Tagged: Day to Day

Burning the midnight Soc’oil

To be Socially engaged on online Social Networks into the wee hours of the night.

The incessant staying up not to miss out on all the social fun. Often caused by having a very lively online Social Network that is mostly located on the other side of the pond and the abundant availability of devices that make accessing ones social tools (Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc) possible everywhere and anytime (eg. in bed). Doing it long enough could have detrimental consequences for sleep patterns and cause the subject to dream in ‘tweets’. (Though that could be seen as a good pre-Lotusphere training where sleep is hard to come by anyway).

Derived from a combination of the word ‘Social‘ and the phrase “burning the Midnight Oil“: To work late into the night. Originally this was by the light of an oil lamp or candle but is nowadays replaced by the blueish shine of electronics and iShinies, hence the figurative terminology.

Related terms:
Insomniac, hermit, Twitter-critter

Happy Social Year!!

A few years back I made a dramatic change in my life. From being a pessimist I decided to become an optimist. I know sounds good, he?! “Where do I find that button?” Well you don’t. It took a lot of hard work and self-reflection to make a chance like that and it still is a work in progress. But overall I think I’m doing pretty well.

To give you an example of how melodramatic I used to be I will tell you a story my mum used to tell me….

As a kid, I must have been about 7 years old, she found me sitting on the stairs holding a melting ice cream, crying my eyes out. Startled she asked me ‘what was going on?’. My answer between two heartbreaking sobs: “In a few minutes my ice cream will be gone!” Yep, seriously, I was contemplating the end of my ice cream and that literally tore me up.

So I refuse to be like that nowadays. I take life as it comes and try to enjoy the moment (eat that ice cream before it melts!). I don’t plan beyond what I can handle and I don’t regret the past either. In stead, I see the mistakes and problems I had, or caused, as lessons to do better in the future. And to remind myself of that I started blogging. Three years long I wrote down all the little (and big!) embarrassing, funny, silly things and mishaps that happened to me and most turned out to be really funny. Reflecting upon them put things into perspective and  often made me chuckle. Now, “Where do I find that blog?!?” I hear you ask… Yes, well it is online (here) but it’s in Dutch so most of you won’t be able to read it.

The last few years though I haven’t been writing on that blog anymore. Oh I still have my embarrassing moments worth chuckling over and I still do! The medium changed, the fun didn’t. Nowadays I put them on Twitter, Facebook or share them with my friends and coworkers. Really, my life is like an open book and I’m the one having the most fun about it. By being open and honest about both my successes in life as well as my trip-ups I show people who I really am and show them I’m fallible just like everyone else. Both in private as well as in business this has made me stronger and more secure. And most importantly it has resulted in lots of new friends and contacts.

So on the brink of 2012, looking back on 2011 I can only say I had the most awesome year! I made lots of new friends (in real life as well as in cyberspace), had the most amazing experiences (becoming an IBM Champion, walking part of the Camino de Santiago, running a 15k, doing a Redbook Residency) and found a renewed love for my work with Social Business and the IBM community.

Someone wrote me a message stating “your enthusiasm about being social is contagious!” and I’m taking that as the biggest compliment there is. I can’t wait to see what 2012 is going to bring us, so Happy New Year, make it a fantastic year, make it a Social Year!

social fun risks

I can be kind of goofy. Love a good laugh and am always in for a joke. So when someone starts a Twitter meme by tweeting a picture of his feet while in a meeting with the hashtag #TweetYourFeetFriday I will join in. 
Just for fun, I mean how detrimental can a picture of two feet be?
Well…. I got told about the risks quite soon when someone who saw it pointed out the risks of certain fetishists picking up on it….

Mmm… ok yes. The idea actually had passed my mind when I was posting it but somehow I really didn’t fear that too much. Does that make me gullible? Probably, but at the same time I really don’t want to live my life looking over my shoulder every second for alternative motives. Do I expect them to be out there? Sure, do I want to mind? Nop. 
So call me crazy but I will do (good natured) crazy stuff some times. I do it in real life (ask my colleagues) I do it online (follow my Twitter). Most times it’s received as intended (good natured), sometimes its not. 

So does it mean I sometimes hit myself on the nose? Yes it does. Still I refuse to be anything less than the spontaneous, sometimes slightly crazy me!

ps. Why a picture of shoes and not the one of my feet? Well, I’m not that gullible as to putting the words ‘feet’ ‘fetish’  and a picture of my feet in one blog post. :-)

Social seating

KLM yesterday (unofficially) announced that they are looking into ways to make the seating process more social by allowing people to upload their Social Media profile information on check-in. The idea is to have people pick a seat based on the profiles of people sitting next to them so that people can check beforehand with whom they will be spending their precious hours in flight.

An innovative idea and certainly something that got them some attention but I must say I wonder whether it would be a success. Especially among the business travelers they are aiming this for.

As a business traveler myself the one thing I do when on a flight is trying not to have to socially engage to much with people next to me. You’re in each others space already and for the next 8hrs of so you can’t get away. So the last thing I want is to start a conversation that I can’t politely get out off if it turns out to be not what you expected…

it’s not as if you’re making friends for life. So apart from a polite ‘Hello‘ and ‘could I pass you for a moment‘ I generally don’t engage at all. I read my e-book, watch a film, prepare some work or sleep. That’s it. The last thing I want is people rambling on for hours about how they love tulips and windmills because they read on my profile I’m from The Netherlands.

So what would I use it for…. Well frankly (and I really don’t want to offend anyone with this, simply stating the obvious) to check if the person next to me is big. Yes, you heard it. I’ll admit that is my worst nightmare on any flight and the first thing that came to mind when reading about KLM’s initiative. Because space is already very limited it gets really frustrating if you have someone encroaching on that. Even though they can’t help it and go out of their way not to, as they find it just as embarrassing. Because let’s face it, most airplanes (especially short haul carriers)  have an absolute minimum of space alloted to each passenger and do not cater to the current situation in which at least 1/3 of people in the Western world is overweight. 

So from a personal viewpoint I think making the flight experience more ‘social’  would be accomplished much better if they gave each passenger a bit more space, not by sharing our profiles… Still, I love and commend KLM for trying to think about ways to make the flying experience more social and will certainly give it a try if it gets activated.