Social Media Resolutions Follow Up

About The Woman - Twitter Tool

by James G. Milles, Flickr.com

It’s been approximately 2 weeks since my 11 social media resolutions post. It was actually one of my visitors Mark (nice blog btw) who inadvertently reminded me. I have to admit normally my determination would have flagged by now. But this year it’s different! Not sure why, but it is.

So what’s “About The Womangot to do with social media. Well simply the more people who come to this space the better it is for my blog. So it’s all connected and perhaps by reading my experiences, it can help you out too.

Nuts and bolts – 2 weeks ago you could’ve said there wasn’t much going on between About The Woman and Twitter. I followed 11 people and 3 followed me, one of which was my other Twitter account. Things were looking dismal – Twitter was a lead balloon. That was the real motivation behind my post, a kind of self help therapy session for my blog.

Research – Last week I still felt I needed to know something more. The end goal for me is to be using several social media platforms to push this blog. My theory is that the potential of social media is massive for any blog. Of that’s not forgetting good blog content, which most experts agree is the most crucial part.

Choosing my platforms – My first target is to get to grips with Twitter, even though Facebook has almost 3 times the number of users. There’s something about the short, snappy way of communicating that appeals to me. Looks can be deceiving though, on the face of things it might look a simpler way of communicating, but it’s not.

With Twitter everything has to be concise, informative and engaging. How do you do that in 140 characters? It’s hard. My approach is to circulate news from other sites that are related to mine and I merely wrap a short snappy sentence around that. Rightly or wrongly it’s my strategy for now.

Do I trawl through dozens of my favorite blogs everyday? Yes and no. I use a RSS feed called Feeddemon, it’s free, unless you want to upgrade. I spent one whole weekend going through all my favorite sites etc, pasted their RSS icon into the Feedemon’s window. Now everytime I start I get 100’s of new article to harvest from.

Know your audience – I must recommend this article from Mashable one of the best online articles I’ve read. Basically it states that most people who market on Twitter, do it wrong. Did you know if you tweet at different times you have a higher chance of hooking your target? Well that’s the main thing I got from this article. So now I try to tweet at my target’s prime times. Even though I live in Hong Kong, I aim for the North America audience mainly.

Do I stay up all night tweeting? Hell no, I use Tweetdeck. This program allows you to do many different things, the best part for me is the ability to schedule my posts. I set it up and hopefully my blog will reap the benefits of my tweets while I sleep.

Making a schedule – I made one and surprisingly I stick to it. It’s basically first thing in the morning. I arrive at my office one hour earlier, and do my social media stuff. Between 8 to 10pm in the evening I tackle my blog.

It’s not pefect – It’s not, but I remain flexible and with try other platforms and methods until I get the results I want for About The Woman. So you’re dying to know. Well unless you’ve added me already (I’m not hinting) then you won’t know but, I’ve done 130 tweets, follow 136 people and have a whopping 124 followers. I haven’t been that aggressive for following people either. So it’s not bad.

There has been some hits from Twitter to my blog directly. Even though there’s been a general upwards trend, I’m not sure if I can contribute that to twitter or not. Good luck with your social media adventure! Let me know how you are getting on.

About The Woman

Sex Addiction Fact or Fantasy?

About The Woman - Sex, photo woman, woman photo, beautfiul woman

By Jessicalrone, Flickr.com

Which of these isn’t a real disorder? Choose one: a) sex addiction b) hoarding c) binge eating. Okay I guess the title of my blog gives you a clue. Yep, you know how I think it’s sex addiction.

Okay so now you’re wondering who decides.It’s a good question because oddly enough it sounds very plausible to me, certainly at least as much as hoarding. But there again I’ve never known a hoarder, I mean a sex addict! Getting back to the question.. in the USA it’s the American Psychiatric Association (APA) who decides, and last December they decided not to include sex addiction in their health handbook.

But I guess people can get addicted to anything right? It’s one thing when APA says there’s no such thing, butwhat about the string of famous personalities who’ve either demonstrated this behavior or openly admitted it? So I’m betting all the high end psychotherapists are not writing this one addiction off so quickly. Especially when such big names as Tiger Woods, David Duckovny have demonstrated sex addiction like tendencies. Okay these stars are not official sex addicts, but there are more than a few male celebs who’ve gone on the record as being.Micheal Douglas, was a famous womanizer before our dear Catherine whipped him into shape. Kayne West and Charlie Sheen have both gone on record as being sex addicts – but there again those pair will say almost anything.So far I’ve only mentioned guys, but don’t worry there are some girls too. However most of them like Jennie Ketcham either worked in the adult movie industry before hand, or had suffered with other several addictions, which dubiously coincided with TV shows.

