Social Media Meditation

So many articles about how to make zillions on social media. I’ve long ago grown weary of that discussion. Don’t get caught up in the “magic money” mindset: “Set up Facebook/Twitter and watch the money roll in”. 

Social media provides great opportunities to engage communities. Connecting with a wider audience without much monetary cost is fantastic. However, there is the time cost to consider. Also, everyone is on these channels, as the cost is so low. Developing a distinct voice can be challenging, yet is critical. A key part of that is focus: you can’t be everything to everyone. Trying such dilutes that focus, and you lose sight of what’s critical. It’s better to have 300 engaged fans than 10k unengaged ones. Follower and Like counting are not always the best metrics. Be thoughtful how you measure success.

Your social media meditation for Sunday. Go forth and do great things!

Thinking About The Beauty-Industrial-Complex

Consider: discontent with self-image feeds huge profits to the billion dollar beauty-industrial-complex, and significant misery to millions. We in the business world talk at great lengths about value-add. The only way I see “value-add” by this sector requires a very short-term focus.

I wonder if there’s a place for the beauty businesses in a world of high-functioning people with great self-esteem. So I think of many women who use these products without demonstrating any lack of self-confidence. Are they simply hiding a deeper misery, or might there be something deeper that I simply cannot see. Probably the later. Probably.

We should consider who we can extract the more egregious agony from this sector while keeping the (presumed?) benefits. So much to meditate upon.

Changes For Google Calendar & SMS Notifications

My first thought upon reading that Google will be discontinuing SMS calendar notifications was “wow, do people still use this feature?” Well, I’m sure some do. But I haven’t used this feature in years. I have a few calendar elements that send me texts, ones that have been in my calendar for ages. Though I’d forgotten about this feature, it was powerful at one time. At one point, this was an amazingly powerful tool, allowing me to get calendar notifications while away from my computer.  It was great to get a note a few minutes before my meeting with the details. I loved focusing in on whatever I was doing and not worrying about transitioning/leaving for my next meeting.

Anyway, this announcement and (non?) event punctuates an evolutionary element of tech: the move to smartphones and mobile.


Important Announcement about SMS notifications in Google CalendarStarting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent. SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with smartphones and notifications, you can get richer, more reliable experience on your mobile device, even offline.

To receive notifications on your smartphone, either configure the calendar app that came with your device or install Google Calendar for Android or iPhone. For more information on how to configure notification defaults, check out the Help Center.

Please note: Please note: This change will not affect Google Drive for Work, Google Apps for Work (paid edition), Education and Government customers.

– The Google Calendar Team

Scaling to the personal

Something that struck me this morning: the internet grows bigger, driving us to go closer. We have tools that let us broadcast to unimaginable numbers. Yet it’s the personal that works. Even with thousands of Twitter followers (or more), the relationship is based on a one-to-one feeling of connection. Even large brands are trying to push into that space. It makes sense: none of us want to be just a number. Our marketing and PR tools need to be built focussed on creating that sense of connection.

Computer Dreaming

Stumbled upon this thing on Amazon: i-XL Mediaworkstation (4 x NVIDIA GTX Titan X). It doesn’t look that dramatic, but the specs are pretty incredible. With a price tag of $32k, it’s not for the faint of wallet.

Additional thoughts on the Texas principal forcing a portfolio takedown

I have grave concerns after reading this article: High School Forces Student to Remove Online Photos Under Threat of Suspension. Without being able to see the work in question, it’s hard to form a full conclusion. At best, this principal needs a major primer in public affairs. From what I’ve read and seen, though, the principal in question has exceeded his legal reach, and escaped ethical boundaries.

Photos taken at public events (and a district meet/game is a public event) are the property of the photographer. Perhaps these were taken with school gear, and ownership becomes a little trickier. Maybe, but not really. Fair use is fairly clear. It doesn’t appear that this young man was making money directly off these images.

