Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

Article Sharing Friday

Each Friday I am going to share some of my favorite people and a favorite article that they have written.  Today I thought I would share three favorite people with you – they are not only great writers – but great people I have come to love and respect.   In my day-to-day life in social networking and especially in the blogging community – I have met and interacted with many – but a few individuals stick out in my mind.  These I either know personally and have a “real” relationship with – or have connected with online through common experience and subject matter.  There are so many choices when it comes to following a blog.  I have found, that for me – I am better if engaged in conversation with the person who writes the blog – and the investment goes both ways.  So I am choosy when it comes to which ones I feature on my site – and those I choose to comment on.  Here are my top three choices for today:

1. Taste Hope  Is a blog site from my real life BFF Deanna.  She and I have known each other for 15 years – and served in ministry together with our husbands at the same church for about 5 of those years back in the 90’s.  She and her husband run a beautiful little B&B in North Bend, Washington.  Deanna is a pastor’s wife, licensed counselor,  gifted writer, communicator and chef.  She has amazing humor and great insight on life through her own journey.  One of my favorite articles from Taste Hope is:

  30 Things I wish Someone Had Told Me When I Graduated From High School

2. Art Of Eloquence  A blog site from my online buddy JoJo.  I have known JoJo now for about 3 years. She is a master communicator, has numerous works published for home-school curriculum and many other things on communication in general. She has hosted her own radio show – and at one point she had Greg and me join her to talk about marriage.  She always has something fresh and humorous to write about and she is a daily presence in my blogging and social networking life.  I have appreciated her comments and encouragement so much over these years and look forward to meeting her someday  in person – other than just Skype!  One of my favorite articles from The Art Of Eloquence is:

The Case For Wrinkles

3. The Fallen Pastor  A blog site from my online buddy, Ray.  I met Ray less than a year ago – stumbled onto his blog and read his story – one of failure and forgiveness.  The true story of a pastor caught up in discouragement, depression and ultimately, failure of his marriage through an affair.  He has been restored and is full of hope for the future – is a very gifted speaker and writer – whose mission in life is to help and encourage fallen ministers.  He and his wife Allison are humble and approachable – and Greg and I have visited with them both through Skype – and with all my communications and comments via blog sites or social networking – I feel as if Ray is my brother from another mother.  I love his tender and caring heart for people – and his humble and broken heart for others who have gone through trauma in or out of ministry.  One of my favorite articles of his is this:

My mess, His Message: Introduction

I trust you will be blessed and encouraged today with these three awesome people – and look up their blogs for more awesome articles!

God Bless

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The Future Of Social Networking

I just read an article and watched a really cool video showing the future of social networking on my friend David Mile’s blog.  David has a wonderful and innovative blog site and I encourage you to check it out!  David is a former staff buddy who served alongside my husband at New Life Church in Renton, Washington.  He is fun, quick and full of great ideas.  He has a beautiful wife and a new baby girl – and it is fun to read his blog about his experiences about being a new father.  It is also fun picking his brain and seeing what other ideas he can come up with!  The church where he now serves, Maple Valley Presbyterian – is lucky to have him 🙂

I have been increasingly frustrated with some social networking – and would LOVE to have it be more like what is presented in the video on David’s blog.  This is MY kind of future!!

I love facebook because of the interaction. I have a regular group of friends and we communicate almost everyday – share jokes, pictures, links and laughs.  If you are one of those newer “facebookers” and have about 10 friends – and I am one of them – you will see me a lot on your home page – because I am talking and communicating with friends.  It will look to you like I am talking to myself to just hear myself talk – or something equally ridiculous.  I’ve actually had people with a few friends say to me, “You’re on ALL THE TIME”  or, “I know EVERYTHING about you”  which of course is silly and not true.  I am on facebook to connect with others and to have fun, sure – but it is NOT just ME out there.  Now if you have several hundred people on your friend list then my comment are very seldom. And almost non-detectable to most on my list.  It’s all in your lens and how you view social networking.  It is simply a tool – used to connect.  I can tell you that I’ve found hundreds of people from places and situations where my husband and I  have lived all over the country – and it is so fun to share life with them again – where it would not be possible any other way.

Skype is also great!  I talk to my parents on this fairly often even though they only live about 25 minutes from me.  It puts a face with the conversation and makes it feel like you’re right in the same room.  My Mother loves this 🙂  I have other friends from different parts of the world too – and it’s been great to actually see them real-time and have a conversation – I love this!

As a person who has a business – it has been really great for me to stay connected with students and teachers through a website and facebook page.  I love knowing what is going on with my students and be able to connect and communicate such things as upcoming events and schedule changes – as well as fun music I want them to see – or past recital performances to inspire!

