April 17 – 22

Work:

AdWords: Hurrah – the go-ahead to implement Google AdWords more intensively and try and maximize the monthly $10,000 in free ads we get through our Google Grant.

AGM: A Board Member commended me on the curated presence we have on Facebook, and my interpretation that our audience is not on Twitter.

Event Details: Marketing emails, filled up seats, webstreaming communications and management preparation, plus planning to edit the talks.

Newsletter: Drafting the newsletter begins, and scheduling my contributors.

 

Reading: 

Ohhhhh, I finished a fiction book (Island of Books) and started a new one (Invisible Dead – set explicitly and firmly in Vancouver)

Manage Up with your Boss

Microlearning  

 

Job Search:

Making connections in LinkedIn:  I got a pep talk from a Board Member about connecting with people on LinkedIn. I thought that it wasn’t a platform that was well used, and so only a static landing page for me, but he thinks differently. I’ve been sending invites, which gives me connections, and I’m seeing more posts and comments as I connect with active users. A reminder that asking for help doesn’t have to be pushy.

I’ve got a few applications that are still “active”, and a couple to write up this weekend.

Connecting with the HR representative who offered to help: That’s this afternoon. The plan is to ask about the relative value of one-page versus two-page resumes, and keywords in case of machine scanning.

 

Self-care:

All about the running this week, as I prepare for the Sun Run (part of the Modo Car Co-op team) and look ahead to the June half-marathon.

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Standing your Ground with IABC/BC

I went to IABC/BC’s signature event on Standing your Ground last night. My first event, it’s clear that this is a group with strong connections, and much to share. A few highlights:

From Steve Vanagas, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, TransLink – sometimes you just have to double-down on the truth, and ride it out.

From Clay Adams, Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, Vancouver Coastal Health – make sure that the public face of your organization has some preparation for the tough questions. For being challenged in their message.

From Jehanne Marie Burns, Principal Ninja, Pocket Ninja Strategies – there is room for you to stand your ground, and letting others stand theirs (even in opposition). The value of letting people rant.

And of course, the good humour and super-hero capes of Catherine Ducharme and Peter Reek of Smart Savvy, who hosted the event.

twitter.com/hashtag/IABCBCHeroes

 

April 2 -8

Work

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming changes at work; keeping up with the ongoing demands (reaction), but also trying to pave the way for after our contract formally ends, and the office is reduced to two.

I’ve started a content audit of the website; part of this is brute force. I have a list of the pages we host in WordPress, and the rough outline of hierarchy. I’m now brainstorming which ones will be deleted, and which ones can be amalgamated or re-written to clean up language. With that outline, I will share with my colleagues for their input. My experience is that it’s easier for colleagues to edit and comment than to start from scratch.

Reading

Feedly (my RSS aggregater) has introduced some new features, so the next step is to learn what “boards” are.

In the meantime, I need to read Nancy White’s post on Technology or Preparation (itself a response to Clark Quinn) in more detail.

And this article on beliefs and blinders from the Atlantic gives pause when considering the Fake News posts on Facebook, my own biases, and the “gut feelings” that drive people to make decisions that are not based in any evidence. How DO we change people’s minds?

March 27 – 31

Work

This week was about tie-ing up the loose ends. Final reviews on the newsletter and the videos handout.

I also drafted a stand-alone page on our non-English resources (to reach new Canadians or international readers), and creating a plan to do a content audit to help us with our website redesign and transition.

 

Reading/Learning

Some of the audit reading: https://raventools.com/blog/prepare-link-building/

Visualization inspiration:  http://flowingdata.com/2017/03/15/visualization-choice-depends-on-the-data-and-the-questions/

I’m refreshing my desktop publishing skills, and Lynda.com has a wealth of resources to browse and work through, available through the VPL.

 

Misc

Saw Angels of America (pt 1) this weekend – I had somehow missed all stage and screen productions until now. It was written 25 years ago, and set about 30 years ago, but the central themes stand up very well.

My father reads a lot

My sister and I bought our father an eReader several years ago, which prompted him to start sending us monthly emails, listing the notable books he’s read that month, and the breakdown of e-books and hardcopy books.

We forwarded those lists to interested friends; he forwarded the email to his friends. He started writing actual two-three line reviews of the books, and people started asking me about his monthly choices.

So obviously, dear reader, we built him a blog!

What David Read: updated monthly, and curiously categorized by yours truly.

