Tag Archives: St. Louis

I Have an Idea

light_bulbI’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s because it’s summer and there’s not much going on. Or perhaps I’m still a little tired from my sojourn in St. Louis. I don’t think it’s because I spent the last 5 weeks looking at pictures of my friends saving the lions in Africa. I mean, if it was me saving the lions it might be the problem. But I’m just sitting in my chair looking at the pics so that can’t be it. I know it’s not because I have changed. And it’s certainly not from lack of trying. I’ve been wracking my brain for the last week trying to come up with something, anything really. I’ve tried everything I can think of, short of reading other people’s blogs of course. Even so, I can’t seem to put my finger on it. If I was someone else I might say I had writer’s block. But that just seems so presumptuous in my case given that I have never actually professed to be one. A writer, that is. Nope, no matter how hard I try I simply can’t come up with something shallow enough for the shallow blog.

You may not know this but I spend a good deal of my time keeping my eyes and ears peeled, looking for topics to write about. Normally it’s not all that difficult to snag some inspiration from something I overhear someone say at the next table during coffee. Because I listen. I’m nothing if not attentive. But strain as I might, this week I came up empty. This week there was no fuel for fodder, no drops in the bucket, the cupboard was truly bare. I suppose I could have set my sights on the ongoing landscaping escapade that I’ve been witness to each day for the past year and a half, while enjoying my morning tea at my local Starbucks. To be honest though, it’s been rather painful watching the workers plant and then pull, plant and then pull as each of the clearly misbegotten, “sustainable” landscaping innovations have failed to produce the desired effect. Or any effect at all really.

And I thought I had hit pay dirt while watching the current bachelorette date her “true” love, or more accurately, one of her final three “true” loves. That is until he dumped her and we watched as they cut to her crying and then him crying, her again, him again, then her, and, you guessed it, him for what I am sure was a full ten minutes. (Word on the street is that they end up together but I’m thinking that since we all pretty much knew that from the “get go” they had to do something to manufacture suspense.) Had I not been playing computer games while this droned on in the background I likely would have changed the channel. I didn’t but when it came to putting pen to paper I just couldn’t bring myself to writing about it. You gotta know it’s bad when it’s too shallow for the “shallow gal”.

And that’s when it hit me.  I have an idea!  Why not ask my readers (have I mentioned I now have 39 followers?) to tell me what they think I could write about. I mean you’ve been reading this blog for more than a year now so surely you have some suggestions. Or perhaps some questions. Maybe a “how to”. Anything will do. The more the better because, as you may recall, I’ve paid for another year which means I still have eight months left for my 18 bucks.  And that my friends, is a whole lot of shallow!

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Friends, Links and Twits

linksIt seems to me that these days there’s a whole lot of connecting going on. By now you understand that as a shallow person I don’t like to judge or make pronouncements about what’s good or bad, right or wrong. But there are simply times when something needs to be said and while I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade or seem like the proverbial party pooper, I am beginning to think that this whole social media “get together” thing is just a tad overrated and perhaps, getting a little out of hand. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m probably as connected as the next person (provided the “next person” isn’t your average 18 to 24 year old with 510 “FB friends”), with active accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and yes, even Twitter. To tell the truth, there’s nothing I like more than sitting in my chair, looking at pictures of my friends’ travels to exotic places like Africa about two minutes after they take them, which sure beats having to sit through those interminably tedious “vacation travelogues” where the world travellers struggle to remember which lake provided the backdrop to the “most beautiful sunset they had ever seen” or whether the magnificent stained glass windows were in St. Pauls or Westminster Cathedrals, or possibly taken during a previous trip to Mexico. Besides, there’s nothing better than engaging in an online, challenging game of WWF with one of my “real” friends. Not to mention that I always post this blog to my FB page. So I guess I get Facebook.

But then there’s LinkedIn which is a horse of an entirely different colour and from where I sit, one of the busiest sites on the WWW.  I’m on it but unlike Facebook, I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing there. From what I understand this is supposed to be a more “professional” oriented social media space where I get to showcase the talents I have acquired over the many, many, (do I need to add another one of those?) years I have been working. Once I do that I “link” (get it) with others who, apparently, do something similar to what I do during my working days. They in turn link with others and together we grow a long list of people we know or, more accurately, might know. After that I can’t say I can tell you what happens because so far, nothing really has. Unless of course you think that having people who have a rather spurious knowledge of your accomplishments endorse the skills that you have attributed to, you guessed it, yourself, is something. I’m not sure that it is and yet I am there, with you, checking out your connections and, on occasion even endorsing your skills. Which is ok with me because, when push comes to shove, it’s not really all that intrusive and I can do all this from the comfort of (have I mentioned it?) my chair.

This may not be the case once a new technology I just read about gets off the ground because it takes connecting to a whole new level. Before I get into it I should tell you that I have pretty much perfected the art of making myself invisible in a crowd which, in my estimation at least, is a skill that I can legitimately be endorsed for. In fact, I’m so good at it that I can actually attend a five day, in person conference without anyone knowing I was ever there which is why this new app sends veritable shivers down my spine. What it purports to do is allow you to figure out which of your connections (yes your “friends” and “links” and probably your “twits” too) are actually in the room at the same time as you are. You heard me! No more hiding in the farthest corner or sprinting to the nearest exit when someone you really didn’t want to see comes your way. Mastering the art of, what I like to call, “eye contact avoidance” isn’t going to get you anywhere. There’s no getting away from them now. Those virtual friends of yours will be connecting with you in real time and real space because that app is going to let them know you are there. But what seems odd to me about this “whole new thing” is that if I had wanted to connect with someone I likely would have contacted them ahead of time and made arrangements to meet. And if I didn’t do that, well you get my point.

Next week Wade and I are off to St. Louis to speak at an eLearning conference. Funny story. We were walking down the streets of Denver trying to figure out where we were and this lovely, young woman approached us and offered to let us use her phone. After some chit chat she decided to join us for the evening’s activities. Turns out she organizes a conference for a group of eLearning professionals in Missouri and, after a while, mentioned that she would be needing some speakers at their upcoming event. Now we are on our way. And that, my friends, is what I call a great connection!

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