Can’t Someone Else Do It?!

cantsomeoneJ. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” Shel Silverstein’s The “Giving Tree,” Tim Urban’s Procrastination Blog Post … what do these three pieces of literature have in common? If you ask me, they’re all must-reads. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Madison Garcia

sandiego School: San Diego State University
Degree: Masters in Accounting
Approved Sections: Business and Finance, Culture and Society

As a San Diego resident, you must on the inside scoop on the best attraction. Our craft beer. There’s over 100 craft breweries in San Diego and they just keep on coming. I particularly love stopping in at the small brewery tasting rooms in the Mira Mesa and Clairemont Mesa area. The brewers are often the ones serving up the samples and they’re always excited to chat about what’s currently in the fermenter. Continue reading

All About Markdown

BLOGIAMADAMarkdown – a new feature in the Studio’s writing tools that allows writers and editors to make content more engaging through the use of formatting. As this is a newer function within our platform, we decided it would be helpful to provide some additional insights into when and how you should use formatting when working on Studio assignments. Continue reading

Change the Channel

ssssssssIt might sound absurd, and even harder to admit, but writing can sometimes feel stale. Considering all the forms of entertainment we have circumventing the web — videos of cats, animated gifs, breathtaking photography — standard text, all by itself on a plain piece of paper, appears … archaic. Purists will argue there’s no truer form of entertainment than reading a passage and embarking on an adventure using nothing but the imagination, which is fine. Truth be told I’m not here to counter argue that, as that ideology does make sense to me. After all, I love writing. However, as a creative individual looking to express myself in different ways, I ventured outside of traditional standard writing in order to find a different channel. That outlet? Photoshop.

What started out as a mere distraction has actually blossomed into a full-fledged hobby. Whereas some people utilize the software to enhance images, I’ve take a slightly different route: I like to alter pre-existing images floating around the web by adding effects. Not only does this practice help to channel my influx of creativity, but it also helps keep my mind sharp. While I enjoy writing, it’s equally as fun to work in this medium.

Here are a few of my favorite altered images. Granted, they aren’t perfect; I am still learning Photoshop’s many intricate tools. As I continually push myself to learn more, the process becomes more enjoyable, and easier. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Jenny Green

contribSchool: Open University (UK)
Degree: MA Literature
Approved Sections: Gardening, Pets, Science

Because you’re so enamored by Science Fiction, can you tell us what your favorite book from that genre is? Arghhh… that’s a hard question. My most recent favorites have been Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book.bloggerbooks Continue reading

Find the Right Flow

Late last week, something wild and uproarious happened here at the usually tame Demand Media offices: We ditched Microsoft Outlook in favor of GMail and Google Calendar. While this may seem like a benign software migration to all of you tech savvy, early adopters who started using Gmail a decade ago, the changeover resulted in lost emails, missed meetings and an isolated kerfuffle here and there. It’s not like we don’t know what we’re doing; we are a tech company, after all. The reason we had problems is because the transition totally messed with our workflow. It left us all, like:

What is workflow? Phrased in the most boring of ways, it’s the sequence of processes that a piece of work passes through from conception to completion. Put in simpler terms, it’s how you get stuff done. Everything that’s created or built has a workflow associated with it, whether it’s an article, an automobile or a piece of legislation crawling through Congress.

Continue reading

Word Wheel | Emotions

What a clever way to quickly organize a list of words used to describe emotions.The creator, known simply as Onesimusix on imgur.com, had this to say about their hard work, “I work with people who have limited emotional vocabulary and as a result the intensity of their negative emotions and experiences is heightened because they can’t describe their feelings (especially their negative feelings).”

Well, now they (hopefully) can do just that. The Word Wheel is handy no matter what, and definitely something worth having around and referencing.

– Click here for FULL SIZE –

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Rolling the Dice on Saving Time

photoshopbloggyBy: Aaron Parson

My entire life, I’ve had a preoccupation with doing things efficiently. Or perhaps more accurately, a preoccupation with making tasks seem more efficient regardless of actual effort. I remember one homework assignment I had back in a middle school math class – we were studying probabilities, and were tasked with rolling a pair of dice 20 times and recording their outcome. Had I chosen to just dig a board game out of the closet and roll the dice, I could have finished within minutes. Instead, I came up with a “more efficient” method for determining dice rolls in the blink of an eye: I spent about two hours programming a dice-rolling simulator in C++. Continue reading

Unleash Your Mental Magpie

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By: James Holloway

When you’re a freelancer, unless you’re a specialist of some kind, you either develop a vast knowledge of seemingly-unconnected knowledge quickly or you don’t last. After all, there are a lot of well-informed people in the world, and there are a reasonable number of people who can write well. But being able to take a topic, hunt down references for it and explain it clearly in writing quickly enough to earn a living is a bit of an unusual combination. Everyone acquires this skill in a different way; personally, I learned it from archaeology. Continue reading

Reader Experience Is the Key to Quality

0011These days, the concept of “quality content” means so much more than just eloquent delivery of information. Yes, a well-written answer is part of the equation, but “well-written” no longer ends with grammar, syntax and accuracy. The digital landscape requires more strategy than that, and it all comes down to reader experience. Continue reading