Posts Tagged social media

Sunday Column (328)

If I were to say the week was quiet, then I were to lie. However, after a slow recovery from last week, I managed to get back out there running, doing my Kettlebell and feel alive again. Bl@ exhausted though ๐Ÿ™‚ but that’s how I like it. What I don’t like, and yes I seem to have one topic to moan about, is the weather. Hot one day, cloudy, rainy the other day. High humidity. Just how I don’t like the summer to be. Never mind. I am off to sunny Cannes tomorrow for a couple of days. With a cold of course…I don’t seem to win at the moment, do I?

Hard life isn’t it? Almost as hard as the Labrador’s in Hassocks. Allegedly someone left a Lab unattended, tied up with no tag outside the local shops. And it caused a social media storm. Friendly and caring at first, people offering to take him in for the night, go to the vet the next day etc. Yet as the post developed with over 100 comments, mind you that’s about 1.5% of our lovely town’s population, the question came apparent how long this poor doggy has been left. Was it 20 minutes or 5 hours. It seemed to me the former…

I noticed two things in the thread. There are a lot of people that genuinely care. That is great and social media gets the community together. Yet, some people then starting to stir things up suggesting the Lab was never there and people should mind their own business. Whether or not the Lab was left or not, and whether it was gone before someone checked or it was all made up, or the owner left it there for a while longer than normally acceptable (because something can happen!), I don’t know. However, people show their true face on social media, showing their vulnerability and then will be used and accused of minding their own business. That’s not going to work, is it?

The Lab, I assume, is safe with their owner. The time the dog was left probably ok but maybe life just happened. Me making it a story of my blog is sad enough yet I care about my community and the village we live in. Let’s use social media in a good way and share those stories, concern and make it a better community. You will always have people moaning, and complaining but so what. Support the ones that care and help others via social media.

social media community

It is just a nice case study of how social media works and can support and help communities, I wrote about the new way of sharing and selling things before. The idea of an online flea market. I would have binned my old kids socket protection, so someone picked them up for free. Nice I could help. Yet there are dangers of misuse of social media and if one doesn’t watch it, one gets sucked into it, and inexperience can lead to frustration and people even being ripped off. That’s life I suppose.

I asked the other day, whether we are too cautious. That came out of a discussion when our kids should go to school themselves, and we agreed that we went by ourselves when we were seven, with a friend though. Could I imagine my son going to school himself in a year’s time? Am I afraid of paedophiles lurking around every corner? The press makes us paranoid, every accident we see we think it could be our child. No one wants their children to be hurt, misused or abducted. But is that the reality we are facing in the UK? I don’t think so! Particularly in family villages there is very small chance. Even the latest shooting in the US: the press makes is sound as if that is normality. And of course it isn’t.

The more you think about it, the more you start worrying. Yet the best thing is to let go, leave it to the universe and trust in your child’s capability to apply common sense and all the rules you told them about. They will. I did. Letting go is the hardest part of parenting I believe. From the first sleep over to school walks, to parties to holidays. Life.

Let’s embrace life. Let’s make it the best there is, there is only the one we have, we all have.
Let’s pull together as a society and community to help each other. Not segregated by money, status, heritage, religion or colour of skin. We, in my humble opinion, don’t have time for that bullsh@t.

Have a great week,

Volker

, , , ,

No Comments

Sunday Column (320)

This week got me hit a personal goal! I hit 5,000 connections on Linkedin! Yes, that means I am connected to 5,000 individuals, who admittedly I don’t all know. But, similar to Twitter, this is all about reach for me. Being able to connect, network and reach out with updates to that many people makes it fun. Great input whenever you need it. And it works well. Not only can I find useful connections, I also help others to connect. This can be very rewarding at times.

Otherwise it as an interesting week. Monday started with a busy, but not manic day. That means, in work terms, it was almost not a lot going on, when you can stay on top of things…or is it just mental any other day. Anyway, of course the week changed quickly. By Friday we were running around like headless chickens again ๐Ÿ˜‰ And next week is end of month. I have a day trip to Germany and overall I have a lot going on. But that’s the way I like it. Always nice to have a few days where you can just cope ๐Ÿ˜‰

network

Oh and oh no…you might remember that not only did I attend a Facebook event but I also went back on Facebook. At least for a few hours to post our shed which we wanted to sell locally. That’s me breaking my Facebook detox ๐Ÿ™‚ Is Facebook the new Loot, the new FridayAd, the new Gumtree? For me it is and it makes perfect sense. We also managed to sell the shed in wake of us getting a custom one built next to the house. Work is halfway done and should be finished next week. We already ordered the alarm for the shed, the new garden hose, the Karcher, and the list goes on. I am very excited to see the finished piece that allows for more space in the garage to exercise…and for that I got new kettlebells, new flooring etc. I am very excited about transforming the space in the house.

