This is a guest post by Vanessa Carr, who has been working with me on Facebook and some other technology projects
There has been a great response to Marci’s call for slashes on her Slash ‘/’ Careers group on Facebook.
One stand-out site was that of Katreen Hardt, an actress/freelance journalist living in Germany. Katreen boldly foregrounds her slash identity on her homepage with a colorful grid of images—half popular magazine covers for issues to which she’s contributed writing and half stills from movies she’s acted in (which include Henry Fool and The Book of Life—beneath an equally bold title: Katreen Hardt, Freelance journalist and actress.
Part of what is effective about her site is its simplicity. From the homepage, you can navigate to one of four sections: about (bio), portfolio (writing), showreel (acting), and contact. On her about page, Katreen summarizes each of her slash components, highlighting a few of her most significant accomplishments.
Yesterday, my Shifting Careers column at The New York Times online focused on ways to create buzz about your ideas. Based on the flood of reader emails I’ve been getting, I’m not the only one interested in this subject. If you have any tips to share — especially ideas for those who are uncomfortable about self-promotion and/or who can’t afford outside p.r. help, please share them in the comments. (There’s no way to comment on the NYT website yet, so leave your comments on the blog.)
Here’s the article, “Tools and Tips to Create Buzz Around Your Ideas.”
Note: Through some weird URL glitch, the link to the 360 Profiler mentioned in the first paragraph was published incorrectly. If you want to try the tool, click here.
Just stumbled on this article on Forbes.com “The Single Greatest Marketing Tool” that does a good job of explaining public relations — from both a do-it-yourself and a hire-an-expert perspective.
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I spent the past few days in San Jose at the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference , a techie-meets-publishing idea extravaganza.
My dear friend, Sarah Milstein, is one of the conference chairs, and she and Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media, opened the event with an amusing romp through publishing innovations from the beginning of recorded time. (Sumerian tablets were nifty, but not too portable.) One of the highlights of their talk was a hysterical video called “Medieval Tech Support,” which has been making its way around publishing offices for some time.
If you haven’t seen it, watch it here.
The video captures the tone of the conference perfectly: new technology has always been a little scary for users; over time, we adapt and see its value.
I got a chance to speak with Wired editor and “Long Tail” author Chris Anderson in a panel about how publishers and authors can be better partners on book promotion. Some of the subjects we hit upon included:
It was a provocative discussion, the kind that left me with as many questions as answers.
Chris also talked about his latest slash, Booktour.com, a site he’s founded along with Adam Goldstein (who I coincidentally profiled in my book way back when Adam was a mere high school student/author/software developer) and Kevin Smokler (author/founder of Virtual Book Tour) where authors can list their upcoming events and potential audience members can search for events in their areas. Booktour would have been a godsend for me these past few months, but I plan to use it going forward for all my events. If you’re an author doing events, get there pronto. The site is still in Beta mode. I believe the official launch is next week.
Below is a small writeup about the panel on Mediabistro’s GalleyCat:
Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson teamed up with NYT online career columnist Marci Alboher for a Tools of Change panel on getting more out of marketing with authors, and opened with a whammy: “All authors are underserved by the book industry,” he said of current marketing and publicity efforts. For the next half hour or so, the two discussed ways to change that situation, including building up an author’s “word-of-mouth in the permalink world” and giving authors the tools to become their own best marketers. “We need to destigmatize small success,” Anderson said, referrign to the disappointment some writers still feel when their book gets mentioned on a blog rather than in a newspaper’s book review section. And we need to look to the long term; “if an author is the best expert I can find for a topic in my column,” Alboher said, “I don’t care if the book’s three years old.”
In response to a query from the audience, Anderson made a bold promise, which he said when I introduced myself afterwards I can pass on to you: He’s willing to do a free conference call with any publisher who wants to discuss these marketing issues and bring their authors into the conversation. “As long as I don’t have to get on a plane,” he quipped.
As I go around speaking about the slash way of life, one theme that repeatedly dominates the conversation is whether, when and how to reveal your various identities. Of course, with any complex question, the answer is, “It depends.” Generally I find that people are more comfortable when they can be open about their various identities. The easiest cases are when one slash fuels the other — for me, writing and coaching other writers works that way. But when slashes have the potential to clash — like when you’ve got a corporate job and you’re starting your own business on the side, it’s a more delicate dance.
I am working on a longer article on this subject and want to hear your thoughts about openness and transparency in a slash life. I’m looking for examples of when it’s been helpful and when it’s been a disaster. I’m also looking for innovative approaches to bios/websites/blogs/business cards that reveal multiple identities. Send them my way and I’ll probably blog about them.
Malcolm Gladwell, one of the most well respected journalists around, does a great job of explaining how he is both a legitimate journalist and a highly paid public speaker on his