Category Archives: musings

Celebrity accessibility via Twitter & Facebook – @doctorkarl, @wjdavies, @neilhimself, @orangewriters

Reaching out to interact with those we find wonderful/talented/beautiful/intriguing and having the opportunity to be noticed by them, or even engage with them is exciting, and with the explosion of social media in recent years, those opportunities have expanded. The latest trend of accessibility of those we hold dear who are also well-known is cool.

My own list:

    Authors

Hugh Howey
Neil Gaiman
WJ Davies
Jason Gurley
Patrice Fitzgerald
Judy Blume
Michael Bunker
Tahlia Newland
Piper Kerman

(gee, no obvious trend there)

    Television Actors / Writers

Wil Wheaton
Marlee Matlin
John Barrowman
Wayne Brady
Shawn Ashmore
Eliza Dushku
The entire cast of Orange Is The New Black
OITNB’s writers

    Science-y Types

Michio Kaku
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki

The cast and writers of Orange Is The New Black often have “Twitter parties” scheduled for an hour at a time once a week where fervent fans are given the opportunity to ask questions and have a much higher likelihood of getting a response.

Self-published authors frequently use the interaction of Twitter and Facebook to engage their audience, encouraging loyalty as well as effective word-of-mouth advertising via shares and recommendations. Almost all of my new book purchases come via the recommendations of people I trust, especially the rec’s from authors of other authors THEY like.

Who do you interact with that could be classified as a “celebrity”, be they local, niche, or “in their own mind”?

Amazon.com Reviews – Review it Right … or Else!

I’m relatively new to the Amazon.com Review scene.  I began in September of last year (2011) and I’ve mostly enjoyed it.  My most recent review, however for Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate… by Eric Blehm, was only 2/5 stars, and boy…. am I feeling the wrath!

The first comment to my review asserted that I disliked the author’s storytelling because I’m simply unfamiliar with non-fiction writing and its tendency to be dry.  No sale, fair critic – non-fiction makes up at least half of my reading, and almost never do I cringe page after page like I did with Fearless.  Tonight I received an emailed comment to my review, which was apparently promptly deleted by its author:

[name removed] says:

Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but it’s one thing to say one didn’t enjoy an author’s writing style, and quite another to say that it’s “horrible.” I am an avid reader, across many genres, and have only come across a handful of books that I would deem truly poorly written. In my opinion, Eric Blehm’s writing is the exact opposite, easily falling within the top 15 percent: it is simple, concise, powerful, and handles the religious aspect with grace…I do not have a religious background at all yet did not feel bombarded by it in this book. In fact, after reading this review, I thought back over my own reading of the book and just could not understand how anyone could feel that any element of this book is “horrible.” Also, I do not know the Brown family, yet I still find it…

The email cuts off the latter part of the comment, unfortunately, so I have no idea what they wanted more to tell me about how wrong my review really was!  I find it strange that someone even gets the urge to critique someone’s personal experience of written word.  It’s sort of like music snobbery (which I also don’t quite understand).  If I don’t like a song, no amount of your outrage at my disliking it will convince me otherwise.  Sure, work yourself up into a tizzy at your own expense, but don’t expect me to change my mind just ’cause I’ve offended your sensitive egos (somehow).

Soon after, a new review popped up (as username Patriot Pete!) which was mostly comprised of critique of my and a few others’ (all < 4 stars, of course) reviews… sort of a meta-review.  I find that against the spirit what the Amazon reviews are meant for, but I don’t think it necessarily violates any of the Terms of Service.   If it does, let me know and I’ll report the hell out of it!  I did leave a comment to his “review” because he accuses me of having an axe to grind politically or against the military.

The only axe I have to grind is the one against poor writing skills.

If this is what I have to look forward to with Amazon.com reviewers, bring it on.  I have no intentions of “rounding up” on my reviews simply because I want to avoid reaction from random strangers on the internet.  I am going to review books honestly as I read them, and writing skill is such an immense piece of the puzzle for me in terms of enjoyment.  When writing is choppy and sloppy, it pulls me out of the story completely.  This, to me, seems quite opposite of what the author intends.  I intend to let them know.

I’m a brand new blogger – how do I extend my reach?? [@Triberr]

triberr-comment-system-41

Breaking into the blogosphere is intimidating.  You’ve got established bloggers who’ve got huge numbers of followers, their own TV shows born of their blogs, and nearly every celebrity with a website has a blog of some sort.

