My hands may be SMALL, but my ideas are BIG


Small Hands, Big Ideas Has Moved!

I will be redirecting soon, but thought I would say it here: I've MOVED, to WordPress that is.

I've been meaning to take the leap for a while now and I have finally done it. You can find the new Small Hands, Big Ideas at: To subscribe you can use this feed address:

Please scoot on over that way, because I won't be here anymore. Thanks Blogger, it's been fun and exciting starting out this blog here but I'm movin' on up.

Yours Truly,

New Blog: Small Hands, Big Ideas


A Comparison: Men VS. Women's Online Behavior

In high school I did a science fair project in conjunction with a Brain Research Institute evaluating risk-taking behavior in adolescents, while focusing on the prefrontal cortex development in the brain comparing men and women. I'm far from a science geek, but data and research like this really astounds me (hey, I even got 5th in the State of Iowa) and I think it pertains to everyday life.

What I found and learned in high school, has helped me with relationships (personal, friendships, professional) and I'm still intrigued because men and women are so different. I know, I'm stating the obvious but did you ever wonder why? Since I spend a lot of my time online, I started to find interesting studies about the significant difference in online behavior of men versus women.

Photo Credit: Come Date Blog

Pew Internet Study shows the that men are "the hunters," where their status comes from how well they are able to accomplish tasks and go online, get what they're looking for, and get out. Women are "the nurturers and gatherers," they employ social networks for information, make comparison to find the best option and maintain these connections. This can be tracked back to prehistoric age with hunter-gatherers and really can connect to any activity in life.

Compared with women, online men are more likely to use the Internet to:
-Check the Weather
-Get News
-Check for sports information
-Get Political information
-Get financial information
-Do a job-related search
-Download software
-Listen to music

Compared with men, online women are more like to use the internet to:
-Send and receive email
-Get maps and directions
-Look for health and medical information
-Use websites to get support for health or personal problems
-Get religious information

More women than men send and receive email and they use it in a "richer and more engaging way." Women write to friends and family, but there is a commonality between men and women that we both appreciate email for its "efficiencies and convenience."

I find the comparison between what men and women interesting in this specific example: After 9/11 men visited more websites to tell them about things that were happening while more women said the internet helped them find people they needed to reach. There's a distinct difference between the actions of their online behavior with a curiosity versus a need to connect.

This is an interesting concept that we choose different websites, we react differently and treat the online space differently. However, at the end of the study the researchers cite, "our data show that men and women are more similar than different in their online lives, starting with their common appreciate of the internet's strongest suit: efficiency." The second strength that men and women value is the internet as a "gateway to limitless vaults of information." Of course, there is room for generality here and there are the exceptions. I believe the information is interesting but it's nice to find a common ground even amongst our inherent differences. What do you think?

Male or Female: Do you agree with these statistics? How do you think you're sharing or contributing to the online behavioral generalities?



"I can’t even articulate how powerful and attractive I find humility…especially in the shared presence of talent, strength and intellect. Any fool can brag and bluster – afraid that if they don’t highlight their own value, no one will notice. But it takes such unrelenting bravery, such confidence and peace to choose to be humble and understated instead."
{via been thinking}

I couldn't agree more. I am deeply moved by humility and think it is a subtle characteristic and tool for success. I'm more apt to look up to and respect a powerful individual, who knows their worth versus someone who brags and talks about themselves (no matter how successful they really are).

What do you think? Is humility as attractive to you as it is to me?


Friday Linky Love

I love paying attention to everyone's digital and real-life contribution via the Web for Earth Day and beyond. Specifically, these were some of the best tips and commentary I found for your green dose.

Photo Credit: BoingBoing

1. Ma Vie en Vert: Making Your Beauty Regime Earth-Friendly in Four Easy Steps
2. Advertising Age: Green-Marketing Revolution Defies Economic Downturn
3. Green Living Ideas: "Good" Ideas For Earth Day
4. The Happiness Zone: Earth Day if my Birthday
5. Twilight Earth: Earth Day-Celebration, Gimmick, or Eco Guilt Forgiveness Day?
6. The Good Human: Greenwash of the Week: Earth Day & Coca-Cola
7. Seventh Generation Blog: Celebrating Earth Day by (Re)Generating Some Great Ideas
8. The Huffington Post: The Politics of Earth Day
9. Daily Kos: Happy Earth Day, National Parks
10. Boing Boing: Happy Earth Day


What Inspires You? Guest Post XII: Erica Prather

I admire Erica's strength which became immediately evident as she jumped into the Lijit office with vigor in January and is still going strong. I get to see her pretty face across from me each day! With her writing background, I knew Erica would be a great addition as the 12th in What Inspires You, especially as she is just getting into the blogging scene.