For a photographer, the online portfolio is critical. It is THE vehicle, anymore, to generate awareness and recognition. This principal’s actions provide a major impediment towards this young man’s pursuit of his passion, to build a photography career. Which should be antithetical to the role of an educator.

Maybe there were some grounds to act. I’m struggling to see any, but I’ll accept the possibility might exist. Going the heavy-handed route, though, seriously violates the nurturing role of an educator. It also displays an amazing tone-deafness regarding his role as a public servant and community leader. The potential public fallout from this (this is in Texas, I’m in Seattle. It’s going viral) could have easily been avoided by seeking a win-win solution, to recognize the student’s rights and concerns and goals.

Lesson: if you’re in a public role, you need to consider the broad-scale implications of your actions. The ease at which misdeeds go global is mind blowing. I have a sympathy ulcer for the public affairs director for this district. Nothing like a national press kerfuffle to grey your hairs.

Pitfalls of distraction

With great ease, I get sucked into random distractions. This frustrates me no end. Actually, the worst past of the feeling isn’t due to the lingering tasks. I end up feeling distracted, fragmented and worn; I hate that sensation. I love the feeling of moving forward, accomplishing goals with a direction and focus.

Of course, I adore helping people, especially those I care about. The right balance, oh how I long for thee!

Thinking of Focus

Thinking recently about Steven Covey’s notion of focusing in your sphere of influence. Work where you are, that’s how I internalize this. I’ve long thought of this simply in terms of effectiveness. Actually, this is far deeper. What’s critical always lies within this sphere. One must complete the critical, our all else fails. We must hold our attention within. By managing within ourselves, the inner elements of our lives, other pieces come into play. When the core gets neglected, there is either fear of impending collapse, or the consequences of such collapse. Breaking free requires focus on the deepest, richest inner, most critical elements. Only upon mastering these, can other pieces of life become richer, deeper.

Today’s Online Real Estate Business

We agents have been getting blasted with information about the big online sites: Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, mainly. It’s really ready to get caught up in the dialog. These sites are charging how people relate to real estate. But they’re but likely to change the relationship with agents. People still value the one-one connection.

The changes seem to be more about information, and it’s accuracy and timeliness. Zillow, et al, are not perfect, and that’s the opportunity for agents. But we have to be in our game, know the current market, what’s influencing it. It’s also good to know what Zillow and such say, do we can be better able to engage and educate.

So, no threats to us agents. Unless we aren’t willing to stay current, keep our knowledge fresh. And, perhaps, if that’s your mindset, failure should not be unexpected. I’m not sweating it, nor is my team.

13122 45th Ave W, Mukilteo

This is one of my team’s listings in Mukilteo. Not far off of 52nd Ave W/Beverly Park Rd, this is just a little south of the Speedway. Part of a very well maintained community with nicely manicured lawns and friendly neighbors, who you’ll actually see out walking. If you work at the Everett Boeing facility, or the surrounding support community at Paine Field, this is a very livable community with only a few minutes of commute. Biking would be quite easy! If you work in Redmond, say at Microsoft, this is easy jaunt onto Highway 525, feeding you easily on to 405. And if you commute to Seattle, it’s a short drive to the Mukilteo Sounder Station or the Ash Way Park & Ride. With a recent price drop, it’s quite competitively priced for the neighborhood. Take a look while it’s still available.

13122 45th Ave W, Mukilteo, WA

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 3 (2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 1978 SQUARE FEET



Great Curb Appeal On a Corner Lot, With Nice Landscaping.  Simple, open, and clean kitchen with tile back splash and black tile counter tops. Plenty of cupboard space for storage. Slider off the kitchen allows access to your refurbished deck that will be great for entertaining. Master bedroom has attached bathroom with tiled shower and walk-in closet. Living room is open and naturally lit with a huge bay window.  Cozy fire place will keep you warm in the lower sitting room off the kitchen. Additional to the spacious bedrooms is an office.