I’m still getting used to twitter and can’t say that I love it.  I know that everyone else DOES.  It puzzles me more than anything.  Here’s what I don’t like:  People just spewing out random little “nothings” about every 2 minutes or so.  Now to be fair – I found out from my friend and fellow “Twitteror” Deanna, that  people have apps that run all these random little “nothings” for them – so they don’t have to actually do anything themselves – all work is done for them.  It makes them appear plugged in and engaged in social media – when they aren’t even there. Pretty crazy.  I’m kinda wondering, “what’s the point”?  And as far as connecting with others in the music profession like myself?  Blah.  Nobody takes the time to answer questions on twitter.  I can reply – retweet and follow those I think will have helpful tips and be able to share education experiences – and I’ve come up with MANY dead ends on this.  Most will NEVER ever reply to me.  Following a blog is a WAY better idea.

Which brings us to blogging.  This is probably my favorite social networking of any of them – and I belong to them all – even Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Reddit and Digg.  Blogging brings people together in a very specific way – those that are on your same journey.  There’s something powerful about that.  At least for me.  I started this blog site a little over 2 years ago because I felt the need to express myself and thoughts through writing.  The site was really just for me – but it’s turned into way more than I ever thought and the Lord used it in a mighty way that blows my mind.  I’ve even been on the radio talking about it my blog and blogging in general – as well as being a “guest blogger” on many different blog sites.  It’s humbling to say the least – I never thought that my words or thoughts could be so powerful in motivating and encouraging others – but they have been and I thank God for that because that’s all I ever want to be – a blessing to others.  I get private emails all the time expressing how my writing of a particular article is just for them – it’s really wonderful to hear.  I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve gained by blogging – just look at my blogroll and RSS feed and you’ll see the friends and people who have influenced me and literally rock my daily world. I’m proud to call each of them friend.

Now there is a secret with blogging that some of us understand.  I’m going to let you in on it too – if you are reading this and contemplating a blog site for yourself or you want to gain more readers.  You have to take the initiative.   You have to be a presence on their blog site.  This takes focus and is a time commitment on your part – but it’s well worth it.  Decide who you want to invest in – and then be there – make a contribution by commenting.  It should be returned – but sadly, it isn’t always.  Be the one to leave the comments as  a courtesy and eventually they will follow your example.  Is this always easy to do?  No.  I follow about 10 or so blogs consistently and it does take time – but the relationship and contribution through blogging is invaluable and you can’t find that elsewhere – so it is worth investing in.  Women are better at this than men – and I don’t hold it against my guy friends who don’t always contribute to my blog – they simply are just not able to with time constraints and let’s face it – men don’t need to connect like women do – so go easy on them.  They are still reading your blog 🙂

Just don’t be one of those that thinks, “If I comment on their blog – no one will want to visit and comment on my blog anymore”  You couldn’t be MORE WRONG.  Change your attitude and decide to be the positive and encouraging word for them.  You may literally change a bad day.  And be the reason that they keep writing.

Click here to see the video “A Day Made Of Glass” to see all the future possibilities in store for us!  And thanks to my friend, David for posting this today!

God Bless

The Bottom Line to Social Networking

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I am an unashamed social networker.  I have heard all the horror stories just like you – and even know those who refuse to join something like facebook because of what they’ve heard.

A couple of weeks ago – my husband and I went to see the movie about the humble beginnings of Mark Zuckerberg and what has now become a multi-billion dollar company, facebook.  It takes nothing short of a genius to create something like this and build and promote it to its HUGE success today.  It’s really fascinating.  I’m not so concerned with how Mark was portrayed in this movie – it may or may not be true and I’m sure he is NOT a big ‘people person’ – he may in fact be a jerk – but no one can argue that jerk or not – he is the youngest billionaire in the world.

I remember hearing about facebook about 5 years ago – but it seemed that even then you needed to belong to a University or at least be a student somewhere to join.   None of my friends were on there.  Myspace was the big deal then – and at first I resisted having my own page.  I would look around on my daughters page and moniter like any good parent to make sure there weren’t any weird people talking to her.  Then finally I gave in and created my own page – complete with music that I liked and pictures just where I wanted them.  It was fun – and each day I was finding more and more people who I knew.

Facebook was always in the back of my mind though.  I learned from one of my friends, from Australia, that facebook was the better way to connect with people and especially those overseas.  She actually preferred it and urged me to try it.  So about 4 years ago, I did.  Not many of my friends were on 4 years ago – it was a little lonely being in my age group with a bunch of younger people – but I took a leap and just dove in.  It was fun – and like Christmas everyday when someone new would ‘add’ me – or find me.  The profile page looked quite a bit different in those days and it was fun adding little touches that made my page unique.

As the word spread about facebook to my age group – more and more people joined everyday – and what was once very sparse with people my age –  is now impressively in the lead with numbers – I’m talking about those in the 35-55 age group.  Go BABY BUSTERS AND BOOMERS!!

Here is my ‘2 cents’ about facebook:

1)  It is a social network – created to communicate and find people.  If you have a page – communicate and be social!

2)  It is NOT evil or the antichrist – built to suck out your brains, your intellect and your time.  If that is how you feel about talking to people online – you best not even email anybody.

