Saturday, April 27, 2013

ALWAYS A TUMBLR NEVER A STUMBLER

I will be writing a series of five posts on behalf of my Graduate Marketing Class on Social Media. They will be tagged accordingly, and so all interested eyes and ears, I hope you'll join me in examining the ever evolving world of Social Media.

Courtesy: Matt Cosby (c) 2013

There are 10 different ways of getting in contact with me --- just on my phone.
(Tweet, FB, Text, Instagram, Call, E-mail, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest)

Now, I'm not the person who's constantly yolked to my cell phone, but I do carry it around enough that if my daughter notices it laying somewhere without me, she'll immediately alert me to the situation.

I like to be informed, connected and kept abreast to the important things that are going on around me. That include significant politics, health science, friends in need and a variety of other life enriching facts. I also enjoy visiting the blogs and tumblr pages that are put together professionally to achieve an entrepreneurial gain. It's important to support the ones who are going out there to establish themselves in social media, and recently I've been liking tumblr.

courtesy: http://social-networking.findthebest.com

Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform where users post short-form media to their personal tumblr page(s) (one account holder may own several pages)Users can follow other users' blogss, make their blogs private, and control their content via a homepage "dashboard" interface. Content on tumblr pages may be "liked" or "reblogged" instantly. A tumblr page is extremely customizable and can be used in place of a company's actual web site (thought I would rarely recommend that). 

My friend Matt Cosby uses his tumblr account to compile samples of his photography, and knows how to wrangle the tumblr account to propel a (successful!) professional hobby. 
Take a look around his page: http://mattcosby.tumblr.com/

The Social Examiner found 26 Ways to Market a Business with Tumblr

courtesy: bigfin.com

Meanwhile, StumbleUpon is a lesser known realm of social media, and while newer features in the last few years makes it not the complete waste of time it once was, it's still something that I refuse to be a part of.  StumbleUpon is considered a discovery engine which finds and recommends web content to its users. The site allows users to "discover" and "rate" pages, pictures, videos and then uses that information to personalized their search. They've found a way to make liberal use of peer-source networking, social-media networking principles and way too much free time.

It really is a boredom media tool used mostly used by folks who have no idea what they're looking for, yet still feel the need to be even further removed from reality and from their children.

Businesses use StumbleUpon to "drive" viewers towards their website, by strategic use of the site's core components. For more on the specifics on this, visit Blue Glass's explanation here. (opens in new window/tab). The way to business success with StumbleUpon is much more narrow than with the flexibility and near boundless opportunity of tumblr.

To me, the use of StumbleUpon is contributing largely to the downfall of our homelives and, well, our live-lives. I've seen people become mesmerized by the pretty little "stumble" button embedded into their toolbar, spending hours on end looking at the funniest thing a monkey did or an internet forward that someone actually gave two shits about.

Blue Glass seems to think you could make a pretty penny with it's traffic possibilities, and if you've already tapped out or tapped into every other social media platform, and you're looking to run the gamut (of course, if you've failed at all of those...), why not try your hand. But with all of the other ways you can connect with a person or potential customer, I wouldn't waste your time. 




Saturday, April 13, 2013

CAN FAILURE BE AN ANSWER TO PRAYER?



I don't like to brag, but I do like to lie:
I'm really, really great at everything...

Even though that means I've failed a lot. And looking back, I know it's easy to be a skeptic and to look at every turn and twist through life as somehow an answer to prayer, and that it's especially pathetic and unflatteringly cute to find that after a turn goes wrong.

But my failures get pretty specific, sometimes.
When Danny and I were planning our future together, getting all dreamy-eyed and pretending our shit don't stink, we wanted to go to Chicago. Why? Not sure. I guess it just seemed more romantic than NOT going to Chicago, and it would have also proven that we didn't care WHAT the economic downturn had to say, and that numbers DID NOT matter to us, and math WASN'T going to ruin our lives and hell, recession was really just a grade school activity held after lunch. (Recess was everybody's favorite...Ask Michael Scott)

But that didn't happen. In fact, I only applied to one graduate school when Journalism was "obviously" my calling, after one Journalism class and a practicum writing for the terrible (at the time) school paper. Destiny. No previous jobs, no internship experience, but I WAS going to get into the best Journalism School in the country and I'd probably spent some time praying about it.

Well than didn't work. (Shocking.) And I took a job as an insurance charlatan, selling bundled policies to unsuspecting people at a time they probably needed the money most.
Hey!
Why would God have me do all of that?
Well, not entirely sure, but they did mostly canceled their policies soon after I sold it to them (buyer's remorse, or God's good plan?) though 100% commission, it did provide me a paycheck while I figured out what else to do.
I quit.

That's what I did. I failed, went weeks without payment and quit. (Went even longer after.) In between, I met a lot of people whose stories stay with me today. One (among others), whom I didn't even pitch a sale to (they were uninsurable). I just sat with them. Let them tell me about how they hadn't worked in years, were sick and almost never had the ability to leave the house or talk to others. Pretty sure I canceled my next appointments after this one, too.

Unemployed and then got pregnant. Nice, huh? Husband and I were thrilled. Took a job as a Deli/Bakery bitch. I mean. Manager. Trainee. Yep. Worked for a time, became too slow to keep up with the company's harassment--after all, I was pregnant. I hadn't the energy or the space in my orbit to to work at a pace that could keep up with their expectations and put my child at risk. Their floors were slippery, I was large and a safety hazard who clearly loved her kid and likely wouldn't stick around to be nano-managed. Selfishly, I wanted to raise my own kid. The whole thing was a disaster, and I eventually bowed out.

But meanwhile we made rent (most months) and then realized (before quitting) that with my insurance being canceled when I was 8 months pregnant (as an "I hate you and hope you die a slow and penny-less death" from my employer), we realized we couldn't re-up our lease, or, hell, sign any other lease in the current known-universe, and had no money to show for ourselves. Things were looking great. A decisively wonderful win!

Prayer and prayer and prayer. We failed at procuring our own place and moved in with John, per our Pastor's connections.

Lived in harmony there for several months. His daughter moved in, lived in harmony for several more. Sort of.

Blah, blah blah.... failed. No jobs. Lots of no jobs! Lot and lots! Mama had no job, Daddy had no (full time) job. My daughter made it very clear that she would sooner starve than accept a bottle from any one at any time. (So there was a lot of fail wrapped up in that nursing success I had.) Fail, fail, fail. (But boy is that kid healthy!)

John and I were great friends. We talked and laughed and joked and things all went along synergisticly.
I never had it confirmed, but I'm gonna say lots of prayer happened around friendships in that house. Lots and lots of prayer. We basically did no thing without praying about it first, and though there was this certain kind of love, bursting at the seams, the kind where every person inhabiting this tiny, tiny abode would have dropped everything they had, were, or owned to help out every single person there in any way they need. Things didn't exactly end that way.

(Little slow here. The rest of this has all been typed rather quickly, but now I'm at a stalemate. I'd rather not  fail at this too, so I better not go off and pray about it.)

Danny and I live in a nice little townhouse now with our two daughters. And while we are still living paycheck to paycheck, we have a comfortable enough life (comparatively. It's all relative, isn't it?) For the first time in the last 13 re-locations I'm here for a second 12 months. Danny loves his job and I have some decent options.

So if you've failed to see the point, you probably must've prayed about it.
(Get it? Failed? Ooooh, my.)
We wouldn't be where we are right now without prayer.
Lots and lots of prayer.
And I've never regretted any prayerful decision I've made.
Ever.