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Category Archives: communication

3 (Three) Small Ways to Make Big Change

After announcing my return following a blogging hiatus, I received an invitation from The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio to write a blog article. The invitation was right on time and is just the push I needed to write about another topic passionate about — community support and social change.

In advance of Friday’s annual Keyholder fundraiser, the editor asked me to respond to this question: What can you do today, this month, or year to spark change in your community? Great question! There are so many ways — big and small — that people can do to make change happen today!

Of course we could talk about the big things like raising money, serving on a community board or hosting an event, but instead I want to focus on “small” or less obvious ways people can make change happen. Because small or large, contributions to change are just that. No matter how small your contribution — it matters.

Go In Your Community

Museums, churches, local governments, meetup groups, Internet communities and many others host all types of events to make their community a better place. Unfortunately, many events are not supported or embraced. But a small way to spark change in your community is to support your community by attending these events. If you want to spark change such as seeing more community events or more people attend — do your part and go! Support what happens in your community.

Get Opinionated

Frequently, people are neither interested in receiving feedback and too busy to give it. Whether you have a great experience or one that lacks luster — giving your opinion is one small way to spark change. In most instances organizers of community gardens, public art shows, welfare programs, fairs and festivals all want feedback. They really want to know what you enjoyed, if it met your expectations, what you would like to see in the future and  more. That’s how improvement happens. And although it can be time consuming to complete surveys and questionnaires consider how the simple act of giving your opinion can improve your community.

Go Local

If the change you want to spark is more local business then the best “small” thing you can do is to shop, eat, and buy local. That’s not to say there aren’t some great national or regional chain businesses, but change at the local economic level happens locally. And the commitment to make your daily, weekly, or occasional purchases at a local business sparks tremendous change for that business, its employees, your local economy and the national economy.

The idea of sparking change is awesome — and the options are limitless. Whether you have plans to spark big changes or you want to start with small ones, you have options.

What would you add to the list?

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is excited to welcome special guest Whoopi Goldberg to Nationwide Arena on Friday, June 29th for Keyholder 2012. The Women’s Fund’s annual Keyholder event is a preeminent gathering in the central Ohio area, attracting thousands of people to honor the women and girls who have made a significant impact in their lives. Tickets are on sale now for $50 each and all proceeds are used to provide grants that promise social change for women and girls. Call 614-225-9926to purchase tickets or stop by http://womensfundcentralohio.org for more information. Connect with The Women’s Fund on Facebook and Twitter (@WomensFundCO).

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Digital 411: Celebrating Social Media Month

May is a big month for Digital 411 and Erika Pryor at Large. Since May is International Social Media Month, I want to focus on what’s happening in social media. On the most recent episode of Digital 411 I sat down with my favorite Irishman, Barry Chandler to talk about his latest initiative — Social Media Month Columbus.

Also known as TheBarBlogger, Barry Chandler is well known for innovative integrated marketing campaigns, first within the hospitality and tourism industries and later with nonprofits, small business and beyond. So, I was super excited when he agreed to sit down with us and talk about how he want to help any body or business that wants to wrap their mind around social media and grow their business using the best suited platforms.

There’s so much great information available on this episode of Digital 411 — I invite you to take a listen. Even if you can’t listen to the whole episode, I promise you’ll get some great take away points in the first 15 minutes. Also, check out the Social Media Month Columbus website. What you may not know about the site is there are new videos released every single day during the month on May! There’s more, but I’ll let you find that out for yourself from the site and this episode of Digital 411!

Digital 411 broadcast live Thursdays, 5pmET on TalktainmentRadio.com. New episodes record live twice monthly. You can follow what’s happening on Digital 411 here, on the Facebook page and Twitter @Digital411. Feel free to submit your topic suggestions and interview recommendations here, Facebook or Twitter.

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Coming Back From Hiatus!

Hey there readers and those passing through! I’m excited to announce I’m back from my blogging hiatus. As you can likely imagine — or have experienced yourself — I was feel pretty burnt out on blogging and not finding the motivation to write about much. But that’s all changed! I’m feeling great about getting back to blogging and looking forward to posting articles once or twice weekly.

I still plan to write about technology, social media, the Internet, and networking. Since New Year‘s I’ve been working out like a crazy person, so I might even post some fitness video and equipment reviews too! If you have topic ideas, I would love to hear them — either for the blog or Digital 411 — so definitely let me know!

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, you can check out some of my most recent episodes of Digital 411 on TalktainmentRadio.com. I’ve done some pretty sweet episodes lately that I think you might really like.

