Posts filed under ‘Social Media’

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am in a quandary. I have been mulling a long time about writing something more substantial. I could say time and energy are against me with a demanding but satisfying job and a busy life. However, there are words in my head and I want to try and get them on paper/keyboard.

I did start writing a children’s story a while back and showed a few chapters on the blog – Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. I know what I want to write and I know the Chapters I added into the blog need work. I have started on this but we are in the early stages.

The question is what to do? Approach a publisher? I know that most publishers are very risk-averse these days, book sales are dropping and new writers are finding it harder than ever to be signed up. This naturally brings me to the dreaded phrase in social media – self publishing 🙂

I don’t want to be the scourge of social media *weeps quietly* but I do have a inkling how this could be a good thing. If I go for self-publishing then I can make sure that at least 50% of any profits go to children’s charities. When I consider how much time I spend nagging folk to donate to charity then isn’t it time I put my money where my words are? Yes, I donate regularly, both monthly and by never passing a collection box, sponsoring etc. However, if I can raise money with my words then I am putting myself out there.

I will still blog, will still nag you all but there will be time spent on putting this book together and seeing where I go. Even if I only raise a few pounds then at least I have tried. I will use Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin and Google+ to publicise and we will see where we go.

Why post about this today? Simples. I work better when I give myself a deadline. If I say out here that I am going to write then the pressure is on and a little self-imposed stress can be good for one:) I will update periodically on progress but my initial deadline to me if to have it completed by next summer. Research is needed as well as re-writes and more chapters so this should be enough time to spend my weekends on this. Wish me luck folks, I most definitely need it.

Think of me looking like this!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

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October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am 2 comments

Social Media Exile

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I decided to take a break from all social media for one working week. Five days. No twitter, no Facebook, not even Linkedin, not that I call Linkedin social media. I am many people get value from it but me I just don’t get its (business bingo alert!) ‘value proposition’. The other impact was that I decided to be blog-free too and that I should feel guilty about.

Why did I take this exile? I was saturated in the social media whirl, I needed a break to recharge my typing fingers and clear the confused mass of thoughts clunking round my head. I was starting to feel déjà vu in all my interchanges. In other words, I was boring myself. A person who feels boring is boring so I thought it best to take a little sabbatical before everyone else agreed with me. You can be angry, you can be sad, you can provoke, you can share too much or too little; all those are acceptable faces for the social media hive mentalities. However, boring is the one thing you should never, ever be. I am not sure that I have my mojo back just yet but am dipping my toe in the water again to see if I can raise a smile on my face or better yet, someone else’s. I will judge my performance in a few weeks.

I haven’t been terribly worried about ‘being missed’ while I was away. People have mentioned me but at its heart the world of social media is an immediate world. If you are there then you are at the party, if you are not the party continues merrily without you. This is a good thing. Certainly for facebook and Twitter with friending and following it is about there here and now. You are not there to cast your words into a virtual cloud and expect them to be admired, you are there to have a bit of craic and if you are lucky your words will resonate with someone else and a conversation will unfold. I am only talking about my own viewpoint and experience. There are many who use all social media for work, education, political discussion. I can be serious on Twitter and Facebook but reserve most of my serious for here.

So what did I get up to? Did I spend more time with family, increase my fitness, write a book, even read a book? I wish I could say yes, yes and yes but I cannot. I frittered my time away in other ways. I may have gained three stars in Angry Birds Seasons, 2011  and 2012. Oh the shame….. not:)

I did think though. I thought about this blog and what I want to do with it. There is the never-ending search for more readers and more people to donate to a charity and write to me. I could say this is nothing to do with ego but that would be tosh. Anyone who blogs wants people to read their words, to deny this would ring hollow. I want people to read what I write. More than that is my wish for people to write to me.

My plans? I am making a list. I want sponsorship. This is not for me. I want Companies who wish to advertise here and their payment to be donations to a children’s charity. If you know anyone who wants to advertise online please let me know. If you can think of Companies I should approach then please let me know. I am happy to write more to achieve this so any ideas are most welcome. You can of course message me on Twitter and Facebook and even Linkedin!

As for now, back to the party!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

June 19, 2012 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

Rambling, Ranting and a bit of Sport Relief.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Pre-read warning, this post has a few tangents. Please stick with it, I will have a point, promise…..

