Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The latest social media trend is Google's new Buzz. I am probably a week late with this post, but I needed some time to test-run the new platform. I will not mention the ongoing lawsuits and privacy issues Google is now struggling with... (ok, maybe I will mention it... but that is not the point of this post!)

The advantage of social media is getting the word out. We spread our knowledge, comments, experiences, and information in a new public way across many platforms. We are able to post in one place, and the info is spread to Twitter followers, our blog, Facebook (#fb), and now Buzz...

One of the advantages of Twitter is that is had taught us to say more with fewer words-- and shorter words too! We only have 140 characters. But Buzz allows more, and it allows commenting in threads similar to our email inboxes.

So Buzz gives me another place to spread my idiocy online. It will pull all the random places I already profess my intelligence into one place for my friends. With Buzz, I can link my twitter, blogger, picasa, etc. accounts and all the updates will show to all my followers. Followers are made up of people I email with my gmail account. Or at least it begins that way. I can then connect with others by following their contacts in a way very similar to twitter and facebook.

So if my friends aren't already following me on Twitter or facebook, they can catch up with me on buzz-- I will most likely be saying the same things! The advantage is for me whose friends don't have the time commitment for twitter, but will post something quickly when checking their gmail. It's also a good way to connect to people that I may not be in touch with via email, but my friends are! It's a no commitment way to contact and hear from them.

A few other quick Buzz thoughts:

  • It's extraneous but pretty user friendly in the world of social media.
  • Buzz is what wave should have been.
  • You can choose to follow only your friends or you can look at it as an opportunity to expand your social media reach.
  • Buzzes can get confused with emails. Be careful not to reply to an email via Buzz and publicize everything that should have been private correspondence!

And lastly, if you have gmail, you have no choice but to learn Buzz. Don't worry, though- it is user friendly and you will most probably like it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Communication drives all relationships

Lately I have been pondering the concept of effective communication.

Many factors triggered this train of through including my personal experiences at home and with friends, my Twitter community, and my work environment.

Since I have hence revealed my true desire to consult, I figured I'd give

you a taste of my take on communication, specifically within the office environment.

So here are my insights and tips:

• Communication drives all relationships. The more you talk and share, the more you get to know about another person (or organization). We know this is true in marriage, and it is true in the office as well. Sharing and listening (information, planning, strategies, cross-departmental information) leads to understanding.

• You can share in many ways within your comfort zone. You may do so via email, phone, or in person, but the main point is to share with others to include them and empower them. Often it pays to stretch beyond your comfort zone to talk to people who share your goals and the mission of your company/organization. This will create a bond between you that will only improve the functioning of your office (assuming they are normal, stable people with whom you are communicating).

• Means of sharing include but are not limited to:

• Face to face discussion: uses tone, word choice, and body language to impart ideas, feelings and thoughts.

• Emails: always be careful with tone here because an innocent statement can seem accusatory. This is simplest in the work environment to pass on information and make plans and day to day communication.

• Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media: This may not be as direct but they certainly reveal a lot about who you are and what you care about! Careful what you say; a lot of people are listening to you!

• Memos are an effective way to publicize new policies, processes, and systems. Memos should be used to keep employees in the loop when there are changes or new initiatives being implemented. Most workplaces are plagued by a lack of communication. So much can be improved by letting people know what changes have been made and what upcoming events and programs are scheduled. This also empowers employees at all levels as they are kept informed and feel valued.

• Communication practices at the employee level are specifically related to management's capacity to communicate. This is important for managers to realize because the tone will be set from the top down. If lines of communication are open from management to employees, they will foster an open environment that will ultimately create openness and closeness among employees, as well as open communication from employees back to management. Think about it like a parent/child relationship. If mom repects and speaks to child with openness and care, the child is likely to feel that and respond in kind. If trouble arises the mom can capitalize on the relationship she has created because her child will feel comfortable opening the lines of communication in return to share and discuss any issues.

There are so many ways to communicate and it is a shame that people don’t utilize the many methods available to them. The benefits of opening the lines of communication outweigh the effort it takes to share and listen. So if you take one lesson away from this post, it is to value others and respect them by valuing open communication.

Monday, February 1, 2010

IMG_5279 (1 photo), by Jeremy Lavitt

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.
Click here to view photos
Come again!