Do I Want to Get An Extra Hour Out Of Every Day?

There is a list below offering a myriad of ways to gain back an hour of time. Hey. You could use part of that hour to write for pleasure or business development!!!

And I agree with most of the list..but do I work at all of them all of the time?  Not always and this blog post is about a particular suggestion made that I am going to springboard from…for the sake of making a point!

I LOVE #13. “Eliminate activities which make little contribution to the best results for your life.”

Where you and writing are concerned what activities make the least contribution to the best writing you can do?

In other words, what actitivies and beliefs do you need to shed?

Let’s start here: Thinking you can’t write isn’t helpful. If you send email, you are a writer. You may not be as imaginative or spontaneous or graceful a writer as you’d like to be but if you can convey information, write poetry, an occasional short story, an informational article, or leave a great comment on someone else’s piece–you can write.

If your beef with yourself is about writing “better” or more freely or with more ease, there is always help to found. One need simply ask for it. Sometimes getting to the point of asking for constructive help is where the creative journey begins. Are you willing to ask and then do the work?

“Creative Writing” is put on a mighty high pedestal by many. Often far above Business Writing and Technical Writing. Truth is all of these forms of writing are important. Where would we be without strong technical writers for manuals and directions for putting together IKEA bookshelves (okay, that was a jab at those directions). What would we do if business copy lacked personality? Yawn?

Learning the art of storytelling for the page is what I am talking about! It can be hard work if we doubt our abilities. It could be fun if we committed to practicing every opportunity we had. And that is where I come in.

I’ve met people who tell me with conviction they are not creative. And then I tell them, that can’t possibly be true. Yet they believe they are not creative or skillful at writing. I take on being a stand for their creativity and the belief we all have access to creativity anytime. Writing rules can be learned. Being creative can be cultivated. It gets easier with practice. Writing practice is no different than a gym work out in principle.

My mission professionally and spiritually is simple to me: to educate, inform and inspire writers to love writing and write with heartfelt confidence from an authentic voice.

Getting people to like their own writing is sometimes difficult work and if I could I’d call your elementary school teacher (or the first one) who told you that you weren’t a good writer and give them a piece of my mind…I just might.

Why do we take that misplaced and possibly well intended comment to heart? We all are impacted by early statements made “unconsciously” in ways we don’t imagine at the tender age of seven or nine or fourteen. Another Truth for me: Unwinding and reprogramming ourselves as adults is quite simply more work than cultivating a state of creative openness from childhood. Granted we need patient parents and teachers to keep us on track as we learn the basics as young writers and readers, but can you imagine growing up with the conscious and sub-conscious message that YOU are a creative developing person and your ideas are welcome?

How would that make you feel? And how might that manifest as the future working adult you become, be you self-employed or working in a larger company?

And as for getting an extra hour out of each day, do I want to?

I’ll start tomorrow. Or maybe I will choose to stay up a little late when it gets quieter in my head and outside as well and I find creativity flows through me with more ease.

And in the case you are interested in recapturing an hour for the activity of your choice….

Get An Extra Hour Out Of Every Day

DECEMBER 15, 2008

How can you get an extra hour from each day? This is a basic challenge for all of us. We’ve come up with many practical ways to secure one more precious hour from each day. (Remember that each of these tips is probably adaptable to your particular situation.)

  1. Make up and follow a detailed, daily schedule.
  2. Get up earlier.
  3. Do less passive reading, TV watching and the like.
  4. Avoid allowing others to waste your time.
  5. If you commute to work, use the time to study or plan.
  6. Organize your work; do it systematically.
  7. Make creative use of lunchtime.
  8. Delegate authority if possible.
  9. Spend less time on unimportant phone calls.
  10. Think first; then do the job.
  11. Do instead of dream.
  12. Work hardest when you’re mentally most alert.
  13. Eliminate activities which make little contribution to the best results for your life.
  14. Always do the toughest jobs first.
  15. Before each major act, ask: Is this REALLY necessary?
  16. Choose interesting and constructive literature for spare-moment reading.
  17. Learn how to sleep. Sleep soundly, then work refreshed.
  18. Skip desserts.
  19. Stop smoking.
  20. Write notes or letters while waiting for others.
  21. Always carry an envelope with paper in it, stamps and a few postcards.
  22. Combine tasks which are done in the same area.
  23. Be prompt for all appointments.
  24. Lay out your clothes the night before.
  25. Relax. Ready yourself for the important jobs in life.
  26. Concentrate on the specific task you’re doing.
  27. Make constructive use of those five or ten-minute waiting periods. Carry with you magazine article clippings on helpful subjects.
  28. Always carry a pencil and paper to capture important-to-you ideas.
  29. Learn to do other “unnecessary things” while watching TV or listening to the radio.
  30. Call on specialists to accomplish work you cannot do efficiently.
  31. Learn to read more rapidly.
  32. Nap an hour after dinner. Then take a shower. Begin the evening hours relaxed and refreshed.
  33. Avoid making a “production” out of small tasks.
  34. Avoid interruptions.
  35. Tackle only one job at a time.
  36. Search out job shortcuts.
  37. Know your limitations.
  38. Work to your top capacity.

