Get Your Handyman

I noticed a job post for someone to write Twitter posts for a handyman service. They asked people to submit 5 tweets as examples. The content could be anything you deemed appropriate for the site/ service.

What would you write? This is what I am sending in. Maybe it is too commercial and too much of sales copy for what they would like. But, I don’t see the point of advertising a service to the world at large unless you can do it with email or some other digital media.

  • Need someone good with their hands in Queensland? Call Fallon Services for your handyman. We’ve got the right tools.
  • Has your TV antennae fallen and can’t get up? Call Fallon Services in Queensland. We can fix it!
  • Sprung a leak? Have a drip you can’t get rid of? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Handyman and plumbers.
  • Getting a bit hot under the collar? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Let us get your air conditioner working.
  • Need some electrical work done? Tidy up your wiring? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Let us zap your problem.

Types of Content

Kim Lawless wrote What do we mean by content?

Back in 2007, pioneering content strategist Rachel Lovinger defined the main goal of content strategy as “to use words and data to create unambiguous content that supports meaningful, interactive experiences.”

Part of the problem in defining methodology is that content is such a small, generic-sounding label for the big, diverse, unruly, ever-changing universe of digital stuff we consume. To complicate things further, what stuff we can call content seems to be up for debate (there have even been backlashes against the word ‘content’ itself).

But instead of arguing about what is and isn’t content, could it be more helpful — in order to better come up with the ‘how’ of content strategy — to start instead by looking at how to work with particular types of content? Think of content as falling into one of these four major groups: informational, branded, user-generated, and systemic. The lines between them aren’t always completely clear, but each type tends to bring up a unique set of goals and challenges, and desired outcomes.

Informational content
Reduced to its essence, the goal of informational content is to meet one of your users’ most obvious needs — to give them the information they’re looking for. Relevance, clarity and consistency are crucial. To make that happen, one of the biggest challenges is in managing production flow and lifecycle. You need to understand who the authors, approvers and editors are; how content gets from ideation to publication; where it gets published (on your site, to an app, social media channels?) and when — does it change hourly, daily, weekly? And finally, how it will be managed and governed.

Branded content
Rather than strictly informing, branded content builds connections with users on an emotional level. Its goal is to build and support brand messages, persuade people, tell stories, and encourage engagement.

User generated content
Whether it’s through social media, commenting, or more intensive uses of UGC, having content produced by your audience is an effective way to build engagement and loyalty with content, and as a result it has become key to many content marketing strategies. Since real users are contributing content, UGC is often seen to bring both authenticity to brands and engagement to the audience, benefitting from things people are already doing online. In many cases, UGC is being produced in alongside (often in response to) informational or branded content.

Systemic content
This is where you’ll find content that describes content, making it findable, helping it flow to the right places, supporting SEO and even setting it free from the constraints of platform by giving it structure and extensibility, allowing for reuse. It is often available through an api, and helps publishers to identify, organize, and publish content in ways that are meaningful to users.

On any site or platform, the content ecosystem is going to be made up of one or more of these content types. By delving more deeply into the each of these types and clearly defining what outcomes you want from each of them, the ‘how’ of content strategy –- processes, tools, and roles should be involved, for example — starts to become more clear.

This is more than I am really OK with quoting from the original post. Usually I restrict the content I quote to a paragraph or the essential elements of the list post. I will write things in my own words with my own experience and thoughts added to give my point of view.

This time I want to read this over myself and get more from it. Also, the points made don’t make sense once they are taken out of the original context. So, here it is.

Where do you stand or waver on the limits of curating content versus just reprinting someone’s original ideas?

Feeling like a Dinosaur

I’ve been feeling tired and sort of drained and lacking in spirit. So, I am going to be posting from my draft files – things I started and just needed some extra research or something to finish up for posting here. These are ideas I had but didn’t have time to finish. Good to have this sort of stuff for the days you have time but not the energy to dream up a new idea to begin.

Meanwhile, I’m deciding what to do with Word Grrls, the content I’ve got here and where I want to go. I need a new direction. Nothing too drastic but something that gives me room to grow, learn and make a different set of mistakes.

I’m tired of trying to do what we “should” do for tags, SEO, ads and all the rest. I never did like trying to fit in and do things the way other people think I should. Maybe that’s why I’m just not finding anything I really love about keeping a blog right now. It’s been awhile since I really broke someone’s rules for better blogging/ better living/ etc.

I had a really nice idea this afternoon but I’m going to let it grow on me before I make impulsive changes. It’s not extreme but would pull some fresh elements together.

For tonight… I might get to bed before midnight… well, before 3:00AM at least.

Microwriting: Copywriting for Microblogging

Really glad to see someone else thinking of Twitter as a social network rather than a marketing platform.

Copywriting.com: Copywriting for Twitter

Twitter has a strict limit of just 140 characters and that requires you to be concise… there’s no room for fluff or hype! So the real question should be: How do you use copywriting in a way that works for microblogs?

