Archive for social media

Carol Hallyn

Carol Hallyn is one of the most courageous and persistent women I know. She went back to college to pursue her doctorate at an age I won’t reveal, and has been working hard on it for several years now.

I’ve been working with her for the last two and a half years – exploring the brave new world of social media and investigating options for how to articulate and present the intuition-based work she is birthing in the field of personal and professional development. At last her brain and heart-children have been born in the form of an elegant and streamlined website – – and a powerful blog – IlamaSpeaks – that gives voice to her trusted guide Ilama.

I know you’ll be intrigued to follow this lovely lady as she launches her new business and enters the world of social media, where she is sure to be a hit.


Contemplative Twitter, or #co-tw2

Picture 1 I've just finished taking part in an experiment on Twitter initiated by the consummate Techno Shaman George Por. The idea and instructions were posted online, and the invitation was sent out through the Presencing Institute's online community site yesterday afternoon, but for those of you who like their news delivered directly, here's the gist: it was a one hour experiment laid out in four 15 minute segments – the first of which was to contemplate the following question in silence, somewhere away from our computer screens: "What is needed for openness and dialogue through tweets to scale and affect positive change in consciousness and society?

In our next 15 minutes we shared any "fine fishes" that we'd "caught in our stream of consciousness" during our contemplation, tagging them with #co-tw1. Then we spent 15 minutes reading what others had written and the last quarter of the hour in summarizing or re-tweeting those ideas that had stood out for us, and what the experience had been like (#co-tw2).

I thought it was a very successful way to enliven the potential of social media, and it made me feel great; like I am not the only one who cares about the seeds of intention and consciousness we plant in these powerful tools of global communication.

So, not only was it an invitation into collective awareness and collaborative meaning-making, but many of the ideas that emerged might trigger further reflection – in me, in you, on FaceBook, where all my tweets go automatically, and who knows where else the light beams from this multi-faceted prism may travel. Here are some of the sparks:

"Collective organs of sensing and meaning-making nurture our self-organizing collective consciousness, intelligence & wisdom."
~ TechnoShaman

"The emergence of an evolutionary worldview serves as attractor for community and cohering action"
~ TechnoShaman

"Changing the culture of social media from trivia and marketing to one of depth and true significance."
~ AmySue102

"The unfettered heart's call to connect with others and the collective urge to create shared meaning will lead this"
~ AmySue102

"During the 1st 15 mins it was important 2 let go of the question & tune into its spirit / let that spirit emerge"
~ Mushin

"Letting go of all possible results, including scaling, intelligence or wisdom, or any view whatsoever to be open for the Emergent"
~ Mushin

"Coherent intent creates resonance, brings signals into alignment, radiates outwards"
~ IdeaHive

"Hearing nature expressed in so many birdsongs while contemplating "tweets", dialogue, positive change in the world"
~ Cleeengel

"Clear: intention, purpose, alignment Across: chasms, media, boundaries Letting go: into emergent, depth, collective sensing"
~ Cleeengel

Conversation & Business

I just read a post by blogger /consultant Chris Brogan on Cafe-Shaped Conversations, where he explores how social media allows small intimate conversations and how that might or might not be what corporations are interested in, and when they are, how that might not be such a great idea for the rest of us.

As Community Tech Steward of the World Café, I  know that conversation about things that matter is not just a marketing strategy, but one of the keys to human survival. It is in large part conversation (on a number of levels) that will carry us through the formidable global challenges that stand before us now. And online communication tools will no doubt make a key contribution to how we have those conversations.

How exciting it will be to have a President who really understands the power of the individual voice … I can't wait to see how Obama's presidency will effect participatory citizenship and this whole area. Online interaction needs to become a cultural meme that goes beyond digital natives and "geeky types" like me if it is to fulfill its potential.

But back to business, what Brogan and the World Café are calling Café Conversations (small intimate interactions that can connect with and feed into larger collective awareness) are important to large and small companies for many reasons beyond product sales and marketing.

Conversation is now becoming recognized as a core business competency and World Cafés are hosted in corporations just as often as they are with health and educational institutions, government, neighborhood groups, and anywhere else that conversation can increase communication, address challenges or help build a sense of community. It's only a matter of time until many of these conversations are happening online.

You've probably noticed that more and more conferences are moving to an interactive model, based on small group conversation. Increasingly, conference organizers are realizing that attendees are tired of "talking heads". There is so much more to be gained by an approach that calls on the collective intelligence gathered in the room, and engages everyone in a conversation where the "experts" and those in the audience (who are often equally as knowledgeable) are on a par.

So what I'm saying is that there's an analogy here that expands the power of conversation and online communications way out beyond marketing and product sales for businesses, and it's still just beginning.

Digital Mindfullness

As part of my recent focus on living a more balanced life (as opposed to continuing on in the over-scheduled madness of what I will now call "my past"), I'm implementing a number of practices to sustain my good intentions.

These include giving myself more time to read, one of the elemental pleasures of my “real life” (the one I've decided to claim), and what is perhaps even more exquisite, to talk about what I’m reading with other intelligent human beings (that's you! :-).

To this end, I recently caught up with several articles I’d laid aside until there was "time" for them… and I found some interesting correspondences between them.

Reading a piece on digital identity and security in the New York Times, "Brave New World of Digital Intimacy" by Clive Thompson, the last few paragraphs piqued my interest:

“It is easy to become unsettled by privacy-eroding aspects of awareness tools. But there is another — quite different — result of all this incessant updating: a culture of people who know much more about themselves.

Many of the avid Twitterers, Flickrers and Facebook users I interviewed described an unexpected side-effect of constant self-disclosure. The act of stopping several times a day to observe what you’re feeling or thinking can become, after weeks and weeks, a sort of philosophical act. It’s like the Greek dictum to “know thyself,” or the therapeutic concept of mindfulness. (Indeed, the question that floats eternally at the top of Twitter’s Web site — “What are you doing?” — can come to seem existentially freighted. What are you doing?)

Having an audience can make the self-reflection even more acute, since, as my interviewees noted, they’re trying to describe their activities in a way that is not only accurate but also interesting to others: the status update as a literary form.”

What a marvelous observation and an altogether different perspective on the opportunities opened up by web 2.0…

I've certainly found that writing regular blog posts increases the depth of my own self-knowledge and understanding; why not extend that mindfulness further and consciously apply the same self-awareness in some of my other digital communications? 

Then, in the latest Shambhala Sun, an article from Pema Chodron, called “Waking up to Your World”:

“One of the most effective means for working with that moment when we see the gathering storm of our habitual tendencies is the practice of pausing, or creating a gap. We can stop and take three conscious breaths, and the world has a chance to open up to us in that gap. We can allow space into our state of mind.”

This strikes me as a distinct window for opening the opportunity inherent in Twitter's question "What am I doing?" as the ultimate mindfulness exercise.

I've mentioned my "slow work" group; one of the members has been using the practice Pema suggests throughout his day as a way to stay awake to the habitual patterns of his normal workday, and interestingly he is also just discovering the world of social media and beginning to Twitter. The other day he told me about a group of people on Ning who are using Twitter to aid them in a similar mindfulness practice, as a way to check in and support each other throughout the day. They're called Twit2Fit.

There are of course all kinds of purposes to which one can put social media, but using Twitter to develop self- awareness brings a whole new dimension to the digital evolution.