Erica Prather
Bio: A 23 year old Kansas native, Erica originally hails from Wichita, but has made homes in Lawrence, KS, New York City, and now Boulder. With a penchant for traveling and living a semi-nomadic lifestyle, Erica decide to move to Boulder in September of 2008, in search of a place (or at least state) to finally plant some roots. Armed with an English degree, stage time in plenty of ballets over the years (performing in over 50 Nutcrackers!) and a dry sense of humor, Erica enjoys the ‘Colorado Lifestyle.'

Erica at the Ellis Island Wall of Honor, pointing to her ancestors' names from Croatia

Blog: There's No Place Like Home Twitter: @ericaprather

There are so many things that inspire me; including the people that have guest posted before me on this blog. I’d have to resound all of their notions that inspiration can be found everywhere; but my strongest source of inspiration comes from strength. It’s not always easy to be strong, but strength is one of those mysterious things that somehow replenishes itself thousand-fold without you ever really knowing it.

Of course there is physical strength, and I admire that very much. But the kind of strength I am talking about is not physical.

I’ve always known my entire life that the best things in life don’t come wrapped in packages or with price tags. Strength is one of those things. I come from a family of very strong individuals, and it has been stressed to me from the time I was born that being strong isn’t just a ‘good quality’ – it’s a necessity. The strength to face your fears. The strength to tell someone how you feel. The strength to be a true, honest friend. The strength to carry yourself with integrity and do the right thing, always. The strength to push yourself into doing something that might make you a little bit uncomfortable. I truly believe that all of the qualities in a person I most admire – sincerity, curiosity, independence, emotional intelligence, humility, self-awareness and self-confidence – to name a few, come from a place of strength.

My mother always says “You come from peasant stock – your ancestors were strong farmers and worked outdoors. So are you.” I admire the strength of individuals I do not know – people such as Lance Armstrong that refuse to succumb to an illness and play the victim, and literally strongly cross the finish line. But of course I admire people in my own life that have made a difference (big or small) by merely being strong.

Both of my parents emit this strength in everything they do – the way they love each other and their children, their commitment to their careers and their community, and the way they are each very much their own person. My father especially overcame a less than ideal childhood to not only pay for his own college education (and be the first in his family to go to college at that), but also to start his own architectural firm and raise a family. But he couldn’t have done it without the strength of my mother, who sacrificed quite a bit by always having the steady job when times are tough in the architecture industry.

I admire the strength of my Croatian ancestors who left the former Yugoslav to seek a better life in America. I admire the strength of my friends who have lost jobs. I admire the strength people have in their beliefs. I admire the strength people carry as they battle a long illness; the list goes on.

Sometimes strength has a negative connotation – you can be bullheaded or stubborn. As my mother says “Your biggest virtue is oftentimes your biggest vice.”

But being strong doesn’t necessarily always have to equate to that. Strength is something that you have inside that nobody can take or buy from you; yet you can let others borrow your strength when they need it most. People and communities give each other strength when others feel they have nothing left. And you always have more strength than you realize. The strength to get out of bed when you don’t really feel like it. The strength to move to a place where you hardly know anyone. The strength to go about things alone. The strength to mend a broken heart after somebody has busted it into a billion pieces. The strength to carry on after a tragic loss. The strength to admit you were wrong or made a mistake and say you are sorry. The strength to cry and be vulnerable and open. We can all be strong for each other, be aware of when someone else needs our strength.

To me, strength and hope are in the same family, and we can always use more of that. Find whatever gives you strength or empowers you – family, friends, the activities that you love to do, and dedicate time to those things every day. I can tell you right now that whoever you are, you won’t find strength in money, power, or activities that generally involve instant gratification.

Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda says, Strength is Happiness. Strength is itself victory. In weakness and cowardice there is no happiness. When you wage a struggle, you might win or you might lose. But regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being.”


Video Interview with Jun Loayza of Viralogy-Awesome Revolution

It's true, I do have small hands and (huge) ideas! If you're interested in hearing me, really my voice, no more writing here, check out the conversation and interview with Jun Loayza of Viralogy- Awesome Revolution.

I talk about the big risk and leap I took in moving West to Boulder, how I got my job at Lijit and find out what really drives me, my passions and the secret career I've always wanted.

I think Viralogy's Awesome Revolution mission and series of Awesome Bloggers is fantastic. Jun gives a voice to bloggers and their community, because the human touch goes so far. Check them out on Twitter and their website, here.

Happy Birthday Earth (and Mom)

I'm happy to say that Earth Day is also my beautiful mother's birthday and my good friend, Erica so big celebration to be had for these wonderful women (yes, you too Mother Earth)!

I'm all about greening up our Earth, sustainability, eating organic (I was raised that way) and being environmentally friendly. However, I kind of feel the same way about Earth Day as I do about Valentine's Day. Why do you need one day to help the Earth? Why do you need one day expressively say you love someone? It should be habitual and part of your regular life, practice. Just a thought. Do you feel the same way?

