Kaizen Inspiration

In an earlier post I talked about inspiration and I would like to go back to this topic. In my analysis of this blog I have realized that the major thing it lacks is inspiration. This blog doesn’t know what its is, and neither does its readers!

I didn’t have a “personal brand” when I started my digital presence. I still don’t, but I’m getting there. Even though I haven’t made as much progress or as many connections as I had hoped,  I have learned that it takes more than 5 or 6 weeks to accomplish these things.

I was definitely not comfortable putting myself out there when I first started. But though the process I have learned: Don’t try be someone you’re not. Just strive to be a better person every day, in even the smallest ways and I promise you they will add up.

I recently discovered this theory called “kaizen” by the Japense. The idea is to strive for 1 % improvement everyday. It is the new inspiration for my blog (in case you haven’t noticed the changes). I have a sincere interest to study this concept further and apply it to my life, and document my findings through this blog in the process. Continue reading

It Gets Better Project

“Your life can be amazing. But you have to tough this period of it out and you have to live.”

I was catching up on Glee today ( I haven’t watched it in awhile, but I’m unfortunately sick and sat on the couch all day), and this Google Chrome commercial came on. This 90 second spot packed a powerful message.

The “It Gets Better” Campaign

Last September, gay rights activist Dan Savage launched this project and the It Gets Better YouTube channel to solicit inspirational and supportive videos to send much needed positive messages to struggling LGBT teens.

The Google Chrome Spots

The Google Chrome team put together a compilation  (using mostly celebrities)  of the uploaded videos to create this commercial.  Glee was an excellent place to air the commercial, as the characters and plot often deal with LGBT issues.

The Future of Commercials?

Its refreshing to see media giants such as Google embracing social responsibly and showing off their ethics.  This activism seems to be an emerging trend in commercials and the Google “It Gets Better” campaign is one of the best examples I have seen yet. The world may become a better place if this inspiration catches on!

What are your reactions and thoughts? Please share!

Under Construction

After 6 weeks, I’m still not where I want to be with my blog and my personal branding process.

So, to give my blog new life, a am launching my new theme: Just Be You (only better).

There will be more to come very soon!

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed the format and theme has changed a few times. Please bear with me as I finish the construction of both my brand and blog.

Integration of Social Media Platforms

We tend to be narrow-minded when it comes to the various social media platforms. There are the obvious “sharks”  such as Facebook and Twitter, which dominate the sea that is the Internet. However, there are other social network sites, or “fish”, in this sea.

However, if you don’t actively search for them or travel outside US for extended periods of time you may never learn what other SM platforms are out there which might be more popular in other countries.

Through research on Social Media networks by the numbers for my current class, I recently discovered two new social media sites: www.bebo.com which is most popular in the UK and Ireland as well as www.qq.com, which is popular in China.

Although I do not have a personal account for either, I hope to learn more about these platforms and utilize them in the time I will spend abroad this summer in both China and the UK.

Brief Description

www.bebo.com – Bebo combines community, self-expression and entertainment, enabling users to consume, create, discover, curate and share digital content in entirely new ways.

www.qq.com – Aims to provide its users with a rich and creative online life. Tencent Inc., the company that founded QQ.com, states that QQ is dedicated to becoming trend-setting and mainstream Internet platform with the greatest communication capacity and interactivity.

Both of these sites have an unique approach in that they integrate many different social media platforms. By combining the services and platforms as referenced above, these sites offer a “why can’t we all get along?” attitude to online media.

Continue reading

Connecting the (Twitter) Dots to Form Your Brand

Quote from Zappo’s CEO, Tony Hseich, taken from Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned From Google by Aaron Goldman.

Think of each tweet as a dot on a piece of paper. Any single tweet, just like any single dot, by itself can be insignificant and meaningless. But, if over time, you end up with a lot of tweets, its like having a lot of dots drawn on a piece of paper. Eventually there are enough dots for your followers to connect them together. And if you connect the dots, in the aggregate, it paints a picture of you and/or your company, and is that total picture that is your brand.”

Reminds me of a Roy Lichtenstein image.

Brand ‘ME’

Since I was first introduced to the internet, online has always been the way I preferred to communicate with people. For some reason its just easier.

For example, during my teens, I would spend hours having deep heart to hearts with people via AOL instant messenger (and if you’re 20-something years old like me, you know that you did to!). Looking back, I shared way too much using that SM tool. I could say anything while sitting behind a computer screen.  It was almost as if you could pretend the words didn’t really come from you.

But now, somehow I went too far in the wrong direction. Now, I don’t feel comfortable sharing anything. I do not use social media for its proper purpose, which is to facilitate relationships (among other important things).

The purpose of this blog, in addition to my other SM use, is for me to open up and re-introduce myself to the world as a marketing professional. To share my insights, learn from others and make significant connections for my professional career. With those purposes stated, as much as I don’t want to use this blog as an outlet for my thoughts and feelings, there is a part of me that can’t escape that this is what it really is for me.

The question I keep coming back to is, How do I create my online brand if I don’t know what I want my brand to be?

