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Ever since this wonderful MurphyGoode gig has been up and done with, I have gone on to new projects, one of which is a baby-care niche blog. A girlfriend of mine wrote this comment to me the other day which I would like to share with you here:
I have to say this: although I understand every single thing you have said to me, and i understand the drive behind it, the motivation, the works, it still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. For myself, I mean. I can’t do it… I mean, reading your baby blog…there is nothing there that says “Andrea” to me. There is no feeling, no emotion (which I understand is the point since you are using it as a content management system). But given that I have seen what you have written in other places, and noticed an emerging style, the baby blog does little for me (but not necessarily for others). It’s…style less. It’s well organized, well thought out, and I understand the purpose for it, and I hope and wish with all my heart that you will start raking it in with it, but it’s not for me (to copy and do something similar). Is all I’m saying.
But she is right.
She is the one who introduced me to blogging altogether (and I thought she was nuts to spend any time of the day dedicated to this task…). She has nurtured me from day one on, has inspired me to push forward, and yes, she – if anyone at all – is in a position to say: I have seen your potential.
She writes at Javaline and she writes a great personal blog. And this is where my topic of today is leading us: The personal blog.
The variant of the online diary, which we are all used to call weblog (blog for short), goes sometimes well beyond the boundaries of simple communication: there are great articles, essays and a lot of interactive stuff that create a very entertaining environment for any Internet user. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to even find future brilliant writers who shape their skill online; it all begins with the regular recording of personal thoughts, ideas, comments on books, films or music. Personal blogs also allow limitless space for the expression of critical opinions from various domains, not to mention that they preserve a record of one’s development.
Nevertheless, what most Internet experts advise is that one should keep personal and business blogging as separate activities, since mixing them can be detrimental particularly for the special online promotion of some products or services. Many analysts argue that personal blogging is often characterized by an ascending evolution since steady writing develops good thinking and synthesis skills. However, there are a few rules you must follow into making sure that your personal blog is a good, yet trustworthy mirror of yourself. The first thing you need to work on is the topic of the articles, essays that are responsible for the overall image of the blog.
There are not few the examples that include very poor personal blogs, with uninteresting topics, grammar and punctuation mistakes and very few substantial links. Keep in mind that there should be a so-called self-censoring when it comes to exposing all sorts of personal details in the pages of your blog. Unfortunately, there have been cases of stalking or stolen identity; keep in mind that you can be personal, without revealing anything from your intimate life. Why this precaution? Because, some of the comments you’ll receive on the blog may truly hurt your feelings and even change your life.
Some bloggers have chosen to limit access to their pages by the use of a digital password; thus, only family and friends are allowed to log in. People actually consider this a good means of protecting their families from possible external threats when the virtual world may overlap with the real one. Things will stay bright as long as you are able to monitor blog content and information quality on a regular basis. The good thing about blogs is the fact that you can always go back to a formal entry and make some changes or analyze things from a different perspective and this stays valid for bloggers and users alike.
So this is the difference: she writes a personal blog, and I have at present a business blog. I long to get beyond the impersonal business side of it and let my personality shine through at least a wee bit. I am still finding my way, though. There is not such a great community as I found with the MurphyGoode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent crowd, though. But I know I will get there someday. To my style. To me.
How are you doing since the Murphy-Goode campaign?
Last summer I read Eric Schlosser’s “Chew on This” and deemed it a “must read” for my kids when they are 14-15 years old. Yes. In fact I might turn it into a “family read-aloud” (what, you don’t read aloud to your older kids?).
And I have been a merging fan of Michael Pollen, although I do not agree with all of his conclusions, his observations are very keen, extremely sharp. I like that.
So now I wish I lived in North America… but noooo, I have to wait till all gets translated to German before I can go to see a compelling show. To my advantage: I can hear from you, is it worth the money? Should/can I take my 10 and 12 year old?
Have you seen it? Gonna see it? What do you think about it?
I am having a very exciting week, people! After wearing my hair long for the past few years I had it chopped off in March this year in the hopes to control my hormonal hair-loss… I contemplated writing an entry about the whole dilemma—having painstakingly clear the drain each time I shower (half way through the shower) to enable the water to flow off, daily vaccuming enough hair to make a decent sized carpet out of and the ritual cleaning of the vaccum filter before tomorrows “wash-rinse-repeat” deal—but then I realized that it’s possible that no one cares as much about the state of my hair as I do.
(Oh, the irony of a blogger realizing that ANYTHING is only interesting to her. Ha!)
