Buzzfeed Accomplishment: Community Frontpage

I was emailed last week by Buzzfeed letting me know my post made it to the front page of the Community section! It has received over 46,000 views in just 3 days!

UPDATE: As of July 17, 2014, the post has received 79,153 views.

Buzzfeed

 

Read: 29 Signs You Went to the University of Tennessee

 

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Today is National Watermelon Day!

National Watermelon DayWatermelon Facts

  • Explorers once used watermelons as canteens.
  • Watermelon is 92% water!
  • By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
  • Not only does it quench your thirst, it can also assuage inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
  • Every part of the watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.
  • In China and Japan, watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.
  • Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C, and is a great source of potassium.

If you happen to know someone who has an obsession with this summertime treat, be sure to visit Edible Arrangements and order the Watermelon Kiwi Summer Bouquet. If you use promo code FREE1229, you’ll also get 12 FREE dipped strawberries!

Here’s to a great weekend eating lots of watermelon!

 

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5 Things We Can Learn From Kids About Life

Kids rock.then_now

Have you ever volunteered or worked with kids? If not, you’re missing out because you can stand to learn a lot. If you have, then you can probably relate to this blog post. This post is dedicated to all the kids who taught me a thing or two about life.

And yes, that’s me to the right.

 

Agree to Disagree

Everyone wants to be right, and no one wants to be wrong. Growing up, I was taught never to discuss politics or religion, but it seems that both of these topics are nearly impossible to escape. The awesome thing about kids is that they can “debate” almost any topic and by the end, they’re hugging it out and sharing a Ring Pop. As adults, we could stand to do the same (sans sharing of Ring Pop).

Don’t Take Yourself (or life) Too Seriously

Elbert Hubbard said it best:

“Don’t take life too seriously. No one makes it out alive anyway.”

Kids laugh at pretty much everything. As adults, we should probably try laughing a bit more, but not at inappropriate times because that’s just weird. Because awkward turtle.

Get Dirty

Splash in puddles. Get grass stains on your jeans. Eat spaghetti without a fork. Make a mess. Kids love doing it, so who says adults can’t do it too? Go ahead and be a kid again. Let loose and run around with your diaper around your ankles (in the privacy of your own home, of course)!

Treat Everyone Equally

It’s pretty awesome how kids will become friends with everything. People, pets, friends of the imaginary persuasion, and all sorts of inanimate objects all get the same kind of treatment… and it’s one of respect. Wi-fi high fives to all the kids out there for not being prejudiced and accepting everyone and everything (no matter how strange) for who they are.

No high fives to the adults who teach children to be prejudiced. You suck.

Share

Boogers. Ring Pops. A hug just because. No matter what it is, kids like to share what they have. Can you imagine a world where all the big kids shared with others? Something tells me we’d no longer have to worry about hunger and homelessness. Kids are definitely on to something. We should probably just quit our jobs and follow their lead.

If you’ve learned a lesson from a kid, feel free to share your experience by commenting below!

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5 Things You Should Never Do on LinkedIn

How often do you use LinkedIn? Are you using it effectively? In a recent post, I shared a piece from Mashable that I wasAre you LinkedIn? mentioned in about tips on using the professional network effectively. While I am not an expert on every aspect of LinkedIn, there are basic rules that are constantly broken. People are not understanding how they are being perceived, and I’m here to clear up a few things. Here’s my list of 5 things you should never do on LinkedIn:

1. Don’t Self-Promote

People like to talk about themselves. A lot.

My band director in high school used to say to us, “You shouldn’t have to brag about your performance. Your performance should speak for itself.” This holds true on LinkedIn as there are some individuals who feel the need to shove their expertise down everyone’s throat in a sad attempt to get noticed.

Rule of thumb: On LinkedIn, you shouldn’t have to brag about your expertise. Your expertise should speak for itself. SHOW people on LinkedIn that you’re an expert… don’t TELL them. Bragging about yourself by posting links to your own blog or attempting to sell your product will only annoy people. Cut it out. Instead, share great content and be an active participant in groups related to your industry. If you provide thoughtful responses to discussion questions, I guarantee that you’ll win people over.

2. Don’t Ask Strangers for a Recommendation

Believe it or not, people do it. A lot. You should only ask for recommendations from individuals you’ve had a working relationship with who can comment at length about your work ethic, assets, and character. If you’re asking a complete stranger for a recommendation, you’re going to have a bad time. It communicates desperation.

