Nobody Liked This (Facebook pt. 1)

Facebook is a huge social network. Like seriously huge.

This we already know.

With just over 1.79 billion users, it’s even more popular than YouTube, which has roughly 1 billion users, but definitely more so than Instagram (5M) and Twitter combined (3M).

With such an incredible base of people using it on a regular basis, it’s kinda impossible to not jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Yes, there is an argument to be made that younger people are moving towards social media networks like Instagram. And it is true that Tumblr, Reddit, and Pinterest are growing in little leaps as well, but when it comes to large scale networking, Facebook is king of the hill.

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The Social Network

And it even has a 2010 movie made about it which we affectionately know as The Social Network – an award winning movie that received Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.

You’ve probably seen the movie too. And whether you have or not, I’m gonna give a quick recap on it. It tells the story of friends Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) who build a website called Thefacebook for ivy league students to meet and date, while Zuckerberg has been simultaneously employed by Harvard twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) to build The Harvard Connection. The Winklevoss’ eventually sue Zuckerberg for stealing their idea, while Napster co-founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) works his way in on Zuckerberg to improve upon the website, while also convincing him to push Saverin out.

It’s a gripping movie which puts a dark twist on the decade of 2000-2009 and also tells a rather human story about social media.

Facebook Marketing For Creatives

But the thing is, you’re a creative professional, and you need to start marketing yourself better. You really should find a way to get your work out there and in the hands of the people who want to see your content.

I know those people exist, because I run into them all the time in both my real life AND digital travels, and it’s not that difficult to reach them. You have to understand the basics of Facebook marketing first.

Facebook has three major ways of connecting users to content – Pages, ads, and groups. Each of them has a particular value and purpose, but by combining them together you’ll learn how to get where you’re going and effectively to boot.

  1. Facebook pages are to individual profiles what corporations are to small businesses. This is where you share content with your followers and get them involved in your personal brand. You have to set up your business page if you want to get to the ads step, so do that first. Then focus on lifestyle over product. Also want to be actively involved in comments and service… this can include incentivizing your user base and sharing user content too.
  2. Facebook ads are targeted content that you share with a specific audience. The goal is to share with those consumers that fit a particular audience and ideally it will highlight particular aspects of your brand. You’ll want to have a clear objective in mind, rotate ads often to prevent disengagement, and target key data points.
  3. Facebook groups are different from pages in that they provide a place for people to get together and share content of a similar effect. It’s more community minded and less brand driven, which means that you can learn a lot about what people think of you/your business by asking questions and starting conversations.

Now to be perfectly honest, those are simply the tools in the tool-belt, what you really need are a set of instructions and a how-to guide on construction. But in order to do that, I’ll have to write more about it, and that’s better served for another theory. After all, we only retain about 3-10% of new information in a single pass, so I’ll let you mull over this for a few weeks and then come back at you with part two. Sounds good? Excellente.

I hope you have an excellent evening dear readers, and to my American fans, I hope your new president treats you well and is a good steward to the global community.

Tim!

 

 

Stick A Pin In It (Pinterest)

Today’s post, dear readers is all about keeping track of your scrapbook in a digital age, or as I like to call it…

Everything you wanted to know about Pinterest, but didn’t know you wanted to know, in a thousand words or less.

Way way back in roughly 1500 BC, somewhere in Mesopotamia, the tool we commonly call scissors was invented. Scissors are used for a number of reasons, from agriculture and animal husbandry, to food preparation, to body grooming, to metalwork, to medical work, to clothes making.

We don’t even realize how often we use them in our lives, because they have been around and integral to all kinds of cultural activities.

If we fast forward to westernized culture from the 20th century, people were scrapbooking interesting pictures of their dream house, that wedding dress they wanted to hand-make, all of the chili recipes they could get their hands on, a group of furniture pieces collaged together that a future living room would feature, lists of exercises, movie ticket stubs, travel photos, articles about Clint Eastwood and Helen Mirren, you name it, people saved it in a book.

Then the age of computers rolled around, and we went from storing paper, to saving images. We all did it. There was a folder labelled Photos, another labelled Photos 2, Nice photos, Brad’s images, and Family Trip ’03. But even that phase of saving images was not destined to be a force majeure for long.

