This is a quick story about learning something new

Last week I completed my Advanced Social Media Strategy Certification, a program developed by the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and Hootsuite. I don’t think someone can ever be an “expert” at social media – it just grows too fast – but credentials like this one are extremely valuable to professionals looking to understand the complexity of social business and their strategic approach to social media.

For me, this is a career and personal growth achievement. The ASMS certification is the first of two certifications I started working on this year, and I’m already looking around for my next learning experience. You have to find ways to update your personal playbook, and that goes for anyone in any business. So, if you’re plotting out your 2016 resolutions, I strongly encourage you to seek out these kinds of opportunities – training, certifications, degree programs, etc. It doesn’t even have to be work related, just resolve to learn something new.

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The ASMS credential.

Why I love the ‘Star Trek’ streaming announcement

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.12.39 PMWill Star Trek do for CBS what House of Cards did for Netflix?

While I am curious to see what kind of Trek show eventually debuts on CBS in 2017, I’m more interested in seeing its impact on the network’s budding digital platform. Following this morning’s announcement that the new series was being developed for the streaming service, I tweeted that other networks should take notice. I’m sure they have, and local affiliates are taking notice too, because the day will come when all of the best network programming is only available through streaming.

Despite this whiny New York Post article’s claim that Trek is being relegated to a “second tier” platform, CBS knows exactly what it’s doing. This is just the next step in the company’s plan since launching All Access last year with a $5.99 per month subscription, which includes its own shows and content from local affiliates. The network is putting itself in a position in which it will no longer need the affiliates or cable companies to carry its programming. I’ve previously written that to combat this, affiliate companies need to keep developing their own original programming, or at least invest in digital media (Scripps acquiring podcaster Midroll is a great example of the latter).

That day may be far off into the future, but you can bet it’s on the mind of CEO Les Moonves, who hinted last year that the company was planning to produce digital-only programming. There’s even been talk of putting the NFL on All Access, which, pardon the expression, would be the ultimate game-changer. Star Trek is one thing, but you know how people go crazy for the football.

For now, Star Trek is the killer app that CBS hopes will get more people to sign up for All Access, just as House of Cards gave people a reason to subscribe to Netflix streaming (like the DVD business, the broadcast model isn’t what it used to be). Targeting the Trek audience is also a smart move; they are online, they are technophiles and early adopters, and they are dedicated to the franchise – they’ll pay the $6 to see a new series.

Even if you could care less about CBS programming, you have to salute the company for embracing the present – I’m not even going to say the future, digital is the now. All Access is not a second-tier platform, it’s the kind of service that every media company should have, especially the local affiliates, who risk someday losing out on quality programming that is streamed from someone else’s app.

Halloween comes early!

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This has been an outstanding year for Now Playing Podcast, and it just keeps getting better. Today we announced that Halloween director John Carpenter will pen the foreword to Now Playing’s Kickstarter-funded book, “Underrated Movies We Recommend.”

The Kickstarter project was a massive success earlier this year, and for months the hosts of the show have been watching movies and writing nonstop. Right now the book is on target to ship in the second quarter of 2016, and fans can pre-order their copies at the Now Playing website.

Here’s a link to the news release announcing Carpenter’s involvement with the project.

You’ve got a job offer, now what?

This is the fourth article I’ve written in a loosely connected series about taking a new career path, the questions you should ask yourself, and how to avoid making mistakes along the way. This latest article is about what to do after you’ve received a job offer. Employers will anticipate that you’ll need 24-48 hours to discuss the offer with your family, and in that time there are some items you’ll want to check off your list.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone. If you’re offered the job you want at the salary you want and everything seems lined up perfectly, maybe you don’t need 24-48 hours. But sometimes you don’t want to take a job just for the money, or you might end up turning down the offer.

I got some advice from an expert on Ashford University’s Career and Alumni Services team, and you can read it on Forward Thinking.

The Final Countdown

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I screened Halloween III: Season of the Witch for the first time (this month) last night, and I’m gearing up for the home stretch of horror movies all the way to Halloween. Also last night, I had a great chat with some Now Playing Podcast fans as we ran down the list of movies we’re trying to fit in before the end of the month. I was reminded that I still need to squeeze in showings of Night of the Creeps and Christine.

Another thing that I need to squeeze in (and you should too) is Now Playing Podcast’s Halloween Retrospective Series. This is the series that introduced me to the show in 2011, and four years later I’m so thrilled to be a supporter and contributor. If you’re a fan, this is the day to cue up that retrospective – nine movies, nine shows – if you want to hear one a day, ending on All Hallows Eve.

It’s the final countdown! (I just like saying that)

How to tell if this is the right job for you

Here is the third article I did in a series about taking a new path in your career. Sometimes when we’re searching for something new, we can get a little desperate or anxious, and want to jump at the first thing that comes along, because we don’t know if there’s anything better out there.

Other times you may be motivated by money, and depending on your situation you may be inclined to take the best offer on the table. That can work out, sure, but you want to know what you’re getting into. Company culture is just as critical as salary. This article is about getting the complete picture, beyond the interview, the red flags to look for, and how to know that this is the right job for you.

Read the story on Ashford University’s Forward Thinking blog.

Changing jobs often doesn’t have to be a bad thing

Here’s the second blog from a series on leaving your career in search of something new. In some industries — take broadcasting, for example — people are expected to move around a lot as they search for a bigger opportunity. But not all industries are like that, so I asked the Career Services team how someone can avoid the “job hopper” label when applying for a new position.

How to Combat the Job Hopper Stereotype