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Corporate Storytelling as a Brand Journalist

In General, Opinion by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

About two years ago, I started a job at Intel as a Brand Journalist. But, the position in general is not one that is widely known or used within corporations. There are various offshoots of it like Content Marketer, Digital Storyteller and even the Embedded Journalist (which is probably the closest approximation to Brand Journalist). So what is a Brand Journalist exactly?

Newspaper Journalists of the 1900's - brand journalist

First, you need to break it into two words and understand those definitions. “Brand” as defined by Webster is: “a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name.” Webster defines “journalist” as: “a person engaged in journalism; especially : a writer or editor for a news medium.” Both of these are a bit vague in my mind and don’t supply enough context.

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NETGEAR Gear Running my Net – Two NETGEAR 802.11 AC WiFi Routers: R8000 & R7500

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Opinion, Review, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

This past weekend at a dinner party, I was asked a question about Wi-Fi routers. Actually quite a few questions. The most obvious one was, what Wi-Fi router do you recommend. And why. That’s a loaded question. And it really depends on the type of features you want to be able to control, how easy it is to configure a router and what type of devices you want to connect. In my current network setup, I have a NETGEAR R8000, otherwise known as the Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band Wi-Fi router as my primary networking device. But perhaps it makes sense to explain more about my home networking environment first.

HTD NETGEAR 802.11 AC WiFi routers - side by side

   NETGEAR Badge
Disclaimer: I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received these products in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion and review.

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How To Fix “Information Store Cannot Be Opened” on Outlook, Windows 10 & iCloud

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, How To, Microsoft, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

There is nothing better than upgrading your computer to the latest and greatest operating system. Windows 10 is quite a nice refresh to PCs running Windows 7 or 8 and so when Microsoft announced the free upgrade, I quickly upgraded all of the PCs in my household. The upgrade process went relatively well. I did have to force some upgrades to happen ahead of cycle and do a manual install of Windows 10, but that’s another story. And everything seemed to be working great…until my wife couldn’t access the shared family calendar we had set up in iCloud and in Outlook 2013. Suddenly, kids were missing appointments, outings were being forgotten about, and life as we knew it became completely chaotic.

How To Fix “Information Store Cannot Be Opened” on Outlook, Windows 10 & iCloud - HighTechDad

Well, I’m exaggerating a bit. She was definitely frustrated. When she tried to access the shared iCloud calendar within Microsoft Outlook 2013, she received the following error:Read More

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Content Creation & Social Media Advice: Don’t Force It!

In General, Opinion, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

One of the most difficult things being a content producer is, duh, producing content. Whether you are under a deadline, asked to write about something that you aren’t passionate about, or your content creation engine is simply stale, getting inspiration to write about something…anything…can be like getting blood from a stone. Content writing should be inspired, otherwise you risk coming across as forcing your writing. And your audience is savvy to this.

Content Creation & Social Media Advice: Don't Force It! Blood from a stone

Content, whether in the form of writing, photos, videos, or what-have-you, is what fuels social media. Social media allows for content sharing, audience development and engagement, discussion, feedback (even negatively), and subsequent idea generation. Content cannot exist without this. But if your content is not compelling, doesn’t tell a story, lacks substance or is simply boring to your audience, you might want to avoid sharing it, or at least, re-work it.

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10 Apple Watch Tips You Might Not Know About But Probably Should

In Apple, Application, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, HTD Tech Tip, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

If you have an Apple Watch, and you are like me, you have probably pressed every possible physical and virtual button and played with Force Touch to the point where you know each and every secret and consider yourself an Apple Watch expert. Well, here are a few Apple Watch Tips that you might not know about but probably should as they are pretty darn useful.

Apple Watch Tips - Apple Watch

While I personally didn’t know about these tricks (and I tend NOT to read user manuals unless I haven’t received a device or gadget and I want to experience it “virtually”), there is a possibility that you might know about these. Regardless, I cherry-picked some of the best ones that I found and put them here.Read More

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How to Find and Fix a Leak in a Pool (Video)

In Fix It, General, How To, Video by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

If you own a pool, you have a lot of responsibilities. You need to ensure that it is safe. You need to make sure that it stays clean and doesn’t turn green. But most importantly, you need to make sure it doesn’t have any leaks, especially if you live in drought-stricken California. It turns out, I had a pool leak and I was losing water daily. I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to a company to find the pool leak. So I decided to figure out how to do it myself, all for about $40.

Pool crack - find and fix a leak in a pool

I have a fairly large, in-ground pool. It’s not heated (some day, I’m going to install solar heating for it and do a DIY video and article). I have always noticed a crack in the shallow end of the pool but I hadn’t noticed that recently it had expanded. I had suspected that it might be leaking there but I didn’t seem to be losing that much water – I had pretty much attributed it to evaporation. But this summer it was different. I was having to fill up our pool 2-3 times a week compared to 1-2 times every couple of weeks. There was definitely something wrong. And, because we live in California and have water rationing in place (and out lawns are all dead as a result), I decided I need to figure out how to patch the leak quickly and inexpensively.

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“Your Call is Important to Us” – Is It? Really? #HoldNoMore

In General, Opinion, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan

Back in 2009, I wrote an article called “The Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Service in a Social Media Age.” In it I outlined some ideas, complaints and thoughts about how Customer Service should be reworked to better handle concerns, complaints and feedback from consumers. Almost 6 years to the day, things HAVE actually changed. Companies have adopted Social Media as a critical form of customer communication. But there is one thing that HASN’T changed, and it’s just as bad, if not worse than before…being PLACED ON HOLD!

HTD On Hold

It’s pretty amazing, actually, that with all of the technology and messaging apps available, that we still get stuck in push-button phone trees, trying to navigate to speak to an actual person. For me, I would rather spend hours reading through technical support documentation, for example, trying to figure out whatever solution is available for me to try than wait on hold for a live person to help me…or just frustrate me.

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The Chicken or the Egg – Content or Design

In General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Opinion by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Recently, I have had a couple of interesting conversations with some friends who are either interested in redesigning their website or have clients who are doing the same. And, with the trend of flashy and feature-rich WordPress themes popping up left and right, it seems that many people are getting distracted by these “bright and shiny” options to help revitalize their websites or create a new, rich experience online. But, in my opinion, these themes can be distractions on what should be the core focus on any site, the content. So which should come first? The content or design?

Lipstick on a Pig

(image source:

Some of the “hot” new design trends are capturing attention. For example, it is quite easy to get caught up in the “responsive” design of new themes. Actually, it’s quite a good feature to have if you are thinking about reworking your website. Responsive means that your site will scale, hopefully elegantly, to different sized screens and devices. Google search algorithms now look closely at if a site is “mobile friendly” or not and responsive design helps with that check-box. But then come things like parallax, where an image seems to magically stick in the background of a page while the content on top of it scrolls by. It’s fancy, it’s glitzy, it’s eye-catching. And some of the newer themes available for purchase have gobs of elaborate interactive designs, well worth the price of the themes.

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