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Posts Tagged ‘NaBloPoMo’

I set out on Nov. 1 with a mission – to find out if I could write a blog post a day and churn out a 50,000-word novel by Nov. 30. This was all in the name of National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Here I am 30 days later and the results are in: I made NaBloPoMo, but NaNoWriMo was a total failure. I thought it would be fun to break things down by the numbers, in a sense, to see how I fared. Making it hard on myself, I decided to go through each blog post and check my word count. I’m sure there was probably an easier way, but eh, I like to be difficult sometimes.

NaBloPoMo – 30 posts, 9,685 words/average of 322.83 words per day

NaNoWriMo – 598 words/average of 19.93 words per day

I think it’s pretty evident, when you look at it that way, just how poorly I fared with NaNoWriMo. I told myself I’d be happy if I got past 10 pages. I didn’t even hit two. I have a story, however, and I think I could make something of it if I come back to it from time to time. I’m more determined to write something well, rather than just get to x number of words, as was the goal of NaNoWriMo. Perhaps the effort’s not a failure after all.

NaBloPoMo was hard. If you look back at my November posts, you can see that some of them are completely lacking in content. Those were the days that I struggled with motivating myself to write. There are so many things out there to write about and it’s hard to juggle thoughts when they’re racing a mile a minute. I believe I even still have a post or two in draft form.

My intention with doing NaBloPoMo was to become more consistent with blogging. I think the real challenge, however, is going to be whether I stick with it. What does tomorrow or the next day hold? I’m sure many of you are facing that same dilemma. How do you keep yourself motivated?

Funny thing is, those 9,685 words rack up to about 19% of a 50,000-word novel. It’s interesting when you look at things from that angle, but it’s important to realize that blogging and novel writing are two totally different bears.

I would like to extend my congratulations to all who took on one or both projects. Even if you couldn’t see things all the way through, at least you gave it a shot. Beginning is sometimes the hardest part. 🙂

Cool tidbit: More than 1.5 billion words written for 2008’s NaNoWriMo (so far).

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Do you have the answer?

Adam Zand (@NoOneYouKnow) commented on a previous post I made and suggested that we co-present a panel at PodCamp Pittsburgh 3 about how SM is a lot like high school. It didn’t happen due to Adam not being able to make it down from Boston and well, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump into my first PodCamp with a presentation.

I’ve been revisiting that ever since, when I see all of the tweets in my Twitter stream about “Top 50 Tweeters,” “Help me get to 5,000 followers!,” or “Who’s the hottest blogger?” – junk like that. Sadly, it really does seem that social media sites are progressing into popularity contests.

Why? I thought the purpose was to create relationships and share ideas, not make it about who has the most followers, comments, linkbacks, whathaveyou. True enough, there’s some vanity involved when we check out our Twitteranks, Twitter Grades, and utilize other web sites that tell us just how we measure up against our fellow social media users. It kind of reminds me of Snow White’s wicked stepmother who consulted that magic mirror to know she was still the fairest in the land. Is that really what we need to keep ourselves going?

There are incredibly smart people out there who are utilizing social media for great things, but why are only a few people called rockstars? Why can’t we all be rockstars?

What you’re doing is just as cool as what I’m doing. We might want different outcomes, but I’d like to think we could all be on the same social level, without trying to one-up each other. I don’t think, however, we can truly be social as a whole until we get rid of the labels and all of these self-serving motives (and yes, I know we all have self-serving interests in a sense) that do little more than try to inflate online social status.

I’d like to take a line that those High School Musical kids so cheesily, yet happily sing: “We’re all in this together.”

They have a point.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts on social media and popularity?

You can also feel free to email me your thoughts and I will post them in comments under anonymous or any way you’d like.

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This recent Dilbert comic made me laugh, but also made me wonder if many people believe that it’s true. We know that we’re spending more time online now than ever before, especially with the growth of social networking sites. In fact, it has been suggested that internet searches for porn have been overtaken by social networking.

We’re a plugged in society, ordering the internet-to-go with us now on laptops, PDAs, Blackberrys, iPhones (iPod Touches as well), and any other device that can catch a signal. Do you find it hard nowadays to go an hour without checking your email or Twitter stream. Admittedly, I know I do, as one who has been fully connected since the age of 12.

Still, my thoughts are trekking back to this comic strip. Do we value the internet more now than we do the outside world, and well, real people? Perhaps, but I’m going to make a case for those of us who have been interested in the Web 2.0 phenomenon.

Social networking, social media, web 2.0 – whatever you want to call it, is about creating community. It doesn’t come easy, however, as you have to be willing to invest a lot of time. (It can cost money, too, depending on your intentions). If you really dig deep you can meet many interesting people from all walks of life. But, the thing about the internet is you can be whoever you want to be, right? True, but I’ve found that for every person who isn’t always truthful, there’s dozens more who are as real as possible.

We all have different reasons behind our interest in social media. For some, it’s to make money. Others are communications or tech professionals who want to understand more about how SM can help grow their organizations. Still, some people just want a conversation – to find a group of people who have similar interests and share experiences.

We can have all of that with a click of a button and a few strokes on the keyboard.  What we’re seeing now, however, are things like tweet-ups, PodCamp and so many other meet-ups because people want to take these relationships offline. They’re not interested in hiding behind a computer screen. It’s a suggestion that relationships are very much real and meaningful to people offline as they are online.

So, here’s my answer: There are aspects of the internet that are interesting, but I think that what it ultimately does, in this day and age, is lead you to far more interesting people.

