3 Steps to Finding Your C-Spot

I’m talking about blogging, people.

Your C-Spot is your creativity spot, your happy place, where you feel your flow, mojo, juices, ideas, you get the picture.

Sometimes it feels as though great writing is like lightning in a bottle–fleeting and electric. But I think you can do some specific things to capture the lightning.
Writing is like capturing lightning in a bottle

This is our homework assignment for the coming week.

Step One – Find the Perfect Time of Day to Create

Let’s use a sample writing prompt (in case you need one). Write for 30 minutes on the subject of “what I learned from my first job that I’m still using today.” Liz has written some inspiration for finding your writing voice. When you’re ready:

  • Day 1, write first thing in the morning, right after you eat breakfast.
  • Day 2, write in the afternoon, after you’ve already gotten your non-writing tasks done.
  • Day 3, write just before bedtime, when it gets quiet in your house.
  • BONUS Day, if you normally write during the week, try a weekend (or vice versa).

Take note of how your “flow” feels in each time-frame. Was it easy to write, or did you stare at the screen for a bit?

Step Two – Find the Perfect Physical Location to Create

Using the same writing prompt (substitute your second job), choose three different locations where you can write. Try your dining room table, your desk at work, in bed with your laptop, out on the porch, wherever you feel comfortable.

Did this affect your writing?

Step Three – Add Ambiance for Creative Flow

Some people need to have music playing in the background, and some need to write in absolute silence. Using what you already know about your style, experiment a bit with your writing environment. Light candles, turn the TV off or on, put on noise-canceling headphones, try writing with pen and paper instead of a keyboard…go crazy.

How did that work? Did changing the ambiance change your attitude? Did it spark new ideas?

At the end of the experiment, you can try mixing and matching your time of day, physical location, and ambiance to find your perfect “C-Spot.”

Want to share yours?

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Image: Flickr CC

What Are Your Assumptions?

By James Ellis

closeup_donkeyPeople don’t read the web, they scan. People don’t like to click. People don’t look past the first four Google search results. People only search Google with 2-3 word search terms. People don’t open their email on the weekends. People don’t spend money online. People don’t trust strangers online. No one cares what you had for breakfast. No one will want to look at a picture of your lunch. People buy most Christmas gifts online on the Monday after Thanksgiving. No one will download a movie to watch on their phone.

All of the above statements were once considered gospel at one time. Gospel. Carved into stone tablets. Given to marketers’ children to recite every morning.

But you should all see at least one statement that you know to be patently false (in fact, I’m pretty sure that they almost all are, depending on circumstances). But they linger on, because they are based on assumptions.

These are just examples of online/web/tech assumptions that linger in the minds of people close to us (especially clients and bosses). There are plenty of business, blogging and personal assumptions we make and live by that simply aren’t true anymore (assuming they ever were).

Assumptions are the blind spots in our vision. We see them without acknowledging them every day. We work around them instead of challenging them, when challenging them is how we create success. Think of Kodak and Poloroid, who assumed we’d always want printed pictures. Think of Ford (circa 2009) who assumed Americans only bought big cars. Think of the music industry, who assumed that we wouldn’t like to download our music whenever we wanted.

Businesses fail every day because their assumptions were wrong. Businesses thrive every day because they took a chance on challenging assumptions. Think of Starbucks, who didn’t listen to the assumptions that people wouldn’t pay $5 for a cup of coffee. Think of Apple, who didn’t listen to the assumption that people didn’t want to check their email every second of the day. Think of Rick Bayless who didm’t listen to the assumption that Mexican food is cheap food.

What are the assumptions you live with every day? Are you challenging them? If you don’t, what happens when someone else does?

Author’s Bio: James Ellis is a digital strategist, mad scientist, lover, fighter, drummer and blogger living in Chicago. You can reach out to him or just argue with his premise at saltlab.com.

Photo credit: Dieter van Baarle, Flickr CC.

