19/04/2010

The Virtual Magnificent Seven ————————> an enlightened posse

This posse bravely rides out into cyberspace and arrests everyone’s interest.

You might want to check out the things they have to say. You might even be changed by listening to them. Life might be better.

My ‘Seven from Heaven’ this Monday is a group of fiercely-individualistic, inspirational, extraordinary people who’ve chosen to serve the rest of us by sharing themselves and their knowledge online:

1. Leo Babauta – author, journalist and creator of hugely successful Zen Habits (160,000 subscribers) and MnmList blogs and their spin-offs including the A-list Blogging Bootcamps. (Which clearly I have not yet attended.) He is just all kinds of wonderfulness. @zen_habits

Two years down the track of subscribing to ZenHabits I still love the posts that arrive in my inbox. I’m very loved-up on Mr Babauta’s Mnmlist. Ironically, I just cannot get enough of it. I have to re-read posts to get more calm-fixes.

2. Dr. Aleks Krotoski - not only is she a total sweetheart, brilliantly individualist, articulate and charming on camera, she is extremely intelligent! A visionary academic! She has a PhD in Social Psychology studying how information spreads around social networks on the world wide web.

Bravo Ms Krotoski for shining so brightly and making BBC2′s The Virtual Revolution amazing. May we always be able to follow Dr Aleks’ light as she explores what the hell we’re all doing on this internet thingy. Plus, she writes five blogs. Yee-ha. @aleksk

3. Jonathan Mead – when I first subscribed to Illuminated Mind years ago I thought Mr Mead some ancient guru, his words being so very wise. I am still recovering from the shock to my assumption system when I saw his youthful pic months later. Mr Mead also wrangles the Black Sheep Project and is author of “The Zero Hour Workweek”. @jonathanmead

4. Danielle LaPorte – what a hottie! I only just a few week’s ago discovered author and spirituality/creativity igniter Ms LaPorte. I love how beautifully she is her authentic self on ‘White Hot Truth: because self-actualization rocks’. PLUS she followed me back on Twitter so she has my devotion. @DanielleLaPorte

5. Chris Guillebeau – Mr Guillebeau’s blog The Art of Non-Conformity is glorious. He also wrote a FREE e-book I adore with one the best book titles ever: A Brief Guide to World Domination. It is superb – download it immediately. I might go and read my copy again now. @chrisguillebeau

6. Pamela Slim – Business coach and author of the empowering notion Escape from Cubicle Nation. I’m really liking how Ms Slim brings people together, harmonizes and energises them.@pamslim

7. Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Work Week, brainy internet stuff (helped develop su.pr) and performance dude. I really liked his “Smash Fear Learn Anything” presentation on Ted.com. At least I think it was that one I liked, it could have been another. I also love the “Random” videos he makes with Kevin Rose like this one about their top five favorite books. (I thought Mr Rose was just Mr Ferriss’s bud but it turns out Kevin’s pretty famous too having invented WeFollow – hey Kev, put a pure search box in that thing would ya?) @tferriss

I subscribe to the blogs these magnificent individuals create for us all. If you haven’t discovered the joys of having eloquent, useful, entertaining and inspiring blog posts delivered directly to your email inbox, you could start with these cyber folks (and me, of course, click my link on the right).

P.S. Imagine if you got all seven of these electrifying energy sources into one room – do you think the world might explode?

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18/04/2010

My invisible hand <—- it saves me money AND makes me giggle

Look what my Invisible Hand – the super-handy, save-time-and-money-shopping-online Firefox add-on – showed me today!

I can get the award-winning, super-intelligent, gloriously curious, non-judgmental, extraordinary journalist, Louis Theroux, for only £8.97 or $13.77! And get it on!

Now, I would definitely go for that offer except that a) he probably doesn’t know about it b) he has a gal and two children and most importantly c) my best friend would be upset with me since she has a mega-crush on Louis (and Elvis Costello, who has a lovely new album out called Secret, Profane & Sugarcane).

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14/04/2010

How being freaked-out can lead to contentment

I’m a girl with four decades of well, yes, checkered, experience in several different cultures.

Maybe that’s why I really love that thing we all do of “if someone had told me back then that I would be <whatever surprising experience/state of events/place/person> now I would never have believed them….”

I’ve been having that particular thought with ever-growing incredulity. I shock myself constantly. I often feel pretty freaked-out by the crazy swings into high-contrast experiences and events in my life.

So it is with my recently registering with LinkedIn.com and in 24 hours garnering 30-and-rising ‘connections’ of people I have worked with as a writer over several decades. You might be like I was for a long time; thinking this LinkedIn thing was a very boring idea of a website. Ho-hum. Well, no! What has really made me gasp with total-freaked-out-ness is the triple-whammy combination of :

1. seeing again the (older-looking) profile faces of people I felt professionally close to through several decades

2. seeing their career history, as in where in the world they’ve lived, and what they’ve accomplished in their lives, and wondering how all that was with them

3. remembering forgotten and ignored eras of my own life; in London, Sydney, Auckland and the times we had together.

Plus, you can talk (email) or not to a connection in your network in a commitment/expectation-free way just like you can opt-in or out with Twitter with no-one feeling offended. But the opening is there: the connection made for … well, all kinds of opportunities. Just a light virtual touching of fingers-tips that can stay in touch now without you doing anything at all. Wow!

I am a zealot about fulfilling our human hunger for community and belonging. And Linkedin has really surprised me with its effortless connecting of folks we know from our professional lives. Groups of people spiraling together into a giant connectedness network.

Ah, a perfect Mandlebrot set of lives.

It has inspired such a deep sense of contentment with me; a stark sense of unresolved circles being completed in perfection. Resolutions just by a delicate reconnect, nothing further required. People are so much a part of our lives. Re-connecting with people from my past has allowed me to reconnect with myself and my past. And feel good about that.

LinkedIn is another example of how the world wide web intensifies fulfillment of human needs in subtle yet phenomenally powerful ways.

OK, sure,  I’ll give you a personal example. I just reconnected with a sweet guy I had a sweet crush on nearly 20 years ago, saw what he’d been doing with himself over the years and if you had told me back then when I was all flushed-up and infatuated with him that in two decades we would connect up again and share our life stories in a beautiful, simple way I would never have believed you …

Image borrowed from Jock Cooper. Thank you for making the world more beautiful.

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