Posted tagged ‘blogs’

How do you feel about digital memories?

September 14, 2009

digital ageListening the OnPoint, the topic is whether it is possible to create a “total recall” for all our memories of our lives. With all the social networks like Twitter and Facebook–not to mention the plethora of others–should we as human beings be recording all the minutiae of our lives to be retrieved at a later time?

Should we supplement our memory with the digital gadgets like cell phones, iPods, social networks or other aids?

Is there anything to the argument that the more you memorize, the more ability you have to memorize other things in the future? With children, it’s clear that the more you stress their brain with input of classical music or shapes/colors, the smarter the child will become and the faster her brain will be able to process new input.

What do you think? Should we record things that we don’t “need” to remember in our lives?

It’s Summertime! Less Time Than Before.

June 8, 2009

tre-coverFor the past couple of weeks and probably for the next couple, we have been out-of-pocket–traveling to graduations and other family-related events. For this reason (and others we will keep to ourselves) I have failed to post frequently to this blog. (That’s my confession.)

However, I have been quite busy out in the real world and on LinkedIn making connections to people who can potentially provide me business. So I’ve been active.

Feel free to contact us at On the Mark Writing if you or your company need a well-written press release, a carefully-crafted press kit, marketing collateral, or editing services.

In this down economy, if you are unsure of the process of writing news releases or marketing collateral (i.e. sales letters) why not get a professional writer to create them for you? News releases are an excellent way to get people to talk about your business and subsequently driving traffic to your website. The key is conversations. If you create a dialogue between your business and your customers or clients, ultimate those conversations will create revenue in your pocket.

How ’bout it?

Accountability: Becoming the person you want to become

May 7, 2009

AccountabilityIn starting this recent chapter of my blog, I decided to create some sort of accountability which would hopefully “encourage” me to write on a more regular basis. Each week, I’m making a (seemingly) feasible goal of action.

This week, I have aspired to make contact with people in the mainstream (traditional) media, since I’m working to become the next generation of “new” media. So far this week, I have endeavored to for connections with 15 people from Facebook who work for CBS. Several have responded, but the rest have either ignored my friend request or haven’t taken action. Should I move on with others, or should I keep asking those who haven’t replied?

My second goal from my last post was to become more accountable by making more frequent blog posts. That’s an easy one. By doing just this, I’ve taken action to make it happen.

My third goal is to use my time more wisely: I accomplished this goal by implementing the use of a timer when using online aps on Facebook.

A friend sent me this Youtube video which I found sadly true and a bit amusing:

After watching it, I started making a list of my goals for next week:

  1. I need to have a business plan, something to fall back on when I get into a funk. I have never written a business plan, but I understand that by writing others’ business plans, it can be very lucrative, but first I want to have one of my own. Any advice from those who are more seasoned in business than I would be much appreciated.
  2. I intend to continue making connections in the traditional media.
  3. I will begin/continue trying to sell my services and those of others via social networks and the Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

Clear Communication Is the Key To Writing

April 13, 2009

strunkwhiteIn my inbox today, I found a message from CopyBlogger on a subject which interests me: Three Grammar Rules You Can (And Should) Break. In an article by Michelle Pierce, she encourages writers to question the rules which we have had beaten into us by our teachers and others who happen to be well-versed in the written word and applicable grammar rules.

1. Ending a sentence with a preposition

I have no idea where this rule came from. What I do know is that many people, in an effort to keep from ticking off the Grammar Police, start twisting their sentences around so as not to end them with prepositions.

Unfortunately, more often than not, the new syntax is terribly awkward and painful to read. Take the first sentence of this section, for example. “From where this rule came” sounds like something Yoda would say, not me. A big part of blogging is showing your personality through words. How can you do that when you’re twisting your phrases to suit some archaic rule?

In the interest of clarity and readability, it’s quite all right to end a sentence with a preposition.

Did you get that? “In the interest of clarity and readability…” That means it’s okay to write (or say), “Where y’all from?” I remember a Designing Women episode in which MaryJo posed that question to a woman with whom she shared an elevator. The woman replied, “We are from somewhere where we know not to end a sentence with a preposition.”

