Social Media, You Confound Me!

Is anyone else a little frustrated by social media?

In the age of social media, we’re supposed to be more connected to acquaintances, friends, family, and other virtual friends, not to mention projects, recipes, brands, and companies.  A simple LIKE, PIN, or TWEET can easily be shared across your network and bring people together, right?

My most frequent social media notification on my phone is from Pinterest.  More often than not, I am notified that someone has repinned my pin pictured below:

Most re-pinned pin of mine

Most re-pinned pin of mine

It’s from a site I found when I first joined Pinterest (see my boards here).  I pinned it to my board called: Cool, but not sure when I will do this.  Based on this board, it’s no surprise that I HAVEN’T DONE THIS PROJECT.  I have not taken the time to save tin cans, cover them in cute scrapbook paper, and build a game for ANY party or just a rainy day.  Sorry pinners, I cannot attest to the ease or functionality of this project.

As for other social media networks, the Facebook newsfeed changes have affected what we see and how businesses are seen.  I came across the April 10th article Facebook Frustration by Katie McKissick shared by a friend on Facebook.  She writes:

“Facebook will start to roll out a new algorithm that will stifle Pages’ organic reach to a mere 1-2% of its established audience unless, of course, you pay to reach the rest of them.”

Since I also have responsibility for social media at my part-time job, I also notice limited engagement from our business posts.  We currently do not “pay to play,” thus limiting our reach to only a small percentage of our followers.  As a result, with such small numbers, it’s difficult to tell with any confidence what content is more effective than others. Certainly pictures perform better than just text only updates; this much I know is true. However, it brings me back to my original image of tin cans. HOW is that so popular? Was I just an early adopter of Pinterest who originated that pin? What makes one post so popular and others just so-so?

Whether professionally or personally, you want SOME response from the content you share. It is a form of validation. I don’t want to feel like I’m shouting to followers or having a one-way conversation.

Like, comment if you so desire…anything…Bueller? Bueller?  Anyone?

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Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge – Part 2

Aside

I’m at it again – reading and discovering new blogs that pique my interest as part of the Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge.  I don’t know that I’ll be posting DAILY as the challenge recommends, but I’ll do what I can….here goes –

Do Good Read More Summer Reading Challenge

I have a soft spot for new bloggers (since I’ve still been blogging for less than a year too – that’s still new, right), especially those who seem to cover topics on my radar: parenting, working, marketing, travel.

I discovered Jo’s blog All Marketing Things with her post Audience, Are You There? It appeared in my Related Articles suggestion when I was writing Blogging Blues.  I could completely relate to her questions about how some blogs seem to have “it” while some others do not.  It certainly takes time, discipline, and good writing to attract a following (and have fun while doing so).

I also think it’s quite genius for university students to start their own blog – especially when going into fields of advertising (like Jo), to learn firsthand about social media and showcase your talents for prospective employers.  She smartly talks about the need to use caution in social media in her post You Never Know Who’s Watching.

In this post she says, “It’s an amazing thing the internet, be careful what you do with it!”

So true!

I also discovered this blog post when writing my last post about padded bike shorts.  This tip is essential for buying new gym gear!

The Lululemon Effect

Blogging Blues

“Keep going. Keep going!”  a little whiny voice repeats over and over again in my ear.

I’ve experienced a sort of blogging blues as of late.  I’ve been at this for awhile, though still less than a year, so I’ve been pondering my overall blogging purpose.

Was I right to choose the “working mom on the go” concept in the first place? Is it a bit overdone?  Is my voice truly unique and different?  Do I care about really growing readership, or am I just doing this for “me?”  Before blogging, I felt that something was lacking in my current social media involvement – that a short Facebook update wouldn’t effectively communicate my state of mind nor narrate the trials and tribulations and pure joys of parenting / job hunting and eventually working part time.

Does my almost 2 year old’s mantra of “keep going” have a hidden meaning for Go Mama O.com?  Perhaps…

In my last post about the Do Gooder Summer Reading Challenge, I was inspired by The Happy Guide and reminded of a solid Teddy Roosevelt quote (you’ll have to check out the post to read it). Can I embrace the Nike tag line and “Just Do It” when it comes to sitting down and blogging at least twice a week?  I hope so!

Technical Issues!

