Making A Big World A Little Smaller

This morning I tweeted out the words  “I love how Twitter takes a great big world and makes it so much smaller.”

Some of you knew what I was talking about.  But for those who don’t…

Last night my BlogHer roomie, Karen (agentninenty9), lost her mom.  It was expected, as much as these things ever can be, but so much more sudden than they thought.  They were told they would have several more months with her mom, after she was diagnosed with cancer.  It turned out to be weeks.

I DM’d a few people on Twitter, who I knew talked to Karen, and started a fund so we can get her something.  Right now we’re looking at a gift basket, some flowers, and a donation to the Cancer Society in Karen’s name.

This is all going to be delivered to Karen by acraftymom‘s parents, who just happen to live in the same town as Karen and actually know her.  See what I mean by Twitter making a big world much smaller?  Amazing.

The reason for this post is I wanted to reach out to others who know Karen and might want to contribute.  I didn’t want to tweet it out, on the chance Karen saw it (which is why I’m not linking to her name or website in this post).  But I’m banking on the fact that she’s not going to be reading blogs right now.

So…  I know it’s right after Christmas and money is tight, but if you would like to and are able to contribute to this, you can click on the paypal button below (this goes to my paypal account and I will send those who donate an email with exactly what was sent to Karen, once the money is in.  Anything above and beyond the cost of a gift basket and flowers will be donated to the Cancer Society in Karen’s name).  People always ask ‘how much should I donate?’, ‘what’s everyone else donating?’.  I’ve had everything from $5 to $50.  So base it on what you personally can afford.  And if you can’t afford to contribute, that’s OK.  Send Karen a tweet of encouragement instead.  She really needs those right now.

If you have any questions, you know where to find me.

Thanks to all.

pixel Making A Big World A Little Smaller

Telemarketers of Twitter

I love being on Twitter.  It’s a huge community of friends who I can rely on to alternately pick me up or kick me in the ass, when ever I need it.

But even the best things have their downside.

With Twitter it’s the auto-DM’s and spam.  And to be clear, I consider auto-DM’s to be spam.

Sending someone you’ve just started following an auto-DM is like walking up to a complete stranger in the mall, handing them your business card without saying a word, and walking away.

Do you really think that person is going to even look at that business card?

Or would it go straight into the trash, along with their opinion of you?

If you want to sell to me, interact with me.  Make me care about what you have to offer.

Because, lets face it.  Any auto-DM, no matter how innocuous it may be, is trying to promote your product, store, blog, or person, to someone you have no prior relationship with.

People who auto-DM are the telemarketers of the Twitter world.

And I’m definitely not buying whatever it is you’re selling.

Follow Friday – I’d Hit That

I’m one of those people that it’s not just looks that makes someone attractive to me.  It has to be a whole package deal.

Beauty, brains, personality… yeah, I’m greedy like that.

So here are a few of the “Mommy’s” I follow on Twitter that are the full meal deal.  And that I’d totally hit given the opportunity.

  • MommyGeekology – You might remember her from my Relationship Series.  Well, in addition to being a wild woman in the bedroom, she’s also a brilliant web designer.  See…smart AND sexy.
  • MommyNeedsMeds – This woman puts the YUM in yummymommy.  And she still manages to look kick ass hawt wile running after five (yes, count them, 5) kids.  Yet she still finds time to be a witty on Twitter.  It exhausts me just thinking about it.
  • BrainofaMommy - Smart, sassy, snarky.  And ooooohhhh… so cute.  Her unapologetic style also really turns me on.

If you’d like to play along on Follow Friday, than link up, and if you’re so inclined, grab a badge.


Followfriday Follow Friday   Id Hit That

Spot the Difference

As I sat on the couch last night and tried to finish up a client ezine, Vista got up from the floor where she was using Bil as a jungle gym, grabbed her ‘laptop’, and climbed up on the couch next to me.

V at photoshoot Spot the DifferencePart of me laughed, but there was a little part of me that was completely horrified. I want her to be two. I want her to play with blocks and barbies. I want her to create with paintbrush not Paint.Net.

So I watched the great interest when Momspotting was launched on BlogHer back in November. I wanted to see how other moms handled technology with their children. I wanted to see how they navigated this digital minefield.

I have to say, I’ve been a bit disappointed so far.

Momspotting has become less about families and technology and more about being in an exclusive group.

It’s easy to find this group of moms. Just do a search on Twitter for the hashtag #momspotting.

Oh, but don’t use it yourself. Oh no. That hash tag is just for this exclusive group. If you use it and they catch you, you will be sent a sternly worded DM or email letting you know that YOU are not a Momspotter and THEY are and YOU can’t use #momspotting because it’s only for THEM.

I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.

I’ve never personally gotten one of these gems myself, but I have several friends who have and have showed me the polite, but stern, ‘you’re not one of us’ notes.

So instead of Momspotting opening a dialogue about how we protect and direct our children in this age of technology, it’s become a marker to denote a closed group. This has been evidenced by more and more of these tweets having nothing to do with technology (and wasn’t that the point?)

