Ink Thinkin

Random thoughts from Dy Larson of Ink Think, freelance editor and copywriter

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Get a Cane for Commercials

A recent e-Marketer daily article talked about TV as "old media" and mentioned the decreasing influence it has in sales and the slowly decreasing amount of money being spent on television commercials as a result.

As a DVR queen, I agree. I love my DVR and rarely watch live TV--and its attendant commercials--anymore.

I do watch a couple of shows that I think are taking this "old media" in a great new direction. The first is the Sci-Fi Channel's series, "Eureka." I've adored this series for a while and was upset when they were in danger of going off the air before the writer's strike. When it came back (yea!) I immediately saw how they did it.

New sponsor. In this case, Degree deodorant. Degree sponsored a large part of the show and got prime commercial slots in exchange as well as custom commercials that only aired on Sci-Fi featuring sets and cast-members from the show. Airing these commercials during the show's time slot also meant that DVR Queens like me would stop fast-forwarding when we saw familiar faces & sets, and, since these commercials always immediately pre-saged the return to the show, I rarely bothered to fast forward through them. Brilliant!

The other series doing it right is "Fringe". I love the eerie splash screen that tells me ~exactly~ how long the commercial break will be. Only 60 seconds? Might as well let it run and grab a soda (meaning I see some of the commercial and hear all of it--things which would not have happened it I'd fast-forwarded it). I'm also pretty sure that Fringe sells smaller commercial blocks. They still pack in plenty of commericals, up to 5 during a 90-second break, but they waste less time on them. I like that. :-)

TV is not a dead media yet, but marketers need to learn to stop treating TV viewers like a captive audience--thanks to TiVo and the like they aren't. Make us WANT to watch your commericals :-)


Saturday, November 01, 2008

I Love November

The weather in Central Texas FINALLY cools off. Ok, yea, not til mid-November, but still...

And there's that holiday with the big bird... Yea, that's nice, too.

And, for the 10th year in a row, there are crazy people ALL OVER THE WORLD writing novels! Whole 50,000 word novels in a mere 30 days. For those of you who do not participate and therefore have not done the math over and over, that works out to 1667 words a day.

Want a reminder or two? I dug through the calendar forum and found links to several different desktop NaNo calendars for you to download that will flog you into writing more encourage you along the way. If you use one, remember to send it's creator a note saying "Thanks!"

Cool space pic with Carl Sagan quote calendar.
Simple calendar with daily word count requirement in green, blue, pink, or orange.
Basic white with encouraging words - Be warned though, this one looks odd because the weeks go Monday-Sunday rather than the more traditional Sunday-Saturday.
Several basic ones with daily word counts (both 50 & 100k) & various background images and resolutions.
Orangey Woodgrain with word count only
Orangey Woodgrain with counts AND inspirational quote (I like the quote on this one, fwiw)
Candle with word count only
Candle with counts AND inspirational quote
I shouldn't say anything since I do NOT have the skill to make one of these at all, but that candle pic makes my eyes hurt
For the truly ambitious, here's an eye-strainingly blue one with daily word counts for those foolish enough to attempt 100k words in November!
  • Open Book: 800x600 | 1024x768 | 1280x800
  • Cup of Coffee: 800x600 | 1024x768 | 1280x800
  • Computer Keyboard: 800x600 | 1024x768 | 1280x800
  • Tea and Book: 800x600 | 1024x768 | 1280x800
  • ~~~~~
    50k is just Beachy
    Desktop Style - I admit, the first thing I thought when I saw this one was that someone spent too much time at J.K. Rowling's website waiting for HP7 hints, but it is spiffy nonetheless.
    Several pretty ones, but they are very slow to load. You've been warned.
    Inspired by an old noirish-Nano poster in800x700 |1024x768 |1280x900
    There is a "Twilight" movie one, but I have standards, if you want that one you have to go find it yourself.

    Speaking of which... When I wrote this post (10/10/08 - you don't really think I'm wasting precious words BLOGGING on November 1st, do you?!) there were the above, and then some, in the forum. I'm stopping here because I've been writing this post for an hour now and I'm tired of scrolling --it's a really full forum, you'll have to scroll through the chaff and comments to find the links (sorry)! I'm sure there will be more by the time it really is November 1st.

    Go Nano! See ya'll in December!

    Labels: ,

    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    Digital Textbooks At Last!

    Yes, it's just a trial, but still...

    If you Google my name, and if you're thinking of doing business with me I always assume you have, one of the things that comes up is a comment I made on an article about e-books a few years ago.

    Basically I was saying that the most logical application I could conceive of for e-books was textbooks. Anyone who has watched a junior high student load 30lbs of books on their back understands why e-books would be the ideal textbook. The older the student, the truer this is since the books only get heavier.

    Now, if they would only make e-books cheaper*...

    *A friend loaned me her Kindle to play with. LOVE having 40+ books in my hand at once and being able to carry them all around in something lighter than a paperback. HATE how much Amazon is charging for a downloaded file AND the fact that there is no way to borrow books, library-style, for these things. Otherwise I'd beg Santa for one. Right now, if I got it I'd just be annoyed that I was too cheap to put any books on it.

    Labels: , ,

    Saturday, October 04, 2008

    Na, Nooooooo!

    It's October! The morning air is actually crispy and nice feeling for an hour or two before we go back to the Texas usual. The first cool mornings of autumn always make me happy. Then sad when the heat comes back for another 6-8 weeks, lol.

    More importantly, October means that is open for the business for the new year in preparation for November which, as we should all know by now since this is my 4th year to blog it, is National Novel Writing Month. I'm signed up again this year, and, since the icon off to the right over there is a live update, it has even already reset for 2008.

    Wish me luck? I've never tried NaNo while freelancing and holding down a full-time job; this, like the Chinese curse, is going to be interesting. This year I'm doing what I can only call literary fiction. It might be popular fiction, I'm a little unclear (as are many people, I think) on the line between the two. Guess I'll know in 2 months, right?

    Oh, yes, and, speaking of freelancing... I am taking new projects again--strictly project work, mostly small stuff and no long-term commitments... After 6 weeks to adjust, mama is back in the writer's seat again - yee haw!

    Labels: ,

    Thursday, August 28, 2008


    I was going to try to hide it, but the effort is making me tired, already, and its only been 4 days.

    I am ~not~ a full-time VA.

    There, I said it. I've only been a full-timer a few times over the years, since work seems to come in waves. Very dilettante of me, but dh had a good job with a mega corp that supported my scribbling.

    Note the HAD.

    Yea. We both started job-hunting a week after has became had, and I won the who-gets-a-job-first lotto. As of last Monday, the 25th, I am a writer-mom with a full-time outside job (what my 7yo calls it). Sadly, not a writing gig, but we do what we gotta do. That 7yo likes to eat.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing in the towel.

    I'm still writing, just not as much, and I am a lot less available than I was--think 24-48hr turnaround on email--definitely the best way to find me these days! I'm finishing up projects I started before the pink slip came down the pike, but not, honestly, currently looking for more freelance work.

    Once I get all the way back into the 9-hours a day in makeup groove I'll start cranking up again. Right now? Well, I haven't done the corporate machine thing since my daughter was 2 and I am, frankly, just plain t-i-r-e-d.

    Trying not to say anything about it was even more tiring. 'Sides, if you are one of those who follows me on Twitter, well, I haven't exactly kept it a secret.

    Fortunately I know a totally awesome VA/friend just getting started that I ~know~ has my back if something comes along I can't resist and I can't do it all myself. I'm betting she will be wildly successful, much more so than my dilettante self, in under a year. Soon as her website is up I'll come back and add a link.

    Labels: , ,