Debbie Elicksen

Social Media Publicist. Content Creator. Transmedia Strategist. Public Relations.

March 26, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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Getting Mobile-icious

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I can’t be absolutely sure this website shows up well on mobile. I haven’t yet found any settings in the back end of WordPress that shows your edits in a mobile tab. When I’ve looked at it on a mobile device, it seems all right, but that’s not to say it is “optimized for mobile.”

This is a struggle most people have with their websites. However, we need to take mobile just a little more serious.

Erik Qualman, Author and Digital Leader, says, “Mobile drives more than $200 billion in sales, yet only 25 percent of brands have a mobile strategy.”

If the $200 billion doesn’t make you stand up and take notice, how about the fact that more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush?

All of us are learning how to be mobile-icious. Qualman offers a couple of easy, simple tips to get us started.

March 23, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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You Are What You Publish

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“You Are What You Publish.” David Meerman Scott uses this term to remind us that our words are eternal. Do you want your legacy to be inspiring and meaningful or petty and hateful?

If you publish nothing, you leave no footprint at all. You might think this is okay, but think about what happens when you’re gone. When your kids, your fans, all the people whose lives you’ve touched Google you, in today’s technology-charged world, if nothing shows up, it’s as if you never existed.

I’ll give you an example. A well known broadcasting friend died without leaving a digital footprint. Even clips of his broadcast reports are absent from the web. The only news you can find about him is about his death. It makes me incredibly sad I can’t hear his voice.

If you Debbie Downer people’s feeds, post with revenge, and focus on everything that is wrong in the world, publicly, that is all you will be known for.

Posting responsibly means holding your finger back from a click when you feel like responding to a political argument, from piling on a target alongside with other cyberbullies, from ridiculing someone’s body type or circumstance. Instead, you post inspiring memes, beautiful photography, humor, and links interesting stories.

You may not have control over what other people say about you, but you do have control over others see when they read your content.

March 7, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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You’re a Storyteller and Don’t Even Know It

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This week I completed two online courses that speak to the oral histories of two lineages. Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, through Coursara, was taught by Jan Hare, Professor of Indigenous Education in Teacher Education at the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia. The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art was an EdX course instructed by Dr. William R. Ferris, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Both courses got me thinking about my Canadian heritage and if there were any local and family stories that have been passed down through generations. Of course, Canada is a relatively new country, so outside of the Indigenous community, much of the folklore is from long-term genetic heritages that stem back well before any settlements in the New World.

Here are some of the more popular tales I remember hearing about as a kid:

The stories from my family lineage seem more reflective of my own lifetime. There are not many I can remember being passed down through generations, yet there is a rich history of folklore in both the Ukrainian (my dad) and Scottish (my mom) culture.

The absence of stories makes me want to write more down — to document the anecdotes and incidents that might be humorous, entertaining, or at least shed light on personal culture.

Dig deep into your life’s experience. You’re a storyteller and you don’t even know it.

March 2, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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Female Superheroes

While pop culture has still room to evolve, we don’t have to dig as deeply into the Internet to find examples of female superheroes.

The real-life superheroes don’t always get to be household names, and that is a shame. Until recent decades, it was hard to find even a fictional superhero prominently displayed.

These are the women whose posters I’d like to see on every young girl’s bedroom walls.

Female Superheroes

Emma Peel

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Played by Diana Rigg, Emma Peel was my personal superhero when I was a kid. The Avengers was a British television series from the 1960s, and although Emma was only on for a couple of seasons, her character was larger than life and is the one most synonymous with the series.

Emma and her spy partner John Steed fought crime with humor and style. What made her stand out from the portrayal of most females of that era was that she was considered Steed’s equal. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, and even on the occasion that Steed had to rescue her, she was still capable of fighting her own battles and getting him out of a pinch.

La Femme Nikita

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“Rescued from the streets” and framed for killing a police officer, Nikita was forced to work for the secret government spy agency: Section One. Peta Wilson played the lead role as La Femme Nikita and she was kick-ass and vulnerable at the same time. She was skilled in the art of using her beauty as a weapon. The Canadian series ran for five seasons.

The Black Widow

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I admit that I am still learning about this character that is portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel Avengers series. Natalia “Natasha” Alianovna Romanova’s hand-to-hand combat skills make her a force to be reckoned with.

Salt

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Clearly, if you look the word kick-ass up in the dictionary, you will probably see Angelina Jolie’s picture beside it. She’s had a few superhero roles, but Salt is my favorite. It was love-at-first-site for this female craving a female heroine. Salt tops the list in every category of what you want to see in your spy. Don’t mess with this woman.

Michonne

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Michonne is the female equivalent to Daryl Dixon on the television series The Walking Dead. You know a woman is tough when she shackles herself to two walking zombies so she can roam about undetected. She’s no nonsense and does her talking with her sword.

 

February 26, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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Dude, You’re Being Very Undude

You post something with a positive message, and someone you know makes a comment that is awkwardly inappropriate for the meaning of your post. It does not forward the conversation. Instead, it sucks the air out of it, like spraying puppies with Raid because he or she thinks they have fleas.

