I mentioned this in passing last week, but one of the most incredible things about blogging and social media is the ability to build relationships with people. Not only those you see on a day-to-day basis, but also those you’ve never met before.
As I write this post, I’ve recently surpassed 90,000 views on my blog. This may seem small in the scheme of things on the internet, but it was still exciting to me. Every time I post something it is pushed out to my social media network and blog subscribers, that’s over 1,800 contacts. And yet these are just statistics. They are not relationships.
For episode seven of Come Read With Me, I was joined by my friend Dalton. He chose The Adventures of Captain Underpants (link to my review) and I am glad he did. This isn’t a book I would have gone out of my way, but it’s one of those books that is as much a part of pop culture as any cartoon show I grew up watching! Make sure to check out his Tumblr The Whet Whitch Whistler and follow him on Twitter @barleypoop.
I think we kept it PG-13 enough, not to warrant an explicit label, but suffice to say we discussed whether or not Dav Pilkey was a bit of a pervert, whether The Adventures of Captain Underpants could be Fifty Shades of Grey for nine-year-olds, AND whether or not Dalton writes fan-fiction or erotica. (Inquiring mines want to know!) To make it even more exciting, I may have even compared Dalton and his sister, Hayley, to the Brontës. Now that is praise from me for sure!
This is the first of three follow-up pieces to my piece last week about my online presence, concerning hard skills. Posts on people and networking skills and establishing individuality are still forthcoming. Each post will build on the previous posts ultimately highlighting my unique skill set.
Today’s post, if you couldn’t tell by the title, is about my self-taught tech-skills. I’m discussing learning html, graphic design/editing software and podcast editing and how they have helped in my professional life. I’ve learned and refined other skills including copy editing (always a work in progress), mobile design programs and time management to name a few, but I wanted to focus on the bigger skills for this piece.
Let’s start with the first I learned: html. Sure, most platforms have WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, but having the ability to go in and fix formatting issues from font size and space to photo alignment is critical. When you add in the ability to build more complex things like lists and tables this has become an invaluable skill in my professional life. I am able to build, design and edit webpages and solve most formatting problems on my own. I can even use this to find out how other webpages are built (by viewing the source code) which allows me to continually expand my html knowledge!
My friend Emily joined me to talk about Maya Angelou’s most famous work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. And I’m not sure how I did it, but even with my two weeks in Spain and being part of a wedding this past weekend, I managed to get this edited and online for June! I’m mostly glad that I was able to incorporate my “real” transitions and sound effects this time!
This was a very interesting book to talk about, especially with the current climate surrounding race relations, police brutality and institutionalized racism. We were very upfront about the fact that we were two white kids hanging out in a nicer “suburb” of Boston and that we’d each grown up in specific neighborhoods.
It has been one of those months where I didn’t read a lot but I did SO much from visiting Rockport, MA (photo to the right), releasing my fifth episode of Come Read With Me and staying super busy at work.
I could talk about all the amazing art and the numerous galleries we visited in Rockport, but what was the most exciting thing for me was we went into two little bookstores (Toad Hall and Bullseye Book, I only found a blog talking about a move three years ago here.). At Bullseye, I finally asked someone where they got the bags they use to store paperback books (bagsunlimited.com) and I ordered some for my Wuthering Heights collection and autographed books! (Pictures to follow in another post I’m sure.) What’s also cool about Bags Unlimited, is they have a lot of preservation items so I’m excited about that for my postcard and posters too!
In the longest episode yet I talk with one of my roommates, Mike, about two VERY long books Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, the first two novels of the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.
I’m sad I had to cut out as much as I did (including a great aside about Doctor Who), but I think you’ll enjoy this one. We talk about science fiction and religion, technology and the fear of Artificial intelligence and even delve briefly into religion and philosophy, and what all of these mean for the future of society. (We’re so smart!)
I did use this episode as a weird transition episode. You’ll start to see hints of what I’m working into the next episode from my “podcast class,” but because this was recorded well before I did that class there are no actual transitions, I hadn’t recorded actual transitions yet, just the page turning sounds.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
I was able to do a lot more editing wise so hopefully the sound quality is a bit better than usual! I’m also mulling over a few more changes, like starting with the guest reading as the intro and then going into the discussion, but I’m not sure.