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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

web20logoSo much of the Web 2.0 Expo conversation about Social Media will be obvious to blog readers.  But what is so interesting  and invaluable for long term adoption is that multiple sciences are brought here in this conference to bear out what we have instinctively found: that online/Social Media and Social Networking offers us tremendous value.  Social Media brings us value to our every day lives on a personal level, for example, connecting with our friends on facebook.  Social Media offers us a deep value by connecting us with our families through share sites like flicker or 12Seconds.tv.  And Social Networking offers us immeasurable value professionally and intellectually whether through sites like LinkedIn, Dopplr or blogs that bring like-minded people together for conversation, debate, travel or inspiration.

Seth Godin has famously having dubbed these collectives or groups of people tribes.

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It is fascinating to watch giant corporations like Ford level their full array of resources, people, funding, third party consulting and enough legal freedom to pursue a social media program.  They seem to be doing everything right, even when they make mistakes…because they’ll need the grassroots groundswell of support to survive the current organizational and financial fiasco their industry is going through;  however, I am left with the question that is always a bottom line for any business…”Is the product really that good?”  I know, I know, forgive me!  The Mustang is a classic…and Ford = American business success…perhaps.  But only if they can deliver on all cylinders (I couldn’t resist)…product, conversation, community, service.

Social Media and its place in business is still in its infancy.  But you  are all early adopters and therefore building the structure, creating the atmosphere and guidelines and therefore the climate within which this space develops and thrives.  Another relevant, interesting session was specifically dedicated to the sociology and metrics of “the conversation” called Beyond Buzz: On Measuring a Conversation.  More on that in follow-up.

There is also the  session talking more about the people than anything else:  It’s the People, Stupid, hosted by Debs Schultz and Brian Oberkirch.  They talk about human interaction as being at the very core of this technology and online medium.  While it can be so easy to forget while you are posted at your keyboard that your communication goal is to reach another person, the people who can remember that you are connecting with real people with real needs, feelings, quirkiness, passions and so on…those people will succeed the most in this space.

There will be much more in follow up and conversation I hope.  I’m about at my word limit for a single summary.  But because I’d like to leave you with a smile…enjoy the LolCats…and please post your comments and thoughts.

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Depends on your purpose.  Though I am hooked, what can hyper-connectivity do to add value to my life and, indeed, to the lives of mainstream America (and beyond) without making us a bunch of glow-y faced screen junkies?  There’s no formula…at least I couldn’t work by one, but I find myself missing twitter, the web and my 12Seconds if I’m gone from it for more that 2 days. (ok, 2 hours!)  And one basic rule I try to have is to be with the person in front of me…first.  So I try not to answer my cell phone, tweet relentlessly, and browse online or through my Storm while having lunch with someone.  Am I always successful…no.  I am a notorious time-stacker/multi-tasker.  But being with the person in front of me is important.  In fact, that moment may be WHY social media is so valuable…to create MORE of those moments together, in person!

nyeveThat’s me pictured twittering with my tweeples on New Year’s Eve.  I may have sent a dozen tweets or less focusing on my San Francisco bar & grill crawl, and my amazing, sassy friend Cortney.  But I was also missing sharing the New Year moment with all the tweeters I’ve developed a connection with over the past months.  The people in the twitterverse have become my friends, business associates, information gatherers, readers, and general resource for all things tech, wine, life.

The enthusiasm, freshness and candor with which they communicate is, well, refreshing!  So while we struggle with ROI, metrics, and the new world of online connectivity, what are we trading off?  Are the interpersonal moments sacrificed?  Is our culture heading further into short-attention-span-affliction?  And will all depth in connection be lost?

It is another point to balance as we continue to seek the work-life balance, let’s add to that the online-offline balance.

Do you have rules about your connectivity?  If you live by your phone/PDA as I do, have you noticed a decrease in quality when you hang out with your friends and family as they split their focus between you and their device?  I always think it rude that another restaurant patron will let their cell ring on end in the restaurant…I don’t really want to hear whatever their ringtone of the month happens to be!  I especially don’t want to hear 1/2 (or any) of their conversation.  Does anyone else worry about tech ettiquette?

Photo courtesy of Cortney’s i-phone, Jan 31, 2008.

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I don’t know where it came from, but I am compelled to write in praise of our sense of smell.  Since my first pregnancy, my sensitivity to odors has increased exponentially (and that was a LONG time ago).  Of course in the wine industry, we often start enjoying the wine via olfaction…mmmmmm.  There nothing like a great nose on the wine.

wine_tasting_graphicSome interesting things about our sense of smell:  According to wikipedia, it is our accessory olfactory system (as opposed to the main olfactory system) that smells the fluid-phase chemicals.  How that gets translated in our brain is the stimulus, instead of going to the cortex, goes to the amygdala and hypothalamus.  The amygdala, you may remember from high school or college bio, primarily processes memory and emotional reactions.  The hypothalamus controls hunger, thirst, anger, fear, sleep cycles, some hormones, etc.

