March 21, 2009

Resume-building sites, blogging advice can help you be a JWJ (journalist with job)

Patrick Thornton of Beat Blogging passes along 10 Great Social Sites for Resume Building
"We’re all probably going to lose our jobs anyway (especially journalists), so you might as well polish up that old resume. And if you are actively looking for a job, you’ll appreciate these sites."
The sites were put together by Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, April 09), and owner of Personal Branding Blog. He says:
"Creating the perfect resume is not easy. Luckily, there are a number of online resources dedicated to helping you create outstanding traditional and social media resumes. Here are 10 great social sites with unique features that let you create your own resume-like profile, edit your resume online, get it reviewed by experts, print it, share it on social networks, and much more."
Head to the original post to learn more about the sites. I picked up some tips for two sites I am using LinkedIn and Xing. I plan to learn more about these at the blog post and individual web sites:
You can find me on LinkedIn at

You can find more job resources like these on Mashable:

You might find some of my earlier posts helpful:

Oregonian Blogger: 'Enjoy weekend'

A 35-year-old who usually blogs about fitness in Oregon learned through a weekly newspaper that the Oregonian also is in line for news on Monday.

The paper reported:
“The Oregonian told staff last week it would share bad news with employees on Monday, March 23. Staff expects the cost-cutting news to include some combination of measures such as pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs or reductions in hours.”
But the blogger reported:
The Oregonian has not told staff .... Then we asked our bosses and Human Resources what they knew. Only THEN were we told that on Monday we will be getting a letter detailing some changes. But no one knows anything. I am sure that someone knows something but isn’t telling us.
There are no details, but there is anger.
"I haven’t given up on them. Why are they giving up on us?

"I don’t want to go to a meeting next week to be told what they cutting. I want to go to a meeting next week to be told what they are doing to help us grow. Maybe I’m living in a dream world. Seems like there is a lot of that going on these days."
Read 'em and weep or read 'em and hope.

Related posts:
Watching Newhouse spiral painful
Newhouse letter creates 'pension tension' for magazines

What other bloggers said:
Pinching pennies
Oregonian announced paycuts
Furlough shoe drops AND pay cuts

Ignoring rules never pays off

I recently was a rulebreaker and lived to regret it.

1) I forgot the rule to criticize in private and praise in public.

2) I forgot the rule to never write when upset

3) I forgot the rule to educate gently

I know these rules. I know that the word ladies almost always gets my heart pumping, especially when used as a description. I know how hard it is to express a complete thought in the limits of a Twitter or text message.

Fortunately, my target has thick skin (his description, not mine) and I'll work harder on remembering my rules for my own good and the good of the village.

Speaking of rules, ever heard of "Stop, Listen and Learn?" Tom Wickham says:

"Remember when we were little and made that mad dash to the street corner, eager to cross over to the other side? Our parents were likely in a mad dash of their own to keep us from meeting our end beneath a vehicle. Their words of admonishment usually included the firm axiom to "stop and look both ways before you cross a street".

That same axiom can be altered to affect a similar result in the public relations field. In this case "stop, listen and learn" should cause any PR practitioner to properly assess how he or she will approach a situation."

Tom explains what he means in this post.

Sweet! Twitter Litter

FriendFeed sometimes serves as my "web newspaper." It's the place I can go when I have some spare time and can just "turn the pages" and stop on the articles that capture my eye.

Someone on FriendFeed led me to Don Dodge on Twitter Litter, most followers don't follow you

The post talks about those with hundreds and thousands of followers but it was the words Twitter Litter that stopped me.

A quick web search showed me that others have used the phrase, which sometimes is defined as a Twitter no one cares about. ... the fact that you had tomato soup for lunch holds no interest for me. I am, interested in your Tweet if you tell me more then "new blog post up." I like RT (retweets) if there's enough reason for me to click. Heck, the right arrangement of words - say Twitter Litter - can stop me too.

You can follow me on Twitter under mcwflint

I rarely share my lunch details, I usually forget to share my post topics, but I almost always have fun by RTing what others say, sharing links, and occasionally an observation.

If I follow you, you don't have to follow me back.

Related posts by me:
Finding Michigan peeps on Twitter
Happy Tweets made me 'pretty' mad
Growth industry: Your Twitter life

Recommended posts by others:
Writing your Twitter Bio
Can Having a Twitter Bio Get You 8 Times as Many Followers?
How to Make Friends and Get The Most Out Of Twitter.

