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1. How to Self-Promote Without Losing Yourself in the Process

By Nick Cross

Whether you’re traditionally published, self-published or still trying, the pressure to promote yourself has never been greater. We’re exhorted to “get out there and build a platform” via social media and word of mouth. But while some authors manage this transition gracefully, there are others who undergo a Jekyll and Hyde transformation, turning into publicity-hungry monsters.
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2. Martha Brockenbrough: Jumpstart Your Social Media... Ten Best Tips

@mbrockenbrough is Martha's
Twitter handle. Magnum Blackbeard
is her CB radio handle.
Author Martha Brockenbrough shares some fantastic and salient social media marketing gems. Spoiler alert: It's all about relationships!

Your strategy for social media, says Martha, is not to be on there to sell books, it's to build relationships. It is not about the technology/particular media platform, either, that is totally secondary to the connections you make on whatever platform you are comfortable being in or on.

You wouldn't start an in-real-life friendship by telling someone to buy your book, that's not how you should approach social media either. It's fine to make people aware that you write or illustrate, but Martha's hope is that you instead focus your efforts on being friendly, interacting online, and adding something to the conversations.

Give them reasons to interact with you: you can show snippets of your life, your family, vacations, things that inspire you.

Who are you building these social media relationships with? Five-year-olds don't tweet, but booksellers, librarians, teachers and parents do! All of these people are potential gatekeepers to your intended audience of your published book.

If you aren't published? Well, your fellow industry professionals, fellow authors and illustrators and agents and editors are on social media, and you can start building these relationships now and support authors and illustrators you are fans of and herald their work.

Martha's Core Principles for Online Social Media (and Martha can do an 8-minute plank, so she knows about core strength)

1. Be Positive
2. Focus on the long term
3. Build an authentic community (Martha admits it is difficult to be careful and professional while also being authentic, but hold both of these things in mind when you do broadcast yourself/opinions online)

Martha provides some platform-tailored tips and hints for how to interact on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and more, for both your personal and professional pages.

One Facebook hint: Images are often more popular than text-only posts for views and shares, consider making a quote from your book or a new, glowing review you want to share as word art or an image. Or consider using pictures to promote your event, like one of Martha's most popular booktour event info posts was this one:

See some great social media in action by using Martha as a case study:

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3. पोस्ट अच्छी बुरी


पोस्ट अच्छी बुरी


कल  फेसबुक पर एक पोस्ट देखी.  फोटो में आटो वाला अपने वाहन मे विकलांगों को फ्री सर्विस देता है उन्होने अपने ओटो मे यही बात बडा करके लिखवाई हुई थी. उस पोस्ट पर लिखा था बताओ कितने लाईक मिलेंगें और उस पर मुश्किल से 10 -12 लाईक थे.

बात लाईक करने या न करने की नही है क्योकि यकीनन पढते तो सभी है बस अच्छाई को पसंद करने के लिए बस क्लिक नही कर पाते. पर मुझे यकीन है कि ऐसे लोग दिल ही दिल मे प्रशंसा भी करते होंगें.

दो दिन पहले एक अन्य तस्वीर भी देखने को मिली. आठ दस साल की लडकी की तस्वीर थी और उसमे लिखा था कि ” मेरे पापा ने कहा है कि अगर इस फोटो को एक हजार लाईक मिले तो वो सिग्रेट पीना छोड देंगें. मुझे अच्छा लगा कि लगभग 900 से ज्यादा लाईक हो चुके थे. मैने भी तुरंत लाईक कर दिया. हालाकि उसके बाद मुझे वह फोटो न्यूज फीड मे नही दिखी. पता नही लोगो ने उसे लाईक किया या  नही  वैसे आप चाहे कुछ भी कहें पर कई पोस्ट वाकई में अच्छी होती है.

एक पोस्ट तो पढ कर मजा ही आ गया . उसमे लिखा था कि मैने अभी भगवान की फोटो शेयर की है. इंतजार कर रहा हूं कि शुभ समाचार क्या मिलेगा… क्योकि उस पोस्ट पर लिखा था कि जल्दी से शेयर करो और शुभ समाचार पाओ…

बहुत समय पहले इसी प्रकार के पोस्टकार्ड आया करते थे तब समझ नही आता था कि इसे फेंक दे , फाड दें या जवाबी 50 पत्र लिख कर डाल दे…

खैर पोस्ट हर तरह की है अच्छी बुरी … हमारी ऊपर है कि हम उसे देख कर अनदेखा कर देतें हैं या लाईक करके अपनी सहमति जताते हैं.

The post पोस्ट अच्छी बुरी appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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4. भेड चाल

भेड चाल

कल मेरी सहेली का फोन आया और पूछ्ने लगी कि सतरंगी फोटो कैसे बनेगी फेसबुक पर बहुत लोग डाल रहे हैं वो भी डालेगी… मुझे पता नही था क्या है ये तस्वीर और क्यों है … इसलिए  मैने नेट चलाया तो अचानक एक खबर पर ध्यान गया

कि  अमरीका के हाई कोर्ट से समलैंगिक विवाह को कानूनी मान्यता मिलने की खुशी में फेसबुक ने यह नया फीचर दिया है।
गौरतलब है कि शनिवार को अमरीका ने 14वें संशोधन में समलैंगिक विवाह को मौलिक आधिकार की मान्यता दे दी। इसके बाद फेसबुक के संस्थापक मार्क जकरबर्ग ने समलैंगिक विवाह का समर्थन करते हुए अपनी प्रोफाइल पिक पर “रेनबो फिल्टर” का इस्तेमाल किया।
फेसबुक पर सेलिब्रेट प्राइड सर्च करना होगा , इसके बाद आपकी प्रोफाइल पिक्चर सतरंगी दिखेगी। गौरतलब है कि फिलहाल भारत में समलैंगिक विवाह को गैरकानूनी करार दिया गया है, लेकिन अगर आप चाहें तो अपनी फेसबुक प्रोफाइल पिक पर रेनबो फिल्टर लगाकर इस जश्न का हिस्सा बन सकते हैं।

