Web Perspectives

June 16, 2010

Thinking of Resumes

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 12:41 pm

Every once in awhile I dig out my resume and give it an overhaul – not necessarily because I’m job searching, but more out of curiosity, and because you never know when having an updated resume will come in handy.

I happened to come across a few blog posts from ReCareered that are amazing.  Sharing them here because these are links I know I’ll want to find in the future.

1.  3 ways to tell if your resume sucks: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/06/3-ways-to-tell-if-your-resume-sucks_15.html

2.  How a personal branding statement can help job seekers: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-personal-branding-statement-can.html

3.  job seekers – tell your readers WIFT (what’s in it for them) http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/03/job-seekers-tell-your-readers-wift.html

(gotta love the ‘personal branding statement’ example for Homer Simpson)

4.  experience vs. accomplishments  http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/experience-vs-accomplishments.html

ugh…I know MY resume needs some work!

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May 20, 2010

WinsomeWatches, Wireframes and Web Design

Filed under: Web Design,WinsomeWatches — dberch @ 11:54 am
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Normally, at the beginning of my day I come up with a topic to focus my social media energies.

We documented the trip to Ireland, amusingly, through the eyes of a teddy bear we named Terence - pictured here with Molly Malone

When you’re following as many blogs and twitterers as I like to, it helps to have a goal.  Particularly if the goal is a little wacky, far-fetched, and creative.  I once traveled to Ireland and took with me the goal of finding, as a gift for a friend, a leprechaun in a vase and a leprechaun in a sack.  :o)

Today I’m working on two projects – researching good examples of business online response strategies, and continuing to learn CSS to build the website for my watch company.

The watches featured are designed for those of us women who tend to like to know what time it is without reaching for our cellphones.  We don’t want to spend a fortune on designer watches.  And we’d like our time pieces to be worn like jewelry, match our outfits, and speak to our personal styles.

winsome watch

One of the first watches I put together for WinsomeWatches.com - hopefully for sale online soon!

For the website, I’m going for something classy, but not your usual jewelry store.  I’ve looked at Zappos and BlueNile and that’s just not the right look.  I’m thinking something a bit more fun and catchy – like 1saleaday.

If you’re a self-starter like me, you know the stubborn pull to do everything the hard way.  I’m determined not to use a template for my website.  I want to learn web design, even if that means my site will never launch.  To that end, the W3Schools website is becoming my bible.  But I’m always looking for new and helpful sites and blogs.

Today I stumbled upon YourInspirationWeb.  This site has fantastic guides and ideas.  I’m working my way through the css tutorials.  Maybe by the end of today I’ll be able to update this post with a picture of the framework for my future website!

Update:  Thanks to YourInspirationWeb, I’ve written up a ‘brief’ for my future web company.  Please take a look at the  Brief for WinsomeWatches – feedback is always welcome!

May 19, 2010

Words of Web

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 5:06 pm
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It’s amazing how much thought can go into something as simple as choosing the background for your blog.  :oP   Having spent the last two weeks rethinking the purpose of this blog, I decided to change it up a little bit.  Starting with the background.  Not sure if I’ve settled on this one or not – but it’s a start.

I admit, I got into blogging to sell myself.  For future job hunting, for networking, for experience, for knowledge, for connections – it’s hard to say.  I think it came as no surprise to most of my friends.  I’ve had a personal blog of some form or another since LiveJournal back in college.  Then MySpace, now WordPress.  No big jump, other than redirecting the content to more professional pursuits.

When trying to dive into the whole world of new media there are more list of suggestions and best practices to pour over than anything I could have imagined.  Here’s a few I picked up:

1. Strategize. Sure, this seems like an easy one.  And you’re all probably thinking ‘if I’m doing this whole social networking thing just for me, and not for a business, what do I need a strategy for?’  But branding is a new buzzword – and it’s everywhere.  It’s not just for companies.  It’s for people, too.  You are your brand.  Think about it.  Plan ahead.  For example, if you’re going to show pictures on Facebook of happy hours with coworkers, consider carefully your Facebook privacy settings.  Maybe leave your profile for personal use only, and create a page for more professional use.

2.  Start a blog (check).  Make the content inviting, accessible, interesting (working on it).  Try not to just blog about social media, but use social media for something else that also shows you know what you’re doing.

3. Get on twitter. If you have nothing to write, retweet others.  Listen to the conversation.  Find your niche.

4. LinkedIn. I was overwhelmed at first, and thought this was just Facebook for professionals.  But now that I’m connected to a few people, have an updated profile, and belong to a few groups, I couldn’t imagine doing without this great service!

5. Follow other blogs. I’ve got subscriptions to SocialMediaToday, Mashable, Radian6, and half a dozen others.  Anything to keep me in the loop!

6. Experiment. Have fun, try new things, see how it goes!

In other news, I’m still slowly learning CSS.  My little brother (web designer at twelve years old) may laugh at me, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?  AND, the shipment of watchfaces I’ve been waiting for finally arrived.  This means CRAFT NIGHT!  Hopefully http://www.winsomewatches.com will be launched within a month as a working store, with actual products for sale.  Then the real fun begins with social media marketing, search engine optimization and online ad campaigns!

May 3, 2010

The Delicate Art of Tweeting

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 2:39 pm
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In the news today is a very cute article about CNN’s Ed Henry (@edhenrycnn) helping First Lady Michelle Obama to send out her very first tweet. Of course, she had to have her press secretary’s blessing (@presssec). The article mentions that the former first lady Laura Bush is already on twitter (@laurawbush).