3) It IS a tool designed for making it easier for people to connect, share pictures and information with people who you know from all over the world that otherwise it would be impossible to do.  How many people do you still keep in touch with from 20 or 30 years ago that haven’t moved at least 3 times, changed their telephone number and email so many times you can’t track them anymore.  Facebook allows you to find and stay in a person’s world and transcends moving addresses, telephone numbers and email accounts.

4)  There are privacy settings for the paranoid and for people suffering from all forms of paranoia out there.  I am being a little factitious –  obviously none of us want our identity stolen (which I have had done – and it was NOT by information on facebook – but rather through credit card residuals).  But information can be easily obtained – and most everyone can be accessed today – information and all through the internet.  You just have to be cautious – like with anything else in your life – and use common sense.  If someone wants your information – believe me.  They can get it – I’m proof of that.  We cannot live in fear – we just need to practice wisdom as with anything else.

5) For the ‘stalkers’ and people who do not want to ‘friend’ me – but want to look at my information – I’m not interested in you seeing my stuff – and I have employed the wonderful little ‘block’ application on my privacy settings.  You’re either a friend and would be proud to be on my list – or you’re not.  If there are people that you do NOT want seeing what you write about – to see pictures and things you do on  facebook – then this is very handy and I must admit – I have had to use it. I figure if they are my friends – they will already be on my list and I will let them see anything I post – and if they want to be my friend – they will send me a request – but if they are not and have no intention of being so – then they don’t have any business seeing my page.  Luckily I haven’t had to use the ‘block’ option often.  But likely you may have cause to use this option – at least once or twice.  There is also a wonderful little ‘X’ that you can click on – that allows you to ‘hide’ someone’s status updates and comments when they are  rude or vulgar.  Luckily I have only had to do this a few times.  Remember – if you do this – the person will not know that you have done it.  They do not get notified – much the same way if you have to delete a friend or even block someone – they are not notified.  It is a safe way to keep your world more private.

6) Sometimes you have to do a little ‘house cleaning’ on your friend list.  I had close to 1100 friends at one time.  No one has that many friends.  It’s crazy.  And because people have their friend lists open to everyone – it did feel a little like my information was getting out to too many people whom I did not know.  Therefore I went through my list and decided if I really knew that person and communicated with them – then they would stay.  I would ask myself, – ‘Do they ever communicate with me?  Even once in a while?  Would they care or not care if they were in my ‘world’?’  And I started thinning it out a little.  I got it down to under 700 and that is where it has remained for several months.  I have left my name so that when doing a search for my name – it will come up – but everything else is very private.  There is a good reason for this.  And I know you have your reasons too.  If you know me and want to be in ‘my world’ – then add me – otherwise I will  not add you – if I don’t know you.

7)  I have found people from days gone by that my husband and I knew 30  years ago and it has been a joy and a pleasure to welcome them and reconnect!  This is one of the simple pleasures of facebook!

8) I love connecting with good friends each and every day – to know what they’re doing and they know what I’m doing too.  It is the day and age of information exchange and this can be a very positive thing!

9) Don’t criticize what you don’t know anything about.  I don’t know how many people I have tried to convince that facebook is NOT evil – but actually a great tool for communication – and those that refuse seem very critical and even negative – thinking that all we do all day is sit on the computer and waste time.  Well – my computer is on all day but believe it or not I actually do have a life that is very busy and full.  I teach 25 students a week and am preparing again to teach music to a theater class.  I prepare lesson plans – listen to music – write on my blog – print out sheet music – practice the piano – prepare meals for my family – shop – socialize with my husband – etc. etc. etc…..  Do I ignore my friends on facebook because I have so much else to do?  NEVER.  It is a choice.  And it takes a moment to wish someone a good day – to give a word of encouragement and a smile.  I am prompt at returning my emails and messages.  Are people really saying they’re too busy to do this?  We all know people that only check their email once a month – so FRUSTRATING!!  I’m pretty busy and I still have time to answer my emails and messages and to communicate with  my friends everyday.  However – I do not show that I am online because for me – it is distracting to have someone break in and send me a message with online ‘chat’ – while I am working.  But I never ignore a message and return everyone as soon as I can.

10) Limit yourself if you are not good at ‘time-management’.  You only waste time that you allow to be wasted.  I am not a time waster – so the idea of having to ‘take a break’ from talking or encouraging someone everyday seems crazy to me – but I hear about people doing this.  Just can’t relate.  I would never take a break from being a friend to someone.  To me it’s unthinkable.  And it gives facebook and those of us that love social networking a bad name.

And finally – if you see me online – say ‘hello’ – don’t just ‘quietly observe’ so I won’t know you’re online.  I don’t know how many people have said to me, ‘I see you on facebook – you seem to be having so much fun – I don’t like to say anything, I just like to look”  Make your presence known!! – Facebook is for connecting and being social.  Stop by and let me know you’re there!  I’m not too busy to have a quick word of encouragement or to see how you’re doing.  No one should be too busy for that.

Have fun – brighten someone’s day today.  You may be the only one who does!

God Bless

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