जब मैने उसे यह सारी बात बताई तो बोली … अरेरेरेरेरे … बिल्कुल नही कतई नही … बाप रे … मुझे नही चाहिए ऐसी फोटो !!! मैं तो बच गई !!! और पता नही कितने लोगों ने बिना वजह जाने सतरंगी तस्वीर लगा ली … सही ये भेड चाल नही तो क्या है…

Patrika News: Get rainbow filter to your Facebook profile pic-

नई दिल्ली। सोशल मीडिया वेबसाइट फेसबुक पर इन दिनों कई लोगों की सतरंगी प्रोफाइल पिक आपने भी देखी होगी। दरअसल फेसबुक ने अपने यूजर्स को “सेलिब्रेट प्राइड” नाम का एक नया फीचर दिया है जिससे यूजर्स अपनी प्रोफाइल पिक को सतरंगी बना सकते हैं। शनिवार को अमरीका के हाई कोर्ट से समलैंगिक विवाह को कानूनी मान्यता मिलने की खुशी में फेसबुक ने यह नया फीचर दिया है।

गौरतलब है कि शनिवार को अमरीका ने 14वें संशोधन में समलैंगिक विवाह को मौलिक आधिकार की मान्यता दे दी। इसके बाद फेसबुक के संस्थापक मार्क जकरबर्ग ने समलैंगिक विवाह का समर्थन करते हुए अपनी प्रोफाइल पिक पर “रेनबो फिल्टर” का इस्तेमाल किया। इसके साथ ही उन्होंने पोस्ट में लिखा, “मैं अपने सभी दोस्तों और समुदाय के सभी लोगों के लिए खुश हूं, जो आखिरकार अब अपने प्यार का जश्न मना सकते हैं और कानून के तहत सामान्य जोड़ों के रूप में पहचाने जाएंगे।”

इस फीचर को इस्तेमाल करने के लिए आपको फेसबुक पर सेलिब्रेट प्राइड सर्च करना होगा , इसके बाद आपकी प्रोफाइल पिक्चर सतरंगी दिखेगी। गौरतलब है कि फिलहाल भारत में समलैंगिक विवाह को गैरकानूनी करार दिया गया है, लेकिन अगर आप चाहें तो अपनी फेसबुक प्रोफाइल पिक पर रेनबो फिल्टर लगाकर इस जश्न का हिस्सा बन सकते हैं। See more…

Patrika News: Get rainbow filter to your Facebook profile pic-

http://www.patrika.com/news/apps/get-rainbow-filter-to-your-facebook-profile-pic-1060101/नई दिल्ली। सोशल मीडिया वेबसाइट फेसबुक पर इन दिनों कई लोगों की सतरंगी प्रोफाइल पिक आपने भी देखी होगी। दरअसल फेसबुक ने अपने यूजर्स को “सेलिब्रेट प्राइड” नाम का एक नया फीचर दिया है जिससे यूजर्स अपनी प्रोफाइल पिक को सतरंगी बना सकते हैं। शनिवार को अमरीका के हाई कोर्ट से समलैंगिक विवाह को कानूनी मान्यता मिलने की खुशी में फेसबुक ने यह नया फीचर दिया है।

गौरतलब है कि शनिवार को अमरीका ने 14वें संशोधन में समलैंगिक विवाह को मौलिक आधिकार की मान्यता दे दी। इसके बाद फेसबुक के संस्थापक मार्क जकरबर्ग ने समलैंगिक विवाह का समर्थन करते हुए अपनी प्रोफाइल पिक पर “रेनबो फिल्टर” का इस्तेमाल किया। इसके साथ ही उन्होंने पोस्ट में लिखा, “मैं अपने सभी दोस्तों और समुदाय के सभी लोगों के लिए खुश हूं, जो आखिरकार अब अपने प्यार का जश्न मना सकते हैं और कानून के तहत सामान्य जोड़ों के रूप में पहचाने जाएंगे।”

इस फीचर को इस्तेमाल करने के लिए आपको फेसबुक पर सेलिब्रेट प्राइड सर्च करना होगा , इसके बाद आपकी प्रोफाइल पिक्चर सतरंगी दिखेगी। गौरतलब है कि फिलहाल भारत में समलैंगिक विवाह को गैरकानूनी करार दिया गया है, लेकिन अगर आप चाहें तो अपनी फेसबुक प्रोफाइल पिक पर रेनबो फिल्टर लगाकर इस जश्न का हिस्सा बन सकते हैं। See more…

Image via patrika.com

The post भेड चाल appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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5. Social Media Addiction

cartoon by monica gupta

Social Media Addiction… अजी बस पूछिए ही मत … इतना बुरा हाल है कि बस …. बच्चे हो या युवा या फिर बडे लोग हर समय जुडे रहना चाह्ते हैं एक मिनट भी इससे दूर नही रह सकते. पहले स्टेटस डालेगें फिर उसे भी बार बार देखेंगें को कितने लाईक आए या नही … अगर आए तो इस बात को नार्मली ही लेते हैं और ना आए तो अपना ब्लड प्रैशर बढा लेते हैं ..और गुस्सा हो जाते हैं कि कोई लाईक क्यो नही आया.. या फलां नेट पर तो था फिर भी सने मेरे स्टेट्स को लाईक क्यों नही किया

अब इन साहब को ही देख लीजिए … import export का  business करते हैं  किस तरह से वो भी आपने सुन लिया होगा. एक महिला ने तो अपनी बिटिया का रिश्ता एक व्यक्ति से इसलिए फिक्स कर दिया कि उसके 10 एकड मे फार्म हाऊस है और ढेर सारे पशु भी है… शुक्र है शादी से पहले ही पता चल गया कि कौन सा फार्म हाऊस था ….

वैसे इतना दीवानापन भी अच्छी बात नही है

The signs and symptoms of social media addiction : Get Healthy

As fun as social media is for keeping up with friends, getting news updates and posting the occasional witty meme, for some people it can be destructive.

Dr. Johann Farley, an addiction medicine physician in Merrillville, is seeing more and more families who are struggling with relational issues as a result of social media addiction or dependency.

According to Farley, who is quick to state that he does use and appreciate his smartphone and the many tools that come with it, the biggest problem with social media is the time it takes away from meaningful relationships.

