Posted in SocialMedia

Personality Type ~ Impact on Relationships

As a parent of three children I am frequently afforded the opportunity to observe relationship dynamics at their best and their worst.  There is no other relationship that better forces the conditions of intimacy (day-to-day, in your space and in your face) like marriage as the sibling relationship.  There’s an obligation to “relate” to each other because of proximity and genealogy.  Some are better at it than others and I’ll explain why I believe that.

Introversion and extroversion are polar opposites on the personality continuum.  Most people fall somewhere just to the right or left of center if you were to view these personality styles on a gauge.  However, there are some whose personalities are in the far right or left extremes on this scale.  Neither one is “better” than the other.  They both have valuable attributes that are beneficial in every situation.  Often introverts need time to process thought before sharing it with others, and extroverts need to voice thought as it comes into their heads. Extroverts can sometimes appear to railroad over introverts in meetings and heated discussions because they are a bit more experienced at shooting from the hip so to speak.  Introverts will find themselves have to apologize less than extroverts for things said that can be hurtful.

This discussion I just had with my kids last night:

The stay-at-home parent lives and works in the home 24/7/365.  My wife home schools our children so her “office” is our home.  I consider myself to be a very organized individual and enjoy sharing the benefit of my skill with others.  So, early in our marriage I would get a wild hair and “reorganize” the kitchen drawers and their contents so it made more sense.  The part that I didn’t appreciate was that this kitchen was the same to her as my office was to me.  Every person works differently according to their personality, training, and experience.  My way wasn’t “better” than hers, and it was arranged to suit her personality and the way she worked in it.

In relationships where it is obvious who the “owner (i.e. responsible individual)” of a particular job, it is very important in your helpfulness to respect that the owner may not work the same way as you do.  If you wish to “help” someone, make sure your help is truly helpful.  This can only occur if you share your idea with them before taking action.  Now in this instance please don’t think me a sexist because I’m not, I have learned that when I use the kitchen, I use it according to the arrangement/design that my wife prefers because overall, I do spend less time in it than she does.  I try to make at least one meal a week, and do a lot of the cooking on the weekends.  But, back to the point of this entry.

Credit for image to "Chiff.com" "Sibling Rivalry Happens to the Best"
Credit for image to "Chiff.com" "Sibling Rivalry Happens to the Best"

Introverts should not get discouraged and give up in situations where an extrovert is exercising their “good idea” capability.  In intimate relationships, it is important to have equal voice and for both to be heard/considered and valued for the positive aspect each contributor is offering.  You can have five people in the same room talking about one subject, but five different perspectives.  Three may see the glass half full, and two may see it half empty–but all are viewing a glass with 50% of its volume filled with fluid.  Allowing all of the views to be heard is how creativity is born in collaboration environments.  (this applies marriage, siblings, teams, working groups, etc.)

Respecting ownership of ideas is very important!  If Johnnie has an idea for a game but is struggling on one aspect, he may ask for help from his siblings.  Jill, excited by the whole idea may want to change key elements because it isn’t how she would have planned it.  When you’re invited to “help” on someone else’s idea you must remember that the originator of the idea probably already has at least an 80% solution for the end state in their head.  It’s better to offer your opinions and suggestions in the form of a question, rather than critical comments.  It requires a bit of thought and processing in your head before you share it with the person who has invited your creative assistance.

Ownership and expression of ideas is what helps us become known by others.  Michael Jordan is known for his skills on the court.  Martha Stewart is known for her expertise on the domestic front and how to make a house a little more home-y! Chris Brogan is known for his expertise in social media. Oprah Winfrey is known for her position as queen of daytime TV and a promoter of authors.  Ellen Degeneres is also known for her position in daytime TV but comedy is her thing!  We are all great at something!  It is important that we look for and respect those skills, talents, and perspectives in each other and remember when we are asked for help that our help is FOR the person asking.  When you take hostage someone else’s ideas, and begin to change them to suit your own perspectives, you are asking for discontent and a fracturing of the relationship.