We’ve all seen it happen. We could have even been the culprit.

Dude, you’re being very undude when you do that.

Hijacking a seemingly positive or innocent post to spread thoughts of doom and gloom or spout off a political rant is what you might call friend-based trolling.

If the friend brings nothing but icky Debbie Downer crap to the yard and offers no positive value to your newsfeed, you probably should consider the big UF: UnFriending. But if the troll-y comments are not done every time and this friend actually provides some interesting conversations and imagery for the most part, just delete their comment. Most of the time they won’t even notice.

My “favorites” are when someone comments on a television or music video you posted and the person snootily responds that they never watched the show or heard of the artist and has no use for them or they “hate” that singer. Well, what the hell are you wasting my time for then? Did I ask for a hater’s opinion?

Whatever happened to what our mothers told us? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

YOU are the master of your social media universe and you do not have to adjust your editorial direction to accommodate someone else’s drama, unless you choose to do so. In which case, the rest of us can hide your post from our Timelines.

Debbie Downer, SNL Character

 

February 16, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
2 Comments

3 Rock Stars of Social Media

These 3 rock stars of social media epitomize what it means to be an every day influencer and thought leader.

Jon Mitch Jackson

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Mitch Jackson is living proof that types of industry have no bearing on the success of social media. He podcasts, blogs, webcasts, articles, and created the Human.Social website to help others follow his footsteps of engagement.

He is a trial attorney who prioritizes in communications and his digital currency speaks for itself. Mitch’s professional accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but let’s just say, if you need a civil attorney in California, he’s the first guy you should call.

Get a full list of Mitch’s social sites here.

 

Kim Beasley

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Kim Beasley knows a thing or two about using media to get noticed. She’s helped anyone from small businesses to large corporations to high profile individuals use digital media to push their business to the next level.

Get a full list of Kim’s social sites here.

 

Michael Q. Todd

Michael is a social media machine whose multi-purposed posts are one-size-fits-all. No matter who you are, where you live or work, you will find something valuable in his feeds.

Get a list of Michael’s social sites here.

January 27, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
0 comments

Media Thuggery

 

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I don’t know about you, but whenever there is a mass or high profile shooting, after about five minutes of watching the news, I feel like having a shower.

The report goes on ad nauseam, dissecting every little detail of the perpetrator’s life, splashing his or her face and name into every nook and cranny of a newscast on every anchor desk, every hour, every day, until the next mass murder comes along.

We get that the editors and producers want to find out why and how it can happen. But after the umpteenth tragedy, it should be clear by now that there are no answers. Even if one can anticipate and pinpoint the actual date a crime is about to happen, there are no legal ways to stop someone from carrying out a nefarious act until they declare it.

But as a viewer, I, like the rest of you, do go through a period, and especially when the story has a personal connection, where I am consumed with the news. During those close-to-home times, it may not be 24/7 enough. We all felt that during 9-11, and probably most Canadians felt that during the recent Ottawa shooting on Parliament Hill.

But from the actual family of the victim’s perspective, the continuous reset of the story and the perpetrator is like a fresh assault with each name and image. It turns the media into the thug.

No Notoriety = No Media Thuggery

When CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter interviewed the victim parents behind the website No Notoriety, the thought “it’s about time” ran through my head.

The gunmen behind mass shootings crave the notoriety. They even smile for the camera, if they are not cowardly enough to take themselves out alongside their victims. So the premise behind the nonotoriety.com website is:

We CHALLENGE THE MEDIA to stop the gratuitous use of the name and likeness of mass shooters thereby depriving these violent individuals the spotlight they so crave.

Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter was one of the dead from the Aurora theater shooting, wrote an opinion piece for Politico: The Killer I Refuse to Name. He is tired of seeing the media turning their children’s death into entertainment, which suspiciously seems to be all about ratings more than storytelling the news.

During Stelter’s broadcast, the question was thoughtfully asked: “As a journalist, do you want to be Walter Cronkite or TMZ?”

If we can clean up the Internet one post at a time, perhaps we can clean up the news one report at a time, by adhering to the suggested media protocol and thus end what shooting victims and their families might see as media thuggery.

January 24, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

 

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It’s an artist I hadn’t heard for years: The Alan Parsons Project. Although the sound is very Pink Floyd-like, the music has a unique and distinct quality about it. When the subject matter of the first album was about Edgar Allan Poe, I was sold.

While my sister was playing Tales of Mystery and Imagination as she took down the Christmas tree, it got me thinking about some things my generation (people in their fifties) may take for granted. Most of the people I’ve known throughout my life have read, at some time or another, Edgar Allan Poe. But has everyone since then? Perhaps, but even if you have, this post is going to be a treat.

Poe wrote ghoulish stories with such a flair, you felt as though you were in the room as his characters. You can find an assortment of his classics online, including books that now fall into the copyright-free zone (see your book apps for free downloads) or look for collector volumes when you’re out and about.