25 Things You Now Know About Deborah Drake, by Deborah Drake

I invite anyone reading this spontaneously written post to first enjoy reading it and then take on penning their own version of it, as an exercise in creativity, memoir and authenticity.

Kudos to a respected peer and friend, Margit Roshal Crane for her courageous list posted on January 3rd, that was for all its simplicity and directness, just that compelling.

To take inventory of ourselves and be transparent with others in writing, for me is a fine way to share ourselves courageously and perhaps inspire some courage in self-expression elsewhere.

So for that list that I can type as fast as my fingers will allow.

1. I am among the adopted children who were blessed with happy reunions, 12 years and counting. And loving that my mother is in my life and grandmother to my only daughter.

2. I behave like an only child for in some ways I am one: Being separated from my adopted sister at a young age.

3. When I was 11 years old I was so clear I wanted Scotland to be the first place I would travel to. (It was not, but I got there at 33 and traveled solo and loved it.)

4. I have honestly been keeping a journal since I was nine years old. And have all of my collection from age 11 forward.

5. At one point to maintain privacy (for I had a sneaky and disrespectful step-mother) I wrote my journal for a year in French.

6. I attended an all girls school and hated the summer uniform, that made even the slenderest person look like a mushroom.

7. I scored on four of five AP tests and entered college as a sophomore.

8. I was determined to be a translator and diplomat at 16 and let the nay saying college counselor rain on my parade. What I really wanted was to leave the US and live abroad.

9. I have a bucket list of places to travel with over 181 places on it that was penned a decade ago.

10. This Monterey, California transplant, misses the true sea fiercely, but can’t see moving from the lush PNW despite wishing I wasn’t so landlocked.

11. I have been squeeging my shower walls ever since a friend suggested it in 2004, saying it saved on cleaning time and reduced the mold factor. So true!

12. I must make my bed each day or at least before getting into it at night.

13. I walk six plus days a week at least 45 minutes and as much as two hours.

14. Since 2000 all I have drawn is trees that are very stylized.

15. I have been married three times and have vowed never again, but hey, who knows?

16. I once watched 11 episodes of Monarch of the Glen back to back when I had a weekend to myself.

17. Boiled red potatoes with a bit of salt is about as perfect as it gets for a snack.

18. I can’t stand pickles, dill, tarragon, sauerkraut, shredded coconut and raw onions.

19. I can think in haiku.

20. I write daily still and know it keeps me sane.

21. I’ve not gone on a shopping spree of any kind for myself since 1998, just that picky about clothes.

22. When my daughter was in kindergarten I promised her a trip to Paris that has yet to happen.

23. Once upon a time I could finger pick a guitar well.

24. I was a radio DJ in college and loved live and original Radio Theater as well.

25. I dreamed of going to McGill University in Montreal in Highschool and finally saw the campus briefly in 2008.

So, now do I go back and edit or re-order my list or let it be?

I think I will let it be and wish for myself the power to make happen this year all that I speak. For who I am is based in part on my past and depends now on my present intentions.

May 2011 begin with taking stock of what is past, briefly, before calling in what is to come next.

Clarity in Action is the theme of the year.  I imagine it is Simple and so IT is.

What’s on your list?

There is Value in Writing Your Story

Once upon a time I wanted to be an author. Fact is: this is still true. Fact is: I am.

My love of writing has been deep within me since childhood and has very humble beginnings. It all began with a Hallmark Diary.

Age nine, Christmas included the gift of a Hallmark Diary that “locked.” A pretty pink and green plaid cover, a brass lock and key and fresh blank pages to record the highlights of my days and my secrets. Naive me thought that lock made it secure (smile.)

