Category Archives: Business

Who else missed the nineties?

I had an insight while I was preparing to give a workshop on social media earlier this summer.  I was asked to deliver a workshop at a Health and Fitness Events camp for women that was being held to raise money for Wellspring, a cancer care organization.  I knew that most of the women there would be around my age and likely a little bit older: women in their fifties.  I knew they were mostly professionals, many of whom has grown children and were embarking on a second career, some new entrepreneurs, consultants…in other words, strong, capable, savvy, and INTIMIDATING!

I was fairly certain that my meagre tips on social media would be greeted with some disdain: what could I possibly have to offer that they hadn’t heard before?

I was wrong.  I discovered that there is a generation of women, my generation or perhaps the one just before me (I consider myself to be a gen xer, even though there is some debate as to whether gen x starts in 1962, 1963, or 1965):  Boomers, who missed the nineties when the internet happened.


They were, like me, having kids.  (I’m not suggesting that all women around my age were having kids in the nineties: just that the ones I met at this camp were.)

Unlike me, they weren’t lucky enough to have attended an oddball faculty called Photo-Electric Arts at Art College.  I credit my Ontario College of Art experience with having instilled in me a healthy critical awareness of, curiosity about, and familiarity with, then nascent digital culture.  I took electronics and computer graphics, I learned how modems worked and more importantly, I was there for the birth of the web with it’s radical democracy and explosion of newsgroups and awkward animated-gif-laden web pages.

So while guys like Steve Jobs, Wozniak, and Gates laid the groundwork for future generations of  techies, I realized that if I look around the world I now inhabit, I am one of the very few women my age who has what Mitch Joel calls a “Digital Posture”.

And there are lots of organizations for young women in tech, and young women entrepreneurs, but not so much for older women.  It’s like we have been left behind.  And what I realized at the camp was that the women I met did not want to be left behind, nor did they deserve to be left behind, but they really, really didn’t want to ask their husbands or their kids for help.  I realized that I can help, and we need their voices.

This is an important business niche: helping strong, capable, professional women in their fifties to get good at the tech that surrounds us, to help them do business online (as we all need to do these days).  All I need now is a good name for this new business line….

basket filled with my interest hoatd

The Basket by My Bed: Sharing Code and Creativity

Let’s start off by saying the basket appears to be less full this week, but is in fact more full.  I like to e-read, whenever possible, and my iPad Mini is my digital information hoard.  There are quite a few good interests in Mini this week.

Sharing Code

I have been dipping into Pro Git, the excellent free ebook by Scott Chacon.  Between this and the also-great videos on the Git how-to site, I managed to get a project set up, and a text file committed, all through my Terminal application which, and frankly, I impressed myself just a little.  If this does not impress you, either because a) using the command line is like second nature to you or b) when I say “command line” or “Terminal” you have no idea what I mean, then this part of today’s blog post will likely not be very interesting. What I find intriguing about Git is that it seems like a much better way to share documents on projects than, say, Google docs, or Basecamp, both of which I do use daily.  And this use of Git (version control) doesn’t even scratch the surface of the potential inherent in being able to share code with others who, if they are not me, are most probably much better programmers and who might be able to help with stuff.  Yay Git, I say, and once there is actually something other than test.txt up on my hub, I will post a link.  First project: a budget builder, so our clients can see what it takes to make a Youtube video, or a Commercial-quality video, from our Q Media website. Coming soon!!

Sharing Your Brand

I am also currently hoarding, in Mini, every pdf and ebook Hubspot has produced on email and social media marketing.  We are working on our digital presence at Q Media and Hubspot is pretty great: just as the cobbler’s children are in bare feet, we do a lot of work with our clients to help them understand how to communicate their brand digitally, but we have neglected our own brand communications.  And, as we would advise any client to do, we are also doing some deep thinking on who we are and who we want to be.  Richard has us all reading Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley, the founders of IDEO.  The design thinking process is something that I have had much success with and this looks like the perfect bible for us.

Knitting is like Coding

No matter how much we wish it was so, life is not only lived in the digital realm, and I continue to knit a pair of socks.  I have now turned the heel and am deep into gusset shaping (for more information on what the heck shaping a gusset means, please consult ewetube.  I’m serious.).  Knitting is, in so many ways, similar to coding:  it is binary (there are only 2 stitches, knit and purl).  There is tons of math: designing a pair of socks is like doing a puzzle.  And it is a real “flow” activity: when you get started time flies by and you don’t want to stop.

My “wireframe”

wireframe_optFinally I have my wireframes for this site’s homepage, in my notebook, in the basket, reminding me to do at least what I would do for any client and put them in Omnigraffle like any decent wireframe to code by.  And, to help make it look good, Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin has stayed in the basket, held over from last week.  My goal for the week: do at least one exercise from this book.  And read Creative Confidence.  And finish socks.  And…