What may seem like an everyday, menial activity — checking your smartphone — could have a subtle impact on relationships over time, Farley says. He sets up this scenario: “Say you’re married and you and your spouse are sitting on the couch at the end of the day. Instead of getting affectionate with each other and talking about your day, you’re both doing your own thing on your phones. You go to bed without any interaction. From there on, you gradually start to move apart.”

The lack of face-to-face interaction is harmful, yes, but can we really throw around the word addiction?

Farley says yes, even going so far as to compare it to substance abuse addiction. “Do you need that eye-opener every morning? Do you feel like you need (to check social media) to calm your nerves? Can you put your cellphone away on your day off and spend time with the family? If the answer is no, there’s a problem.”

Jamie Monday, a counselor at Crown Point High School, agrees that one can be overly reliant on social media. “Dependency on anything is unhealthy when we are not able to function in our normal lives without it,” she says. “It is a good sign that you are dependent on something if you have tried to cut back your usage but have been unsuccessful.”

Monday says she sees this often among adolescents, particularly when their parents take away their mobile devices as a form of punishment. “If the teen is dependent on social media as their way of communicating with their peers, they will have a meltdown and sometimes even experience depression-like symptoms,” she says. See more…

The post Social Media Addiction appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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6. फेसबुक टैग



टैग  कुछ देर पहले फेसबुक चैक किया खुशी का  ठिकाना नही रहा जब देखा कि 30 मोटिफिकेशन आई हुई थी. जल्दबाजी में फेसबुक खोलना चाहा पर शायद नेट वर्क स्लो था. सोच रही थी कि ना जाने किस पोस्ट पर क्या क्या कमेंट आए होंगे… खैर कुछ देर बाद नेट चला और फेसबुक खोला तो मेरी पोस्ट पर कोई कमेंट नही था अलबत्ता जिस महाशय ने  50 लोगो के साथ मुझे भी टैग किया हुआ था  उन्ही में बात चीत चल रही थी. हे भगवान !!!

बेशक, फेसबुक दिन-दिन हमारी दिनचर्या का एक अभिन्न हिस्सा बनता जा रहा है।हम  लोग हमेशा अपने दोस्तों तथा नाते-रिश्तेदारों के सम्पर्क में रहना चाहते हैं। इसके लिए वे हमेशा कुछ न कुछ शेयर करते रहते हैं। कई खास मौकों  पर लोग फोटो भी शेयर करते हैं और  फोटो शेयर करते वक्त कई लोग दोस्तों को  फोटो के साथ टैग कर देते हैं। अरे भई हमे क्यो बकरा बनाते हो … हमे बक्शो…

यहाँ तक तो ठीक है, लेकिन कई बार लोग ऐसी फोटो अपलोड करके हमें टैग कर देते हैं जो हमें बिल्कुल पसंद नहीं होते। कई बार तो एक ही साथ पचास पचास लोगों को टैग कर देये हैं अब उन्हें अनटैग करें तो मुसीबत न करे तो उनकी सारी पोस्ट झेलनी पडती है …  उन्हे बहुत बार समझाया भी जाता है पर उनके कानों पर से जूं तक नही  रेंगती … ऐसे मे कई बार मन करता है कि टैग करने वालो को तो फांसी ही दे देनी चाहिए…



द टैगकर्ता- ये फेसबुक पर पायी जाने वाली सबसे खतरनाक किस्म की प्रजाति है. ये फेसबुक पर पोस्ट-वोस्ट नहीं लिखते. बस हर दिन सौ-पचास फोटो अपलोड करते हैं- फूल, नदी, जानवर, सेलेब्रिटी, देवी-देवता, उपदेश इत्यादि की. गूगल इमेज सर्च को ये दुनिया के लिए वरदान मानते हैं. ये बड़े भोले किस्म के जीव होते हैं.  ये हर फोटो में सौ-पचास लोगों को टैग करते हैं. इनको लगता है कि जो महान और ख़ूबसूरत फोटो इन्होने अपलोड की है उसे सबको दिखाना इनका कर्तव्य है. अब लोग लापरवाह हैं, कहीं भूल जाएँ देखना; तो इसलिए ये उनको टैग कर देते हैं. कभी-कभी तो ये अपनी पासपोर्ट साइज़ फोटो में सौ-दो सौ लोगों को टैग कर देते हैं. See more…

 टैग के मामले में ,कुल मिलाकर यही समझ आता है कि उन्हें तो समझ आना मुश्किल ही नही नामुमकिन है इसलिए जनता की अदालत उन्हे सजाए  मौत का हुक्म देती है …

The post फेसबुक टैग appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7. Countdown to STRANGE SKIES

I can’t believe it’s almost April 28th which means this:

strange skies

is almost here! I’m doing a countdown over on my Facebook author page, where I’m sharing a fun tidbit each day leading up to the release. Today, I mention a similarity I have with my main character, Tora. I’ll also be giving away prizes so check it out!

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8. Site Update

Well, this is a long awaited update to my blog. Hopefully you've been awaiting it...

I will get right to it. The update today is to announce the new design of my website.

The goal was to deliver something light and fresh. All of the key points are there and link across a variety of social media. It is an active site which will constantly be updated from the blog, Facebook and Twitter.

One of the most exciting things is the new MillerWords store.

Follow the Order link to connect with the official Square store. Currently, all of my paperback books are available with free shipping and a personalized autograph. We are in the process of adding hand-made jewelry and all of my eBooks. (the link to the store is also at the top right of this blog)

I invite you to visit the links and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. As always, your feedback is most welcome in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by!

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9. Integrate your Social Media and Blog Posts Comments - Must-Know Tips

I read lots of posts from high-quality marketing sites. Doing so, I get lots and lots of information and ideas. When I’m in a rush, I save the link to an article I want to read and go to it when I have time. Well, I just went to an article at Social Media Examiner (SME) titled, “7 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Social Media Shares” (1) and I have to say it was one of those “Oh Wow” moments.

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10. George Hodgman Thanks Facebook Followers for “Bettyville” Success

In 2012, author and editor Kevin Sessums shared a post that his old colleague from Vanity Fair George Hodgman had written from his hometown of Paris, Missouri, where he was caring for his mother, Betty.

