Monday, August 23, 2010

Procrastination is Hell: Write From Your Heart

I have been a writer forever and have a multitude of “pieces” stashed around my home, some published, most just birthed for my eyes only. I probably have enough poetry to fill 5 fairly large volumes. I can close my eyes anywhere, in the middle of a lecture or in the quiet of a dusk-filled room and words will pour forth from me effortlessly. Sometimes I have an idea when I begin, and at other times I go where my muse takes me. One element that is constant is that my poetry and essays tend to be universally based regardless of whether they draw from my life or not.

The one difficulty I have is report style writing. By virtue of its very nature, it requires thought, time and much research. It is information that resides outside of my consciousness and therefore can’t flow effortlessly from my brain to paper. I have to put down a thought, research the subject, find documentation to support my point, add URL links for readers to get a fuller picture, cut it down to under 500 words and make it visually appealing with images and/or video. Oh, and let’s not forget the whole SEO function. The title needs to be catchy and optimized and the key words need to be optimized as well.

When I write poetry, not only does it flow beautifully from my brain to the page, but I really don’t give a flip if anyone reads it. Just as running is a release for the athlete, writing is a release for me. It is a personal gift to myself, if someone else reads my words, then it becomes just an added gift, but not really necessary. Often when someone tells me that they have read my work, I react with surprise. I genuinely forget that I have several blogs that others actually can and do come in contact with. There is something about writing on a computer that makes you feel as if it only you and the page that exist, even after the enter button has been pushed.

So why am I sharing this? It’s an exercise in how I can write this blog post in 2 minutes as I put off writing some business-related blog posts. Procrastination is hell…………………………….

You can find my creative pieces on this blog and my procrastination, errr I mean my business/social media pieces here and here.

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010 ~ All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meeting Trevor Hurst of Econoline Crush

One of the wonderful things about social networking is that you can connect with interesting people that you don’t know initially who can go on to become friends, clients and business partners. There is something freeing about the internet that makes it easier for even the most introverted among us to reach out and really touch someone. Remember the old AT&T Commercials:

I recently met someone quite famous on-line in a web-conference type scenario. The thing is I had no clue who he was at the time, only his location: Canada. I could deduce a few things about him from our conversation: his demeanor, looks and choice of wording. I gave him my candid impression of his “personal brand”: rocker (as in musician) and sensitive guy with a vocabulary style that screamed out ‘writer’. These were all characteristics that he did not mention himself. Apparently, I was dead on because he was surprised by my description and asked if I knew who he was; which of course I did not.

The unknown guy told me that he was indeed a musician and a songwriter and gave me the name of his band, Econoline Crush and one of their biggest hits, “You Don’t Know What It’s Like.” I had never heard of either but was intrigued. Being the skeptic and ardent Googler that I am, I quickly did a search while we were still talking (multi-tasking comes in handy at times!) and came up with a very slick video on YouTube for the song.

Yep, the guy I was talking to looked like the lead singer in the video sans dark black eyeliner and tight leather pants. Still slightly skeptical, I half-joked that if he truly was a celebrity, he probably had a personal Twitter account. I assumed he would tell me that he didn’t, instead he promptly gave it to me and suggested I send him a Tweet later.

We could have left it at that and gone our merry ways, but curiosity got me and I later found the Twitter account he mentioned and sent him an @message. He immediately followed me and fired back with a response. Did some research and discovered that he was truly Trevor Hurst, the lead singer and front man for Econoline Crush. Apparently they were very hot in the 90’s, disbanded for a time and reunited in 2007. They have released 4 albums: Purge (1994), Affliction (1996), The Devil You Know (1997), Brand New History (2001) and Ignite (2008). EC received two Juno nominations; and their “Devil You Know” album went Platinum.

Their music has been described as Industrial Alternative Rock and they have toured with bands like Hinder, Three Days Grace, Alice Cooper and KISS. I continue to keep up a Twitter DM relationship with Trevor, answering his questions and sending him occasional advice on his Twitter account and EC Facebook Page.

Econoline Crush is currently working on a new EP and just completed a campaign on the social fund-raising site IndieGoGo. They will be posting video clips and photos of the recording process on their Facebook Page.

Trevor comes across as being very intelligent and creative with a keen sense of what is important to him: entertaining audiences and sharing his creativity with fans. He is sensitive, articulate and was a pleasure to bump into on the social media highway. Really glad I did.

Here are some Cincinnati area bands that are active on Twitter & Facebook. Maybe you can bump into Drew, April, Laurie or Scott in real life at a local venue. Just ask first before reaching out and touching them…..

Drew LaPlante


Tupelo Honey

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010 ~All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Influence or Not?

Contemplating Influence this afternoon. Really fascinated with Fast Company's Influence Project . Here's the official statement about what they are trying to accomplish:

"We started with a simple question: Who are the most influential people online right now?

That's what The Influence Project is designed to answer. By participating, you will have your picture appear in the November issue of Fast Company magazine as part of an amazing photo spread. The more influence you demonstrate, the bigger your picture will be.

You may discover that you're more influential than you think..."

Thinking about influence within this context brings up some additional terms for me like:
  • Reach
  • Time
  • Competition
  • Curiosity
  • Guilt

I think influence in this project speaks more to the amount of reach an individual has, the amount of time to connect within that reach and the curiosity of the people on the receiving end. There is also that competitive gaming aspect and the ability to have your name in lights. Well, ok, your picture in the Fast Company magazine spread. That should appeal to the narcissist in every social media aficionado out there, present company included. Guilt also may play a factor in the decision of the invitee to take action or not. Will my friend know that I ignored her request to click???

In the end, it doesn't matter how many people you know or can effectively reach, if they won't take the time to click the link, then your "marketing efforts" are for naught. We Facebook junkies have been conditioned into clicking links for a long time (how many Pages have you Liked??), and it only takes a second.

I measure true influence
within this project based on those individuals that can "influence" others to create their own profile on the wall. In this case people are actually motivated to use a commodity: time. Takes some effort to write a bio, grab a picture and put it all together.

What's your time worth?

I plan on writing several posts that will capture my observations of this project, but in the meantime, I plan on staying in the game. Click my link and jump into the fray if you dare. I'll know if you did.......

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010

Kaleidoscope Waters

You move in and out between the pages of my life
It reminds me of the mountain stream that trickles and flows
Through the different seasons of life
Babbling, flowing, carving its stake into the land that hosts it

Like the changing flow of water, you first appeared
Making a lasting impression on the landscape
That was my life
Periodically you re-surface and grace me with your presence
Sometimes wistful
Sometimes angry
Sometimes professorial
Each time you make that re-connection
You further cement the link between us

We have forged a new path absent of the past
Yet fully cognizant of the themes that brought us together
And continue to shape our conversations:
Literature, Music, Philosophy
Interspersed between the pages of our own personal experiences

Dialogue is good, but
Understanding a differing point of view;
Truly taking it in and digesting its parts
Is where the mind opens up and change begins
I welcome the waters that traverse my life
Change is good.

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010 ~ All Rights Reserved