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Nom de plume thoughts courtesy of Google+

While I have been stewing, and posting draft after draft after draft, doing research, fact checking, image crediting and generally living life outside the view of Wednesday Walk on WordPress, I finally remembered – This is not intended to be some fancy schmancy blog that educates, entertains or informs others! It is intended to be a space to keep me accountable about mindful weekly walks, and sharing the thoughts that arise. If it happens to educate, entertain or inform, SUPER! Hopefully at least one occurs with each post for you my dear. So, without further a due, a first draft post on the idea of nom de plume’s.

With the vast research and delving into the blogosphere I have seen more and more brave souls placing their personal pictures, names and descriptors. My latest hero in this regard would have to be Sharon Howard. (She seems pretty interesting, you might wanna check her out in a minute or two.) I have also seen the push on Google+ for “honesty”, “authenticity” and “real”ness.

If you are new, or thinking of Google+, make sure you have some sort of picture uploaded for your profile pic, preferably one that looks like the “real” you, if you want people to interact with you! Oh, and brand pages, in my opinion, are a waste of time right now. Having just a brand page is extremely limited, unless you already have a loyal following that will follow you over there!

So I ought to upload my personally identifiable picture for you to relate to then right? And tell you stuff like my a/s/l (age/sex/location) right? Hum…. Then I came across a great blogger on G+ that had some other thoughts on the topic that I have to agree with wholeheartedly. She articulates my ethereal thoughts extremely well, and expands on the topic too!

Image found at Tracy Campbell's blog as seen clicking though

Excerpt: Most of us lead compartmentalized lives. We go to work, we have great parties, we give our time to causes in the community, we have our sexual proclivities, we attend church (maybe only during holidays), we support certain political causes — and so on. The first rule of courtesy is to understand the place and time. You shouldn’t speak about your delight with new anal beads at work. You shouldn’t regale your family at brunch with endless details about a merger. You shouldn’t speak about your wild parties at church. And you would do well not to divide the room by mentioning religion or politics at a cocktail party. Real life allows us to keep the various facets that make us who we are separate so they do not cause discomfort to ourselves or others. This is for a variety of reasons, some dishonest, many not. It doesn’t make us dishonest to encompass our share of contradictions. It makes us human.

The problem with the web is that it largely began as a world separate from meatspace. Today, most people use their real names, but this wasn’t always the case. When I started going online in the mid-90s, no one even knew my gender. I preferred that, not because I was hiding, but because I feel very strongly that I should be judged by my thoughts, not who people assume I am by seeing I am a woman, by attaching a handful of preconceived notions to what I am saying because they see my photo and think I’m too young or too old or attractive or unattractive.

Being an intangible essence allowed me to be more myself than I’d ever been before. Posting on different niche boards enabled the level of frankness that we experience when we’re in a group of like-minded people with whom we can openly debate or discuss topics. But this is no longer how the web operates and the transition hasn’t been an easy one. In a world where employers can easily find out everything about you, where insurance companies can decide to give or deny coverage because they see some status update as representing a liability, where a judge at family court can take away your children because — God forbid — you had a photo taken at Playboy West some Halloween… It’s not a matter of the web exposing you. It’s a matter of no longer having the ability to segregate different aspects of your life as we were once easily able to do and the concern is entirely valid.

A.V. Flox

So then dear reader, I ask you – Which is more real?

Further reading can be found through the excerpt link to find A.V.’s full article, her name to see her Google+ profile, or Tracy’s thoughts on nom de plumes visible clicking through the picture. Oh and don’t forget the non nom de plumer Sharon linked above 😉

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Confessions, Social Media

 

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Confessions of a blogger… Part 2

While Part 1 has a mystery blogger quoted, with the kind of stuff that is never roses and unicorns…  part 2 of this series is more of a guest post… “If you liked this article, please share it!” and so I am!

Note that the title below links to the original source where you are more than welcome to interact with the author himself. Some awesome confessional worthy sharing in this one and further inspiration for part 3 coming soon!

(I was going to quote just a section of this post, like part 1, however I couldn’t seem to pick out just one chunk on it’s own… )

Social Media Saved My Life and Helped Me Achieve a New Career

Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose – the eye sheds a tear to find its focus.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

3 years ago all was good in my world. My career was going places, I was living the American Dream in Southern California, and I was in a good place with friends and family.

In September 2008 it all changed. The first blow came when I learned that I was caught up in a significant layoff that was happening throughout the division that I worked in.  The second blow came when I lost a second job 1 year later, and the final blow came when a series of chronic health problems caused me to lose yet another career opportunity. Deep depression set in and I found myself questioning the purpose of my life and seriously considering an exit plan from this world.

