"The Art of Community " by Jono Bacon, O'Reilly Media
The business plan bible for creating or revising your online community, “The Art of Community" is the greatest book on the subject available to date. In fact, anyone using social media could learn alot from this book as well.
Jono Bacon has done an outstanding job on compiling what it takes to successfully build an online community from the ground up using the right tools, the right documentation for governance and a well thought out section dedicated to conflict resolution in your community. Bacon emphasises the key issues with communities and provides a logical and methodical approach to ensure the safety of all members in the community as well as those with the responsibility of governing the community.
There are some key areas that anyone starting always worry about; conflicts, moderators, lack of participation etc. but this book deals with that and far more. This simply is a bible that all Community Managers must have.
I’ve asked a few writers now if they use story structure during their planning stages. I’m surprised to hear not many do, and some of those same people are shocked to think that I restrict myself from the freedom of writing by using an established structure when writing.
My view is that without structure, you’re creating blind. It’s like saying you’re a guitarist without ever knowing chords or notes. Whilst it is possible to continue to write without, it’s far better to be aware of it before you lose out to white paper syndrome.
Story structure began thousands of years ago. We’ve just only known in the last three thousand odd years that there is a definition to it.
Aristotle was the first to define structure by declaring every story to have three acts. A beginning, a middle and an end.
Joseph Campbell later wrote about the Hero’s Journey. Quite a take on mythology and the most revered author on the matter to date.
Whilst Jazz musician’s can create notes freely as they play, it is only pleasant to the ear due to them understanding the foundation and structure to playing in the same key that makes us enjoy their freedom so much.
So to the writers out there who believe they don’t need to know story structure… you have likely been following structure, unknown to it. Now take some time to learn about it and you’ll be better for it. So to your audience.
I’ve had the chance to learn from a successful YA (Young Adult) author, Jacqueline Harvey. It’s been quite an experience and Jacqueline makes the perfect mentor with a background as a primary school teacher. This insight really gives her an advantage over others with the experience of knowing more about the audiences she now writes to. If you ever see the opportunity where Jacqueline is teaching or speaking, go out of your way to see her. For Sydney siders, you should keep an eye out for Jacqueline through the Sydney Writers’ Festival or the NSW Writers’ Centre.
My personal interest in pursuing writing for children has come from my background as a cartoonist and animator. It’s a natural progression or at least a transition for me to move to literature. And I’d like the chance to not only draw, but explore more in the written form.
If you are interested in writing for children’s literature there are a few places you might like to read up first.
Writers Digest - a source of information about writing in general. I subscribe to their digital magazine and have found many articles that shed light on issues I have faced when writing. And the digital subscription is the cheap alternative to the paper version too!
Persnickety Snark - run by an Australia teacher that currently resides in Japan. The blog has reviews, discussion posts and interviews with an emphasis placed on Australian authors.
Kidlit.com - is the site owned by Mary Kole and has a dedicated interest in writing for YA and MG. Plenty of inspirational information and well worth bookmarking. Mary has also written a book on Writing Irresistable Kidlit.
It’s been some time, but I got around to uploading it. I presented at the Australian Cartoonists Association’s national conference where I spoke alongside Peter Viska (Viskatoons) and Michael Jantze (the Norm). My talk was about pitching an idea to the larger networks and how to go about it, as well as how to create and prepare for pitching and some of the feedback I had received during my pitches.
We all have ideas. Ideas are immortal. They last forever.
What doesn’t last forever is inspiration. Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk:It has an expiration date.
If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now. You cant put it on a shelf and wait two months to get around to it. You can’t just say you’ll do it later.
Later you won’t be pumped up about it anymore.
If you’re inspired on a Friday, swear off the weekend and dive in to the project. When you’re high on inspiration, you can get two weeks of work done in twenty four hours. Inspiration is a time machine in that way
Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. But it won’t wait for you. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.
For those weird tall skyscraper videos we manage to film on our iphones, you can get them to rotate. You just need to know this:
Snow Leopard users - use Quicktime Player 7 which you can download and install without affecting your installed Quicktime 10.
Go to the Window > Show Movie Properties menu and a new window appears
Select Video Track on the left side
Select ‘size’ on the right hand side of the Video Track. You can rotate, adjust size and more with the buttons at the bottom of this menu.
Save! go to File > Export and choose the file format you want.
“ON SUNDAY, while leading a discussion on the future of web design and publishing, I noticed a slightly confused look appearing on some faces in the audience. The discussion had been billed as “Jeffrey Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel,” and”—You are all in publishing!
If you are using Wordpress, then learning SQL is a must if you are coding your own templates.
This video masterclass is quite an impressive resource for those interested in further developing their knowledge in SQL. It better suits if you have prior knowledge of SQL and how to design or structure databases otherwise it may not be worth your investment at this time as some topics can come across confusingly. CJ is an excellent instructor and you should find comfort in these videos. Just be mindful that this really is for those wanting to master the art of SQL and not simply starting out to learn it.
The advantage to these videos is that it takes the level of learning further than if you were to teach yourself from the book (also a great addition). The masterclass has been produced during in/an actual class environment and is interspersed with shots of CJ at the head of the room talking to students but more importantly the majority of learning is visual presentations/images with a voice over of the presentation.
Be prepared for a little bandwidth to be consumed if you take the plunge. The total size of the collection is over 4GB to download, enough video to fill a DVD full and a whopping 16 hours in length. The price at first glance is quite high for a video tutorial but given the expense of attending a 3 day class or conference, it is quite a reasonable purchase at a substantial savings in comparison.
Entrepreneurship involves mistakes and failures. But ultimately, if you have that intellectual capital and intimate understanding behind your project, you have a chance to succeed.
Intellectual capital, and not just monetary capital, will spawn the next great product or idea. Entrepreneurs, especially in the technology sector, will create things tomorrow that we can barely imagine today. They will struggle. They will fight. Many will fail. Others will thrive.
I’m moving soon, and I don’t want to have to lug these boxes of minicomics with me again. So I’m having a sale! Order comics and prints in my shop and use the code CRAZYTALK to get everything at a whopping 50% off.
John’s work is great, you should take advantage of him while he’s vulnerable!
Well, it’s that time of year again - The 2010 ACA Stanleys Brochure will be hitting your letterboxes in the next week, but if you can’t wait to get your excitable ink-stained hands on one, you can download the 7Mb PDF by clicking the image (above.)