We humans are fragile, sensitive, particular beings; male or female, introvert or extrovert, optimist or pessimist.  Caring for and nurturing a marriage, supervising a sibling relationship, or leading a team at work requires a careful balance of observation, a LOT of listening, and meditation BEFORE you open your mouth or take action.

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Posted in SocialMedia

Friends & Family

I trust all of you had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your friends and family.  Christmas 2010 was a great day here in Weeping Water. We started the morning off with my wife making a Christmas Cinnamon loaf (pictured below ~ kind of like a coffee cake) and everyone opening up stockings.

(a little like coffee cake)

I received several wardrobe updates (badly needed). I bought my wife  a necklace and some great knitting items and a two-year membership to The Knitting Guild Association (http://www.tkga.com/)  We bought our children lots of music, books, games and other items to encourage their creativity.  Oh, and I broke down and bought a Wii!  Tomorrow I’ll have to figure out how to set it up. This evening we took a meal down to the in-laws and visited for a few hours.

I’m excited about the New Year because there are so many things I’m looking forward to accomplishing.  In addition to selling our hobby farm using newspaper and social media advertising, I plan to start back to school and finish my degree.  I need to lose a few pounds  as well and I’ve decided to just get off my duff and hit the gym.  If I feel brave enough I’ll have my wife take a before …. and hopefully by summer I’ll have an after picture to post side-by-side when goals are achieved!

I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts ~ really helps to clear the mind and get muddled thoughts out of your head.  Feel free at any time to chime in and share your thoughts/experiences. Next few days will be spent enjoying family time and cheering on the Huskers!   Good night all!

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas 2010 Poem & Thoughts

My Christmas poem:2010

Twinkling bright the little lights
Upon our Christmas tree
Trimmed and topped the boughs now frocked
with tinsel and treasures for all to see

While wrapping presents with my son today, I mentioned the non-stop rains in California and the loss of property, as well as people who lost their jobs this year, and the homeless across America.  He said, “I wish there was a way that everything could cost only a penny–no matter what it was, and that people could count on their homes staying in one place!” (seeing the houses collapse in mudslides)  It is important for us all to remember with gratitude, the blessings that we have been privileged to enjoy.

We spent the day baking and preparing to bring a meal down to my wife’s folks as they are housebound.  Chex Mix is baking in the oven; my wife and I still managed to get our workouts done on the treadmill.  We are bound and determined to enter the “senior” stage of life with as much get up and go as we can.  It’s tough staying committed to a workout schedule when you have teenage children.  But we won’t put upon them the burdens of full-time geriatric care that is required of many who choose the TV and sofa over the gym.  Life is hard enough, might as well enjoy every single moment given to us.  I encourage you all to at least get out and walk, weather and safety permitting!  Even walking can prolong your cognitive and physical strength.  Read this article http://aol.it/efkBQQ if you don’t believe me.

In addition to doing better with health and lifestyle choices, I am committed to being as good a husband and father as I can be.  This means doing more reading (marriage, child-rearing, and financial planning books.)  I also will use my cooking/baking talents acquired growing up with 4 older sisters and working as a General’s Enlisted Aide for 3 1/2 years in the Air Force.  Men, if you need some help in the area of encouragement I’m not perfect but I try…respond or follow me on Twitter @justasked…I love people who engage, ask questions, provide answers, and generally those who share themselves with others.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Cheers,
Ed

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting Real

Howdy Global Friends,

I have been having a blast blogging and Tweeting the last few months. I am both serious and comical that’s why I’ve decided to rename my blog post–we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.  I have been told I have contagious laugh and enjoy exercising it regularly.  A couple of people who keep me in stitches on Twitter are @LukeRomyn and @ceebee308.  Two authors I discovered a couple of months ago who easily have a second career in tag-team stand-up comedy if they decide the writing gig is up.

If you’re wondering what kind of person you’re following (@justasked) and possibly following you (when Twitter will let me follow more people), here’s what you get:

Daily: Dialogue, Retweets (w/comments added), Tweets of my own taken from bits of newsy items–as long as hundreds of people haven’t already posted the same article. I hate repetition!

