The New Gig: What I’m Doing and How I’m Doing

IMG_0584With a whopping 42 comments to it (and as that is the big answer, I thought the time was right for this post…), I think it’s pretty much common knowledge by now that I got a new job. I didn’t really consider how quickly the wheels got rolling on getting me in there; but on retrospect, this place did not diddle around. I was offered the job on August 4, taught my final class on August 14, and then on August 17 I walked in, filed paperwork, went through the orientation, and was then literally thrown into the thick of it. I didn’t hit the ground running. I bitch-slapped the ground, made it call me a pretty girl, and had it beg for more when I was through with it.

And the really frightening bit? After a week, I’m still not sure how my voice mail works.

But what exactly is the job? I didn’t really go into detail on that in “Perseverance and Peter Gabriel” as that post was less about the job itself and more about the job hunt. Amidst the comments of congratulations and inspiration, a few of you have wondered “So what is this job you got?” I wanted to wait until I finished the first week before I shared details, and I’m glad I did. Last week was overwhelming, amazing, and eye-opening, on a lot of levels.

I was also beat at the end of every day. Slept a lot. Now, with some of the blur that was last week processed, here it is…

Intersections is a security firm, based out of Chantilly, VA. Since 1996, Intersections has dealt with credit history and digital identity protection. They are in the business of making electronic transactions, be they financial or personal, safer; and I have been hired as their Social Media Manager. (I’d like to point out that this job falls under Corporate Communications, not Marketing. That thrills me like you wouldn’t believe.) They were looking for someone who could not only apply Social Media, but understand the different initiatives out there and what they offer.

They were also looking for someone who could write. Yeah, I think I got that covered, too.

What I’m particularly excited about with this job is the angle Intersections takes with Social Media. Obviously, I’m being called upon to manage blogs, create podcasts, edit video (which I’m doing right now), and manage an outreach program with Twitter and (soon) Facebook; but I am also being asked to investigate and research security in Social Media, something I’ve touched on in Bird House Rules but only scratched its surface. On Friday, I was forwarded some news about Social Media from a security perspective and I was floored. The ironic bit is, that morning I was catching up with The SpyCast and listening to a fantastic interview with Dr. Terry Gudaitis who specializes in cyberintelligence gathering. (That’s the June 15, 2009 show if you’re interested.)

I feel as if I am starting all over again in Social Media, this time from a new perspective I hope Blogworld will let me speak on this year. I am officially on their schedule. I’ve confirmed “But Honey, It’s For the Studio” but am working to change topics concerning my second talk. So, if you’re at Blogworld this year, stop me and say “Hi.” It should be good fun in Vegas this October!

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A cublicle in transition

So in the end, I am using my knowledge and background on Social Media for good, not for evil. While I will help in the promotion of what Intersections does, I will also be their on-call specialist in Social Media while I find out more about security matters with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and the like. My brain has been firing on all cylinders since Day One, and I’m soaking it up like a thirsty sponge. The first week just blinked by, and I’ve not slowed down yet.

If you were wondering, though, how the day job will affect my writing, it will only make me more productive. Now that I know my hours, I can regiment and manage my time efficiently. I’m still writing for AppAdvice; and this weekend Pip and I completed the first draft of Books & Braun: Phoenix Rising, our Steampunk CSI peppered with hints of James Bond. I’m also planning to dust off Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and start working on that. I’ll give up details with an upcoming Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy…and yes, that will be its final episode.

It’s a long story and a hard decision concerning The Guide, and I’ll save the rest for that show.

My job at Intersections is now underway, and my writing is moving forward. From here, all that I have to face now are the possibilities.

Stranger on a Train XII

I’m done.

Ten years of teaching, five of them with EEI, ended today. It has been an astounding journey — the past two years of my life, recent revelations, crossroads —with a bittersweet ending, leaning a bit more towards the bitter today. I asked for a check from classes I taught in April. Yes, April. I was told that Collections didn’t make enough this week, therefore no check.

So long, Tee, and thanks for all the fish. No wonder I had sushi today.

I heard from the folks at the new job. Tuesday. I start next Tuesday. Still can’t believe I’m here, at this point. And with the new job’s blessing, I’m still speaking at Blogworld in October. Trying to get in a talk about security in Social Media, something we should all consider but we don’t.

This class was a good ending to a decade’s pursuit. Three of the eight students I had all took the class on recommendations of colleagues who took my previous Social Media classes, and one was a return student. They applauded when I told them about the job, and one shook my hand, thanking me for the class.

A good ending. What every writer wants.

Don’t worry…this isn’t the end. I’m swinging two in the circle. Steampunk, Socal Media, and more surprises await.