Without missing a beat, MaryJo rephrased her question, “Where y’all from, bitch?”

Although I will usually let a preposition at the end of a sentence or question slide, my blood pressure and rockets skyward when I hear the preposition “at” as an ending: “Where you at?” or “Where do you work at?”

2. Beginning a sentence with “and” or “but”

Somebody, somewhere, once decided that you shouldn’t begin sentences with conjunctions. Maybe it was an overzealous teacher who thought her students were doing it too much. My guess is that it was frustrated mothers who got sick and tired of hearing their children start every single sentence with “But Mo-om!”

The rule even got screen time in the movie Finding Forrester, when Sean Connery and Rob Brown have an entire conversation about it (and deliberately start their sentences with the offending words in order to make their points).

Regardless of how it began, you don’t have to stick with it. It’s perfectly all right to start your sentences with “and” or “but.” It’s a great way to grab attention and emphasize a point. But, as in all things, take it in moderation.

I completely agree with the breaking of this rule. Both “But” and “And” are transitional words which form a bridge to thoughts conveyed in the previous paragraph. A journalism professor once explained to the class that it is acceptable to use transition words like these at the beginning of a paragraph. And that’s what I tend to do on a regular basis.

But that does not mean that the writer should begin an article or post using those words.

3. Splitting infinitives

How often have you heard that you’re not allowed to let another word come between “to” and its verb? Some people hold that construction with the same reverence as is typically given to marriage: that which the writer hath wrought together, let no man tear asunder.

Except that it’s really not that big of a deal. Come on: “to go boldly where no man has gone before” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “to boldly go.” If it sounds better to split the infinitive, then take an axe to it!

Don’t cling to the ancient rules just because your high school English teacher told you to. Be a rebel and break free of these nonsensical shackles!

Though I usually try to adhere to the grammatical rules I have been taught while both speaking and writing, sometimes this rule is appropriate to break. “Boldly to go” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “to boldly go…”

Though our English teachers would like us to think that all these rules were handed down to Moses like The Ten Commandments, they were not. And except for a few self-important grammarians, most people understand that sometimes rules can be broken…or at least bent!

The important thing is for what you have written to convey the intended message with as little chance of misinterpretation as possible.

How ’bout it?

Making $$$ with the Social Web

January 19, 2008

relationshipeconomy-mid.jpgAds and emails (spam) proliferate the internet promoting hundreds (or thousands) of “get rich quick” schemes. Many of the ideas promote and advocate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools or “spamming” friends and contact lists with products to enlarge, slim, or whiten or generally make some aspect of their lives better.

But those “businesses” don’t get it. The social web is not only a tool with which one can promote products – which may or may not do what the ad-execs say they will. Think about it, why would a business release trade secrets to a worldwide audience that reveal its money-making ability? Bottom line, it wouldn’t. Especially if that particular business has a corner on the market (i.e. if it’s the only business doing whatever it does).

The true key to making money on the Web

In The Cluetrain Manifesto, Doc Searls states that markets are conversations. The Social Web is simply a technological tool which enables these conversations, and the conversations (should be) designed to be influential to others. It is not just for the younger generations. Social Networking Strategist (mogul/guru) Jay Deragon explores this fact in his blog.

Call “it” a fad, a “thing that kids use” or whatever you want but to ignore “its” influence is like saying “Our business doesn’t need any customers”.

The new “system of influence” is unlike any other system used by business. Its primary elements are connectivity with people and conversational content which connects people. So how connected is your business? How influential are your conversations? Maybe you need a new “system.”

The real key to making money on the web is by having good conversations. The quality of the conversations is determined by the contentwhich makes them up. The sphere of influence can be established and grown by attracting more readers to whatever the portal happens to be. The “MySpace Generation” doesn’t get it. Many people post on other peoples’ walls or personal pages with comments like, “Just wanted to say hi!” or something along those lines.

