Search Engine, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking … my head’s gonna explode

Search engine optimization, social networking, social bookmarking, Twitter, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, Technorati, BlogHer (apologies to all I’ve missed) ….. where’s the smiley that goes “blah, blah, blah” as its eyes glaze over?  In an earlier post, I asked if the mind expands or contracts as we age.  I didn’t realize at the time mind exploding was a possibility.  You know that point as you learn a new skill — you know just enough to be dangerous, but probably not enough to be useful?  Yup, I’m planting my butt at that location and growing roots!

How does one keep up with all of these (and others)?  More importantly, how does one actually have a life that’s interesting to write/blog/tweet about?

Does the mind expand or contract in midlife?

During a conversation with a friend who also turned 50 this year, she commented how people of a “certain age” don’t like or want to learn new things.  She, for example, thought texting was the best invention of the 20th or 21st centuries but had no clue how to tweet, pin or use any other social medium.  Worse, she didn’t see how any of it could help her in life.  Uh, hello … a tweet is merely a massive text.  Sent to several thousand of your closest friends aka followers.  Yeah, I know … brilliant!

Funny enough, that was me 3 short months ago.  And yes, I think texting is the best invention of this century!

Daily I struggle with Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and the blogsphere.  I have very knowledgeable 20-something co-workers who have taken pity on me; hence I blog!

Still, I find my mind, and more importantly, my sense of adventure, contracting as I age.  I feel more unsure of my ability to learn new things (perhaps the unspoken word is “well”), feel less inclined to stretch beyond my comfort zone and in the traffic hell that’s LA, I definitely don’t venture beyond the Westside often!

How do we keep the curiousity and spirit of adventure as we age?  Do our definitions change?

UPDATE 07/05/2012.  I started this post Tuesday night and need to update this:  landed in Raleigh North Carolina and instead of driving to visit my relatives, I opted for a road trip to Asheville, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Maybe I inspired myself?!

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway was peaceful and beautiful and, yes, a little stressful in some spots.  But I kept driving.  Definitely expanded my mind today!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

More pics in the upcoming Travel post.

1st Blogging Conference

Omigosh!   Returned home today from Blog Her Food 2012 — my 1st food blogging conference.  Well, my first blogging conference ever!  What an amazing experience to meet/chat/socialize with hundreds of people who are passionate about food!  (note to self: business cards

And I had a beautiful room at the Renaissance Hotel as well as a delicious meal (and mediocre wine but you can’t win ’em all), a short walking distance from the event hotel.

 

Ohhh … king bed was heaven
View from door

My only gripe is about the coffeemaker — no cups just Styrofoam cups? Oh and why no light switch to enter the bedroom???

I met great folks — Heather, United States of Motherhood, Megan, the Gluten Free Vegan, and the irrepressibly Jan, Heckerty especially stood out and of course, meeting Ree Drummond aka the Pioneer Woman was a special highlight.  She is as friendly and gracious in person as she seems on her blog and TV.  Yes there was a pic taken and no I’m not showing posting on my blog.  YES, we love cowboys!  AND THE FOOD ….. No more needs to be said.

Wish I had taken pics of the sweet potato crabcakes instead

Even better was the enormous focus on learning.  Finally I am starting to understand how social media is re-shaping our society and how businesses sell products/find customers.  More importantly I see that blogging can be a business or a hobby.  Knowing which one it is and keeping that front and center is critical.

I have a voice (for those who know me, you can insert “loud” voice) and am clear as to who I am as a ‘brand.’  It’s the technical stuff I need to learn — improve my photography skills, network with other bloggers, learn how to use all aspects of social media (woohoo Instagram and Pinterest I now know how to use!).

It’s exciting and frightening to stretch my comfort zone and develop new skills.  It doesn’t hurt that I’m going to new cities for conferences … wheeeeeeee, travel’s always fun.

To my new friends from BlogHer Food 2012 — see you in Austin 2013.