Entries from April 2011 ↓
April 21st, 2011 — World Domination in Everyday Life
I took a walk outside today, and I don’t think I’ve done that alone since Maddox was born, because if I have free time it’s more fun to do things as a family. But, I had some time today in between projects and I needed to pick up some cat food at the local veterinary clinic (our cats demand special food, lots of petting and the occasional haiku extolling their furry little charms).
So, after I made the uncharacteristic decision to walk to the clinic, I looked at flowers, enjoyed hearing my neighbor’s wind chimes and basically reveled in the fact that I was not in a meeting. I truly have four hours of meetings a day, so this was particularly nice. I think my work has me confused with a conference room table or some other essential bit of meeting equipment. One time, I sat at my desk and concentrated very hard on blending in with my cubical wall, but sneezed and was, alas, discovered and invited (read: compelled) to attend.
Anyway, halfway through my walk (which I have just learned was two whole miles) I realized a few things:
- I am out of shape. Two miles is a lot! Marathon runners are admirable, but completely crazy.
- I had to keep stopping to remind myself that I should slow down. I am so used to having a packed schedule where every moment that passes has been triple-booked with assigned tasks, and not having an immediate deadline to meet was very strange (read: impending heart attack).
- I need to hang up my wind chimes. They’ve been in the garage for the winter, but there’s not a lot of wind in there. Which is just as well, because if I heard clanging from the garage, I would, of course, assume we were being attacked by ghosts and hide in the pantry.
Everybody needs to go outside sometime, even if they’re like me and have sad, dark thoughts when forced to carry less then two apple products at any given time. On that note, my last observation that I’ll share from my walk is that far too many of my neighbors need to learn to password-protect their wifi – every time I stopped to take a picture, a wifi invite would popup on my iPhone with an open connection. Possibly, they were celebrating the fact that I made it out for a walk today, and were trying to be considerate of the fact that I would be away from my home wifi for 30 minutes, and were trying to ease the pangs of separation. That, my friend, is being a good neighbor.
April 19th, 2011 — Social Media, an Essential Tool for World Domination
Social Media has been a bugbear in company conference rooms since way before Guy Kawasaki had an AMEX blog. I think it’s a great way to talk with people if you’re courteous enough to recognize that it’s a conversation, and that you should all be talking about something interesting to the people in your conversation. For example, if I’m looking for a support director, and you are a support director, let me know! If you’re looking for advice on a task manager app, I’ll reach out (but will probably need more than 140 characters). If we both really like tacos, we shall debate the pros and cons of soft vs. crispy.
I’ve been tweeting ever since I heard Chris Brogan speak at a North Shore Tech Council event in May of 2008, and have been pretty inconsistent with my tweets. When I started, I was into learning about Social Media and starting friendly conversations with interesting people. I was blogging a lot around this time, and completely bought into the whole social media connection thing. I even looked at lists of the top followed people and added the ones who seemed interesting. The idea that you could reach people who would otherwise be inaccessible to you due to distance, business role or anonymity was pretty intriguing.
I’d follow people who followed me to be polite, unless they were bots. I went through a brief obsession with qwitter and felt personally offended when people stopped following me, even as I recognized the absurdity of it all. The quitter email notifications included the tweet right before the person stopped following, implying that yes, indeed, it was something I said.
When Twitter came out with Lists, I tried grouping people into categories to make keeping up more manageable. Eventually, I just stopped caring about the content because I was following too many people who used Twitter as a business self-promotion tool, as a diary, or as a place to spam others with links. These are all arguably valid forms of using Twitter, but not really very interesting to me personally. I had built an arbitrary list and the result was my complete lack of interest in 90% of the content.
Tonight, I decided I’d like to start using Twitter again. So, I’ve been unfollowing everyone whose name and website I don’t recognize, or whose description is irrelevant to my interests. I’m focusing on local people who I might actually meet and interesting people who post things I want to read. I imagine there will be a drop in my twitter followers (resting now at 371) but I will try to muster the strength to not sink into despair now that Snackfan Japan (the latest snacks and drinks from Japan!) will no longer be my friend.