Happy Holidays!

That's pretty much all I had to say.


Layoff rumors.

In a bad economy, everyone knows ad dollars are one of the first things to go. Especially with car companies going out.

I'm really hoping to keep my job or stay in advertising in general. But what if I had to leave?

Top alternate professions, without considering education or feasibility:

Runners up - undercover agent at a high school, hostess at a restaurant, personal assistant, photographer

10. Bow tier at a wrapping station (special family talent)

9. Cat whisperer

8. Bartender (specifically in a non-smoking bar)

7. Journalist/Blogger/Twitter feeder

6. Party planner

5. Slogan writer for movie posters

4. Anything Obama wants me to be

3. College professor in advertising or writing or mass media in general

2. Personal shopper

1. Author (I've become a copywriter stereotype.)

I guess I'd also like to think of something new to do. Hopefully, we will not have to see.


The end. And getting there.

When I was in college, my minor was in creative writing. I took a lot of fiction writing classes and finally made my way to honors.

Here are a couple of things I learned that I try to apply to everything I write:

1. You only get 2 exclamation points for your entire life.
The situation and the words themselves should have enough emotion that punctuation isn't necessary.

2. You know everything. Your reader knows enough.
If a scene ends with a character going to bed and the next begins with them waking up, you should know every dream they had. But you shouldn't write it all down.

3. Be Hemingway.
Use necessary words.

4. Know the ending before you begin.
You have to know where a story is going and then take it there. I've heard other writers say they create the characters and let them drive the story. But on every successful story I've written, I've known the climax before I began.


Serious journalism meets banner ad.

I was just on the NY Times site, trying to read the news. I consider the NY Times to be a serious, sacred place.

But then I rolled over this banner - rolled over, not clicked - and it expanded to take up my reading space. It was a Capitol One ad, a "What's in your wallet?" campaign piece. So a wallet opens and a picture of a child in a bath comes out with a rubber duck and water.

I was just looking at a picture of rows and rows of graves where people in Africa are dying of cholera. I had perused a headline where white collar jobs are falling to the terrible economy. And you're going to invade my screen with a picture of a child in a bath?

Not okay.

Please be aware of where you place your ads. Maybe try a parenting site next time. Or at least don't make it expand and infringe on my serious space.

Thank you. And goodbye.


Oh Blogger, you have disappointed me.

My first few days on Twitter have gone well. I've got an app on my iPhone that I can semi work and I've been texting in my comments as well.

I was disappointed to find out that Blogger really doesn't have a good system to link to Twitter. You'll notice I have a Twitter feed on the blog but linking the blog back to Twitter is complicated. Even more frustrating - other blogging companies like WordPress have already figured it out.

Perhaps it's all about who owns what and making the right deal with them. I hate to think it's oversight.

I feel like almost* every company should have:
a website
a Twitter feed
some sort of blog or updated content
an iPhone app
a widget
a Facebook page

These things should all connect and the content should take them further. In fact, companies should look at every piece of technology, every app and see if there's a way they could get in on them and benefit. Are there dedicated staffers who do these things? Technology hall monitors?

By the way, I'm pretty sure Barack Obama completed the list and went beyond.

*I say almost because if the concept doesn't warrant these things or if it would harm the concept to have them, then they shouldn't exist.


Twitter and the 24/7 pressure.

I joined Twitter today, at the urging of a coworker. And now I feel this extreme pressure to "Twit" (oh god, I don't know the terminology, I'm so behind!) all the time.

My friend, Paul, has already sent me three sites - one that grades and ranks you on Twitter, one that tracks your stats and one that threatens to track you down if you ever quit Twitter.

What have I gotten myself into? And how far does it go?

I've already got my iPhone app for it, of course. But I can also connect it to my Facebook and this blog.

My next question: do people really care what I'm doing and thinking or is this just work escapism at its finest? Am I a virtual socialite or do I suffer from boredom?

And what could I do with Twitter to make things interesting? Barack Obama had a Twitter. I'm sure other companies do too. (I'm already Twittering NPR, and they're Twittering me. - Twittering? Right word?)

I wonder how fast a message could spread on there. Like an elementary school parent's phone tree.

I'm connecting it to the blog now. If I can figure it out.



There's the bell and we're off.

Time for recess. Meaning we all relax and enjoy our stations in life before someone makes us go back to class.

In the case of the US recession, people don't seem to be taking it easy. The feeling in the schoolyard is not light. Everyone is desperate to get back to work, to make the big bucks and become super rich again. Obama is going to deliver, I have the faith. But until then, why can't we take some time for ourselves?

I guess it's hard to relax because we're all so worried. Advertising is the first thing a lot of companies cut down on. Apparently "you have to spend money to make money" really doesn't apply when you're in a heap of debt. Everyone here is working hard to show they want to keep working. Creativity is devoted to home projects.

And that's what I mean by recess. As advertisers, we have a lot of time on our hands in a slowing, dying, weeping economy.

What am I going to do with my creative energy? Run it out on the playground until it's time to go back inside.