Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's A Strategy Game.

How can you get people to follow something online without annoying them daily? I imagine it's the most common question in marketing. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I haven't come up with anything.

Justin Bieber has 24 million followers on facebook. That's a lot. How are all those people not constantly annoyed? He's probably figured out what works because he started as baby and the internet existed when he was a baby, so he had an advantage there. Starting early helps, I guess. I notice a lot of people put ultrasound pictures of their babies on facebook. Technically, those kids have one up on The Bieb. Web presence before fingernails. How can you beat that?

The pop song you dance to in 2022 will be sung by a kid who says things in interviews like, "Yeah, I've always loved to reach out to my fans. I sent my first tweet from the womb. My first hit was under the name DJ embrYO, and it was basically just that swooshing heartbeat sound you hear in the doctor's office combined with a few 'Jah's!' We sold 36 million singles of that song on the day I was born."

I'm interested in what makes people follow something online. I don't even check the weather daily. I've been caught in the rain without an umbrella five different times this year so you might think I'd have more of an interest in forecasts, but you'd be wrong.

When I met up with Molly she said her most popular blog post was the review she wrote for the Miley Cyrus movie, The Last Song. Clearly, this was a google search thing. So, I'm thinking (Justin Bieber getting married) that if I (Justin Bieber dates biggest fan) insert certain phrases (Justin Bieber shaves head) people will stumble upon my blog (Justin Bieber Ticket Giveaway).

It's worth a shot.

Has Trouble Focusing.

Tried things out with the new camera and then spent over an hour screaming at it because I couldn't get it to focus.

All in all, this first attempt went as expected.
video

Stay tuned for video blogs, people!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#This Doesn't @Make Any RT Sense

I hate Twitter.

Hate is a strong word, and millions of people can't be wrong so maybe it's me, but every time I sit down to tweet I get upset. We're talking temper tantrum upset. On Sunday morning Meredith asked me, "Are you going to do a morning tweet?" and I just about lost it.

Mer: It's one little sentence!
Me: It's STUPID!!!!!!
Mer: Just write one funny little hello.
Me: How about I write, "Hi, dummies. I hate twitter."
Mer: You're being ridiculous.

I'm just finding out about this deep-seated disdain. I started a twitter page a few days ago after having one of the most inspiring discussions of my life with the incredible Molly Galler. Molly is synergy personified. She talked about PR being a strategy game and discussed said strategies with an energy that was tangible. I was sold. The girl knows her stuff and can create more buzz than a can of four loko, so when she says, "Tweet!" you tweet.

However, three seconds into setting up my account, I realized I had no clue what was going on, I really struggled to say something witty with limited characters, and I didn't want to play anymore.

It immediately reminded me of my childhood swim lessons.

As a fat kid who hated to be told to jump into water, I loathed swimming lessons. Every week was a battle between me and my mom as I cried, begged, and screamed about not wanting to swim. The outbursts out of the pool were bad, too.

So I think part of the reason I got upset about twitter on Sunday was that while Meredith was making points that I didn't want to hear--It might be fun! You have to start somewhere!
Just once a day!--I felt like little kid me shivering in a bathing suit trying to clearly state why I didn't want to participate.

All I came up with was, "I don't want to!"

I'll have to sit down at some point and learn about it. #Blerg.#

Monday, March 28, 2011

Going Viral.

In an effort to increase my web presence, I've decided to make a viral video. 

What do we know about viral videos?
1) Anything with cats works. 
2) Anything with kids coming from the dentist is sure to please.
3) The Chocolate Rain guy will be singing that song for the rest of his life. 

These are all good starting points but I need something cutting edge and controversial. I need body double face replacement.   

Right. So all I need is a good special effects person because I have the video.


I'm picturing my face subbed in for all these little children-- except the one girl who keeps smiling. She can stay.

And then at the end I want to turn into a swan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

If You're Not Doing Anything...

And you're not, because you're reading this-- will you take three seconds to "like" my author facebook page? 

What's in it for me, you ask?

Well, you selfish bastard, I'll tell you what's in it for you.

1) If anything ever happens with this first book you can say that you helped publish it. 
2) You might laugh. This isn't a promise. 
3) I'm planning some things for promotional purposes that could be pretty cool. 
4) You're still reading this meaning that you already could have liked the page and saved us both a few minutes. 

