Monday, October 5, 2015

Desperately Seeking my Avatar!

I was working on a personal Infographic a couple of weeks ago and wanted to include the avatar that I associate with my online self.  The one copy I have on my old lap top is small and I knew I couldn't use it for my Infographic.  This black and white image, of a girl's face, with a quirky grin and big glasses feels like how I see and present myself online.  I knew that I had originally found the image within a font set WAY back when I first started online.  I knew I had downloaded a few different font faces that were ding-bats, and wing-bats, and web-bats so I googled these terms like mad.  I added "vintage" "old" "1990s" "retro" etc. to my google searches.  I tried for an hour on 3 different occasions to find the original font where my avatar came from. I even posted a plea on Twitter hoping someone could help me find her!

I was starting to lose hope until I saw a google image of another glyph that looked familiar so I clicked to enlarge the image and voila! There she was with her quirkly smile smiling back at me.  I was SO happy to have found the name of the font and be able to download it and get myself a larger version of my avatar.  I was surprised to learn that the font face was made in 1998!  Of course, that made me feel old but reinforced just how long I have really been online for.

I found the creator's Twitter handle and quickly tweeted him a thank you.  So happy to be reunited with my quirky avatar (which is now my Twitter prorfile image)!

October 2015 addition: I'm still using web-gal as my Twitter pic.  Still really happy to be reunited with my fav icon. Even added her to the bottom of my infographic, because it just wasn't quite right without her!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pets (Cats) Rule the Internet

Someone posted an interesting pet graph on Facebook last week and I found it pretty intriguing since it included "your friend's dog" and a dragon as high on FUN and babies as low on fun and high on effort.  The caption on the one I saw on Facebook was "And people still choose Babies" which I thought was amusing.  Overall, the graph was interesting and pretty funny in a heh-heh kind of way.  Cats rule the internet and anytime we (at my work) do anything with pets on our Facebook page the engagement is high.  We sell pet tags so we consider this relevant content :)  I found the original graph from 2013 on College Humor and read the comments that people have made and decided to remake and update the "fun vs. effort" pet graph. 

I changed some pets by adding Pet Rocks and Chia Pets and removing Sea Monkeys & Tomagotchi (which people thought was WAY more work than shown on the original graph).  I also moved some of the other pets around - apparently snakes are more fun and less work and ferrets as more effort.  I deleted ants and tarantulas since they are of little interest (personal bias and that part of my chart was already crowded). I left babies and dragons in the same spot as no-one really complained too much about their placement, surprisingly.  Some people said "babies aren't pets" but it's part of the main amusement of this so they kept their high-effort-little-fun spot on the graph.

I am pretty proud of how it turned out so thought I'd keep an archive of it here by posting it.

 Do you agree with my changes and placements?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Online Beginnings....

I've been thinking about my online beginnings a bit lately and thinking about just HOW LONG I have actually been online. When I think about my online beginnings I realize not only how much of my current life is lived online but how much being online shaped me.  This will be a series of posts but here's my post about the early early years.

I got online in 1996 when I returned from my Rotary Youth Exchange from France.  That's when we got our first family computer.  I remember the awe of the bing-bong-bing-bong as it connected to the internet through our telephone line.  I remember our ISP had some type of chat channel where we could chat with others on the same ISP.  I was hooked from day one!  Eventually we had to get a second phone line installed so I wasn't constantly tying up the main telephone line.  One of the first "chat lines" I remember was ALAMAK chat which had different chat rooms (by interest, age group, and geographic region).  You could even eventually change the colour of text you were using when you typed - imagine!  There was the ability to private message people but it was so clunky.  I spent endless hours talking to people from all over and it was amazing.

When I was in highschool, and I'm dating myself now, POW WOW was the chat system of the time.  I believe you had to download the software to make that run and it was mostly about one-to-one conversations.  Tribal Chat!  Looks like it was a platform that started in 1994 (I was in grade 9/10) and shut down in 2001 (I'm surprised it survived that long!).   I remember it was also the time of file sharing (and viruses became A thing) either pics and wav's.... sound clips from movies (I remember a Donald Duck one clearly and sound clips from the movie "Tommy Boy") being exchanged.  MIDIs were the music files of the times (instrumental renditions of popular known songs).  I started my father's first business website around this time.  We bought our own domain ( and I got started learning to build websites (one of his early designs included Bruce Hornsby's "The way it is" midi which played automatically when the page loaded - we thought we were so cutting edge!).  Now that I could create webpages, using HTML and Paint Shop Pro to hack together and resize images, I was online like it was my job.  I met my first, second, and third online boyfriends using POW WOW chat. When I wasn't at school or doing homework I was online, chatting, and creating.  I had found my niche! 

