Category Archives: Whimsy

Stop tolerating the bad stuff and start living!


I’m a lot more tolerant than I used to be.  I’m much more calm and relaxed than I was 20 years ago.  i’ve learned to let things go.  I’ve learned to be authentic, I’ve learned to be me.


So several points on this blog post by Mark and Angel really resonated with me.  In being more authentic, I tolerate less destructive things in my life.  If you want to read the original post, the link is above – but here are my factors to succeed…

People who bring you down. – Don’t spend time dealing with people who are like emotional vacuum cleaners.  They suck energy out of you and grind you down until you are as miserable as they are.  Rise above it and keep calm

A work environment or career field you hate. – You’re at work a long time.  Surround yourself with people and leaders you respect.  Do work you enjoy and love.  Don’t get embroiled in politics, back biting or bitching.  It’s ok to say no.  Do not let yourself get bullied.  It is your job – not your life…

Your own negativity. – You have the power to change the way you feel.  Every new day can be a fresh start.  Celebrate the beauty of the new day, the drizzle, the crisp cold mornings, the fresh wind.  Enjoy nature.  Find something small to enjoy and turn around the cycle of negativity you’ve got into

Unnecessary miscommunication. – If you don’t know what someone wants ask them.  Ask for feedback.  Be kind with feedback.  Make someone happy, not frustrated with you.  Try to diffuse anger

A disorganized living and working space. – Tidy desk tidy mind.  Spend some time doing your life laundry and clearing out things you no longer need. Physical clutter often relates to emotional clutter.  See how much better you feel when everything is in its place

Pressure to fit in with the crowd. – Be your own person.  Try not to get talked into things you really don’t want to do.  It’s easy to say no – and very satisfying when you have done it.

Fear of change. –Feel the fear and do it anyway.  You might love the new way of doing things.  Do something every day that scares you – you might find that you’ve found something new you love

Being unprepared. – You will avoid the terror of getting things wrong and the humiliation afterwards.  If you’re prepared for anything, then you can conquer the world..

Inaction. –There are three types of people.  Those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened.  Be one of the folks that makes things happen…

But most of all – be yourself.  You’re the best at it, and there is no one that can take your place…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: Noah Sussman

Blogging in 2011.. Year in Review


Looking back over my posts this year have made me reflect on some of my posts.  I’ve posted to this blog 236 times which is quite impressive.  I’ve obviously got a lot to say.

I’ve uncovered some interesting pointers with the things people search for too.  Sweet kittens, kitteh and funny hamsters all appear on my search stats.  But there are valid posts too.  For example:

Phone scamming is still pervasive se people search for scammers and other calls claiming that your computer has malware

How to cope in corporate environments also seems to be a key topic, with posts on corporate culture and how to change corporate culture

Several social media posts popped up on the list too, such as crisis management, writing your social media strategy and understanding your social ROI

It’s not only posts written this year that are discovered by searches.  Posts I’d written when I was at Microsoft, such as the missing Drafts folder in Outlook 2007 found with MFCMAPI (from January 2009) and importing Outlook into Windows Live Calendar (from April 2007) still turn up in my weekly stats report.

And on the personal side, my post about Johari Windows, written over 2 years ago now, still gets its fair share of views amongst the posts about leadership, social business, and cool technology features.

Reflecting on 2011 has given me some great ideas what to talk about for 2012.  I’m fired up and ready for 2012 to get going

I hope that you all have a very happy, and successful New Year with no bloggers block in sight!  Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: Cristamos

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Speaking for Free: Don’t you value yourself?

Jeremy also has a lot of requests to do freebies for potential clients – and the reason they give him is usually that he’ll gain more exposure for his business. I’ve spoken about speaking for free before as it’s something i feel strongly about.

There are lots of people trying to make money out of social media at the moment (and believe me, social media specialists are a dime a dozen right now) speak for free.  They are EVERYWHERE.  Their knowledge isn’t so broad, nor deep, they haven’t been around to see the evolution of social Networking sites – (my post from 2007 shows that we’re still concerned by privacy issues on Facebook).  But they are more than happy to speak for free at every event.  They don’t really value the work and effort that they have put in to learning their skill.

They don’t really value their skill – so they don’t put a price on their work.  They devalue the work for everyone.

I’ve been asked to speak at events – and I’ve even been asked expected to pay to attend the event as well.  This is loosely banded under the ‘sponsorship’ bucket, but it’s still the same way to devalue skills and experience.  Someone is making money out of my knowledge and experience.

That’s not behaving ethically or honourably.

