14 Pearls of Wisdom From the 20 Something Bloggers Summit

“You know you’re a twenty-something blogger when your friends and family think you have imaginary friends.” – Jenny Blake, 20sb summit keynote speaker, author, and coach.

This past weekend, I attended the 20 Something Bloggers summit in Chicago. Featuring two days filled with informative sessions and vibrant speakers, the 20 Something Bloggers summit taught me more than I could have ever imagined about blogging, building communities, connecting with brands, coming up with creative content, and vlogging. Not only did I learn a lot, I also connected with other bloggers and creative minds. There is nothing more energizing than spending time with creative, motivated and smart people who share similar passions and goals.

We got free tacos from the Gap taco truck.

Even if you’re not a blogger or very active in the social media space (or a twenty-something), you can still benefit from some of the pearls of wisdom that came out of the 20 something bloggers summit. Here are 14 pearls of wisdom that I compiled from the seven sessions that I attended at the summit:

  1. Progress begets progress. (via Scott Belsky, keynote speaker)
  2. Ideas don’t happen because they’re great. (via Scott Belsky)
  3. Organize yourself with a bias to action. (via Scott Belsky)
  4. When trying to make a point, think about the craziest thing you could do to get that point across and then go from there.
  5. Push yourself. Stretch outside your comfort zone. Do it over and over again.
  6. Think about yourself in a year from now. How would you feel if you hadn’t made any changes to your life? (via Jenny Blake)
  7. Big goals require blind faith. (via Jenny Blake)
  8. Embrace uncertainty.
  9. Know your personality. Some people are not suited to work remotely. They get distracted by laundry and cats.
  10. When you get to where you want to be, don’t stop networking. Keep building those relationships.
  11. Offer a new viewpoint on something that people experience regularly.
  12. Take a break when you get stuck.
  13. If something spectacular is happening, don’t lose the moment by introducing yourself.
  14. Just do it. Make it happen.
The free Vera Bradley bag from Day 2 was nice, too.

I hope you’re feeling motivated after reading these words of wisdom. If not, perhaps you should read these. Or go for a jog. Anyways, I’m feeling energized after attending the 20 Something Blogger Summit and I’m hoping to take apply some new ideas here on my blog. So, sorry in advance for some of the awkward vlogs I’ll be posting in the near future.

The First Annual Best of Milwaukee Web Awards 2011

I had no idea I was even nominated for two of the Shepherd Express’s Best of Milwaukee Web Awards until someone tweeted me to say they had voted for me in the category Best Personal Blog. Voted for me? When I mentioned this fact to another friend and fellow avid tweeter, she replied, “Yeah, you were also nominated for Favorite Twitterer.” The nominations came as a surprise, but who doesn’t like being nominated for your favorite local alternate news source‘s web awards?

Last night’s web awards were a good time. Aside from enjoying complimentary hamburgers, wings, and beer samples from Lakefront Brewery, it was fun to be around the friendly, creative Milwaukeeans who do great things on the web. Milwaukee has a great social media culture. I’ve only been blogging and tweeting for a short while, but through that, I have met so many interesting and innovative Milwaukeeans. Interacting with so many different people on Twitter has made the city of Milwaukee feel like a small town (which most of you non-natives probably think it is anyway).

The Best of Milwaukee Web Awards were all in good fun and if anything, I am inspired  become an even better blogger and tweeter. It was an honor just to be nominated. I ended up being the first runner-up in both the Best Personal Blog and Favorite Twitterer categories and my name was printed in the latest issue of the Shepherd Express. Not too shabby.

Hats off to M.A.A.R.S. Attack for winning the Best Personal Blog title (as well as Best Tumblr and Best Band with an Online Presence) and Burp Blog, for taking the title of Favorite Tweeter as well as Best Food Blog. Here’s to another year of tweeting and blogging!

A Vacation From the Internet

Last week, I enjoyed a fabulous, all-inclusive vacation in Mexico. I spent the week with family and friends on the Caribbean Sea, sipping drinks on the beach, enjoying 80 degree weather, and working on my tan in January–oh and visiting ancient ruins in Tulum.  I could not have asked for a better vacation.  At the end of the week, I was truly sad to leave which can be a rare feeling after a family vacation.

