An Introduction to Internet Charity and Cyber Begging: Creative Altruism or Destructive Selfishness?

Chances are you’ve seen it online, it’s something that’s become more socially acceptable yet is seldom fact-checked or scrutinized as thoroughly as it should be: cyber begging or Internet panhandling. Over the last decade, websites like Begslist.com have cornered the market for free cyber begging platforms.

As per usual, users should be aware of the fact that Begslist.com is just another content management system offering a “free service” that actually benefits from adding the personal information of its users to a database. Plus, Begslist only has to put in minimal effort as users upload their own stories to promote, which essentially becomes word-of-mouth advertising and translates to organic Begslist shares within the social networks of thousands of motivated (needy) individuals.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just important to realize that any information a person puts on the Internet will be accessible in the future, so, even though it’s currently legal and promoters say there’s little to no stigma in begging for money on the Internet now – who knows if it’ll stay that way.

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Favorite Writing Scenes: Pseudonyms, the Blacklist and Dalton Trumbo

The current state of blogging on WordPress leaves a lot to be desired. In addition to the daily posting spamming of inane writing prompts, there are all manner of “writers” who offer up writing advice… for a price. Spoiler Alert: there is nothing that these self-identified writing coaches can offer that hasn’t already been published elsewhere, for free.

A writer does not need permission to write, but a writer does need a reason to write. Every writer has different motivation: some are fond of myopic writing and often choose themselves for subject matter, while others are focused on the external world and write in order to affect change in the way people experience reality.

No matter what the reason for writing, we are always doing the same thing: making a record of the human condition at a specific point in time.

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Favorite Writing Scenes: The Importance of Keeping a Clean and Organized Work Environment as Portrayed in the Movie ‘Limitless’

The new “Favorite Writing Scenes” blog series is going to examine some of my favorite scenes from film and television that are about either: writers or the writing process. Each installment in this blog series will analyze a single scene (clip) by isolating a theme that illustrates an actual advantage to be internalized from the writing process being portrayed.

Today’s blog article will focus on the importance of “organization” to the writing process and how a productive writer tends to be an organized writer. However, the “Catch 22” of this is something that Dr. Daniel Levitin has pointed out, “The obvious rule of efficiency is you don’t want to spend more time organizing than it’s worth…If you’re finding things quickly enough as it is, then don’t go to all the trouble” (Feldman 2014).

Writers love to procrastinate, so we need to be careful not to turn cleaning and organizing into just another excuse not to write. It’s important to set work times with specific goals and to keep a clean work space in order to maintain focus on the task at hand: writing.

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On Writing: Decision Fatigue and the “Flow State”

Writers are a notoriously vulnerable group and because of this are often the target of online confidence scams, author mills, and nefarious types who are all to willing to sell writing advice or productivity “training” for exorbitant fees.

Obviously people are free to spend their time and money however they want, but taking advantage of the gullible has always been a pet peeve of mine. Not to mention, a lot of the information these people try to profit off of is already available for free online.

Whether or not the “Flow Genome Project” is pseudoscience is up for debate, however given the direct-to-consumer marketing of their ideas it’s impossible to classify this project as legitimate science. While there appears to be some truth to the concept of a “flow state” for increasing productivity, the explanations of how or why this works are more straight forward than the Flow Genome Project would have you believe.

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A Short History of Coffee and Café Culture in Europe

For most writers the legal drug of choice is caffeine and it is often administered through a hot cup of coffee. Because of this, it’s no wonder why so many writers fall in love with Viennese coffee houses; so much so that it even spawned a genre of writing called “coffee house literature.” In addition to coffee houses being a place to read, write and unwind, café culture can also foster wide range of valuable social interaction that only costs the price of a cup of coffee to participate in.

In February of 2016, a “Starbucks on the go,” opened in the newly renovated train station in Graz, Austria. This coffee stand sits lonely, unstaffed in a book and magazine shop in the center of a city in a country that is obsessed with its café culture; it is not hard to see how little a brand-name stand has to offer the coffee house scene in Austria.

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On Writing: WordPress and the Hashtag “#amwriting”

As an active member of WordPress for a little over a month now, there are a few idiosyncratic things that I’ve noticed while perusing through the content of various blogs.

First of all, there’s a lot of writing about “writing,” but this writing isn’t actually about anything. That kind of bums me out, because there’s nothing that I enjoy more than reading a well-written article that is about something.

While it can be difficult to come up with interesting topics to write about, this is why it’s so important to read the work of other authors so that you can allow some new ideas to percolate in your brain before you crap them out on the page. But this is only the first step, because the real key to writing well is editing that crap into food for thought that a total stranger would actually want to consume.

Empty platitudes about writing adorned with the hashtag “#amwriting,” are some of the most common posts I’ve seen writers making across social media. More often than not, this hashtag seems to be a way for some writers to stay relevant than it is to share an interesting piece of writing.

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