community · Life and Stuff · ROW80 Check Ins

Should We Quit Social Media?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

I recently came across the TED Talk by Dr. Cal Newport saying , not only is social media not harmless, it is dangerous and addictive.

 

It’s something I’ve heard before, but Dr. Newport makes a few persuasive points. Perhaps the most persuasive point is that social media sites are designed to be addictive the way that casinos are, that having social media apps on our phones is like carrying little slot machines with us everywhere. He further argues that social media is not an essential technology (see the video for a full explanation), and we don’t need it to be successful or well known. He concludes that, for us to make the choice to use social media, we have to show a compelling reason that the benefit outweighs the harm.

Of course, I did find the video of his TED Talk on YouTube. Continue reading “Should We Quit Social Media?”

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Tuesday Toss-Up

I Love the Smell of Hiatus in the Morning

Yeah…okay…that title sounds a little off to me too.

Oh well.

As the year winds down and the holidays approach, I’m scrambling to wrap up my biggest goal for this year: finish my novel. The first draft anyway. As I’ve moved the deadline for this goal more than once, I feel especially compelled to make it happen this time. I’m taking inspiration from Ze Frank’s Invocation for Beginnings and harnessing my inner John McClane.

Let’s do this thing!

With that in  mind, I’m putting this blog on hiatus until the new year.

While I’ll be hunkering down and getting the job done (yippee ki-yay), I won’t disappear entirely from the online world. I’m planning to catch up with all the fellow bloggers, peeps and tweeps I’ve had so little chance to connect with this year. I joined the blogosphere and social media for the awesome community and, as I’ve wrestled with balancing home, work-projects and getting to The End,  I’ve missed hanging out with all you super folks.

And I. Will. Finish. This. Novel.

In the mean time, here are a few of my favorite posts to entertain you while I’m (mostly) away. Kind of like hold music…only, hopefully, much more interesting.

What Really Drives Dexter Morgan?
Old Favorites: Best Classic Movies
Spam and Eggs: Gems from the Spam Filter
Do You Remember Those Saturday Morning Cartoons?
How to Build a Zombie

And here’s one from Ze Frank, because he rarely never fails to make me laugh and/or think:

 

Got a favorite post, meme or YouTube video? Yours or someone else’s. Go ahead and share the linky love.

Tuesday Toss-Up

Creating a Following with HTML

Spice Up Your Blog with a Dash of Code

From time to time, I get the urge to do something new with my blog. The same thing manifests itself at home with an irresistable desire to rearrange the furniture. Fortunately for the blog (unlike moving furniture), the only heavy lifting involved is learning something new.

Now you code masters are probably laughing your closing tags off at me but I, unlike Al Yankovic, am fluent in neither Klingon nor JavaScript. However, I have picked up a few bits and pieces of HTML which you might find useful too.

How’d I Get Those Follow Buttons at the Top of the Page? Continue reading “Creating a Following with HTML”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Doing the Write Thing for a Good Cause

Fundraising Anthology for a Fellow Writer

Group Hug kittensRecently, we talked about how much goodness we can do for one another when the chips are down. When something as big as Hurricane Sandy strikes and people respond with generosity and kindness, the whole world hears about it.

But when a storm strikes in the life of just one person or family and others pour out their love, we don’t always get to hear about unless it’s someone close to us. Or unless you factor in the power of social media. Continue reading “Doing the Write Thing for a Good Cause”

ROW80 Check Ins

Night of the Living ROW

Final ROW80 Check in for Round 2, 2012

yawning kitty cat
Having reached the end of another ROW80, Mortimer decides to take a well-deserved nap.

We’ve reached the end of another round of ROW80. This round, I haven’t been as attentive as I would have liked. Of course, lots of life intervened. But all we can do is all we can do.

