Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it


Supporting an important cause, and an inspiring woman

I don’t know about you, but this summer has been a whirlwind.  When we moved to our new home in June, I don’t think we knew just how much work we were in for. It has been three steady months of projects and work and painting and decorating and renovating and shopping and cleaning and rearranging. Needless to say, my blog and any summer fun took a back seat to what needed to be done (thanks to a bit of an obsessive personality trait!). But now, summer is over, the house is in really good shape, and now it’s time for me to get back to blogging.

Last week, as I was trying to catch up on some personal emails and reading, I came across a request from a total stranger. It was a simple request — to help spread the word about the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day on September 26. For anyonheathere who reads my blog, you know I don’t usually post about specific medical conditions. But I truly believe that a big part of blogging and social media is to make use of it to bring attention to things that deserve it. And when I read the request, didn’t I feel silly lamenting about missing some fun this summer.

When Heather Von St. James reached out to me, I was truly honored. Her request was a simple one, and I am doing my best to fulfill her request and have a small part in sharing her story, all in the hopes that you will pass this along. Let’s make this go viral!

Mesothelioma is relatively rare and is caused by asbestos exposure.  Each year, 3000 people are diagnosed with it. In 2005, Heather was only 36 when she was diagnosed, shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Lily. At the time, she was given only 15 months to live. Eight years later, and one lung less, she is now not only surviving, but thriving and is leading a cause to spread the word about mesothelioma — a disease thdid you knowat is preventable but takes many lives.

I have spent my entire career in the healthcare communications field. But the decades do not diminish the emotions that I feel every time I see someone who has won their own personal battle, or the tear(s) I shed when I learn of someone whose life was cut short, usually too soon. I am incredibly grateful for the fact that I have not had to find out how I would react were I to receive such a diagnosis. I can only hope that I would have the strength and courage to fight the same way Heather did and so many others I have had the good fortune to meet over the years.

So when Heather reached out to me for help, I was honored to have an opportunity to help spread the word about this cause and to highlight what an inspiration this woman is. You can read much more about Heather here and you can also learn more about mesothelioma.  It’s incredible to see how well she’s doing, and so admirable to see how she has taken her own experience to help prevent others from going through what she has.

I hope readers of this blog will be as inspired as I was by her strength and perseverance, and will help to spread the word as well.



Change of seasons… time to catch up

I admit it. I was a slacker over the summer. I chose to enjoy my favorite season of the year by spending lots of time outside, reading books, walking the dogs, and generally enjoying life. And (I hear a collective gasp here) I unplugged for 2 weeks. I had a great summer!

So what happened during that lovely summer? I fell way behind in my blog reading, I lost touch with Twitter friends, and I posted nothing on my blog. Yet this 365-day a year, 24/7 world of ours doesn’t stop for someone taking some time off from long days. So, how do you catch up? Here are three tips I’m using.

Start tweeting with Twitter friends again. The same rules apply — be personal, be kind, and admit you were a slacker! Your true tweeps will forgive you.

Catch up on your reading. Go to your Google Reader, or reader of choice, and filter out some of the ones that everyone else has already tweeted. Like those 1000+ posts from Mashable. By now it’s old news. Go to some of your favorites and read the posts with headlines that catch your eye.

Make a plan. Recommit to a schedule so you don’t “fall” behind again now that the season has changed. Set aside time to read your blogs, post to your own blog, catch up on Twitter, and schedule set times for your social media activity. It really is like riding a bike.

Did you stray from your schedule over the summer? How did you catch up?



When I read that WordPress was down yesterday, I didn’t get upset. My first thought was at least I now have an excuse for why I haven’t posted anything in a week. Fortunately for most, it was back up pretty quickly and that was a good thing. For me, all I could think was that I really don’t have an excuse, except for TIME. 

I read some interesting things this week. The first was a tweet from one of the people I follow on Twitter, @unmarketing. Scott is a great guy who puts his own personality into everything he does and he definitely practices what he preaches. I’ve learned a lot from him about engaging with people in this social media world of ours. This week, I read that he posted his tweet # 50,000. Amazing. And he manages to run his own company, travel, raise a son, and spend TIME on the golf course.

Then I read a post from @ginidietrich. Gini’s blog, the Fight Against Destructive Spin, is full of interviews with interesting people, along with a variety of topics and suggestions for businesses and individuals. Even her #FollowFriday recommendations are done through a blog post, taking the TIME to carefully explain why we should follow those she is recommending, rather than a quick tweet. She’s also an avid biker who I’m sure I could never even dream of keeping up with, just like her blog, and she and makes the TIME to do this.

Then I read a post by another of my favorite folks in the Twitterverse, @katjaib. Kat is a great lady whose bio tells me she is working to find the balance in life and finding the TIME to do it all. In her blog post this week, she pondered the reasons she was a little behind on her blog (I love that I’m not the only one so THANK YOU!), with a thoughtful look at striving to be perfect, and some fun reminders on how to keep it in perspective. And she found the TIME to write a perfect post.

Then there’s @MackCollier, another person on Twitter who writes one great blog post after another, all while running his own company and finding the best ways to do things. And he even does the Twitter chat called #blogchat, which I haven’t found the TIME to sit it on. But at the same TIME, he’s finding the TIME to share his lessons learned with all of us. If I could ever find the TIME to read Mack’s posts or sit in on his chats, I’d certainly have a better blog with more posts and do a better job at promoting it.

These are just a few of the people who amaze me, and either inspire me or make me feel like a complete slacker… I haven’t figured out which! (And an apology to all those others out there who are not mentioned in this blog because there are SO many of you!). I’m calling upon these fantastic folks to share their thoughts on how they find the TIME to do all that they do. First, do you sleep? Second, how do you fit everything you need to do to make a living into a day and still have time to do your blog post, tweet, and do the things you love and have TIME for family and friends? I think we can all learn a bit from you. So THANK YOU in advance!

And if anyone else wants to add to this, PLEASE DO!