In line with that, my next project is the spare bedroom which I want to be a second living room, chill out and play room, working and home office room at the same time. And of course, it being free for people when they come to visit us.

As you can probably tell, we plan a lot in the house. Next is still the upstairs’ ceilings to be smoothened, the heating pipes to be stopped from banging, some electrical stuff and a new carpet. Once that is done we still need to do the bathroom and driveway but I guess that’s next year. Let’s not rush and I didn’t win the lottery yet. However, I already envisage the new spare bedroom with lots of productivity and chill out gadgets ๐Ÿ™‚ Poor wife!

Coming back to Facebook. A friend had a baby. Of course I wanted to see the little one and make sure he is ok, didn’t I? And Facebook is the place to do that. Did I feel I missed out on things in general? Did I go through the last 3 weeks of updates? NO. And since the detox I have been on it less often to be honest. The local groups slacking people off for cycling without helmets, trying to impose their standards on others…come on guys, each to their own and no need to have a go for people to be different.

Maybe I can use Facebook on a desktop only basis, only at weekends or something like that? Life was busy enough without it. I hardly have time for Twitter ๐Ÿ™ Unless I can moan about the train services of course.

This leads nicely to my topic of rail fares. I renewed my annual season ticket, ยฃ3808. We worked it out, cheaper than driving to work. It was a heated debate at the local dad’s night on Friday whether we get value for money, dependance on the trains, working from home schemes, flexible hours and of course whether we should all work from Hassocks. Maybe not. Again, we chose to live here, partly because of the school. Those are oversubscribed already, just extended last year already, and now they want to build another few houses. Something is not adding up.

Ok, you don’t need a phd to work this one out. One wonders, with the upcoming election, what else is going on. Or you don’t. I try not to. Doesn’t mean I don’t care.

Just one word on Productivity before I let you go: Germans rule productivity, e.g. they focus on getting their work done to have more spare time with their clubs. Makes perfect sense to me ๐Ÿ˜‰ Follow the link to see!

I had a fantastic family weekend. The boys are in a great age, and I really enjoy them!

One sad note to the end. As Rosie, our now 8 months old German Shorthaired Pointer doesn’t get along with the cat, or our 7 year old cat didn’t fight back when she was a puppy, we decided to rehome Hansel as well. It has been a fantastic 7 years with him. We had to rehome Gretel when, after she just coped with the babies, she didn’t cope with the new house. Now Hรคnsel. We are sad to see him go but as he confined himself to the garage and a good friend offered to take him, he will be a lot happier and better off.

Let’s just hope the dog can stay ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a good week.
Volker

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Sunday Column (269)

Oh yes. I started writing this post early in the week, as I normally do. For the first time in many years I had a good wash rather than a hot shower, however the boiler has now been fixed and we are back to modern times. A weekend passed at which we had a family bath: hot water and one by one got a turn. Youngest last. I also spent a lot of time trying the best method on how to make fire. This should be an instinct to men really, yet we are not living in a cave any longer.

20140428-090909.jpg

Someone suggested we should put a fire guard on the wall for the boys to stop playing with it. The thought never crossed my mind tbh, as the stove is that hot and we explain at length not to touch it. Actually, I showed Colin how to use matches and when we get our axe, he will learn how to split wood. Others might disagree. When I grew up I was so scared of fire but at the same time so curious. I made loads of them. On a building site across the road I set paper on fire, lying awake all night being scared the fire was out, and as it was forbidden, and I didn’t have any experience, I was scared to talk to anyone about it.

Education is key. Kids will be kids and they will play with fire, or will try cigarettes, or beer when they are under age. Of course the impact of fire can be horrendous yet I am a strong believer that they need to learn. And I don’t let them light the fire or move hot logs, open the door or leave matches lying around.

Whilst I am of course justifying myself here, I am also thinking of something else: the influence and comment on social media, which is to no offence to the above. I just read a chapter on productivity suggesting we are wasting a lot of time and listen to a lot of noise. This is certainly true, yet over the past three month I improved on a few things.

