"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The sunset of a year in watercolor, and more

Sunset on Dec. 31--9 1/2" by 12" watercolor, 140 pound paper
The sun sets on another calendar year, and we try to dwell on the future, calling it New Year's Eve, which is fine and shows the hope in our species. But at the moment, I choose to think about where I've been, where this blog has been in 2013. I wanted to capture that in a watercolor, never even thinking about New Year's Day, 2014,  until I sat down to write this.
Paraphrasing Dickens, it has been the best of times and the worst of times, depending on where and who you were in this country and world. Fortunately for us, and ours, in spite of tragedies, of politics, of violence, and of wars, I can look back thankfully, but be thoughtful of those who cannot. 
In this year, I've traveled new miles and places, met new friends and people, lived new adventures and thoughts, found new stories and life. The sun setting on those experiences seems to mean there will be more of them when the sun rises tomorrow.  
This will be the last 2013 post, 39th this month and 252nd this year, on Coffee with Clark. It's been  a reader-record-setting year, with more than 45,000 page views from readers in 228 countries. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow, my bucket list.

Monday, December 30, 2013

twitter advice from an 'adventure hound'


@okieprof #clarkclass

I'm looking back and ahead to the speakers my intersession class on twitter for journalists; it resumes for a week Jan. 6.
Our third speaker before Christmas break was former student, now friend and colleague Heide Brandes, who just marked her first anniversary making a living as a freelance writer.
(Yes, she's the student who was featured in the ad with me, "Mentors matter" a copy of which was posted on this blog on Dec. 12. I am astounded at this, because few make it work, and I do know how hard and hectic such a work life is. But she is a woman of boundless energy and optimism and talents.
She spoke of many things, some unique to college classes by the way, like the sex life of possums. Other subjects included caving, medieval re-enactments and belly dancing, all of which she does. 
So what did she tell my students about writing? Here's the practical advice, mentioned by the students in our debriefing after she left, recorded by stellar student Lacey Rhodes @laceymrhodes.
  • Be fearless
  • You are creating your brand.
  • Don’t ever have a screaming match with someone who can fire you.
  • Don’t try too hard to create a brand just be yourself. 
  • Everyone you follow is a potential story or source.
  • Don’t get attached to your work.
  • Twitter is a a huge job tool.
  • You do not have to be a phenomenal writer just be reliable and trustworthy.
  • Don’t forget the people who are not on twitter.
  • Again, do NOT get attached to your articles, they will get torn apart.
  • Always get paid! Never let someone screw you out of money.
  • If you want to be a good writer than read good writers. Transcends through all industries.
  • Life should be fun.
  • All of your followers are sources, follow more important people.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the contact with someone.
  • Don’t become too lazy on twitter.
  • Be ethical, ALWAYS.
  • Enjoys that she is an all-around writer. Can write everything.
  • Everything I put on twitter serves a benefit.
  • Networking is the new marketing. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Coffee with Clark "blogstone," by the numbers

Screen shot of blog page views per month from beginning in May 2009 til today when it surpassed 5,000 monthly views for first time.--Note: Blogspot is wrong, not May 2007, but 2009.
Coffee with Clark reached a "blogstone" today--more than 5,000 views in a calendar month. That's a long way from May 2009 when it started.

Here are the numbers:
  •  5,012--December page views at 9:45 am today
  • 4,459--Previous high month, July, 2013
105,000+ --page views total