Those were the early early days....more to come.....

Saturday, May 30, 2015

On Blogging.

I blog at work, as part of my job and therefore, I get paid to blog at work. But writing my own blog seems to be the last thing I want to do or think of doing. Mind you, I love to write and even enjoy typing. The stumbling block is what to write about? At work, it's easier to think of topics and then find content to share/curate. But personally, what does one write about? Their children? Their pets? Their hobbies? Cooking? Travel? Fashion? Random ramblings? I guess all of these. But isn't the internet already full of these things? Who needs another blog about your pets or kids? Do you really need my family receipt for apple pie? Probably not. I don't have super strong feelings about things that I'd write about on the public WWW. I'm not interested in writing my deepest darkest secrets on the public WWW. So there isn't much for me TO blog about. As you can see from my couple of random posts over the last couple of years, I don't write often and I don't have any earth-shattering stories or opinions to share. But I still feel the need "TO BLOG." It's part of my job tasks at my paid employment, it's part of being a social media "guru" that I want to be. So I make these feeble attempts to string together a blog post every once in a blue moon. And now I've just written a blog post about writing blog posts. What is the point of all this?

Monday, February 17, 2014

I never thought about my copious skills until they were shown to me

In January (2014) I completed an online candidate assessment.  It consisted of 3 parts each containing 17 questions and I had 45 minutes to complete the test.  The first part was made up of what I would call IQ type testing where I had to choose a missing piece of the puzzle to complete a very complex patterning sequence.  It was very challenging and I did not feel very confident about my answers.  The second two parts of the test were more about personality traits.  Ordering traits that are more or less important to you and ranking personal attributes on numerous scales.  This was also challenging in that I had to make decisions such as: Am I more likely to hurt someone's feelings or show up late for work?  Ideally, I don't want to do either of things but honestly, I'm more likely to hurt someone's feelings than be late for work so I chose my answers as honestly as possible.  It wasn't an easy assessment to complete but I got it done within the time given (I think - there was actually no clock telling me the amount of time remaining); maybe that's how they assess your time management skills, by not giving you a count-down clock but telling you numerous times that you only have 45 minutes?

So I completed the assessment and logged in the next day to see my results (click here to see).  To my surprise, they are amazing. Not only are my test scores high in terms of percentages and "rarity" in the workforce, as I read through the different attributes that apparently described me, I was shocked how accurate the descriptions were. The "bell curve" images for each attribute also appeal highly to my sociological mind!

I am most pleased with my task management score (95.5%) and problem solving score (78.9%) as the test says that based on averages, 50% of the workforce will not achieve a score higher than 50 on problem solving and I'm almost 30 points higher than this!  I guess I didn't do so poorly on those patterning sequencing after all.

Another high point in the test results is my conscientiousness score of 94.5% - placing me in the top 6% of the workforce.  That descriptions says I am exceptionally likely to excel in being organized, industrious, diligent and hardworking. Compared to most people, managing time, staying motivated and exercising self-discipline are likely to come extremely easily for me.  Individuals with similar scores have reported they greatly enjoy and shown an exceptional ability to execute complex tasks, to adhere to deadlines, and to follow procedures, such as sales processes, reporting, admin work, and safety procedures. I am extremely likely to have exceptional attention to detail, extraordinary aptitude for following up on tasks and processes that take place over long periods, and being unusually careful in thinking before acting. I am very likely to set much higher standards than most people and to have an exceptional ability to attain those standards. -  While I know this to be true about myself on the small scale, to hear so many great attributes applied to myself makes me feel like a worthy employee and that I am an asset to the organization where I work.

At first I was disappointed by my low "Agreeable" score; only a 16.6%?!?! But when I read the description, for someone who wants to be in a manageable position like myself, it's a good score as it says: Being assertive isn't difficult for me. I am a reasonably critical person. It is unlikely that I'll be taken advantage of, and compared to most people I don't struggle with making decisions. If forced to choose between protecting peoples feelings and getting something done right, I'll choose the latter almost every time. - Wow, this is true and, like I said, just the attributes a leader needs to have.

I have saved the images and descriptions from this assessment b/c I have no idea how long is going to keep my profile live on their website. I have create a page on my own website to display my results.

After seeing all my skills and attributes in this new way I am convinced that I can be a grand asset to any organization who allows me to achieve my potential.