I watched most of the BBC’s Sport Relief programme on Friday night. I smiled, laughed and cried in the same measure. I donated, of course I did, I can’t really blog about giving without taking action myself. It was always my intention to donate but I do leave it until near the end every time, perhaps to focus on the watching first, I am not altogether sure.

One  thing that struck me as painful was a new slant I see on programmes of this type. In years gone by there were segments where we we would see a child near death through starvation, pneumonia or malaria. Through the ‘power of television’ we would then see the same child a couple of days/weeks later; they would be on the mend and a smiling presenter would tell us how our donations had made a direct impact on this child’s life.

The same thing happened when we were presented with the children living on streets, working from the age of two to help support their families with no hope of education or a change in circumstances. The next ‘cut to camera’ shot would be those children smiling in classrooms learning their way out of poverty with their families benefiting from some small sum to enable this. Cue happy smiles all around. Our guilt assuaged, we were able to smile too and move on.

Now? The ‘fluffy’ picture has gone. We see the sad and ill children but we do not cut to them getting an education or getting better.  We see other children benefiting from the classroom and other children starting to heal. The children working on rubbish dumps or making bricks were left there to work themselves quite literally to the bone. As for the children who were ill, we were shown shots of resustitation. Frantic efforts made by staff who saw too much death, they brought some children back from the brink but only temporarily. It was a powerful picture, the face of a devastated and exhausted health worker with a glimpse of the body of a small dead child. It was harsh to watch, we moved from the laboured breathing to no breath at all. I cried. I am sure many people cried. However, my tears do no good in this situation, I just hope my money does make a difference to some other mother’s child, I couldn’t help the mothers of those children we saw.

I know why they have moved away from the ‘cute’ shots. Society is ever-changing, the power of the internet means that we can see almost anything we want. Depends what we want to see. I have no desire to see an execution, no desire to see a child die. Are we now so jaded by multi-media that this needs to be the case? The celebrities are still there, they still cry too. Many people feel this is a poor use of celebrity (notoriety even?), that these are crocdile tears furthering a career and not a cause. I disagree to a large extent but have one comment. I don’t need to see a celebrity doing this to make me want to give, a reporter can have the same impact for me. But then we get to my next point –  are there some who enjoy seeing the celebs sadness watching the harsh lives or deaths of others? I would really hate to believe that, if that is how people think then we are in a sorry state as a race, the human race. For myself, it can be reporters, it can be celebrities, they all bring attention to the cause and that is what must be important.

So now, a not so smooth segue to words, specifically the words in the media. There is a link to the rest of this post, I will get to it. A young Welshman was jailed today for posting racist tweets about the footballer Patrice Muamba after he collapsed on the field of play last week. When challenged by other Twitter users he compounded his previous utterances.

I disagree with what he said, this doesn’t go without saying because it needs to be said again and again. I will add though that in my opinion he was drunk and stupid. And here is my point – my warning about social media. In the days before Facebook, Twitter and all those other sites you would be with friends. When you are drunk and stupid with friends they tell you to ‘wind your neck in’ (that is what they would tell you in Northern Ireland anyway) and you would stop. If you carried on, your mates would take you home and leave you there until you sobered up and apologised to them. You do not get the chance to be sorted out so quickly on social media. Your words are out there and all it takes is a couple of retweets or shares and millions will see your crass stupidity. Those millions will screen-scrape and save that stupidity and it will get reposted out there, you can never forget it.

The court case has made some cheer and some frown. There is much debate about the difference between free speech and incitement. I would like to think this young man was not trying to incite hatred but his words were racist and that is against the law. If his words have allowed someone else to justify their bigoted ways then damage has been done.  He will have to live with his actions for a long long time.The horrible truth is that there are many people who post this kind of drivel every day but they do not catch the attention of enough people. I make no excuses for this young man or anyone else, I only know I would never want to cause offense to others with my tweets. Even live phone-ins have a slight delay so that we can filter what goes out on the airwaves. I know the point of social media is not to censor but wouldn’t it be helpful if they had an ‘Are you Sure You Want to Make a Complete Eejit of Yourself’ button that stupidity wouldn’t get out there so easily?

