Change Means – No Change

My rescued salamander

Over the past couple of weeks I have thought about what comes next, as far as my online footprint and social media presence.

In today’s competitive world of job searching, I know that I need a digital foot that is positive and helps me in my job search effort, while at the same time remaining who I am, not some fluffed-up character designed to impress a potential employer.

As a result of a lot of this soul-searching, I decided to do away with my Professional Crossroads blog yesterday and use the site as a webpage/online hub that has links to my social media sites or other places someone might be interested in learning something about me. Continue reading


The Real Me Please Stand Back Up

The Real Me

Cross-posted at Professional Crossroads.

I have posted this on A Veteran Runnah to let people who follow me heah, know what has gone on and the direction that I am going. No it is not my typical running post, but pretty important about who I am.

What’s been going on?

I have focused a great deal of time on my job search over the past 2 months and during this time started following the advice of more knowledgeable people than I am, about how to use social media effectively in your job search.

Looking back I got caught up in the “you have to do” or “this is how it is done” from the experts that I forgot to just be me.

Don’t get me wrong – my job search is important and yes I understand the importance of having a consistent online personal brand for others to see and take note of. At the same time there is a lot more to my life than always searching for a job or attempting to be the perfect candidate for the “next” open position, while being online.

The efforts I was making to create this professional persona and how I was using social media was beginning to change who I was online.

My job search efforts turned my social media sites from something that I enjoyed being a part of, to being just another job search tool – something to be used. A tool to quickly network with others who could be that link to a contact, that I could turn into a job opportunity, instead of establishing conversations or relationships with others online.

This is not who I am. Continue reading

Runners – Who Do You Listen To?

Like they say it flows downhill

Many, if not most runners have a problem with listening.

It isn’t that we don’t listen enough to what others tell us about running, sometimes I think we listen too much.

I think  opinions are a lot like a$$*&@!$ – everyone has one. Unfortunately, it seems an awful lot of people and businesses seem to have opinions about how you should be running or what you need to make you a successful runner in today’s world.

Many of us listen all too well, to what too many other people are saying about running. Continue reading

Brand Loyalty in Running


Probably it is better said, the lack of brand loyalty in running – at least from my experience.

Brand loyalty is something that companies have tried cultivate with their customers, ever since people began to buy/sell or trade. If a company can get you to believe that their product is better for you than their competitors, you will come back for repeat business when you need that product again.

Companies/brands also hope that you tell your friends, family or others that you have influence with, about how great a product that company has, so they will in turn buy from them. A very simplified version of marketing 101.

Am I an expert on marketing or how to develop brand loyalty?  Hardly. I am simply a consumer, who has bought a lot of stuff over the years. I have also been a runner for a while and have seen a lot of the running companies attempts to garner my brand loyalty, to their products or company.  Continue reading

TweetCloud – What have you been saying?

One of the things that I liked to do as a teacher is create Word Clouds, so that I could have a quick visual of what the piece I was read or writing was really talking about.

Today I was going through the applications that I have authorized to access my Twitter account and came across TweetCloud. It was an application that I used to see what words I use the most when I first started on Twitter and every so often would check it out.

Since I have changed my focus of what I talk about on Twitter, I thought it would be interesting to see which words would be the most used. Below is my Tweet Cloud: Continue reading

Answering 20 Questions About Me

Since I recently changed blog hosts and have also met a lot of new people on social media sites over the past couple of months – I thought that some people might want to know a little more about me.

The “20 Questions” survey that Brittany posted at GOtheXtraMile Thursday’s Things post was where I got these questions.

More to let people know that I am a real person, not just a “bot” ;-). Continue reading

Why Run a Marathon?

Something that has bothered me a bit since I have returned to running is the emphasis that seems to be placed on running certain distances. The one that comes to mind immediately is the Marathon.

It seems that many of the blogs and people who I follow on Twitter or other social media sites are talking about running a marathon this year. Why?

What is the allure or appeal of being able to run 26.2 miles?


I have  a DNS, DNF and finished a marathon in my running portfolio and want to train for another in 2013, but only if my body holds up well through the half-marathon distance this year. All the talk on the social media sites tempts me to try one this year and I am valiantly trying to resist this temptation. Continue reading

Runners Have You Really Looked At Your Blog Lately

Most people seem to have one or the other –
there are others but these are the two most
popular blogging platforms.

I know that this is a weird post for a running/fitness blog, but runners or anyone really, if you have a blog – when was the last time you really looked at it?

– Does everything work – right?
– Can I easily subscribe to your blog?
– Do you have the same theme that you started with all those years ago?
– How do you think that a visitor sees your blog?

Okay Shaw what are you up to? Honestly I am probably going to put my foot in my mouth and piss a couple of people off, but other than that not too much. Continue reading

Flame-out Conversations on Social Media

By Engineering at CambridgeNo real name given 

This post is a bit of a tangent for me and “A Veteran Runnah”, it looks at the stress that a conversation on a social media site can produce if you decide to let it go too far.