Page views by country
United States
66350
Russia
4423
Germany
4282
United Kingdom
2533
Ukraine
2277
France
1878
China
926
Canada
687
Poland
670
India
607
  • 128--number of countries with readers
  • 33--new countries this year
Blog posts per year
  • 2009--339
  • 2010--292
  • 2011--135
  • 2012--203
  • 2013--252--by December 31
Months with most posts
  • August, 2009--76
  • July, 2009--70
  • January, 2010--57
  • April, 2010--47
  • December, 2013!--39--by the end of the year
Day with most page views
  • Dec, 23, 2013--532! A watercolor "Christmas eve journey"
Most popular posts of all time
  • 2492--All aboard for Bartlesville , October, 2010 (I have no idea why)
  • 1646--All aboard, August, 2010
  • Actually top six posts of all time include the words "All aboard." Lots of train buffs?
Most popular posts in last month
  • 129--Flags of historic friends--Canada, Feb. 2012 (This is now the 10th most popular posting of all time) I wondered about posting articles and maps about the countries of my readers, but apparently, it's interesting.
  • 114--Black Friday blues, November, 2013
  • 75--A Friday night 44 years ago, Nov. 2013
  • 71--Raining ice as the sun comes out, December, 2013
My favorite and most creative posts--helping earn the Okie Blog Best Writing in the State Award in 2009
  •  "The booth is a verb"--More than 10,000 words in multiple chapters telling the story of the booth and my friend, the late Bob Illidge, from 2009.
This blog is typical of many, starting out with a flurry of postings, bottled up inside, or from something that triggers a passion. That's why the first year had so many postings and then tapered off. I wondered when I started it if it'd continue, and it did slump, but has picked back up.
That's due in part because I teach a class in blogging at UCO and have to be active to have integrity. It's also due to the fact that the blog has grown and changed since the beginning and I've learned a lot and changed too. 
It now includes more photographs and paintings, and more story telling I think. The design has changed with the times too. What hasn't changed in the past four months is the title photo at the top, from my back road solo trip to New Mexico. That photo tells you so much about me and my interests. But it will eventually change too.
 What's next? I have no idea, although I've said for some time I want to take the blog to the "next level," whatever that means. I hope it means switching formats and hosts, adding advertising for some income, and emphasizing travel more. But I don't really know.
Why do I do this? I guess because I'm a first-born Capricorn  and deep down, a journalist.
When I owned the Waurika News-Democrat, my weekly column was titled "Trail Talk," because we were on the old Chisholm Trail. As a friend once said to me about this blog, "Hey, you've got your column back."

22 or so favorite blog postings of 2013

Roads traveled in 2013 on Coffee with Clark--this one in New Mexico
Roads traveled in 2013--Looking back, here are my 22 favorite blog postings from this year and their links, if you'd care to look by clicking on them.
  • December--Probably the best writing I've done this year, was this week, "Mortality on my mind." Probably the most fun, were all the little Christmas cards I did leading up 12 days before Christmas, culminating with Silent Night
  • November--Four stand out. Story of son Travis' birth, Friday night 44 years ago ; story of daughter Dallas' birth, Third time's a charm ; My heritage of veterans ; Thoughts on JFK assassination, When the world was young
  • October--You can't trust science
  • September--Several posts of my Back roads journal in New Mexico, a solo journey into myself (Which is where the photo at the top of this blog came from, and I haven't changed it since); (Missing--I know I wrote about youngest son Derrick's birth, but can't find it); Geezer meeting the Google Glass
  • August--Oklahoma's western art museums, where you can Breathe the West ; Twittering about journalism
  • July--First born son Vance's birth ; Story about a pioneer graveyard and infant graves; Several posts from early July about the 150 year anniversary of Gettysburg
  • June--Watercolor workshop in OKC, lessons and life,
  • May--Coffee with Clark's fifth birthdayMemorial day and the veteran I knew best; We adopted cats, so here are lessons  and a rap from the cat box 
  • April--Painting a castle with my granddaughter Katherine, on  my  March trip to Germany
  • March--Easter and I wonder if Jesus would go to church 
  • February--Ghosts and learning about my Dad in the Depression from new emails
  • January--Pixels and thoughts about newspapers.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

An old one survives

Today's walk in Hafer Park added ideas for my previous post, but I won't meddle with it, because there are unending stories on the journey. I vary the views by changing the direction I walk, and am always finding new thoughts.
But I keep coming back to my favorite tree in the park, near where the path from my neighborhood enters.
Even though it's not the oldest tree in the park, I love this one for its character, its gnarled and twisted limbs, for the diseases and weathers it has survived. Nearby, other trees lost limbs, some rotten.
Not this old one. While not "beautiful" in the traditional sense, it is strong, and I think beautiful in character and in living.