Sessums introduced it, in part, by saying: \"His missives here on Facebook about his time back home with her are so beautiful. I had to share this latest one… (they) resound with such love and respect and a kind of sweet regret.\"

Portions of the story in that missive appear in Hodgman’s new book Bettyville, which will debut at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list next Sunday. Hodgman–a noted book and magazine editor who has worked at Simon and Schuster, Vanity Fair, Talk magazine, Henry Holt and Company, and Houghton Mifflin–announced it on his Facebook blog on March 18: \"This is a total thrill and unexpected. I wanted to post this here because I truly owe it to all of you. YOU MADE THIS BOOK FOR ME.\"

Writing in the New York Times, Cathy Horyn calls Bettyville, \"a most remarkable, laugh-out-loud book\" that \"works on several levels (as a meditation on belonging, as a story of growing up gay and the psychic cost of silence, as metaphor for recovery).\" When Horyn notes that he approaches memoir from a \"fairly new perspective: that of a gay son,\" Hodgman says, \"Here was this neurotic, self-centered, New York, childless gay man.\"

Horyn quotes Sara Bershtel, publisher of Metropolitan Books and a Hodgman colleague from his time at Henry Holt, who said, Bettyville suggests \"the development of a watchful gay kid. You have to watch everybody, you have to watch your parents, and you can’t show anything.\" Horyn feels that watchfulness \"made him a shrewd and witty observer.”

Hodgman told the Times that he generally wrote from 4 to 9 a.m., when his mother rose. Sometimes he would key in their chats while his mother spoke from the sofa.

\"My mother is funny and dry without knowing that she is. Together, we can make people laugh. So I had this idea of a quirky comedy team…I’m also very nostalgic about these towns…I just felt that this rural area was a real story that nobody was telling.\"

People are listening. In January, Publishers Lunch had already flagged it as a book to watch in its BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Spring/Summer edition. Amazon and Books-a-Million recently made Bettyville a Top Pick, and People named it a \"Book of the Week.\"

\"I am a believer in God in my own special way. But I think I was given this book because I came back.\"

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11. Why (Most) Authors Don't Need a Facebook Page.

By Candy Gourlay If your name is JK Rowling, please ignore this post. Facebook Page: formerly called a fan page, it's for businesses, brands, products, public figures. More Facebook Profile: for individuals. More So you're an author or about to become one, your publisher or maybe your agent thinks you ought to create a Facebook Page, so that you can start the social media ball rolling. Should

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12. Demo-Graphics: LOTS more info on who buys comics

18uvk5lcp7162jpg Demo Graphics: LOTS more info on who buys comics
Brett Schenker is pressing onwards with his Facebook research into comics likers, who they are what they buy and what they do. While his gender based research continues to be a benchmark, this time out he has a lot of trends on education, employment and so on.

Compared to the general Facebook populace, comic fans are much more likely to be “single,” “in a relationship,” or “engaged.” They are much less likely to be “married.” As far as education, they are slightly more likely to be college educated. Take the above and we’re looking for younger college educated individuals.

Also of note, what else comics readers like:
2015 02 02 1434 Demo Graphics: LOTS more info on who buys comics

That’s just a sample. Hit the link for the whole thing. Brett tells me that some racial breakdowns should be available soon and that should prove to be fascinating as well.

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13. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Creates a Video With Social Media Tips For Authors

The Eerdmans Books for Young Readers team has shot a Social Media 101 video for their YouTube channel. The video embedded above features “Facebook Tips for Authors.”

Follow this link to read the publisher’s social media and internet marketing guide for authors. Most successful authors know that their job is not limited to just writing. Last year, Jarrett J. Krosoczka verified this during an interview with MassLive.com.

Krosoczka explained: “You know people who are authors-only? Could I meet them? Because even though I, along with many of my peers, make my living from putting my imagination to paper, so many other roles are expected in today’s publishing landscape. Authors must also be speakers, performers, online marketeers and social-media mavens.” What do you think? Do you have any social media advice that writers would find helpful?

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14. Replication redux and Facebook data

Introduction, from Michael Alvarez, co-editor of Political Analysis

Recently I asked Nathaniel Beck to write about his experiences with research replication. His essay, published on 24 August 2014 on the OUPblog, concluded with a brief discussion of a recent experience of his when he tried to obtain replication data from the authors of a recent study published in PNAS, on an experiment run on Facebook regarding social contagion. Since then the story of Neal’s efforts to obtain this replication material have taken a few interesting twists and turns, so I asked Neal to provide an update — because the lessons from his efforts to get the replication data from this PNAS study are useful for the continued discussion of research transparency in the social sciences.

Replication redux, by Nathaniel Beck

When I last wrote about replication for the OUPblog in August (“Research Replication in Social Science”), there was one smallish open question (about my own work) and one biggish question (on whether I would ever see the Kramer et al., “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”, replication file, which was “in the mail”). The Facebook story is interesting, so I start with that.

After not hearing from Adam Kramer of Facebook, even after contacting PNAS, I persisted with both the editor of PNAS (Inder Verma, who was most kind) and with the NAS through “well connected” friends. (Getting replication data should not depend on knowing NAS members!). I was finally contacted by Adam Kramer, who offered that I could come out to Palo Alto to look at the replication data. Since Facebook did not offer to fly me out, I said no. I was then offered a chance to look at the replication files in the Facebook office 4 blocks from NYU, so I accepted. Let me stress that all dealings with Adam Kramer were highly cordial, and I assume that delays were due to Facebook higher ups who were dealing with the human subjects firestorm related to the Kramer piece.

When I got to the Facebook office I was asked to sign a standard non-disclosure agreement, which I dec. To my surprise this was not a problem, with the only consequence being that a security officer would have had to escort me to the bathroom. I then was put in a room with a Facebook secure notebook with the data and R-studio loaded; Adam Kramer was there to answer questions, and I was also joined by a security person and an external relations person. All were quite pleasant, and the security person and I could even discuss the disastrous season being suffered by Liverpool.

