No, George – really, I don’t see the humor.
I saw this in my Twitter stream this afternoon:
I couldn’t say it better myself, so I wanted to post and give credit for its simplicity and meaningfulness. One of the things I appreciate about people like Sarah, and something I want to cultivate more in myself, is the desire to connect the right people to the right people to get the right things done, to get the right questions asked, to get the right solutions working the right way.
Are you a connector? Someone who likes to introduce good people to other good people? Or better maybe, do people come to you expecting you to know to whom they can connect to meet a need, to help a cause, to scratch an itch?
Twitter has rolled out a new way to post from Twitter. Before, choices were to cut/paste the text or to take a screenshot. Now, with Blackbird-Pie, they “bake” your tweet link and shoot out the embed code:
I added that inside blockquote tags with lines. It takes on the form of your blog/template/settings, so I’m not sure if I like it or not. But it’s another option – and I’m all about options.
Conversation on Twitter with Otis Taylor, 03/28/2010:
Me: Anyone else ready for Monday? Yeah, me neither…
9:40 PM Mar 28th via Tweetie
OT: @RickCaffeinated Mondays are my most productive days. Looking forward to it.9:44 PM Mar 28th via TweetDeck in reply to RickCaffeinated
Me: @otisatthestate – agreed. The anticipation of Monday is often worse than it actually turns out. Bring it on.
9:49 PM Mar 28th via Tweetie in reply to otisatthestate
OT: @RickCaffeinated I’ve fortunately wired myself to embrace Mondays-and to work on the weekend. Got so much done today.
11:13 PM Mar 28th via Echofon in reply to RickCaffeinated
Just a short exchange, but it impacted me. Why did I have to look at Monday and see doom, despair and agony on me? Why did Sunday afternoon have to be a ramp up for something painful and unavoidable? So, with this mindset starting to shift in me, for the past two weeks I’ve been intentionally changing my focus towards Monday to something more positive, more in line with who I am, more about what I want to accomplish in a given workweek. Starting with Sunday, I’ve tried to not see oh-no-it’s-the-end-of-the-weekend, and instead have been focusing on oh-boy-I-get-to-work-on-something-new-doing-work-I-enjoy-with-the-best-people-on-the-planet.
Or at least, trying to keep it positive and reward-focused on if-I-at-least-get-through-the-week-I’ll-get-another-of-these-weekend-things-soon-enough-along-with-a-paycheck-and-food-on-the-table. (Next I need to work on using-too-many-hyphenated-italicized-sentences, I think.)
There’s something to be said for the power of positive thinking. That’s a catchphrase, a buzzword that maybe has been rendered powerless to bring about any real meaning and change. But there’s truth there, standing on the understanding that most of what passes through me in my day is of my own doing. My responses and reactions to external stimuli come from the overflow of who I think I am, of what I think about this world, of my thoughts on God and the people around me and the interactions that take place in this block of time and space.
Or taken another way, if I look at Monday with fear or angst or melancholy, then that’s how my perception of Monday will treat me back. If I can have a more positive, more energizing, more imaginative outlook on the whole enterprise, however, then there’s a chance Monday will look back on me with some favor and progress as well.
Notice it’s not Monday that’s having the problem. It’s not Monday trying to be all big and bad. That’s just an arbitrary day in a relatively arbitrary set of days. Letting it have control over me anymore than that has been a losing proposition for too long. It would be like being mad at the color Yellow – it can’t change, so it’s more likely that if it ever gets better, I’d better be the one stepping up to the plate to do something about it.
[confession: I'm writing this early Monday morning 04/12, setting it to post this evening after 6pm or so. If Monday sucks, I reserve the right to take all this crap back. Deal?]
