Sheila Guides You to the Good Stuff

July 15, 2009

Look, over there! Our move is complete

Filed under: Why Am I Here? Philosophy of this Blog — Sheila Scarborough @ 10:04 pm

I’m now fully installed at this blog’s new home:

Sheila’s Guide To The Good Stuff

Please shift your email and RSS subscriptions to the new URL, where the fun will continue as we explore the social Web.

There will be no further content posted here.  Thanks!

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July 11, 2009

The end is near! Moving the blog to a new home

Moving Day (courtesy cwwycoff1 at Flickr CC)I wanted to let all of my readers know that I’ve decided to move this blog from the free WordPress.com domain name to what is known as a “self-hosted” WordPress blog (meaning I pay for blog hosting, in this case on Bluehost, but still using WordPress blog publishing software.)

My thoughts on understanding the social Web, especially with regards to tourism and travel, will appear very soon at a new URL and domain name, Sheila’s Guide To The Good Stuff.

The free WordPress.com setup is wonderful and met a lot of my requirements, but I need more control and customization options so I decided to move the blog before it got any further along in growth, development and Google juice.  I learned when we moved my BootsnAll Family Travel blog that rebuilding search engine authority takes time and lots of link-gathering, so I need to get going.

I’m learning a lot of good geeky stuff during the transfer process (with the help of my WordPress guru Jennifer Navarrete) and those insights will be valuable to my tourism clients in the near future when I launch a new paid membership and learning site, Tourism Currents, with Small Biz Survival’s Becky McCray.

I’m worried that I’ll lose my RSS and email subscribers amongst the cardboard boxes and packing tape, so you folks keep a lookout for the “We’ve Moved Now!” post that I’ll probably be putting up on here either Monday or Tuesday, July 13 or 14.

This blog will remain in place, but it won’t be updated any more once I move.

Thanks for your patience!

July 2, 2009

The dumb names are not important

Filed under: Mobile,Twitter,Web Communications — Sheila Scarborough @ 10:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Model T Ford club members (courtesy me'nthedogs' on Flickr CC)It’s hard to take something called “Twitter” seriously, I know, but the various cutesy-named social media tools and applications are not important in and of themselves.

It is what people are doing with them.

These are early days for Web connection technology, very much akin to the early days of the automobile. Sure, the first cars were loud, stupid and rather unreliable, compared to Ye Olde Horse.

Why bother, said most folks.  Aren’t those silly new machines a ridiculous extravagance?

If, however, one looked beyond how to make the danged things work, and finding decent roads to drive them on, and locating places that sold gas, tires and parts, one could see the Big Picture….fast and affordable personal transportation across vast distances, anywhere, anytime.

That’s the social Web, too: human connection, anywhere and anytime.

Today I’m reading a John Sutter article on CNN.com about Steve Tucker, a farmer in Brandon, Nebraska who sends tweets from his tractor (I learned about the article on Twitter, of course.)

Who the hell cares, you ask? I care. Here is why, from the article:

“Tucker is proof that smartphones are starting to put down roots in rural America. He lives in a 150-person town near Brandon, Nebraska — a place even he calls ‘the middle of nowhere.’ The nearest neighbor to his 4,000-acre farm is about 2 miles away.

Yet, farmers like Tucker are using Internet-enabled phones to gain a foothold on online social networks — both for business and personal reasons. (Follow him on Twitter)

‘I can be in the most remote place and just with the power of having a BlackBerry … I can communicate with anybody at anytime about anything,’ he said. ‘It is just amazing.’

The growth of smartphones on farms is important because many people don’t think about where their food comes from, much less associate a specific farmer with that process, said Andy Kleinschmidt, a farmer and agricultural extension educator at Ohio State University.

‘When you can put a name or personality with someone who’s actually raising corn and soybeans or actually milking cows, that’s the most important thing that’s come about in my opinion,’ he said.”

We are watching our society knit itself together, making far-reaching human connections across timezones and cultures, in totally new and unexpected ways.  I learned about Steve in Nebraska on the same day that I reconnected with a wonderful travel writer in Florida;  I first heard Tom Swick speak at the best annual book festival anywhere, and now he’s figuring out what to do with Twitter, just like Steve on the tractor.

I would not miss this moment in history for anything, even if it does come laden with goofy names for the tools we are using to make that history.

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