My 10 year old daughter loves the same compact diaries with the locks (that could be torn asunder in two seconds, but that doesn’t occur to her as it didn’t occur to me at the same tender age.)

In high school, I had the memorable honor of interviewing the Editor of the Poetry Shell, AND had a poem published in the publication. The young journalist I was, was so nervous as we met at a Pacific Grove Coffee Shop for the interview.  I had no reason to be. It was fabulous and cemented my love of journalism for  I see it as all about telling a story; be it your own or that of another.

Fast forwarding to the college years, I can recall how I dreamed of being a professional writer, a published author, an important editor someday. So, as one who had to work to put myself through college, I signed up to work for the college paper–in any capacity I could.

Typesetter, Copy Camera Operator, Layout Artist, and occasional Feature Writer. It was heaven. I would do anything to keep myself in the writing game.

After college, I jumped into working for a publishing company and it was my work on the college newspaper that got me that first job of reprint coordinator, of all things. I learned how make a book by taking it apart enough to get typos corrected for future printings.

My work for a neighborhood newspaper in San Francisco also kept me sharp at interviewing people and telling their stories. Deb Drake, girl reporter, one friend lovingly nicknamed me years later. The people I interviewed fascinated me not so much because their stories were over the top, but because they were so willing to share themselves with me. I’ll always remember the sandcastle artist, the ceramic artist whose oversized coffee mugs I cherish, and the family whose son needed a bone marrow transplant and got it. Real stories of creativity and courage. We’ve all got ours as well, don’t we?

Publishing and Journalism has changed so much since the earlier days of my involvement, and now a sense of urgency we might have is easy to accommodate. And we can tell our own stories if we are inclined, willing and able.

The stories of the people and places I wrote about inspired me then and remembering them does so again. Each person has a story to share that will inspire another, I believe.

Writing one’s own story is many things.

Clarifying.

Therapeutic.

A contribution to others.

A chance to impart learned wisdom be it business acumen or personal experiences that lead to growth and awareness.

If there is a story in you that wants to told, please share it.

And if you have trouble extracting it from yourself, by yourself, there are other ways to get that story out in the world. And it begins with asking for someone to witness your telling of it.  Then watch and listen how your story touches a nerve in that listener, that friend, that peer.

I bet if you asked for their feedback on the wisdom of your experience, you’d learn they are not the only one who’d benefit from the creation of a story–that others could then help them selves to reading.

Perhaps it’s an article or an ebook or a self-published work via the many user friendly self-publishing platforms. And if you need help in producing a quality piece, I hope you have the impetus to ask for it.

For it’s never been easier to share your inner wisdom and experiences that could impact one or many.

Here is hoping that story in you wanting to be told, is.


Authentic Writing: May the Buddha in You Shine

Please stop trying to be clever. How about being real?

I’ve got a question I’m really hoping a reader or two answers:

Where did you learn how to writing business and marketing copy?

I invite you to pause and think about the origins of your beliefs about what makes for good messaging and ask yourself a follow up question:

Does it reflect who you are OR did you borrow someone else’s specific set of writing instructions to attract so many customers you’d be making a five figure income by way of internet marketing strategies PROVEN to work by many others before you…or so they say on that website with the neverending cascading style sheet that allows for an unending page with multiple opportunities to CLICK HERE NOW to register for this SPECIAL PRICING and BONUSES…(gasp!)

Here endeth the run-on sentence and begins my attempt to make a point that I regard as extremely important.

Being a 20+ year student of marketing, and a 35+ year student of writing for both pleasure and my profession, I appreciate, cherish, study, analyse, scrutinize and celebrate language for all that it makes possible among us humans. In short, the written and spoken word and communication is dear to me.

Now,  I know that there is always going to be an attempt to crystallize and systematize writing as the creative and technical skill it is.

The point is there are two sides to the coin.  The raw, fun, juicy, heartfelt, honest, vulnerable, tactile, passionate and meaningful content deserves to be expressed AND at the same time it needs to be somehow organized into a coherent and logical format that can be read, understood, digested, integrated and acted upon–once the reader determines that the solution needed is before them–in the form of you or your service or product offering.

And the truth is, I’m not a huge fan of cookie cutter systems. I also though see the value of having a plan and sticking to it long enough to discern what is working.

I see value in systems and best practices (within reason). Yes, within reason do I myself follow the plan, with permission to go with  “plan b” in the wings  (typically based on spontaneous inspiration from a current event).