Mortality much on my mind

Mortality is much on my mind these days as another year wanes and a birthday looms a week away.
Another walk in Hafer Park punctuated those thoughts with every thing I saw and heard yesterday afternoon, especially one walker I passed not long after I started.
We're fortunate in that our neighborhood backs up to Hafer Park, billed as an urban forest by Edmond. I can walk almost two blocks, take a narrow sidewalk between two houses and enter the park on the back side of a looping trail, marked by the Boy Scouts with posts every quarter mile for 1.75 miles.
Every walk is an adventure, a journey in time and mortality, for I wear no headphones, listen to no music, but open my eyes and ears and other senses to the stories on that  trail. I don't walk slow, or really fast either,  but at a steady pace.
There he was ahead of me, moving slowly. I first noticed his cane, then his stoop, then the left arm dangling without motion. I slowed to take a photo, and then passed him, saying "It's a beautiful day." He replied, "It certainly is," and kept shuffling along.
I no longer have any excuse nor reason not to walk that trail every day. Of course I've said that before, like the time I passed a man with a club foot, walking the trail, but I need reminders.
Mortality was all around me that day, and indeed every day. The shadows of the trees move and lap over the trail mark time as the sun passes overhead. You can usually hear the punctual moan of a diesel locomotive and freight train two miles away on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe main line, heading north or south.
There are always walkers, and joggers, several of whom lap me before I've completed the circuit. The young ones swish and lope by effortlessly, listening to music on their headphones, or chatting away with friends or lovers. Middle aged me, shirts soaked with seat, huff and puff by. I've heard German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.
Lots of people walk their dogs here, and I've seen every breed from Great Pyrenees to Dachshunds. All you have to do is say "beautiful dog," and you get a "Thank you."
Teenagers and their skateboards take advantage of the hills to weave their way through the park. 
A neighborhood path into Hafer Park and a journey
There are always children and parents and grandparents populating the playgrounds, helping children swing or climb, or feeding the ducks and geese at the pond, or tending a fishing line on one of the benches, forgetting about time. In nicer weather the photographers are out, posing families and children for natural setting photographs, trying their best to get the children to smile, for a moment frozen in time.
Then there are the parents, some with babies in strollers, others holding their childrens' hands for walks. Some children are out on their scooters or new bicycles, learning their way.
One little girl, no more than four or five and wearing a helmet, whizzes down a slight slope on a Christmas gift pink bicycle with training wheels. She stops and turns to her mother, about 25 feet behind. "Mommy, that was so fast it made my eyes water," she says. I smile and say something to her mother, who smiling, replies.
I've noticed that the teenagers and nearly twenty somethings usually don't make eye contact or speak with this aging Okie, but the older people get, the more they meet your eyes and speak some greeting, or nod as they jog by. Something there is about the passing of time that makes you open to a simple greeting.
Every walk is an adventure, a journey
Hafer is bounded on the west and south by Spring Creek, helping muffle the time-ridden traffic of Bryant a half block away, and along the creek banks and undergrowth you can see running water, and birds, while wondering what else lives down there, on its own timetable, oblivious to humankind 's clock.
You see or hear Cardinals and other birds flitting among the bare branches, surviving another winter, knowing that spring will come. This last walk there were lots of broken limbs littering the ground from the ice storm, as time takes its toll.
But for my mortality, the little girl on the bicycle and the old gentleman with the cane breathed life.