For over 6 months after the illness set in and I quit the final job, I literally did nothing but get up in the morning, watch TV or listen to talk radio and go to bed at night.

I completely cut myself from all friends and family, not wanting to talk to anyone and was so embarrassed about my situation. I was filled with so much self-hate that I just could not bring myself to connect with others. I had nothing to offer the world, did not want to drag anyone down into my despair, and did not want pity from anyone (there was a piece of me that was crying for attention, though). I had no goals, no strategy for getting back in the game, nothing left to live for: or so I thought.

I hit bottom and was at the point where my life could go in two directions. When I decided to go forward in a positive direction and chose life over the alternative it was because I felt I still had something within me that I could offer the world and was obliged to at least give it a shot.

I knew it was best for me and any potential employers to work from home. The chronic pain I was experiencing requires me to lay down or take a half hour break after several hours. Social media has always been fun, intriguing, and for me held lots of potential for a serious career. I figured if I was going to be at home anyway, there must be a way I could make connections, learn several social media platforms and go forward from there.

I had no idea of what lie ahead, nor if I would actually be able to do anything productive. However, I always had fun engaging with others on Twitter so I started there. Not yet ready to reconnect with friends and family, I set up a new Twitter account and began to tweet. Twitter chats seemed to be all the rage and a great way to meet people from diverse backgrounds so I began to participate in several that I really enjoyed. I also decided that I wanted to begin blogging so I set up an account on WordPress.com.

Quickly picking up on the nuances of the chats and having come up with some great ideas for leading one myself I soon started one of my own. I made some really great connections with “Thought Leaders,” movers and shakers on Twitter. I participated in a Twitter Chat where Guy Kawasaki was a guest. I had no clue who he was at the time, but he and I actually had a pleasant one on one discussion for a few minutes after the chat and he started to follow me on Twitter. I was on a mini high when I later found out he was actually an A-lister.

Then came Google Plus and my whole world began to turn upside down in a great way. I knew from the moment I heard about it that I had the opportunity of a lifetime to get in on a platform at the very beginning. I made it my mission to learn everything I could about Google Plus and gain as much expertise as I could with the ultimate goal being to help businesses use it as a tool to engage and gain additional customers.  I would spend at least half the day, if not longer, on the site posting, engaging, and meeting some very cool people.

Google Plus opened up a lot of doors for me. I began to connect with people on many levels.  I learned many of the technical aspects of the site as well as how easy it was to meet others on the site. By applying professional skills I have gained throughout my career to the opportunities that I encountered on the site I now had the new career opportunity I was seeking before. I had goals, a plan to reach those goals, and many great new friends that I would have never met were it not for Google Plus.

The engagement with others is certainly what brought me out of my despair and gave me hope that I did have plenty to offer others and a venue to do so (from home). The final piece for me that confirms that I have overcome depression was I have now joyfully re-connected with almost everyone from my past.

When I tell people about my story and the problems I have encountered in the last several years I get nothing but support and encouragement. My close friends and family know exactly what I was going through and are helping me to achieve success both on a personal and a professional level.

I am still in a lot of pain and due to the nature of the illness it is likely something I will always have to endure. But I now have a support group that is more than happy to prop me up and are there for me in spades when I am feeling a bit down.

I am telling my story to the world through this article, because if I can make it, given all that I have been through, others struggling with their issues can make it too. I cannot guarantee what tomorrow will bring for me, nor am I certified to make a clinical diagnosis, but I believe my depression is in complete remission. The proof to me is I now enjoy doing all the things I used to do except for the exercise (because it is too painful). I watch DVD’s all the time, I have re-connected with friends, I have friends and family visiting for an extended period of time this spring and the dark cloud is lifted. Social media played a significant role in my path to healing. Although I am probably more vulnerable to depression in the future as that is the nature of the disease, I don’t have time to worry about it now. I’m too busy living again.

Note: if you, or someone you know (or suspect) is suffering from depression it is vital to get help. The disease is still not well understood and I can tell you from my own personal experience, when you are in its clutches you do not think rationally. It is very easy to go into a dark place with thoughts that you would never entertain otherwise. For men it is especially difficult to reach out and the suicide rate is much higher for men versus women who suffer from the same. There are many professionals who are trained to deal with depression and its effects. If nothing else reach out to a trusted friend and share with them what is going on. 

If you liked this article, please share it!

