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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

This morning I was surprised by two delightful tweets from fellow green and social media guru, Max Gladwell, and visual green thinker Franke James:

Tweets La Marguerite

What’s the fuss about? A mention in the UK Guardian, from Do The Green Thing startup co-founders Andy Hobsbawm and Naresh Ramshandani:

Which tech businesses or web thinkers are the ones to watch?

“For tech we read people like Clay Shirky, Nicholas Carr, Yochai Benkler, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly and Bruce Sterling. For green thinking we follow things like WorldChanging.com, Max Gladwell, the TED blog, Treehugger, La Marguerite and folk like John Grant, Jules Peck and Amory Lovins.”

This acknowledgment comes at a time when I have expanded the scope of my thinking besides just ‘green’, to also include other interests such as, the role of social media in facilitating social change, as well as a rekindled involvement with insight  meditation.

I have also moved away from ‘traditional long-format blogging’, as here on WordPress, to a more organic way of sharing my thoughts on micro-blogging platform Twitter, where you can follow me every day here.

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It started with a tweet:

tweet_lamarguerite05

Twitter is great that way. I know of no better forum for validating one’s seemingly universal thoughts and feelings. Yesterday, I got seized with a severe case of eco² panic. Eco like green. Eco like economic. Images of CO2 going nuts, and us still not getting our act together, despite almost daily global warming alerts. And the specter of another Great Depression, only worse this time around.

Thank God, Franke was there to tweet back prompto to shake me up good:

tweet_lamarguerite04I must say, I felt a bit ashamed for having given into “defeatism”.  Imagine if all the citizens voiced out their secret despair as I did. That would be the end of it. Even Bill’s chiming in and lecturing Barack, telling him he’s not hopeful enough. Yes, we can. And we shall. Still, I could not let go completely of the reality of my malaise.

tweet_lamarguerite03That was a pretty wishy-washy tweet. I wasn’t even sure where I was going with it. Until Franke’s response:

tweet_lamarguerite01

Thank you, Franke for gifting me, us with your such a wonderful image. Now, whenever I start feeling blue, I will imagine a green window, opening to a new landscape of windmills, and solar farms, and electric cars, and workers going about their green jobs . . .

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Tomorrow midnight, is the deadline for all Twitter fans to vote for the Shorty Awards. Turns out, the Green Moms group is one place short of winning the award in the Green category. Will you please help make this phenomenal group of  green girls the winner? 

Disclosure: I am a member of Green Moms – and no, I don’t suffer from being overly modest! :)

Here is some sample text to help get the word out re the contest. 

1. Go to twitter
2. Prepare this tweet ” @shortyawards I vote for @greenmoms in the Shorty Awards Finals for #green because…
3. add in your reason for voting for us. Without a reason your vote doesn’t count. Here are some ideas: the green movement needs more strong women! ..Moms can do anything! ….they tweet great info on going green
4  Send and you’re done!

If you are good to Green Moms, I promise I will return the favor some day . . .

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Just as I was finishing getting dressed in the YMCA locker room, this old black woman walks in with her walker, and starts talking to me, and telling me that she is 96 year old, and that she was on TV this morning. The local station did a segment on her, as part of a series on the new President’s inauguration Tuesday. Juanita is no ordinary lady. She is the oldest African-American in our county, and was born in 1913, in Oklahoma City. I find the fact that Juanita witnessed so much of our American history, and lived long enough to be a part of Tuesday’s celebration, incredibly moving. We probably spent a few minutes together, at the most, and I may never see her again. Yet, that random connection with her was filled with meaning, and I am not about to forget it any time soon.

Juanita made me think of  the many connections I have made on the Web with perfect strangers. Fleeting encounters, often times with no follow up, and yet precious. Tweets sending me support when I felt down, or answering a question just when I needed it. Comments on my blog that made me think, this person and I are made of the same cloth. Moments shared during the Presidential campaign, on Twitter 2008 Election. I have been asked how can I be following 2,000 people on Twitter? My answer is, precisely for the chance of these random connections. Time limited exchanges packed with feelings, or thoughts, and during which I was able to give and/or receive lots.

As the world becomes more and more one, and technology breaks down the barriers of communication, it is my sense that random connections on the Web will take more and more space in our lives. What we may give up in continuity, we gain in in the moment experiences.

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Following the ranks of new Twitter followers today, was Netflix7, Netflix’s new presence on my favorite network. I am not sure what Netflix is trying to accomplish. Regardless, it is helping me make a point. Companies need to better understand the meaning of ‘socia’l in social media. The beauty of well understood social media lies in its messengers: people. Substitute a recognizable human presence with an abstract brand of corporate entity, and the social in social media vanishes. The message becomes no more than interactive media, old style. 

If Netflix wants to engage me, capture instead all the existing conversations on Twitter, of which there are quite a few, judging from search I did on Twitter – 15 in just 30′ – and gather them, and share them, same way Trader Joe’s has done. And get the social media nuts in your ranks to evangelize for you, and listen to, and respond to these people already talking about Netflix. Same can be done with blogs, an other social media channels.

Simple enough?

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During our Dreamfish Lab meeting last week, Peter (Kaminski) suggested several cool titles for me and Paul (Loper) to read about complementary economy. Fascinating subject. I want to learn all there is to know about these very old, and also very new ways to capture transactions. There is only one problem. Books scare me now. They really do.

Ever since I discovered blogs, and Facebook, and Twitter, I have slowly, but surely moved away from books. My excuse: I have no time. There is always a new post to write, or read, or comment on, and stuff to tweet about. And when I need an answer, I go on Twitter or Linkedin, or to the  Google Search box. 