Either way, part of my contribution (amongst many others) today, for April 22nd was in buying my mother an Odor Free Compost Caddy. We always compost at our house, but we use a bucket which isn't too appealing and yes, can smell a bit odd after the disposed food is there too long. This green bucket is only $20.50, can hold up to 2.5 gallons and is easy to transport out to the garden or wherever you compost.
For other blogs contributing useful, green content on Earth Day try: Ma Vie en Vert, The Good Human, Twilight Earth, Forced Green and Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

What other green gift ideas for the Earth (or someone you love) do you have up your sleeve?


What Inspires You? Guest Post XI: Matt Cheuvront

I only met Matt (online of course) last month, but he is a force to be reckoned with. I think his blog features really meaningful questions, thoughts and initiatives. We've been exchanging guests posts and sharing a lot of ideas which has made me realize he is just one of those people you want to talk with more. I'm happy to be featuring Matt as the 11th in this riveting, What Inspires You series.

Bio: Matt Cheuvront is a 23 year old jack-of-all-trades. His blog, Life Without Pants, is a reflection of his attitude on life: Free, thoughtful, and uninhibited. By day, Matt is an account manager at an Ad agency in Nashville, TN, buying and selling billboards, working for the weekend. But away from the nine-to-five, his passion is writing, learning, growing, and maybe watching some football, playing Xbox, and having a few beers. To dive deeper into the rabbit hole, visit Matt's blog, Life Without Pants.

Blog: Life Without Pants Twitter: @MattChevy

Inspiration: n. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.

I get home at the end of a long work day, remove my slacks (life without pants, right?), sit down, and ponder this question. "What inspires me"? Nothing comes to mind, not because there isn't anything that inspires me, but because it's such a general and epic question. Where does one draw their inspiration from? How do we come up with innovative and exciting ways of thinking? What drives us? Motivates us? Stimulates us? I look around for the answer, and then...I'm inspired. My inspiration, after all is said and done, starts with me - I inspire myself. Before you label me as conceited and arrogant, hear me out.

Do you ever think about how amazing the human mind really is? Do you ever just take a step back and think about how people come up with ideas? I challenge myself, and challenge all of you to take a look at yourself - think about what you've done in your life, how far you've come, how much you've accomplished. Odds are, you've done a lot more than you give yourself credit for. We inherently sell ourselves short. It's just something we do as human beings. We love to give credit to others when they inspire us, enlighten us, or change us for the better - but for some reason, we neglect to give ourselves the credit we deserve.

If you really stop and think about it, we, ourselves, are our greatest source of inspiration.

I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, American Beauty (which if you haven't seen it I strongly recommend - it will change your perspective on a lot of things). The story tells the tale of Lester Burnham, a husband in a loveless marriage, a father of a daughter who hates him, a man with nothing to live for - going through the motions without ever asking 'why'? But finally, something clicks, he realizes that in order to make his life worth living, he has to LIVE. He says, "It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself." - think about that for a second. The ability to surprise yourself, the concept of exceeding your own expectations; it’s a pretty incredible thing.

That's what inspires me - striving to do more, to be more, to inspire, educate, enlighten, and entertain others. Of course, my inspiration comes from everywhere - teachers, coworkers, friends, family, peers, fellow bloggers and writers - we're all inspired by what's around us, but sometimes we forget how much we can inspire ourselves. Divinity comes from within, and the path to enlightenment is an inward journey. Strive to be better than you think you can be. You'll end up not only inspiring yourself; you'll inspire everyone around you.


A Featured Favorite: Illustrator, Hannah Stouffer

Los Angeles based artist, Hannah Stouffer depicts incredible imagery through her illustrations, with colors that burst. Recently, Sour Harvest interviewed Stouffer and described her work as an "infatuation for icons and images that reflect and categorize historical eras, genres and subcultures, her work is an opulent, elegant and beautifully intricate mixture of illustration and design."

In one of the last questions of the interview they asked, "If people walk away with one thing gained/learned from one of your shows, what would you hope that would be?" and she said: "The greatest human conflict is dealing with contrast." Beautiful. I was moved by her images, and I hope you will be too.

The heart of darkness exists within the light. Black Dawn, Dawn After Dawn Tepid Neon, Frozen Clarity. This contrast, and the ever present existence of the two is constant. Macabre Elegance. Darkness Falls Forever... Since The Beginning.

For more of Stouffer's work visit her website:


Friday Linky Love

As finals and graduation time is approaching, I want to focus on more career related links that I hope can be a resource and helpful, even if you're not about to graduate. Here's what I like, from this week.

