Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Moving

I’m sorry to do this, but I am moving my blog (actually.. just combining  blogs). You will now be able to find me at:

www.racheldiscovershappiness.wordpress.com

You can read about why I am moving by clicking here.

I hope I will see you on my other blog! (That one is probably more fun to read anyway…)

Have a wonderful Monday!

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Friday Links 2012: Week 5

This week was so crazy. I hardly had time to check email and read my morning websites. In fact, I don’t think I read my normal allotment of sites a single day this week, so I apologize for the lame links.

As I said in my other blog, I’m not quite ready to share everything with Cyber Land yet, but I promise it will happen within the next few days.

Anyway, here you go:

And a picture from today just because I thought this tea was pretty.

(**Squeals!!**)

I hope your week was productive and that your February started out wonderfully!


Why Social Media? Because I Said So.

If you are reading this blog it probably means that you are relatively well versed in the world of social media. You may have a Facebook account that you use to keep in touch with friends, a Twitter account that you use to follow your favorite celebrities, and a LinkedIn account for connecting to colleagues. Even if it does not play a key role in your profession, you still use it for personal reasons.

my Mac wireless keyboard

Because of your use of social media, you have most likely heard people complain each time Facebook or Twitter changes the appearance of the site. You have heard comments about how stupid, pointless, and time-consuming social media is. You’ve probably even thought of those things yourself once or twice. Well, unfortunately for everybody who complains about social media (but fortunately for me, somebody who makes a living partially from knowing the ins and outs of social media), it isn’t going anywhere.

The two jobs that I have now are both centered around social media. For one of them I am a Media Specialist and helped develop the entire social media campaign for the brand. For the other, Sustainable Danville Area*, I was hired, with grant money designated specifically for social media development for local businesses, in order to help develop the social media platform for SDA, and its participating businesses. More accurately, actually, the grant was for the Danville Area Sustainable Business program, but that’s neither here nor there.

The reason I am telling you all this is because, up until last night, I never realized how difficult it is to describe the importance, rather, the imperativeness of social media.

Last night, as I stood in front of 20 sustainable local business owners and explained how I was going to help them increase their use and effectiveness of social media, I was greeted by two types of looks:

  1. Half of them looked at me as though they had never heard terms “Facebook,” “Twitter,” and “Hashtag” in their lives
  2. The other half looked at me with recognition of the terms, but no idea how to put a “hashtag” into effect

Oy vey. I had my work cut out for me.

Without assistance from an overhead projector to show what I was talking about so everybody could see, my words just seemed empty. They had no idea what a Twitter handle was. They didn’t understand that every time you put “#” and then a word, it turns into a link to a page that shows you everybody else who is talking about that same topic. They didn’t get why that was even important.

I know it’s kinda ridiculous for me to get frustrated with them, after all, the fact that not everybody knows the ins and outs of social media is what keeps me in business, but it was very hard for me to fight the urge to take the parent-child question stance and answer every “Why does it do that?” and “Why is that important?” and “How will that help me with my brand?” question with “Because it just does.” “Because it just is.” and “Because it just will.” It was exhausting to explain everything so many times without having a computer in front of me. Try explaining the internet to your aunt or uncle who still sends you Pokemon cards for your birthday, still hasn’t switched over to MP3s from cassette tapes, and still uses a typewriter instead of a computer. It’s extremely difficult.

my dad's old typewriter

I’m kind of kidding about that. But in all honesty, I will never try to explain anything having to do with the internet unless myself or the person I am talking to or both of us are in front of a computer.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy teaching people what I know about social media. It means that my skills are relevant and despite the widespread knowledge about how to use the internet (especially with people my own age), not everybody knows how to use it.

After the presentations were over I had the opportunity to speak to a few local business owners one-on-one. This gave me an opportunity to use my laptop and show them my personal twitter account. Once I showed them what I meant by hashtags, followers, and user names, they perked up a bit. Once I told them that there are applications they can use to schedule posts so they didn’t have to be online all day every day, they were ecstatic. They got so excited that they all wanted to schedule one-on-one social media tutoring sessions with me. It was so nice to see their enthusiasm once they could see what I was talking about.

Although I am so happy to help them with their small businesses, I’m not going to lie and say that it wasn’t a relief to wake up this morning and connect to the social media world full of people who actually understand the platforms they are using (that means you!). I’m thrilled that so many local businesses want to receive help with their social media, but I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be to explain the purpose and importance of social media in layman’s terms.

Okay, now that I’ve vented a bit I am feeling a little bit better about my presentation last night (I got emails from a few of the businesses who were in attendance – yay!)

Have you ever tried to explain the uses of social media to somebody who didn’t quite understand the purpose? How did you handle it? What have you found to be the best tactics for explaining platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest?

*Don’t judge our website. I haven’t had time yet, but I am planning on taking a good hard look at the functionality of the website and make changes so that it is more organized.


More time, please

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?

