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From Kim Garst: “Why Community is Important in Social Media”

by | Posted November 24th, 2012

“A social community is the act of sharing a common mission or purpose.” -Kim Garst

A social community is more than just having a hundred comments or likes, but instead comes when there are side conversations or interactions within those comments or shares. So why do you want a community on your social media site? Kim Garst brings you three reasons why this is important in “Why Community is Important in Social Media“. Eventually, your social community will become your online family and will help you to run your sites and connect with others. This article is a defining tool that is important for writers and bloggers everywhere.

From Creating in Flow: 5 Ways Not to Write a Novel

by | Posted November 23rd, 2012

In honor of National Novel Writing Month, Susan K. Perry and Creating in Flow bring you the five ways not to write a novel. These tips range from ways to write your characters, to simple sentence structure, to scene writing. Perry also provides links to her other articles about writing, which include “writers’ resolutions” and “bad writing advice.” These five tips don’t only apply to novels, but can be helpful in any writing that you plan to do.

“Penguin Random House” What does this merger mean?

by | Posted November 21st, 2012

Penguin - Random House Merger Infographic

If you’ve been following our site, or any general news source, by now you know about the merger between two of the Big Six, now known as Penguin Random House. We touched on this merger in a post early last week (see the post here). But what does this merger mean for the book industry? Technology is becoming a large part of the publishing industry (i.e Amazon and Google) and the companies of the Big Six are worried with staying competitive. Metro brings together different critics, editors, and authors to weigh in on what this merger means for them, and for the publishing industry as a whole.

Even combined, Penguin Random House is still less than one tenth of Amazon’s size. Critics of this merger worry that the competition between publishing houses and Amazon will lead to more mergers down the line, ending with potentially only two publishers left in the “Big Six”.

Not only will this competition mean potentially big changes in the Big Six, but the merger also impacts small publishers across the world. The fact that two of the biggest publishers had to merge makes it harder for smaller publishers to even begin to compete with the large firms and the online firms.


by | Posted November 20th, 2012

On a Saturday in October, scholars from all across the region assembled in East Lansing to attend the second annual WIDE-EMU ’12 (un)conference, an institutionally collaborative gathering sponsored by MSU’s Writing in Digital Environments Research Center (WIDE) and Eastern Michigan University’s Written Communication Program.

WIDE-EMU came to be on a car ride home from CCCC Atlanta in 2011. Bill Hart-Davidson, Steven Krause, and Derek Mueller took note of the cluster of smart people in the region, as well as a lack of informal opportunities to gather and share ideas. The creators challenged themselves to use the available resources at their institutions (EMU and MSU) to hold this gathering to foster the relationships and ideas of the rhetoric and writing scholars in the region.

From this emerged the foundational DIY ethic of the unconference, which is manifested as a conference with no registration free (*jaw on floor*); rather, attendees are asked to print their own schedule and program or download it to their laptops, tablets, or smartphones, as well as printing or making their own name tags, or reusing one from a previous conference. Another cool manifestation of this DIY ethic is as simple and attentive as providing a space on the conference website for attendees to communicate about room and couch sharing.

The entirety of WIDE-EMU is organized in three phases: Phase 1 is to propose; Phase 2 to respond, or to share an expansion of the proposal in the form of a blog post, slidedeck, video, podcast, etc.; and Phase 3 is the conference.

This year, in addition to folks from Michigan State and Eastern Michigan, participants came from the University of Michigan, Purdue, Bowling Green, Wayne State, Illinois Institute of Technology, Oakland University, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Illinois State, Eastern Kentucky, University of Detroit Mercy, and Saginaw Valley. The #wideemu hashtag was ablaze that Saturday. Check out this Storify slideshow of the 250+ tweets from the day of the conference.


From SocialMedia Today: Maximize Your Content Sharing

by | Posted November 20th, 2012

Are you trying to promote yourself via social media? Whether it be through blog posts, Twitter, or Facebook, you should constantly be trying to improve your sharing and social media presence. SocialMedia Today brings you tips and Techniques to Maximize Content Sharing for the three aforementioned social media platforms. With straightforward tips like “Create short, provocative headlines”, “Do not use technical jargon in your tweets”, and “Don’t post more than once a day” this article is a helpful tool for anybody that uses social media, or wants to learn how to use social media in the right way.

Design for the Content

by | Posted November 19th, 2012

Now, more than ever, the approach for designing a new website should always be structured around the content. Despite what many clients may think, designers aren’t hired to make things look pretty. We’re hired to solve business problems, caused by poor execution, bad ideas, or a communication breakdown. In other words, customers aren’t understanding what a business is trying to sell. That’s when designers and writers show their value.

When starting new projects, designers should be asking questions not only about the business (what works and doesn’t work), but about the content. Time should be spent assessing that content, determining how it can fit within a new design, and how to best communicate the message to sell the business idea.

To be clear, if you’re starting a new design project with aesthetics first, you’re doing it wrong. The best looking site in the world means nothing if it isn’t communicating what needs it to. And it’s important that designers communicate that message to clients early and often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked on projects where the client wants to save the content discussion until last. (more…)

From CopyBlogger: The Rule of Three

by | Posted November 19th, 2012

What is up with the number three? The Three Little Pigs, Three Blind Mice, and The Three Stooges. Not only does the rule of three apply to books and other Hollywood entities, but the rule of three is used all throughout life. Groupings and statements come in threes. For example; Blood, sweat, and tears; Stop, Look, and Listen; Live, Laugh, Love. Wherever you look in life, you can find threes. People say bad things happen in threes, death happens in threes. So what is it about the rule of three? In “How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content” on CopyBlogger, Brian Clark explains how we can use this rule to create content.

From ReadWriteWeb: “How Google Drive is Makes it Easier to Teach Writing”

by | Posted November 17th, 2012

Google Drive is becoming more and more fundamental to college writing. In fact, we here at the WRAC Communications Team use Google Drive to share meeting notes, manage our content timeline, and review blog posts. Dave Copeland, a college journalism and writing professor, writes in “How Google Drive is Making it Easier to Teach Writing” for ReadWriteWeb, that he now requires his students to submit their writing on Google Drive. In doing so, Google Drive makes it easier for students to “think with their fingers,” as well as collaborate on group work.