While that may be fine for the younger members of the social web, business people need to have quality content in whatever they post. Quality content provides greater readership, which provides a greater sphere of influence, which will, in turn, provide the business with more clients and customers.

The Long and The Short of It:

When pop-up ads or emails come across the screen professing to be the “best thing since sliced bread,” one should be very skeptical and view whatever offer with a degree of cynicism. The surest way to become wealthy through the Social Web is to produce high-quality posts with good content. It’s really not a quick process, is it?

 How ’bout it?

Personal Branding: Easy Ways to Get Started

December 14, 2007

communications-factors-logo.jpgIn the Relationship Economy, you need to create your own brand so that when people see your name, they automatically think, “Oh, that person knows about craft beer,” or whatever you know about. The same way Mr. Walt Disney created “the happiest place on earth,” you need to have people think, if not say the name, of you and your brand.

Whatever your line of work is, whether sales, management, songwriting, or marketing, you need to create your “brand” to drive yourself to the next level. Personal Branding expert, Dan Schawbel explains the importance of branding. By branding themselves, “individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence.” 

Bloggingis an excellent way to create a reputation. But just setting up a blog on blogspot or wordpress won’t get it. Those two sites are fine, but you have to be disciplined in order to create brand, or name, recognition. By posting only when you feel like it or when the mood hits you, you won’t create “fans” – the readers who return to read and re-read your posts. You need to do it at least five or six times a week, if not every day.

Social networksare another fun way to increase brand recognition. But again, the use must be consistent. Posting to the boards only when you feel like it won’t really give you credibility or the reputation of an expert. At least once a week, you need to make some sort of contribution to online social networking sites. In the virtual world where everything is online, it is even more important to make your presence known than in the physical world. Who would expect to gain anything from traditional networking-groups if they didn’t even go? I get several newsletters about networking, and one of the first tips was to get to the meeting early and leave late. By spending more time there, you meet more people and can establish yourself as the expert in your field. The same is true with virtual networking groups. The more time you “invest” online, the quicker you will establish yourself as the expert.

Generating relationship capital is another great way to create your personal brand. By establishing relationships and a rapport with others, you are not only generating possible leads, but confidence in you – that you know what you’re doing. As Dan says, create your own evangelists! Get others who believe in you and your brand to tell more people. It’s a little like viral marketing.

Do you get it? Personal Branding is the key to pushing you, your career, and your business to the next level!

How ’bout it?

It’s the GOSPEL!

November 16, 2007

800px-gutenberg_bible.jpg

The times change; communications change; technology enables communications to be easier and less restricted to only the well-educated and the technologically savvy. When Johannes Gutenberginvented movable type in the 1430s, he started a revolution which could only be imagined in the Catholic Church’s worst nightmares. After 1510, Gutenberg’s press enabled the mass-production of The Bible. The credit for the Protestant Reformation goes to Martin Luther, but without Gutenberg and the European invention of movable type, Luther could have never translated the Church’s Bible,which Catholic monks had been transcribed by hand throughout Europe, into the more accessible German vernacular. Do you think Gutenberg even imagined that his press would have such an impact on the world for centuries to come?

Luther’s translation of the Bible, in addition to his 95 Theses, led the Protestant Reformation. Luther challenged the authority of the papacy and changed the thinking of the common-man: The only requirement, Luther said, to receive Salvation and go to Heaven was faith in Jesus Christ. No longer did people have to go confess their sins to a priest before dying in order to get into Heaven. People now were considered to be of the “general priesthood.” They didn’t have to go through years of training in order to have access to God. Luther took out the middlemen – priests.

Just think about this: Could Justin Hall, who began eleven years of personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, even begin to think about the vastness and range of blogs in 2007?

Will you be remembered some 13 years later for your Personal Brand or blog posts? Think about this: We are endeavoring to change the way the world works through the creation of social networks and collaborative networks. In 600 years, will someone find information out about YOU and say, “He/she was an early adopter of the online social networking strata which gave birth to the networks we know today?”

How ’bout it?