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Lessons learned in twenty-seventeen

As a septuagenarian, here is an overabundance of noise on the Internet and Social Media put forth by people whose aim it seems is to separate you from your money offering advice and high-priced packages that offer no guarantee of even a modicum of success.

Let’s face it, how hard is any individual going to submerse themselves into a book, video or audio package when life and overdue bills are staring them in the face while wondering if tomorrow they will become unemployed as corporations and laying employees off.

One can see that corporations are only interested in one thing, their shareholders, and CEOs, and not employees. Immigrants are not the cause of the loss of jobs as many government officials espouse. Automation and corporate greed have done more to decimate the middle-class working family than Immigrants over the course of the past several decades.

Politicians claim there is no war on the poor and middle class.

Starting in the 1970s, look at Social Security. People pay for Social Security through payroll taxes to safeguard form retirement since many companies didn’t have retirement packages or lost them through Wall Street Investments. The government when to the Supreme Court loaded with conservative justices and won the right to call Social Security an entitlement and could use the money for funding government.

Now the Conservatives want to eliminate both Medicare and Social Security which are funded through payroll taxes and squander money in areas that accomplish only lessen the quality of life and living standard while seeking in creative a class of slaves for the rich by people who have been in Congress longer than many of their constituents have been alive and completely out of touch with reality. While the working class lives on a budget to keep from living in utter poverty the Government is running such massive deficits that our great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren will be lucky to pay off if there is any world left for them with the pollution and atmospheric changes the current corporate and government is willing to leave for them.

We have already seen the death of the Great Barrier Reef, the extinction of many species of animals, destruction of rain forests, pollution of rivers and lakes, fish in the oceans that are inedible because of mercury and radiation. Why some in Congress care? They’re rich and their children don’t need to worry because they will never have to work a day in their life like the other eighty to ninety percent of the people wondering how to pay for health care, prescriptions, and generalized living expenses as most Americans do.

What many fail to realize is that America is the only country without a designated language and the highest prescriptions and medical cost of any modern industrial nation on Planet Earth.

America is slowly slipping from the ranks of most educated and well-read amongst many nations.

Looking Forward to Twenty-Eighteen

Contrary to the noise, the only person responsible for the success or failure of my second career is ME! 

Amidst a litany of medical conditions one of which I have some lingering side effects today preclude me from working anywhere else but from home.

As individuals, we are the only ones responsible for our lives past, present, and future. If there were ever a time to put on the adult pants, that time is now for we can rely only on ourselves for our own lives.

Partnerships are only good for each person taking one-hundred percent responsibility for making the relationship work.

I chose as my second career one that is singularly individual, frustrating with steep learning curve because learning only comes from doing and practicing to ever improve; each day is a new beginning to strive for being better than the day before. Perfection is never the end game but only to be better than the day before. The career I chose is one that my it nature is a solitary existence and one that is good for a person due to certain physical limitations must be a partial recluse.

My second career seemed the first choice as someone who is an avid reader of all genres from the classics to contemporary but must state a preference for some long dead composition.

I choose to peddle my wares, as some have suggested lower than I should that hurts their rates, I choose to work with newer authors to help them create the best composition possible on a meeting of the minds.

Editing is somewhat subjective while following given grammatical, punctuational, spelling, and typographical rules. One must also consider sentence structure and linguistic norms.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

That quote says it all. Authors write for themselves but also with a reader in mind. Anyone aspiring toward authorship must keep in mind that being an author is akin to an entrepreneur.

Authors need a platform, a website, marketing, a following, PR, social media, publishing, editing, proofreading, formatting, indexing, bookkeeping, and more. Sounds like an entrepreneur doesn’t it. Yes, writing is a business and deserves to be handled as one.

To this end, for twenty-eighteen, I will be removing distractions, taking some online courses and dive into reading the numerous books on style and others to improve over last year and allow more time in my day for many creative endeavors.

The biggest challenge is determining what is working or isn’t working when it comes to promotion and branding for what I loosely call a career with only a few one of clients.

I must be more proactive in finding clients willing to trust that I can deliver quality.

My second Career:

Freelance Writer

Blogger

Editor

Proofreader

Reviewer

Learning Marketing and Branding

Twenty-eighteen, a new beginning and a better year than twenty-seventeen!

