Monthly Archives: February 2015

Digital Hoarding; the Unseen Menace

Untidystorage PR Hilton

We see so much in the media concerning hoarding and hoarders these days, People filling up their homes with far too much stuff in order to compensate for less than perfect lives.

It’s very common to joke about having a messy desk and work area being fine, so long as you know where everything is.

The reality is somewhat different. You don’t have to be a member of the neat police to know that tidy spaces are more relaxing and easier to work in.

With the digital age it is so easy to have a spacious home with room to breathe and have a huge collection on digital storage.

The problem is that having is one thing, but needing and being able to use, is quite another.

When a hoarder has been helped to de-clutter, they will often be heard to say, how each layer removed is like another weight lifted from their shoulders.

The mind is far from simple and just being aware of a digital hoard, such as thousands of music, movies, text and images files, can also weigh heavy.

Out of sight is not out of mind at all. Just because the desk, room and home or office is tidy, does not mean all is as it should be.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. The modern digital age allows us to do what a few short years ago would have been impossible.

You are now able to own and store entire runs of magazines and comics, movie collections and full TV series.

The freedom is wonderful and the advantages great. However it is too easy to store something because it is available and might come in handy one day.

Having a larger collection or a digital archive is one thing, but having endless files tossed into folders and forgotten when the next cool thing is acquired, is pointless.

Keeping digital files should be about clarity and ease of use. It should be about having the ability to find a given file within a very short time.

A collection or archive becomes a digital hoard when it is uncared for. Too many people spent time collecting and no time organising.

The easy way out of this problem, is to spent time checking files and folders and moving files, making new folders and renaming others.

Deleting duplicate files can often save space and this makes it easier to see what is there. Get a filing system in-place. They’re used because they work.

And yes this is the voice of experience. I had a huge digital hoard at one time. I still enjoy having archives, but now I only keep things of interest and everything is to hand.

I learned the hard way. It took me a long time and I was amazed at how many duplicate files and images I had. My choice of folders made little sense.

Making simple changes, deleting files which would never be needed and placing others in areas which made sense, gave me the ability to be in control.

TidyStorage PR Hilton

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Be original and let all you do reflect you at your best

Be yourself PR Hilton

There is much said these days concerning ‘thinking outside the box’. Often this is just hype, but not when it comes to being original. We are all unique and it is this uniqueness, that individuality, which can make all the difference when it comes to how other people perceive us.

How many hours do you spend finding those great quotations and images which seem to capture you as a person? If you’re like most people, the answer is too many hours and too long. This can be a nice way to show the world a glimpse of you. However it can only ever be a kind of mirror image, because you are using copies of other people’s work, in order to convey who you are. This is unoriginal, flattering for the originators, but still only a second generation copy at best.

Being original is about looking at yourself and deciding how you would like the world to see you. If you are like most people, you’ll feel inspired by the lives and work of others. If this is the case, use quotations which you find inspirational. But use them in original ways, not by copy and paste, but by creation. Write them on card and photograph/scan/copy. Upload them. Always making sure to attribute their origins, sources and copyright, of course. If you love going to a certain place, take pictures, draw, cartoon, do anything which serves to highlight your own idiosyncratic nature.

The secret in showing the world who you are, is that you really are your own expert. There is no other person alive on this earth who can put into words, thoughts, ideas and imagery, all that is you. You might write poetry, reviews. Or you might have a wicked sense of humour or be an inspiring cook. You might be the most romantic person there is. You could just be someone who dreams of living in another age and time. Each of us is like a jigsaw puzzle, on the surface we are simply one image, the picture we present to the outside world. Beneath the box lid we are so many different shaped pieces, each with a specific place to fit, in order to make a cohesive whole.

It is often the things we consider boring about our own lives, which can serve as inspiration to others. All too often we offer the world a very sanitised version of ourselves, complete with edited thought, word and deed. Or we fall down in the other direction and share things which are not appropriate for sharing with strangers. To be authentic, we first need to look at who we are and what things we want to reflect ,and then set about doing so. Don’t be a copy of someone who inspires you, be an inspiration.

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Too far apart

Too far apart.

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Copyright ignorance is no excuse and could cost you dearly

Keyboardmouse PR Hilton

The internet has had a reputation for sharing every kind of media for twenty years. Cyberspace has been like the Wild West, with no law to speak of and people taking, using and distributing media without thought or regard for the owners of the copyright being used.  Things are changing and changing fast. People are not simply being threatened, but are being taken to court and successfully sued for breaches of copyright. A good friend of mine recently came up with the perfect definition for copyright ownership, if you don’t own the copyright to something, someone else does. This might sound simplistic and if it does, good, because it is.

Having things we own taken and used without our consent is theft. There really is no common ground here and we all need to be very careful about any and all content we use. Just because you have been using a certain image for years and nothing has been said about it, does not mean you have been granted permission. Bloggers have no legal right to use other people’s work and can and are being successfully prosecuted. Facebook and other social media sites are not outside of the law either. Even Twitter can be a dangerous place, if you happen to tweet an image that doesn’t belong to you. However, don’t despair for there are a few simple things you can do to make your online postings not only copyright safe, but also far more original, reflecting your own unique brand.

Free photographs. Join websites which offer free images, such as www.freedigitalphotos.net who allow you to use their images as long as you credit them. If you are good at photography, why not begin looking at your own images , not as family snaps, but as your own stock photo library.  Do be careful with any photo showing other people, as to use these you do need a model release, giving you permission. All those nature scenes and cityscapes can be perfect for your online jotting and reflect your tastes.

Look carefully at any headers you use for blogs, Twitter, Facebook or your own websites. If you are using a banner image made from found pictures, scrap it. Make your own banners in graphics programs such as Paintshop Pro or Photoshop. If this is beyond you, look around at your friends on and offline. Most of us know someone who can work with images and graphics. Any online collections you have made using found images, delete. With videos and audios it couldn’t be any simpler. Don’t use unless they belong to you or you have written permission to use them. Be proud to be your own copyright owner. Get creative and be legal.  If you don’t the next court case could involve you and could seriously cost you thousands. Don’t be the other guy that these things always happen to.

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Resist the red-line

Glasses on book PR Hilton

As you type in most word processors, webpages and email clients, the spellchecker highlights errors with the thin red line. Most people catch these mistakes as they go along, stopping and starting, until they reach the end of the page. Working this way gives people a sense of proofreading and editing on the go. However it is a trade-off and the results can be very poor. Let me explain. When you are in the mood for writing, whether creative or more mundane, you have a natural flow and if you stop and start, that flow is stopped and started and can become weak. Writing from start to finish is conducive to true creativity. Working in this way allows for the maximum output. It is easy to run back over the text and correct any errors after the piece is written. It is a mistake to think that working, editing and proofreading as a single process produces anything other than an inferior version of what could have been created.

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