Everyday Sexism’s tweet bounced me back once again into reality, from the dreamy realm of equality that I sometimes inhabit here in NI.

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The accompanying pic was surely a (way off-colour) joke?!

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Since Sensei is a member of SBD, I tweeted a request for clarification.

[Insert tweet.]

Honestly, I’ve been following Everyday Sexism’s online presence now for a few months, and while I understand some people’s confusion around its purpose, this is clearly set out on the home page:

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Terry’s Google profile: /Users/dawnbaird/Documents/everydaysexism_homepage.png.

Let’s analyse his statement:

Please note: This is a serious website for serious men with serious businesses.

If you are just a little housewife running a little play business from home earning some pin money whilst your man is out earning a living – please don’t register your latest hobby business here.

Regards, Terry

Who Does He Alienate/Offend?

The Non-Serious


People With Non-Serious Businesses

Small People


People Running Play Businesses

People Whose Man is Out Earning a Living

People With Hobbies

Our suggestion for those who want to join the site:

Become any one, or better still, a combination of all of, the following.

Network or Die!

Since we’re apparently approaching hallowe’en, going by the number of corporate emails I’m receiving with a suitably ghoulish theme, I thought I’d scare you a bit.

If you don’t network, your business is going to die.

Yes, I can hear the bleating already. There is more to business than networking. Yes, indeedy. But, I’m writing about networking today. Universal comprehensiveness we shall do next week. 😉

Networking brings: contacts, suppliers, clients, support, new concepts, news… why wouldn’t you? If you find networking a little tiresome, frightening or confusing, read on…

Where should I network?

There are thousands of networking events in Northern Ireland every year. Often, they are referred to as business networking events, but really, they cater for the public sector, community groups and charities too. See our blog posts on Business Events in Northern Ireland for further information and links.

The most exciting – and dare I say it, disruptive – business networking event coming up soon is BizCamp Belfast. Read The Rise of the Unconference and 5 Reasons Why Networking at BizCamp Works to see what it is. What it is, is a seriously chilled introduction to networking, for the terrified. You can leave your corporate ass at the door.

And, minority group I know, but if you’re female, there are even networking events just for you. See Women’s Business Networks in Northern Ireland.

How should I network?ScribeTribe_logo

Attend an Open Coffee meeting. See this list of Open Coffees in Northern Ireland. It takes an informal format.

If you prefer a more highly structured approach, then BNI may be the style you’re after.

There are many other networks, ask around. We run two of our own, ScribeTribe (a network for writers) and BookCamp (for readers).

If you find networking a little daunting, take heart. There are two posts for you: 5 Ways Introverts Can Excel at Networking and Take the Work Out of Networking!

Should I do it online too?

I cannot stress the networking value of Twitter enough. It’s my favourite social networking site (or, micro-blogging platform, if you want to be pedantic about it). It’s where I get to have conversations with people I’d never otherwise meet, share and debate ideas, and announce and read news about all types of stuff. If you’d like to learn more, view this short presentation: Twitter: Understanding Its Networking Value (it takes a few seconds to load once you get to the page).

What about Facebook? We blog alot about Facebook. Whatever you do, avoid the 11 Ways to Lose Friends and Alienate People on Facebook.

I’ve connected with several people on LinkedIn this week. I use it mainly to collect old and new colleagues, suppliers, clients, reviews and testimonials. My Twitter feed is linked there, whereas it’s not posted to Facebook. To learn more about how to use LinkedIn for professional networking, see: 5 Ways to Set Out Your Manifesto on LinkedIn.

People look me up on LinkedIn before meetings and interviews, and I do the same.

Finally, it’s a great resource for those looking to fill a position, or find a specialist.

If networking online floats your boat, and you’d like to learn more, then get along to the Social Media Association for Business‘ next event. I’m currently on the steering committee, so get in touch if you want to learn more.

Is there any science to back all this up?

You’ve Got Networking on the Brain is my husband’s analysis of how business networking mirrors the structure of our brains. It’s a bit high-brow, with lots of links to go off and research.

Your thoughts on networking are welcome. What are your strategies for getting it right, and making every moment count?

Bah Humbug #1

Perusing the papers any weekend tells me that Christmas rioters are bolder while the emergency services are (forced to be) more patient. Flicking around the pictures of the Daily Mail (I like to keep up with Kate’s sartorial choices, mm-kay?) I see incapacitated women splayed across kerbstones, and young men(?).

Is there a self-esteem problem that has invaded our country.

