Talk: Be Your Best Offline Self Online [en]

[fr] La conférence que j'ai donnée mercredi à Women in Digital Switzerland à Lausanne.

Kelly invited me to be the guest speaker for the Women in Digital meetup in Lausanne on Wednesday, with a talk titled “Be Your Best Offline Self Online: How your personal online presence helps your business/career“.

It was streamed live on Facebook, which means that even if you weren’t able to attend in person, you can still listen to my talk now. I’ve put it up on YouTube for easier access outside of Facebook.

(Feel free to go “audio only”, the slides aren’t that important.)

There is a lot to write about this topic, and hopefully I will, but for now I’m at least making sure that you have access to the video! This makes me think I should get the various videos of my talks I have collected over the years on YouTube, even if the quality of most of them is not that great, and make a playlist of them.

A big thanks to Kelly who held her iPhone as steady as possible to capture this talk. I’m extremely grateful to have a recording of it.

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Internet, espace de vie [fr]

[en] About the profound humanness of the internet. It's not a space to "communicate", it's a space to "be" with other humans. The internet is made of people.

La fête: internet, c'est ça aussi.

Ce qui “coince” beaucoup de personnes quand elles envisagent leur propre présence en ligne, c’est cette conception d’internet (des médias sociaux, de facebook, etc) comme “canal de communication”. Ça peut l’être, certes, mais c’est réducteur.

Internet est un espace social. Il y a du “contenu”, mais surtout des gens. Vous vous souvenez de la vidéo “The internet is made of cats“? J’ai envie de dire “the internet is made of people”.

A la fin des années nonante, je découvrais internet, comme beaucoup de monde. Je faisais des recherches sur Altavista, je trouvais des nouveaux sorts à utiliser pour mes jeux de rôle. Je l’utilisais comme une bibliothèque. Je trouvais moyennement excitant.

Tout a basculé pour moi quand je me suis mise à chatter. Internet n’était plus cette bibliothèque silencieuse, mais mon Lapin Vert à moi. Puis j’ai commencé à me balader sur le web, et j’ai eu cette révélation: les sites que je visitais, les pages que je découvrais avec émerveillement, elles avaient été créées et mises en ligne par des gens comme moi. Et je n’ai pas tardé à les rejoindre. Le web, c’était cette collection de voix humaines.

Cette conscience profonde de l’humanité d’internet ne m’a jamais quittée. A travers les pages perso, les forums, les blogs, MySpace, Friendster, Flickr, Twitter, Dopplr, Facebook, coComment, Foursquare, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope et tous les autres: ce sont les gens et les relations qui sont la structure sous-jacente du monde numérique.

Je ne vous raconte pas ça juste pour le shoot de nostalgie: c’est parce que c’est encore vrai aujourd’hui, mais comme ça a été le cas au début des années 2000 avec le web, la main-mise des marques sur les médias dits sociaux finit par nous faire oublier leur nature originelle, et qu’ils sont adaptés avant tout aux personnes.

Comprendre que Facebook et consorts sont des espaces de vie, ça va changer notre approche pour y “être”. Etre présent en ligne, c’est plus du savoir-être que du savoir-faire. Quand on se rend à un apéro ou salon professionnel, l’essentiel de ce qu’on y fait c’est rencontrer des gens, discuter, découvrir des choses intéressantes dont on va parler plus loin, etc. En ligne, ça peut être comme ça aussi. Et c’est quand on approche le online comme ça qu’il nous apporte le plus.

Avoir un compte Twitter sur lequel on cherche à “partager des choses” ou “gagner des followers”, c’est super chiant à faire. Par contre, être présent sur Twitter comme espace social, où sont tout plein d’autres personnes qu’on connaît, qu’on apprécie, qu’on découvre peut-être, ça oublie d’être du travail.

On comprend donc l’importance de l’authenticité et du “personnel” (de “personne”, pas dans le sens de “privé”) dans la présence en ligne: notre présence en ligne nourrit des relations avec d’autres humains, et nos relations aux autres s’ancrent le mieux dans notre humanité.

Cette approche nous libère également de l’éternel obstacle (excuse?): ça prend du temps. Oui oui, ça prend du temps. Tout comme boire des cafés ça prend du temps, aller à un apéro ça prend du temps. Mais ce qu’on dit quand on dit “j’ai pas le temps” ou “ça prend du temps”, c’est “c’est chiant à faire” et “je vois pas l’intérêt”.

Si on arrive à faire en sorte de vivre le online comme un espace social d’interactions auxquelles on prend plaisir, la question du temps que ça prend se transforme.

Quand vous pensez à votre présence en ligne, réfléchissez-vous en termes de “communication”, de “message”, ou bien est-ce simplement un espace où vous connaissez des gens et interagissez avec eux?

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Avoir une présence en ligne, c’est du “Personal Branding”? [en]

Des fois quand on n’écrit pas, c’est qu’on a trop à écrire. C’est mon cas juste maintenant. Il faut bien commencer quelque part, alors je vais rebondir sur une intéressante discussion téléphonique que j’ai eue il y a peu avec un ami au sujet de la présence en ligne et du “personal branding”.

Je dois vous avouer que je n’ai jamais aimé ce terme. “Branding”, ça nous renvoie à la marque, au marketing. Et je ne me vois pas comme une marque: je suis une personne. (“Je ne suis pas un numéro!…”)

Staring into the fire

“Branding” ou “marketing”, ça nous renvoie aussi à quelque chose de construit. Sur quoi vais-je communiquer? Comment est-ce que je veux être perçu? Quel est mon message? A moins d’être un naturel du marketing ou d’aimer ça, c’est pas marrant à faire. C’est du travail. (Et ne nous voilons pas la face, la plupart des gens qui ne travaillent pas déjà dans le marketing ou la vente n’aiment pas particulièrement ça.)

Quand je parle avec mon entourage de présence en ligne, ce que j’entends  le plus souvent c’est “ça prend un de ces temps!” Et c’est vrai. Mais ça prend à mon avis d’autant plus de temps qu’on construit activement sa présence en ligne. Ou d’énergie. Parce que généralement, quand on dit “ça prend du temps”, ce qu’on veut surtout dire c’est “faut y mettre de l’énergie et c’est barbant”. Quand on a du plaisir, on ne voit pas passer les heures.

Si on approche sa présence personnelle en ligne non pas comme un exercice en communication, mais avant tout comme “être soi” dans un espace social, ça change la donne. Certes, ça peut rester du “travail” comme l’est aller à une soirée networking, mais c’est du travail d’être plutôt que de faire.

Cette façon de voir les choses ne signifie pas pour autant qu’on abandonne tout filtre, toute stratégie.

En tant que personne, on présente naturellement des visages un peu différents selon les contextes dans lesquels on se trouve. Ça reste valable en ligne, avec la difficulté ajoutée que dans les espaces numériques, les contextes s’effondrent les uns sur les autres. Cela nous amène soit à présenter une facette de nous très standardisée et un peu lisse, soit à faire le choix “d’assumer” un peu plus publiquement certaines parts de nous. La deuxième option est celle qui rapporte le plus de fruits, et il y a beaucoup à en dire (futurs billets en gestation).

En tant que professionnel, on a probablement (au moins) quelques connaissances en communication ou en marketing. Les exploiter n’est pas nécessairement antithétique avec une présence en ligne authentique. Mais il faut le faire à bon escient. Si l’ensemble de notre présence devient une “opération marketing”, la personne que l’on est disparaît derrière. Et notre personnalité est la meilleure clé que l’on ait pour entrer en relation avec autrui. Ce serait donc dommage de l’oblitérer…

Ceci nous amène à la raison d’être d’une présence personnelle en ligne: faire vivre notre réseau. Ce qu’il y a derrière tout ça, c’est en effet le réseau: les gens qu’on connaît, les gens qui nous connaissent, qu’on peut toucher, ce qu’on fait pour eux, ce qu’ils font pour nous, qui ils connaissent à leur tour. L’enjeu, c’est cette toile de personnes au milieu de laquelle on se trouve.

Notre réseau, c’est notre filet de sécurité. Oui, oui, nos compétences aussi, mais comme on le dit depuis un moment, c’est qui on connaît qui est crucial. On peut avoir les meilleures compétences de la terre, si on vit dans une bulle, ça ne nous amènera nulle part.

Avoir une présence personnelle en ligne, c’est pour moi tout simplement une extension de notre être social. En tant qu’être humain, on est un animal social, et ça se manifeste dans notre vie hors ligne et notre vie en ligne (tiens, il y a des choses à dire aussi sur cette distinction “hors ligne/en ligne”).

Ça vous parle? Si vous avez une présence personnelle en ligne, comment la vivez-vous? Et si vous n’en avez pas, qu’est-ce qui vous retient?

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Our Relationship To Technology: Is Your Smartphone In Charge, Or You? [en]

[fr] Une réflexion sur notre relation à la technologie. C'est pas aussi simple que "addiction! addiction! au secours!".

Today’s post, again, brought to you by an article of Loïc Le Meur’s: Why are we checking our smartphones 150x a day? (Remember when Loïc was a blogger?) He links to a video with the catchy title “After I saw this, I put down my phone and didn’t pick it up for the rest of the day”.

I have mixed feelings about this kind of discussion.

  • On the one hand, I think we need to strive to be those in charge of our use of devices, and not victims of the operant conditioning of modern technology.
  • On the other hand, I think that framing the issue of our relationship with technology as addiction is counter-productive, as it puts the blame on technology and removes responsibility from users.

It’s also not a new conversation, and it pops up every now and again as “today’s big problem”. Hey, I was afraid I had “internet addiction” back in 1998. I read Silicon Snake Oil and The Psychology of Cyberspace, headed off to my chalet for a week, and stopped worrying.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m online a lot, both on my computer and on my phone, but I still perceive being on your phone when in human company as “impolite”. I try not to do it too much. So, usually, when I’m with other people, I won’t be on my phone, unless:

  • we’re playing with our phones: taking photos, looking at stuff together, etc.
  • there is something I need to attend to (I apologize and try and be quick)
  • I’m looking something up to help us solve a problem or get information we need
  • we’re spending quite some time together and are both having “phone-time”

I’m aware this doesn’t mean much: with the same description I could be glued to my phone all the time. How do you define “something I need to attend to”?

So, some context.

My phone is in silent mode, and I have very few notifications set (same on my computer). It usually lives at the bottom of my bag. When I’m working, there are chances it’s next to me on my desk. It’s often charging or abandoned in another room when I’m at home.

I’ll check it somewhat compulsively when I’m on the bus, or when I’m using it “as a computer” to hang out online. If I’m with other people, as I said, I don’t take it out too much (though they’ll be the best judges about how much — I do take it out).

I suffer from FOMO like almost everyone who is connected today, I guess. But I don’t feel that I’m a slave to it. I read The Paradox of Choice many years ago and it really opened my eyes: today’s world is so full of possibilities. If you don’t want to succumb to the anxiety of too much choice and too many options, you need to be aware of what’s going on, and accept you’ll miss out. I try to be selective. I still struggle, but I know I’m going to miss out and it’s not the end of the world. (It’s in my social media survival kit, by the way.)

Why do we end up compulsively checking our phones and stuff? I think there are many reasons, and that’s why saying it’s an “addiction” is a way to frame the problem in a way that makes it difficult to address.

  • FOMO: with the internet, we have access to everything that is going on, all the time, everywhere. If we want to be “part of it”, hang out with the cool kids, or share the video that’ll get us 20 likes, we feel a pressure to “not miss” what is going on in the real-time stream. So we overload ourselves on the input side. We think we need to consume everything.
  • Operant conditioning: I’m clicker-training one of my cats, Tounsi. He knows that a click means a reward is coming. When I’m reinforcing a behaviour, I use an intermittent reinforcement schedule: he doesn’t get a reward with each click.
    See how this fits with digital interfaces, and even more strongly, social media? I think Kevin Marks is the first one who first pointed out this phenomenon to me, when I was having trouble taking breaks from my computer even though I had bad RSI.
    Suw Charman-Anderson wrote about how it applies to e-mail back in 2008. We check our mail, there might be some candy in there. We check Facebook, there might be a like or a comment. Nothing? It only makes the urge to check again more compelling: the next time could be rewarded!
    Yeah, dopamine plays a role in there. Understand how your brain works so you’re not a slave to your hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Validation: we want to be loved and appreciated, and some of what we’re looking for online is just that. Oh, somebody responded to my post. Oh, somebody sent me a nice e-mail. Ooh. But people who thinks that this is the only thing in play round down our issue with technology to an “ego problem” (very fashionable). It doesn’t help. But yeah, if you feel that your drive for franticly checking your phone when you’re having dinner with a friend is just that, maybe it’s worth addressing.
  • Work: the other time when I ran off to my chalet to find some peace was in 2008, and it was not to escape technology. It was to escape work. Our relationships to work and technology are very much entwined. Often, when people say they’re “addicted to their email”, and you take the trouble to dig a bit, you realise the problem is not “email” but “work”. They can’t pull away from work. They work during the week-ends, the evenings, their holidays. This is, I believe, a bigger issue than technology. Our relationship to work, as a society, is unhealthy. (And: Americans, you have a way bigger problem here than us Swissies.)
  • Not engaging: people often look at “not engaging” as a consequence of excessive use of technology. It’s the message conveyed by the video Loïc linked to in his post. I think that’s missing the point that “not engaging” can be the objective here. Relationships are difficult. Being present is difficult. Being with oneself is difficult. Being present to life is difficult. We do many things to avoid doing all this. We veg’ in front of the TV. We talk about unimportant stuff to avoid dealing with what matters in our relationship. And, increasingly, we dive into our phones.
    In the past, I used my camera a lot to “find my place” in social gatherings that would otherwise make me feel awkward. If I’m the person taking photos, I have a place. I have a pretext for interacting with others. I can remove myself from what is going on to be the observer snapping pics. It’s much more difficult to find my place and be with others if I’m just me, with no escape.
    So when we look at somebody who has his nose in his phone during a dinner party, I’d also ask “what is he avoiding by not being present?”

I think I have a reasonably healthy relationship to technology — and work. I have my drinking completely under control 😉

So, a wrap-up:

  • I check my phone in the evening before going to bed, and it sleeps on my bedside table, on but mute, and it never wakes me up (except when I ask Siri to do so).
  • I generally keep my phone muted and in my bag and my notifications off (also on my computer!)
  • I understand how FOMO and operant conditioning work, I’m aware of my need for validation and how I react to the infinity of choices in the world around me.
  • I stop working at the end of the day, and on week-ends, and I take holidays. Real holidays, not work-holidays.
  • I “switch off” a couple of times a year, taking a week or a few days off somewhere with no internet, where I don’t work and use my computer mainly for writing and having fun with my photos. This helps me remember what it is like to live more slowly, and makes me want to bring some of that back into my “normal” life.
  • I try and give priority of my attention to the people I’m with offline, without being religious about it. If I do need to attend to my phone or online stuff when in company, I try not to “disconnect” from the person I’m with offline.
  • I consider that I am the one in charge of my relationship with technology, and strive for a healthy balance between my ability to spend time totally immersed and connected and multitasking, and my ability to be completely (as completely as possible) present to the “offline”, be it a book, a person, an activity, or myself.
  • Like so many things in life, it’s about having healthy boundaries.

When I shared Loïc’s post on Facebook, he commented that we seemed to have similar points of interest these days. For some time, I’ve found what Loïc is writing about much more interesting to me. It’s more personal. Less about business, more about life. Life has always been the thing that interests me the most. My interest for the internet and social media comes from my interest in how people connect and relate to each other.

Interestingly, this is also the kind of stuff I’ve decided to shift my work focus to. Labelling myself as a “social media” person doesn’t fit with what I really do and want to do, specially in the Swiss context where “social media = digital marketing”, something I have very little interest in and want to stay the hell away of. So I’m moving towards “I help you use technology better”. Helping people have a healthy relationship with tech, use it to do their work or whatever it is they need to get done better. Some of social media fits in there too, of course. But also stuff like (yes, still in 2013), learning to use and manage email properly. (I’m actually preparing a training proposal for a client on just that these very days.)

So, how’s your relationship to technology? Who is in charge, you or the compulsion to check if there is something more exciting going on?

Note: I wrote this article in one sitting, getting up once to go to the loo (!) and checking my phone’s lock screen on the way back (it’s charging in another room) to see if I had a message from my neighbour, as we had been exchanging messages earlier and made a vague plan yesterday to maybe hang out together and look at cat photos this morning.

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Photos Online on Flickr, Facebook, and Google+ With Lightroom [en]

[fr] Comment je fais pour publier mes photos sur Flickr, Facebook et Google+ depuis Lightroom, avec les plugins de Jeffrey Friedl.

I like Lightroom a lot and have been using it for a few years now to manage my photos. I don’t do a lot of processing/retouching, and it fills my needs perfectly:

  • I can organize my photos on my hard drive the way I want (monthly, then “events” if needed)
  • It doesn’t touch the original photos (non-destructive editing)
  • I can retouch, crop, and do the stuff I deem necessary to improve my photos
  • I can batch-rename photos according to pretty much any template I want
  • I can upload photos to Flickr, Facebook, and Google+ directly from Lightroom.

Autour du chalet, lumière

I’ve been using Jeffrey’s Flickr plugin for a while now. The neat thing about Lightroom is that when you “publish” photos somewhere rather than “export” them, Lightroom maintains a relationship between the published photo and the one in your catalog. This means that if six months later you go over it again, crop it differently, or retouch it again, Lightroom can update the photo on Flickr for you.

Of course, you don’t have to: you can make a virtual copy of your photo in Lightroom and work on that one, without impacting the published photo; and you’re also the one who hits the publish button to update the photo on Flickr. It doesn’t happen completely automagically.

The only problem with this is for the person who has included one of the updated Flickr photos in a blog post. Updating changes the photo file name at Flickr, and breaks the insert. Thankfully, there’s a plugin for that.

I love my Flickr account and it contains pretty much all my (published) photos. I can’t deny, however, that a lot of my online social activity happens on Facebook, and that it’s a great environment for photos to circulate. Unfortunately Facebook has really crappy photo library management, so I’ve limited myself to uploading the odd album of photos every now and again. I needed a more sustainable process which didn’t involve exporting photos from Lightroom to my hard drive and uploading them manually.

Autour du chalet, coeur en dentelle

Enter Jeffrey’s Facebook plugin. As Facebook sucks, however, you shouldn’t really use the publish relationship to update photos that you’ve changed since you uploaded them to Facebook. Initially, as all I wanted to do was simplify my export-upload procedure, I used the “export” capability of the plugin. That means that instead of creating a “publish service” I created an “export preset” (File menu) to send photos directly to Facebook. Once sent, they’re sent, and live their lives on their own.

What’s nice is that I can also export photos like that directly to my pages (Tounsi and Quintus will appreciate).

Jeffrey also has a plugin for PicasaWeb, which for all practical matters pretty much means Google+ (Google Plus). Google Plus seems better at handling photo updates, so I set it up as a “publish service”.

I realized that I could use “smart publish collections” to make things simpler. My sets are already defined on Flickr. For example, I have this set of chalet photos, and I just want to reproduce it on Google+ (and Facebook). With a smart album or collection, I can tell Lightroom to “just publish those photos which are in that Flickr set”. Easy! This made me set up Facebook as a publish service too.

Autour du chalet, vue matinale du balcon

I love Jeffrey’s plugins because they are very well-maintained (up-to-date). There is some clunkiness in places because he really pushes beyond the limits of what Lightroom was designed for, but if you’re willing to see the odd error message or use the odd workaround, that should bother you too much. The clunkiness is amply made up for by the extensive documentation you will find both on Jeffrey’s site and in the plugins.

One such workaround is required to create a smart publish collection: because of a Lightroom bug, you have to edit the publish service and add the collection from there. But thankfully Jeffrey is really good at documenting stuff and telling you what to do and how, so you just have to follow the instructions on the screen. Basically you create a smart album or set in the “edit publish service” screen, then once it’s done edit that album to set your “smart” criteria.

Two useful things to know:

Finally, Jeffrey’s plugins are donationware. He spends a lot of time on them, and if you find them useful, you should definitely chip in.

Autour du chalet, crocus sous la neige

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Bloggers: an Opportunity to Contribute to the paper.li Community Blog [en]

[fr] Paper.li développe son blog communautaire et cherche des contributeurs!

Bloggers and freelance writers, this is for you! I’m working with paper.li (you know them, right?) and we’re plotting an expansion/development of their community blog. In short, this means:

  • more interviews of interesting members of the paper.li community (similar to what Kelly has done until now)
  • thematic articles (either original content, commentary on stuff published elsewhere, bundles of commented links…) around “curation”, personal online publishing and editing — and where it’s going, basically: how we’re dealing with the wealth of information online (I guess you can see why this is a relevant topic for paper.li)
  • …and I’ll be editing/managing publication.

We already have a few people lined up to conduct interviews of paper.li community members (we’re open to more if it’s the kind of thing you’d love doing) and we are looking for bloggers or other online writers who are interested in writing some articles with us.

Maybe you would just like to do a one-off guest post, or you think you’d like to contribute regularly, because you have lots to say or want to help us assemble, organise and comment the related articles and links we’re collecting.

If you want to be part of this, we want to hear from you! Please use the following form to get in touch.

The form is now closed. If you’d like to get in touch, head over to the Contribute page on the community blog.

A few organisational/context notes to help you understand what we’re doing:

  • we’re aiming to publish about 10 articles a month (so, pretty low amount of publications — we want quality first)
  • published posts will receive a (modest) financial compensation, but this isn’t Demand Media where you can churn out 50 posts a week to make a living out of it — so we assume you also have other motivations to participate (passion, another audience, visibility, intellectual curiosity…)
  • we ask for a week of exclusivity for the content you publish with us — after that, you’re free to republish on your blog or anywhere else
  • posts will of course link back to your blog if you want
  • we’re pretty open editorially (and still defining the borders or our topics), so feel free to submit stuff even if it seems slightly off-topic!

We’re waiting to hear from you, and don’t hesitate to get in touch or use the comments if you have questions or want more information.

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Hanging out Online: Why it's Important for me [en]

[fr] Aux abonnés absents: le temps passé à trainer en ligne sans but précis. La faute à trop de travail, peut-être, à trop de structure dans mon travail, et à une fuite de l'ordinateur lorsque je cherche à me détendre. Il y a un équilibre à retrouver -- parce que trainer en ligne, c'est quand même fun, et c'est ce qui m'a amené à faire le métier que je fais!

One thing I realized shortly after writing my article on downtime is that I have stopped “hanging out online”. And I think that “downtime” activity plays a more important role in my life balance than I’d realized until now.

I think two or three things led to this.

First, I’ve had lots of work this spring (nothing new, but I like to keep repeating it). I managed to preserve most of my “off the computer” downtime, and I realize now that what I sacrificed was the aimless tinkering-chatting-reading-writing-hanging-out online.

More importantly, I started using Paymo in April to give myself an idea of how much time I’ve been spending on what — and how many hours of actual work I was doing. It’s been really useful and has helped me gather precious info on my work, but it has had a side effect: I have started thinking more about what I spend my time on, and being more “monotask” in the way I work.

When I know I have the timer running on preparing my SAWI course, for example, or working on LeWeb blogger accreditations, I don’t feel free to drift off into something else, or read an article or check out Tumblr while I’m working. This is kind of twisted, because the only person who cares how much time I spend on something in this case is me.

So, I’ve changed the way I work, and I’m not sure it’s entirely a good thing. I think I’ve lost my balance.

Using the Pomodoro Technique has made it “worse”. I mean, it has accentuated this trend. It’s been really good for my productivity, it’s been really good to help me be less stressed, and it’s been really good to help me beat my procrastinative tendancies. But I think it hasn’t been good for my overall satisfaction about my work. Something is missing — that’s what I’ve been telling people all these last months. Everything is fine with my work, I have enough of it (more than enough!), it’s interesting, but something is not quite right.

And I think that part of this “not quite right” is that I’ve become too focused on just getting the “work work” done (the one that pays), and I’ve neglected the fun part of work, which is my interest for the online world and the people who inhabit it. I also suspect this can have something to do with my lack of blogging — there hasn’t been much to feed that part of me recently.

So, maybe I have to come back in part to how I was working before. Find a balance. This is not a new preoccupation of mine: for a few years now I’ve been lamenting the fact that I’m not managing to set aside enough time to tinker online, write, do research. But I think it’s become more extreme since I started focusing more exclusively on my client work.

Maybe what I need to do is do tomatoes in the morning, and work more “loosely” in the afternoon (or the opposite). Tinker, get stuff done, write, whatever I feel like doing (including dealing with emergencies or “too much work” if I feel the daily rythm of morning tomatoes isn’t cutting it). Maybe I need to have “tomato days” and “non-tomato days”. Maybe I need to watch less TV (haha!) in the evening and spend more time hanging out online on Google+. Maybe I need to find a way to allow myself to multitask more (!) when I’m working. I’m not sure what the answer is yet.

What hanging out online does for me is the following, as far as I can make out:

  • gives my brain time to wander around (cf. Downtime post)
  • allows me to keep in touch with what’s going on in the social media world, and the people who are part of it
  • gives me food for thought a something to do with those thoughts (if all I do is work and consume fiction, chances are I won’t have much to blog about, right?)
  • it’s a space to tinker with tech and new toys (something I like doing per se)

And more importantly (this is something I think I’ve already written about somewhere regarding blogging and its relation to my work), “online” is a space I enjoy. I like being there. It’s part of the reason I made my job about it. So, just as it is a warning light if my job prevents me from blogging, it’s a warning light if the way I organize my work life prevents me from hanging out online.

Now, as I’ve already said: it’s all a question of balance. Spending my whole life tinkering online and working does not work either.

But these last months (and maybe years), the balance has been off. And right now, I think I’m starting to get unstuck, and am on my way to finding (building?) more balance.

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L'invitée du mois chez Lise Cardinal [fr]

[en] Lise Cardinal invited me to be her guest writer this month -- hence an article (in French) on how and when one can negociate online, as opposed to face-to-face.

Je suis l’invitée du mois chez Lise Cardinal, avec un article intitulé “Mener et clore une négociation en ligne“.

Si vous ne connaissez pas cette grande dame du réseautage responsable francophone, avec qui j’ai eu la chance de partager une croque le mois passé lors de mon séjour à Montréal, je vous invite à y remédier de ce pas!

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A Quick Thought on Being Public [en]

[fr] Dans un monde où l'on est des personnages de plus en plus publics, s'adressant simultanément à des publics jadis séparés, on peut pour moi soit se réfugier dans la langue de bois pour ne heurter personne, soit se mettre les gens à dos en leur disant en face des choses qu'on aurait auparavant évité qu'ils entendent, soir jouer de l'équilibrisme en privilégiant l'honnêté exprimée d'une manière qui prend soin des sentiments des autres.

In these days of increasingly overlapping publics, I see three ways in which to deal with the fact that we are all becoming — to some extent — public figures, our multiple faces forced to come together as the publics they’re meant for also do:

  • go all tongue-tied and diplomatic, and dumb down your discourse so nobody can take offence or hear something they shouldn’t;
  • be an asshole, by saying things to people’s faces that one normally would keep for behind their backs;
  • walk the fine line of honesty and respect whilst expressing things in a way that cares for others’ feelings.

The third way, clearly, is the most challenging, but probably also the most rewarding from the point of view of personal growth.

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Chroniques du monde connecté pour Les Quotidiennes [fr]

[en] I'm now writing a column for Les Quotidiennes, a local online publication. The first one is up: E-mail, quand tu nous tiens.

Ça y est! Ma première chronique pour Les Quotidiennes, intitulée “E-mail, quand tu nous tiens“, est en ligne. J’y écrirai désormais chaque semaine les “Chroniques du monde connecté“, un coup d’œil humaniste dans l’univers technophile des gens ultra-connectés (nous!!)

E-mail, quand tu nous tiens | Les Quotidiennes C’est un peu plus “grand public” que ce blog — et j’avoue que j’ai quand même pas mal réfléchi au sens que ça pouvait avoir d’écrire ailleurs qu’ici: eh bien, simplement, toucher un autre public, dans un autre contexte. On verra ce que ça va donner, en tous cas j’ai plein d’idées pour les semaines à venir et je me réjouis beaucoup!

Et une fois que vous avez fini de lire mon article, filez vous délecter de ceux de mes co-chroniqueurs!

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