Hmmm, Interesting, Totes for Tots

My Kid Just Learned that People Suck.

I knew it would happen sometime.

“The kids in my group made fun of my teeth. And I can’t do anything to change it, so… yeah.”

So begins my son’s experience in the reality that people suck. In his case, it’s little people. Kids, who might otherwise be pretty nice and decent, often lack some inner monologue and certainly any real tact. Somehow in the middle of a physical activity, some words were let loose which my son had to hear. And he hung on to them all the way until bedtime.

He was right.

My son inherited his teeth from his dad and me, so it’s no wonder his teeth are destined for braces. He also has a baby tooth up front that hangs on for dear life and looks funky next to his adult teeth growing in haphazardly. Nothing he can do about that, though eventually we can have them worked on… though that’ll lead to the new fun of “brace-face.”

He was wrong, too.

Trying to make lemons out of lemonade, last night was a good opportunity for a few reasons:

  • I was an open door to my son’s angst, ready to hear whatever he had to say about how he felt.
  • I was a voice of experience which could stand there, in the flesh, to prove that words don’t have to have a lasting effect.
  • I was a redirect to focus him from what he can’t control (his teeth) to what he can (his inner workings and attitudes about what was said to him).

He was honest.

“Mom, that doesn’t help.”

Okay. I think that’s probably true in the immediacy of how he was made to feel. But I still think all of the above might have planted a seed that will serve him well in the disappointments yet to come.

Because, no matter what happens in this world or how my son’s teeth improve, two truths remain.

People suck, and dentistry is a very secure field.

Office Space, The Me in My Mind

Who are you, really?

Who Are You - Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland

If you’ve had the pleasure of taking a personal assessment test, you may know who you are. You know, or have been told, what makes you tick.

This last week, I learned that I’m a Strategist-Activator-Relator-Positive-Wooer. For good measure, my Myers-Briggs is ENTJ.

I always have to chuckle a bit at the notion of these types of assessments. We all want to revel in a definition of our identity, even if it’s virtually impossible that such a result can truly encompass all that we are and offer.

“But that’s my type!”

Sweet. That gives me a general guidebook to who you are, but it’s not enough to rely upon wholly. Getting to personally know each other gets us to the ticks: what are the quirks and sharp turns which comprise our person?

Personal assessment results provide a silhouette. Personal relationships fill in the details.

What’s your type, and is that accurate to who you are? Let’s get personal below.

Not Sorry (ecard)
Office Space

Women, We’re Not Sorry.

Stop saying, “I’m sorry.”

This ideal has been in the air since yesterday morning. Female professionals (with a few men scattered in the audience) gathered at the Wellshire in south Denver to listen to Melissa Greenwell of Finish Line talk to us about gender-balance in the workplace.

Many things stuck with me from that presentation, but one which I can’t get out of my brain is the notion that, as women, we apologize too damn much.

Why are we always saying, “Sorry?”

Seriously, how often do you hear yourself saying the “s” word? Just today, I challenge you to catch yourself and tally up the times you say “sorry” when it’s completely unnecessary.

My colleagues and I returned to our office yesterday and, in successive meetings, we each were painfully aware of how often we’d preface or embellish an opinion with the “s” word. We noticed it in our other female coworkers as well. By the end of the day, every molecule of estrogen in that office was amped up about how ridiculous it is for each of us to constantly apologize for nothing. For everything. For being a woman with something to say. For conducting business just like any man would. For existing in our space.

Stop saying, “I’m sorry.”

I already mentioned this mantra was in the very air yesterday. If you don’t care to listen to me, how about these other items which came across my digital space since yesterday? It’s like the universe has something loud to say, and it’s not sorry about it.

Amy Schumer’s ‘I’m Sorry’ Skewers A Culture That Makes Women Apologize Constantly

Don’t be sorry about saying, “sorry.” Just stop.

Google+, Social Tools

Chrome Cures the Chaos of SMM

I used to play the circular game of signing in to the social profiles of a brand I managed and resigning myself to delaying my own personal profile management until later.

Sure, I could sign in to my own accounts on a different browser, but working outside of your favorite browser is like walking around in borrowed clothes. You may even like the look, but you don’t fill those threads like your own.

So how do you manage more than one profile from one browser*?

Two words: Chrome Users.

