The Printing Press and The Internet

I’m working on an ebook for The Irrational Mind called The Millenials’ Survival Guide. It’s an interesting project and I hope a lot of my fellow Generation Y members get a lot out of it. My younger brother has volunteered to be my beta reader, so if you don’t like it, blame him! (I kid, I kid)

I love working with analogies and, despite my science background, I really loved history classes in school. I like to consider myself a modern-day Renaissance woman, which really translates into Jill of all trades, master of none. I seem to be successfully rolling with that though.

As I’m writing this book, I realize that the Millenials are looking at a world shift unmatched by anything since the (European) printing press was introduced in the 15th century.

The internet has changed the way we interact with the world, learn, and exchange information in a way unparalleled by any other time but the age of the printing press.


This is not to downplay the struggles other generations have gone through. But the internet is not comparable to the Cold War or the establishment of the American colonies…it is comparable to movable type.

The printing press allowed for the Protestant Reformation to take off, for the Renaissance to spread, and for an educated class to emerge below the royals. A highly volatile time, those in charge began to lose their control over the populace as information spread. The Catholic Church saw a new threat to their empire as the schism led to the formation of new religions, new trains of thought, and, eventually, new nations.

The world is constantly shifting. What paradigm shifts to the world has the internet already instigated? What shifts have yet to be realized?


My Three-Month Plan/Second Quarter Goals

In less than a week, Matt and I are closing on our first home in Frederick, MD. We’ll both still be working in Bethesda but at off-hours that will hopefully decrease the commuter hell most Washingtonians deal with.

I’ve blogged before about the feasibility of five-year plans, but I’m toying with the idea of shorter term goals/milestones/achievements/whatever.

So, as I embark on this solopreneur journey I have a few things I’d like to at least begin setting up as we head into the summer:

  1. YouTube channel
  2. Podcast
  3. Online courses
  4. Ebooks
  5. Consulting/coaching clients

Overambitious? Maybe. But I’m feeling pretty pumped about these ideas.

YouTube Channel

I imagine the YouTube channel overlapping at least partially with the online course offerings I’m planning. The primary focus (as I envision it today) would be on science communication in meteorology and beyond. There are a lot of sci-tech startups out there with business and technical know-how, but they may be lacking in the “engaging the audience” arena. I’d also like to do a couple of mini-courses on basic meteorology concepts for my non-meteo friends and followers who are interested in all this haboob/derecho/etc. mess.


I’d like the podcast to be a more practical application of the skills discussed on the YouTube videos and online courses, with a meteorology focus. I envision a more chillaxed version of the Weather Brains format, talking with meteorologists (many of you!) about their experiences interacting with the public. Seminars? Meetings? Publications? Your own podcasts? Let’s chat about it. I have a few of you in mind for this project already (and you may be surprised to be on my list!), but, if you think you’d be a good fit for this, shoot me an email at consult dot mallie at gmail.

Online Courses

I’d like to do a mix of courses for the start-up business/tech people and for the laymen who follow me on Facebook/Twitter/this blog. Courses would include a mix of videos and written materials, as well as some guest lecturing/writing from other industry experts in either science communication or meteorology.

For the startups: Engaging Your Audience

For the laymen: Meteorology 101


Ebooks provide (almost) all the information that an online course would without the pesky interaction. I’d like to expand these product offerings into some of the personal development topics I discuss on The Irrational Mind.

Consulting/Coaching Clients

While the above offerings should be pretty comprehensive, it’s useful for many people to receive one-on-one time. I’m offering:

Consulting services: Talk to me about your company’s problem, give me some background information, and I’ll do the ground work and put together a report on engaging your target audience.

Business coaching services: Let’s work together individually to improve your communication skills so you don’t need me to reach your target audience. The “teach a man to fish” method.

Personal development coaching services: Some of my Irrational Mind readers are interested in working with me individually to begin making actionable progress in their own lives. Let me stress again that this is not therapy, which focuses on your past, but a process to hold you accountable and help you reach your life/career goals.



Lots of stuff coming up! In the meantime, I again ask for your help in sending anyone who may be interested in these products or services my way.

Did you notice I have a newsletter sign-up for these things now? Yeah, check out the sidebar to sign up.