I was given a replication file which was a data frame which had approximately 700,000 rows (one for each respondent) and 7 columns containing the number of positive and negative words used by each respondent as well as the total word count of each respondent, percentages based on these numbers, experimental condition. and a variable which omitted some respondents for producing the tables. This is exactly the data frame that would have been put in an archive since it contained all the data needed to replicate the article. I also was given the R-code that produced every item in the article. I was allowed to do anything I wanted with that data, and I could copy the results into a file. That file was then checked by Facebook people and about two weeks later I received the entire file I created. All good, or at least as good as it is going to get.

Intel team inside Facebook data center. Intel Free Press. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Intel team inside Facebook data center. Intel Free Press. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The data frame I played with was based on aggregating user posts so each user had one row of data, regardless of the number of posts (and the data frame did not contain anything more than the total number of words posted). I can understand why Facebook did not want to give me the data frame, innocuous as it seemed; those who specialize in de-de-identifying private data and reverse engineering code are quite good these days, and I can surely understand Facebook’s reluctance to have this raw data out there. And I understand why they could not give me all the actual raw data, which included how feeds were changed and so forth; this is the secret sauce that they would not like reverse engineered.

I got what I wanted. I could see their code, could play with density plots to get a sense of words used, I could change the number of extreme points dropped, and I could have moved to a negative binomial instead of a Poisson. Satisfied, I left after about an hour; there are only so many things one can do with one experiment on two outcomes. I felt bad that Adam Kramer had to fly to New York, but I guess this is not so horrible. Had the data been more complicated I might have felt that I could not do everything I wanted, and running a replication with 3 other people in a room is not ideal (especially given my typing!).

My belief is that that PNAS and the authors could simply have had a different replication footnote. This would have said that the code used (about 5 lines of R, basically a call to a Poisson regression using GLM) is available at a dataverse. In addition, they could have noted that the GLM called used the data frame I described, with the summary statistics for that data frame. Readers could then see what was done, and I can see no reason for such a procedure to bother Facebook (though I do not speak for them). I also note a clear statement on a dataverse would have obviated the need for some discussion. Since bytes are cheap, the dataverse could also contain whatever policy statement Facebook has on replication data. This (IMHO) is much better than the “contact the authors for replication data” footnote that was published. It is obviously up to individual editors as to whether this is enough to satisfy replication standards, but at least it is better than the status quo.

What if I didn’t work four blocks from Astor Place? Fortunately I did not have to confront this horror. How many other offices does Facebook have? Would Adam Kramer have flown to Peoria? I batted this around, but I did most of the batting and the Facebook people mostly did no comment. So someone else will have to test this issue. But for me, the procedure worked. Obviously I am analyzing lots more proprietary data, and (IMHO) this is a good thing. So Facebook, et al., and journal editors and societies have many details to work out. But, based on this one experience, this can be done. So I close this with thanks to Adam Kramer (but do remind him that I have had auto-responders to email for quite while now).

On the more trivial issue of my own dataverse, I am happy to report that almost everything that was once on an a private ftp site is now on my Harvard dataverse. Some of this was already up because of various co-authors who always cared about replication. And on stuff that was not up, I was lucky to have a co-author like Jonathan Katz, who has many skills I do not possess (and is a bug on RCS and the like, which beats my “I have a few TB and the stuff is probably hidden there somewhere”). So everything is now on the dataverse, except for one data set that we were given for our 1995 APSR piece (and which Katz never had). Interestingly, I checked the original authors’ web sites (one no longer exists, one did not go back nearly that far) and failed to make contact with either author. Twenty years is a long time! So everyone should do both themselves and all of us a favor, and build the appropriate dataverse files contemporaneously with the work. Editors will demand this, but even with this coercion, this is just good practice. I was shocked (shocked) at how bad my own practice was.

Heading image: Wikimedia Foundation Servers-8055 24 by Victorgrigas. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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15. Is Facebook Worth Your Social Media Marketing Time? What About Twitter?

I never used Facebook like most other marketers. While I have a page, I don't hold my breath expecting traffic . . . or money from it. This is not to say I don't post to it regularly, but the platform has too many hurdles to jump over to make it worth my time and effort (for me anyway). What are some of the hurdles with Facebook? To start, I don't like the fact that they track every one of

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16. Social Media - Should Facebook be Worried About the NEW Kid on the Block, Ello?

As someone who’s not a huge Facebook (FB) fan, it will be interesting to see if this new social media platform gives Facebook a run for its money. According to an article at Forbes, “The platform, which is still in public beta (meaning invite-only), has caused quite a stir; dubbed by some as the ‘hipster social network’, Ello offers a forever ad-free experience and promises to never sell its

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17. Invisible boundaries and social media - C.J. Busby

A few weeks ago, a young American first-time author, Kathleen Hale, unleashed a bit of a social media storm by publishing a piece in The Guardian about the increasingly vexed online relationship between authors and bloggers. The article (here) which ran in the Saturday magazine, detailed how she became obsessed by one of her online critics, a blogger called Blythe Harris. When Hale engaged with Blythe's criticism's of her book (despite the many, many warnings she received that authors should not answer back to bad reviews), Blythe and many of her fellow bloggers apparently turned on her and Hale found herself labelled a BBA - a badly behaved author. For Hale (and I should emphasise that we only get Hale's perspective on what happened here), Blythe was wilfully malicious, ruining the reception of her book, and using her clique of friends and fellow bloggers to trash Hale's reputation. In return, Hale details her own increasing obsession with Blythe - an obsession which rapidly moved from what she termed 'light stalking' (gathering any and every detail she could from Blythe's online presence) to what by any standards is just plain stalking - using subterfuge to gain access to Blythe's real-life identity, workplace address and home address.

It's a sorry tale, and I'm not going to rehash the Hale case here, but it did make me think about the business of social media, writers, bloggers and boundaries. Authors, as Hale notes, are encouraged to get online and have a social media presence, but their natural audience, book bloggers and fans, seem quite often to resent authors turning up on their turf and, as they see it, throwing their weight around. A while ago, as a bit of a newbie author, I brushed up against a similar controversy when I noticed an online discussion on a book blogger's site about one of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series.

