This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : how-to-get-a-job

My Homie, The Interwebz

This is my story, told through search.

If you’re curious about more details, I wrote my “origins” post back in 2007. I did a 5 year benchmark post last fall, where I dissected some of the events that helped me “get here.”

One thing is for sure: I would not be where I am today without internet access. Well, I take that back. I would still be in NYC, doing what I love, it just would have been a lot more painful and complicated to get here 🙂

I relate to the internet in two ways: as a media professional and as a woman who is still figuring out her place in the world. As long as I don’t forget about that woman, the web continues to be a place that delights and inspires me, even when it sometimes feels like a giant brothel for big business. Remember when it was more about experimentation, f*cking sh*t up and spending hours working on projects that would bring you zero dollars – more like “Hackers“?

OK, I was never as cool as the kids from “Hackers” but that movie did blow my mind. The day that I figured out I could alter my offline life with steps taken through my online life – that both were indeed informing each other – is the day that I decided most of society’s rules didn’t apply to me. I didn’t need to wait for permission to experience adventure or to be who I wanted to be. I wasn’t afraid (as much) to connect with different people and to be inspired by their choices. I saw myself as someone with power, with choice – all because “search” through a browser provided a blank canvas for possibility.

I’ll also never forget the first thing I searched for online: chat. I was twelve years old, in a library in Southern Cali. My mom wasn’t nearby and I discovered the computers had internet access, via an icon on the desktop. No one had ever told me what the internet was or how to use it. I only knew about “chat” because earlier that year I had seen a friend doing that at her home. I cultivated a friendship with a pen pal from NYC – we would exchange verse battles through chat and snail mail. I somehow had him convinced that I was an MC, and through that experience the seeds of change were planted. The friendship didn’t last, like many bonds formed via chat, but it was still a significant experience in my life. He believed in me, without ever seeing me.

While teaching at a middle school in Harlem earlier this year, I was not surprised when my 7th and 8th grade students told me that one of their favorite things to do online was chat. Tween dialogue, as peppered with profanity and seemingly useless exchanges as it may be, is a sounding board for self expression. Type in your thought, see it manifest. See people react to it. This is where your power lies – in discovering the magic behind your thoughts. Does it still surprise you how much they chat and text? Communication = power. They own their thoughts and the repetition helps them to feel that they are cultivating their own world. They are: the danger is when we think that our words don’t matter.

I wish more teachers would incorporate texting, chat and mixed media into their lesson plan. It’s part of the fabric of how we all communicate. To ignore that about your students, and to not be willing to meet them there and share through those mediums, is to be sorely misguided.

Advice For Journalism Students, Pt 1: How To Transform Your Online Presence Into A Change Agent & ‘Get A Job’

In honor of Internet Week New York and the resulting bevy of resources, I’ve decided to contribute some of my own.

A while back, Gawker posted a snarky list of job opportunities for J-School grads. I enjoy this site and I’m all for snark, but considering the dismal economic climate I felt the tone was unnecessarily cruel.

Additionally, Gawker Media employees are no strangers to layoffs. It’s not a big leap to suggest that – in the very near future – one of them could be in the position of calling a J-School student “boss.”

Journalism Students(image via berbercarpet’s flickr)

Recent college grads were raised on technology. Media savvy millennials eat it for breakfast.

Once a J-School grad does find a job, it’s possible that he or she could be your fiercest competition.

As one who loves sci-fi, conspiracy theories and blowing through glass ceilings, I am here to share some knowledge. 🙂

Don’t give up. There’s always a way.

Here is Part 1 in a series of unscheduled/strictly-when-I-feel-up-to-it posts that will feature ways J-School grads could find a job, despite what haters have to say.

These suggestions could be helpful to anyone seeking a position related to writing/reporting.


Despite the promising title of my post, these “steps” aren’t quick fixes and require long-term efforts. I am not offering a turnkey method for success. Some things I suggest won’t work for you, for a variety of reasons. So, take my suggestions with a grain of salt and add them to your arsenal of job hunting resources. Don’t be discouraged because you don’t see immediate results.

Who am I to offer advice? I’m me, a freelance O.G. (currently rocking a staff position with MTV News) who has experience in both traditional and new media.

I am also friends with many folks who were laid off, as well as graduating students now facing the daunting task of securing a j-o-b. I listen to their stories and learn from their successes and failures.

In this post, I will touch on ways to grow your audience and build community, even though my own site barely does any traffic. Truthfully, I didn’t create The Lair to make money. I don’t actively work on building an enormous readership. I know how to do both of these things, but don’t, because they aren’t motivations for me. Just because I don’t consistently apply SEO/brand management strategies to my own site and online presence, doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am talking about.

What I do on the web works for me – when it doesn’t work, I change it.

Considering the above factors, you might decide to question my authority on this topic and choose not to read the rest of this post. Well, this is my way of giving back. Take it or leave it.

Future posts will include interviews with employed and unemployed journalists/writers/reporters/media professionals who can offer their own thoughts and advice. I’m very slowly reaching out to folks and will eventually post some Q&As.

Ready, all three of you (statistically)? Here we go!

Pt 1: How To Transform Your Online Presence Into A Change Agent & Get A Job (more…)