Peering into Digital Windows

 

A Rear Window View

A Rear Window View

Craig Smith’s November 2013 tally of how many people are using some of the top social media, services and mobile apps reveals many individuals are “active users” of the 300 or so new digital media channels.

But, how active is “active”?  In his post, “Definition of Active Users,” Nigel Brookson took a stab at defining the term, “active user,” in relation to Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

What about all of the registered, less active users of these new digital channels?  Why would all of those people take time out of their lives to join and create new profile accounts on new digital channels, only to seldom use the services?

No doubt there are countless reasons why, however, I’d venture to guess that Alfred Hitchcock, if he were alive today, might offer one theoretical reason.

What explanation for inactive digital channel users might the famed author and moviemaker offer?

Think Rear Window.  Are you there yet?

I think Hitchcock might throw out the concept of voyeurism as a reason for less-than-active participants on digital media channels.

Would you agree?  Several friends of mine have admitted to me that that they participate in Facebook and Twitter only “to watch what other people are doing.”

Do you know anyone who has similarly admitted to inactive usage and “watching” on some of the newer digital channels?  Have you ever heard the comment, “I’m on Facebook, but I’m not really on Facebook”?

American football and baseball are often referred to as spectator sports.  More and more, it seems that the same can be said about today’s game of social and digital media.

Safekeeping and You

hot pink ballet flats with a tropical theme

the tips of my “London shoes”

I still have them.  A pair of hot pink ballet flats with a tropical theme.

Glancing at the pair, you might never guess where I purchased the flats, the answer being London, England.

I, on the other hand, have a very different experience each time that I glance at the pair.

With only a look, I’m immediately transported back to my first-time visit to Europe, and, in the blink of an eye, I can see myself, along with my mom, dad and twin sister, walking through the aisles of Harrods and walking into boutique shops along London’s famous streets.

It’s been more than 25 years since I excitedly purchased my tropically themed ballet flats, and the pair has survived many changes in my life, always landing safely inside my closet space, never being thrown away.

Like the photographs that I keep from that inaugural trip to Europe, my ballet flats seem to capture a point in time in my life that no longer exists. Or does it?

Could it be that the same excited teenage girl who purchased those ballet flats still remains within the woman who I have become?

I think the answer to that question sounds softly from within my closet.  Though older now, and a bit more worn, my hot-pink “London shoes” not only still exist – they, in fact, still fit.

What about you?  Are there any parts of you that you’re afraid to lose?

Which aspects of you are for safekeeping?

A Broad Metrics Reveal

small globe image

small desk globe

Well, I’m sure that Cissy Houston would be proud.

After glancing through WordPress metrics for MySheCave.com, I’ve discovered that, out of 115 available prior posts, the blog that I wrote following Whitney Houston’s death in February 2012 has garnered the most views.

Want to know the other topics that have been the most popular among MySheCave.com readers? Check out the below list. From Whitney, to peanut butter, to prosecco, to crybabies, one of these 10 posts should catch your interest, if you missed reading the first time:

Top 10 Most Viewed MySheCave Posts: 
Play Whit Again, Sam.
Find your golden mind
Peanut butter, poetry and sticky things
When Love Means Nothing
Forget Grey, We’re Talkin’ Shades of Green!
Are You Hooked?
Bubble gum and Prosecco
Calling All Crybabies…
Jacks in Boxes, Surprises and You
Do You Know Any Reverse Snobs?

On a personal note, I was surprised and pleased to see the below Country Views metrics table that reveals the location of 2013 MySheCave.com readers.  Like I’m guessing Cissy might be about the Most Viewed stat I referenced above, I’m also a bit proud to have a global MySheCave.com audience.

I want to thank each of you who are MySheCave.com readers, from those of you here in the U.S. to those of you in lands abroad.  And, if you enjoy reading MySheCave.com posts, please pass them along.