I think this was a noble initiative. And it had (and still does have) huge potential. But it needs to be an inclusive conversation starter.

Rather than having these 20 or so moms ‘owning’ this hashtag, why not make them the leaders instead? Let them prompt, coach, and encourage everyone to share their own experiences, their own tips, their own rules around technology and their families.

But by shutting people down when they try to participate and use the #momspotting tag, they’re nullifying a huge part of the effect they could have. People want to be part of a conversation, not just spoken at.

Sometimes It’s The Simple Things

I was watching Vista, this morning, play with, of all things, a flashlight.

The look of delight on her face as she turned it on and off and ran around shining the light at everything brought a smile to my face.

Not 5 minutes earlier, I had been using the same flashlight to look for something under the couch (don’t even ask me what I found under there), but I never gave it a second thought.  It took a two year old to make me stop an appreciate the little extra light in my life.

Every once in a while I’m lucky enough to come across someone who does the same thing.  Just manages with a word to bring that extra bit of light to my life.

Anissa Mayhew is one of those people.

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person.  I only know her from chatting with her on Twitter.  But, she has the wonderful ability to may you feel incredibly important and loved, no matter how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things.

The other day she sent me a DM saying I was ‘good people’.  I won’t lie.  It put a smile on my face for the next three days.

I imeditately sent her a message back saying I felt the same way.  In my book, she is the best of what people can be.

That why, my heart just about shattered when I found out yesterday that she’s in the ICU after having a stroke.

A stroke.

This is not an old, feeble person.  This is a young, vibrant, mother of three.

I’m posting this under Wordless Wednesday because there are no words to say how I feel.

My heart goes out to her family and friends.

I am sending all the good thoughts, hopes, and wishes I can for her speedy recovery.  Because the world needs good people like her.

For updates and to find out how you can help, please visit Heather Spohr’s site.

For those who would like to donate and help the family out with their expenses, here is the link to a paypal donation page

4114683939 c28d0ed5bb o Sometimes Its The Simple Things

So You’re Not In The Popular Crowd

Quite frankly, get over it. Really.

I just read a post lamenting the fact some big name blogger doesn’t respond to her and wont mentor her.

I am hearing and seeing this attitude more and more.

An expectation of ‘I read your blog and comment and I tweeted you so now you must pay attention to me dammit!’

Um, no. Hate to break it to you, but that’s not how life works.

I don’t follow everyone who follows me. Not because I’m a bitch (I am, but that’s not why). Not because I think I’m bigger / better / more important. I don’t. I comes down to two very simple things.

  1. Interest.  Are you saying something that interests me?  If you’re not, then you’re just noise in my twitter stream and blog reader and I don’t bother.  This directly feeds into my second point.
  2. Time.  There are only so many hours in a day.  I would LOVE to spend all day reading blogs and responding on twitter, but I don’t have the time.  I have a 2yr old that needs to be paid attention to, fed, loved, taken places.  I have animals that need to be cared for.  I have a house that needs to be looked after.  I have a husband that I like to spend time with once in a blue moon.  I have business deadlines.  So, all that stuff needs to be balanced.

I do love getting comments on my blogs and on twitter.  The day I stop loving it is the day I will stop blogging.  And when I have the time, I try to go through and respond to every single one to let people know how much I appreciate them.  But there are days where that’s just not possible.  I run out of hours and steam and have to sleep at some point (why do I feel like I should apologize for that??)

iStock 000006428830XSmall 300x199 So Youre Not In The Popular CrowdAnd that’s just me.  When you look at bloggers and tweeters who have thousands and hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s not realistic to expect them to possibly have the time to respond to each and everyone.  When your time is finite you’re going to respond to those people you have established relationships first.  That’s just natural.

And yes, there are blogging cliques and twitter cliques.  I’m guilty of this.  I have a group of people I gravitate to, because we share common interests and personalities.  Cliques exist in real life.  In a perfect world they wouldn’t, but this isn’t a perfect world.  It’s reality.

So rather than going on about how ‘so and so’ won’t talk to me, focus on people who will.  Build relationships with them.    Those people will recommend you to their friends.  Those friends will recommend you to their friends.  And eventually you may find yourself having dinner with that one person who was at one time out of reach.

Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth.  I’ve made amazing friends and connections from people who were recommended to me.  I’ve also been able to network with some great people after being recommended by a mutual friend.

But if you’re only focused on climbing the popularity ladder, being an attention whore, and using people for what they can do for you, you’re going to find a lot of doors closed to you.  People talk.  Remember that.

If I can give people starting out any advice it would be the words of my very brilliant friend Colleen:  “Instead of trying so hard,  just be yourself.”

So, instead of sending emails, requests, comments, tweets to the biggest name bloggers, find people that you can build relationships with.  People you have things in common with.  People who like you for you.  The rest? Will come… all in good time.

    Paging Dr. Twitter

    Shot Paging Dr. TwitterPeople who don’t use Twitter don’t get Twitter.