How can I ever hope to make a dent?

You’re lucky, ’cause I’m about to tell you a secret:  Triberr.  Now, you hold on to that name, keep it somewhere safe and warm, and tell everybody you know all about it.

Let me break this down:

Triberr is a networking powerhouse.

  • You link up via “tribes” with other people who share interests (and blog posts) similar to yours – momblogs, cooking, technology, gardening, anything.
  • Each of my tribesmates brings to the Triberr table their own set of Twitter followers.  This adds up fast!
  •  When your tribesmates post a new blog post, you tweet it out to your followers, as do the other members of the tribe.
  • As an example, I’m a new blogger, and I only have 191 followers on Twitter.  Thanks to the magic of Triberr, my blog posts are being re-tweeted to a potential audience of nearly 100,000.  That’s an incredible explosion of audience potential

– Innovations & Webinars

Triberr is making changes that are sure to effect Blogging As We Know It ™.

  • They’ve created via a plug-in the ability for your tribesmates to re-blog your content, thrusting your content into syndication, and exploding your reach potential.
  • They’ve created the Triberr Global Commenting System, which brilliantly assembles all of the comments from all of the syndicated posts all over the internet in ONE pretty, concise place.  The author has a powerful, simple way to keep track of all feedback, regardless of how far and wide their post has spread.
  • Comment Anywhere (Floating Comment System) – wow, this one is cool.  For someone like me who is eager to leave comments the minute I see something that resonates with me, this system is beautiful.  A picture will help you visualize how this might be implemented.
  • Pinterest Integration – here’s something new and fresh.  Pinterest is quickly gaining ground as an untapped marketing goldmine for people who know how to utilize it.  Sure, the pictures are hilarious, the food looks delicious, and the organizational ideas are neverending, but can you imagine earning money using it?  Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo (the masterminds behind Triberr) are hosting a Webinar on how to get in on the ground floor of the earning potential of Pinterest & Your Blog.  http://triberr.com/blog.php?post=29563
      • How to Pinterest for Bloggers
      • Drive traffic, build authority, connect with influencers, and make money on the fastest-growing social media site today.
      • April 3rd 11:00am-1:00pm Eastern Time
      • $25 (or 350 bones)
      • Registration Status: OPEN

Sign-Up!

  • Just get started on Triberr.com.  There is no upfront cost.  In fact, you start out with a gift of 100 “bones” (Triberr currency used to join tribes and various other tasks) so that you can jump right in.
  • If it’s easier, let me know and I can invite you straight in.  All I need is your Twitter handle or your email address.  I’m @twistysense on Twitter.

Other Helpful Resources

  • All About Triberr 
    Step by Step and How Tos from AllTriberr.com.
  • New Member Training
    Join Christina via Skype every Monday at 7PM EST, and ask your most pressing questions.
  • New Triberr WordPress Plugin
    Avoid RSS issues and import delays and help your tribemates read your posts inside the Tribal Stream. For self hosted WordPress blogs.

Consuming The Walking Dead! Just Can’t Get Enough.

the_walking_dead-season-2

I think I’m an introvert at heart.

Sure, sure, I am capable of socializing and engaging with people, and rather well… but give me the option, and I will sit with myself and think (and think) and think (and think) about a whole bunch of things.  Every once in a while, I get stuck on something and I truly pour my heart and soul into it.  I research and I “network” all about these topics.

When my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, I researched for hours.  I linked up with people whose young children were going through treatment or had gone through treatment similar to my daughter’s and I read and read.  When I was pregnant for the second time after a cesarean section with my first, I drove myself, my husband, my family, and my friends absolutely batshit with my inability to stop. talking. about it.

My current mental obsession?  AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Man, I love this show.  It is hands-down the goriest visual entertainment I have ever experienced … and it’s on basic cable!  I’m terrified by it, I am stressed out by it, and I am fascinated with it.

Given that zombies are not real, each show or book on the topic is required to set up its own rules and its own lore.  I’m one of those sticklers for accuracy.  Those annoying people that says, “Wait, if they’re not able to figure out how to open a door, how did that one just get inside?” and then I go online and I seek out others who’ve found the same holes that I have, and then we fanwank.

At the moment, my two favorite places for both fanwank, continuity, digging deeper into plotholes, etc, are:

TelevisionWithoutPity Forums, and Roamers & Lurkers

Are there any other forums out there you know of for The Walking Dead?  Do you participate with others regarding your favorite shows?

