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Debbie Elicksen ~ Freelance Publishing Expert

March 17, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Teens Are Consumers, Too

merchandising-to-teens

1960s teenage merchandising treasure

By Debbie Elicksen

I made a disturbing discovery today. Adult businesses, media, and marketing firms seem to be absent from a conversation about teens and the fact that they actually have a discretionary income to spend. At least this is my impression when I cannot find but a handful (one hand) of links referring to this.

Teens are consumers, too.

It’s always interesting to see musings about what adults think teens are thinking and what they think they should spend their money on. It’s near impossible to find people talking directly to this demographic from a business, marketing, or even statistical standpoint.

What do you remember when you were a teenager?

  • You wanted to be heard.
  • You wanted to fit in.
  • You wanted respect.
  • Music was your escape.
  • Your friends were your lifeline.

Teenagers are no different today.

After seeing this write-up from The Guardian, I think I might spend more time on Tumblr. Forty-six percent of the platform users are aged 16 to 24. If anything, I want to know what this generation is saying, thinking, and wanting. It’s too big to ignore. In a handful of years, they will be 20, 25, and 30. Say, do you think that might make a difference in how you market? Shouldn’t you learn how they want to be communicated with?

For more background, check out my piece in Internet Billboards.

Also check out this video: What teens want — the big business of marketing to teens — Peter Thorne Reports

February 16, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Stay Ahead of the Hackers Online

By Debbie Elicksen

It looks like 44 percent of us are still clicking onto those fake PayPal, bank emails, and other common phishing links that come into our inboxes and social network feeds.

Working, shopping, and banking online is a fact of life, but there are ways to minimize your chances of being hacked. This infographic is part of a blog entry by Peter Nguyen that tells the story better than I can. It was shared by a cyber crime educator Robert Cairns.

We don’t have to live in fear, but we can play it smart. Stay one step ahead of the hackers.

How to protect yourself from hackers Inforgraphic

Source: http://www.hotspotshield.com

February 9, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Bacon and Marketing Make One Great Meal

By Debbie Elicksen

First of all, who doesn’t love bacon? This is such a clever presentation, I just had to share it.
There are a couple of takeaways from this presentation, other than the slides themselves. One is the example of what a cleanly dressed up presentation looks like. Two is if you can compare bacon and marketing together, you can compare anything with marketing.

February 4, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Facebook Is the New Landline

By Debbie Elicksen

happy-birthday-Facebook

According to Facebook, I’ve been a member since 2007.

It is hard to believe I was a reluctant follower, but then again, you have to realize I was slow at embracing the computer, and then the Internet. It was a member of my football family who made the suggestion to join at first, but I was still wary. Then I watched an episode of CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz where he and two other reporters discussed their being on Facebook. That segment got me to reconsider.

I opened a profile that week, and I have never looked back.

Once I found some of the people I knew from my physical circles, including other members of my football and professional sports family, I naturally engaged in conversations — some controversial, some not. Through my connections’ connections, my friend list grew, but so did the list of new people — those I would not have met if it were not for Facebook.

For me, these connections are extremely rich and engaging. It isn’t about numbers — chalking up as many friends as your profile allows.

I found Kathleen Mitchell from New London, Connecticut in a lively discussion on one of Howard Kurtz’s personal page’s feeds. She was witty and funny and I decided to send her a friend request.  Through her, I received friend requests from 10 other people, including Christopher Pawelski, a most hilarious onion farmer from Florida, New York. The two have been the source of many smiles over the years, and it’s a bonus that Christopher and I are linked by a love of college football. He’s now entertaining my sister, too, and Kathleen has connected with another friend of a friend/colleague.

Resli Costabell from London, England was another gifted connection I made. She volunteered for the London Olympics and that was an experience we could both relate to. (I volunteered for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary.) She has also been the source of many laughs, especially her friends whose comments are delightfully full of that well-famed British humor.

Cassandra Jeffers from Healdsburg, California and I connected through one of my hockey broadcast peeps and she has been a wonderful friend and resource, as she has given me advice on improving my communication skills with high school and university students.

Dan Frederickson from Calgary, Alberta and I connected through our common interest of lacrosse. We met in real life and have been to two concerts together.

