Photos and social media

Image

I suppose this should come as no surprise, but images seem to be way more popular on social media than text. Whenever I post a photo of somewhere I’ve been, or just a photo of an article I’ve written, I get a whole lot more “likes” than my regular, text-oriented posts.

For example I posted this photo, and it got a whole bunch of likes. It was just three words: “Old City spice.” I saw this impressive castle of spices while walking through the old city in Jerusalem and took a photo of it:

2013-04-13 14.42.03

 

Photos help make a message shorter: as they say, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. So photos greatly aid social media because people like messages that are easy to absorb within the status update itself. If someone can understand something and like something within one or two sentences, that’ll produce way more likes than a lengthier post, or a post that links to content the reader must consume. This is why social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have become so popular.

I’m going to admit that I’m not great with social media. Does anyone have tips for how to maximize social media’s impact, especially for those of us who are writers?

Hibernating and studying

Hi everyone,

I’m taking a break from writing for the time being to concentrate on becoming fluent in Hebrew. Since I came to Israel 16 months ago, I’ve been busy advancing two goals professionally: writing and learning Hebrew. However, I’ve been spending more time on the former than the latter. This made some sense, especially in the beginning, because I was entering journalism and needed to develop my portfolio in order to gain credibility. But now that I’ve written a number of pieces that I’m proud of, I need to face the music and study. Otherwise I won’t advance here professionally, or frankly, personally.

What learning Hebrew has looked like thus far. (Courtesy of Moriza at Creative Commons)

What learning Hebrew will hopefully look like (Courtesy of Brewbooks at Creative Commons)

What this also means is that when I start writing again, I’ll be able to do much more because I’ll be able to interview in Hebrew, which will open a whole lot of doors. So, stay tuned. In the mean time, I’ll write sporadic personal updates, but nothing professional for a while.

Hope you’re all doing well.

 

Churning it out… Any ideas?

Featured

Well, so far I’ve been one of those writers that sits and stews on pieces for a while, and then all of a sudden, I post several articles within a short period of time. Unfortunately, this does not bode so well for regular blogging…

One of my editors told me recently that in order to stay on the Jpost blog site (especially because they’re looking to cut the bloggers down substantially), I’ll need to start writing once a week. He wanted me to stay, but cautioned me that I’d have to post more frequently. Eeck! It that was a kick in the butt to pump up my game. Which I’m trying to do.

This means that my approach to blogging will have to change. Instead of writing longer posts and posting less frequently, which is what I have been doing, I will have to write shorter posts but post more frequently. This means I will either describe short, clear stories, or spread out a piece over several posts.

Which leads me to ask you, my loyal readers, some valuable questions: If I could write about anything about Israel, what would most interest you? Which posts of mine have you liked more, and would like to see more of? Any and all ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!

Courtesy of lovelihood at Creative Commons

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Courtesy of qthomasbower at Creative Commons

Turn and face the strain, ch-ch-changes…

So yes, I have been going through some ch-ch-ch-changes lately. Which is partly why I’ve been a bit out of touch writing-wise. First, I moved to a new apartment! I basically moved from the less-hip border to the more-hip border of Tel Aviv’s African area. I suppose a little bit of Senegal always stayed with me, :).  This is both exciting because of the location and the fact that my place is a bunch nicer. These days, I’m all about improving my quality of life. Struggling is not as sexy or as sanctimonious as it once was.

The other change is professional. As some of you know, I was hired as a magazine editor for the Jerusalem Post on a maternity leave contract for six months. The woman I replaced is returning to her position in December, which means I am in the midst of finding work. Thankfully, I won’t be completely saying goodbye to the Post: I will keep my blog and will be proofreading part-time as well.

I am trying to take this change as an opportunity in disguise. Over the course of the last year, I have realized my true passion is writing. However, for me this can come in many forms. Much to my surprise, I even enjoyed editing a children’s magazine. So, even if the subject is not 100% my cup of tea, I still enjoy the work because it involves writing and being creative.

This realization also helped me understand that I want to get back into the nonprofit world. Part of why I burned out is because I went into nonprofit work believing my passion would be advocating for an issue. With this logic, it would just take time to figure out what that issue was. However, I was not as inspired by this as I thought I would be. I only found this passion when I began to write for a living.

Now, I am really excited to start consulting nonprofits and social profits on their communications! This would combine my newfound passion for writing and my first love for social justice issues. Considering I am between jobs, this seems like as good a time as any to try being self-employed, which is something I have been thinking about for a while.  Additionally, I hope this will also give me more time to pursue my own journalistic writing. 

So, friends and colleagues, if you know of anyone needing help with research, grant writing, evaluation planning or reporting, press releases, op-eds, website content, and marketing materials, I would be deeply grateful for referrals! I can work global hours and do video chats via Skype or Google Video.

Thank you all for your support throughout my first year in Israel and I look forward to being in touch.

Courtesy of Guy Sharett

Picture of Florentin, my new neighborhood! Courtesy of my friend Guy Sharett