Author

Robert Medak

Please feel free to comment or begin a discussion on this post or any post on this blog.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t believe anything you read or hear, and only half of what you see.”— John Jankovich (1890-1971)

There has been an uproar as of late about fake news stories.

Fake news is nothing new. It started with Willian Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer I when Pulitzer’s New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal vying for the top paper began to change their stories by adding more sensationalization to their content including the increased use of cartoons.

This became known as “yellow journalism”, this was the beginning of what is called tabloid journalism, that one sees at grocery line checkout stands.

There was once a time where journalists like Walter Cronkite, Clete Roberts, Edward R. Morrow and others were considered trustworthy sources of news.

Somewhere along the rating battles for the top news source, advertising, and dwindling newspaper readership, television viewership started to create an instant news environment but the in-depth reporting found in newspapers was no long viewed in the same manner before television was invented.

Today, anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet along with Internet access can post a story, no fact checking necessary. It’s called “citizen journalism” and not held to any standards.

Rumors are like songbirds; they sound filling but make a poor feast.” MICHAEL GEAR & KATHLEEN O’NEAL GEAR,People of the Nightland

Can you believe in the veracity of the author of articles read online or heard on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or other sources where people incur their news?

Is there reporting bias?

Is there a concealed agenda from topmost management?

What obfuscation is potentially perpetrated by so-called sources that do not vet references with exhaustive fact checking via multiple sources before branding a story as legitimate news?

Many may not remember, but both CBS and NBC have been scammed with so-called news only to find out that is was more hoax than legitimate news because they did not perform due diligence and vetting their sources with multiple sources because of tight deadlines and trying to get the story out first for ratings instead of getting it correct.

This is not an indictment of citizen journalism. As a receiver of news, it behooves that one relies on more than one source.

During the 2016 Presidential Election, the veracity of the candidates was called into question on numerous occasions and found false statements under the scrutiny of fact checking.

The gist of this post to follow the quote attributed to John Jankovich above.

Many of you have never heard that name, he was someone born in 1890. He was a special person in my life and someone whom I greatly respected. He was my maternal grandfather. I can’t think of anyone I respected more than him.

John Jankovich taught me many life lessons. He also taught me many techniques of how to prepare certain types of seafood from shell to table. He was a man of many talents, working with his hands and lessons learned just by living through some catastrophic years in his 80 years on the planet (1890 – 1971), I turned 26 in September of 1971.

What is your opinion about “Fake News?

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader and Reviewer

I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.

Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.

To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand. ”

—- Robert Medak

There are many job boards and opportunities for academic writers. I have chosen to never write academic articles.

You would probably ask me why?

For me, it is about a moral code I developed decades ago. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, and quality.

  1. If I were to write an academic paper and a student were to turn it in as an assignment: He/She has plagiarized. It isn’t his work.

  2. He/She hasn’t learned anything. This is the purpose of an academic paper. Research and fact finding thus gaining experience and knowledge.

  3. He/She has not learned how to rely on themselves.

  4. He/She is taking the easy way out by cutting corners.

Even the possibility of academic articles being used for this purpose is enough for me to have no desire to write academic articles.

Example:

A number of years ago while in college, I wrote a paper on Microwave Vaccum Tubes. I designed an electronic schematic showing all formulas concerning the parts list and how I derived the values for the components.

There were reasons that this work was assigned. What would I have learned if I had ordered an academic paper?

I also did a review of a book for a political science course taken for my major.

These were for separate courses that showcased my work, not someone else, the grades received were earned my me.

By doing the work I proved that I am not part of the almost 50 percent of today’s freshmen applying to community college must be remediated because they are unable to perform college-level work.

Businesses are spending 3.1 billion dollars a year remediating employees because colleges students do not have adequate communication and math skills for today’s businesses.

Being an old-school grammarian, there are times when visiting websites, readers should be appalled by the grammar and punctuation errors, verb-subject agreement, and poor writing.

Granted, that typos are impossible to catch everyone. The point is, that before anything is posted to the internet or any media it should be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Read and you will find words being used that show a lack of the basic understanding of English.

Where have native English speakers learned that it is okay to use learnt when they mean learned?

