Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Three Things You Can Do Today to Be Better at Working with Members

  1. Attend the free Component Relations Virtual Lunch at noon eastern on “Working with Toxic Chapter Execs” - Register here:
  2. Phone 218-936-7979 (Access code *189780)
  3. Read Frank Fortin’s post on the new requirements for communications in associations URL:
  4. Read “Get One New Idea Going” on Acronym

Bonus Points: Send me your best ways to promote and reward your volunteers and leaders (send to

Friday, December 5, 2008

On My Desk

You have a Picture Mail from



View Picture
Print at Retail
Reply to Sender
Reply to All

Send and receive Pictures and Videos through Picture MailSM. For more information go to
Please be aware your friends can forward your picture, video, and album share invitations to others or post the unique Web link to your share invitation on any number of sources (e.g. blogs), through which others could also gain access to your online photos. If you have private or sensitive photos you are sharing, please share them only with those you trust.
© 2008 Sprint. All rights reserved.
VeriSign's Home Page
Posting to my blog from my phone seems too dangerous. Kind of like drunk dialing...

At any rate, this is a test. It is only a test.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Five Favorite People to Follow on Twitter (& Why)

Playing “Blog-Tag” is a new favorite pastime for me and recently the ever expanding game of tag has evolved into people listing their favorite people to follow on Twitter. In keeping with that I've decided to list five of the most helpful Twitterers I know.

Here they are:

It almost goes without saying, but Chris Brogan probably has the most consistent, helpful information about social media out there. He like to share what he knows and he is privy to lots of great links that he shares with everyone. I think everyone should follow him on Twitter.
In addition, he is a really nice guy.

I don’t even know her, but I like her style. She sometimes posts links to reports and information about new media that I find useful.

This woman is a great presenter and she is full of ideas. Cynthia is a valuable resource if you are engaged in some kind of volunteer management. Quite experienced, she can connect you with webinars and all kinds of information that will help you out with improving your communication with groups.

Another fantastic resource for good links to information about social media out there…

Maddie is dynamic and fun…she will post updates that are linked to her blog and her focus is on social media and associations. What I like about Maddie’s posts is that she will remind people in real time that something, like an online chat, is going to start in 5-10 minutes. Very helpful to have reminders about free informative chats!

There are many, many others who I follow and who I choose to receive their updates on my phone, but the names I listed are my favorites who also happen to be quite helpful to me.

Do you have suggestions for me? Please feel free to post them here!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Five things about me

Maybe you have already met Cynthia D’Amour, or know of her through her blog or books...she’s the person who tagged me for a fun round of the “five things you don’t know about me” game.

I feel so special! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …here we go.

1. I have been on Good Morning America and 60 Minutes

  • Was on GMA last week for a story on families and the holidays
  • Was on 60 Minutes about 10 years ago as a Slam Poet performing in Chicago
  • Also was on a brief VH1 show called “Motor Mouth” when I secretly set my friend up to sing in a car

2. My first name is not a nickname and the 2nd “K” is really supposed to be capitalized

  • It is no joke – that’s how it is on my birth certificate
  • My middle name rhymes with my sister’s middle name
  • The number of times someone has asked about Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” song is ridiculous.

3. I am from a small town and used to dance for cattle because I had zero neighbor kids to play with.

  • My favorite albums were Xanadu and a Jackson 5 compilation.
  • I used to think Michael Jackson’s tour bus would break down and he would be forced to walk through the woods behind my house so he’d accidentally come across me dancing and would be amazed by my talent.
  • I didn’t always stop dancing when cars drove by the house next to the fields.

4. Books were the only items my dad would allow me without limitation when I was a kid.

  • I had the largest collection of books of anyone I knew.
  • I have a large range of tastes.
  • I rarely went outside (except to dance for some cows).

5. My high school art teacher taught me how to play basic chords on guitar.

  • He also gave me a guitar he had restored.
  • I also play piano - took lessons for years...
  • I wish I played both better than I do.
Now…ha ha! ...I get to challenge five more people to share.

Here are my five:
Kylee Coffman – My sister in crime and a Mortified champ.
Sarah Grace McCandless – Author, blogger, and Cupcake Master.
Clay Dunn – Expert on all things food and literature-related. Clay and Zach are bloggers for The Bitten Word.
Zach Patton – Top Chef and guru on DC happenings.
Jolene Siana – Author and NYC tour guide extraordinaire!