2015 Edit - has now become

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013; year end

The final, or almost, day of 2013... Happy to be posting something before another year passes since my last post. So where are things at at the end of 2013?  I'm still most commonly found on Facebook.  Although I've come to enjoy seeing people's photos on Instagram even though it's by far full of photos of my 'friends' children and their doings. I see the appeal of Instagram, thanks to our (not so new anymore) social media gal at work. That's right, I'm still working the corporate sales and we hired someone else to take over the SM. 'Twas sad to let it go but I couldn't do it all so I've off-loaded the 'fun' SM campaigns and tracking (and contests!!!) to the 'new' gal, who is awesome btw. Anyway we're using Instagram at work and it's enjoyable to see customers post photos of their gifts.

Twitter remains in the background for me. I still re-tweet some interesting tweets from time to time and follow an array of famous-for-five-minutes reality TV "stars."  Linked-in gets my attention a few times a week. It seems it's becoming more popular for job postings, which seems like a great use for this platform. I hope to see more of that. We hired our awesome SM gal through Linked-in and the job posting fee (about 6 months ago) was less than $300. If they can keep the fee reasonable like this it could really take off as the place professionals go to job search IMO. I've filled in my profile to the max and even I'm impressed by my profile. This seems like a great unique use for this platform. Remember when Facebook used to have a marketplace where you could post things you wanted to sell?  Does that still exist? That never really took off, I'd say. Linked-in has real potential if it can keep up and focus on it's unique strengths.

For 2014, besides goals I won't publish on my public blog, I'm hoping to take up a new hobby.... Collaging!  Spell check isn't a fan of that spelling so maybe that's not a word.  That is to say, making collages from magazine clippings in unique ways to depict other types of images. It's something that has interested me since university days. On my dorm room door in Hilliard I had a collage of words and images that I thought described me at the time. In fact, I have a big envelope, from those days, full of magazine clippings I can't wait to dive into again after allllll these years.  I have been using Pinterest for inspiration. Collaging will hopefully be my new 2014 hobby!  I'll let y'all know how that goes. Signing off, 2013, over and out.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A year gone by! A social media (in my life) update.

Wowzers!  I stumbled upon my own blog today and imagine my surprise when I see that it was a year ago since I set up the account and a year ago since I posted anything.  For shame!!!  My intention was to have "interesting" things to say at least every month or so.  So far that certainly hasn't happened.  Will it change going forward?  I won't promise anything.  I do love writing and now that the PhD degree is on hiatus perhaps more blogging can be a writing venue for me.  Again, I won't promise anything.

So where are things at with Social Media in my life?  Not much has changed.  Facebook is still my main social network.  I sometimes read updates on Twitter (such as t.v. show spoilers) and sometimes retweet an interesting post.  Rarely (if ever) go on Pinterest.  No good reason... it serves an interesting purpose but I don't take time to creep it.  I do enjoy creeping Linkedin on a bi-weekly (or so) basis.  I wish more people were on there and I had more connections.  The new feature of "endorsing" people's skills is nifty... you can quickly click "endorse" on a specific skills on your connection's profiles.  Linkedin keeps a running tally of those endorsements.  That seems like a quick way to interact with people and takes much less time then writing an actual endorsement for the person. 

Have not spent any time on Google+, nor Instagram (has anyone???).  I do enjoy the new photo filters that Facebook has introduced in the past few months (did this come from Facebook's purchase of Instagram?  Probably).  Besides the filters I have little use for Instagram.  As said, Facebook still reigns supreme in my life.

A friend/acquantance recently suggested to me that his daughter (who is approx 11 years old) ONLY communicates on Twitter with her friends.  He says this is b/c her parents aren't on Twitter (and they are on Facebook); so she's avoiding her parentals creeping her on Facebook.  And mainly the reason for her being on Twitter is b/c that's where her friends are.  It's an interesting thing to think about... is Facebook not appealing to the younger generation?  Is Facebook now going to only appeal to people in my generation and the yougins are to be found on Twitter.  This could have great impact for social media marketing.  Anyway, I have not looked into the stats but anecdotally it's interesting to note that Twitter is still alive and well, at least in my friend's daughter's peer group.

Work and social media - I've been *so* busy with corporate sales in the past several months that my social media expertise is falling behind.  Hopefully I can get the corporate sales responsibilities lifted back onto another employee so I can get back to the fun social media marketing activities.  I did sign up and take a quick "look around" HootSuite last week.  Totally unimpressed.  What's the big deal?  Unless you are managing several *very active* social media accounts I really don't see the big whoop about it.  And creating reports (that would hopefully be meaningful), takes more than the 4 minutes I put into testing it.  Although, before I write it off, I should spend some more time with the app. 

Okay, I'm signing off.  Hopefully I'll write something up again on here before another year goes by.
Stay social ya'll.  Cheers!