Five beautiful truths

Thank you Edelman Digital for an awesome post! I could make each of these five tips a post on its own, but I won’t; that’d be weird. I’ll just chat about each of them in this one. Oh, but I suggest reading the Edelman post first, otherwise mine may be confusing…

1. “A man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” -Mark Twain

I completely agree. Where else would I have gotten the info for this link?

It mainly talks about digital writing but I think it applies to writing and communicating in general.

If you want to write about horses, you’ve got to know what other people are writing about horses, not only to be original but to understand the competition and also the audience.

If you want to talk politics with someone, you better be reading the daily news and know what’s going on.

If you walk into a job interview, you better have spent hours on the company website and creeped all over LinkedIn and asked everyone you know about the company and the people who work there.

2. Twitter is a casual way to engage with people you admire.

While I haven’t quite gotten the guts to talk with @MarkRaganCEO, I retweet basically all of his links. You should definitely consider following him. He posts really insightful advice, silly errors and everything in between.

You should also follow @prtini too. She is a genius.

3. I’m not quite sure I’ve found my niche yet, but I’m working on it. Hence the exploratory blog. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I plan to just write about the things I see, preferably relevant to communication.

4. While I hope to own a smart phone soon (keep in mind the poor college kid I still am for a few more months), some of us don’t have access to the internet and e-mail 24/7. I still have a hard copy of my AP Stylebook, dictionary and thesaurus. Oh, the luxuries of a young professional. I can’t wait!

5. This one is so true. If I need to write something, be it a blog post or a 30-page paper, I CANNOT check my e-mail. Because if I check my e-mail, which is always filled to the brim (there is definitely a brim; it keeps yelling at me that I won’t be able to send e-mails soon if I don’t delete some), I’ll follow the links and then get on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and WordPress and PRSA and the million other places built to distract me.

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Awareness is insanity

I was once told that I write like a first-grader. This is because I write in a concise and active voice. Through my previous expereince, I have learned that it is not preferred by me to fill my sentences with fluff and non-sense such as the sentence you just read. Instead of this. Brevity is my style. My writing moves forward. I don’t like to back into my words. My writing style parallels my personality too. Short. And honest.

I went to the CMA conference in Louisville, KY last fall. One of the sessions was about brevity and how to achieve it. A friend and I sat through the entire two hours session completely engulfed. It was amazing. Nothing, I hadn’t heard before but it was inspiring.

I recently found a link that suggested tips. If nothing else, now when you write you’ll at least hink about things like eliminating “that.”

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Media Addiction: So many toys

Imagine a place far, far away where there are no such things as mp3 players, e-readers, computers and cell phones.

Scary isn’t it? But that far, far away place is only about three decades ago. Our parents and especially our grandparents didn’t grow up with these things. And they sure as hell weren’y as addicted to them as we are now.

Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Recearch Center, did a study about who owns what gadgets. I was surprised to find out that Millenials didn’t always boast the highest percentage of people who owned certain products.

I’m glad to say that I own a cell phone, laptop, iPod and Kindle.

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More on the death of newspapers

This link is interesting because it opposes everything I have been hearing from professors and professionals lately. The article claims that newspapers aren’t doing as awful as we have been hearing.

Yes, the economy has been tough on everyone and the newspaper business has been in the public eye concerning the downturn–layoffs, cuts and closures all together. But, I have seen that local newspapers are doing just fine.

These media outlets offer something no one else can. Local news. No one else is telling those stories.

It is similar to what I have heard about school newspapers. No matter what you report, report it well and tell the story of your generation through your generation’s eyes because no one else is writing this down. Not the college-published publications, not the local city publications, and not the students as individuals.

We provide this to our audience. Local and loyal readers. Not even the NYTimes has this. This demand and supply will never die. No matter how the economy affects this industry, people who supply the news will always has jobs. We just have to find new ways of sustainability.

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Debating the death of the printed paper

We all know traditional news outlets are fading. Sadly the numbers don’t lie.

But awhile ago I was talking to Andrew Tobias, a fellow journalist, and he propsed a thoery that I 100 percent agree with. The thesis is that social media relies on traditional news media for the information needed to sustain conversation.

As much as the industry is worshiping social media’s feet, we think it’s overrated. If traditional news outlets fell off the face of the earth today. What would happen to social media? How would the community react.

In my opinion, social media would die as we know it. I didn’t say die forever, but change drastically. The bloggers and tweeters would have to do the reporting and dig for the news themselves. This is something they leave to the news outlets now. How would the world get its news?

Eventually the social media community would catch back up and regain strength enough to produce its own content but that would be a slow process.

Part of the hype of social media is that it is the consumers producing the content. This is incorrect. It is the consumers comentating on the messages that traditional style journalists produce. The consumers just virally spread the message, in turn doing the journalists a huge favor.

I really like this argument.

What do you think?

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What’s for you won’t go past you

I found out last week that I didn’t get a big scholarship I wanted. It was for the American Horse Publications’ Student Travel Awards to go to the annual conference in San Diego in June. I was really nervous about it. It meant that affording the conference would be much easier since I live 2,000 miles away. Fortunately, I prepared financially for not getting the scholarship, so I am still going and hopefully rooming with one of the girls who did get the scholarship. This conference will be so insightful and helpful. I can’t wait to meet all of the professional editors and writers and even my peers who understand my passion and need to combine my two loves: writing and horses.

As I begin to look for jobs, I’m trying to keep in mind “What’s for me won’t go past me.”

Oh and feel free to donate to the fund! 🙂

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