Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Snowy New Year to You!

I woke up this morning, excited about my plans for the day. I have renewed my commitment to exercise recently, and I was looking forward to my jaunt over to the gym.

Then Joanne and I were slated to meet a friend for lunch. And there is a New Year's Eve party at our friends Laurie and Pat, and finally a late dinner at Tastings. The menu looks lovely.

But there was at least 8" of snow on the ground, and it was coming down hard. And although our plow guy had cleared the driveway, the city plows hadn't made it down the street yet. So here I sit. As they say, "Man plans, God laughs!"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Something Cool: Wordle

I happened upon the Wordle site. You can explore it here.

I made this with my words for my New Year's wishes to you!

Here's how they describe themselves: "Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends"

I think this would make a very cool back of business cards.

Friday, December 26, 2008

2009 New Years Resolutions

I actually do make New Year's resolutions and I actually follow through and do them. In past years I have had resolutions like

  • To clean one storage area (closet, drawers) a week
  • To have more fun (when I realized I didn't know what fun *was* anymore!)
  • To improve my photography
  • To learn to play the Uke
  • To improve brand Clare.

That was my last year's resolution - to improve brand Clare. I feel like I have worked my whole life to improve someone else's brand, and done a pretty good job at it. So last year I decided I should put the same attention on my personal brand.

I thought the idea of a "personal brand" was pretty novel and ground-breaking. Well, It's not! Just Google "personal branding" and see take a look at the zillion hits you will get back. There is a ton out there, for sure.

So how did I do on improving Brand Clare? Not bad. If you Google my name, you will see that I am most of the hits for the first three pages. And there are no "bad" hits -- pages that I would rather not be associated with.

This year, I am going to take Brand Clare a little further and see If I can become associated with a particular message. One of the sites I reviewed on branding suggested that a clear message is essential. So what message do I want to be associated with? Clare Dygert is an expert at leading innovative, creative teams. I think I am good with teams, and that the mashup of methods I use are interesting and novel. I will use this blog as a way to refine my thinking and talking about them.

Other resolutions for 2009:

  • Upgrade my resume using an online resume site called Visual CV. You should check this out - these people really have something going on here. It sor of reminds me of something from back in the pre-www days called Hyperstudio. Do you remember that? (You will see from the link that Hyperstudio is alive and well.) It will probaby take me a year to build the collaterals I need for a Visual CV, but I am excited about doing it.
  • Master enough ASL that I can start taking classes at RIT. I am working at RIT now and as part of my benefits package I can take courses. But I have to be a certian level of fluency with ASL by July 2010 to keep my job. i want to make significant progress this year, and have decided that until I do I will have to put off other classes.
  • Finally get my home network setup the way I want. Last year we bough a HP Homeserver, and I have used it to do a few things-- manage our printing, backup our computers, store photos and music. But I haven't done what I wanted to do from the start: Use the server to broadcast music all over the house and to store and stream Netflix movies to our TV. I have a new Onkyo receiver now, and I think we are dangerously close to getting this set up.

And two maybe resolutions:

  • Buy a mandolin and learn to play it. I am really attracted to the Gibson F series mandolins. Here's a link to one of them here.
  • Buy an DSL camera. Right now I have a very nice point and shoot -- an Olympus 550uz. You can read a review of it here. It has a fantastic zoom, and shake control, and I have shot some really great pictures with it. But I want to do a little more than I can do with my Olympus.