I could go on.

Many of the people I’ve met in other platforms, such as Spreecast, Stage 32, our Virtual Newsmakers  show guests, etc. — have connected with me on Facebook. Then there are those who have been life-lines, friends and business associates wrapped in one.

It’s been great to connect with some of my dear friends and family members here — especially those who were not so digital until Facebook lured them in.

But it isn’t just about personal connections. Facebook has been the main communication tool for getting decisions made, sharing information, and for giving and receiving leads. Facebook is the new landline.

So before I sign off in this post, I want to send love to those to whom I am grateful beyond words for our connection in and out of Facebook, who I just can’t imagine a day without: Donna Price, Jennifer Miller-Bender, Cynthia Seymour, Rhonda Martin, Donna Matheson, Coral Sterling, Stephen Bender, Sharon Axelrod, Mary Parsons Sulzer, Rob del Mundo. I would like to give a shout-out to everyone, as every single person has offered some nugget of sunshine into my world, some more than others. :)

So this is my Facebook birthday celebration — to show appreciation to those who connected and continue to be an important part of my feed.

February 3, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube by Erik Qualman

Erik-Qualman

By Debbie Elicksen

What do you want your legacy to be? Erik Qualman’s goal is to be a digital Dale Carnegie, by helping others lead their best life, leadership, and legacy, God and family first.

Once you can answer the legacy question for yourself, that becomes your digital compass. Then you can move forward and decide which of the tools will work best for you to make it happen.

Not participating on the web isn’t an option for businesses today. Even if you ignore the Internet, your customer is there, and so is your enemy. You need to jump into the platform and control your own message, rather than let the Internet dictate what your digital legacy will be.

There are rules. Operating outside of them will not get you what you want.

Qualman’s latest book: What Happens in Vegas, Stays on YouTube is the guidebook for your Internet journey.

But if you want to be connected and relevant, you can’t have privacy. If you listen, interact, act, and share — what you can have are tools that work for you rather than against you or have you working for the tools.

For more tips and insight, watch this interview from Virtual Newsmakers.

Erik Qualman and What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube

If you like the Virtual Newsmakers show, please subscribe.

February 1, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Spine-Tingling Music

Muse-Survival-screenshot

Muse-Survival-screenshot

By Debbie Elicksen

There is music, and there is spine-tingling music that transcends genres. It’s when you know an artist leaves everything on the table and performs flat out. Here are my top six:

K.D. Lang – Hallelujah (Live Olympic Games 2010 Opening Ceremonies)

Muse – Survival (Live video from stadium) (London Olympics 2012)

Sarah Vaughan – Send in the Clowns – 1987

Terence Trent D’Arby – As Yet Untitled

Mahalia Jackson Live late 1960s We Shall Overcome (note that song plays from zero until 3:50)

Mad World (Top 8) Live – Adam Lambert

January 30, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Ebooks on Steroids

Chantal-Harvey

Chantal Harvey on Virtual Newsmakers December 6, 2013

By Debbie Elicksen

What happens when two creative minds get together: one with an art and television background, the other who works in FX and builds robots? The answer: machinima.

Netdreamer Publications is a digital storyteller that is very much a combination of the creative minds of publisher, producer, and editor Chantal Harvey and film director and writer Tony Dyson. Together they see machinima as the future of book publishing.

Machinima is real-time animation that takes books to a whole new level. With an entire generation growing up with ebooks and apps, it makes sense that kids would want more from their books. Machinima is a city they can enter virtually and experience gaming elements. Clouds, sun, cities, and other backgrounds can be manipulated to suit the creator. It’s the perfect platform for film.

Second Life is the platform to which Netdreamer develops its products, such as the Bobbekins – 25 snippets of film that you watch on an iPad, with narration, basic text, music, and graphics.

Chantal and Tony have discovered they can put the interactive in books into a virtual world and create ebooks on steroids. Stay tuned for their launch of Bobbekins in a physical book as well as other platforms.

The interactive book brings an exciting flavor to publishing and opens the doors to unlimited creative opportunities. The following interview provides much more detail about this exciting adventure.

