It's Personal - But It's Not Just Me...

For anyone who hasn't noticed, I've been dealing with a bit of writer's block. One thing I haven't shared is that part of this is because I've had some very personal things happening in the last month, and I was being more guarded than I had realized, or quite honestly planned on. I really didn't know why, until the last week or so, when I started to think about my next post.

For the first time in, well ever I was seriously thinking about how much I wanted to share.

I want to get back to the personal, talking about common experiences that affect us all that maybe not all of us are comfortable talking about, though we are comforted knowing we are not alone.

But, is my stuff too personal right now? Would I be revealing too much? How could I do that? Are there other people dealing with the same kinds of situations and dilemmas?

Then, I talked to a friend who let me know in so many ways that I indeed am not alone, and people can absolutely benefit from that discussion. I won't tell you who, but I will say a public "Thank you" to my friend. You know who you are.

In the end, I've got to be me. I've got to be out there. I think that discussion, the conversation is more important than worrying about someone knowing all about my life.

What do you think?


Last month Netter and I attended a tour of the recently renovated Thompson Library at The Ohio State University.

As we arrived, we recognized many of our library friends on the tour, and a few familiar faces that maybe we couldn't put with names, nodded and said hello and took our seats.

Before the introductory presentation I stopped at the refreshment table for some chips a healthy snack, and I was greeted by a very friendly lady who commented that those chips snacks looked delicious, and then she paused...

"You're Jim. right?"

I replied that I was, well am, well whatever, you know what I said.

"Oh, we're Facebook friends. I know all about your life."

She then introduced herself as being a fellow library staff member who worked at another location, and explained that she didn't post very much on Facebook, but did pay attention to what others posted.

She was really nice, and I was glad to meet yet another Facebook friend in person. My general rule of thumb for friending people is that we have to have some common interest, know a few of the same people, and maybe have some chance of connecting in real life somewhere down the road.

All of the above criteria were met, so it didn't surprise me that I was only meeting this Facebook friend for the very first time. I thanked her for introducing herself, and we went off on the tour.

As the evening progressed, and then more time passed I started to think about this interaction and what it could have meant, for example in conjunction with my Internet Safety project.

This time I met a very nice person with nothing but good intentions.

But, what about the next time? What if that person had said:


Well, that would have been a little bit different wouldn't it?

More Branding?

(*Note: this is not a sponsored post. Yes, I got something free and it is really cool, but the blog post was my idea, after the fact. That said, I did get something free and I am propping that service here so... I don't know what that means, I just wanted to add some legal mumbo-jumbo to, you know, CMA and such.)

Okay - so - here it is: How do you like my new business card?

Kinda sweet, eh? You know Netter has written before about getting free stuff because of Twitter and I was always kinda jealous. Not anymore. I got some free stuff of my own this time.

My friend Cheryl Harrison tweeted that @4SightGraphics was giving away 250 free business cards to their 200th follower. I had a little time so I jumped over to their Twitter page, hit refresh a few times, and Winner, winner, chicken dinner - I had myself some business cards.

A few messages back and forth and I had a mock-up from Brett at It had a lot of MJB Foundation info on it though, and I already have an MJB Foundation card so I talked to Netter about an idea I had, then I asked Brett if we might come up with something with all my Social Media information, maybe ghost in the MJB Foundation as a background image. A few messages later I was in receipt of the image above, and a short time after that the very nice, high-quality cards were delivered to my door. It was an incredibly easy process. Brett was terrific to work with. Thank you Brett!

To answer a few questions:

No, I'm not really sure what I'll do with these. I've been handing out a few to folks who I want to find me online, (Did you hear that out-of-town family?) and I do wish I'd had these cards for my first two speaking gigs last year: Social Media for Your Business, and Using Social Media For Your Job Search.

Who knows... maybe I'll get some more gigs. I hope so. I've got these cool cards to share you know.

Writer's Block

At least 3 posts sit unfinished. Countless other ideas have been left by the wayside as I didn't have anything to write them down on or it was so late at night I was only worried about sleeping. I've had a year-long case of insomnia it seems, or at least a heckuva lot of difficulty adjusting to being back at work after 12 days off.

(I know we're only 13 days into the year. Go with me on this one...)

So, what's holding me back?

Honestly, it seems like a lot of what I want to write about I've written about before. That whole circular thing I need to work on.


I've been reading through some of the old posts and I've got an idea. (You saw the lightbulb right?)

There's more than one post where I've talked about "another post for another day," more than one post where questions were asked in the comments, more than one post that's making me think - "Okay, How can I make this different?"

How can I affect change?

How do you affect change?

I feel like I have all this energy, all these thoughts pent up inside and I've got to find a way to get them out.

So that's where I'm going. It might be pretty random. There might be a theme. I really don't know. I'm going to answer those questions. I'm going to write those posts for another day. I'm going to try to make things different.

As you all are my witnesses... I've put it right here in print.

Thoughts and Stories from a Cluttered Mind indeed.