My top 10 favorite posts on syracuse.com (so far)

This week marks my one year anniversary working at syracuse.com — it was in August 2010 that I made the decision to leave radio behind and embark on a new career, and I’ve especially enjoyed the opportunity it’s given me to write more. Among other things I do for syracuse.com, I cover a number of topics including entertainment, technology, social media, Syracuse University, viral videos, Central New York events, business news, concerts coming to CNY (see: Show Patrol), online trends and more.

Here are my top 10 favorite posts that I’ve written in the past year:
10. Why is your mom posting “I like it on the floor” on Facebook?
This was one of my first articles, and I enjoyed raising a little snark over a ridiculous web trend (though for a good cause, to support breast cancer awareness).
9. Did your zodiac sign change? Central New York is having an identity crisis
No, no one’s zodiac sign changed but in January everyone seemed to be freaking out at the “news” that it might have. I collected local reactions on social media, and it became one of the most popular articles I’ve ever written.
8. Syracuse University named No. 12 party school in nation
Princeton Review’s comparison of schools in terms of “partying” always struck me as impossible to quantify, but this was the highest SU had been on the list since before I was an SU student (2002-2005) so current students, alumni and CNY residents all took notice of the new ranking.
7. Is Jennifer Aniston a homewrecker just like Angelina Jolie?
For more than five years, fans of Aniston have praised her acting (which she’s never won an Emmy or Oscar for) mostly out of sympathy after Jolie effectively “stole” her husband. Turns out Aniston basically stole her current boyfriend from another woman, too.
6. Is May 21st the end of the world? How would you spend your last night in CNY?
People mocked Harold Camping’s prediction that May 21 would bring the Rapture, but I wanted to raise a different question. If the world really were to end, how would you spend your last night? I interviewed people in CNY for a video and article and enjoyed hearing their responses.
5. Viral Video of the Day: Baby finds mom blowing nose both terrifying and hilarious
Every day I pick a video that’s gone (or going) viral to write about on syracuse.com — this was the most popular one, and despite my resistance to enjoy baby videos I still find this one hilarious and charming.
4. Michael Jordan’s daughter Jasmine prepares to start college at Syracuse University
This one was interesting because through Twitter I discovered — and subsequently I broke the news — that MJ’s daughter was starting at SU this fall. Some people criticized it for not being “newsworthy,” but the story went insanely viral. TV, radio, and more sites picked up the story, including Huffington Post, Fuse and BET. Jasmine’s number of Twitter followers grew from 2,200 to 3,500 in just days.
3. Who owns the pictures you upload on the web? Probably not you.
I researched copyright ownership rules of photo-sharing sites like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitpic and more — and wanted people (especially professional photographers and models) to realize that posting photos on such sites usually means giving up ownership and allowing them to sell/license your images.
2. Crazy concert riders? K-Rockathon bands demand booze, DVDs, baby wipes and a garden gnome
I also did a photo retrospective of K-Rockathon’s last 15 years and backstage coverage of this year’s event, but I especially enjoyed reading through bands’ backstage demands because I’m a big music geek.
1. AT&T vs. Verizon iPhone – A comparison chart to help you choose [Infographic]
I created my first infographic to help readers pick the best iPhone for their needs. Though Verizon’s data plans are no longer unlimited, the rest of the information is still accurate and relevant today to people choosing smartphone carriers.

Thanks for reading!

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The 5 B’s of Blogging

Starting a blog but not sure where to go? Have one that you haven’t updated in months? Here’s five B’s of Blogging (otherwise known as, ahem, the five Be’s of Blogging) to keep your presence on the internet both relevant and interesting.

1. Be passionate.
There are jobs that people do to pay the bills, and then there are jobs that people love so much that they don’t even feel like jobs. For those that feel like blogging is a “chore,” or a “necessary evil,” you either need to change your attitude or blog about something different. For example, a personal blog should only be about what’s personally interesting to you. I’m good at math – I got a perfect score on the SAT in math and a 5 on the BC Calculus exam when I was in high school, but math doesn’t interest me. I’m good at it, but I don’t care about it, so why would I blog about it?

2. Be informative.
If you’re going to wax political about the state of government, or complain about monopolies in the technology and entertainment world, or even just discuss your favorite TV show… then you should know what you’re talking about. Watch the news, listen to a radio show, read a blog, anything – and of course, Google it. The news changes so fast, that you don’t want to be complaining about something that’s already changed. How dumb will you look if you’re posting about a celeb rumor when it’s already been proven false?

3. Be personal.
Even if your blog is professional or topic-focused, don’t be afraid to remind people that you’re a real person with real thoughts, feelings and experiences. I’ve written a lot here, but the most popular post on this blog was an entry about how I broke my leg playing roller derby. Be you. Because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.

4. Be useful.
Share links to related stories or topics. If you’re quoting from another source, link back to it, buddy. If there’s a YouTube video about what you’re talking about, embed it on your blog. A picture tells a thousand words to go along with your 350 words. Give a call to action, if there is one, and tell your readers how to take the next step. You could blog about how you hate sticking to a diet, and then share links to five other sites’ tips for how to stick to a diet.

5. Be interesting.
If you don’t like to write, that’s fine. Get a tumblr and share your favorite pictures. Don’t just re-post or regurgitate crap that’s already out there, though. Add your own $.02 and react to what you’re posting. For instance, if you were blogging about rising gas prices, you could include a story about how you once took a road trip through seven states and how amazing it was to see different gas prices throughout your adventures. If you have a sense of humor, use it. If you’re angry, show it. (Don’t use all caps, though.) A simpler way of looking at it: if you’re bored writing it, then they’ll be bored reading it.

For more advice or professional help, I offer web design and social media services.