Friday, April 20, 2012

And Then There Was Hope.

I recently started following more closely the work of Mark Horvath, @hardlynormal on twitter. We met up by chance in San Francisco, and I resolved to do what I could to help him in his battle against homelessness. Since I don't have much money, mainly what I do is listen and follow and try to spread the word about what he does, with @invisiblepeople.

I believe it was probably Mark who got me involved with a project called #HopeMob.

Yesterday, went live. I was immediately struck by the site; it's simple and beautiful, the stories are powerful, and the structure is carefully thought out. But then I saw that @careyfuller was the second story in line, and that got me really excited. Carey is a homeless mother from Seattle who I know from Twitter, and I have long wished I could do something to help her.

From there, when I saw that the founder of HopeMob would be speaking at Google at 12PM, I didn't even think twice. It was 11:30AM. I got in the car and headed straight to Google HQ, which was an hour away. I arrived to the event late, breathless with excitement, and expecting a huge crowd.

Instead I found a small, intimate group of people who nonetheless are clearly passionately committed to doing good in the world. I immediately was struck by Shaun King. I didn't know who he was or anything about him before yesterday, but I know when someone is doing good work.

I've already become a passionate advocate for HopeMob. I don't understand why this hashtag isn't the top trend on twitter today. There is nothing I would love better than for this to blow up, big.

Can you help me figure out how to make it happen?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Few Things on My Mind

I've had this post open for a couple of days. There's a lot on my mind, and I thought I would just do a bit of a "brain dump" here for a bit.

It does occur to me that I talk about myself a lot. I guess I am my favorite subject. But if you know me in real life or even online, you might have noticed before that I can be a bit erratic. I have quite the ADD brain, and I have had it posed to me this year that my online activity might be contributing to that scatteredness. It's a theory, and I think there's some truth to that.

So I'll start there: One topic that interests me is the question of how internet use (social media in particular) affects the brain. I've heard a few people reference that. I remember Jonathan Fields talked a bit about the brain in his closing keynote at World Domination Summit, last year.

That leads to another interest I haven't followed up on, which is meditation. Jonathan Fields is a big advocate for it. I'm pretty sure Philip Rosedale said something similar to me last summer, or at least we had a conversation about the brain and strategies for combating the kind of scatter-focus problem that I struggle with. It's been a while, but I bookmarked some threads from that conversation to come back to and explore. Meditation. I have a couple of excellent ebooks on the subject, but adding it to my life has proved problematic.

Another thread I have been thinking about is impostor syndrome. I follow a group called women 2.0 that is devoted to female entrepreneurship. I've long wanted to be a business owner, (don't laugh!) although I have recently shifted my interest to nonprofits, especially the strange new world of for-profit nonprofits (think Tom's shoes). Anyway, I want to be a female entrepreneur, but am suffused with self-doubt; I believe that impostor syndrome is a great description for how I felt when I was a college professor at the age of twenty-five. Insecurity is a tough cookie! So I'd like to learn more about it, and have bookmarked the link that women 2.0 posted:

I've also been thinking a whole lot about gender, especially gender roles, and feminism. I'd like to follow up and get involved again with contemporary feminism. I've been wanting to go look up and read some of the classics, people like Judith Butler. I'm pretty sure a trip to the library is in order for that...

Except that all of my library accounts are overdrawn with fines, and I've decided I'm not allowed to check out books from the library anymore. Right. Anyway it's not like I'm not halfway through three different books already at the moment, and hardly need to add more to the list.

But I'm not done yet.

This morning Don Perkins added me to Goodreads, and I'm already hooked. So I have that site on my mind. That reminds me that I wanted to finish the board I made on Pinterest, people I have instagrammed this year. Which itself reminds me that I wanted to gather together my photos from ZURB events maybe, and possibly write about some of those experiences.

This morning I sent a message to Marc Pitman, and I want to get and read his book. On the note of nonprofits, I have just volunteered to help an organization in New York that found me via twitter. That is @watercollective. I need to do my due diligence on them before I commit to anything. This reminds me of someone on twitter that helped me out a while ago, Pat Rhodes, and I want to look up his email address and thank him.

I owe an email or three to Arvind Devalia, too. Yes, indeedy.

I want to continue to advocate for @bethematch bone marrow registry. I also am part of an endometriosis group on Facebook, and might want to get involved in that.

