A Kase of…. what should I blog about?

29 10 2010

Hey friends and readers… I need your help – I want to put a greater focus to my blog and I need your feedback.  What do YOU want to read?

I started this blog almost a year ago, and I’ve been admittedly inconsistent with my posts.  I wrote as the spirit moved me, and as I could discipline myself to sit down and just do it!  I’d like to have 3 blog posts a week, and I have a couple of ideas for areas of focus:

The Social Network meets Blair Witch?

Social Media –  It is certainly my passion of the past year and has affected my life in sooo many ways.  My entire scope of friends and contacts has changed, expanded, and grown exponentially.  There’s no question I am a twitter addict – “I am powerless over twitter and my hashtags have become unmanageable.”  Yes, I DO want to put that on a T-shirt (as a run-on hashtag, btw).

I’m not a fan of people calling themselves social media “gurus” as the medium is still so new and evolving.   If we are participating on a regular basis, we all have our experiences and opinions on elements we like or dislike.

Music – I have been a music fan since I was a a pre-teen.  I think I’ve wanted to marry a rock star since I was 16 (still waiting on that one, btw).

"Rock" Music, get it?

As some of you know, I was a radio DJ for years… I did college radio in Chicago at Northwestern’s WNUR (which lead to many a club DJ gig), then I had my first “professional” on-air position when I lived in Key West, and then finally for over 10 years I was in Cleveland at Classic Rock 98.5 WNCX.  At all of these gigs I have had some wild adventures, been to some amazing concerts and had some fun pix taken.  I have a wealth of stories to draw from, as well as passion to move forward with music programming and DJ-ing in new media – I think there will be many options to provide quality music programming via the web, especially as wi-fi comes to cars.

I also want to keep up on new releases, but I need to learn more about many of the new artists.  This would afford me the opportunity to have guest bloggers for concert and new releases reviews, and possible interviews as they become available.

So what do you think?  What should I cover in my blog?  Are there things you don’t want to read?  Would you be interested in being a guest blogger?

And a final note – these pictures were taken during one of my recent walks.  I used found objects for all of them; I can’t help but think that the “Social Media” pic is a little like The Social Network meets Blair Witch…  What would you have thought when you found that left on a sidewalk around Halloween??  A message written in acorns and twigs ?  hmmm….





A glimmer of sunshine….

18 02 2010

Hi to all – this post is woefully overdue…

The past month has been a toughie, but I woke up this morning to sunshine, and decided it was time to share again.

I started this blog almost two months ago to the date, on my birthday, Dec 19th.  As someone who has come to embrace, love, and live social media over the past 8 months, a blog seemed like the perfect evolution.

I didn’t have a theme when I started, but I did have some topics/stories which were just screaming to get out of me (still do).  The reoccurring theme which presented itself was facing fear and walking through it; whether my fear, or appreciation of others who were walking though theirs.  I  don’t know if I was a little psychic, or maybe just trying to coach myself to handle things to come, but the past month has been filled with fear for me.

There are all kinds of fears – real and imagined; fear of what is or what may happen; fear of failure, of rejection, of loss, and of course, the biggie – FEAR of the UNKNOWN.  How do I handle a situation I have never been in before?  I don’t have the answers.  I only have limited resources of people who have answers, who have been through this same thing.  Who can I trust?  And, if I reach out for help, will people sense my fear and take advantage of me?  Will they see me as weak?  Will I be defined by my fear?

My fear(s) are real and legitimate.   I have been unemployed for over 10 months now, and there are a lot of consequences that come when you’ve been without a job for that long.  It is the fear of not having some of the basics in life:  food, heat, water, shelter.  I am not alone in this situation, especially in Ohio.(BTW,  Forbes just listed Cleveland as the Most Miserable City.  Oh joy!) http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/11/americas-most-miserable-cities-business-beltway-miserable-cities.html?boxes=Homepagelighttop

For the past month I’ve focused my energies trudging through many fearful, pressing issues.   While I don’t have answers or solutions to everything, I have become more educated.  The giant Fear Beast is not nearly as scary when I turn a bright light on it and look at it clinically – its power lies in the dark, under my bed where it grows larger and more powerful in my mind.

I wrote an affirmation and put  it above my desk:  I am Resourceful, Courageous and SAFE.  I will get through this with grace, dignity and courtesy, to a positive, plentiful and philanthropic state.

Still working on it, but that’s why you’re supposed to say these affirmations everyday, right? (BTW, I can send you a nice copy you can print out for yourself if you’d like)

I am blessed to have many good friends who have been giving me their support and help.  One in particular is  Kelly.  She has been a real rock for me.  She’s not on twitter or Facebook, (or I’d tell you all to follow her);  she is a busy young married mom of 3 kids under age 5, yet she can always make time to talk to me with a smile and remind me that this too, shall pass.  Kelly also suggested as I go through these new experiences that I can help others, too…

This brings me to my question for the blogesphere…  Have you ever done any “splinter” blogs?  What are your thoughts on that?  Since I am actively job hunting, I must be respectful of the power of public cyber exposure, and I want to put my most positive foot forward.  Therefore, I am thinking of starting an anonymous blog about my current challenges with unemployment, finances and The System, and what I learned so far, with the hopes it might help others and provide them a forum to exchange ideas and vent.

There is a fine line to be walked in this hyper-connected world and I want to share, but I don’t want to over-share where it is not appropriate.  What do you think?

And, if you know of anyone who might be looking for creative person who understands business, and a businessperson who thinks creatively, I am in search of a position in PR, Marketing, B2B Sales, and/or Social Media (or some combination of these!).  Here’s my LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kaseycrabtree

Thanks, and I promise it won’t be another month between posts!





Three great women moving forward in 2010

14 01 2010

As I mentioned in my last blog, I was inspired by three woman who recently made decisions to follow their true selves and walk through fear as they do it.  Now I have the opportunity to thank them and give them the credit they are due:

Jennifer Ferber – Jenn is someone I have really come to know by taking her Spin classes at Ride+Workout in Lakewood, OH.  www.RideandWorkout.com For those of you who follow me on twitter and Facebook, I will often mention I take her Sunday 4pm class.  Not only does she play a great mix of music (all played LOUD, with the lights dimmed), she talks about the class being an active meditation:  You’ve taken the time to get there, now focus on your intent.  You need to get beautiful from the inside out… if the ‘outsides’ are pretty but the ‘insides’ are nasty, no one’s going to want to be around you anyway!

The other great thing about Jenn is that she started spinning only a little over 2 years ago, as she was going through a very nasty divorce.  She said that the support of the spin class and the process of taking that time for herself got her through some really bad times.  It was a natural progression for her then to start teaching classes and I have seen her grow as an instructor.  She also met her now-fiancé, Scott (a GOOD guy) in spin class and they are going to start teaching a tandem spin class Fridays at 6pm to demonstrate how the energy you get from a good spin partner can really help propel you to keep going, and how the energy can just flow between the two of you.

Not only is Jenn taking on this new class in 2010, but she has made a big decision for change in her fulltime job.  She recently decided to leave a “safe” position with a company where she had worked for quite a while to take the risk with a new company in Business Development.  She stands to earn more in the long run, but more importantly, she realized it was time for her to challenge herself, and she believes in her ability to accomplish her goals.  If you’d like to reach Jenn (she’s not on twitter – bummer) but you can email her at  SpinGirl1968@yahoo.com.

Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich on twitter) Gini is a truly driven business person. I came to know Gini strictly through twitter (we have since connected twice in person).  I had put out a general question on twitter about Vistage, (the company for which my father has been a Chair of groups of CEOs to improve their business and personal lives), my old college roomie Diane (@ChicagoDiane) said that I had to speak with Gini; that Gini was a Vistage member (and CEO of Arment Dietrich PR).  I inquired with Gini (who is in Chicago) if she might know of anyone possible members for a Cleveland group where my dad was based.  She didn’t, but we began following each other on twitter.

I think our relationship is a healthy example of how to connect on twitter – I don’t really remember how it all evolved, but it seemed to grow very naturally.  That, and Gini would often tweet things that would make me laugh!  But then she did something really brave, she posted a blog about mistakes she had made; it was brutally honest and open.  She was honest about the things she didn’t know, she admitted to crying, she discussed her self-doubt, until she began to see it was ok to fail http://www.spinsucks.com/leadership/mistakes-made-in-growing-a-business .  I was amazed at her candor.  More importantly, I was amazed at how she addressed the failure and turned it around.  The quote that inspired her blog post was from Confucius: “It’s not in that we fail, but in how we pick ourselves up when we do.”  Wow.  That’s one worth posting over my desk.

More recently, Gini has made the decision in going into 2010, that her “PR” firm is no longer going to be a PR firm – it is going to focus strictly on social media and communication.  Gini explains it better here:  http://www.spinsucks.com/spin/arment-dietrich-is-no-longer-a-pr-firm .  Bottom line, Gini is doing what she feels is right to build her business AND for her to be satisfied in her roll as well.  You should follow Gini on twitter @ginidietrich- she recently reached her goal of over 10,000 followers!  Oh yeah, and she spins (the exercise) too!

Heather Acton (@HeatherActon78)  – Heather is a new twitter friend.  I’m not even sure why I had started following her –  she may have been suggested by one of my Chicago connections (Heather is also a Chicago gal), or maybe someone had retweeted something from her I had liked.  We had not connected much on twitter, then late one night just a couple of weeks ago I was scanning my Tweetdeck, contemplating many of the great questions of life (something like ‘what do I do next?’ ‘why me?’,  or ‘I feel lost…’) and though I did not tweet any of those questions, I came across this tweet: VIDEO: Heather Jumps Ship! http://tmogul.com/tweet/bYPjL 12:44 AM Jan 5th.  So I watched this video Heather had just posted.  She discussed her decision to leave her engineering job at Proctor & Gamble so that she could focus on her kids and grow her own home business.

I immediately tweeted back to Heather, giving her my support and telling her of how I had just read Gini’s blog only hours before about her decision to change direction and how I had also just made a big decision to leave WNCX (albeit only part time) to be truer to my ‘personal brand’.  We began frantically DM-ing each other back & forth about how it can be scary but also so invigorating to make big changes and take a risk.

Heather has had her last day at P & G, and is now building her home business of web site development, marketing, and online business development  for individuals, organizations, and businesses.  Check out her website and blog at www.HeatherActon.com.  I definitely plan on connecting with Heather in person on my next trip to Chicago.

So who do you know who is facing fear and taking on new challenges this year?  Are you supporting them? You should!  This is the new economy and how we can grow both personally and professionally.  Let me know of an outstanding individual in your life an I’ll try to feature them in an upcoming blog post.   Remember to keep moving… crawl, walk.. run!





From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale (and a look at my life of late!)

19 12 2009

This is a “reprint” of my first blog post which was published on the “Throwing Quarters” blog/podcast (http://www.throwingquarters.com/) Thanks to Adam for allowing me to use it here; I feel it gives you all a good idea of what is currently going on in my life.  A birthday blog post will be up later today!

 

From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale

 That is how I would describe my relationship with Adam Gercak (AKA Throwing Quarters).  So when he asked for guest bloggers to help cover his posts over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it seemed the logical thing to do; the next progression of our friendship. It is also an honor to have this, my first ever blogpost, featured in his blog. 

 But in order to appreciate where Adam and I are today, we need to look back and review how we got here.  Ours is truly a happy story of the ‘social’ aspect of social media; of some of the best results one could hope for from this new era of communication.  The coolest part: versions of this story could be happening to people everyday, maybe even to you!

 The Common Question (?)

 “So how have things been?”  “What’s new?” “Whatcha been up to?”

“How ARE you?”

 How many of us will be asked these ubiquitous questions over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?  How many times will we answer with polite, generic responses: “Things are the same”, “nothing much”, “I’m good”. 

 I was recently asked these very questions by a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months.  I looked at her and I wasn’t sure where to begin. Instead of giving her one of the usual scripted responses, I was honest with her, telling her how I had been let go from my ‘day job’ on 4/3/09 – and I that am still job hunting.