Attention Bloggers – Three Laws You Must Understand While Blogging


Arba Hana

The internet is not governed by any centralized legal body, however, that doesn’t make it immune to laws related to copyrights, defamation and privacy laws. Failing to adhere to any of these laws can land you in hot water, regardless of your location, mainly because online laws are of universal nature. Keeping these laws in mind is both a moral, and in some cases, legal obligation because everything you publish can be read by a global audience and you just cannot afford to offend anyone.

1.) Copyright Laws

Plagiarism is wrong, both ethically and legally. If you can’t write your own content, don’t bother starting a blog. Copying other work will result in some “cease and desist” notice, Google’s penalty, or even worse a legal suite. A copyright law passed in 1978 has declared all work published, doesn’t matter if it’s on paper or in digital form, it is automatically protected by copyright laws and there needs to be no specific mentioning of a “copyright protected” logo on the site that you are copying from. Therefore, bloggers are given automated protection for their original work and with latest software advancements, it’s quite easy to find out who plagiarized content and from where.

If you really want to include a certain passage or an entire article from another source then you must give citation. Don’t be shy of accrediting others for their work, you won’t lose your readers, instead they will appreciate you as someone who shares authentic information with its sources instead of just hogwash.

Not to forget the copyright when you are using images on your blog, stock photography websites are quite active when it comes to finding out people who are using it illegally and sending notices (e.g. Getty images)

So before you start blogging, you should take out some time and spend it on reading about copyright laws and its implications here.

2.) Online Defamation Laws

Online defamation is the publication of the information that directly harms the reputation of an individual or organization. It’s generally published with a malicious intent of invoking harm on to the victim. Even though the internet promotes a somewhat free culture, any site that indulges in publishing false defamatory information can face legal consequences. Religious defamation is the most active form of online defamation with certain regions being harsher than others. If you value your reputation and your life, do not indulge in defamatory activities especially on a global platform like Internet. Unless you are a journalist, a politician or anyone with a hold on verifiable facts and figures, you should steer clear from stating any rumor or false information on your blog.

At the end of the day, blogging should be more about constructive information. You should avoid defaming any individual/organization based on personally formed opinions. And it holds true for other platforms like Twitter as well.

3.) Privacy Policy:

All websites and blogs must have a clearly stated privacy policy. The policy is used to inform visitors about information collected and the sharing of that data with third parties. This could include sensitive information such as visitor name, email address, images and any other related data. You will be directed to publish a privacy policy whenever you are applying for an account at companies like 2checkout.com or moneybookers.com; even Google has made it compulsory for wannabe Adsense publishers to have a privacy policy on their blogs. You can search online for a number of privacy policy samples available for free, but you must give them a read and know your responsibilities as a blogger.

Always make sure your posts and publications are in league with laws and regulations of your country. As a responsible citizen, you are entitled to provide accurate information backed with verifiable facts and stay away from malicious content and activities.


Arba writes on topics related to laws and regulations.  She’s working for a website that lets you find notary in all parts of US. You can search for the notaries by state or by counties.

Ingredients to Make your Blog the One-Stop Shop for your Target Readers

If you are running a blog and relying solely on unique visitors coming from the Search Engines, and that too for a small set of keywords, then sorry to break it to you, but you (and your blog) are not standing on solid grounds. Mainly because a small shuffle in the rankings can send your blog tumbling back to starting point, and you’ll have to start from the scratch. Therefore, you should be aiming for a loyal readership from the day one. You have got to have some readers, who will be coming back to your blog on regular basis, reading your posts, sharing their opinions, sharing the good ones with their contacts at social profiles, and when needed, coming up with the guest contributions. But assembling this kind of readership is not easy. It is one thing to get someone to visit your blog for once (by the virtues of SEO or PPC) it’s another thing to convert these random visitors into regular readers. Your blog has got to have the following ingredients to provide your readers with a perfect mix that will make them bookmark and keep coming back to your website.

