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What I’m Googling at the pool. You’re welcome.
Jun 10, 2012 / 3 notes

What I’m Googling at the pool. You’re welcome.

May 18, 2012 / 3 notes

"Rebecca… did you just type ‘good angles on APR’s’ into Google?"

One Nation, Under Google.

Sep 29, 2011 / 23 notes

New Roads

Life has been pretty crazy for me the last couple weeks and thus the posts here have been scanty at best which is not how I like to do it, but y’know. Sometimes it takes time to get to a breather.

Let’s sum up the following areas right now, shall we? My life is one part work and one part personal/home. If my life were a pie chart, 80% would contain work and 20% would be the rest which also includes sleeping. I really like sleeping, even though I don’t get to do much of it.

WORK (Part 1)

The social media side AKA my full time job… Holy. Smokes. On Tuesday, I wrote up what I thought would be a fun little Forbes post for my boss’ account. Google was turning 13 years old and I decided to spin the birthday angle not with a post about the company’s many achievements (too many to list), but rather with a piece on the 13 Best Global Google Doodles. I say global only because the doodle has been done since 1998 and there are over 300 versions in the United States, over 700 internationally. I spent the morning doing my research in between my other tasks at work (working with my interns, emailing affiliates, conference calls and staff meetings, Tweeting, etc) and worked on writing it in the afternoon with my usual movie scores mix in the background playing. It was fun, it was light, it flowed organically (that’s a word my favorite professor in college used to describe my writing with). My biggest concern was that for the majority of the post since I didn’t have the slideshow login info to create one on the Forbes gallery, I pasted my doodle pictures in the post on the left-hand side of the page. It just read better that way. Traditionally with Forbes, pictures are right-hand based, but it would have looked stupid to do otherwise so I was prepared to fight my case in case the editor emailed me about it.

I never got the email. Instead, I got a text from my intern at 2 a.m. (he’s studying abroad in Ireland so it was 10 in the morning his time).

"Do you know your google post has over 10,000 views?!"

What???? I was in a state of shock. I have been striving to get to 10,000 since starting my job there. The closest I got was 9,000 and even then I felt let down by it. I am my own harshest critic of my work and am constantly twiddling with my writing style for pretty much everything I do, experimental sometimes if only to see what I can adopt the voice of and what I need to work on. When I woke up again at 5 a.m. to get ready for work, I basically walked around my bedroom going “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” to myself. By then we were at 13,000 views.

That afternoon, it made the front pages of Forbes and Digg.

We were at over 20,000 views.

!!!!!!!

The ENTIRE office was celebrating the post, our PR firm in Chicago was ecstatic, I was getting bombarded by congrats left and right for the work done, and everyone was in a great mood. This meant a lot of great things, but most of all, it put us on the map. A force to be reckoned with and certainly a post that I could now point out to on my resume with great pride. A lot of hard work and determination went into ensuring that the post would be a good read, if nothing else. And really in the end, that’s all that matters. If you have consistently strong content, despite the viewership, you have a bonafied portfolio of work that anyone can read at any time and be reassured that you did your homework. But it’s not just that damnit, you have to write well and engage the audience. Tell them something they don’t know, but don’t make it boring. If they tune out after the first paragraph, good luck getting them to keep reading you. I never can stress it enough: a good blogger does solid work, but a great blogger does the work and brings the voice in with them. Their voice.

Tomorrow is newsletter day in which I basically run around like a chicken with my head cut off putting together our newsletter that goes out on Monday. This newsletter goes out to hundreds of thousands of people and I am a perfectionist when it comes to these. Need a lot of coffee and a bagel to weather the storm!

