Posts Tagged ‘contrarians’

Looking forward to 2012

So it is New Year’s Eve2  (New Year’s Eve Eve, that is) and the time for all bloggers to either post a “best of whatever”  or a look-forward list.

I am of the opinion that Mark Blevis is on to something when he talks about someone aggregating all the best of, top 10, etc. lists that people create, so you can save time and read the “best of the best of” and save time.  But it won’t be me.

So I guess that leaves looking forward, mostly.

What am I looking forward to in 2012?

BobCat House Concerts' first anniversary cake

First anniversary cake -- what will the fifth anniversary bring?

  • In 2011, I found myself in the “smorgasbord” period of my life. I saw an even better description of this this morning, when Stuart Bruce in the UK describes himself as having “‘gone plural’ and decided to pursue a portfolio career.” I love the idea of a “portfolio career” as a descriptor of what he’s doing, and of what I’m doing — PR & social media consulting + podcasting (hopefully as a part-time sources of income) + part-time teaching at Algonquin College + private training + handling membership services for OCFF + doing promotion and media relations for musicians I love. Sounds more professional than smorgasbord (unless you’re Scandinavian, maybe). In 2012, I want to get a better handle on managing every part of this “portfolio career.”
  • As I have for the last five years, I am looking forward to more house concerts. When I first got bladder cancer (and turned 40) five years ago, I went through a bit of a struggle to figure out ways of pursuing what made me feel fulfilled and happy. At the top of that list was music. Thus was born BobCat House Concerts, with the support and patience of my partner Cathy. We are going to celebrate five years of those concerts, which bring amazing musicians to our house to perform for us and our guests, in February. It has been wonderful to expose people to the musicians that I love, and to have become friends with so many talented people. I have to single out our friendship with David Ross MacDonald, which has become really important to us. It helps that he’s a musical treasure. But even if he never wrote another song, I’d still want him in my corner.
  • And that initial splash into the “music industry” has led to a recently-ended term of service on the board of the Ottawa Folk Festival, to working with OCFF, and to the plans I currently have underway to launch a new “commercial” concert series in Ottawa.
  • I’m looking forward to inaugurating the FIR Book Club this coming January. It’s been a real pleasure reviewing books for the For Immediate Release podcast (and hopefully the authors would agree), and I’m hoping this new “talk-radio” call-in with authors of interesting PR and social media books will be lively and entertaining and informative.
  • I’m looking forward to finding out if a podcast about Stephen King can actually make its owner a little money. I suspect that the “nichiness” of my podcast the Kingcast may make it an attractive enough target for people seeking to find and reach Stephen King and horror fans that they’ll be willing to pay for it. Time will tell.
  • I’m looking forward to continuing my conversations with friends and podcasting partners Mark Blevis on PR and other Deadly Sins and with Joe Boughner and Susan Murphy on The Contrarians. Sometimes you don’t know what you think about something until you write about it. Or talk about it.
  • I want to spend a little more time on fiction writing. I’ve spasmodically worked on fiction projects. But I’ve got finishitis. So I want to FINISH some fiction and see if anyone other than me thinks it’s any good.

Andrea del Sarto (subject of Robert Browning's poem)

Man. Sometimes I get a little stressed out working on all these different projects. But when I write it out like this — that’s a lot to look forward to. I hope your lives are as full of fun and potential as this.  And if not — why not do something to make them that way?

As Robert Browning put it:

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
Happy 2012. Reach for something out of your grasp, why don’t you? And just because I like it, here’s a YouTube video that is quite sweet.   

Some news for Translucid and for Bob

Mental Health Commission logo Having done my own thing since late in 2009, I’ve discovered there are things I like about it, and things I hate. Working through the calculus of that intensifies when faced with the option of taking a “real” job. Sometimes the equation is easy to work out — hell if I’m working THERE. But it’s not always that easy.

I recently found myself faced with that option. The solution to that equation? I’m joining the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s communications team in February. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a government-funded organization that was set up fairly recently, and has a self-described mission and vision of:

Our mission is to promote mental health in Canada, and work with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems, and to improve services and support.

Our vision is a society that values and promotes mental health and helps people who live with mental health problems and mental illness lead meaningful and productive lives.

I have had personal experience with mental health issues and have seen the impacts of mental health — and the stigma that exists in our society around it — that makes me support the ideas and principles behind the Commission pretty darn strongly.  Another thing that made it easy to accept the offered position was that it would give me a chance to refocus on writing — the craft that I began my career with and a craft that I’m rediscovering my passion for.

I also love working with research and researchers — a love developed during my time at the University of Ottawa. I’m looking forward to being exposed to new thoughts, new research, and new ideas. That really gets me excited.

My plans at this point are to continue blogging here, as well as to continue contributing to PR and Other Deadly Sins, my podcast with Mark Blevis, The Contrarians, with Joe Boughner and Sue Murphy, and to keep volunteering as book review editor for For Immediate Release. I also will keep doing The Kingcast, my show about Stephen King.

Book reviews in print and in your ears

booksShockingly enough, I appear to have missed an opportunity for self-promotion.

I started off 2011 with yet another contribution to the world of podcasting. Not happy with doing The Kingcast, The Contrarians with Joe Boughner and Susan Murphy, and PR and Other Deadly Sins with Mark Blevis, I’m also the new “book review editor” for one of my absolute favorite podcasts, For Immediate Release.

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, the hosts of FIR, have been pioneers and examples of how business can use podcasting to inform, to engage, and to entertain too. Now approaching their 600th episode, they’re respected and followed by many people. Their past and present columnists, including Lee Hopkins, Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with sketch), Michael Netzley, and Dan York offer great content — to the point that I’m still a little intimidated to be sharing the webspace with them.

But never having been one to let my own inadequacies hold me back from grasping the coattails of the great and good, there I am.

You can check out my audio reviews of Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter, UnMarketing by Scott Stratten, and most recently Resonate by Nancy Duarte on their site. For a permanent fix of these reviews, there’s an FIR Reviews feed you can subscribe to. Or you could just subscribe to the For Immediate Release “Everything Feed.” If you work in public relations, communications, marketing, social media, or have a professional interest in those fields, you will find it a source of great news and analysis.

I’m looking forward to continuing to review books for FIR as well as posting new entries to the Translucid Bookshelf, and I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do making them. If you have books you think I should review (even if it’s YOUR book), please let me know about them.