Recent topics include: International Social Media Month, e-waste and electronics recycling, gamification, and mobile app development from an insider’s perspective.

So, I’m back from hiatus! I’m super excited and I’m so glad you’re still with me!

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in communication

 

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Looking for genuine awkwardness? Check this out!

I recently discovered the best web series I have ever come across. “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” is not just a smartly written web series that features a diverse cast of characters, but the situations that come out in this web comedy seem much more honest and authentic than anything represented in today’s main stream media.

There are about eight episodes depicting J — the lead character — played by creator, director, producer and all around creative Stanford graduate, Issa Rae. The program has really resonated with a lot of audiences, African American and otherwise — and when you check it out you’ll see why. My guestimation about that is either being awkward, or experiencing awkward moments is so human and you can’t help but identify with the awkwardness you see Jay encounter.

I’ve included here one of my favorite episodes, (#5) and really “In my mind, I’m the best dancer ever,” however that little fact has been hotly contested.

Be sure to check out all eight episodes of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” and let me know what you think? What are some awkward moments you’ve experienced for which there is no life map on how to handle? Share them below in the comments section, I can’t wait to read what people come up with.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in communication, media

 

Faster Than a Taco Bell Pitt Stop: My Day As A Juror

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may recall me wining about being called up for jury duty. Before the anti-American hate email and Twitter messages begin flooding in, let me just say: I support America and the criminal justice process.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, I can tell you about My Day As A Juror. Given all the hype surrounding the Casey Anthony trial, you may be expecting to hear about the courtroom stunts puled by attonreys on both sides of the aisle, or the gridlock that the jury found itself in during deliberations. Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but if you’ve ever served on jury duty — you know 12 Angry Men it is not.

In fact, My Day As a Juror only lasted about 15 minutes, before I was excused. So, this article could be more properly titled, My Day Getting Out of Jury Duty. As you can imagine, prior to my report day, I searched what I believe to be the entire website for the “Excused from Jury Duty” form. And turned up nothing. So, I reported at 10:15am for the opening remarks and screening process. Although the forms I searched for I couldn’t locate on the site, I did find a lot of information about inexpensive parking and the jury duty process– which was helpful.

When I arrived, there were about 45 other people waiting to do their civic duty as well. After receiving my juror pass, I was instructed to complete a few forms. No biggie — I am of course completing forms and searching for that one coveted document, “Excused from Jury Duty.” Again nothing.

Around 10:45am, what I can only identify as a “jury duty morale booster specialist” came out and got to work warming up the crowd. To the credit of Franklin County, jurors do have access to wireless internet, computer terminals, a fridge for packed lunches, as well as hot and cold beverages. All of that of course is designed as additional compensation for the meager $20/day (of which $5 goes towards parking) jurors are provided for a minimum 2 weeks of jury duty.

What!?! You’re kidding I thought. You’re really only compensating people $20/day, 3 weeks following your service, and parking is part of that — I gotta figure out how to get out of here for real, I thought.

As Mr. Jury Duty Moral Booster is working the crowd, he’s fielding questions from people about lunch, how far into the afternoon people can expect to be there, trials, and wireless internet access. I thought to myself, “Am I the only jury duty dodger in the bunch? I guess I know what question I have to ask?” And then it comes out: “How do I get excused from jury duty?”

His pace of usual question answering is interrupted. Mr. Jury Duty Moral Booster — noticiably annoyed, takes a deep breath and stammers a reply, “well…why? What’s your issue?” What’s “my issue?” Is this a trick question, I wonder — I have plenty of issues, but in this moment — I recognize my chance.

So I give ’em everything I’ve got, while keeping in mind, the childcare excuse didn’t go very far so child as strategic pawn is out. I say, “I’m self-employed and a member of the press.” Although member of the press falls flat — which I anticipated would be a better get out of jail free card, self-employed turns out to be a winner!

Approximately 15 or 20 minutes after my arrival for jury duty, I was excused. Obviously, I’m not advocating that you dodge jury duty like I did, but with the threat of only making $20/day for 2 full weeks as a juror was enough to send me running. But in the event you find yourself starring down the barrel of jury duty — if you’re self employed, that’s a legitimate excuse to use — and it works.

What jury duty stories do you have to tell? Leave them in the comments section below and come back next week to read about My Day As A Market Research Subject!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in blog, communication

 

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Google Chrome Extension: ToDoist A Review

I’m always on the lookout for great Google Chrome web browser extensions and those that provide some additional functionality to make my life on the internet easier. I don’t have a magic way to find extensions other than using a search phrase like “Best Chrome Extensions,” and seeing what comes up.

