Category Archives: blog

Faster Than a Taco Bell Pitt Stop: My Day As A Juror

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may recall me wining about being called up for jury duty. Before the anti-American hate email and Twitter messages begin flooding in, let me just say: I support America and the criminal justice process.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, I can tell you about My Day As A Juror. Given all the hype surrounding the Casey Anthony trial, you may be expecting to hear about the courtroom stunts puled by attonreys on both sides of the aisle, or the gridlock that the jury found itself in during deliberations. Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but if you’ve ever served on jury duty — you know 12 Angry Men it is not.

In fact, My Day As a Juror only lasted about 15 minutes, before I was excused. So, this article could be more properly titled, My Day Getting Out of Jury Duty. As you can imagine, prior to my report day, I searched what I believe to be the entire website for the “Excused from Jury Duty” form. And turned up nothing. So, I reported at 10:15am for the opening remarks and screening process. Although the forms I searched for I couldn’t locate on the site, I did find a lot of information about inexpensive parking and the jury duty process– which was helpful.

When I arrived, there were about 45 other people waiting to do their civic duty as well. After receiving my juror pass, I was instructed to complete a few forms. No biggie — I am of course completing forms and searching for that one coveted document, “Excused from Jury Duty.” Again nothing.

Around 10:45am, what I can only identify as a “jury duty morale booster specialist” came out and got to work warming up the crowd. To the credit of Franklin County, jurors do have access to wireless internet, computer terminals, a fridge for packed lunches, as well as hot and cold beverages. All of that of course is designed as additional compensation for the meager $20/day (of which $5 goes towards parking) jurors are provided for a minimum 2 weeks of jury duty.

What!?! You’re kidding I thought. You’re really only compensating people $20/day, 3 weeks following your service, and parking is part of that — I gotta figure out how to get out of here for real, I thought.

As Mr. Jury Duty Moral Booster is working the crowd, he’s fielding questions from people about lunch, how far into the afternoon people can expect to be there, trials, and wireless internet access. I thought to myself, “Am I the only jury duty dodger in the bunch? I guess I know what question I have to ask?” And then it comes out: “How do I get excused from jury duty?”

His pace of usual question answering is interrupted. Mr. Jury Duty Moral Booster — noticiably annoyed, takes a deep breath and stammers a reply, “well…why? What’s your issue?” What’s “my issue?” Is this a trick question, I wonder — I have plenty of issues, but in this moment — I recognize my chance.

So I give ’em everything I’ve got, while keeping in mind, the childcare excuse didn’t go very far so child as strategic pawn is out. I say, “I’m self-employed and a member of the press.” Although member of the press falls flat — which I anticipated would be a better get out of jail free card, self-employed turns out to be a winner!

Approximately 15 or 20 minutes after my arrival for jury duty, I was excused. Obviously, I’m not advocating that you dodge jury duty like I did, but with the threat of only making $20/day for 2 full weeks as a juror was enough to send me running. But in the event you find yourself starring down the barrel of jury duty — if you’re self employed, that’s a legitimate excuse to use — and it works.

What jury duty stories do you have to tell? Leave them in the comments section below and come back next week to read about My Day As A Market Research Subject!


Posted by on July 19, 2011 in blog, communication


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I like my blog shaken, not stirred

Hi there loyal and new readers of Erika Pryor At Large. I have to admit, I’ve been a bit MIA for the past few weeks. Not because I don’t love to bring you new and exciting things, but rather I was experiencing some growing pains.

More specifically, I’ve found myself wanting to write about a range of topics, but feeling like I couldn’t do it on my blog.Then I thought, what the hell is the point of  having a blog, if you don’t create content about what you are motivated. And I found no better time than Independence Day to make this declaration.

I’m skaking things up here at Erika Pryor At Large. I’m talking about more topics related to career and work, and of course there will be social media and web tech stuff. As an added bonus, I want to start providing Digital 411 program notes, that include websites, stories, and other general information we discuss during the course of the program.