This week I also have become a volunteer for HireFriday chat. I have promised at least a couple of hours a week, and probably should commit to attending the chat on Fridays. They also need help with their website, and I meant to ask around to see if I could find someone for that, as well.

Right. So I need to finish my bio for that, start my project for the week, and set an a alarm to remind me of the chat. Yes.

While I'm on to-do items, let me give a little plug for Toodledo, which is an app and online to-do list service. I've been using it for a while now, and when my life gets this big and overwhelming, it helps hold me together.

Back to Goodreads. It reminded me of a whole bunch of good books that I've been wanting to look up and read. It also reminded me that Stan Phelps has a book coming out, as does my friend Ric Dragon, and others in my social media circle. I'm pretty sure Stan even sent me a free digital advance copy, although I can't remember via what channel... perhaps it was a DM on twitter?

I'll want to follow up on those things.

Then there's a few smaller random bits. I came across this story via Freedom From Religion foundation:

and I wanted to show my public support for the girl in question. This leads to a whole entirely different topic. I listen to Christian music but am an atheist; there's a group on facebook for Atheists & Christians that a good friend of mine is heavily involved in, and I've been meaning for over a month now to follow up on that and interact with the group. Probably more blog posts coming up for that!

This is just something cool I found while looking for a new facebook banner (which reminds me to find myself a new facebook banner- sigh!)

I'm not sure what exactly I want to do with it, other than say "Ooooooh! Shiny!"

Finally, I found Charity Navigator and my old list of favorite charities. I want to work on it.

Other new projects: I want to do a blog post about @jayteestar and my efforts to help him. I want to continue to follow the work of @hardlynormal Mark Horvath, and figure out something concrete I can do to help.

I am incidentally involved in a couple of biodiesel projects. I've started doing some work for @greenstations, and need to follow up to be sure they are showing up on the map properly in Campbell. I need to contact the owner and/or visit him in Santa Cruz. @slamorte wants to build a biodiesel motorcycle.

I'm supposed to learn to drive stickshift, maybe. And learn to parallel park. But I'm not sure I care to pursue either project, but they go on my list.

I also want to learn ballet, but I don't have a plan for that. And it's crazy. (Can we say priority:low?)

OK! I got all my tabs closed, and have a LOT of material here to feed my Toodledo with.

I'd like to continue my journey into minimalism and maybe write a guest essay down the road, or at least a blog post or two of my own.

I should probably start a branded wordpress blog of my own, except that I don't think I'm ready. I need to revive FrontRow Antics and finish the site and materials, not to mention editing the podcasts we did.

I have a lot of video footage in iMovie that I want to edit into usable things. I've been meaning to try video blogging, too, for ages.

There's a whole NAPKIN full of to-do items for Pegasus Family Farms, LLC. Right, I need to get on that... priority: HIGH.

I remember that Don Perkins wanted me to do a video interview, and I should probably call him back.

There are other people I need to contact. Jill Manty offered me some help a while back, and I haven't thanked her properly. I'm also thinking of Renee of RubyMarcom, and some other things I dropped the ball on, like the art gallery in Buffalo that I wanted to help.

Oh I should email the gal from the Altimeter group tweetup, and message the guy from Zurb.

Alrighty, more than enough for today. If you read this far, yes, this is how my brain works ALL THE TIME. You try being me for a day and see how far you get :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Hello blog. Long time no talk.

I just want to say something simple, I think. Thank you. To everyone who showed up today to call me, email me, tweet me, leave me a facebook message, or give me a real life hug and some cake.

Thank you for caring about me. Thank you for being there.

I'm going through some tough times. I need every one of you.

Sometimes I lose faith in all of this social media. Sometimes I think it's all fake, that none of you are real, that none of you care. I get a terrible sense of going it alone.

Yet I keep coming back. I don't know why. I don't know why I love social media so much. But I do.

And today, as the happy birthday wishes started in the early morning, and continued and continued through the day, as the number of wishes continued to climb, I felt strangely comforted.

You matter. Look, I'm a mess. I know it. I don't know where I am going, or how I'm going to get there. But some of you love me anyway, and I love you back.

Maybe it's just that basic. I'm really glad you exist. I'm glad I exist.

I'm glad I was born.