Archive for April, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes

Friday, April 19th, 2013

My Niece

She may not be truly a baby but I was 21 when she was born.   Is she smart!  Of course I say that because I love her. Every time I see her or talk to her, (which the seeing part is not often enough), we talk on the phone a lot and text LOTS – that is how she mainly stays in touch.

She is on the move, in the military, has a full time job, hanging with her buds, doing stuff.  But she always makes time for the “I Love You, Auntie”  text.  I am the luckiest girl on earth.  Whenever we see each other we can pick up right where we left off because we don’t have months of old news to flog through to get down to important stuff, us.  How she is doing, how she feels, her dreams. Some times I feel like I am talking to “myself.”

She Lets Me Pick Her Brain

I almost always ask her what her favorite “APP” is she is using on her phone.  Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of those that she has passed on to me that I have tried and love too.  Perhaps you have one you would like to share?  Put it in the comments below and we will try it and share it with everyone.

Our Favorites

USUALLY cost nothing or darned near to it.  Unless one of us has shared one we really LOVE and absolutely can’t live without, we always try a FREE one first.

My First Favorite APP “Family”

Andrew Johnson  has a series of Apps that focus on relaxation techniques that are just wonderful.  Of course I think his accent is sexy which certainly helps me relax.  But he has CD’s and MP3’s too.  His blog. As you go down through it, you really can see what this guy is all about.  This isn’t “HOCUS POCUS”.

Here are just 4 things Andrew and his Relaxation Techniques can help you with:

  • Quitting Smoking
  • Getting Fit
  • Losing weight
  • Sleep Troubles

Any and all of these we know add stresses on top of everything else to our lives and though we may not be the “type” to go see a hypnotherapist in their office, these tools are helpful and YOU can use them when YOU need them.  They are not all free certainly but there are a few free ones so you can try for yourself.  Lie down and prepared to relax and as Andrew says, “Breathe.”  You may just realize how your stress has messed with your breathing and it goes on and on from there.

I started using a couple of these about a year ago and then I kinda forgot about them, but in the past month I have been religious about using one at  least every day.  He has a great Power Nap one that wakes you up in about 20 minutes and you feel like you have slept for hours and you are wide awake.

The best thing about Andrew Johnson is that even after a million downloads, I contacted him through his Facebook Page about this post.  And he wrote back.  He is real and you can count on him.  He is right inside of your ipod, phone or other device and you can hear him anytime you want (or need) to.

 

Could Google Hangout Be the New Interview?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

 The Good Ole Days

You get a phone call or a letter from the company that you have been dying to hear from, you get your chance- you get an interview-for a job, to get into graduate school or to land an account or project.  Soooo exciting.  And to make it even better they have asked for a “phone” interview set up and they want to use Google Hangout or Skype.

If you have never Skyped or used Google Hangout…

This post will not be a tutorial on how to use Skype or Google Hangout, each application has great “Help” areas where you can learn how to do it.  But one piece of advice is:  NEVER make the most important call your first attempt at using a platform – practice on someone that knows how to use them and can walk you through it.  You need to make sure you have all the settings on your computer correct, maybe have headphones and/or microphone handy.  Does your computer have a webcam, do you need one?

Google Profile Picture

If you do not have a webcam, make sure your Google + Profile picture  is what you want it to be for the occasion.  Hangout pulls that image and if you are without a webcam, it flashes in the middle of the screen so make sure that photo isn’t one of you doing something that was funny when you posted it but not so funny now when you are going for the interview.

The View

If you are using a webcam make sure what people are seeing behind your head or next to you is what you want also.  This is an interview after all and that first impression is very important.  Having the background of a dirty dorm room or something less than flattering is a bad idea. Test it.  If it isn’t something you like, then either go somewhere that there is a good background or stage one.

If this call involves a job where you may be working with kids, perhaps the “sippy cup” with water in it is perfect. You can use this staging to market yourself too, is the company an outdoors company?  Do you have a picture on the wall behind you of your favorite salmon river?  (I do)  It is easy to find some common ground with the interviewer or the company especially when you take a couple minutes to give them something pertinent to look at.

Distractions

Just like you probably wouldn’t bring your children to a client’s office for a business appointment, leave them in the waiting room or bring them in the room with you, make sure they aren’t climbing all over you, this means your dogs too (especially in my case.)  Turn down the music and focus on the conversation and the interviewer.  TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF and don’t be checking your email.  It’s rude.

Pretty Easy, Right?

I have been on more conference calls, webinars, etc. where I have seen all of these scenarios.  You would think people would know better. When that person isn’t right in the room with you negotiating salary and benefits, they are still there and they can see a lot.