Friday, December 27, 2013

More books of the year

More books I found scattered around the house that helped shape my year:
  • Completed:
1. Good Medicine, 1929 first edition of Charlie M. Russell book of his illustrated letters, with intro by Will Rogers. My Dad's book, given to me by my brother.
2. The Geologic Story of the Great Plains, 54-page booklet by Donald Trimble for the Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association
  • Others I started, and didn't get all the way through this past year:
1. Geronimo, by Robert Utley, Wrangler Award Winner, Cowboy Hall of Fame
2. True Secret of Writing, by Natalie Goldberg, writing guru whose books I steal ideas from for teaching
3. Reining In the Rio Grande, by Phillips, Hall, Black, the story of the watershed
4. Detroit, by Charlie LeDuff, loaned by friend Andy Jensen. Read first chapter--too depressing
5. The Art of SEO--given by Andy, and way too deep computer stuff for me.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Turning the pages of a year, book by book

I always look at what people have on their bookshelves, because what they read tells you much about them. 
I'm excluding the administrators' official bookshelves, properly arranged and there to impress visitors. I suppose I'd include professors' bookshelves, because there are favorite books there, books that have long histories of research or teaching, though many of them are free textbook copies or books that have been forgotten. I'm primarily referring to personal bookshelves.
So I guess you can tell something about me this year by the books I've read. I'd lost track of the books I'd read this past year, as fall seemed to buzz by, and a feared I'd not made my goal of a book a month. But when I started gathering them up for this post, I was surprised, with 11 more. 
In August I'd completed two books, the eighth and ninth of the year. Thus the year's total is more than 20.
So what does this list tell you? 
  • Non-Fiction:
1. Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux
2. The Blue Zones, Dan Buettner--about areas of the earth where there are an unusually large number of people in their 90s and 100s.
  • Spiritual:
3. 4.5.6. --How God Changes Your Brain, The Meditations of John Muir, The 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, Living the Questions--the Wisdom of Progressive Christianity,
  • Poetry (I'm working on a story about poetry in Oklahoma, and find it difficult to write about poets without reading their books):
7. The Smell of Good Mud, Lauren Zuniga
8. Nocturnes and Sometimes Even I, Carl Sennhenn
  • Self help(?):
9. I Don't Know, in praise of admitting ignorance
  • Fiction:
10. The Lovecraft Anthology, graphic collection
  • Writing:
11. Several Short Sentences About Writing, Veryln Klinkenborg--my favorite NY Times columnist ("The Rural Life"), and the book I'm adopting for my feature writing class this fall--the first book I've required in over a decade.
  • Uncompleted (Probably never to be completed):
1. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss, about punctuation
2. Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch, Constance Hale, about verbs.
  • Underway
1. And at this time last year, I was wading through Across the Wild Missouri, history by Devoto about the fur trade--I'm still wading through it.
2. Misplaced, to my chagrin, maybe disappeared is better, first edition gift from son Vance, All the Little Things, fiction by Wallace Stegner. I began it, and laid it down and cannot find it.

Obviously, I need to read more fiction. To quote by former student and friend Sheri Guyse, @MyJRNY, speaking to my twitter class last week--"Read fiction, it'll make you a better story teller."



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

If you want something--give it

Reflecting at year's end, on thoughts from the first year of the blog, back in 2009--
If you want something—give it
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." –Luke 6:38
1. If you want love
2. If you want money
3. If you want generosity
4. If you want friendship
5. If you want professionalism
6. If you want success
7. If you want rewards
8. If you want admiration
9. If you want to be liked
10. If you want silence
11. If you want gifts
12. If you want to get along
13. If you want happiness
14. If you want humanity
15. If you want humility
16. If you want humor
17. If you want respect
18. If you want honor
19. If you want trust
20. If you want maturity
21. If you want preparation
22. If you want organization
23. If you want thinking
24. If you want spontaneity
25. If you want energy
26. If you want fairness
27. If you want privacy
28. If you want time
29. If you want scholarship
30. If you want timeliness
31. If you want listening
32. If you want participation
33. If you want attendance
34. If you want up to date
35. If you want cooperation
36. If you want excellence
37. If you want high standards
38. If you want enthusiasm
39. If you want trustworthiness
40. If you want passion
41. if you want hard work
42. If you want learning

