Protect IP Act Breaks the ‘Net

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Articles ahoy!

When I left The Daytona Beach News-Journal, I made sure my byline would appear for a little longer:

  • A sidebar and If You Go box on the Jan. 7-8, 2011, re-enactment of the Dade Massacre in Bushnell, Fla. They were paired with a wire story about the Dec. 28, 1835, incident, which sparked the Second Seminole War. (Unfortunately, the piece was not put online, but it ran Dec. 26, 2011.) My favorite whip-smart multi-award-winning designer (Ruth) made the package look great.

  • “2nd site: New diner is twice as nice.” Amir and I went to the newest Steve’s Famous Diner in Daytona Beach and really loved it.

  • “Deck the Hollows: Kim Harrison explains her world in ‘The Hollows Insider.'” Of course I had to review my fave author’s book as my last book review for The News-Journal. No, I’m not biased when I’m doing these reviews. I liked “The Insider,” but some of her ideas could have been fine-tuned.

  • “Choices about at La Fiesta.” I met up with writer and CouchSurfing friend Kadee Taylor Humphrey. By the way, you really should read Kadee’s blog,, if you’re into self-sufficiency, veganism…or zombies. (She’s writing her zombie series as we speak.)

  • I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, is having a Happy Hanukkah or will have a Happy Kwanzaa this holiday season. I feel very blessed. It’s been years since I’ve had this much time off, much less Christmas off —- a hazard of being a copy editor.

    However, I haven’t been bored once. I’ve been visiting friends (including the fab writer/editor Mary Ann DeSantis), traveling (Philadelphia, where I saw former colleague Jaime), spending time with my family and rebooting my yoga practice during my break. Tomorrow, I’m going to a Tweetup (a Twitter meetup). Then, on Jan. 3, I can officially claim my new title of “Associate Editor.”

    Life is good, truly.

    Not a farewell

    November has been a month of action.

    • First, the banquet!
    • National Novel Writing Month
    • Employee of the month award

    I also went to Palm Coast Entrepreneur Night. It was great visiting a new community and meeting such nice people.

    …and, last but not least, I am pleased to announce I accepted the associate editor position at AAA National.

    Turning in my notice today was hard because I really love my co-workers. They are smart, funny and oh-so-talented. I’ll still be around for two more weeks, and as for freelancing, hey, I’m open to it.

    This isn’t goodbye, journalism. This is: HELLO FREELANCE JOURNALISM!


    After thanking the M.E., he wrote back:

    I did have a nice weekend, and again, thank you for all your hard work with the Florida Press Club. Too often, that sort of work goes unrecognized. I’ve coordinated some contests myself, and it’s a lot of work. In your case, it was a lot of extra work, because you also carried out your desk duties so well at the same time.

    I hope you have a good time at the banquet.

    Then today at the monthly staff meeting, I was named employee of the month for my work in the Sports Department! I’m very happy — and extremely grateful to the Sports guys who have been helping me learn all the sports lingo. I’m thinking of doing something nice for them. Bringing in food might be the way to go. … Isn’t it always?

    Florida Press Club frenzy!

    Our workshop with Dr. Rick Wilber and the 60th annual Excellence in Journalism Competition Awards Banquet went great on the whole.

    But I am exhausted!

    Still, I wanted to share an excerpt of what the Managing Editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal (the boss of my boss) wrote to everyone:

    Also, a special thanks to Sherry Mims, who happens to be president of the press club, who put in untold extra time in recent months to coordinate the organization’s contest and banquet.

    Awesome, right?

    More soon on our fabulous event — until then, forgive me while I spend the first free moments I’ve had all week — asleep. Good night!


    National Novel Writing Month officially started yesterday, and with the help of my bestie, Jess, we typed out more than 3,000 words combined.

    Because we know we will fill our time up with other stuff, which in my case means Florida Press Club all day every day, we team up together.

    On the nights I don’t have to work, we pick a time to start, type for an hour and then compete to see who wrote the most words. (I won last night!)

    Though I almost never watch emailed videos, I did end up watching the video, thanks to Bonnie, on what the NaNoWriMo staff do. Check it out!

    Reserve your spot

    …by going to our Facebook event page for the 60th annual Excellence in Journalism banquet.

    Reserve my spot!


    Hello to all the Florida Press Club members coming here from The Bee, our lovely newsletter. (Go to to download it.) And, yes, the name has a meaning. Ask me at the banquet.

