The Story Biz Blog
Techie Tools for the Teller
September 5, 2008
Hurricane Gustav blew in and out of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, leaving an aftermath of destruction in his path. Throughout my family's evacuation, I relied heavily on technology to keep people apprised of our situation. The tools I used are also great business boosters. Here are some cool "techie tools" you can look into to power your productivity.
is a wonderful service. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that revolves around 4 words: "What are you doing?" You answer in 140 characters or less. Other "twitterers" can follow you and vice versa. You can follow other "twitterers" you are interested in.
For me, Twitter worked like a live news feed, providing up-to-the-minute information on my website, letting people know how I fared during Hurricane Gustav (I am, as of this moment, still displaced with no power and limited sewerage at home). I was also able to follow local news Twitters as well as CNN, hearing breaking news as it happened.
If you have a fan base, they may want to follow you on Twitter. Joining is easy and it's free. Other Professional Storytellers on Twitter: Dale Jarvis, Sean Buvala, Priscilla Howe, and the Activated Storytellers (I'm sure there are more). My Twitter name is Storyconnection.
I am able to Twitter by cell phone with a text message. During my evacuation, I Twittered my family's nearly 17-hour journey from New Orleans to Birmingham, Alabama. You can use Twitter to make announcements (upcoming shows, DVD releases, book publications, CD releases, etc.). If you have a fan base, Twitter is a great way of informing your fans about your travels and tales.
Adding Twitter to your website can also help increase visitors. (My webmaster did this for me as I am html-handicapped.) It keeps your site fresh, with live news updates about your career.
is another great service. Jott turns your voice into text messages. For example, you are driving and want to text someone. If they are also a member of Jott, you can call Jott and record a voice message, which will then be translated into a text message and sent to the recipient of your choice. You can also Jott to Twitter. Note: The translation is only as good as the clarity and enunciation of your voice. Sometimes, Jott can mistranslate. When I ran over a dead skunk, Jott reported that I ran over a "dead gunk." LOL Jott is great for leaving short messages and hands-free texting (especially while driving).
is another handy service. If you subscribe to any other social networks (FaceBook, MySpace, Plaxo, LinkedIn, High5, Twitter, etc.), Ping connects all your social networks. Unfortunately, Ning (Professional Storyteller) is not yet included. With Ping, you post one update and all your included networks are simultaneously updated. For instance, I can Ping "Still waiting to return home. No power and limited sewerage available" and Ping will post it to ALL my social networks. No more updating each one individually! Too cool.
Ping also has a mobile app available so that you can use it from your cell phone, provided you have web service on your phone. I love Ping. Ping is brand new and I was turned on to the service by Professional Storyteller Extraordinaire, Rachel Hedman
. Thank you times a billion, Rachel!!
I highly recommend looking into these services, especially if you are a touring teller and active in social networks on the web. You can expand your fan base, send vital messages, and manage your social networks simply and quickly. Twitter, Jott, Ping!
Best wishes for Story Biz Success!
Dianne de Las Casas
Author of The Story Biz Handbook: How to Manage Your Storytelling Career from the Desk to the Stage
Founder of Professional Storyteller