So I suppose my point here is, please bear with me while I figure this out; as soon as I  do, you will be the first to know. And to those who are actually reading this, I promise that someday, there will be some beneficial content in here.

Down the road when I have finally established Brand “ME”,  I can look back at where I started,  laugh and and enjoy how much I’ve grown.

Blurring of the Line Between Personal and Professional Online Branding

Hello again! I apologize for the long delay between posts. I’ve just finished a nice three-day Easter holiday spending time with my family. I’d share more with you, however, since  this post is about blurring the lines between personal and professional social media use, I’ll skip the personal details and get straight to the point.

So, does anyone know where this line is? I’m honestly not sure  how and where to draw the line for my own social media use, which is what led me to believe that it is blurred.

Before I dive into this topic, I want to pose some questions:

  • Social Media facilitates the sharing of knowledge, but how much is too much? (do we really need to know the intimate details of a person’s relationship?
  • Is there a balance point? if your are trying to establish a professional image, should you not provide details of your personal life?
  • When you post your personal thoughts and reflections in a blog, Facebook or twitter, do you lose your professionalism?
  • Does every word really need to be thought out and every post proofread? (Is my future boss going to be checking my blog for spelling and grammar? Yikes!)

Continue reading

Shedding the Desire for Perfection

Inspiration for this post was discovered while reading “The Self-Styled Life” blog, written by Jean Brown. Check it out here!

Being actively involved in SM causes a person to find inspiration in the most un-obvious places… like a stranger’s blog.  I have to admit, The Self-Styled Life blog by Jean Brown was truly moving. Jean’s post titled Procrastination, Productivity…Progress? discussed a debate that really pulls my heartstrings right about now,  perfectionism vs. procrastination.

Here are some inspirational snippets:

  • “Some procrastination is linked to anxiety about not being able to meet the rigorous standard we set for ourselves.  To get over that self-imposed pressure, we might realize that often our “good enough” might be considered “great” by many people. You can’t always operate at 120%. Sometimes, you just need to get ‘er done.” (bold added by Jean)
  • “My quest for a self-styled life is in part an attempt to avoid disinterest and make sure that I’m almost always passionate about what I’m doing.”
  • “If I want to build a self-styled life, I know I can’t sit on my ass and wait for it to happen. Being proactive is key.”
  • “I am procrastinating less by shedding the desire for perfection. I have also begun to embrace some of my procrastinating behaviors (within limits).”

What I’ve learned:

Writing this blog, I feel like every word has to be perfect. But, reading this post made me realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect (and it’s not going to be). I’m not a professional writer, nor are any of my classmates (to my knowledge) that are also forced to blog for a grade (although most of them probably enjoy this more than I do). My purpose here is to simply spread the inspiration and knowledge to whoever is willing to embrace it.

As an intellectual (which I would like to consider myself as, but may not be actualized yet), I believe that you must find the things that move you and react; allow it to inspire you.

For me, my reaction to Jean’s unexpected inspiration is writing this blog post. I hope to apply what I have learned to my own tendency for procrastination, therefore, shed the desire for perfection and just get ‘er done.

Getting Started..

Blogging is more difficult than I first thought. It might seem silly to some, but it I find it somewhat intimidating. I want every word I write to be meaningful and with all the random trains of thoughts that I constantly have going on, its hard to focus in on one important thing to say.

I’ve spent more time thinking about the blog than just writing. I’m not sure yet if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I want it to be carefully thought out, yet is the actual communication with your audience more important?

An important marketing/advertising lesson I’ve been taught is to learn your medium! So that’s what I’m currently taking my time to do. This week, I will be learning about the SM sites bebo.com and qq.com. I currently know nothing about these sites (they are most popular in Europe and China, respectively) but I am definitely intrigued to learn more about them because I will be studying at both of these places this summer.

To better establish this blog, I watched the tutorials for WordPress, which I found very helpful and worth my time. I created a blogroll with my classmates blogs. Having their posts readily available to teach me and inspire me about how this all works is really helpful.

If you are reading this and having trouble getting started like me, I recommend the tutorials and helpful guidelines found here: http://learn.wordpress.com/ . Don’t let the length deter you, I found some very useful content by just skimming through.

So far, I have learned that it will take more than 6 weeks to create an online brand. It’s going to be a slow process and I know that I won’t have all the answers at once, but the process begins once you consciously commit to it (for me, that moment was spending $25 dollars on a domain).

Here I am…

I find it slightly ironic that the message “Hello World!” showed up when I launched this blog because that is exactly what I was thinking.

This message reminded me of my last job when I worked with computer/software programmers. One day they taught me the first code every programmer learns. After telling me which letters and symbols to type, I entered the line of gibberish and a message popped up on the screen that said… “Hello World!” I was amazed.

So it’s my turn to say hello world, here I am.

With this post, I have officially taken the first step towards launching my personal, yet professional, online brand.

Through this process I will learn to embrace the fact that the entire world is at your fingertips, but only if you are willing to take the first step.

I look forward to receiving feedback and getting to know new people in this online community.  Please leave comments as I greatly value feedback and two-way communication.

For more information on establishing an online brand for the first time, follow me on twitter @avandurme.