Category: Things to do

Communication rules for the 21st century

tech-et-featuredIt doesn't matter if you're fifteen or over fifty, some people need to learn more about tech etiquette. Causing people around you to become angry, or having the person you are trying to communicate misunderstand your message, is one of the top pet peeves of the 21st century. I've been guilty of this myself.  From Linkedin, Facebook, Google plus, email, chat, video-chat, skype, tweeting, texting, smart phones and even online message forums, there are proper ways to express yourself, without leaving the other party confused, frustrated, or even angry. And with smart phones, there are some other manners to learn, like when the phone should be turned off.

One of the issues my daughter complains the most about is a short reply to a long text message. Here is an example of what would tick her off:

Daughter: I was thinking we could go to the A & W for a treat and then maybe to the park for a walk, after supper. How does this sound to you?

Friend: K

That's it? "K"?!! What kind of answer is that?

I don't know how many times I've heard people complain about a message they received, only to find out later that they misunderstood the format in which it was delivered. It's pretty easy from someone to take a joke as being rude, when they can't see the facial expressions of the person who sent it.

Dr. Richard L. Travis' book, Tech Etiquette: OMG addresses how we communicate via text, email, phone, video chat, tweet, or using any social network. This book is filled with tips and guidelines to help improve your communication skills, while whisking through the technological world.

It's important that people who are going to engage communicating in all of these newer ways learn to do it properly. There have been divorces, people losing their jobs, all kinds of missed opportunities, simply because of poor tech etiquette. We don't want any of these things to happen to you.

Tech Etiquette: OMG is being offered for free today as part of an Amazon promotion. If you miss this free offer, it's still worth getting for the price of $2.95. I'd say it's a bargain at any price, if it saves your relationship or job. One review had this to say about the book:

Really a great guideline for today's world. I think we've all experienced many of the situations personally and had to learn by the trial and error method. Would be a great 'hand out' at business conferences, employee handbooks, school orientations, etc to bring the world up to speed and to avoid lessons hard learned! Etiquette/awareness shouldn't be left behind by technology!

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re welcome to comment below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Nova Scotia: Cottage for rent

cot-rent-featured  The Bay of Fundy features the highest tides in the world, and at this cottage you'll have a ringside seat to this great force of nature.  Clamming and bass fishing take place right outside your doorstep.

This fully-equipped cottage features 1 spacious bedroom with a queen-size bed, with an additional double bed available via our pull-out sofa bed. For rainy days, you'll find a selection of board games and novels. The cottage also has a 20" TV that pulls in reception from CTV and Global via rabbit ears, although I must admit that reception is variable. We also provide a DVD player and offer FREE COMPLIMENTARY MOVIES. Our current collection of movies numbers in excess of 825, so feel free to request your preferred titles.  If we don't have it, we'll try to get it.

This is the perfect location to re-charge your batteries, and enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves lapping the shore while you sleep at night. There are extensive grounds around the cottage for you to enjoy, and the beach is just steps away.

Many attractions are available locally.  Contact us for  further information. Watch the slideshow below -- contains 10 slides.

As mentioned above, the cottage is fully-equipped.  All you need to bring are your groceries and personal items. This cottage is available on a weekly basis only, at the rate of $500/week, based on double occupancy.  Stays exceeding one week are available at a small discount. There is a $10 charge per night per person for each additional overnight guest. The cottage is available for rent from the first of June to the end of September. A 20% deposit is required near the time of your booking, with the balance to to paid on your arrival.

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re welcome to comment below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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50 Powerful Date Ideas

50-ideas-featuredJust because you're over fifty and alone, doesn't mean you can't date if you want to. And then, some of you may have already decided the single life isn't for you. You may find it difficult to get back into the swing of things. It's hard enough to ask someone new out, but before you do this, you should have some great date ideas. So for those of you who are challenged on ways to think up creative ideas, you might want to pick up a copy of Jordan Gray's new book, 50 Powerful Date Ideas: Brag-Worthy, Cost Effective Dates From A Professional Dating Coach. His thoughts on modern dating and relationships have been featured in numerous print publications, and on radio and television broadcasts internationally.

I downloaded the book this morning. The Kindle version is free for the next 24-h8hrs as an Amazon promotion. I was really impressed with the number of great ideas for dates as well as for his system on rating each one. For each of the ideas he presents he rates them on:

  • Physical intimacy potential
  • Emotional intimacy potential
  • Conversational ease
  • Cost Effective
  • Brag-worthiness

This is a wonderful idea. For example, if you are too nervous that you may have difficulty carrying on long conversations, then you might choose one of the ideas that are on the higher end of the scale (rated from 1-5) for conversational ease.

Granted, this book is written from a man's perspective and is obviously more for men than women, but both sexes can get some great ideas out of it, for exciting date ideas. So download it now while it's free!