Okay, that’s a rhetorical question. But still, the reason I ask is because that’s how I felt yesterday. Actually, that’s how I feel this week. I know it’s the holidays and that means that everybody is a little bit more stressed than usual, but it just seems like this holiday season snuck up on me and there aren’t enough days before Christmas (which, in my divorced family, is never a calm and relaxing day with family). Perhaps it’s because it’s the first time ever that I don’t have a winter break because I am no longer a student. Granted, my boss is giving me the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, but honestly I think I’d rather have the week before Christmas off… more time for shopping, wrapping, and relaxing.

Anyway, I’m not going to get into that right now. The purpose of this post is actually to tell you about one of the things I wish I had more time to do: reading. I’m not talking about the Freshly Pressed blog posts on WordPress (although I do love those, nor am I talking about articles I get from my daily news sites, Twitter accounts that I follow, or friends’ Facebook posts.

I’m talking about real-live, turn the pages (or click the “next page” button on my Kindle), smell the ink, crack the spine because you’ve read it so much, highlight the quotes, underline the passages that speak to you, absorb the stories, get lost in someone else’s world, books.

When I was younger I used to read all the time. In fact, my step mom, in an effort to get KB to read, decided she would pay us to read during the summers so that we would have money to spend on our family vacations every August. Well, it didn’t quite help KB (although in her recent adventures in Copenhagen she has developed a taste for reading, especially the Hunger Games series which I highly, highly recommend), but it was fun for the rest of us because Caitlin, Pookie, and I read so much that we each got about $100 by the end of the summer. (No, I don’t remember what the calculation for the money was.. maybe $1/hr?) But I digress.

The point is, I loved, and still love, to read.

I have an entire bookshelf of books that I haven’t read. I even had to get rid of a bunch of books on my shelf to make room for the books that I had stacked all over my room and in my closet that were taking up space and driving my step mom crazy.

I get books at every holiday. I get book recommendations from friends. I get lost in the book aisle in Target, or in the line at the grocery store. Every time I walk into a book store, used or new – it doesn’t matter, I find at least 5 new books that I want to read (well, 5 on the “new paperback” table…) And it doesn’t help that Caitlin, my step mom, and Caitlin’s friend Ayesha all have such wonderful book recommendations! Ayesha even has a book blog called Bound By Books (you should really check it out)!

Because I love reading so much but don’t get to do it very much anymore, I am making a vow to myself (not a New Year’s resolution, because really, when do those ever work?!) that I will set aside time each day to unplug from my computer, disconnect from the internet, put down the iPhone, and simply relax and read.

I really miss doing that.

Oh yeah, and you can view my list of books to read by checking out my list here: Books I Want to Read


The List Master

Hello, my name is Rachel and I’m a list-aholic… well, I prefer List Master (it’s nicer).

I make lists for just about everything. I keep a notepad by the side of my bed, in my purse, and by the computer just in case a list inspires me. I know what you’re thinking, why do you have to write down your lists if you have electronics that will help you organize lists?

Well, I will tell you (using a list, of course):

  • I like drawing the little box next to each item on my list
  • I like checking off said little box next to each item on my list
  • I like flipping through my lists and seeing everything I’ve accomplished
  • I like organizing all of my papers, documents, online resources, etc. and lists are a wonderful way to do that
  • There is something satisfying about being able to physically write things down – sometimes technology just gets exhausting!

Because of my obsession with lists, I figured I’d put some of my favorite lists on this blog. I have created a page of (mostly) fun lists and I hope you enjoy them. They are things like places I want to travel to, places I have traveled to, things I enjoy doing, things I want to accomplish (to be explained later), and anything else I deem worth of making into a list.

Now, I know Big Sister Caitlin will laugh at me when she reads this post because I guarantee the first thought that will come to her mind is “Woah, Pookie (or Shashona as Caitlin calls her) is the real List Master. No way can you steal that qualifications from her!” and my response to her will be “Well, tough cookies Big Sister Caitlin. I make lists too. When Pookie/Shashona starts a blog of lists, then we can talk. Come to think of it, I think that would be a very funny thing for Pookie to do. I will recommend it to her. Thanks for the idea Big Sister Caitlin!”

And with that thought, on to list making! Have a wonderful day.


Dear Reader(s)

My Dear Readers (aka Caitlin and maybe Devery… it’s a little hard to develop a following when you only post once and then are inactive for two weeks…)

Anyway, as I was saying,

My Dear Readers:

I sincerely apologize for being missing from the blog world since my first post. It was slightly silly of me to post one entry about how excited I am to start a new blog, and then not post for almost 15 days. I promise, there is good reason for that and I will try not to let it happen again. I have a lot of ideas about what to post running through my head, and I suppose I should just write the post whenever I have it in my mind instead of putting it off, but sometimes there are other things that need to get done and the blog gets put on the back burner. Other things like work. Or trips to Denmark to visit one of my little sisters. Or my birthday.

Yes, that’s right, I was MIA on my first week of blogging because I was in Denmark with my dad’s family to visit one of my sisters (read my big sister’s post about the trip over at Two Cubed), and then I missed out on my second post because this past week was my birthday and I was down in San Luis Obisop, CA for work. 

So now, this is me, vowing to you, my dedicated reader(s), that I will write more often and that I will try to keep your attention by being entertaining and/or interesting. 

Sincerely,

Rachel


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