Author Archives: Alex Greenwood

Name’s Friday. Follow Friday. via @N_Smith7

By Noah Smith

Just a thought or two concerning #FF…

what-does-ff-mean-on-twitterIt’s impressive the language that unfolds with a new avenue such as social media and specifically, hashtagging and the creation of new trends such as #FF. Putting #followfriday would be such a waste of characters so of course to simplify it #FF was born.

But how do we do this? Who starts these hashtag trends? Do they just spring up out of the social media ground? Regardless how, it’s fascinating. Is that sad? Ha.

Then, if you choose to participate in this weekly ritual do you use it for mere promotion or do you genuinely let others know of good accounts?

I started my #FF path to promote some pages (clients mostly) and after a bit I stopped and started letting people know about some good accounts and people. I usually base it off who I interacted with that week or whose content I really enjoy seeing.

Question: when mentioned in a #FF tweet, do you look at the other accounts? Or just simply favorite or retweet and you’re done?

Let me know what you think on the matter and how you handle it in the comments section below!

 

#SocialMediaManagerProblems via @N_Smith7

imagesBy Noah Smith

I hashtagged during dinner. There. I said it.

There are a vast amount of different types of jobs out there. And each one has their own set of problems and quirks. I’ll let you in on mine: the problems, struggles and annoyances of being a Social Media Manager.

For better or worse: our jobs never truly end.  Our “work space” can be anywhere and but our main platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., change right as we begin to master them.

Did you know there are at any one time 200 interfaces out for Facebook at any given time? Yes, think about that…I bet your office doesn’t have that many changes in it.

On that line, we go back and forth with loving and hating each new update that changes the look of the platforms. For example, the new schedule look for Facebook,? Hating it at first. As I continue writing this, a month later, I like it. I can see more of my scheduled posts and when they will go off. Yes, the preview image is a bit cramped, but for the most part that is ok.

Speaking of hashtags…Yes, this is a language for some. You are so used to doing it all day that when you get home you occasionally hashtag during the family dinner.

Engaging with your followers. Why won’t you respond to me?!?!?!

Finding good content. Some days it’s running out your ears and others it’s like where has all the good content gone? Come back to me, I need you.

Trying to mix it up with different content. Guess some followers don’t like the new change. Well you can’t please everyone.

Avoiding distractions. After all, you are on social media all day so that can be very difficult at times. Do you know how many videos there are online? Especially since Facebook put the autoplay on, you get sucked right into them. And of course all the quizzes to take. I mean, I want to know what character I am in the Avengers and what villain I am in Harry Potter.

Persuading your company or client to pursue a particular platform. Not everyone sees the value in a given platform.

Telling family, friends and even your own boss what you do. That it is important and it’s a job. I’ve boiled my job down to: I get to play on Facebook and Twitter all day. It answers the generic family question of Where are you working? fairly quickly.

Being social all the time. You can’t let emotions rule you on duty; you are the face of the company. Regardless of the ups and downs of your day, a company usually will never (openly) have a bad day.

As you get stressed at your job and think, oh it’d be so much fun to play on Facebook all day and get paid for it, remember it’s not all fun and games. I mean, sure, it is fun, but our work is just as important. Don’t think you can pick up our job in a day and do it better; it’s an acquired skill.

Keep calm and social on.

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Author Ken Weyand on Fiddling, Kayaking and Writing Adventures

By Alex Greenwood

Ken Weyand

Ken Weyand

Today we have another edition of our continuing series of interviews with authors, songwriters and other outspoken creative people. We’re very excited to introduce you to author Ken Weyand.

After receiving a degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri, Kenneth Charles Weyand worked ten years for the Kansas City Star, becoming Advertising Copy Chief. Later he published several publications, including Discover North, a monthly history and travel newspaper. After expanding the distribution from a single county to more than nine states, Weyand sold the publication in 2001, but continued to write for the paper, since renamed Discover Vintage America.

For the past ten years, he has written a monthly history and travel column for Discover Vintage America, “Traveling with Ken” and recently won a Gold Award in the Kansas City Press Club Non-News Column/Blog category.Kyakker-logo

Ken has recently undertaken the process of publishing at least a half dozen ebooks on his Kyakker Books imprint, in partnership with Caroline Street Press.