Updated Information:

Regardless of the theme or subject of your blog, you have got to keep your readers posted with all the developments or occurrences in your target market. Keeping you blog up to date doesn’t only mean posting news, instead you need to discuss these changes or developments, be it a sports blog, technology blog, SEO blog, politics blog, business blog, or a blog about blogging itself. Any blog that doesn’t cover the recent happenings or doesn’t stay on the ball will fail to convince the readers that this is a domain worth bookmarking.

Food for thought:

Keeping your readers updated with the recent developments is not the only requisite, instead you should be able to scrutinize all of these developments and help your readers understand by providing them with some food for thought, something to take home, for example how they can use a new technology, some marketing strategy, some upcoming trend, and the likes. There are hundreds of blogs out there doing nothing but rewriting the news. At the end of the day, it is the blog that goes one step ahead that gets the nod of approval from readers.


Humor can make the most boring topics a lot easier to bear, and it is one of the easiest ways to hold on to your readers, but for some unknown reasons, very few bloggers dare to be amusing in their writings. The thing is that you don’t need to be Louis Harding or Erma Bombek, all you need to do is to relax and write in an informal way. Almost all of us have this inbuilt ability to crack a joke every now and then, when we are hanging out with our friends, so you can assume that you are writing for your friends, and not some critics (or search engines), chances are that you will find yourself coming up with some good tongue in cheek humor every now and then.

Personal touch:

A blogger is not a reporter or a journalist; in fact they are quite the opposite of each other. While people expect journalists or reporters to keep their personal likes and dislikes, or experiences away from the news or featured stories, blogs are meant to be a place where real people can talk about the real stuff with their own take on the matter. So, it is advised that you add that personal touch into your writings to help people related.


If you feel your blog is getting monotonous, and turning more into a dud with little or no activity, you can always resort to a little controversy. By controversy, I don’t mean delving into sensitive topics and hurting others’ feeling to make them speak, instead you can try and debunk some popular notion or myths, remember that we are talking about thoughtful write-up and not just trolling. For example, an SEO blogger can try to debunk a popular myth, or a tech blogger can confer some popular brand or gadget, or maybe a blogger taking on the fellow bloggers for some unethical practices getting common in blogosphere.


Rahil of Weight Loss Triumph is an online entrepreneur and a part time blogger. At his website, you can get a wewood coupon. These discounts and coupon codes will help you save while purchasing watches or other accessories from fossil or wewood.


The Grinch Who Stole Blogging Past

As your business winds down 2011 and looks forward to a fresh start, it is likely to review company practices for the past 12 months to see what worked, what did not work, and what flat out needs changing in 2012.

If your company blogs for its customers now is as good time as any to review the material you put out there for clients and others, seeing what is resonating with those who may end up putting money in your pocket.

In the event your company blog is getting little or no traffic at all, perhaps you can relate to those poor people down there in “Whooville,” those same folks who are targeted every year at this time by none other than The Grinch.

You see, The Grinch doesn’t like happy things, one of which is a productive company blog that drives traffic to your Web site, increasing the chances of selling your products and/or services.

So how can you outsmart The Grinch at his own game?

Well, you need to:

  • Set your blogging goals for 2012 – What is it exactly that you seek to accomplish with your company’s blog? Are there clear intentions with the blog or are you just seeking to fill some space and/or producing a blog because others do it? Don’t wander out into the cold aimlessly with your blog this winter, map out where you want it to go ahead of time;
  • Peer in on some successful company blogs – They say copying is the greatest form of flattery. While you do not want to duplicate a rival’s blog, you can certainly learn from them as to what is working and what is not. See how they interact in real-time with their customers, if they blog about industry trends and analysis, do they mention and/or offer special deals, coupons etc. through their blogs;
  • Review your content – No blog is successful if it contains stale and boring content. If your staff does not have the proper time to give to a blog, then you need to think twice about having it in the first place. The more successful blogs are those that provide relevant content, are updated frequently, have an appealing look to them and are rich in keywords that search engines will pick up on. If your company blog has trouble meeting some or all of those areas, you seriously need to rethink the purpose of having one;
  • Balance communicating and sales – If the company blog is just one big sales pitch, it will likely fall on deaf ears for the most part. You need to find the proper balance between selling and serving, i.e. the blog should provide informative material for your customers and potential clients, not be an advertorial time and time again. You will likely be in a tug-of-war between your marketing/editorial folks and the sales staff. The former will want to provide solid copy that offers relevant content, while the sales team will seek to turn the blog into one big sales pitch;
  • Alter your posting times – When posting your blog, alter the times it goes live to the public. Some helpful hints include…. Fridays are a bad day to post because a lot of people have their minds off of work and turned towards the weekend. Then again, a blog centered on outdoor activities and purchases can be good for this time of the week. Tuesdays are generally considered a good day to post due to the fact Monday is out of the way and more attention is likely to be paid to it. Lastly, make sure to end the blog with a call to action so that customers and those potentially interested in your business have reason to respond;
  • Lastly, use your blog to interact with customers – Real-time interaction with customers is priceless, even when they are upset with you and your products and/or services. The one thing you need to remember is that not all businesses have company blogs, hence you have an additional means by which to interact with customers that they do not. Take advantage of that opportunity and speak to your customers on a regular basis.

Your company’s blog can be the envy of many other businesses if you devote the right time and resources to it.

Heck, even The Grinch would smile about that.

Photo credit: holderbaum.educationextras.com

Dave Thomas, who covers among other items home-based jobs, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.

Questions to Get Closer to You Question 25

Get Closer to You

This is a series of questions, I don’t know how many. They are the ones I ask when I help folks get closer to their personal identity.

What are you NOT doing right now that is causing you to miss opportunities?

< I'll answer first to get things started. --ME "Liz" Strauss Check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.

Branding: 5 Ways to Help You Find Out Who You Are

Questions to Get Closer to You: Question 24
Questions to Get Closer to You: Question 23
Questions to Get Closer to You: Question 22
Branding: 5 Ways to Help You Find Out Who You Are

Questions to Get Closer to Your Brand: Question 1
You’ll find the entire series of Questions to Get Closer to you on the Successful Series page.

Social Media Book List: Panel Discussion about Blogging & Social Media

A Weekly Series by Teresa Morrow

I’m Teresa Morrow, Founder of Key Business Partners, LLC and I work with authors to help manage their online book promotion. As part of my job I read a lot of books (and I love to read anyway!). I am here to offer a weekly post about one book author I am working with and one book I have put on my reading list.

I am mixing things up for my weekly blog post at Successful Blog. I thought I would ask a few of the authors I have highlighted to offer their strategies and tips regarding blogging and social media.

Panel Discussion about Blogging and Social Media


The panel consists of the following people:

Lou Belcher is a writer, author, blogger and photographer. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of writers and artists in Florida and beyond. Her gallery of her latest photography and fabric art can be seen at Lou Belcher’s Gallery. Ready, Set, Tweet is the title of her latest book.

Billie Sucher is a nationally-known career transition expert, outplacement consultant, professional résumé writer, speaker, author, poet, and prolific blogger for Career Hub. For over two decades, she has provided professional career management services to organizations and individuals (entry-level to executive-level) throughout the country.
Sucher holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Drake University and numerous industry certifications including International Job and Career Transition Coach, Career Management Alliance Credentialed Career Manager Distinction and William Bridge’s Transition Management Certification.

Liz Goodgold is a marketing and branding expert, speaker, and author, with more than 25 years of experience working for such major companies as Quaker Oats, Times Mirror, and Arco Oil. Currently she is Chief Nuancer and CEO of The Nuancing Group, an identity-consulting firm that helps companies understand the nuances of naming and branding.
Some of her clients include Proflowers.com, Fair Isaac (of the FICO score fame), Univision (largest Hispanic Media conglomerate in the world), and Sharp HealthCare (2008 winner of the prestigious Baldridge Award.)
She also works with a myriad of corporate clients and entrepreneurs for whom she has developed compelling product names, taglines, brand identities, and Internet domains that have generated flawless recall and increased market share.