Eventually social media started to develop and digital connectivity pushed forward to allow for new ways of sharing information. Especially images. That was 6 years ago.

Then one day in March of 2010, a new website launched which was touted as a way to save images and categorize them on boards. The website also allowed users to share boards, and save others content in their own boards. And best of all it was free to use.

Pinterest is a rather elegant and simple solution for something which we’ve been doing for generations, but now we have the ability to make our scrapbooks shareable and even use them for digital storefronts of our brands and products. Recently CEO Ben Silbermann has identified the web and mobile app as a catalog of ideas. Which as we all know, appeals to me greatly.

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This article by Wired probably says it best, but I think this section of the article is particularly important in understanding what Pinterest does so well.

It’s a quiet overachiever. The social service offers a clean, efficient interface where people can save images or discover new ones… But subtle is its own strategy. Beneath the surface, the company has made significant changes. Silbermann believes they can help transform the digital pinboard he and cofounders Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra invented into the dominant global visual search engine. He thinks they will drive new people to try Pinterest and spend more time on it. “We’re trying to build a catalog of ideas for the entire world,” he says. “It’s only as good as the diversity of ideas inside it.”

Pinterest Basics

Pinterest is very simple while being intuitive and allows you to choose how much of an investment you are willing to put forward. It is infinitely customizable, but rather than waxing poetic, why don’t I get technical for you friends?

1. Sign Up. When you sign up can choose to link either your Facebook or Twitter account. This is mostly to help you find an existing network of contacts to follow, and who can follow you back,

2. Your Profile I highly recommend creating a username that either aligns with your existing accounts AND/OR with your company name. You should also consider using the same photo as well from other accounts too.

3. Your Settings. Spend some time messing with the email notifications and decide whether you’ll receive emails for likes, comments or repins. I would also recommend installing the Pin It button so that you can add content anywhere and anytime to Pinterest.

 

4. Adding Pins. This is pretty straightforward, but you can either save a pin from Pinterest or if you are on another website you have the option to pin images when you hover over them. Some browswers like Chrome has a Pinterest button at the top of the page which groups all of the images on a webpage for you to choose from. Once you’ve saved a pin, you can choose a board to pin it to and also write some info about the pin.

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5. Adding Boards. Almost as easy as adding a pin. Depending if you come from your profile or elsewhere on the internet, you can either click the “Create a board” or “+” buttons. I recommend giving your board a clear name so that your followers know what they are getting themselves into when they check it out. You can also add other pinners to your boards, and even decide if these boards are private or for public consumption.

 

6. Like & Comment. This is useful when you like content, but don’t want to pin it. This way, the pinner gets some feedback and you can carry on.

7. Uploading Pins. This is specifically for your own content. Click the “+” button and follow the directions to add from a URL or via direct upload.

My Pinterest Account

Last but not least, I’ve started my own Pinterest account to share art I make with you, music and movies I review, and content I think you should be absorbing. I’ll keep working to make better and more frequent use of the account. But I think this is a good place to start. https://www.pinterest.com/timotheories/

What do you think folks? Did you learn something about Pinterest? I hope you take the time to set up your account because no matter what kind of artist you are, there is value to be had in using a digital catalog of ideas. But that’s just a theory.

Tim!

Rebirth (timotheories August 2016)

I’m sure you’ve heard this expression once or twice before, dear readers, but I’m gonna throw it at you again, because it’s relevant for today’s topic.

A lot can change in a month.

You can be on top of the world one minute, and then you’re struggling for air the next. After all, nothing in life is certain, except for death and the occasional rebirth. It happens all the time in comic books after all.

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And for one well considered reason or another, the comic book movie train won’t stop, so for all intents and purposes, it is a fantastic time to be a fan of the genre.

Which is why it’s important to talk about another kind of rebirth. Yeah, that’s right you sneaky monkeys, I’m gonna share what’s happening during the month of August on timotheories. We’ve already had a post about covering off the importance of professionalism in relation to your creative brand, a review of the excellent film Whiplash, and a review of Michael Kiwanuka’s soul album Love & Hate. But I know you’re already wondering what’s next.