During a recent search, I came up with ToDoist — which I’m convinced will make my life easier. I’ve only been experimenting with it, so I’ll give the highlights here of what I see so far with this to do list extension. To be sure, there are a bevy of list making extensions available, so don’t be afraid to search around to find the one that works best for what you want to accomplish.

Unlike most extensions I’ve used in the past, users of ToDoist first sign up for the service through their website. Once you complete that, then you install the extension, which will be added to your navigation bar with a check mark and “T” icon.

Once you sign up and get to the start screen, ToDoist provides you a great overview of the range of ways in which you can integrate the application into your existing online usage habits. Since I use an iGoogle dashboard, I appreciate you can incorporate your ongoing to do lists there, as well as the Netvibes dashboard. ToDoist is also available as an iphone and Android mobile application. There are keyboarding shortcuts and filtering options as well.

As a list making function, I appreciate the ability to first create projects and then assign tasks to the pertinent individual projects — which obviously makes ToDoist a bit more than a simple list making application — but rather a project management app.

Once you’ve created your project, and then assigned tasks to that project — this is were ToDoist gains some momentum in my book. What I really like is once you’ve set up your project, ToDoist has an “Add Link” function which allows users to easily bookmark pertinent web links. Additionally, you can assign that link as a task to a specific project. For me, this eliminates emailing links to myself with a reminder to return to them at a later time. However, if that’s something you would like to do — ToDoist gives you that option.

If you’re willing to upgrade to the preminum service, you can get access to reminders, notes and much more. I’m like many people in that I’ll make due with the free service. That’s not to say in the future, I won’t upgrade, but for the moment, I’m not sure what ToDoist has to offer is worth the cost of upgrading.

So, what do you think about ToDoist? Are you currently using it or another list making, project management application or add on with some good functionality? I invite you to share your thoughts on ToDoist or any other add on in the comments section below.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in communication, Productivity

 

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It’s Google +1, Not the The Rapture!

So, for much of the week everyone in the wide world of technology has been completely losing their *ish about Google +1. Since June 28, 2011 — Mashable has published over 20 stories about Google +1. Here are a few headlines to prove it.

10 Top Google+ Users Weight In on The Web’s Newest Social Network

Zuckerberg on Google+: It’s a Validation of Facebook Vision

Google to Retire Private Google+ Profiles on July 31

For those that are not familiar Google +1 according to Google, it’s news feature or a social network as one headline would lead you to believe is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “your should check this out.” Further about Google +1 says the search giant it is a way to “help your friends, contacts, and others find the best stuff on the web.” (a video introduction of G+)

About the addition, everyone has had an opinion. It seems as though people are completely blown away by Google’s newest product. Don’t get me wrong, I love new Google products, I’m willing to try anything out once and see how it goes, but for goodness sake — G+ is not the rapture.

In fact, what I think is actually more interesting in the world of social media is the latest Facebook features including Skype‘s video chat integration and deeper integration of Facebook with Skype. Facebook also introduced group chat — on the fly and invite several people to a group chat, and supposedly a new design — which I have yet to see.

Now from my perspective, I see the deeper integration between Skype and Facebook to be a bit more important than Google+1. First G+ is closed to most of the world at this point. But that’s actually small potatoes compared to the bigger issue — Facebook’s introduction of more products that keep users on Facebook.

Among the number of ways in which Facebook facilitates communication — the fact that users can now video chat through the service tell me a few things. Facebook is getting closer to potentially developing their own web browser. This not withstanding the fact that FB has had success with integration into web browsers like RockMelt. I will not be surprised to see a Facebook web browser in the near future.

Interestingly, Mark Zuckerburg says about the new Google addition that it’s a validation of Facebook. Although not overt, I get the sense that Zuckerburg is gearing up for something even bigger than a social network — but rather a browser, or search engine or Noah’s ark

I am also more interested in the Facebook’s announcement because again, FB has found another way to keep users on their site over others. Inevitably, users will begin video chatting right away, and will likely believe that it’s the video feature of Facebook — and nor will they know or care that they are using the Skype service to do that.

I’m sure there’s more to say about Google+ but I’m not sure I understand why everyone is losing their shit about this introduction. What do you think is the bigger and more important story? The Facebook-Skype integration OR Google +1? Weigh in below and let me know what you think.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in communication, social media

 

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