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Review: ‘Revolution’ Pilot

If you haven’t watched the pilot yet, I strongly suggest you do before reading on. You can watch for free here: http://www.nbc.com/revolution/video/pilot/1415378

The basic premise of Revolution follows one key theme: what would happen if all of our man-made electrical devices just stopped working? Cars, airplanes, lighting, even batteries are now completely useless, as something has disrupted electrical currents.

Revolution follows this idea opening with the “blackout” which takes place during the present, and we see how this sudden change immediately affects the world. The show fast-forwards 15 years to our main characters, who are embarking on a mission to save a family member from a ruthless militia. Along the way, we are shown hints to why the blackout happened and who knows about it, and the show teases us with flashbacks to the day the blackout happened a la “Lost.”

It’s an interesting mystery for sure, but what has people really rooting for the show is how it lends itself to spirited adventure with the reasonable implementation of muskets, swords, and crossbows. The action scenes are actually dynamic and fun to watch, making it a lot like Pirates of The Caribbean meets Fallout if that makes any sense.

That said, the pilot has its issues. Mainly the characters. I don’t really like Charlie, the female lead, as she seems like a pretty boring narrative device. Her main function is to bring the other characters together, but it’s not very exciting yet. I’ll give her more episodes, but I don’t like what I see yet. The other characters standing alone are much more well-conceived, especially Maggie and Miles. Maggie is a botanist that uses trickery to win her fights, although she doesn’t seem to fit in the cast ensemble just yet and doesn’t get much screen time.

Miles could be the show’s saving grace as the reluctant hero who bests an entire platoon of militia soldiers single-handed. Easily the best action scene you’ll see on TV these days.

Other characters don’t make much sense yet, such as Nate, the show’s villain yet hero who works for the militia and has a thing for Charlie. Aaron is a former Google employee who is nothing more than a comic relief who we’ll hopefully see come to his own as this group’s “Sokka.”

Oh and how could I leave out Giancarlo Esposito, who can only be described as Revolution’s own  Gus Fring. His performance was great, of course, but we really need to see him evolve beyond his usual sharp-tongued villainy.

Overall, the show has plenty of promise. Enough, at least, for you to get plugged in now and see where this goes. As long as the characters begin to find their rhythm amongst each other and the writing continues to catch us off guard (the second-to-last plot twist was very well-done), we could have an addicting (for a good reason) show on our hands.

Also, people are crying foul over supposed plot-holes surrounding how this world has been shaped after 15 years. All I can say is wait. I’m sure we’ll see valid reasons for why society has developed into what we see in the pilot, and I’m confident they can pull it off.

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That Moment When You Have Nothing

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Is the moment you realize you have everything…you need.

I cross the Howard Frankland Bridge every day, which is a bridge that connects Tampa Bay to Clearwater. Today I was going over all of the issues and problems I have ahead of me. Bills, challenges, jobs, and really just making sure my life is moving towards a goal that I won’t regret. Something that future me will thank me for.

I got to the point where I lamented over all of the tools and resources I didn’t have and how I could miss out on opportunities that I see others grasping for.

It was at that precise moment that I crossed the Howard Frankland Bridge. This is a several mile bridge over the ocean that is a spectacle to see in the morning. The water is reflected perfectly, and you are just barely above it. It was then that I realized how fortunate I am to be living in such a place. Not just Tampa Bay, but even being in America is a blessing I frequently forget.

Perhaps I won’t get everything that I want and maybe some of my goals won’t be attained. So what? I have everything I need, not at the least including my drive to thrive in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Image courtesy of tampabay.com

How Do You Know if Something is Truly Valuable?

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Not too long ago, I held something extremely valuable. For you it may be a person, job, hobby, pet, etc. Something happened out of my control and weeks later, it was no longer valuable to me. This is a strange phenomenon because I truly believed deep down that I fully cared about this, but now I feel nothing but a void. All it took was a couple of steps.

If something is truly valuable to me, that won’t happen so easily. This is because:

Value is as inherent as it is relative.

The more relative the value in someone or something, the less value they are capable of controlling over you.

This seems obvious, but causes mind blisters for me to grasp.

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A Different Take on Job Interviews

Most people will tell you what to wear, what time to show up, what to say, and how to shake their hand. All great advice, but here’s something I’ve picked up on. The best way to brand yourself is with stories.

