If you don’t, I understand. I mean, enough is enough already. On the other hand, Twitter is getting hard to run away from. If you want to learn more, go to my other site for an article on how to make the most of Twitter.
Because I’ve just launched WriteThru.com, which offers free webinars to media professionals seeking to enhance their technology skills, I’m going to cross-post my “explainer” here on DadTalk. Please feel free to spread the word about WriteThru … I can use the help!
I LEFT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES knowing an economic storm was coming, but I had no idea just how hard the media world would be hit. I figured there would be layoffs at newspapers beyond those of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but then mistakenly hoped that the market would stabilize.
Today, I find it heartbreaking to see so many hard-working colleagues and friends suddenly wondering how to pick up the pieces of their damaged careers. PaperCuts counts nearly 16,000 newspaper jobs lost in the United States in 2008 alone and nearly 9,000 more so far this year. And by all accounts, TV, radio and magazine employees all have been equally pummeled.
But I do not believe that professional journalism will die. Hints of what might emerge are seeping through. Think ProPublica. Think VoiceofSanDiego. Consider the possibilities of electronic ink/paper. I don’t know exactly what form this golden era of journalism will materialize, but I do know that many of the journalists who are losing their jobs today will help launch this renaissance.
I’ve never been much of a joiner. Most of my life I’ve avoided cliques, fraternities, religion, political parties, etc.
If there is one group, though, that I’ve always identified with, it’s been journalists. I feel at home when walking around a newsroom, even if I don’t work there. I’ve tried to move on, but I still feel the ups and mostly downs the industry has faced of late.
It’s been particularly painful watching friends losing their jobs. It frustrating to watch highly-skilled, hard-working individuals wondering how to find a job in today’s nasty employment environment as the technological world around them has changed.
While I may not have the answers to journalism’s bigger issues, I do know how to help individuals. At the moment, providing an educational forum seems like the best place to start.
So at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, I’m offering journalists, and of course my readers, a free webinar on how to create a blog. Future courses will tackle topics like free office software, how to find journalism jobs and how to easily record video.
If you feel like donating, to help defray the costs, who am I to stop you?
Our house is unusually busy leading up to Valentine’s Day. That’s because my wife, Anne, is wrapping up the annual children’s book awards – called the Children’s & Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards –that she began with a friend a few years ago.
This year, because Anne reviewed my favorite category, Fantasy & Science Fiction, I had the pleasure of reading most of the finalists. I have to say, better stuff is being written for kids than adults.
While contests tend to give my blog a small boost, I find learning about other people more rewarding. Consider that most of the stories I received about why a loved one deserves flowers reveal a bit about what is going on in America in a way that the media fails to capture.
Below are a quote or two from one runners-up and the winners, who will be notified by email. And for those of you who read this far, I have another surprise. By clicking on this link, you will receive 20 percent off and a free vase if you order flowers from ProFlowers. (Yes, another ad, but what the heck.)
Later the same day, we went to the library where I picked up a copy of The Time Warp Trio’s Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge? Seth finished the 72-page book by bed time.
No, this isn’t a post designed to brag about my child. Rather, it’s to illustrate a common problem parents face: figuring out what is good reading material for our children. For example, I chose The Time Warp Trio series because the librarian assured me there was nothing scary in the books. (Seth recoils from all things scary.)
A good librarian is always a wonderful way to find out whether a book is age and/or quality appropriate. Another way, is to peruse Cybils, which just released its finalists for the best children’s books in 2008. The selections are made by tome-loving bloggers, most of whom are librarians, writers and teachers.
To learn more, just click on preferred categories and read why these books are considered the best of the best. In mid-February, Cybils will announce the winners in each category.
Summer makes and sells custom blends of tea, soap, bath salts and lotions through her company, Felicitea. Unfortunately, we live too far away to sign up for massage therapy.
Here’s a quick rundown of the contest, but follow the link for more details:
Part I – Tea lovers post a short video and tell us why tea is better than coffee. The winners will receive a sample set of four teas and personalized tea ware.
Part II – How this part works is still a bit mysterious, but the goal is to convert coffee drinkers to tea. Winners of this part of the contest will receive a sampler set of Summer’s custom teas, personalized tea ware and a custom blend for the winner. (Summer, I have some ideas on making a tea with nutmeg.)
My wife, by the way, has been a big consumer of herbal teas ever since her doctor proclaimed: “You have consumed your lifetime supply of caffeine.” Heh, I bet a lot of people have.
Personally, I’m a big Honeybush fan.
And now the plug: Please help Summer by entering the contest or spreading the word. Thanks!
A lot of my blogging compatriots have made great use of free giveaways. My wife has given away books. One blogger I know has handed out T-shirts, iPods and music CDs.
I’ve given out, um, bupkis. Why? I don’t know, I guess I figured no one wanted my old shoes.
But then yesterday, amid all my dozens of e-mails cajoling me to post this or that about Father’s Day was this:
Since your blog is dedicated to Dads, I thought I might check in to see if you ever do giveaways; specifically I have an opportunity for a Father’s Day giveaway. Casio has a new timepiece called the Waveceptor that would be a perfect treat to any of your blog visitors this Father’s Day.
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