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Understanding Body Language

body-language-featuredIf something hard and heavy is thrown at you -- you've ticked her off. You may have missed some more subtle hints, like when she was throwing your bags out the door. It doesn't necessarily have to come to this, if you had an understanding of body language. Deborah Bull says, "Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words." I don't know about you, but if life is a test, I may have missed this lesson.

Of course I'm not the only one. It's reported that a collage professor said, "Kids used to sit back and listen to lectures. Now they're leaning in. Body language has changed." I'm not sure this statement correctly identifies a shift in the language; the shift in the position could mean it's easier to hide the cellphone.

When you stop and think about it, this is how animals and pets communicate with us. They can't talk, but they communicate through body language.

One time when I was 12 years old, I was doing some chores on the hobby farm my parents owned, when a pony who was staked out in the backyard came over and gave me a hard nudge with his head. He wanted a sugar cube. We often carried them in our jacket pockets as a treat for the ponies, but on this particular day, there weren't any. So how do you tell a pony that he isn't getting a sugar cube?

I reached in my pocket and brought out an empty palm and showed it to him. That's a pretty good example of convincing body language, isn't it? However the pony wasn't buying this story. He grabbed my middle finger between his teeth and was applying enough pressure to really hurt. My yanking and jumping wasn't making the situation any better. He just laid those ears back and his eyes were glowing. And yes! I got the message. I could tell he was displeased. But that pony wasn't reading my subtle attempt at body language to show him I wasn't too happy with him either, so I had to take a more direct approach. I punched him as hard as I could in the nose with my free hand. He snorted and reared up a bit, but he got the message and let go of my finger.

As Edward R. Murrow says:

...a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts ... the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere.

Animals are much easier to understand than people. Although like people, they get a feeling for whether or not you're telling the truth, and then, like humans, they choose whether or not they believe you. As I've demonstrated, you want to make sure an animal knows you're telling the truth. They can be quite suspicious by nature. Knowing that we are, at times, more subtle than animals, there are certain clues given by body language that can help you decide if someone is telling you the truth.

By understanding these body language clues, we can improve our ability in understanding what someone is trying to communicate to us; even so far as how they position their body to us when speaking. At the same time, understanding how those who are more perceptive to this method of communication will read your body language, you can learn to guard against giving off the wrong signals by learning how it is interpreted.

I downloaded a couple of free Kindle books today on the subject of body language. They both offer a lot of insight into the mysterious world of weird communication. They are only free for the next 24-48 hours as an Amazon promotion. Here they are:

I think they both offer a lot of information for understanding people. I'm not so much worried about ponies these days; I got that down to a science. I know how to communicate with them. Plus, they're easier to understand, even if they think you're a liar.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Over fifty and looking for work?

finding-work-featuredI know a number of people over fifty who are looking for work. As unemployment rates, in both the United States and Canada, continue to rise, it may be time to get a little more proactive in searching for a job. Just using a resume in this day and age isn't enough. We know each cover letter to include with the resume should be tailored to the specific job you're applying for, but how many of you are aware that potential employers could be checking you out online?

According to Nelson Wang, who is the author of Push: 50 Secrets on How to Land a Job by Creating Social Media Buzz, he says: "More than 90% of recruiters/hiring managers visit a job candidate’s profile on a social network."

That could be a little scary, depending on who is commenting on your Facebook, and what kind of language is being used. Of course, some of what you or others may have posted, can be controlled to a certain extent by setting permissions on your posts as to who can view the content. Still, if you have an obscene but hilarious cartoon that you have posted to your wall from some other profile, the permissions may be already set to public. This means a potential employer could see it. There might be a way around this though, if you don't mind taking a chance...

Nelson's book describes how you can get the most out of social media sites to help you find a job. It talks about using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as using a blog. A blog can certainly be very useful, because you can list all of your accomplishments. People who are new to blogging don't really need to worry about programming or hosting to do this. You can setup up a WordPress blog for free at wordpress.com that can serve as your main focal point online, and then link to a Facebook Page (not the same as a Facebook Profile) and a Twitter account that have both been created for the one purpose of helping you find a job. If you have this url on your resume, and it includes links to both Twitter and Facebook, there is a much better chance that a potential employer may not go snooping to see what they can access on your personal FB profile.

Jason is right, potential employers will research you online. Before Facebook became as popular as it is, I've had more than one client read through the discussion forum on my business website. It gives them a better idea of how I would interact with people if I was hired, and also, what kind of team player I might be. I suppose, you're wondering how I know this? It's simple -- they told me they were checking me out.

After reading Push: 50 Secrets on How to Land a Job by Creating Social Media Buzz, I may have to put up another website myself. I'm hoping to pick up a couple of more clients this year for my web development business at HomeBusiness Websites, and it just so happens I have the perfect domain name for this new site.

Jason's book is free for the next 24-48 hours as an Amazon promotion. If you're looking for a job or more work, this will certainly give you some valuable ideas.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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