Interviewers want to feel like they’re talking to a real person. Someone who is just reciting memorized words off a script comes off as unable to think on their feet. That’s why stories sell yourself as a person, not just as a candidate. They make you likable because the interviewer is learning more about you through something more relevant than small talk.

Example: an interviewer may ask you why you are applying for the job. An honest answer could be that you think the company has great values and you like the culture. That’s a good answer. Here’s a better one: well I was researching your company and I really wanted to find out what you were about. I liked what I saw, so I asked around. People spoke highly of you guys. In fact, one person said…

That story tells the interviewer many positive things about you, things that lots of similar blog posts beg you to apply. So, the next time you are on the hot seat, consider using honest storytelling to draw the interviewer into what makes you their ideal candidate.

 

When Tragedy Strikes

Don’t stop. I did, and I regret every minute of it. I let the hunger for success wane because something got in my way.

The people with real ambition and drive will only come back stronger when they lose everything. It’s like how you begin a story or role-playing game with everything, only to lose it all somewhat through. You then rise to the challenge, keep going, and return to a status far above what you achieved the first time around. While life may not be a virtual reality, the rules still apply to a larger, crucial, and far more rewarding reality.

Turn Your Phone Off

The more connected you are to your phone and the vast online world, the less you are connected to the even larger world around you.

Turn your phone off for a while. Go do an errand and leave the phone at home. You will be amazed at the sense of peace and freedom that comes along with going off the grid.

Now, if you’re really feeling adventurous, you may even want to go a day without your phone. Some would find this laughably easy while others (me) would find this almost insurmountable. Still, it is so worth the gratification knowing that there is more to your life than eyes without a face.

Top 10 Forms of Content Marketing

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Content Marketing has rapidly become our go-to method for branding media in an environment where people want their information free and easy to access. If your company isn’t using at least half of these resources or more to brand themselves, consider yourself either in the danger zone or close to it.

10. Microsites

Websites in general are the most common form of content marketing and are a given at this point. At the same time, microsites are just as important to your branding strategy. Mobile marketing thrives on microsites and gives QR codes a reason to exist. Just make sure the microsite differentiates itself from the home site and gives consumers a reason (incentive) to visit it.

9. White Papers

The beauty of white papers is that they are known to be one of the most informative ways for an interested prospect to learn more about you. When I see a white paper with a clear focus in something I’m interested in, I am almost guaranteed to read the entire thing. The simplicity, credibility, and accessibility of white papers make them essential for any business.

8. Webinars

Although they are not for everyone, webinars are fantastic tools for reaching a wide audience very quickly and keeping those prospects. They allow real-time feedback that can still be monitored and controlled, and webinars are ultimately far less costly than conferences while delivering even more effective results and engagement.

7. Podcasts

People love podcasts and RSS feeds for the same reason they love television. Keeping up with an episodic series of interesting content is addicting and satisfying. Creating a quality podcast with a loyal following is one of the best ways to network with people who are the most likely to do business with you.

6. Email

When handled incorrectly, email and newsletters become spam and do a lot of damage (spamage?). The key is to remember that the purpose of email is to share and promote, not enforce. When handled correctly, email newsletters become your trump card for generating reaches and leads for your company.

5. E-books

Basically, an E-book is just a longer version of a white paper. They both set out to do the same thing (inform under the pretense of providing a solution to your problem), but your decision between the two comes down to how much information you are looking to disseminate.

4. Infographics

Most people are visual, which means that your marketing strategy hinges on being just as aesthetic as it is informative. The truth is that infographics end up being one of the most persuasive forms of content marketing just because people are more likely to read through the whole thing and retain more of the information.

3. Video

People don’t want to read paragraphs of text when they can just watch a video that is short, punchy, and to the point. Like infographics, people are more likely to remember more information from video, and high-quality videos lend an enormous amount of credibility to your brand, ensuring trust in what your company can deliver.

2. Q&A Sites

The reason these sites are becoming more popular is because they are essentially a forum for problem solving. Marketers are realizing that they can find interested prospects very easily just by networking on popular sites such as Quora and LinkedIn. Before you begin answering those industry questions, however, make sure you have the sales pitch needed to handle the likely competition.

1. Blogs

Blogs lend a personal touch to an otherwise impersonal slew of communications your company has with its prospects. Unlike Q&A sites, your company’s blog is indirect, in that it is attracting people to your site for content rather than a sales pitch. This makes your company stand out when it comes time for that person to look for the service you’re providing, and bolsters one of the largest audiences you can accumulate online.

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Image courtesy of contentmarketingtoday.com

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