Archive for the ‘social networks’ Category

Are you having phony phun?

August 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Are you having phony phun?.

Great new article by Olga Sheean. We’ve all joined the big wifi party, but none of us know what the long term effects – both health-wise and socially – will be. As the inventor of one of the early cellphone microwave protection devices, I know quite a lot about this, and I don’t think this party has a happy ending.


Vancouver MeshUp is coming: Join the community!

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

A new business meetup group, MeshUp, is starting in Vancouver. It’s aimed at business professionals who see the need to develop creative, innovative and intuitive skills in an increasingly unpredictable, technologically-driven environment.

These are challenging times for anyone seeking creative solutions to business problems, whatever their area of work. Everything is in a state of flux. We are drowning in information and starved of knowledge. Tried and tested processes are becoming irrelevant; once solid structures and institutions are crumbling; ‘best practice’ only speaks to past successes and won’t necessarily produce the best results now. We are constantly challenged to think on our feet, be original and act quickly.

In a recent IBM report, 60% of CEOs agreed that creativity was the most important leadership quality going forward, and it is clear that creative brands succeed while those that don’t develop a creative culture are more likely to fail.

Open innovation is beginning to flourish as ‘silo’ mentality breaks down and organizational boundaries blur, opening up a wealth of collaborative potential. It has already proved invaluable for major corporations and others that understand that the best creative solutions emerge from discussion, brainstorming, strong relationships and collaborative thinking.

The Vancouver MeshUp is a diverse, dynamic, inclusive and confidential community environment where invited business professionals can share ideas, processes and practices in the world of work, pass on inspirations, de-stress and resolve challenges creatively. The emphasis is on giving and sharing, a kind of ‘open inspiration’, as Lewis Evans, MeshUp’s founder, puts it. MeshUps are structured to include a themed presentation, Q+A, breakout discussions  and networking. It’s a safe place to:

• brainstorm
• present, discuss and receive support
• benefit from creative inspirations
• share processes and ideas
• stimulate new vision
• re-kindle passion and confidence
• network and have fun!

The first Vancouver MeshUp will be held on 1 March.
To find out more and to register for the Vancouver MeshUp, go to

Introducing #socialprofit – results-driven social media choices for SMEs

SME = Social Media Exhaustion: Dealing With The Deluge | Growing your Business articles | Bloggertone

While it is supposedly key to their success, SMEs often have an uneasy relationship with the Internet. It’s a problem with many dimensions. Maybe the logical answer is to find ways to empower SMEs to get the information they need. So here’s an idea. It represents a small contribution to help SMEs deal with the deluge and find profitable nuggets in the social media madness.

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A conversation with Olga Sheean and Lewis Evans

Please join us here.

Here is Sheryl and Ken’s invitation.

That’s Monday 16th March at 10.00am (GMT -7.00)

Hope to see you there!

An invitation to be part of a new social network

January 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Olga and I have decided to start a new social network. We are calling it YOUMEUS and it is at

It is specifically about relationships. The text below, which is part of a general invitation to attract membership explains what it is about, and why we feel it is an important network to participate in.

This invitation is to anyone who may have an interest in taking part by starting their own groups within YOUMEUS on specific subjects that are important to them within the context of relationships.

In the ever more fractured and overwhelming environment of internet communications, this is an opportunity to focus people’s attention on relationships within any chosen context – to explore, discuss and inspire – and we would encourage you to use YOUMEUS as a way to attract interest and draw people to take part in your own activities, what ever they may be.

For instance, Ziona Etzion may choose to start a humanitarian relations group on YOUMEUS. The need to improve relationships in the humanitarian arena are all too apparent, especially right now. As someone who is living less than two hours’ drive away from Gaza, she knows all too well the crucial nature of the need. The group on YOUMEUS can act as a relevant gateway to

What ever your interest I hope you are inspired to join and take part. If you know of others whom you feel may be interested to start a group, please let them know as well.

Olga and I look forward to seeing you there.