Just how many people are addicts? This is just a weird coincidence I promise you, but I’m writing this article at a hotel, in Hong Kong that charges $50 dollars for using the internet, for which I’m too mean to pay. But from earlier research, I found the estimates in the UK are that 6% of a population is sex addicted and one in five women. Rather selectively I don’t have the numbers for men, but it wouldn’t surprise if it was more.

So just in case, any rich celebs are reading this what are the symptoms? Apparently “recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior,” we all have these right? But if all these urges last several months then you’re in trouble. Phew.. it’s a relief it doesn’t really exist, because if it did every teenage boy on the globe and several of my friends would have to seek professional help.

On a serious note, addictions of any kind can be very devastating with long last repercussions on the lives of the people it affects. But what are the official symptoms (before the APA changed their mind)? Like other addictions the person is driven to seek out and engage in the act seeking all the benefits and ignoring the negative impacts. According to a BBC Health article, casual sex and general JFK marital behavior are not the only symptoms. More precise ones may include:

  • Excessive use of pornography
  • Feeling worried about the possible behavior
  • Wanting to stop or change your sexual behaviour
  • Feeling unable to stop, despite wanting to
  • Using sex as a way to cope with other problems
  • Needing more sex to get the same fulfillment
  • Feeling very low or guilty after
  • Spending large amounts of time planning or engaging in sex
  • Missing important social events or even work in order to pursue sex

So what’s the treatment? The worst thing would be to find another addiction – it’s sounds kind of funny, but in my personal experience people who are addicted to one thing are often predisposed to other forms as well. With all addictions the first and most important step is admitting to having a problem.

The debate is still open, whether it exists or not, or whether it’s a compulsive behavioral or addiction. However the treatment would involve psychological therapies, behavioral therapies all leading to the person understanding their condition and the consequences.

About The Woman

Forgive Lance Armstrong & Big Fat Momma 

About The Woman - Relationships &Love, Lies

By DonkeyHotkey, Flickr.com

What is love? Why do we sometimes seem so hell bent on destroying our love and relationships. I sometimes think that people are programed to self-destruct. Lance Armstrong is doped, the whole world knows it. But who are the victims? His team mates, marriage, and perhaps a friend or two. After many years of lying he probably doesn’t even have a single friend who would stand by him publicly.

In the fact the whole story reads like the script of Big Fat Momma’s House. A man tries to do something good, but lies – Lance Armstrong. The main character is trying to catch the bad guy and win the day – Tour De France, but along away people start to believe in him. Lance Armstrong  spends the rest of the movie getting into dubious situations while trying maintain his Big Fat Momma disguise. Finally just like the real one (who was also an imposter of the real thing), he gets caught, while trying to do what he feels is right.

The differences are he caught the bad guy (Tour De France) several times and kept on lying – while making tons of cash. Unlike the fake Big Fat Momma, he kept on lying even when the latex mask started to peel off.  Like Big Fat Momma, Lance Armstrong got the girl – seven of them, but he had to give them back.

Lance raises some ugly questions about us – In the general context, and in relationships why do we feel we have to lie? How many times have we, or will lie to our loved ones and friends? Does it really matter if we are trying to do the right thing or wrong thing, then lie? “Oh I was just protecting you”, is that really ever the case? Politicians, husbands, wives, criminals often confess, but when? That’s right, after they were caught. Blah blah hindsight and all that, but I’m not talking about hindsight. What I’m talking about is the need to do lie in first instance – that little white lie. So when do we feel we have to lie in relationships?

You don’t want to be with that woman or man? Then don’t cheat on them. Give him/her a chance to find somebody that does want to be with them. Man up, and just be single. If there are other things you’re lying about, then talk about it with someone. If we can try to understand why we feel, or do things it can be an extremely useful tool in prevention. If we take the example of having an affair, it’s much easier to talk about why we feel the need to cheat with someone, than actually cheating. As a good friend once advised me “It’s the perfect crime, until you get caught.” Don’t do it in the first place and you won’t have to lie.

It’s not my fault, it’s life – I agree to a point. We do have unreal expectations, dumped on us, every where we are told if we drink that beer we get the hot girls, or if we buy the gadget we will look handsome and automatically get a better job. Lance’s case he pretended to be superman and he was in many ways, from cancer to a wonderful athlete. But once he showed the world he was superman, that’s when it all got worse.