Last night on Twitter I got into a discussion with someone I have talked with on several occasions about the label of runner versus jogger (which is a bit of a hot button for me) and we finally agreed to disagree and changed the subject over to talking the weather instead of letting our conversation turn into a pissing contest where no one wins.

The other person made a Tweet discussing running versus jogging and his view of what constituted the difference and I tweeted my disagreement with his position on joggers and runners:

Me: “Disagree it isn’t the time that matters so much, as the getting out and doing it 🙂 #runchat”

Other person:  “Not me, if I am slow, then I’m a “night jogger” like in the book “Once a Runner” Don’t want to be a night jogger. Anyone can jog.”

Me:  “Sorry strongly disagree with you, if you go out there and put in the effort you are a runner, no division except age on runs”

Other person: “We’ll have 2 agree 2 disagree, trying is good, but doesnt make U anything, I can throw a football but I’m not a QB, running = fast”

Me: “no not everyone can or will run or jog, it takes a different look on life to be out there doing it whether slow/fast”

Other person: “Like folks that walk a marathon, they didn’t run it. Sorry Just my view. Running means something. Yes, the slower folks can be tuff”

Me:  Agree 2 disagree, but I know that I am a runner, no matter the speed or what others may say 🙂

Other person: “I no that I’m not a runner, just a jogger & a fail until I can get below 20 minutes, just a goal I set 4 myself, don’t judge others”

Me:  “I think this is where I tactfully suggest changing subjects, there is no winning this disagreement. How is the weather? :-)”

Other person: “Weather is good! Could be better if there was snow! LOL!

It was a good conversation, but neither one of us was going to change our perspective based on a Twitter conversation and I recognized that. Instead of going “balls to the wall” and continuing the disagreement, escalating it pointlessly, I decided to stop it and change the subject, which was a lot harder for me than continuing the argument.

Why would I stop the great discussion that we were having? I did this because I like and respect the other person and want to keep the good relationship we have started to form through Twitter.  There was also a certain level of defensiveness starting to show up in both of our Tweets and I recognized the from past experiences what was starting – the start of a “flame-out”. So I put the brakes on and stopped it before any damage was done.

Growing up is hard, but I think that I am finally starting to. Damn – does that means that I have to behave myself and accept elder statesman status – hell no!!!!!  It just means that I watch what is coming out of my mouth (fingers) more and be more accepting when someone disagrees with my (in mind correct) position and find out the reasons and facts behind their stance before I go off half-cocked.

Does the need to be right all the time color our conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social media sites? From what I have seen of some of the public chats/conversations on those sites and others, there are a few out there who believe that way.

They get all bent out of shape if someone dares to disagree or has a different perspective on a subject, especially the more controversial ones such as politics, religion, sex, etc. Just this little exchange over an insignificant label about running could have gone over the edge and become a “pissing contest” where neither was listening to what the other was actually saying and gone on to being a bad flame-out.

I think most of us have watched these occur on social media sites and there is nothing good that comes out of a conversation that has devolved into a pissing contest, except hard feelings and looking stupid to others using that service.

No I honestly believe that we have a responsibility to disagree with those that we disagree with and to back up our reasons with more than “I said so”.  We need to do it politely and have our disagreements be based on civility, instead of name calling, resorting to intimidation, bullying, emotional one-upmanship, bait/switch topics or other tactics intended to attack or demean others you are talking with just to have the last word, push a certain perspective or make it seem that you are right not matter what.

I don’t go to social media sites to get stressed out and argue with other participants. I go there to learn, have conversations with others and if we disagree, do so civilly instead of carrying the disagreement to extremes.

Although at no time did this conversation reach those levels, it could have and I am glad that at the point when I was beginning to feel a little shall we say defensive, we switched the topic to a more neutral one that was not controversial to either one of us.

We continued to talk for a few more minutes and learned a little more about one another that we hadn’t known before. Which I really think is the purpose of social media, its ability to bring people together who wouldn’t have talked before. If we had gone any further with the other topic, I do not believe that we would have continued the collegial conversation that we ended on, so I am thankful that we stopped when we did.

Is this the best way to handle a disagreement online or even face-to-face when a disagreement happens and you know there will be no changing the other person’s mind at that time – just stopping and changing the subject?

  • Have you ever gotten into a pissing contest with someone online?
  • Was it worth the stress and time?
  • Did they stop and suddenly see the light of your side?
  • Did you let it go or did you continue the hostilities?
  • How did you feel after you stopped.

No flame out conversations on social media platforms are not worth the stress and worry that they cause, all too often it is simply better to walk away – it may not be easier, just better.

🙂 Keep smiling and good things will happen!

Originally written by Harold Shaw published at “A Veteran Runnah” © 2011 – All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah” with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.


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