Don’t let me down!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Diary - I hate Sharepoint!

Dear Diary,

Things were going so well. The all-staff was full of colleagues ready for the meeting to start so they could get to the promised lunch waiting for them just outside the conference room doors.

The PowerPoint presentations were loaded up and the review of events at the annual meeting began. I got up and did my super-charged presentation about chapters and sections making sure to include information about how I'd effective used Twitter and Collective X to organize the attendees before, during, and after the meeting. I think I did okay!

People smiled as I sat down and almost every presentation afterward mentioned the student chapters I work with....which made me smile.

Then, just before the meeting ended, William Jack Henry* stood up and began his presentation with a nod to me referring to how much time I took presenting and then verbally poked at my successful communication platform (Collective X) saying that he preferred to use Sharepoint as it was geared for people over twelve-years-old. Ouch! (Of course, he *does* have a different sort of dry sense of humor, so I suppose I need to be a little bit more thick-skinned.) Still, I hate Sharepoint, so I am the slightest bit bitter.

Trying to let it go...but I might just have to eat some chocolate to get over it.

Top 3 Reasons I Hate Sharepoint:
  1. Too many clicks to do anything
  2. Takes the "fun" out of "functional"
  3. Does not encourage interaction


Sunday, October 12, 2008

How Will New Media Affect the Newly Unemployed?

My sister lost her job a week ago. The direct marketing company she had started working for only four months ago lost two of their biggest clients and decided they couldn't afford their newest staff postions. My sister received the news and a small severence package on Monday of last week. The timing could have been better.

As the market searches for a place to settle so the world can herald a new beginning, people are losing their jobs and reports say it will only get worse. For my sister things weren't as bad as they could have been. She was able to pick up consultant work fairly quickly (by last Wednesday) for a previous employer in the DC Metro region. But for many others, who have families/overextended mortgages and who live in an area with fewer opportunities the results could be dire. This is a scenario many have predicted and warned about for years. Entire organizations have been built around the idea.

Here are four tips to set yourself up for success (courtesy of Yahoo! News):

1. Is the résumé passé?

Not entirely. Of course, anyone looking for a job will need a résumé. As always, it should be strategically crafted, truthful and spelling-error free.

But relying on a résumé to get you a job, or even to get you noticed, is no longer realistic in this highly competitive environment, according to Jennifer Kushell, employment expert and CEO of Your Success Network.

"I don't really love the idea of relying on the résumé anymore," Kushell says. "I think it is an antiquated piece of technology because the idea that any of us express ourselves on a piece of paper is very old school."

You have to connect with people and present your self to the people that have those jobs to offer, she suggests.

2. Work your network

You have to get in front of and "wow!" the people responsible for making the hiring decisions. "If you're not networking you're crazy, because you are limiting your options and opportunities," says Kushell.

She advises clients to get out of their comfort zone and join industry organizations, go to parties and events and introduce themselves to new people. In this job environment, the good jobs are not listed in the newspaper and, they are not on job sites all the time. You hear about them by having a network of people who are well connected in the industry and willing to help you.

And people should be doing this type of preparation all the time and not just once they lose their job.

3. Manage your brand

Social networking may be all the rage but it can be a career killer if you are not careful. Potential employers often search potential job candidates on the Internet and any inappropriate pictures or postings will sink you in the applicant pool.

According to a recent study by, a global work-force consulting firm, about 30% of young people surveyed said there is definitely or probably something online that they would be embarrassed for their employer to see. Take it down, clean it up, and protect your reputation like it's your job; Or it could end up costing you one.

4. Look beyond borders

If opportunities on the home front aren't materializing, Americans may want to turn their attention overseas. Some of the fastest growing economies -- Russia, China, India, Dubai and countries throughout Asia -- are eager to import American talent.

"Business is becoming very Americanized all over the world and talent is required that has training in America; they want people that have the work ethic and the DNA," says Michael Karp, CEO of executive search firm Options Group.

Multinational companies that are expanding overseas or international financial firms may be looking to snatch up newly unemployed American workers.

How else can you use social media to your benefit? Michael Port (who can be a little too over-the-top for my personal taste, but who has some sound advice) or William Aruda might help guide you into building your personal brand, if you haven't already.

What do you think?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thinking About Succession Planning for Chapters

Leadership is tricky business and it can become even trickier when you are trying to move on from a leadership position with a group...especially when there is no one around you who is fitting or desires to take over your role.

