Archive for June, 2010
Hot off the presses from my inbox, this announcement from She Writes, the premier destination for women writers – a contest for emerging authors and members of She Writes, who have a non-fiction book project in the works.
The site founders, Kamy Wicoff and Deborah Siegel , hand-picked a team of writing and publishing experts who will choose a book by a first-time author and will donate their time to its advancement. They’re calling this “The Passion Project” in deference to the term used by publishing houses when a book editor discovers a must have book – one they can be really passionate about representing.
The winner will be selected on the basis of merit – including a cover letter and a 2,000 word excerpt of their book. She will then receive supportive consultations from a team of experts designed to help her prepare a complete proposal for submission to agents or publishers.
Entries are due August 1, 2010. Finalist will be announced and excerpts posted on August 24th, and the winner is announced on September 7th.
I know someone out there in Lipsticking Society-land has a winning book in her just waiting to be part of this great contest. Remember – even if you don’t WIN – your book will be reviewed by experts and you may get a book contract or advice on what do do next. There is no way to lose!
As a business owner, you can celebrate a different kind of
freedom this Fourth of July.
You have time freedom, location freedom, people freedom and money freedom.
You can set your own hours, work wherever you want, and make as much money as
your ambition dictates.
Enjoy spending time with your family and friends and declare your independence.
By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
How’s that for a surly start to the day? But, seriously – think about it – I (and you) don’t have to do anything. We have choices (albeit, sometimes dumb and bad ones) in everything we do.
Want to leave a bill collector speechless? When he or she starts with “You HAVE to pay…or we’ll…” politely reply “I don’t HAVE to do anything.”
I have the rather nervy habit of not paying if I get lousy service or bad products. (And, yes, I document the disputes.)
Verizon, for example.
When I canceled my contract over two years ago,
they tried to tell me I had another year to go (I sent them the
contract. “Oh.”) Then, they tried to ding me for another month.
Didn’t pay it. Told them I wouldn’t. They sold the debt (a whopping $52
bucks) to an agency…that sold it to another…and so it goes. I’m
still getting calls and letters telling me I have to pay, and I can now
“settle” for half the amount. Yawn.
I’m not simply doing a cranky rant about bad service and products. Here’s my point: That implied contract goes both ways.
You don’t have to pay a bill…but then…
Neither does your customer.
(P.S. I also tell EVERYONE about bad service and products…like most women.)
If you ever find me committing one of these grammar/spelling/punctuation errors, please throw rocks at me. Seriously. I am so astonished by otherwise intelligent writers who apparently did not graduate second grade. Or, if they did graduate second grade, have since forgotten everything they learned about writing. (and I am not an ‘authority’…but I know these mistakes can be easily corrected; for better info visit Grammar Girl.)
It’s not hard, folks. Let’s begin:
When you’re referring to a thing, an event, a product, whatever… the word is “its.” No apostrophe. When you type “it’s”…you’re saying, “It is.” I’ll give you some slack here because this is sometimes a “too fast fingers” issue, and not always an error. Maybe it’s not your fault.
You’re…is the contraction for “you are.” Your is possessive. “You’re beautiful,” not, “Your beautiful.” When I read sentences like that…I just cringe. And mentally wonder if the writer’s second grade teacher is reading. If so, he/she must be appalled.
Then instead of “than.” Then is a frame of time. Than is an either or… “Then she said…” meaning after one thing, came another. “This is better than…” meaning a comparison. “Apples are better than grapes.” (note- I am not citing specific grammatical terms, I’m merely trying to show people the how and why…in terms they can understand.)
Their … not “there or they’re.” For instance, ”Their biggest concern…” which relates to more than one person’s concern over whatever the topic is. “There” is a place. “Not over here, over there.” And, they’re…oh please, why do I even need to tell you that one? It’s the contraction for “they are.”
Last but definitely not least, the punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation. Whether it’s a question mark, a period, or a comma, if it’s part of something someone said, it belong INSIDE the end quotation.
No doubt I have left some fundamental mistakes out of my tirade. If I have committed an error in MY punctuation, grammar, or spelling…here or in any other post, I would appreciate a note. This post was generated by discovering a typo in a previous post I wrote and being appalled at myself for not proofing properly.
Let it be known that I don’t have a problem with real typos – everyone gets “fast finger” syndrome now and then (where you type so fast the keyboard can’t keep up and typos are bound to appear), but these errors are NOT typos. They’re either sloppiness or stupidity.
Be smart and neat. And, call out others who are not. Even me.
By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna’s Promo Talk
Disney’s Toy Story 3 hit the movie theaters this past weekend and dominated the box office with a record-breaking $1.3 billion debut for North America. I haven’t seen it yet, but the trailer does look adorable and the critics all seem to love it. Here are some other impressive numbers; it was the largest opening for a June release, the second largest for an
animated movie and the third biggest weekend of this year.
The plot of this story finds Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their toy-box friends dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college. With it being such as well-know brand, as well as Disney-Pixar production, it had quite the marketing campaign associated with it.
Besides some big partners, such as USPS and Target, who are running ads and promotions associated with the movie, the official Toy Story 3 website is sponsoring three different interactive promotions of their own:
The Toy Box Contest provides entrants with graphics and scenes from the movie for participants to download and then use in the creation of a video of themselves. They can then upload it for a chance to win some great prizes including a 52″ flat screen TV and Sony PS3′s.
The Toy Story 3 Great Escapes Sweepstakes offers a chance to win one of three grand prizes to help “escape the ordinary”. These include a trip for 4 to the premiere of the Cars 2 movie, a Disney cruise for four or a 3D home theater system with a Blue-Ray collection of DVD’s.
Comic Creator Contest invited participants to create a comic for a chance to win more great prizes. The entries look amazing and the judges are in the process of choosing the finalists now.
The website contains so much more, so take a look and have some fun, no mater what age you are.
What was really unique from a marketing perspective was that Toy Story 3 was a first in the social media marketing area with the first ever “Promoted Trends” on Twitter. I saw it there starting on Friday and I wish I had taken a screen grab of it cause it’s gone now. Twitter decided to test it out with the Disney/Pixar folks so it will be interesting to hear the results. A big yellow box was shown alongside the topic which alerted users that is was a promoted trend, not organic. Toy Story 3 was listed at the bottom of the Trending Topics List. If the user clicked on the link it took them to a search results page to see what people were saying about the film.
Twitter is hoping this will be one way to help them monetize the site. Some have criticized it saying that it really isn’t a trending topic if it’s a paid placement. However, someone compared it to Google’s sponsored ads and said that Google wouldn’t turn down a PPC ad just because a website wasn’t appearing organically high enough on a search results page. So we’ll see where this goes. I think if it helps Twitter make money, let it go. The medium has become too important as a real time search tool, and as the world’s news source, for it to go away.
As Buzz Lightyear would say, To Infinity and Beyond! That’s where Twitter will soon take us and I bet you Andy is now on Twitter!
Did You Know That
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Created the Giving Pledge?
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and
investor Warren Buffett are asking hundreds of billionaires to give away at
least 50 percent of their wealth to charity.
named the campaign the Giving Pledge. It does not accept any money. It asks
billionaires to make a commitment to give money to charity.
Continue Their Charitable Giving
though charitable contributions fell by 3.6% last year, Americans continued to
be generous to charitable causes. The total giving was $303.75 billion dollars
to non-profit charities.
Areas that saw an increase in charitable contributions included human services,
health, international aid and environment/animals sectors.
and Companies are Giving More to Causes
giving was up 5.5% to $14.1 billion, which included billions of dollars' worth
of in-kind donations, particularly from information technology firms and
I’ve written about this before but not in detail. The Accounting Degree site at this link has compiled a list of 100 Best Blogs for Women in Business. I am proud that Lip-sticking is one of them but in reality many, many of the others are worth your time, regardless of your gender or your business.
Here are some that I can openly recommend – this does not diminish the power of the others, it just means I know these blogs and bloggers. Bookmark this page of blogs and refer to it over and over. You will be well guided in your business pursuits, if you do.
#1 to me is the Women Entrepreneurs Blog at Simon – probably because I helped create it for the Simon Graduate School of Business and I am a contributing writer. Beyond that, the content is rich with great business advice and insights into how to become a successful entrepreneur.
#2 is Canisius College Women’s Business Center Solutions for Success – not only because I have spoken there (before I moved to Colorado) but because they are dedicated to assisting women entrepreneurs achieve the highest levels of success.
#3 is Small Business Trends – I met the editor and blogger who started this blog, Anita Campbell, in my early years as a blogger. We published a book on which she was the editor. Over the years, Anita has gathered some of the most creative and intelligent minds in small business to share their advice on her Small Biz Trends blog. Well worth your time, every day.
#4, 5, 6 All of these bloge written by close friends of mine. We’re part of the online women’s community working to give back. Holly, at Marketing to Women Online, is super-smart and has some of the best women focused content on the web. Mary, at In Women We Trust, was a client – we published her outstanding book, In Women We Trust. Why? Because it makes perfect sense – women trust other women! Toby, a dear, dear friend, from Diva Marketing Blog, is also the creative brains behind the first book ever written entirely on Twitter! And, it’s free! Get your copy on her blog and learn more about the changing world of social media.
I think that’s enough for one day. I’ll conclude next Tuesday, with a few more. The list is extensive and I don’t aim to recreate it, just share some great links. Enjoy.
By Guest Blogger Robbi Hess
The other day I had someone ask whether they should blog. My first response was, “Of course” but I tempered that by asking why he wanted to blog. He said he was going into a PhD program and wondered if blogging might help him in gaining credibility. He also wondered whether spouting his political views might hurt him in obtaining job offers. My answers were, “maybe and possibly…”
Blogging can set you up as an expert in your chosen field whether it’s baking, writing, hot air balloon-making or dog walking. If you have the knowledge and background in a particular area then, blog about it. If you can write humorously on a variety of topics, then go for it. There are some blogs I read to be entertained and others I read to learn and others I simply pop by to see what’s going on in the “neighborhood.”
I do go to political blogs, weather blogs, and myriad others — that’s the beauty of the Internet, there is something for everyone.
When I blog, I occasionally have written on controversial topics but they are topics on which I could defend my position if I had to. I have never written something simply to garner feedback and readers. There are enough blogs out there that do that without my having to.
I told the man who asked me about whether having a blog and writing about controversial topics could hinder him in a job search that it depends on the employer. Certainly everyone has read about those individuals who blog about how horrid their job is and then get fired for it. The same could be true if you are going to see employment at an ultra-conservative office and you are blogging about extreme liberal ideas — it could prevent you from being hired. Is it right or just? Who knows, but it just is.
My bottom line advice to him was, if you have something to say and want a platform to say it, then blog about it. If you want to be the go-to expert in your field then blog about it. If you’re a bit nervous that your blog could hinder your job aspirations, then temper your posts. But, by all means blog!
Beth at Fake Plastic Fish asked us to capture a typical day and how we face our green challenges. It was a more difficult assignment than I thought and showed the power of being mindful of what’s in me, on me or around me… . 5:45 / no need for an alarm clock, the sparrows outside of my window wake me up. . 6:00 hit the shower (with low-water shower), tried out the Green Natura soap we from the Sustainable Brands conference last week. I really like the face scrub and can feel the difference on my skin. Organic coffee…
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