Firstly I don’t check my social media or emails at the weekend that often anymore. I am deliberately tuning out, also making it less of a habit during the week. Working in the space will certainly mean to not being able to completely stop checking in, tweeting or updating Facebook, but I am getting a lot more selective. Feedly is also being reduced again massively.

The reason is time. Learning how to organise, prioritising and making sure you put important things first, shows you how much time you waste, trying to be up to date on everything that happens. That in return means you might never really focus on the things that are important or important to you. A simple learning in time of information overload, learning to filter the information we get.

20140428-091028.jpg

Then there was my birthday. Nothing of overly importance and just a step closer to 40. Not there yet though. My wife treated me to a few goodies which was very nice and kind.

However the best birthday present came this weekend: a new couch and arm chairs. We now got our living room back. Less echo in the place, a place to come home to. A kitchen work top. A new espresso machine, furniture back in place and our spare bedroom back to how it should be. Yes, we finally finished the place. Still some smaller. It’s to arrive but the majority is done. Thank god!

The laptop replacement arrived and seems to be working fine. The boiler works. The aerial got repaired. I think it is all done now…fingers crossed.

I will post some impressions later in the week, just to give you the heads up on what changed. For now I am getting over the last symptoms of a heavy cough I had this week. I went to work on Thursday and coughed from train to conference to office until I decided to best go home. No sleep etc. but hey, you only get that when you have kids ๐Ÿ™‚

I am better now.
Things will be ok.

Have a great week,
Volker

, , , ,

1 Comment

Sunday Column (213)

Happy Sunday!

It has been cold in the UK for about six months. I have had a cold and viruses for about 4 weeks. The family was ill. Not only did we change seasons into spring and turned the clocks back, no we also passed Easter with little sunshine. Maybe I should have immigrated to Australia whilst I had a chance? But then, I would most definitely be moaning about the heat.

The weather, one of the most discussed topics in Britain I believe. But 6 months of winter? That’s half a year in the shade, that isn’t typical. Some people predict a wet summer and another three weeks of cold winds. Oh how do I miss my Italy and Spain trips ๐Ÿ™

Anyway, this weekend finally saw some sunshine. We got out in the garden (pictures to follow tomorrow), and we went for a nice walk. Still cold but better!

20130403-212533.jpg

I started following a few new spiritual and motivational blogs. Looking at the quote – did you live today? Did you make a difference? Follow your passion? Your dream? Did you help? Did you or society make a step in the right direction thanks to your contribution?

In about a month time I am hoping to join a charitable organisation. The final decision is next week, followed by an application (or invitation really) early May. Subject to approval I would join a group of people that get together to discuss how they can serve. Serve a purpose, serve others and be of use to society. Isn’t that great? More to follow.

Hopefully towards the end of the year I am planning to join another institution to do good. It makes you reflect a lot. To serve. To do good. I want to contribute to society, help others, network and be part of a group of likeminded people. You gathered that I enjoy those things. Being a member of a German fraternity to serve society and business was my first step in a direction of personal development through club memberships, gaining valuable input from members with a variety of backgrounds. Mentors. I am sure you remember last week’s post.

On slideshare I uploaded a presentation with 10 principles for success.

I set myself the goal to write more about management, personal development and business principles. Currently, I am reading a few new books with new aspects of organisational skills, how to structure your brain and mind, as well as how to apply this principles to time and personal management. I find that there are new theories refining the old established principles.

For instance the 7 habits of highly effective people, of which I got a copy in 1998, which I then discussed and “dissected” in my MBA six years later, are still true; nevertheless the world has changed in the last 15 years and I believe that some of those habits, or other guides of being successful, efficient or productive, need a bit of a review or addendum. So watch this space for more updates.

A final note on updates. I have now started using Google+ a lot more. I find that LinkedIn is great for business relations and networking, and so is Xing to an extend, and Twitter is great for some noise and updates for the community; Google+ is nice for sharing essentials, public personal stuff that you don’t need or want to hide on Facebook, and it is good to join the debate in communities which I find lack in terms of discussions in the public Linkedin forums and to a certain extend on Facebook. The latter due to people not wanting to be “seen” in their private environment. Makes sense?

Anyway. A short and exciting week comes to an end.
Spring is in the air, or is it?

My parents came for a visit, quality family time. With my parents I managed to clear the loft, put the floor boards down, tidied some rubbish away and made lots of space. We also managed to get a night out in the pub and got on in the garden whilst having two baby sitters ๐Ÿ™‚ I sometimes wonder how life would be with family in close proximity. Also I made good use of the EUR-GBP exchange rate by stocking up on some wine. Happy days ๐Ÿ™‚

I am happy, are you?

