Old-school

Lecturing at SCU: online social networking as a contemporary business practice

Name a company, professional person, business or brand that you follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or get email newsletters from. How did you come to follow that source and what do you like about being in touch? How do you interact (customer service, community, feedback on product, promos, education, entertainment)? What brand or business are you aware of on social media not doing it well or otherwise making big mistakes? These are some of the questions I asked two business classes at Santa Clara recently.

IMG_4811 In fun, interactive hour and a half sessions, I encouraged the students to become independent scholars on the topic of digital marketing and social networking since it's a topic moving at the speed of light and will never be able to be covered properly at the pace of traditional textbook publishing. IMG_4817

To supplement the student's rudimentary and out of date textbook chapter on this subject -- MySpace was listed first in section about social networks -- I shared my favorite cutting-edge sources for all things social networking and digital marketing:

  • tools like Slideshare and Twitter chats like @MarketingNut Pam Moore's #mktgchat,
  • relevant ters like content marketing, social curation, social discovery and double opt-in, and
  • thought leaders in the space who produce free newsletters, webinars and other content that the students can subscribe to and learn as it happens: Brian Solis, Bryan Kramer,  Jay Baer's ConvinceandConvert, Chris Brogan, Derek Halpern's Social Triggers, Shelly Kramer, ConversationAgent, Chris Garrett, Sonia Simone, Olivier Blanchard, Tara Gentile, Meghan Biro and Brian Clark.

I suggested the students can also make a Twitter list of digital marketing leaders and easily dip into what these players are discussing and with whom.

Thanks for the invitation to lead the digital marketing discussion for two of your business classes, Tanya Monsef Bunger! Your students are inspiring. Several have fledgling businesses, and many are aware consumers watching closely which businesses engage them online in meaningful ways, and which companies are failing to use digital tools to foster closer connection with their market.

Was pleased to be able to award a very participatory student, John, with a signed copy of Porter Gale's Your Network is Your Net Worth. Enjoy it!

And extra thanks to all the students of Contemporary American Business Issues for your participation and feedback, including Cindy, Armand, Jerica, Liv, Anabel, Brynn, Mariam, Meaghan, Alex, Marc, Paulina, Alec, Nicholas, Josalvin, and Ashley.

A Simple Strategy For Building A Global Network Isn't About You. Your Plan Has To Make The Network A No-Brainer For Its Users -- Not Its Builder

Which one of these is a 'simple' strategy for building a global network of people who have a range of digital abilities: a pervasive, cohesive presence with many online doors -- or one room in graveyard of the web?

Which one of these is a ‘simple’ digital strategy (true story!) of an organization that aims to build a global network from a millions-strong list of women it’s loosely associated with:

  • a pervasive, cohesive presence across multiple social networking services, a community with free flow of information -- with windows into other related rooms of your peers and corridors you can go down if and when you are ready, willing, able, that is, when are you motivated and enabled to connect and pursue what appeals to you about this gathered community,
  • OR, one room on a service known for not-loving its group functionality, a service littered with the skeletons of well-intentioned groups, a room that is 'easy' to open?

When you find yourself looking for a simple strategy to connect all your important people so they can finally get off an inert list of names and start to build closer ties, so you can ambiently be aware of your peers on a consistent basis, so you all can see each other and learn what everyone is up to, so you recognize your commonalities and your opportunities to collaborate, and so you can TAKE ACTION on your shared goals using the cost-effective, labor-saving, reach-amplifying online communication tools available in 2013, ask yourself this.

Simple for whom?

Is your plan simple for you, the community builder? Or is it simple for the community waiting to happen?

Here's A Way To Ask For And Get Support For Personal & Pro Challenges, On An On-Going Basis

Graduates of my program are prepping to bring GlobalNiche's online presence & online community building methodology to their own worlds as servant leaders in peer-based workshops (like this group led by Silvana Vukadin-Hoitt starting in November). With this framework, in six weeks the network is connected and has a model to continue working together and a place to do so.

