Archive for the ‘GoodOldTalk’ Category

It’s been a week (okay, just over!) since my last post. A lot has happened:

KRidwyn.com has been launched – and that’ll be the place where this blog will move to. So yes – this will be my last post from this address (and I’ll have to work out how to re-direct traffic from here to there automatically. Chalk up yet another job to the ever-growing list, huh?) but I’m pretty excited about getting my *own* real estate online, as it were. So hopefully, dear readers, you’ll join me over there?

– in the move from this URL to that one, we discovered that it’s impossible to just hit ‘export’ and get all the site content moved across to the new place. Sure, it’ll move all the text, but bad luck if you had images that you wanted on there. So unfortunately, KRidwyn.com is devoid of pretty pictures. At the moment. (And another job to do…)

GoodOldTalk, the website I run for Seniors, finally was able to make it back online after being offline for over seven weeks. Which was a HUGE relief, but now leaves me with a lot of stuff to clean up…

– I was able to get the countertop material for BOTH my kitchen and my bathroom and my ensuite (which hasn’t even been built yet) for a HUGE discount; so I’m majorly stoked about that one!

– Miss 8 was finally diagnosed with dyslexia (which I *knew* she had! but no-one believed me…) and she was also diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome as well – so that was pretty cool. Once the diagnosis is made, you can do something about it, huh?!

– Miss 5 decided that she didn’t know how to ‘do things properly’ so she’s been asking us all week “how” to do the simplest of things, like brush her teeth etc etc etc! She wants to learn how to do them better, I guess… and…

– Mr 4 decided that not only could he sit on the toilet – but he could also tell me when he needed to go!!!!! This caused a HUGE celebration!!! 🙂

Well, now it’s time to head into what is shaping up into another huge one. And it’s got me thinking: maybe I should just accept that fact that this life *is* the new ‘normal’ – and just get on with it all?

What do you think?

(Oh, and feel free to leave any comments you may have, here…!)

What the opposite to sinking? Floating, right? But if I titled this blog post ‘floating’, that would be rather misleading, I think…

A few weeks ago, I posted about my Masters studies this semester. I was due to complete an elective (the only option available to me if I was going to study this semester) and had discovered the course “INS040 Advanced Standing”. Where you could apply for your Workplace experiences to be recognized towards your degree. So after chatting with both the Course Coordinator and the Head of the Faculty, I finished and submitted my application just a few weeks back. 7000 words (well, they had said 3000 words or more, and you would know me by now, dear readers,
I can tend to be rather long-winded!!!) and then I sat back and waited. (And yes, that’s an expression only. As if I would ever sit down; I’m far too busy for that!!!)

Last week, I received an email from the Head of Faculty. My application had been approved!!! But it’s been a week, and it still hasn’t sunk in. I guess, in a way, the idea of ‘floating’ is, strangely, appropriate. When I think of where I’m at in my studies solar, I *do* feel as though I’m ‘floating on air’!!!

At 9am on August 9, 2009, the website GoodOldTalk.com went live. It was my first ever experience at ‘launching’ a website, and I remember the excitement of it all. Now, over three years later, GoodOldTalk.com (GOT) is still ticking along, with over 500 members – Seniors who chat in the forums, or post updates and images to their blogs. The majority of the ‘GOTchas’ (as they call themselves) are from South East Queensland, however we also have regular posters from Melbourne, Townsville, and Switzerland!

On Monday, I posted about a 7000 word proposal I submitted last week, for my Masters in IT that I’m currently completing. I’m applying for Advanced Standing, on account of the ‘Work / Professional Experience’ I am currently involved in. GoodOldTalk forms a part of that work and as such, I asked a couple of members to write statements for me, to verify what it is I do.

Some of the statements I received in response to my request absolutely BLEW ME AWAY!!! I’ve included a couple here (names withheld for privacy, but with no other additions / deletions / modifications). Gee but they make me sound good!!!

My name is ———— of —————–, Vic. 3036. I am a contributor of content to the GoodOldTalk.com  web-site under the nom de plume ‘rim’.

