I Make Mistakes Everyday…And I’m Okay With That.

Okay, so I’ve been absent from the blogging scene for a while. Not that I haven’t been around; I’ve made a point to keep up with my social networks, commenting, tweeting, having some fabulous conversations with some of my fellow bloggers and perusing some new social media applications, making notes for my ongoing research. But as for actually writing a post of my own, I’ve come up against a wall.  Today after some Tweeting with the BlogBloke about whether or not to be controversial (I generally open my mouth when I shouldn’t, he was toning down a post), and catching up on emails I read a great post from Copyblogger about inspiration that ended up giving me just the push I needed. The post referred me to a site called The Quotations Page among other ways (music, reading great authors, leafing through magazines) to break through writers block when you feel like you just can’t write one more line. So I hopped on over the site and one of the first quotes to pop out at me was this one.

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.” – Mark Twain
I tend to be one of those that rushes forward, excited, into new situations feeling and learning my way along as I go. On one hand I tend to learn a lot this way and have a great deal of practical hands-on experience in many different areas of life. On the other hand, I have made many mistakes and incurred several injuries along the way.
However, having said that, I am proud to say that I live with no regrets for the way I live my life. I make mistakes,  I learn from them and then I move forward. Always move forward.The important part as the quote so eloquently points out is admission though. Most people don’t like to admit when they’re wrong. They will go to great lengths to hide every little flubb up. I include myself when I say that as I too have been guilty of posturing on more than one occasion. But there is wisdom in that quote.
If you go ahead and admit the mistake it tends to confuse others. I think it is true that most people expect you to try to get out of it, so by admitting you have done wrong, you leave them scratching their heads and then you look incredibly wise and on top of things. (I’ve even heard it can be a great way to get ahead in business, as long as you are not a constantly messing up.)
So what am I taking from this little lesson? I am going to try to admit to a few more mistakes. Who knows, maybe this will be just the crack in the wall I need to get the creative juices  flowing.
Thank goodness for Mark Twain. How would we ever Blog without him?
Photo courtesy of Creative.com


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Can Your Online Persona Strengthen Your Brand?

Not long ago I had a very interesting conversation via TweetChat with someone who is excellent at one thing, Branding.  We talked about how many of us bloggers have a unique online persona, one we share with the “world” as it may and one that may be different than our random everyday personality. Good or bad, it does happen and if you do it right, this may just  help you to succeed in the craziness of the online social media world.

From the feedback I received I realized that this idea is hardly new. Since the dawn of Hollywood and before, people have been using their public image to enhance their brand. I may not be a movie star, but many of the same techniques still apply. As a PR person, I learned many of these tricks and tips in school and thought I would now share them with you. So here is just a quick refresher on how to use your online identity (public persona) to help solidify your brand.

1. How important is a name? If you make a point to use your full name in all of your online interactions, that’s great…but remember that not everyone will agree and using your real name can inadvertently create enemies. As long as you remain thick skinned, this should be alright though. Another important thing to remember – if you use your name, all of your revelations whether they are professional or a rant against an insane boss are all linked to you. This can come back to bite you so if you choose to use your real name….be aware of the consequences that come with it. It is a good idea to go ahead and purchase your own domain while you’re at it. (oh and if you are curious…Google yourself and see what comes up – apparently I am an exotic dancer/stripper in Texas….who knew?)

2. According to Erik Qualman (@equalman) the author of the incredibly awesome book, “Socialnomics” , if you choose to develop your online brand based on a singular persona, (real or not) it is very important to have a singular image across all of your social media outlets. This may be a logo or even a picture. I really had no idea that one image could be that important, and then I felt silly since this is one of the first things hammered into your head in all advertising and marketing classes. We are a visual species, and more than remembering what is written, we will remember an image whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, FriendFeed or a blog. Therefore, pick an icon/image/photo that truly represents your brand and use it across the web. Soon, those who are interested in you and what you stand for will begin to read your online responses, or notice your “ads” simply because they see your icon, regardless if they are actually interested in the topic of the blog post or article.