Fiddling with Friends in the 1920s: A Chautauqua Trouper’s Story is Ken’s first book (available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon, Barnes & NobleSmashwords, Apple iBookstore and KOBO), capturing the life of his mother who, as a young woman, left her small town behind for a great adventure and a chance to get a first-hand look at a changing America in the early 20th Century.

A much larger book, An Unlikely Love Story (now available for preorder), tells the unique story of two people from vastly different backgrounds who overcame great odds to begin a new life in the country amidst the depths of the Great Depression.

Fiddling-diag-text-3The author’s own remembrances of a country life are recounted in the upcoming ebook Dirt Road Diary: Recalling a Country Childhood. It picks up where An Unlikely Love Story leaves off, and includes a lot of country-style memories.

Weyand’s passion is kayaking, particularly in Florida. He is currently working on two non-fiction eBooks on kayaking and plans to release them this year. Lost in the Everglades and Other Florida Paddling Adventures recalls a harrowing experience, but is balanced with other experiences that were equally adventurous but more successful. If you’re a paddler or would like to be, you’ll enjoy reading this one.

A Florida Paddling Bucket List is currently being compiled for paddlers (and would-be paddlers) looking to make the most of their free time on Florida rivers, creeks and estuaries, with helpful tips on where to launch and take out, and what to expect at each location. Factoids of local history are included.

Another ebook, Early-Day Flying in Kansas City, based on a similar history published in 1970 and including material not in the original book, also is currently in production.

We caught up with this enthusiastic adventurer and writer and asked him a few questions about his life and work.

AG: Ken, Fiddling with Friends is only the first of at least a half dozen books you have set for publication this year from Kyakker Books. Were these books written recently, or have you been working on them long-term?

KW: They’ve been a long “work in progress.” I think the first one was An Unlikely Love Story, based on my city-bred mother, a classical musician, and her relationship with my father, a farmer. The other one was a kayaking book, A Passion for Paddling, that morphed into Lost in the Everglades after an ill-fated paddle on the Turner River in 2010.

The third book, Dirt Road Diary, had been crouching about in the corners of my mind for a while, but was finished about a year ago. A Bucket List of Florida Kayaking was another book that grew out of the original Passion for Paddling, but was rewritten as a “how to” book rather than a personal diary. Finally, the Early-Day Flying in Kansas City is a recent rewrite of a book I put together in the early 1970s when I was involved with aviation history. Ironically, Fiddling with Friends in the 1920s was written while I was spending the winter in Florida and wanted to share my mother’s Florida Chautauqua experiences with others in the state. Then I expanded the content from Florida to her entire career.

The books that involved my mother, Fiddling with Friends in the 1920s, and An Unlikely Love Story, were the result of her daily journals. She also corresponded a lot with her folks, and those letters were saved along with the journals. The journals helped a lot with my own recollections that went into Dirt Road Diary.

The kayaking books were based on my own notes that I made when I “discovered” kayaking as a senior citizen. I’m anxious to share my “paddling adventures” with others who might be curious about Florida kayaking. The aviation book was more traditional. It involved a lot of one-on-one interviews and old-fashioned research in libraries and museums. I’ve thought about converting it to an eBook for a long time.

AG: You seem to have worked in and around publishing throughout your career. Can you tell us a little about that?

KW: After ten years with the Kansas City Star, I realized I wanted to do something on my own. I did a couple of aviation papers, including an aviation history magazine, and the original History of Aviation in Greater Kansas City. Then I began publishing a small paper about local history that was distributed at retail shops. It grew from one county into eight states and I sold it in 2001. I still write a travel/history column, “Traveling with Ken” for the paper, now called Discover Vintage America.

AG: One of your upcoming books. Dirt Road Diary, tells the tale of you as a young man of adventure who, among other things, takes a one hundred-plus mile journey on foot with some buddies. Then, in Lost in the Everglades we see a more mature Ken Weyand taking up solo kayaking in the wilds of the Florida Everglades. Both books are compelling reading. Have you always been drawn to adventure and taking the road less traveled?

KW: I’ve always been excited about travel adventures. My grandfather left me with a large collection of National Geographic magazines, and I spent a lot of time as a young boy poring over the exotic maps. I think there’s a common thread between solving the mysteries of the “thin blue lines” that define Midwest streams and exploring the creeks and estuaries I’ve been able to discover in Florida.