So let us get the disclaimer out of the way, then we can dive right on in and go over the schedule.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

Awesome sauce, let’s get to it then:

Stimulating Sundays – (08/07) Brad Fehr interview, (08/14) Comic Books, (08/21) Cross Talk Ep. 8, (08/28) Megan Warkentin interview
Melodic Mondays – (08/01) Michael Kiwanuka, (08/08) Jake Owens, (08/15) Descendents, (08/22) Wild Beasts, (08/29) Factor Floor
Theatrical Tuesdays – (08/02) Whiplash, (08/09) Batman: The Killing Joke, (08/16) Primer, (08/30) The Nice Guys
Wisdom Wednesdays – (08/03) Professionalism, (08/10) Your Wardrobe, (08/17) Neil Strauss, (08/24) Pinterest, (08/31) Watchmen
Timely Thursday – (08/04) timotheories August, (08/11) Happiness and Reflection, (08/18) Fringe Festival (08/25) Artwork Update

The year of all killer, no filler continues friends! Nothing quite like laying it all on the line and getting right to the point. Without this strategy I wouldn’t be able to reinvigorate the weekly grind quite so easy.

For starters, you definitely won’t want to miss episode eight of Cross Talk. Chris and I decided to bring K. G. Singh back as a regular staffer and this time we’ll chat about what distinguishes a re-watchable movie from a quality movie. Awesome sauce, as was already mentioned.

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On top of that, I realized I initially promised an interview with Brad Fehr didn’t I? But instead I snuck in a nice teaser. Well don’t be alarmed, because the full length interview is coming out this Sunday AND I’ll even share another interview with grad student Megan Warkentin. Her interview will be all about exploration, or to put it another way, an excellent opportunity to consider opportunity.

Now it might seem like we’ve covered it all, but I think my next plan is to drop that Just In Time Games series into your lap, but we’re not quite there yet. We’ve got lots of test footage, and a decent amount of see games sampled, so the anticipation will continue to build. I know, I’m being a little flaky, but I promise it’ll be worth it.

And those are all of the theories I can come up with for now friends. Please leave some comments, to let us know what you want to see in coming months and subscribe to the blog too!

Tim!

Grow Up And Blow Away (Your Image)

Growing up is hard to do.

Or to if I were to rip it off of a writer like E. E. Cummings, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. Which is why Peter Pan never did it, why Peter Pan syndrome is real, and it’s also why we don’t all get there.

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Also, I’ve never been a large fan of this above meme, but you know what? This seems like an appropriate time to use it, after all, marketing is about communicating a message, and so I’m making a solid point with a message about dummies using a baby to be funny.

Real mature dummies. Way to devalue the importance of marketing.

Hold on a tick, timotheories, are you saying what we think you’re saying?

That’s right, we’re onto post number four in the Importance of Marketing series!

As I’ve already done a few times before, I should start us on the right track by clarifying what an image means in this instance. It could be a representation of the external, whether the form taken is that of a person or a thing. It could also be a metaphor. In most cases it usually means a physical likeness, which can be best demonstrated with a photograph, painting or sculpture.

But what about a mental representation? An idea? a conception? Especially given the weird quality that computers have which allow them to produce an image themselves. And thusly we arrive dear readers. I’m referring to your online image.

An online image is that which houses all of the internet related information available to the public about you, and it can be very unflattering. Your online image is a summation of characteristics and interactions you have with other members of the internet. Most of the interaction happens on forums, content channels, and digital vending machines, but regardless of what you do with your time online, each website builds a profile of who you are and what you do.

Which is why you should learn some basic online hygiene in order to take that road. Yes, I could teach you about branding related image elements, like your logo, mailing list, etc. But upon more reflection, it occurred to me that we can all benefit from the below first, and build up to that level of attention.

So here it is, a short(er) list of things you should do.

