Introducing “Focus and Educate Yourself”

Over the past few months,  I have gotten myself, with the help of my Facebook “friends”, into several heated debates over politically charged issues: education, use of GMOs, President-elect Trump’s political appointments and future policies.

I have been labeled ignorant and close-minded. Me? Wow!!

My goal was never to inflame nor to judge, but only to show a different side to very narrow and politically biased arguments. Unfortunately, I did not have research and facts to back me up. And I was called out for it. This doesn’t mean that the other side had a handle on those facts either; only that they were able to throw around some weighty catch phrases.

During this all, I have learned that:

  • Everyone has a political bias
  • Political bias is a blinder and it has the power to debilitate most healthy debates
  • The use of rhetoric and conjecture is rampant when political bias is present
  • Rhetoric and conjecture have become mainstay replacements for actual research and educated thought processes
  • Everyone is subject to the use of rhetoric and conjecture because it is the easy way out
  • The ability to remain objective in a politically biased world is virtually impossible

I’m tired of being cornered by people who think they have all the answers and are arrogant enough to voice it that way.

I’m sick of people who label and stereotype others a certain way just because of different viewpoints.

I hate the hypocrisy that is occurring.

I’m done with feeling like I am clawing my way through a maze of biased or under-informed opinion, just because it was the most recent post that came over someone’s Facebook and inflamed an emotional response couched in purported “facts”.

I want to be in a position where I can share something during one of these debates that makes another person say, “Wow, I didn’t know that”. Yep, I know that not everyone is like me and may not likely actually say that out loud, no more than they would apologize when they know they are wrong. I also know that when an issue is ensconced in emotion, mutual understanding and agreement can never be reached.

I am introducing a series of posts entitled “Focus and Educate Yourself”. The purpose of these posts will be to share what I learned through my own research on different topics that are prominent in today’s world and significant in our current political environment. The goal is to hopefully get people thinking on their own, instead of spewing the most recent babble.

I am welcome to suggestions on topics.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Twitter as a Resource for Research

Social-MediaWhen Twitter came on the social media scene in early 2006, I was skeptical. I think there were many skeptics; I couldn’t be the only one. As I remember, I struggled with the fact that there were so many sites like it, all doing the same thing using the same base format with a different user interface.

For me, it represented a colossal waste of my time, with no verified rate of return at a point in my life when I didn’t have much time to waste.

I chose not to become a member. I focused my effort on Facebook as a personal social site, and LinkedIn as a professional social site. I have had much success with both; and, overall, there is not much overlap between my contacts on each. I keep them mostly separate.

Recently, I attended a trade conference here in Austin called ProductCamp (@PCAustin; productcampaustin.org). I will let you get more information from the site; but, in short it is a conference that is produced in several locations around the country. The topic is product management and marketing and the content is centered on the goal of educating and networking in product management and marketing. If you have a chance to attend one, you will not be disappointed (and it’s free!).

One of the presenters at the conference was Marc Miller of Career Pivot (@CareerPivot). The title of Marc’s presentation was “Why a Social Job Search?”. He presented suggestions and advice on trending job search strategy from the perspective of recruiters and other hiring professionals. Part of that strategy involved pointers on how to maintain a presence on LinkedIn and how to use SEO to increase your chances of landing in a recruiters search results. Great stuff!

The most interesting part for me was his suggestion to add Twitter to the list of social media to use. Better yet, how to use results from LinkedIn searches to connect with companies and recruiters on Twitter, and how to maintain and strengthen those connections.

From there, I was sold. I am not looking for a job; but, what he said made so much sense. I could see many advantages to his approach.new_bird_534

As I was mulling it over and reviewing the notes from Marc’s presentation, thinking about how to apply his strategy to my situation, I started dating a guy who was in marketing and a big social media user. Talk about a God thing!

I hear you, God.

I am not dating that guy anymore, but I now have an active Twitter account that I am working on growing.

Shortly after I activated my Twitter account, I had the need to research an idea that a few friends of mine and I had during a beach party on Labor Day weekend. I did what I usually do and went immediately to Google. It was slow-going and not producing exactly the information I was looking for.

Then I had a brief flash of inspiration: Twitter.

Within an hour, I had accumulated a list of roughly 15 websites and roughly 20 Twitter sites that had viable information to use as a base for developing the idea that my friends and I had. Not to mention that through that exercise I grew my Twitter presence.

In hindsight, I am sorry that it took me so long to realize the value of Twitter. But, I am happy to be a member of the community now and look forward to the advantages it will provide to both my personal and professional digital presence, not to mention the leverage it will provide in my frequent researching forays. Google, look out, you have a strong competitor!

Here are some resources I used in creating this post, as well as in researching my idea:

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.