Monday, June 29, 2009


If only I weren't petrified about running out of money, I could really enjoy this jobless situation. There is so much I want to learn, explore, read, do... Without the pressures of a job, I have a great sense of freedom and that wonderful "new beginnings" feeling. It's a lot like the New Year. I have all these goals and things I want to do every day!

One of those things is to take a photo and blog about something that makes me smile every day. It looks like Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project had the same idea. Lots of great stuff on her blog. What's this got to do with social media? Well... for one thing, there's even a social network for Happiness! Check out Gretchen's FaceBook Fan Page for the Happiness Project. For another, I think the reason social media is so popular is due to the happiness we feel from using it. As the slideshare presentation, Happiness as Your Business Model points out, four things that cause us happiness are:

Autonomy - Social Media gives us the ability to have a voice
Competence - Social Media allows us to demonstrate and share competencies
Relatedness - Social Media allows us to build communities
Self -Esteem - Social Media allows for increased self-esteem when we receive positive feedback

I've been consciously taking a photo of something that makes me smile every day since I've been laid off. It's hard to pick just one photo to represent the day. I've been smiling a lot!

Friday, June 26 - Wildflowers in magnificent shades of blue while running along the Boulder Creek

Saturday, June 27 - Watching my VERY pregnant daughter play Guesstures (a charades kind of game) at my son-in-law's birthday celebration.

Sunday, June 28 - Seeing some little kids taking a a turtle for a walk on a pink leash.

Monday, June 29 - Dancing, singing and playing Guitar Hero with my friend, Ravi

What made you happy today?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blogging 101 - Talk, Inc. Wilmington, NC

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finding connections

I was so excited about start my first day of not having to go to work that I woke up at 3:30am yesterday to get started. There was so much I wanted to do! I was going to have a daily goal to, among other things, read and share an article I liked (done via Twitter and Facebook), connect with the author (done via Linked until today.)

I'd started to write a very long blog post about all the ways to find great articles, but I'll save that for another day and just tell you that the tool I used yesterday was popurls It's an aggregator that shows all the most popular links from lots of other tools and newsites.

A quick scan showed me a title that looked interesting: 5 Geeky Ways To Ask Someone to Marry You. Given that my primary relationship is with Laptop Guy, you may have guessed that I'm a Geeky Romantic. I checked out the article and found it quite entertaining. Great websites and other tools were mentioned, such as creating an instant website. I used the “Retweet” widget at the bottom of the page to let my followers on Twitter know about this article with the click of a button. Since I have Twitter connected to FaceBook, this also went to my Facebook friends. This is a very easy way to share information and articles that you like with others.

My next goal was to connect to the author, Ryan Dube. Clicking on the link, I was brought to a page that let me subscribe via an RSS feed to (again, explaining this will be another post for another day.) The page gave a little bio of Ryan with a lot of other great articles he's written, including one that is especially pertinent to me right now: Top 10 Most Effective Job Search Websites.

I searched the three big social media sites: Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn to see if I could find Ryan. One of the coolest things about social media is that it allows you to actually communicate with the real people behind an article that you just read. My search on Twitter and FaceBook revealed multiple Ryan Dube's and I wasn't able to tell which was the Ryan Dube I wanted to connect with. However on LinkedIn I found a Ryan Dube that included Staff Writer at MakeUseOf . Bingo! I found my guy! It turns out he even is in shared group with me: The Freelance Writers Connection

I sent Ryan an email using LinkedIn, asking if he'd connect and telling him a little about myself and that I'd like to include him in my next blog post. He sent me a very cool response:

Thanks Yvette! It was fun to write - been trying to push the limits at MakeUseOf and get tech geeks to think a little more like regular folks. Life's not all about free apps and cool Sorry to hear about the layoff...seems like so many people are going through that right now. I hope everything works out for you. The good news - if you enjoy writing, the Internet presents a whole new world of opportunity to earn decent income! Best of luck - I'll be following your blog! -Ryan

So now I have “connected” with a real person – someone that I admire and can learn from. It's so cool that due to the power of social media, we can have real conversations – one on one – with the people we find in cyberspace!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goodbye Sun, Hello World

Well, it happened. Not unexpected, but still a bit of a shock to hear the words. I'm impacted by Sun's Reduction in Force. I've dodged the bullet many times before and figured I was living on borrowed time after the Oracle announcement. I'm mentally prepared. I suppose it's a lot how I might feel at the end of my life - scared of the unknown, but so very, very grateful for all that I've been blessed with during the years I lived. Oh... and a bit panicked about wanting to be sure I say goodbye to all the people I love!

