‘America Writes Home’

mailbox2America Writes Home is a website with a wonderful collection of some existing pre-1920s letters, giving a flavor of that time before iPhones and email.

They are indexed by state, for the most part. Really fun to poke around in. So many stories!

Do you have old letters? Have you thought about how to preserve them so others, now or in the future, can enjoy and learned from them too? There are suggestions at this website.

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I’m at Alltop.com

Look where I landed! 

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Online mogul Guy Kawasaki describes his alltop.com this way:

The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.

We do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. We group these collections — “aggregations” — into individual web pages. Then we display the five most recent headlines of the information sources as well as their first paragraph. Our topics run from adoption to zoology with photographyfoodscience,religioncelebrities and hundreds of other subjects along the way.

It’s really pretty cool. Look up any topic you’re interested in here. You’ll find tons of sites you didn’t know about — guaranteed. And if you look on the Hawai‘i page now, you’ll find me!

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Writer/Editorial Consultant

One of my specialties is that I write for businesses.

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Here’s what you’d find if you read my Copywriting page:

These days it’s especially important that your business stands out. That it gets noticed. How do you make that happen?

We work together and make sure your potential clients know your story.

When there are two comparable brands of the same product available, which one do people buy? They buy from the company whose name they remember. The company they know something about.

• The one whose products win awards.

• The one whose president builds Habitat for Humanity homes on weekends.

• The one whose product came about because Grandma won a ribbon at the County Fair when she was a girl.

Let’s tell your story – in whatever way makes sense for your particular business. I can help you figure that out.

As a writer and editorial consultant, I help with your written communications.

I work with some clients occasionally, as needed for a specific project, and others on an ongoing basis. My clients set the pace: Some know exactly what they want. With others, we brainstorm together to find the right mix of keeping their company name out there, showing their products in the best light and catching people’s attention.

Perhaps you haven’t been sending out press releases to announce new happenings with your products, your industry and your employees, and consequently your company name isn’t in the forefront of people’s minds as it could be. I can help you clarify your message, figure out what needs to be written, as well as when and how, and get it done.

Maybe you want to resurrect or start up a newsletter in order to be in better touch with your clients. I can help with that. Do you need:

·      Fresher website copy?

·      A letter to go out to your customers/clients?

·      A media kit?

·      An employee manual?

·      A blog?

May I ghostwrite a newspaper or trade magazine article for you and make sure it gets into the right editor’s hands?

·      Need help crafting a speech?

·      What about a brochure or some other written material?

Because I’ve been doing this for some years now, I have lots of ideas and a good sense of what works and how to do it.

In addition, one of my strengths is taking information and asking the right questions until the details and especially the significance – the importance – are clear to everybody else, too.

It means you may have to answer a lot of questions at first, but I am good at pinpointing the questions that need to be asked and won’t waste your time. And as I get to know your company better over time, our work together will become even more powerful.

One of my long-time clients hired me as a result of Honolulu magazine assigning me to write about his business. After that article appeared, he called me and said that in all the articles that had been written about his business over the years, no one had ever gotten his story just right like I did.

Yet all I did was listen. I didn’t assume which were the important aspects of his story; I listened to what he told me was important, and I shaped the article around that.

I don’t write about his business for magazines anymore; now I write about his business for him. We’ve been working together now for years.

If you could use help with your business’s written materials – and telling your stories clearly and effectively – I’d be happy to discuss how we might work together.

Please call me at 808 964-1494, or email me at leslie AT leslielang.com.

If you know of someone with a business that might need a writer, or your neighbor is a marketing person, or your sister-in-law is a decision maker in a small company, would you please pass on my info? I appreciate people spreading the word.

Connect me with someone needing a business writer/editor and I’ll get you in the next big movie. You know, if I can. Like, if pigs started flying and big movie producers started Twittering with me and stuff  like that.

But let people know about my business and I’d appreciate it, anyway.

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New York Times: News Without Newspapers

An article in tomorrow’s New York Times is titled ‘Hyperlocal’ Web Sites Deliver News Without Newspapers.

If your local newspaper shuts down, what will take the place of its coverage? Perhaps a package of information about your neighborhood, or even your block, assembled by a computer.

A number of Web start-up companies are creating so-called hyperlocal news sites that let people zoom in on what is happening closest to them, often without involving traditional journalists.

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It’s very much like what has sprung up over at FBI blogs, to which I belong. (And when I say “sprung up,” I mean “consciously created by forward-thinking Damon Tucker.”)

The FBI blogs site it not quite as hyperlocal (the article talks about areas as small as a block). By definition (“From Big Island”) we FBI bloggers are from around the whole island.

I think it’s really a terrific idea. I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say that I browse the site everyday and learn all sorts of things that aren’t in the local paper.

From the article:

But many hyperlocal entrepreneurs say they are counting on a proliferation of blogs and small local journalism start-ups to keep providing content.

“In many cities, the local blog scene is so rich and deep that even if a newspaper goes away, there would be still be plenty of stuff for us to publish,” said Mr. Holovaty of EveryBlock.

Sounds familar.

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Other People Named Leslie Lang

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I want to be clear that the person in the video is not me. I know somebody will miss that! It’s not. This is a post about someone else whose name is Leslie Lang.

The other day I wrote about a standup comic who lives in San Jose and has the same name as me, and then she saw the post and emailed me! 

And she sent me a link to her comedy act on YouTube, which is, indeed, funny. I enjoyed it.

I like her and we’ve been emailing back and forth and it’s WEIRD. I keep almost missing her emails in my box, first of all, because they just look like they’re copies of emails that I sent out. How weird is that to get emails from someone with the exact same name as you?

She’s making a website right now and told me she bought the domain name “leslielangisfunny.com,” which I like, because if someone Googles me and sees that, even if they eventually realize it’s not me, the idea will be there that I’m funny. I told her I’ll link to her on my leslielang.com site, and she said she’ll do the same.  

And then I had the idea that it would be fun to have a little section on my site where all I do is link to people name Leslie Lang. “For Leslie Lang, the stand-up comic in San Jose, click here.” “For Leslie Lang, the AP medical writer on the East Coast, click here.” Etc. It’s the least I could do, having nabbed the “leslielang.com” site and all.

So if any other Leslie Langs happen to end up here, please feel free to be introduce yourselves, so to speak, further confusing and astounding me.

By the way, I was talking about this and mentioned that the other Leslie Lang is starting her own website called “Leslie Lang is Funny,” and my five-year-old daughter said, “You are the Leslie Lang that is funny!”

My husband suggested that we could have a reunion of all the Leslie Langs, and I thought it would be really funny if we all wore nametags that read “Leslie Lang.” And all the husbands could have tags that said, “Mr. Leslie Lang.” And our little girl would wear one that said, “Leslie Lang’s daughter.”

She (Leslie Lang) also mentioned that she considered moving to Hawai‘i a couple years ago, and I wrote back that I had a small anxiety attack when I read that because I would like to be the Leslie Lang here. But then I told her that after I thought more about it, I realized that she too is about building up her name, for her comedy, and two people working on building name recognition FOR THE SAME NAME would be great!

Anyway, the whole thing is really strange but kind of fun. But strange.

But fun.

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