Shut Up About ‘Resolutioners’

Shut Up About ‘Resolutioners’

It’s Dec. 28, which means it’s time to start brainstorming New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t think I need to tell you that most people are trying to lose some weight this year. It’s a shared goal for most Americans.

You know what 2017 would be even better without? Those who complain about “resolutioners” clogging up the gym, then smugly joking that they’ll only be there for a week or two.

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The last knuckleballer to pitch for every AL team

12279721586_4fa69ca555_bWith R.A. Dickey being the only knuckleballer to likely have a spot in his team’s rotation for 2014, it kinda made me wonder when the last time each team had a knuckleballer pitch for them. Kinda surprised that, from what I could find, the Yankees haven’t had a true knuckleball pitcher since Joe Niekro. Also, R.A. Dickey tends to get around.

AL West:

  • Oakland — Steve Sparks (2003)
  • Anaheim — Steve Sparks (1998-99)
  • Texas — R.A. Dickey (2003-06)
  • Houston — Jared Fernandez (2003-04)
  • Seattle — R.A. Dickey (2008)

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Tips for comedians on Facebook pages

It seems like almost weekly, I’m getting an invite from a comedian to like their Facebook page… which is great!

And then I like the page, only to find out that the comedian either never uses it or uses it to post anything that crosses their mind (that’s what Twitter is for). In my day job, I work for a social media company and I’m the co-editor of a blog focused on Facebook. I’ve written about companies who use Facebook pages to grow their business. I’m not saying I’m perfect or that I’ll make you famous or Oprah rich, but I’d love to help.

  • Think of Facebook as your own webpage

It’s OK if you don’t know HTML or have the change to spring for someone to design/manage a website. You’ve got Facebook. If you want to use your Facebook page to make it easier for promoters, make sure to have your name (or My Name Comedy, if you want), as well as a bio of yourself (with your location) and some accomplishments.

Include your email address, if you wish, so promoters/bookers have some way to reach you.

Additionally, use the photos feature to upload high-quality headshots/comedy action shots. If you worry that Facebook photos aren’t high-quality enough, upload some photos to a free photo management site like Flickr and link to this gallery in your bio. This way, if a promoter wants to get more information or a headshot for their flier, it’s easily there. Make sure they know about your page and don’t have to do a lot of work to find info or pictures.

Also, find a good cover image. It can be you on stage, a microphone, or whatever you feel represents you. Cover image dimensions: 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. Make sure it’s not pixellated.

  • Don’t post everything you think is funny

Even though you’ve begged friends, family, and randoms in the Tenderloin to like your page, not all of your fans will see your post. Facebook has this funny little algorithm (many call it EdgeRank… you can do some more research on this, if you want) that sorts the news feed based on what people will engage with (like, comment or share). Understand that even though you post something to your Facebook page, not everyone will see it. However, the more people you get to like, comment on or share your posts, the greater chances will be that your fans will see more posts. You can pay a few bucks to promote your posts if you want, so more people see, but it’s not mandatory.

If you’re posting 15 times a day, odds are, at least one person is clicking “hide.” This hurts your page. Try to moderate your posting to a reasonable amount.

  • You can create events through your page

If you want to promote a big event or showcase that you’re in, create an event through your Facebook page, and invite people that way. Not only does this build awareness of your page, but it yields results a little bit better than just posting “Hey, I’ve got a show tonight at Cobb’s! Message me for a free ticket!”

If you want to place extra importance on post, keeping it at the top of your page, go to the top right corner of it (while you’re on the admin page), click the pencil, then click “pin to top.” Use this when you want to highlight something like a big show or an announcement.

You can also use other services such as LaffQ (or just link to your LaffQ page) to keep fans updated on your appearances.

  • Don’t post the same things as your personal profile

If you have a Facebook page, invite your entire friends list to like it, and then just post the same exact things … what is the point to me liking your page? Use the page to post witty one-liners, announcements of shows (as well as thanks to promoters/bookers and shout-outs to fellow comics), and questions for fans to get people liking, commenting and sharing.

Facebook is a pretty powerful utility for comedians, but it’s not perfect. These are just some tips for comics to help them use a Facebook page for success.

On leaving print journalism

On leaving print journalism

Ever since I was 15, there was only one thing I ever wanted to do: be a reporter. I remember sitting in career day in high school, and the speaker for journalism was Neil Hayes, a sports columnist from the Contra Costa Times. He talked about flying back and forth between Anaheim and San Francisco while covering the World Series.

I was hooked.

I wanted that job and started to get more serious about writing for the school paper.

(cross-posted at http://newshoundsreinvented.wordpress.com/stories/)

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On Tim Wakefield and the knuckleball

I know, I couldn't bring myself to upload a photo of him in Boston. I'm that petty.

I remember the first time I became aware of the knuckleball.

I was playing All-Star Baseball 99 on the N64. I didn’t really know much about baseball, but I liked the Oakland A’s because they were the local team. And I already pretty much knew I’d never be able to root for Barry Bonds.

One of Oakland’s best starting pitchers in that game was Tom Candiotti. His out pitch? Something called the knuckleball.

Intrigued, I pitched with him and watched as the knuckleball darted, danced, dipped and frustrated my friend Stuart or Lance. It was near impossible to actually control and I was pleasantly surprised when one of Candiotti’s knuckleballs landed in the strike zone, at around 65 mph.

It’s been said that the knuckleball is the everyman’s revenge. It doesn’t require a 6’6″ frame, an arm like a cannon or  laser precision. It just takes patience and hope.

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On weight loss

There’s no magic pill.

There’s no secret.

There’s no special food.

There’s no trick.

There’s no “easy way.”

As many times as I’ve tried to find other ways, I’ve discovered there is one surefire way to lose weight. It’s damn simple, but one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It just doesn’t fit into an advertising jingle: exercise more and stop eating junk food.

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