I've also been brainstorming the groups of people in my life I want to connect with more effectively. (You try it. Bet you can name three groups of people close to you that you want to see succeed.)

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 4.32.05 PM

My groups share a common thread.

We are peers and colleagues and friends and acquaintances -- and we are siloed in what we know, what we are trying to do,  how we do it, and with whom. We don't fully consider or know how to tap the resource we represent to each other.

That's what I'm proposing. A methodology to work in community on our own goals, with a stronger network as a result. A way we can all be cocreators of an effective network using the backbone of the social web. A way to ask for and get help and support for personal and professional challenges, on an on-going basis.

I see you.

You are people whose dreams I've been privy to, whose skills and talents I'm aware of, whose personal and professional pressures I know, whose untapped potential I recognize, and who I feel a commitment to helping put it all together to get where you want to go.

You're also people I would love to be better connected to, and who I'd like to connect better to fellow kindred spirits in my network. People you'd like to know. People who can help you and improve your life.

 

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Groups I'd like to be a servant leader to are:

1) people I've collaborated with professionally or been in peer work groups with, including writers and media pros and publishing world types.

Often coming out of traditional models and feeling the brunt of disruption, I understand your skepticism and why you are slow to adopt today's social web tools and ways of operating;

2) friends whose work and dreams I'm aware of but we've never really brought our full professional selves together to make things happen.

We can go beyond commiserating over coffee and silo-ing the personal and professional in our relationship;

3) people I have a history of interacting with intellectually in the long term, like fellow alumnae of my college;

4) acquaintances who ask me about what I do or how I do it, but don't imagine yourself doing it.

This would include my hairdresser who as an independent professional who moves from salon to salon could use the continuity and discoverability of an online portfolio. The young pilates instructor I met at the Wisdom 2.0 conference who could be establishing her practice with instruction videos online. The woman I met at a cocktail party recently who hadn't heard of local and online gatherings of people who share her cross-cultural experience;

e+H

5) people who have followed and appreciated my cultural work like Expat Harem the book and also the blog but don't see how it translates into GlobalNiche's social web training and online community building and personal brand building -- or why any of that is a way to help you live in the world the way you saw glimpses of in my cultural work.

People who haven't yet grasped that your cultural understandings, sensitivities, interests, experiences are assets and guidance you can use to live more fully with the help of social, mobile, and online tools and life. People who don’t yet see how your cultural understanding can help you on the internet, and in fact, give you an advantage online.

I see you, and I can envision what will emerge from our better connection. Don't wait for me to contact you. Reach out right now and let's get started.

The Bellyflops of Social Media Mismanagement

On the precipice of war, overreaching false cosmopolitanism continues. Plus, parents plan for unsustainable digital abstinence.

 

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The overreaching false cosmopolitanism continues. Read my sadly-still-fresh take here.

Today the Kenneth Cole Twitter account tweeted something thoughtless about "Boots on the ground" or not, don't forget about sandals and loafers.

Nope.

Boots on the ground are soldiers going to war  possibly to be maimed or killed, and to wreak havoc on the lives of others. The precipice of war is not an opportunity to remind people you make loafers.

 

Feels like deja vu for Cole. Because it is. The brand flopped just like this in 2011.

At that time I made the connection between global mishaps of high profile brands and the false cosmopolitanism we’re all suffering

There was Groupon’s SuperBowl ad fiasco, when the company attempted to mix consumerism with sensitive political, environmental, cultural, economic and social issues, and the Kenneth Cole Twitter debacle which appeared to make light of unrest in Cairo.

In 2010, I wrote about earlier instances of the phenomenon of false cosmopolitanism, inspired by Ethan Zuckerman and Jen Stefanotti's work on the topic.

We've got a culture problem on our hands. Access to the worldwide web makes us imagine we’re global thinkers. But we’re not. Not even close.

In order to truly be global thinkers, we’d have to be xenophiles, actively and constantly bridging cultures, immersed and knowledgeable about multiple worlds.

 

Most people hang out in “like-minded microcosms” and when we cross a boundary online the new light shed on everyone’s prejudices and assumptions can take us by surprise.

This “xeno-confusion” is happening more often in the virtual realm, with higher and higher stakes.

Today’s other big story of social media mismanagement has been swiftly answered by Alexandra Samuel of Love Your Life Online. It falls into the category of unsustainable digital abstinence to solve problems that may crop up in the future.

"Don't be scared to Facebook your kids," she responds to Amy Webb's piece at Slate "We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online."

Samuel writes: "Parenthood is such a central experience that there’s no way to cut it out of your online life without profoundly compromising your own ability to have authentic, meaningful connections online."

That’s exactly right. Plus, digital abstinence doesn’t prepare you for the world your child will grow up in.

How are you preparing yourself for a wider world?

If No One In Your Industry Thinks Online Presence Is Important, Could That Be Your Competitive Advantage?

If people in your particular career field or industry don't 'do' meaningful/extensive/basic social media do you think you might make it your competitive advantage?

If no, why not?

I ask because I've been adding to the GlobalNiche homepage the reasons people don't invest in their online presence, and that's one I hear from a lot of people. The people around them aren't doing it.

Something to consider: you might be mistaken about this perception that no one else in your life is doing it. If you're not online in expansive ways you probably aren't in a position to gauge if other people are.

Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you?

  • DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START
  • NOTHING OF INTEREST OUT THERE FOR ME
  • I'M HESITANT TO BECOME VISIBLE
  • DON'T WANT TO BE EGOTISTICAL & TALK ABOUT MYSELF
  • NO CONNECTION BETWEEN WHAT I DO ONLINE & EFFECTS OFFLINE
  • MY OPPORTUNITIES COME FROM CONNECTIONS I ALREADY HAVE
  • I'M CONFUSED ABOUT OWNING MY ONLINE PRESENCE
  • CAN'T AFFORD TO MAKE MISTAKES ONLINE 
  • I'M NOT A CREATIVE/TECHY/SOCIAL PERSON
  • DON'T WANT TO BLOG OR JOIN A BUNCH OF SITES
  • JUST USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ENTERTAINMENT
  • MY CONTACTS ALREADY KNOW ALL ABOUT ME
  • TOO EARLY OR LATE IN MY CAREER OR LIFE TO GET STARTED
  • FEEL THE NEED TO BE ONLINE *LESS* NOT *MORE*
  • IT'S JUST ONE MORE THING TO DO
  • I'M NOT ACCOMPLISHED ENOUGH TO GO PUBLIC
  • WAITING TO BE PUBLISHED/DISCOVERED/HIRED/INVITED
  • PLAN TO DO IT RIGHT WHEN I NEED IT
  • CAN'T RISK HAVING MY WORK STOLEN
  • TAKES AWAY TIME FROM MY WORK/FAMILY/RELAXATION
  • MY CUSTOMERS/FRIENDS/COLLEAGUES AREN'T ON WEB
  • DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE ASSETS NOR HOW TO USE THEM ONLINE
  • UNCLEAR ABOUT MY SERIOUS PURPOSE ONLINE 
  • DON'T WANT TO MIX MY WORK & PRIVATE LIFE
  • DON'T WANT TO ANNOY MY CONTACTS BY POSTING A LOT
  • NO ONE AROUND ME IS DOING IT
  • ADVISED TO WAIT UNTIL VALUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IS FIGURED OUT
  • NO ONE IN MY INDUSTRY THINKS IT'S IMPORTANT
  • CAN'T MANAGE IT ALL BY MYSELF

Consider getting started anyway.

Being An Advanced Oddity: Between A Rock & A Hard Place

Here's a conundrum I've been discussing with potential business mentors as we try to find ground where we might meet.

Being the advanced oddity that I am -- that is, an independent scholar and entrepreneur on my own evolving path -- when I seek out specific help from established/establishment entities, I meet resistance to my very own realities.

I told the regional head of a national businesswomen's organization recently that my combination of being way out ahead in my thinking and operations yet a fledgling in business seems not to compute for most organizations with resources.