AG: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Do you draft longhand or use a computer? Do you write everyday? Any particular inspirations that drive you?

KW: I guess every writer has a different approach. Personally, I think about a story idea for quite awhile before I play with it on my laptop. Working from my mother’s diaries and old letters was a different process, but I usually visualize the outline in my head before typing it out. For me, the greatest invention has been the laptop computer, and I use it every day.

AG: Your books are released in ebook format on Amazon.com and Smashwords, which effectively makes them available at all retailers, including Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc. What made you go the ebook route?

KW: I’ve had a bit of experience early in my publishing career with print books, and the idea of self-publishing in that form was a little daunting. I personally read a lot of articles and books online, and reading a back-lit screen doesn’t bother me at all, although I like “real books” too. I just think I can put my thoughts and ideas into digital format more efficiently than on paper.

AG: I understand you have a talented cover designer working with you. Can you tell us about her and working with her?

Ken WeyandKW: My daughter, Holly, has been working in graphic art for years, and was a natural choice. She and I think a lot alike, and we communicate really well. I think she’s done a great job so far, and I look forward to seeing the rest of her covers.

AG: Do you have plans to create paperback or hardback versions of your books?

KW: I think it would be great to see them in “print form,” whether it’s paperback or hardback, but that will depend on the economics. No definite plans now, but we’ll see.

AG: If you wanted to convince someone to read your books using only one sentence what would that be?

KW: All the books are different, but I have a passion for preserving my family’s unique history and sharing my own crazy adventures, and I think you’ll enjoy the results of that.

AG: Any new books on the horizon besides the ones we’ve talked about?

KW: I’ve had a few thoughts, but nothing definite. I’d like to learn more about some of my other relatives, especially my dad’s seven siblings, all orphaned in 1900. They kept in touch with a family “chain letter” and I’ve got many of the original letters. But it will take a lot more research. There are also some things I’ve written about in my monthly “Traveling with Ken” articles that I might like to expand on. But as I said, nothing’s definite.

AG: Anything we forgot to ask you’d like to touch on?

KW: I’m always happy to answer questions or compare notes with readers. I hope to hear from others who share my enthusiasm for the subjects I’ve covered in these six books.

 Click here to contact Ken.

Thanks, Ken. Paddle on! 

 

 

 

Surprise! Facebook is Changing, AGAIN. Ha. via @N_Smith7

By Noah Smith

I haven’t decided if it’s good or bad that Facebook keeps evolving. On one hand it shows progress but on the other, too much change can be damaging.

Did you know at any one point there is over 200 DIFFERENT interfaces for Facebook?

But least they told us about this new feature. To sum up: you can pick and choose who’s content you want to see on your timeline so it appears on top.

last_crusade_choose_wiselyGenerally speaking, it seems cool; you can pick your “top” friends and brands that you want to stay updated on most. Then, every time you log on, all the pertinent people are right there. No more searching.

Why bother with having other friends if you just want to highlight select ones? You can block or unfriend–and that’s so much easier.

It just seems odd to me. I thought Facebook was a social media platform where you interact with everyone. Then they will develop cliques and groups as people learn what friends have them on the top of their timeline.

I foresee some fights, ruined friendships and broken hearts.

Does this remind you of anything?

Come on, I’ve been writing deceptively about this thing and the least you can do is guess.

All right, as I was reading this I couldn’t help but think of MySpace and their Top 8.

It’s very similar: you pick out of all your friends and brands, whose content you want to see first, and bang, it’s right there. I know the Top 8 didn’t work exactly like this, but your selected friends were right there for you to click on.

So, why are they doing this? Why give us so much freedom over our timeline and what we want to see?

It’s just an illusion: Facebook offering us something and asking for nothing in return.

They are doing it because this will help their marketing team and they can get more intel on us, which in terms allows them to work on their ads. That way, in time, Facebook can guarantee more results when brands and businesses ask about how their reach would fare if they paid for ads. Facebook will have some solid data

As this gets going the line, “Somebody’s eyes are watching you,” keeps running through my head. Enjoy picking out the content and friends you want to see more of and just remember all that Top 8 drama.

Please, choose wisely.

 

 

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