Posts filed under ‘Life as an AAE’

One True Sentence has moved!

This post is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure y’all know that my blog has moved here. I still have daily DR. WHAW? posts and will be bringing new insights and thoughts throughout the week, but I will no longer be posting them here.

I hope you’ll join me over at!


February 16, 2010 at 12:29 PM Leave a comment

Down with fluff! (But how will it affect my job?)

I had an interesting conversation with Len Kendall a couple weeks ago about fluff after he wrote a guest post for Arik Hanson about creative ways to use new geolocation tools. It was an amazing post which offered a full-fledged example as to how tools like Foursquare can be used by marketers.

My reaction to this post was something along the lines of, “I can’t believe he shared a specific example with the whole world!”

After I told Len this, he said something that really struck me:

“As much as I hate giving away ideas that could be used at work…it needed to be done. Way to much fluff out there with no real world apps.”

And you know what? He’s so totally right. I’m guilty of this as much as anyone. I know that many times I try to make a point but I don’t use a specific example for fear of sharing too much about my professional work. It’s a fine line to walk between sharing too much and writing pure fluff.

To this point, I have tried to err on the side of caution and write much more fluff than detailed, actionable examples for fear that it would give away secrets about my employer. But have I stopped walking the line and set up camp on the fluff side?

I think it’s tricky to walk this line, especially if you blog about what you do in a professional setting. So how do you balance writing non-fluff with not sharing more than is appropriate?

Len made the point that it’s always possible to write about ideas that would not apply to your employer while still sticking to that which you love. But if I write about a detailed and specific measurement program, could you use the knowledge that my employer does not do said program to better compete? Am I thinking too much about this?

Where do you draw the line? How much do you share and how much fluff do you add to keep employer secrets (and your job)?

February 1, 2010 at 6:43 AM 15 comments

My Top 25 Before 25

A little while ago, I asked y’all how you measure personal success, and your responses were overwhelmingly helpful! So I decided to take a moment and share my goals with you. I’ve come up with my top 25 goals that I’d like to achieve before I’m 25 years old. Because I’m such an organization freak, they’re broken down into categories. 🙂

Personal Goals:

  1. Adopt a dog to be the start of my new, grown-up family.
  2. Run a second triathlon, this time with my dad, and walk/run a half-marathon with my two best friends (who I did the first triathlon with).
  3. Make my old friendships a priority by setting up phone and Skype dates with my friends and family who I can’t see on a regular basis.
  4. Nurture new Chicago friendships and have a Chicago friend family that can be relied on much like my oldest and dearest friends.
  5. Volunteer at PAWS Chicago at least once each week and find a way to give back to UNC, too.

Professional Goals:

  1. Improve my understanding of social media channels and how Edelman is using them.
  2. Ask questions early and often, and be willing to turn in a project late if it means doing it right the first time around.
  3. Seek out new and different projects where I can help out and learn more about measurement and social media.
  4. Read and absorb anything and everything about social media measurement in order to broaden my skills and to better help clients.
  5. Become the go-to measurement guru in the Edelman Digital Chicago office.

Blog Goals:

  1. Claim my own domain name and begin learning (and using!) HTML coding.
  2. Write blog posts each week about something that I love or am passionate about.
  3. Become a regular contributor on a group blog or a guest post-er on more social media nuts’ blogs.
  4. Find a way to keep DR. WHAW? a regular feature without committing to posting it every single day (with my schedule, I can’t seem to make this work every day).
  5. Increase reader engagement as marked by number of comments, return readers and Tweets.

Chicago Goals:

  1. Move to an apartment in Lakeview.
  2. Attend Lollapalooza in the summer.
  3. Try a Chicago-style hot dog and a sandwich from Lucky’s.
  4. Take the architectural boat tour.
  5. See the Boston Red Sox play at Wrigley Field (I know this may not even be possible but definitely worth a shot).

Travel Goals:

  1. Visit Washington, D.C., for the first time and do all of the typical touristy things.
  2. Visit my older sister in Amherst, Massachusetts, and my younger sister at the University of Minnesota.
  3. Visit Austin, Texas, to attend the SXSW conference in 2011 and find some old friends.
  4. Visit my mom’s parents in Kentucky and see my cousin wrestle in a state tournament (it will happen, Sean!).
  5. Travel to the ACC or NCAA tournament to watch the Tar Heels play their way into history again.

So there you have it. I know that some of these are lame and some may be quite difficult to achieve before I’m 25. Still, I believe these are all quite reasonable (and measurable!) goals for me. Just having written this list has made me happier, and really, isn’t that the real goal?

January 29, 2010 at 7:16 AM 6 comments

Your audience is the entire world, so show your entire self

Last week on the #u30pro Twitter chat, I remember someone mentioning that our audience in now global, and that really struck me. (SIDE NOTE: Does anyone remember who that was?)

We were talking about how much of yourself you should share online, and whether it’s appropriate to share facts about your personal life as well as professional when blogging or Tweeting. And we were all pretty much in agreement that there was a balance that needed to be struck between professional and personal.

And then someone said that it was silly to not show your whole self because your audience is essentially the whole world. In a time when anyone can use Google or Twitter or Facebook to find you and your thoughts, it seems silly not to share your whole self.

I would never argue that you need to give out all of your information, I still urge you to be safe online. I do, however, urge you to let your entire personality shine through in your online interactions. More and more people are making important connections online, but how strong will those connections be if they’re based only on superficial or professional information?

My closest friends from work and other places are those that I know way more about than just their professional acumen. And it’s these outside connections and personal touches that make me think of them first when a new opportunity arises. I am way more likely to recommend a person or share a job opening with someone who I know as a friend and not just a colleague.

If that does not convince you, think about this: when you work in an office, you don’t stick to shop-talk all day long, right? You talk about your family and weekend plans with those who sit near you, and you develop personal relationships along with work relationships. And which of your coworkers are you more likely to recommend? The ones you have only had professional experience with? Or those who you know inside and out?

If you truly intend to make strong and meaningful connections online and use social media as a networking tool, it may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to let your entire personality show through all of your interactions.

What do you think? Is it wise to hide part of who you are online? Do you think it’s best to dive in and show your whole self? Share your thoughts!

January 20, 2010 at 8:37 AM 6 comments

How do you measure personal success?

Now that I am settled into my new job as mini measurement guru at Edelman Digital, I think it’s about time I thought through some serious personal and professional goals. Because it’s the age of crowdsourcing I figure the best way to start the process is by asking y’all for advice!

For those of you who have written out professional or personal goals, how do you start? Do you have a timeline for your goals? I know that many of the answers may be, “it depends.” But what I’m trying to get at, I guess, is what is really reasonable?

Growing up during this time and with this technology, I have started to wonder whether the goals I have imagined for myself are completely outdated anymore or if they’re still unreachable. And being a measurement nerd, I know that I will want to be able to measure milestones as I go, and I will want to be able to analyze trends. Is that too much? Is that too in depth for my personal life?

At what point do goals stop being helpful and start becoming a burden and weight on my mind? I would love to hear personal experience with personal or professional goals that you have or have not reached. How did you go about setting them? How did you track or measure your progress? At what point did you declare your goal achieved or not?

Please share your comments and ideas with me. I know that I will probably evolve my own methods as I go, but y’all are a smart bunch and will provide a great jumping off point.

January 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM 9 comments

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