I'm a bit of a fan of this series, and was interested to see that the author had stopped by and commented, explaining where some of the features the blogger was discussing had come from in the writing process. It was (I thought) a perfectly polite contribution, and not in the least critical of her analysis, simply adding a bit of background information. But it caused an immediate storm, in which I was very slightly caught up, having added a comment of my own about the strange ways the writing process worked. For some of the following commentators, writers were simply not welcome on a book blogging site - they were guilty of abusing the power they had as authors to dominate a space that was not for them. Book blogs and fan sites should be considered a space for fans and book lovers to freely express themselves and not somewhere authors should feel free to gatecrash.

It was all resolved fairly amicably - Ben Aaronovitch backed down with a bit of grumbling, and I apologised profusely for being new to all this and not understanding the rules of the game. But the Hale article did bring this experience back to me.

What both examples make clear, I think, is that engaging in discussion with other people on social media is now the easiest thing in the world to do, but that it's also potentially perilous - what seems to be a simple opening gambit in a conversation can quickly become a reason for several people you've never met to decide they hate you. And thinking about why this is, made me realise that it's partly about the lack of social clues we have online.

Picture this: an author walks into a cafe, orders a coffee, and then realises that at the table next to him are six women, clearly friends, all discussing why they don't really like his new book. He would have to be completely mad or utterly self-obsessed to lean across and say, "Excuse me, ladies, that point you've just made is very interesting, but as the author, I'd have to say you've misunderstood my intention...." More likely, he'd hide behind a newspaper, or slink out. It's not his place to push into a group which is clearly bounded by longstanding interactions and mutual exchange of opinions. On the web, though, it's hard to see those boundaries, easier to think this is a discussion open to anyone who happens to wander past.

We've probably all had the experience of adding comments on a forum discussion, only to have what we've said utterly ignored as the next commentator simply replies to the one before you, and the next one carries on as if you never said anything. It feels like a snub (it is a snub) - but if this were real life, the group discussing this burning issue would be that bunch of students who always occupy the table in the corner of the canteen, looking daggers at anyone who even thinks about sitting next to them - and we wouldn't be in the least surprised if they ignored our comment. (We'd almost certainly never make it in the first place.)

Would you interrupt the conversation?

As social animals, we have built up over generations the ability to detect the smallest social clues about other people and groups around us. The kinds of interaction we engage in with other people are largely determined by our previous interactions with them, their status as friends or family or work colleagues. Even with total strangers we can use visible clues like dress, body language, expression, context, to judge what is or isn't appropriate. All these help us to 'see' the boundaries that we would be transgressing and the trouble we could be causing if we were to be, for example, inappropriately intimate or aggressive or opinionated.

The trouble with social media is these clues are just not there. We've only had access to this multitude of potential conversations with strangers  for a very short time, and people appear on it as little more than speech. Speech which is devoid of accents, of voice, of clues about who this person is. It's like wandering in a dark fog, listening to many voices all talking at random - but the people behind the voices are invisible. So we have to make guesses about what kinds of people they are, and whether we are gatecrashing through an invisible boundary, or striking up a conversation with someone genuinely interested in talking to us.

Those speaking to each other on a forum, a blog, on Goodreads, can appear as simply a bunch of individuals interested in the same topic, a bunch of reasonable, open individuals who would welcome a newcomer to their midst. Sometimes that is exactly what they are. But sometimes, the invisible boundaries are as fierce as barbed wire, and we cross them at our peril.

The way invisible boundaries are so difficult to negotiate sometimes makes me want to give up on all forms of online interaction. Like Liz Kessler, who posted recently about social media on ABBA (here), I have considered just ditching all of it in favour of interactions in real life only. But, in the end, I don't, because so far I've managed to negotiate those boundaries more or less unscathed, and in the process I've 'met' some really brilliant people (some of whom I've gone on to really meet).

The fact is, most people on social media ARE open, engaged, reasonable and friendly, and, if you transgress an invisible boundary, they are usually polite enough to just inform you gently that you're in the wrong place. But I do think it's important to be aware that just because those boundaries are invisible, doesn't mean they are not there - and when you find a clear notice that says "Authors (or whoever) are Not Welcome Beyond this Point", it probably pays to respect it.

C.J. Busby writes funny, fast-paced fantasy for children aged 7-12. Her latest books, Dragon Amber, is published by Templar.



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18. Music teachers on Facebook: separating the wheat from the chaff

I just reviewed yet another “hot off the press” piano composition. It was posted on Facebook by someone I don’t know – either as a person or by reputation. It looks good, but that is only because note-writing software has become so easy-to-use that anyone with the most basic knowledge can quickly crank out a “could-have-been-published” looking piece.

This particular piece doesn’t sound very good. It is mismatched. The notes themselves are at an upper-beginning level, yet it’s written with a complicated key signature and accidentals only an advanced student could understand. There are notational errors. Yet, I know that many unknowing teachers will print it off and rush it to their unfortunate students before the day is out without knowing better.

My professional life is better because of my Facebook presence that I control from the comfort of my hilltop home in a small town. I have made connections with numerous wonderful teachers I might not have met otherwise. I have discovered new books and interesting repertoire and also have contributed my two cents when I felt called to do so. I recognize, however, that I have been thrown without rank or file, onto a massive heap of piano teachers. Perhaps I stand out because of my reputation, but probably not. Up until recent times, the gatekeepers of quality have included respected publishers and one’s reputation through professional associations. Facebook’s format equalizes everyone regardless of accomplishment or education. There is no gatekeeper here.

I work in an unregulated industry as an independent music teacher in the United States. No professional degrees, training, or licensing of any kind is necessary to start up a studio. One simply needs to hang a sign and gather willing students. While this has been a longstanding issue in our field, recent trends in social media have combined with advances in technology to make everyone look equally valid on the screen. It is impossible to discern from a glance whether one’s content is senseless, stellar, or stolen.

With the ease of creating websites, music teachers have jumped into the writing arena. No credentials are needed to set up a site, write something, and post links in every professional music group on Facebook. The volume is overwhelming and often includes blog posts that are only copies or rewrites of someone else’s work. From appearances on screen, there is no way to sort the good from the bad and unethical.