March 20, 2009

Slow-jamming the news - highlight of Fallon

If only I could get all my news this way ...... Actually, I don't really want all of it that way, but this is one segment that Jimmy Fallon could keep on his show. And so far, there aren't many pieces I can say that about. Perhaps I'm too old to get him but a lot of his bits seem forced/

Watching Newhouse spiral painful

A memo left in a shared conference room led to Editor and Publisher reports that the 'Star-Ledger' Appears to be Planning Unpaid Furloughs. The article, posted Friday afternoon, also mentions pension freezes, similar to that outlined to the magazine arm of the company that owns Star-Ledger, The Flint Journal, and seven other Michigan newspapers.

The story helps to make those waiting in Flint, Saginaw and Bay City for details on the reduced production days for the three newspapers more nervous.

The Paper Tiger
blog says Ann Arbor News staff were told important meeting on Monday and Flint Journal staff also says announcement coming Monday
. Will it be about the combination of newspapers or a similar furlough, pension announcement?

An anonymous comment on Paper Tiger No More says it well:
The death of the Booth papers is excruciating to watch.
Meanwhile, Randy Siegel, president of Parade Publications, another product linked by ownership to the newspapers above, gives the inside scoop "behind the newspaper naysayers." The co-founder of the Newspaper Project explained the real story behind Jeff Jarvis, the Time magazine piece, and much more. He thinks it's time for the other side.
"As newspaper companies fight for survival and attempt to rectify many of the mistakes they have made in the last decade, they don’t deserve a break from anyone—their readers, their advertisers, or their competitors. What they do deserve, however, is a little more objective coverage of their problems and more detailed disclosure about the possible motives of those “critics” and “analysts” who are hardly unbiased observers."
I agree with that. But I also agree with those who suggest management could do worse then letting the employees and retirees of their companies get a chance to suggest improvements (An idea from inside Booth).

Or at least stop leaving memos in rooms or public servers shared by others. Asking journalists to cover their eyes when looking at information affecting their livelihoods is an exercise in futility.

Related posts: Newhouse letter creates 'pension tension' for magazines

Blogging 'kvetch:' Tough noogies and self-help for journalists

The Ink-drained Kvetch ruined a meal but pulled together an interesting set of links of Tough noogies and self-help for journalists.

I'd say head over there and read the post - and not just because there's a link back to me.

The once print and now online journalist creates an must-read blog of how to get journalists and journalism to a better place with just enough grit to make you think you're sharing a beer or coffee, not sitting in a classroom or church.

This post started with The Economist's leader on the "jobs crisis" and shared a few snippets:
"An American who loses his job today has less of a chance of finding another one than at any time since records began half a century ago. . . .

"Morever, many of yesterday's jobs, from Spanish bricklayer to Wall Street trader, are not coming back. People will have to shift out of old occupations and into new ones. . .

"The bare truth is that the more easily jobs can be destroyed, the more easily new ones can be created."

The post continues:.

All very sobering realities for displaced journalists, who aren't exactly getting a lot of sympathy for alluding to their plight so frequently. Even in the wake of the closures of newspapers in Denver and Seattle, and the possibilities of more in Tucson and San Francisco right around the corner.
Keep reading to find comments inspired by media economics expert Robert Picard telling the journalistic set what to do and moves on to list some resources for journalists. Oh yeah, there's a link to my post on the study for journalists who have left at least one newspaper.

Head over there for some insights.

If Congress can tax AIG now, what next?

I don't agree with the massive bonuses awarded the AIG folks. I would like to think each one who received one would do the right thing and return it.

However, it scares me that Congress can create a tax on something that already happen.

Do these Super Powers mean they can go back in time anytime? Can they quickly pass a law that "fixes" anything the public seems to dislike? Can they tax researchers' dollars if the findings are unpopular?

Also, does Congress realize they just showed all of America they can act fast?

Speaking of taxes, University of Michigan professor Mark Perry looked at tax rates today.

Here's a snippet and chart from 90% AIG Tax Rate: Back to the 1950s
Dave Prychitko wrote The latest move to tax the bonuses at AIG is an attempt to bring about, essentially, a new marginal tax rate of 90%. We haven't seen that since the 1950s and early 1960s in the U.S. (see chart above, data here). The difference is that it is targeted to bonus-earners (non-earners?) at a particular corporation.

Mark Perry says to notice in the chart the huge increases in marginal tax rates during the 1930s, from 25% in 1931, to 63% in 1932, to 79% in 1936.