If we blame Lance, or even Big Fat Momma, then we need to take a closer look at ourselves. Why do we only confess when we are caught? Why do we feel a need to do this stuff, why are we so destructive? Most importantly for Lance Armstrong and for us, what are the reasons behind our confessions? If we confess only because we were caught, then how are we “or him” going to move forward? I’m not picking on Lance Armstrong (or Big Fat Momma), I’m just using him for SEO, but the question remains why do we get ourselves into these situations?

About The Woman

Advantages of Dating a Cougar

About The Woman - Advantages of Dating a Cougar

By Fifth World Art, Flickr.com

Forget about dating a younger woman to find love, how about dating the older, more experienced woman! This is exactly what seems to be happening. But why would a much younger man date a cougar? Simply, there are a lot of reasons to find an older woman attractive, you only have to look towards Hollywood for evidence of this. Of course men need women, but what is it that attracts men to mature cougars, is it simply love?

Experience –A lot of men want to look like the strong one in the family, or other relationships, it’s the we are programed. But think about it are we always that confident or self-assured? Of course not, just like anything else it depends on the individual. One thing is for sure, younger people are often attracted to more experienced people, because the appear to be more confident and in control of their relationships.

Stability – The older woman is mature, experienced and self-reliant. Younger women are often more flighty and changeable. Many men also crave stability in a relationships – it’s not just a woman who might want this. Whether that craving for stability extends to financial, or just the sense of it, depends. The older lady is also less likely to play games, and more likely to know what they want from a relationship.

Looking goodAssuming our hot cougar is a career or successful woman, then they will access to beautiful places to do yoga, or stylish gyms and even plastic surgeons. Okay that sounds a little excessive, but the point I’m trying to make is that the modern woman, has lifestyle choices that enable them to keep looking good. It’s not just for the Hollywood elite.

SuccessfulRealistically most men are not looking for a Demi Moore, or any other hot celeb cougars and they don’t have to. The world we live in presents men with plenty of opportunities to find a mature, sexy, successful woman. It’s never been better for women as business or political leaders, the CEO of the New York Times is Jill Abramson, Chritine Lagarde head of the IMF, and Indra Noovi at PepsiCo and I’m just scratching the surface. Politics and self made women also top the Forbes list of powerful people. But you don’t have to date a Forbes list woman either, there are plenty of successful professionals from accountants to doctors everywhere.

Broaden your horizonsBeing with an older woman or man can have it’s own advantages. Take Demi Moore, would Ashton Kutcher ended up on CBSTwo and a Half Men” without the help of Demi? Correct me if I’m wrong but I honestly only remember him in really very bad rom-coms before that. According to New York Post last year recently she took her new love Vito Schnabel to India for a celebrity birthday party. Perhaps she’s changed again. It’s hard to keep track of her relationships. But think about it, what a trip that must have been! He would have been knee deep in a cool place thats oozing with culture, surrounding by the elite and famous. What experience that would have been. It certainly would have broadened all kinds of horizons.

If we are being honest people come together for many reasons, sometimes people will voice them, sometimes not. What is love? It’s different for everyone I think, but one things for sure it’s not easy to find and when cupid strikes what can we do? We should not let age, race or class get in the way that’s for certain. But we should love and not give up on those relationships.

There’s an old Hindu saying goes something like this – there’s many paths to the top of the mountain, the person wasting their time is the man running around the mountain telling others they are taking the wrong path. I agree.

About The Woman

11 Social Media Resolutions For People Like Me

I know how it works. I even have a Twitter account for this blog. But apparently that’s not enough if you want to enjoy a slice of the social media

About The Woman - Twitter Tool

by James G. Milles, Flickr.com

revolution cake! You’ve read all the articles, but you’re still not confident enough to dive into the world of social media. Well that’s kind of how I feel.

So why do people use social media? The answer is as diverse as the number of people using it. Many different kinds of organizations, including charities market Twitter and there’s no doubting the effects of social media on people’s lives. But Guy Kawasaki who’s a venture capitalist (social media icon) summed it up nicely:

There are two kinds of people on social networks: those who want more followers and those who are lying.”

So how well am I doing? I follow 11 twitter accounts and have 3 followers. That’s pathetic I know – my cat could tweet and gain more twitter followers than me. I thought Twitter would somehow magically spring board my blog into success. It seems it’s not that simple, and short of buying Twitter followers it won’t be. This is why I’ve compiled this helpful list of 11 resolutions.