For the past ten and a half years I've worked as an IT Manager at Sun Microsystems. I've loved the job. I've often said, I'd do this work even if I weren't getting paid for it... (guess now I'll have the chance!) A couple of years ago, I submitted a nomination to Computerworld for why Sun is the best place to work in IT. The last and most important reason was the people.

Saying Goodbye to all the friends I've worked with over these years is the hardest part of this day for me. Knowing that I'm connected to so many of them via social media sites like LinkedIn and FaceBook makes it much easier. Thank goodness for those many connections I've made over the years. Many of my colleagues have gone through this before me, and luckily, we had the foresight to connect via LinkedIn way before I knew what social networking even meant. Wouldn't it be great if we still had our connections even as we head to the afterlife? I can just imagine the Tweets I'd send from heaven: "Ran into Peter at the Pearly Gates" or "JC and I having a little wine and manna. Care to join?"

But I'm not headed there yet. Right now, I'm just heading out to whereever my life leads me. Whether that's a Social Media coach/consultant, a new job in IT, or an unemployed bum enjoying life, I don't know, but it will be a fun journey. There's a big world to explore. And thanks to Social Media, I don't have to say goodbye to my past. So to all my friends and connections, past, present, and future, I won't say Goodbye. Instead, as we say in IT, let me cyber-shout an enthusiastic:

Hello World!

Personal Email Address:
Twitter: @yvettef

Sun - The Best Place to Work in IT

KUQ = Kiss Up Queen
IT = Information Technology
IBIS = Integrated Business Information Solution

Email to VP of IT, Bob Worrall on Feb.19, 2007, about why SunIT is the Best Place to Work.

Hi Bob,
I just completed Computerworld's survey to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in IT. I can't imagine a better place to work than in IT at Sun. Thank you for all you do to make Sun IT such a wonderful place to work. At the risk of furthering my self-proclaimed KUQy (Kiss Up Queen) reputation, let me tell you the top 10 reasons I love working in SunIT:

10) SunRay@Home - worked out of the box in 5 minutes! And it's fast!

9) Blogging - What a cool way to communicate! Any company that encourages employees to tell the world exactly how they feel has got to be a great place to work. I get a kick out of telling the world how ILoveSun or showing IT how Full of CHIT I am.

8) Fun - Whether it be the Broomfield Tiki Bar, the Holiday Party, the photos on the walls or the liberal holiday decorations, there is usually something fun going on in IT (at least in Broomfield!).

7) Work From Home - The flexibilities of the openWork program are a perk I find invaluable. For the first time in my 22 years of being a working Mom I finally feel like I have the perfect work/life balance.

6) Leadership that puts Values first - I'm very impressed with the focus on values we see at Sun IT. Frequent messages exemplifying values from leaders and the Transformation Team show that our leadership is serious about identifying and focusing on what is most important.

5) Having a boss with a sense of humor - Mega-busy, Colin Carmichael, still takes the time to respond to my KUQy silliness with a response and emoticon that can make my day. When we take the time to smile (or even eSmile) it makes a world of difference.

4) IBIS - I love that I'm a part of this project that will change the way we work. Things are ultra-IBISy these days, making the challenge that much more exciting.

3) Mentoring - The newly announced IT Mentoring program is another program that shows this organization is serious about growth, opportunity, and development.

2) Technology - I've been a computer-addict since my first computer from Radio Shack when I was 10. Getting paid for doing what I love is about as lucky as winning the lottery.

1) People - whether it be via email, conference call, or face-to-face, the people are the number one reason I love my job. There is so much diversity and talent. Every day I get to interact, learn from, and connect with an awesome group of people.

IT can't get any better than this!

Thank you
Yvette, the KUQ :-*

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happiness as Your Business Model

Excellent SlideShare Presentation. Most of the slides are only photos or short, so you can go through this quickly. It shows how happiness sells!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Good Explanation About Twitter

Am I a Douche Bag?

So here I am, innocently thinking how easy it should be for me to become a social media expert. I've been a techie before most of these Twitterers were even born. I'll just start blogging and Tweeting and throwing virtual snowballs at people and soon I'll be a social media sensation. Right? WRONG! OMG! (By the way, I have mixed feelings about the use of the OMG acronym. I should probably check to see if using that term labels me as a newbie (or noob?) or the cyber-equivalent of a clueless Valley Girl before I highlight or even attempt the use of such acronyms.)

Oh yes... to continue with my OMG thought... There is no way I am going to become an overnight social media expert. There are like a bazillion of them out there. I'm thinking maybe I can be a "social media for people that really don't care but have a mild sense of panic that they're missing the boat and will be thought of as old if they don't at least figure out what Twitter is all about" expert. Yes, I'll be an expert for those that don't give a Twit. I don't think there are many of those experts out there yet.

With that in mind, I have been learning an awful lot about Twitter lately, including the seemingly endless number of free utilities that will tell you everything that you wanted to learn about Tweeple and Tweetups and Twittering. One of the first Twitter apps that I tried out (before I even knew about the list) was TweetSum. This tool supposedly tells you how much of a Douche Bag you are with your Tweets, giving you a DBI (Douche Bag Index.) The lower your index the better. It gives you the DBI of your Twitter associates as well... those you follow and those who follow you. My DBI was around 35. Seeing that many others had a "perfect" 0.0 DBI, due to my competitive nature (and the fact that I really did not want to be thought of as a Douche Bag), I was determined to lower my score immediately! How in the world would anyone trust that I was any kind of Twitter expert if my DBI was 35? I quickly read TweetSum's FAQs with the hopes of learning the algorithm which TweetSum uses. The FAQ was vague claiming the DBI was related to your tweets, your followers, those you follow and your profile.

Well, I quickly found some of the big wigs at Mashable that know their way around in the social media world and started following them. This had been my plan all along, but I'd been hoping to wait until I was more of an expert myself before following the big guys. But WTH (that's What the Heck for those of us that are uncomfortable with the WTF acronym.)

The next day I checked my DBI and it had gone down to 16 point something. And guess what? Ben Parr, a guy who REALLY is a Social Media Expert has a DBI of 30 something! On top of that, some of these spammers that follow me have a DBI of 0.0! I may be new to all this, but even I know that clearly something is not right with TweetSum's DBI calculator when someone with no profile and one tweet that directs you to a "buy my product" site is getting a perfect DBI!

So, though I'm far from expert, I am recommending that all of you Twitterers out there find another tool other than TweetSum to find out how much of a Twitter Douche Bag you or your Tweeple are. I know there are other tools that will tell you and once I check 'em out, I'll give you my less-than-expert review.

Oh, by the way. I'm still not sure about all the rules concerning photos in blogs. I know the blog experts tell ya always include a photo with your post, but I don't know what's allowed from a copyright perspective. I got this photo from this guy's blog and since there's nothing about "don't copy" I'm counting on the photo being fair game. I think the guy in the photo's pretty cute, even if he is supposed to be a Douche Bag. I guess if I'm a Douche Bag at least I'll be in good company!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is Laptop Guy Too Arrogant Looking?

The Laptop Guy Experiments

I've started a new blog, under a new name. Yesterday I created a new email address, blog, Twitter account, and Facebook account for Laptop Guy. Today I registered his blog, Laptop Guy Unplugged, with

There were some good widgets and buttons from both and that were added with the click of a button! I also registered laptopguy on - a Twitter catalog. It will be interesting to see if more people start following him. He got 6 Twitter followers after signing on... spammers, no doubt.

I'm going to add a poll link to see what people think of Laptop Guy's image. I'm wondering if it's too arrogant. I might need to get a friendlier image to get people to connect.

Monday, June 1, 2009

LinkedIn Experts

Yesterday, I wrote about how to become an expert in anything, and I've been trying to prove that by becoming an overnight expert in Social Media. I started following some social media experts in Twitter and ever since I've been reading so many blogs, articles, mashups, and tweets about social media that my human brain is starting to complain that I need more memory.

One of the tweets I came upon clued me in to a Webcast hosted tonight by James Wedmore, interviewing LinkedIn guru, Lewis Howes. Howes is author of the LinkedIn Success Book: "LinkedWorking", and founder of the Sports Executives Association. The Webcast is available for replay and has some great tips and tricks.

LinkedIn, dubbed "FaceBook for grownups", is the first social network site I joined a few years ago, before I had any idea of the power of social networking. Just recently I became more active, joining groups, beefing up my network, and trading testimonials with colleagues. Lewis gave us some additional insights into adding keywords to our profiles in order to up first in a search. He also gave us the little known instructions on how to add a YouTube video to our profiles. One of Lewis's other big tips: Personalize your requests! Don't send the canned messages.

I continued my newfound knowledge of LinkedIn by searching for other experts and came across Neal Schaffer's blog which in turn sent me to Jonathan Milligan's blog post about LinkedIn Answers -- yet another great feature of LinkedIn. All in all, a productive evening.

LinkedIn is the most professional of the social networks -- definitely a powerful tool for job hunting, recruiting, professional networking, and knowledge sharing.
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