Jason Harper in KC

0 Commentsby   |  06.13.11  |  Advising Information

Jason with famous Southern writer and humorist Roy Blount Jr.

Jason Harper (English BA 2001 and MA 2003) has made Kansas City, Missouri his home.

And he’s doing well.

In the land of barbecue and jazz, Jason has found ways to acquire expertise in the red-hot world of marketing and publicizing through social media.

This is not a surprise to one of Jason’s former profs.

“I had Jason in every creative writing class and he was a standout in all of them,” Prof. Al Haley says. “Poetry, short story, creative nonfiction, he could write them all with a wholly original voice and an unparalleled eye for detail.”

Asked what he thinks of how Jason has ended up working with social media, given that Facebook didn’t even exist when Jason was an undergrad, Prof. Haley continued:

“The world of social media arrived in such a sudden rush that it’s still crying out for creative people to bring some shape and form, and yes, style, to it. Without that, it just becomes the solar system’s most impressive landfill for words. I’m really  happy that Jason figured this out before a lot of the rest of us.”

In Jason’s case, his ability to take his training in English and apply it in a versatile fashion has turned into a job.

In an email, Jason recently shared with us the specifics of his journey into the world of Facebook, Twitter and more in the form of a series of, what else? 140-character or less communications, all of which ends with a piece of advice:

My life in tweets, by Jason Harper (@jasonfharper)

  • 1 – I left my hometown of Abilene in May ’03 and moved to KC with my BA & MA tucked in a hobo bandana-on-a-stick thing. First job: bookstore.

2 – Got a job as writer & editor at an alternative newsweekly in a time when print journalism was moving to a 24/7 web content cycle. I blogged.

3 – And wrote features: http://bit.ly/eGyhP2. And expanded the newspaper’s reach into the online realm of social media, podcasts, photo, video.

4 – Next, I took my skills to the ad/PR world, 1st at a startup social media marketing firm, then as web content developer for@kclibrary.

5 – The Library is amazing. Pic: http://bit.ly/hlmXAs  I spread the good word about it thru blogs & social media. (Also:facebook.com/kclibrary.)

6 – I recently met my hero, @LeVarBurton, and made this video of his visit to the Library: http://bit.ly/fyK6ro

7 – Most valuable skill: WRITING. Favorite part of the job: telling stories & producing content of benefit to people.http://kclibrary.org/blogs

8 – Advice: start a blog, learn Photoshop & video editing. Pay attn to new communication forms. And be sure to slow down & read a good book.

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