    It’s a powerful beast.

    And I’m not even talking from the ‘social media’ perspective.

    I’m talking from the perspective of a mother.

    The day Vista managed to get a huge sliver in her finger that I couldn’t get out , I mentioned it on twitter and immediately had a dozen suggestions on different tricks that might make it easier to remove.  And it worked.  Sliver removed without crying and fuss.

    The day we took V to the hospital for yet another round of gastro issues, I twittered it.  I was overwhelmed with support from mom’s who had been there with their kids.  Who walked me through different meds.  Who twittered me about different procedures the docs might suggest and what they all meant.  The pros and cons of each.  They offered phone numbers and then sat there on the phone offering support while we waited to be seen in the ER.  And most people just offered support, good thoughts, prayers.  All of which meant so much.

    On Monday night of this week when I mentioned V had spiked a sudden fever and a cough, Dr. Twitter pronounced it Swine Flu and advised me to get some Tamiflu for her.  I should know better than to doubt the all powerful Dr. Twitter.  I put it off til she got worse on Wednesday.  Took her into the local ER and walked out with our Tamiflu prescription.

    Then yesterday afternoon, I mentioned on twitter the wheezing when she was breathing and the barking sound she was making when she cried.  Several experienced mom’s popped up to tell me Vista had croup and I should take her in.  I brushed it off, attributing the symptoms to the flu (yes, silly me…. I’m a slow learner).

    Later that night, after V decided to drop a soup can on her big toe (why yes, it’s been the week from hell.  Thank you for asking), the first place I went was twitter.  I was informed by the Mom’s Who Have Been There Done That that the toe would need to be x-rayed and then the nail would probably need to be punctured and drained.  Guess who was right again?

    We bundled up Vista, took her into the ER.  The nurses took one look at her and said “She has croup”.  We explained that we weren’t actually here about that.  That we figured it was probably the flu and we were actually here to have her toe looked at.  After they picked their jaws up off the floor we were informed it was lucky we brought her in because of her toe.  The wheezing (stridor) we were hearing when she was at rest was NOT a good sign in terms of croup.  The doctor refused to do anything about the toe until the croup had been looked after for fear of getting her upset and sending her into respiratory distress.  So she was plied with steroids and popsicles to take care of the croup.  Later, as per the Twitter consensus, her toe was x-rayed (verdict was no visible break) and after a quick puncture of the nail we were on our way home.

    Time and time again, my friends on twitter have been there for me.  With advice, recommendations, personal experience, and support.   I have learned that doctors give you REALLY funny looks when you say “My twitter peeps think this is the issue”, especially when it turns out they’re right on the money.  But I have learned to turn to these people first.  They are my rocks.  My support.  They are what keeps me going when I just want to sit down and give up.

    So, to     

    To all those amazing people who are constantly there for me, there’s only one thing I can say.

    Thank you.

    You’re An Expert In WHAT Exactly?

    Dear Twitter follower.

    When calling yourself a ‘Social Media Consultant’ it’s helpful to have more than 100 followers on Twitter to back up your claims.

    After all, I’m just a stay at home mom and I have over 800 followers (some of them actually real people even… I think).  So what does that make me?  A Social Media Guru Extraordinaire?  No, I didn’t think so.

    Your web designs are lovely.  And I appreciate the fact you have a strong background in design and marketing.

    But throwing a few things up on Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube does not make you an expert in social media any more than my eating cheese makes me an expert on cows.

    With that in mind, please take those silly claims off your page and build some credibility before you start selling yourself as an expert in anything.

    socialmediaconsultantwordle 300x202 Youre An Expert In WHAT Exactly?


    Yeah, I totally just made that word up.

    But it totally works.

    No, really.  It does….cause I say so.  And I’m the Princess.  And I’m grouchy so you have to do what I say.

    Well, OK, not really.  But it’s my blog and I’ll make up words if I want to dammit.

    So there.

    Yeah.  Anyway.  Where was I?

    Oh right.  OverSelfPromotionalizing.

    I’ve been seeing more and more people on my twitter stream who are less about the social aspect of Twitter and more about the self promotion aspect.

    I don’t mind the occasional tweet to let me know what’s going on with your business/promotion/giveaway/etc. In fact I’ll often retweet these as there are some great people with really quality things to share.

    But there is a point where it starts to border on the redonkulous.

    When every second tweet is something about how fabulous your company is?  I’ll probably unfollow you.

    When you tweet not once, not twice, but three times about some comment you posted on some big name blog (ooooo.. look at me!  I can comment on a famous blogger’s blog!  Everyone look at me, look at me, look at *thwap*)  Yeah, I’m definitely going to unfollow your ass.

    Because, really?  Get the fuck over yourself.  I already have.

    Follow Friday: The Better Late Than Never Edition

    While furiously doing laundry, organizing camping supplies, and listing a 2 year old on ebay, I realized I hadn’t done my Follow Fridays.

    So here it is… (I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath)

    OK, off you go.  Enjoy your new best friends.

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