So this year let’s grow our garden of twitter followers, together. Think of it as a guide of sorts, a kind of Twitter for dummies list. Although I mainly mention Twitter, these tips must be relevant to all platforms.

Do your research – There’s a serious amount of info out there that’s written by people who know what they are doing. For example how many twitter accounts should you have? Or how much and how often should you post? Try this great article.

Choose your weapon carefully – What Social media platform? Again do your research. Some social media platforms favor different genders or age groups.

What’s your message – why are you doing this? For example a colleague has suggested that I use Linkedin to help network for my real life job.

Make a schedule – Simply decide when you’re free. It’s not unlike blogging, you need to set aside some time to use and explore.

Stick to it! – I’m being such a hypocrite here but, once you’ve made that schedule, stick to it! You don’t have to purchase Twitter followers, it’s about building relationships and that takes time.

When are they on? – who are you trying to connect with?  Twitter is a very active platform, so it pays to keep your finger on the pulse. You can use different Twitter tools to schedule your tweets, and HootSuite is a good example of an excellent Twitter tool. Although I’m not sure how effective scheduling tweets are.

Engaging content – whatever you are talking, tweeting or posting about. The content needs to be engaging. Spamming your followers with posts, or Twitter promotions will only hurt your Twitter stats. You want to hook them not push them away.

Acts of kindness – according to @TinyBuddha random acts of kindness, that are unmotivated by something you want, can make a difference to followers. Offer to help with something.

Be active not reactive – use your offline time to consider what you’re value to a the social media might be. Put some thought into it, rather than just reacting.

Power down – Arianna Huffington has commented on this, she believes you should take time to power down before sleeping, not emailing and turning all the gadgets off. Basically don’t burn yourself out, take time off to think or rest when you have to.

Enjoy it – It’s damn hard to succeed at anything if you don’t enjoy it.

There’s no secret to building a network of free Twitter followers, it’s just going to take us sometime. If you’re interested in finding out more about Twitter statistics twitaholic.com is a great place to start, it lists all the top Twitter accounts.

So how are you doing with your Twitter? Let me know, I would love to hear from you.

Happy New Year – The Business End of Christmas

About The Woman - debts, credit cards

by Images_of_Money, flickr.com

Christmas is for kids everyone says, I agree. Then I guess the New Year is for adults? Then perhaps New Year’s resolutions are for adults too. What are the typical resolultions: lose weight, be happier, make more cash, be a nicer person , the list goes on, but there’s another one that’s on my most people’s list – get out of debt.

At Christmas we wonder what gifts to buy, the New Year is when we wonder how to pay for them. It’s exactly at this time of the year that peoples’ debts are increasing, so in a sense the New Year is the business end of Christmas. It’s certainly the time for looking at our credit card statements at least.

Who exactly does it affect

It’s been said that one in three people go into debt around Christmas. Debt is not only a risk to our financial well-being, but also to our relationships and even to our health.

According to Debt Advice a leading organization that gives free advice on peoples’ debts – it’s the leading cause of breakups. Actually it ranks higher than other factors such as unemployment, illness, gambling and alcohol problems. Although It’s hard to see how they themselves are connected to peoples’ debts.

It’s also said that 44 % of people in the UK alone, are now under the burden of non-mortgage debt. That’s a lot of families with debt problems! Many of these families will fail to make their payments.

I’m no better than you

I have no intention of telling you about how I crawled out of debt, or of how I never had a debt problem in the first place. But I will mention, that debt doesn’t only affect the adults – kids feel it too. I can recall time when my father whispered to me to crouch down, and hide from the man who was knocking on the front door. He may have been a legal sort of debt company or something even worse, I never found out, that’s often the problem with debt.

Talk to loved ones

Don’t hide your debt, don’t ignore it. Debt can seem like a terrible shame and burden. But that’s exactly when you need communicate with your family or partner. Your family needs to understand what you’re going through.

My Mother who was very able woman with money,  but she had the worse kind of surprise one day. I can’t remember how she found out, perhaps it was a letter, anyway the result was she found out her husband had taken out a second mortgage against our home – the first was almost paid off! Thanks dad!

Nobody ever knew why he did it, but he hid it, and even more dangerously ignored it. My father really was the perfect storm when it came to letting his debts spiral out of control.