One of the most surprising highlights of the trip was taking a vacation from the Internet. I never thought I would be so happy to ditch my iPhone, my laptop, Twitter, Facebook, gchat, Tumblr, WordPress, etc.   It wasn’t until I started having digital separation anxiety days before the trip that I realized just how addicted I am to the charms of the interwebs. However, once in Mexico, I let my iPhone go dead and didn’t look back! No chatting, no updating statuses, no Facebook creeping.  Instead of tweeting every five minutes, I tweeted once during the week vacation (I guess you can’t quit Internet addictions cold turkey). Taking a vacation from the Internet was just what I needed to curtail my social media addiction and here is what I found:

  1. Ignorance really is bliss. I don’t need to know what everyone else is  doing, thinking, feeling at all times. In fact, I’d prefer not to.
  2. Face-to-face conversation trumps all other forms. Social media is a fabulous way to keep in touch with people, but nothing beats meeting with those people in person.
  3. Make time to stop and smell the roses. I hate being that person who is always on their darn phone looking at Twitter updates, so it was nice not to have that option. It really forces you to soak in your surroundings and live in the moment!
  4. I really do prefer Twitter over Facebook. At least this week. Twitter doesn’t bombard you with tons of useless information as Facebook tends to.  I really like 140 character limit on Twitter.

Because of the way technology has advanced and the rising popularity of social media, it’s silly to think that a person should spend their entire life offline and not on a computer. However, now that I have taken an Internet Vacation, I have found a much-needed balance between my digital life and my real life. There is a time and a place for being connected and that time is not all the time.

Help Find Joe Sjoberg

Joe Sjoberg (pronounced SHOW-BERG) has been missing from Madison, WI since Monday, November 29th.  Originally from Washington state, 22 year-old Joe Sjoberg was reported missing after he didn’t show up at work or his apartment.  Joe left with his car and cell phone and nothing indicates any foul play connected with his disappearance.

I have personally never met Joe, but he is the younger brother of two guys, Rob and Pat, that I swam with at Beloit College for several years. Because of the fact that there are not many tangible leads in Joe’s disappearance, the most important tool to use in finding Joe Sjoberg is word of mouth.  Joe’s family and friends have launched an online amber alert through Facebook, Twitter, and various other social media outlets.  Through these platforms, detailed information about Joe’s car and last known whereabouts, photos of Joe, “Joe is missing” fliers, and the latest information/leads have been shared quickly and viewed by a  large audience. The more people who are aware of the situation and pass along the information, the quicker we find Joe Sjoberg.

That’s where you come into play.  Even if you have never met Joe Sjoberg or have no direct connection to his family or friends, just sharing the information goes such a long way.  As I said before, the more people who are aware of  Joe Sjoberg’s disappearance, the better the chances of finding Joe sooner rather than later.  Here are some simple things you can do to help find Joe Sjoberg:

  1. Tweet the information. Here is a simple phrase you can tweet: Please RT, #JoeSjoberg has gone missing in WI. Please help us find him. http://bit.ly/ieE12p
  2. Check out the Help Us Find Joe Sjoberg Facebook page.
  3. Join the Help Joe Missing Facebook group.
  4. Post a “Joe is Missing” flier.
  5. Look out for Joe’s license plates.
  6. If you know something or see something related to Joe Sjoberg, contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.  Please spread the word about finding Joe Sjoberg on Facebook and Twitter.  My thoughts and hopes are with Rob and Pat and their family as the search continues.

If It Ain’t Broke…

With the advent of Google Buzz, I’m starting to get tired of all the rapid changes in technology and social media.  If technology is going to progress so quickly, I’d like to be able to choose whether or not I can opt in or opt out of these changes.  For instance, Google Buzz simply swooped in and gave its Gmail users Twitter-like abilities and public profiles without fair warning. Facebook has changed its image and added more features so many times that it’s becoming frustrating.  What was wrong with the first 500 versions of the website? 

Today’s phones don’t just take calls, but also videos, photos, hold music, store important documents, act as a GPS, balance your check book, and count your calories.  Anything you’d want to do in your daily life, now there is a phone app for that.  Remember when text messaging was a novel concept?!

It’s hard to keep up with all these changes, especially when I preferred some of the older models better than their newer counterpoints.  I’m still adjusting to the fact that VHS tapes are out along with video rental stores like Blockbuster.

In honor of my favorite “oldies, but goodies,” here are 5 technologies that are fine just the way they are:

 1) The boom box.  Do you really need to bring your personal computer around with you to provide music at parties? The boom box did just fine.  Plus it still plays your old mix tapes.

 2) The overhead projector.  Invented during the 1940s, this is hands down the best way to display information on a wall in front of large groups of people.  No need to worry about memory stick problems or losing your connection to the internet during a presentation.

 3) A physical book.  No digital reader can ever replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands and feeling the pages between your fingers (and of course the new book smell).

 4) The Nokia cell phone.  I agree, we all need cell phones, but you can’t even use a touch screen with your winter gloves! Flip phones tend to snap in half eventually, but the Nokia can fly down a flight of stairs (and even survive a drop in the toilet) and still accept your calls and text messages.

 5) The single air conditioner unit. Forget central air.  I just want my bedroom to be cold. The noise these things make is soothing, especially if white noise helps you sleep. I don’t need my whole house to be cold all the time and I like how easy you can control the temperature on these things.

What are some of your favorite technological “oldies but goodies”?