Blogging for business for example: there is a question that comes up pretty much weekly when new participants attend a group I host weekly. Can I blend personal and business? Put another way,  how much of me do I let shine in my writing?

I first heard this “true story” many years back.  And I even found “the story” and its picture today. And I hope it illustrates well what I am attempting to communicate.

World's Largest Golden Buddha

At one end of Bangkok Chinatown, in the temple of Wat Traimit, is hidden the world’s largest solid gold Buddha image. Weighing in at five and a half tons, the 15-foot tall seated image is uncountable worth.

The Golden Buddha was cast with solid gold sometime in the 13th century and is an excellent example of the gracious Sukhothai style that is still very much in favor to this day. At some point, it was covered in plaster, most likely in an attempt to hide the valuable icon from thieves or looters.

The disguise was so good that everyone apparently forgot about what was hidden beneath for more than five centuries. King Rama III had the statue moved to Bangkok and installed in a temple that later fell into disuse and was completely abandoned around 1931.

The true nature of the Golden Buddha wasn’t discovered until it was moved to its present location at Wat Traimit in 1955. When the image was being prepared for its move, some of the plaster was chipped off, revealing the gold underneath.

The statue sits in a plain building just barely big enough to hold it within the temple compound. On the terrace outside of the room housing the Golden Buddha are some interesting fortune-telling machines.

By the end of this year the Buddha image will be relocated to a newly built grand hall nearby which all people will never get too close to it.

Please don’t encase yourself in a protective coating…so that your writing is dulled by convention established by those who design one size fits all best practices.

Best practices and ideas that work deserve to be observed AND I see the value in bending the “rules” and being yourself.  For in tossing out the rules and really showing the world who lives through your writing, I have to wonder who you might catch “in your net” you might not have?

Oh My Words…Where Have They Been?

What kind of blogger goes into hibernation for too long? Well apparently me. And now I am back…intentionally and pre-emptively before the end of the year to reclaim being a stand for ACTIVE engagement, creative writing, and to initiate a set of themes for 2011 writings:

Fiercer Authenticity

Gentle Consistency

Dashes of Spontaneity

Promoting Collaboration

Building Community

And having fun while working!

What prompts this inventory of mine this morning? Well I was asked by a colleague and friend I have thanks to a blog comment that got responded to, to please come back and be the moderator I invited you to be because we know you like it Deb, and being busy is no longer a good excuse…your comments are missed and we seek your re-engagement.

Message received and digested. I am back! Feeling creative and prolific again.

So I rambled on in a reintroduction of myself to the group I am part of that is now over 400 members strong and an active group on Xing.com saying things like:

Greetings from Deborah Drake, who KNOWS Urs as I do via a blog comment that got taken to an offline conversation very quickly and here we are nearly a year and a half later still discussing the evolving world of Social Media Marketing, Metrics, Monitoring and I love it all.

I for one think ALL marketing is best when social.

And I realize yet AGAIN, I never liked being talked at much.

I prefer a dialogue and the BEAUTY of Social Networks is that they allow for dialogue in real time too.

And What I Notice IS Important where Social Media Monitoring is concerned.

A great user of Facebook, for more business than only personal am I.

I tend to blend my work and life more than some I know–who compartmentalize more and so they do the same with how they show up on LinkedIn vs Facebook vs Biznik vs Xing vs other niche communities.

Twitter honestly still alludes me or rather I have decided I am not a match for Twitter as I need more that 140 characters (apparently, as I laugh at myself and try to end this sentence.)

My intention is to be actively engaged daily if only a little bit, as the fan of Urs that I am and this Xing group.

These days what is keeping me busy is being the “Catalyst” championing as always Authentic Self-Promotion via the many channels of Self-Publishing.

There are new clients with great projects and I’m supporting the cultivation of blogs people look forward to writing for, producing books that are ready to be “born”, and championing balanced attempts at an authentic and timely online presence.

This is the juicy stuff that I coach my clients through with the vision this attracts them the right clients, partners and ambassadors.

A trio of writing revelations revisited:

Writing as ourselves is simply less work and flows from us more freely.

Writing for our audience requires us to contemplate what might be of interest to them.

Writing for the search engines and “bots” requires that we apply a strategic filter to our writing before we “self-publish” and refine here and there to please the equally non-human reader.