The thought of reading a book fills me with angst. I am not sure I am up to the task, anymore. The last time, was Obama‘s Dreams From my Father. But that was easy reading. My mind has become accustomed to quick scanning, quite a different gymnastic from sustained attention. 

I did a bit of research on “Internet culture”, “reading”, brain”, on Google . . . And came up with links to several blog articles. I am not alone apparently. The Internet generation is at risk of turning stupid, according to some researchers. Maryanne Wolf, from Tufts University,  devotes a whole chapter on the topic, in her book, Proust and the Squid: the Story and the Science of the Reading Brain.  Of course, I did not read the book. Instead, I read an article about the book, to get the main idea. 

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Tonight, after a long day working and dealing with several mini-family crisis, I still found the time to visit Twitter, and to read, and write a few tweets. That’s pretty remarkable, when you think of it. I mean, for Twitter. No other networks, no other site’s got that kind of hold on me.

It did not take me long to figure out 10 reasons why I can’t stay away from the little birdie:

  1. it’s simple
  2. it doesn’t ask much
  3. it gives back lots
  4. it’s always there for help
  5. it’s gloriously imperfect
  6. it’s a mirror of all of humanity
  7. it’s got all the answers – almost! -
  8. it’s poetic
  9. it lets me in on the latest news
  10. it’s alive

Now, I am going to tweet about this post . . .

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Once upon a time, I met Tiffany Von Emmel on Twitter. A few tweets and meetings later, I am playing with her and the rest of the  Dreamfish team. Tiff’s got a great blog about women, and coworking, and social innovation, and the future of work. I like what she had to say today:

Women are talking… Tara Hunt wrote a blog post about the future of work involving this pattern of bridge-crossing domains. I heartfully agree. The future of work is all about transforming the box into networks.

For most of my professional life, I have struggled with THE BOX. I am sure many of you, men and women, can relate:

- Long hours spent in soul-less offices – Apologizing for my endless curiosity – Trying hard to be ‘professional’ – Wearing a suit – Juggling being a parent and working – Pleasing the bosses, and acting like one – Clocking it – Ignoring my body’s plea for a mid-day gym break – Working on meaningless, ‘important’ projects – Worrying about results first, people second – Feeling boxed in – Dreaming of a different life - 

Even more oppressing than the outside box, was the box inside, that part of me inherited from an old men’s world, that shrunk my feminine self:

Bye Bye Box
Bye Bye Box

Recently the box has given way to a more supple container, one that conforms to all of myself, and let me BE, at work, at home, out in the world. Fittingly, I changed my Linkedin profile to make room for my new liberation, proudly opening with a ‘Don’t try to squeeze me into a box. I won’t fit.’

Others are taking notice, and starting to react accordingly. Being themselves, and playing with me. I can’t tell you how good it feels. 

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Online social capital is becoming a highly sought out asset, particularly for those seeking to market themselves and/or their services using social media. Based on my limited experience on the receiver’s end, here is a list of do’s and don’ts of social media:

10 Do’s of Social Media:

  1. Do comment on others’ blogs
  2. Do respond to comments on your own posts
  3. Do reciprocate comments with comments on commenter’s blog
  4. Do link generously to others’ posts
  5. Do answer emails/DM from your readers – I don’t care how important or how busy you are
  6. Do share parts about yourself that resonate with others
  7. Do make others feel better about themselves after they read you
  8. Do gift others with valuable information, offers of support, spontaneous acts of random kindness
  9. Do facilitate relevant connections amongst your readers
  10. Do answer others’ requests for help – signing of petitions, joining of causes, small donations

10 Don’ts of  Social Media:

  1. Not responding to comments on your posts
  2. Not responding to others’ online communications to you 
  3. Engaging in excessive self-promotion
  4. Making others feel bad, or even worse non existent
  5. Boasting about your 5,000 friends – frankly, I don’t give a dam
  6. Being a fake
  7. Pushing a product or a service
  8. Using others, for your personal gain only
  9. Sending automatically generated messages – this is supposed to be social
  10. Harassing others with too many asks 

Easier said than done. Particularly when dealing with multiple channels and significant numbers of ‘friends’. I have found the time required to be a good ‘friend’ an ongoing challenge. Consistent with HP’s Twitter Research quoted in Jeremiah Wang‘s blog, my coping strategy on Twitter, has been to relate with ‘friends’, in concentric circles, starting with a core of people I have an ongoing relationship with, then going into circles of decreasing interaction frequency.  In the blogging department, I have had phases of intense dedication, when I followed my own medicine to the letter, followed by periods of neglect, as happened recently before I relaunched this blog. 

I wonder, what else would you add to those two lists, either from a user or a producer’s perspective?

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Laura Fitton started a new wave with her charity.water fundraising campaign on Twitter, and there is no stopping the flow of other social organizations wanting to jump in. After all, money’s tight and big donors are no longer so eager to write the big checks that used to keep non profits afloat.

The problem is, people like me, with not so deep pockets, want to help, but only up to a point. Once the novelty of  Tipjoy wears off, my hunch is, the people are going to start suffering from micro-donor’s fatigue, and micro-fundraisers are going to have to work a lot harder.

When going for the gold on Twitter, or other social media platforms, try to answer these five questions first:

  • Who are the people most likely to be interested in helping our cause?
  • Who else is competing for these people’s money?
  • What is it in our cause that’s uniquely compelling, and that will give potential donors the biggest emotional reward?
  • Besides altruism, what are some creative ways that we can we reward and entice donors?
  • How high is the gift threshold?

Any other question I have not covered, please add in comments.

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