The Walking Dead Quiz at Smarterer.com [a bzzagent post]

Proving you know what you claim to know is paramount to a lot of online chest-puffers.  Facebook statuses (statusii?) and Twitter are abuzz with quiz results – people sharing the depth and breadth of their knowledge on everything from 80s trivia (You Know You’re a Kid From The 80s When…) to sussing out which Twilight Character you really, truly are – deep down inside!

I’m a BzzAgent and one of my latest campaigns is checking out Smarterer.com – a one-stop shop for quizzes bursting at the seams to show your friends what you know.

I was honestly surprised this morning when I went back to the site for yet another round of quizzing and found there was no quiz for my favorite show: The Walking Dead. Aghast, I took the opportunity to go ahead and create the quiz myself.  Please, go check it out!  Add some questions if you’re a Walking Dead fan.  Take the quiz!  There are only three questions so far, but as I plug along during the day I’ll be adding more.

So get over to Smarterer.com and show what you know!  Create some new quizzes, share them on Facebook and Twitter, and be the smartest and shiniest star of all your friends.

Disneyland: SIGNin’ In The Street – Downtown Disney District – March 17 and 18, 2012!

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/02/disneyland-resort-celebrates-creativity-in-deaf-community/

The event will spotlight top performers, interactive workshops, film screenings and appearances by the stars of ABC Family’s hit series, “Switched at Birth”: Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Constance Marie, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett, Lucas Grabeel, Sean Berdy and Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 15:  Actors Sea...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

In addition, two episodes of the show, including an exclusive sneak preview of the spring finale, will be screened at AMC Theatres on Saturday, March 17. Tickets to the screenings will be limited, so make sure to check back here to find out how you might grab one!The “Switched at Birth” cast will be on hand earlier in the day for panel question and answer sessions, as well as autograph signings.

I would like to see what I can do to get there!  I am a big fan of the show “Switched at Birth” on ABC, and of course Deaf events are my favorites.

Trapped by Technology – A gadgetphile comes clean.

I am a long-time lover of gadgets.  I don’t give a hoot about clothes, shoes, hairstyles .. all the things my daughter consumes herself with (are we sure she’s mine?) are of little consequence to me.   Don’t get me wrong, I put effort in, but it’s minimal.  It’s what gets me by to avoid ridicule, institutionalization, or getting side-eyed.  My focus is and always has been on emerging technology.

Link fights enemies on the overland map of Hyr...I am historically an early adopter.  I spent half my high school career playing Super Mario Brothers 3.  Legend of Zelda’s graphics & musical integration were off the hook.   I couldn’t believe how good we had it!  And this was early-90s.  And by early-90s I was deeply in love with technology, gadgets, and all the wonderment that accompanied them.

All of this is why I find myself confounded by my lukewarm feelings towards e-books, e-readers, etc.  This is my milieu, y’know?  I should be dripping with love for e-reading.  I’m not.  I am too easily distracted, and absolutely forget reading books at any decent pace while on the computer, iPad, or iPhone.  If I can switch apps and go do other crap on the internet, check my messages, play Words With Friends, I’m done.  I get lost, and the effort to get back to where I was in the story is overwhelming.

Recently, I was reading 11/22/63 on an e-reader, and hadn’t paid attention to how many pages it had.  Browsing books at Target one day, I picked up the behemoth hardback of the same book, and was utterly shocked how thick it was.  Shocked more, still, that I was already halfway through!

Kindle 2.0

Definitely, definitely, had I seen the size of the book before picking it up to read it, I would have been overwhelmed from the get-go … much like I am with Under the Dome.  But I find myself so drawn to the feel of books.  Holding it in my hands and turning the pages with my fingers… the smell of books!  Having a visual reference for how far through the book I am and absolutely NO idea what percentage I’m at.  These are all huge draws for me.

I wish physical books came with an electronic copy (much like many movies these days do – buy the DVD/Blu-Ray, and you get a copy you can put on your mobile device or computer) so that I could switch between them depending on my circumstances.  Reading at home with ample light?  Physical book. Reading on the go? Kindle.  Reading in the dark?  Kindle Fire.

Bottom line: I love reading.  I will engage in reading regardless of my feelings of the medium on which I’m doing it.  I am not at the point where I want to pay for both electronic and physical editions separately, but that doesn’t mean I won’t choose one and go with it.  Book me up!