I may be a startup but I've got 25 years of professional and personal experience. I'm the age of people with established businesses but I don't particularly want to backtrack to become resonant with them, or adopt dying practices or conventions in the process of being disrupted.

So, receiving training on how to be professional or being moved by perks like "can bring your dog to the office" or recognizing myself in the accelerator organization's language of f-bombs or "join the movement, dude" (which is what international digital agency Unison.net's career page used to say), are not really in alignment with the kind of support I need.

On the other hand, more mature cultures of support I gravitate toward often ask for benchmarks I am nowhere near, like "$2M in revenue" and don't yet value (to judge from their own operations) many operational strengths I bring, nor necessarily grasp my outsider, international perspective.

And I note other rock and hard place factors I'm dealing with. I'll go into them more deeply another day but here are big ones: working around and with tech but not offering a "tech solution"; and being global in focus but not considering "global = somewhere outside America".

Still looking for the mature, forward-operating, early-stage business resources out there best suited for global women entrepreneurs.

Being Small = Going For It Despite The Odds

My startup GlobalNiche equips women to use their online presence to build broader networks, connect to opportunities and be the agent of their own development. Six months ago we launched our product based on 25 years of experience, and we have customers. I submitted it to be featured in a directory of companies empowering women listed by a high profile women's empowerment organization. No dice.

"Come back when you have 1,000 Facebook likes and 1,000 Twitter followers." That was the response. "Oh, and when you have a full-featured website."

Seriously? Didn't see any of those stipulations in the directions to submit. Lot of big companies are listed. Guess they didn't think they needed to specify limits for who's empowering and who's not.

But here's the thing: being a small operation does not mean we are not seriously trying to accomplish our goals. It doesn't mean we will not grow. It doesn't mean the value of our enterprise is suspect. It doesn't mean we aren't empowering women.

Being small and scrappy can mean you're just starting out. Maybe you're seeking funding, incubation, acceleration, and entrepreneurial mentorship. Maybe you're taking the time to apply to be listed in women's empowerment organization directories alongside big name companies. Being small can mean going for it despite the odds.

The organization in question is looking for a baseline of commitment in the space, but they're asking the wrong questions.

 

Likes and follower counts are known to be gameable metrics. They're called 'empty metrics' by leaders in social media and entrepreneurship with The Lean Startup's Eric Ries shaming them as 'vanity metrics'.

And what is a full-featured site for a bootstrapped startup? What's required beyond a home page, an about page, a blog, an email sign up form, and some pages about products, services, social proof?

Does our site look like we've spent $100k developing it? Nope. We use a handful of industry-decent services and products to produce the site. Even when we institute the fresh look a designer is working on for us right now, we'll still look like a bootstrapped company until we have at least $15k for upgrades we envision.

We need help to take our work to the next level. We're asking for it. We have to start somewhere.

For a women's empowerment organization devoted to inspiring, educating and supporting us to reach our goals, the least it could do is recognize that very fact.

Old School, Part 2: Would You Take Twitter Advice From Someone Who's Never Tweeted?

I wouldn't. Let's get more specific.

How about taking advice on social media best practices -- for something serious with high stakes, like looking for a job, becoming visible to recruiters, re-entering the job market after a hiatus or otherwise attempting a career change  -- from an advisor whose Twitter account is empty?

Existent in name only.

How about if it's April 2013?

How about if it's the same month that the Wall Street Journal declared The New Resume: It's 140 Characters and @WSJCareers held a Twitter chat about using social media to get a job, concluding it's all about LinkedIn & Twitter & a digital footprint that shows your best stuff.

(I participated in this blisteringly-paced and totally on-target chat that featured The Daily Muse's Kate Minshew. Some of the tweets are Storified here. Search for more with the hashtag #WSJchat.)

No?

How about expecting to get guidance on the latest advances in online career development at an event conducted by someone who thinks LinkedIn is exclusively for connecting with people you already know well rather than people you are loosely associated with professionally and want to grow closer to? Someone whose policy lets connection requests go unanswered while, creepily, LinkedIn alerts us she's reviewed our info-rich profile and decided that's a no.

