“You Know the Internet? There’s Some Cool Stuff on There”

by Marian Schembari on January 25, 2012

Quote above said by two of my hilarious coworkers (follow them on Twitter – @izac01 and @joestuart27 – they could use the help).

But… yeah. It’s true. I feel like I’m constantly bookmarking ridiculous things that make my life complete. I like the internets.

For example, this week involved a heated debate about the Oxford comma after seeing this drawing (care of this fine site):

Then I read up on the all-important nerd vs. geek debate and discovered everyone I know is a geek and we’re apparently all cooler than we think.

Afterwards I watched this video on SEO which is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.

I rediscovered this design*sponge post written by my friends Mel and Alisha on all the fab places to shop, eat and drink in Auckland. A few of the places they mention are some of my favorites (chocolate lamingtons at Agnes Curran, anyone?), but I haven’t been to a shocking number. Good thing my dad’s coming soon. I have heaps of places to take him now.

I read about the most creative way to find a job using Twitter and was blown away by these guys’ brain smarts. (Well, that and the fact that I sort of didn’t understand how it worked.)

I found a bunch of web-based alternatives to Instagram because a) I need to spread my addiction to include more than just my phone and b) I shed a tear for Picnik’s closing.

Then I pretty much died laughing at this post I stumbled across called 16 GIF Reactions to Real-Life Situations (the one about the ice cream truck is my favorite).

Finally, The Bloggess linked to a great cartoon strip about how we’re all freaking weird. I love it so hard I could cry.

What cool shit has the internet helped you discover recently?


The Blogger’s Fail-Proof Guide to Editing Posts

by Marian Schembari on October 26, 2011

Both of my parents are writers. They write for major newspapers, edit articles, have blogs and publish books. My 20 year old brother has written for The New York Times and Complex. My other brother, 21, has taken photos for the Times and his college essay was better than most bestsellers. It’s madness. I come from a family of geniuses.


But while you’d think it would be a lot to live up to, we all have our own styles. In college, I would send my Big Important essays to both parents for editing and get back two completely different versions. I’ve always SUCKED at editing, but lately… I don’t know what’s happening… I suppose I’m turning into my parents.

I’m loving it though. Not editing my own work, mind you, but I get off on deleting sentences. Reorganizing paragraphs. Adding a slightly different – but radically better – word to really hit the exact meaning.

So I’ve been reading A LOT on editing and writing tricks to make the writing on this blog something I can be proud of. While I can’t pretend to know the first thing about professional editing (let’s count how many errors are on this post alone), I am slowly starting to teach myself. And I’ve come across some amazing blogs and articles that have been really useful in terms of what words are almost always unnecessary, how to break grammatical rules with style and various ways to tweak a blog post so it shines:

Self-editing: 10 ways to tighten your writing

I use this post of Alexis Grant’s for every. single. thing I write. I go through her list and remove all the unncessary words and, when I’m done, my writing is that much stronger.

Improve Your Writing with these Editing Tips

While this Lifehack article isn’t the most creative things on the planet, I do need to be reminded to read over my posts backwards, out loud, watch for fancy words, justify each phrase… Basically, this piece is every single editing basic for whenever you need a good reminder.

Proofreading Tips

It’s absurd how often I turn to Grammar Girl. I even listen to her podcasts on the way to work (much to the embarrassment of my father who thinks I’m weird). While this isn’t her best post as it include the basics mentioned above, I like her emphasis on the fact that nobody’s perfect. That said, if you have ANY grammar questions, search the Grammar Girl site as she’s answered every issue you could possibly come across.

How to Use Language Like a Pro

As usual, Men with Pens knocks it out of the park. Ali Luke, writer extraordinaire, writes here about analysing the writing of your peers and blogger idols. I keep meaning to do this exercise with some of my favorites, but I learned some serious things about writing style and how to tweak my own from reading this post over and over.

How to Lose 30 Pounds of Word Flab Overnight

My favorite thing about editing? Cutting, cutting, cutting. I have a sick obsession with deleting words and turning a 900 word post into a 500 word one. This Copyblogger post by Sonia Simone is EPIC in that she really helps you tone down your words so your copy is as clean, easy to read and concise.

Two Techniques That Help You Embrace Brevity

Another Copyblogger post that’s worth bookmarking. I love the author’s use of concrete examples to demonstrate how much better your writing looks and sounds when shortened (and restructured).

25 Things You Should Know About Revisions

Chuck Wendig should know that I would marry him in a heartbeat. This post, as is common with Sir Wendig, is full naughty words, a no-bullshit-attitude and some seriously good advice. My favorite? “Multitasking is for assholes.”

I don’t even think I’ve broken the ice on all the great resources out there, so please share your favorites in the comments!


The 7 Top Posts of July

by Marian Schembari on August 3, 2011

I’m usually not into Link Love posts because they get repetitive after awhile, but I feel like July was weirdly filled with some incredible, funny, touching posts and I just need to share…

Is Your Email Address Preventing You From Getting the Job You Want? – The comments section on this post is hilarious. You’d be really surprised what folks get really defensive over. But you know what? I have yet to meet a person still using an AOL address who actually truly understands how to work the internets, so I do think there’s some merit to what the author has to say. Also have a read of The Oatmeal amazing cartoon about what your email address says about your computer skills.