Virtual Newsmakers features Chantal Harvey

 

 

 

January 29, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Telephones Smelephones

Ichabod-Crane-and-cell-phone

By Debbie Elicksen

“(This cell phone is) an antiquated piece of rubbish. It’s these telecommunication companies. They are overwhelming the populous with their ostentatious advertisements, coercing the consumer to purchase countless system updates. It’s an abuse of capitalism.”

Tom Mison’s Sleepy Hollow character Ichabod Crane echoes how I sometimes feel about telephones.

Unless it is a scheduled call, you need immediate information — to which in most cases it isn’t all that immediate if you end up playing telephone tag or are put on eternal hold, at hostage listening to strings or worse elevator music, it is disruptive, takes way longer than necessary, and adds to your annoyance when it’s the only way to reach analog people who refuse to operate digitally.

Stuff gets done on the Internet at the speed of a click. The telephone slows you down.

Scheduled face-to-face meetings via Skype and private Google Hangouts are much more personal. It’s like a coffee date only you can meet anyone from anywhere in the world without leaving your chair.

Yes, the phone is still a viable business tool, but let’s face it, times are changing. There are now two generations of people just not that into it, except for the text and Internet functions.

Ichabod rails against cell phone companies from “The Indispensable Man” / Sleepy Hollow  http://youtu.be/wegHBgfqoVo  

January 22, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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It’s Time to Write

time-to-write

 

By Debbie Elicksen

There comes a time when you have to say “stop.” That time is now.

The end of the month looms on the calendar and I am ever aware that two chapters are due in my publisher’s hands next week.

Writing about digital publishing and marketing means something new and cool comes across your feed practically two to three times a day — or every time you open your browser. It is why this book has been in the making since 2010. I needed Self-Counsel Press to tell me to put a sock in it and just put the words together by this date, or else.

It’s time to write.

So yesterday, I completed my research (well, maybe), and have begun writing and reshaping the pieces I wrote in 2011 and adding new material. Of course, when I jot down a sentence, I realize I need to jump in Google and find the most recent statistics, but for the most part, I’m done with seeking out interviews and links en masse.

As I began to write the Introduction, a Preface fell out. So goes the process of writing.

January 14, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
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Researching a Book Comes In Many Forms

By Debbie Elicksen

How authors organize their notes will differ across the keyboard. The information that goes into those notes will likely come from numerous sources and media.

You could be watching a show on Al Jazeera and a segment will cause you to grab a pen and paper and write an excerpt of what is being said. You’re surfing your social media feeds and see a number of links to bookmark to read later and cull nuggets from. You have physical and ebooks on the topic. You also set up interviews.

Research interviews

Because for everyone, researching a book is individually different, an author may want to do interviews only, all up front, or wait until all the physical research is put into chapters then use the interviews to fill in the gaps.

The latter is how I work, for the most part.

For my latest book with Self-Counsel Press, much of my research was organized into chapters, and some of it had already been penned for publishing. I decided I needed some interviews to fill in the gaps or add value to what I already had.

I am not a telephone person, and face-to-face is not feasible with my subjects located in the Netherlands, Malta, Miami, and Phoenix…although, when I look outside my window, it would have been a nice diversion from four feet of snow. Long distance telephone charges are unnecessary with Skype and Google handy, and besides, unless one has an intercom or the ability to record the interview while being on the phone, it’s not an ideal tool. For many interviews, especially all my Hockey Canada interviews the past year and a half, I use Skype. It’s free, you can still be face-to-face, and you can have it air through your speakers to record with a digital recorder. You may be able to record off your device or computer, but ALWAYS have a backup plan — and the digital recorder is it.

When it comes to technology, what can go wrong will go wrong.

Case in point. I arranged an interview with digital storytellers Chantal Harvey and Tony Dyson. We couldn’t get Tony’s audio working, so we moved over to Skype, where I used my digital recorder.

The Hangout That Wasn't

The Hangout That Wasn’t

I did manage a Hangout with my next two interviews — with Cynthia Seymour and Aliya Leigh, which I also converted (from the YouTube link) to an MP3, which is easier to transcribe from. Know this about transcribing: for every hour of interview, it takes two to subscribe. I like doing it myself because it reinforces the interview material. That, too, can vary from author to author.