Bus Ride Blogging

Each day, I spend two hours or more on a bus. That adds up to 10 hours a week. In the five months that I’ve been back in Florida, the total of time spent on the bus is measured in days.

These numbers don’t reflect weekend trips like Greyhound trips to Miami and Gainesville. My year of service will be missing days due to bus rides.

This really didn’t bother me until yesterday when I met someone whose round trip is five hours. The man catches his first bus at 5:15 am and there is no guarantee he’ll make it to work on time. He seemed at peace with it, but it made me think more about our situations.

I refuse to lose any more time riding a bus. My life still depends on the bus, but I will make sure that my time is well spent.

From here on out, this will become the Bus Ride Blog. My hour ride will be spent thumbing away on my Droid to create posts on each ride. It will be the high altitude training for blogging. If I can do it here, I can do it anywhere.

So this has been post number 1, and it smells faintly like urine.

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Four RTs, Two Likes or What Metrics Mean to Me

So last week I was concerened about what my actual contributions to my organization were. I get lost in long term goals and have difficulty measuring growth. Unfortunately, all of my tasks involve both of these things.

I think I’m still in an intern mindset, where my time is best used for filing or stuffing envelopes. When a small project scrap was thrown my way, I would go nuts and do the best damn job at doing research or what ever it is I could do. Once I completed that individual task, it was back to the filing cabinets. That was how I measured my success, my ability to avoid filing.

By those standards things are going well, and they are. I have been updating the organizations Facebook and Twitter pages for a few days and I’ve slowly been building responses. Yesterday, I received the four RTs and two likes. Really those have no weight because they haven’t led directly to any actions of our behalf… yet. This is going to be one of those long term projects that will hopefully, show some numerable results. We have also gained six followers and two fans. That’s impressive, right?

This feels like something I enjoy and I will excel at. The only downside is I seem to avoid my computer when I get home. To put it one way, I slave all day over a hot twitter at work and you expect me to come home and tweet too? All of this screen time is balanced by my 10 mile bike ride each day, so that means I officially hate everything I like to do when I get home.

Yup, time for a new hobby.

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Four RTs, Two Likes or What Metrics Mean to Me

So last week I was concerened about what my actual contributions to my organization were. I get lost in long term goals and have difficulty measuring growth. Unfortunately, all of my tasks involve both of these things.

I think I’m still in an intern mindset, where my time is best used for filing or stuffing envelopes. When a small project scrap was thrown my way, I would go nuts and do the best damn job at doing research or what ever it is I could do. Once I completed that individual task, it was back to the filing cabinets. That was how I measured my success, my ability to avoid filing.

By those standards things are going well, and they are. I have been updating the organizations Facebook and Twitter pages for a few days and I’ve slowly been building responses. Yesterday, I received the four RTs and two likes. Really those have no weight because they haven’t led directly to any actions of our behalf… yet. This is going to be one of those long term projects that will hopefully, show some numerable results. We have also gained six followers and two fans. That’s impressive, right?

This feels like something I enjoy and I will excel at. The only downside is I seem to avoid my computer when I get home. To put it one way, I slave all day over a hot twitter at work and you expect me to come home and tweet too? All of this screen time is balanced by my 10 mile bike ride each day, so that means I officially hate everything I like to do when I get home.

Yup, time for a new hobby.

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Two Weeks Down, 50 To Go

Let me start of by saying that I’m not the counting days until I’m free from AmeriCorps. If that were the case, it would be a very long year, and I should look into spending it doing something else. The truth is that I love my job, and I’m trying to find a way to mark my progress. The first two weeks boil down to roughly four percent of my total service. I’m not sure if that’s a proper way to quantify my time, but if I’ve completed four percent of service, then I should be four percent nearer to my goals. That hasn’t been the case, but I know I’m not too far behind.
To this date, I’m still not sure what I’ve accomplished. My first week was a short one due to Thanksgiving, and my office was just set up with a working computer, name plaque and business cards. I’ve spent at least five hours a day doing research for my social media plan. My goal is to execute a successful campaign plan across multiple platforms and find the metric to measure it. This includes utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr to send out our message. I’ve been looking into a new site as well, Ammado. Based from Ireland, this site features 100,000 members and is designed to help non-profits. I’m hoping that signing on as an early adopter will payoff down the road. But for know, it’s time to focus on what I know, or what I think I know.
All my time has been leading to the execution of my social media plan. And as I presented my rushed first draft, I realized that it was filled with uhs, ums and a handful of typos. I never intended this quick run through to turn into my bad first impression, but I have always under prepared for situations like this. I remember misspelling a professors name when asking for a recommendation, and sending this line to another professor during sophomore year. I plan to be a great writter. Yup, writter. These mistakes feel like a punch the gut, but always remind to try harder.
Other than that, things have gone well outside the office. I started my morning commute to work which involve waking up at five a.m. and biking to the bus stop by six. The bus travels down I-4 and drops me off in downtown Orlando, about three miles from my office. So by eight, I’ve biked five miles and been up for three hours. If I keep this up, I might be in pretty good shape. The only downside is my level of consciousness that early in the morning. On my second day, I lost my wallet that contained a crisp $50 bill and my new $80 bus pass. In any other situation, that would be a career ender, but the people at Lynx have outstanding morality and I was reunited with my wallet the next day. I’m not sure how to properly thank my bus drive, and I’m open to suggestion. The best thing I can do is try and pay it forward if the opportunity arises.
And by the way, six months without writing have definitely weakened my sense of style. Note to self, read up on have, has and commas. Feel to point out any other errors along the way.