My plans for this round:

  • Update ROW80 page, for last round and this one: I updated the page at the beginning of the round but it needs another update.
  • Spend 15-30 minutes minimum 4 days a week on new novella. I’m working on expanding Postcards from Hell and its sequel, Ants in the Mailbox into a novella. My MIP is on hold for now: For the last month, I’ve tried to catch up with work projects and a big move. I put a hold on writing work until I get settled. Continue reading “Night of the Living ROW”
ROW80 Check Ins

Giving Myself the Run aROWnd

ROW80 Check In 5/30/12

Must…hold…on!!!

My two-week check in has turned into a four-week check in. That seems to be the way everything is going these days. I’m struggling tremendously to keep up with anything. I’ve slipped with social media, blog posts (I’m getting them posted but not on time), comment replies, blog visits and writing.

I’m trying hard not to beat myself up over it because I know that doesn’t serve any purpose but I also know that something has to change. Clearly, my organization skills (which I’m not naturally endowed with anyway) need some serious upgrading. But I don’t know exactly where to start…yet. Continue reading “Giving Myself the Run aROWnd”

ROW80 Check Ins

Hi-ROW, Hi-ROW, It’s Off to Work We Go

ROW80 Check In 5/2/12

Lemur BoxingThese last two weeks have been pretty decent. I felt a little lost when I didn’t check in last week but I think I’ll adjust to an every other week check in quickly. In fact, I think the longer-term planning will help me both relax and up my productivity.

Where I’ve been since last check-in:

ROW80 Check Ins

The ROWpocalypse is Nigh

ROW80 Check In 4/18/12

At long last, I’m jumping into ROW80 Round 2. I had planned to jump in at the start and have my ROW80 page all updated. Well…the best laid plans of mice and writers and all that.

Buuuut, none of that matters.

That’s the beauty of ROW80.

Squint at theeTremble in fear, mighty ROW, for I have come to conquer thee.

Without further delay, here are my plans for this round:

  • Update ROW80 page, for last round *blush* and this one.
  • Spend 15-30 minutes minimum 4 days a week on new novella. I’m working on expanding Postcards from Hell and its sequel, Ants in the Mailbox into a novella. My MIP is on hold for now.
  • Maintain blogging schedule. Try to have all posts schedule by the night before the posting day at the latest. All posts should go out by 4:30am CA time.
  • Visit Twitter 1-2 times daily
  • Visit Facebook at least 6 times/week
  • Continue to take Sundays off with the family
  • Read at least 2 fiction novels per month.
  • Exercise 3 days per week.
  • Reorganize Blog Menu in light of the changes to blogging schedule.
  • Revamp post tags.

Where I’m headed this week:

  • Update ROW80 page.
  • Open Scrivener file for Postcards (working title) novella and layout storyboard.
  • Keep up social media goals.
  • Start Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay.

This is gonna be a great round, fellow ROWers. Can you feel it?

Get out your digital pom-poms and rah-rah some more ROW folk here.

What’s on your list for this round of ROW80? If you’re not a ROWer yet, what goals will you be working on for the next month or two? How’s all the goal-getting going so far?

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Squint at thee by Tomi Tapio, on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Tuesday Toss-Up

Why I’m (Not) Kicking Tweeps Off My Branch

The sparrows are flying again, Thad… (sorry, couldn’t resist)

Recently, I’ve seen a few tweets saying the tweeter is unfollowing various tweeps for not following them back, for unfollowing, for not having interesting tweets, for being too quiet or maybe just having stinky digital socks. Now, I really have no judgements against such tweeters but it always makes me stop and wonder how all of this fits in with what Twitter’s all about.

Who do I follow in the first place? Generally, I follow folks that catch my eye in one of the various hashtags I follow, who were recommended by other tweeps I know and respect or whose blogs or work I admire. I might also follow a celebrity now and then or a tv show (@WalkingDead_AMC anyone?).

Is it really so important they follow me back? Although I deeply appreciate it when someone takes pity on me finds me interesting and follows Continue reading “Why I’m (Not) Kicking Tweeps Off My Branch”