Country Views
United States 2,124
Canada 109
United Kingdom 89
Australia 33
India 26
Germany 19
Italy 18
France 18
Russian Federation 16
Republic of Korea 16
Netherlands 15
Spain 14
Philippines 13
Portugal 12
Hong Kong 11
New Zealand 10
Egypt 8
Mexico 8
Croatia 7
Denmark 7
Finland 6
Greece 6
Japan 6
Brazil 6
South Africa 6
Indonesia 6
Norway 5
Singapore 5
Belgium 5
Switzerland 5
United Arab Emirates 4
Latvia 4
Nigeria 4
Viet Nam 4
Poland 3
Bahrain 3
Bulgaria 3
Qatar 3
Pakistan 3
Taiwan 3
Malaysia 3
Ireland 3
Thailand 3
Sweden 3
Saudi Arabia 2
Aruba 2
Romania 2
Estonia 2
Turkey 2
Ghana 2
Iraq 2
Tunisia 2
Israel 2
Gibraltar 2
Bolivia 2
Venezuela 2
Guatemala 2
Cambodia 2
Colombia 2
El Salvador 2
Zimbabwe 1
Myanmar 1
Kuwait 1
Sri Lanka 1
Morocco 1
Argentina 1
Austria 1
Guernsey 1
Paraguay 1
Jamaica 1
Ukraine 1
Mauritius 1
Palau 1
Bangladesh 1
Mozambique 1
Maldives 1
Serbia 1
Algeria 1
Cyprus 1
Kenya 1

What’s Your Grace Factor These Days?

Wordle: GraceFactor A few years ago, I purchased and read Kay Allenbaugh’s book, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul.” The book highlights 77 true stories by different women contributors and communicates a variety of life lessons and female words of wisdom.

One contributor, Jennifer James, shared a story about how she had applied a theory of grace in her life.  Specifically, James shared that she had assumed a “ten percent grace factor” into her life, the result of which included “tremendous changes, all positive.”

James provided examples of how you can apply a ten percent grace factor into your life, such as:

    • “Assume that you’ll pay 10 percent more than your share of a dinner check shared with friends.”
    • “Assume that the bargain that you got will cost 10 percent less somewhere else tomorrow.”
    • “Assume that you’ll get cheated about 10 percent of the time and assume that you’ll lose about 10 percent of your property one way or another.”

James advised that adding a grace factor into your life comes with a cost but also yields personal benefits of great value.  She wrote, “Public grace will, in private, reduce tension, improve your perception of the world, improve your relationships, and increase your joy.”

What do you think about the idea of adding a grace factor of some degree into your life?  Do you think doing so would require you to lower your expectations about your life experiences in any way?  Do you agree with James’ suggestion that applying grace into your life is a good thing, or do you think the costs of applying a grace factor into your life would be too great?

I’m not 100 percent sure that I agree with James’s 10 percent grace factor advice, but I do agree that all of us should strive to practice grace in our circumstance – crediting and forgiving others where possible along life’s long and winding road.  I think another author, Seth Godin, was right when he wrote these words in his book, Graceful:

“The thing is, no one is born graceful.  It’s not a gift, it’s a choice.  Every day, we get a chance to give others the benefit of the doubt.  Every day, we get the opportunity to give others our support, our confidence, our trust.”

What about you?  How graceful do you think you are?  How graceful do you want to be?

Life Chances…Trick or Treat?

Pumpkin image

Pumpkin by the hearth

It’s fall and beautiful here in N.C., U.S.A.  Pumpkins and mums adorn entrances to homes, and it’s the season of pumpkin carving.

Do you have any experience with pumpkin carving?  I’m into my fourth decade now and have never carved a pumpkin unassisted.

My memories of my youthful attempts include the recollection of not carving the pumpkins quite right and of wishing for a second chance to perfect the pumpkins that I helped my Dad carve.

Wanting a second chance when a second chance cannot be had is a reality all too applicable to many facets of life, wouldn’t you agree?  Just for a moment, now, consider how many times in your life that you’ve wanted a “do over.”

Through his 40 Chances global organization and book, 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World, Howard G. Buffet (son of Warren E. Buffet) makes the suggestion that “each of us has about 40 chances to accomplish our goals in life.”  Would you agree?  How much time do you think you have to carve out fruitful paths in your life?  And, which years do you consider to be “prime time” in your life?

In a prior post, I referenced the Five for Fighting song, “100 Years.”  Each time I hear the lyrics of that song which include the statement, “I’m 45 for a moment,” I feel and consider the fleeting aspect of life.