Please do not think I make light of either topic here but I will close with one last point. Would all social media users like to focus their words on changing this world to be a more caring and careful place? Can we have one day where you post only about how you can help one person? Why don’t we have a #changethisworld hashtag, is it too much fun to challenge?

I leave you with the BBC Sport relief website in case you want to check it for yourself – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sportrelief/

Thank You BBC and Sport Relief!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

March 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm 2 comments

So, Which Type Are You?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

It is a quiet Sunday evening and I have done all I intend to do for this day. I am meandering through the virtual universe, reading some blogs and dipping to and out of social media sites.

I find myself intrigued by the different types who tweet, blog and post on Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin etc. I find it interesting that there are, to my mind, some very defined categories of social media users. I have of course made a list. This is not a serious analysis of social media by any means, this is just my own little definition:-

1. The Politico.

The Politico is not a politician but a person who likes to put their political opinion out there. Be they left, right, centrist or multi-coloured swap shop they will be telling you what is right, fighting with those who disagree and happily agreeing and reinforcing the opinions of those they agree with. For me they provide education in alternative viewpoint but occasionally my jaw drops when I read something that seems alien to me. The debates can get heated and even quite nasty but I still enjoy reading it most of the time. If I am not grown-up enough to see opinions that differ from mine then I ain’t old enough to be on social media.

2. The Campaigner

The Campaigner is perhaps one of the categories I fit into when you think about the reason I blog but I have multiple traits. The Campaigner works, often quite tirelessly, to promote a cause or causes dear to their heart. This can be charitable, business, technology, lifestyle. They are different from the politicos in that they don’t necessarily want to convert you to their cause but instead raise awareness and understanding of the same. They will try to persuade rather than cajole and are always charming in their thanks when you show your support,

3. The Provoker

You have to love  The Provoker. They are such fun if you can take the pace! The Provoker will stir things up simply to get a reaction. One day they will support blues, the next reds simply to wind up the reds and blues. Some of the reds and blues do get rankled but I think the Provokers have a very necessary function, they challenge. They can be confusing but make you laugh and make you think.

4. The Humourists

The Humourists can have a lot in common with the Provokers as they will burst the bubbles of those they perceive as pompous. However, their focus is on laughter and making people smile. The humour can get near the knuckle but most of us are old enough to take it; if we can’t we are certainly old enough not to click the links?

5. The Lurkers

We all fit into this category sometimes. There are times when we read and don’t interact, when we just aren’t in the mood. Some are permanent Lurkers though; I confess I could never be one, I love to talk in case you hadn’t noticed.

6. The Ranter

Some would say I am repeating myself here and the the Ranter is a copy of the Provoker. Not in my social media world. The Ranter is the Mr or Mrs Angry of the virtual world. They may be provoking but not to stimulate thought, they want to stimulate rage. You have to be brave to take them on.

7. The Amuse Bouche

Perhaps an odd category but I have a large soft spot for the Amuse Bouche. They are the random thoughts of the social media world. They may be quiet for long spells but when they are in the mood their bon mots will have you in stitches. They are not Humourists as they are not joke-tellers, they are observers of life and its nonsenses.

8. The Eejits

I probably most closely identify with this category as I am happy to admit my inner and outer Eejit. We Eejits want to chat, spin daft tales and simply enjoy ourselves. We are serious as well but often we stray into the bonkers where *chortles* await. Social media is a place for fun too and we should not forget this.

I suspect that at times we all fit into the categories above but wonder, where do you think you belong?

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

February 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm 2 comments

Social Media, Angel or Demon?

Why do I do this? Simple, you donate to a childrens charity and comment on this blog about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley page….

I had a brief conversation on Twitter earlier this evening. The discussion centered around one person, gone from Twitter, who abused the trust of many people and caused great hurt. He was a charming person, I met him once when I went to a tweetup in London. We did follow each other and had some conversations but he was closer to many others on the medium. He met many regularly, taking their hospitality and kindness but repaid all this with lies and deceit. There are more specific posts on this person who I will not name. It only triggered in me some thoughts on the concept and possibilities of social media and what it can be or do……

I know I am me on social media. That may sound odd to some of you but social media is a place where you can be someone else. My picture is up there, out of date but it is me. I have my own name on there too. I use social media for fun; I do try to publicize the blog on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Linkedin but I don’t hide that, this blog needs readers and people to write to me so that I can fulfill my blogging aims. The rest of the time I use it for laughs and to learn things.

