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From Co.Create: The Ultimate Coloring Book

by | Posted December 1st, 2012

From the studio that brought you Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon comes “the ultimate coloring book.” The Picture Book Project Foundation, created by DreamWorks animators Rachel Tiep-Daniels and Margaret Wuller, has recently enlisted the help of over 60 animators to draw and create a coloring book in “an effort to bring some vivid visual inspiration to kids who could really use it.” Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to orphanages in African and Asian countries.

From Publishing Perspectives: Are grammar errors becoming more common in publishing?

by | Posted November 30th, 2012

In a guest blog post on Publishing Perspectives by long-time editor, Ann Patty, brings up the question: when have editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders gotten so sloppy with common grammar usage? In this particular instance, she discusses the children’s book, Go the F*** to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and the one line in the poetic verse and the error that went unseen by editor, copyeditor, and proofreader.

She writes, “In my many years as an editor, the most frequent lesson I’ve had to impart to writers — from fledglings to award winners to mega-bestsellers — is about the difference between the transitive verb lay, laid, laid and the intransitive verb lie, lay, lain. Some authors get it; some never do, even after eight or nine books. That’s why there are editors and copy editors and proofreaders, right?”

From Big Think: “The Social Media Arms Race in College Applications.”

by | Posted November 29th, 2012

Big Think wrote a blog post last month about how Facebook is “becoming the new resume.” College admission officers are now including Facebook profiles in their online search of college applicants. Sometimes, 35% of surveyed officers admitted that the content found “negatively impacted” the applicants chances of being accepted. Yet students are also getting smarter about hiding their content from potential lookers, and most of the time the content cannot be viewed unless you’re inside the social network itself.

From Co.Create: A New Study Says, “Beyonce is Your Ad’s Best Friend.”

by | Posted November 28th, 2012

A new study, sponsored by Universal McCann says, “Music videos rank above online TV and traditional TV when it comes to viewers remembering and connecting with the ads accompanying the programming, and that’s because people feel a more intense emotional connection to music videos.”

The study, titled “Vevo’s Music Video vs. TV Neuroscience Research Study,” asked 100 participants to watch a range of media – from music videos to movies to television – and tested different areas of their brains on their “emotional intensity.” Check out Co.Create for further explanation and more information found in this study.

How Technology Will Help Fix the “Writing Crisis” in America’s Schools

by | Posted November 28th, 2012

In recent years, writing scores for students in grades 8-12 has been on the decline. What teachers are finding is they don’t have enough time in a day to help the student improve their writing along with the task of planning lessons and grading other homework. They can write as much feedback as they want on a student’s paper – brackets, carrots, spelling error checks, sentence re-writes – but students generally ignore their feedback, feeling “miserably overwhelmed by the volume of comments.” Plus, with the pace of some high schools, they’re already planning what they have to write for their next paper and disregard the comments that could help them improve.

A recent article written in The Atlantic explains how technology is being developed to help bridge the teacher-student writing problem that so many teachers are faced with each year. Unlike Microsoft Word that shows the green or red squiggly line whenever you make a grammar or spelling error (respectively), “[t]his technology will soon even be able to review the student’s “corrected” paper and assess how well he was able to integrate the grammar lesson — and then report this information back to the teacher.” It will make grading papers more manageable as well as help the student become better at writing and more productive and aware of the errors they made and what they need to do next time to improve.

Some might think this technology will reduce the teacher-student interaction, but it is quite the contrary. According to the article, “[It will instead] help build and protect these interactions, making them more productive than ever,” saving the teacher hours of wasted effort in an attempt to improve a student’s writing who might never look at the feedback given on their graded paper.

Meta-Writers: The PWs of the Future?

by | Posted November 27th, 2012

Beware, writers: robots are taking over the world. Ok, not entirely. But there is the possibility that they will soon be trouncing all over even the most human aspects of the web.

Take the company Narrative Science. They’ve developed a platform that trains computers to write news stories. As if journalists didn’t have it hard enough these days! This writing engine gets its power from high-quality data, gathered and prioritized by an algorithm that then contextualizes that data against the subject matter. Sounds complicated, right? Consider subjects like sports and finance—both topics involve lots of numbers and statistics, and who better to make instantaneous sense of such content than those creepy-crawly robot spiders scouring the web?

But all is not lost. Someone has to turn all that analysis into narrative. You might be asking, OK, what’s the difference here? A computer serves up a bunch of useful stats, and the writer has to turn this into digestible prose. Seems like something any old journalist, blogger, proposal writer, you name it, does on a regular basis. (more…)

From Publishing Trendsetter: “Publishing Lingo, Then and Now”

by | Posted November 27th, 2012

Different industries have their own “lingo” or phrases and words they use to describe certain things in and around the specific work they do. Publishing is no different. Publishing Trendsetter recently featured a blog post on several different key words and phrases used in the publishing industry that anyone not in publishing might not understand. For example? “Metadata:”

“Information about a book that’s tied to it but isn’t the text itself.” 

The post continues to explain what it usually means, and then continues to inform readers what it means now in the modern twenty-first century publishing.

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.