Monday, January 19, 2009

Fetching some notice

When Photo Potpourri launched last month, it never occurred to me that I could use it for blatant self-promotion. But that's what this post is about, and I have the online business networking site LinkedIn to thank. When used the way it was intended, LinkedIn has the ability to connect its members with people they might not have otherwise gotten to "meet" or know, hopefully for mutual career-growth benefits.

Two weeks ago, an Indianapolis freelance writer, communications specialist and blogger, Kelly Jones Sharp, and I became connections at LinkedIn. After she visited my fledgling blog site, she posted at her blog an unexpected (and, I add, unsolicited) mention about Photo Potpourri and included a copy of the picture you see at the bottom of Photo Poutpourri's home page. Thanks much to Kelly, whose blog, "All the Commentary (Apparently) Not Fit to Print," has picked up steam again after she went on temporary hiatus at the end of last year. Kelly, who's compiled an impressive resume of writing jobs and achievements and currently contributes monthly commentaries for the op ed pages of The Indianapolis Star, recently began a full-time position as director of communications for the Indiana Dental Association. Because the Indiana legislature convenes only during the first quarter of each year, and hence the association will have only a short time to best position its membership for any legislative issues related to the state dentistry profession, this will be a very busy period for Kelly. A link to Kelly's blog always can be found in the "My Blog List" area on the right side of this home page.

Then just last week, another recent connection at LinkedIn, Jon Samsel, asked me if I would give him an interview for a writing/marketing/Web design blog that he compiles regularly. I was impressed that Jon, who recently began a full-time job as senior vice president with Bank of America, is well-versed enough in the art of writing and composition that he would consider taking on a blog of this sort, much less ask me for an interview. As if being a banking executive doesn't give him enough to do! But I jest; I visited the site, and it has some helpful information for people either trying to hone their writing skills or wanting to learn how to publish or market their work.

I accepted Jon's request, and in doing so, couldn't help but flash back to the last "interview" anyone asked me to do for publication. It was 30+ years ago in Muscatine, Iowa, where I toiled as a local news reporter for the daily Muscatine Journal. A student at Muscatine Community College wanted the interview for publication in the campus newspaper.

Jon and I already have conducted the "interview"; in this cyberspace era, you can accomplish a lot quickly via email, and the post of our interview at Jon's self-named blog is scheduled to publish this Wednesday, Jan. 21. In the interview, Jon wanted me to discuss the craft of copy editing (my full-time job) and my photography hobby. He is planning to use small versions of two of my images with the interview post. One image is the winter park bench scene you see at the top of the Photo Potpourri home page. The other is one Jon found himself after visiting one of my online photo galleries. I was impressed that Jon did a little homework to learn more about his interview subject. As a longtime professional journalist, I can attest that doing background research and data collecting are critical steps in the process of developing most news stories a writer composes. So Jon got a couple big points from me on that score.

The second photo Jon selected (above) is one I plan to discuss in a later post. You can find it in the "Manipulations" folder of my gallery at I include it here simply so you could at least say you saw it here first!

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