3. No matter how “big” you become online, remember that you have a life…in the real world. When approached or contacted to speak, give presentations, be a guest-poster etc, remember that you are representing both your online persona (the person/brand the world is familiar with through your blog) and you as a person. If there is too much of a gap then your brand awareness could become tarnished. No one wants to feel they have been lied too or led on. While this may seem contradictory, one of the main things I have learned is that although I have deveoped a brand through my work online, I am still me and that is the person that I want people to respect.

Have thoughts? Has your personal brand ever interfered with your personal (off-line) life? Please feel free to share.

’till next time!

Karma for bloggers?

Girl twins with laptop computer.The Golden Rule Still Applies…

I have always been a big believer in karma, the golden rule, or whatever you choose to call it. Basically I try hard to put forth the same kind of energy that I hope to receive back from the world around me. I know this may sound idealistic, but hey that’s how I roll. I recently came across a similar viewpoint expressed very nicely on one of the blogs I follow,  The Urban Muse . Her post really made sense to me about how karma relays to the online blogosphere. I read several blogs regularly and I always try to pass on the tips and tricks that they so eloquently put forth. So therefore, in that vein, here are a few recent posts that I have come across that may help you in your quest to become a better blogger, writer and social media participant.

This is great stuff for helping your organization or blog to really develop your brand using social media.Here is an excerpt:

“In the Wild West of social media, over-protection would seem to be a natural response when faced with loss of control over the conversation, and indeed of the firm’s intellectual property, and yet this is almost certainly the wrong response.

Those brands that take the counter-intuitive path of celebrating their customers (even when they are infringing IP) and of sharing more of themselves (even if that means giving away more of their IP) will be the ones who will win.”

The next one, Understanding Social Media Guidelines for Employees – by Don Sears who writes at Careers, is probably one of the best short set of guidelines I have found for integrating social media into employee policy, which as we all are aware is moving to the forefront of many organization’s lists of concerns. He says:

“Protecting business and fighting negative perception are important to every company. The last thing they want or need is for employees to be out their in the social media sphere of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or anywhere else spouting false information, making their work life too transparent or arguing with other employees publicly.

Two companies taking social media seriously are Intel and IBM. Intel is taking it so seriously it apparently has created a department dedicated to the practices of smart social media, says ZDNet’s Jason Hiner.

From a human resources perspective, it’s a really wise move to have clear guidelines and policies, and for most employees, it’s good to know where your company stands on posting information–especially with issues of legality, copyright, company secrets and the like. I could very well see other companies borrowing from Intel’s and IBM’s social media guidelines.”

Well that is all I have for now. Hope you found this useful and if so, please pass it on, as in essence, that is how karma works. What goes around, comes around, the good, the bad and the ugly.


Presidential Debate – Who was more persuasive? and Does it matter to the general public?


“We will not destroy the planet and are arrogant if we think we will, the Earth will shake us off like a cockroach, which we essentially are….parasites that feed off the available resources without considering the limits of our excess.” – anonymous

I rarely watch television anymore. And apparently, I am not alone. My family has actively forgone the whole cable scam and therefore even with the aluminum covered rabbit ears we really don’t get much other than public broadcasting and the Spanish channel (for reasons unknown to me it is the clearest thing we get…)

However, we were able to pick up a fuzzy CBS tonight and I watched the presidential debates tonight….I am glad I did. Although I have pretty much made up my mind ( I am wearing an Obama T-shirt after all), I really wanted to hear McCain talk about things like health care, abortion and taxation.

I have to say I think that Obama did a better job this evening. He didn’t get nasty although he did get a few well placed shots in. I honestly felt that McCain skirted many of the issues presented and spent more time telling us about what was wrong with Obama and his campaign than what he [McCain] actually stood for.

From a PR standpoint, Obama did a better job at appealing to the public and defending his decisions with well documented facts rather than using attack methods. He was calm, collected and did a good job of presenting his point of view on several controversial issues without going so far as to “attack” McCain for his policies.