1. L.A. Times-Business: Student Consultants Teach Firms How to Get to the Next Level
2. Life After College: Motivated By Achievement: A Blessing and a Curse
3. Smile Like You Mean It: There's Nothing Zen About Balance
4. Telegraph: Goldman Sachs Hires Law Firm to Shut Blogger's Site
5. SmartBlog on Social Media: Is Your Social Media Presence Really Yours?
6. Newsweek: If Jobs Are Cut, Why Aren't Paychecks, Too?
7. Nashville Business Journal: Ford Gives $20 K to Metro Career Academics
8. CNN-Travel: Pushy Bloggers to Travel Industry: Be Nice
9. Modite: Will Gen Y Ruin Local Community?
10. JS Online: Liberty-Loving Gen-Yers Will Reshape Politics

Photo Credit: La Presna


What Inspires You? Guest Post X: Jacqueline Malan

Not only is Jacq one of my closest friends in Boulder, but she is also my co-worker so I get 50+ hours with this fine lady. Although I make fun of her as she continually asks me how to embed a YouTube video to her blog, I think you will find that her intelligence and depth is way beyond her 25-years of age. I'm happy to be featuring her as the 10th in What Inspires You?

Jacqueline Malan
Bio: Jacqueline Nicole Malan works for a Boulder based start-up called Lijit Networks in the heart of downtown. Fairly new to the new tech and social media, she previously worked in the non-profit sector of Washington, DC where she worked with agencies such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the United Food and Workers Coalition.

Blog: A Cowgirl's West Twitter: @JMalan

Lots of things inspire me, from simple beauties produced by mother earth to the tragedies of war and violence. What they do is inspire me to take action, to speak up for what I believe in, provide me the choice to remain silent, to believe in a greater good, to nurture, to feel compassion, and to love. But above all, I seek inspiration through my mother. Now, I know you're thinking its cliche but, my mother is an unbelievable pillar of strength and independence. She is a lioness and we (my sister and I) are her cubs.

My mother Nancy Hubsmith Rozance, born on a hot summer day in July came into this world with enthusiasm and determination. An aspiring thespian to date, it is no wonder why complete strangers are drawn to her. Her loving character and eagerness to know more about those around her is what makes her so unique. Often taking on more than she can handle, she dedicates her time and money to causes she feels passionate about(for example, when she remarried my now father Jack, they asked for guests to make donations to a local charity they support instead of having a gift registry). However, this is all just surface level. To really understand why my mother inspires me I have to give you a glimpse into our lives.

Growing up in Connecticut, we weren't your typical New England family. Most families came from a household of four or more. My parents were divorced when I was young, and my father failed to remain in our lives. My biological father has since passed, and when asked recently if it made me sad (since I had never gotten the chance to know him) straight faced I responded simply, "no." You see my mom, my sister, and I have become a three legged stool bound together through an ever enduring love. With the absence of my father's presence, I did miss certain things but, in the end it made for an unbelievably strong relationship between us musketeers, something I would never trade to this day.

Family as Inspiration: Jacqueline with her Mom, Sister and Dad

My mom was a single woman who held two MBA's, an extremely competitive fireball in a predominately male industry. She worked hard but, did not forget how to nurture. As a child, I remember although she traveled almost weekly she never once missed the things that mattered most at that age. She still found time to read us stories before bed, help us with our science fair projects, drive us to every practice and watch every game, and bake cupcakes to bring into school for our birthday's. And growing up, we had more than most families with two parents.

This is what inspires me...her love. Her unwavering determination to give me and my sister the best that life has to offer. Never saying no and giving up, never complaining and always carrying her head held high, not worrying about what others think, and bringing her best qualities to life. Having the strength to raise two teenage girls by herself without any help or anyone to turn to ask for advice. This amazes me, this inspires and this makes me want to grab life with both hands knowing that anything is possible.


The Debate: Location VS. Career?

When looking for a college, I was very much focused on specifics: a major in public relations and marketing, a smaller college in the North East (I'm from Iowa, so this was a distance leap), strong study-abroad program, rooted in education and then, where it was located. I visited many fantastic school's and programs that I got into around the country, but either the college town was in the middle of nowhere or the campus was the entire town. I couldn't see myself being able to enjoy or thrive. Flash forward four years of college living in Burlington, Vermont one of the healthiest and most progressive cities in the country at Champlain College a nationally recognized small but powerful college, known for it's upside-down curriculum and offering real-life experience. I know, I couldn't have made a better choice.

As my college tenure was ending and I was filled with hope and aspiration (plus 5 internships under my belt) I began to think, should I take the traditional path of many classmates, head to Boston or New York City where there are a plethora of jobs in my industry but still close enough for comfort? I said No. I'm not satisfied with safe. I want to walk to the edge. So the wheels began to turn. I researched, networked and used a little intuition (I'm an ENFP, I gotta). I landed on Boulder. This was a good 6 months before I was set to graduate, but I knew it was going to be Boulder.

