May 6th, 2013
I’ve been noticing a prompt at the top of my Twitter page on Twitter.com lately – a black box with a message to reconnect with someone.
This is new. It made me think of how Facebook prompts me with “What’s on your mind?” in the open post field. As if still, after all these years, I don’t know what to put into that blank field at the top of my Facebook page.
These Twitter prompts, however, mention a person and are much more specific than the “Compose a tweet” instruction in the open field on my Twitter page.
I can’t figure out the rhyme or reason for these prompts and the people Twitter is prompting me to greet with a tweet. They all seem to be people with whom I may have interacted with in the distant past (but don’t recall) and clearly haven’t interacted with in a long time. For a moment, I wondered if these were ads like Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts – a new way to get attention on Twitter although I’m pretty sure now that they are not.
There doesn’t seem to be any strategic value in these prompts, or is there? I see that @carollambert is a classical oil painter in Anchorage, Alaska. Maybe if I were in the market for a painting or had recently tweeted about art or painting, this prompt would make sense.
Another person Twitter nudged me to say “hi” to recently was @animated_me, an Online Services and Instruction Librarian in San Diego, California. Again, I hadn’t recently tweeted about libraries, librarians or even books other than maybe my own books.
Perhaps Twitter is just trying to be friendly or to remind me to be friendly, even to the Twitterfriends with whom I haven’t interacted in a long, long time. Like a good host, Twitter is saying “hey, you seem to know this person since you are following each other. Why not take a moment and say hello.”
Hi @carollambert! Hi @animated_me. Our mutual friend Twitter thought I should say hello. What’s new?
If you are in the market for oil paintings, check out @carollambert. If you are interested in education technology, see @animated_me. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what Twitter had in mind, but what the heck.
What do YOU think Twitter is trying to do with these prompts?
May 3rd, 2013
This is a hard post to write. Emotional. Scary.
I received a message on Facebook over a month ago about another Aliza Sherman. She and I had connected a few years back on Facebook because we shared the same name. Over the years, I’ve found other Aliza Shermans, and we, too, have corresponded and connected on social networks so this wasn’t anything unusual. Until…
On March 24th, Aliza Sherman of Cleveland, Ohio – a fertility nurse at Cleveland Clinic – was brutally murdered in broad daylight in downtown Cleveland only days before her divorce hearing. She was stabbed multiple times around the head, neck and back. It has been over a month, and there is still no suspect in custody.
I didn’t know Aliza Sherman of Cleveland, Ohio personally. I was connected with her in the way that we connect with others in social networks because of some shared interest – or in this case, a shared name. The news of Aliza’s murder hit me in the gut. Also, seeing “my” name and the word “murder” side by side on Google, in news headlines, on Facebook and Twitter, chilled me to the bone.
I had to do something.
The first thing I did once I read her obituary was to make a donation in her name to Rescue Village, an animal shelter. I was struck with how this other Aliza and I shared a love of animals and an involvement with animal rescue. (I was on the board of an animal shelter in Wyoming and four of my dogs were rescues). What else did we share besides a name, I wondered?
Then I posted a message on her personal Facebook timeline, hoping I wasn’t invading anyone’s privacy or freaking anyone out when the name “Aliza Sherman” showed up in the news feeds of her friends, her family.
Sometimes, when we feel so helpless, we try anything we can think of to be helpful. For me, that is often amplifying an important message to my following through social media.
At first, I wasn’t sure how helpful this could be. But in cases like this – unsolved murders – every little bit counts. Keeping the word out there and putting public pressure on authorities to solve this case is important.
Since then, I’ve posted a number of times on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about Aliza Sherman’s unsolved murder. I’ve freaked out some of my own friends and colleagues who were initially confused by what they thought they read. I’m blogging this now to clarify and to further amplify.
Posting messages about this horrific and unsolved murder on blogs and in social networks is something that is not only do-able for many of us in this day and age but also a powerful act. You can follow this Page: Justice for Aliza Sherman and this Twitter account: @justiceforaliza and share and retweet their messages, too.
You can also call Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson 216-664-3990 and ask for justice for Aliza Sherman. Or email Mayor Frank Jackson.
None of us has to feel helpless in the face of tragedy. Efforts large and small here, online, can add up to helping to solve a murder case and, I hope, generate some semblance of closure for the friends and family of Aliza Sherman of Cleveland, Ohio.
Can you help?
Here is further reading:
March 8th, 2013
I’m in that fuzzy stage right now, not entirely certain where I should go or what I should do next. I absolutely love my career, my work and my clients. I love my family and have acclimated (sort of) to rural Alaska.
To slake my thirst for meaning and purpose in my life, I’m giving back a lot this year. Last year, I gave to a number of causes and projects through Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding sites, hoping that my small gesture combined with other people’s small gestures would lift someone closer to their dreams.
This year, I’m giving a lot of my time and sharing my knowledge and skills in social and mobile marketing with nonprofit organizations through my impromptu #GiveBack13 Project. (Eight nonprofits served, 44 to go).
To shake things up, I’m jumping on an RV tomorrow – #RVSX – to head to South by Southwest Interactive. I wasn’t planning on being there, but when the opportunity showed up in my news feed, I took a leap of faith and signed up.
My mission: I want to see how I can be of service. I will be seated in the Convention Center lobby – pink tiara and boa at hand (so you can find me) – willing and available to offer impromptu consultations about digital marketing. Or just to talk. I hope you’ll stop by to say hello!
I’ve also signed up to attend the Good X Global event. GoodxGlobal is a first-ever day of events dedicated to the local and global power of social good, technology and entrepreneurship. Sunday, March 10th 11am-6:30pm, Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St in Austin - REGISTER HERE.
I’m not sure exactly what I’ll learn or where this exploration will take me. But I’m open. And I think being open is key.
So…what puts the meaning in YOUR life?
February 22nd, 2013
Update: When I can, I will be seated – with tiara and boa – in the lobby of the Convention Center at SXSW. Stop by and ask me anything! I’m happy to be of service.
On Sunday, I’ll spend most of my day at Good by Global. Hope to see you there!
I want to park myself in a hotel lobby or other convenient location in downtown Austin near the Convention Center for SXSW.
I will put up a little sign saying “Free Consultations,” and will spend my time between meetings and events answering questions on any topic I’m familiar.
I’m couching this as “free digital marketing consultations” but also happy to answer questions about Alaska, RVing, and book writing and publishing or even more personal stuff like miscarriage and Post Partum Depression.
I will just be still, be open and see what happens.
I may be wearing my pink tiara and boa for easy identification or will have it displayed nearby.
But the main question is: Where should I park myself?
I’d like it to be a consistent spot so people can find me. And note: I do not have a SXSW pass this year. Spending my Q1 quarter travel budget on getting there with #RVSX so I’m going rogue.
This is not the same thing as offering to donate some online marketing consulting time IN-PERSON to one Austin-based or SXSW-bound nonprofit. If you are interested in that, please fill out the request form.
Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?