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Hope y’all had a great holiday. Surprisingly, I made it to the airport by 4:20 p.m. today for a 5:10 p.m. flight with virtually no wait to check in my bag or go through security. It was amazing. If you’ve ever flown through Philadelphia International, you know it’s never cake. Perhaps I got lucky because of the holiday. Oh well, moving on …

I’ve been thinking about it and I’d like to revive the “Can We Talk?” Yahoo! Group. It’s not directly affiliated with this blog, though it’s a shared name. It was intended to be a branched-off group from YoungPRPros, as a forum for students and young professionals. Admittedly, it kind of fell to the wayside after I graduated college the first time in 2006.

Now that there are many more students and young professionals participating in social media, I think that a very valuable exchange of ideas can go down with this listserv. I’m hoping to start things off slow and welcome back those of you who were previous members and those who were interested in joining when it went defunct.

Let’s talk!

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A few days ago, I read an article that Facebook sought to acquire Twitter, but the microblogging service apparently backed out over the financials. It seems there’s disagreement over the value of the Facebook empire. It’s been appraised as high as $15 billion, but the Twitter folks believe it’s inflated from a more realistic $5 billion. To them, this meant that Facebook’s offer of $500 million in stock was really only worth $150 million.

Frankly, I’m pretty happy that the deal fell through.

It may come to pass that Twitter will be scooped up one day from a large media conglomerate. It seems it happens often. My main concern is that if Twitter is acquired, it’ll be absorbed into some service and lose its identity. I’m afraid that’s what would happen if Twitter went to Facebook. I’m already sick enough of 99% of the applications and do-hickeys on Facebook. Would Twitter just become a built-in component of the site or would the Facebook folks be content enough to let it stand alone? If that were to happen, I think the dynamic of community would largely change and not necessarily for the better.

I’m not dissing Facebook as I like it and do use it, but there’s just so much more to Twitter than “What are you doing?” I think the concept of community is inherently different for each service – while Twitter’s community seems small and inviting, Facebook’s community just feels cold and disconnected. At least, that’s the experience for me.

The biggest problem Twitter faces right now is generating revenue. The service has one part down with a user base that has rapidly expanded the last year, but like any business it has to show its backers that it is sustainable. Should it stay as a free service? Should it incorporate ads into the user experience? I think it would be wise of Twitter to spread its wings and find out, instead of taking the easy route and having another company do it for them.

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As promised, I wanted to share the pumpkin pie recipe that my mom uses and I have made since then for work and social functions. It’s positively sweet and delicious.

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 can (29 oz) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

2 cans (14 fl oz) sweetened condensed milk (We use Borden Eagle Brand)

2 unbaked 9-inch pie shells, brought to room temperature (We like Pillsbury)

Mix sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Beat eggs in a large bowl, stirring in the pumpkin and sugar-cinnamon mixture. Gradually stir in the sweetened condensed milk.

Mix together a little more cinnamon and sugar, lightly sprinkling into the prepared pie shells. This will give the crust a sweet taste.

Pour pie mixture into shells and wrap aluminum foil around the edges of each pie.

Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for 40-50 minutes. Cool on wire rack for about two hours.

You can serve it thereafter, but I would recommend it cold, served with a glob of ReddiWip.

It’s an easy recipe, modified from what you can find on the back of a can, but it really is a sweet take on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert.

ENJOY!

Photo credit: endless beauty

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Patrick Roy, former NHL goaltender, has many accolades – four Stanley Cup rings, numerous NHL records, trophies and a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame. There’s one thing (in my opinion) this prolific goaltender, revered by fans as “St. Patrick,” can’t add to his long resume: classy.

Earlier this year at a Quebec Remparts-Chicoutimi Sagueneens playoff matchup, Roy and his son, Jonathan, were involved in a scuffle during which Jonathan skated across the ice and attacked the opposing goaltender, who clearly refused to fight. That little incident got Jonathan, a goaltender like his dad, suspended and fined. The elder Roy (the Remparts’ co-owner, general manager, and coach) was also suspended and fined for apparently encouraging (0:07 in video) his son to fight.

Just eight months later, it’s happened again. Frederick, Roy’s other son who also plays for the Remparts, has just been suspended for cross-checking an opposing player in the face during a timeout.

Both incidents call into question Roy’s integrity and the ideals he’s instilling in his sons. If you’re a hockey fan, you know fighting is a part of the game, but blatant goonery and thuggery have no place.

Roy has always been known to have an attitude and a bit of a violent streak. Like it or not, however, he is a role model. He needs to hold himself to a higher standard – not just for his own kids, but also for the thousands of young hockey players who look up to him. Even the Colorado Avalanche’s current starting goaltender, Peter Budaj, grew up idolizing his predecessor.

How can Roy overcome this bad press as of late? For one, he needs to remind his sons to play hard, but refrain from the cheap shots and maintain a low profile. He stated after the first incident that he has no control over the player’s actions on the ice during the heat of the moment, but we all know that’s false.

I think he also needs to teach his sons some humility – Jonathan apologized for the obscene gestures to the crowd, but not for pummeling the opposing goalie. There is a clear lack of good sportsmanship here and concern for the opposing player. What if the kid was seriously injured?

Finally, a donation to a child abuse organization may help boost his image. Hockey players may fight each other on the ice for little reason, but there are thousands of children who are on the receiving end of abuse every day and it is not part of a game.

I’m sure Roy wants to be remembered for his impressive career rather than the antics since his retirement. It’s high time he strapped on his game face once again and became a man to idolize both on and off the ice.

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