Microwriting 101
Learning to write in a sort of web-shorthand can be a challenge for those of us born to be verbose. Cramming all of my thoughts on a subject sometimes requires multiple postings, chunks of a virtual conversation, so to speak. But this type of writing can lend itself to opening up yourself to allow others a glimpse at your personality, which is ultimately what they will follow. This type of writing obviously can be very informal, but the goal here is to get across your ideas in a few words as possible, and spark reciprocal conversation.

Use Twitter to announce what you’re doing, share your trials and tribulations, seek answers or just about anything else you can imagine. The one thing you DON’T want to do is try and sell anything off Twitter. Work around it; the sales will come, when you’ve put in the time to build relationships.

Favourite Photography Quotes

From the Boing Boing forum on Flickr come these photography quotations picked by forum readers:

“Photography…it’s the easiest medium in which to be competent. Anybody with a point-and-shoot camera can take a competent picture. But it’s the hardest medium in which to have, to express, some kind of personal vision. Because there is no touch, there is no hand, there is no physicality. The fact that you CAN have something that’s recognizable from 50 feet across the gallery as a Diane Arbus or an Irving Penn…the fact that you can have recognizable authorship means they really have done something.” ~ Chuck Close

“…to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude.” – Susan Sontag

“The best camera is the one that’s with you” – Chase Jarvis

“Shoot for the secrets, develop for the surprises” – Diane Arbus

“I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.” Diane Arbus

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa

“He will take his camera and ride off in search of new evidence that his city, even in her most drunken and disorderly and pathetic moments, is beautiful.” – William McCleery

“No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.” – Robert Adams

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” – Matt Hardy

“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham

“You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.” – William Albert Allard

“If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.” – Garry Winogrand

“I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.” – Anonymous

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams

“It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.” – Timothy Allen

Paracosm: Your Own Little World

A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations. Often having its own geography, history, and language, it is an experience that is developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years.

via Paracosm – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I was told I was living in my own little world, as a kid. I haven’t fully moved in or integrated into this one as an adult. I do acknowledge it’s existence. It’s nice having a world of your own making to fall back into. I’ve always got company there. The things I like are just waiting for me.

What would your paracosm look like? What would you find there? Likely all sorts of things you put away to make room for being an adult, a Mother, a Father, a full time employee, a career-minded individual, a bill-paying tax payer, and all of those things we do as responsible adults in the real world.

Take a minute to dip a toe into your own little world. Remember who you are, the core of yourself. You are more than the adult you had to grow up to be.

Twitter Sized Fiction

Nanoism: a place for twitter-fiction.

Nanoism (edited by Ben White) is an online publication for twitter-fiction: stories of up to 140 characters. Shorter than traditional flash fiction, it’s both a challenge to write and quick as a blink to read. Call it nanofiction, microfiction, twiction, twisters, or tweetfic—it doesn’t matter: It’s the perfect art form for the bleeding edge of the internet revolution.

We’re not just catering to the 21st-century attention span, we’re publishing flexible fiction: stories that you can read on your computer or cellphone, stories that fit in the cracks of your day.

You can submit your fiction and get paid a little too.

Analog Renaissance: Have you Seen your Last Typewriter?

The Typosphere – A term for bloggers who collect, use, and otherwise obsess over typewriters and other “obsolete” technologies, including, but not limited to, handwriting, pens and ink, paper mail and mail art, knitting and fibre arts, film photography, chip-less combustion engines, and related ephemera.

Flickr: Anablogger Archives – “A repository of film photographs, doodles and drawings, pages hand- and type-written that appear on blogs.”

NaNoWriMo’s Typewriter Brigade – “This group is an online meeting place for members of the NaNoWriMo “Typewriter Brigade”. Also welcome are: those who are not yet members but are feeling that sudden, unexpected desire to pound out 50,000 words on an old-school typing machine, as well as those offering moral support, and gawkers of all stripes”.

Flickr: Typewritten – Post anything created on a typewriter.

Flickr: The Dead Technology Society

Retrotechnologist

Flickr: Lost to Progress

Flickr: Functional Antiquated Living

Ancient Industries

Flickr: iAnalog

I Dream lo-tech

Obsolete Skills

Strikethru

Travelling Type

Fresh Ribbon

Clickthing

Tlogging in the 21st Century

Adventures in Typewriterdom

Flickr: TypeSwap – “a forum for typewriter users, collectors, and businesses to buy, sell, trade, or pass along typewriters, parts, tools, manuals, and other typewriter-related materials and information”.

Flickr: Typewriter

Flickr: Writing Machines – “Typewriters, printing presses and movable type – anything to do with the mechanical reproduction or creation of the written word”.

The Classic Typewriter Page

Flickr: Typewriter Ribbon Tin Menagerie