moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.


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Social media needs to be social

This was originally posted over at theBrewRoom blog.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that social media is, in fact, social.  Every time that certain car commercial comes on (you know, with the rep reading tweets and their hashtags), someone in the room with me asks, “What’s a hashtag?”  It’s a link to all the tweets in the world with said hashtag.  Then the inevitable, “But…..why?”  So you can see what people are saying (and jump into the conversation, of course)!  We’re so focused on using the Internet to throw information out into the universe that we forget the best way to use it; no one wants to be talked at, they want to converse.  Social media, and the marketing that goes with it, is virtual word of mouth.  It’s a conversation.  There are peoplBill Lumberghe constantly talking with and engaging other people.  If you want your business to be successful, you need to engage as well.

Let’s say I work somewhere like “Office Space.”  I have 3-5 on any given day asking me to tweet something, usually a promotion.  Of course, they all think  their message is the most important one to disseminate (so it must be posted NOW).  Well, when you overload people with text and they aren’t getting anything meaningful out of it, guess what will happen to your message? It’ll get tuned out (or they’ll just unfollow you period).  Now, when Lumbergh comes back 5 minutes later to ask if anyone is talking about it, he’ll be let down because the answer is no.

Long story short: be social.  Show you care about the community that you’ve built:

  • Ask questions.
  • Answer questions.
  • Include comments when you retweet whenever possible.
  • If you need to promote services or events, do it in a way that’s natural and not pushy.
  • Mention people to get the conversation going if you have a piece of information that you think is of interest to them (just don’t be spammy; no one likes that).

And don’t forget to “listen” to the conversations.  It’s a two-way flow of information.  Don’t expect to get a response if you are not responding yourself.

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Five things I love about Lucy

Today is Lucille Ball’s birthday.  I’ve always admired her.  I think her red hair reminded me of my grandmother and since I was little, the two women were inextricably linked in my mind.  One summer, I spent a good portion of my time reading books about her, researching her, and putting together a presentation and speech to deliver to inform others about her (it was for a class, I wasn’t just preaching to people on the sidewalk!)  To say I’ve become familiar with her work is an understatement.  In honor of Lucy, here are five things I love about (and learned from) Lucy.

  1. She knew what hard work and motivation would do.  Lucille Ball started out as a model, worked on Broadway (under a pseudonym), and then “Queen of the Bs” as a B-List contract actress.  From there, she worked her way up to having an integral role in creating I Love Lucy (and a handful of other shows later).  That was a time when women just didn’t do that.  They didn’t sit in business meetings and negotiate contracts, but she did.  Further, after her divorce from Desi Arnaz, she bought out his share of Desilu and worked as a very active studio head.  Lucy knew what her purpose was, what she wanted to do in life, and she followed her ambition to make herself the icon she is today.  Know that you are capable of making your dreams happen, as long as you’re willing to work for it.
  2. She made a fool of herself when women were just supposed to “look pretty.”  Lucy wasn’t afraid to go the distance to get a laugh, whether it was falling, making faces, or attaching bulbous noses to her normal one.  First woman to really portray pregnancy and having a baby on a sitcom?  That would be Lucy.  Beating a dead horse from above, she wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done; neither should we.  It’s more acceptable today for women to be funny (or CEOs or engineers) than it was in the past, but there’s still that barrier between men and women.  Adopt her fearlessness and do what you need to do to get the job done.
  3. She cared about other people.  When Lucy was younger, she cared for her stepfather’s parents (and her own brother).  When she later moved to Hollywood, her family came too.  She took care of them and helped to provide for them.  Even after her divorce, she and Desi remained close.  This is what you do for family and people you care about.  Never lose that compassion.
  4. She was afraid of birds.  Lucy said that she remembers little from the day of her father’s funeral when she was a young girl, but she did recall a bird getting trapped in the house.  Since then, she was afraid of birds.  She even went as far as removing wallpaper with pictures of birds that she just had hung (not realizing when she purchased the paper that birds were pictured).  We all have those irrational fears; it’s perfectly acceptable to give in to one (just not all of them, because then you’re just a nutcase).
  5. She left a legacy.  I can only hope to be so memorable one day.


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Can’t we all just get along?

I’ve noticed a trend recently.  It isn’t the leggings-as-pants, using-colored-pastels-in-your-hair, each-finger-nail-painted-a-different-color trend.  But trust me, you can’t pull this one off, either.  It’s incredible rudeness.

In the past week, I have noticed cars rolling through intersections with pedestrians still in the crosswalk, people pulling U-turns in the middle of the street because they were too lazy to go around the block, and people making a left-hand turn from the right-hand lane.  Then there’s the speed up to get around someone and then slow to a snail’s pace phenomenon that’s been happening.  There is nothing so important that you need to put others in danger because you’re too lazy, stupid, or inconsiderate to wait at a stop sign.

It’s astounding how bubble-like we’ve become.  I’m not saying that I’m the next Mother Teresa and I have no faults, I’m just saying, can’t we all have a little more consideration for our actions?  Think about how you’re really just inconveniencing everyone behind you and looking like a schmuck making that left turn from the right lane.  Granted, if I want to change directions and no one is behind me, I’ll wait until everyone passes and then get in the other lane to turn.  But if someone is behind me, I’ll suck it up, find the next strip mall, and turn around in the parking lot.

It isn’t hard to think about other people but it’s way too easy to think about only ourselves.  Sure, we’re allowed to be selfish once in a while, but just make sure it isn’t “once in a while out of every day.”