Likewise, when questions are posed in groups, anyone can answer. There are no algorithms measuring the veracity or usefulness of an answer, or even the level of competence of the person responding. Running parallel to this is an anti-educational drumbeat that attempts to elevate those who have no formal education in their field to the highest level of achievement simply because they have passion for what they do. “People don’t know what they don’t know” as the old saying goes, and on Facebook no one seems bashful in rushing to confirm the truth of this statement. On the ubiquitous blue and white screen we all stand as equals — or at least we look like we do.

Adding to this are the wearisome writers who purport that “having fun” should supersede the steady and sturdy learning that is required to gain success in any field. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with fun, but students subjected to a form of “teaching” with only pleasant, mindless activities devoid of content or educational merit will never see a reasonable level of achievement — certainly not enough for them to gain entry into a respectable music school.

Untrained teachers whose main goal is keeping kids happy are falling into this trap by droves by using well-marketed, but substandard and mostly self-published literature that is woefully lacking in sound pedagogy. There is a bandwagon mentality of rushing to download the latest composition or method, which leads to a sense of belonging to the coolest group in high school – I mean – on Facebook. But, when one method advertises that “Our teachers do not need to possess advanced playing skills, prior teaching experience or a music degree. They must simply love to play the piano…” where is it all headed?

Parents would never allow their children to study math with someone who simply had a passion for adding up numbers, yet many sign them up for music lessons without researching the qualifications of the instructors or the soundness of the materials. The books are slick, the websites dynamic, and the appearances on Facebook omnipresent. But does the emperor actually have any clothes?

With 8,000 piano teachers in one group and several thousand in others, it is an unmanageable task to separate the wheat from the chaff. I suspect that these groups will have short shelf lives moving forward as their members begin to realize the unreliability of the information and the questionable value of material shared. What this backlash will create is yet to be determined, but I trust it will be a positive, quality-driven platform. For me, this can’t happen soon enough.

Image courtesy of Deborah Rambo Sinn

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19. Ethics of social networking in social work

Facebook celebrated its tenth anniversary in February. It has over 1.2 billion active users — equating to one user for every seven people worldwide. This social networking phenomenon has not only given our society a new way of sharing information with others; it’s changed the way we think about “liking” and “friending.” Actually, “friending” was not even considered a proper word until Facebook popularized its use. Traditionally, a friend is not just a person one knows, but a person with whom one shares personal affection, connection, trust, and familiarity. Under Facebook-speak, friending is simply the act of attaching a person to a contact list on the social networking website. One does not have to like, trust, or even know people in order to friend them. The purpose of friending is to connect people interested in sharing information. Some people friend only “traditional friends.” Others friend people on Facebook who are “mere acquaintances,” business associates, and even people with whom they have no prior relationship. On Facebook, “liking” is supposed to indicate that the person enjoys or is partial to the story, photo, or other content that someone has posted on Facebook. One does not have to be a friend to like someone’s content, and one may also like content on other websites.

Unbeknown to many Facebook users is how Facebook and other websites gather and use information about people’s friending and liking behaviors. For instance, the data gathered by Facebook is used to help determine which advertisements a particular user sees. Although Facebook does have some privacy protection features, many people do not use them, meaning that they are sharing private information with anyone who has access to the Internet. Even if a person tries to restrict information to “friends,” there are no provisions to ensure that the friends to not share the information with others, posting information in publically accessible places or simply sharing information in a good, old-fashioned manner – oral gossip. So, given what we know (and perhaps don’t know) about liking and friending, should social workers like their clients, encourage clients to like them, or friend their clients?

When considering the use of online social networking, social workers need to consider their ethical duties with respect to their primary commitment to clients, their duty to maintain appropriate professional boundaries, and their duty to protect confidential client information (NASW, Code of Ethics, 2008, Standards 1.01, 1.06, and 1.07). Allow me to begin with the actual situation that instigated my thinking about these issues. Recently, I saw a social worker’s Facebook page advertising her services. She encouraged potential clients to become friends and to like her. She offered a 10% discount in counseling fees for clients who liked her. What could possibly be a problem with providing clients with this sort of discount? The worker was providing clients with a benefit, and all they had to do was like her… they didn’t even have to become her friend.

In terms of 1.01, the social worker should ask herself whether she was acting in a way that promoted client interests, or whether she was primarily promoting her own interests. If her decision to offer discounts was purely a decision to promote profits (her interests), then she may be taking advantage (perhaps unintentionally) of her clients. If her clients were receiving benefits that outweighed the costs and risks, then she may be in a better position to justify the requests for friends and likes.

Woman in home office with computer and paperwork frowning. © monkeybusinessimages via iStockphoto.
Woman in home office with computer and paperwork frowning. © monkeybusinessimages via iStockphoto.

With regard to maintaining appropriate boundaries, the worker should ask how clients perceive her requests for friends and likes. Do clients understand that the requests are in the context of maintaining a professional relationship, or might terms such as friending and liking blur the distinctions between professional and social relationships? If she truly wants to know whether clients value her services (as opposed to like), perhaps she should use a more valid and reliable measurement of client satisfaction or worker effectiveness. There are no Likert-type scales when it comes to liking on Facebook. You can only “like” or “do nothing.”

Confidentiality presents perhaps the most difficult issues when it comes to liking and friending. When a client likes a social worker who specializes in gambling addiction, for instance, does the client know that he may start receiving advertisements for gambling treatment services… or perhaps for casinos, gambling websites, or racetracks? Who knows what other businesses might be harvesting online information about the client. “OMG!” Further, does the client realize that the client’s Facebook friends will know the client likes the social worker? Although the client is not explicitly stating he is a client, others may draw this conclusion – and remember, these “others” are not necessarily restricted to the client’s trusted confidantes. They may include co-workers, neighbors, future employers, or others who may not hold the client’s best interests to heart.

One could say it’s a matter of consent – the worker is not forcing the client to like her, so liking is really an expression of the client’s free will. All sorts of businesses offer perks to people who like or friend them. Shouldn’t clients be allowed to pursue a discount as long as they know the risks? Hmmm… do they know the actual risks? Do they know that what seems like an innocuous act – liking – may have severe consequences one day? Consider, is it truly an expression of free will if the worker is using a financial incentive – particularly if clients have very limited income and means to pay for services? Further, young children and people with dementia or other mental conditions may not have the capacity to understand the risks and make truly informed choices.

