What happens when one broadband company runs half the country?

The  average American citizen is left powerless.


 Three years ago, Time Warner Cable told us they would charge us $53, 927 to connect us to their service .6 miles away.

At the same time, they wired the same space for $40,000 less in Maine (with similar population densities and for free).

I asked why the discrepancy? In fact, I asked and probed for a year. No one from Time Warner, or its monitor, the New York State Public Service Commission, could tell me.

$13,200: the amount Time Warner paid to wire .6 miles in Maine.

$53,927.00: the amount Time Warner quoted us this past
spring to expand service .6 miles to our home with the potential to serve over 11 households.

from My Rural Broadband Journey, this e-book is free today.

Continue reading What happens when one broadband company runs half the country?


Rural Broadband…Free book and why it matters to net neutrality

Book promotion is no easy task…so here is a sample of a letter I wrote folks on LinkedIn…I paid for 30 InMails which I have to use up by the end of the month.  It was one of

those free trials when you think you will cancel it by the time they ding you for $68.00 twice.  In addition, my book goes off KDP select on Friday, so I thought I might as well offer it free

today through Thursday.  So here is the promo letter which at the end answers the question:  Why my book matters:

Hello:  I am a Roy H. Park School of Communications graduate and I want to bring your attention to my e-book, My Rural Broadband Journey, which is free on Amazon Kindle through Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Continue reading Rural Broadband…Free book and why it matters to net neutrality

#self publishing: News releases, ugh! Tellagami:-), and Free Sunday

to view, to here https://tellagami.com/gami/4K0M15/









Number 1

There is a great deal one could write about self publishing.  It is not the book that is hard, it is the marketing.  Especially if you are trying to save money.  I wanted to send out a press release and was hesitant to pay the $79 requested at most reputable sites.  I then embarked on finding a free site, which to my dismay, after setting up an account, seemed a bit too sketchy.  I goggled it and found nothing good or bad, so I decided to try my hand at the DIY method.

The DIY method takes much too much time.  First you have to find a newspaper site, then you have to hunt around for the editor that would be appropriate and hope that you can also find his or her email address.  I did do this and I did find a few people to email about my free book promotion this Sunday, August 31 on Kindle.   In the future, however, I will probably be using the $79 service.


Number 2

I found a great resource to promote my book, a Tellagami…so much fun to make.  You just upload a picture for the background, pick one character who you can dress up, and then design a 30 second statement for him, or her, to recite.  There are a choice of 4 different voices for each sex or you can record your own voice.  I made two, one appeared in my last blog post, but here is one I prefer because it shows some of our landscape.


Number 3

My book, My Rural Broadband Journey, the one year trail to high-speed,  is free on Sunday, the 31st of August and if you don’t have Kindle, you can download it to your PC, Mac, tablet, iPad, iPhone or SmartPhone.  Here is my book:  http://www.amazon.com/My-Rural-Broadband-Journey-high-speed-ebook/dp/B00M7HP7O8


Citizen Pens Memoir

my lessons in blogging and social media, a tiny journey in a sea of many

Some folks in my writers’ group at Lansing Community Library have asked me about my blogging process.  I thought I’d write-up a few things as my count nears 14,000 hits.

1. People do not want to read long paragraphs online so I work to keep my work spaced out…this was pointed out to me by Dan Veneer at the Lansing Star when he did an article on my blog about rural broadband.

2. Readers and search engines like content and they like consistent posts…during my rural broadband series, my site visits went up by over 100 percent. At the end of 2010, when I started this blog, there had been 804 hits. One year later, after writing about my #rural broadband journey, the hits had increased to 3619.  Below is a link to some of the cumulative knowledge I gained and recorded in my rural broadband series.


3. International people are reading my blog, this surprised me and it is only through the WordPress statistics that I discovered this fact. I am still waiting for the tool to discern between readers and search engines.  In the meantime, it gives me pause and reminds me of what a bubble I am in here in the US, I need to look for and read more international blogs.  Special shout out to my friend in Greece, I think those 18 hits are real:-)

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4. Connecting to Twitter and Facebook and other social media does spread my blog, I have had many Facebook friends share my blog, a big compliment!  Also, a fellow blogger, Simon at Living in Dryden, graciously talked about and linked my blog to his, note this has led to many referrals.

Referrals to my blog
Referrals to my blog

5. People like visuals, my photo essay on a fall walk with our dogs was my biggest single day hit with 110 hits.https://itsaboutthestory.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/2329/

dog investigation under way
dog investigation under way

6. I enjoy the challenge of search engine optimization. By using links and titles with key words in them, I have found my blog posts showing up on the first few pages of goggle searches.  Below is a screen shot of a blog that showed up on page 2, at number 15 of 107,000 results, not too shabby.

Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization

7. Tags also work, I received a nice e-mail note from a sports writer in Vegas after writing a post about the movie 42 and Branch Rickey. This was especially fun because a gentleman in my writing group has commented on my audacity to write about sports, as a non-athletic woman:-)

In an unrelated situation, a WSKG reporter, Matt Richmond from the Innovation Trail, found my blog and requested an interview with me on rural broadband.  I was especially complemented because also interviewed for that segment were two thought leaders, Pat Pryor, a Tompkins County Legislator, and David Salway, Director of the NY Broadband Program Office.

8. There are some very good books about social media and much of what I learned, I read in…The New Rules of Marketing and PR.  Also, big shout out to my strategic communications professor at Ithaca College, Steve Seidman who supported my first blogging, social media efforts.  He blogs on Posters and Election Propaganda with interesting content and great visuals.

9. I really enjoy reading my friends’ blogs. One friend is from my writers’ group and posts about her life in this area, my adopted home for 20 years: LansingIthaca. Another friend lives in Jamaica and writes an elegant blog about fashion. It is deliberate and focuses on one aspect per post. http://sweetofstyle.wordpress.com/

10. WordPress.com allows me to write in an uninhibited way, sure I get criticisms but I get compliments too. The more I write, the more resilient I become and the more I learn. I have read quotes similar to this one by Taylor Swift, I agree with it:

I write songs to help me understand life a little more. I write songs to get past things that cause me pain. And I write songs because sometimes life makes more sense to me when it’s being sung in a chorus, and when I can write it in a verse.”
Taylor Swift, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=I+write+to+understand

11.  Perspective, for every positive about blogging, I do keep in mind that there are always better bloggers and more popular  social media artists out there.  One day when I was talking to a friend, he told me about someone who had over a million hits to her Parkour YouTube.
12.  I blog because it is fun and it gives me a venue for my writing and photography, something I really enjoy. Which as my first reader, Radames Perez, tells me is at the heart of all creative efforts.  He also bought me a book in 2004, way before my blogging career began, Midnight Disease, The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain by Alice Weaver Flaherty.  This is about hypergraphia and I think my husband’s diagnosis was correct.

Christmas/Holiday Headlines 2011

Christmas/Holiday Headlines 2011

so this is what happened this year:

1.  I made the best lemon cake for Easter.

2.  Radames expanded his pigeon collection to include flyers.

3.  We went to Cape Cod for vacation, again.

4 .We went to a sold out rock concert, well actually a blues guitar concert.       http://jbonamassa.com/2011/11

5.I turned 50 and no one, not my Mother, my Aunt, my doctor, or older friends told me that the padding on the bottoms of my feet would go:  Ouch.

6.  They tell us their out there, the wild pigs, but we still haven’t seen one.

7.  35 plus blog posts about Time Warner Cable/rural broadband and a meeting with our local head honcho;  still no build out from Time Warner .6 miles up the road.

8.  Three years of promises:  finally saw the New York skyline at night, thank you Radames.

9.  After more than a year, I saw  good friends in March:  one from Greece, one from Uruguay, and one from Sherburne, NY.

10.  Phoebe and Tazz went to find a new trail and we miss them so.




trail...early winter evening
School of Ornithology bird trail

What to write about

tonight I am attending my writing group for the first time in a month and I feel I should show up with something.  I keep putting off writing what I really want to write about.  Kind of like what gets between you and everything else you want to do.

The best I can think of is the scene last Wednesday night.  I skipped Writing Group to meet up with a friend from grad school as she had invited me to join her for what use to be called a hen party.  Basically a bunch of women getting together to chat and eat.  I knew only my friend but the other 4 women were easy to be around and I found we were sharing some laughs over life in general.  Toward the end of the evening, I was noting the host’s lovely kitten and cats…they were so clean and well-groomed they looked like part of the home decor.  It is at that point that I mentioned that my husband was building 2 new pigeon aviaries for his flyers.

“Flyers,” they looked quizzically.  “Don’t all pigeons fly?”

I then started to explain the whole pigeon thing.  The fancy names and breeds and show pigeons that my husband has been raising for years.  With each story, they started giggling louder and louder.  Seems they had not ventured into this pigeon world before.  One gal completely lost it when I told her about the beautiful brown and white satinettes and how the woman at the fair asked me to take good care of them.  Show pigeons I explained, this gal was laughing so hard:  “Do you put crowns on them? It sounds they are a rock band.”  Another lady asked about the flyers and I had to explain that there were the Budapesh flyers and the Bell Neck rollers and “don’t you know,” I added:  “the Bell Necks might not be in the best shape so that is why the third aviary was built.”  By this time all of us were laughing. 

They were laughing because I think in their mind they saw the ubiquitous street pigeon.  I was laughing because I realized that I had been indoctrinated into the pigeon cult.  I was actually the expert in the room and I sounded just like a pigeon person.  Those folks who hang out at the fair and on rural farms, raising their pigeons. 

So that is it, a little vignette about life in the country on an October night.  I’ve got to go, the group is starting soon.

pigeon home flyers
one of the pigeon homes made this fall