Also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook….

Thanks for everyone’s support! If you think you could be a contributor to any of these things, email me at consult dot mallie at gmail.

Other thoughts? Comment below! Thanks!


Top Search Terms That Brought You To This Blog

I’m working on increasing the frequency with which I post on my blog as I grow my business, so it behooves me to look at the search terms that have brought people here thus far.

This was a ridiculously fun exercise.

Without exporting all the data to Excel, it’s clear that most people show up here looking for an explanation about The Weather Channel’s Storm:Con index or naming of winter storms. Some of my favorite search terms for this topic include:

  • storm:con index really?
  • is torcon useless weather channel
  • weather channel winter storm overhype

Following questions about The Weather Channel, there are a lot of search terms that include “tornado” and “El Reno.” So I’m glad to see that I am drawing a weather audience to the blog. 39 search queries included the word “storm,” and some of those were repeated. “Tornado” appeared in 19 searches.

Interestingly, the next most commonly searched topic involves a one-off post I did about an educational show about neanderthals. One thing that stuck out to me while I was watching the show was a comment about how much neanderthals bench press: this is apparently an incredibly popular topic that required 20 different search queries.

  • neanderthals died out eventually (author’s note:…..yup?)
  • how much could a neanderthal bench press?
  • neanderthals could lift 300-500 pounds articles
  • neanderthals died out due to depression
  • ocd neanderthal

I’m absolutely thrilled that there are people curious about the mental health of our neanderthal ancestors, but I’m even more thrilled that my blog is the best match for people looking for information on both OCD and cavemen. Also, to the person wondering if neanderthals died out due to depression………..what kind of school paper were you writing, bud?

My complaint post about writing wedding invitations in cursive received quite a few hits (11 different search terms) from disgruntled brides/high schoolers whose moms forced them to do graduation announcements:

  • do graduation announcements have to be addressed in cursive?
  • do i have to address wedding invitations in cursive
  • cursive fonts for last of a dying breed
  • does el reno oklahoma school teach cursive

Again, thank you, Google, for allowing my blog to be the best intersection of topics from cursive to El Reno, Oklahoma. I should add there are also a couple of people clearly trying to cheat their way out of having to hand write their invitations:

  • best font that looks handwritten for mailouts

In the mystery box are 240 unknown search terms. If you’re also a blogger, I highly recommend combing through these gems yourself.

Creating My “Solopreneur” Path

As many of you have seen, earlier this week I launched my professional services site, which will allow people to reach out to me for solutions in various areas: scientific communications, writing and editing, speaking and training, and personal development.

I’ve been playing with self-employment for almost a year now, but I assumed (incorrectly) that, in order to properly market my brand, I had to pick one niche and stick with it.

Then I realized: I am my brand.

We’re moving into a new work world, one filled with non-traditional careers that no one could have dreamed of before the advent of the internet. Solopreneurs are working from their laptops all over the world, selling their talents under umbrellas of varying sizes.

What’s the difference between an entrepreneur and a solopreneur?

An entrepreneur is often growth and income-focused, trying to grow a company that sells specific solutions to a specific problem. In an entrepreneur’s ideal work world, they may start and sell websites, ideas, or companies for thousands (or millions) of dollars. They may establish a start-up with investors and a small set of employees. They may open a small business selling their wares downtown.

A solopreneur is also income-focused, but is more interested in flexibility. She works primarily alone, maybe outsourcing some of her administrative duties to a virtual assistant. She is selling herself and her skills to companies and individuals who may be disenchanted with corporate solutions and are looking for a personal touch. Her work can be done almost entirely remotely.

While an entrepreneur may hire a marketing, accounting, and administrative expert/department, the solopreneur wears the hat of content creator, marketing department, accounts manager, and administrative staff.

What I love about reading other solopreneurs’ stories is that they have all made their own path. No one’s story reads like anyone else’s, but they have managed to make a living doing work they are passionate about.

As I continue to create my path, I invite you to follow along on this blog. My regular weather/self/body acceptance posts aren’t going anywhere–they are part of the package I’m selling: me.

Of course, if you know anyone who may be in need of my services, please pass along my name. Your referrals are invaluable as I grow as both a person and a business.