Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Celebrating a Newly Discovered Ability

Filed under: Living with a disability, Social Media — by Glenda at 7:48 pm on Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two weeks ago, David Wilcox kindly invited me to present at AccessCamp San Antonio – a discussion-based "unconference" on accessibility and user experience. His initial thought was to have me present via video through the internet calling software Skype.

The Challenge

Because of my speech impairment, video would not be an effective way for me to present. I needed a way to share my PowerPoint presentation, with audio, with the group located in San Antonio.

Also, because this event was on accessibility, I needed my presentation to be ultra accessible. I needed a way to caption the presentation for those participants who were Deaf and hard of hearing. A transcript would be provided for those who were deaf-blind.

The Result

With some mashing of technology and a few late nights, my husband and I found a way to share the PowerPoint presentation running on my computer, complete with audio and captions (yes!), using Skype and the free desktop sharing application Mikogo.

Donald offered this comment during the Q&A session on Skype, “your presentation was hard core, in the contra on sega genesis kind of way.” (I think that is good?!)

On Twitter, Jennifer Navarrete tweeted:

If you missed @glendawh's presentation to AccessCamp San Antonio from Vancouver, Canada via Skype, you really missed something amazing.

With minimal technical glitches, the presentation was a success!

The Implications

I can now offer live online presentations and webinars! Woohoo!

First, San Antonio, then…?! The possibilities are endless.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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How Large Does Your Network Need to Be?

Filed under: Social Media, Work — by Glenda at 2:13 pm on Monday, February 9, 2009

Each day when I log into the application TweetDeck to connect with my Twitter community, I receive an automated message informing me how many people are now followers:

Message from TwetDeck Services at twittercounter.com: GlendaWH has 959 followers, added since yesterday 0, average growth per day 2, predictions: tomorrow 961, next month 1019

Similarly, the AWeber counter in the upper right corner of this blog indicate how many people receive my blog posts via email:

86 readers by AWeber

Watching my network and my reach grow is exciting and rewarding. Interacting with new people often results in blog post ideas or in new opportunities; for example, if we can figure out the technology, I will be presenting via video at San Antonio’s AccessCamp on Saturday, February 21st.

However, the larger my network becomes, more and more people are pulling at me and wanting a piece of me for various reasons. I try to respond to everyone, but, in doing so, I am torn away from my work and plans.

How do you manage and respond to your network so it isn’t cutting into your productive time? How do you determine how large of a network you really need? Where is the balance point?

Your suggestions and advice are most welcomed!

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If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Going Beyond Social Media to Connect Deeply

Filed under: Living with a disability, Social Media — by Glenda at 4:06 pm on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Glenda Watson Hyatt and Lorelle VanFossen laughing it up Darrell and I are enjoying Lorelle VanFossen’s company following WordCamp Whistler (a day long session on using the blogging platform WordPress). While the snow falls yet again, we are having an intimate WordCamp Hyatt – you may notice some changes on my blog, and we’re having great conversations – many of which are unbloggable! But there is one story that is safe to share:

Lorelle and her husband spent six years in Israel. The first year in the country, Lorelle struggled with the language, carefully choosing her limited Hebrew to communicate her message. Without being able to communicate freely with others around her, a feeling of isolation crept in As time passed, her Hebrew became somewhat more fluent and the isolation began melting away.

Returning home to the United States, Lorelle was relieved to hear English all around her. She no longer had to struggle to make her point known in a few precious words. She could freely speak, using as many words as she liked. However, she then became aware of how much of the spoken word is wasted breath. People may utter many words without saying anything at all.

Exactly!

I now knew she understood how much of a struggle it is for me to speak Glenda-ish around others who don’t understand Glenda-ish; how much I struggle to find clear words to get my point across. But when I’m with people with a Masters in Glenda-ish, I can talk off their ears for hours!

I am also amazed by the wasted words people speak. To me, those unnecessary words are such a waste of precious resource. Why do few people think before they open their mouth? Could this resource not be used more productively, more efficiently, more lovingly?

While the three of us were sitting in Darrell’s office, talking, another equally valuable realization struck. All of this social media is awesome for meeting people and for maintaining surface relationships. Having all of these tools to connect with hundreds or even thousands of people is empowering and liberating. However, intimate face-to-face time is when the deep connections are formed and memorable moments are made.

Regardless of the number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends or StumbleUpon subscribers, the time spent snowed in with Lorelle talking, laughing, eating and forming a deep connection will be a cherished memory for years to come.

