Could you be a Food Editor?

This is a real job posting, originally from Buzzfeed online. Do you have what it takes to be a food editor?

BuzzFeed is looking for an ambitious, internet- and social-media-savvy editor with a huge passion for cooking to lead its popular food section. This is a full-time job based in New York City.

Responsibilities:
Write posts about food in the shareable BuzzFeed style and tone.
Come up with smart ideas for food posts to assign to the food team.
Edit staff posts and generate effective, clever headlines aimed at sharing.
Drive, coordinate, and oversee the production of cooking tutorial photo and video shoots in the BuzzFeed Test Kitchen.
Grow, diversify, and innovate the food section’s presence on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels.
Outline and execute a vision for growing and expanding the section to reach new, diverse audiences.
Line edit original recipes for clarity and accuracy.
Establish and maintain relationships with chefs, food writers, and other food-world authorities to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the section.
Obsessively track viral trends on Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr and create content around those trends.

Requirements:
Two to four years of website, magazine, or blogging/vlogging experience — or similar experience in the food industry.
Experience editing and managing writers.
Proven understanding of the kinds of food and cooking that generate engagement on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, and the ability to articulate those qualities.
Self-starter and hard worker with tons of smart ideas.
Obsession with and passion for cooking plus a strong interest in and knowledge of professional cooking techniques.
Flexibility, an open mind, and enthusiasm about experimenting with unconventional ideas.
A sense of humor.
Ability to take the perspective of others.
The technical cooking expertise to create new image­-based cooking tutorials and write posts full of authoritative tips is a plus.

Don’t Make Twitter a Dead End for your Profile

I found a blog, Dime Store Chic, had a lot of fun reading several posts, reposted a few of them. Then it came time to decide to keep the link bookmarked, follow on Twitter, like on Facebook and join on Google+. If I like a blog I always follow it with whichever social media they seem most active on, or add the link to my collection of links so I can find it again.

I picked Twitter first because it’s the one I like, it’s active and I can get a quick look at what people are doing now, today even. This is what I found:

dead on TwitterWould you follow this Twitter account?  I doubt it. First of all, the first impression is dull and all just automated links back to her own posts. Second impression, I noticed there isn’t even a link to her own blog in the Twitter profile. So she is really hurting herself without knowing it. Can you tell the name of her blog from anything here? No. No link and not even a name to tell you what it is about. All I see are links with no personality.

Maybe she doesn’t like Twitter. Maybe she finds it confusing or too much to deal with. So, why have the account at all then? Would it be better to have this account or none at all? I think none at all would be better than this. We can’t all be experts at everything, or find time to maintain every least aspect of web publishing. So, pick and choose what you can and will do. If you don’t have time to do more than stick up an automated feed on Twitter, just skip it and save making that first impression blunder. Leave Twitter until you have time, or help to figure it out.

Moving on to her Pinterest account. I don’t pick Pinterest to follow people usually. But, I thought here she would make a better impression. She has a lot of images on her blog after all. But… no. There are six boards created on her Pinterest profile. Four are blank, empty. Only one is active with over 170 pins. If she took down the dead end Pinterest boards her account would not look so abandoned.

Google+ and Facebook were dead ends too. That’s four for four. I was actually disappointed because I liked her blog enough that I would have followed at least one of her social media accounts. Instead I wondered if I had found an old blog. I went back to check and her latest post is this month, this year.

I am not writing this to pick on one person because she is not the only one who sets up social media accounts, promotes them on their site and then leaves them as dead ends for readers to find.

I think they just don’t understand how to use social media, or don’t have the time or don’t really want to be that involved in it. So, stick to just a blog then. Don’t set up these dead ends at all. Ignore people who say you MUST have Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and so on. If you don’t really want to create and maintain social media leave it off your profile if you can’t, won’t or don’t maintain them.

What to do With Your Old Cookbooks

blowtorchI like cookbooks but in the digital age they seem to be taking up space and not really being used any longer. Most of the time, when I think of something I want to make I find a recipe online. It’s fast. It may not be the best way to get a really good, reliable recipe, but they usually work out.