WORK (Part Two)

The writing with Betty/Giggles. Giggles is what it is: nice and peaceful writing work. I usually write those pieces on the weekends and they go up the next week. I’m in the middle of one right now and heading into a second one either tonight or tomorrow. Bit impromptu but I want to get this one out ASAP because I feel it’s definitely… relevant to say least ;)

Betty on the other hand is cray cray but in the best possible way. I usually work on that after work but lately I’ve been steamrolling through my lunch hour writing posts and emailing everyone. It is very hard to live on the West Coast and have the majority of the things you work on/with be located on the East Coast. Some of my girlfriends who work like I do out here (and there are many of us) feel my pain: we are forever on East Coast time. I go into work with the mindset that I need to be 3 hours ahead no matter what and to work accordingly. Despite the fact that it might sound like I’m off my rocker right now, this system works for me. It’s funny actually. Being born in the Midwest, you’d think I’d be a bit slower and living on the West Coast I should be more laidback, but I’m just too motivated and driven to be either. I think I’m destined to move to NY sometime soon. Plus I wear a lot of black and from what I’ve heard that is the unofficial color of choice in the city.

Anywho, I covered a piece on an E! special recently called Pawn 90210 about an owner of an upscale pawnshop in Beverly Hills and his celeb clients. This needs to be mentioned because I wrote up my first post during my lunch hour and tbh it better suited hanging out on my tumblr than on a gossip/lifestyle website. The senior editor saw this and sent me back an email loaded down with critiques on the piece. It was a huge wake-up call for me. The last time I had my writing that harshly written up on, I was a senior in high school honors English and my instructor slammed my pieces for being too “long, wordy, and involved.”

Rereading through this piece again, it was like high school was coming back to me. Yes, I did a great job of covering the atmosphere at the jewelry pawnshop, but the piece was muddled. What was the piece about really? It looked like I did it in a hurry and while that can sometimes be a benefit, most of the time it isn’t. My editor asked for a revised version of the piece which I worked on and submitted back to her. It took me a little bit of time though. Partially because I wanted to revamp the angle correctly, but also partially (and this is lame, but ALL writers go through it) because the critiques stung deeper than they should of. I’m a 23 year old woman and yet when my first draft was written up on negatively, I felt like running to the bathroom and crying. WHY ME WHY? The first draft of anything is always shit- hello, everything you ever learned in writing??? Plus I was hardly one to talk about critiques. Every day I critique the work of my own interns! But you know what, it felt good to get some feedback like this and then I sent along a much better, shorter, and tighter piece.

She loved it! Even better a couple of my pieces went live today and I got praise from the publicists from the PR firms, the Betty team, and even the SVP of the company… whoa!

This, this right here, is exactly how I dreamed my first few years after college going. It’s not even the praise that I ever wanted, just the opportunity to be able to write and do what I love so much each and every day. I feel so blessed to be where I am at this stage in my career and with the people in it with me. It’s all very overwhelming but in a way that I was prepared for and more than ready to take on.

HOME

This is the one place I rarely get to be in these days and when I do, I’m locked up in my room writing or getting home from being at an event or from a late night in the office. Home is a place that with or without me is suddenly changing. My roommate is going to be moving out and later on, probably at the beginning of next year, my other roommate will be undoubtedly going the same way. Off to move in with their boyfriends and start off the next chapters of their lives with them.

Earlier this week, I considered moving out too and moving in with my roommate S who will be living with her bf and a bunch of other cool guys we both know. I thought long and hard about it (well, mostly during the shower where I have the most time to think). The conclusion that whacked me upside the head? No. I don’t want to move. I make enough to afford my apartment, it’s gorgeous (there are four pools on site. 4 pools!), in a safe neighborhood, and close to my bus stop to work too. The only way I will ever move will be for work. I can’t move for a person. I can’t. I know this will cause severe problems for me when I get older and get into a serious relationship, but if ever I had to move just because a person wanted me to, I know I never could. I can’t compromise my career. It’s my world.

So I told her no and we all know I’ll be staying. It was way too last minute as it was, she wanted me to be able to give her a response in 4 days. 4 days! I can’t uproot my life that fast! Unless, it’s for a job, but we’ve been through this already.

Life is happening and changing all around me. Nobody can control this kind of change either. You get your lows and highs all the time and need to learn how to roll with the punches. I’m gonna quote the lovely Alanis Morissette on this one “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you. Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out.”

I’d say it’s ironic, don’t you think?

On the new road,
Heather