Just because a word has been added to a lexicon doesn’t mean it should be used instead of the proper word.

Social media and texting is the downfall of proper English, I can’t speak for other languages since I don’t speak any.

How are your communication and math skills?

Do you read?

Do you practice your communication and math skills?

Do you spend time expanding your vocabulary?

Through the use of judicious use of proper English for verbal and written communication will help in clear and concise communication to establish what the communicator is trying to say and have it understood whoever hears or reads it.

© 10/24/2016 All Rights Reserved

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader,and Reviewer

Why People Should Care about Net Neutrality

  1. In the United States, the loss of net neutrality is looming and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which oversees licenses and regulations for technicians operating television stations, radio, cell phones, and armature radio technicians. The FCC is presently in the process of determining whether the Internet shall remain free (neutrality); or end users of the Internet should pay a fee to use it to the various Internet Service Providers (ISP).
  2. In the worst do nothing congress and house in history who seems to work on the demise of what was termed “middle class”. To allow politicians to dictate that end users of the Internet should have their Internet connection speeds determined by how much they are willing to pay the ISPs, is to reduce the quality of Internet to subscribers and what type of content they will receive depending strictly on dollars is idiotic. Mark Cuban (Of Shark Tank) has come out against allowing the government to control the Internet.
  3. If you are a cable subscriber, it does not take long to realize that there is no competition, but you must deal with a monopoly that supplies the cable service you must subscribe to if you desire digital services in your home, television, telephone, and Internet.
  4. Some companies are under legal action because their Internet speed is not what subscribers are paying for. Under net neutrality loss, ISPs could charge more for less, which means the subscriber gets the shaft while the ISP gets the money.
  5. More and more companies are buying other companies creating conglomerates, which offer the end user few options for ISPs than currently available. Mergers of companies into larger companies will make it harder as they vie for control of cable offerings and charging producing companies a higher percentage to carry their product and pass on more costs to the end user since they will have a monopoly in certain areas just as phone companies have for close to a century, monopoly by address.
  6. For other than large corporations and 1 percenters, the potential costs to the consumer could possibly price the solopreneur and small business out of the market to the point of losing out to corporations with their Internet speed and content. Web content in general might change the landscape of what the average consumer has access to, and thereby stifle entrepreneurship and the growth of small business that require the Internet for social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). The loss of net neutrality could affect blogs.
  7. Loss of net neutrality has the potential to cost people with smart phone to pay a premium for access to the Web. How is fighting for the end of net neutrality? Cable companies for one. If net neutrality is lost, all ISPs can charge whatever they want for access to information and at whatever speed the consumer is willing to pay. Loss of neutrality means that working poor, on a fixed income, an entrepreneur, or a small business will pay significantly higher rates to have adequate Internet for the speed.

Anyone that accesses the Internet should watch the FCC loosely about the subject of net neutrality. Also, contact your local and national representative and let them know how you feel about net neutrality.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

Productivity is the key to completing your story, website design, or whatever your project is about; it is about completing it before the deadline, and about never missing a deadline you given yourself for a project.

First, consider the fact that there are only twenty-four hours in a day. This is finite, what you complete during this finite time frame is up to you.

If you are running a small business or working as a freelancer, both entrepreneurs, wasting time worrying about social media, networking, a website, a blog, SEO, and administrating your business, when are you going to be productive?

Reducing your twenty-four hours significantly when you factor in sleep, eating, personal time, family time, etc, how can you be productive?

What are you willing to give up or can afford to delegate to become more productive?

If you cannot afford to hire a virtual assistant, then email, and social media are up to you.

Limiting the time you spend focusing on your business is a loss of productivity.

As a businessperson, you should never spend money you cannot afford to spend without going into debt. Do not use your credit cards to pay for your business, you will never succeed if you spend money at high interest rates, or outside your business budget.

Many businesses fail because of financial problems. The money your business makes is money you need to grow your business, do not think you can use it any way you wish, think again; it is not yours, and it is the businesses’ money.

If you have a blog or website, you may find more internet trolls than qualified leads for your business visiting your sites. There are some people who seem to gather satisfaction from hacking websites, and doing what they can to sell you software or training you do not need.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning ethical Marketing
Follow the author: http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak
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If you need help making your copy better or have any questions, please use my contact form and we will work together.

