2012 in retrospect: a year of premieres

My fist open water triathlon in UsterLooking back on 2012 today, I realize that it was the year of maxima: I learned a lot, I moved (myself and sometimes others) a lot, I worked a lot, I found many new friends and I accomplished a lot. It was also the year of premieres: rarely have I tried, started and finished so many new things as in 2012. I’m not trying to impress anyone. Given that I’m always trying to live up to my own expectations, this post is rather aimed at myself as my own documentation of my actions in the past year. These little achievements might be meaningless to the world but are essential to me and my development.

These were some of my personal smaller and bigger milestones along the way:

I’m very thankful to have learned and grown so much this year. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my family and friends for caring and supporting me and to all of you out there who inspire and teach me every day (you know who you are).

Wishing you all a marvellous, enjoyable, healthy and successfull new 2013. Make the most of it, dare to dream and reach for the stars!

I believe in you.

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The purifying fire

Don Miguel Ruiz’ The four agreements has made a big impression on me. I’d like to share the last pages (134-138) of this inspiring guide to personal freedom with you which is the “Prayers” section of the book because it’s telling a beautiful story, the story of love.

Prayer for Love

We are going to share a beautiful dream together – a dream that you will love to have all of the time. In this dream you are in the middle of a beautiful, warm sunny day. You hear the birds, the wind, and a little river. You walk toward the river. At the edge of the river is an old man in meditation, and you see that out of his head comes a beautiful light of different colors. You try not to bother him, but he notices your presence and opens his eyes. He has the kind of eyes that are full of love and a big smile. You ask him how he is able to radiate all that beautiful light. You ask him if he can teach you to do what he is doing. He replies that many, many years ago he asked the same question of his teacher.

The old man begins to tell you his story: “My teacher opened his chest and took out his heart, and he took a beautiful flame from his heart. Then he opened my chest, opened my heart, and he put that little flame inside it. He put my heart back in my chest, and as soon as my heart was inside me, I felt intense love, because the flame he put in my heart was his own love.

“That flame grew in my heart and became a big, big fire – a fire that doesn’t burn, but purifies everything that it touches. And that fire touched each one of the cells of my body, and the cells of my body loved me back. I became one with my body, but my love grew even more. That fire touched every emotion of my mind, and all the emotions transformed into a strong and intense love. And I loved myself, completely and unconditionally.

“But the fire kept burning and I had the need to share my love. I decided to put a little piece of my love in every tree, and the trees loved me back, and I became one with the trees, but my love did not stop, it grew more, I put a piece of love in every flower, in the grass, in the earth and they loved me back, and we became one. And my love grew more and more to love every animal in the world. They responded to my love and they loved me back, and we became one. But my love kept growing and growing.

“I put a piece of my love in every crystal, in every stone in the ground, in the dirt, in the metals, and they loved me back, and I became one with the earth. And then I decided to put my love in the water, in the oceans, in the rivers, in the rain, in the snow. And they loved me back and we became one. And still my love grew more and more. I decided to give my love to the air, to the wind. I felt a strong communion with the wind, with the oceans, with nature, and my love grew and grew.

“I turned my head to the sky, to the sun, to the stars, and put a little piece of my love in every star, in the moon, in the sun, and they loved me back. And I became one with the moon and the sun and the stars, and my love kept growing and growing. And I put a little piece of my love in every human, and I became one with the whole of humanity. Wherever I go, whomever I meet, I see myself in their eyes, because I am a part of everything, because I love.”

And than the old man opens his own chest, takes out his heart with that beautiful flame inside, and he puts that flame in your heart. And now that love is growing inside of you. Now you are one with the wind, with the water, with the stars, with all of nature, with all animals, and with all humans. You feel the heat and light emanating from the flame in your heart. Out of your head shines a beautiful light of different colors. You are radiant with the glow of love and you pray:

Thank you, Creator of the Universe, for the gift of life you have given me. Thank you for giving me everything that I have ever truly needed. Thank you for the opportunity to experience this beautiful body and this wonderful mind. Thank you for living inside me with all your love, with all your pure and boundless spirit, with your warm and radiant light.

Thank you for using my words, for using my eyes, for using my heart to share your love wherever I go. I love you just the way you are, and because I am your creation, I love myself just the way I am. Help me to keep the love and the peace in my heart and to make that love a new way of life, that I may live in love the rest of my life. Amen.

 

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Love, always!

Is true and everlasting love a myth? There is so much to make us believe this: heartbreaking stories of betrayal, unreturned love, dying love, selfish love, jealous love, and so on. We’ve witnessed it many times over how two people that appear perfectly happy and in love with each other can end things seemingly out of the blue after many years of a serious relationship stating that they have distanced themselves from one another, that they have fallen out of love with one another. I’m sure that many of us have observed that many people are physically close or share enormous intimacy without being involved with each other on a mental and emotional level. We’ve probably also seen people living in a relationship consisting of routine and rather rare love expressions almost “platonically” under the same roof. And we’ve surely heard many complain about how boring their relationship has become, how they have lost the spark and thrill of the initial phase.

Love changes things and love itself changes, too. It can never simply stay the emotional thrill it was in the beginning because after a while this, too, would become…boring. And love won’t ever be the fairy tale our culture has infiltrated our minds with. Because love endures in the mind and the mind only. Long after our body has aged or become unable to physically love, we feel love in our hearts and minds. This is the only place love can live eternally, and therefore its true home.

The same way we learn to develop our mind in school, at work etc., we can develop and grow our love by working on our positive emotions. In order to love and be worthy of loving eternally, we have to first find love – and there are indications that we have more than just one soul mate to fit us – and then earn love, as well as to commit ourselves to work on it unceasingly, without pause. This implies to free ourselves of all jealousy, expectations, selfishness, egocentricity or egotism. Expect nothing, give everything, and hope for the best.

Returning to the initial question – if true love really exists for the length of a lifetime – I’m happy to say – it does!

Let me tell you my grandparents’ love story. My grandfather Kosta met my 19 years old grandmother Ivanka – whom everyone called Ani – when he was 23 years old in a comsomol summer camp in 1950 communist Bulgaria, more specifically in the idyllic and secluded resort Yundola at the Western end of the Rhodope Mountains. Kosta was a favorite of many young women, but he only had eyes for Ani given that she was not only ravishingly beautiful, a so to speak Bulgarian (and much skinnier) version of Marilyn Monroe, but also had a very unique congeniality, spirit and goodness about her. And so it came about that it was her address only he asked for in the train back home. He wrote to her regularly for the duration of one year from his home town Burgas on the Black Sea coast where he worked as a drapery salesman. She lived in Kazanlak, Central Bulgaria, and worked as a hairdresser. In 1951, they finally met again, one full year after their first meeting in Yundola. Ani came to see him for a few days in Burgas, and it was then when Kosta’s close friend made him realize that “this girl was made for him”. A few months later, they got married and he moved to Kazanlak where they still live. Three children and 60 years of marriage later, they’re still in love, and they can’t stand to be apart. They simply adore one another and have loved each other through every pain and problem along the way – and there have been enough, given their relative modest standing in life. This is who they are today.

So how did they make it? What was the secret of their love? – I might as well tell you: there isn’t! There only is commitment to let love live in your mind and heart and work to keep it alive, not physically alive, but emotionally and spiritually. How? As already stated above: by expecting nothing, giving everything and…hoping for the best.

Love, always!

Shania Twain – Forever And For Always

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Bulgaria 2.0

It’s been two years since my last journey to the Wild East, and my home country – Bulgaria – in particular. The last time before that also dates two years back. Each time, I discover new sides of what I came to know as the home of anarchy, misery and radical contrasts. This wasn’t always my opinion. I used to have a very misty-eyed and romantically idealized view of the place of my origin. Given that my childhood was one of relative poverty but great happiness and I felt part of a social network that gave me a sense of belonging and meaningfulness, I used to come home every time I set foot on Bulgarian ground. Over the years, the homecoming gradually turned to a going away and eventually to a being abroad.

Today, as with so many things, I see Bulgaria with different eyes, the eyes of the analyst who scrutinizes the environment with the unbiased attitude of a distant observer. What strikes me as most interesting is the obvious clash of different societal levels, cultures and realities. There are no words to depict the extreme discrepancies between the big cities and the rural regions, the richest and poorest inhabitants, the political intentions and harsh facts, the snobbish arrogance of urban population and the hearty hospitality of simple country people, the modernity and openness of views and the traditional narrow-mindedness as well as arbitrary mixtures and combinations of these characteristics.

And despite the very particular experience of feeling a bit Bulgarian again, there is the far more important finding that transcends all differences of space and time: cultural heritage might be severe, but generations change and a new dawn is breaking on this country that faces all the issues of fast-paced transition and the extremes that go with it. There will be societal progress, there will be legitimate prosperity, there will be the rule of law – as long as there is someone to believe in it and as long as there is…time. Time and time again will make the difference, when new generations take the lead and leverage the incredible potential of this beautiful, fertile and fascinating realm called Bulgaria.

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People business

There’s a lot of talk and theory dust raising among leadership gurus and people management experts. We’ve heard it all before: ranging from different leadership styles, emotional intelligence tactics and team building strategies, there seems to be an enormous bulk of literature dealing with the “right way to manage people”. I’ve dug deep into the demanding concepts and sophisticated models of “geometric leadership” and “team effectiveness”. What I can say after weeks of “in-depth” engagement with this rather “heavy” matter is: It all comes down to employee satisfaction.

Why do the best workplaces have the highest retention of the best human resources? Because they have found effective ways to keep their employees happy. How do they do that is the question we need to answer. In times like these where workforces become more diverse and dispersed (working in virtual environments from all points of the globe), the challenge to keep the best people in one’s organization is growing immeasurably. So the best workplaces are always looking for and implementing innovative ways of creating personal and meaningful connections with their employees. Because in the end every business is a people business. The greatest workplaces keep in mind that there’s one constant when working with people: the people themselves- they might be diverse, but people will always be people and as such, you have to find human approaches to show them your appreciation of their work and contribution to the whole.

