, days off, before or after work, vacations, etc. These are the times I go on FB. My only exception is if FB links with my work–maintaining my readership here at David’s Place, Frontline, or for our church conference (mcacc).

7-10-Friend Focus. Working from broader to narrower. Though I have close to 400 “friends” only about 240 are people I know fairly well. Then I have an “Inner Circle” of about 30. These are people I know very well and have regular contact with so include in my closer circle. Then comes “Family,” which for me includes those who are like family or are in my spiritual family (usually they have lived in our home or we have led them to the Lord). It also includes natural family. And they are included in my inner circle. Then I have Marcy. This is how I have grouped “friends.”

I hate to offend anyone, but I can’t possible relate meaningfully to all these “friends.” So what do I do? I SCAN. I begin with “TOP NEWS.” I scan down for about 5 minutes, liking or making a quick comment as I go. Usually I hit a number of people who are daily in communication with me. I spend the most time on 7-10 people who tend to respond daily to links and shares I post. If I don’t see them in my 5-min. scan, I purposely look for them. That is made easy by the list on the left of my profile page. There you can make groups for quick linking to those posts. I don’t often visit friends (or family) who don’t post much.

Scan 3-7 sites. Some of my “friends” have websites or blogs. I am subscribed to 3-7 sites that I regularly read. Others I look at weekly or bi-weekly on Google Reader. Great place to gather all the blogs you want to read without having to go out to each one of them. NOTE: When I find a post I really like, I go to the original post on the site. Sometimes the author has other interesting posts or helpful options in columns or navigation bars.

Comment and Share. When I read something that someone has posted and I feel that my comment could be encouraging or helpful, I take the time to comment. I make sure to pray for those I say I’ll pray for in a comment. I try not to share my opinions unless I feel that they in someway confirm or encourage. In most cases, I just want to communicate that I’m interested and will pray or ponder what was shared. We all like it when someone takes the time to leave a comment. We know how valuable peoples’ time is. I also “Share” those posts I find helpful or inspiring or funny with people I think will appreciate them. I NEVER let my “friends” think that something someone else shared originate with me. I ALWAYS give attribution (assuming I know where it originated).

Follow links of value. Many of my friends send links of value. They are links that inform, encourage, engage, entertain, or otherwise help me or inspire my faith or life. One such “friend” is Michael Hyatt. This is the kind of friend I try to be. I want to be a friend of value to others. I want to build their lives and make them better for having known me or followed some link I send them.

Hide game scores. Unless, of course, to you they’re interesting. I don’t really have time for or care about people’s scores for online games. So I hide all games. I don’t hide the friend’s profile unless that “friend” sends game scores often or offensive shares. At that point I hide the person’s shares.

Limit your time I try to limit my time to 1hr. That can be all at once or a half-hour in the morning and then a half-hour at night (some interesting things happen in the course of a day. If you limit your viewing to once a day, you may miss important updates–like results of the latest biopsy on your friend’s little boy. On the other hand, I know people who devote WAY too much time to FB. They even have to check it on their phones and iPads while trying to have conversation with others. Avoiding extremes seems the best approach.

Deepen Relationships. Probably the best thing FB has to offer is that of deepening relationships at a distance. Often, I’m in touch with people that are geographically far removed from me. I love it that I can find out how they’re doing and what things are important to them. I would not otherwise be able to know if it were not for Facebook. As a busy pastor, author, and spiritual formation coach, I simply can’t relate to people who are not on my radar because they’re distant in time or geography.

For me, making the most of Facebook includes all the points above. The one I might add to it is. BE SAFE! Only give personally identifiable information to those “friends” who are really friends–you KNOW them. And then, give it ONLY in a private message, not in a comment or “What’s On Your Mind?” post. Make good decisions about how to approach Facebook and you will be making the most of your Facebook experience.

QUESTION: What guidelines have you put in place for your own use of Facebook? What helps can you suggest?

©2011, David C Alves

Most Helpful Blogging Tips


I’ve been blogging for nine years now. I LOVE blogging. So many people have asked me why I blog and how I started. They want to know how they can begin or improve. Others want to know how to increase their readership–what strategies have been most helpful for me and others.

Those questions led me to share some of the posts that have inspired me to begin and continue making my blog a source of encouragement and engagement for those who are on their spiritual journey.

These are the posts that helped me the most in my own blogging.

