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Archive for June, 2008

Phase 2

I’m done apologizing for my lack of posts. I don’t know what is wrong with me–I think I am losing motivation. I need projects or I get restless, so I have created one for myself. I am entering Phase 2 of the job process.

Phase 1 was using sites like Ed2010 and MediaBistro to find jobs. This is a nice method but I need some more human contact that doesn’t just result in an edit test.

Phase 1.5 was getting off my butt. I bought magazines I don’t normally read like Glamour, Portfolio, O, Nylon, Cookie and Vanity Fair. I found I liked Vanity Fair a lot and was intrigued by Glamour. I attended a magazine conference to meet people as well as a publishing seminar. Still need more human contact.

Phase 2 is meeting my peers. I have some friends in high places but as Garth Brooks delightfully sings, friends in low places are good company to keep. I need to talk with people in my boat–people working the lower-on-the-masthead jobs, people trying to get jobs and the people I might eventually be working with. I am going to some networking events, one particularly geared towards EAs and interns, and I’m excited. All my friends are in business, one is in medical, some are going to be teachers and the others are kind of floundering around. They are all great but I need to talk to some people who understand what I’m going through.

I’ve also been thinking (probably like everyone else in the universe) that I want to write a memoir. I think mine would be best in the form of essays. I’ve already got a lot of material–getting kicked out of the San Diego Zoo, numerous study abroad experiences, my pal Alana beating up a guy after my 21st birthday party, my pops and I looking for jobs at the same time, several childhood tales involving parental craziness and flying shoes and a whole bunch of others I haven’t brainstormed yet. I’ve heard you can’t use anything for your book from your blog (as in I cant divulge all the details of my ridiculous life on the net if I want to make into a book that sells), so I can’t go any further about this topic, sorry kids.

On the bright side, things are in the works. Several things at that, so once I get any news I shall let you know. By the way, Phase 2 includes blogging more. I know that sounds like almost the exact opposite of human contact, but I am counting my readers as people that I might eventually have real-world contact with–like employers and even some friends in low places.

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I wanted this blog to talk about my experiences in the media, but its hard to talk about something that is currently almost non-existent. Everyday I apply for jobs, sometimes I hear back, sometimes I go on interviews. Everyday I read I WANT MEDIA and MediaBistro’s news of the day. Everyday I say to myself, “Of course I am trying to get into a field whose pages shrink daily and during an economic downturn nonetheless. I am crazy.”

So in the meantime, everyday I pick MediaBistro Video On Demand videos to watch about blogs, the internet, advertising, etc, everyday I look for conferences and courses to sign up for to learn about different aspects of the publishing industry, meet new editors and how to write a cover letter that doesn’t suck or sound like a robot and everyday I read articles in the ASME The Best American Magazine Writing 2007. Since I am only doing side projects, these activities make me feel like I am at least doing something in my field.
Perhaps none of the panels I attend or people I meet will be able to help me right now, but it is giving me peace of mind and maybe we’ll be able to help each other in the future (also helping with the peace of mind bit).

So what news am I reading that is stressing me out? I used to talk about my views, opinions and ideas on the media in my analytical Media Studies courses at Hunter, but graduation stole those from me, so now I must rant here. Maybe it will help take my blog in a new direction–my experiences, my views, my media. Catchy.

Last Friday, Meredith Corp. cut 60 jobs and opted not to fill 60 open positions. This, alone, made me sigh aloud since 20 of the 60 job cuts came from the magazine business (for all you mathematicians, that is 1/3 of the jobs) and Meredith owns big names like Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, Baby, Fitness and More.

Next year, weekly giant U.S. News & World Report will be biweekly. The mag’s editor, Brian Kelly said: “‘News’ and ‘week’ becomes an oxymoron.” Ok so that isn’t exactly an epiphany, since the 24-hour news cycle turned never-ending news cycle thanks to Al Gore, err I mean, the creators of ARPANET (what a ’90s joke!) has been going on for quite some time. But it nevertheless is disheartening to see the country’s No.3 weekly drop its frequency. BW Chicago, BusinessWeek’s first city-focused monthly, has been offed with the June issue as the last issue because of, you guessed it, slow ad sales.

Where are all the ads going? Print is literally shrinking everyday (if you noticed, the NYPost isn’t as tall as it used to be) and even Rupert Murdoch can’t quite figure out how to make money on the web. Google can’t be getting all the ads. The good news is that cool ways to engage the public online happen almost everyday. YouTube is going to launch a “Reporter” channel for pros and amateurs to submit news and the super cool part is that the site is teaming with the GOP for a contest to send an amateur to the Republican Convention. But we already knew Google knows how to engage the people.

But what about magazine sites? Wired has a good handle on it but by the look of other mags’ sites, it seems like some mag editors are more scared of the net than anything else. When are we going to be more engaging? MarketWatch.com has an article today, titled ” 8 simple rules for succeeding on the web. Commentary: Magazines should find opportunities, not obstacles”. The 8 ways are : 1- Have an attitude. 2- Make it easy to read. 3- Stress interactivity. 4-Entertain. Know your audience. 5- Maintain an identity. 6. Live in real time. 7- Be true. 8- Experiment. Though I whole-heartedly agree, I wonder: magazines didn’t know this already?

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I know, I know. Where have I been? The truth is I’ve been around and though I’ve been quite occupied, I haven’t exactly been swamped to the point where not posting for three weeks is even remotely acceptable. So what has been going on?

Life after graduation is kind of exactly like life before graduation, but now I just feel guilty for being off during the summer. My dad makes coffee for the house in the morning, which is definitely a fun bonus of being home (though I’m still sipping on a skim iced late at my favorite office, Starbucks, as I write to you my dear blogiverse. Hey, fancy people that work at Wired mag aren’t the only ones that can make up cool internet words). Anyway, the graduation parties are depleting my bank account, though they are helping me make killer facebook albums. At graduation, Hunter’s President Raab told us we could now officially change our facebook status to “Alum.” Social networking could actually take over the world.

Our keynote speaker, Chris Matthews of Hardball on MSNBC, said we were going out into the world at a historic time, since Obama has just become the first African-American to get the Presidential nomination.

“This is one of those moments in history, people always remember where they were when it happened,” Matthews said. “You’ll always be able to say, “I was at Radio City Music Hall graduating from Hunter College.” (from the news page on http://www.hunter.cuny.edu) I hadn’t thought of it that way, so that is pretty cool. It’s way better than when people ask me “oohh you are from NYC? Where were you on 9/11?”

Both Matthews and one of the honorary degree recipients, Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A&E, talked about how they started at the bottom and with much determination they both landed on the top. Cliché as all hell but you bet your bottom dollar I was dreaming about how bad I want that to be me one day. Plus, I think Hunter would be thrilled to invite me back to speak.

In other media news, I went to an Ed2010.com Magazine Conference last weekend and loved every minute of it. They had good speakers, I learned some helpful tips, made contacts and met one of the women in magazines I really have been dying to meet. I finally successfully sent my “I almost creepily adore you” letter, telling her what she already knows, how inspiring she is to hundreds of aspiring mag editors. She was receptive and that made me feel good.

I hate that I am not working. My job prospects fluctuate everyday but I figure I literally just graduated not even a few days ago, so my hopes better still be up. I bought the ASME Best American Magazine Writing 2007 to make me feel more a part of their world (don’t lie you were thinking of The Little Mermaid when you read that. What do you call them? Feeeeeeeeeeeeet”). Next week starts more freelancing attempts.

Ok this weekend is filled with graduation parties and even an engagement party, so we shall meet again on Sunday, blogiverse.

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