Tuesday, June 21, 2016

When a journalist becomes a content marketer

Writer Abroad just finished reading Dan Lyons’ book, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble. The book was about Lyon’s journey going from Newsweek journalist to HubSpot content marketer.

Writer Abroad couldn’t help but sympathize. With Dan. With all journalists (and content marketers). And with the entire country, which is losing its journalists right and left.

But a journalist losing his job matters far beyond that individual. Because when journalists lose, all of us lose. If there’s anyone we don’t want being laid off or being treated badly, it’s our journalists. Because their treatment and success is tied strongly to the success of democracy.

So if presidential nominees can say they are banning entire publications like the Washington Post from covering their campaign, our country is in big trouble. Huge trouble.

No watchdogs. No democracy.

It’s bad enough already. Corporate-owned media dominates. Independent voices that get heard are few. Luckily there are some good ones, like Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, which she founded in 1996 with the motto of “going where the silence is.”

Speaking at Lit Fest in Chicago on June 11, Amy Goodman discussed how the corporate media doesn’t cover the views of the majority. Instead, they are a tool to silence the majority. She cited Super Tuesday 3. On this day, instead of showing Bernie Sanders' speech in Phoenix, Arizona, which was more highly attended than any other candidates’ speech in the country that night, Fox News showed Donald Trump’s empty podium for 20 minutes instead.

“Media can be the greatest force for peace on earth. Or its greatest enemy,” said Goodman to her Chicago audience.

Writer Abroad thinks it’s pretty clear which version of the media the United States has right now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Remote Work: Perfect for Writer Types

Writer Abroad has been working 100% remotely for 1.5 years now. And it’s mostly wonderful. In fact, it can be downright amazing to spend a day working on global projects with people from several countries without ever leaving your home office.

Now that Writer Abroad has her very officially incorporated company, Cross Border Content Inc., she stays local but works global. (And for those who are wondering: Writer Abroad had to legally put the “Inc.” in her company name but still doesn’t really like its corporate-ness.)

In any case, for those writer-types interested in remote work, Writer Abroad just finished a wonderful book called Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. It makes two great points: 1) Great remote workers are simply great workers. And 2) great remote workers must be good writers.

According to the authors, remote work “gives back the edge to quiet-but-productive workers who often lose out in a traditional office environment. In a remote setup, you don’t need to constantly boast about the quality of your stuff…if you’re all talk and no walk, it’s painfully clear for all to see.”

This is especially important for writers working in countries where extroversion is the preferred personality type. Where go-getting and teamwork is the mantra—even for those writing copy. (I'm talking about you, America.)

Which brings Writer Abroad to her latest essay, which ran on salon.com last month: The unapologetic introvert—why I had to leave the U.S. to stop pretending to be an extrovert. 

Yes, it was quiet, introverted Switzerland that taught Writer Abroad there was nothing wrong with her personality. So now she celebrates her introverted-ness daily—even in America—by working remotely with the world. 


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