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Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Serial’

Sunday Serial: Five-Dollar Words, Quitting, Facebook Passwords & Texts from Hillary

Sunday morning paper by f_where

Sunday Serial is a semi-regularly weekly installment of the best articles written and read around the Internet during the past week or so. I try to introduce each article so you know what you’re getting in to before you click, though sometimes my synthesis goes a little bit deep. You can read previous Sunday Serials here.

20 phrases you can replace with one word by Laura Hale Brockway on PR Daily

Read this because: I’m a fan of brevity, and you should be too. As George Orwell said, never use a ten-dollar word when a five-dollar one will do. Whether that’s in every day speech or in your writing.

What I Learned From Quitting My Job…Twice. by Amber Nashlund on Brass Tack Thinking

Read this because: You’re on a path few have traveled. You are ready to shake things up, you’re ready to say “I quit,” but uncertainty is holding you back. Here are some great lessons to move you away from “un” and closer to “certain.”

I hereby (fictionally) resign by Reginald Braithwaite on raganwald’s posterous

Read this because: Last month, recruiters and hiring managers starting asking candidates for their passwords to their personal Facebook accounts. Why? So they could do a more thorough background check on the candidate’s personal life.

Then Facebook came out and publicly stated that asking candidates to give out their passwords is an invasion of the candidate’s privacy and that of their friends. And last week, the state of Maryland became the first state to ban employers from asking for Facebook passwords.

Don’t HR managers know to keep their hands off of our personal Facebook pages?

If you’re reading this, mouth agape, wondering “WTF?” read the above post. While a fictionalized account, it’s a good story about “what if.”

Bonus: Here’s what you should do (in the real world) if your employer or hiring manager does ask for your password.

Publishing is no longer a job or an industry — it’s a button by Mathew Ingram on GigaOm

Read this because: It’s no secret that I come from the book publishing world, so the advent of blogs, eBooks, online publishing, etc., anyone can be “published” and the assets that the old book publishing world used to bring to the table are no longer valuable. Digitization has killed this industry and turned it into a button. And I’m left wondering, would it have been better to be outsourced to China or replaced by a machine than a button?

But there’s hope – yes, the industry is dead. The mystery, allure, and “secret sauce” of what makes a best seller still exist, but the tools for production and sales channels are accessible to all. It’s not so much that publishing needs to disappear, but pivot. Instead of being the “process of distribution,” become the services that authors need – editorial, marketing, access to readers, and design.Ryan Gosling texts Hillary Clinton

Texts from Hillary on Tumblr

Read this because: It’s not every week that a meme is started and the subject of the meme, memes herself. As the final post says, “It turns out that memes really do come true,”

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: f_where

How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog by Using Ryan Gosling

Hey Girl meme, CrossFit edition

There was some pretty stellar content floating around the Internet last week, but perhaps the best thing I stumbled upon was CrossFit Ryan Gosling (full set on Facebook and on the co-creator’s blog).

Ryan Gosling, the Meme

“Hey Girl,” the meme, was originally started by Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling on tumblr, and made famous by Danielle Henderson’s Feminist Ryan Gosling. The blog was started as a joke to keep track of the theorists she is studying as she works towards her graduate degree in gender studies. The content has no affiliation to Ryan Gosling, the actor, and as with most things we encounter online, it doesn’t really matter because Henderson’s content is so damn entertaining.

Like all good memes, spin offs happen, and last week I ran into the most amazing rendition of the “Hey Girl” meme and that is CrossFit Ryan Gosling.

CrossFit Ryan Gosling was created (I believe) by Gabe Billings and Robin Runyan out of Eugene, Oregon and shared like mild wildfire on Facebook last week. You can view all 21 photos (so far) here.

Why CrossFit Ryan Gosling works: A Lesson in Marketing

The reason why Feminist Ryan Gosling worked so well and is (arguably) more famous than the original is because of a few reasons:

1) Know Your Audience

People who are “subject matter experts” of the target audience created Feminist Ryan Gosling and CrossFit Ryan Gosling who these pictures were created for. The person behind Feminist Ryan Gosling is studying gender issues; the people behind CrossFit Ryan Gosling is a CrossFitter. They wrote captions for people who are like them and about things that matter.

The fact that Ryan Gosling is featured is for entertainment only.

Takeaway: Know your audience intimately.

