Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pinterest Works Because We Love Pictures

Pinterest is another platform where you can get noticed, but you can have fun, too. In fact, the more fun you have, the more people might share your pins.

Check out my new board, just in time for Christmas. See anything you like? :)


We Are the Media. We Are the Publisher.

Nobody wants to wait even five hours to learn more about an incident in their neighborhood. As we wait for mainstream media to catch up with the story, or at least post it online, frustrated, we turn to our friends in Facebook and ask the question in our status update, “Does anyone know what happened?” Or more likely we go to Twitter and use the keyword finder to hunt down tweets from the people who were there at the scene as it happened. They WILL tweet about it in play-by-play. That is real time news, on the scene, as it happens. It may not be entirely accurate or verifiable, but one gets the sense of the situation long before the media assigns a reporter.

Because of cameras in our cell phones, we can take onsite video and post it to YouTube or CNN iReport in minutes.

We are the media now.

So it’s no surprise that the book publishing industry needs to evolve, but so far, it’s the last one out of the gate. It didn’t heed the precedent of the independent music industry, even after Apple invented the iPad tablet and Amazon launched the Kindle.

There will always be those who like the brick and mortar publication. I’m one of them. However, it’s way easier to carry books inside a Kindle.

I am also damned excited about the future.

As an independent publisher, a writer, and a business, the opportunities, the creative options, and the ability to connect one-on-one with my audience is where it’s at. I don’t have to rely entirely on mainstream media to push out my message via paid and unpaid advertising. I AM the media and I AM the publisher and I’m connected to my audience directly. I have created a community of not just like-minded people, but people who are interesting, who have an interest, who help me spread my message, and who engage me with interesting content, advice, and entertainment.

This is an excerpt from my next book: Surfing the Digital Wave of Publishing and Marketing. For the rest of the introduction, go here:


Monday, November 26, 2012

Brian Warner Started Out Like Most of Us

I’m a big fan of Brian Warner.
He’s an extremely controversial figure, but his words have meaning when one looks past his persona and digs a little deeper.
He’s been blamed for the ills of the world and revered by those without a voice.
His lyrics speak truth others do not like to hear and also acknowledge that he is a societal target.
“Take your hatred out on me…make your victim my head.”
“Hate today, no love for tomorrow.”
“Feeling unknown and you’re all alone; flesh and bone by the telephone; lift up the receiver and I’ll make you a believer.”
What may surprise you is that Brian Warner’s parents are very supportive of his career.
Still, when he developed his persona, many in the public domain called him a sinner. They called him evil.
They don’t like what he stands for.
A mirror.
Usually the thing people hate the most about another person is the very trait they dislike in themselves. Or they are jealous of someone else's success. In this case, the biggest trait exposed by the haters is intolerance.
When an artist creates a persona, it doesn’t mean they ARE their persona.
Alice Cooper is the persona of Vincent Furnier.
The Rock is the persona of Dwayne Johnson.
George Jung was Johnny Depp's persona in the movie Blow.
Coco the Clown was the persona of Nicolai Poliakoff. 
Spock is the persona of Leonard Nimoy.
So why do people think Brian Warner IS his persona?
As a person, he may not be perfect, but who really is? 
Brian Warner is an only child. Growing up, he attended church and went to a Christian school from grades one through ten.
He was an art student and worked at getting a journalism degree. To get his feet wet at writing, he wrote for a music magazine, which gave him the opportunity to meet musicians who ended up influencing the rest of his career.
Just your every day average American. And yet, people hate him. Despite that, Johnny Depp was inspired by his persona for his role in a children's movie.
Brian Warner has created an energy drink. He's dabbling in the movie business as both a director and actor. He paints watercolors and his art has hung in many reputable galleries across the country.
Both his art and his music reflect the opposite of his upbringing -- and his persona. They speak to the disenfranchised, to the shunned, to the hated. They expose the naysayers of tolerance, open-mindedness, and true faith.
His work, as in his persona's name, is something beautiful and something ugly -- the good of Marilyn Monroe and the evil of Charles Manson.
Yes, Marilyn Manson is the persona of Brian Warner.
Did you know that Marilyn Manson started out writing poetry, then got a club owner to let him read it?
He booked his first show before he had a show to put together, and had a show before his band had songs.
He drafted up newsletters and hand-wrote the envelopes to hundreds of people.
I don’t know about you. That sounds awfully familiar to how most of us started our own careers.

Has Social Media Changed the Scope of Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the difference between borrowing content and stealing it: passing it off as your own. 
Ideas, however, cannot be copyrighted. Many can come up with the same idea at the same time, but not all of them will act on it. It is copyrighted when the idea is put into a physical form. Then it’s the physical form that’s copyright material (the text, song, movie, etc.), not the idea. 
On the physical material, especially in written work, writers quote other writers’ works all the time. They are protected when they credit the other writers and cite where the material came from.
So when you use another person's work, you tell people where the passage came from. How difficult is that? 
It is interesting when you hear of reporters getting fired from high profile media positions for not adhering to this simple concept.
If the material is found online in a blog or website, those words are the copyright of the author. You may not be able to find the author (as in the case of many things that go viral), but you can find the initial source (website/blog), so you cite that source. You don’t just copy and paste the information into your manuscript and forget about it.
Those are the mechanics for publishing and media in traditional form.
But what about the Internet as we know it today? We see items circulating all the time, where the original photographer or author of quote is lost about 12,000 shares deep.
YouTube is a great example. Who doesn't love YouTube and sharing videos? We see a skit on Saturday Night Live that we want to share, but then NBC and YouTube zap the post for copyright infringement. Pissed, you look for another link to share the same video. The same held true during the recent Olympic Summer Games Closing Ceremony in London.
These are today's realities. Copyright material has somehow become creative commons. 
But think about that for a moment. That could be a good thing. If today's marketing is about engagement, don't you want people to share your stuff? The more disciples you create, maybe, just maybe, when you do create a new project, people will actually help you move it.
If I were NBC, I wouldn't keep sifting through YouTube to zap recordings of its content. Instead, I would post on the website the snippets of content you know people will want to share, with a blessing. That snippet is an opportunity to add a message, a contest, anything that might keep them coming back to your website and sharing more. 
Seth Godin is a great example of being shareable. His blog is so popular, he soon discovered that he didn't have to use a traditional publisher to sell his next book when he had a built-in audience from his blog. 
Copyright infringement seems to be at the whim of the author.
By the way, feel free to share this blog with everyone you know.