Election time

It’s municipal election day. This is the one election that really impacts my daily life. I’ve generally been happy with city hall lately. I believe in a multi-modal city, with alternatives to the SOV such as car-sharing, transit, pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods and cycle lanes. This is good for everyone. I’ve also been impressed by the 3-1-1 service, where I lobby for lighting alone the Central Valley Greenway and complain about the length of time it takes for the pedestrian controlled crossing (30 seconds max if you were wondering, which seems Very Long when it’s raining).

It’s not been perfect though, and so I’m looking at promises and analysis to make my cheat sheet. It’s nice that EVERYONE thinks there should be affordable housing, more community consultation and better transit. So I’m looking at their stances on the Kinder Morgan pipeline and cycling infrastructure to distinguish between the options.

How to cycle to work

Someone was quizzing me the other day about my commute to work.  First of all, yes, I cycle all year to work. I missed a few days when it was snowing in January – I wasn’t confident in my tires or the nervous drivers out there. I love cycling to work for the most part. Sometimes I sing on the way, sometimes I mentally compose eloquent and wicked comebacks to conversations long gone. Now, mine is only about 4 or 5km each way and I know lots of other are far more hard-core that I, but these are the choices I make:

1. I follow the bike route – I have no wish to compete for space on a busy road.

2. I ride about a meter from parked cars and I don’t meander in the street – this sometimes annoys drivers who wish I would tuck into the spaces where cars aren’t parked, or ride right next to the parked cars, but I am a big believer in consistency (not popping up back into the lane unexpectedly) and keeping my space from opening doors and individuals who have a elastic definition of “stop” at stop signs. So yeah, I take my space and I ride in a consistent manner.

3. I change at work. It’s not such a long ride that I need to, but I really hate getting my work-appropriate bras (ie, non-sport bars) sweaty, and I’m almost always sweaty when I arrive: either because it’s sunny and warm, or it’s cold and I”m layered up with shirts, sweater or rain jacket.  I change in the bathroom – not ideal, but whatever. I keep work-appropriate clothes in my desk at work (bringing home stuff regularly to launder), along with baby powder (see: sweat) and deoderant. I don’t have  make-up routine, so rinsing my face, putting on mascara and brushing my long hair is all the styling that I do.  I’m not Cycle Chic, but I admire those who are!

4. Changing at work solves some of the rain issues as well (because I do get rained on!), and I have winter/rain appropriate clothes. I have lightly lined cyling pants that keep me dry, and in the winter I wear silk long johns beneath with wool socks. I layer with a long sleeved moisture wicking shirt, a hoody of sweatshirt material and a cycling jacket with reflective tape. The jacket is light enough that without the layers I can continue to wear it long into spring and summer. I’ve got gloves, of course, and only a few times did I curse not having warmer lobster type gloves (but those are something like $50!!).

5. I have battery powered lights for the front and the back of my bike (and extra reflective stickers from Modo Car Coop), and I keep extras in my pannier just in case I forget or lose a light.

6. I wouldn’t commute without my pannier – it cuts down on the sweat and I can fit what I need (lunch, book, maybe some fresh clothes) in the one pannier. I have a cover for when it’s really rainy, but I don’t get that wet, really (it’s only four km, and part of it is under the skytrain line, which cuts down on direct precipitation. mostly). If I don’t want to bring a pannier, I can always bungee cord a purse onto the rack.

7. As for the actual riding, I’ve gotten WAY stronger in the last year + of riding. Hills are easier and I suspect that I”m faster. I stopped timing my rides, because I was getting too competitive with myself. I ride pretty defensively, and am trigger happy with the bell. I always assume that drivers won’t stop completely at the stop signs or when turning right. I’m mostly proved wrong, and drivers see me and are courteous, but every once in a while you get a dingbat who is aggressive or oblivious.

8. Most days I remind myself that it’s not a race and I don’t try and beat the other cyclists off the block and I try and give pedestrians a wide berth on the shared pathway (some times easier than others, depending on what direction they’re walking and how many individuals or groups are sharing the path).

9. I learned basic maintenance for my bike: I change and adjust my own brakes, I can change the tire, I clean the chain (not as often as I should), and I occasionally (every year or year and a half) take it into the shop for a tune-up.

10. I bought a really expensive bike lock.

But mostly, I just do it, and I smile when people say it’s too cold or wet or dangerous for me. I’m at the point where I want to make more mods to to my bike – coloured tire rims?