Category: Personal

A Book is a Beautiful Thing

By , 01/11/2012

A lovely little video on books:

Small tidbit: One summer in college, I worked at the now-defunct Borders bookstore in downtown Seattle. My assigned section was the computer science section, and I can remember many days spent shelving and reorganizing books (although certainly not to the degree of this video). Many lamented the bankruptcy and closing of all Borders stores last year, and it’s interesting to see that Barnes & Noble has taken over its Internet and social media accounts, including Borders’ former Twitter and Facebook accounts. (The website leads you to a Barnes & Noble store locator.) I hadn’t noticed it at the time, but it turns out that Borders sold its intellectual property to B&N as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

While the book industry has seen many of the major shifts and challenges that also face the music industry, especially with the rise of electronic books and ebook readers, I think much like the music industry, there’s a place for the physical product alongside the electronic one. I still haven’t made the jump to ebooks myself, still too much attached to the tactility, the smell, the feel of words on a physical page.


Fall Means School

By , 09/08/2010

Even though I have a day job, this summer felt a bit like a summer break of sorts because of my break between teaching in the spring and fall semesters. The class I teach at NYU begins again this evening, and I’m looking forward to meeting a whole new group of students.

MN State Fair Butter Sculptures

So in between my regular work, including client activities and work travel, what did I do this summer?

  • I read a number of books for fun. In fact, more than I have in quite some time, thanks in large part to Karen Russell’s How Mysterious! project. I’ve always loved mysteries (my mom is a voracious reader, mostly of mysteries), but between work and teaching, and the large number of things I read online, I hadn’t been reading many fiction books. How Mysterious! served as both inspiration and recommendation source. I’m happy I did read so much this summer – it really helped clear my brain.
  • I took a lot of weekend trips. Between friends’ weddings (quite a few!) and family gatherings, I managed trips to Santa Barbara, CA; Chattanooga, TN; Mykonos, Greece (ok, that was more than a weekend); Cape Cod; a rural lake in upstate Maine; and my hometown of St. Paul, MN. All wonderful, and hard to pick a favorite. Although the butter sculptures of Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Minnesota State Fair this past Labor Day weekend were pretty amazing.
  • And of course, all the usual summer things: friends, food, music, sun… It was a scorcher of a summer in NYC, but still summer.

Coming into work this morning, it definitely felt like fall was here. New York City public schools started today, and I passed a long line of families taking their kids to the first day of school at my local P.S. (primary school). Subways were packed like they haven’t been in months. Daylight’s getting shorter on both ends. Welcome back, fall.


TweetsGiving 2009: A Very Personal Note of Thanks

By , 11/24/2009
Father & Daughter

Me & My Dad

From November 24-26 this year, people online (and off) will be taking part in TweetsGiving, a “global celebration that aims to change the world through the power of gratitude.” The way in which people give thanks takes many forms, from tweeting to giving money to attending events in cities around the world.

This is the second year of #Tweetsgiving, and it’s also the second Thanksgiving that I’ve spent without my dad. My dad passed away last year, suddenly, tragically and painfully young. The holidays are often one of the hardest times of year for people who have lost loved ones, their absence made more prominent by the rituals and traditions of the celebrations we used to share.

For much of last year, I retreated from participating in social media. My Twitter account lay dormant. Blog posts unwritten. Facebook status updates blank. It was simply too hard to care.

But starting in November of last year, I slowly began to participate again. Words started to matter. Bigger issues and questions took hold. The greater world beckoned.

I don’t know that this Thanksgiving will necessarily be easier, but it will certainly be better, and I have my community to thank for that.

For those of you I know well in real life, know well online, or even read in passing: thank you for this last year. For pulling me in, engaging me, supporting me and making me care again.

Thank you.


Greetings and Salutations

By , 09/12/2009

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. I created this new site for two reasons:

1) I’ve needed a central home for my online activity that could expand and morph as needed. I’ve been blogging occasionally at the Logos blog (the company I work for) since January 2008, but there have often been ideas and topics that I was thinking about or working on that weren’t quite right for that space. (I’ll continue to contribute to the Logos blog as well.) And 140 characters on Twitter isn’t enough to really dive into a topic. 

2) I’m a new adjunct instructor at NYU in the Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications program, and will begin teaching a new course on social media in January 2010. I plan to use this site leading up to and during the course: to bounce ideas around, to communicate with students and others, and to provide a “home” for the course. This course is meaningful to me on a number of levels. I’ve been guest lecturing at NYU since early 2008, and have seen how courses in the program have been incorporating social media into the curriculum. At the same time, a dedicated social media course will provide an incredible opportunity for an in-depth examination of how social media is changing the worlds of public relations and corporate communications. I’m also a graduate of the program that I’ll now be teaching in, so the program, its faculty and students have a special significance for me.

Here’s to good dialogue, thought-provoking questions, and engaging debate. With a healthy dose of fun. Cheers.


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