who decides what's heretical?Today is July 31. You know what that means, right?

We are more than halfway through 2011. Where did it go? How much progress have you made towards your annual goals? Or are you already looking ahead?

While you start thinking about that, here are some posts that made me think, laugh and happy. And they run the gamut from web changes to sound bite addiction to, yes, social media “heresy.”

1. 5 conversion-making website changes you can make right now, by Shakirah Dawud.

Why: Shakirah is one of the best writers I’ve come across in a long time (which is why I love that she’s part of the WUL blogging team). Her take on a recent webinar is great reading and easy to understand.

2. Speechwriting and the perils of the sound bite addiction, by Jill Foster.

Why: I love creating good sound bites, but there is a danger to falling in love with them, as Jill points out.

3. Calculate your blogging ROI in 9 steps, by Jay Baer.

Why: I particularly like the way Jay ends his post, when he says, “ROI stands for ‘return on investment’ and not ‘return on influence’ or ‘return on ignominy’ or ‘rabbit on interstate’.” Ha! Also, the nine steps are really good.

4. China puts US on eBay, from the Borowitz Report.

Why: have you ever seen anything as ridiculous as what’s going on in Washington right now?!

5. Do your clients thank you? from Lawyerist.

Why: I think you could adapt these principles even if you’re not a lawyer.

6. The 12 habits of highly connective people, by Valeria Maltoni.

Why: if Valeria’s writing were food, I’d be grossly overweight.

7. Social heresy 101: not every small biz needs a social strategy, by Jen Zingsheim.

Why: look at the way Jason Falls (whose original post sparked Jen’s post) and Jen interact with each other. As I said in my comment, “Thank you, civility, for rearing your beautiful neck.” And also read Jen’s post carefully (as well as Jason’s), because it’s true, not every small biz needs a social strategy.

Image: Rachel Hobbs via Flickr, CC 2.0