    The other officers and I have been very hard at work notifying finalists, promoting the workshop and banquet, coordinating with our awards guy for plaques and certificates, and doing general club maintenance. So, if my blog is not as lively as normal, please give me a pass. (For example, it’s 3:30 a.m., and I just finished a round of emails to our members.)

    I’ve never been afraid of hard work. I also don’t mind sharing when I am working hard because I feel it’s equally important to let everyone know the effort involved in doing something like this.

    You are your best cheerleader — or should be in this day and age. So, on that note, feel free to click around on my website.

    My writing, designing and editing clips are also available, but on a limited basis due to my company’s policy. If you need something, just ask.


    Excellence in Journalism Press Release

    The Florida Press Club members are still working hard on the Florida Press Club workshop and banquet, so it’s been quieter than normal around here. However, the details of our Nov. 5 event are slowly coming together…

    Mark your calendar for a weekend filled with the two best things about this profession: journalism that makes a difference and the energizing companionship of your fellow colleagues.

    The Florida Press Club’s 60th annual Excellence in Journalism banquet will be at 7 p.m., Nov. 5 at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Convention Center in St. Augustine that’s equipped with enough amenities so you can also pretend to be working in a better-paying profession.

    Onsite or just steps away you’ll find shopping, a luxury spa and golf — and not just any run-of-the-mill golf. These courses are world-class, including one that Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus collaborated to create. There’s an IMAX theater too.

    Rick Wilber, a journalism professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. He is also a writer who has published two novels, several short-story collections, a memoir, and several college textbooks on writing and editing for some of the world’s largest publishers. A 1 p.m. workshop with Wilber on how to turn your article ideas into books will be included in $45 admission to the banquet. Non-members pay $5.

    You can check out the accommodations at Rooms start at $119. The special Florida Press Club rate is available if you reserve online and put “Florida Press Club” in the comments box.

    Food options are:

    • Grilled Flank Steak Southwestern Marinated Skirt Steak with Chipotle Demi glace
    • Chicken Castillo Served with Pan Sauce, Topped with Jumbo Lump Crab Meat and Grilled Asparagus
    • Vegetable Lasagna Layers of pasta filled with a variety of seasonal vegetables, topped with a marinara sauce.
    • A vegan option is available on advance request.

    For more information, email fpcbanquet[at]gmail[dot]com.

    Social butterfly effect

    One of the reasons I wanted to be a journalist is to inform, so I love social media. I find it interactive, instantaneous and full of excitement. New social media sites are popping up at a quick rate, and they’re changing our daily lives just as fast. The best platforms allow you to share information with people who might pass it along as well.

    (Of course, you should share good, relevant information and avoid anything inflammatory, but that’s a post for another day.)

    When I go on Twitter, I usually go on it to either improve my skills or communicate something. I was lucky Sept. 14 when @Poynter (the voice of the prestigious Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg) tweeted:

    Join us now for a live chat w @KimBui about what it takes to stand out as a community/social media editor:

    I asked, “Kim, what qualifications should someone have to be a community/social media editor?”

    She replied:

    First and foremost a sense of experimentation. You should also be active on most major networks (FB and Twitter) and have tried a few others. Have ideas about how to engage readers better and improve the final product through SM.

    Also, network like you’ve never networked before. Most SM editors know each others, so if you know some of us, you’ll get an inside track.

    Good, right? You really should read all of Kim Bui’s tips.

    I feel like I’m on the right track. I’ve met loads of influential people through the #dbtweetup (Daytona Beach’s monthly Tweet-Up) and have already used my skills for the print product.

    In fact, one of my awards from The Daytona Beach News-Journal involved, yes, using Twitter. The crew of the night desk expected it to be a calm Sunday night, but on May 2, 2011, President Barack Obama came on the air and announced the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11.

    The Associated Press sent out a scant nine inches right at deadline, so what did I do? As I replated the inside pages, I looked up the @whitehouse Twitter feed and found the exact contents of Obama’s speech to help fill the front page to get it out.

    The next day, my former co-worker Kari saw The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s front page flashed on CNN.

    Just spotted @dbnewsjournal front page on @CNN. on Twitpic

    Though journalism has changed, the fundamentals are still there, and social networking continues to give us options for improvement. On Sept. 14, I subscribed to Quora, a question-and-answer site. On Sept. 15, Facebook announced a “Subscribe” option, which is great for following a source without having to “friend” someone you don’t know well. Likewise, today, Sept. 20, I signed up to get a promo code for Mail-ette, a site for sharing graphic elements and gaining feedback.

    In the future, I’m betting we’ll have better information and a bigger ability to distill and share pertinent information. News is still news — whatever the format.