Category Archives: Thoughts

Whipped Into Shape

Sorry for the pessimism, but I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.  (Probably because I’ve never been able to keep them.)  In that past, I’ve used them as an excuse to put things off until January.  I’ve also made more New Year’s resolutions than I can count and I can’t think of a single one that I’ve actually kept.

For the last 3 months I have been getting “Whipped Into Shape.”  I stopped hiding under the security blanket of the New Year’s resolution, took advice from Brooke Wyndam, and decided to “work it out!”  I feel as though I’ve accomplished more, personally and professionally, than had I waited around until January.

In the musical Legally Blonde “Whipped Into Shape” is about working out the body, but the lesson is that it takes hard work to accomplish what you want.  Yes, the New Year is a great time to reflect on your past accomplishments, turn to the future, see where you can improve, and set new goals… but you can do this exercise anytime throughout the year.  In fact, I think it is important to constantly reflect, re-evaluate, and re-align personal and professional priorities and goals.

It appears that I am not alone.  A number of my colleagues in higher ed have been getting whipped into shape.  People have changed jobs, started new/exciting projects,  published books, and more.  I can imagine there were no “easy miracles” to any of these endeavors.

In this clip of “Whipped Into Shape” the audience is impressed by 11 women singing and jumping rope in sync, which they’ve been doing for about 4 minutes already.  They make it look so easy.

I hope 2011 is a big year for you.  I hope you accomplish the goals or resolutions you have laid out and don’t forget to periodically reflect on how the year is going.  There is no need to wait until January 2012 to get whipped into shape.

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What you missed

Finally emerging from your cookie-coma?  Recovered from New Year’s Eve antics?

Here’s what you missed over the holidays:

Facebook beat Google as the top visited website in America in 2010.

700 billion YouTube videos were watched in 2010.

Seth Godin writes on why your web forms shouldn’t be annoying.

Admins on Facebook can now unmerge Pages and Places.

Bates uses “swing deans” to help minority students enroll and transition into college life.

Dean at Pomona College gives his take on the Common App in response to previous article on the Common App’s technical glitch.

Patrick Powers compiles his “favorite things” for social media and higher ed.


#lovehighered

I have been inspired by the Little Mermaid and Dylan Wilbanks.  (I bet that’s never been written anywhere before.)

The holiday season is a time when I become very thankful for the many blessings in my life: a wonderful family, good health, a supportive network of friends and colleagues, and of course… a job.  Not only a job that pays the bills, but a job that I love, a job in higher ed, a job that lets me combine my passions with my talents.

One of my favorite songs from the broadway version of the Little Mermaid is “Under the Sea.”  (It’s worth watching just to see them on Heelys.)  For the three of you who have never heard the song, the crab tells the mermaid to quit her complaining and appreciate what she has and the world around her.  “What do they got? A lot of sand. We got a hot crustacean band!”

Dylan Wilbanks, Web Producer at the University of Washington School of Public Health, walked away with the “best of conference” red stapler award at the High Ed Web Conference this year.  His session was inspiring, witty, informative, and full of honesty.  (In fact, Higher Ed Experts had Dylan present his session as a webinar.  This is now on-demand for your viewing pleasure.)  My biggest take away and probably the most tweeted quote was “Love the Web, Love Highered, Love People.”

Dylan said, “I think if we focus on those three things we can overcome the bitterness and the cynicism.  We can make a better world… we can help make not just the web better but we can make higher ed better.”

Sebastian said, “Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor.  Such wonderful things surround you.  What more is you lookin’ for?”

If Dylan is A and the Little Mermaid is B,
A + B = Higher ed “is the bubbles.”  Let’s be thankful we work in it.

My job is like any other, there are tough days and frustrating days, but I would like to take this opportunity to remember why I #lovehighered.

I #lovehighered because:
– I feel I can make a difference in the lives of prospective students.
– Higher ed has allowed me to build meaningful connections and friendships with colleagues from all over the USA.
– It is one of the few industries where idea sharing across “brands” is championed.

I would like to challenge you all to join me.  Let’s declare today National #lovehighered Day and let the world know how proud we are to work in such an amazing industry.  Please take to the twittas and use the #lovehighered hashtag.

Thanks web.  Thanks higher ed. Thanks people.


It’s Today.

“I know that this very minute has history in it…”

I’m here.

The opening scene of Mame (song: It’s Today) is one of my favorites in all of Broadway.  And no, not just because in a life long ago *cough high school cough* I was cast as Mame.

The curtain opens and the audience is treated to a most spectacular site: a dazzling staircase set in the living room of a lavish mansion, women whisking around in sparkling gowns and cocktail dresses, men indulging in libations in good conversation in their finest suits, and they’re all dancing.  There’s lots of dancing.  This is clearly an important party – New Year’s Eve perhaps?

The music swells and all of the guests direct their attention to the top of the staircase. There she appears with trumpet in hand to announce her arrival, as if you didn’t already know.  Mame.

“Mame, what the hell are we celebrating?” asks Vera Charles.

[pause]  That’s right.  No one knows why they are there.  [/pause]

“A holiday!  One I just invented… and all my dearest friends are here.  Even the ones I haven’t met yet!” Mame declares.

It’s a celebration to celebrate.  A party to party.  There’s no rhyme, reason, or apology… and there doesn’t need to be.  Mame does not apologize for living life in her own grandiose way.

I’ve wanted to blog for awhile now.  I didn’t really have the guts and wasn’t sure if I had anything worthwhile or interesting to say.  Then I made up excuses to delay this project, “oh I should wait until it’s New Year’s” or “once I get a couple posts loaded in the queue, then I’ll launch it.”

Well, it is time to take a page out of Mame’s book, “pull out the stops,” and dive in.   It’s time to author this blog.  I have a lot to say that can no longer be constrained to 140 characters.

In posts to come you will find my opinions on topics such as: marketing, social media, web video, higher education, event production and more.  I hope to start conversations so we can learn from each other.

My promise to you is that this will be 110% authentically “me” and like Mame, there will be no apologies.

Perhaps we are dear friends, or maybe like Mame’s guests, you just stumbled into this blog in your fancy pants.  Either way, here you are.  Here I am.  So let’s make something of it.

Cue the swelling music and someone, hand me a trumpet.

“Fellas watch out!  It’s Today!”

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Here, only because I know you will find this anyway.


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