Screenshot of "Garys Social Media Count"

Screenshot of “Garys Social Media Count” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote a post, Do You Use Social Media, for authors on the blog 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News to which I contribute articles. I posted a definition of social media and mentioned network media.

That definition is Social Media is any online form of communicating, which individuals employ; including blogs, and microblogs like Twitter. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ are social networking sites, of which there are many, and are a demarcation to  “industrial media,” refering to radio, Television, and film produced by professionals in these areas of media.

With many large corporations adopting social media, many small businesses wonder how they can compete on social media sites. Social media is an equal opportunity site; anyone from entrepreneur to small business can have the same presence as anyone else.

The problem with some accounts is that they spend time selling, and not building relationships. It’s called Social Media because it’s about being social, not a sales pitch site.

Who are you on social media? This is where your bio comes into play. Without a complete bio, or posts you’re not likely to get many followers, including me.

Social media is about engagement. People must get to know and trust any brand or individual before they are willing to purchase any product or service from you.

Social media sites are a place to share information your followers can use and share with their followers if it’s relevant to them.

When using micro-blogs where characters and spaces are limited, it doesn’t mean you should use internet language rather than using proper language. If you post on Twitter, you can use a program such as Twitlonger, which allows you to post more than 140 characters when using Twitter.

Using the Web is not a place to be lazy when writing. It can be a place to work on improving your writing. Your written communication skills are in front of the world and speak about the author.

Social Media and Networking sites are one way of many for people to learn about what you have to offer by being engaging and personable by sharing information. The main idea is to be available to help people and create relationships because word-of-mouth is still the best form of marketing, which every business, entrepreneur, and author needs to succeed.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, Marketer

Find me at http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

Are college and university graduates learning how to write or are they plagiarizing prior works to get through their courses? There is some thought by instructors that students don’t understand what plagiarism is (Taken from a dictionary program WordPro™. A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work.) Never Plagiarize.

As a sexagenarian, the term computer meant a large room filled with wires, tubes, and air conditioning to keep the room habitable for people. The idea of something sitting on a desk or portable was only a thought of the future; a period, when students of higher math, and engineers used slide rules, to make needed calculations.

The first handheld calculator didn’t arrive on the scene until 1967; Texas Instruments was first because an engineer was able to invent the printed circuit board, which ushered in small devices.

Before 1967, a calculator would need desk space. In 2012, a personal computer can do more than the earliest computer.

In 2012, there is software to help write, correct grammar, even software that converts speech into written words. Is this the way to do it? Who says the software is correct for other than academic writing? There is also ethics.

An article states that as high as 60 percent of college freshmen are not ready for college-level writing, Students are ill-prepared for college-level writing.

These students are the future of businesses, and government. They are possibly future authors.

Readers would not want to read something written by a semi-literate person who is incapable of writing a simple sentence without gross errors.

It’s obvious that the educational system is not working, as it should. One study online by OCED in Figures 2009 the United States ranks 33rd when tested against other countries.

If people aren’t able to read at the proper level, their ability to write clearly and correctly will suffer. As an avid reader, writer, and book reviewer, Readers don’t wish subjection to books, articles, and other copy with errors in grammar. People should spend their time and check resources to ensure that what they write is clear, concise, and as error free as possible.

Plagiarism is for lazy, unethical writers. There are sites online where both writers and students can find academic papers. The question is what is ethical for each individual.

If the writer is unsure of something, there are resources both on and offline available. For working offline, a good dictionary and thesaurus should be within reach. For one online source, try the Guide to Grammar & Writing , also try Copyscape® to test web content against the Internet for any duplication. Web content should be free of anything on another web site. If something does come up using Copyscape®, correct the copy you’re working on.

Parents need to work with their children on reading and writing skills to insure their ability for future tasks and higher education. Not reading at the proper level to understanding requirements for erection of equipment and safety requirements at work could be dangerous.

Part of life is communication; communication comes in two flavors, written and oral. If a person is incapable of communicating well, the chance for upward mobility or of finding readers is diminished.

It’s time for children and parents to read to each other to improve literacy.

We need to speak to Boards of Education and ask them to make reading and writing a priority.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer

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