Photographers have a particularly good point here.  People grab images from the web and use them in web pages and posts without credit, without a by-line. It seems that everyone does it without thinking of the time or effort that goes in to making an amazing photo.

I’ve changed the way I source my photos too.  I used to use bing to find  images – and grab them off the web.  Now I know that wasn’t ethical.  I’m now not comfortable with what I used to do.

I didn’t credit the photographer, or link to the image source.  I didn’t think about whether it was wrong or right.  I didn’t put a value on that person’s work.  I was caught up – like so many others in the fact that the Internet was a vast resource of information available to all.  I assumed that everything was free.

I was wrong.

I didn’t realise back then how valuable the Internet actually is as a resource. And that people like myself were contributing to that pool of knowledge

But now I’m much more aware or just how much work goes into making something of value.  Take a look at this image on Flickr


This photo is certainly not the sort of thing that you’d snap with your phone and upload on the spot.  The photographer has spent quite a bit of time getting this shot perfect.  Then he uploaded it for sharing – with a creative commons licence for attribution.  I use images like this under licence to use.  I actually use Compfight to find images like these amazing shots of butterflies.  I look for images that I can use.  And now, I always link back to the source photo showing how much I value the original image.  That’s more important than massaging my blog SEO by embedding the images on my site somewhere.

Photo sites like shutterstock, istockphoto and Webshots charge for photos – as they should.  Photographers charge for their time – as they should.  Everyone has got to make a living somehow.

Tony sleep puts it much better than I can when he addresses the “We have no budget” questions.   I’m going to refer potential freebie clients to his text – particularly this paragraph…

You see I don’t want your stinking “exposure”, I want mutually beneficial, productive relationships with clients.  I try to behave with integrity, honesty and fairness, and I expect clients will do likewise.  Exposure is the end of that process, not a means. Similarly with bylines.  I don’t require applause earned by being a sucker.  If free matters more than good, ask someone else.

For me, doing things for free devalues my skill.  It devalues my ability to execute on complex consultancy engagements.  It also indicates to the client that if I’m happy to give my knowledge away for free, then I actually might not be worth paying for after all…

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Murder, Suicide, or Quantum Suicide?

This sort of stuff blows my mind.  Here’s an article explaining how quantum suicide works.  The universe splitting into more than one universe is hard to get my brain around.  It makes me think of Schrodinger’s cat and the eternal life or death puzzle.  But here’s one of my favourite stories which I heard over 10 years ago.  It was a legal conundrum that police had to deal with in Canada in 1996 and it’s a really good story.


I love this puzzle story – it seems too far fetched to be actually true.  Just like the cat theory and the quantum suicide there are things out there to puzzle and amaze us if we open out minds…

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Changes at Hard Rock?

This made me laugh out loud when I saw it on Facebook.


Hopefully I did  inspire the team at Hard Rock to think of some new initiatives after my session last week.

Thanks Jason – for making me giggle,  Now, thinking about it, where is my red bra? :-D

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If I was on the International Space Station…

This is what I would see….  When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut.  Everyone of my generation did.  We watched the landing on the moon, although we were far too young to understand the significance of the occasion.  And we dreamed about going there too one day.  So  I love this video taken from the space station showing earth in orbit.  It makes me believe that I’ve been there too…

Thanks to the LikeCool blog for finding the video.  I’m off to dream about space now :) 

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Final thoughts of the year


So as the New Year beckons – (as does the champagne) and the old year draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the bits of my working life have been enhanced by technology or otherwise so here’s my list.

1: Twitter.  Twitter has enabled me to connect to people who aren’t answering their phone, enables me to silently follow the famous (in the technology and the celebrity world) and has given me feedback, help and advice within moments of asking.  As far as I can see, the site doesn’t make any money, has thousands and thousands of followers and is addictive – it you’re following the correct people. I’m at if you’re curious about the stuff I write.

2: Live Writer.  With the ability to add Tags, insert maps and photos, my blogging life is much much better.  I catch up with stuff online and blog offline when I get the time.

3: Google Reader.  I whizz through my feeds (over 500 of them) in no time. Star what i want to return to and blog it later.  Yes, i know that you’ll be thinking that i should ONLY use Microsoft products, but i like this reader MUCH more than the IE version of the RSS reader – and when we produce something that’s better – I’ll switch to that.

And the worst….?

Sorry chaps it’s got to be the tracking Santa application I played with on Christmas Eve# from MSNBC.  Eeek.  Norad have been getting it right for years and years!  Come on chaps, it would have been good if the site had actually worked BEFORE Santa arrived.  You have a year to make things much better in 2009.

So I’ll sign off now for the New Year and wish you and yours all the best for 2009 and I’ll see you then!

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