Deepika Bajaj is Founder and President of Invincibelle, a company empowering women and a diverse, multigenerational work force to thrive in a multicultural world. Bajaj is also co-founder of ActiveGarage, the company behind 99tribes.com, a Twitter discovery search engine, helping people find and discover people who share your interests.
Prior to starting her company, Bajaj spent more than eight years in telecommunications consulting and corporate marketing. She has served on the Boards of various professional organizations, including the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and Women in Intel. The author of DiversityTweet: Embracing the Growing Diversity in Our World, she is at work on a second book about her experiences as a global citizen and what is shaping the new voice of diversity.
Her upcoming new ebook “PINK and Grow RICH” speaks of 11 UNREASONABLE RULES for success for women leaders who live and work in a multicultural world. She speaks and consults on diversity, blogs at www.deepikabajaj.com and writes a column on social media for ActiveGarage.
She is the winner of 2010 IWE Entrepreneurship Achievement Award. Bajaj received a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University in India and an M.B.A. in marketing from Fordham University in New York.

Let’s Start the Discussion

How long have you been blogging?

Lou: I put up my first blog post on Florida Book News in November of 2007. After that, I started my two other blogs: Brevard Art News and Writer’s Creative Studio.

Billie: Four-plus years! I was invited by Louise Fletcher, founder of Career Hub, to become one of the ‘charter’ contributors to a blog that offers ‘free advice from career experts.’ That was in early 2006, and I have been contributing articles on a consistent basis since that time. I love Career Hub and mostly I love it because it is a way of ‘giving back’ by sharing my knowledge with anyone who will stop by and read it! J And beyond that, the content from its many contributors is solid career wisdom! At the time Louise asked me to start blogging, I knew nothing about weblogs  and with her help and encouragement, I jumped in. I fully credit and will always be grateful to Louise Fletcher, President of Blue Sky Resumes, for getting me involved in the blogging world.

Liz:I have been blogging on and off for 2 years.

Deepika: I have been blogging since 2007. So, it has been close to three years.

What subjects do you cover with your blog?

Lou: Florida Book News covers what’s happening in the book world in Florida. It announces book signings; writers’ conferences and workshops; news about authors and their new books; and information about writing organizations. I also post book reviews from time to time.

Billie: I love to write about multiple career-related subjects, ranging from career transitions and job loss to resume writing, interviewing, networking, job search and personal branding. I write whatever career-wise I happen to be thinking about at the time. I think my first blog took me about five hours between the time I first thought of it (it was about Career Fear) to the time I posted it. Now, I simply write and it takes me very little time to make a post, be it on the Career Hub blog or on my own blog, www.billiesucherblog.com. Just recently, I had the good fortune, thanks to Teresa Morrow’s efforts, to make a post over on www.careersuccessradio.com. That was a rather lengthy post, though, on Career Transition Management, so I am parceling it out in multiple posts.

Liz: Since I practice what I teach, I only write about branding and marketing. I advise all folks to limit their blogging to their niche.

Deepika: I am passionate about blogging about social media, entrepreneurship, travel, corporate culture, marketing, leadership, globalization, diversity, work life balance and tribes.

Why do you blog?

Lou: I started blogging originally to help artists and authors get the word out about their books and artwork.

Billie: One reason: I love to share information – it’s that simple…you never
know whose life you might touch through your words, your thoughts, your ideas. Not everyone can ‘afford’ a career counselor, consultant, coach, resume writer, etc…so this is my way of sharing information in a venue that makes sense to me. I expect nothing in return….well, I guess I do enjoy a comment every now and then!

~To boost my on-line brand, presence, and visibility
~To increase search engine results
~To broaden my reach
~To recycle and reuse the information in all sorts of other media
~To stay fresh and current

Deepika: It is medium for me to express, share myself, share my experiences, insights and work with people. Most importantly it helps me develop my skills as a writer. When I started to blog, I thought I would stop at some time – but I think this is one of those things that grow on you. I am hooked.