March 18, 2009

Newhouse letter creates 'pension tension' for magazine employees, NY Post says

Can the newspapers be far behind? Advance Publications in a letter f told its magazine arm it would stop contributing to employee
pension plans. Read what the New York Post had to say about the letter sent to Conde Nast employees in this:

Elsewhere, on the net I have been reading about more cuts ordered at the magazines, newspapers and online operations. It still surprises me where the online cuts have been done and are coming. Makes me glad I listened to the accountant and other professionals who reviewed my buyout offer even though the pension information I was given when I signed turned out to have been miscalculated in a review a few months later. Some pension money is better then none.

Mr. Bee says goodbye

I only know this guy through his published works. He's on the payroll until May 1 but "committed his last act of journalism" with this:

It's shorter then "The Secret Lives of Bees" but an enjoyable look at life for one more gotta-go journalist.

Quick update on eyes, chemo treatments ...

Just a quick note so folks know I am alive, just climbing a few challenges that sometimes makes it hard to post. So the good news - the theory that I am ruining my eyes by spending hours a day (in many mini sessions) on a computer or even the iPhone's small screen cannot be proven and I am cleared to try again. There is a warning out there to not use your iPhone in a dark environment. That has led to some temporary eye problems for some folks though we have not found others who sometimes experience the feeling of a light-filtering shade after use. (I would give you a link to some of the effects but copy and paste on the iPhone is a to-come feature)

My latest eye tests, which included a dye that temporarilly left my skin yellow,, showed that blood flows nicely through the eyeballs and the optic nerves look great. This is good news for a person "lucky enough" to get multiple sclerosis. (Yes, I caught most of Oprah's show today - the one where MS and positive attitudes were featured.) More eyedrops, more tests and soldier on as that doctor sees improvements.

It has been awhile since I have said much about the one with cancer. I am exhausted after these weekly chemo visits - and I don't even get the drugs swishing through my veins. The cancer librarian was pleased I noticed the shelves had new books this week. I have started Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr and that is helping. I continue my six-week record of the financial person and the social worker being unavailable. Perhaps today they were celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

I saw that the one with cancer posted an update on Facebook so I share it with you - unedited.

"So I've had an allergic reaction to the one chemo I was taking which was Taxol and the doctors decided to switch me to a different one to finsh out on- I can't spell it to save my life but I can find it if ya'll want me to. The reaction was that it casued me to feel like i had itchiness all the time! It was awful like having ants crawl over ya all the time. Sooo the doctors are changing it to the new one and I was able to get a week off of no chemo! Whoo-hoo! The doctors said so that we can see if the itching dies down and i think because my counts are a bit lower and it will give then a chance to go up a bit. I'll still take this drug for 6 weeks and that puts me ending the last week of april then i have to wait 3 weeks for the surgery, followed by radiation. Its nice to have more of an idea...
Well ta-ta! Oh yea they can't feel the lump at all any more and my lymph nodes have gone down a ton - so alls good execpt for this stupid reaction....LOL

She still had Heparin today. And that new drug? Abraxane. The itching continued tonight, wrong choices on food today so we ended on a bad note - even though we found the last two Shopaholic books and one of those was finished by midnight.

More good news - she gained less then a pound this week.

OK, enough of the Inside turned Out. I have a big day tomorrow - more work on the insurance puzzle. Plus I am trying to figure out how the family can use our tickets to Jay Leno without totally stressing out mom or daughter and obeying all the doctors' orders. I'm thinking temporary seat-stand-ins and space suits or giant bubbles.

March 17, 2009

A most unusual St. Patrick's Day

For many years, March 17 has been a day I celebrate with great joy. It is a family tradition. It a tradition of friends.

But not this year. I will try to be happy, wishing the luck of the Irish to my friend heading up the St. Paddy's Day festiviies in my adopted hometown. But I will save most of those wishes for my daughter who will drop the recommended chemo treatment, the one of proven success, for one we hope she can stand better. Or at least make her itch less. We'll see.

Hope for a fast turnaround. We have visitors from California coming to Michigan and hope to reassemble the gang of 5 at least twice during my sister's 10-day visit for her m-i-l's 80th birthday. If lucky, we will also have family from Florida.

March 16, 2009

Study for any journalist who left newspapers

Calling all journalists who worked for newspapers and left for whatever reason - layoffs, buyouts - voluntarily, with a gentle push or a shove.

University of Kansas assistant professor Scott Reinardy, who has studied the mood of journalists before, says:
"The study examines those who have left newspaper jobs and are seeking new jobs, or perhaps, new careers."
I wrote about the study in Do layoffs make journalists blue or is life just ducky after newspaper layoffs?

Here's a link to the survey and if it doesn't work for you, please contact University of Kansas Assistant Professor Scott Reinardy at or call him at (785) 864-7691.