So, what do you think is the first new thing you’re rolling out, you ask? I’m so glad you’ve asked. It’s a series called: My Day As A …

Here’s a little background. If you’ve ever worked as (or known someone that was) a consultant, freelancer, entrepreneur or small business owner, you know that no day is really like the one before, or the one coming next. For me, this is what a typical week my include among other things:

Monday I play the role of “marketing therapist,” for a client listening attentively to their difficulties managing the 10 different hats they are charged to wear, while also helping my client develop an action plan to get things done.

Tuesday, I’m getting close to an article submission deadline, so I’m finishing up the research and writing of blog and website articles.

Wednesday I find myself  working with a client to prepare them for their media interview and photo shoot. I’m also working with their team on our regional campaign launch.

Thursday I’m working on developing the Digital 411 program schedule and getting guest co-hosts lined up for the next weeks and months.

By the time Friday rolls around, I’m scheduled to do some gurrella marketing at a local festival. Followed up by spending Saturday at Port Columbus doing market research for a client.

That’s this week — but can’t say next week will look anything like this one.

And for me, that’s the exciting part of things that keeps me engaged in my work. That’s when I thought to myself Why not share these interesting moments with your community? Well, that’s what I’m not doing with the series My Day As A..

As an added bonus, I’m making the series open to others and accepting submissions from YOU! That’s right, I’m guessing a day in the life of you has it’s interesting moments, and now there’s a place where you can share it with others.

In addition to this new series, I’m making a resolution to add more video posts and video supplements to the blog.

Thanks for being a fan, listener, and reader of Erika Pryor At Large and Digital 411! I have so much fun doing both and love the interaction and support I continue to receive from you. It’s great keep it coming and I’ll keep coming with posts, videos, commentary, and much more here!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!


Posted by on July 4, 2011 in blog


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“All aboard and heading to Austin!” or Team Cbus on Digital 411

At one point I thought Digital 411 (the radio show) had already peaked when it comes to great guests, with the combination of social media experts I had on the show during Blogging Month (February). Then I got the word from Nate Riggs that the Team Cbus was being formed and even if I could not be on the actual team — that there was room on the team for me still.

I thought, how awesome! I really want to help this great group of five social media personalities, professionals, and entrepreneurs from Columbus, taking the Chevy SXSW Road Trip Challenge to form a team, drive from your home city to Austin, Texas to participate at the South By South West (SXSW) Interactive Conference, and along the way do some good and raise some cash for a great cause! Who wouldn’t?

Meet Team Cbus

So, what better opportunity could I have to get all the ins and outs of this Team Cbus mega road trip than to have the whole team on Digital 411. And that’s how I realized that there are just too many cool things going on in Columbus and beyond for that matter — I can never peak because I’ve got a endless supply of really cool digital, technology, social media, web and mobile applications to talk about.

So now that I’ve built up enough anticipation — want to know who’s on Team Cbus? As you guessed, a colorful cast of characters leading what I call a technology lifestyle — it’s not something they do, it’s part of who they are.

Since the Team has put together both a very attractive website built by Christian Adams of Christian Adams Photography and Allie of Allie Lehman Design, (@Alliepal), as well as a Facebook page, I’ll just send you to either of those to places to review and learn more about the whole sha-bang! But I will give you a brief introduction here and let the pictures intrigue you!  I’m biased — of course — but this week’s episode of Digital 411 is going to rock because this many cool people in a room together can’t be fun-free. Tune in Saturday, 10am to Digital 411 on

Team Captain, Nate Riggs Description: Social business strategist, builder of corporate social media teams. Blogger. Speaker. Runner. Blended family dad. Jedi Master.

Elijah Young Description: Co-Founder of Social Talk Live, Teacher, Only Child, Left Handed, Super Villain Strategist, Monopoly Master.

Sarah Storer Description: Blogger, speaker, storyteller, Social Media nerd, community enthusiast, authenticity hound.

Mike Whaling Description: Successful entrepreneur. Web, SEO, and Social Media strategist.

Eric Leslie Description: Father, Entrepreneur, Volunteer, Community Organizer.