When I left my job of nineteen-plus years last August, I knew what I was getting into – and at the same time I had no clue. I had spent those years in various forms programming for the financial/output side of the insurance industry. More recently, I had been able to do some technical writing in requirement gathering and project planning. I’d traveled to some really cool places – Philadelphia/Lititz, PA; Seattle/Enumclaw, WA; San Juan/Humacao, PR; Staunton, VA; Tampa/Treasure Island, FL; SFO/San Mateo, CA. Over the years, I met with good people also trying to do their jobs the best they could for their own customer bases. I liked that we were doing our best for them to then do their best for their constituents. I liked that I could work meetings into paragraphs, and I enjoyed the back and forth to “get it right” in putting to paper what the client wanted and how we were going to deliver.
Writing first, programming second – some C++ with a mostly text-based script system. We did some good things, and I liked my job. There wasn’t a reason to leave, except that I had had an itch to find something new. Nothing had really panned out, so I had re-settled into my groove and was ready to stay for the long haul. But then there was an opportunity to start something exciting and new… The Love Boat… soon will be making another run…
I stopped Job #1 of my adult life on Friday, and started Job #2 of my adult life on Monday. I was hired to work on social media initiatives, with a touch of graphic design and programming on the side. That was in August. We’ve been planning and working and replanning and reworking things since then, on multiple fronts, multiple platforms, multiple configurations. It was a huge change for my mindset – honestly, the stress level dropped more than anything. I didn’t know how stressed I must have been but today, I have actual fingernails. I don’t chew them off anymore – that’s been a pretty big realization on my part. I’m on a new team that’s once again fun, professional and trying to do good things for customers. That makes all the difference, doesn’t it?
So what happened last week? We opened the world to a new website design – I had one small part, helping with some of the “search” capabilities, while everyone else poured themselves into what was happening. It’s a major step forward, and folks worked with a real determination to do what’s right, make it easy for the customer, and to build something they could be proud of and management would be happy about. Internally the kudos were there – people from around the company loved it. When the rollout came there were some issues that became the week’s priorities and were quickly sifted out. It was good for me as a newcomer to see the team work as a team and celebrate as a team. It’s a good tech shop, with great people and big dreams.
So what happened to me last week? The new web design shows more prominently than before that we are involved in social media. For the first time in our process, we were getting major play on our Facebook page, on Twitter – even gained a YouTube subscriber or two. A few folks commented on their enjoyment of the new site. We gained visitors, we saw web analytics from the social media links, and we interacted with folks “in the wild” about real things that mattered to them. For me, it meant the things we were doing were going to pay off, that ideas we were having and challenges we were working out had come to a point beyond conjecture and were now really happening in our system.
There’s a scene at the end of The Incredibles where the neighbor kid sees the explosion of Syndrome and the family being saved inside Violet’s forcefield. His jaw drops, he stares at Mr. Incredible, and finally exclaims, “THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!” – that was me last week. I was so happy one evening, I tried to explain it all to my 12-year-old. I don’t think she was necessarily impressed, but I do hope some of that excitement from doing something you love rubs off on her so she won’t settle for a career path that’s anything less. I enjoy what I do, still putting in home/offsite time to make myself better, to find better ways to do things, to try to look at things differently and stay up with the growth in these areas. The past week or so has reinforced the decision to move on, to make a change, to move out and try new things in new ways.
I highly recommend…
I warn both of you reading that this post has been simmering at some level in my cranium for at least a couple of weeks. It’s not really controversial, nothing new being added to anything, just something that I’ve thought would make a decent writing prompt if I ever decided to be prompted and ever decided to write. And honestly, how’s that for a really vague and meaningless opening sentence? So much for simmering…
I changed career paths last year to begin working in social media. I’m all over Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, blogs and magazine sites and RSS readers and iPhone apps and whatever else can be used or done to connect people to each other. Professionally, it’s about connecting people well with each other and with our company. It’s brainstorming and creatively targeting ideas on using these tools in productive and ultimately profitable ways. Personally, it’s making friends, having conversations, enjoying the back-and-forth of folks all over the country and around the globe over usually the most mundane and the most important pieces of life. It’s all that and a bag of chips.
