My boss, AKA the CEO of the company I work for, has a son who was interested in guest blogging on our company blog and submitted his first post to go live tomorrow. (He’s still in grade school btw.) The post is really cute and pretty deep for his age group - it’s all on the topic of whether kids today have too much stuff and he backs it up with research and a Socrates quote. Hot damn. I went to private school too as a kid, but ours was the kind of school where you were taught less to quote philosophers and more to focus on whatever Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were hashing out in the Bible.
Also we had this one guest writer send in his headshot for the company blog and he’s pretty fine. On the scale of hotness, he looks like he’s treading the tentative edges of Ryan Reynolds territory. That’s the closest celebrity comparison I’ve got to match up here. Maybe it’s just a good picture angle though.
I need to get some hobbies.
Guest bloggers should be sending over pitches not posts on initial contact. Maybe that’s not how every blog does it but that’s how I roll. With pitches, the best kind of topic that fits into the blog can be picked rather than some obscure one. Please don’t send over a draft of an article you worked on. You don’t know our specifications or word count preferences. And most of the time, these pre-drafted posts aren’t related to what our blog is about anyway. When in doubt, subscribe to the RSS feed and read it.
Not even ending this some “k, thanks!” sign-off because I am a boss lady and it is not okay I’m cracking down on you guest bloggers but the crack down is done for everyone’s best interests.
On the plus side, and who knows if it’s because of the content or word of mouth or maybe a mix of both, but we have had nonstop guest posters on our company blog since May 2012. Twice a week, both recurring and one time writers alike. That’s a little crazy, but very awesome considering that it all began with just a trickle of writers inquiring and then all of a sudden blew up on me. On average, our editorial calendar has writers in it scheduled at least a month in advance. NUTS BUT THE BEST KIND OF NUTS. Keep. It. Coming!
It’s Monday morning and already girls who aren’t married or pregnant are up on my Facebook feed writing about how they can’t wait to have kids of their own and how they plan on decorating their future offspring’s nursery.*
*alternatively titled “The Pinterest Effect”
We’re the grown ups now. And we like it.
It was the unspoken theme that surrounded my entire day yesterday from start (1:43 AM, when I woke up) to finish (12:25 AM, when I went to bed) as I went from LA to SF for the Glimpse Conference for the day. If you’re drawing a blank on what Glimpse is, it’s a full day conference based on social discovery that features a ton of panelists and speakers from start-ups and established businesses and online site writers alike, crowded together in a big room bouncing ideas off the walls on everything from changes in the social marketplace to content to music and dating.
I had gone last year, hence the title, and enjoyed the taste of what I got so much that I knew I had to go again this year. Round two of Glimpse was for the adults. The venue was upgraded to the Bently Reserve, resplendent in its two story layout with a bar and restaurant only a few steps out the door reserved for attendees, the crowd was bigger and filled with more professionals in the communications/social/marketing game, and the speakers were just as, if not more, passionate about their work and how they intended to change the world through it.
In 2012, Glimpse had been a smaller, more intimate, affair. I had worn a dress then that had a skirt that was loose and billowy. People talked about what they did and you mentally stacked up the duties of others within their position (if it was the same as yours) against your own and it pleased me then to know I seemed to be doing more than most social media managers. But a lot has changed since that year has gone by and the June 2013 version of me that went saw the change in myself and within others. I wore my boatneck pencil dress and pushed myself to perfect a sock bun that morning. At lunch during the conference, I was at a table with the VP of Communications from GoodReads who asked a small cluster of us what our social media goals with the respective companies we worked with were. I didn’t have to think twice in articulating my own personal strategy because I knew it was my own and it was what I was working on for a reason. There was no mentally comparing/contrasting my own duties against someone else to see if I was “doing it right” and no need to feel like I needed to hold court above anyone else either. It came out of me because it was what I had been thinking about and doing and pulling together for some time now.
You’ve got no idea how good it felt to be sitting in a sea of people aligned with Yahoo and Buzzfeed and Pandora and not feel insignificant or small in any way, shape or form. I like to credit that threefold because a) I have always been pretty confident with myself, b) I work with a great team that makes that feeling all around mutual in our department, and c) because I bust my ass for it. Social media may initially appear to be the job that on the surface attracts people as a position that’s easy to do (lulz, it’s Facebook!), but I’ve begun to notice a real shift in the field. The people who are genuinely passionate about it don’t disappear from the company after 6 months. They constantly keep the wheels grinding away on new initiatives and ideas to implement and like to try out a little bit of everything to see what works. They are not content to do everything the same forever and evolve with the job as it goes. Hence, the grown ups. And why you feel grown up when you’ve been doing it for some time. It’s a feeling that EVERYONE who works should be able to have and it’s the feeling you get when you’re established in your career. I don’t like to believe it’s a tipping point to anything or that you should consider what you’ll be doing for your “second act” (somebody asked me that once during an interview and I mentally remember thinking, “but I’ve only been in this position for two years that does not a second act make”).
To that threefold, I’d like to add one more element to credit which Glimpse took fully - enthusiasm. Hours upon hours in the same room as so many other people all so enthusiastic about what they do and where they’re going and what they have yet to implement to come projects a natural high. You couldn’t walk into the Reserve that morning and exit without a million ideas circulating in your head. “It’s the biggest discovery challenge, serendipitous discovery.” was what Otis Chandler, the CEO from GoodReads said at one point and he’s right! Serendipity in the online and the offline world, where we discover so much in others and moments and places and ourselves!
But I have a theory about serendipitous discovery and so much of life in general. It will never eat you alive unless you let it. But you wouldn’t let that happen because you’re part of the grown ups now.
I took a moment early on that day to scribble some ideas I had and this is what came out. Fits in well enough, I think.
"Not a big fish in a small pond but a fish in a pool of water, where it learns and grows and likes the current and sticks with it. The fish might swim upstream or not but that’s fine too. And so is swimming in the ocean, even if it sweeps you away at first.
Nothing is too big, too consuming, too overwhelming. Everything shrinks with time and familiarity. Everything, even the foreign. And then you run to embrace the new elsewhere or stay with what shrunk and carve out more of what you know or don’t there.”
After suddenly finding out that the former editor of the site my boss and I are contributing writers to has flown the coop and did not provide us any further information on what will happen next with our articles submitted there (including one I wrote up yesterday which I invested A LOT of time, energy, research, and enthusiasm into), it’s only natural to fire off cordial emails on all cylinders to find out who the new site moderator is while silently internally screaming, “fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck!” in your head.
What is less expected is when the new moderator gets back to you quickly and is very polite and friendly. You want to be just as friendly back, but you’re so riled up that it takes a minute.
So you do a slow clap at your desk in her honor. And with everyone looking at you like you’ve lost your damn mind. Which essentially, for about 15 minutes there, I had.
It’s just a day where I feel a very spiritual connection to Ari Gold who, had Entourage included a blogging element to the show, would be bitching at bloggers and site editors about what makes it so fucking hard to stay within that company for longer than 6 months at a time.
Anyways. Lettuce all be grateful that while my ability to go from calm to furious can happen in the blink of an eye, generally it’s only about issues that deeply unseat me. And that I am at least doing better now than I did when I was younger when I get upset.
I got quoted in Inc. Magazine discussing the business lessons that you can pick up from the HBO series “Game of Thrones” today and can honestly say that if I ever had to share some advice with a business publication, I’m at my best doing it while tying in the Lannister family at the same time.
Semi-hypothetically speaking in this scenario but in general for real life things, if you are a guest blogger submitting articles in to our company blog and you include a picture, you need to tell me where you got that photo from and if you have permission to use it before I can publish it.
Sir. SIR. A Google search is not permission to use said photo! It’s okay if you didn’t take the picture either because I have a bountiful folder filled with purchased stock photos to use. I don’t mind digging through the folder for one either. Just don’t attach photos with no description or a very flimsy mention included as to where you found them. Cause I won’t be using them in that case. Sound good? Great.
One of our guest bloggers just submitted in a post with an author’s byline that included a shout-out to watching Paula Deen videos which made me not only smile but also reflect back on my favorite Paula moment ever, the heart attack breakfast sandwich classic.
Publish a blog post about the conference before the event, 500 word minimum, link to conference page with approved anchor text*, tweet out the post
(must be completed by March 21st at 2pm ET)
Tweet up a storm at the conference with the hashtag #socialfresh
Publish a blog post about at least one of the conference sessions after the event, 500 word minimum, link to conference page (your choice of anchor text), tweet out the post (must be completed by April 25th at 2pm ET)
PS. Your CEO topic idea is awesome and works perfect for this requirement.
I CAN DO ALL OF THIS AND THANKS FOR THE KUDOS ON MY IDEA (BOLDED) BUT I’M STILL SO CONFUSED YOU GUYS. Does this mean this event is still free once I obtain my press pass? Will my boss be down with me going and/or able to spot me on my hotel room and airfare? (The hotel does a discount for the event.) It IS being billed as “the social media conference you’ve always hoped for” after all and the speaker list/venue is flawless. And I would like to go travel and do out of state things again because I’ve been trying to pay off debt which blows because I’ve been very Rapunzel locked up in her castle lately and just want to get out of the damn office and onto a plane for a few days so I can feel like I’m living life again.
Ahem. I’ll take all these things up tomorrow at work.
Photo images from the popular photo sharing service went dark Sunday on Twitter, a decision, Twitter says, that was made by Instagram, which was acquired earlier in the year for $1 billion by Facebook. “Instagram has disabled photo integration with Twitter,” the micro-blogging site wrote in a status update. “As a result, photos are no longer appearing in Tweets or user photo galleries.”
Cue social media manager head explosion. I’d Instagram it for you, but… y’know.