A smattering of random thoughts about Social Media as the AMAZING OPPORTUNITY it is:

I remain amazed and humored by how many people (some of them younger than me!) resist the communication technology platforms that literally open up the world to us all.

And I realize that everyone evolves at their pace, not mine AND embraces new paradigms at their pace, again not mine.  You won’t start that blog (or maintain it) because I say so. It is when you see the value in doing so.

And,  avid reader and writer that I am: if ever there was a year I would invest in a Kindle or a Nook or a Digital Reader…it has come…the luddite in me is squirming and yet I see that I must accept (and choose to) that changing platforms for sharing and communicating (and reading) is here and now and good for us at the end of the day (when all is said and done.)

We can be more connected than ever and we can choose to do it in a way that cultivates that feeling of a great face to face meeting. Or so I believe.

If I know me, my opinions and observations in 2011 will continue to be a blend of the soft and the hard sciences of this “animal” called social media marketing and the monitoring of it.

I can be a “numbers” person and yet I always look for what is also at the heart of the marketing efforts made by me and others (e.g. I  truly and authentically write to promote an event I am producing or promoting because I want to see a “full house” BECAUSE I know the content of the event will be so good for those who get it. And so, I will embrace doing what it takes to engage, enroll, convert and yes, make the sale–BUT not WHATEVER it takes!

Get my drift?

I’m looking forward to being an active blogger and role model in 2011. And I will forever remain an Enthusiast about all things “Social” and “Media” and its evolving state.

My big question of the day is when will FB get that it might be nice to survey their customers before changing things as they do deciding for me how I want things to be? (smile…LOL)

Happy Holidays to you all…

Deborah Drake – Writing Coach, Business & Marketing Consultant

For daily emails to lift your spirits and manifest all you can IMAGINE subscribe to http://PositiveDailyAffirmations.com/blog

Gratitude…Gratitude…Gratitude

The Power of Support: It Works!

Today was an exciting day as I coordinated with Jill Salzman, founder of a growing network of meet-ups, to become the newest host in the Momtrepreneur Exchange network — a national network that has literally blossomed by Word of Mouth and with the aid of Social Media.  Requests to start groups came to her in a stream she had not anticipated and deservedly so, in my opinion. For her heart and mind were in the right place when she created the Network based on her own personal experiences as a “momtrepreneur” running a pair of businesses and oh yes, taking care of family…

And here is the WOW factor… 26 groups in 17 states have formed in the last five months!

Sounds like she recognized a need and filled it! A need she wanted for herself and others…

Sounds like her authentic vision to build a network of support in a way that is easy and affordable to the participants is on fire for good reason.

Are you both an entrepreneur and parent? How’s it going? I have been since 2007 and it’s one of the best choices I ever made. Another best choice I made was to say yes to motherhood.

Seriously though, isn’t it fun balancing growing a business and raising a family? (For me the ” musical sound of 2:25″ is a gentle reminder via my cell phone the school bus lands in 10 minutes!)

Support Benefits Everyone Involved

So ask yourself, gentle reader and business professional (be you a small business or a solo-preneur) Would a community of support that provides gentle accountability, business education and creative masterminding and inspiration help your new and developing business or re-energize your established business?

October 14th I am pleased to be facilitating the Inaugural Gathering of the Momtrepreneur Exchange in Bellevue, WA.  I join a network of 25 other meet-ups in 16 other states.

Each meeting (except the inaugural) will offer a brief speaker on a topic of interest and ALWAYS  leave ample time for connecting and dialogue.

My favorite style of events these days are those that allow ample time for a real conversation. That kind of conversation that we have to tear ourselves away from! You know what I am talking about!

I’m so excited to be launching the newest city and hub of the Momtrepreneur Exchange Network! Funny thing was it took no time at all to get things organized and rolling today, ONCE, Jill Salzman, Founder, and I connected. We played phone tag for a week  or more first and that was fun in its way (smile.)

You could say that she and I were both equally, pleasantly persistent. And that persistence made all the difference.

What Jill created based on an elegantly simple model is a great vehicle for building community, developing one’s business, and sparking prosperity and creativity! It takes a village I say.

My own monthly group will meet the 2nd Thursday monthly from 1-3 at Friends, Philosophy and Tea in Bellevue, my personal center of the Universe (smile). I am SO excited!