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in blog, Digital 411, Networking, social media


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How Stella got her “Dashboard MoJo” back

I figured I’d get your attention with that catchy title. On the Feb. 19, 2011 episode of Digital 411, we discussed Better Blogging Practices with Jacob Stoops AKA Agent-SEO and Nate Riggs. Throughout that conversation, we discussed — among others things — what bloggers like Nate and Jacob do to continue coming back to the dashboard to blog, alongside keeping their “Dashboard Mojo” fresh.

I have to admit Nate and Jacob made some great points including the “Bloggers Play book,” using pen and paper, planning out posts and determining a comfortable writing spot. What we spent less time discussing that I want to touch on here is: How do you stay motivated? It’s likely this question resonated with me because I get asked it a lot.

How do you stay motivated to . . . You fill in the blank: blog, write, network, finish a dissertation, etc.

This is certainly not to brag or toot my own horn, but rather to say I’m a pretty motivated person and I don’t play much close to the vest. I take that as a great compliment. And typically when I receive these sorts of questions there are a couple different answers based on what’s in that blank; however, there are a few motivating factors that sustain throughout.


This is the No. 1 thing I do to stay motivated regardless of the task or ongoing task at hand. For me, it is truly the most important motivating factor I have in my life skills tool kit. When I have an end to look forward to, I can better get through the more difficult activities or tasks to accomplish. You don’t have to have a whole bunch of goals, just a few that you can really concentrate on and on which to stay focused.


When it comes to blogging, nobody gets it right, right away. It takes some work and sometimes you really feel as though you are just “writing at” people. That’s a frustrating feeling because you’re not sure of the audience or if there even is an audience. When you get to the point where you’re having a hard time going back to the dashboard to crank out a post– to which both Nate and Jacob agree — write for yourself. Popular blogger and previous Digital 411 guest, Sarah Storer who blogs at The Naked Red Head calls this “Soul Puking” (which is poised to be the next best colloquialism akin to Paris Hilton‘s “that’s hot).

Her point with soul puking is that you get the stuff out that YOU need to get out and it doesn’t always matter if there’s an audience or not. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be intensely personal, but it does mean that sometimes it’s okay to write just because you want to write something and if it goes with no comments, retweets or shares, it was still worth it. At least that’s how I understood the term and I’m sure The Naked Red Head will correct me if I’m wrong =)


Jacob Stoops made the best point during the show discussing the importance of passion and I could not agree more. Passion is more than a like — it’s that inner thing that drives you to keep going because even when it feels like work — you are still truly enjoying yourself. That’s why subject is so important. It’s much more difficult to openly discuss, endorse, analyze or critique something that you really don’t care about — so, work with the topic or subject that you do. I’m going to leave it at that, before I go off.


Why when people see the word “perfunctory” do they have such an ugly look on their face? I don’t think it’s only because it sounds funny, but rather it’s an ugly idea. One way Wikipedia defines the word is “an apathetic individual with an absence or interest.” So that sounds pretty bad too. How about “going through the motions.”  Although, it’s something we don’t talk about as the noble “ways of a winner,” quite frankly every single day you can’t give 100 percent to everything and sometimes we have to go through the motions, to work our way back to what feels good about what we’re doing.

What’s worse than operating in a perfunctory manner, is quitting  (or taking a prolonged break) because it’s that much more difficult to kick things back into gear. So sometimes — very infrequent times — you have to just go through the motions to get to the …


So, this is the holy grail to motivation whether it’s getting back to writing for your blog, stamp collecting, designing your website or anything else. To me, your MoJo is the good stuff that you get with the right and special combination of everything listed above. At least it is for me. That’s when you are your best you.

So, what have a missed, or what do you do to get to your best you? Add it to the list in the comments section below.

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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in blog, Digital 411, Productivity, self empowerment


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Blogging, Branding and Gen Y: Everything you wanted to know from Tyler Durbin

We are wrapping up an amazing month on Digital 411. On our final installment of Blogging Month we’re talking Blogging, Branding, and Gen Y with two of the most well connected Gen Y professionals: Tyler Durbin and Cheryl Harrison.

If you’re not a Gen Yer — listen.

If you haven’t heard of Tyler Durbin and Cheryl Harrison — still listen.