Or

43. If you want griping
44. If you want insecurity
45. If you want arrogance
46. If you want backbiting
47. If you want insincerity
48. If you want arguments
49. If you want grumpiness
50. if you want contention
51. If you want anger
52. If you want empty flattery
53. If you want stinginess
54. If you want mistrust
55. If you want backstabbing
56. if you want gossip
57. if you want selfishness
58. If you want disrespect
59. If you want laziness
60. If you want criticism
61. If you want dishonesty
62. If you want accusations
63. If you want racism
64. If you want sexism
65. If you want bias
66. if you want discrimination
67. If you want hatred
68. If you want contempt
69. If you want rudeness
70. If you want wordiness
71. If you want tardiness
72. If you want lying
73. If you want lack of preparation
74. If you want disorganization
75. If you want excuses
76. If you want tardiness
77. if you want inconsistency
78. If you want low expectations
79. If you want arbitrariness
80. If you want boring

Christmas morning

Christmas morning...3 1/2 by 5 watercolor

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Silent Night

Silent Night--4 by 6 watercolor
Christmas has arrived in the country where Jesus was born. The favorite Christmas carol of all time so captures the hope of the season. Here's what I see.

Merry Christmas to all.

Raining ice as the sun comes out


The sun is finally out, and after four days of sub freezing temperatures following an ice storm, ice coated bushes and trees are raining ice
You can hear it pelting the roof, like over-sized acorns in fall perhaps, but this glitters in the sun and resounds and bounces. It comes in spurts and deluges and in constant pitter-patter or pounding. A hint of a breeze frees more branches and twigs from their icy sheathing. Backlit by the sun, it's beautiful, but not safe to walk under.
And where the sun hasn't hit yet, as on this bush at the front door, the ice still covers everything.

All aboard--Christmas eve express

4 by 6 watercolor

Monday, December 23, 2013

The blog at 128 countries

Two readers from two new countries to follow the blog clicked in today, bringing to seven the number of new countries in the last two months--the Maldives and the Dominican Republic. That means I've had readers in 128 countries around the world.
They join readers from Croatia,  Palestine, Lebanon, Fiji and Oman that I've fallen behind on in posting their flags and country stories since late September when the blog reached 121. Soon, I promise.
It's been a busy year for the blog, with readers in at least 33 new countries over the past 12 months. The number of hits has topped 4,000 a month three times this fall, with more than 100,000 visitors since the blog began in 2009. I'm amazed, and thankful that so many find this interesting. Thank you.

Christmas Eve journey--one day to Christmas

Christmas eve journey...4 by 6 watercolor
Where I grew up in New Mexico, pilgrimages to sacred sites and shrines and churches are common at Christmas. There is something pure and crisp and ancient about religion in cold mountain air with the smell of pinon and the sound of bells ringing. Adobe is richer when snow is the garland and real candles flicker shadows on the earthen walls.
Feliz Navidad indeed.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two Days to 121 Christmases at Old North

Old North tower's 121st Christmas--4 by 6 watercolor
The icon and symbol of the University of Central Oklahoma is Old North, the first building of higher education in Oklahoma. It was built in  summer and fall of 1892 and first classes in it were held in January, 1893. Central is the oldest public institution of higher education in Oklahoma, founded in 1890 as the Territorial Normal School, to train teachers with a two year certificate. First classes, with 23 students,  were held in Edmond in Nov. 1891. So many generations and memories.
Today we have more than 17,000 students in many areas of study, on a growing campus. It's gone from Territorial Normal School to Central Normal School, to Central State College, to Central State University to the University of Central Oklahoma. But over it all, stands this icon of education for thousands of students over the years.
It has been vacant because of structural problems for at least a decade, but is nearing completion of renovation and expansion. This was this year's card to President Don Betz, who is the 20th president.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Three Days till Christmas--dreaming

Dreaming of a White Christmas--4 by 6 watercolor

Beauty in ice

Ice over Spring Creek, Edmond
Outside our window
There is beauty in ice, as long as you don't have to drive on it, or happened to book passage on The Titanic, or cause power outages, or if you have to work out in it, or if it strips limbs off trees and does damage.
Here, the roads are still wet at 31 degrees, and there are few patches of ice. Most trees are coated with less than a half inch of ice, but more rain is falling, and if it gets colder, the ice will lose its beauty.
But for now, it's huddle and cuddle up time in a warm house with a fire and hot chocolate, if you're so fortunate. Let such times remind us of those in this country, and around the world, who are not so fortunate to be able to see beauty in ice.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Four days 'till Christmas