As I mentioned in Smart Outfit Planning Trick, I was having some technical issues with my blog.  This boiled down to trying to blog solely from a smartphone or my Nook tablet, and I was getting frustrated with both of these options.  The mobile sites and smaller screens just lack some of the functionality of the full site.  Plus the smaller screens hurt my eyes after some time, so I was opting for much shorter posts.  Finally, I really enjoy sitting at my computer desk and tapping away at a real keyboard.  As fun as my drag & swipe technology may be on my phone, there’s just something more satisfying about typing.  Then again, maybe I’m old school – more Gen X than the tech saavy Gen Y’ers.

Are you a mobile or desktop blogger?  Which site do you prefer?

Emotional Benefits of Blogging

Ultimately, I think what will keep me going on my blog is the quiet time and peace that I experience when I carve out some time just for me and my own little site.  I may not be the funniest, flashiest, or BEST blog out there, but that’s not what I’m going for.  This is MY outlet and space to be authentic and even classic Cathy O.  I truly value the virtual connections that I’ve formed with my friends and followers, who help validate and encourage me to keep going.  THANK YOU dear readers! 

So yes, I think I will keep going here at Go Mama O.

How do you “keep going” on your own blog? Do you share similar sentiments?

Q&A: Marriage, Babies & Bliss

To put the “social” in social media a bit more, I couldn’t help but participate in the latest Old School Blogging Q&A that I was tagged in by Kerry from Breadwinning Mama.  Blogging certainly has given me a glimpse into the minds and lives of so many interesting people – many of whom I consider “virtual friends,” as I eagerly read about your latest musings.

So if you want to know more about my marriage, babies, and sources of bliss, read on!  And feel free to participate too by grabbing the Old School Blogging button & copying and pasting the questions below.

1. How did your husband pop the big question?

He had just moved to Pittsburgh the night before, and I remember him calling me several times during the day while I was at work.  I thought it was a little out of the ordinary for him, but I figured he was bored with unpacking.  After another phone call, I came home and was greeted at the door by a very dressed up boyfriend.  He brought me inside, where he had arranged all of the postcards, letters, and little things we had exchanged while living in separate states and even countries (I worked in Tokyo, Japan, and studied in Vienna, Austria after dating my now husband for only six months).  He brought up memories of our relationship and said something to the effect of, “You’ve given me all of these things, and now I have something I’d like to give you.”  He got down on one knee, broke out the ring, and popped the big question! I said YES!

2. What are the three most surprising things about married life?

Time passes so quickly – we’ve been married for seven years now, and I can still remember our wedding like it was yesterday.

It really can take a lot of work to make time for each other – especially after having children!  We try to do date nights at least once a month and are trying to carve out time daily to connect with one another.

We have discovered new hobbies together – we first met playing basketball, but have also played volleyball together.  We also enjoy cooking, searching for the best Wisconsin cheddar, drinking wine, snowshoeing, hiking, and traveling.  My husband is also an amazing driver’s ed teacher, patiently teaching me how to drive stick-shift!

3. How did you find out you were pregnant for the first time?

I thought it was bad Mexican food that I had while going out to eat with two of my closest girlfriends. After calling them, and realizing that they were not sick, I took a pregnancy test the next morning. When the “pregnant” line became clear, I woke up my husband to share the exciting news! He asked if I followed the directions (not sure how you can mess up peeing on a stick besides “missing” all together) and was sort of in a morning haze of disbelief / excitement.

4. How did you choose your first baby’s name?

My husband actually found my daughter’s name, and I found our son’s name.  I think they both came from baby books, though I do know that we liked the meaning of their names.  My daughter’s name means wisdom, and my son’s means diligent.  We hope they are BOTH smart and hardworking…someday!

5. Describe where you see yourself in 10 years from now…

Hmm, this sounds too much like a job interview question!  Well, I will be working in a marketing / management role.  Okay – on to family life –

Our children will be in late elementary school and middle school!  We would eagerly share in their activities and continue creating our own memorable family outings and vacations.  I’d like to travel internationally with my husband to Japan and with my entire family to the UK and Austria.  We will most likely still live in Wisconsin to be close to our families, while traveling across a few states to visit aunts, uncles and cousins from time to time.  I know for SURE that we will escape Wisconsin winters for a little reprieve!