Anyway, I’m not a rule abiding, strict recipe follower. I tend to add and subtract to my own tastes and depending on what I have available. This is another reason I like finding recipes online, I can look through a lot of similar recipes and find one which works for the ingredients I have on hand and my food style (I really don’t like mushrooms and onions make me sick).

A cookbook can’t compete against finding a recipe online in that way. But, I still have several cookbooks around. Some are vintage and I can’t quite part with Aunt Emma’s Ukranian cookbook, which includes her personal notes. I’ve also got the old cookbook which may have been my Great-Grandmother’s. All the family cookbooks come with notes from past women (and the odd man too) in our family.

Still, I have a dozen or so cookbooks which I bought many years ago and have not looked at in several years now. I don’t have a really good reason to keep them.

Why Keep or Collect a Vintage Cookbook?

As I mentioned, family history, is a big reason for keeping an old cookbook.

An old cookbook also gives us a taste (literally, if you follow the recipe) of what people made and what they ate in another time. As long as you can understand the language and measurements, anyone can get the old ingredients and try making a dish from hundreds of years ago. By cooking an old recipe you can have a real taste of history. (Or as near as we can get to it with modern ingredients which are chemically infiltrated/ enhanced).

People may collect cookbooks in a specific genre as well. If you grew up in an area or knew your family originally came from another country you would be curious to know what they ate and how they ate it. Cookbook collectors keep books with cooking from regional and ethnic time periods. Or, you may have heard about southern deep fried cooking for years and never tried anything, except in a restaurant. An old cookbook lets you do-it-yourself.

Collecting Old Cookbooks

Could you eat Like Your Ancestors?

What to do with Broken Books

book drunkardBooks get broken. Some can be repaired. Some aren’t worth repairing but could be repurposed/ upcycled instead. Book art is nice to see but, I think it needs to be practical so we aren’t just creating clutter but something useful too.

I don’t have many hard cover books these days. I miss them.

When you buy a book now it’s either a paperback or a bigger sized paperback book. Very few books are published and distributed as real hard covers any more. In stores they seem to think those big sized paperback books are the new hard cover books. They’re wrong. I think they just don’t want to reduce the price. But, do they really think we are that easily fooled?

The old hard cover books, the real hard covers, needed some extra looking after once in awhile. The old bookbinding sometimes came a bit unravelled if the book were well read many times. We would recover the book. We used wallpaper left over from a home decorating project, drawing paper from architectural drawings my Dad didn’t need any more, or plastic which was intended as drawer liners but worked very well as book covers too.

It wasn’t just book covers that took abuse. We taped up pages and made home made repairs to the book spines too. Tape wasn’t the best choice for fixing pages though. After time the tape would get yellowy and sometime after that it would eventually lose its stickiness and fall right off as if it were just an ordinary piece of plastic. I guess, by that time, it was.

Helpful Links

Books Beyond Saving Can be Upcycled

Not all old books can be saved.

Sadly I lost a few boxes full of books when the water heater tank leaked and eventually cracked down in our basement at one house. No one noticed right away. So there was water on the floor awhile. The boxes were in the same room, sitting in the water. The water was soaked up into the cardboard box and into the books.

The books on the bottom were the worst off. Some were mildewed and I wasn’t even able to pick them up due to allergies to mould and mildew. Books in the middle were water logged, thickened with wavy pages. They couldn’t be saved. No store would have taken them in trade and I couldn’t keep them due to the allergies. Most of them were past being readable anyway. Some books on the top were not too bad. But, I was so disheartened I wrote them all off.

We burned them all. At that house we had a large backyard on the edge of a small rural town. So burning out in the back garden was ok.

Burning isn’t the only option for books beyond saving. If the pages are okay still you can do a lot in creating book art. Books in bad shape can still be used, just in different ways.

Be Creative but Practical Too

I think there is one very important thing to keep in mind when we repurpose books or anything else. That is to keep the repurposing functional. Yes, a lot of the book art is cool or interesting to see, but where will it be a year from now even? Will we still like it, want to keep it and want to give it space in our home – or will it just become one more piece of stuff we have around adding to the clutter?