Hopefully I can go back on the treadmill this week. I still feel a bit under the weather but a lot better than I have been. My energy is coming back and I am ready to rock ‘n roll.

Watch this space ๐Ÿ˜‰
Volker

, , , , ,

No Comments

Blog Action Day #BAD12 – The Power of We

20121009-185551.jpg I only recently found out about the Blog Action Day, where people around the world blog on a particular day (today) about a particular topic: The Power of We.

It is about: Community, Equality, Transparency/Anti-Corruption and Freedom: The Power of We is a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around he world.

Now here are my thoughts: The power of we is an interesting topic. We? We means you, I, us. Some group of people that are connected. That can be due to a common interest, through social media, a third person, an event, coincidence etc. you are probably aware of the theory that we are all connected in this world by never more than six people in between us (six degrees of separation). So the meaning of we is not defined by presence in one space but by connection.

I know people I play chess with at the other and of the world. We play chess. There are people I know from when I went to high school in the USA over 15 years ago. And I know my neighbours and we have things in common. I commute with the same people every day but I don’t know them. But we are a group. We. And by being in any of those groups we got power. Power to complain to our train company, or power to help each other if the train had an accident. We are connected as a group which ultimately gives us some kind of power, or even energy I suppose. My chess friends and I have the power to play and fight each other virtually online. We might want to change the rules of something. I am getting at something now, which probably fits right in.

Through social media, Facebook for example, you can join a group with a common interest to exercise power or influence someone in that group. Twitter on the other hand is more random I think. You get interested and connected to people via a very random conversation. Without any intend to join a group or discuss a topic. You just start joining in and end up forming a virtual group. Without you realising you become powerful, attack brands, advice people and become authority, supported by a virtual group.

We become power. The power of We. We become influential. Across borders. Social media let us do it. Being part of #BAD12 allows us to become a we with the power to write about us, our power and influence, our thoughts.

We can change the world.
We got the power, join us today.

Have a great “bad” day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Volker

, , , ,

No Comments

4^2 – Foursquare

I have been joining Foursquare a few times in my career in digital. I joined it, quit it, joined it and quit it again. I didn’t want anyone to know where I was, particularly if I left home.

However, not too long ago, I finally joined for good. Joining for good meant for me to be part of the Foursquare community. I tried to get as many mayorships as possible in as little time as possible.

In my 64 days I checked into over 400 venues. I managed to gain 11 badges and 9 mayorships. Most of them are my regular train stations and of course home and work. So I am not sure how successful I am.

In the UK you find that only a few shops offer promotions, so the reason to join Foursquare is more about “see and being seen” and showing off where you are. This could be “dining at the Ritz” for instance or “checking in at the Charlotte Street Hotel”. I haven’t found use of meeting people using it yet, and I haven’t used any promotions yet.

So as a conclusion after using it for as short as 2 months, I think it is a nice game. Something that is fun to do, and potentially has an attraction particularly if you are in an environment and within a community where people use it a lot.

As a friend suggested, in the US this has a more relevant use as almost every shop is using it for promotions and hence it is more useful and commercially viable.

So until I either live in the US or Foursquare offers more promotions, e.g. pairing up with Groupon, I think I might be a little less active than I was.

Location Based Services (LBS) is still on the raise, and having the option to not share a check in, makes it a lot more attractive and safe too. However, I just cannot see the full benefit yet.

, ,

No Comments

Sunday Column (128)

My head is spinning for several reasons this week. I had a interesting week with lots of things to think about, some work related and some private things.

Let me start with the London riots. I published my thoughts and fears, as well as my Buddhist thoughts on it too. Without twitter and the update from our @beckenham community tweet, I think I would have been more worried. As David Cameron said, no one should be fearful in his own home. I would have fought for my rights and safety of my family and community. However, I never thought I had to feel like I did in the UK ๐Ÿ™

This leads me nicely on to the next topic. For a while now I am debating with my wife and work, whether the UK is the country we want to work and live in. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with both my job and the UK, but after 10 years, I am thinking, whilst the kids are still young, whether we should try a few more countries before we make a final decision where we’d like to settle and bring up the kids. This is a decision that is not to be made before next year for various reason I don’t want to go into just now and yet.