I just took part in a webinar at Cynthia D'Amour's Chapter Leaders Playground, "Three Good Thoughts for Better Teamwork With Author Erika Oliver" and received several good tips. I think my favorite idea came as a direct response to my succession planning issue from another webinar attendee. The mysterious "Judy" who typed in a response for my consideration provided a pearl of wisdom. To paraphrase...

"The first responsibility of a leader is to develop a person to replace them. The leader should identify four prospects. Identifying four prospects is important because, on average, one will refuse, one will disappoint, one will move, and one will accept."

I like that.

What are some of your own succession planning tips and troubles?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

12-year-old Revolutionizes the Solar Cell

William Yuan, a seventh-grader from Portland, OR, developed a three-dimensional solar cell that absorbs UV as well as visible light. The combination of the two might greatly improve cell efficiency. Yuan's project earned him a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Library of Congress to accept the award, which is usually given out for research...

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sell the Pig and Keep Your Lipstick

Hockey moms, pit bulls - Lipstick.
Pigs - Lipstick.
The stock market - ...lipstick?

I've been hearing many jokes, idioms, and remarks made lately involving lipstick (thank you so much Sarah Palin), but here is a cold, hard fact: when the stock market bottoms out, more lipstick is sold.

That means, with all the bad news about Wall Street going about today, people are going to need advice about this affordable luxury - and I am happy to oblige.

The Best Lipsticks of Fall 2008 (according to KiKi)
  • Lipfinity by Max Factor (I like "Passionate")
  • Cream Lipstick by Lorac (I like "Karma")
  • Mocktail gloss by Lorac ( I like "Caffeini Martini")
  • Lipgloss by Laura Mercier ("Bronzed Berry")
  • Lipstick by NARS ("Shanghai Express")

If you are at all curious to try these little beauties out, please do so and feel free to post your thoughts here! You can also tell me what your favorites are...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are these the best networking questions out there?

I just read this post by Scott Bradley about the best networking questions. I read through it, but I'm not sure if they are the best. I always like asking people, "What is your passion?" rather than "What do you do?" because I find the latter question boring.

What about you? What do you think? Are these the best networking questions out there?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Much Time for Online Community Building?

Much has been said recently about the new-ish job description for an online community builder - a person whose job it is to engage groups of people in ways other than face-to-face. But what if you are someone whose job has sort of slid into being an online community builder while you keep up with many other projects? How many hours do you spend developing communities? How many hours should you spend? When is it seriously time for another FTE?

These are all great questions and questions that I don't have answers to. Compensation-wise, it appears that official online community builders are doing relatively well and a report published in July 2008 provides some insight into those people currently identified as "online community builders."

What do you think?

Online Community Builders
Online Community Builder's Purpose Checklist
Job Description for an Online Community Builder
Online Community Report

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Drugstore Makeup Faves

One of the most common questions I receive about doing makeup concerns which brands I prefer. Although I love to splurge on pricey cosmetics with unique ingredients, I get a total rush from finding amazing products on the cheap.

Recently I tried out a few products that I am in LOVE with. Max Factor Volume Couture mascara, Sally Hansen Luminizing Face Primer, and Max Factor Lip Infinity are definitely worth the money and I would encourage everyone to try it out.

Sally Hansen Luminizing Face PrimerThis little beauty is amazing! A luminizer and a primer that glides on silky smooth and costs about $10. Compared to my other favorite primers that typically come in at closer to $35-$45 dollars, this isn't a bad deal!

Max Factor Volume Couture Mascara*The bristles on the spoolie for this mascara are the same as a prestige brand (not naming names), but costs a fraction of the price. This mascara goes on and creates a thick, glossy black fringe for the eyes. I love, love, love this stuff and the price!

Max Factor Lip Infinity*I'm not one to usually promote lip products like this - the kind that are sort of cemented on...reason being, when they do start to flake away, it much more difficult to get rid of than liner. I put Max Factor's Lip Infinity to the test and found it to be great for wearing at a convention and lasting most of the day. My rule? Stick to neutral shades so that when it does start to wear away, it won't be as noticeable. This particular brand has a lovely moisturizing "gloss" that coats over the lip stain product and I found it to be pleasant while wearing it.

