After “Audacity,” Now What? My State-of-the-Blog Address

My confession about falling down the “rabbit hole” of social media–The Audacity of Hype–is this week’s “Soapbox” essay in Publisher’s Weekly.  The piece has garnered quite a few comments.  One tweeter described it as:  “Moving account of hopes/fears of writer plugging her book on social media (Consequential Strangers).”  I’ve also received several emails and Facebook messages and questions from other writers. And PW printed a letter from someone in the real estate business for whom the piece also resonated:

I thought I was a Real Estate Broker, but the last few years it’s been all about desk top publishing/marketing and advertising via social networking. Makes “hauling & hoping” not look so bad after all!

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I Have a (Social) Dream

This must happen all the time to bloggers:  Earlier today, I intended to write about other connections I’d made through social media over the last many months (see What CS Taught Me).  But once Jason Simon (right) popped into my head, I went to his blog, where I found it far more interesting to respond to his question, What is your dream? Continue Reading »

Talking to New Yorkers About CS

Later today, I’m at the 92nd Street Y’s Tribeca facility.  In New York, half the population lives alone and yet New Yorkers rank far lower than their country cousins on scales of loneliness.  Why? They cultivate–and value–their CS.  These are the points I’m going to make: Continue Reading »

We Need New Words to Describe Relationships

Guy Owens and I are very distantly related–he’s the husband of my ex-husband’s first cousin!  Our paths would have never crossed but for the fact that I still spend most holiday’s with my ex’s family–two children, three grandchildren and many years later, my ex and I and our extended family comprise a “family apart.”   That’s how Guy and I met, and now we’re consequential strangers who see each other at family events–proof of why it’s so hard to categorize relationships as “intimate” or  “non-intimate.”   I prefer to think about my various connections, family or not, close or casual,  in terms of “meaningful” (instead of intimate), in which case all relationships matter.  Guy sent this in an email and allowed me to post it in CS Stories. Continue Reading »

What CS Taught Me

I’m no early adapter, but gradually I’m learning my way around the social web. Thanks to Google Alerts, I’ve made a lot of new connections–people far and wide whom I see as my teachers. They live in other places, deal with different challenges and have their own unique way of facing them, and each one broadened my own perspective. Here are a few that come to mind. I’ll keep featuring these connections here as I continue to meet and make new CS. Continue Reading »

Gary Vee’s “Thank You Economy”

A few days ago, I interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk (aka “Gary Vee”) for an article about social media and where it’s taking us.  Here’s Gary on the “thank you economy,” which he suspects will be the subject of his next book.   Give great service, care about people, and you’ll be successful in business.  But wait, Gary: That advice isn’t just relevant to business.  Those are the keys to coping with the demands of modern life.    Look people in the eye,  and in that moment of connection, no matter how brief the exchange,  see them, care about them.   They’ll feel good, and you’ll feel even better.   And if that ain’t success, what is?

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New Book on Consequential Strangers

The importance of everyday encounters and experiences started with sociologist and psychologist in academia with a handful of forward-thinking reserachers, like my collaborator.  And now, David Morgan, a British sociologist,  brings us “Acquaintances: The Space Between Strangers and Intimates.”   I haven’t read the book yet, but from this review by community development consultant Kevin Harris, I can see that we cover a lot of similar ground.  Continue Reading »

My Unexpected Year-End Gift

All authors write with the hope of  being read.  Why else would we publish?  But to go further–to inspire and to help readers see the world as they know it in a new light–is really what makes an author’s heart leap.   That’s why it meant so much when I learned that Consequential Strangers was nameed one of The 15 Best Shareable Books of 2009. Continue Reading »

Blending of Public and Private Space–First Day Thoughts on Intimacy ’10

newyears_14I love the first day of the year, probably because it’s the one day I really give myself permission to do nothing.   It’s a good day for thinking.   I’m home with a loved one and so many others.  It wasn’t always this way.  Intimacy used to be isolated.  Private was private, which usually meant being at home with loved ones or at least in a place that wasn’t really open to “everyone else.”   Depending on your perspective, this cocoon-like privacy was a refuge or a prison–for better or for worse, separated from public life.   But the cocoon has now morphed into a hive, in which we are co-present with intimates and with people we know less well. Continue Reading »