There should be new value added to anything we repurpose. If we are just creating mindlessly or for the joy of the moment then are we really repurposing and upcycling at all? Or are we just giving the book a temporary stay of execution?

I think it’s very important to find new uses for old things but they should actually be useful.

If you can’t fix them… repurpose them!

How to Reach Beyond HubPages

Note: This was originally posted to HubPages, February 2012. I’m no longer writing at HubPages but the advice to people who write for network sites is still true and worth knowing. 

To my fellow HubPages writers,

I’ve been writing with HubPages for a few months. I had joined years ago, but I wasn’t writing Hub posts until recently.

My writing experience online comes from other sites, other writing networks and my own sites which I create, maintain and promote. I have moderated forums, email lists and newsletters. I have guest posted and I have accepted guest posts. I have begun working as a content curator. In the past I have been a web directory editor for The Open Directory Project and a less well known directory, BOTW. I have written for known and unknown sites like LockerGnome, Suite101, BackWash, have any Hub writers heard of these? Chances are you have not.

HubPages has become it’s own little microcosm, it’s own little closed in and sheltered world. The traffic here is mainly from inside the network or Google. This is not really a good thing.

Google is like a bird, picking at bits of food in a huge log on the forest floor. The Google bird just snips up one snack at a time. It doesn’t dive in and find more or tell anyone else to come and see what great snacks there are in this tree. Everything Google finds becomes part of its database and someone has to search for it in order to find you. In Google, your content is just a little bug waiting for another bird to dig for it, with the right words.

There are so many other sources for traffic! Most Hub writers are not using Twitter, for instance. Twitter is simple to use. It would also let Hub writers talk outside of HubPages which is a good thing because it promotes HubPages – outside of HubPages. Twitter is only a beginning… StumbleUponTumblrPinterest, Snip.it, Flickr… Are these foreign lands to you? Then it’s time to set your eye on the horizon and explore them.

You can promote your Hub posts in so many fresh, new places. Places you will enjoy exploring, places you will find new ideas to write about, meet new people with your interests and interesting sidelines to your interests.

Start your own blog on WordPress.com or Blogspot. It’s free in those places. Link to your Hubpages account, post links to your latest Hub article and invite discussion. Yes, you want people to comment on your Hub, but they have to get there first. Post the best Hub comments on your blog, as a way to lure readers from the blog onto your Hub post where they can add to that discussion. However, don’t use your blog or any social media as just a way to promote your HubPages account. That is a slippery slope.

It takes time to use social media or a blog well. They should never be used as just a feed for your Hub content. Why would someone read a carbon copy? Have original content, things you don’t post at HubPages. Post ideas you find and may write about. Post updates to old Hubs you have written and, of course, link back to the original Hub content. Post about a bad day, post about your new achievements and goals you are setting for yourself.

Each place you land in, establish a presence in, will bring you new readers and give HubPages new life outside of itself. This will bring traffic from outside of HubPages, those places where most people have never heard of HubPages or think it’s not worth visiting. Reach out there and change their minds.

My Hub Traffic Comes From…

hubtraffic

I like to see where my traffic came from, more than the actual numbers. This is my Hub traffic. Image captured mid day, January 20th.

I don’t know if there are rules about posting traffic stats on HubPages. I don’t mind to share mine, to show my work.

My Hub traffic reaches out past Google. I get traffic from my own blog where I have added a link to my HubPages account right along with my Twitter, StumbleUpon and etc. accounts. I put in time on Scoop.it, content curating for topics which relate to the Hubs I write. While I do link to my own posts there, I also link to some of yours on HubPages and other sites.

On my blog you will see a wider variety of traffic sources. Some of these come from comments I have left on other sites and blogs. Some are networks I have joined. I also exchange links with other bloggers, web writers and friends online. I even get a little traffic from a writer’s network which is now abandoned by the owner.

So you can get traffic from a lot of places, even those which aren’t especially active. The key is in the focus of the site, especially in the case of a small or inactive site. People wind up there, with the focus of whatever the topic or niche is. If they find your link, chances are you will get clicked on because they came looking for your kind of content.