However, I met a good friend of mine this weekend; I met her 10 years ago in Aberdeen. We had different lives but both being German, we had lots in common and good conversations back then. For the past 7 years I lived in London, and she lived in Aberdeen. We both got married, we both had children. Now she lives in London and after a long 7 years we met again. And, as described above, she is in a very similar situation: she wouldn’t return to Germany, would like to live abroad for a while and then decide where she wants to settle. It was really good meeting her and her husband, to discuss dreams, thoughts and just to catch up on a long time we mainly spoke via Facebook ๐Ÿ™ A sad life social media plays, no?

On the note of social media, and I know I am going on a bit, we have Twitter that saved my sanity this week. Heello which is a twitter clone I signed up for, Facebook which is great to keep in touch with friends over time and distance, and of course Google+. It is getting a lot, but that is the industry I am working in, the thing I do. I love social and online but sometimes feel I should be more disconnected. Could my next 30 days challenge be to stop using Facebook? To not tweet? That would be hard. And amongst all the social media, there was one person this week that kept me sane, just by being normal and a good mate – in the real world too.

I am not sure what it is but I’d call it Sehnsucht which translates to longing. I am longing for simplicity without missing out on things and giving up what I enjoy. I am longing for freedom and peace without giving up the choices, loved ones and friends I have. I am longing for stability, planned future and a normal life.

I guess I am just a bit sentimental and think too much about life. It is silly because life is going to do what life is going to do. Simples.

Alles wird gut, ich vertraue Dir.

Have a fantastic week, I am looking forward catching up with some really good people!

Best
Volker

, , , ,

2 Comments

Long Live/Life Social Media

Will social media make us live forever?

Another fascinating TED Talk.

, ,

No Comments

Google+ has hit it off with users….

Google+ has hit it off with users the world over who wanted to get the latest slice of technology on hands. There is a delirious response to the search giant’s newest social networking service, which is hyped by many to deal a death blow…

The international business times published an article on Google+ with some quotes, including mine ๐Ÿ™‚

You can read the full article here.

, ,

No Comments

Socially public

Now this post was triggered by Claire at the iMedia summit in Brighton. Her, and also John, were speaking about connections made through social media.

It is difficult to think where I best start, and what I really want to say. I was supposed to launch the social media unit of an agency back in 2009. It never happened but it gives me a certain authority to speak about social media. I also managed to get a corporate account up to 1,000 followers within 3 weeks. However, of course I never ran a social media campaign, or did I?

I have my blog. My blog links to Facebook and to Twitter. Twitter links to Linkedin, and my Linkedin profile of course has a link to my blog. Anyone searching for my name will find me, and find out what I do and where I am. The latter thanks to Foursquare which I recently joined (for good).

Now what is my reach? Just short of 1,200 followers on Twitter, over 2,000 connections on Linkedin, and about 160 friends on Facebook. With the latter I am very selective as I am happy to speak very openly about my feelings there which I wouldn’t do on any of the other sites. That is where I draw a fine line between personal and public social life.

But can there be a personal social life? I start to disbelieve that to be honest. I share my life, and I don’t mind. I am happy for John Smith to know that I just checked in at Victoria Station on my way home or that I am at work. He can read my blog and find out how much I love my kids and wife. And I am happy to share my feelings, what I believe is special and what I have done all week. Not many people are interested, but more so my clients enjoy reading my blog. A client said the other day “you are on my Google reader”: I thought that was a compliment.

In our industry, digital and online marketing, we are not client and seller, we are friends with the same passion. Most of us anyway. It is about opportunities, creating value and not being one in a million. We share our lives without being shy about what we think. This industry is open, we share!

However, there is a small percentage of my life I prefer not to share. If my wife is ill, when my dog dies or when I look for a new job. No one’s business really. How bad would it be for me to share on Twitter that I need a new job before my employer finds out. Or for me to tell the world that a close friend died whilst I just have to keep up morale in a client pitch.

This is, luckily I suppose, the minority of my experiences. Besides I am happy in my job, I don’t have too many “problems” that I don’t want to share.

Hence for me the answer to the question whether you might want to have different profiles for a “work twitter” or a “personal twitter” is NO. You are one personality, you are one person. You are who you are, and of course, even Google has a profile of me.

So for me being engaged in social media, writing a blog and being active in and for our industry, I am happy to share. Twitter is me, my blog is about me, and Facebook is my private little online space reserved for closest friends.

I love it. A mini celebrity, somehow. Don’t you think? ๐Ÿ˜‰

, , ,

No Comments