And the fun is really to amplify some work from my network or role models – it is one place I can highlight who are the people I trust, follow and respect.

The real kicker is that I could share from my entrepreneurial adventures to cooking mishaps – I could be fully human and share from a wide range of experiences that entail living a full life. You can bring your entire personality to it. And have your community respond and connect with you “meaningfully”.

What is the one blogging tip you have to share with others?

Lou: The main blogging tip I give to others is to keep it short. When writing for the web, it’s important to write short segments. You only have a couple seconds to grab the attention of the reader and it’s good to make your blogging conversational, interesting and easy to read.

Billie: Be your very best authentic self online and write like you speak.

Liz: Write amazing, sexy headlines! Compare Financial Planning 101 to 7 Surefire Ways Guaranteed to Save You Money!

Deepika: Share Authentically – say things as they are. Don’t try to look good or make an impression. Your readers will find out that you are faking it – there is no bigger turn-off than ingenuity.

How long have you been using social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin) for your business?

Lou: I’ve been using Twitter longer than Facebook, but now I use them simultaneously.  I think I’ve been using them for almost two years.

Billie: Blogging: Four+ years
Twitter: since March 2010;
LinkedIn, about two years.

Liz: I was quick to start building my LinkedIn network and still chuckle today when someone accepts an invitation that was extended 2 years ago! I’ve only been on Facebook about a year and still mastering its power.

Deepika: Two years now. I have also launched a website www.99tribes.com that helps twitter users discover other twitter users that share similar interests.

When it comes to social media— do you prefer one platform over the others?( facebook, twitter or linked in)

Lou: I wrote a book (Ready…Set…Tweet! A Speedy Guide to Twitter) about Twitter, so I guess I should say that I prefer it. It’s a quick and easy way to reach a large group of people with your message.

Billie: Love Twitter…(and blogging)…I like how one can write a blog post, make a tweet with #in about your post and in seconds, it updates on LinkedIn. (Is that a social media trifecta?) J  Whatever it is, I like how it all works together to share a message.

Liz: I tend to be a LinkedIn girl because it is all business all the time; I find it easy and straightforward.

Deepika: I found that you can tie your blog, twitter, linkedin and facebook. So, by just focusing on your Blog you can create value for all your networks. I believe that it is important not only to have presence in all these platforms but also to focus on strategically using them to create a engaged community of users who drive value from what you share.

No one is interested in your lunch menu or your feelings – What people would like to find is something that helps them take care of their business, family or personal development concerns – it is about THEM not YOU.

Why do you like one of the others?
Lou: After I set up a page for Florida Book News on Facebook, I began using it more. When I post an announcement on the blog, I go to Facebook and let people know about the posting. They work well together.

Billie: Love Twitter because of its brevity – it’s quick, fast, now…also love how it has ‘made me’ become a ‘crisper’ writer, thinker in sharing information…and mostly, I love it because you can deliver brief chunks of information in a bite-sized format to help #jobseekers learn. (At least that is my purpose on Twitter for 99% of my tweets.) The job search is #overwhelming for many….I like how #Twitter necessitates keeping your message short/sweet within the 140 character confines. In my newest book, *Happy About the Career Alphabet, An A – Z Primer for Job Seekers of All Ages, 800+ Fast & Easy Tweet-style Tips* I wrote all 805 A – Z entries as #tweets to make it easy for job seekers to amass a large volume of knowledge about career search in a minimal amount of time (about 60 minutes) …plus I understand from my clients, this tweet-style book is very easy to read on Kindle!

Liz: Answered this question above.

Deepika:I prefer an integrated version and so particularly don’t like one over the other. I do believe video/youtube is one platform that it not used to its fullest potential.
I believe in building communities and tribes and they are focused on “shared interests” NOT “preferred platform”. People use these tools to connect but want more meaningful and personal interactions to develop lasting relationships. So, my focus is to help build relationships that last and any tools that fits the vision works.