Thanks in advance! Up top!

Also, I take requests and suggestions are always welcome.

Friday, March 25, 2011

sssssssshhhhh!

Listening to other people eat fruit disgusts me. Apples and bananas are particularly gross. 
The woman sitting across from me at the library is eating both. 
She also has the sniffles. 

I want to unlace my hightop and throw it at her head. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Misled.

My coworker Olivia has a very dry sense of humor that totally appeals to me. She's mastered the straight-face delivery of hilarious lines and usually says the funniest things under her breath when no one else is listening. So of course, when she volunteers a story by prefacing it with, "You'd appreciate this," I'm all ears. 

Speaking slowly and with classic non-expression she said, "Yesterday one of my customers sent her macaroni and cheese back after one bite saying it wasn't what she expected."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Go Team!

So things are moving along with the book. I've decided to self-publish and then promote the poop out of it using whatever outlets I can. "Promote the poop out of it" is an industry term. (Note to self: Buy the domain name promotethepoopoutofit.com)

Here's the recent progress:

-I purchased a camera and will soon be posting video blogs. Stay tuned for that awkward mess.

-I'm thrilled to announce that my incredibly talented friend Geoff Gavett has agreed to design the Open-Eyed Sneeze book cover! It's going to be amazing. 

-Boston's PR darling, Molly Galler, has generously offered her talents to help with my efforts to expand my base. Molly's middle name is actually Twitter.
Seriously.

-Sabrina Rae, event-planner extraordinaire, is planning the initial book launch in NYC. Details to follow. 

-Debra Martin, my mother extraordinaire, has offered to make eggplant parmesan for the launch. 
"Mom, it really won't be that kind of party."
"What, people don't like delicious food?"

I'm excited. Maybe it's because I'm a farm girl at heart, but it's fun to watch something grow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Like Missing Christmas.

So apparently I missed National Pancake Day earlier this month. That's a freaking shame because I LOVE pancakes. But in honor of the national observance, I thought I'd share some pics from a night we went to IHOP back in the fall. Let's just say that I had an enjoyable time before IHOP, and therefore had no clue where we were when we sat down. The series of events as follows:

Thought #1: Where are we? 

Thought #2: Oooh, reading material. That's nice.

Thought #3: Hey everybody! They have pancakes here!

Thought #4: Is all-I-can eat pancakes a good idea? Hmm, I think yes.

Thought #5: And coffee! Weeeeeee!

[sip.]

Thought #6: I think I'm going to take this cup home with me.

Note: This experience is not unique. It's the trademark IHOP experience.

Lightbulb.

I interrupted Meredith's thesis time last night to bounce a couple of ideas off of her for the book. Always one to take advantage of opportunities to procrastinate, she jumped away from her computer, stole mine from me and opened the "Stickies" app to start making a list. I've never met anyone who enjoys lists more. Typing faster than I could talk, she rattled off more suggestions, asked me questions at a rapid-fire rate, and yelled out possible networking avenues to explore. Dropping names, venues, outlets, I could barely keep up with her enthusiasm and pace. Then suddenly, in one dramatic pause, she took a deep breath, pulled away from the computer, and spoke in a voice that was about three octaves lower than normal as she simply said, "Ask Martha."  

It's become a standing joke that our friend Martha knows everyone in the world but to see a literal A-ha! moment as it relates to MG was just about the funniest thing ever. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Update: The Elusive Audience.

When I last posted about editor responses, the main concern was that no one knew me.  It was a good point. Here's the most recent feedback from different publishers: 

Hi, yes I sent it to a reader who liked it, but we’re cutting back titles right now, so best not to wait on us. I need to see how eBooks, Borders, and the downward spiral of the book industry goes....Sorry!
j


I seem to have lost a few a emails, so I'm not sure if I've already responded to this proposal. If so, sorry to repeat myself. It's impossible to not admire and laugh with Jessica Martin but I'm not convinced we could reach a large enough audience for her memoir. It's so damn hard out there -- both for job seekers and publishers! 

Thanks for letting me consider this one and I'll hope you'll send me another project very soon.