6. Describe how you find bliss, either with words or images.

I find true happiness in some of the most unexpected moments.  It can be something funny that my children say – for example, my daughter refused to run ahead with me during our walk, saying she wanted to stay with our whole family.  I always love a good hug and cuddling up to read stories together. The images below are wonderful reminders of how blessed and happy we all are!

My little man grinning and wrinkling his nose

My little man grinning and wrinkling his nose

smiling in the snow

Big sister’s BIG Smile

Playing outside with my daughter

Mama O and Family with "Engine" cake

Celebrating special moments as a family

Now tag 5 of your bloggy friends!

I’d love to read about engagement, marriage, babies and bliss from my friends at these fabulous blogs – Motherhood is an Art, Keeping it Real, Pursuit of Plenty, The Sadder but Wiser Girl, I Will Have My Cake.

Anyone else who’d like to play, please do, let me know and link up with Elaine!

Danke Liebster Award!

Wow – I received a nomination from Breadwinning Mama for the Liebster Award!  I am so flattered that she chose my little blog. Thank you so much! I really enjoy reading her thoughts on working full time while balancing being a mom of three and wife. Check out her blog when you have a chance!

Facts of the Liebster Award: 

The Liebster Award’s origins are pretty much a mystery. Bloggers nominate other bloggers that have 200 or less followers. It’s basically a “Hey, that’s a sweet little blog you’ve got there. Here’s an award!” You can’t just accept the award. You have to play by the (ever-changing) rules and pay it forward. Then you can put the award on your blog for all to see.

The Rules:
1. List 5 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 5 questions given to you. (My 5 questions for each of the 5 nominated blogs are near the bottom of this post!)
3. Create 5 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 5 worthy bloggers to nominate. (At the very bottom of this post you will find the links!)
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. (see the intro of this post!)
5 Facts about Me:
1.  I grew up in Wisconsin and lived in Pittsburgh for several years after college. This is how the quest for the BEST cheddar began, when we couldn’t find our good Wisconsin cheese in da Burgh.
2.  Ten years ago, I studied German / business in Vienna for a semester. Their Christkindl markets are so lovely.  Drinking a steaming cup of Gluehwein and strolling along the booths was so perfect for this time of year.
3. I am an adventurous eater.  Spending a summer in Tokyo DID give me a case of food poisoning, but I had some amazing sushi and some other things I can’t quite remember what they were.
4. I met my husband playing pick-up basketball in college. He was impressed by my jump shot and cool station wagon!
5. I consider my daughter and son my greatest accomplishments.  I am so proud to be their mom and look forward to the adventures and challenges that lie ahead.
Bread Winning Mama’s 5 Questions:
  1. Why do you blog? I started blogging as a creative outlet after leaving the work force to stay home with my kiddos. It feels good to have my own space to share what I’m going through in a format that is longer than just a Facebook status update. As a marketing professional, I’m trying to learn more about social media, and there’s no better way to learn than by doing it yourself.
  2. What is the best tip you’ve ever received from another mom about motherhood? Great question! One tip that stays in my mind the most is as your children grow, there are fewer physical demands, but more psychological demands.  This is SO true with my 3 year old right now.
  3. Does social media ever make you blue? Yes, in some ways, I feel less connected to some friends on social media, while being more connected to other friends and meeting new people.  Everyone has a different comfort level with how often and what to share. I still enjoy my snail mail too!
  4. How do you unwind from the chaos of motherhood, work, life? Reading, writing my blog, trying to get in a workout, watching Netflix with my husband, or the occasional date night!
  5. What are you reading right now … is there a particular book you want to recommend? Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.  It has a lot of great tips on how businesses are using social media to embrace customers and even their own employees.  I’m taking some e-marketing courses online as well to help stay current in my field while I’m at home with my kiddos.  I also would highly recommend Vanity Fair magazine for the excellent range of topics and intelligent journalism.

My 5 Questions:

  1. You gain 30 minutes of free time.  What do you choose to do?
  2.  What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
  3. Name one person who inspires you.
  4. What’s your favorite type of cheese?
  5. What do you like most about social media or writing a blog?

My Liebster Nominees – Check these ladies out!

The Mommy Quad

Worldly Girl Turned Mom

NikkiikkiN

Marcum Photography

Pursuit of Plenty

liebster-award