My Blog Traffic Comes From…

blogtraffic

This is taken from my main blog, Word Grrls. Also, mid day, January 20th.

 

Real Book Lovers Make their own Bookmarks

bookmarkI became more interested in bookmarks after my friend, Deanna, asked to use one of my drawings for a bookmark she wanted to print out for the First Annual Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention. Before that I never put a lot of thought into bookmarks. I had a few, I lost a few and a few were mangled when they fell out of my book and into the depths of my purse. Most of the time I stuck something in my page, whatever was around: a restaurant napkin, a store receipt, or a candy wrapper.

Sometimes I turned down the corner of the page I was reading, at the top. But, I didn’t really feel good about marking my page that way. Mainly because it seemed to be contributing to the future dog-earred look the book would eventually get it others continued bending it’s pages that way when they read it after me.

I did find a really nice bookmark which someone had made, not the conventional long, slender cardboard bookmark. Instead this bookmark was stiff paper, folded over to cover the top corner of the book’s pages. It was like a page cap, decorated too. But, I thought this would make a fairly heavy bookmark. For me, it was too likely to wind up falling off and being misplaced somewhere. Plus, it wouldn’t do much to save my place in the book.

When I read Les Miserables (a lengthy, heavy book) I picked up an elastic which had been used on a small box of chocolates I was given for my birthday. (From my hair stylist, Megan). It wasn’t just a plain rubber band. Shiny and golden and just the right length to stretch over the pages of the book to rest in the spine between the folds of pages. The gold elastic worked very well but I retired it when I finished the book.

I’ve seen clever bookmarks made from envelope corners, repurposing them rather than putting them into the recycling bin right away. I think this idea needs some engineering work though. I can’t see the corner of an envelope staying on the pages of my book for long. This may be great for people who don’t get into bookpacking (those who keep their book in one place rather than those take it on the road, the bus, the coffee shop, etc.)

I like using whatever bookmark the book store is giving away when I buy new books. I’ve had some nice ones, depending on which books were lately being promoted. I had one for Dragonology. I was sorry to see that one get a bit wrecked from a rainy day. It was inside my purse, in the book, but the rain leaked in and got everything wet. I have one from a website SmileyWorld. But I bought that one.

It doesn’t seem right to buy a bookmark when there are so many available for free, so may ways to repurpose something else as a bookmark and so many ways (simple ways) you can make your own bookmark.

‘Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark?’ – Steven Spielberg

jewelbookmark

Bookmark Making Ideas

How to Get Started (and Enjoy) Using Twitter

TwitterNote: Originally published on HubPages, July 2012.

What’s keeping you from using Twitter?

Twitter is easy to use. Basically you type in text and hit send. You can do more, but you can get started with the basics and even skip a lot of the extras and not miss them.

I’ve been using Twitter from the beginning. I like to try new things like Twitter and see how they work. I’m an explorer at heart.

I’m assuming you have already joined and created an account at Twitter. If not, go ahead and do so. You can sign up for an account, free, with your email address and have it link to your Facebook login as a back up login.

You’re going to need a user name on Twitter. Pick something you already use on social media accounts like Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Pick a descriptive user name but don’t let it get long winded. Keep it all one word, this just makes it easier for you to type. Once you get started with social media you will be typing your user name pretty often in order to pass it around and let people know who you are.

Compose New Tweet

newtweet newtweet2

 

Go Ahead – Start Using your Twitter Account

Login to the Twitter site. Click in the box and type something. You don’t need to add anything fancy. You don’t need to add your user name (Twitter adds it automatically once you send the post). Stick to 140 characters, this includes spaces and punctuation as well as each letter or number you type. Twitter lets you know how close you are getting to the 140 limit.

Don’t worry about the limited characters. Type in one sentence, Most sentences will fit into the 140 character limit easily. Twitter is meant to be quick, lively posts so one sentence is all you usually need. If you do need more to make your point clear think of words you can take out, words you can shorten with characters like &, for instance. Pretty simple so far, right?

