Sunday, January 11, 2009

16 Things

My friend Michelle from Subtle Revealings tagged me to participate in the 16 things exercise. You have to write 16 random things, shortcomings, facts, habits or goals about yourself. I fought the urge to make this into an all consuming self-evaluative exercise -- and I think I've succeeded. I'm just not sure whether I'm as interesting as she is.

1. My freshman year in high school, my parents moved us from New York to Connecticut over Spring break. The transition was traumatic and made me swear I will never uproot my children when they're in high school.

2. I am compulsive about keeping the floor in my house clean. Except for special occasions, I don't allow shoes in the house past the mud room. There are few things that bug me more than crumbs underfoot.

3. By the end of college I was pretty well able to hold my liquor. Fast forward to two not-even-a-sip pregnancies and almost 2 years of nursing and all that's left is a girl who's flushed and silly after a single glass of wine.

4. Genetically speaking, I'm less than half Italian but I have a strong affinity to all things Italian. I lived with my Italian grandparents for most of my formative years and WISH that I'd learned the language when they could have taught me. I still hope to learn it someday.

5. When I first met Bob I was drawn to him because he reminded me of my next door neighbor when I was growing up, John. He was as close to a big brother as I had as a girl. I remind Bob all the time that if he ever meets John, he has some serious thanking to do.

6. I like going to school. I think about getting another graduate degree. Or at minimum, taking enrichment classes when the kids are older.

7. One of my regrets from childhood is being mean to my sister. I used to torment her because I was so much older and I could. Today, she's my best girl friend.

8. Part of me wants to be just like Martha Stewart. I love things organized, color coordinated and all things monogrammed. I have (almost) every copy of her magazine dating back to 1997.

9. The thing in college that introduced me to the most new experiences was the debate team. I traveled to Louisiana, Utah, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont and all those states in between to compete at debate tournaments. Yes, I met plenty of geeks but many more cool, smart people than I anticipated.

10. I love vintage clothes, jewelry and household items. I know I'm too young to say this, but they just don't make things as well as they used to.

11. When we found out we were having another son, we both loved the name Benjamin. But I could not give him that name because I was convinced people would catch on that his name was "bend wire."

12. People closest to me used to call me the Ice Queen. I once sat through the movie Lorenzo's Oil without shedding a tear while all the women around me were whimpering. Ever since I had children of my own, I'm a regular water works. And the thing that gets me worst? Sick kids.

13. I will always be a value shopper no matter our financial situation. The only things I will pay the retail price for are groceries.

14. My hands are like my dad's-- rough, strong, manual laboring hands. Except smaller.

15. I fight the urge to be the grammar police. I like to write but am kept from it because I have to edit, edit, edit to perfection. Even a quick personal email has to meet rigorous standards.

16. I am terrible about keeping in touch with people who mean a lot to me. I never think to pick up the phone and call someone to chat. This has cost me several friendships over time. Sometimes it's so bad that I wonder if I'm phoneaphobic.

At the end I'm supposed to choose 16 people to be tagged. But I like the number 4 better (and I think my chances will be better if I only put the pressure on a few) so... Sarah, Dave, Rick and Laura consider yourselves tagged.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Top 3 Words to Watch In 2009

Number 3: Niche

The ease with which one can publish rich content, coupled with increasingly ubiquitous Internet access makes it possible for anyone to get their thoughts published. This in turn makes for it easier than ever to connect with people who are interested in the same niches (or even micro-niches) as you. Interested in kitchen remodeling? Too broad- how about focusing instead on considerations in countertop selection. How about blogging about Fantasy Baseball? Too broad- consider focusing on techniques for swiftly dropping/picking up relief pitchers. Interested in scrapbooking? Too broad- consider a blog focused on doing video reviews of paper cutters used in scrapbooking. We've all got interests and we're all experts in something. If we care enough to publish it, there will be people out there who care enough to read it. Starting a blog is one of the few businesses that you can truly start for *free* and potentially make money on from day 1 with Google AdSense Ads and Amazon Associate Product Links.

Number 2: Clarity

As a consumer, nothing bothers me more than ambiguity in an offer. And in general, I find the most value in content I read when it provides clarity. It's sometimes unclear to me whether communication lacks clarity because the writer is unable to provide a clear description -or- because a retailer is attempting to bamboozle me. When I encounter lack of clarity in a product description or service offering I assume it is an attempt to bamboozle. When I encounter it in the context of written word I assume it is because the writer is unable to provide a clear description. Either way, in my view, clarity is a valuable commodity and as such it presents an opportunity for clear communicators. Consider using your ability to communicate clearly by starting a blog on a subject you're passionate about today.

And the Number 1 Word to Watch in 2009: Authentic

Classic marketing has developed a bad rap because after a while it all sounds the same. With the rise of social media (lately sites like Facebook and Twitter), we are now able to associate a higher volume of product/service recommendations with people we know. Since we know something about these people and how they operate we're able to assess the recommendation in context with what we know about the person already. It's this kind of authentic recommendation that makes the "social graph" of Facebook (ie, your friends and your friends-of-friends) so powerful. Even if we don't know the person (which is more often the case with Twitter than Facebook) if we're able to quickly verify that the person is not a shill, or at minimum a real person making a real recommendation, we're more likely to consider the word of mouth recommendation than even the most finely crafted sales pitch. Watch for: Twitter to be increasingly polluted with non-authentic noise in 2009.

As you come across these words in the material you read in 2009 I hope you'll remember this little blog entry.

Question of the Day: What do you think? What word do you expect to see an uptick in usage in 2009?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

I was just outside cleaning up a little snow with Sam and I noticed how similar he looks to me when I was a young pup. I thought it would be a good time to bust out a photo of me when I was his age for comparison:

What do you think? Is he my boy?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...