March 9, 2018

Storytelling with Childhood Comic Books

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to reflect on the idea of storytelling, with one picture or a few.  Jen’s essay Story on the subject is lovely and if you are a photographer who blogs, perhaps you should look it over.


The idea of storytelling has more than one meaning.  The ancient idea of a story is a great deed, and, now in recent times, many variations on story exist including the marketing idea.  A brand should engage its audience by telling a story, by representing itself as sometimes a great notion that people can feel involved in what the brand is about and how it functions in the space of marketing.  If people trust a brand’s “story,” they want to be a customer of the brand as it belongs to the space understood by both the storytellers and by the consumers.


If you watch Stranger Things, you know that the Dungeons & Dragons player who organizes game sessions is referred to as the “Dungeon Master.”  Being a blogger is a little like being a Dungeon Master because you are organizing some kind of storytelling effort for other people to read and otherwise consume.


For this week’s Photo Challenge, I am telling a story visually with what is a popular visual form of storytelling, comic books.  They turned up in the kitchen of the church where I work and they belonged to family years ago, which I borrowed informally on the suggestion of my father, who noticed they were there.


March 9, 2018
Superhero Story for WordPress Photo Challenge

I picked a couple of these that I did read when I was a kid and a couple more that reflect the interests I had as a kid.  I hope you like the photo I have taken, and that if you see this, you relate to how it is to come across something from the past that is a nice memory.


Blurring a photo is a normal aspect of photography and the blur in this photo was done with the camera.  The photo hasn’t been blurred by software.


Attack of the Video Content

Do you have an inkling what influencer marketing is?


Influencer marketing, I guess, is when a brand with an expansive and powerful Internet presence helps a newcomer gain exposure by sharing the smaller brand under the umbrella of the major brand who is widespread across the world wide web on several channels.


When the Hulu video streaming service was becoming a monster, I know they experimented with following various Twitter peeps in order to help make themselves a household name.


November 28, 2016
Hulu among other Twitter followers

Now I see commercials on TV for Hulu that make it seem all the more like a juggernaut, but for some time they were most alive in my mind as the entity on Twitter that seemed to be joking around all the time waiting for all those people to start transplanting their attention to Hulu instead of all the other options for video entertainment that likewise wanted consumer dollars in exchange for a wild consumption experience of the most dynamite video to be found.


Hulu kept adding all kinds of classic TV shows to their roster line-up, and beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale began to fill its slot of originals with more and more series, like Marvel’s Runaways.


It felt to me like the underdog Hulu challenging the king of paid content, Netflix, for a portion of its subscriber base.  Who had the best originals, Netflix with its incredible budget and seeming out-of-control finger on the market with a business model set to break all records?


But what happened… this is surely a simplistic interpretation of what was actually experienced… the Harvey Weinstein effect rocked the entertainment industry and pretty soon many respected actors were back to the drawing board.


I am not an analyst, but are these two events connected in any tangible way?


Netflix established an extraordinary budget for its current and future programming, all growing from a point of origin that was one particular Netflix original that was historical for being the first there was.  It was House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey.


Spacey came under stern criticism and was let go, costing Netflix a ton and generating at least a little bad publicity.


With their very first entry as a Netflix original series becoming a distraction, I felt I was seeing Hulu rise up in response and setting their sights on becoming a major competitor in the wake of the scandal around Spacey.


It can’t have been that direct a transition, I don’t think, but I would infer that with the breakdown of Netflix’ House of Cards at a critical time, when Hulu was beginning to launch its new originals, I think it certainly meant the time was right for Hulu to begin to market itself more traditionally, rather than with its jovial influence marketing that resembled stunt tactics.  Maybe Hulu still does play with influence marketing, I’m not sure, but all of a sudden it seems like all the more professional a brand than it had been previously when it was a minor competitor to the juggernaut Netflix.


Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also demonstrated its penchant for winning many major awards and on top of that, it carried with it a feminist zeitgeist that was all the more effective in the face of the Weinstein effect that was leaving men everywhere clutching their walking papers.


November 16, 2017
A year later Hulu unfollows

These days when I see the TV ads for Hulu I smile.


I think the video streaming market is mad, but it is interesting to see that there have been many measurable changes in it in the last several months as Hulu grew into its mode of expansion and gained tons of credibility.


It will be interesting to see if there are more upstarts as entertainment continues to change.


Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word inkling.


The Silver Screen in the Storm

I am extremely late working on this free course from WordPress to help me get better as a photographer.  With the extreme winter, the busy holidays, and the relative difficulty of thinking how to proceed, at last, I am ready to make a post with the next exercise in photography at the ready and on the Internet.  Day Four of the beginner-level WordPress course “Developing Your Eye” asks participants to reflect with a photo about bliss–this is what I have for you.


Landmark Cinemas at the Pen

One of the cool things I got to experience when I was a boy was watching a film, and for a long time, we didn’t have cable television in our house (I suppose it’s lucky we had electricity–joking, of course, we certainly did)… but I did get to visit the movie house and it opened what I expect will be a lifelong cycle of happiness creating memories that contain a component of elusive bliss.


I can remember without being aware of much else famous movie titles that I got to see, and I suppose the end result of a childhood like that is an adulthood rich with “geekdom”–that movies continue to light a casual passion in my life and I remember to enjoy them.  They light a bit of freedom that should be cherished amid the changing times that sweep by all.  The movies remain an institution of great cultural impact and richness.


My photo today is of the exterior of the commercial cinema in the mall in the other end of town, and, as previously mentioned, the winter weather so far this year is fierce–you can see the swirling snow.  I nearly came home with less clothing than I’d worn.


Blogging with WordPress is an amazing hobby–I am consistently impressed by the visitors who leave “likes” on the posts which are of a passing grade.  I hope that by the end of this course in photography I have improved as a photographer and I hope blogging takes me into 2018 with aplomb and continues to serve as a communication tool by which excellent connections are forged.  Thank you!


If You Were in Our Downtown Core or at the Fairview

To finish the year 2017, I am doing the free 10-day Developing Your Eye course from WordPress designed to start bloggers getting better at their photography and providing a bit of a networking opportunity.  Today I took a “wide-angle” photo of the spot where visiting my neighborhood you might start if you were bringing yourself here from the downtown terminal or from the Fairview, wherever you were.


The Neighbourhood In Perhaps from the Downtown Core or the Fairview

Yesterday’s post beginning the photo course went well and we’ll see if any other decent photos come from my camera during the exercises.  Thanks for visiting my blog.

Devising Content that Stands Out from the Crowd

A blog remains an essential requirement of life with the Internet in 2017.  It is neither a lost art nor spurious.  If you are serious about your name on the Internet, you need to be blogging.


It is not without a sense of urgency that we experience our lives.  The long and short of the problem is that with so many demands on our time, it is urgent that we get to the belly of the beast and jot those “X’s” onto our to-do lists.  With Christmas approaching this time of year, we have even less time on our hands to devote to pastimes such as blogging.


When I think of everything in life that demands our attention, and I am not a parent, nor even really a career man, the no. 1 thing I think of is the rush to post content on social media.  That being said, and I’m sure you’re doing a good job of this already if you’re on the Internet, it may help to reflect that writing content is all about capturing interest.


Content needs to provoke interest and to continue to do so (being “evergreen”), at a time when there is constantly all the more competition against which you need to pit yourself (it’s cutthroat).  You have what is literally a finite amount of time available if you are handling the reins of your social media.  Therefore it is with some urgency that you need to keep your content coming.


You are almost certainly on social media already if you are reading WordPress blogs.  It is up to you to conduct yourself with excellence.  When I blog, I draw on the WordPress daily prompts for inspiration, and I want to present a relative amount of truth and dedication to the hobby so that I am not merely spinning my wheels.


Startup Stock Photo
Startup Stock Photo

If you want to “like” this post and/or “follow” the blog, by all means, of course, you are welcome to do so.  You can leave me a comment as well.  Thanks for reading, and good luck with your content!

Brief tips for keeping up

How is your content doing?  Are you keeping records?  There’s nothing intuitive about being outfitted for killer content.  It’s Internet 101.  There’s engagement and then there’s conversion.

  • Be relevant in a sprawling web environment

You won’t be able to see the horizon on the world wide web.  It goes on and on, and your time can disappear into it the way tree leaves lose their pigment and then fall.  I hope that you have a plan, because, as you should know, setting goals is incredibly important.  You have an uphill battle to face already, and without clear goals for you to pursue, you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere.  I definitely wish I’d tackled it more systematically years ago.  Try challenging yourself by investigating new techniques for setting goals, and see what you can put into effect.  I realize this is advice for a beginner, but if you are new and you read this, please understand that I am doing my best to run over some basic tips that you can put into practice for yourself.  You can prioritize what you want to achieve if you put some planning into what you are about. If you have the spontaneity and creative mindset to be headstrong, I’m sure that’s ok. If you are overwhelmed, and you could be, you need to throw down some controls on what you are doing.

social media icons

  • Read success stories and comparing them to yourself

The world wide web is cool, so don’t fret.  You do need a plan of attack.  Organize your efforts so that they resemble the kind of list in which you might write what groceries you want to buy.  It’s a start!  Don’t dismiss the inspiration you find by learning about what people who are achievers did to get where they are today.  Above all else, there are plenty of people with good intentions to who you can reach out to on your journey across the Internet.

  • Find release in a second hobby

The world wide web has a lot to offer, but you probably need a second hobby if you’re feeling troubled.  Something that you can do in the outdoors might be good, to keep your mind active on more than one front (on more than just your life computing).  Maybe you should be writing offline, to keep your engine fresh.  Reading real world books is a good idea, especially if you can learn something from them.  That’s a concrete example of how and when doors will open for you.  Speaking of the real world, interaction outside the digital corridors of the Internet has its place for you, distinctly.  Don’t go too far afield by forgetting what’s out there physically.

internet marketing confusion shows online seo strategy

Are you struggling with your brand identity?  Leave a comment for me if you think of something I strongly need to see.  I’m curating this based on a blog post I did the twentieth of October, 2014, which rather needed an update.  I wouldn’t mind hearing of others’ efforts as you keep on descending into the backwaters of the Internet.  I know readers may be reluctant to comment, but you’re very welcome to note here where your online journey has taken you and if you can do relate, and in fact have found help.  You can “like” and/or “follow” as well.  Thanks!

Trying To Establish a Productive Rhythm

If you’re a blogger, you may have had the experience of finding out that you’ve been away too long, when you haven’t been posting and all of a sudden you try to return to it.


WDnet Studio

In the past my blog has had its origins in a few different sources, and I see the point of doing research to try to sound accurate, but the sense of whimsy I have keeps me returning to the WordPress Daily Prompts and the Weekly Photo Challenges, because they are a ready and enduring source of ideas.  I want to briefly touch on the point that yesterday was a Star Wars Day, which was fun because countless man hours were lost to the myriad of Star Wars source material and inspiration which is similarly enduring to WordPress, and definitely a lot bigger.


I now have 1K followers on Twitter, which I will work to preserve as that is the voice I have in this world, and I will wield it responsibly and ethically.  Lately, I’m tweeting a lot about Hulu, which I think is the up-and-comer in Internet television, which is where television audiences are going when they want television programming (the Internet).  I’m also touching on content as an idea in itself, which is what you’re probably quite familiar with, the information and material posted on the Internet with the intention to attract attention and interest in it.  Lastly, I’m making a few references to blogging and to social because I feel that represents that I have my hand in these areas, even if I am working on an amateur level.


Annie Spratt

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word, “lifestyle.”  WordPress is a blogging platform which promotes inclusion, and it goes hand-in-hand with social because a ready way to share blog posts is on social, and if you have good SEO you can get traffic from around the world wide web.  I don’t do this for the traffic, but there are times here and there I get feedback from readers that makes my day.  The culture of social and blogging, hand-in-hand with other cultural activities like having an affection for Star Wars, or being part of the video game community (such as taking part in Twitch), are interrelated on many levels, and those are the levels, the levels almost of “consciousness,” really, that I have, which I don’t think are untypical of someone my age and with my background.


I don’t want to say too much today, except that I am beginning a new time in my life on social, which is having the 1K following on tried-and-true Twitter (which is somewhat maligned), and also being in the era not just of mobile and video but also of the return of Star Wars in a big way, which when all added up together make me feel like the loose ends of my life to date somehow correlate and make sense to me, when I am reflecting on what is happening in my awareness.  I am basically returning to recap some of what I am doing in my personal life, and if you have feedback for me, the question I think I might put to you is whether to be commenting on fellow WordPress blogs.  I am not sure whether the practice of leaving comments on WordPress blogs is a good idea or not.  To me, there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done, and I know that many, many people are in that boat, too, and there are numerous advisors who have counsel on what It takes to structure more activities in the course of the week.  Occasionally I offer advice, but not all the time.  Mostly I sound what’s on my mind when I take the time to blog.  If you happen to read this, and you enjoy it, feel free to, “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.  Have a nice day and all the best to you.  Thank you!  Cheers.