Now that you have typed in your sentence, send it out there. All you need to do is click “Tweet”. Your post will be sent out to everyone on your Twitter list.

Click Expand to Retweet, Delete, Reply or Favourite a Tweet

retweet

 

So Now You’ve Posted But….

So you posted but noticed a typo/ typing error or spelling mistake. Just go to your tweet, click on “expand” and click on “delete” from the list of options. You just need to confirm that you want to delete that post and then it will be gone.

You can also retweet the post from someone else this way. Or reply to anyone who has sent you a tweet.

If you want to save or savour the tweet from a friend you can mark it as a favourite here. This will save the post on your Twitter account. The tweet is saved in a file on your Twitter account.

I have an extra option on my Twitter account. It shows up in the image I cut and pasted above. It’s called ClassicRT (Classic ReTweet). You can add this option to your web browser if you like. It’s an extra – but not essential.

ClassicRT for Google Chrome

ClassicRT Addon for Firefox

Find Replies to Your Tweets and People who have Mentioned You

connecttwitter connecttwitter1

 

Venture Out a Bit…

Wander off the Home section. Click ‘Connect’ at the top left. Now you can see who has mentioned you. Who has retweeted your posts.

I like to use this side of Twitter to reply to anyone who sent me a note. It is much easier to find replies here. (Especially once your Twitter account gets busy).

Block or Report Twitter Spammers

mentions1 mentions2

 

How to Report Spam Accounts on Twitter

On the Connect section you will eventually get Twitter spam. This is much like comment spam in a blog or on your posts on HubPages. You can (and should) block or report Twitter spam. Blocking the spamming accounts will keep them from posting to you again. So this is enough if you aren’t sure they are spamming. Otherwise, report the account to Twitter staff. Let them deal with it.

Click on the name/ user name on the spam account. This brings up a second window which lets you choose the options to block or report the account. Just click and be done with it.

If this were a friend you could send them a tweet this way as well or go to their Twitter profile. You can also choose to follow or unfollow the user account.

Never send a spam Twitter account a message. NEVER. You may think you are teaching them a lesson, giving them a piece of your mind, or giving them a chance to change their ways. But, all you are actually doing is confirming that you are an active Twitter user. They will put your account on a list which they sell to people looking for active Twitter accounts to send spam to. They will also dig for more information from your Twitter account, like your web address, blog or email address. So, NEVER reply to a spam account on email, your blog, Twitter or anywhere else online. Don’t do them any favours.

View your Profile, Change your Settings or Get Help

profile1 profile2

 

How to Change your Settings and your Profile on Twitter

Click the icon/ image of the person on the top right of the screen. This gives you options which can lead you to Twitter settings and let you edit your Twitter profile.

You can leave the settings as they are until you have an idea of how and why you want to change any of them. The basic settings will be fine for almost every beginner on Twitter. I’ve left mine pretty untouched.

I do like to play with the profile settings. I add my own image as face to the Twitter account. I created a background which has my links and whatever else I care to add. (You do need software for this, some kind of image software like Gimp). You can also write a blurb for your profile and add links.

Fun with #Hashtags

The last thing you need to know are hashtags. You may have heard about them already.

Hashtags are just a quick referral tag. Anything at all can be typed as a hashtag. You just add the # in front of it and keep it all one word.

Add a fun hashtag to your Twitter post to illustrate your point, catch someone’s attention or see if you can turn a clever phrase viral. (Viral being something that catches on in social media and spreads around in a huge way). Seldom will anything grow to viral proportions but it’s kind of fun to try now and then.

Don’t go crazy with a lot of hashtags. Consider how much you would want sent to your account before you go on a hashtag binge.

#ThisisaHashtagExample

A few last things to keep in mind…

This really is enough to get you started on Twitter. There’s a bit more about Twitter etiquette and just being a smart Twitter user (tweeter) in general.

Don’t follow a lot of people you don’t know or care to know. Having a lot of followers does not make you rich and famous. It does make you look like a possible Twitter spammer. Real Twitter users will have a balance of people they follow themselves and those who follow them back. You don’t want to have people following you from some Twitter follower service either. Those are all spammers who want to bloat their numbers so they can spam and look important. They may have you on account but they won’t be reading your posts, following your links or really care about anything you have to say.

Don’t post a lot of links or stale quotations. People want to know they are following a real person. They want to follow people who are using their Twitter account as READERS and WRITERS. They want people who will read their post, follow their links and give them feedback now and then. Isn’t that what you want from people on Twitter too? So make personal posts which don’t include links to be followed and do include some personal chatter. Nothing too dull. Come up with something interesting, something surprising that happened to you, something funny you noticed today… and so on.

Ask questions, send a note to someone using their Twitter name (@thatgrrl is my Twitter user name for instance) try to get a two-way flow of conversation. Don’t be afraid to jump into a conversation if you have something useful to add. Watch Twitter hashtags to find Twitter groups who have scheduled online meetings to talk on Twitter.

If you would like someone to follow you back let them know. Busy Twitter accounts have a hard time keeping up with new followers. Many of them are not sincerely following them but just want to get followed back and will likely remove them from their own list once they get followed back. Lost you there? Don’t worry about it. Just know that people you would like to notice and follow you back on Twitter will respond if you send them a post on Twitter. Let them know you followed them and tell them WHY you chose to follow them. Do they share your interests, do they write on the same site you do, etc.?

Don’t ignore posts on Twitter from other people. Follow an interesting link, leave comments when the links go to blog posts and let people know you followed a link posted to Twitter. Give people feedback on Twitter when they make a witty comment, shared an interesting link, or have a typo in their post. People almost always like a chance to fix a mistake if someone notices and lets them know about it. Not so different from the spinach in your teeth thing. (A friend will always let you know about the spinach stuck in your teeth).

Use your Twitter profile – write something about yourself. Tell people who you are, what you are interested in and what you are doing. Include at least one link they can click on to find you outside of Twitter. If someone thinks about following you, that profile will be a big deciding factor.

Other Places to Find Twitter Help

Could you be a Full-Time Lead Writer?

db

DashBurst – a social media magazine, design agency and technology startup – is looking to add a full-time writer to its staff.

Since launching our blog two months ago, DashBurst is now one of the top 50,000 sites on the web with a rapidly growing community of over 250,000 subscribers. DashBurst is a go-to source online for the latest in social media, business, marketing, technology, web culture, humor, art and design.

We’re looking for an experienced writer knowledgeable in these and similar fields. We feature breaking news as well as exciting videos, photos, guides, infographics, presentations and more. Take a look at our blog and topic categories to get a better idea of what DashBurst is about.

Caution: What you’re about to read is not for the faint of heart, and anyone who can’t handle this need not apply…

  • Do you write for some big time magazine? Good for you. You can stop here… We’re not looking to hire writers away from plush jobs, we’re trying to train new ones.
  • You’re required to work your ass off at this firm. 40+ hours/week writing 2 to 4 articles per day.
  • Working knowledge of English, WordPress, Photoshop, PowerPoint, HTML, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Apple, Android, Microsoft, Skype and other current technology is needed.

What you’ll get:

1) Ok, first three months at the firm are as a trainee. You will make $150 dollars/week.*
2) After that, if you pass the test of successfully running the blog on your own for a day, you will get a full-time offer to join DashBurst, salary commensurate with your experience, including equity in the company where the sky is the limit.
3) Every article you write for DashBurst will get massive exposure, building your portfolio and personal audience.

via DashBurst is Looking to Hire a Full-Time Lead Writer.

Are you Just Seeing Things?

Pareidolia on Pinterest

Wikipedia: Pareidolia

Seeing pictures in images and even sounds. Like looking up at the clouds and seeing a whole zoo full of animals floating on by. Or, looking at the way your laundry has been piling up and seeing a face in the folds and layers of clothing. Or, looking into the darkness and spooking yourself out by being sure you can see something out there in the nothingness.

Look at something and see if you can find an image out of the random lines, shapes and shadows.