How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners (Problogger.com)

How to Choose a Niche Topic for your Blog (Darren Rowse)

Finding Your Blog’s Unique Voice (Jeff Goins)

What I Have Learned In Four Years of Blogging (Michael Hyatt)

How to Build a High-Traffic Blog Without Killing Yourself (Tim Ferris)

I hope you find these interesting and helpful as you begin or continue sharing your voice with your readers.

If this post is helpful, why not share it with your friends using the icons below.

QUESTION: Do you know of posts that have been helpful to you?

©2011, David C Alves

Follow @davidcalves

9 Favorite Posts by Michael Hyatt


For several years now, I’ve been following Michael Hyatt, the Chairman of the Board of Thomas Nelson–the largest Christian publisher in the world. Mike sees clearly and has a wealth of experience. He’s a great resource for authors, writers, fellow travelers on spiritual journey, and proactive, transformational leaders.

The following are my nine favorite posts from his website:

Should You Dare to Take a Sabbatical?

What Every Author Should Know About Radio and Television Interviews

Advice to First-Time Authors

Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?

Creating A Life Plan

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

The Future of the Book

Archives

Seven Steps to Writing a Successful Guest Post

This is a guest post by Jeff Goins on Mike’s website

Hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have. Please pass them on to your friends too. It’s great when we can help equip one another by recommending important resources by creative individuals.

QUESTION: Which are your favorite? Why?

Where is Your Life Going?


One this is certain! In life, you will not arrive if you don’t know where you’re going. Do you know where you’re going. Do you have a plan?

Marcy and I just returned from vacation. Every year we return to the same place at the beach right around the same time of year. We PLAN. We look forward to that two weeks. We make lists to pack, etc.

How often though do we lay out our Life-priorites? Do you have a plan for the direction and purpose of your life?

When I was a doctoral student, one of the most helpful and instructive requirements of one of our courses was to create and present our “Life Mission Statement.” In a recent post “5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing,” from Michael Hyatt, he offers a PDF eBook, Creating Your Personal Life Plan, for all those who respond to his post by subscribing for email notification. It’s a great and helpful book with introductory video by Mike. He is the ideal coach because of his success at carrying out so effectively his own Life Plan. After all, he was the CEO of Thomas Nelson and now is their Chairman of the Board.–not to mention a high end blogger and successful Christian writer in his own right.

If you need reasons for creating such a Life Plan or Life Mission Statement, read Mikes post. I’d probably add a couple more here:

6. You will be able to spell out just what you’re life circles around. And you can hand out copies to close friends and family asking them to pray for you in these areas.

7. Living out your Life Mission Statement is an example for others. They actually see your progress. God wants us to so live that people can see our progress and thank God for the answered prayers they send up on our behalf.

8. There’s tremendous freedom in having a plan. Sometimes there’s freedom in something that appears constraining. A good example of this is a train. Trains don’t do well just going whereever. They don’t run best on sand or in mud. They can’t go where they want, but they have tremendous freedom when on their tracks. They can get where they’re headed much faster on those tracks than off. You have the added benefit of being able to adjust which directions and to which destinations your track (priorities and goals) will go.

Expect adjustments. Eleven years ago, I wrote out my first Life Mission Statement. Sometimes you have to adjust. Under my personal goals, one was to lose 45 pounds by a certain date. The date came and went and I had only lost 10 or so. Rather than become discouraged and give up, I simply got out my LMS and readjusted the date to reflect a more realistic loss of 1 pound per week. After some time, I realized my goal.

Expect blessings. Involve the Lord as you write out your plan. Scripture says that if you “Delight yourself in the Lord , he will give you the desires of your heart.” I believe that as you worship and enjoy Him, he plants desires. Desires to grow, desires to plan and accomplish wonderful things. Watch the blessings flow as you honor God by being a good steward of your time and life.

As for the benefits in my own life, I have been able, with several adjustments, to:

  • Go deeper in the Lord
  • Reach weight and health goals
  • Become debt-free
  • Write several books and publish one
  • See my family growing and active together
  • Enjoy a marriage of 32 years and we’re still like newlyweds.
  • Accomplish several ministry goals

Perhaps these things might have “just happened” on their own. I guess we’ll never know. But knowing me, none of them would. I do not have the organizational skills or the self-discipline (though I’ve grown in both) to accomplish these without a plan. Nor could I have planned and succeeded without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who led me to write out a plan.

QUESTIONS: Do you have a written plan or life mission statement? Yes or no, as Dr. Phil says “How’s that working for you?”

©2011, David C Alves

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