Cold night at Taos---4 by 6 watercolor

Why I teach...good students and graduation

Laura Wolf and Maryam Ghavidel
What makes a good student? I ask students that in my classes any more, and the range of answers is revealing.  Grades never come up. More on that soon, as I compile the latest batch from Twitter in Journlaism class.
Graduation shows why you teach...good students become more than just ex-students. They are people you trust, who you're glad to see, who you remember for their work ethic, passion and attitude. Here are two of them at graduation last week.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Five days till Christmas

Christmas storm a'coming--4 by 6 watercolor

Twittering star and former student

@clarkclass #clarkclass
Speaker to my Twitter for Journalists class today was Sheri Guyse, @MyJRNY, marketing director for Good Egg Dining, and so much more. We watched Good Egg's video, and referred to Sheri's Blog, Really Most Sincerely, ahead of time.
"This class  so transcends twitter, it's about life" 
The class got the ultimate compliment, in my book, from one student after Sheri left today. he said "This class so transcends twitter, it's about life." 
So what did she talk about? Her journey, personally and professionally. About the booming cultural life in Oklahoma City. About travel. About food. About music. About the avant garde way Good Egg uses twitter and social media to open new restaurants and in daily operation, advertising, PR and marketing.
In our debriefing after she left, several students mentioned how much she inspired them with her off the cuff remarks, honesty and advice about twitter and more. I am so fortunate to have so many great former students.
You can see some of the students tweets during her comments at @okieprof, search #clarkclass.
Here are some student comments during our debriefing, notes take by Lacey Rhodes.

    •    Be a good person, and keep the content clean.
    •    There is nothing at all that you cannot do.
    •    Keep your relationship statuses offline.
    •    “Fear is this weird thing that our brain does that serves absolutely no purpose.”
    •    Use twitter to tell a story
    •    Both speakers we’ve had said to be a good speaker and always keep learning.
    •    Be curious about things outside the box.
    •    Create a personal relationship with your customers or the people who follow you, follow them!
    •    Don’t wait around for the job to be posted but sometimes create your own!
    •    Don’t stay in the digital; there is life happening too.
    •    There is no such thing as a work-life balance because your work is your life. Have a passion for your work.
    •    She would only hire a friend or an intern that she knew on twitter. Align yourself with people that will help you strategically.
    •    It’s not all strategic but sometimes it happens accidentally.
    •    Take advantage of all the classes you can take while you are in school.
    •    Be well-rounded. It really helps you in this field. You can do journalism, advertising and all of it.
    •    Be inquisitive and ask for help when you need it.
    •    Don’t settle for being average.
    •    “Twitter is a drug of choice”
    •    “Live in the flow and then people will fall into your stream."
    •    She created her own position so she has full control of her job now.
    •    She encouraged us to do anything we want. Failure isn’t bad for you. It is a step towards success.
    •    If there is something you don’t like, then don’t do it. If you really hate your job then quit. Move on to something better.
    •    Fear is a weird trick our brain tries to play, we need to ignore fear because it is useless.
    •    Her attention span is dwindling because of social media.


My favorite quotes:
  • "Take the classes you want to take."
  • "Fear serves no purpose."
  • "The holy gospel of social media is that you have to always want to learn."
  • "Read fiction. The storytelling will help you."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A journalist's passion for twitter


