Business, Social Media, Yoga

Cave to the Facebook Pressure

The irony of blogging about Facebook to a culture + generation of people that are averse to joining social media platforms: is anyone going to benefit from this post?! oh hellz yeah. Someone is going to read my words of wisdom and tell their mother’s brother’s cousin’s best friend’s aunt’s sister. BAM! viral. Just. Like. That.

Ok maybe not.

But it needs to be said and hopefully YOU can pass along the information to the damn Facebook holdouts in your community.  Here’s the issue: Business owners are still holding out on creating Facebook accounts.  Countless yoga teachers are among these hold outs.  And I get it. I truly do. I’ve been inside your head. Want to see?

As a yoga teacher, self promotion makes me feel yucky. I strive to release my ego and I worry that it will feed it. Honestly, I prefer personal connection and interpersonal communication. Social media is an annoying distraction. I’d rather have a personal conversation in real time over a cup of chai. I totally get social media is good for my business, I just have some sort of a mental block around diving in.  WTF is a #? I totally don’t understand Pintrest but Instagram is kinda fun!.

Ya see what I did there? I got right in your pretty yoga teacher brain. I get you. We come from the same space. I’m just a little different.

I am not a hold out.  Quite the opposite. I am a self proclaimed social media junkie. I registered for a Facebook account as soon as they would let me without an .edu email address. I hate admitting this, but Facebook is an open browser on my computer 99.99999999999999999999999999999999% of the time. The Facebook and Facebook Pages Ap are probably my two most used aps on my Iphone. My financial advisor hubs has been pushing Facebook stock on the reg these days. It’s one of his recent favorite pics, simply because he sees how much I utilize it for just about everything – business, family and friends.

So, here’s the deal. Social Media isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Instagram and blogging platforms are and will continue to be essential mediums for you to grow your studio, your kula and your following.

The beautiful thing is, you don’t have to be personally active on Facebook. You can sign up and create a Fanpage, which is different from your personal page.  It’s essential that your business fanpage is not a profile page. Profile pages max out at 4k friends. There’s no max for likes of fan pages. You can also designate another administrator of a Fanpage to help you out!   If you want, you can even manage your all social media from exterior platforms like Social Oomph and Hootsuite. However, the point is, they need to be managed. The key to social media is the social part. You actually have to interact with your community.

Social media is just an advertising switch you have to flip

20 years ago, you would have purchased a print ad in a local newspaper. Today you post that same ad on your Facebook fan page. The awesome difference is, you get to actually engage with people and respond in real time to their reaction to your “advertisement.” Now seriously, come on. How awesome is that? It’s almost like a newspaper you picked up at Hogsmeade, but better because the people don’t just wave, they talk back! That’s got to be a sliver of personal communication- right?

Cave. It is essential to your business. If you have questions or need help, post a comment or email me. I got you, sister!

Advocacy

Of Self Preservation and Social Media

I am passionate about a number of things but the big ones tend to revolve around women (feminism), environment and politics. It’s the interconnection of feminism, environmentalism, politics, activism and spirituality – otherwise known as [modern] ecofeminism.

My personal soap boxes include reproductive justice (including abortion, birth choice, breast feeding and maternity rights), the right to naturally cultivated, organic food (including Anti-GMO, right to grow, raw milk, farmers collectives) and environmental health issues, specifically in women (including EDCs/Breast Cancer and patriarchal dominated research funding).

Given the recent passage of that sneaky little thing referred to by many as the Monsanto Protection Act, the Anti-GMO movement has been my hot button this week.  I am helping to organize the March Against Monsanto for New Brunswick, NJ.  The lead organizer asked me to be one of the speakers at the rally. At first I was terrified (I haven’t dug into that type of public speaking since college), then I was psyched and said yes. Then I analyzed it from a conflicts of interest and office politics perspective and told her I would have to think about it.

I love advocacy rhetoric.

Show me a cause to fight for and I want to know and understand the words you use in your fight, if they work, why and how.  It’s the exhilarating part of campaign work for me. I love being an active participant in democracy; speaking out and fighting for the things I believe in. After all, Democracy is NOT a spectator sport.

But right now, I love my financial stability a bit more. My resurgence into political activism is failing miserably. I feel like a bad activist.

Being caught in the press on video advocating against Monsanto and collectively GMO and GM  may be down right dangerous for my job security.  How do you fight the big man, when the big man indirectly pays your bills? A non-profit institute of higher education pays my bills directly but their bills get paid through research dollars and a significant amount those research dollars come from biotech.  I have only been here a year…I may need to get some time under my bootstraps before I start shaking the tree.  But I am not giving up. I emailed my Executive Director as well as the Director of Conflicts in the Office of General Counsel to get their thoughts. However, OGC may have their hands full right now given the latest athletic scandal.

SIDE NOTE: when are people going to wake up and realize that Athletic culture is FUCKED UP?? It’s BROKEN.  Freaking fix it already.

So I will wait to hear back from my director and OGC to see whether or not I can take advantage of an incredible opportunity  to speak in front of 100s of people on a day that 1000s of Davids protest Goliath. If they don’t think it’s the best idea, I will continue to help organize and I will attend, I’ll just stay out of the spotlight. It’s totally frustrating and disheartening, but at this moment, self preservation is key.