So instead of talking about my hair, we can delve right into TODAY’s adventure, which was going to see a gynecologist! Because that’s totally of interest to everyone!
What? What is that you say? You don’t want to hear it? You have pretended your general practitioner does not exist avoided your doctors successfully for the past — what? — 15 years? But surely you have been to the dentist twice a year, right?
Why not? What are you afraid of?
Well, since we are talking so openly with each other today (thanks for your trust), I must confess that there are a few things I generally block out of my mind: dentists, gynocologists and even somethings floating around the social media scene. FEAR can hinder us from many things. Sometimes fear is based on past (unpleasant) experience, often times though it is completely irrational.
In previous posts I have covered the first three tips to landing a social media dream job:
Speaking of the social network scene I have only recently discovered thanks to the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent job, you might be surprised to discover that Andy has some deep social media fears she is learning to overcome.
One such fear was the call to the New Wine Consumer podcast on June 2, 2009: Murphy-Goode candidates live. Can you imagine my apprehension? I mean it was *live*. What the heck could I talk about on a live show filled with all those MG hopefuls? I have never drunk a drip of anything stronger than grape juice! I have never been to a vineyard! I have never been on a talk show, radio show and never done anything *live* (well, except living of course).
Before the show on the 2nd I was telling two friends about my blog and the progress I am making and Randulo’s radio show. The second friend actually had missed the beginning of the conversation and she said: What? You have been invited to do what with a guy living in a bordelle? (Randy lives in Bordeaux, France.) Yeah, I said, and I don’t know what to wear?
We had a good laugh, but deep down mine was a nervous laughter. I was scared to make the call. Afraid to make a complete fool out of myself. Here on my blog, I can take my time, organize my thoughts and generally ignore issues until I am ready to deal with them. But *live* and with *no script* and *other free-thinking, free-speaking* people involved? (Gosh, I am beginning to wonder if I am a control freak?)
So I conveniently did not make the call. I told Randy it was because I was feeding my family (five hungry kids at dinner time, it was not a lie, but I wasn’t truely showing Randy my hand). Too bad, ’cause the podcast was great and it would have been so much fun to connect with those people I have met virtually along this short yet intense journey.
Imagine my shock when Randy asked me to join him on the next podcast. Let me show you how this guy works:
I actually do not remember “committing” to attend, but I do remember saying that the timing is not the greatest for me and my family.
But if you think I was kind of lamed after that invitation (which with my lack of professionality I was kind of thinking to conviently “not show up to again” — if you want me to be painfully shamefully honest), he sends out this tweet on Monday, ONE DAY before that next show he had invited me to and he apparently ignored my answer WENT OFF LINE RIGHT AFTER SENDING IT!
Hello? Let me tell you about my issues with FEAR. Holy smoke. No way I want to let Randy down now! How can I leave someone who has is expecting me to do something for him? And how totally unprofessional this would be for me to NOT show. Yikes. (Oh, and excuse me: “the main guest”? How did I get myself into this? Yikes!)
People. I learned a valuable lesson this past Tuesday. If you want to go anywhere with your social media campaign, you need to get over your fear. What ever it is: find a way to get control over your fear. Deal with it before it deals with you.
I had a great time on the call. I realized that I need to learn a few things if I want to be involved with podcasts in any way in the future. I got to connect with some really neat people and it has been a mind-opening experience — one of many along this great journey Murphy-Goode has opened up for so many of us!
It has been my take on the Murphy-Goode Job to actually learn from everyone involved by seeing how I can actually help when and where ever I can. This has given me some unique conversations with applicants, observers and significant “others” in the field of online wine business. It has been a rewarding journey to date and speaking for myself I hope we can keep this momentum up once the application process is over and we get to root the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent on for the duration of their employment.
This evening I came across this simple yet powerful message: Kindness… Rather than thinking of themselves, people help each other out of difficult situations.
It is a short video but it leads to the questions I have been asking myself and asking you all along: How can I help you be the best as the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent?
Last week I posted about one of my major social media weaknesses: how to leverage Facebook and MySpace. I still have limited knowledge, however an interesting discussion chrystalized, boiling down to the “exit strategy” for the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle correspondent.
I posed this question: “what tools are you going to leave the MG team with so that they can continue with the journey they now find themself on?”
The only tool you should be considering leaving them with is YOU (no I’m not calling anyone a tool ; ) This is a six month contract, but it should not be seen as temporary employment. The employee who is successful in this position will become indispensable. They become the online face, voice, and representation of MG.