2) Find Your Niche and Stick to it

According to Know Your Meme, “Hey Girl” was created in December 2008 but made famous by Feminist Ryan Gosling when it came to the scene in the fall of 2011 and was featured on Ms. Magazine blog, The Huffington Post, GQ, Newsweek, Bust, and about a dozen more.

Why did Feminist Ryan Gosling do better than the original “Hey Girl” in such a short amount of time? Because Feminist Ryan Gosling had a very specific purpose: feminist flash cards.

Granted, I haven’t spent much time on the original site, but the name is telling – “Fuck Yeah!” doesn’t really tell me what your site and your content is about, whereas Feminist and CrossFit does.

Takeaway: When given the opportunity, specialize and become an expert over being a generalist.

3) Do it Because You Want to

The best part about Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling, Feminist Ryan Gosling, and CrossFit Ryan Gosling are that they are all fans – of the topics they parody at least. If you want to create some great content that will have some “stickiness” to it, you have to enjoy what you’re doing and come from a place of curiosity or heart.

CrossFit Ryan Gosling was created because someone at the creator’s gym came up with the idea and the set is what they all came up with. The creators are CrossFitter themselves. They’re not getting paid and they probably did it because they wanted to. And that’s what it’s all about.

Takeaway: You will create something noteworthy if you love the topic you’re creating first.

In Other Sunday Serial News

When you’re done lusting over Ryan Gosling, here are a few other articles for you to read:

What did you read this week?

Post updated on April 22, 2012 to reflect multiple authors and the official web “home” of CrossFit Ryan Gosling to be here. Thanks, Gabe and Robin for stopping by!

Sunday Serial: Babies, Wanting & Antisocial Behavior

As the Waves Roll In, Casey David:Casey Muir-Taylor

Hey, did you hear that my blog turned two this past week? I wish I could tell you that I’ve been celebrating by stuffing my face with all sorts of metaphorical cake – but I haven’t. Instead I’ve been reading, and here is the best of that I encountered last week.

Babies can understand what you’re saying at just 6 months old by Robert T. Gonzalez on iO9

Read this because: You have babies, or you don’t, but you are curious about how the developing mind works. This article is about a recent study that shows that babies, as young as six months old, are able to identify nouns when associated to objects. Fascinating.

How Bad Do You Want It? By Sam Davidson on Sam Davidson

Read this because: You’ve heard the story about young business man who meets a guru on a beach, but you’ve never read it before – Sam shares this story on his blog with some advice:

“When a want is unmet, we may feel uncomfortable. We might get sad or upset. Life can continue. But when a need is unmet – we suffer. We cringe, react, and are thrown off course. Something is amiss and we have to set everything else aside until we fix it.

Get rid of your wants. Start needing your dreams. Until you can’t go another day without chasing a passion, you’ll never lace up your shoes and get going. Once it becomes crucial to your happiness and wellbeing, then you’re ready to run.”

How Social Media Can Makes Us Antisocial by Tac Anderson on NewCommBiz

Read this because: You believe that social media has changed the world for the better. But then why are you sitting at home on a Friday night surfing Facebook to see who’s doing what or who’s also online in hopes that someone will send you a Facebook message?

Social media, while it gives us access to the lives of our “friends,” isn’t really all that social. It gives the appearance of being social, but in reality, it distances us from them and them from us. You have over 500 friends on Facebook, but when was the last time you called one of them to wish them a happy birthday in real life?

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Casey David

Sunday Serial: Defending Disney Princesses, Flipping Community & Not Quitting Your Day Job

man reading the paper smacks another man in the face

There are some weeks when you cruise the Internet and find nothing of value. Nothing that tells you to think about something you never thought you’d think about, nothing that tells you how to turn your perspective and gaze into the eyes of the same thought for a new time.

This wasn’t one of those weeks. This past week, three gems floated across my radar that flipped three usual thoughts on their heads: we should never have admired Disney Princesses; the customer is always right; and why you will quit your day job to live your passions.

Plus, two bonus articles that will make you a grammar and email snob. Enjoy!

How to Defend Princesses, Give the Finger to Your Community, and Why You Won’t Quit Your Day Job

Day 125: In defense of Disney – At our house, princesses love yoga and disco. by Harmony Hasbrook on 100 Days or More

Read this because: You loved Disney princesses when you were little and have spent every day of your life since you were eight years old learning how these fairy tales that Walt Disney Studios capitalized on were bad for you. They set you up to believe that you would grow up like a dainty little flower and were nothing until Prince Charming came to rescue you.