Here’s the logic: you’ll probably need a Google+ page solely for SEO value, right? You might as well use that need to maximize on how Chrome can align an entire brand’s online presence with a single Chrome User profile.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. When asked to sign in, create a Gmail account for the brand. If the brand you manage will have a Google+ personal profile as a figurehead, consider using that person’s name in the email (, for example).
  3. Use the new Gmail account to create Google+ Personal Page as well as a Google+ Business Page for the brand.
  4. Using this same signed-in browser, login to all of the online platforms and sites you need for this brand (Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, Pinterest, Iconosquare, etc.).
  5. Click on the triple-stacked lines at the top right corner of the Chrome browser, click Settings, then go to “on Startup.” Click on the Set Pages link to tell Chrome to always open the full set of tabs you’ll use to manage the brand online.

Wait a second – what about my personal brand?

  1. Go to Chrome Settings (see #5 above).
  2. Scroll down and in the People section, click Add Person to create a unique user in Chrome.
  3. This is where you can sign in to this new User with your own Gmail account to use for all of your own settings, bookmarks, passwords, and social identities.

The beauty of this set up is you can have two or more Chrome windows open at one time with a unique user account in each. Did you just use the brand Chrome user to post something to Instagram for the brand you manage? Hop on over to your own Chrome user window to like or repost it as yourself.

Using multiple Chrome users works even more beautifully if you have more than one monitor, but one wonderful thing at a time! If you have questions or additional suggestions, I’d love to hear them below!

*Yeah, I’m pushing Chrome use here. Firefox has a Sync feature which could probably work in similar fashion, but… oh, Google.

Social Platforms, Social Tools

Are You Really Ready to Duplicate Your Content?

Over the weekend, Hootsuite shared out their blog post, Why We Sent a Single Tweet 44 Times. (Great headline, right? My neck involuntarily pitched my head sideways when I spotted it.) Mission accomplished, because I clicked to read the blog.

You said that already. It's still amazing. (Duplicating Content on Social Media)

Repeating your content is entirely dependent upon who is watching, listening or stalking you.

Hootsuite discusses the practice of repeating (duplicating) content because “how people use social media, particularly Twitter, has changed. It has developed into a discovery channel where audiences come to find content.” They refer to Guy Kawasaki, a social media monolith who supports repetitive content sharing in his social practice. (I encourage you to read the Hootsuite blog, in spite of what I’m about to type; they have great tools and insights for social media marketers.)

Don’t Dupe Just Yet

I don’t think everyone should take to their social media plan and hone their Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V speeds – at least not yet. Here’s why: both Hootsuite and Guy Kawasaki have no shortage of followers: 6.73 million and 52.8 thousand, respectively – and that’s just on Twitter.

When you’ve got an enormous following you’ve already cultivated, resharing the same content can make sense because due to the sheer numbers of your followers, the statistical probability that most of them will see that one tweet posted just that one time is uber slim.

So what if you’re not Hootsuite or even Guy, and you’re still building your audience? This is where I stick with the notion that social media is still first and foremost a conversation at heart – especially if you’re still cultivating your followers.

Date A While Before You Dupe

Think about it: you meet a new person for coffee or lunch. The other person, for the most part, likes what you say and share, and so you make plans for a future date. If things go well, you create a regular relationship to where they feel you are credible and interesting. Even if they don’t adore 100% of what you share, they stick with you through the months and even years. At that point, once you’ve developed the relationship, you’re far more likely to be forgiven a repeated thought tossed in amidst the rest of your riveting material.

Social Tools, Twitter

Don’t Be a Hashtag Hack.

Last weekend I opined on Twitter that news outlets should start using location-specific hashtags for traffic updates. Just as Colorado has a wealth of opportunities for this (#i70eisenhower, #mousetrap, #6thFederal, #36turnpike), certainly other locales across the nation could make use of hashtags for folks searching for traffic updates and alerts. Caveat: you don’t want people searching on their phones while in traffic, unless they’re not in the driver’s seat. Thus posting these on overhead highway signs might not be the way to go.

There are limits to hashtag use. Or there should be.

Best practice for any update is to use no more than two hashtags – three if it’s absolutely necessary & you’d be doing a disservice by leaving it out. This gets particularly tricky with Twitter, since you only have around 120 characters of room (leaving the remaining 20 as room for someone to RT you).

Double-Check Your #

Yes, you are amazing and creative. However, that doesn’t mean someone didn’t use your hashtag idea first. Always do two checks on a hashtag you wish to use: one on Twitter, and one on Google. You can see who may have already used your brilliant hashtag idea and why.

If you think checking your hashtag is a waste of time, please click here and think again.

Bottom line: Just because Justin and Jimmy make a ton of hashtags funny doesn’t mean the rest of us should try.