Following a longish period of chronic illness, late in 2009 I was looking for some form of interest/communion with other people to provide a diversion from the boring grind of recovery. I lit on GoodOldTalk.com through a link with another site catering to a similar ‘over 50s’ demographic. I soon learned that the GOT site was the brain-child of Ceridwyn Bloxham and, without her initial vision, wit and web savvy … it simply would not have been brought into being.

After a period of normal interaction with extant members both national and international, I was encouraged by Ceridwyn to embark on a personal illustrated blog which would be published daily (if practical) courtesy of free space provided, managed and monitored by herself and team of volunteer ‘web elves’. Whilst practicing as a professional cartoonist, I had never been involved in routine daily output of artwork, let alone text as well. Nonetheless, I accepted the challenge and, the project commenced on January 1st., 2011 … continuing  (with an occasional day off) as I write.

The mixture of discipline and sense of accomplishment associated with the blog project has been of signal help in propelling me back to a reasonable level of health and well-being at age 78. Hopefully, it has also provided some joy and entertainment for the 600 plus membership of GOT … which was probably one of Ceridwyn’s marketing motivations for facilitating implementation of the daily blog in the first place(?)

Whatever, in large measure, I attribute this turn-around in my own personal circumstances to Ceridwyn’s foresight and drive in providing the GOT platform for me and others like me. Though we have never met face to face, I hold this young lady in the highest esteem as a caring and self-less example for anyone who wants to transform a worthwhile idea into an actual, meaningful achievement.

– GOT member ‘rim’

And this one:

I have known Ceridwyn Bloxham through telephone, e-mail and through her wonderful web-site called “Good Old Talk” for at least three years.

Her web site, which has given ‘geriatrics’ such as myself, a powerful and much needed voice on the web, with a voice as strong as any, on this world-wide phenomena; and by using language and articulation in keeping with the schooling of fifty or so years ago.

Ceridwyn is her own best PR person, with help and advice for the less computer savvy, and the general running of the site with many a tip, and where to go for seniors discounts and similar.

As a retired Sydney journalist, with many of my old contacts still in office, Ceridwyn would herself, be surprised at the weight and careful scrutiny that her ‘GoodOldTalk’ site engenders among politicians, marketers and other community leaders and researchers.

Ceridwyn and her team at ‘GoodOldTalk’ could have made a site, which could have gone any number of several directions; it didn’t … it remains true to its beginnings, a site available to anyone with a computer and the strength to press a key.

– GOT member ‘John Collins’

So I was thinking about that last bit, the ‘she’d be surprised by the influence the site has amongst polticians’, just last night. You see, Peter Slipper MP has featured on GOT in the last week. Negatively. And then last night, he resigned as Speaker of the House. I wonder if he read people’s opinions on GOT at all?!! Juts a thought!

Today is the *last* day of the working week. Ha! I can’t recall when the last weekend that I didn’t work. Months ago? Years, more like.  I think, prior to conceiving the idea for GoodOldTalk.com – back when Mr 3 was 9 weeks old – I had some weekends where I wasn’t in front of the computer screen. I would have been busy with young children though. Is that just work of a different kind? Anyway, straying off topic here…

I love my job. Which is why I don’t keep regular hours. I often send emails between the hours of 9pm and midnight, or will blog in the early hours of the morning (I’m currently writing this at 3.54am) because that’s when it’s quiet and I can get stuff done. And if a kid wakes me in the middle of the night, as Mr 3 did just an hour or so ago, I’ll generally just stay up and work. And that’s okay with me. Truly. Being self-employed, if I don’t put in the hours and get the work done, I’ll lose my client’s respect – and then their business. Which is not good. So I work, and am happy to do so.

When it gets tricky though, is managing when I’m offered relief teaching. Since teaching means good money, and we need that, I only pass up these opportunities when I’m ill, or one of my children is. So missing a good 8 working hours out of a day while I teach means that I inevitably have to catch up that time elsewhere. And that’s where my organisation, of necessity, goes into overdrive.