Weekly: I search for social media-wise entrepreneurs and start-ups of different genres to promote and tweet about. Last week I was looking for artists. This next week I’ll be looking for people who are passionate about food: Bakers, Chefs, Waitresses, Waiters, Cake Decorators, etc.

Monthly: I will be writing an article each month to highlight the works and tweets of each of the four subject areas I’ve focused on…so look for my first e-zine post in January!

I consider myself to be a person who is “up with the latest” so I just try to share what that latest is with you.  I care deeply about people and relationships.  Some of the friendships I’ve formed online have been closer than many I’ve had in reality–sad I know, but hey–you take what you can get.

If you are a person who needs encouragement, an opinion about something, or an e-pal–reply to this post or follow me and say Hey Ed! on Twitter–I’ll get back with you.

When people start following me, I view at least the last two or three months of tweets to find out what kind of tweeter they are.  If you have original content, actually engage with others, and have a sense of humor…I’ll start keeping tabs on your works and eventually promote you too!  My background is 25 years of federal service, related to Information, Knowledge, and Content management, but I’ve been seduced by the social media storm and am very intrigued by people who are adept at its use, and how they actually use it to promote themselves.

I’m an avid reader and enjoy peering into the minds of other curious people.  Drop a link to your blog or a an interesting newsy bit…I’m there!

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in SocialMedia

IT Think Impaired by Boiled Frog Syndrome

I find it interesting that I’ll identify a problem and my mind won’t let go of it. I’ll wrestle with causes/catalysts and environmental circumstances that may have “allowed” or set conditions perfectly to allow such a situation to occur. Then magically, within a day or week or two…someone else will touch on the same thought wave in conversation or I’ll see it in Twitter-land.

The thing that has embedded itself into my cranium of late is data, visualization, and information sharing/knowledge management. I know that’s a lot, but hang with me–they’re all related. Because of how information and computing technology has evolved over the last three decades, we’ve unknowingly been victims of the boiled frog syndrome discussed in Peter Senge’s book “The Fifth Discipline.” Applications, technology and people are referred to and “developed” in a versioning construct. To prove my point:

Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Office 2000, Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010
MOTO DROID, DROID EVO, DROID 2, DROID X
The Web, Web 2.0, Web 3.0
Baby Boomers, GenX, NextGen

Forgive me if I got any of them out of order…but you get the idea! Applications are accomplished in increments; spiral development….there’s always some reference to relevance/importance in a linear fashion. That very thought process paradigm unavoidably plagues all aspects of our culture as a nation! (Acquisition, Elections/Rank, Education, Administrations, Technology, Clothing Sizes) We are victims of our own nomenclature / ontology!

Two Dimensional Thought (Kilroy was Here!)

Now that I’ve infected your mind with how my mind sees this situation, let me get back to data, visualization, and information sharing/knowledge management. In most implementations, our applications are available to each workstation as single apps with little integration across them. For instance if I want to:

Look at Email: Outlook (MS)
Look at Help Desk Tickets: Remedy (BMC)
Look at Current Media Internal/External News: Internet Explorer (MS)
Use Chat: DCO XMPP (Adobe) or MS Messenger (MS) etc..
….just to name a few!

Let’s consider local data. There’s a plethora of share drives; local drive; or SharePoint to begin my search. I can attempt a “Search” in Windows or Internet Explorer and hope what I’m looking for shows up in results. But even when I get “there” even the simplest questions that my mind elicits due to what I’m viewing requires me to go looking elsewhere to find those answers. Our administrative, information and knowledge management energies/productivity are naturally linear, not associative like your mind. The user interfaces are also designed and behave on a very primitive level…breadcrumbs tempting the hungry from one crumb to the next in search of the source (goal!) The way we structure our resources and HOW we use our IT automation is static, defined one-way corridors to further tasks (to go to another app to find another piece of data) rather than ready transports to answers.

I don’t know how the rest of the world operates, but after 25 years in the IT profession, I have yet to run across one single organization that has taken action to STOP the MADNESS!!! We cannot solve these workflow/automation challenges without stepping back and taking a strategic look at how we humans function in our thought world and apply that logic/processes to our engineering and automation IT solutions. This brings me to my last segment on this thought nugget.