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What I’m Thankful For

image

I was asked this question yesterday, but I had to formulate my response as the CEO of a non-profit. And while I truly believed the things that were listed in his blog, today is my day and I have been blessed in my own particular ways.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family. There are times when I act like they don’t matter. For example, I am currently on a bus to Tampa to visit friends while they are visiting their families. But what I love about my family is that we don’t need each other on the holidays. We have each other when we need and are needed. I can look back on every problem and remember what I said in my call for help.

“Mom, I want you to know I love you and I’m alright, but I was just hit by a car.”

That must have been almost three years ago. Fortunately, it has been smooth sailing since and I am thankful for that.

Life has been going so smoothly that I feel almost feel like a success. I’m momentarily done with school and I’ve moved in the direction of a career. Last week I started my AmeriCorps position that suits me. In that short period of time, I have become aware of a number social issues I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid and I’ve already found ways to contribute. All of these things are influencing what I am capable of. I try not to brag about possessions, but I am thankful that I can accomplish all of this from my phone. The tools that are available for a growing journalist give me endless possibilities as I go forward.

So while you are all enjoying the day and reflecting things, I wish you the best.

And one last thing, I am thankful for my hyper metabolism that allows for me to enjoy this roadside feast of ice cream and Pepsi.

Happy Thanksgiving

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What I’m Thankful For

image

I was asked this question yesterday, but I had to formulate my response as the CEO of a non-profit. And while I truly believed the things that were listed in his blog, today is my day and I have been blessed in my own particular ways.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family. There are times when I act like they don’t matter. For example, I am currently on a bus to Tampa to visit friends while they are visiting their families. But what I love about my family is that we don’t need each other on the holidays. We have each other when we need and are needed. I can look back on every problem and remember what I said in my call for help.

“Mom, I want you to know I love you and I’m alright, but I was just hit by a car.”

That must have been almost three years ago. Fortunately, it has been smooth sailing since and I am thankful for that.

Life has been going so smoothly that I feel almost feel like a success. I’m momentarily done with school and I’ve moved in the direction of a career. Last week I started my AmeriCorps position that suits me. In that short period of time, I have become aware of a number social issues I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid and I’ve already found ways to contribute. All of these things are influencing what I am capable of. I try not to brag about possessions, but I am thankful that I can accomplish all of this from my phone. The tools that are available for a growing journalist give me endless possibilities as I go forward.

So while you are all enjoying the day and reflecting things, I wish you the best.

And one last thing, I am thankful for my hyper metabolism that allows for me to enjoy this roadside feast of ice cream and Pepsi.

Happy Thanksgiving

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A Lesson in Self Reliance

Lately, I’ve noticed how difficult it is to come up with original content. This ongoing project would have been running a long time ago if I could track down sources and set up interviews. It feels like I’m in some sort of blogging limbo. People seemed reluctant to talk when I was a student, but they would go through the motions to help out with a class assignment. Even at the Metro, people weary of the revolving door of interns. Still, I was able to start some great contacts and receive an invite to the Maxim Super Bowl Party. (I couldn’t get it cleared by my former editor fast enough and decided it would be bad to crash the party…) Now I am on my own and worse off. I haven’t exactly figured out how to use my credentials yet. Saying “Hello, I’m trying to pitch a story to The Blade. Do you have time set up an interview?” doesn’t roll off the tongue or seem to impress people. Maybe I am starting off a bit too ambitious, but these are the things I’m quickly learning. In the mean time, I still need to find topics.

Thanks to an article at the Online Journalism Blog, Paul Bradshaw presents the 12 types of posts to really get a blog rolling. I have mixed feelings about what’s on the list. Most of the items aren’t newsworthy, but I have to remind myself that this isn’t news. With suggestions like #6-Pick a fight, it’s hard to take it seriously. But there are others that really stand out and seem simple like #10-Make a list. Bradshaw’s article is a list and look how it turned out. Other notable tips include reflect on something, review something and write a how-to. These may seem like common sense, but it’s help me organize my ideas of upcoming posts.

I’ve already started a few comic books and I’ve also started drinking craft beers strictly as research for a larger article. A friend from Florida sent me a gift to get me started in that department.

beerpad

The Rate That Beer pad comes a checklist of beer qualities and several spaces for useful information. Her goal is for me to make money reviewing beers so I can move back to Florida. It’s good to know that someone else shares my dream.

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Phase II of My Plan is Almost Complete

So I am either a late adopter or completely oblivious to how the Internet works. Today after a brief tutorial, I finally understood RSS and went subscription crazy. There’s a chance I won’t be reading Eat ‘Em All everyday, but I want to know what they do and the moment they do it.

So as the rest of my plan, it’s going a bit better than expected. Honestly, I had very low expectations after abandoning Florida for Ohio. With great thanks to the people at the Toleet Up, I have begun networking and following their advice. The biggest thing I learned besides Blarneys has cheap and delicious wings is that I should start branding my name. I’m not entirely sure what my name represents yet. I’ve dropped half of it because it is entirely too long and easily forgetable, but they went on to say that blogging would be the first step to branding.

Almost two years ago, I took a stab at being a comic book critic. It didn’t last long and I wondered what else I could do. There was an equally brief stint reviewing liquor for the Tampa Bay Metro. I’m not sure what will be the next step, but above all, I want to become an excellent story teller. I’m not referring to sitting around a campfire, although that is a perfectly viable talent. I want to capture the best traits of a medium to tell a story.¬† I want to show something through words, pictures, video and the best graphic representation. It may not happen right away. There are skills to learn, equipment to obtain and, most of all, stories to find.

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