Archive | August, 2011

Social Media – How Tweet It Is

21 Aug

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, My Space, Four Square, Google Groups, it’s amazing that we actually know how to shake hands anymore.  Social media is seemingly unavoidable and, I admit it, I’ve given up avoiding it.

For someone with ridiculously slow and expensive internet while working on a ship, I participate in quite a bit of social media.  I’ve tried limiting which sites I use but, as I use them for different reasons, I keep many of them in business (no addiction here, nu-uh, not me).  How did the attraction begin (again, not an addiction)?  It all started when my sister tried to sell me on the internet.

The internet was new and my sister had purchased her first computer.  I was working on cruise ships at the time (déjà vu? No, see Everything Old is New Again) and was on vacation visiting her in Florida.  We had heard about this new thing called the internet, so we had to play.  She was married and decided to have some fun.  The ad was titled, “Sister for Sale.”  Now, all you have to say is, “she works on a cruise ship,” and the male fantasies begin.  She and I decided to take a road trip and when we returned a couple of days later there were over 100 responses.  Sad to say, I did go out with one or two of these men and well, that’s a whole other story.

So now I’ve evolved.  I joined Facebook a few years ago.  Unlike many people, I actually know all 300 of my friends (well, except for those few that have 29 friends in common with me but I’m too embarrassed to ask who they are.  Oh, like you don’t do the same thing).  Yes, I’m friends with my kindergarten gym teacher.  But I use Facebook for personal connections.  I’ve had clients try to Facebook me (notice the use of it as a noun or verb, very versatile) and I’ve had to explain that I only use it for personal use.  I mean really, how am I supposed to complain about clients on Facebook when they’re my “friends?”

And now the latest Facebook challenge – my staff.  Yes, many of my 23-year-old staff members keep trying to “friend me.”  Like my mother used to say, “I’m your mother, not your friend.” Ok, I’m their boss but often feel like their mother.  I have chosen not to accept the request.  But now they’ve found me, on LinkedIn.

Yes, this is my professional networking site.  But each time one of my staff invites me to “Link-up,” they ask for a recommendation.  Hhmmmm, I’m currently driving across the country, writing two different blogs/columns, interviewing people and about to board a ship where I’ll work 80 hours per week.  And now you want me to start writing recommendations?

I’ve now joined the world of Twitter.  Yes, I resisted for quite some time and truly only joined to spread the word about Rebel-With-A-Cause (yes, please read and share it).  But now I’m having too much fun on it.  I’m a news addict and every news outlet in the world is on there.  And you can also converse with people you would never be able to in real life.  Anderson Cooper actually Tweeted me.  And I’ve joked with Steve Martin.  Uh oh, I sense another addiction coming (not an addiction, just a useful tool).

So, if you’d like to follow me on Twitter, join me @rblcause.  If you’d like to friend me on Facebook, “I’m your writer, not your friend (sorry, it’s how I roll)”.  And if you’d like to Link-up with me, depends, do you need me to write a recommendation?  Because I really just don’t have the time.  Or you could just keep reading here, subscribe and comment.  Oh and share this and Rebel-With-A-Cause on your social media.  Just don’t try to put me up for sale.

Starting A Rebellion

12 Aug

Back in January, as I was about to embark on a new adventure, I wrote a piece called Everything Old is New Again. In it, I made a promise to use my writing for good instead of snarkiness (although I’m still of the belief that snarky is good) and to give a voice to those who have none.  It’s time to keep that promise because, as much as I’d like to believe it’s all about me, it’s really not.

You might have noticed that an extra link has appeared on this page. This links you to my latest, non-snarky (or perhaps snarky-lite) adventure called Rebel-With-A-Cause.org.

The project involves me driving across the southern U.S. – at least from Arizona to Florida (sorry California, but you’re just a bit too far west), meeting people, writing their stories and, well, giving away money. I know what you’re thinking, ‘She finally starts makin’ some cash and now she’s giving it away. No wonder she was losing her house.’ Well, you may be right. But really, I’m known to be a bit of a tight-wad (does anyone actually use that term anymore?). What can I say, I just needed inspiration to separate me from the Ben Franklins (or perhaps I can give away one Grover Cleveland).

This project evolved from a decision to drive back to the ship I work on. During my time as an adventure tour guide, I drove across the country many times. In fact, I did it five times in my first six months. Yes, it was nice driving someone else’s vehicle, a 15 person maxi-van on which I rotated the tires and changed the oil in between trips (I rocked those auto shop coveralls). It was wonderful having someone else cover the costs, and it was great to get paid while doing it (ok, the pay was terrible). I came to know what a beautiful country the U.S. is, and exactly how big Texas is.

I decided that it might be nice to drive to Florida so that, when I’m in port, I can have my car instead of waiting for the bus to arrive to take me to Walmart to pick up supplies (aah, and you thought it was a glamorous life). Big dreams before I realized that I rarely have time to get off the ship while in the U.S. By then, the decision had been made, it was too late to request an air ticket from my company. I took it as a sign that I was meant to drive (or maybe that I can’t make a decision to save my life). Combine that with my promise to give a voice to others and Rebel-With-A-Cause was born.

Rebel will tell the stories of people I meet who have been hit hard by the economy, health issues, family challenges or simply bad luck. It will be covered by various media outlets and, in the end, readers will vote on who I give $1,000 to (yes, my own cash). Hopefully it won’t end there. I’m hoping that those who don’t receive the cash may find someone stepping up to help in another way. And maybe we can start a movement. You don’t have to give a lot to make a difference, and it doesn’t have to be money. I will use my writing talent (yeh, some people say I have some, but I think those people drink a lot) but we all have something to give.

Does this mean that I’m deserting you, with whom I share a love of snarkiness? Not a chance. During the trip I’m sure to find plenty of people and locations to provide me with inner giggles which I can share with you.  And, if you’re along my route, speak up and buy me dinner, or offer up a place to stay (ok, if I don’t know you maybe just a bite as you could be creepy).

So, if you want snarky keep on reading My Own Adventure. If you want a bit of seriousness and, hopefully, touching stories visit Rebel-With-A-Cause.  Or an even better idea, read both!  And share the love on Twitter @DropMeAnywhere and Facebook (sorry, my account is private because again, you could be creepy).  Play nice with others and share.

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