@okieprof #clarkclass
Mike Sherman, @MikeSherman, sports editor for The Oklahoman, was the first speaker for my Twitter for Journalists class.
Mike, a UCO grad, is one of the most upbeat positive people I know, and he grabs my  students', and my, attention with story after story. 
There's a quote, an aphorism, in almost every statement, and he's full of practical advice about journalism, sports, jobs, and much more. 
He does his homework, and came to class already knowing things about my students because he'd look them up on line.
He told how the sports department uses twitter, from involving readers to write headlines, to staying in touch with readers, to finding story ideas, to looking for employees.
If you want to see some of the things they tweeted while he was speaking --required -- search #clarkclass on twitter, or go to my site, @okieprof, and do the same on #clarkclass. They're immediate and fun. I'll compile and print them later.
His passion and enthusiasm, and broad knowledge of much more than just sports, but the entire social media and journalism world, astounded the students. 
After he left,  and at the end of each speaker session, we debrief, and each student comments.
Here are some of the things that the students said stood out:
  • He hired someone without looking at their resume. Maybe twitter is the new resume. 
  • Twitter has so much power. The story he told of a  sports writer raising money for the flight for the family to attend a game
  • Finds employees by looking at their twitter, makes you think twice before posting something. 
  • Do your research; know people before you even meet them.
  • Be cautious what you post on social media, everyone sees it.
  • Resumes may not be as important anymore, twitter is the new resume. Twitter is a big involvement tool.
  • Facebook is more of a family atmosphere where twitter is more about the people you are interested in.
  • The search feature on twitter is the most important invention ever
  • Finding your role on twitter is important.
  • Don’t get hung up on the number of followers you have but more the followers' worth as individuals.
  • Make what you post worth your followers' time. Provide a service to them.
  • Keeping up with content, responses and reporting.
  • Don’t feel stuck in your location. Twitter is a travel tool. Virtually traveling and contacting the world. 
  • Insignificant tweets become wallpaper and they can make you look so stupid as a person.
  • Twitter is about the now; deliver your content as a service.
  • Find your own path for how you use twitter
  • Twitter footprints are important.
  • Twitter can help you get a job or it can hurt you.
  • To thine ownself be true. Be who you are even on social media.
  • Mike wouldn’t hire anybody who wasn’t on social media. 
  • When you present yourself on social media you can sometimes get a wrong impression or a false impression. You manage your own content on twitter. 
  • You should take what you get off of social media as a grain of salt but networking is important. You should represent yourself truly. 
  • Be critical of everything you read on twitter, find the sources. 
  • Twitter is the new wire service
  • Content is king
  • Twitter allows you to listen
My  favorite quotes:
  •   "Be a storyteller."
  •   "Twitter is the new wire service"
  •   "I'm going to clarkclass it."
  •  "I've learned more about journalism in the last two years and in my previous career."
My class has become a verb!


Six days till Christmas

On the way to Christmas...4 by 6 watercolor

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nine Days to Christmas

Waiting for Christmas...4 by 6 watercolor

Twitter for journalists #clarkclass @okieprof

Tomorrow begins my two-week intersession class, Twitter for Journalists, with 24 students enrolled.
The schedule is brutal...meeting from 9 am to 2:30 pm for three hours of credit. It's the third time I've taught the class, responding to remarks from our department's advisory committees in professional fields.
Most people my age look at twitter as just another new fangled social media doodad, but I've found out it is far more than that. While I may not use it much, nor need it at my life and professional stage, it has become essential for young professionals, and for business and politics in this rapidly changing world.
When I first started this, learning on my own, I was afraid there wouldn't be enough material. But there's a flood of resources, in print and digitally, and the beauty is there's no need for a textbook.
Every day I post a bunch of links for the students' reading and tweeting. If you wish, you can follow the class on twitter by searching #clarkclass. My user name is @okieprof.
It's a fun laid back class, where they get to use their phones. Enrollment fills quickly, in three days or less, and the students coming out of it talk about how valuable it was. 
In addition to the reading and tweeting and more stuff, I bring in professional speakers from different professions (I have all kinds of majors in the class). Speakers so far this year will be Oklahoma Sports Editor Mike Sherman, Good Egg Restaurant Marketing Director Sheri Guyse, freelance writer Heide Brandes, Gazette General Manager Dave Rhea, UCO social media person Monica Helms and assistant vice-president Adrienne Nobles.  In the past broadcast prof Desiree Hill and HR maven Jessica Miller-Merrill have also spoken. I should give you their twitter names, but that's later.
Here's the first day's tweets from #clarkclass: