Six Ways to Dig Out of the Blogging Doldrums

It was my turn at the WLS blog post helm this week.  I spent hours and hours on a post that I could not finish. There was a reason for that; it lacked focus, flow, conclusion, and zip. The only passion I had was to get out of having to write it.

I was stuck in the blogging doldrums. I emailed Lisa that my blog post was delayed for yet another day, and then another day. She remained stoic and supportive as always.

Jerry Seinfeld, courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

I did not want to open a gap in our weekly publishing calendar. James Clear’s Next Avenue article referring to Jerry Seinfeld’s strategy for creating when the muse has left us brought this point home to me. A young comic asked Seinfeld for tips to improve his craft. Seinfeld advised that the very best way “to create better jokes … was to write every day.”  The young comic recalled:

“[Seinfeld] told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red Magic Marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day,” Isaac recalled.

Seinfeld continued: “After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”

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What does the Women’s Learning Studio do, anyway?

Doris and I have had our share of challenges when we try and explain what we do to individuals, groups, organizations, and friends and family. We struggle with not going into too much detail, and not being too glib. When we go into too much detail, people really get confused and eyes start to glaze over. When we do the short version, no one understands the services we offer.

We have heard the following:

“What software are you selling?”

“I really need someone like you to teach me how to use my smartphone”

“You do webinars, right?”

“I don’t know how to turn on my computer – you teach that don’t you?”

“I already know how to use email and text. I don’t need your services”

You get the drift.

Our struggle then is reaching out to you, our target audience, with a clear message about what we do, in accessible language, and with service descriptions you want to buy. Our problem is that we aren’t really selling a product (some will argue with us about that), we are selling an online learning experience that is not a course, webinar, or the sequential, content-driven educational model I certainly grew up with. We are selling the future of learning and work. Read more

Part 2: Algorithms and Big Data’s Impact on Our Privacy–What Can We Do?

My interest in the “tyranny of algorithms” phrase led to my writing a recent blog post  on our privacy risks in the onrush of algorithms and big data. The exploration brought humorous consequences, i.e., I nearly drowned in too much information on big data and privacy.   I needed an algorithm to make sense of it all!

I had promised to tell you “if there was anything we could do as citizens, internet users, and organizational leaders to protect ourselves and others from becoming information chattel.” However, the deeper I went, the darker and more complex the topic became. I finally resurfaced, recognizing that I could not make this research my life’s work…and had to give you something to consider!

In this blog post I will offer three kinds of insight. Read more

Why Tech Leaders Desire Liberal Arts Graduates

In recent years, we have heard a lot about STEM careers (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) ensuring a secure future in the workplace. STEM programs have been promoted in schools to encourage students to become interested in these generally well paying professions. As a result of this emphasis, Liberal Arts studies and colleges have fallen out of favor and are viewed as a waste of time and money by many. The general sentiment was that getting a liberal arts education was tantamount to “antiquated debt-fueled luxury goods.” as Peter Thiel, PayPal cofounder puts it. Although he studied Philosophy at Stanford, he doesn’t credit his education with contributing to his success.

Recent articles in The Future of Work from FastCompany, Forbes, and US News and World Report argue otherwise. Read more