3. Don’t Send a Generic Invitation to Connect

You know the drill…

Stephen,

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

I’m all about meeting new people online. If we’ve never exchanged messages back and forth or we don’t have any mutual connections, then PLEASE take the extra 2 minutes to tell me a little about yourself and why you’d like to connect. Taking that extra step could mean the difference between an accepted request or a rejected one.

4. Don’t Add People to Your Distribution List Without Permission

The other day, I received a request to connect from someone. We were in some of the same groups and had commented on some of the same discussions. Since I was somewhat familiar with this person, I decided to accept the request.

Harmless, right? Wrong.

This person apparently added me to a distribution list without my permission. A solicitation was sent to a group of people and get this… EVERYONE’S NAME AND EMAIL WERE VISIBLE!

Two of my biggest pet peeves: people who overuse “reply-all” and people WHO ADD OTHERS TO A DISTRIBUTION LIST WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION.

The outcome: Connection removed. Reported for spam. Buh-bye.

5. Don’t Be a LinkedIn Ghost

I like creating new words and phrases, and this is one of them. A LinkedIn ghost is simply someone who has a completely bare profile and no profile picture. LinkedIn is a site for networking, and no one wants to network with a ghost. People want to know who you are and what you’re about. People also want to see what you look like. If you don’t have either of these elements, don’t expect to get too far with your networking efforts. It’s all about being personable.

Did I miss anything? What frustrates you when using LinkedIn? Be sure to share by leaving a comment below.

If you’d like to check out my LinkedIn profile, go here.

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, go here, and if you’d like to subscribe to my public Facebook updates, go here.

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7 Lessons From Successful Companies on LinkedIn

LinkedIn

 

Image via

The other day, I was on a phone call with a nonprofit organization, and they wanted to know how other tools to use to engage followers beyond Facebook and Twitter. Given what I knew about the organization and the average age of their members/donors, I suggested that they give LinkedIn groups a try.

If you’re currently using LinkedIn for your organization, Dave Kerpen of Likeable Mediacompiled a list of lessons from seven successful organizations for social media website, Mashable.com.

Check out slide #4… you just might see a familiar name.

If you have questions about how you can use LinkedIn with your organization, feel free to post your question in the comments below.

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Thank You Letter from the Presidential Inaugural Committee

Presidential Inaugural Committee Thank You

For those of you who didn’t know, I recently volunteered my time as a Team Captain for the Inaugural Balls & Receptions with the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world who had traveled to Washington, D.C. to see President Obama get inaugurated for his second term in office. Though the hours were long, I’m proud to say I volunteered for both of President Obama’s inaugurations. I was quite surprised to receive the attached letter in the mail.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Thank you for all that you did to make the 57th Presidential Inauguration a success. Without your hard work, and the work of thousands of officials, supporters, and volunteers like you, the celebration of President Barack H. Obama’s second term would not have been possible.

It was an honor to work with you on this endeavor. You have the sincerest gratitude of this committee, the President, and your country for your dedicated service.

Very respectfully,

David Cusack

Executive Director

2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee

If David Cusack should see this: You’re most welcome. I had a blast!

Did you attend any of the Inaugural festivities this year? If so, let me know what you did by commenting below.

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When 140 Characters Aren’t Enough, Try These Instead!

blogging

(image via)

Do you have a blog?

If not, what’s stopped you from blogging?

Most people would say they don’t have the time, while others say they don’t know the first thing about which blogging platform to use. The selection of blogging and microblogging platforms has been increasing at a steady rate. If you’re still confused by microblogging platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, or overwhelmed with blogging platforms like Moveable Type and WordPress, here are three new kids on the block worth trying on for size.

QUORA

Most people know Quora as the quintessential Q & A platform where you can ask any question and get real answers from people with first hand experience. As of late January, the service has expanded its features to offer blogging as a way to further disseminate information. According to Quora, here’s the the blogging platform will appeal to subscribers:

  • On Quora, each question, answer, and blog post is categorized by relevant topics. There are over 300,000 topics to choose from.
  • Each Quora topic is followed by readers — hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people.
  • The topics that you follow determine what you see in your Quora feed.
  • For writers, this means that anyone who shares your topic interest may see your writing, no matter how many people follow you personally.

If you’re new to Quora, be sure to sign up and check it out. For those of you who are familiar with Quora but new to the blogging platform, here are a few blogs Quora thinks you should follow.

BRANCH

Branch coins itself as “a new way to talk to each other online,” and I’d say it’s exactly right! If you’re like me, your communication online is very similar to the way you talk and Branch encourages you to do just that. I, personally, have not started any worthy “branches,” but it’s a platform that I am definitely excited about trying. Upon first logging in, here’s what you’ll see:

Branch.com

It’s a pretty self-explanatory prompt, right?

The thing I like about Branch is you can essentially talk about anything you want. You’re not limited to just text. If you want to spark a discussion about an interesting article, all you need to do is include the link in the box OR… you can use the handy bookmarklet if you’d rather not leave the page you’re already visiting. It’s pretty sweet.

Want to start a “branch” with me? Let me know what you wanna talk about, and I’ll gladly accept your invite!

MEDIUM

While Medium hasn’t yet opened to the general public yet, I’m still excited to see a new player in the blogging/microblogging world. When you visit the site, you’ll see a variety of posts written by well-known bloggers and authors. If you look at the upper right hand corner, you’ll see “how do I post” text. Since it’s not available yet, this is what you’ll see:

Medium.com

As you can probably guess, I’ve already followed @Medium for updates, and I am anxiously awaiting to see what this platform is all about. If you’re already writing on Medium, let me know, and I’ll be sure to share and follow your content.

Have you tried any of the platforms I’ve shared? If so, which one is your most favorite?

If you’ve got any tips and tricks, please feel free to share them by leaving a comment on this post.

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28 Awesome Facts for National Trivia Day

Today is National Trivia Day, and I’ve decided to make this my first blog post! In honor of today, here is a list of 28 awesome National Trivia Day facts that you can share with your friends. How many of these do you already know? Be sure to keep track and share by leaving a comment at the end of this post.

  1. When Canadian actor, Bronson Pelletier, isn’t acting with his cast in “Twilight,” you can find him participating in one of his favorite sports (snowboarding)… or you can find him relieving himself in the LAX airport.
  2. Hawaiian Punch was originally developed in 1934 as a tropical flavored ice cream topping.
  3. You’re most likely to help someone who resembles you. Want to find opportunities to help others? Visit AARP’s Create the Good to find volunteering opportunities in an area near you!
  4. About 1 in every 4 million lobsters is born with a rare genetic defect that turns it blue.
  5. It takes longer to tell a lie than to tell the truth.
  6. From 1979-1985, G.E. Smith (of G.E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band) was the lead guitarist for Hall & Oates.
  7. According to NASA, outer space smells similar to fried steak and hot metal.
  8. Horses can’t vomit, and here’s why.
  9. Reno, NV is further west than Los Angeles, CA.
  10. “I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  11. The term “the whole 9 yards” came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.”
  12. The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the “General Purpose” vehicle, G.P.
  13. Captain Morgan was real, y’all! He was a Welse pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.
  14. Kool-Aid was originally marketed as “Fruit Smack.”
  15. The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.
  16. Studies show taller men earn more money than shorter men.
  17. Only female mosquitoes bite.
  18. Every time you lick a stamp, you’re consuming approximately 1/10 of a calorie.
  19. The longest Monopoly game in a bathtub was 99 hours long.
  20. The longest Monopoly game in history lasted 70 straight days.
  21. People who regularly get less than 6 hours of sleep increase their chance of dying over a 25-year period by 12%.
  22. Bear Bryant was once asked to contribute $10 to help pay for a sportswriter’s funeral. According to legend, he said, “Here’s a twenty, bury two.”
  23. A lack of sleep leads to sugar cravings.
  24. Before settling on the Seven Dwarfs as we know them, Disney also considered Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful.
  25. For one day in 1998, Topeka, Kansas, renamed itself “ToPikachu” to mark Pokemon’s U.S. debut.
  26. The average person’s left hand does about 56% of the typing.
  27. Almonds are a member of the peach family.
  28. For $45, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing will sell you a 5lb bag with $10,000 worth of shredded U.S. currency, but currently… it’s out of stock.

How many of these facts did you know? Let me know by commenting below, and be sure to share with your friends!

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