Month: November 2015

Episode 15: Thinking Out Loud 92: Let’s Talk About Self-Editing – Thinking.FM

Elisabeth is joined by author Stacy N. Sergent this week (Merianna is out for family leave) to talk about great pups, NaNoWriMo, writing as a lonesome experience and also a communal experience, the role of editing, and the psychological flow of being a writer. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig Sleeping with Cats by Marge Piercy The Art of Asking by …

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My Favorite Music Steaming Service(s)

I agree with the post linked here… Spotify: Spotify Is the Best Streaming Music Service: “As countless Rdio fans sit back helplessly as their accounts go dark, it’s time to be blunt. Spotify continues to outpace its growing army of competitors, and if you’re going to spend money on a streaming music service, you should sign up for Spotify Premium. Or save a few bucks and get the free version, because it’s pretty damn great, …

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Becoming Entreprenuerial In Your Profession

Earlier this year, my good friend Thomas (a PhD candidate and officiant of my marriage) wrote a very timely post about his decision to blog despite some who advised otherwise… Why I Blog — Thomas J. Whitley: “Though many academics have resisted the move toward ‘branding,’ it has long been a part of academia. One’s credentials, what they’ve written, and where they’ve taught make up their brand and determine, to a large extent, who reads …

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Fusion’s 8 Person Snapchat Team

Fusion is a popular “millennial” lifestyle news / site and has a team of 12 devoted to Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram (8 alone for Snapchat). I talked about the how’s / why’s news and lifestyle sites are devoting such resources to these networks recently, and this is further validation: Fusion’s got a 12-person distributed news team: “The digital news site and cable network for millennials on Monday announced a new team to create stories and …

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Should You Use or Host Your Own WordPress Site?

I am often asked by Harrelson Agency clients and potential clients if they should use a site or have us build and host a WordPress site for them. Money is often a main concern, as you can pay $100 – 120 a year for a pretty solid site without much fuss. A hosted WordPress site can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars in building costs, and more for …

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Edit PDFs stored in Dropbox from iPhone and iPad

Dropbox just killed a cottage industry of PDF editing apps for me (and I’ve spent lots of money on iOS apps trying to find the right PDF editor for commenting and signing that connect to Dropbox): Now you can edit PDFs stored in Dropbox from your iPhone and iPad | Dropbox Blog: “With the latest versions of the Dropbox and Acrobat Reader iOS apps, you’ll be able to annotate and comment on PDFs stored in …

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Why WordPress Still Matters

Good thoughts from Om here about the place of having your own website (whether it’s at or a self hosted WordPress installation for more flexibility) and feeding the beast: Some Thoughts on the New and Mac App – Om Malik: “Most of those platforms are built to be silos, Facebook and Instagram being the worst offenders. Their approach is a threat to the open web as much as the rise of the app-centric …

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Will our selfies survive us?

We like to think pictures that we take (of ourselves and other things) digitally are eternal and won’t disappear into the digital abyss.  However, is that true it will our JPGs and PNGs (not to mention associated metadata) slip into the digital dark age canyon we’re construction for our ancestors? “If only they had used more permanent materials” our archaeologists lament about the past. I imagine that will be a similar lament in the future. 

WordPress Reboots and Opens Up Code Base

Today we’re announcing something brand new, a new approach to WordPress, and open sourcing the code behind it. Source: Dance to Calypso | Matt Mullenweg I frequently talk with clients or perspective clients about the differences between having a site on and having a self-hosted site on WordPress (I’ll write more about that soon). The biggest difference being that if you have your site on, you’re trading off some functionality and customization for …

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Visually-Driven Information-Rich Explainers

It’s an opportunity for visual storytelling that you won’t find anywhere else on the web. Vox’s email announcing their arrival on Snapchat included this: We’re using it to create a new form of deep, visually-driven information-rich explainers that we’re really proud of, and we think you’ll really like. What’s more, they’ll only exist on Snapchat, and they’ll only last for 24 hours each. Source: Find Vox on Snapchat Discover – Vox I read lots of …

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What’s Important for Your Website?

At the annual Minecraft conferences the young fans are not provided free workshops on how to play Minecraft but on “Video Creation 101″. What will they do when they go back home? Source: 15 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 That Could Destroy Your Business Last night I dreamed that I had been brought into a website redesign and new branding initiative for a large university (I know, but this is what I do for a …

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Do the reading if you want to be treated like a professional

The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort. If you haven’t done the reading, why expect to be treated as a professional? Important thoughts from Seth Godin. Keep up with the reading, regardless of what you’re doing.

Episode 14: Thinking Out Loud 91: Homemade Root Beer – Thinking.FM

Elisabeth is joined by UNC’s own Molly McConnell this week (Merianna is on maternity leave). They dive deep into the nature of reading, writing, and spicy beverages. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic A Tale for The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki Ravens in Winter by Bernd Heinrich The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell Michael Crichton The Handmaids Tale and Stone Mattresses by Margaret Atwood Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed …

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The Web Strikes Back

Google has actually been indexing the content of mobile applications for two years now, as a move against the search giant’s potential obsolescence as the world of computing increasingly shifted off the desktop and to take place inside native applications running on consumers’ phones. Since its launch, Google has expanded its ability to surface “deep links” (links that point to pages inside an app) from beyond a small set of early adopters on Android and now indexes applications across both major …

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Quality Means More Than Quantity Even on Social Media

Sometimes we think that just putting out a consistent number of things will just create some outliers that’ll help us win. Heck, I even believed this for a long time and advised people to just focus on quantity. I don’t think that’s true anymore. Yes, we need to output things at high quantity, but we need to treat every single piece of output as the one that’ll be a breakout hit. Source: Buffer’s Marketing Manifesto …

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Amazon Finally Gets 2 Factor Authentication (Please Go Turn This On For Your Account Now)

Here’s how to enable Amazon’s Two-Step Verification, a feature that adds an extra layer of security by asking you to enter a unique security code in addition to your password on computers and devices that you haven’t designated as trusted. Source: Help: Turning On Two-Step Verification Amazon finally has 2 Step Authentication. By all means, please go turn this on (and turn on for all the services you actively use from GMail to Slack …

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Don’t Sell Out.

At some point in the past ten years, selling out lost its stigma. I come from the Kurt Cobain/“corporate rock still sucks” school where selling out was the worst thing you could ever do. We should return to that. Don’t sell out your values, don’t sell out your community, don’t sell out the long term for the short term. Do something because you believe it’s wonderful and beneficial, not to get rich. And — very important — if you …

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Thoughts in the Presence of Fear

We did not anticipate anything like what has now happened. We did not foresee that all our sequence of innovations might be at once overridden by a greater one: the invention of a new kind of war that would turn our previous innovations against us, discovering and exploiting the debits and the dangers that we had ignored. We never considered the possibility that we might be trapped in the webwork of communication and transport that …

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Episode 13: Thinking Out Loud 90: Creating the Feels – Thinking.FM

Elisabeth and Merianna talk about the importance of including and invoking emotions in readers. They discuss what they have to overcome as writers in order to cause suffering for their characters and create whole, full characters. Of course, they also talk about dogs, leaf blowers, and Baby Harrelson imminent arrival (who arrived on November 12, 2015 after this show was recorded!). Creating Emotion in the Reader Writing Beyond Good Why is Emotion Important in Writing …

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