Tag Archives: social media

Is This Linkedin Material?

Balloon animals and Tiny-Small
The Balloon Dogs. are they Linkedin material?

I have to confess I have a Linkedin profile, but I don’t really know what belongs there and what doesn’t. I live in a part of the country where employers probably don’t care much about Linkedin. They’d rather judge your character by your lineage or college transcript. The Internet is trickling in slowly here, but I have a feeling we are behind the times when it comes to online hiring. Plus, my jobs are not exactly professional in nature. I have a blog, I make piñatas, I sell art, and I am a mom. This doesn’t sound like the stuff Linked-In dreams are made of.

Still, here I am posting my blog to Linkedin like I am the hired entertainment for the professional crowd. Hired might be too strong of a word. A better description might be: Unpaid Intern. I might be a good example of what not to do if you plan to have a successful and high paid career ahead of you. I might be the back-woods cousin everyone on Linkedin tolerates for a while simply for the comedic value. So I just keep smiling and waving and pretending I belong in the Linkedin community, just in case I do. You never know, right?

I can’t help thinking about all of the things I would like to put on my Linkedin profile just for the humor involved. I could say I am a professional butt-wiper and list my credentials. Or, maybe I can be an expert plant killer or perhaps list the many awards I have received for paying my electric bill a day late, every single time, for the past three months. Maybe I could be a backyard snake videographer or “life of a child” documentarian. It’s a shame that with all of these skills I am gaining as a mother and a blogger that there is nowhere to acceptably list them on my Linkedin profile page. Employers don’t want to hear about the time I fixed my dishwasher with a screwdriver and a YouTube video. They probably don’t care that I can write a blog post, tell my husband where he left his keys, and help my daughter blow her nose all at the same time. Or that I can chat on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ while simultaneously pinning the recipe I want to make for dinner on Pinterest. I mean sure, other people know important things and have important skill sets, but I know how to get things done. I know how to learn new things on an hourly basis with multiple people talking or yelling at me. Sure, some of those things I have learned include how to cut the toenails of a squirming child or runaway dog, but somebody has to make these things happen, right? These are special talents too, are they not?

Tiny-Small and the Balloon Dogs
Balloon dogs are walkable and perfect for people who are not allowed to have live pets.

Mostly, I just want to tell people on Linkedin that I can make a balloon animal that looks just like a dog. It’s my newest skill. I just don’t know if it is linkedin material. It’s not like I am about to graduate from clown school or have plans to open up a birthday party planning business anytime soon. It’s just that I think the fact that I learned how to make a balloon animal is really cool and I want the world to know it. Even if it doesn’t land me that corporate job with a corner office and a window. I may not be relevant, but at least (hopefully) I am interesting. So, here I am Linkedin. I hope you can put up with my shenanigans and regard my attempts at professionalism with kind and forgiving eyes.

 

 

Dear Facebook, Stop Trying To Sell Me What I Just Bought

Facebook is watching me. So is Google. So is the Government, apparently. I read the news. I see the Facebook statuses. I listen to the radio. So, now everyone knows I bought my husband some shorts. Everyone, now even you know. I bought some shorts! I bought some shorts!

Jim surrounded by shorts
How many shorts can one man wear?

I bought the shorts a week ago and ever since I have had ads in my stream, in my side bars, in my everything for the exact same shorts. Now, I could go on and on about privacy issues and how this is against our constitution, but I think I will leave that to better writers than I. Nope, instead, I am going to complain about how this is the worst marketing strategy ever. I have already bought the shorts. Three pair to be exact. It’s done. It’s over. I’ve been sold on the product, obviously. Showing me the exact same product every time I turn on the Internet is not going to make me buy more of the exact same product (unless they are 95% off and I lurve them so, so much). How many shorts can a person wear? My husband gets new clothes when the old ones are practically falling off his back. He’s not exactly a fashionista, which Google should know because according to my spam box Google reads my blog pretty regularly. Also, my every move is being tracked, so, seriously, they should know more about my families clothes preferences than I do.

Facebook should know better too. Don’t they pay marketing geniuses large amounts of money to set up algorithms and ad campaigns and all of that stuff? I mean, don’t they know if a person just bought shorts it might be better to try to sell them some T-shirts, some socks, maybe a few other essentials? Or maybe a vacation to wear those shorts on? Couldn’t this information they have collected be put to better use, I mean from a marketing perspective?

It amazes me that with all of the data collection and selling opportunities available to these marketing gurus (and big companies) that they still manage to get it so very, very wrong. I mean, if I buy a refrigerator online do they really think I will buy another one the next day and another one the day after that? I don’t think so. I mean I know very little about marketing, but even I know most people only need one refrigerator and just a few pair of shorts. Do the people buying these ads know their product is being marketed to someone who just bought said product and probably won’t buy that product again for another decade? Would they pay for those ads if they knew? I mean, I thought the point of these online ads was to target very specific people. Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe other people keep buying shorts day after day after day…and refrigerators too, but I doubt it.

