Archive for July, 2008

On Vacation I took it ALL off – and it was pure pleasure!

week in paradise

After a full week in paradise – YES, I took it ALL off, the full entire week.  It was pure heaven, but was that ever hard for “me” to do.  I have trouble taking a day off, let alone a full week.

I’m sure many of you are reading this thinking, so what? She took an entire week off from work, what’s the big deal? 

A self proclaimed work-aholic, taking a back seat from work isn’t an easy task.  My type “A” personality makes it very difficult to sit and do nothing for any extended period let alone for 7 full days.  

I rarely sit down for two minutes, even to read or watch TV.  I am a constant buzz of activity, always on the phone, planning something or just running around doing this or that.  I thrive on being busy, multi-tasking and am pretty much non-stop until my head hits the pillow.

But not this past week.  I did practically nothing.  Just like a Seinfeld episode – my vacation was about doing nothing. No big trips, no big events AND I took an entire week off!

Of course there were trips to Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola for delicious treats, Soccer Camp for my daughter and then some “just hanging” out in the California sunshine reading magazines and gardening.

I admit that I did sneak in a work call and email here and there, but I resisted the strong urge to do more than that for an entire week.

It’s really nice to take a little break once in while and reflect on our life, goals and purpose.  It makes us better in our day to day career. We are more successful when we allow ourselves that down time.

Starting Monday, I’m open again for business.

I will be making a zillion call backs and will make a grand attempt to answer the influx of emails that have been left unanswered in my in-box.  I’m sure a few HOT action items will crop up and detour me a bit but I’ll stay on course and get it all done.

BUT this time I will take time to stop and smell the roses.  Keeping the work life balance is in the forefront once again.  It’s amazing how a short hiatus can give you that energy and empowerment you need to be successful in your career.  It helps us stay on course.

So please tell me, how is your work going?  Are you taking the time needed to refresh your mind?  I’d really love to hear.

July 28, 2008 at 10:49 pm 3 comments

“OMG” Social Media acronyms, understanding this brave new high tech language/code – “LOL”

Jackson says “OMG!”  

But what is he really saying?  Translation please!

I will be the first to admit that Social Media is pretty hip and cool, far hipper and cooler than I could ever hope to be.  When I was growing up we never communicated via “text messages” or “tweets” or IM’s.  Nobody had cell phones.  

Xbox wasn’t even invented yet.  State of the art technology was ourAtari which we played games like “Pong” and “Asteroid” on.  The internet wasn’t even here yet, let alone the cordless phone!

Now as we enter 2008 Social Media has become all the rage with pretty much every living generation.   We can now communicate 100+ different ways using 100+ different tools and technology.  But as the ways in which we communicate with one another changes, our language must adapt.   Here comes along the Social Media acronyms. 

To the first time user, decoding through the conversation of Social Media acronyms can be a difficult task.   It’s like a new universal web language.  For the longest time “lol” had me completely lost at to what it meant. 

Slow to learn, I only recently figured out a few:

OMG = oh my gosh/God

POST = People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology

SMO = Social Media Optimization

CGM = Consumer Generated Media

LOL = laugh out loud

SEO = search engine optimization

SES = search engine strategies

SEM = search engine marketing

BTW = by the way

P/U = pick up

Please let this post serve as an invitation to communicate with me Web 2.0 style:

Facebook: http://profile.to/heathergardner/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/heathergardner

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heathergardner

Plurk: http://www.plurk.com/user/heathergardner

And for me to be a better listener to you, I must first understand more of what you are saying.  So please tell me, “What acronyms or abbreviations do you use to communicate via web 2.0?” 

I’d really love to hear….

July 9, 2008 at 9:08 pm 3 comments

The Marriage is over. He dumped me on Twitter

When you stop to think about it, perception is an extremely powerful branding tool.  It can make or break you. It never ceases to amaze me how well social media enables us to brand ourselves, our company and/or our service. 

But there are some downsides to branding and perception via social media.

Here’s my story:

A few weeks ago, I received a note from Twitter that @Tweet05 (not his real name to protect his identify) was following me.

I always check profiles before clicking to follow back – there have been some strange tweets out there that I want no part of. 

My first impression of @Tweet05 was based on:

  1. Hip looking custom Twitter background (not like the boring clouds I have)

  2. Intriguing bio w/ fancy photo. Borderline unbelievable but I trusted it’s truth

  3. MANY followers, but he only followed a handful – under 5

“Wow! @Tweet05 looks pretty interesting.  With so many followers @Tweet05 must be extraordinary with amazing tweets about ‘must have’ information,” were my immediate thoughts.  I’ll be honest with you, I was kind of flattered.

So, I did what most of us would do. I clicked the follow back button. 

Within a seconds, I was dumped by @Tweet05.  The marriage was over as quickly as it begun.  

It was as if Tweet05 had written some kind of bot code to “auto-dump” it’s followers.  DUMPED!   No more web 2.0 between @Tweet05 and @heathergardner.  I had been cut off from all @interaction.

On Twitter, your followers and who you follow speak to who you are. Let’s face it, you can tell who puts the energy in to “nurture” their Twitter relationships. I’m proud of the diverse network of tweets and have built some genuine and solid professional/personal relationships via this 140 characters forum.  I’m not there for purely a high number of followers, but rather “connections”. I follow a lot of very talented individuals that share a lot of knowledge and resources in their tweets.  I love the web 2.0 back and forth banter and appreciate every single unique one of them.  I find myself in a deep communication and idea exchange on many occasions.

@Tweet05 used me to inflate a perception and persona.  I felt slighted, like a dumped girlfriend.

So I did what any girl would do in my same situation. I dumped @Tweet05 right back!

After all, what good is web 2.0 without the two way interaction – doesn’t it then become web 1.0?

So let’s hear it… what would you do?   

July 6, 2008 at 10:47 pm 7 comments

Happy Fourth of July 2008

It’s Independance day and I can think of no better way to spend it than with family and friends.  My daughter Claire chose to ride her razor in the West Lake Pond Parade, while my son Jackson rode in a two seater wagon with his buddy Shea.  As usual, it was a fun family adventure mixed with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and some professional networking – it’s always a nice crowd!

Yes, that’s Jason (my husband) wearing an Old School Republican shirt.  I’m not sure how well that went over in Santa Cruz!   And yes, that’s my 2 year old son Jackson with a red faux-hawk perched on his shoulders.  As you can tell we really get into our Holiday decor! 

After a short pause for naptime, we will hit the BBQ scene at the family farm.  This will be another mix of family and friends with tons of food!

From my virtual world to yours, I wish you ALL a happy and safe holiday.  I do wonder how you plan to spend your 4th of July?

July 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm 3 comments


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