Do layoffs make journalists blue or is life just ducky after leaving newspapers?

press duck slice of David Biegelow printUniversity of Kansas assistant professor Scott Reinardy wants to test this thesis: Firing a newspaper's staff will change news coverage and depress journalists.

And he wants journalists who have lost/left their newspaper jobs (via layoffs, buyouts, etc.) to take 10 to 15 minutes to answer a survey. He's hoping to find a couple of hundred former newspaper journalists to answer the questions and gave me the OK to post the link to the survey.

As I learned on, the researchers are curious:
"We want to know how you have adapted in your personal and professional life since leaving the newspaper."
No names are needed, though you are asked to name the newspaper you left. You can skip any question you don't feel comfortable answering. Results cannot be attributed to a specific individual unless you choose to reveal yourself.

Reinardy was quick to answer my emails to even over the weekend. He also pointed me to the Kansas City Pitch, where blogger Peter Rugg wrote more about the study expected to take about five years to complete.

Rugg says the study will look at how people who survive layoffs act after the cuts and to see what happens to the people who get cut, many of whom are middle-aged professionals who have lost not just a job but a career.
"It's what I'm calling the lost generation of journalists," Reinardy said. "With the transition happening in newsrooms, we're going to have a different product on the other end. When you change the dynamics of the newsroom and lose people with vast institutional experience, you change the coverage and the dimension of quality."
Reinardy worked in the industry for 18 years before getting his Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia. The former sports reporter and author of “The Essentials of Sports Reporting and Writing” focuses his research on the stress and burnout rates of newsroom employees. He also wrote about the burnout of young journalists.

The Kansas City Plog, says that in 2007, the answers from 800 people led to him charting burnout and
"found that exhaustion leads to cynicism, which in turn leads to a decrease in personal satisfaction with your job" ... and "apparently the younger generation of journalism students isn't interested in 50-hour work weeks and sacrificing time with their family for an uncertain future."
I wondered if we really need a study to see if layoffs makes journalists blue. Seems Rugg did too. Here's the answer:
"I don't dispute that it's a common-sense thing. But by documenting it, we'll know exactly where the problems are occurring. I ask survivors how they've changed their work and what they've changed and if people are working under fear of whether they're going to lose their jobs. Right now is sort of a flash point, and we need to record it."
His study is geting the attention of some other journalists and bloggers, including David House, House is among the many who worries that the gutting of the newsrooms leads to institutional memory loss.

In Tracking the lost generation, House writes:
"Layoffs have cost U.S. newspapers an incredible amount of institutional knowledge as thousands of mid- to late-career journalists have been jettisoned.

"These are journalists who have lived through and learned about many years of developments on local, state, national and international levels. They have immediate connection with context that was used in many ways, from planning stories and investigations to strengthening the editing process and knowing simple trivia that, if published incorrectly, makes a paper look stupid as hell and blows a hole in credibility .... stuff like who's dead, who isn't, why/where/when things happened, etc. ...

"Loss of institutional knowledge is a tragedy for readers -- especially in local coverage -- who stand to get thinner context and shallower coverage, and it's a loss of armor in journalism's credibility."
OK, so if the memory holders and other laid-off journalists could mosey over to the SurveyMonkey and answer just a few questions on the survey, you can help keep one more ex-journalist employed.

Updated: Survey links fixed and he got his Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia.

** "The study examines those who have left newspaper jobs and are seeking new jobs, or perhaps, new careers," Reinardy says.

March 15, 2009

A perfect arrangement inspires awe

At the end of a book review, one that gets more space then nearly everything else in this newspaper, I am stopped by this:

"In America, everything is numbers. But I am happy if I write one good sentence."
- Elie Wisel, author, speaking to Salter Reynolds, a Los Angeles Times staff writer in a review of "A Mad Desire to Dance," Weisel's 49th book.

Imagine. He has written 49 books and realizes the power of just one sentence. He can recognize happiness in one small achievement.

That echos a feeling I had yesterday when I lost myself for several hours in Sue Monk's Kidd's "The Mermaid Chair." Twice, I was stopped by a sentence that was so perfect it made me stop rushing through the tale of a woman's search for self and just think about the phrasing.

A day later, I cannot recall the words without searching through my quote file, but I remember the feeling of awe.

The combination reminds me to center goals, hopes, and dreams on something smaller, something within grasp then perfect parent or 24/7 optimist. Can I enjoy the journey and really become the recovering perfectionist my Twitter profile describes? Can I realize the newsroom is closed permantly?