Guess this is a bit more than just another train ride…

Stranger on a Train XI

I’m giving this app a quick test. I’ve been worried about whether or not I will be able to blog on tomorrow, the final Stranger on a Train for…well…some time. I’m not going to say I will never blog from my iPhone again; and with how many people grok this category…

You know, I got that feeling. There will be other trains, other adventures, other voyages.

Tomorrow is it — my last day as a teacher. It’ll be interesting if I’m ever asked to present. It’s been great. Another return to New Zealand? I hope so. Really loved the trip, the people, the experiences…

Listening to Nathan Lowell’s South Coast. Man, can that guy tell a story or what?

Feeling the Love from across the pond!

In this picture are two people that I hold very dear in my life. One of them is my daughter. I will let you try and figure which one of them is her…

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The other “bloke” is Martyn Casserly, a journalist, an accomplished musician, and now he is an award-nominated podcaster with his one-minute Movie Mantras podcast. (Martyn is also a dad and a good mate to boot…although his opinions concerning the new Craig-Bond films and recent Doctor Who are completely wrong, but I digress…) With the many endeavors he had going, Martyn approached me this Spring to talk about an article he was penning on podcast authors. He was optimistic that Wired Magazine (UK) would pick up the column. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

This morning, I checked my Twitter stream and found this waiting for me:

My article about Podcast Authors is up on Wired ! @scottsigler, @sethharwood, @jchutchins, @teemonster all appear. http://bit.ly/Pv53w

Now live on the site, Wired Magagine (UK) picked up  “Novels by Podcast” where Martyn discusses how we authors are giving away our hard work in audio format for free. He also goes into the genesis of the podcast novel and why we do what we do.

“Giving away your stories isn’t a risk… it’s a competitive advantage,” explains Scott Sigler. “If a reader who’s never heard of me has $25 to spend and they’re looking at my book next to a Stephen King book, who are they going to choose? They take King. He’s a proven storyteller. But if King is $25 and my story is free they may try me out first. Why not? It’s no risk to them. If they like me, they buy me. If they don’t they buy King. Whatever happens the customer gets what the customer wants.”

It is a tight article covering successes and milestones; and while many who follow us on Twitter, on blogs, and through podcasts, may consider what we do “old hat” after four years, podcasting — and more importantly, podcasting fiction — is still a brand-spanking new concept to the mainstream market. Articles like Martyn’s and venues like Wired are getting the word out about what we are doing. That’s what is important here: getting people to listen.

Show Martyn appreciation by blogging about this article (and yep, I got it covered from the business perspective over at Imagine That!), syndicating his link in your feeds, dropping him comments on the article’s page, and talking it up on your podcasts. Let Wired know we’re paying attention and appreciate their support, and let Martyn know both on Twitter and on Wired that his words ring true.

Thanks, Martyn. Well done!

Perseverance and Peter Gabriel

joy

Today, I got a job.

Today, I got a full time job in Social Media.

While this sounds like something simple, the point I want to make, if I teach the world anything, is not to give up. Don’t give up.

Remember that song? There’s a darkness in that song, sure. I mean, hey, it’s Peter Gabriel. But there’s that optimism (voiced by Kate Bush), that assurance, you can make it through the storm.

I frakkin’ love that song.

People on Twitter and at KrakenQuest’s Great Reveal all knew I was having a tough time at this job hunt, but let me give you the run down that only a few have heard…

October 2007

First, there was actually dusting off the resume. I realized straight away there was a problem: I hadn’t done this in nearly ten years. I had no real experience, apart from my skills in the classroom. It amazed me how many people thought that would make me a valuable asset because I had the mad skills. InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, and so on and so on. This was going to be a piece of cake.

I knew better. Even with two books in podcasting under my belt, I knew I had a lot of knowledge, but not the experience that people would want. Still, I gave the resume an overhaul with the help and encouragement of Paul Fischer & Martha Halloway, and began the job hunt.

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

February 2008

I was thrilled to connect with a headhunter that found me a client wanting someone knowledgable in Social Media. I went in for the first interview and made such a good first impression that one of the interviewers chased me to the elevator to say “Goodbye.” The headhunter prepped me, said I was close. One more interview. It was supposed to be with the president of the association. Well, okay then. The president and an associate? No problem. We set the time for a late afternoon, after a class; and I cut my class off early so I could make the 4:30 p.m. interview. I walk into the office and meet the president and two associates. Two? Well, okay then. Two. I proceed with the interview, the two associates just watching me and the president wanting me to regale her with tales of my theatre days. (Another blog post about that to come….) After being there for over an hour, the president of the association cuts me off and says “This isn’t going well.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

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