YOUMEUS – It’s all about relationships

How we relate to ourselves determines how we relate to others, and how we relate to others determines our degree of success, influence and fulfillment in the world. We can see the butterfly effect in action—from our personal lives, right up to international relations. Yet even though we’re supposedly the most intelligent beings on Earth, our relationships are chaotic and dysfunctional and we remain a mystery to ourselves.

YOUMEUS is a new social network for exploring ideas, insights and perspectives on all forms of relationships—with self, with others, with family, with society, on the internet, with money, with illness, in politics, in community, between nations and with our planet.

How can we improve relationships on all levels?

• With Internet technology, our ability to build relationships has grown enormously; but have our relationship skills and self-awareness evolved accordingly?

• Have we simply gone into overwhelm, with our focus fragmented and dispersed in ways that cancel out more meaningful connections?

• Are we just skimming the surface or blindly racing from network to network in the hope of making contacts and getting our needs met?

• How good are we at building personal relationships? Are we aware of how our belief systems, judgments and programming constrict and limit what we can see or let in, causing us to repeat self-defeating cycles and dysfunction?

• What relationship do we have with our neighbours, our national leaders, with those who are marketing to us, with other cultures, with our children, families or communities, to name just a few? How are these relationships changing, how do we want them to change, and how can they change in healthy and beneficial ways?

• Communication technology is shrinking our world and now, more than ever, we can see that we’re all inextricably connected; yet the problems of the world are not being resolved. Even if we feel that our personal and business relationships are improving, what more can we do to relate more meaningfully with our world?

YOUMEUS is an opportunity for us all to explore these and many other human dynamics. Please join us with your thoughts, questions, discussions, videos, photos, group suggestions, expertise, humour and approaches to all forms of relationships.

You, me, us: that’s all we have, and everything depends on this complex, fragile combination.
Together we can find ways to do it better.


I feel your passion, but please give me some foreplay

December 20, 2008 2 comments

It’s the new disease—getting people to take notice of you on the web. I’m doing it now! You’re impressed with the catchy title, right? Whether it’s because you have a passion that you want to share, or because you simply want to make a living online, there’s an epidemic of intrusive web-junk that, for me at least, is a total turn-off.

I work for a living, and a lot of it depends on me being in touch on the web and by email. (Call me old-fashioned, but Twitter and all those other ADD-inducing frenetic devices don’t really do it for me.)

I do have a genuine interest in new ideas, how to save the planet, how to achieve peace in the world, putting right things that seem wrong, keeping in touch, and finding out what the rest of the species is up to. But that seems to mean that I’m fair game for anyone trying to sell an idea—whether it’s good, half-baked, useless or a scam.

It’s a bit like having someone I’ve never met walk up to me in the street and grind their pelvis into mine. My initial instinct would to fight them off, or at the very least suggest we go and sit somewhere (very public) for a coffee to find out if either of us really wants to get down to the sweaty stuff and share microbes.

I was pondering this New Dilemma the other day. How should we be communicating on the web, in ways that are respectful and give people what they want, while supporting needy causes and a thriving e-economy?

Our ability to be increasingly connected on the web via Ping, Twitter, Twhirl, blogs etc means that we’re deluged daily with unwanted dross. And although we may belong to 15 ‘social networks’ and have thousands of ‘friends’, how much of it represents just vague business potential or ego fodder? Probably 90%.

We’re all suffering from web-junk overload. Let’s simplify and use the incredible power of the web for useful things. Maybe we need a new web etiquette.

Here are some ideas. I’d love to hear yours.

On the web:

1. If you have a cause or want to build a social network, make it very clear what it’s about, what its purpose is, what people you want and what you want them to do. However well-meaning you are, you will only truly succeed if you identify and communicate what those terms are. Then you will attract more discerning members who are much more likely to contribute in a constructive way, rather than just make up numbers. And if I am invited to any more business groups that tell me they are going to solve all my networking problems, I think I’ll throw up.