Again, I wouldn't. Yet these are things I have witnessed and experienced recently.

Do you see where I'm going? This is not helpful. This is place holding.

Old-school is occupying the space where actionable help is supposed to go.

 

And, if you find yourself thinking you don't need up-to-the-minute Twitter advice from a career advisor -- you're wrong.

Being A Year Ahead Of GigaOm On Future Of Communication

Mathew Ingram of the emerging tech & disruption of media site GigaOm.com tackles a topic close to my heart in his column today: "The Future Of Online Etiquette Is Already Here, It's Just Unevenly Distributed". Ingram comes to the same conclusion we arrived at in our GlobalNiche webchat series more than a year ago with our guest speaker and world citizen, international worker and multidisciplinary strategy consultant Shefaly Yogendra on Communication Styles of Mobile Progressives.

In that hour-long live discussion (listen to the recording at the link!) we asked,

Do your friends and family and colleagues think you enter an 'international cone of silence' when you leave their physical sphere?

 

Out of sight, out of reach. Apparently, that’s how our global existence sometimes feels to people who aren’t in the habit of connecting every which way like we’ve grown used to doing. Someone left me a message on my new American phone line  in 2012 saying “I’ve been waiting 10 years to talk to you” — yet I know I’m more connected now than ever.

The GlobalNiche community talked about this literal and figurative disconnect, and how forward-looking, world-flung types like us can maintain our connections across vast geographical — and perceptual and behavioral — divides.

Our conclusion, which GigaOm just got to?

The more progressive party has to communicate with people where they exist, and that may be somewhere in the past.

 

Led Cisco's Connected Women Roundtable on Personal Branding

I was pleased to facilitate a table of women in a discussion about using your online presence to create and sustain your personal brand. Held at Cisco's San Jose campus, the event was  part of Cisco's Connected Women series of professional development gatherings for women from Cisco, Citrix, Intel and EMC. Anastasia Ashman and Tanya Monsef Bunger at Cisco's Connected Women

My top 3 take-aways:

1.  a personal brand is what you want people to know about you to help connect you with the opportunities that are right for you 2.  embody your brand -- show-it-not-tell-it -- on a daily basis, using your online presence at social sites 3.  demonstrate your expertise, your thought leadership, the talents you bring, how you operate by sharing news and information and being helpful

My GlobalNiche team member Tanya Monsef Bunger joined me at the event, pictured here.The roundtable event aimed to provide actionable insights into specific topics while enabling attendees to meet other women who are interested in that particular topic.

There were 10 tables of 10 people, each with their own topic, so the evening was like attending a miniworkshop at a conference. Work-Life Fit. Mentoring. Thinking Big. Developing Cool Designs. Thinking Outside the Box. Career Development. You can imagine I made my table all about Twitter. Twitter is my answer for everything. I’m joking.

I wanted to make personal branding all about Twitter — and social media in general — since it’s the most effective way to form and communicate your brand widely.

But many of the corporate women at my table weren’t on Twitter and had their reasons for not wanting to show themselves and their expertise much online, including in company bulletin boards and chats.

That’s a different blog post for a different time. It’s a serious issue.

I got a lot of questions about stalking and security, but none about the opportunities of being optimally online.

 

Your Content Adds Up. Now Make It Discoverable, Too.

We're born content producers. The more prolific among us are literally volcanoes of content.Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 12.23.09 PM

Yet, what you’ve generated probably isn’t working for you.

It’s probably not laid out as a path where you want to go, nor presented as an invitation to other like-minded souls and interested parties to join you in your journey. It’s not contributing to the discoverability of you.

Do you have shelves full of:

  • paper, boxes and binders, clippings, photos, slides, sketches and notes
  • memorabilia and scrapbook materials

What about in the hall closet, and all that stuff in the basement?

  • floppy disks
  • hard drives
  • external drives
  • CDs, cassette tapes, video tapes

I bet you have a bunch of content stored here, there and everywhere. There’s a reason you haven’t gotten rid of it.

