The Reality of Doing Blog


Marketing to one
February 27, 2009, 1:08 pm
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I briefly mentioned this in my last vlog, but during my first 20 minute dedicated writing session, I let myself brainstorm about some things that I want to do with this blog and how I want to use all of the information that I am learning towards furthering my acting career.

Learning all this stuff is great fun, but if I’m not able to put it to use somehow, it all feels wasteful.

The great thing about brainstorming is that there are no bad ideas. I allow myself to ask the questions: what if? how can I? If I could…, etc. and just write.

Earlier this week I read a post by @brianspaeth about a crazy marketing idea that he had of targeting just one person and by focusing all of his efforts on reaching that one individual then, if successful he would have a 100% success rate. It was an interesting concept, but none the less got my mind thinking.

So what is it that I hope to accomplish with all of this social media stuff anyway?

  • Connect with others who are outside my current sphere of influence
  • Create online relationships that translates into the real-world
  • Be a source of value for those with whom I have a relationship with online
  • Candidly share my own experiences to inspire that person to follow the dream that lives within him/her. (Hey, if I can do it – so can you)

Crazy idea?
One of my goals for 2009 is to find and connect with an acting mentor. So, I had this idea of using twitter and some of the other social media tools to find and connect with that person and then translate that relationship into the real world. Doable? I dunno.

What I do know is that there are quite a few actors and producers that I have admired for a while currently using Twitter.

How can I connect with them in the virtual world, and translate that into a real-world relationship. Can I? I dunno. Has anyone ever done this before? I dunno.

I’m going to try it and see what happens. What’s the worst thing that could come of it? I make a new friend.

Hit me up with your comments. Anyone already done this? Think it’s a stupid idea? Talk to me baby.

Remember we’re all in this together and there’s always room at the table.

Seth




Vlog 2.26.09
February 27, 2009, 12:01 am
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With a special sneak peek at End Result (Summer 2009)



Talk about perspective…
February 26, 2009, 7:17 pm
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I thought this was so freaking cool.



Homework
February 26, 2009, 5:16 am
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To be honest – this social media stuff is exhausting (and I often provide my own commentary as I write).

I’m struggling right now to find some kind of balance to integrate it into my everyday life. When I set out on this “journey” I was only aware of the tip, of the tip, of the tip, of the iceberg that this is.

It’s its own culture.

And when I say culture, I really mean that. There is an entire generation (what am I 90?) and personality type that are naturally, instinctually, effortlessly drawn to this.

I recognized very early on that I needed some help and I’ve been talking a lot with @lkr. (To find out who this is, you’ll have to join Twitter. Just kidding – partly)

@lkr is Laura Roeder and she’s a social media consultant in Venice, Ca. We connected through Twitter, and have established an offline friendship. (Which I may loose after this post) We sat down before my trip to Vegas and I asked her what were some things that I should be doing to step it up the social media world. So she gave me homework (How I love homework). Let’s see how I would grade myself today.

  • “We need to get you posting more” – I get that. If I’m going to have a blog and I want people to read it, then I need to be writing on a regular basis. So I did. I had three posts go live during my trip to Vegas. But, I was trying WAY too hard. Seriously, do I need to be teaching anyone about Twitter at this point? No. What I need to be doing is sharing the resources that have taught me what I have learned. Last week was good, but it’s already Wednesday and this my first post of the week: B- (for inconsistency)
  • “You need to be commenting on the blogs you read.” – Social media is all about interacting, connecting, community. I can’t build those things if all I do is consume. I can read a bunch of differnt blogs, and twitter posts – but until I start entering into the conversation then I am just an observer. I have made an effort to comment on at least 1 blog per day, and start using the @ replies on Twitter more often. (Still takes me a while to get through all the ones that I want to read though): C (for average quantity)
  • “Make use of Twitter between posts” – If you are on Twitter and you follow me – then you know that I love to tweet. However, with my new job, I don’t have great Internet access during the day, and I also got an email from @lkr earlier this week reminding me to tweet more. (FTL) This morning I had an interesting conversation with @epeureka about how I am using my tweets. So today, I made an effort to really look at what is going out to the ENTIRE feed, and what are @replies. (I did find it interesting that Twitter will update my FB status with any tweet that is not an @ reply, even a RT or DM): C+ (average quantity, quality was lacking)
  • “Set aside 20 min. a day for dedicated writing time.” FAIL. I have not done this at all. And I think this is where the balance comes in. For example, (here come the excuses) I sat down to write this post, but wanted to check Twitter first….45 minutes later…I am finally writing. I’m working several jobs right now, have a family and am pursuing acting everyday. My schedule is packed so tight that I feel every minute spent. (done?) But I recognize that it can’t be an excuse. If I’m serious about doing this then I will find the time to do it. (Grade for today): F (for being annoying with all the excuses)

However, given all the grades – I would say that my performance during the last couple of weeks has been FINE. I’ve learned some stuff and have at least made some progress.