Flash forward today, here I am living in the smartest town in America, "the perennial town" for its 300+ days of sunshine, the Silicon Flatirons with fresh, innovative startups and a community that cares. These reasons and more are why I've found my niche in Boulder. I find myself smiling looking up at the Flatiron mountains as soon as I walk out my door in the morning, or when I'm snowboarding the majestic Rockies, or working at a fantastic startup with intelligent, forward-thinking people, or when I attend a New Tech Meetup and meet another incredible entrepreneur driven to move to Boulder and incubate their idea. I know I also made the right decision and I surmounted all the challenges that stood in my way.

Boulder, in all her glory. Photo Credit:

Career-wise, I moved to Boulder first as the location knowing that the career would soon follow. This was in August of 2008 and I know even in this short time, things have changed, I see and hear this everyday. However, the power of place has been discussed in terms of your identity and career, especially for Generation Y. Some might have said my decision was idealistic and that it was easier to interview locally or head back to your hometown to start your first job, but I knew I wouldn't be satisfied. I believe that choosing a location that inspires you would be conducive to my career creativity and growth. I don't think it's naive. I understand the constraints and wasn't looking for my dream job, I was willing to work to make it work. I also had a list of contacts and companies I had been in touch with, so I wasn't jumping in blind. I wanted to live in Boulder and I accepted the challenge upon moving here (without a job) but I knew my capabilities and for me, it worked.

It may not be for everyone but really, how much can your job define your happiness if you're in a dreary location that doesn't support you and who you are? When you're in a location that is robust with intelligence, education and experience the people become analogous to the qualities of the place you live in.

Would you move first for the location, if you knew the job opportunities existed? How important is where you live, versus the career you want to pursue?


What Inspires You? Guest Post IX: Aaron Steinberg

Aaron and I go way back, he may have even been my first boyfriend (gasp) and we were born just 12 hours apart. Nonetheless, as a 20-something living and working in NYC, I'm happy to be featuring Aaron as the ninth in this What Inspires You series because he writes his own blog (you will find out about its compelling content soon) and is probably one of the funniest people I know-I've got a lot of love for this man. Warning: Don't say I didn't warn you ;)

Aaron Steinberg
Bio: This biography is going to be a bit different. I’m not going bore you with the inconsequential details of my life, or at least not right now. My “real name” is Aaron, but when in my writing life I go by Cole, much like Mark Althavan Andrews is better known for his pop alias, Sisqo. I have mixed my love of writing with my love of talking about and thinking about all things sexually and romantically related, and thrown it together in a blog with my counterpart Simon. And, I am still working on short stories and a few half written novels in my spare time.
Blog: Simon and Cole

The basis for all of my inspiration is my experience. For me, and I find this to be true for many people I know, life and its corresponding emotion is a fairly severe sine wave—a roller coaster shape, for those of you that hate math. And, I get inspired by the good and the bad, the highs and the lows.

Within times that I consider positive, there is inspiration all around. Usually something triggers a happy time, whether it be a new relationship, a new story, a new language, or a new place. In the down times, I find inspiration in the why and the how. I start to consider how I got there, and how others get to the same place. I try to figure out ways to get back to me, to pull myself back into good. In the end, all of these thoughts, algorithms, and processes need to go somewhere, and when it comes to me the inspiration usually ends up on a page. My inspiration is a catalyst for my passion…writing.

My passions are generally intense, but temporary. Meaning, basically I have come across few activities, or hobbies, that have excited me for any long stretch of time. Desire, for me, is much more fleeting than it is for most people. I will watch a show like Law and Order: SVU and immediately want to become a sex-crime detective, or watch the Big Lebowski and want to be a fraudulent millionaire.

The one thing that has held my attention, minus a small teenage hiatus, is writing. I love to write. Within writing I have two passions: 1) writing fiction stories (short stories and novels), and 2) philosophical diatribes, usually pertaining to something sexually based or relationship oriented.

See, for many people, me included, a fair amount of the ups and downs of life are connected to relationships, and I’ve always been fascinated with why someone does this to them, and why she responded that way, and what the best way to present that is. Writing has a purpose for me, and that is to council (or in my fiction, to make a point within the story telling). My entire life, people have asked me for advice, specifically about relationships. I was always that friend that everyone went to if they wanted to bitch about their boyfriend not listening to them, or their girlfriend being too flirtatious with other guys. I’m just that guy. I always have been.

A few months ago, my friend Simon and I came up with a plan. We wanted to use our inspiration to be proactive and fight against settling into a bland post-college existence. This new year was about letting go of fear. We started a blog: for us to share ideas, and some stories—most of all, to promote honesty, which we feel is the most underused tool for good relationships, and overall-positive life experience (think about it…are you really honest with many people? Like seriously honest? It’s so much easier to play games and go along with a group than to stand out and be weird). The blog is still in the works, but I have high hopes.

