I’ll be the first one to say it, parents don’t need my guide to name their baby. It’s not like there is a nameless baby problem. But, what my guide does is expose the process. Once parents are aware of that process, the discussions around names and the final decision can be made with a bit more ease and confidence.
The guide is not a huge list of names. It does 3 things: It lays out the groundwork you need to do in order to figure out what kind of name you want. Then, it goes on to describe those different types of names. Finally, there is a list of different evaluations you can do as you sift through your list of name ideas.
I’ve always believed in the conscious consumption and usage of social media, instead of joining just for the sake of it. Within the last month, it became apparent to me that I needed to quit Twitter. Let me be real, the platform has never been my thing. The last time I posted a tweet was December 4, 2015. Yup, over a year ago.
Let’s take a look at how I’ve used Twitter and why I’ve deactivated my account.
Attempts at Using Twitter
As a copywriter who tries to stay up-to-date and savvy, I tried really hard to use Twitter. Here are the different ways I tried to use it:
As a customer service tool. I’d tweet issues to companies. I thought this would make them more responsive since my issue was public. Let’s face it, if a company has great customer service, it doesn’t matter how you contact them. If they have bad customer service, it doesn’t matter if your issue is made public.
I shared my personal story to potentially meet those who had similar experiences. Namely, I wrote a couple posts about having a premature baby. (Okay, blame hormones.) This didn’t work, because who has time to be on Twitter of all things when they have a newborn, and a premature one at that? I learned this quickly.
I tweeted about little happenings in my day-to-day. I even posted a picture or two of things I ate. I never found my groove and Facebook and Instagram are way more gratifying for sharing these types of details since commenting is easier.
Tweeting live wasn’t my thing, either. I did this once at a Miami University hockey game against my alma mater, the UAF Nanooks. It’s thrilling to be thousands of miles from home and seeing other Nanook fans! Alas, watching the game and not typing on my phone was more fun.
I followed current events via hashtags. Most memorable was Hurricane Sandy. It captured my attention because I had family affected. But, there are other ways to stay up to date. (By the way, isn’t it quaint that a storm potentially inhibited voters and was something to be concerned about?)
6. In an effort to use the platform as a tool, I tweeted notes from The Responsible Company as I was reading it. I figured I could look back and read my notes one day. Ends up, the best way I take notes is in a notebook.
Embarrassing Twitter Story
At one of my jobs, there was this guy I worked with maybe only a handful of times. I didn’t really know him, but he once sent my manager kudos for a speech I wrote for his client. And, I once visited his office and noticed he kept a 12-pack of Diet Coke under his desk, which made me wonder if he liked to drink it at room temperature or if he would seek out a cup and ice each time the craving hit.
Anyway, he had created a list on Twitter of co-workers’ accounts. I saw that he had added me, because you can see that kind of thing. But then I was laid off, about 4 months after I had started tweeting. In the first few weeks of unemployment, when I made it my job to find a job, I was checking Twitter (because I was trying) and noticed that he had removed me from his list of co-workers. It had taken him a week or two or three to either realize I had been let go or to update his Twitter collection.
I cried. It was so stupid–both that he was keeping this list and updating it like a mean girl, but also that I felt so hurt by something so dumb, dumb, dumb.
It’s been over a year that I’ve “engaged” via Twitter. But, Twitter has developed a gravitas that is completely and utterly undeserved for a platform that hangs its hat on 140 characters and spaces. Instead of just removing the app from my phone (which I did quickly once I realized I had forgotten my password), I have deactivated my account.
Twitter can no longer count me as a participant–at any level of engagement.
Here’s the thing with social media: it all hinges on the participants. Does a Twitter user with no followers make a noise? Does really smart content with no readers have influence? Does really dumb content with a bazillion readers have influence? Because of this, I am opting out. In short, because I find the authority tweets and the platform have been given appalling, I’m “just not looking.” I hope you’ll join me if you feel the same way.
Part of the reason why I tried so hard to make Twitter work for me was because as a copywriter, I’ve always seen “social media strategist” as a cousin. I’ve come across plenty of job listings requesting social media skills. I understand Twitter and what it can be used for and that’s exactly why for me (and for my personal “brand”), I’m saying “no thanks.” And, never say never. I believe in the evolution of character. I may return if the culture around this platform changes. But in the meantime, if I get passed up for a gig because of my conscious consumption, I’ll live with it.