  1. Regularly track your Google search results. Are you competing with someone else for  name attention? What kinds of URL results come up when someone searches for you and are the results consistent with the image you want to have? Is someone else with the same name in the top results? If you set Google alerts, you can run interference on both positive and negative feedback whenever someone has something to say about you.
  2. Buy all of the necessary social media names associated with your brand. For example, I have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter locked up. Your personal URL needs to be in sync with your brand too, so look into that as well. Domain names are relatively inexpensive to acquire, and the internet is the future after all, so make a commitment now. And then make your email signature align – add all of the links.
  3. Participate in the above mentioned online social and business related groups. That also includes LinkedIn, Google+, and other ones like ZoomInfo. Your goal is to structure your profiles, replies, and posts so that you can attract your target demographic and send a professional message about your expertise. By connecting with those who already do what you want to do or are on their way too, you’ll gain access to job openings, freelance opportunities, and networking events.
  4. Blogging. I blog because I love it, but Google and other search engines love blogs too. The content is regularly updated, and as you participate in the culture, which means guest posting, commenting on other blogs with your handle, and sharing useful information. And reference other relevant blogs when you can because the community commitment makes all the difference. Of course, if you can fit your blog into a full-meal-deal website that showcases your career, achievements, and portfolio, all the better.
  5. Share your expertise. That means participating in professional associations that have physical and online forums, and take advantage of their networking opportunities. If you go to Yahoo!, Google Groups, LinkedIn, Reddit or WikiAnswers, you’ll find lots of people that’ll appreciate your help. You should also write reviews of relevant books for online publishers like Amazon and Indigo. And of course don’t forget to link it to your personal brand.

But what do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you still never wanna grow up? I know it’s scary out there, but I have a theory that if you follow the above you’ll get where you need to go on your marketing journey. I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

This Is Your Brain On Words (Quotes To Inspire Creativity)

This might seem like a bit of surprise, but I have not always enjoyed the writing process.

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And I don’t think I’m alone in this attitude. Much like any “seemingly” basic skill, writing takes some time to learn, and a lifetime to master. Because of that hard truth about writing, from a young age I always felt pressured into the writing process and moreover, that I didn’t have the characteristics to make my ideas and literary voice heard. So I did what I would do with social situations, I would borrow ideas and quotes from other established works.

This of course changed after I got accepted into university and had the opportunity to expand my library of literary options.

It got more difficult!

I thought that maybe I wasn’t mature yet or life experiences hadn’t happened enough for me so I didn’t have a way of articulating detailed stories proper. But as I explored my own identity I began to realize that creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and for me, I enjoyed pulling from different sources to build an idea out. Also hard won personal experiences with writing under pressure over and over again helped relieve some of the stress.

Which is a pretty cool thing, if you were to ask me. But I guess you are asking me, seeing as how you are at timotheories right now, reading about my ideas. Fortunately I do have a formal education in the arts so it’s not like I’m Joe Blow from Timbuktu writing about my snail collection.

I’m an expert in the arts and on this journey with you.

Which is why I decided that today I want to share some word wisdom with you, and in anticipation of a little old project I am about to undertake(read: new project. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll share that project with you on a later date. For now, let’s start with that sweet sweet wisdom dear readers.

I’ve written about the power of reading at least once before, but have I discussed the power of words themselves? No I didn’t think so either. Sometimes we get so caught up in our routines (which are helpful) that we forget to spend time enjoying life and *gasp*, procrastinating simply to be immersed in culture.

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But seriously… Sound familiar? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Personally I’ve found that reading exercises my brain and that taking quotes from literature can help cement new ideas or creative directions I want to take – So today I’m going to share with you, in no particular order, some of my favourite quotes from film and literature, as infographics. And after you’ve gone through the list, I want you to think about how you feel. But for now, let’s take a scroll.

 

 

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Bet you are feeling pretty good right now? And some of those quotations are tied into your own experiences. You see, dear readers, I have this theory that word association has the incredible power to motivate, but only to motivate. It doesn’t provide discipline, like at all. But that is not what it was meant for.

You need to balance short term pains (emotions) against long term gains (skill). It’s just how it is. So why not spend some time building a Pinterest board or vision board or whatever to give yourself some instant emotional gratification? And most of those quotes are useful advice anyway, and there have been studies done that indicate human beings can only learn a few new things at a time.

So put your ideas up somewhere digital or real; bathroom and bedroom walls can do the trick. And revisit those quotes regularly, that way you can slowly absorb the knowledge you need, to increase your knowledge, skill, and discipline to create.

While, I’m out of theories and wisdom for the day friends, so I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely!

Tim!