For me, the SOCIAL aspect is something that I often find personally lacking. I’ve gone through things over the last ten years that have taken some of the wind out of my sails – a good thing for the most part, since blowhards need to be de-winded from time to time. But there’s often a lack of confidence that I feel holds me back. To be honest, I feel some of this lessens when connecting via the internet. Maybe the anonymous nature of the thing, the ability to be and say who/what I would want to be or say. Maybe it’s the disconnectedness geographically that makes actual connectedness better or more palatable somehow. Whatever it is, I like it – especially when those online connections spill over into actual space from the virtual world. People are people, whether we have met and shaken hands or only met and exchanged avatar twibbons.
Then there’s the MEDIA part, where I see all kinds of things around MEDIATE, MEDIATION, MIDDLE GROUND. I huge chunk of my journey to this point has involved me being the one in the middle, the one seeking to bring opposing sides together or to bring reconciliation and relationship back into broken circumstances. I see these connections as very real, very meaningful ways for all of us to forgive, to grieve, to confess, to move on – whatever we can do to build each other up, to teach each other and learn from each other, to bring Truth into what’s usually just our opinionated Facts – that’s what I see in that word as well.
So if you see me tweeting too much on Twitter or facebooking too much on Facebook or linking in too much on LinkedIN, just smile and wave, write back if you’re so inclined, and think about me trying to be social, trying to be middling, or just simmering over long full-of-whatever posts about live, the universe and everything.
And if you see me on MySpace, tell me to get away and get a real life.
I’m posting this picture in response to Alan’s moanful discourse on everyone’s predisposition to only post the good photos, the victorious stories, the good times online on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s not a bad picture, but it’s as bad as I’ll put up. It’s not George’s sleepy pic, and it’s not me with drool. But that’s it – I need a shave, I need a haircut, my eyes are tired, and all my chins are there in perfect harmony. And here’s the thing – there’s nothing wrong with that. We dress and cover to both hide our flaws from others and to hide others from themselves, I think. It’s a mutual understanding, and that’s not a bad thing. There’s enough raw brutal honesty that only deals with the looks, the scene, what the senses take in – but in my estimation, there’s not enough depth in the world. And that depth isn’t that we hide our ugliness, but instead that we hide our beauty for the same fear as well.
There’s room for more truth, more honesty, more authenticity. But I beg you, keep your bad photos off my FB wall, and I promise to do the same. Deal?
Slow relaxing start to a full Sunday in the Stilwell household. We’re up and almost ready for church this morning at Seacoast-Irmo. The kids are looking forward to their service in the old theater, and I’m ready for a good stretching and pulling spiritually in the main sanctuary as well.
Then we’ll head downtown for a parking space and lunch – I’m thinking Five Guys? Carolina Wings? – before hiking to The Colonial Center for Trans-Siberian Orchestra this afternoon. I’m really looking forward to that, an opportunity for our first all-of-us-are-going concert with a great stage show and Christmas rock.
After that, we’ll come home to finish up whatever leftovers are left over, and we’ll kick into our Advent time in the Mosaic Bible – again, something I’ve been looking forward to with all-of-us-in-attendance.
- My wife, Vicki, better every year.
- Our kids, growing up and maturing in spite of us.
- Family dinners, today and every Sunday.
- Jesus, loving and giving and bringing Life abundantly.
- Stretchy pants.
- New friends, making connections all over geography and the internet.
- Old friends, reconnecting all over geography and the internet.
- New fun exciting scary growth-inducing employment.
- Getting to travel these past few years to FL, to PA, to WA, to CA, to PR, to VA.
- Not having to travel nearly as much this past year.
- Twitter, for the semi-coherent “conversations” with followers and followings.
- Connecting with folks here in @ColumbiaSC where everyone’s #famouslyhot.
- Facebook, where everyone’s growing old and loving it instead of hiding it so much.
- Technology – no, really – that changes the dynamic of “relationship”, in a good way.
- Not having to sit at my laptop every night after work to keep working.
- Having time to read, to write, to read over what I write and edit a bit.
- That peanut butter pie.
- Both of you reading.
Thanks – and happy thanksgiving to all.