Anyway, I can’t help but wonder, if the people and corporations trying to sell us stuff can get things this wrong, what’s the government going to do with all of my information? I mean, corporations have the money to attract the best, brightest and most talented employees out there, right? I am a bit concerned that the best they can do with all of the data they have collected about me (and trust me, I am on the Internet a lot) is to try to sell me the same old pair of shorts I bought last week, which to be completely honest, I am really tired of looking at (and they haven’t even arrived at my house yet). The algorithms need some work, obviously. So, what if the government’s algorithms are even less fine tuned or less accurate than Facebook and Google’s? That’s a little frightening to think about. In the big scheme of things, shorts are pretty inconsequential, but if the same technology is being used to determine who is a good guy and who isn’t, I think we might be in for a heap of trouble.

P.S. If you are reading this one Google spam-writer, please stop trying to sell me what I just bought. Pass it on to Facebook. Thank you.

 

 

Wait, How Much Longer Do I Have To Be Fabulous?

crown-fabulous-Lillian Connelly
Does this crown make me look fabulous?

It’s no secret to those who know me well that I am going through a grumpy spell. I think I am just tired of trying so hard to be fabulous. I mean, seriously, fabulous is hard to maintain for extended periods of times. Sometimes you just want to go back to slumming it. Sometimes you have to get back to your roots so to speak. Back to basics.

I’ve been on this blogging adventure for a little over a year now. It’s been a busy year of yelling, “Hey, look at me! Look at me! Look at me now. Look at me here…look at me there…look at me everywhere.” I’ve been sharing my paintings and writing all over the Internet like a woman on a mission. Like a woman with a job to do. Like a woman with a desperate need for attention.

I am a woman with a desperate need for attention. I will admit that openly. I am home all day with a toddler demanding milk (no, juice. no, milk. no, chocolate. no, put my shoes on. no, take my shoes off….) and dogs and chickens. My point is, nobody around here has any interest in my art making or my blubbering on and on about life and family. They are all, “We were there, remember?” So I have thrown myself at the feet of the Internet and begged people to be my friend, to listen to me, to respond. I have tried extra hard to be fabulous because I want to win at blogging and life and work. I’m competitive and driven. I like goals and success and feeling purposeful. I like to work. I like to work hard. That is just my nature.

The thing is, I’ve become a sales person. I am working hard at the wrong thing. I am selling my personality or my art or my brand constantly. I’ve become an inbox salesman desperate for one more like or retweet or kind word. It’s gotten a little exhausting to keep up with myself. I am not naturally fabulous so I sometimes want to curl into a ball and take a nap because being fabulous is really hard work. It drains me of my energy. I’m an introvert masquerading as an extrovert, but my mask is slipping off. It’s like doing your taxes without a calculator. Or, trying to put fake eyelashes on without a mirror. Being popular is also fickle and a little empty. It’s not something you want to be building your life’s work on and yet, it seems to be the only way in our social media frenzied world. We are all sales people now. We are all trying to yell, “Look at me!” louder than the person standing next to us. I don’t know about you, but my voice is starting to sounds hoarse.

I’ve realized lately that I have been spending too much time trying to be fabulous and not enough time doing my actual work. I want to write better and paint more. I want to grow professionally as an artist, but how can I do that when I spend so little time actually making art? I think I lost my way over this past year. I’ve been way too focused on being popular and it has taken its toll on me. Popularity has never been a strength for me. I mean, I offer high school as an example of that. It’s not like I am going to wake up one day wearing a cheerleading uniform and dating the quarterback for the football team, right? I am not going to wake up covered in glitter with money floating down from the sky and into my pocket. This is not a made for TV movie no matter how hard I try to make it look like one.

Anyway, I have characteristically been over-thinking my entire Internet experience and doing some reevaluating. I’ve read a lot of instruction manuals on how to make your blog fantastic and popular and amazing. I’ve read about SEO and strategies and niches and platform cultures. I’ve worried about posting too much or too little. I’ve tried Triberr and blog hops and link ups and hootsuite. I’ve learned how to do all sorts of things I never imagined I would be able to do. I figured out Google authorship and Google analytics. I became an Amazon affiliate. I’ve made some good friends along the way. I’ve read some great blogs along the way too. I’ve formed groups and jumped through hoops and entered contests and sold a few paintings. I’ve been like the dancing bear at the circus, tutu and all. The thing is, it’s making me a little twitchy. I’m not being metaphorical or funny, I really am twitching. Trying so hard to be fabulous can get pretty stressful. This is where I am right now. Pushing buttons and doing a little twitching.

Suddenly, I am just tired. I want to retreat back to painting and hiding out and being quiet. I am tired of asking people to look at me, or to read me, or to think my painting is swell. I am tired of shouting, “Look at me!” I am tired of worrying about being popular. I just want to take a nap and eat something and maybe play dolls on the floor with my daughter. I want to be a person again and not just a Facebook admin or an email account owner or someone with a blog begging people to read it. Just writing all of this I am getting bored with myself. If you are thinking, “Quit whining!” I don’t blame you. It’s not like this is some huge revelation or something. People all over the Internet are probably coming to this exact conclusion at this very moment. I’m not special. I’m just tired.

After all of my research and practice and hard work, all I want to do is get back to the basics. I want to write, and I want to paint, and I want to stop trying so hard to be fabulous.

 

I should be writing about St. Patrick’s Day since I’m Irish. Read about last year here.