Coming soon to book stores near you!
Coming soon to book stores near you!
October was an absolute whirlwind for Jaggers Communications. The firm was busy ramping up with a number of new client projects and, in the off hours, I was writing a book, 100 Things To Do in Charlottesville Before you Die (due out in spring, 2014) and devoting extra time to election work and volunteer hours to the Blue Ribbon Commission for Sustainable Schools.
I’ll admit, it’s the extra stuff I take on that sometimes pushes the limit of what can be accomplished with the time that exists and, unfortunately, much of it was concentrated in the month of October! November and December are calming down just a little (except, oh yeah, the holidays!) and I hope to be able to get back to providing more valuable content here on the Jaggers Communications blog in short order.
So why take on the extra stuff, when there’s an already full schedule? Mostly I do it because it’s contributing to the community in which I live in a meaningful way, and I feel strongly about that. I don’t have big bucks to make donations but I can give of my time and talent, my thoughts and expertise, to causes that are important to me. Among these, and the areas in which I’m likely to contribute include: health care (particularly diabetes-related causes), poverty (homelessness, in particular), and education (often, for the underprivileged).
What benefits do we reap? Well, for the most part, knowledge that we’re helping to make a difference, but with every volunteer experience I learn more about the community in which I live or that I’m supporting. I meet interesting people who often become lifelong contacts and sometimes, future business referrals. I get to use my brain in a different way than in the day to day way I do for my business or my clients. All of these things have great value to me.
It’s the time of year when Jaggers Communications starts looking for a nonprofit community partner to support in the coming year. Do you have a compelling case to make for a health care, poverty, or education cause that could use some PR or marketing help in 2014? We’d love to hear your pitch.
I’ve picked up the funny little hobby of going to the movies by myself. I can see whatever I want (no matter how terrible) and I don’t have to share the popcorn. Last night, I went to see Gravity. It’s entertaining and just the escape I was looking for at the end of the weekend. After I carefully selected my seat, a group of young guys sat in the row just in front of me. One of them was texting.
We were still in the previews/commercial section and the feature film hadn’t begun, but I had my eye on Mr. Texty. I was already annoyed with his movie theater behavior. The movie started and he put the phone away, so I stopped composing all the ways (polite and decidedly not polite) I was thinking of telling him to turn it off.
About half an hour into the movie, he pulled his phone out again.
I was behind him and to the right, so I could plainly see as he checked his email (Yahoo) and texted with someone. I learned that I have the capacity for what, in some, manifests itself as road rage. For me, it’s movie rage. I mean, I shelled out eleven bucks for my entertainment. (I didn’t spring for 3-D; I rarely do). I didn’t want to put up with this guy and his phone habit. I calmed myself down and leaned forward, whispering loudly, “Would you please put your phone away?”
He jumped. And the phone disappeared. It didn’t make an appearance again and I quit seething in time. But I wondered, what is it that makes people ignore conventions like that? Do they know what impact they have on the people around them?
Earlier in the week I found myself needing some medical attention in the short term, and had the delightful experience of hanging around an Urgent Care waiting room for two hours. In this situation as well, it’s posted pretty clearly: Please turn off your cell phone. I, like most people, take this to mean don’t talk on your phone. I think checking e-mail and the like on a smartphone while in a waiting room may be the only way you keep your job and your sanity, so I approve. But I was surprised at the number of people who, HIPPA be damned, talked away on their phones, within earshot of 20 other would-be patients, freely giving away all manner of personal data.
What are these people thinking?
Maybe it’s because I’m a slightly older technology adopter. I still respect down time. I still unplug. I still reserve the right to NOT check my phone every five minutes and to sleep at night without waking up to check e-mail. And I reserve the right to, when it’s posted, and someone’s ignoring it, point out that we’re being asked to pay attention.
I don’t mean to come across as celebrating the misfortunes of others — in fact, I’m not — but I am happy that Florida police took cyberbullying seriously. NPR reports a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old harassed a classmate, bullying her via Facebook messages and texts and in person, leading to the suicide of the victim, a seventh-grader. Both girls have been charged with felony aggravated stalking.
As a mom of a kid who endured middle school bullying, it infuriates me how often kids tap into technology to torment others. Further, it infuriates me how little parents pay attention to what their kids are doing online. If you’re a parent who has allowed your kids to use the internet and/or a cell phone, it is your responsibility to talk to them about responsible use. It is critical that you pay attention to their posts and their friends’ posts. It is NOT OK to shrug off social media as “something kids do” and think that you don’t need to know how to use these tools and, further, teach your children how to use them properly. It’s just way too easy for kids to feel anonymous and safe doing something terribly wrong online, simply because not enough of the right people are paying attention.
If you don’t know enough about online tools to keep up with your kids, get some help. Take a class or watch an online tutorial. Ask a friend. Ask me! But don’t let your kids be attacked virtually without anyone of authority knowing about it.
I suspect that Ms. Caroline Emerson is just looking for her 15 minutes of fame on this blog with this question, posed via Twitter.
LinkedIn endorsements are stupid. I wrote about their lack of effectiveness back in May, 2013, when they were introduced and people were getting endorsed for skills like “manslaughter” and “beer drinking.”
The problem is, LinkedIn so persistently asks users to endorse those in their networks, that it’s inevitable that you’re going to have people endorsing you for skills you have, and skills you don’t. You don’t have to accept endorsements. That’s the first step. But in case life moves too fast and you’re not really paying attention, and you suddenly end up with endorsements you don’t want, here’s what to do. Go to Profile –> Edit Profile. Scroll down to Skills & Expertise and find the edit button on the top right. You can add or remove your existing endorsements…
Or you can manage them, which enables you to get rid of the morons in your connections who have inappropriately endorsed you (if that’s the case).
See that green check mark at the top right? If you get really frustrated with the whole thing, you can stop displaying endorsements at any time.
There you go, Caroline Emerson. I hope that helps.
mjaggers at jaggerscommunications dot com