Why my life is still in beta

As you can see, I've started to work on a new theme for blog.mled.me. I will begin to host the blog on Posterous, consuming mobi.mled.me. A very big THANK YOU should go to Darren from DTD Studio for kick starting that process with an awesome collection of cartoon social media icons. I'm going to try and make those into links to each profile that they represent.

CSS is a nice challenge. The redesign process has made me reconsider what I actually want and need from a blog. I'm not quite at the level of Posterous devotion to promote it as often as Steve Rubel, but I am enjoying the simplicity of platforms like Tumblr and Posterous. Working on the header, I was reminded of a conversation (via DM) I had not too long ago on Twitter.

I was asked about my tag line "my life is still in beta". I started using the line on my first wordpress.com blog because I loathed the default "Just another Wordpress.com blog" message. I thought it was slightly witty and fun, but I honestly didn't give it much thought.

Recently I've come to reconsider that phrase and its relevance to me and the way I lead my life. It was during some of the intensely demanding periods of writing my dissertation that I experienced brief moments of total mental clarity. I get the same sensation when running, being consumed by one tough task allows me to see through to other thoughts and ideas.

My realisation was that I absolutely 100% live by the expression "the thrill is in the chase". I will work with and complete a To Do list but I don't enjoy the concept, instead I like to just have a bullet point list to provide a broad overview of my most serious projects or processes so I have some direction.

I traced the cause of this right back to primary school. I was surrounded by high achievers and I didn't really stand a chance at winning class prizes or awards for sports, but I came away from that school with every badge of honour you could associate with stamina and effort. I won medals at cross country, I received project prizes and endeavour awards. In free time the Scout Association drove my extra curricular activity, offering me the chance to take on different challenges and be what I wanted to be. I developed a rather cynical view of reward, finding it to be a termination point at which a medal or certificate put a stop to activities I enjoyed.

Growing up this apparently continued and I found that people value effort and any help I could give to assist them in achieving their goals. I now know that it is in fact bad to live life solely in the pursuit of others' dreams. At the same time, it is important to play to your strengths.

That (somehow) leads me back to my tagline. My life will always be in beta because that is just how I find the strength to do things. My focus is on the process and I live my life to enjoy the journey.

There are going to be a few changes around here. Here's what I've been up to...

Hi! I'm back!

I have called an end to my self imposed internet ban and will now slowly ease myself back into a routine of blogging. My dissertation is complete, printed and submitted. This marks the end of my full time student status- through five years of a bachelors in Business and French, a Masters in International Business Management, and not paying taxes.

I thought that rather than boring the pants off you with a lengthy post I would just drop in a few photos I took over the weeks of writing.

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The dissertation wasn't extremely hard work, it was just a completely draining experience. I have never felt so bad about myself. I had to conduct a series of interviews and a small group of truly amazing and kind people responded to my emails and agreed to be questioned. I prepared some questions to ask each of them, trying to make the experience as informal as possible in the hope that it would be more honest and exploratory as an engaging conversation.

Wrong idea - it turns out, I'm simply terrible at that. I didn't listen properly to what the participants were saying, or didn't appreciate exactly what they were explaining at the time, and then to make matters worse I seemed to inject at least one (per interview) completely wild assertion that just made me sound like a complete idiot.

Honestly, during transcription I nearly cried. It seems I still have so much to learn.

I can't imagine what would have happened if I had been met by similarly immature answers, but thankfully the interviewees completely saved the day. Their responses were insightful, well thought out, and I produced some great case studies from them. Thank you all, so so much!

I've learned my lesson. I have genuinely come to appreciate the true nature of my strengths and weaknesses, and I'm humbled because I almost certainly didn't deserve that rescue.

So new beginnings! From here on, any mistakes are going to be costly: I've left academia behind and got a job. Details of that later...

wotd and such

Just reviewed about 5000 words of my dissertation. I appear to have over-used the expression "two way communication" and similarly uninspired synonyms for conversation.

But my Word Of The Day (wotd)?

ephemeral

which means "lasting only a short time"

And it's really great for sounding intelligent and polite when you actually mean, "your business model sucks".