Being able to put my thoughts down on paper inspires me. Telling a story inspires me. I would love the opportunity to spend my life having sex, and then answering people’s questions about relationships and sex, and answer them honestly. To have ladies write to me asking what the hell this guy is actually thinking, and explain it, that would inspire me. If I could spend everyday helping to council people in relationships (while writing the occasional novel of course), I would be pretty fucking fulfilled…and inspired.


A Featured Favorite: Blitzen Trapper

I love music. I also love creatively directed videos. Stumbled across Blitzen Trapper: Furr and it made me smile. {Via Black*Eiffel}


Friday Linky Love

Eclectic links for Friday April, 10th. I hope you enjoy your weekend, I have visitors and snowboarding on the agenda (yes, that's Breckenridge below, yes I love Colorado).

1. Justice For All: Forget All the Rules, and Write What You Love
2. Elaine Young: A Champlain Professor: Champlain For Reel: Crowdsourcing At Champlain College
3. ChangeOrder: Short URLs, Say Hello to Marketing
4. PSFK: Visually Mapping Web Trends
5. NY Times Frugal Traveler: Three Cushions, a Million Guests (in reference to
6. The Urban Muse-Open Thread: What's Your Ideal Workspace?
7. Startup Whisperer: Can You Explain Your Product To Your Parents?
8. Before I Die I Want To (what do you want to do? And what are you waiting for?!)
9. Shatterboxx/Jamie Varon: Why I Followed My Passion and Why You Should, Too
10. Real Geeks Ride: You just need to check their cause out and if they're stopping through your city, maybe you can host them or support their ride. Everyone digs a geek on a bicycle, right?

Photo Credit: Luke Wisley


Are You Anti Voice Mail?

When I call my good friend, Jacqueline and she doesn't pick up, I definitely opt out of leaving her a voice mail. I know it gets lost in the 5 others she hasn't checked from last week on her Blackberry. However, I know that if I send a quick text, DM on Twitter or Facebook message that I will get a quick reply. Sound familiar?

The New York Times recently wrote a piece, "You've Got Voice Mail, But Do You Care?" which reiterated this common theme that we live in an age of instant gratification. It's a burden to hit the playback button or (gasp) have to dial into your password and wait for the her drone-like voice, prompting you to the next step.
The article showed research that people take longer to reply to voice messages than other types of communication. "Data from uReach Technologies, which operates the voice messaging systems of Verizon Wireless and other cellphone carriers, shows that over 30 percent of voice messages linger unheard for three days or longer and that more than 20 percent of people with messages in their mailboxes “rarely even dial in” to check them, said Saul Einbinder, senior vice president for marketing and business development for uReach, in an e-mail message."

On the flip side, research showed that "91 percent of people under 30 respond to text messages within an hour, and they are four times more likely to respond to texts than to voice messages within minutes, according to a 2008 study for Sprint conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation." I'm not surprised.

Is it Generation Y that is driving the voice mail away? My mom always says, "Did you get my voice mail?" I say, "No, but I saw you called." Oops, sorry Ma.

This shift away from voice mail probably is a generational divide, in which younger people are substituting text for talk, while my grandparents and parents leave long, lengthy voice mails. Yet, I gotta stick up for the voice mail. I still think they're important and as impatient as I can be, as much as I'm a texting fan, there are those times when it's nice to hear someone's voice or they need to tell you something specific or even just say hello.

So, I wonder, are voice mails going to become obsolete? Do voice mails take a back burner to other immediate forms of communication in your life?

Photo Credit: Post Gazette, Anita Dufalla


What Inspires You? Guest Post VIII: Rebecca Thorman

I'm pretty sure the Internet Digital Goddesses reached down to Rebecca and myself to connect us because through e-mails, tweets, helping each other with our respective start-up company's and blogging exchanges, we realized that we have more than being ENFP's in common. I also greatly respect Rebecca as both her blog's are poignant and she walks to the edge in life. Great number eight Rebecca, in my What Inspires You Series:

Rebecca Thorman
Bio: Rebecca Thorman works at the start-up company in marketing and sells toilet paper. On her blog, she gives career and life advice for the next generation of workers.
I attached a photo I took of my books. I don't have bookshelves... yet. Books have always and will continue to be my inspiration. And I will never get a Kindle.



Words to live by. I had to share.