You see, I take social media seriously, myself not so much. And if I were to be employed by Murphy-Goode I would go at it just like I have on my blog and twitter during this campaign: pulling out the best in everyone who lets me do this. I am having a great time and sure, I am “branding” myself in the process but if we are honest, this blog is not about me, nor would the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent job be.
Essentially my work with the JK or MG clan would be to highlight these people and transfer the existing brand to the social media. Just like a news anchor person would also be a conduit of noteworthy happenings in the community or world at large, so I would become a conduit of information concerning all things Murphy-Goode. Yeah, anchor people have personalities and they do shine through their work, but in essence they are not the news, they present it.
Murphy-Goode can expect me to come and get to know the troops, the process and learn loads: I would transfer my “news” in proper manner to the various social network channels taking great care to ensure that — along with my own “profile” which obviously would naturally appear — the MG profile shines stronger. After six months, the “characters” at MG would have connections and relationships within those networks as well as have been taught by myself how to use this media to continue writing their own story in my absence.
When I move out, they will know how to leverage everything I know how to leverage. You know my weeknesses to date: FB, MS, but they would have a solid understanding of blogging and twitter and I would implement upon arrival corporate basis so that these can be run by multiple users (spreading the weight of carrying the load once I am gone) and naturally putting automation processes in place to lighten the whole transition and further web2.0 savvyness of MG.
That is what I am thinking. Yes, my name would then become somewhat branded to MG, but how short sighted would that be to leave it at that? I would prefer to see my job as illuminating the individual characters at MG than pushing my face in the forefront…
Perhaps that is just my maternal instinct? I dunno, but that is what I envision my job for Murphy-Goode to be.
Four weeks ago, Murphy-Goode Winery announced its search for an outgoing, web-savvy, articulate communicator to tell the story of the great mountain vines and artisan winemakers of California, tasting the “goode” stuff and experiencing the spectacular Sonoma wine country. The search has been covered by CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS and in hundreds of major daily papers and newscasts from London to India, thousands of blog and Twitter sites, and has drawn crowds when winemaker Dave Ready, Jr. visits select cities.
Throughout the course of the job the successful applicant will learn about viticulture, winemaking, Sonoma County and Murphy-Goode wines. He or she will prepare and post dispatches on their experiences through social media tools such as Facebook, blogs, internet videos and Twitter as well as traditional media.
It comes as no surprise that there are many hopefuls taking this job application and turning it into a competition. Coming with the salary of $10K/month, in fact, many find that they are “made for the job”. The question we are all asking ourselves is: How to actually land areallygoodejob?
Here are my top 10 Tips for getting the social media job.
10. Get over your ego. It is never about the person applying for the job. It is about: the people, the process, the grapes, the juice, the life, the passion and the spirit of all things Murphy-Goode.
For myself, I can only say, it has been my pleasure and privilage to meet some pretty awesome people online during this application process. Sure, some are out there seemingly tooting their own horn, but there are a few very special people out there who are genuine and I think Murphy-Goode will have a fine handful of applicants to choose from.
How exciting to discover these gems in the field and watch as the process is pushed on.
Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car.
Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.
Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.
Heads up to one of my personal favorite bloggers, goodbean for drawing my attention to this. It really perked my attention because my second child had homework last week which she found impossible to complete: it was about commercials and since my children don’t watch commercial tv, she was at quite a disadvantage. I did consider what “disservice” I am doing my child by not teaching her to be a savvy consumer at the young age of 10, but after seeing this video, I feel rather confident that we are on the right path with raising our small brood of five children.
I am a huge fan of eating naturally and the first time I heard about Michael Pollan I was fascinated. He said something to the effect that if something has more than 5 ingredients it is not real food… gotta find out about people who talk like this. I was so pleased to discover @HappyChickens‘ blog post over at HappyChicken lay healthy eggs: a podcast by Michael Pollan. Do you know Happy Chickens? It is managed by Orren Fox, a 12 year old animal lover, a convicted vegetarian who is kosher if you dig meat: but please eat local, happy chickens, is his take… go on over there and say hi to Orren, excellent work going on over there. But before you leave here, I have a few things for you:
“Eat food, not to much, mostly plants”–Micheal Pollan’s food rules. “Don’t eat anything your grandmother would not recognize as food!” and “culture may have more to tell us about how to eat than medicine at the moment…” — a podcast well worth your time.
Many cultures have passed down all kinds of wisdom about food and how to eat properly. Do you still follow your parents’ advice that you should eat your vegetables or clear your plate? Do you only eat organic now? What about fast-food? Are you a three meal-a-day person or a snacker? Have you developed your own “food manifesto”?
Let me know what kinds of food rules you try to live by in the comments section below.