You know the moment when you smell a great wine or an amazing dish cooking either at home or in a restaurant there are some magnificent automatic responses:  I instantly smile, without even thinking about it.  But I know I am about to eat or drink whatever has reached out and stimulated my sense of smell.  Wow.  Sometimes I salivate in anticipation, and I can’t help be feel elevated, even bouyant.  Ok, obvious, but still homage-worthy.

  • Dogs, according to wikipedia, for example, have about 100 times more receptors for smell per centimeter than do humans.
  • In women, the olfaction sense is strongest around ovulation.
  • “As of yet, there is no theory that explains olfactory perception completely.” (wikipedia)

That fascinates me…something that seems as simple as our sense of smell, science can’t figure out!  And I love that the parts of the brain that translates the nose of a wine taps into our emotional and our base needs.  That, at least seems to make perfect sense! Then you add time and context to all the variables and we bascially have more wine to taste, smell and enjoy than we have time in which to do it.  That’s another reason I can go back to some of my favorite bottles of wine or sparkling over and over again.  It could be the person I’m with, or maybe a regular day that has brought me to another great bottle of wine.  It will feel, smell and taste a little differently every time.

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  • Taste more wine
  • Share more wine
  • Learn more about wine
  • Buy more wine
  • Sell more wine
  • Gift more wine
  • Enjoy more wine
  • Discover more wine
  • Diversify my taste in wine

Welcome to my short list of goals for 2009.

With enough time off to unplug and enjoy friends, family as well as rest and recharge, I continue to come back to the precious value in meaningful connections.  Those connections happen every day in person but also they happen online.  This blog’s connection to you is high on my list of meaningful connections.  Twitter and 12Seconds also grant me invaluable connections to friends, information and more people expanding my horizons.

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Wine is a kind of glue or lubricant or artistic moment shared between people that toasts the height of connection and sharing.  Ok, yes, perhaps I’m overly sentimental;  it is the holidays and the meaning in my days and in my relationships is something I value above anything else.  Sentimentality is bound to creep in.

So in 2009 I am committed to hosting more Bloggers Tasting Forums (watch for them among many wineries and also from Hahn, coming in March) as well as another kind of Tasting Forum:  A Comparative Tasting among F&B types.  The original idea comes from Shannon Marshall (@perthgirl) in New York City.  It is meant to be something like the Bloggers Tasting Forum but co-hosted by the winery and the restaurant, bar or other venue with groups of wine buyers, wine directors, sommeliers, Food & Beverage Directors, etc. for the purpose of connecting, tasting, learning… It is in development, so I’ll fill in more details soon.  Thea Dwelle (@WineBratSF) has continued to do a lovely job talking about blogging and the wine industry as well as Mutineer Magazine, spreading the word and appreciation for the Bloggers Tasting Forum.  It is an idea catching on my many places in various incarnations.

Its impact is about word of mouth: “Wine Bloggers are the new way of providing word of mouth marketing.” said Ms. Dwelle.  And many of us have read Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: “…it is safe to say that word of mouth is – even in this age of mass communication and multimillion dollar advertising campaigns – still the most important form of human communication.

I invite you to join me in at least one of the goals listed above.  I look forward to raising a glass and connecting with you as well.

Happy New Year…and cheers!

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post) …“, posted with vodpod

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I’m getting round (John Lennon-like) glasses. I’m actually due for the check up & need to replace my current glasses…I’m blogging about glasses because the shape of glasses, particularly, rectangular glasses are currently all the rage. The network & cable news stations are talking about them. Tina Fey & Lisa Loeb is wear them…and the manufacturers in Japan are slammed with orders (according to a story by ABC) for the style of glasses now made famous by Sarah Palin. Did I mention they were made in Japan? At $375 a pair.

I’m getting round glasses. My glasses will also be made in America. You probably don’t care about the shape of my glasses…but the point is actually about a statement. Our fashion, the food we eat, the wine we drink, the car we drive, the politics we support… all billboards for who we are. So now, my glasses will be too. Not just representative of “smart” or “librarian”, or, god-help me, MILF. The traditional (& some non-traditional) stereotypes. But I like circles. Round is the perfect shape. Spherical, like our planet. Reminiscent of one of the planet’s most monumental musicians of the 20th century, (John Lennon). Our irises & pupils are round. And frankly, and most importantly, they aren’t rectangular.

When you see me walking down the street, if you notice my glasses, you might remark, “those are round…not at all rectangular. I thought rectangles were IN!?” That’s because I am at the opposite end of the spectrum politically from Sarah Palin, and I’d like to look that way. Fashionable, put together & sophisticated…with some independent thinking while I’m at it… Ms. Palin is bad for women, bad for government, & bad for our country.

I’m getting round glasses this week. And while I’m at it, I think those glasses will be pink.


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