Twitter is full of bravado of getting drunk nad letching over the nearest young lad or lassie. Am I old and jaded and and middle-aged? No. Well, I am jaded.

Why must grown women degrade themselves to such an extent that they are wandering aimless out of bars, chest appendages unfettered, to be pitied at by the youngsters wandering past walking their dog?

I used to get angry seeing this. Heck, I’ve seen this dress sense in the workplace, at fricking 9am! Now, I feel only sadness. I want to parcel them up, take them home and tell them they’re beaufiful as they are, in jeans and a jumper. That they have no need to put it all on show. That they have no need to drink until their livers resemble that of a transplant patient.

And, yet, drunkeness is funny. It’s the butt of so many jokes. What’s funny about it?

We need to tell our sisters and mums. We need to tell our so-called friends. We need to tell our brothers and dads. They are fine as they are. They do not need props, or pretense.

Oh, you’re not someone looking on. You are that someone. OK, here:

Go and find yourself a partner who will tell you that you are OK as you are (unless, obviosuly, there is some serious health issue you are ignoring).

Surround yourself with friends whose imagination stretches beyond dressing like a hooker and getting hammered in public, to exploring, learning, challenging,

Who am I to judge? You’re right. No-one. But, I know my worth.

Shakespeare Versus The United States Army

At the moment I ‘m reading The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom and Philosophy to the Test of Modern Science by Jonathan Haidt. It is the source of the elephant-rider-path metaphor used in Switch, the second book discussed in BookCamp. This isn ‘t a review; that will come later. Right now I want to challenge you with question that Haidt asks in the book (p. 42). Does happiness come through discovering ourselves or changing ourselves? Continue reading “Shakespeare Versus The United States Army”

Human Resources = Human Waste

“Despite its more everyday use, terms such as “human resources” and, similarly, “human capital” continue to be perceived negatively and may be considered insulting. They create the impression that people are merely commodities, like office machines or vehicles, despite assurances to the contrary.

Modern analysis emphasizes that human beings are not “commodities” or “resources”, but are creative and social beings in a productive enterprise.” – wiki—Whats-in-a-Name

Some Interesting Stories #3

Why it’s hard to measure happiness –

Would you really want to know you’d get Alzheimer’s? –

People spend ‘half their waking hours daydreaming’ –

Can brain scans tell us who makes a good chief executive? –

Google Reader: Organise Your Inspiration!

It was a lazy summer evening, I’d nothing in particular that needed urgent attention, except… the list of blogs and other websites I try to keep up with. There are desktop shortcuts, which I’d abandoned some time ago, in favour of a clearer desktop. There are Favourites in IE and Bookmarks in Firefox or Chrome. There are Links buttons on your toolbar. In other words, there is confusion.

It was always nagging away in the background that it’d be nice to have them all in one place. I’d tried using Outlook to read RSS updates; it became just another folder of emails to trawl through.

Following a few months of random pondering, and testing out some RSS readers, I’ve settled on Google Reader. For now.

What is an Google Reader – an RSS Reader?

Google Reader is a tool for collating the latest posts and articles from blogs and other websites in folders. It is connected to your Google account and is available from a dropdown list that sits nicely alongside your email account, calendar, tasks, analytics and any other Google tools you may already use, when you are already logged into Gmail.


rss_feedThis bit is extremely easy. (I tried Bloglines for a while and found options were not updated, it was slow to load and downright complicated, with no need.) Simply click the button and paste in the RSS feed of the website you wish to include and click Add. I like simple. Subscriptions can be organised into folders, for ease of categoristion.

If you are unsure what the RSS feed of a site is, click the orange RSS feed button on the site and copy the URL that appears.

Large Headings

Large blog titles. I work at a screen for about 60% of my time. I like high contrast, large text and magnifying options. Click on a blog title in a feed and it is magnified a little, in blue, and displays the first paragraph or so. Simple.

Starred Items

Few of us ever read every post, even those from our favourite blogs. Google Reader gets around this via starred blog posts. Simply mark an interesting post with a star; this is stored in a Starred folder, for perusal later. A simple way to highlight the good stuff.

Feed Settings

Click on one RSS feed and choose Feed Settings from the toolbar. There are options to unsubscribe, sort, move and rename feeds. Many of these tools are also available from the Manage Subscriptions link at the bottom left of the screen, which also allows for importing and exporting feeds and sending Shared items to social networking sites, for friends to view.

Put Stuff in Bundles

This allows you to group entire folders with individual items from other folders.