Yes, I chose my favorite place to congregate and a time convenient for me BUT I have luck with this place and this time slot for a weekly event I host for Writers and Bloggers, that is typically attended by 12+ regulars and new faces week after week. We have come to depend on each other for gentle accountability (or “friendly harassment”) and sparking our creative minds back into action. New people come and are immediately “absorbed” as they want to be. It’s mighty magical every week

That blogging and writing is getting more consistently and joyfully done each week by group members in between meetings tells me something is working. It’s working. The support and encouragement is working!

I read decades ago in San Francisco Focus that Amy Tan credited her writer’s group for the fact that the Kitchen God’s Wife got completed. This remark of hers has stuck with me for a long, long time.

Are you a Lone Wolf when doing business? Writing? Blogging? If it works for you, more power to you. And through the years  I have heard it said time and again, how it really helps to have true and unconditional support. I know I come to life with a pinkie’s worth of support.

We are living in wonderfully collaborative and innovative times. Technology makes it simpler to start a movement and get the word out.

Why do some movements and ideas go viral quickly and grow like mushrooms after the rain? I propose the AUTHENTICITY at the inception and in the core makes it just that much more attractive to people.

How would you create a network of meaningful support around you and for others?

Why I Love Richard Simmons (and how .com changed my life)

God Bless the .com. For the worlds and connections it opens up for us all.

Last night I stumbled upon a site that was promoting a contest,  that I felt compelled to enter…and entering contests is not my thing…but sometimes exceptions are made (smile).

When I write straight from the heart, it feels like my mind chimes in and says, but of course I will support you with easy to read and assimilate ideas…

So last night at just before midnight, thinking this contest was over at midnight, for I was one calendar day ahead, I  wrote without over thinking and thing. What I got had a few typos and needed a bit of clean up. But it came out easily and it felt good to re-read it.

And it’s a TRUE story that is dear to my heart.

God Bless the .com

What occurred on August 18, 1999 forever changed my life. And being laid off has its benefits.

Had I still been working, I wouldn’t have been home to watch the Rosey O’Donnell show, when Richard Simmons, forever the exercise guru, now host of “DreamMaker” , was the “mystery guest.” Once she figured out who she was talking to, he shared he was hosting a new daytime TV show. It was all about making people’s dreams come true. I was expecting my first and only child who would have no grandparents.

And maybe that was why I was stopped in my tracks when I heard what the show was all about.

An internet search led to the site. August 5th I emailed the show. August 13th I got a call from a producer, was interviewed, and they got my story. No promises were made. August 17th 2:45pm I’m gardening in the sunshine. Irene from International Locators of Coral Beach FL calls with a story to share. My birthmother has been found…despite two name changes. She informs me “my mother” is calling me August 18th at 6:30pm. I was floating six inches off the grass. The next day at exactly at 6:30pm, she called.

We talked and talked and talked and 11 years later we are still talking, growing closer than ever. And my daughter has the grandparents I dreamed of for her. And to think these days I get by without a television.

So a .com site was ultimately responsible for my daughter having “grandparents” and for restoring my mother to me after 34 years of not knowing and always wondering. I wonder no more. I know where I came from and we have a family that extends beyond our “nuclearness.”

http://howdoyou.com/pages/ViewEntry.aspx?entry=1400

P.S. (accepting votes from readers for this entry! I’d love to win an award and put it to good use!)

If you were to rattle off a short authentic piece, what would you be sharing?

Social Media, Technology, Writing, Living and the Luddite in Me

“What prompts a person to be writing on their blog on a quiet Sunday afternoon?”, this person asks herself…

This fresh post is inspired by a friend who attended a conference in Seattle: Chris Pirillo hosted his 10th and “final” Gnomedex Conference in Seattle this weekend apparently? While I did not attend myself, a close friend did and shared this initial report that I find noteworthy:

Gnomedex exceeded my expectations. The diversity of subject matter, where the Geek stuff was actually pretty toned down, was fascinating. A couple speakers pushed into the transcendent spheres, speaking of trust and integrity. What one forgets is that Geeks are generally bright in many areas besides their core technical expertise. The more seasoned people are taking a careful look at their entire lives, and asking a lot of tough questions about the world.

The main theme I took away, as did many others, was, “Don’t delay that thing you’ve been wanting to do. Just DO it.”

There were two presentations by people who just decided to make films, despite the fact they’d never done it before. Check out http://lifeinperpetualbeta.com for one fabulous example.

Much more to share when we get together.

Metrics aside for a moment (yes, I know they are dear to your heart where ROI in your business is concerned) I find the phenomena of Social Media as it exists now fascinating.

Why? I think about  the possibility of what can be created between people on opposite sides of the physical world, the huge “personal webwork” we can construct of connections we may have throughout the Globe – as well as in our local backyards and communities.

And current technology for communication via Social Media Channels (abundant as they are)  is to me like having a “fairy godmother.”

Introductions to new and wonderful people can happen naturally and quickly if we choose to blog or read blogs and comment in meaningful ways. If we choose to author articles or to blog (that I use this as a verb makes me chuckle) means we will attract new contacts into our lives.

By what and how we share of ourselves on the web, we create the possibility that like-minded people or those in need of our expertise can find us intentionally through a Google Search, or organically, or by accident, or by recommendation.  Being found by any of these means works for me.

Big into communication as I am, I observe the duality of outcomes via Social Media and Being Social: Social Media fosters connections between people and their businesses and companies and hobbies and causes globally. Connections that stick and some that never have a chance.

Social Media adds to the “noise” in the world at large that we must filter and discern for ourselves. And among that “extra noise” is some really valuable information that has changed my life for the better.

Social Media can feel like intelligence in action. And it can feel like the exact opposite at other times.

And… I have also been considering another by-product of my ability to connect through infinite Social Media Channels which I will call a False Sense of Connection vs. a Truer Felt Sense of Connection.

I can split my focus so much that I ultimately feel “out of touch” with what matters most, while attempting to stay connected to everything and all.

I find I cannot always aggregate all the information found or sent, or at least do so well and with consistency.

Again, I am put in a position to choose HOW and WHERE I spend my time and energy (in any given space of time). And even though technology is a tool that helps organize my information and input and output, and works to keep me organized; I must learn it to use it well or hire someone who knows it, to set me up to use it well.

I am continuously fascinated by the evolving and exciting applications for all of communication technologies at large, and I am seeing a fascinating pattern…when I step way back to observe from a bird’s eye view.

First there was “the Maverick” one great new idea…that as first to market and well executed gained a monopoly on marketshare. It takes time for it to be adopted, integrated and made a part of the average user’s daily life.

At which point IT becomes regarded as something we must have to exist comfortably and be effective.

Then come “the Contenders,” the other options for the same or a similar application and I must CHOOSE to stay with my first choice, or investigate and move on to another “brand” or possibly use both “brands.”

And more choice and innovation keeps being born…that I am using or passing on using or maybe even unaware of?

These days we seem inundated with so many choices.  Some must have and others cause me to ask, is that even necessary?

Can I manage these days doing things in a truly LUDDITE way? Or must I take part in all of the technology at work and play in the world to strike it really rich and fully realize my potential? Like a pioneer, be first to the new land and take full advantage of the new landscape.

I’m as happy as the next person that email exists, that the WWW is used so openly and freely and I wish the lines of local and global communication to remain open.  I champion having a blog and actually have multiples myself.

I am a power user of Social Media Channels; until I occasionally crash and say, I need to unplug a while.  And I did for some part of the Summer, by choice.

Bottomline for me today, is that as much as I appreciate the abundance of technology and our ability to analyze, capture metrics, make wise choices and uses of the applications, and see it favorably impact my business ventures and in time my bottomline monetarily…

NOTHING replaces a face to face connection over tea or coffee or a meal or a shared face to face activity… Handwritten cards are so rare,  getting them is special to me at least…

I’m LOYAL to “brands” that are good to me, even if they raise prices fairly…

I’m more likely to attend an event I was truly personally invited to as opposed to a series of email broadcasts…

I’m into relating with people I like, feel  I know and can trust…

…and there are many other things I could say, but I am trusting you get the trend of my observations…

I’ll be a power user of technology for I am wired that way…to be able to communicate freely with the world at large is exciting. I enjoy it. I feel good at it too. My network is truly global and that makes me want to TRAVEL far and wide. Too bad no one has invented a Transporter that works yet, but for now I will selectively pay the price and go by plane, train or automobile.

And how do I cook you a homecooked meal? Or take a walk with you? Or sit in a dark movie theater and share a viewing of Eat, Pray, Love and then go out afterwards to talk about it face to face? I guess we’ll have to plan ahead for this local activity.

The Duality I embrace: I’ll take my immediate world as low tech as it is and appreciate it as much as the high tech world I “cannot live without.”