If you never read or watch anything else, then it must be The Tell-Tale Heart. It was Poe’s greatest classic, and one of his shorter reads. Every time your eyes lay on the pages, you are mesmerized and pulled into the scene, with your stomach clenching and heart palpitating.

Alan Parsons Project aptly brings a fun and mysterious twist to celebrate his most famous stories in song. Here are a couple of examples:

The Raven

The Tell-Tale Heart

Now in order to really experience Poe’s storytelling at its best is to see Vincent Price perform an adapted screenplay. There will never be an actor that personifies horror like Price did. Just hearing him recite the words of Poe is all you need to feel the experience. One might classify this genre as Shakespeareian Horror. Enjoy.

The Raven

The Tell-Tale Heart

January 12, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
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The Great Escape

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“No medium has contributed more greatly than the film to the maintenance of the national morale during a period featured by revolution, riot, and political turmoil in other countries.” — William Hays, Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association, 1934.

The Great Escape from all the societal ills has been, and always will be entertainment.

The Great Depression in the United States has been compared to the fallout of economic downfall of 2008, or The Great Recession. Banks failed, at least a quarter of the population was out of work, and relief measures helped to compound the misery.

Hollywood was the one saving grace in both eras. When things go to shit and when current circumstances make it difficult to see past the next day, this is when people need an escape the most. This is where film, music, books, and games step in.

A relief from reality was so important in the 1930s that the government offered assistance programs to artists so they would provide cheap or free entertainment for the masses to enjoy. Much of the film industry’s content was crafted towards escapism and to allow emotionally and physically spent adults to drift away for just a couple of hours into a land of luxury and romance, sprinkled with an element of heroism.

During World War II, the government instilled regulations and censorship to ensure its population could depict war in a positive light. Movies and theaters were used to foster the war effort. Theaters were actually used for collection sites for scrap metal used in factories that produced materials for war, and also a place to sell war bonds and donate blood.

It was also during WWII when the United Services Organization (USO) was born, where artists, such as Bob Hope, traveled abroad to cheer up the troops.

Directors filmed combat situations and created short documentaries to educate the public about the war.

Today, we still have Hollywood, and escapism includes a wide swath of movies that bring comic book superheros to life. We also have social media and online gaming that helps us connect in outstanding ways. For some, especially if they are isolated from theaters and population, the digital medium has given them a reason to wake up in the morning. They feel connected to humans across the globe and can enjoy free entertainment at any given moment of the day.

So when things go into the crapper: like the economy, your relationship, terrorism — it is entertainment that gets us through the day. It is why movie receipts are at an all-time high, why we still watch college football, the Super Bowl, and the Academy Awards in droves. It’s why we care whether Brad Pitt has shaved his locks or that Paul McCartney is singing with Kanye West. We care because we have to — or we’ll go insane.

 

January 4, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen
3 Comments

Social Media Picture Tagging Fail

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If you have to tag all of your friends to see a random photograph on your Facebook wall (and it’s usually one you didn’t take yourself), you can classify it as a social media picture tagging fail. If you can’t gain a following or interest from an organic post, then you’re not doing it right.

Let’s use Facebook as an example. While everyone is not going to see your post in their Home feed, if what you’ve posted gets likes and shares, then it will reach more people, and if they like and share it and their friends like and share it — you don’t need to tag anyone on your post.

In fact, it’s damn annoying to have people continually post random things on other people’s walls that serve no other purpose other than to pump up their own social algorithms. Do it once, the post gets deleted. Do it three or more times, you get deleted.

There seems to be a number of people who feel the need to tag 50+ people in each of their Facebook posts. This is really a downgraded version of spam. It doesn’t matter how nice the photograph is. Chances are you have no reason to tag anyone on it except to get their attention. If you really like the picture, that’s okay. Keep it on your own wall.

If you just have to tag or you’ll die, try this. If you know that one person really likes muscle cars and you stumbled across a beautiful vintage shot of a 1955 Desoto, do tag that ONE person on a post, and say “Thought of you.” If anyone else is interested, they will join in the conversation.

Choose a couple DIFFERENT people a day, every couple of days to purposely check out their posts and like or comment on one that grabs your attention. Don’t do it if it is just for the sake of it. Be genuine. Social media has a way of spotlighting those who are being a phony. It’s the best way to embrace your social connections and maybe if you’re genuine and interesting enough, they’ll embrace you.

It is okay to tag someone with a relevant post or something you think will brighten their day — someone you might want to send positive energy to. It’s okay to tag someone in a post’s conversation — as long as you are either speaking with them or bringing them into the conversation because you think it might be something they want to see or be a part of.

Random group tags will soon turn you into a social pariah. There are people I genuinely like who I’ve had to eventually unfriend because they would not stop group tagging me on all of their posts.

Have an editorial guideline for your Facebook posts and in other social media. What do you want people to get out of your page? What’s in it for them? Are you sending a message to educate, lift, entertain, or celebrate something? If your post is interesting enough, people will share it. If it’s not, just keep positing until something clicks, then do it again — without the tag.

Post responsibly.

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