But, to borrow from one of the best-written shows on television, Grey’s Anatomy:

Fine? Fine? I am [Seth Caskey], I am better than fine.

I see what needs improvement and how I can take it up an notch. And as any student during the early 80s knows – “Where There’s A Will, There’s An A!”




What the @ is twitter? (part 2)
February 19, 2009, 2:30 pm
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Have you started following people? Are you getting followers? I hope so. In this post I’ll share some of the basics of how to use twitter.

@ Replies
One of the first thing you’ll notice when you start using Twitter is how many comments come across with @username in them.

If you’re on the Twitter web site or using a application like TweetDeck, each of these @username’s is a link to a person’s profile.

According to Jennifer Laycock at Search Engine Guide

Since Twitter is basically a broadcast communication tool, users need a way to let the world know they’re writing a response to a specific person. This is where @username comes in. If I want to let Twitter users know I’m speaking directly to a specific person, I would use @username in my post. This not only tells the world I’m having a conversation with that one person, it also makes sure the post shows up in their “replies” area on their Twitter home page.

But, Twitter isn’t just about sending out your own thoughts, it’s also about engaging other users in conversation. This is why @username is so handy. Any @username message that you post will appear in that persons feed. @ messages are things that you want people to read and comment on.

Sometimes you want to communicate directly with another twitter user and then you can use the direct message option.

Direct Messages
Direct messages are a way to communicate directly with someone on Twitter. You simply type d username message text into the tweet box. This message will go directly to the person, and not appear on their feed. Think of this as if you were sending someone a text message. Many twitter users get their direct messages sent as a text to their cell phone. So if it’s not something that you would send someone as a text on their phone, consider sticking to an @ message. (In an upcoming post, I will share the top three mistakes people make on Twitter. I attended a fantastic webinar hosted by @lkr and I’ll post some of this things that she talked about.)

Brevity is the source of wit…
Because you only haver 140 characters (just like a text message) sometimes you have to get creative with your abbreviations to get your full message across. Below are some common abbreviations you may see on Twitter, and what they mean. (many of these will be the same as those in the world of texting)

The following is taken from a blog post from Alexander Howard at Pistachio Consulting: Top 15 Twitter Acronyms

RT = Retweet. RT is the FWD of 2008

PRT = Partial Retweet / Please Retweet. In the first sense, PRT means the RT’ed tweet has been edited, usually to fit a username within the character limit.

OH = Overheard. OH is commonly used at conferences or while traveling. OH indicates a quotation of someone else’s remarks.

DM = Direct Message. DMs are Twitter’s email. “DM me” means take the discussion private. Twettiquette suggests long conversations should go into DMs.

@ = Reply to [username]. @ can also be used expressing ‘at,’ as in location.

BTW = By The Way. BTW is an easy way to add an aside. It’s Twitter’s version of a segue.

FTW = For The Win. Whatever the action or product FTW modifies is *good*.

FTL = For The Loss (or For The Lose). FTL is generally an expression of disappointment, disapproval or dismay. It’s the opposite of FTW.

IRL = In Real Life. What’s true on Twitter may not be true IRL. After all, on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

FTF = Face to Face. FTF or F2F refers to an actual meeting in person, IRL. That can mean at a tweetup or other occasion where you might encounter other Twitterers.

IMHO = In My Honest Opinion. IMHO usually indicates that this is an op-ed tweet, not a factual assertion.

YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary. In other words (IOW), what’s true in my experience (IMX) may differ from yours if you try ____ product/service/technique.

BR = Best Regards. BR is a useful way of being cordial, particularly when making a difficult request, submitting a complaint, or when introducing yourself. b/c = because. b/c is not the same as the blind carbon copy (BCC) used in email.