They were wrong. To most little girls, we did not see them the way that we’re told to see them as an adult. They represent something more than that; they are something that only the world of child’s imagination can create.

Bonus reading material: I shared a link to Harmony’s post on Facebook this week, here were the responses:

Discussion about Disney Princesses on lamiki FacebookDisney princesses shared on Facebook

Listen to Your Community, But Don’t Let Them Tell You What to Do by Jeff Atwood on Coding Horror

Read this because: As a community manager, one of the most awkward things you can do is ask my community what they think about a product or what features they can see. But what makes it awkward is asking that question if you know that there’s no way in hell that your development team will implement any feature request that comes from that community. So don’t ask the damn question.

This is a great blog post that shows a different side of community management. It’s a great read, for community managers and non-community managers alike.

Why You Won’t Quit Your Job by Daniel Gulati on Harvard Business Review Blog

Read this because: You hate your day job, or perhaps “hate” is too strong of a word. You’re not happy with this life, whatever this life is. And you know exactly what you want to be doing instead. You don’t want to work for them anymore. You want to work for yourself and do what you’ve always dreamed of doing. You want to set your passion free and chase it to wherever it’s going to take you.

Well, I’m sorry to say that if you were going to do that, you would have by now.

In this article, Gulati has revealed why most people described above will not make the leap that they really, really want to do. Since I heard the first person say to me – Quit your day job! Follow your passion! Live the life you want! – I’ve been skeptical as to why the majority of those people who cry and tell others to do it, haven’t even done it for themselves.

How to Become a Grammar and Email Snob

And we’ll cap of this week’s edition of Sunday Serial by linking to two articles with healthy tips on how to be a better you, through writing:

  1. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes by Jon Gingerich on LitReactor
  2. Want People to Return Your Emails? Avoid These Words by Sarah Kessler on Mashable

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Al-khairi

Sunday Serial: Books, Blogging, Innovation & Reading

Untitled, Hamed Saber

In the spirit of all things Sunday, here’s a list of some of the best I read this past week. Enjoy!

The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble, Taking on Amazon in the Fight of Its Life by Julie Bosman in The New York Times

Read this because: If you’re an indie lover like me, you never thought that you’d vote for the “big box” bookstore, ever. Except for the very brutal fact that these big box stores determine things like the very existence of printed books, as we know it. Indies rock, have way better service than the larger guys, but all the indies combined don’t have the buying power of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the distant memory that was once Borders.

This is not the time or place to go into an endless saga about the world that could be if we only had one channel to receive our books from, but let’s imagine that, for a split second. What if one company was in charge of telling publishers which authors needed publishing and which didn’t? What if there was one retailer who said – um, yeah, I don’t think we’ll be selling that one?

9 Ways that You Can Build a Blog that Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living

Read this because: You’re a blogger, a blogger-in-training, or just curious. Benny does a wonderful job of sharing what he learned building Get Busy Living in a way that anyone can adapt to their own blogging venture.

Bonus reading material: Matt Cheuvront over at Life Without Pants wrote a response to Benny’s post on his blog (with additional tips, too!): The Friday Response: How to Build a Badass Blog.

Innovating the Library Way by Grant McCracken on Harvard Business Review Blog Network

Read this because: Libraries have been around since the fourth century BC, and therefore, librarians can teach us businesses people a thing or two about acquiring new customers because, let’s face it, they’ve lasted the test of time.

This article is a great case study about how one library looked beyond the usual promise of adventure within its products (books), and found a way to renew the value proposition of what is and what could be found within a library.

Read it. And let me know this library’s marketing campaign would have worked on you.

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings by Alyson Sontell on Business Insider

Read this because: It has a damn good title, and you’re as curious as I am about finding out the scientific, secret sauce between success and failure.

Best Business Books of 2011: For every entrepreneur and intra-praneur by Sarah Peck on It Starts With

Read this because: You’re an entrepreneur-in-training like me. Or you’re not, and you’re just looking for the next book to add to your nightstand. The best part is Sarah breaks up her recommendations in categories like: Marketing & Advertising, Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, organization, and psychology. It’s like your own bookshelf, curated by Sarah.

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Hamad Saber