My advice to you: close TweetDeck, turn off your iPhone and take some time have a meaningful conversation and laugh with someone dear to you. Make a memory, today, that you will cherish for lifetime.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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My Word for 2009

Filed under: Blogging, Motivation, Social Media — by Glenda at 7:25 pm on Friday, January 2, 2009

Last year I followed Christine Kane’s lead in choosing one word to guide me through the year. Focus was my word for 2008. What I discovered about finding focus was interesting and quite helpful.

While 2008 was drawing to a close, I began thinking about my word for 2009. Should I stay focused to truly master it or should I move onto a new word?

I went about my daily stuff: checking my email, tweeting, responding to Facebook comments received via email, deleting email notifications of invitations to Kiss the Frog or Toss the Vampire and then declining them on Facebook. I remember screaming in my head, “This is bullshit! There has to be a better way.”

Being in these communities and using these tools is great. Friends, readers and even stalkers can reach me via the method they are most comfortable with: a Facebook comment or message, a tweet or DM on Twitter, a blog comment, or a good, old-fashioned email. Talk about accessibility!

I love being this connected and interacting with people from everywhere. However, there is only one of me; only one left thumb! I find it impossible to keep up, plus do the work that I actually do. I don’t like having 1376 emails in my inbox alone (of which 620 are unread), many of which deserve some kind of response; another 447 Twitter followers yet to follow and Facebook messages in my Bacn “emails I want but not right now” folder; and the list goes on.

There has to be a better way, I say!
A way to mash together
Facebook, Linkedln, Flickr,
YouTube, Viddler, and Twitter.
Please say its so!

This year I will search every
Megabyte, gigabyte, and terabyte
On blogs, wikis and tweets,
I’ll be emailing, DMing and PMing
My people, peeps, and tweeps
For wazoodles, widgets and gidgets
To follow, connect and friend
Friends, readers, robots too!

To be the best connector,
Inter-actor and communicator
With one left thumb
I will, I must streamline,
I say, in 2009!

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5 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Filed under: Blogging, Social Media — by Glenda at 6:38 pm on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the latest meme – the blogosphere’s version of the game of tag – Dominick Evans tagged Chris Brogan. Chris tagged me. By accepting the tagging for this particular meme, I am obligated to share five things about myself that you might not know. I don’t know what you don’t know about me. So, I asked my friends and this is what resulted:

Jacqui asks my shoe size

My friend Jacqui from Facebook asks my shoe size.

Ah, shoes – another essential that is difficult to find ones that I can put on myself! When I do find them, I wear a size six. However, when I do wear my AFO, I need a men’s size seven wide. How clumsy!

A question submitted via Twitter

Fellow Tweeter @mpstrax (aka David Miller) asks what I do in my spare time.

Well, that’s assuming I do have spare time! But, when I do take a break from my computer, I do enjoy spending time on my patio, tending to my plants. I love when they begin blooming. I enjoy going for long walks (as long as there is an accessible sidewalk or pathway)and exploring what is around the next corner. I enjoy curling up in bed with an issue of O Magazine.

Shona submits a question via Facebook

Shona, my friend since Grade Eight, asks what is my favourite, most sinful meal.

It would definitely involve salmon and/or prawns dipped in garlic butter. Mmm. And something chocolaty for dessert, of course!

Robert's questions submitted via Twitter
My Twitter buddy @roberthruzek, who I am looking forward to meeting at Sobcon09 in Chicago next May, asks two questions. Actually, he has asked ten but I’m choosing to answer two at the moment moment. First, are there any insects I positively hate?

Hmm, none that I have encountered to date! I could easily do without mosquitoes. When I do spend time on my patio in my spare time, I like watching the bugs, as long as they aren’t eating my plants! And spiders…whoa…their webs are amazing! How does all that fine thread come out of their butt or wherever it comes from? But then, I patted a Boa Constrictor in Grade One and there was that incident with the bull!

Second, Robert asks what star I love the most.

I’m not up on astronomy; that is something else I would love to learn about. The only individual star that I can recognize is the North Star: big, bright and bold! It has been the guiding light for many through time. I’m sure I can’t go far wrong by following that one.

Thanks, folks! I would have never thought to share this with you. Doing a meme this way was definitely more fun.

Now, in meme-style, I must tag five people to share five things about themselves that others may not know. I am tagging Karen Putz, Todd Jordan, Suzie Cheel, Giovanna Garcia  and Jaffer Maniar and ask that they link back to the one who tagged them.

Enjoy!

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