For hope, not hate – While The Bloggess makes me laugh so hard I cry, she also makes me cry for real. This post is a touching tribute to Norway. Sam and I met in Oslo and while I haven’t been back since 2007 (and only spent a few days there), the country holds a very dear place in my heart. This short, sweet post is worth a read.

This is the web right now – Because I’m obsessed with all things Oatmeal and all things internet, read this hilarious cartoon explaining the state of the internet in 2011. I love this man.

For Social Media, More Isn’t Necessarily Better – Alexis Grant and I are blog soul mates, I’ve decided. In this post she seriously articulates what I was trying to say in last week’s post about having two Twitter accounts. She says, “the umbrella is you…” And this is why I need to mush my blogs into one epic masterblog (yes, that sounds dirty, get your mind out of the gutter).

The Bitch Slap: You’re Kindly Invited to Eff Off – A solid look on how we consume by choice. I don’t have kids or watch much TV or care about protecting our children from, well, things, but I’ve read this post three times. My favorite line, “This is ignorant on so many levels that I’ll have to begin on the first and work my way further down the stairs until I arrive in Dipshit Alley.” My opinion? People need to stop whining. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Erika calls it the Off Button and I give that a fat thumbs up.

How I Make My Living as an Online Writer (And How You Could Too) – Ali breaks down how writing online makes her money. Both useful and surprisingly inspiring. Pretty much everything Ali writes is awesome, so there you go.

You might think you’re a grown up… you could be wrong – My dear friend Glynnis writes the funniest, most relatable cartoons with some rockin’ “art”. And this post about acting like an adult pretty much hit my life on the head. Nicely done, G.

What have been some of your favorites from last month? I could always use more blogs to read… (well, not really, but I do love a good discovery).


Let’s Do the Time Warp: My 7 Link Challenge

by Marian Schembari on October 22, 2010

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for the simple reason that I came across this amazing Twitter intro from Pushing Social and wanted to copy him. Well, copy ProBlogger, I guess.

I’m not a die-hard ProBlogger reader, but Darren posted this challenge back in July: Link to 7 posts that fit under a certain theme. Because my blog growth has been packed into the last few months (the first few were lame), I’m always looking for ways to bring back old content. So because I’m lazy and don’t feel like writing anything of quality today, I want to do a little travel through time by linking to some of my favorite posts:


1. My First Post

The Beauty Of Facebook Advertisements

This is the story of how everything started – how I got my first job out of college, how I got involved with social media and eventually took off on my own. While this post doesn’t cover every detail, it does explain how this blog got its start. c

2. A Post I Enjoyed Writing the Most

12 Social Media Buzzwords Redefined

This was crazy fun for me because I got to bitch while pretending to sound “clever.” Regardless of the fact that I am indeed a social media consultant, I get sick of reading the same regurgitated crap over and over again. I wrote this post with alternative definitions to the business jargon that’s so often thrown in our faces.

3. A Post Which Has Great Discussion

Walking the Walk vs. Talking the Talk

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a fellow social media consultant who has more clients than me, but doesn’t have as strong a social media presence. Fifty-six people weighed in with their thoughts on whether they’d hire someone without an SM presence or whether it didn’t matter. The thing I love most about the discussion is that people didn’t just stop by once to comment, they came back to respond to me, to each other, and the result was a fabulously awesome conversation.

4. A Post I Wish I Had Written

Choose to be outstanding (or choose to continue to suck)

It’s no secret I have a crush on Johnny B. Truant (hey dude, welcome from Google Alerts), but this post solidified my love. Yeah, he rocks at internet magic and has a background in smart people stuff like philosophy, but this post is the most epic combination of the two. He talks about success, and choosing to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish your goals, or just simply being happy with the amount of of effort you put in. I wish I could explain this better, but you just need to go over there, he has some fabulous perception vs reality examples that kicked my ass a little bit.

5. A Post With a Title That I’m Proud Of

My Name is Marian and I’m a Comment Whore

This was my first post with more than 20 comments and it rocked my world. People found a way to relate and since then I’ve seen the term “Comment Whore” thrown around the web. I’m very proud.

6. A Post I Wish More People Had Read

8 Things I’ve Learned from Working Retail

To be fair, I wrote this post only six months into my blog, so it’s not like I had tons of readers anyway. While it’s meant to be a funny sort of post, I wish more people had read it because I wish more people would stop acting like assholes in stores.

7. My Most Visited Post Ever

8 Reasons No One’s Following You On Twitter

Honestly, not my best, but the “catchy” headline coupled with some bullshit-free lessons had people retweeting this one like mad. Plus, it helped that one of those Twitter tips accounts (I can’t remember the name now) tweeted it – resulting in thousands of new readers that day.

Your Turn

I don’t usually allow links in the comments section because they’re usually spammy, but I’d love you to share your own link challenge here for our reading pleasure. You can post all 7 links, just one or two, or simply tell me how awesome I am. Whatever works.

{Photo credit}