*I work as a BzzAgent and receive items to test, try out, and to share with friends (if I like it) is a cool program you may wish to check out. I received the Max factor bundle as part of a Bzz Campaign. If you would like more information about this (or a couple of leftover coupons for Max Factor cosmetics), just email me!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Makeup, Marketing, and the Presidency

There are many reasons I will never be president and one of those reasons is right passion for finding new ways to take up every iota of time I have. Why do I need a blog? Mostly because I have started and quit more blogs than I care to think of over the past few years. It is like a person who wants to write a novel, but only manages to do a collection of haiku.

I am just another Association-world junkie who loves learning more about associations, membership, and what makes people want to work together. I think people who are geeky about association management are secretly sociology fiends and now with social media coming into play, those fiends are having an amazing time tweeting, blogging, and communicating in every way possible about it. We just want to talk about that so wrong?

Along with my geekiness for association management, I also have a hobby/side business as a freelance makeup artist. This is actually no small business since I get quite a bit of work for celebrities and political figures in the DC area. I love makeup - always have and always will - and I also love the artistry of applying the right kind of makeup to make people the best versions of themselves possible. Again - I have a thing for figuring out what people want and with the right tools I can give it to them...not unlike my association work.

Recently I attended the ASAE Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. It was an amazing experience and I learned much from it. I got to hang out with the illustrious A-List Bloggers (kind of like the cool kids in high school for ASAE), the CVB peeps (no one parties like Toronto CVB parties), and my own chapter and section people for the organization I work for now. I also started using Twitter waaaaaaaay more than I used to because of the ASAE Conference backchannel and because I am using Twitter more, I ended up finding a cost-effective way to have a new makeup artistry logo made. Bonus!

So what do I intend for this blog? I don't know. To prove that I can stick with have a public face for my (maybe) be accepted by the ASAE cool kids...all of it and then some. I'm hoping to be the voice for other peeps out there who don't have a blog and also to commiserate with people like me. I might even be able to share some helpful information. Whatever I do, I plan to stick with this blog for a bit and not just let it fade away without ever being published.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Telecommuting for Dummies

Today I am telecommuting from my dad's house in Missouri. It is the first time in four years that I've been back to Missouri to see family and friends and this time I had a husband and baby girl to bring with me.

Working from home has its rewards. I regularly work two days a week from home and so I follow news about telecommuters closely. My ears also perk up when I hear someone speaking negatively about telecommuting (which happens infrequently, but does still happen).

Why do people still have a problem with the idea of telecommuting? Save the Earth! Work/Life Balance! Viva New Technologies! What do those who decry telecommuting see that I don't? I read a really fantastic article about this very topic on Zen Habits (which sounds a little too granola for my usual taste).

The author writes:

4. People don’t have to be in an office. This is the one I wish most businesses would get, right now, right away. It’s so obvious once you get away from the traditional mindset. Traditionally, people worked in offices (and of course most still do). They go into the office, do their work, go to meeting, process paperwork, chat around the watercooler, clock out and go home.

These days, more and more, that’s not necessary. With mobile computing, the cloud, online apps and collaborative processes, work can be done from anywhere, and often is. More people are telecommuting. More people are working as freelancers or consultants. More businesses are allowing people to work from anywhere — not just telecommuting from home, but literally anywhere in the world. People are forming small businesses who have never met, who live on different continents. People have meetings through Skype or Basecamp group chat. They collaborate through wikis and Google apps.

If you are stuck in the traditional mindset, think hard about what things really need to be done in an office. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for working in an office, but often those barriers have other solutions you just haven’t explored yet.

The advantages of a decentralized workplace are many. Workers who have more freedom are happier, and often more passionate about their work. They enjoy collaborating with others who are smart and talented, and work is no longer drudgery. Flexible schedules work well for many people’s lifestyles. Mobile computing is actually good for many types of businesses where people need to be on the go. And what really matters isn’t that the worker is present, but that the work is being done. (...)



I think it is up to all telecommuters to be fair and diligent to ensure faith in us while we are out of the office. I also think the people who are working in the office need to be just as diligent about working regularly and recognizing the long coffee breaks and visits with neighbors often claim more time than they do for telecommuters.

Of course, should you choose to deviate from work while telecommuting OR working in your cubic-hell, here are a few ways to do so...
  1. Start a blog
  2. Look for new blogs to add to your RSS reader
  3. Read articles on SEO
  4. Get out the Wii
  5. Volunteer! :)
  6. Dust
  7. Commit to Twitter
  8. and Facebook
  9. Get a dog...a real, live dog
  10. Have a baby

For more great advice on telecommuting, check out this site: