Make Time For Learning

Eric Stoller and my watch

Lifelong learning is exciting. The constant ebb and flow of learning new things makes each day an adventure. If you don’t have time to learn, are you really living? What message are you sending out to your kids, your spouse, your co-workers, your friends, or anyone else that matters to you when you say that you “don’t have time to learn how to do ______?” Remember, learning is lifelong. Learning never stops.

Blogs, Stats, Twitter, and Higher Education

Use Twitter as the tip of the iceberg for linking communities with blog content in higher education

If you were ever wondering if Twitter was the tip of the iceberg for connecting short bursts of 140 characters to longer form blog content, look no further. A quick check of web stats for this blog shows an amazing number of college and university IP addresses for visitors who have visited after clicking on links from tweets. These schools are from today…not too bad:

Valparaiso University, SUNY Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Oregon State University, Miami University, The College of New Jersey, Hofstra University, University of Texas at Austin, Albion College, William Paterson University, University of Washington, Arizona State University, University of York, Claremont University, Simon Fraser University, St. Louis University, Loyola University Chicago, Grand Canyon University, Colleges of the Fenway, North Carolina Central University, University of Wisconsin Madison, San Jose State University, Lincoln University, Texas A&M University, University of Central Florida, North Carolina State University, College of the Holy Cross, University of Cincinnati, Loyola Marymount University, Nova University, Central Methodist University, Merrimack College, Georgia Southwestern State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Iowa.

Once again, blogs are super useful for content/sharing and Twitter is great for engagement/sharing. I’m frequently sharing all sorts of content on Twitter. Curating useful links and stories via 140 character tweets and leading folks to content that they might not find while surfing.

Original image courtesy of Pexels.

Semi-Subversively Tweeting the Super Bowl

Twitter football bird and subversive super bowl tweets

A massively popular sporting event + Twitter = ample opportunities for critical thinking, irony, and sharing. My first thought about the enormity of the Super Bowl (and its related mega-money generation) is the baffling fact that the NFL is a nonprofit entity. It’s ludicrous that a highly profitable business like the NFL doesn’t have to pay taxes.

Several people were live-tweeting the Super Bowl who have absolutely no idea about the rules/regulations of the game…and I think xkcd nailed it with this comic.

Sports broadcasters tend to say the most inane things. They tend to say the same things over and over again, game after game. It’s amusing that this is the state of sports “analysis.”

Continue reading Semi-Subversively Tweeting the Super Bowl

Family Weekend at the University of Miami

Eric Stoller speaking at the University of Miami

People often ask me what I do for a living. Realizing that I probably don’t tell that part of my story very well, I’ve decided to post every now and then about what I’m up to as it relates to my work. Most of my speaking and consulting endeavors are the result of grass roots “promotion.” Whenever I speak in front of a large group of students, staff, faculty, family members (not my family, however, that would be pretty interesting), and/or industry leaders, I’m effectively showcasing my ability to educate and inform. This usually leads to future invitations to speak at events/schools/businesses.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at Family Weekend at the University of Miami as their keynote speaker. With a room full of parents and family members (and a few students), I gave a talk on social media, digital identity, career development, and thinking before you post/share/tweet/snap/etc.

My talk at the University of Miami included references to / examples of items from Twitter, reddit, Snapchat, Yik Yak, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

My next gigs include consulting visits to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a keynote address at the NODA Annual Conference.

On “Side Hustles” and Being Your Own Boss

podcast with Eric Stoller

Every time I make it “around the horn” to celebrate another successful year of consulting, speaking, and writing, I get a bit reflective about the journey. As if on cue, Dustin Ramsdell from the The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast, invited me to do an interview about my endeavors.

Here’s the full audio interview where I go into detail about my journey as a student affairs professional / higher education consultant. I manage to throw in some thoughts on work/life balance as well as some insight into what my typical day is all about.


Spoiler alert: life is great, work and life aren’t a dichotomy, and it’s been 4 years since I started doing this work full-time. Thanks Dustin for giving me some time on your show.

[image credit]

Dear Microsoft: Children of the 90s Were Not Born Yesterday

You might not remember us, but we met in the 90s.

Microsoft’s new ad for Internet Explorer wants to capitalize on our collective nostalgia. Hungry Hippos, floppy disks, Oregon Trail, snap bracelets, bowl haircuts, and slow Internet access. Microsoft just doesn’t understand that while we may fondly remember the items in the ad, we are never ever going to associate Internet Explorer in the same vein. The end of the ad shows Microsoft’s Surface tablet as if browsing via IE on Surface could bring back some sort of mythological experience of yesterday. I loved the ad until the big reveal. All of those memories that it triggers somehow feel betrayed by a company that is completely out of touch with those of us who exist in 2013. A companion website was created to coincide with the ad: “The Browser You Loved to Hate.” Why would they ever want to remind us that “back in the day,” we rushed to Netscape and warmly embraced Firefox. Anything but IE was better than suffering through the default browser on a Windows PC. In 2013, Chrome and Safari have captured our clicks. Microsoft has tried dubstep in previous ads to appeal to our cool sides while this ad appeals to memories that aren’t exactly friendly to good old Microsoft.

With the closing tagline, “Reconnect with the new Internet Explorer,” Microsoft is asking us to do something that feels hollow. Why should we reconnect with something that even Microsoft acknowledges that we “used to hate?”

Where is Eric?

Eric Stoller and my watch

Wow. The last post on my blog was in July. JULY! How did this happen? Well, it turns out that being a speaker/writer/consultant is a full-time job (x) 1000. According to my TripIt.com account, in 2012 I took 44 trips and was on the road for 148 days. Coming up, I plan on putting together a post that lists all of the trips/cities from last year. I’ve never traveled so much in my entire life. Whenever anyone asks me if enjoy traveling, I usually respond with “sometimes” or “it depends.” My enjoyment of travel tends to be modulated by my fellow travelers. It’s always more fun when people on flights are happy. Trust me.

One of my foci for 2013 is to be more mindful of my time when it comes to blogging. Writing is something that I did a lot of last year, but it wasn’t always on my terms. As much as I love writing my Student Affairs and Technology blog for Inside Higher Ed, sometimes, it’s tough to generate content when you’re always on the go. Additionally, I realize that many of you are coming over to this blog because of something that I shared on Twitter or because of a Google search for a variety of topics. And, when you get to the blog, you’re probably wondering, “hey, where’s the new stuff?!” Well, here’s the deal, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to post, ponder, write, question, and get my thoughts on “the page.”

Now, I realize that saying and doing are two different things. To that end, I think I’ll reduce my consumption of television programs, minimize my time on Facebook (we’ll see how that goes!), and be mindful of how writing for the love of writing energizes me. There’s always time for writing and thinking.

Just keep running

Yesterday, I ran the Cambridge 5K. It was the second 5K that I’ve done and it was the first time I had run an event that was officially timed. According to the web, the temperature for the run was 24 degrees. That’s right….it was super cold. Fortunately, I was very bundled up…unlike some of the race participants. Several runners had on some sweet costumes!

For me, running has been something that has challenged me throughout my life. When I ran track in junior high, I suffered from exercise-induced asthma. I dislocated my left knee during my first year of high school. My knees have always been cranky. However, running in my 30s has become something that I enjoy. And, my knees and lungs have not bothered me for the most part. I think I’m in better shape now than I was when I was in my 20s. Running allows for a lot of contemplative thinking, helps with stress reduction / sleep, and keeps me more physically fit then I would be if I wasn’t pounding the pavement.

Here’s the start of the Cambridge 5K race.

One of the neat aspects of the course was that it went around Harvard University:

My per mile pace for this race was just under 10 minutes at 9:57. I think I can do better. The cold weather for this run made my lungs feel pretty sore. Next time, I think I’ll be faster. Running really isn’t that complicated. The more you run, the better you feel. The better you feel, the easier it is to run. Just keep running.

The Art of Moving: Purging and Packing

Purging and Packing

A friend of mine recently announced that she will be moving soon to begin a new job. She tweeted that she needed tips for how to “effectively and efficiently purge, then pack up, a household.” I have moved twice this year so I figured that it might be useful for me to share some of my thoughts on purging and packing. Continue reading The Art of Moving: Purging and Packing