Four Rules originally uploaded by Roland {thank you swissmiss}


Interview with Allison Berman of Pro Mujer-Microfinance for Women

One of my best friends, Allison Berman, lives in New York City as a 20-something Finance Analyst and works at the Spanish Non-Profit, Pro Mujer ("for women"). I am intrigued by micro-finance and even wrote a post earlier about Meaningful Holiday Gift Ideas which included Pro Mujer's services. Then the inspiration wheel began to spin and I inquired further, encouaring Ali to let me interview her to share here. She obliged and below is the interview:
Ali in Greece, just part of her many travels and life abroad

G: What is Pro Mujer and what sort of services do you provide?
A: Pro Mujer is an international micro finance (banking and/or financial services targeted to low-and-moderate income businesses or households, including the provision of credit) womens development organization whose mission is to provide Latin America’s poorest women with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and futures for their families through microfinance, business training, and healthcare support.

Pro Mujer provides an integrated package of financial and personal development services that women require to build and improve their small businesses. Over the last 18 years, Pro Mujer’s microfinance institutions (in Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Argentina) have disbursed $582 million in small loans — ranging from $50 to $1,500 with an average loan balance of $268. Pro Mujer serves 222,000 clients (borrowers and savers); and more than 1.1 children and extended family members.

Along with the financial services, a key part of the Pro Mujer model is health services. Since the survival of a clients business and ability to succeed is intimately tied to her physical and mental health, Pro Mujer uses the repayment meetings to raise women’s awareness of the importance of taking good of themselves through primary health care and regular screenings to detect disease early. Though the model differs from country to country, based on client needs and the existing health infrastructure, the goal is the same- to help women maintain their own health and the health of their children and families through primary health care and regular exams that detect disease early.

G: That's incredible! So specifically, what do you do at Pro Mujer?
A: I work with the finance team at Pro Mujer, as a Finance Analyst. I take care of the day to day accounting, help with the management of our small $2.5 million dollar loan fund, pay the bills, maintain our account receivable/payable with our country programs, and other administrative financial work.

G: In terms of services, I noticed that Pro Mujer offers financial services AND empowerment training? Can you explain this?
A: While most microfinance institutions focus only on financial services, Pro Mujer uses a holistic approach, making sure that clients are better prepared physically, emotionally and economically to improve their lives and that of their children. Pro Mujer teaches women about domestic violence, women’s rights, communication skills, using workshops and group discussions to raise their awareness about leadership, gender issues, and self-esteem. It also links clients with other organizations for counseling, legal assistance, and education and vocational training programs.

G: With the economy like it is what have you had to do to not lose donations and investors?
A: This is difficult to say. It currently is unclear how the economic crisis will affect our funding, as we have yet to finish the 1st quarter, which is always slower in general. It is important to stress to donors and investors that Pro Mujer has a vision looking forward and is still anticipating growth in the coming year. Although we are being affected by our current economic situation, in the countries where Pro Mujer works, almost half of all families live on less than $2 a day. When you put that into perspective of our lives, whatever you can do to help a good cause is always important.

G: What about micro finance and loans for women inspires you?
A: It is inspiring to see how motivated our clients are. Although I have yet to go visit the operations (hopefully soon!), I hear endless stories and have met a few clients in person. What inspires me everyday is how believing in someone can lead to success. Our historical loan repayment rate in 18 years is 99%. The women want to succeed and create a better life for the family; they just needed access to credit.

Angela Narváez is pottery maker and a client with Pro Mujer Nicaragua. Angela’s first loan was $80. Today, almost nine years later, her loan is $670. Angela uses her loans to buy clay, pieces of wood, paint and cement and to travel to larger markets where she can get a better price for her pieces. “I used to sell the clay tortilla dishes and clay cows for $2 a piece, but now I sell them for between $4 and $8. Pro Mujer taught me how to market our products, make new designs, paint better and diversify our products” says Angela. Angela said her family has also benefited from Pro Mujer. Her daughters attend school, everyone is eating better, and they bought furniture and appliances that have raised their quality of life. “My family encourages me to stay with Pro Mujer. They know what a huge difference it has made in our lives,” said Angela. These stories are what inspire me about the work that Pro Mujer does.

G: How can we do our part by giving back?
A: You can visit our website to learn more about Pro Mujer and read some inspiring stories about how our organization has helped the very poor rise out of poverty. Please visit to help poor women in Latin America to start their own business and obtain healthcare for themselves and their families.


March Photo-A-Day Project

As I have previously referenced, I embarked on a project to take a photo-a-day in March (my birthday month) and just finished it. You can see the full set in my sidebar with the Flickr badge or go directly to the set through my Flickr page.

Through support from friends and family (thanks everyone!) I think I'm going to keep going but before I do, I want to post a few of my favorites then also share what I learned, maybe you might even try something similar.