2. Let’s ditch all the fake niceties. They just waste time and space on the web. In business, it’s the preponderance of effusive endorsements – for products, but also increasingly for people on social networks. If something is good, I’ll find out when I buy it, and to get me to buy it, all you have to do is tell me its features and qualities. I’m fairly intelligent. I can make up my own mind if I want it and I don’t need Ted in Idaho to burst with excitement over it on my behalf. Thanks all the same, Ted.

With causes, it’s the gooey sayings and cliché-ridden images that are somehow supposed to move me but frankly put me off and trivialize the issue in many cases.

On social networks, it’s the peddlers of ‘live your dream’ schemes and the scourge of MLM. All seem to be saying the same thing, and those that I have dipped into seem particularly weak despite surprisingly large followings of adoring fans. It boggles my mind, but I guess some people get something out of them. Don’t talk to me about MLM. That’s a big subject – for later.

In short, replacing all the fake niceties with constructive and critical conversation would actually help everyone move forward rather than wasting their time on trying to create the odd quick fuzzy feeling. That way, we can actually get past the BS, and find out how truly marvelous and valuable people really are.

3. What the hell are Facebook apps for? Junk the lot. I don’t know about you, but my favourite button on Facebook is ‘Ignore all’. Surely we have more to do in life than fritter away hours on virtual teddy bears, deciding ‘who’s hot’ and mind-numbingly boring quizzes?

4. Keep it simple, work out your message and communicate it clearly. I have neither the time nor the inclination to find the odd nugget hidden under layers of web-cleverness, e-diarrhea, bad navigation or techno-speak.

On email:

1. Don’t use ‘Trash Phrases’.

These are phrases that, as soon as you read them, you hit ‘delete’ because the credibility of the sender has just evaporated into thin air. Phrases such as ‘an unbelievable offer’. Thanks for letting me know, I don’t believe it either. Trash. Or, ‘a friend of mine just told me about this great….’ Well, I don’t know you, and you are spamming me, so I certainly don’t want to know your friends. Trash.

2. Don’t try to sound friendly when you have no frigging clue who you’re talking to, among the thousands of names in your database.

You know the incredibly annoying style: ‘Hey (your name inserted here)! How are you doing? I’ve been so busy/I’m so excited to tell you/ I’ve got this great …..’ Trash.

3. Keep the toilet roll for its intended purpose.

The trouble is, people who write emails these days seem to think everyone has either a very short attention span or problems with their eyes.. Short lines, spaced out for mile after mile of crass sales pitches that will give you cramp in your mouse-wheel finger. Trash.

4. Don’t use ‘seduce and entrap’ methods.

The trouble with these is that you’ve given away all kinds of info about yourself by the time you find out what they are. The format goes something like this: The email says ‘have a free xxxx,’ and usually applies a bit of silly pressure like ‘for a limited period’, or ‘you have been specially chosen’ devices. Click here. So you click and fill in your details. Then you get that sinking feeling. It’s not free. Well, it may be, for a limited period, or maybe the basic (useless) version is free. Trash – but send an email to get removed from their database first.

5. If you send out personal emails trying to sell me something, be prepared to deal with responses personally. Talk to me like a human being, answer with a real email, and don’t insult me with automated emails telling me you are too busy because you are so popular/successful, or divert me to someone in a bed-sit in Mumbai. Trash. Tim Ferris, please take note!

If you think all this sounds a bit negative, just imagine how much more peaceful our lives would be if these suggestions were implemented. Think how much more focus you could have, and how much of your time on the web would be used constructively. And think how much more likely you would be to build meaningful, respectful friendships and other relationships that would actually yield something more than vague promises of e-salvation.

We don’t have time for the crass, the insincere, the lies, the aggressive, the ineffectual. Life is too valuable and it flies by all too quickly. Surely we can do better by making time for real relationships, built on respect, trust and love. Slowing it down, making eye contact, simplifying. Getting truly in touch with ourselves and each other, being real.

Give me foreplay – we really should get to know each other better, first, then good things can really start to happen!