Digital natives (people born into the digital age) might say these are the ramblings of an old curmudgeon (ok, they probably woudn’t use the term curmudgeon). When considering the ethicality of social work behaviors, we need to consider context. The context of Facebook, for instance, includes a culture where sharing seems to be valued much more than privacy. Many digital natives share intimate details of their life without grave concerns about their confidentiality. They have not experienced negative repercussions from posting details about their intimate relationships, break-ups, triumphs, challenges, and even embarrassments. They may not view liking a social worker’s website any riskier than liking their favorite ice cream parlor. So, to a large segment of Facebook users, is this whole issue much ado about nothing?

In the context of Internet risks, there are far more severe concerns than social workers asking clients to like them on Facebook. Graver Internet risks include cyber-bulling, identity theft, and hacking into national defense, financial institutions, and other important systems that are vulnerable to cyber-terrorism. Still, social workers should be cautious about asking clients to like them… on Facebook or otherwise.
The Internet offers social workers many different approaches to communicating with clients. Online communication should not be feared. On the other hand, social workers should consider all potential risks and benefits before making use of a particular online communication strategy. Social work and many other helping professions are still grappling with the ethicality of various online communication strategies with clients. What is hugely popular now – including Facebook – may continue to grow in popularity. However, with time and experience, significant risks may be exposed. Some technologies may lose popularity, and others may take their place.

Headline image credit: Internet icons and symbols. Public domain via Pixabay.

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20. Facebook Users Vote For Harry Potter as Book That Stayed With Them

harry potter logoWhat books have you read that stayed with you? Among Facebook users, the most popular answer to this question was Harry Potter.

A meme that recently picked up steam on the social network, had users sharing the top 10 books that had stayed with them. As is typical of a social action, the exercise instructed users, “Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”

Facebook users took on the challenge and the game went viral. The social network examined the findings to conclude which books were most popular on this list.  (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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21. Free Comic Book Day Promotes ‘Alien’ Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener

I think the money makers at Diamond Select Toys are secretly testing the market for an upcoming adult toy line.

The Free Comic Book Day Facebook page posted a typical a nerd baiting question with no possible answer: who would win in fight between Spider-Man’s most popular nemesis Venom or the cult classic 80’s extraterrestrial nightmare Xenomorph? Of course this wasn’t a sponsored post to promote Diamond Select Toys wide variety bottle openers, but it sure as hell looks like it. The comments are full of well informed, substantial arguments on who would come on top. But some Facebook users couldn’t help to mention the fact that the Xenomorph opener bares a striking resemblance of a penis.

alienvsvenom Free Comic Book Day Promotes Alien Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener

How could Venom fare against Xenomorph’s veiny, long shaft and bulbous mushroom tip? I couldn’t image using this cold metal bottle opener bringing any kind of pleasure aside from opening a cold brewski, but the people of the Internet will find a way. Nonetheless, you can’t but help but appreciate the H. R. Giger work on the Alien series. Diamond Select Toys would like to remind you that Christmas is around the corner, and this would make a good stocking stuffer. Talk about gag gifts. *This was not a sponsored post by Diamond Select Toys.*

alienopener Free Comic Book Day Promotes Alien Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener

5 Comments on Free Comic Book Day Promotes ‘Alien’ Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener, last added: 9/15/2014
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22. Social Media Marketing - Oh that Facebook (your visibility is diminishing even more)

For a while now I’ve found it a bit pointless to focus on Facebook as part of my social media marketing efforts. It’s been a while since the reigning king of the social media world reduced the visibility results of your postings. Now, they have a new algorithm reducing your posts’ visibility to around 2% of your fanbase, more likely less. I don’t get it. Okay, well maybe I do. They want you

0 Comments on Social Media Marketing - Oh that Facebook (your visibility is diminishing even more) as of 9/19/2014 7:12:00 AM
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23. Facebook Won’t Be Free for Much Longer – Monthly Fees are in the Works

We all had to know that sooner or later FREE social media networking would come to an end. Well, that end it coming soon. According to sources, including National Report, Facebook has plans to implement a $2.99 monthly fee to all its users. This fee is to begin this November. In a press conference in California this past weekend, Mark Zuckerberg broke the news. Rising costs are no match for

0 Comments on Facebook Won’t Be Free for Much Longer – Monthly Fees are in the Works as of 9/24/2014 6:50:00 AM
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24. Social Medai Marketing - Did You Know You Can Now Include a CTA in Your Facebook Cover Photo?

One thing that you as a marketer can count on is online marketing is constantly changing, especially social media. Jeff Bullas has a great article on a new Facebook ruling that marketers will love. You're now allowed to include a CTA (call-to-action) in your header. How 'marketing cool' is that. The first thing a visitor will see when he lands on your page is the header. Now Facebook

0 Comments on Social Medai Marketing - Did You Know You Can Now Include a CTA in Your Facebook Cover Photo? as of 10/17/2014 7:46:00 AM
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25. Reign Day - Facebook Event

Reign’s Countdown Release Event All Day today!

I'll be stopping by to give away books and visiting from 4-4:30 EST to help celebrate!

REIGN - An Unfortunate Fairy Tale 
Releases NOV 3rd. 2014
Going to the Fae plane against Jared's orders has cost Mina dearly. Her decision
haunts her as a new danger surfaces back on the human plane. The Grimms are
fading from existence. 

To save her family's future, Mina Grime will
have to travel to the past with the help of her Fae Godmother and a pair of
magic shoes. 

She must go to the Story's very beginning, to
the days before the dark prince's reign. But can she finish her quest before
her time runs out, or will she be trapped in the past forever? 
Everyone who pre orders and buys their ebook copy before Nov 10th will receive Jared’s Quest: An unfortunate Fairy Tale Short Story as bonus material in the ebook.
FB Promo
Chanda 3 headshot
Chanda is a bestselling and award winning author of the UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale series and the Iron Butterfly series. She’s been a bestseller in five countries and was named one of Amazon’s top 100 customer favorite author. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children.

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