Chance by definition is a random and fleeting occurrence.  And, as Sam Shepard’s character in the movie Fool for Love warned, time, like a pumpkin in Jack O’ Lantern disguise, can laugh at us and play tricks on us, seemingly stealing our moments and chances, as we are in the midst of living our days.

What about you?  Are you recognizing your chances and opportunities to take action to better yourself and those around you?

Finally, how many life treats do you plan to distribute as you greet your remaining days at the door?

What Kind of Model (Data) Are You?

abstract model image

abstract model image

As a marketer, I pay attention to how corporations are leveraging the latest digital marketing channels to promote their brands.  For example, I recently enjoyed reading this post, “Five examples of brands that are nailing Pinterest.”

I’m just as, and maybe more so, interested in how individuals are using digital channels, like Pinterest, to promote their individual selves today.  In some cases, individuals on Pinterest are giving corporate brands a run for the money in terms of their number of account Followers – for example, one individual, Joy Cho, has more than 15 million people who follow her Pinterest account.

The majority of digital channels today make it easy for individuals to convey and share their preferences related to a multitude of subjects.  For example, Pinterest provides almost a literal picture of the interests and preferences of its users.

Other digital channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, also make it easy for individuals to indicate and share their preferences (on Facebook and on LinkedIn, you can hit the “Like” button to indicate that you like certain content, while on Google+, you can hit the +1 button to indicate your preferences).

Have you ever asked yourself why the latest digital channels include functionality that so strongly promotes individual preference sharing?  As I’ve stated in a prior post, online behavior is being tracked more and more often by companies who want to identify and target more individuals as potential buyers of their products. New digital channels providers are capturing and making the preference data of their individual subscribers available to those companies, usually at a some cost.

Also, many companies today are using software solutions to collect online data, mine the data, model the data, and then create visual representations of that data – all in an effort to gain new insights and knowledge that their organizations can use to propel their businesses forward.

Speaking of data visualization, I enjoy seeing different data visualization examples on the Information is Beautiful site.  What about you?  Have you ever stopped to think about what kind of model all of your personal, historical online data would create if summarily captured?

Would your online behavioral data present a Kate MossKurt Cobain-waif-like image, or would it reveal a more robust Kate Upton-like visualization?  What trends or secrets of your life would be revealed? Which of your data points would surface as uniquely beautiful, like the mole over Cindy Crawford’s lip or the gap in Lauren Hutton’s front teeth?

When I was a young girl, I dreamt of being a model.  I had no idea that I would actually fulfill that dream to the extent that I, like you no doubt, have become a data point in someone else’s data model.

Losing and Winning at Once

Second Place Ribbon clipart image

Second Place Ribbon clipart image

Once upon a time in a land that feels far, far away, a certain blogger I know competed in a teen charm pageant, earning the title of “First Runner Up.”

It’s been more than 25 years since I earned that second place position, but I’ll never forget how disappointing it felt to be so close to attaining a goal and yet falling just short.

Sometimes in life, however, we’ve already won, when we don’t gain the top prize.

Such was the case on Friday when another young girl, 16-year old Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan, fell just short of being named the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

There’s no question in my mind that Malala is already a winner.  Why?  Beyond the fact that she has survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for her belief that girls and women across the world have a right to an education, Malala has maintained the courage to continue voicing her beliefs against poverty, discrimination and injustice in the world.

Most recently, Malala gave a speech in front of a special audience of the United Nations and called on world leaders to take action to ensure that education, prosperity and peace are guarantees for all of the world’s people, stating:

So let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.”

I’m an extrovert, and, in living my days, I’m not too concerned about being Quiet.  Rather, I’m more interested in raising my unique voice, and this MySheCave blog is one channel that helps me accomplish that goal.

Today, I’m raising my voice in total support of the words that Malala shared in her United Nations remarks, and I’m sharing Malala’s full UN speech with you now.  In my humble opinion, Malala makes some of our current US Congress members, who are arguing over the current government shutdown and debt-ceiling debate, look like children.

I believe Malala’s personal light has already outshone the spotlight of a Nobel Peace Prize.  And, I believe her voice is a compelling reminder of how much all of us stand to lose if we allow current injustices in the world to continue to prevail.

Positive Magnets Like Mankiller and Marlo

Mankiller text image

Mankiller text image

I admire Marlo Thomas for several reasons.

