Commented on “Mashable – The Social Media Guide”

Daily I speak with friends, colleagues and clients about ways to stream line their businesses and to connect and gain exposure via social media. It is always great to see these simple step-by-step articles that say all the things I say, but from credible sources. Thank you for advocating.

Originally posted as a comment
by sells_annie
on Mashable – The Social Media Guide using DISQUS.

Adding another hat: Secretary at AATYC

Michelle, my friend and asset to Fort Smith, AR, recommended me to a friend of hers who interviewed me today. As of tomorrow morning I will be the newest addition to the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges (AATYC), as the satellite location’s secretary. I am excited about the change and to be going to work in the important industries of education and workforce training.

I have no doubt that the new “hat” will have its share of challenges and that there will be a learning curve of some measure. However, I will be working with professionals who have gone above and beyond to contribute to my community, to my state and to the lives of oh so many people seeking to improve their quality of life.

This position should be a great opportunity to put all of the skills that I have been working to gain and utilize to work for one of the most important causes, as far as I am concerned, out there. Working for AATYC should also be a great fit, as it is a part time position and I will be free to continue to pursue my other dreams.

I will continue to help with the Marketing of Tidbits, the Social Media management of TeamRVBN, writing as the Fort Smith Social Media Examiner and doing Social Media Coaching. It should be fun and if I feared lack of challenge and direction, then those fears are now assuaged.

Social media user and self proclaimed idiot turns mistake into comical opportunity | Apr 17, 2010 | Hi-Tech

Social media user and self proclaimed idiot turns mistake into comical opportunity | Apr 17, 2010 | Hi-Tech.

When I searched out TeamRVBN in preperation for our next monthly meeting, I was blown away!  I found my article, written about one of my friends, who is in TeamRVBN on breaking-news-worldwide.com!!!!

It is awesome that with only a couple of months effort that we have gone from no online presence to almost three pages of search results on google.  But to find this page really made my day.  I may not be getting rich, but I am doing something and enjoying every minute of it!

Watch out.  There will be no stopping me now.

Time and technology in Fort Smith, AR

Dear Readers and Friends:
It is amazing how quickly and in so many ways change occurs. But we get comfortable.

We get comfortable with what is familiar. We fall into habits and habitual behavior. That being said, most of us have become accustomed to a certain level of technology and connectedness through virtual worlds, in line txting, SMS messages, etc. What is the earliest tools humans used? Their hands, just their hands. There was a time not so long ago when technology was simple and required no additional energy, power, or connectors. Oh, how far we have come. or have we?

What is technology? Very simply it is the application of this knowledge for practical ends. The first tools or technology were simple. After the use of just our hands, we bagan to fashion technology.

Some of the earliest:
* bones,
* stones,
* clay, and
* other natural items. We made huge advancements with these simple tools.

Now our technology includes:
* D Wave computers;
* CERN’s purpose-built particle accelerators;
* the Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research telescople;
* IBM’s artificial intellegence programs;
* the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium published the first draft of the human genome in the journal Nature in February 2001 with the sequence of the entire genome’s three (3) billion base pairs some 90% complete; and
* roughly 65% of Earth’s population utilizes a smart-phone.

Theories suggest that the best and most evolved technologies have been held tightly and secretly from the general pubic and our understanding until those technologies became economically useful. So it follows that the wealthy were privileged to own the most advanced of our developments.

The world is supplied with access to techs that are meant not to last, so that we are fed a steady stream of new advancements, one after the other. Most importantly it keeps us spending our resources, our trade — for our time and our money. This is the engine of our economy.

What changed? With the stock market crashes, the Great Depression and the Great Recession came many opportunities for advancement via innovation and a drive to survive and eventually thrive. The sheer volume of technologies that have become household names and the norm are staggering! Perhaps that is why literature including movies are created to warn us against our dependence upon technology. The sky is the limit, or maybe not even there.

We hold within ourselves enough knowledge and tools to make anything we desire happen. After all, it is these technologies that make our lives as we know them possible. As a two-time graduate of online learning, I am here to testify to you that the choice really is yours, but that you should choose your tools wisely. Do not be afraid to submit your two (2) cents worth regarding the tools and technologies of our community.

Thank you for allowing me to be your eyes, ears, and voice. Ms. Annie Sells looks forward to sharing your future with you, each and everyone, big and small, wealthy and poor. If you haven’t been, then I welcome you to this new land flowing with technology, like a land flowing with milk and honey.

Sincerely,
MS. Annie Sells

Grandma and Generation X

Generation X and Y have embraced technology in a way that is unheard of, if you ask me, since the building of the Great Pyramids. Because there are so many of us, the trends we embrace are no longer fads, but rather are becoming a new way of life.

I laugh to myself, because we all know as parents that our children will be the one’s who take over our world. As children we are taught, disciplined, educated, and hopefully encouraged to step up and accept our roles. Yet when the time comes and we embrace our new roles, the things we utilize as our tools are generally new to our parents. So they fight against us, because age knows better than youth.

Daily I work in social media and social networking and meet new people who are fascinated, confused, or pessimistic. I don’t take it personal anymore, because I have been on this merry-go-round for a while.

Back in 2000, I took an argumentation and debate course at Berea College, where I jumped on the topic of online learning as the next wave in education. Everyone thought I was nuts! So I played devil’s advocate. Now 10 years later, I personally have 2 degrees which I acquired online and 1 in 6 students are online students! I hate to admit it, but I love it when I am right. My Grandma could not believe that there would be a graduation ceremony for either.

Speaking of Grandma though, she is the reason I joined Facebook. I joined to share pictures with her and my other family members. Now she rarely is on and mine is on my telephone and in my yoono and lifestream feeds continuously.

If online education and virtual family sharing were not enough, I also work online. My first experiences with this were again back in 2000, when I tutored, proof read, and edited college students’ terms papers, dissertations, Power Point Presentations, etc. Back then I was making $10 per hour or page! Now, I represent the River Valley Business Networkers, Tidbits of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, and am the Social Media Examiner for Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Honestly, I am excited to see what is next. Go Generation X!

Putting in the time to make the money someday

Throughout my life and academic career I have been warned that in order to be happy in a career that I might have to make my own way.  While I was attending Berea College they did not have a degree in anything akin to Public Relations so I began work toward crafting my own degree plan.  Unfortunatley, I was unable to complete my time at Berea as hoped and came back home to Arkansas.  That was in 2002.

Then in 2006 when I realized that I had to get my credits nailed down or loose them forever, I began classes with American InterContinental University Online who said I could graduate in less than six months with a Business Degree and time was running out.  So I said great, sign me up.  Walla, an AABA in Business Administration with Honors!  By then jobs that I could have worked with an Associates required a Bachelors.

So in 2007 it was back to school and this time to Liberty University Online.  I already had a AABA so I said what the heck a BS in Business it is.  Until speaking with an academic adviser about two years in who says hey you have A LOT of back ground in the SOCIAL SCIENCES, you can graduate more quickly and likely be more pleased with your area of study if you do this split major in Business and Psychology.  I said great, sign me up!  However, by the time I completed my second degree, in 2009, many of the jobs that required a Bachelors degree required a lot more industry experience and/or a Masters degree.

Now I find myself in 2010, with a College Prep Honors diploma from High School in 2009, an AABA in Business Administration with Honors in 2006, and a BS in Business & Psychology with Honors in 2009.  If that were not enough I also have 13 years of full time work experience in customer services, office environments, managment, sales, marketing, and good old fashioned hard work!

Do I value education? Of course!  I always have, but at some point a person has to say the buck stops here!  Would I like to continue educating myself so that I continue to grown and remain on the cutting edge of knowledge and skills?  YES!  But do I feel that jumping right back into full-time traditional schooling is the answer?  I am beginning to think not. So what am I ready to sign up for?  It is beginning to look like I may have to make my own way in the career area just as I did in education.  Grr!!

Harvest Time welcomes with open arms

For weeks my husband has been trying to get me to visit a church that a friend and bike riding buddy from his work attends, despite the fact that my husband does not attend church and has no interest in ever doing so.  Finally, I got the information out of him about what church, when he took our son, our extended family members that live with us, and I to said church for a Saturday evening event.

In total my husband, myself, another mother and three toddlers arrived a a “”Big Truck” show at Harvest Time Tabernacle in Fort Smith, Arkansas yesterday April 17, 2001.  There were large tow trucks, big rigs, Harlies, fire trucks, emergency response vehicles, crane trucks, an old fashioned trolley, Sparky the Dog, the Planter’s peanut man, and the State Farm teddy bear.  If that were not enough excitement for three kids under three they also offered face painting, sand art crafts, treats, stickers, imitation tatoos, a dance area, and a duck pond.  The children had a blast and we parents were given a million great photo opportunites while watching our children laugh and learn.

Of course my husband’s buddy and his wife were there working the event and dolling out candy, so we finally had the opportunity to meet, put faces with names, and get a formal invitation to their house of worship.

If that were not enough a business associate of mine took the opportunity later that evening to tell me all about Harvest Time, their beliefs, their minister, and his personal experience leading college level youth within the church.  I was sold.

Today my son and I set our alarm, got up, got dressed, and went to check it out!  We were met with smiling faces, genuine interest, and open arms.  Thank you everyone for helping us choose to step out and look to the best that is yet to come!

Hipp Says Real People Being Real

April 15, 2010, I began writing articles for Examiner.com.  I toyed with the idea for a while and talked to many of my friends, family members and neighbor about the idea.  One of my least likely supporters was the most excited.  I sat with Mr. Hipp, as my son calls him, on my front porch in my rocker telling him about my other new job.

Hipp was excited to hear that someone he considers “real” will be presenting news to the world that can be accepted as real instead of some Hollywood version of reality.  He said I should take it one step further and stop trying to help small businesses and fooling around with the internet and just write a book about real people in the neighborhoods of America.

Hipp loves me, is a good man and I have no doubt would kill for me.  He doesn’t understand most of what I do, but he understands me and why I do them.  His vote of confidence means a lot to me.

Thank you Mr. Hipp for your support and for believing I am a Real Person Being Real.

Blessings,

Annie

Local Entreprenuership Guru Dishes the 411 on Leadership

Fort Smith, Arkansas resident and Chicago transplant Michelle Stockman took the time out of her busy schedule to offer yet more advice to the small business owners and entrepreneurs of the Greater Fort Smith Region (GFSR) via thecitywire.com.

She argued that failure to communicate is not the bottom line, but rather failure to lead effecivley.  She also argues that the problem is often not a capital problem, but again a leadership problem.

Stockman pointed out that even though we all play the roles of leaders and followers in our lives that we are not ever really taught how to lead.  Yet from early childhood on we are taught to follow.  How true this is.

Leaders, as a majority, must be action takers, students, adjustable, continual acquires of skills, catalysts, with a clarity of purpose, and humble.

You can read the full article and follow her regular advice here:

http://www.thecitywire.com/?q=node/9526#comment-8845.

— Annie Sells

Marketing & Business Consultant

sells_annie@yahoo.com

Go TeamRVBN!

Tidbits and Sondance Let Their Colors Shine and Say Go TeamRVBN!

Tidbits the Neatest Little Weekly Paper and Sondance the Clown presented their persons and their companies’ talents to the Greater Fort Smith Regions (GFSR) at the 2nd Annual Heritage Festival this past Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Fort Convention Center from 11 AM until 5 PM.

They were of course not the only attractions; they were accompanied by live Irish and Native American dancers, trolley rides around downtown, a petting zoo, and free admission to the Fort Smith National Museum.

Tidbits passed out their last three weekly issues of their entertainment magazine riddled with puzzles, games, tidbit facts, and local advertising, while Sondance made balloon shapes and animals, kept a crowd, and brought smiles to hundreds of local children’s’ faces. Look out for their faces and pictures in upcoming convention and city publications.

Both Tidbits and Sondance are members of a local premier networking group known as River Valley Business Networkers and TeamRVBN. They learned of the event through their network, secured their booths with contacts within the group, and even purchased their banners and advertising props through connections made within their group. These two most especially deserve a little recognition, but perhaps their group deserves a second look, too.

For more information about these two entrepreneurial companies, go to http://www.teamrvbn.com.

Connecting via Windows 7 on the WWW

When purchasing my new laptop I was determined to continue to use the software that I had become so accustomed to.  When you can do something with your eyes closed or in your sleep… why change?

As our lives become more complicated and we adopt more time saving devices to try to adjust.  Such is also the case when dealing with software and applications for that software.  I wanted to keep my good old word and excel, as well as my old fashioned photo programs etc.  Then when I found out that after spending $1,000 on my computer that I would have to drop another $100 to buy the software… I was livid!

That is until I starting using my new software on my new $1,000 computer.  It seems that without the NEW software I could not fully utilize my hardware.  Now that I have become accustomed to my hardware and software I am dangerous with others’ computers and older programs that haven’t gotten with the program so-to-speak!  Whoa daddy!

Now with my Toshiba, ReelTime, Yoono for my facebook, twitter, myspace, linked in, and yahoo accounts and Disquis to merge my postings, as well as my Samsung Reclaim with all its online aps I feel like a new woman.

I am staying all the more connected to my virtual world without having time to sleep while using Windows and thanks to Yoono and Disquis a lot less carpal tunnel pain.

Kicking it Like a Rap Star

Mr. Mark Moore of 1More Productions and Mr. Bobby Lopez aka Mr. Fort Smith went on short notice to St. Louis, MO to kick it. They put on two concerts one in Springfield and one in Saint Louis. So after rubbing elbows with other entertainers they will be leaving tracks in the snow all the way home. Those of us who work for AlexPromo hope they come home with their momentum and excitement. Way to make things happen gentleman. We look forward to getting you back in the Greater Fort Smith Region.

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