Jim Fierce

I live in sunny Southern California with my partner and our 4 Pomeranian Pooches. I am an avid fan of social media and my favorite platforms are Twitter and Google +. My background is Quality Engineering in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device but I have decided to take a complete U-turn and test the entrepreneurial waters and develop a niche market in the social media environs.
Follow me on twitter @Fierce_Living and @Fierce_Chat or on Google Plus at + James Fierce
My personal blog
Fierce_chat blog

Is there one segment you would pull as the essence of this blogger post?

Is there a piece of this story that resonates with you? Something you can relate to?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Business, Confessions, Social Media

 

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Social Media Madness

Walking today there was a distinct quietness… alone-ness… calm… As the squirrels run, chase and jump between trees, bushes, snow and one another, it got me thinking about all our connection points and our own evolving forms of communication with one another…

“Are getting it? Really getting it? Come on give it to me! Get signed up on linkedin! Give me all of your tweets! Come on baby be friends! Never want it to stop! Oh! Are you getting it? Social media! Really getting it? Social Media! Come on Joey! Uh!”

Maybe not the next American Idols, but a nice short intro to the myriad of social media. I think that diagram at the end of the song says a lot!

Just tipping the iceberg of social media sites with this full diagram, it can be a stormy sea of social media. Since emails came along in 1966 (did you know they have actually existed that long?!) the communication scene continues evolving. Ed Kang says it well with: “anybody tells you that they’ve figured it all out is lying, selling you something, or a combination of both.”

Facebook touts 800million users so that’s where it’s at right?

One user noted that their video store disconnected their phone line as they take facebook DVD reservations… (watch out they probably won’t even be around with more ubiquitous sites such as netflix) Other users commonly note: “Got really irritated by all the posts that were meaningless chatter.” So maybe those millions of users aren’t too sure how to appropriately use each channel of communication… “would you get in your car and go around to someone’s house to tell them that?” Can be a good reality check question for users… I like to think of it as an online billboard, notorious for privacy breaches… so would you be okay posting your message on a busy highway billboard? Or downtown? If not, then why would you post your message on your computer screen that could potentially reach out globally?… Retweets, reposts and copy/paste are some pretty basic tools for average social media users…

Twitter may be nearing 1/4th the number of users as facebook, although it can be just as addicting for tweeters. Focused on short 140 character messages it can be fun to chirp away like Demi Moore or Lady Gaga.

With more people carrying smartphones and data plans there seems to be a push of personal messaging boundaries… with a facebook user noting exasperation at “Having people post messages to me at any time, expecting an instant response”. (I agree! When did we become pavlovs dogs?)

My fave facebook user comment on the platform I just had to share:

” I absolutely hate how intrusive it is. I hate the stupid little ditties that people put on thinking they are so interesting when they really are not. I hate that I feel a need to even read the stupid little ditties!!!! I do, however, love getting to see my nieces pregnancy belly growing as she is too far for me to see it in real life. I love that the girl who was my best friend, when I lived in a different city, traced me on it and we are now back in regular communication. I love that I can keep up with those family members in other continents, and at the other end of this country, and not just talk at funerals!!! Very undecided!!!!”

Google+ appears to be the latest fad in social media. With only 40 million users thus far, it is definitely a quieter, less frequented communication space. Which may very well be a good thing! Personally I enjoy the circles and “follow” method rather than “friending” as on facebook… Just be sure to sort your people into your appropriate circles up front! Think of your purpose and what kinds of segments of society you want to interact with… Not only do you have friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, you may have your own blogging friends circle, or book club. Super great being able to easily post to your profile (equivalent of your own facebook wall) and easily specify who sees it… Not to mention if you want to close your profile, you can download all your google+ related info to your own computer prior to closing your account. Use-ability, generally love it, still learning the appropriateness, and kudos for google demonstrating better boundaries!

If you are interested in spreading your online presence with a google+ profile, or business page, what better time to get in and figure things out before all 800million facebook users jump on board? 😉 Today I discovered a succinct online article on google+ pages that may be worth a perusal…

As my first official blog kicked off somewhat recently (as you may well have noticed), I often pondered why Blog? With google+, facebook walls and notes, windows live, myspace, personal emails, texting, blackberry messenger, etc, and even phone calls, who would have time for a blog and why would you invest in creating one? Well, don’t knock it till you try it “they” say… so here I am pulling back a little from some other inundated forms of communication to give this medium a try… According to a recent online article, blogging is here to stay! Are you?

What is your preferred form of communication lately? Do you maintain a blog? How do you maintain your sanity in the sea of social media? Where do you get your info on current events?

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Business, Social Media, Squirrels

 

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