And most importantly, if you want to some insider information on how to use blogging to brand yourself and advance your career — by all means listen!

A few interesting pieces of information about Tyler — besides his dashingly handsome good looks!

Tyler Durbin is a blogger, young professional and advocate for his Gen-Y comrades. Tyler is also the founder and editor of GenYJourney – the online platform for Gen-Y’s to engage and collaborate with each other on the life and career issues they are facing as college students, recent grads and young professionals. He created GenYJourney upon graduating from college in 2009 and has continued his weekly contributions to the site along with collaborating with nearly 100 contributors (across all generations).



You can also find Tyler sharing his story as the weekly Voice of a Young Professional columnist at Classroom to Cubicle magazine. When not writing, Tyler speaks about his experience as a recent college grad and Gen-Y blogger to groups such as The Ohio State University, Public Relations Society of America and has also served on several panels including the Blogging for Personal Branding panel at 2010 Ohio Growth Summit.

Feel free to connect with Tyler on Twitter @TylerDurbin

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in blog, business, Digital 411, Networking


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Blogging, Branding and Gen Y: Everything you wanted to know From beingCheryl

Our last and final installment for Blogging Month on Digital 411 is: Blogging, Branding and Gen Y: Everything you wanted to know BeingCheryl AKA Cheryl “I’m a good idea” Harrison. Cheryl is a great person that really knows her personal branding stuff.  She and Tyler Durbin are a dynamic duo and I’m uber excited to feature them on the show this week.

Here’a  little more about her.

Cheryl Harrison is a marketing professional and community manager with an affinity bordering on obsession for social media. She has been actively using various iterations of the social web for more than 10 years… we’re talking Geocities pages, discussion forums and LiveJournal.

Cheryl has blogged at for close to three years on topics ranging from practical marketing strategy to absurd personal anecdotes. She also blogs at, a site centered around craft beer and the Columbus community. Cheryl has been been featured on CNN, Ragan Communications, Columbus Alive, the Columbus Dispatch, 10TV, NBC4, Mix 107.9 and, in addition to several dozen blogs.


Posted by on February 21, 2011 in blog, Digital 411, Networking


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A Very Special Blogging Gift For You

Look Who’s Talking Better Business Blogging … Jacob Stoops (2/19/2011)

So, this month has been so much fun on Digital 411. We’re talking blogging from just about every angle and perspective we can think of, and with that you can’t forget SEO. Jacob Stoops AKA Agent SEO knows more about SEO than should be humanly possible.

By day Jacob is the Director of Search Engine Optimization for People To My Site — a Columbus based search engine marketing company. And by night Jacob doubles as Agent SEO — a super smart guy that wants to make SEO as easy to understand as possible. What I love about Jacob is he’s no one trick pony — as he puts it, “I dabble in Social Media, moonlight as a WordPress designer, and live in Columbus, Ohio.”

If you want to see the transparent side of SEO, listen to Jacob this week, he’s joined by Nate Riggs — so you know it’s going to be a little crazy. Also, check out his blog, Agent SEO — it’s jam packed full of great information. Listen to Digital 411 live on at 10am

Follow on Twitter @jacobstoops or Fan on Facebook Agent SEO

Something Special for YOU!

As an added bonus, this week we are giving out 2 of the hottest tickets in town, The Blah, Blah, Blogging Boot Camp Conference. February 25-26, 2011 at TechColumbus. If you really want to kick start your blogging efforts, at this event you can meet, greet, and learn from many of the stellar guests that have been on Digital 411 this month, in hands on workshops.

Tickets include the Friday Meet and Tweet networking event and Saturday’s all day blogging workshops — a $300 value.

So how do you enter to win?

Tweet @Digital411 “I want to win the @beyondsocial101 Blogging Conference tickets” or

On the Digital 411 Facebook page wall, “I want to win the Beyond Social 101 Blogging Conference tickets.”

It’s that simple. We will announce winners on air, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011.

Listen to Digital 411 live on at 10am. (you can listen to previous episode podcasts there too!)

It could be you!

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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in blog, business, Digital 411


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