Take next week, for example. I’ll be the St Paul’s Prep C teacher Monday through Thursday. I’ve also organised a branding photo event next Monday for the school – so the brilliant Greg Parsons will be shooting some additions to the St Paul’s library of branding photos. And normally I would assist in this event – but I can’t, because I’ll be in the classroom. I’ll also be in the classroom on Tuesday when I would normally be updating websites, on Wednesday during my Skype appointment with Hervey Bay, and on Thursday when I’d be interviewing sources for my weekly news stories that I submit on Fridays. See my problem? I need to re-schedule all my marketing activities for non-school hours… and not forget my mum / wife duties too (swimming lessons, shopping, cooking, washing clothes, helping with homework etc etc etc).

Sometimes life can be tricky to sort out. Lucky I’ve got this weekend to prepare it all! (Oh – and I apologise in advance. I doubt very much that I’ll be posting anything over the next several days!)

CC Image courtesy CC Chapman at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cc_chapman/480188435/

 

If you’re a regular reader of hmmm… you may remember I’ve written before about GoodOldTalk.com – a social network for Seniors – that I launched back in August 2009. I still run it, with my mum. We were fortunate enough to obtain the services of the brilliant Sean Bannister and Mindy Chaplin to create the site for us, and at their recommendation, used the Drupal content management system. All well and good – since its inception, I’ve grown familiar with how to run the administration of it all.

Fast-forward to July of 2010, and witness my entrance to the world of post-grad studies. A Masters in IT, majoring in Library and Information Science, to be precise. And one of the main pieces of assessment for one of my first units? Keep a WordPress blog. Happy to! Since GoodOldTalk. I’d kinda become familiar with blog-keeping. WordPress was unfamiliar, but the concepts were easily transferrable. And by the end of the unit, I could see enough value in the idea of a personal blog that I didn’t need too much convincing when @fionawb issued a #blog12daysxmas challenge – and that became the impetus for starting hmmm…

Fast-forward again, this time to February of 2011. Jobless, I pitch the Principal of St Paul’s Lutheran, Caboolture, to pay me to run his marketing. He agrees, and suddenly I’m a self-employed marketing consultant. With administrative rights to the St Paul’s website. Which is based on Joomla! (If I had my way, there would be no exclamation mark at the end of that sentence…!) Again, the skills are transferrable. Which was good. Adding St James Lutheran, Hervey Bay, as a client in September of that year – and Caloundra Christian College just two weeks ago – both of whom have websites based on Joomla! – is also rather helpful, as it has meant that I’m not being pushed too far out of my comfort zone.

But what I love about this Masters I’m studying is that it really challenges me. As in, REALLY challenges me. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve received 7’s and 6’s (that marketing elective I did, Sem II last year, I’m counting as a major aberration. I was seriously NOT happy with the outcome of swapping across to the Business faculty for that elective!!!) – and  I’m also pretty chuffed that because I was among QUT’s top 15% of students, I was invited to become a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. I know I’ve worked my butt off, and (with the exception of one assignment to date) I’ve immensely proud of the work I’ve submitted.

But I’m nervous about this semester. On the suggestion (demand?! ultimatum?!) of Hubby, I’m only studying one unit. INN530, with @katiedatwork. Which I’m pretty excited about… but… one of the 50% assignments is a coding one. In HTML5 – with maybe a bit of CSS thrown in for good measure. And I’m scared. I’ve skimmed the Wikipedia entries on both topics, and I’ve gone ahead and checked out an online tutorial on HTML5 coding, and I’m feeling WAAAAAAAAAAAY out of my depth. Really. And truly, And very, very, very scarily!!!

So… wish me luck! This semester’s going to be a biggie!!!

CC Image courtesy Jesper Rønn-Jensen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jesper/355128797/

Yesterday I posted (well, re-posted, actually!) an entry from my first-ever (and now inactive) blog. It outlined three questions that I return to again and again, when considering my online identity.

1. What do my images say about me?

2. What am I saying about me? and

3. What am I not saying about me?

Well, that was a little over 18 months ago. So what has changed? How do I now view ‘success’ in creating and maintaining my online identity?

18 months ago, I was just starting out with online tools. Sure, GoodOldTalk.com had been up and running for a little over a year, and I had an inactive twitter account, and I had been on Facebook for a while, but that was about it. No flickr, no YouTube, and so on – and I didn’t even know that tools such as TweetDeck, HootSuite existed – let alone EverNote, Instagram, DropBox, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, etc etc etc.

