A Little Birdy Told Me…Week of 11/28/11

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was festive and fun. It’s too bad that it lasts one day, but at least there’s the December holidays to look forward to. And that means it’s time to break out the various holiday decorations, lights, candles, and sweet treats. So, if you’re taking a break from decking your halls this weekend, here are a few links and articles of interest to share–enjoy!

Five Marks of a Great Writer (by @geoffliving):

This was a good post to find while sifting through my more than 200 missed posts from the holiday weekend. As writers of various media, we can always find something to improve upon or to strive for.

Mr. Livingston has been at this writing game for some time, so it’s helpful to read what he suggests are the hallmarks of a great writer, regardless of the medium. I especially liked the fourth hallmark of how a fun sentiment will keep readers coming back, since that is what I find true with most any writer I’ve consistently read over the years.

What Makes a Good (Giving) Website (by Susan T. Evans via @mStonerBlog):

Working on a new website design or overhaul is hard work—and when it’s done within an educational institution, it’s even more work, as I’ve discovered this year.

Yet, there are some universal tips to keep in mind when creating an ideal website, be it for philanthropy (as with the “Giving” website) or for an institution itself. Ms. Evans clearly articulates what makes for a compelling Giving website in this post and provides some great institutional examples to illustrate her points. Her post is also helpful for anyone reconstructing or redesigning websites, so it’s worth a read if you need some inspiration or a fresh idea.

Getting Strategic with Content Planning (by @karinejoly via University Business Magazine):

Here is an article that made me want to stand up from my computer screen and start clapping this week (I usually have about two or three of those a month).

The blog post links to an article Karine Joly wrote for University Business Magazine, so it will require a little more time to read but it is well worth the effort. Time and time again, I have tried to communicate the need to organize communications strategically and this article spells out the reasons why that approach can be successful, especially in higher education institutions. But it’s also applicable for large organizations with multiple communication outlets.

Either way, content must be considered from a strategic viewpoint, otherwise we’re all just out there aimlessly shooting and not hitting any targets.

And for my fourth item of interest, I have to share that I found out that the Cinematic Titanic featuring Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is coming to a theatre nearby Philadelphia.

If you’re as big a geek for MST3K like me, then you’ll appreciate this compilation of their best bits of bad movies:

December 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . communications. Leave a comment.

A Little Birdy Told Me…Week of 8/8/11

Happy Friday! Another week has drawn to an end, and for many on the East Coast, we’re getting a little break from the heat and humidity. I was happy to open the windows overnight and get some fresh air into the house after weeks of circulated air. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t live without air conditioning. But three weeks straight is a little rough. Oh well, we’re that much closer to comfortable weather in the Fall. If you plan on taking a break this weekend, here are this week’s links and posts of interest to share-enjoy!

Making Time for Writing (by @chrisbrogan):

Writing for a blog, plus working full-time, plus a personal life to balance can be tricky. Chris Brogan would be the one to talk when it comes to finding time to write a book, considering all he has on his plate. What I enjoyed about this post was how the tips can apply to writing for anything-especially finding time to write a blog. It’s worth it to try out a few of these tips and to check out the next posts in his series about writing a book because, in the end, writing is writing and we could all use more time to do it.

Higher Ed Communications Catching Up to Social Media (by Karine Joly via @CASEAdvance):

Here is an example of a good, well-organized and presented post about digging deeper into social media statistics with regard to higher education. Author Karine Joly notes that although many statistics point to higher education institutions using social media, it seems they are not using them effectively.

Ms. Joly’s post brings up valid questions to ask when using social media, but the most striking thought came from the comments section. One of the commenters brings up the analogy that just using one social media platform without a strategy is like using a hammer without using the whole tool box to build a house. It’s simply not effective and doesn’t accomplish your goal.

Journalists Under Attack in London Riots (by @pressfreedom) *warning- the photo accompanying this article is a little bloody:

All week, the news (and social media) has been covering the civil unrest in London. It’s a complex and multi-layered issue, but that’s not what this post is about exactly. Instead, the Committee to Protect Journalists demonstrates within the context of current events how the press is not safe in international conflicts, as the media appears to be a target in the London riots.

CPJ’s report includes accounts from several different news organizations, including CNN, who have fled for cover when the violence has been directed at them. It’s a difficult situation when your job depends on your ability to report on dangerous situations, and for the press covering these stories, it can literally be a life or death situation.

An Instagram Day in the Life (by @arikhanson):

An interesting way to keep your blog content fresh is to offer sneak peeks into your “real life.” It’s a great storytelling opportunity, and one that Arik Hanson pulls off wonderfully by sharing his enthusiasm (or obsession) with Instagram by showing his readers a day in his life with pictures. For a former Minneapolis resident, this also tugged at my emotional strings more than it might have his other readers. But Mr. Hanson keeps it interesting, stringing the story along with photos, and also demonstrating what he likes about Instagram.

And since Mr. Hanson’s post has me thinking of home, I found a video to share with you set to a song named for the City of Lakes:

August 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . blogging, journalism, social media. 2 comments.

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