Here’s to a happy and productive 2017

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Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin …

2016 was a year many people will never forget, from the world changing democratic decisions to the loss of so many icons in music, television and film.  Yet in other ways – the olympics/paralympics for example, and for me on a professional level –  it was excellent. I took a quick look back while looking forward.

While last year involved much consolidation, I was able to embrace and combine more of the things I love.

Determined to stay completely freelance and concentrate on writing and social media, I was rewarded by being commissioned across a variety of projects, both personally and for the Rochester LitFest.

I began blogging for Yahoo, which is brilliant on two counts: I’m writing more regularly about my favourite things, and I have to watch a lot of television – no choice, it’s my job now 😉 – it’s also helpful with respect to my own scriptwriting that I dissect the shows, watching them more critically and figuring out why they worked so well and what made the characters engaging. That it coincided with an exceptional year on television made it a pleasure rather than work.

Although I’ve been working in social media for a long time, I decided to go to college and earn myself a Diploma in Social Media for Business. It’s extremely satisfying to be an official social media goddess and I’ll be putting what I’ve learnt to good use, running workshops as well as continuing to work with private clients. 

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Of all the sad losses in 2016, one that hit the Medway community particularly hard was the demise of the beautiful little WOW Magazine, our bible of what’s on where. Happily though, this means we can concentrate on the WOW Kent website, for which I’m the online editor. Together with founder and editor Emma Dewhurst, I’ll be working towards making it the go-to source for creative and cultural news and events across the Kent area.

In order to concentrate on funding for the LitFest, this year will look a little different in that there are currently no plans for a standalone festival in October. Instead, we’ll be running events across a month or so in May/June, covering the Dickens Festival and the Battle of Medway, as well as another Discworld inspired Turtle Moves day, honouring Sir Terry Pratchett.

We’ll also be in attendance at the Creative Care Expo in Maidstone on 26/1 and looking forward to working with more people on our Memory Box project this year. A smaller version, mixed with the Turtle Moves activities will take place at the Rochester Dementia Memory Cafe on April 28 – Sir Terry Pratchett’s birthday, appropriately.

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There are a lot of exciting things to look forward to this year; I’ll try to share all of them with you.

Have a great 2017 🙂

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18 tips to extend your Facebook reach

With Facebook throttling the organic reach of posts so that very few (approx. 15%) of those who’ve liked a page will actually see them, are paid ads the only way to go?

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There are certain benefits:

  • they practically guarantee many more visits and likes
  • they allow you to target your audience more thoroughly
  • the comparative cost of a Facebook ad is much lower than traditional methods

You do need to spend money to be widely discovered – but then you need to bear in mind that the more ‘likes’ your page has (50k plus) the more FB will throttle, bizarrely.

So promote to a specific and targeted audience, define your goals and approach, and remember, quality not quantity, always. (And don’t forget to end the campaign – Facebook will continue to collect payment!)

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Is your small business on-line yet? If not, why not?

SMEs, charities and community groups today require a digital mindset if not to be left behind by the competition.


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Everyone is on the internet nowadays, aren’t they? Open 24/7, 365 days a year, it’s hard to avoid.

But you’ve been putting off creating your own on-line presence. Why? Time? Money? You don’t see the point of social media – why would you want to know what other people had for breakfast? Trust me, it’s so much more than that!

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Facebook and Twitter – how to block the trolls

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Twitter boss, Dick Costolo, recently admitted that the company “sucks” when it comes to dealing with trolling and abuse through the popular platform.

A number of high profile users have left the site due to them being targeted by cowardly and/or sick individuals – who wouldn’t dare say what they do face to face.

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Never miss another thing!

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You know the feeling: you should step away from Facebook, but you’ve just seen an intriguingly titled article, or the merest glimpse of a gorgeous picture out of the corner of your eye. Lunchtime is over, and the boss is headed your way. But you know if you don’t look at it right now, Facebook will never let you see it again …

What do you do?

You put it in your Pocket for later!

Pocket: My new favourite app. Or life hack, since it’s made mine infinitely easier. At the click of a button, the article or photo you don’t have time for now, is saved for later. And you won’t even need wifi to access it, it will be there for you to see at leisure.

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Gone are the days of me fiddling about on the phone emailing myself whatever it is – now I just send it to straight to Pocket. There’s also a button for your toolbar on the desktop too. My email folders have now been cleared and everything is categorized in full view – no going back and forth between files.

The basic save-it-when-you-see-it is a fab addition to my desk top and iPhone – so simple and yet so effective. I don’t know how I managed without it! getpocket.com

Image: Pixabay

Sunday Slackers

The internet of fascinating things to while away your Sunday …

Beginning with Sassy Women Alert, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do a Ricky Gervais on an unsuspecting Hollywood (and it’s fab to see George has a sense of humour. No wonder we love him so.)

 

Literature/Film: With the hype surrounding a certain film due out next month, it seemed a good time to share one of the funniest and wittiest Twitter feeds around – Fifty Sheds of Grey.

Space: The cultural significance of space exploration

Tech?: 21 times people used the internet before it was invented.

Animals: Cats and Dogs trying to decide who’s boss.

Freelancing: Dispelling a few myths about self employed people (such as writers!)

Photography: The simple beauty of children and animals

Music: John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ made into a comic strip

Miscellaneous: Mr Men’s and Little Misses for modern day Britain

Music 2: 7 Elvis tunes borrowed from classical music

For writers: Honesty in Writing and a toolbox of practicality

Fun: 7 people who totally nailed it!

Thoughts for the week – The Final Frontier!