Now however, I’ve been self-employed for a year. I’ve been running my own Marketing business, and not only have I seen the need to be in social media for Bloxham Marketing, but creating and maintaining social media accounts for my clients is an integral part of my business. Which has meant that I’m a lot more ‘out there’ than I ever have been.

This blog has also played a major part in the evolution of my opinion regarding my online identity. I started it Christmas 2010, using @fionawb‘s #blog12daysChristmas as an impetus. My PLN, formed for the most part by Librarians on twitter, was integral in maintaining this blog throughout its development, to what it is today. Through the relationships I now have with online friends, I have come to see that it’s probably okay to relax a little from that hard-liner stance I had, 18 months ago.

1. What do my images say about me? That’s been a toughy. I like to add an image to each of my blog entries, however when I want to write about my kids, and I don’t want to upload their images to the net, that’s a little problematic. So a few weeks back now, I dedicated a post to each, and included their photo (albeit, not a particularly identifiable one!) Plus, in my recent exploration of Pinterest, and its ability to easily embed (and attribute, of sorts!) into WordPress, that’s made my life a little easier. Now I feel as though I can show a little of who I am / what I like through the images I display – even though these images don’t necessarily have me in the frame or behind the camera.

2. What do I say about myself? Again, I’ve probably been more vulnerable than I had ever thought I would be. From entries about my gambling addiction (coming up to 20 years not being at a BlackJack table – as much as I still think about it more regularly than I’d like!) to my miscarriage, from my employment problems to my time in a cult, I’ve exposed quite a lot about myself… but then again, “my friends IRL know this stuff about me, and I’m comfortable sharing with them, so why not others?” is how I see it. Obviously, I keep my personal stuff on this blog, and my Bloxham Marketing blog is all about the work side of my life, however when I think of my online identity, I’m trying to reflect who I am as a person. As much as I’d like to cover up the yuk stuff, and pretend to be something I’m not, I have a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for too long, and then you, my dear readers, would see right through it – and then, where would I be?!

3. What do I NOT say about me? Again, this has changed, in the light of my being far more open online than I had expected I would be. I’m still wary of PII, however as a self-employed business owner, I need to be contactable by potential clients, so my contact details are accessible in what I feel are the appropriate places. And as for embarrassing myself with inappropriate photos / videos / stories? Yup – pretty much all of them are in the “not sayin’!! basket”!

So – this is me. What do you think? Agree? Or disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

All things considered, I’m doin’ okay.

I’ve spent the last three days in front of a Year 2 classroom. The kids were absolutely delightful – as all classes at St Paul’s Lutheran are, come to think of it – but coming hard on the heels of a fantastic ‘do-nothing’ holiday which followed several weeks of zero relief teaching days – three consecutive days was a bit of a shock for my sometimes-working- sometimes-not voice. (Yup. Haven’t seen a doctor yet. Probably should. I know.) It was also a bit of a shock to my kids too, I think. But they coped really well.

Mum, on the other hand, lost sleep. But that was because I’d had too much of a good holiday and hadn’t looked properly at my calendar.

You see, she and I set up the website goodoldtalk.com – a social network for Seniors. And last year, I attended the Senior’s Expo and Forum organised by Peter Slipper MP, on behalf of the GOT site. So we were invited back this year, and me in my un-organised post-holiday haze didn’t realise that I’d double booked teaching over the Forum day. Whoops! So I taught Year 2, and Mum was the GOT ambassador. With two other absolutely fantastic GOT members who also agreed to (wo)man the GOT stand. Apparently they had an absolute ball – I knew they would, but they were a little hesitant about it, having always left the ‘speaking engagements’ to me. But not only did they have a fantastic time of it, they scored another FOUR speaking engagements, and a radio producer of a local community radio station was so excited by the concept, that he’s signed up to the site, blogged already, and intends to promote us on the radio waves. Woohoo!!!

Pretty cool. And I believe that makes up for missing out on the cocktail party with the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop at Peter and Inge Slipper’s do last night. Seeing as I was dead-on-my-feet anyway!