Read the article

Just a few thoughts.  Social media is all about online communication, spreading our voices to a larger community while building niche communities around interests, right? What about people for whom even personal communications must be approved first? Do they have a place in social media?

Israeli President Shimon Peres has a YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/Peres). Iranian President Ahmadinejad is now apparently on twitter (@THEAhmadinejad). Does this make our leaders more personable and approachable, or is it just another platform for media spin?

There’s also the issue of online identity and verification.  It’s not hard to set up a twitter account under an alias.  A quick search for Hillary Clinton pulls up two full pages of twitter accounts (@HRClinton has over 9,000 followers but has never sent out a tweet).  The whitehouse has an official Twitter account @whitehouse  with the following ‘bio’: Comments & messages received through official WH pages are subject to the PRA and may be archived. Learn more http://wh.gov/privacy.

I’m sure many of us social media aficionados also have day-jobs.  Do any of you have stories about the delicate nature of balancing social media with PR with your public persona?  What tips could you offer for those in the business world who need to worry about tweeting responsibly, even when a press secretary isn’t there to add his blessing?

Happy tweeting!

April 27, 2010

Tuesday Rollcall

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 6:57 pm
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Every Tuesday I’d like to share the links I found this week that proved the most helpful or interesting to me.  Got a suggestion for me?  Post it in the comments, connect with me over Twitter (@NewMediaMaiden) or email me at newmediamaiden@gmail.com!

These great websites offer amazing fonts.  Not all are web-compatible, but all could be used for imaginative image files:

I’ve registered as a member of “SocialMediaToday” and LOVE the blogposts and links they send out.  From SocialMediaToday:

An intriguing article about the future of social media marketing:

An unexpectedly fantastic resource for simple web design:

Happy Tuesday!

Designing a Webpage

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 6:28 pm
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What are the first steps in designing a web page?  What do you think about?  What are the top concerns?

I think about playing to my audience.

Then, functionality of the website.   How easy is it to find everything?  Do all the links load properly?  Does this site accomplish what it sets out to do?

My focus is on http://www.winsomewatches.com, a website designed to sell beaded watches.  My target audience, I’m assuming, will be women above the age of 30, and maybe the men buying them gifts.  I’m looking for fonts and styles that are professional but light, funky but not cliche.  Something clean, fresh, and interesting.  For color schemes I dismissed the idea of greens and purples because it just seemed too young – I’m still thinking about where to go from here.

What else would you think of first when designing a website?

Beginnings

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 6:14 pm

Everything starts somewhere.

If you’re anything like me, and love multitasking, the thrill of six thousand multicolored balls in the air, then you know that eerie sense that you’ve skipped the beginning and mired yourself somewhere in the middle.

I keep telling myself, you’re not going to get anywhere until you get organized.  Step 1?  Make a list and decide on the steps.

So what’s this project after all?

Good question.

Here’s the task at hand:
(should I choose to accept it.  Oh wait, too late, can’t back out now!)

Design a website, from start to finish, without needing too much help from my talented web-savvy friends and my amazing self-starter little brother (shout out – he’s the founder/designer of http://www.megasitesdesign.com and http://www.thecashgrab.com).  Start with a strategy and systematically optimize the website.  Throw everything I know about social networking into this website, and see if I can make it float.  Using Google Analytics, see if I can get real results – and blog about it every step of the way.  This is a journey, an exploration, a test.

Right.  So what have I accomplished so far?  Well…I’ve figured out that I’m no web designer just yet.  Div tags and tables and positioning and colored borders and classes and headers and AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!  ::deep breath::

Ok, it’s not that bad.  I’ve requested the help of a few talented friends and relations to work on ideas for my logo/banner.  I’ve set up google analytics and I have it working.  A filler page is up.  Take a look!  www.winsomewatches.com

Oh yeah, introductions to my website…

So what’s the point of this site anyway?  Well, one of my hobbies is beadwork.  A coworker gave me the idea of beading designer watches.  Fun, stylish, comfortable – you could have one to go with every outfit!  So that’s the intention of this new website: to display my watches and maybe try to sell a few.

Any comments/suggestions/helpful resources, etc. would be extremely appreciated.  There’s a big huge community of people out there just like me – the creative self-starters who just want to know more and more and more and then try it for ourselves.  I want to hear your stories!  What worked?  What definitely didn’t?  How did you know?

Thanks for all the support!

April 17, 2010

The Maiden Voyage

Filed under: Uncategorized — dberch @ 9:38 pm

And we’re off!  Not cracking a bottle over the hull just yet, not even quite ready to declare that she’ll float, but hey, a username and a blog’s a start.  Right?

Welcome to my blog.  I suppose introductions are in order.  My name is Dinah, I live outside of DC in Northern Virginia, and I’m obsessed with web and new media.  I’ve worked as a web manager for Tradewinds Imports, a small retail company in Vermont;  I’ve worked with social networking for the Office for the Arts at Harvard; and I’m currently working as a web advocacy assistant for a nonprofit in D.C.  But this new project is entirely my own.  The goal?  To design my own website, throw all my knowledge and skills into it, and see if I can, well, make it float.  Go somewhere.  Take off.  Make me rich?  I doubt it.  But who knows?  For me, the fun is in the journey.  Interested in seeing me off?

As I immerse myself further and further into the world of web 2.0 and social networking, I’ve learned a great deal from fellow bloggers.  Some are experts in their fields – many just tried different things, got luck (or didn’t) and decided to share their successes and their failures.  To all of you out there – any helpful suggestions or comments you may have along the way are greatly encouraged and appreciated.  The greatest thing about the web might be the sense of community – isn’t that what social networking’s supposed to be all about?

So, shall we get our feet wet?  Wish me luck!

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