Best,
Amy


Sorry for the delay.  I did take a look and enjoyed the read.  She’s very funny, and her subject is certainly one that lots of people can relate to.  I got some other reads and we talked about it.  But in the end, although we all liked the material, we decided we didn’t love it enough to take a chance on a first-time memoirist like this who doesn’t have the kind of platform that could help us find an audience.  We would have to really believe that this would get great buzz and reviews on its own merits, and we just didn’t quite have that confidence or vision about this project.
 
Mark

Right. Well, after hearing such a similar message so many times, clearly something had to change. I've decided to go in a different direction with the book and I'll let you know what that is when I figure it out. The next few weeks are going to be crazy busy with brainstorms so all suggestions welcome!  Perhaps self-publishing is an option, perhaps a cross-country book tour/bike tour to read at random bookstores around America, perhaps a viral video involving my book and the patty-cake cats. I'm not sure. But I'm excited to be moving in a direction where people can start reading my book. I'm extremely fortunate to have some incredibly supportive people in my life, and I think once a copy of the book exists, an audience will follow. 

This message brought to you by Naïveté.
Naïveté: Helping me think positive since 1981.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Woops.

Going to a Brazilian barbershop in an effort to save some money on my haircut was probably not one of my better ideas.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Massage Received.

For Christmas Meredith gave me a gift certificate for an hour long full body massage. She's asked me every week since if I'd like her to call and schedule it. 
-This week?
-No, I'm going to save it until I really need it.
-This week?
-No, maybe next week.
-This week?
-No, I had Indian Buffet on Tuesday and I don't really want anyone pressing on me.

So when I saw that I had a rare Saturday off last weekend, she didn't even think to ask. 
"I booked our massages. You're going."

You know the way you feel when your bath is filling up? That's how I felt for a week. I was calmly ecstatic for 60-minutes of total relaxation. Clear head, loosened shoulders, inner tranquility, not a worry in the world for one whole hour.

Right. 

People, let's be honest. I'm a bit of a mess. When I begin to approach moments of inner tranquility, I start to panic that I left my iron plugged in. When I clear my head I focus on my heart beats and swear that I can hear a murmur. And when I relax any part of my body, I walk into things. Luckily, I would be laying down for the massage so there wasn't any danger there but I definitely pictured myself rolling off the table. 

Mer booked a couples massage, which you would think would be incredibly romantic, but I quickly ruined that by begging her to wake me up if I started to drift off and talk in my sleep. 
Before entering the spa, I kept asking, "You promise? You promise? You promise?"

Waiting in the lobby we noticed a "Getting to Know Your Masseuse" book. It was basically a general questionnaire that the different massage therapists filled out. 
Meredith read all about my massage therapist for me like she was reading my horoscope.
Mer: Her healing philosophy is to work from the inside out.
Me: That sounds incredibly painful.
Mer: And her favorite massage modality is chair massage.
Me: What?! Chair massage?! Doesn't the chair do all the work in a chair massage? 

We were called in and I felt the corners of my mouth turn up the way they do when I know I'm about to start laughing inappropriately. I don't know why, but I had the biggest urge to burst out laughing. Maybe it was because of the soft soothing tone of voice everyone was using, or the music, or the fact that I'm seven years old. 

They led us to our room and each of them started talking to us individually. When they left so we could change Mer asked, "What did yours say to you?"
For as bright as she is, my girlfriend is extremely gullible, so I said, "Well, we talked a little bit about her 'from the inside out' healing philosophy and I just asked that she not put her hands inside my mouth or my butt."
"You did NOT say that."
"Mm hmm. I did. And then she told me to take off my underwear and get under the blanket."
"You're supposed to leave your underwear on! She did not--"
And then it registered.

They knocked on the door and our hour-long massage began. It seriously was awesome. My massage therapist had a little bit of a sniffle though so I concentrated on that for about 7 minutes. When I told Meredith about it afterwards she said, "Yeah I saw her go across the room to blow her nose." The only thing is, I never actually felt a stop to my massage. So of course I started to think, "Then who the hell was massaging me while she was on the other side of the room?"

I felt totally relaxed and it was really nice to be pampered. I'm also happy to report that I didn't fall off the table. Thanks again, Mer!