JV = Joint Venture. A JV refers to a collaborative enterprise between Twitterers on a project.

LMK = Let Me Know. Tweet me back (TMB) when you have more information about a question or a decision on a request.

There is also a wiki called the Twictionary where you can find more commonly used terms.

In my next post I’ll talk about how actors can tap into the Twitter community and start building relationships with other creatives on and off-line.

I’m at @sethcaskey. Let me know if this was helpful. I’d love to start a conversation with you.

Seth

What the @ is twitter is a multi-part series introducing actors to the world of twitter.




Off topic.
February 18, 2009, 10:12 am
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This post is going to be off topic from my current series on Twitter. But, as I’ve learned in my acting – I have to be willing to acknowledge what is really happening in the moment before I can move on. No truthful or beneficial outcome can come from a denial of what is.

And what IS for me right now is a sense of overload. I came on this trip to Las Vegas with the hopes of resting and recouping from my crazy schedule. And what it has shown me, is that the life I have been creating for myself looks a lot like Vegas at 1:00 AM.

The City of Las Vegas is in a constant state of motion. There is always something going on to catch my attention and draw me in. My goal may simply be to walk down to MGM to catch a show, but on the way I will be bombarded with LED screens, honking traffic, dancing water fountains, drunk pedestrians, flyers for hookers and thousands of other distractions.

My point is, there is little stillness in Las Vegas.

And for the last six weeks there has been little stillness in me. I’ve not been sleeping much. From working three part-time jobs, shooting a web series and two short films, casting director workshops four nights a week, to starting this blog and diving into the world of social media – I’m spreading myself pretty thin, And for what?

I am an actor. That is first and foremost the reason that I am living in Los Angeles. If there was anything else in the world that I could do with any sense of the excitement and fulfillment that I get from acting – then I would do it. But I can’t. I want this career to happen. But in that valid pursuit, I am trying to be everyting to everyone. I’m spreading myself so thin that not one area of my life is getting 100% full attention.

I’ve misplaced a sense of stillness and presence in my life. I’m choosing to believe that if I work harder or do more, then that will somehow make this all happen sooner. But in choosing to maintain that belief, I am preventing myself from being truly present, here, now.

My acting is better when I’m present – what makes me think my life will be otherwise? So today I am renewing my commitment to finding that place of inner stillness, peace and balance in my life. Just as I have to find balance and limits so that I don’t drop $200 in a round of blackjack – I have to find balance to keep me from overload and not being truly effective in living my dreams.

Thanks for indulging me in this little rant, and I’ll post the second part of the series on Twitter tomorrow. In the meantime, remember..

We’re all in this together, and there’s always room at the table.

Seth

BTW: I now have a completely new emotional connection to the phrase: “It’s a crap shoot.” Can’t wait to put that one to use in my acting.




What the @ is Twitter?
February 17, 2009, 6:30 am
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I’ve been talking with quite a few actors lately about their current use of social media to see what they’re doing, what’s working, etc.

Inevitably, whenever I get around to asking them about twitter, I get this deer in the headlights look. The most common response is “yeah, I’ve heard of it, but I don’t really know what it’s about.”

I was more of a TV kind of kid growing up. Reading took too long. (sorry @levarburton) So I wanted to share this great video from the people at Common Craft that lays out the basics of twitter in an easy to understand way. Bear in mind that this was shot in March of 2008 and – as with anything online – the application of how people are using twitter has changed somewhat – but the basics of what the @ is twitter are answered here.

Signing up for a twitter account is easy. I’ve put together this quick video with step-by-step instructions on signing up.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “twitter_setup“, posted with vodpod

I hope you’ve decided to sign up for a twitter account. It really is one of the easiest and most fun ways to start conversations with people outside your current circle of friends. Below are some actors who are on twitter and using it effectively. This is by NO means exhaustive.

@greggrunberg, @breagrant, @dhlawrencexvii, @caseymckinnon @feliciaday

Just start searching for and following people on twitter. Start listening to what conversations are going on, and when you’re ready – introduce yourself (see this video from @garyvee – it’s just a handshake) In the next post we’ll cover some of the lingo you will undoubtedly encounter on Twitter.

I’m at @sethcaskey. Let me know if this was helpful. I’d love to start a conversation with you.

Seth

What the @ is twitter is a multi-part series introducing actors to the world of twitter.