That mountain of stuff represents your effort and interest, and independent research. 

That mountain represents the things you chose to do because they make you feel alive.

Think of all the activities you’ve poured yourself into and how you’ve retained the evidence of them.  Anything that represents your experiences, your thinking and feeling on certain topics. All those photos of people and places and things that hold meaning and jog memories, yet haven’t seen the light of day in practically FOREVER. Some of it may represent creative failures. False starts. Ancient history. That's okay. Include it.

Maybe now you’ve got a mental image of your piles of creation, content associated with the life you’ve lived and the things you’ve loved (or hated, who knows).

At GlobalNiche we believe it’s forgotten gold. (Don’t feel too badly. We all have similar piles that we haven’t used for much of anything. YET.)

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 12.00.22 PM So, next question.

Are you sitting on that mountain of content -- and also wondering how you’re going to make ends meet, effect a career change, or achieve a goal?

Maybe you’re thinking you can’t do what you yearn to because you live in the wrong place and don’t have the right contacts and there’s no opportunity to pursue that interest where you are. As an expat for 14 years, I spent a lot of time wondering if my location was a disadvantage to what I want to do. The answer was "yes" most of the time. But no longer.

If we consider that earlier output and experience not as failure or a waste of time, but instead a chain of events that make us who we are today, then we can start to get an idea of the arc of our lives and how what we’ve done in the past can help us get where we want to go in the future. No matter where we are -- with the help of the web and the platform we build on it.

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What if you were prominent and findable in your chosen field of interest or activity? 

How might your opportunities change if you let your content support your aims? <---Tweet that.

Whether you’re positioning yourself to land jobs or funding or a book deal, or you’ve got a completed book or other product or service to sell, it will make a difference to your results. If you’re findable and well-represented, you have a chance. If you’re unknown, unfindable, and a jumbled mess when people DO happen to stumble on you, you won’t make much of an impression.

Whatever you want to do, you’ll need help and support. An important part of gathering support is going public with your process, to attract likeminded people to your cause and to involve them in your journey. The kind of people who are interested your vision and your way of thinking and feeling, parties who can help you develop your plan, the kind of peers and confidants and guides who will form the basis of your network.

We've entered a golden age for content creators. Do you know how to wrap your arms around your content, see the story it tells, and link it with your goals?

 

A version of this post originally appeared at Kristin Bair O'Keeffe's Writerhead, September 7, 2012

Expatriates Are Experts In Resilience

A few excerpts from interviews I've given and articles I've written:

Being an expatriate, you’re naturally a person in transition.

Your worst days can leave you feeling unmoored and alienated. Your best days bring a sense of your agile nature and the qualities that make you unique from the people who surround you and the people back home.

Working toward an understanding of what it will take for you to feel your best in your environment I think is extremely worthwhile. Your answers perfectly define you and the more closely they are incorporated into your business plans the better chance you have of career success abroad.

After five years in Malaysia and 8.5 in Turkey, I've made the limbo state of expatriatism (not belonging to your surroundings but having to navigate them in culturally appropriate ways AND honor the truth of who you are at the same time) a strength instead of a weakness.

 

With my career disrupted by international relocations and watching the traditional media business being disrupted by digital and social media, my particular m.o. has evolved into gate jumping. That’s a combination of reaction to obstacles in my environments, and a commitment to not be hindered by “what is”.

Gate jumping can work for expats of all kinds.

Here’s how I do it: Fearlessly operating without borders instead of accepting my off-the-grid, situation-mismatch as a paralyzing disadvantage.

Time zones, language barriers, geographical distances, old-school thinking and collapse in my industries of media and entertainment, these things don't stop me.

 

Being an early adopter of Twitter, I use it for continuing education like virtually attending conferences and entering high level discussions in my topics of interest, to networking and meeting my peers around the world.

One of the reasons I founded GlobalNiche.net is that I have noticed that the majority of expats disappear when they go abroad rather than come to local and international prominence through their expat lives as I have done.