Of That Girl fame, Thomas is an award-winning actress.  She’s also a philanthropist who has successfully spearheaded fundraising efforts for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over the years.  I most admire Thomas, however, for the many contributions that she has made as an activist in the women’s rights movement.

In 1973, she helped found the Ms. Foundation for Women, the first women’s fund in the U.S.  Since then, Thomas hasn’t let her support of women waver.   Thomas continues to advocate for women, lending her time and voice to the cause.  For example, you can check out her author content contributions at wowOwow.com or MarloThomas.com.

Back in 2002, Thomas compiled a New York Times Bestseller titled, “The Right Words at the Right Time,” that contains insightful words of advice from Thomas as well as 112 of her personal friends, many of whom are famous individuals in the entertainment and political realms.  Women contributors to the book include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Andrea Jung, Arianna Huffington, Toni Morrison, Dr. Sally Ride, Diane Sawyer, Amy Tan, Gloria Steinem, Maya Lin, The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and many more.

I own the book and enjoy perusing the contributors’ words of wisdom from time to time.  This morning, I opened the book to the page that I had last marked and visited.  The page contains the words of the late Wilma Mankiller.

Have you ever heard of Wilma Mankiller?  Mankiller (you can’t ignore the irony of her last name) was the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and was a recipient of the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom.  During her lifetime, Mankiller also battled systemic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In her statements within Thomas’ book, Mankiller shared how maintaining positivity and positive thoughts enabled her triumphs over challenges and suggested that a positive mind is necessary for leadership.  Mankiller wrote:

“When I am asked about the important characteristics of leadership, being of good, positive mind is at the top of my list.  If a leader can focus on the meritorious characteristics of other people and try to play to their strengths, as well as find value in even the most difficult situation, she can inspire hope and faith in others and motivate them to move forward.  Few people of good will are inspired to follow negative, pessimistic people.  People with clear minds are like magnets.”

Being an optimist, I agree with Mankiller’s suggestion about embracing positivity in life.  What about you?

Do you think that people with positive, clear minds are like magnets?  If so, who are the positive magnets, female or male, who inspire and attract you?

Robert, Butch and The Aspen Eyes

Happy October!
Over the weekend, I traveled to Laramie, WY and visited family, nature and a historical landmark.
And, enjoy these photos!
Aspen blooms in WY

Aspen blooms in WY

Aspens in bloom

yellows in the sky

Aspen eye

Aspen eye

Aspen eyes watching

Aspen eyes watching

//

Supreme Reflections

reflections in a pot image

reflections in a pot image

After watching Jay Baer’s live-streamed video remarks during the Content Marketing Institute’s recent CMWorld 2013 event, I’ve recently begun to read his book, “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype.

I’ve only reached page 12 in the first chapter of the book and have already learned many interesting facts, including this one that Baer attributes to The Nielsen Company’s blog post entitled, “Buzz in the Blogosphere: Millions More Bloggers and Blog Readers”:

  • “According to Nielsen’s NM Incite research, there were more than 173 million blogs in late 2011.”

173 million blogs?  I have to admit that the statistic leaves me wondering if my voice and humble blog contribution, MySheCave.com, can break through the loud chorus that is blogspeak in today’s world.

However, like Baer might say, I think that a blog and its messaging can break through if the blog speaks to the needs of its readers and provides information that is helpful and useful to those readers.

I don’t think I’m meeting the “providing Youtility” threshold with every MySheCave.com post, but I’m shooting in that direction.  With each post that I share, I try to educate, and, at a minimum, I hope that readers learn one fact that they didn’t know before reading.

Speaking of…did you know that yesterday was the autumnal equinox (first official day of fall) in the northern hemisphere?

Fall is often heralded as a season for reflection.  For some reason, when I first thought about the word reflection yesterday, in my mind’s ear, I could hear the Supremes singing their famous song that is titled, “Reflections.

What about you?  What do you think of when you consider the word, “reflection,” and, when was the last time that you reflected upon your life and current state of being?

Fall is synonymous with a busy time here in the U.S.  I hope that fall 2013 will allow you at least a few moments to reflect and hear the sounds of the things that bring you joy and enliven your soul  — those things that move your spirit in the most natural and effortless way, like the colorful leaves gently falling from the trees.

%d bloggers like this: