If Only Tweets Were Calories

I wrote here at the beginning April about my increasing Twitter usage and said that I was going to put myself on a twitter diet. Well, I’m happy to report that I do much better reducing my tweet output than I do my caloric intake. And, I didn’t even need a twittervention to do it!

TweetStats_Usage

My latest TweetStats show a healthy reduction in volume during April, and it looks like May will continue the trend downward. Unless I get real chatty this week, I guess. We do have Dell’s earnings announcement on Thursday, and I have been known to live tweet the analyst call. But, that was a rare occasion when I got to be in the room with Michael Dell and the executive leadership team during the call.

TweetStats_Replies

It looks like I’m still talking to many of the same people as I was before. Is that good or bad?

It shows that there is strength and longevity in relationship begun through Twitter. Connie Reece and Susan Reynolds have both been in my twitterstream for at least a year now, I think. I wonder if I’m missing out on something by not talking as much with new people, though.

Which leads to the question of how many people should you follow on Twitter? I have really slowed down on following new people lately. The most recent adds to my twitterstream have primarily been from the growing cadre of Dell employees twittering. It has gotten really hard to keep up with 461 people! When you follow a lot of people – and, especially if some of those people update a lot – others who rarely tweet get lost in the stream. If they don’t direct messages to me specifically, I may never know they’ve said anything at all. I could un-follow some of the high-volume tweeters, but if they weren’t interesting I wouldn’t have been following them.

So, I suppose I’ve been dieting on followers, too. Or, maybe a better analogy would be to implement an exercise program for that area. Reducing my calories (tweets) is a good start, but to be a really healthy twitterer, I probably need to strengthen my muscles (followers). I think I’ll need to concentrate on which are most important (helpful) to get me in the right shape for the next phase of my life.

If only I really knew what that was!

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Apologies to Willie for the title of this post, but a recent road trip to visit my mother got me thinking about old boyfriends and songs that remind me of them. Maybe it was the “best of the 80s, 90s and now” radio that I listened to as I cruised along Highway 79 across east Texas. Or maybe it was the old familiar scenery of north Louisiana. Either way, I began to make this list in my head of songs that make me recall boys from my past.

There’s Lionel Richie’s “Hello” that I listened to many a night in Jr. High while I dreamed of my major crush, Cole. I took ballet with his sister and ached with all my tween-to-young-teen heart for me to be the one he was looking for.

Then, there was Simple Mind’s “Don’t You Forget About Me” that I deemed mine and Jason’s song. He was a senior. I was a freshman. I so wanted him not to forget me while off at college. We’ve stayed in touch occasionally over the years (our moms are good friends), so while we weren’t meant to be a couple, I guess at least I was not forgotten.

Next we move into college, where relationships took on a different dimension.

Sweet memories of one hot summer and a guy named Jobie come to mind whenever I hear Bob Seger’s “Night Moves“. And Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” makes me think of the brief something I had with a radio DJ named Terry who was much older than me.

Not all songs that remind me of guys bring up good memories. There’s the way I rewrote the “Love Shack” lyrics to say “If you see a Theta Xi on the side of the road, just open the door and kiiilllll hiiimmm!” I can laugh at that now, but back then it was more like one of my favorite lines from an Anne Rice book: “The love is equal to the hate.”

As I recount these tales, I realize something a little strange. None of the guys that I truly loved have songs related to them in my head. Crushes, infatuations, brief love affairs – these are the stuff of great songs. But, my three most-meaningful and longest-lasting relationships seem to defy easy classification by radio hits.

Maybe true love, like that I have for my husband of 12 years, is just too complex to be relayed to the world with “more cowbell“.


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Leaving Las Vegas

A week ago today, I was in the happy midst of a mini vacation thanks to the fact that my husband won a sales contest for a trip to Vegas. Sweet! It was a much needed break and just happened to coincide with our 12th anniversary (hey, there _is_ still a “non-mommy” woman inside me! had almost forgotten her).

I didn’t take the laptop with me, but the blackberry did make it into my purse, so I did occasionally peek at e-mail. But, I worked hard at not responding and getting involved in anything back at the office. I did some light twittering, too, but even that trailed off as the days went by.

But, by the third day I was pretty much ready to head home. I’m not a big gambler and it seems like even the non-Cirque Du Soleil shows look like Cirque shows these days, so it doesn’t take long to feel like you’ve done what you can do in Vegas.

I was also missing my little girl, who told us over and over how much she missed us every time we called her or she called us. On the one hand, it was nice not to have those bathtime/bedtime hassles to deal with, or to have to try to explain why there were so many pictures of mostly naked women littering the streets. But, on the other hand, she really would have liked the 3D movie at M&M’s World, going up the Eiffel tower at the Paris casino and watching the fountain at Bellagio.

We’ve got a trip to Italy planned at the end of June and I expect I’ll have many of the same feelings. It crossed my mind to see about taking her with us instead of sending her off to “camp grandma”, but we’re going with another couple who don’t have young kids. What do you think?

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The Reality Behind the Virtual

My latest post on Direct2Dell about speaking at the vBusiness Expo held inside Second Life includes a photo of my avatar at the podium while I was presenting. That photo elicited the comment of “nice legs” from one friend which I took totally as a compliment – no offense, because he’s a good friend and, hey, as you can see here Pyrrha does have nice legs!

But, on this blog I thought I’d share a little bit of the reality behind the virtual reality that image captures. I actually tried to use my new Flip video camera to tape myself while I was speaking at the vBusiness Expo from the comfort of my living room couch. I’m sure friends who’ve seen me twitter about purchasing it have been waiting to see some actual video come from it. Sadly, however, I didn’t purchase a tripod for it, so my attempt to tape from the top of the couch didn’t quite get the right angle for you to see all of the real me. So, here’s just a snapshot from it to give you a little behind-the-scenes look at what Pyrrha Dell’s alter ego (me) looked like during the presentation. No, didn’t get my short legs in the pic for you to compare to Pyrrha’s.

This conference was a prime example of the opportunity virtual worlds provide to bring people together across geographies without ever leaving home.

Still thinking virtual worlds are a fad or something just “for the kids”? You might check out my new article over on Media Bullseye, as well as the Direct2Dell post.

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Throw a Party for RSS!

Just heard that today, May 1st, has apparently been designated as “RSS Awareness Day“! Saw it noted in a tweet from the guy often called the father of RSS, Dave Winer, and thought I’d just drop a line to share the news.

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since I did my first presentation to our online teams at Dell to introduce them to the basics of RSS and all the cool things we could do with it. What’s even harder to believe is that there are still so many people who don’t know what it is or does.

Still, is it really necessary for them to know about it? Does everyone have to understand HTML to get the most from the web? No.  So, I suppose not everyone has to understand RSS to use it. As new browser version integrate it and portals like Yahoo! and iGoogle use it invisibly, the actual knowledge of what RSS is may not be necessary outside of the groups that produce feeds.

That said, everyone one of us who has opted to create a blog needs to know at a minimum that we should ensure our blogs provide RSS feeds. So, I guess it is still a good thing to create a day to make us all aware!

Happy RSS Awareness Day, then!

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