Bottom line get the family on board with financial decisions. They can push you, or stop you, encourage you and or support you. They can’t do anything if they don’t know. Talk to someone you know, who’s been through it, or call a national debt line or something for free advice on debt. Good advice can often come free.

About The Woman

If Only Santa Was a Woman – Unwanted Gifts

About The Woman - a woman, beautiful woman, middle aged woman, a girl, Christmas, woman, Mrs Santa, Mrs Claus

by North Charelston, flickr.com

Christmas friend or foe, either way it’s gone for another year. But what’s left? Big stomachs, ruined bank accounts, headaches, screaming kids that don’t want to go back to school, more than a few unwanted gifts, and that’s just me! So how about the rest of the world? But seriously what do you do?

Why do we even buy presents in the first place? Guys will buy a gift for a woman they love and other people will buy fabulous gifts which are loaded down with good intentions. But what is it? Guilt, pressure, love or just simply a case of keeping up with the Joneses? One thing for certain, the original religious concept has become somewhat neglected, forgotten or even shunned by popular opinion. Even when we do remember the genesis of the idea, it’s molded into plastic and sold as an action figure.

What about all those gifts we don’t want? The advertisements, pressure from colleagues, commercials for credit cards and loans offer no advice. All these tools of commercialism only point in one direction, and that’s towards the checkout. There are however a few shining lights out there from the odd individual, to the online business. Some of these offer useful solutions to the overdose of unwanted presents.

Not everybody is out to make a quick buck from our problems, according to a story by Reuters there’s actually a pretty cool shop in Slovenia which opened just in time for Christmas.  The idea behind the shop is simple yet important.  Basically if you don’t like a gift then simply change it for one you like.  To quote the shop owner “people get and give too many present nowadays” and I think the shop owner is 100% right.

In some cultures especially in China cash really is king when it comes to gifts. Yes you could say it’s a cold, perhaps even an unthoughtful kind of gift – but there’s no denying its versatility.

Gift cards are increasingly popular gifts, I especially like them when it comes to kids. As opposed to cash, it allows you moderate control on what they kids will blow their money on. But these sentiments maybe the thing’s biggest downfall. What happens when you get a gift to a shop you stylistically have nothing in common with? What are your options if you have a gift card you don’t like, can you take it back to the shop in question and get the cash? Not likely, at least not in that shop. But there are ways according to The Daily Beast.

Cash back sites – the middle man will take a cut!

Giftcards.com, will assess the cash back value, mail you a check or even transfer funds via paypal. Gift Card Granny, it’s a smiliar variation on the above, it scans sites that will give you the most value for you card.Just be prepared to make a small loss on the value of the gift card.

Then you have old faithful – Ebay. There’s always loads of people who are wanting to get their hands on a bargain. But you will have to prepared to sell for a lesser amount, but it’s better than being stuck with a card you hate.

Other options

Gift card rescue, works with Amazon, you get a bonus 5 percent for changing it too an Amazon gift card. Cardpool, works much the same way.

Charities can benefit too. Plastic Jungle allows you to donate the cash on the card to a worthy charity, its aligned with a few such as Red Cross. Plastic Jungle rather cunningly allows you add air miles as well, in cooperation with United Airlines.

Traditional gifts

If the gift is a more traditional kind of gift you can deal with it in similar ways. You could try holding a swap party. People rewrap the gifts they don’t want, and give them to someone else – of course they ran the risk of getting disappointed twice. Or you could do it the boring way and not wrap them – an episode of The office springs to mind. Just make sure things are of a similar value!

Returning stuff to the stores can be an option. It depends on the store of course, not all stores have equal policies on returning gifts. Just check the policies for online and locations for shops. But of course if it’s given to you then you might have little choice, you’re going to have to roll with the punches.

Re-gifting, I have done this and felt horrible about it. But that doesn’t mean you have to. In my case I had to go back overseas and didn’t have the luggage space, so I off loaded the gift and saved time, and money (but it still didn’t feel right). Although seriously why not? I think the key issue is, to choose more carefully than the person who you gifted it to you in the first place. The lucky person might appreciate it more than you did.

Donate it! Just like the gift cards, donating something can be a rewarding experience and in my book a much nicer feeling option than just simply re-gifting. I have a friend who just a few years ago, gave 100’s of man sized teddy bears to a load of kids that needed a bit of happiness in their lives – although in this case they were just extra teddies from the factory. But honestly the kids didn’t care about how they got them, they were happy just the same.

About The Woman, Merry Christmas Everyone!