Learn to e-mail better

How well do you e-mail?

A few weeks ago I came across a simple, intuitive but worthwhile post on Seth Godin’s blog – an e-mail checklist.

I send lots of e-mails. In searching for a new job, in looking for interviews, in sending pitches for freelance stories.

So, I am immediately incorporating a few of Godin’s points into my style and thought they might help you, too – regardless of profession. I have some thoughts myself.

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Freelance: Retired poet-priest in Irish Echo

My story on Philadelphia priest John McNamee in the Irish Echo on Oct. 8, 2008.

My story on Philadelphia priest John McNamee in the Irish Echo on Oct. 8, 2008.

This story appeared in the Oct. 8, 2008 edition of the Irish Echo, the country’s oldest Irish American newspaper.

PHILADELPHIA – One of the most celebrated Irish Catholic priests in the country has returned home.

After nearly 30 years serving his native Philadelphia archdiocese, author and poet John McNamee retired in June and retreated for six weeks to a friend’s house in Ireland. He returned home last week [Aug 30] and now is ready to decide what will be the next stage of his storied life. What that will entail even he doesn’t yet know.

“I am not going to put an agenda on myself,” McNamee, 75, said. After a lifetime wearing a priest’s collar, he walks a decidedly more secular path than the religious one he has come to know.

“I am anxious to breach those two worlds as best as I can,” he told the Irish Echo in a phone interview.

If the success of his writing career is any indication, he will.

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I heart John Baer: Move Pennsylvania Society weekend from NYC to Philly

Ed Rendell and others at 2006 Pennsylvania Society dinner in New York City.

Ed Rendell and others at 2006 Pennsylvania Society dinner in New York City.

One of the largest and, admittedly, one of the many embarrassments of old Philadelphia is that the annual Pennsylvania Society dinner is held in midtown Manhattan.

It seems like a suggestion that Pennsylvania’s largest city – the city of firsts, the workshop of the world, the first great city of the United States – isn’t good enough. Or as Fred Anton, head of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, told eminent Daily News columnist John Baer, Philly isn’t “exotic” enough.  His recent most column lambasted the 109-year-old celebration:

Cancel next month’s Pennsylvania Society weekend in New York City, or curtail it, or work on moving it to its home state.

In the worst economy since the Great Depression, with 1.2 million jobs lost this year, with state unemployment at 5.7 percent, the highest rate since right after Gov. Rendell took office in ’03, with the city facing job cuts and a $1 billion shortfall, it just strikes me as a tad unseemly to, you know, party hearty. [Source]

But, this deal is even more twisted than even Baer acknowledges, though I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I was once in a group photo with him.

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Why this college graduate is choosing to stay in Philadelphia: should a graduate move on?

Standing on the famed steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in October 2005.

Standing on the famed steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in October 2005.

I was given an open invitation for an entry level job writing copy for CNN.com in Atlanta. The pay was bad, and the reporting probably rudimentary, but it was a good name, a position with a clear line of succession and a straight path to New York or Los Angeles – the media markets in which professors and professionals tell young journalists we want to be. There the money is good and the reporting is top-level.

Instead, I am trying to get a job in Philadelphia – a city that has hated itself for at least the last half-century. Let me tell you why.

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Thoughts on City Paper cover story on Philly porn star

Photo by Michael T. Regan for CityPaper

Photo by Michael T. Regan for CityPaper

So turns out one of today’s biggest, brightest and youngest upcoming porn stars lives in South Philadelphia.

And really, where else could Stoya live.

Philadelphia City Paper devoted its latest cover story to her. Nearly 5,000 words, friends. Writer Matt Stroud is getting beaten up a bit in the blogosphere and on the story comments – though some are complimentary – and there’s been some buzz around it, so I gave it a read, though I’m currently out of Philly.

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Philadelphia, I need a place to live

My former home in Philadelphia on the 3300-block of North Park Avenue.

My former home in Philadelphia on the 3300-block of North Park Avenue.

I am moving to Philadelphia.

Back to Philadelphia. So, I am looking for a home. Another home.

For two years, I lived on the bottom floor of a row home in the 3300-block of North Park Avenue in the Lower Tioga neighborhood of North Philadelphia.

I walked to the Allegheny stop on the Broad Street line. I had a 15-minute bicycle ride to Center City. I had a big bed, a tall ceiling and a full kitchen. I never paid more than $400, utilities included. I didn’t pay for water.

That’s not happening again. I’m just trying to remind myself I was spoiled and now that I am a big, old, adult what I need in a home has changed somewhat.

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WDSTL Highlights: professional merit from backpacking Europe

Sean Blanda (left) and I at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on Oct. 12, 2008.

Sean Blanda (left) and me at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on Oct. 12, 2008.

I’ve been backpacking Europe.

I returned last week and have been getting out from underneath the transition since then.

Though this is a blog on being a young journalist housed on my professional site, I can’t help but share some of the blogging and podcasting I did on WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

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Your life as a press release

Last month I posted about my fulfilling internship with the Philadelphia Business Journal from the spring. Then I offered advice about attracting attention to your press releases.

I got some great clips there and learned more about newsroom dynamics, but I also got a taste of nine to five life. Business reporting didn’t get me out of the office much, and most often I was pouring over hundreds of those press releases and choosing one each week to profile.

I remember thinking then and came about it again. Is my life worth profiling, chosen by some idiot 22-year-old intern?

I’m scared of the answer.

Photo from UtahWebServices.

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Young, new media writer and journalist looking for Philadelphia accommodations: a cover letter

wil-write-for-health-insurance-wink

Somebody hire me.

I have returned from more than a month of backpacking Europe and travel podcasting at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

Now I am excited to put all I have learned to work in one of the world’s great cities. So, here’s my idealistic plea.

I want challenging work in Philadelphia; work that requires me to write about, learn and explore this city and the people living in it. I want to live in it too, riding my bicycle and SEPTA and eating water ice the whole while. Oh, and let’s get one of those 44 million uninsured Americans on the right path.

See my resume here; check my portfolio.

If you know of something, contact me. Even if you just have a suggestion or some advice, or if your grandmother’s neighbor once freelanced for TV Guide. While I have applied for a few opportunities, believe me, I am open to others.

Want to know more read on.

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