Maybe I am biased. There are after all many studies that show that we tend to hear only what we want to hear especially if we have in any way made up our minds…however, I think that McCain and Palin are simply not right for this country at this point in time.

I do not agree with all of Obama’s strategies, primarily his support of the “clean coal” initiative which is an absolute farce (in my opinion of course) as well as his sudden flip-flop on off-shore drilling. But overall, I think that despite his having less political experience than McCain, he has more of a disconnect from the “good old boy” network and will do more for the common/average American citizen than McCain.

I will admit that I sometimes wish it had been an Obama-McCain ticket–that would have been awesome.

If they could just work together…well that would have really been an awe-inspiring precedent for future political campaigns.

When it comes down to it, negative ads don’t really do a whole lot as far as influence….but having a real, factual-based argument is what is going to really convince voters. (at least those who are actually intelligent enough to make informed decisions. Unfortunately this country is often run by narrow-minded individuals with limited education who assume that whoever is on TV spouting bible verses is obviously fit to be a leader. You know some countries consider that to be a dictatorship…) Thankfully there are voices of reason out there.

I love living in a country that encourages outlets for free expression, like blogs. I hope that whoever is elected, we will continue to evolve as a democratic society that truly values the voice of the many rather than the limited voices of the elite few.

Want to disagree, or maybe even just agree to disagree? Let me know and keep the information flowing. That is what our country was based on after all.

Presidential Debate – Who was more persuasive? and Does it matter to the general public?


“We will not destroy the planet and are arrogant if we think we will, the Earth will shake us off like a cockroach, which we essentially are….parasites that feed off the available resources without considering the limits of our excess.” – anonymous

I rarely watch television anymore. And apparently, I am not alone. My family has actively forgone the whole cable scam and therefore even with the aluminum covered rabbit ears we really don’t get much other than public broadcasting and the Spanish channel (for reasons unknown to me it is the clearest thing we get…)

However, we were able to pick up a fuzzy CBS tonight and I watched the presidential debates tonight….I am glad I did. Although I have pretty much made up my mind ( I am wearing an Obama T-shirt after all), I really wanted to hear McCain talk about things like health care, abortion and taxation.

I have to say I think that Obama did a better job this evening. He didn’t get nasty although he did get a few well placed shots in. I honestly felt that McCain skirted many of the issues presented and spent more time telling us about what was wrong with Obama and his campaign than what he [McCain] actually stood for.

From a PR standpoint, Obama did a better job at appealing to the public and defending his decisions with well documented facts rather than using attack methods. He was calm, collected and did a good job of presenting his point of view on several controversial issues without going so far as to “attack” McCain for his policies.

Maybe I am biased. There are after all many studies that show that we tend to hear only what we want to hear especially if we have in any way made up our minds…however, I think that McCain and Palin are simply not right for this country at this point in time.

I do not agree with all of Obama’s strategies, primarily his support of the “clean coal” initiative which is an absolute farce (in my opinion of course) as well as his sudden flip-flop on off-shore drilling. But overall, I think that despite his having less political experience than McCain, he has more of a disconnect from the “good old boy” network and will do more for the common/average American citizen than McCain.

I will admit that I sometimes wish it had been an Obama-McCain ticket–that would have been awesome.

If they could just work together…well that would have really been an awe-inspiring precedent for future political campaigns.

When it comes down to it, negative ads don’t really do a whole lot as far as influence….but having a real, factual-based argument is what is going to really convince voters. (at least those who are actually intelligent enough to make informed decisions. Unfortunately this country is often run by narrow-minded individuals with limited education who assume that whoever is on TV spouting bible verses is obviously fit to be a leader. You know some countries consider that to be a dictatorship…) Thankfully there are voices of reason out there.

I love living in a country that encourages outlets for free expression, like blogs. I hope that whoever is elected, we will continue to evolve as a democratic society that truly values the voice of the many rather than the limited voices of the elite few.

Want to disagree, or maybe even just agree to disagree? Let me know and keep the information flowing. That is what our country was based on after all.