Michael Fox

I found this post while I was researching.  It is very good and has some helpful information, even though it is from 2012, it is still accurate and well written.  (Disclaimer:  I don’t know Michael in the business sense or personally.)  He brings up some interesting points including ones about security on Google Hangout, it is well worth the read.

Thank you for reading.

 

What ARE you DOING?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

You know, Who You Are…or Who “They” Are.

Those people on Facebook, Twitter and the like that use these platforms FOR THEIR USE ONLY. Then see what everyone else is doing, maybe to use it as a tool to ambush someone or tell YOU about something THEY learned about a person on Facebook and make snide remarks about it.   I am at the point of doing a few things:

  • Ditching them as “Friends”
  • Unfollowing them on Twitter
  • Should I block them all together?
I have posted more than once the idea of the Social Media Stalker mentality, how we ALL know the selfish people in our lives behave the same way on Social Media as they do in real life.  It is not pretty sometimes.

THEY Want Something:

The best thing about Social Media is that it is much easier to see the pattern than it may be in real life.  There are time stamps and in most cases a “feed” so you can see the activity. (IRL=In Real Life)  You hang out with your friends, they hang out with others and it always comes out – most often not in the same group that brought up the topic in the first place.  You do not see it in real life  as easily or quickly.
In Social Media vs. face to face it is:  “Did you see what Miss Whozit said on Facebook?  It seemed ridiculous, I cannot believe it, what a loser.”
YUCK YUCK YUCK…

Knowledge is POWER

When you live in a small town, like I do,  rumors run around town fast and with Social Media it is even more LIGHT speed.  People that never had knowledge before, now have it, use it and ‘make hay’ with it.  People that are your “FRIENDS” on Facebook may not be your “FRIENDS” as we know true friends to be.  To me a true friend is someone that would come to your Mom’s funeral, shovel you out in a pinch, pick up your kids at daycare when you are not feeling well, call you to just say, “I Miss You.”  You see where I am going here, right?

This behavior comes down to a simple thing my mom always said (and still says today):

“If you aren’t going to say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

MY 2013 version:

“If you are not going to get into the conversation, offer support by posting something on their wall or call the person because they are crying out for help in a different way then – SHAME ON YOU!
Are we just “bullies” in an older form?  Sermon over.
*Disclaimer:  This post isn’t because this recently happened to “Yours Truly”, but I heard it about it.  It makes me go “Bo Bo, so beware.”

 

Why Tweet?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Where are we going?

A while ago I wrote a post for the Sephone blog that discussed goals and various social media platforms that are free to use.  There is no right or wrong goal but of course some are better than others and they have to be yours.

When I first set up my Twitter account, it was February of 2008.  My goal at that time was to learn what this “thing” did because as we all know NOW it was part of the revolution in marketing that changed how people pass information around and keep in touch with one another.

Since then, how people behaved on Twitter, how they said things, (shortened URL’s, for example) became the norm of the Twitterverse.  Also how you can stuff the most info into 140 characters and how many external applications that can help those of us that work in this business can use and how we mixed and matched other platforms and used Twitter to spread the word.

Having a Goal is Important

It is easy to get lost in all the nitty gritty details and lose site of what you are trying to accomplish.  When I hear someone say, “I don’t need to know what you had for breakfast.”  I want to scream.  Since everything is so automated these days, scheduling tweets/posts, etc. it is easy to think that there is a live person on the other end of that message and there may not be.  Or there isn’t one right now when you read it or is there?

Examples of my Twitter Goals:

  • My Front Page News: Learn about things that I need to know that I wouldn’t be able to find by myself.
  • Share information that I find interesting or helpful.
  • Keep myself and my company “Top of Mind” with people I know personally and those I may have never met.
  • Get smiles – as a virtual worker my face to face dialogue is somewhat limited, Twitter makes me feel like I am actually talking to people instead of myself (or my dogs!)

Twitter Works for Me

I am not known for my patience.  Short bursts of information with a link to  “More”  is perfect.  I have my phone handy I can see it there easily, or on my ipad or laptop.  If I have a friend or client that has asked me a question about something I can easily pass it on. Also my clients and the media can too, if they tweet.

“Knickers in a Knot”

One of my favorite Canadian friends said once, “Don’t get your knickers in a knot” about some lofty goal that reminds you of your last nightmare strategic planning session.  Just write it down for yourself, perhaps put it in your profile to let followers know how they can help you or for them to know how you can help them.

And TWEET – have fun with it.  Find people to follow and give them something to look at when they decide if they want to follow you!

Me?  I am @ladyotrout or @sephone.  See you in the Twittersphere!