Even fewer women expats accomplish this in Muslim countries or have managed to raise the voices of multiple other women in a country known for its censorship. See the details of this particular adventure in my piece The Accidental Anthologist.

I don't think any of this is easy to achieve. But I do think it's integral to surviving, and thriving.

+++

Linda Janssen has written a book on this topic called The Emotionally Resilient Expat. Jo Parfitt's Summertime Publishing is releasing it in 2013.

Old School, Part 1: Phone Between 9 and 5 To Confirm Your Listing In Our Directory

You heard that right. It's a directory you're not going to find me in even if I AM a flabbergasted member of the community. Or, if I'm still listed in that "printed book with CD" due to some quirky associations of my past life, my listing is going to be way-outdated.

As you can imagine, I didn't I order a copy either. I don't keep paper books anymore.

I get that we're all at different points on the communications spectrum.

This is especially true of groups with vast differences in age, education level, financial resources and geography, like extended families. Some people *only* can confirm their listing in a network directory by phone. (The East Coast office hours is a touch myopic, given that this particular network is global.)

However, in the age of the web, why should we all have to operate at the low end of the communication scale? Where's the integration of old and new that we ALL need to get and stay connected?

That same organization has been hobbled by a legacy online community system that was surpassed by Facebook (or even Ning) years ago. Instead of scrapping the broken solution -- or even better, suing for breach of contract since the provider failed to deliver a system that connected us -- and instituting something that actually worked (and heck, is free!) this global community has missed the rise of social networking on the web.

Bottom line:

Senseless loyalty to old-school practices and old-school vendors is a seriously bad leadership decision that cuts us off from our valued networks.

 

Groupon Ad Fiasco + Kenneth Cole Twitter Debacle = False Cosmopolitanism

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 12.01.47 AM

Groupon's SuperBowl ad fiasco when the company attempted to mix consumerism with sensitive political, environmental, cultural, economic and social issues, and the Kenneth Cole Twitter debacle which appeared to make light of unrest in Cairo are examples of the bellyflops that come from false cosmopolitanism.

I wrote about this back in August of 2010.

We’re suffering from a false sense of cosmopolitanism. Access to the worldwide Interwebs leads us to imagine ourselves global thinkers. But we’re not -- unless we’re true xenophiles, bridging cultures, immersed and knowledgeable about multiple worlds.

Most people hang out in “like-minded microcosms” and when we cross a boundary online the new light shed on everyone’s prejudices and assumptions can take us by surprise.

“Xeno-confusion” is happening more often in the virtual realm, with higher and higher stakes. How are you preparing yourself for a wider world?

+++

Related: Global Dexterity

Making The Psychic Limbo Of Global Citizens A Productive State

The expat+HAREM COMMUNITY AIMS TO HELP YOU: 1) DISCOVER your psychic peers + global community 2) CREATE a hybrid identity from your many worlds

Why do you need our help? The short answer: Because liminal life is a bittersweet limbo -- coming, going, never quite arriving -- and here at expat+HAREM the community embraces this unmoored and central reality of our globetrotting, multicultural, hybrid times.

A PLACE WHERE DIGITAL NOMADS, EXPATS, IMMIGRANTS, FUTURISTS AND WORLD CULTURALISTS ARE UNIQUELY SUITED TO SUCCEED

The psychic limbo and identity adventure global citizens experience today is expat+HAREM's sweet spot. Our neoculture.

This neoculture is our situation in life and our world view. What we work to make sense of, and to capitalize on.

Here at expat+HAREM we've defined the problem, and provide the solution.

Glo· bal· niche, n.

a psychic solution to your global identity crisis

[More about Anastasia Ashman, the founder of this global niche.]

MAKING LIMBO A PRODUCTIVE STATE Limbo is usually considered a place in-between. A state of suspended animation. Paralysis, a spinning of the wheels. Nowheresville. But it can also be an unconstrained place where anything is possible. That's how expat+HAREM choses to see it. Multifaceted people like us have strength and flexibility and experience and access to multiple perspectives. These are all assets.