Many people, however, choose not to share their names and pictures. I don’t see a problem in that, a private life is just that and many like to keep their identities quiet for personal reasons. I know of people who have left social media as work colleagues/relatives have found them and made their lives uncomfortable. I also don’t mind that there are people who want to leave their normal identity behind and adopt a persona for their social media life, that choice is theirs.

Where the problem may lie is how people use that persona. Most people trust and give that trust freely and quickly, I know I do. I may be silly-optimistic but I like to think that people do not want to harm others. Yes, we all have been hurt by other people in life or Twitter, sometimes to heartbreak but is it fair to say that this probably wasn’t the intention from the start? I am sure there are some mean users of people out there but 99% of people work to be decent and fair. I am interested in your thoughts on this one, please write to me if you agree or disagree.

The red-tops often have a ‘shock-horror’ story on the Great Perils of Social Media. They imply that behind every avatar lurks evil personified. I agree that social media has been a gift to those who would groom the vunerable whether they be adults or children. I don’t believe in corporal or capital punishment but these people take me close. The online world is not easy to police and those who aspire to evil are always working hard to circumvent any controls. I have and do warn my children about this; they roll their eyes at their sad mum and mumble something that sounds like ‘we would be more worried about you’. Eh? 🙂

So, how do we protect ourselves from the perils of social media? Isn’t it simple? We be ourselves whether we show a picture and a name or not. Don’t send inappropriate private messages, those can be misleading. I do send private messages but only to people I have regard for. Be rude and funny, just don’t be truly offensive. I follow many people that others could find over-the-top but they are funny and sarcastic and I love them all! I have met people in real life, both in Northern Ireland and England. I think some of my family were worried when I sauntered over to my first tweetup in Derby but I had a fantastic time with a great bunch of people, many of who reciprocated and spent a weekend in Belfast. Last summer I also went to a large tweetup in Regent’s Park and it was awesome. I met people again, new ones too and I regard them as friends. Yes, we all met in public spaces and yes, it took a short while to warm up but then the craic and laughter was high-quality. I will do it again. This may not be to your taste, you perhaps think I am foolish. But know this, I am a sensible person and I act sensibly. I don’t want to look back at my life and think what I could have done, I want to look back and know what I did.

There are liars and cheats in all walks of life. Those who are determined to do so will inevitably have some success until they are found out. I know this, if it seems to good to be true then it likely is too good to be true. I will be me, I will be sensible and I hope that my trust when it is put out there will not be abused. I say be careful out there but don’t forget to have fun too.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

January 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm 4 comments

Opinionated?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I was, as usual, on Twitter this week. Anyone who has read this blog will know that Twitter is my favourite social medium. People chat in their 140 character limit. I am constantly amazed at the amount of humour, sarcasm, fact, kindess and even venom imparted in one tweet. You can of course use various tools to do longer tweets but most people make an effort to stick to the ‘limits’.

I do have accounts on other social networking sites such as Facebook and Linkedin but I always move back to Twitter. I think it is the immediacy that attracts me. Twitter is always scrolling, always moving. You can pop in and out, join conversations as they happen before the mood moves on to another thread, another subject that will make one person laugh and another shriek.

I do follow people who are not ‘backward in coming forward’. Strong opinions are forcibly expressed, sometimes to reinforce a point but sometimes to stir things up. The latter can appear very emotional, blunt, even offensive. If you don’t like strong language then you wouldn’t want to follow all those I follow. It can be tough to see some of the conversations when people you like and admire are caught up in an intense and insulting battle. I have occasionally logged out when it gets too personal; I am obviously a total wuss:)

I hold very strong opinions too but I don’t always share them. For all that I am extremely chatty on Twitter I am reserved and often keep my opinions to myself. This is not because I’m a mouse who considers her opinions worthless, I prefer persuasion to confrontation. There is also the theme of this blog to consider, if you are looking for kindness in others then persuasion is the better way. However, I do wonder if I should change? Should I give it a bit of welly on Twitter? Should I let rip, swear and insult all those around me? Perhaps I will find it liberating and will turn into an ‘in yer face’ old broad? That might be fun, let’s see if I have the chutzpah…..

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

January 22, 2011 at 11:53 am 6 comments


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