Now, getting back to my happy place.

I’ve been doing some awesome work with the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation on their Communications Committee. I am spearheading a rebranding campaign for them including color palette, logo rules, voice/tone and the whole shebang. I’m also working with another volunteer to give the blog (and website) a visual and content facelift.  I love this stuff. I was up last night until midnight jamming on content, editorial calendars, layout and SEO.

I don’t know where this mega nerd in me came from, but she’s hot.

I think she probably came from B-School. Thanks, Marie. Even though I don’t run a business anymore, you definitely flipped a switch in me! The more I look back on my time spent with LBG the more I realize what I loved was the branding, the social media the digital campaign work. Understanding that is making it easier to let go a little, more and more each day.

I already need to pick my classes for Fall 2013…given my love for everything social media, I think I am starting to fall into the Digital Media side of the program more and more. The director of the MCIS program actually predicted that this would be where I would end up.

Advocacy

Critical Thinking and Run-On Sentences

What’s wrong with standardized tests

Yesterday I read a piece in the Washington Post entitled A warning to college professors from a high school teacher, by Valerie Strauss. It was the reprint of a letter that first appeared in Academe, the journal of the American Association of University Professors by Kenneth Bernstein.  It’s a searing criticism of 2001’s No Child Left Behind Act and an eye opener in educational policy written by policy makers without any practical (hands on teaching) experience.  I immediately tweeted the article out to @PeteDomenick (who by the way, never responds to my tweets- jerk!) because it’s a topic that I would love to hear on his radio show, Stand UP with Pete Domenick.

Bernstein’s arguments all make perfect sense to me. As a yoga teacher and student, I know that the very best teachers/classes are taught not by the ones that have studied yogic philosophy or taken 1000s of hours of trainings. But the ones that have studied and taught 1000s of classes.  As a law student that has moved from classes to clinical to practice.  I know that hands-on is always the best. It’s practical vs. the theoretical.

I finished college before No Child Left Behind. I was never subject to the ridiculous rigorous testing that students face today. I personally don’t think I could handle it.  I am the woman who chose to law school instead of graduate school simply because the LSAT didn’t include math. LSATs are a different kind of testing. It’s reading comprehension and logic. It’s not just multiple choice. It IS critical thinking.  I don’t know much about education policy but I do believe that generally, standardized testing does not accurately reflect one’s intelligence.  And forcing children to conform to A, B, C, D or sometimes E doesn’t foster critical thinking.  All that being said,  culpability for the inability of today’s youth to think critically can’t be placed only on standardized tests.

The internet internet is making us stupid.

OMG + LOL,

More specifically, lazy internet chatter is making us stupid.  It’s not the access to unlimited amounts of knowledge, it’s social networking. Chat rooms, forums, Facebook and twitter feeds have dulled our wordsmithing prowess and ability to critically analyze and articulate thoughts.  In college I excelled at writing. Rhetorical advocacy was my forte. I could whip out a thought provoking, moving, campaign speech  in a matter of hours.  In law school, my verbosity exploded and was then reigned in by Wydick (thank you, Plain English for Lawyers).  Whether it was too many words, or concise words, I could still string them together properly.  Grammar was my best friend.

Since finishing my LL.M, a few things have changed;  I stopped writing on a daily basis, my reading habits changed and social media exploded.  Social marketing IS the way to do business today.  If you’re not tweeting, emailing, building your list and interacting with others online, your business isn’t thriving, it’s most likely failing. The hip way to write these days is with creative punctuation accented with the creative use of color, font and italics for emphasis. Gone of the days of using punctuation to make an exclamation (even if we did annoy Elaine with the excessive !!!!! use). Now it’s font size and color.  No one has done this more effectively than Danielle LaPorte. (Side note: I have immense respect for Danielle. I have purchased both her books, I am on her list. I retweet her words on the regular. I am a fan).  Danielle put “+” on the map and it has since spread like wildfire.  There isn’t one single fempreneuer out there that hasn’t pilfered from her marketing formula. As a female business owner I’ve done the same. Live. Breathe. Grow. and Sprouting Wellness emails were sent out focused on

 ATTENTION + CALL TO ACTION

Critical thought, complete sentences and grammar have been tossed out the window.  As a small business owner, I enrolled in online marketing school. I hired other fempreneuers to teach me their secrets to social media copy.  I was in the thick of the social marketing game.  It’s social marketing for the MTV generation and it has fucked with our ability to construct grammatically correct critical thought! Strunk & White are crying in the corner.

And now, here I type, small business laid to rest (for them moment- never say never), embarking on a Ph.D, and I can’t remember how to write.  I am not a member of the No Child Left Behind generation. I am their big sister. I was taught to think critically and to write in high school, college and law school (thank you, Scott Gibbs, Susan Picard, Paul Erickson, Andy Freed, Jim May and Cliff Fechtschaffen).  I have the burning desire to dig through boxes in my father attic, searching for my Advocacy and Argument, persuasive writing and  Rhetorical Theory notebooks from college simply so I can participate in an intelligent written discussion in one of my graduate online classes.  I can’t blame standardized tests.  The only thing I have to blame is too much time lost in online forums and opinions limited to 140 characters or less.