WE'RE IN THE VANGUARD AND NEED EACH OTHER Globalization has had an unfortunate disenfranchising effect. (Perhaps like many in our community you've been there personally!) However, despite the resistance and misunderstanding and worrying 'purity' movements we're witnessing in populations large and small, at expat+HAREM we believe fostering our particular dialogue of culture and identity is a way forward. A chance to find new and meaningful connection to the world while making sense of conflicting situations.

IT'S NOT ALL BIG PICTURE Sure, we like to talk about the big picture -- whole hemispheres and societies! -- but at our heart we're concerned with the smallest details of the individual. Navigating relationships with people in your life. Achieving psychic location independence. Negotiating our personal connection with the many worlds we love to belong to. That's how we'll find our global niche.

HERE'S WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY "WE'LL HELP YOU FIND YOUR GLOBAL NICHE": a psychic solution to your global identity crisis.

COMMON INTEREST AND EXPERIENCE DEFINES US

Our most important bonds are no longer solely decided by geography, nationality or even blood. When we find where we uniquely belong in the world we've found our global niche.

expat+HAREM, the global niche embodies the Expat Harem concept* -- localized foreigner, outsider on the inside -- while speaking to intentional travelers, identity adventurers and global citizens of all kinds.

This 2-year archive of neoculture discussions delves into perspective on the crossroads and dichotomies of our hybrid lives:

  • modern existences in historic places
  • deep-rooted traditions translated in mobile times
  • limiting stereotypes revisited for wider meaning
  • the expat mindset as it evolves from nationalism to globalism

More.

THOUGHTS ON HYBRID LIFE WRITING Combining outsider-view-from-the-inside and journey of self-realization, we think expat/emigree/immigrant literature deserves a shelf of its own.

+++ OUR ROOTS +++ Based on the original Expat Harem concept by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gokmen

expat+HAREM, the global niche is the archive of a group blog and community site launched in 2009 by Anastasia Ashman, coeditor with Jennifer Eaton Gökmen of Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey.

* The site is inspired by the cultural embrace and self-exploration of that best-selling and critically acclaimed 2005 expatriate literature collection.

+ DETAILS: media coverage, academic uses, and awards for the anthology created and edited with Jennifer Eaton Gökmen, compiling the work of 32 international Expat Harem writers.

+ BEST 5 BOOKS ON TURKEY: Turkey’s most-read author Elif Shafak picks Expat Harem among the best 5 books on Turkey (Five Books, November 2010)

+ THE ACCIDENTAL ANTHOLOGIST: expat+HAREM founder's personal story behind the book.

+ HAREM GIRLS FOR SALE: 2 years from workshop to bestseller list -- the story of two expat editors.

Editors interviewed on The Crossroads satellite TV, July 2009

+++++ Take the next step with us --> into GlobalNiche.net's creative self enterprise for the global soul.  Another good place to explore:  Anastasia Ashman's producer page at Facebook.

Magical Thinking: Reaping Results Of Our Invisible Ties

I've been thinking about magic. Even though I'm reading Joan Didion's memoir about the year she spent pondering how she might reverse her husband's death, I don't mean that kind of magical thinking. I'm talking about context. In its absence, everything looks like magic.

David Blaine's TEDmed talk reveals the training behind the endurance-artist's 17-minute feat of holding his breath under water. Rather than illusion, the magician relied on science.

"What will the world be like 10 years from now?" asks the Shorty Awards interview. (I'm honored to be nominated this month for producing 140-character, real-time content). I'm afraid the future will be divided: digital-natives and -immigrants on one side, and the other group mystified how we know so much.

In much the same way, philosophies about our interconnectedness will also separate us. Look at the release of marketer Seth "tribes" Godin's latest book this week. Among a hundred positive ones by people who donated to the Acumen Fund to receive advance copies -- resulting in a slew of pre-publication synergistic footwork among his tribe -- the top critical review on Linchpin's first day suggests the Amazon review system has been gamed.  Shillery.

When we invest in research and relationships (with online alliances even more invisible to the unconnected) our results can seem like wizardry.

Which magic are you going to think more about?