Monday, October 24, 2011

Around the Word

Twicks of the trade: Between the pressure to maintain a social media presence and the need to finish your next writing project, finding a digital-analog balance can be challenging for many writing pros. In the latest issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, a group of science writers -- and twitterholics -- explore this "twicky" topic and share a number of helpful insights. One writer found that shutting down his online correspondence for a few hours allowed him the time he needed to write his book. Other writers relied on time diaries to monitor their hours spent online. How do you get everything done, on and offline?

Provocative print: Good news word nerds -- smart is officially the new sexy. At least according to the tagline of a new ad campaign by the Newspaper Association of America, which is trying to counter the notion that print is dead. The Times' Media Decoder Blog reports that the ads, featuring a cartoon of an attractive woman reading a newspaper, aim to promote the idea that people who read newspapers are cultured, intelligent, informed. . . . and thus desireable. Think this campaign will be effective? Or is too late for print to revamp its image?

Success story: Two recent posts from social media guru Chris Brogan caught our eye, especially since they address the writerly task of storytelling. Brogan expounds on the importance of storytelling for businesses, and gives tips on how to craft stories that your customers can identify with. And to help tell that story, Brogan shows how Google+ can be a fantastic storytelling tool. He argues that regular, searchable posts will help "save your seat around the table" in between sales activity and engage with your customers. How do you use social media to tell and sell your story?

The 411 on SEO: To stand out amid the digital din, we are often encouraged to harness the power of Search Engine Optimization -- using algorithms to get your blog to show up on page one of Google results. But Erin MacPherson, an author and SEO expert, argues in a provocative post that it's a waste of time for most writers, unless you know how to do it right. Check out her tips for figuring out the best SEO strategy (or lack thereof) for getting your blog or book noticed. Has SEO worked for you?

The latest Word in local book stores: Bibliophiles in New York take note/heart -- there's something good growing in Greenpoint. The New York Times reported over the weekend about the opening of a delightful sounding bookshop-around-the-corner in this up-and-coming section of Brooklyn called Word. The store "not only stocks books but also strives to create a community of people who love them," reports the Times. Word features an eclectic mix of books as well as a well-read staff and a variety of quirky events like magic shows, read-athons and a basketball league. We look forward to getting some reviews from our NYC friends.

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