Three Dimensional Thought (Associative)

With very few exceptions in a professional environment, most energies/productivity/conversations can be related and binned into one of three categories:

Activities (meetings/operations/conferences/admin transactions (coord/task/track/decide)
Resources (materiel/systems/personnel)
Entities (person (role)/organizations)

Now pardon what might seem a temporary side-bar, but what is it about social media that has people swarming to it? Communication, connection, social interaction and awareness are the things that social media platforms offer people. It is glue that associates and creates bonds between you and me! Business and marketing professionals are just now catching the fever and realizing the impact on sales and market share. They are capitalizing on a branding / influence medium that we still do not appreciate fully in the corporate world.

The simple beauty of it is, it allows everyday users to connect and share with people they know, love, admire….a place to talk about their:

Activities (dinner/movies/prom/dates)
Resources (cars/gadgets/investments)
Entities (spouses/children/small businesses/clubs)

The sticking power of social media is “RELATIONSHIPS”….it is what is missing in our IT solutions, the associative property that connects the dots between activities, resources, and entities. I want to see IT solutions that are simple and binned at the super macro level that allow me to drill down into the micro if I choose. So, if this idea interests you in any way, I’d love to chat with you…I’m calling it RARE Business Intelligence:

Relationships (about)
Activities
Resources
Entities

Posted in SocialMedia

Temperamental Tweeters

I have several things to share with you about my experience/observations with Twitter this week. In the process of venting you’ll discover several things about me – those who dare follow.

First off, I’m normal, I’m human, I’m not a machine and I don’t Tweet for a specific audience. I also don’t have my account set up with automated Tweeting software to just recycle the same repetitive content over and over again. Go ahead, look through my timeline. Every single Tweet is a hand-typed original out of my very own head. If there’s something in my timeline that looks like a quote and there is no credited author, it came out of my thoughts, heart, and observations. I love people-watching. I learn the most about people through observing behavior.

If you’re not a business selling something, what you post will have Tweeters flocking to you or leaving you in droves.

Content Matters: If you have Democrats following you and you post something positive about a Republican or other perspective, people will stop following you. If you say something positive about a company (being a miserly shopper) say Amazon, you’ll have people leaving you in droves because of their recent situation with the news media criticizing them for selling questionable material. Just because I shop at a store or say something positive about an experience doesn’t mean I’m a supporter of a specific action they took. To boycott a person or a business because there’s one thing they have done or are doing is saying more about you than them. Amazon will stay in business because they’re huge, they provide amazing service, and can because of size squash the competition. Is my not buying from them or any other company because of their hiring practices or sales strategy going to even be remembered on my deathbed, NO. Life’s too short to be so conditional in my acceptance of others. I’d never meeting anybody interesting if I had a checklist of things they must do and must not do in order to be acquaintances or friends.

Here’s the Tweet about Amazon that caused the exodus from fickle followers:
“Comparing prices Amazon beat other online retailers w/free shipping for most all of our Christmas shopping (Books, CDs, DVDs, & Games)”

Politics: I state in another blog entry that I’m a Liberdemublican–I mean that literally! Okay, I know there’s no such thing but I considered my beliefs and decided that I’m a little bit of everything (I’d like to think the best of each). Some might try to label me a Centrist or an Independent–whatever, my bottom line, I believe in common sense. There are too many people out there who literally follow the crowd and adopt the loudest or most popular soapbox in order to be accepted. I dance to the beat of my own drum…don’t fence me in!

Marketing: I believe in promoting people and businesses not because I’m being paid, but because there’s something about them that I find admirable and commendable–nobody is perfect and does everything right all the time. I follow people because they follow me or because I stumbled across them in a search result. Right now I’m at my limit because of Twitter’s account limitation of 2000 followers….until more people follow me, I can’t follow more than that number. Ridiculous rule because I’d like to follow everyone who follows me by choice (not software automation.) If I follow you and you say something I don’t agree with, I’m not going to stop following you. Here are the reasons I will unfollow:

1) Your account appears to be dead (no posts within last 90 days)
2) You set your account automated autospam (the Twitter feed craps out 10 posts in 1 minute)
3) Every one of your posts is filled with expletives, trashmouth or you flame others constantly
4) You never respond or interact–your timeline is only filled with YOU

Don’t take yourself so seriously! I have a sense of humor and appreciate others who do too. One example of a Tweet that caused up-tight conservatives to leave me in droves was this post I retweeted from Ellen Degeneres this week:

“This may not be the best Christmas present this year. http://twitpic.com/3cn7rf

Good Lord you’d think I defamed the Queen! Amazing how your value as a human being in all the facets that make up the person you are can be flushed down the toilet with a simple click on the keyboard… “Unfollow”

I don’t care if you’re black, white, skinny, fat, conservative, liberal, gay, straight, serious, funny, rich, poor. No matter your circumstance, if you have the courage to be out here in the public forum, I’m interested in WHO you are, WHAT you have to say, and WHY you’re out here in the first place. I care about people of all kinds because you may have something to share or teach me that I would otherwise never be exposed to or have the opportunity to learn in my limited geographical existence. We have far more in common than the things which obviously separate us.

Okay, enough for this post. If I keep on I’ll start repeating myself. Thanks for reading and I welcome any comments.

Respectfully
Ed

Posted in SocialMedia

What IS a Follower?

I felt it necessary to cover this topic in detail because from my observations, a good many Twitter users do NOT adhere to the behaviors understood to be practiced by a true “Follower.”  Lets start with the dictionary definition of the term.

Merriam-Webster defines a “Follower”:

a : one in the service of another : retainer
b : one that follows the opinions or teachings of another
c : one that imitates another

These are actually very good definitions so lets take them one by one and I’ll show you HOW you can actually turn this definition into a practice that will increase the number of Twitter users who choose to follow you as well as increase your brand among the other competitors in your market sphere:

a.  One in the service of another: If you are the follower of a Physical Trainer, this means that you admire this individual for their expertise, how their practices yield results in their life, and you closely observe the habits that make this individual’s talents stand out amongst his or her peers.  You may through word of mouth, recommend this expert to friends and family because you admire how this individual has assisted or helped you discover how your own body works (metabolism, circadian rhythms, sleep, diet, exercise, etc). The same holds true of Twitter.  ByWhy we Follow Others - Appeal being “in the service of” another this is a little hint for you to find another complementary business and reach out to them.  Start cross-tweeting laudatory comments about their products, services and customer support.  One good deed deserves another.  Those businesses and individuals will return the compliment.  These cross-tweets draw the attention of your followers and those you are following which is great for “getting your name out there!”

b.  One that follows the opinions or teachings of another: If you follow someone, or a group of people specifically known for their skill, craft, knowledge, take the time once a week or so to actually click on their name in your “following” list and read through the last few days of their Tweet timeline.  You will learn more about the individual and what type of communicator they are.  Too many people in life are in transmit mode only.  You want your follower and following base to consist of people who actually do “Follow” you.  Tweet unto others… Ray Crock of Amway built his empire based upon a “do as I do” model of business replication success!  So take a look at how other successful individuals and businesses are incorporating Social Media tools into their business processes.  A large number of followers doesn’t necessarily translate into fiscal solvency or wealth, but it definitely impacts your brand.  Your brand is the cornerstone of stability for your identity or your business.

c.  One that imitates another: It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery.  Well, there’s no exception to that rule in Twitterville either!  Using Social Media tools to increase revenue, increase traffic and volume to your site, your store isn’t exactly a natural art for most people.  It takes time, and keen skills of observation in order to effectively strike the right town and tempo of your Tweet deck to gain desired results.  You can save yourself a lot of time by looking at those across several business fields that are successful.  Look at their tweet timeline and click on their Retweets by Others list.  Examine the wording, the time of day, the individual they directed the retweeted tweet to if anyone and just how many people retweeted the message.  Over time, you will begin to subconsciously ingest the intuitive instinct best suited for your business or field of interest.

I hope this article has been of interest and will be a help to you in defining your communications strategy in the world of connecting to others.

Cheers all, and have a great weekend!
@justasked