Monthly Archives: January 2017

Color comparison between old and new twitter bluebird hues of blue.

Scripting Saturdays: why details matter in our work + pre-coding tweets

by BonnieRobin Mariela Watau

I’m so excited to post the second edition of scripting Saturday! For those of you way out west, it is still Saturday(!), so we’re good. Started this on Tues, yet it has been a very full week with the workup to four books launching on Monday! So we are splitting this six-week series into alternate weeks on specific writing helps and marketing | branding your work. I was feeling feisty in this first week of our new President’s keeping his campaign promises and originally titled this: Why Li’l Snowflakes don’t design bridges. A touch more bite than it needed.

When detail matters, such as avoiding the tragedy of the Kansas City Hyatt skywalk collapse, the feel-good shallowness that I see in a lot of girls makes me work twice as hard to represent us women well. Tough love is part of helping us grow, right? In our forthcoming business fable, (follow us at the just launched @bizfables, thanks!), Hillary Poczek Jakowicz gives an example at their fall quarterly business conference:

“To force others to live as we do is one of the greatest mistakes mankind repeats,” often attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived 106-43C BC. The lesson is not just the timeless truth of the quote. The bigger lessons for understanding our upcoming brand rollouts are:

  • looking at the origin story,
  • looking under the hood, and
  • looking at the context.

“Perhaps most importantly, who is delivering the message and what are their goals? The phrase on the screens is actually paraphrased from #4 of the Seven Mistakes of Life, in Secrets of personal culture and business power, a book by Bernard Meador, published in New York City in 1914, some 2000 years later!”

Gasps from a healthy fraction of delegates.

“Memorable quotes have a name, for you Scrabble® lovers like me out there. An aphorism is a commonplace saying expressing a deep truth.  Our commitment to families arises from Ars longa, vita brevis, one of the collected sayings of Hippocrates, father of medicine, circa 460 – circa 370 BC. The reason we teach not taking things at face value when they are literally thousands of years old is simple.

“So often we find what we have been told is either sourced carelessly, like the Cicero | Meador aphorism or the original is different from what has been handed down.

When we dig into the structure of the twitter layout, the bird is part of a sprite group:

various twitter sprites: bluebird, validation check marks large & small, add person, refresh and lock
twitter sprites

(multiple image sprites on same .png)

Here is the gimp-verified actual twitter blue, as referenced on my favorite color-site: http://www.perbang.dk/rgb/55ACEE/ »

  • RGB Hex: 55ACEE
  • RGB (0÷255) 85, 172, 238
gimp color-picker verifies twitter blue

Let’s get into specifics: Brittany Patrice wrote a piece on the Twitter bluebird blue, where she presents the color as:

  • RGB Hexdecimal 4099FF
  • RGB 0÷255 64, 153, 255
Short & sweet. Except when it isn’t. It was true in 2009, but twitter has updated their logo & color scheme since then.
twitter-verified-blue-subtle-shifts-from-web-sourcing

This week’s marketing push is: go to the source, rather than guess, because better matters, as so well said by the Brothers Heath in their best-seller, Decisive.

Accomplish your branding goals as a part of your writing!

So here is a quick lesson on pre-formatting tweets. I leave it to others to promote linked-in, because our tested showed their recommended syntax failed as often as not! Google already stores favicons (16×16 pixel miniature icons) for twitter & zillions of other social media properties, but theirs is the outline, not the bird itself. So I prefer a social icons font to embed directly into my articles, because it gives them sizing, kerning, etc.

This is just one example: http://www.dafont.com/social-logos.font. The social logos run from A-N, twitter bluebird is M 0077, so a capital M.

Tip: Make Sure to have a Space after the logo, or it may not show up! We found that out the hard way in pre-screening our latest business fable, Scaling Time.

Twitter syntax

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=[your content here] with this handy table of must-use character translations if you want your tweet to post as you intend!

  • %23 » hashtag (#)
  • %26 » ampersand (&)
  • %3A » colon (:)
  • %7C » ‘pipe’ (|)

Two references for you to look up more:

Step-by-step examples to get you started:

Original Text: “By setting the fenceline” she says, “with the unique single-side, single-edge properties of the Möbius strip, we have ingeniously set behavioral boundaries allowing travel in only one direction.”

Craft your text to fit 140 char: Möbius #training|formación = #ingenious #boundaries: allows1 #way #travel.

Add branding: #ScalingTime .@stipress .@bizfables #BlueTwo #logistics = #people

Convert|Encode URL-safe characters: #training|formación becomes %23training%7Cformación and every other instance gets replaced as well. Note that our hashtags address our global audience. Matt does this as well as anyone I know. (Attention to detail) 🙂

The easiest way to get all the spaces replaced with %20 is just to copy & paste your pre-code right into the brower address bar:

Next-to-last-step: https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Möbius %23training%7Cformación = %23ingenious %23boundaries%3A allows1 %23way %23travel. %23ScalingTime .@stipress .@bizfables %23BlueTwo %23logistics = %23people

Final pre-coded string: https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Möbius%20%23training%7Cformación%20=%20%23ingenious%20%23boundaries%3A%20allows1%20%23way%20%23travel.%20%23ScalingTime%20.@stipress%20.@bizfables%20%23BlueTwo%20%23logistics%20=%20%23people

Try it yourself twitter-blue-bird-icon for fun!

Until next time, happy tweeting & great writing…

 

Saturday Scripting launches with “Save to 5 places”

As authors, editors and publishers ourselves here at STI Press and our business fable imprint, Skerja Press, we are pretty fanatical about backups. This simple script in VBA (Visual Basic, MS-Office), will open the Save As dialog box, allowing you to set your title, then save to five locations (simply add more or delete some to change from five). Or, just set one and hit cancel to the other four choices. (#smirk)

I highly recommend you increment your work such as:

filename.[initials][increment-number].doc

or some version that suits your fancy. If the piece you are writing is called My Dog Spot, your filename might be mydogspot.mw2.aj6.doc, which tells us in the work flow that Tony wrote six drafts and this is Matt’s second edit.

Our internal work process is that we save in five separate locations, because the risk of losing all five is vanishingly small. Lose a single copy? It is not if but when. Lose two? Far less likely, but still too much effort invested for chance. Current fluctuations, Word decides to barf, some moron places a magnet next to your hard drive—the more important the project, the weirder the accidents.

Save to at least three distinct locations: a couple of different folders on your local hard drive, perhaps you might save to the so-called cloud, (which is just a cute name for shared hosting; been around since long before the internet launched), one to an external backup, or network drive, maybe another to a thumb drive. Your mileage may vary, the important take-home is that this simple script makes it easy to employ good data discipline.

Save to 5 Places script

So here is the script, then how to install and run it.

Sub SaveTo5Locations()
'
' Thanks to http://word.mvps.org/faqs/macrosvba/ChangeSaveAsPath.htm and
' http://excelribbon.tips.net/T012495_Saving_in_Multiple_Locations.html
' for showing the way to craft this up.
' Created by Matt Weilert, mw-remove-this@skymtn-and-this-too.co on 5Jan17
'
With Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs)
.Name = "G:\[path1]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Show
End With
With Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs)
.Name = "F:\[path2]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Show
End With
With Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs)
.Name = "E:\[path3]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Show
End With
With Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs)
.Name = "D:\[path4]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Show
End With
With Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs)
.Name = "C:\[path5]\\" & ActiveDocument.Name
.Show
End With
End
End Sub

And here is how to install and use this dandy time & mental-energy saver:

  1. On a Windows system, with Office loaded, hit Ctl-F8 to open the macro dialog box.
  2. Delete whatever is in the top-line, type “Dummy” (without the quotes) and hit Create.save to 5 places script macro dialog box
  3. In the Visual Basic Editor that pops open, highlight everything from the topline Sub Dummy() to End Sub and paste the script above.rockeeldigital.com-save-to-5-places-script-visual-basic-window
  4. Adjust the path locations appropriate to your situation. Your cloud provider will have directions on how to save to your share on the cloud.
  5. You can leave the window open or just minimize it. Switch back to your document and hit Ctl-F8 again to reopen the macro dialog box, where, if all went well and the creeks did not rise, stranding dozens of helpless pilgrims [Hey! stick to one story at a time!]. Oh, sorry. (#woohoo). You will see SaveTo5Locations in the macro choice list.
  6. Hit run, it will open a dialog box with your existing document name. It will automatically ask you if you want to overwrite an existing file, if you are not incrementing for this particular save.
  7. Hit save and Bob’s Your Uncle! You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your work is securely backed up and you can focus on your writing.

Until next time, keep the quills moving and the ideas flowing!