Social Media for Writers

Vancouver Writer’s Mixer
December 4, 2010, 5-6:30 pm
Featuring Carol Doane:
Social Media for Writers

Saturday Carol’s got the internet wired for fun, for feedback and success! She’s the doyenne of Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and many another virtual publicity websites.
Carol will be demonstrating the basics of navigating these treacherous technical waters.  Find out why you should dabble, even just a little, on-line. 
By the time we’re finished, you’ll be amazed and eager to get out there and start networking!  It’s so easy, even Smedley the bookstore cat tweets. Carol will touch on hot social media topics such asTwitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube, Plancast and blogging.
Learn quick tips, easy to use shortcuts and what to do if you hate the idea of marketing yourself. 

Carol Doane was a top finalist in the 2010 Social Media Awards of the Pacific Northwest (SoMe Award) for her volunteer campaign for the Southwest Washington Blood Program. Winning campaigns awarded to Air New Zealand, Travelocity, PAX East, Mio Gelato, Portland Fit, Hotel Max, Mio Gelato.

She is also a published writer (chapter in Laughing Nine to Five: The Quest for Humor in the Workplace) and she has two completed fiction manuscripts now in the hands of literary agents on both coasts.

 Many, many thanks to Angst Gallery owner Leah Jackson for allowing us to hold the mixer in her venue. If you want to chat with Carol after the event we’ll be taking over the couch in Niche Wine & Art next door.

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Party starts at noon. You coming?

The party this year skews slightly vampirish because I’m asking all my friends to bring their blood. It’s a social media adventure started by  @SWBlood on Twitter. They sent me a direct message asking if I would spearhead a drive. I gave them an enthusiastic yes and started pressing friends and strangers into service.

The online appointment scheduler has a couple of open spots, so get yourself signed up! We want to fill the day to keep the Puget Sound Blood Center-Vancouver busy. And while you’re laying there saving lives you can think about all the presents you gave someone that they never used.

I realize this gift costs you something—your gas, your time to get to the center, maybe a little anxiety, but what does it cost if we do nothing? It costs someone their life.

And if you can’t come to my party, I promise there’ll be another one. The Blood-Mobile shows up at some of the finest places with juice and cookies, rockin’ music and friendly, encouraging smiles. But today, you’ll get to party with me, and that doesn’t happen very often.

Please come!

Carol’s Save a Life Birthday Party

Puget Sound Blood Center – Vancouver
9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd
Suite 100, Vancouver, WA 98662

Follow the Schmap to the Blood Center
Follow Google map to the Blood Center

Make your appointment online: http://bit.ly/9MBoxg

Want to, but can’t on the 31st?
Call 360-567-4800 for an alternate date.

EACH DAY our community needs 900 people to donate blood.

1. Eligibility: http://www.psbc.org/programs/blood.htm

2. First Time Donors: http://www.psbc.org/programs/drives_first_time.pdf

3. Donation FAQs: http://www.psbc.org/programs/faq.htm

If you would like to see the lives that are touched by blood donation visit the Puget Sound Blood Center patient videos page.


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Social Media? I’m sure its a short term addiction *cough*

When I embarked on my book writing adventure I buried myself in manic bouts of typing. I radiated atomic concentration waves. An illusive feel or thought pulse fluttered within grasp and I stretched to reach it. During these hiatuses from real life, my pre-teen started her Facebook page. By their terms she was too young to have one. I took it down. Then, once newly birthday-ed, she re-upped and was back surfing through social media heaven with her friends.

Her offense was not discussing her foray with me.

I decided not to wage a Facebook battle, Instead, I got my own Facebook page to keep an eye on her, and within 48 hours I was hooked, sifted down through the rabbit of hole of profiles, activities, interests, favorite music, movies, books, quotes, political and religious views. Oh, and how many pictures of my kid can I upload? We traded the laptop back and forth each evening in congenial family fashion so we could each check our growing list of friends.

During one of our exchanges, I lamented that my bud Rij had neglected to give me a quote on the cost to develop an ’author’ Web-site. After investing a year into my novel I knew it was more than a hobby and I needed to begin an online presence, a platform, to launch myself. Rij builds web pages for a living and we had discussed at length what I envisioned. He and I had parted with a promise of a ‘family and friends’ rate.

Two weeks after my grumbling my daughter turned the laptop my direction and showed me my new Web-site, a Facebook fan page. I was stunned, first, that she listened to my cranky complaint, second that she took creative action to support an addiction that mostly siphoned time away from her. To insure I duly appreciated her efforts, she detailed, in encyclopedic specificity, how difficult the fan page set up was to decipher and that she had mirrored it after Eeyore’s page. (No dumb-ass jokes, please).

I rifled through the site, noted she had a couple of misspellings, didn’t have time at the moment to attack them, closed the page, and frankly, I forgot about it.

Two weeks after that a co-worker passed me in the hall and said, “I’m a fan!” Startled, I stopped mid-stride and tried to understand what in the world she was referring to. It dawned on me. The Facebook Fan Page. The misspellings. Oh, horror. How can you proclaim to be a writer and leave a blatant trail of misspelled words in your wake?

I scrambled home that night and broke into a cold sweat when I logged on and realized I had 6 WHOLE FANS. People who knew me. People who now thought I couldn’t spell. My fingers rattled over the keyboard and I attacked the editing task. Then I played with the page. What would make it interesting, how could I draw in more fans?

Okay, I could stop right here and tell you I was not really enamored with having a fan base, half of which I have coerced to follow me, but I can’t lie like that! I love my fan page.

I also love my daughter who embraces my quirks and feeds my addiction, then writes all about it in her term paper. I’ll tell you about THAT next time.


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What evil lurks in social media? A mom knows…now.

Little_Karol, my daughter, sat in a cube after hours at the office. The computer screen in front of her glowed as she checked her email. At least that’s what she told me she was doing. I strode into my office, crashed behind the desk and plunged into an evening of catch up.

It had never happened before, that our wires had crossed, even though she always used my log-in to get to the internet, but an absent-minded mouse flick on my part altered the screen I stared at. Suddenly, I shadowed her computer movements. It shocked me how quickly I rocketed into the bad-mom-universe. I was the bad mom. What flickered before me alarmed me.

Facebook.

I had shuddered at every horrid child abuse story in regards to social media, and had nodded sagely, arrogantly even, knowing my capable parenting skills would never find me the subject of a sad news story. I was too intelligent to raise a child who would fall prey. My child was too bright to fall to a predator. But there it was. Facebook. The ultimate child predator.

MySpace
drifted in semi-consciousness as: ‘places not to visit.’ LinkedIN sounded like the online bar of hook-ups. Bloggers were anal politicos who needed a forum to rant, or self absorbed punks who didn’t get enough ‘me-time’ and needed to hear their own voices, so they posted what remained of their dribble online: me-me-me. Twitter had barely hit my radar and sounded inane, a test to drill your most profound thought to 140 characters. What kind of a character is that? Did a space count as a character? Ignorance foamed and huffed at me and I choked on its fumes.

My fingers trembled as I stared at my child’s Facebook wall. What the heck is a wall? Why would I be encouraged to write on it? I clicked through the other places of her Facebook page. Oh my effing gee, she has posted pictures! If that isn’t a predator call I don’t know what is.

That was it.

She was done.

I am a woman of action.

I took control and did the most sensible thing.

I read the Facebook terms and conditions.

I had her.

She was toast.

I called her into my office and I sounded mean. I confronted her Facebook abuse. I gave her a piece of paper and a pen and ordered her to write down every email, gmail, yahoo-mail, hotmail and every Web-site she was on that required a log-in and I demanded her passwords. Her dark eyes flooded with panic and tears pushed at her lashes. She took in a shaky breath, her little knees collapsed, and she sunk into the guest chair. One-by-one, she proceeded to disclose her secrets. That’s when I learned she had a blog. I had never read a blog. I was ignorant.

I shut down Facebook and doled out strong words. She was underage. Facebook had a minimum age requirement. She did not qualify. My strong lecture lasted up through her birthday. Midnight clicked over and back up went her Facebook.

Second discovery went as well as expected.

I yelled.

I gave up.

I got a Facebook page.

Things my mom didn’t tell me

My mom told me there were three bedrooms at the place she had booked for us at the beach.

What she didn’t tell me: the two bedrooms on the second floor have private baths with jetted tubs, the living room features a gas fireplace, flat screen TV and stereo system, the kitchen a dishwasher, a side-by-side with filtered water, and granite countertops.

She also neglected to announce the deck featured an ocean view, touted a gas grill and a hottub, which is why I appeared without a bathing suit.

Had she told me it was equipped with a washer and dryer I would have brought my chores.

Stop.

I’m confused. I thought we were traveling with retired folk. I thought we were…not rich. I thought vacation timeshares were bad, and that you should not purchase them.

I still believe that is true.

Do not buy timeshares!

Do, however, encourage your parents to purchase them.

Oh, and remember to bring along someone who can cook (that would not be me).

And enjoy the view.

With a glass of wine.

Out of a box.

Really.

That was my classy contribution…

What’s your best contribution this summer?

Things my mom didn’t tell me

My mom told me there were three bedrooms at the place she had booked for us at the beach.

What she didn’t tell me: the two bedrooms on the second floor have private baths with jetted tubs, the living room features a gas fireplace, flat screen TV and stereo system, the kitchen a dishwasher, a side-by-side with filtered water, and granite countertops.

She also neglected to announce the deck featured an ocean view, touted a gas grill and a hottub, which is why I appeared without a bathing suit.

Had she told me it was equipped with a washer and dryer I would have brought my chores.

Stop.

I’m confused. I thought we were traveling with retired folk. I thought we were…not rich. I thought vacation timeshares were bad, and that you should not purchase them.

I still believe that is true.

Do not buy timeshares!

Do, however, encourage your parents to purchase them.

Oh, and remember to bring along someone who can cook (that would not be me).

And enjoy the view.

With a glass of wine.

Out of a box.

Really.

That was my classy contribution…

What’s your best contribution this summer?

Beta read it, betta smile

Sometimes you can make people who love books happy. Sometimes without even giving them a real book.

You may have met this beautiful young women, The Star, via her mother’s blog Cherry Bombastic. You may have also stumbled upon the post Bad Hair Day, the one where her brother (he liked my daughter for about 5 minutes in fifth grade) thought it a good idea to ask sis to cut his hair.

She agreed.

It wasn’t a good idea.

That day ended in a buzz cut.

Today had a better ending. In fact, it had an awesome beginning.

Previously, The Star traveled with the Washington contingent (her mom and me) to the Write to Publish seminar at Portland State University. The Star doesn’t mind skipping school for a day, in fact, she reveled in it, consumed the writing feast with rapt attention, and totally embraced fiction by dropping hints she was a freshman, not in high-school exactly, more like college. The former is true.

Just to be clear, a day spent in proximity of me means ‘manuscript mania.’ (Me maniac). Instead of being annoyed she was intrigued. I like that kid. In fact, I like that kid enough to be friends with her, not only in real life, in virtual life. Facebook life. It was in that altered FB state she mentioned she was interested in reading the manuscript.

Any good mom-type would not just hand over whatever a kid wanted, right? I aim to be a good mom-mentor. I held the manuscript hostage. I said, “First, find me five new facebook fans.” Then I thought, that’s a lot of ‘F’s for one sentence. Oh, and yes, I have a fan page, I don’t promote it here, it’s more for people who know me, building a strong local platform is my first PR initiative. I work in advertising, I’ve got the whole plan mapped out. Watch out world.

Kids these days, even if they go to the arts school, don’t necessarily want to be associated with anyone’s artsy MOM. Mom weirdness can rub off, make you odd. So, you have to give The Star credit for hanging out and believing the fan request had merit.

She delivered…not only five FB fans, but six! She has persuasive power. She may have a career in sales.

A good mom-mentor also delivers on promises.

When I saw four new fans pop up I started printing. At five I whooped and called her a ‘dude,’ as in “dude, you are awesome!” (I had a guy call me dude on Twitter, so I figured that was the current fad lingo).

I delivered Part One of A Single Pearl. . .

How bad would I be if I made her come up with five more fans to get part two?

I’m kidding I would never do that…

I think.


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