 I saw her look of concern and sympathy, but before she could say anything, I told her it was all ok – even better than ok. Now she looked puzzled. 

 I explained I felt like Dorothy when she opened the door from her black and white world to the new world of Oz in Technicolor, or, maybe more appropriately, like Neo, when he swallowed the red pill and wakes up in ‘the real world’ and begins to understand the true nature of The Matrix.

 No, I wasn’t on drugs: rather, I had finally discovered the world of social media, and I couldn’t imagine how I had ever lived without it.  She looked skeptical and dismissive, possessing the same attitude I had toward social media only 6 months ago: Facebook and twitter are a playground for self-absorbed people with way too much time on their hands.

 Extolling the virtues and conveniences of twitter (especially once I had been shown Tweetdeck) fell on deaf ears with her, and the glazed look in her eyes made me realize I was losing her.  I offered to give her an example of the power of twitterverse….  Here it goes….

The common (or not-so-common?) occurrence

 My first day on twitter was Friday, 7/31/2009; just five short months ago. (I’m @KaseyCrabtree, BTW).  Two weeks later, Friday August 14, 2009, I experienced my first #FollowFriday using Tweetdeck.  It was so exciting – I felt like I had arrived! I think I had about 75-100 followers at that point and was excited to connect with new people. 

 @TeamNEO (an organization that promotes business growth and development in NE Ohio) had several #FollowFriday suggestions, many were business, but there was one in the list that was just a name – @acgercak.  I clicked on it and stumbled across one of Adam’s great Throwing Quarters blog entries discussing an “off day” vs. a “day off”.  The quick read was entertaining, candid, witty and well written. I was intrigued.

I tweeted him back complimenting his writing, and so began a dialog between us.  Based on some of his writing, I wondered if he worked in retail?  yes he did; I then shared how I had recently been let go from a high-end retail job myself.  As our short tweets continued back and forth, we both began to see a picture of each other and how many common interests we shared.  Moreover, he was working practically right across the street from my condo, AND we both regularly frequented the same Starbucks.  It was quite the series of coincidences!

 I can’t remember the exact sequences of events as he discovered I work part-time as a radio DJ (Adam also has some radio experience), and I then invited me to attend the taping of a ThrowingQuarters podcast on Sunday Aug 16th at The Barley House.  Sunday rolled around; I went to the show featuring singer/songwriter Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorMusic) and then found myself sitting in on the recording of the podcast, interjecting questions.  It all seemed so effortless, so natural, so comfortable.  By the time the night had ended, many smiles had been exchanged and pictures taken.

 Adam seemed like a friend I had known for years, yet 48 hours prior, neither one of us had known of the other’s existence (Adam may have heard me on the radio).  Now, I couldn’t imagine not having this kindred spirit in my life.  I told him he was like my new BFF GF, but he wasn’t a girl, nor was he gay!  However, I felt like I could talk with him about almost anything, and I have!

 We are still good friends; I have come to know his wife Jenn, and I tease both of them about the fact that they may have named their new daughter Addison, but I already had a 3 yr old cat by the same name.  See??? Yet another coincidence. 

 Now remember, this wonderful friendship is ALL a DIRECT RESULT of having connected on twitter.

 So what did my friend think of this story? She was intrigued, but still concerned about my current status. I acknowledged that on paper, my situation might seem bleak:  I am divorced with no kids (I have 3 cats), I have been unemployed for over 6 months, plus I am deeply in debt and terribly behind on all my bills.

 I smiled and looked her straight in the eyes.  All these facts are true; these are all hurdles for me to overcome.  However, I have more hope and a stronger positive feeling toward the future than I have had in over 10 years!  I feel that our society is on the cusp of a new dimension of communication, almost as significant as the invention of the printing press. 

Yet more importantly, I feel like I have finally found “my people”.  A community of caring, positive, foreword-thinking people who embrace change and the future, with excitement and awe.  I have happily stepped into the new world of Social Media, and with every bone in my body; I believe it represents my future. 

To paraphrase a line from a favorite book, please join me; please join US, as we ‘tweet the road of happy destiny’.  See you all in the twitterverse!