By the Numbers
First Tweet: April 9, 2011
Last Tweet: December 4, 2015
Account Deactivated: January 19, 2017 (Supposedly my tweets may still be viewed via searches until the 30-day grace period is over.)
2016 brought a career change: freelancing. One of the joys I get from freelancing is trying new things. Seeing what works and what doesn’t. Pretty much the second half of 2016 was trying new things. There were a couple that I have decided just are not the right route or not for me.
First, I tried contacting businesses that started following me on Instagram (tbudco) or had liked a few of my pictures. I figured they noticed me and I’d reach out and offer my copywriting services. This took a lot of time, because I would go to their Instagram account, see what they did, find their URL and become familiar with their offerings. Then, I’d track down an email address and send them a note complementing their work and explaining what I did.
I contacted 6 different businesses in this manner. I received a response from most of them. They were friendly, but the amount of time I was taking to personalize my emails was detracting from other tasks. Also, I noticed that some accounts will like my last 3 pictures and then nothing more. Sometimes I get follows from accounts that are selling insulated cups? I have no clue. Anyway, it just takes too much time to sort out the genuine interest and research. That’s not to say I won’t completely ditch this idea. I just may wait until I know I someone is following/liking/commenting because they’re interested in copywriting. (I have been posting more about writing since I’ve started freelancing.)
The other thing? Selling stuff on eBay. This was supposed to be a “just for fun” kind of thing. I knew that freelancing would be slow at times and I thought this would be a cool way to fill the free time while earning a buck or two.
Shipping is a mess that I don’t have the disposition to figure out. First off, I was trying to sell low-end stuff: clothes I had, cool dishware, etc.. So, the margins were kind of low. Trying to figure out what size boxes I needed and how to ship was just beyond me and I’m sure the cost of shipping just didn’t make purchasing my items worth it. Also, taking decent photos is not my forte.
I still have everything that I was trying to sell (which, thankfully, was only about 8 items). I’ll keep the dishware because I love it. But, I also have a set of 4 Orla Kiely for Target place mats that I kind of dig, but am willing to part with…send me an offer! Ha!
What can I say? Live and learn! And, it’s nice to get these two ideas crossed off my “to try” list.
This week, I announced that I am freelance writing. This is after 8 years of writing for both an agency and corporation. I love writing. And, I love copywriting for a living. After receiving the news this past spring that the website I was working for was being shut down, I took a couple of months to tidy up my portfolio and resume as well as reach out to people in the industry who could provide advice and perspective. I called this “cocooning.”
Freelancing seemed like the best and natural step to take. I’ve always wanted to try it, but the opportunity to make the leap never presented itself, until now. I’m most excited about being able to use the full range of my skills (and maybe developing a few others). Not to mention, I want to build a client list that spans the nation.
My “About” page is updated to include my philosophy on copywriting. Check it out.
If you’re interested in taking a look at my portfolio and resume, by all means send me an email at tbudco(at)gmail(dot)com. Or, find me on LinkedIn.
Now that I’ve published a couple of essays (and more are to come) on Amazon via their Kindle publishing program, I want to make it easy for readers to access these essays. One of the attractive things about Kindle, is that you don’t need the actual device in order to read pieces that are published in the Kindle format. You just need the Kindle app!
I personally don’t have a Kindle, but I do have an iPhone. Here’s how to get the app and books onto your phone (and I’m assuming you follow the same–or similar–steps to get it onto your smartphone, tablet, etc.).
Let’s get started:
1. From a desktop or laptop computer, go to Amazon and click on a Kindle book. One of my essays will work:
Where it says “Send me the link” enter your preferred email address or mobile phone number. Be sure to use an email address you can access on the device you want to install the app on.
2) On your device, open your email and click the link provided.
The app should automatically start downloading.
3) Head back to your desktop or laptop and go to the essay you want to download:
Click “Buy now with 1-Click.” If it’s a free item, then you won’t go to a payment page. You’ll be directed to a confirmation page.
4) Be sure it is sent to the correct device.
If for whatever reason, you have 2 devices listed (I don’t know how I ended up with 2 iPhones), just click the correct device for it to be sent again.
5) From your device, open your app and get reading!
Here’s where I had a little trouble. In my “Books” menu, I couldn’t see my newly downloaded book. Until, I clicked on “device” at the bottom of my phone’s screen. Ding! It appeared and I’m able to read it!
Let’s hope that these directions work for other devices! Leave a comment with any tips or tricks you may have.