Staying home with nothing to do is kind of our thing

Raiding Dad’s closet and Mom’s bedside table: hours of entertainment

I am a Gen Xer in the San Francisco Bay Area, still living through a March COVID-19 shelter-in-place which has, luckily, helped “flatten the curve” of this pandemic. This leaves the vast majority of us physically well, but coping with an isolation order that’s completely unfamiliar — at least for the Boomers and the Millennials.

For Gen X, there is an uncanny sense of familiarity in being asked to stay home and stay safe: a childhood of after-school shelter-in-place orders has prepared us to cope with the strange déjà…

The Buck Starts Here

Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco have outlawed plastic bags. Styrofoam is a no-go from Portland, OR to Portland, Maine — and throughout the rest of Maine, for that matter. Cities are installing solar panels, planting community gardens, and supporting eco-friendly shopping centers. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has a 7-part “Green New Deal L.A.” plan.

All over the country (and yes, California in particular), city and state governments are taking steps to help protect the environment and combat climate change. …

The Story of Stanley Macaroni Penguin

I lost my first two dogs on the same day.

I’d had Pandora for 13 years, having adopted her as a 10-week-old ball of cream colored Labby-looking fluff. A strong-willed dame from the start, she’d been trying to squirt unceremoniously out of a homeless pit bull momma dog who’d started labor in the middle of a very busy street in Oakland. Fate in the form of our tax dollars at work intervened, however, and Momma Dog instead had her puppies in an Animal Control van that was unusually well apportioned with a veterinarian that day. …

…just in case you need one

It’s rare that a day goes by in which I don’t say, “That would make a good band name.” And, since there are always people in need of good band names, I’ve decided to make an ongoing list.

Consolation Bacon

Smirkin’ Mirkin

Dummy Gladhands


Frantic Nightlight Search Party

Prostitution Popsicle

Kumquat Massacre

Stowaway Tree Frog

Marmalade Collision

Visual Rewind


Nighttime Bovine Orgy

Steel Pantaloons


Jacaranda Shedding

Itinerant Fog


Animal Vegetable Mineral Collective

Hungry Vegans

A Bunch of Other

Beefy Jesus

Rubbered Newt


Orange Frog Brigade




Slave Nazi


Sex Bubble


Social Listening as Poetry

Maya Angelou died today, leaving behind a legacy of musings and writings that have moved generations of writers, civil rights activists, and anyone else open to hearing what she had to say. This writer has access to a social listening tool that measures the chatter happening on social media channels and, after looking at the word cloud (above), I realized that the words themselves were a fitting, poetic tribute to a woman who said a lot worth hearing in her 86 years.

And so I exported a volume report of word mentions and, with a few creative punctuation additions, created…

Content Marketing Strategy Lessons from the Frontlines

Comprehension Requires an Attention Span Greater than That of a Gnat

Can you commit 5 minutes to reading this article on content marketing strategy in its entirety, with no interruptions? This means no texting, no IM, no drifting off in the middle to check Facebook to see whether or not people you may not want to visit your home did something that looks like it was fun for them.

It sounds like a commitment, doesn’t it, the uninterrupted attention span?

And the reason that it sounds like a commitment is because, with the state of media these days, we are…

4 + 4 Ways to Get Noticed in 140

My PR cohort, Marc Cowlin, has recently written a couple articles on press releases. His first asks the simple question, “To release or not to release?” His second studies the anatomy of a press release through PR’s glorious history of train wrecks, celebrity rehab and various corporate announcements.

As he and I were talking about his next article (Press release SEO, which is obliquely mentioned in the first article), we started talking about how much Twitter has come along as a PR channel since we first started using it for marketing in 2008. …

7 Spring Cleaning Tips

OK, let’s get real: “social media audit” sounds exactly like a project that social media managers really don’t want to do. But Spring has sprung, and with this time of renewal and rejuvenation it’s a great time to revisit the nuts, bolts and other such connective parts of the social media machine that you brave social media marketers have constructed around your brand.

So, rather than “social media audit,” let’s call this process something a wee bit more fun, like:

7 Easy Steps to Social Media Spring Cleaning

That sounds better, doesn’t it? We’ve tried to make your social media audit as painless as possible. …

…It Just Never Was

Lately there have been some articles about the future of the Social Media Manager: from a career perspective, is this a position that will be around in the next 5 years? HootSuite wrote an article last year proclaiming the Social Media Manager dead, saying:

Growth in positions with the title “social media manager” slowed to 50% in the past year, a dramatic decline from recent years, when triple (and even quadruple) digit growth was commonplace.

Some of social media’s staunchest advocates are waving a white flag. “Social media managers, it could be time to find a new title,” cautions reporter…

The Good News for Brands

If you know what organic Facebook Reach is, you’ve probably already heard that Facebook is throttling the results for brands. This doesn’t mean that they’re turning it off entirely, but if this Valleywag article is to be believed, your brand’s content will now only reach 1-2% of your followers. (If you want to know more about Reach or why our Swedish Facebook expert thinks it’s the most important metric on Facebook, the hyperlinked article will help you out.)

To put it simply, Facebook Reach is the same thing as “impressions” in a traditional media source. It’s the number of people…


writer | creative | mom | foodie | dog nerd | eco hippie | content marketer | renaissance generalist

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