Tag Archives: social media

Social Media Challenge Goals, Day 2


For the second day of the social media challenge we’re discussing our goals. My overall hopes are to continue with coherent, productive, efficient weekly schedules, breaking down monthly schedules fashioned from three months of challenges in 2011-2012. Also, because I’m a neophyte in the world of literary publishing, it’s imperative that I determine an annual schedule as well. Considering reading schedules of literary magazines, this is essential.

Here are my specific and general writing and social media goals for the month, year, and life.

Optimize my social media skills.

Gain 100 new Twitter followers each month for the next year.

Gain 108 subscribers to my professional Facebook profile.

Get published twice more this spring.

Get three more pieces published this year.

Build my author platform to a level that will pique the interest of publishers.

Build up the participation levels of the two monthly online chats I start hosting in April on SheWrites.

Become a regular member on Litopia.

Build my network of fellow writers.

Help someone get published.

Gain the focus, concentration, detachment, and patience necessary to start and complete a book– whether a collection of essays or narrative nonfiction– that I can be proud of.

Increase my blog readership to the point where more writers, those in the publishing industry, and travelers leave more comments. Hopefully it will build to the point of earning some reliable cash each month. I’d like my blog writing to be more professional, more literary, though by no means do I want one of those “This is how to be a professional writer, now buy my…”. There are so many other grand writers to do that. To help reach a higher literary quality in my content, I’m considering dropping down from 10 monthly posts to eight, especially because many people come to see as a chore those blogs which publish more frequently.

Enter (and win) at least one contest.

Enter the world of writing residencies. It’s lately occurred to me that this may just be the way I comfortably land back in my own country.

Improve my writing, por supuesto!


Much luck to all other writers participating in the social media challenge. For those of you who aren’t yet doing so, it’s certainly not too late to start.

Publishing Blog Offers Writers Tips, Intellect, Laughs


It wouldn’t be fair to call this week’s Media Monday’s installment a “review” of the publishing blog AdadPress. Jason Boudreau’s blog has been on my blogroll for months, after all. He’s one blog I make sure to catch up with frequently because I always glean insight into the world of publishing– traditional, self, hard or soft covers, and ebook. Whether reading as a biblophile, a writer, or a hopeful author, others who enjoy the blogosphere will enjoy that his posts are never less than informative. Even his subtitle is catchy, “Looks Like We Got Us a Reader”. It’s also a subtle forewarning that Boudreau’s unapologetic for being…intellectual!

Boudreau’s posts on his publishing blog are always brief yet impressively packed with reflection and information. He covers industry trends and contests, current events in literature and comics, and other items in the esoteric periphery to writing. In one post, he connects Herman Melville’s 192nd birthday to a Moby Dick mini-series starring William Hurt. In another he waxes humorous after finding a photo with this lovely re-(Sir)-mix-a-lot: “I like big books and I can not lie.” In yet another post he might discuss how to write a novel in three days or the histories of libraries or of Times New Roman.

One post that repeatedly comes to mind concerns software to help prevent author distraction. This doesn’t seem to ring through for me because, evidently, I’m a rare bird who gets so focused on writing that nothing else in the world exists. Yet I like the post because it echoes what so many other writers claim as their shared problem. I see the light blinking on my Gmail and my Yahoo and my Facebook and hear it in my Mac Mail, but it would never occur to me to use software to prevent these images. I simply ignore them. Perhaps I like the post because it reminds me of at least one problem I don’t have. Whenever I hear of another writer besieged with that quandary though, I send them the Adad post.

I tend to clamor to the blog otherwise to see what Boudreau’s saying about Kindles, the publishing industry, and book rights.

Adad publishing blog’s design is clean with professional graphics, free from clutter and blinking distractions, and simple to navigate. It’s updated regularly, therefore it’s always timely. Boudreau’s resourcefulness and creativity make me curious about his forthcoming book.

See the author’s guest blog post here, which decidely contradicts the fact I said his were brief, yet undergirds what I said about his being informative. Learn more about the blogger and the story behind Adad, the publishing blog.

Podcasts Provide Entertainment for Travelers


Terry Gross’s soothing voice murmurs into my ear. She’s talking about Project Nim, a new documentary about a chimp named Nim. This chimp had  served as a scientific experiment that evidently played out more like Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan than a permanent child. One of the women charged with both mothering him and remaining objective as a scientist suffered tremendous physical violence at the hands of Nim. She describes a violent episode in which her face was deeply torn, exposing the inside of her very body, and immediately I look for the safest, closest place to vomit.

I’m listening to a National Public Radio podcast of FreshAir.  It is one of many NPR podcasts I’m grateful for. NPR is a vast source of  information beyond the architecture and urban planning, the social media, the travel that I write about. The 100 episodes awaiting me amongst the 25 free podcasts I subscribe to offer a world away from my own. They provide continuing education. They provide stellar ambiance when I’m writing posts such as this one. They’re with me at the flick of my mouse in India or Costa Rica, Hong Kong or Peru.

In 2005 I wrote an article about a guy in Sarasota, Florida, who was single-handedly making podcasts a household term.

“Podcast? What’s a podcast?” an editor asked when I pitched the story.

“That’s exactly why you’re going to pay me to write this story,” I responded.

Within the week I had sat in the podcaster’s house and watched him before his high-tech recording gadgets that looked like an at-home recording studio. Afterward, I hurried home in a flurry of excitement, went to PodcastAlley in search of topics I’d like to listen to, and downloaded them for on-demand listening on  an iTunes account. Joy! There were psychology podcasts such as Australia’s All in the Mind, film shows such as Chicago’s Filmspotting, even news shows such as NBC Nightly News and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann (who now has only bits of his Current TV show available via podcast) and The Rachel Maddow Show. These are mostly mass media podcasts, of course, but there are also the type like my original newspaper article. I’ve found several on comedy, meditation, and travel.

Now let’s answer my previous editor’s question, “What is a podcast?” A podcast is a video and/or audio recording that’s uploaded to cyberspace for your access at any time. You set them to download automatically and they’ll remain fresh until you click on the show for a listen or a viewing. Some last two, others last ninety minutes. They are commercial-free. Viewers and listeners can enjoy them on a computer, iPad, or smart phone.

By now I suppose it sounds passe to say I listen to and watch podcasts, as I haven’t heard the word mentioned in conversation more than a year. Then again, they’re fairly high tech and exemplify the very democratic purpose of free speech. That’s why I make a point of exposing friends and clients to them in whichever country I’m living in. More on that in next week’s Media Mondays department.

Podcasts are weightless, digital, and usually free– three words a world traveler likes when contemplating entertainment from home.