I’ve been busy. Sue me.

Standard

I spend the most time with my cat. I wonder what that says about me? Also, I’m pretty sure there’s a life lesson in here somewhere but I’m too tired to spell it out.

Introducing Fitzwilliam Marten… That’s Sir Marten to you.

Standard

You know those days when you have too much to do and too many projects that need to be completed but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day or an end in sight? In these moments I close my eyes and think about how magnificent life would be if  I had a taxidermic friend, Fitzwilliam Marten, who wears the finest Victorian attire. Why wouldn’t he wear a top hat and carry a walking stick; he’s not a commoner! Unfortunately, Fitzwilliam is going to go home with some other lucky lady as I don’t have one hundred bucks laying around waiting to be spent on AWESOMENESS. It’s just as well, I don’t remember any of Jane Austen’s heroines riding into the sunset with a ferret.

Image Courtesy of goldenwildlife

George Orwell called. He said he told you so.

Standard

It was a debate of workplace magnitude. To friend or not to friend (on Facebook)? I argued passionately on the side of “not to friend” but to connect via LinkedIn. My coworkers took the stance of friending, far and wide, on Facebook. We were at a stalemate and I wondered if I am simply too cautious or if they are playing with fire.

Let me back up. Over the years, I have worked with several organizations and maintained great friendships with colleagues. However, as a person with a healthy distrust of the Internet, I try to maintain a separation of personal and professional relationships. I don’t want future bosses making snap judgements about my work ethic based on political leanings, musical taste, and photos with friends and family. Until I see some hard and fast rules about ethical hiring and firing practices based on internet searches, I will ardently maintain my personal anonymity. I suppose my inherent distrust of the Web can be attributed to growing up in a pre-Internet generation, along with a hefty dose of Orwellian fear.

My colleagues, on the other hand, are recent college graduates and maintain a sizable Facebook base upwards of 1,000 or more “friends.” They friend classmates, friends, coworkers, and bosses alike and believe it’s impossible to separate the personal from the professional. So, when I told them I prefer to connect on LinkedIn, or friend them after my contract comes to an end, they were offended. They believe anyone with a wide Internet presence; i.e. website, blog, Facebook business page, and other social media tools, is a fool to think they can create boundaries. Maybe they’re right, maybe it is ridiculous to believe my one hold out, a single Facebook page, shares any more or less about my personality and personal beliefs than my blog, twitter feed, or website.

The question to you is where do you draw the line? Is it naive to believe a person can maintain separate personal and professional identities on the Internet?

Image Credit: Unknown

Let’s make it rain money!

Standard

Despite the fact that I’ve been a terrible blogger these past few months, I am diligently developing my consulting business – mostly because I like keeping the lights on and food in the fridge. I promise I’ll have real posts coming soon but in the meantime take a look at my updated website and “like” my new Facebook page – it’s almost as though I have a real business or something. I must be an adult!

Maintaining Social Responsibility In A Social Media World

Standard

Some of you may have seen the latest viral video making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. It targets Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony, and aims to use social media as a means to capture and try him as a war criminal in the International Criminal Court.

Invisible Children caters to our national instinct to form impressions based on an emotional response. Whether you agree with the discourse on the subject matter, there is little controversy over the effectiveness of the video as a marketing tool, as evidenced by the fact that the video has garnered millions of views in the span of days.

I think the real question is how this will change nonprofit’s tools in the social media realm. As the hashtag, #Kony2012 continues to trend and bring awareness to an issue many Americans have never heard about, how will this change our dialogue?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of nonprofit and governmental agencies of all sizes and scope focusing their time and resources on Africa, and in particular, Uganda. These agencies provide services ranging from housing, food security, education, to entrepreneurship. Their missions vary but their common goal is to provide resources that will help Ugandans become independent, as well as, economically and socially sustainable.

IC’s Kony2012 video simplifies a complex issue and creates a straightforward call to action for the organization’s youthful constituency to make an impact the best way they know how; through small donations and purchases of bumper stickers and bracelets. My question is, what can other nonprofits learn from this social media success? (Regardless of your opinion of IC and Kony, 70 million YouTube hits and a public dialogue on the subject is a success in my book.)

It’s evident a social media revolution has arrived; its beginnings were embedded in the Arab Spring and slowly took root in the Occupy movement. Now is the time for nonprofits to enter this revolution and carve out a voice and implement a call to action within their own constituencies. 

In my work with nonprofits we have had numerous and ongoing conversations since the Kony2012 viral sensation opened up a new dialogue and started to ask the tough questions of how they will use this opportunity to carve their own niche in a rapidly changing and media driven society.

I anticipate that this will be the kickstart that nonprofits need to create a new era of community and donor engagement. However, only time will tell.

My Friends Are Embarrassed For Me

Standard

It’s come to this… my friends are ganging up to host an intervention. They are embarrassed… for my cell phone. Apparently owning a flip phone in the age of iPhones is unheard of unless you are over the age of 80.

Verizon LG Flip phone

Today a friend casually asked when I planned on phone shopping. I responded with a haphazard comment along the lines of “I don’t want to pay $50 a month for a data plan and autocorrect that makes me want to stab Siri in the face.” Her response? “Your phone was quirky five years ago. Now I’m embarrassed for you. Suck it up and pay $50 a month like the rest of us. Siri’s going to take over the world and you’ll want her on your side when the uprising occurs.”

I’m still a passive resistor. As I managed to stay connected for more than two years with my tiny digital friend that allowed me to remain connected via facebook and T9 I’m not sure if I’m ready to transition. What do you think? Is a flip phone an embarrassment in this day and age of smartphones? Should I drink the kool-aid, suck it up, and get a smartphone?

Wolverines Are Kind Of Jerks But Vampires Are Ok

Standard

As my friend Deals has more important things to do than blog these days, such as care for a newborn,  I suppose the task falls to me to share our text exchanges with the world. You’re welcome.

The texts followed repeated messages left on her voicemail begging her to find someone who is

  • Not pregnant
  • Doesn’t have a suckling infant attached to their waist
  • Not planning a wedding
  • Has no shame in asking their friends for money (for a good cause, really!  It isn’t padding my 401K.  Although I am taking personal donations.)

Deals: Sorry I suck at returning phone calls!
Deals: I always mean to and then forget
Deals: Having a baby is very distracting
Me: I’ve noticed. What are you doing today?
Deals: Feeding baby, washing dogs, feeding baby, going to store, feeding baby, etc.
Deals: This three hour loop is exhausting
Deals: Did you find anyone for ur committee? I would do it myself if I didn’t have a brand new Banner.
Me: I know. I would have totally recruited you if Thor wasn’t keeping you busy.  Still need committee members so if you know anyone who is interested let me know.
Me: I was just feeling guilty for not seeing you guys.
Me: I think he can smell my fear.  Are you sure he’s not a wolverine?
Deals: Vampire actually, he hates the sun
Me: Well at least I can relate to vampires. I was worried because wolverines are kind of jerks.
Deals: I just feel terrible I’ve been so bad about calling u back!
Me: You get a pass til Thor turns 18 but after that I hold you responsible

The moral of the story is that wolverines are kind of jerks but vampires are ok. That, and people with babies can’t be responsible for their actions or inaction.