I Learned:
-Bringing your camera everywhere with you can be a bit daunting (and heavy in my bag or purse) but I caught so many beautiful people and images because I had it with me.
-It's not hard to take a photo-a-day. Granted, I only did it for a month but I never missed a day.
-Your vision of the world opens up, because you're looking through your eyes and a lens. When I had my camera on me, inspiration would hit and I was so happy I could capture it.
-It's different. Try breaking up your routine while also giving yourself something habitual. At the end of each day I felt good that I had gotten a photo in, that I was able to capture something unique and then knew that sharing it was half the fun. I suggest and encourage you try it. You never know what you might see.
-Time flies. Cliche, but true. I can now look back over this month and see where I've been and what I did. It's a beautiful timepiece and I now have it forever.

Favorite Shots:
March 9th, downtown Boulder sunset

March 13th, my birthday hike with best friends that surprised me from home 12 hours away

March 21st, a word I always find an affinity with. The morning light had hit this brown bag perfectly from my window. See, never know what you may find or see...

March 30th, music always will be an important part of my life as is Taylor, my friend visiting with her backpack and mandolin (cross country)


Friday Linky Love

It has been a long week for me, amidst April Fool's day (I did no pranks, lame, did you?) However, reading these articles encouraged me and also interested me. I hope they do the same for you.
1. Young Successful Entrepreneur: Startup Tips: Losers Focus on Traffic
2. dtrndr (Yea, that's right. The entire blog is rad)
3. Modite: Stop Writing About Social Media To Be a Successful Blogger
4. Conversations Matter: The Rise of the Customer Service Rep
5. Geeks Are Sexy: Six of the Best April Fool's Tech Jokes
6. She Takes On the World: Spring Cleaning Your Finances
7. Ad Age: Samsung Sheep Sit In Top Spot on Viral Chart-What People Watched the week of March 23, 2009 (click through to the videos, they're epic)
8. Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates: Do Success and Happiness Go Hand In Hand?
9. Hongkiat: 70 Outstanding Out of Bounds Photos
10. The Writer's Coin: Is There No Sympathy Left In the World?

Photo Credit: atomicjeep


What Inspires You? Guest Post VII: Nisha Chittal

Nisha enthusiastically reached out to my via Twitter about her interest in this series and I am equally as excited about having her here on my blog. Her writing style is sharp and well-versed as she is an associate editor at CitizenJanePolitics, writes her own blog, interns at ReadWriteWeb and is still in college! So here comes Nisha, full of inspirational force, lucky number seven:

Nisha Chittal
Bio: I live, most of the time, in Champaign, IL. I am graduating from the University of Illinois in May 2009 with a BA in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. On my blog, Politicoholic, I write about the things I'm passionate about: politics (duh), current events, social issues, technology and gov 2.0 issues, and sometimes just about my crazy life.

As someone who thoroughly enjoys writing, I love words. I love playing around with words and I believe that the right words at the right time can make a huge impact. I actually enjoy copyediting (I know, weird. But somehow I end up editing friends' papers all the time and kind of love it). So naturally it fits that when I sat down to think of what inspires me, the first thing I thought of was not necessarily a person or an object, but a quote -- a series of words strung together.

It's one that really speaks to me, and is probably my all-time favorite quote. It describes, using the perfect words, exactly how I want to live my life - if it weren't so long I'd call it my motto. But it's not short enough for that since it's three paragraphs long. Three perfect paragraphs though! I love it so much I blew it up, printed it out, and tacked it up on my bedroom wall so I can see it everyday or whenever I need motivation. Reading this quote reminds me of the things I aspire to do and the people I aspire to be like. When I'm freaking out about little things, it's a good reminder of the big picture in life and the larger things I'm striving towards.

I spent my high school years in a boring suburb feeling like I was so restricted. And I was -- I made safe decisions and did safe things. But as anyone who reads my blog knows, I have a strong dislike for anything "safe" or "stable." I like risk. I like doing things that other people consider crazy, and things that most people would not normally do. Some of these decisions have been considered crazy, but I have an enormous amount of blind faith that no matter what crazy decision I make (like moving to Cambodia), everything will work out the way it's supposed to in the end.

Anyways, here's the quote, straight off of my bedroom wall:


A Featured Favorite: TheDieline

{I realized I feature a lot of things that I stumble across on the web that I think, can't go unnoticed and I want to share. Maybe not as much as Caitlin on Smile Like You Mean It (love her blog, you should check it daily) but enough that I thought whenever I do, it will be under "A Featured Favorite." With that being said, here's the first}

I love branding, designing and packaging. I enjoy checking out branding redesigns and using my eye to decipher what works and doesn't (in my mind). For this reason, that is why I totally dig TheDieline: The World's #1 Package Design Website.
My favorite sections are: Before & After's, Brand Spotlight's, and Creative Dieline.

Check out these Creative Design's they've featured. Then for your branding goodness head to TheDieline or follow them on Twitter (@thedieline) for design updates.