What is one social media tip you have to share with others?

Lou: I think the best advice for social media is to be generous. Talk about others and promote others more than yourself. Post valuable, informative, entertaining information and people will follow you.

Billie: Don’t be intimidated by it…jump in, learn, do – find your voice!   In my opinion, social media is a tool, a resource… and simply a part of doing business in the 21st century. #Thanks @TeresaMorrow!

Liz: Specialize your status update to the channel. For example, sharing my traveling schedule on Twitter makes sense so that folks can attend one of my speeches in another city, but it’s less valuable on LinkedIn. On other sites, It’s all about value: share ideas, suggestions, views, or your expertise.

DeepikaSocial Media can be overwhelming but it has created a tremendous opportunity for anyone to be a leader. There is no test to pass, no permission needed. Before you needed millions of dollars to get on Television. NOW you need ten dollars to create a video. So, if you care about something, you can get up and lead.

If you are still reading this, you might want to check out my series on Social Media and Tribes on ActiveGarage.

Thank you ladies for contributing your valuable ideas and tips for the readers!

So-what would be your tips about blogging and social media? Please comment and join in the discussion.

What Color is the Sky in a World of Digital Media?

Would Seeing Be Believing?

Suppose a colleague, a photographer, called asking you what you thought of the sunset last evening. You’re forced to admit that missed you it entirely. So the colleague emails you this huge photo.

Evening sky colors

What do you imagine your response would be?

    a. Wow! I need to pay more attention to the world around me.

    b. Hope the weather holds and we catch another sunset like this tonight.

    c. Up in the corner looks like storm clouds could be rolling in.

    d. They don’t make skies like that. Wonder how much she enhanced it?

    e. other

My dad often said, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.”

What color is the sky in the world of digital media?
How do we know what’s real?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!

One-Way Relationships with People We Don’t Know Exist

I've been thinking . . .

about a village of relationships with people we don’t know.

I spent many summers in a village. The main street had a bank, a grocery, a bar, a funeral home, a church, a park, and and an ice cream shop. You could find a bowling alley, a school, a gas station, and the city dump.

The town was too small for a stop light. Traffic didn’t find it useful. The kids I played with in that village had the run of the place. We knew who lived in every house on every street. We knew who told great stories, who let us use their yard, and who gave out the best treats on Halloween.

People were connected by stories and by history. Everyone knew my aunt who I stayed with. They knew she was my dad’s sister. They knew him. They knew me. We knew them and their families too.

In my own town, the scale was slightly larger. Still we knew when something was being built anywhere on any street.

I knew all of the kids in my neighborhood and all of the kids in my school. If we met folks from across town, it was easy to find out who we all knew. Even now, when someone from my hometown happens along, it’s “Oh you’re from there, do you know . . .?” The answer usually gets to a “yes,” by question three.

This virtual village can be similar, but a huge difference occurs shortly after a person takes up residence here.

At some point we cross a line that only famous people used to see. That’s when we find that we know far fewer people than the number of people who believe they know us. Social networking and social media have put this process on an even faster track, but it seems a natural phenomena of an interactive web. We attract, collect, and connect with

people who read what we write without leaving word,
people who follow our feeds, our photos, and our twitters,
people who from across time who will read in some future years,
possibly one day intelligent life from other places than this planet . . .

Surely those people think they know us. They form opinions and decide our beliefs without benefit of any personal interaction — just as we might do about Heath Ledger’s final role and the end of his life — and like Heath, we don’t even know that these people exist.

It changes something to consider that people are having one-way relationships with us.

How do you manage a village of relationships like that? Or do you not?

Liz's Signature

Suppose Tomorrow Morning Found You

Walking Down This Road

south american road 2008 191 _by_etstrauss

It’s the road to a year-long project that grew from your idea. You choose it. You got the right folks interested in it for what you thought that might get accomplished.

The deal is when a year is over you’ll be right where you are this moment.

So what would you be doing?

What would you value most deeply and miss most completely while you were walking down this road?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!