Yon cannot treat everyone the same way. Every person needs another approach, has different needs, wishes, problems, issues, perspectives, understanding. This is why we need the so called “social skills” and individual ways and means to keep employees happy. Let us just have a short look at the most innovative and successful “employee keepers” worldwide and see the strategies they employ that is what they’re doing to show their employees that they really matter.

1. You belong to something big: Many of the best workplaces take steps to show individuals how their work is directly connected to the company’s strategy and purpose.

  • Quintiles, a US pharmaceutical services company, makes strategy accessible to its employees by an interactive strategy corner in its intranet with videos, strategy maps and podcasts helping employees understand how they contribute to the big picture and give feedback to the process.
  • Danone UK, a subsidiary of the international food products company, has a program called “Do you dare to dream?” and is structured around encouraging and rewarding behavior in three areas: do, dare, and dream. Employees are given a “dream cloud” that is a piece of paper where they can write down their dream. The dream cloud is visible to everyone within the company because the dream clouds are posted on a wall with all the others: on a “dream board”. Every month, the staff votes on which dream the company should make come true. Danone fully funds the dream of the person who receives the most votes.

2. We understand and support you: The best workplaces have developed an increasingly sophisticated understanding of their employees’ needs in their personal lives and strive to meet them with tailored  benefits adapted to the employees’ chaging needs at differnt points of their lives.

  • Noblis, a US non-profit research corporation, understood that its employees belong to the “sandwich generation” – raising children and taking care of aging parents. Therefore, Noblis expanded its employee benefit program to include geriatric care for the employees’ elderly parents while at the same time offering day-care solutions for employees’ children.
  • Fater, an Italian manufacturer of sanitary products, allows its people facing financial problems interest-free loans to be returned in monthly installments. Fater’s employees can also take time off for family-related issues and there’s also a “solidarity fund” contributed to by employees with a company match, supporting health-related expenses of co-workers.

3. We have the right solution for you: The best workplaces take efforts to personalize career development and scheduling, while they’re moving away from the one-size-fits-all programs.

  • Microsoft believes that for employees to realize their full potential, they must succeed in their personal lives as well as at work. Mircosoft supports this through innumerable programs focused on promoting work-life balance.
  • At Novozymes Denmark, a global producer of industrial enzymes, there’s a career development system called “The Triple Career Ladder” that gives employees the possibility to a personalized professional development where you can choose to become a people manager, a skilled specialist or a project manager. The ladder allows employees to change direction if their needs, interest and wishes change during different phases of their life.

4. We share with you and make it personal: The best companies are great communicators. They exhibit strong information sharing practices as well as effective and passionate ways of hearing employees’ suggestions and questions and making the business about them while showing the human side of leadership. What most importantly differentiates the best workplaces from others is the content of communication. Leaders not only share the big picture but the personal side of information, for example emotional reactions to news, personal takes on values, or simply hobbies and interests. These efforts strenghten the bond between employees and leadership.

  • At Philips, the company’s global leaders blog about their opinion about the implementation of Philip’s mission and vision in the organization’s intranet. The “my view” blog is an effort to show employees the importance of individual opinions to the company.
  • Cisco, US maker of networking and communication technology, shares news and information with its employees by means of blogs, video-on-demand and internal television programs. The management shares thoughts by recording short videos to accompany its message.

5. We connect you with your mates: Technology is not only being used to connect top management with employees but to empower social connections between employees across the organization. The best workplaces actively build and promote strong social connections between their employees.

  • Deloitte, the international accounting and consulting firm, has 170’000 employees in 140 countries. To keep a bond between them, Deloitte invested in an “in-house Facebook” called “D Street” allowing people to create new networks online, to collaborate, get to know each other by means of a personal online profile from which to extend their own personal brand with their photos, favorite music, recipes, current reading lists, hobbies etc. and quickly locate employees with similar interests. Everything from a favorite song, college alma mater or non-profit interest can be searched and shared, allowing Deloitte’s employees to create communities and become friends. D Street enables employees to blog, and currently over 1’800 of Deloitte’s people blog on their D Street page.

Conclusion?

The best workplaces consciously and proactively cultivate a deeper understanding of their employees and take numerous steps to involve their people and listen to them.

Because in the end, it’s all about the people.

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The winds of change

Who would have thought that 2010 would be the year of total transformation in my life? The year where Sleeping Beauty finally awoke from her deep and dreamless sleep by means of fate’s intervention and rediscovered life’s great ways? I wouldn’t. So wouldn’t have all my acquaitances, friends and family. But it happened and it was scary for a second, but also amazingly wonderful! The winds of change swept me off to new experiences, new worlds, new liberties and joyful situations, and there isn’t a thing I’m sorry for. Looking back at the past year on the last of its calendar days, I would do the same all over again without batting an eye.

What’s more: I not only came back to my dreams, to the person I once was but I also renewed my faith in the universe’s greatness and God’s unfathomed ways of showing us the essentials of life.

Yes, I turned my back on a very long relationship with 29. Yes, I moved to my first own place with 29. Yes, I lived secluded from the world for a long, long time, almost forgot about my hopes and wishes and lost my self-esteem. But…

I broke out of my apathy. There was this moment that turned everything around, a decisive opportunity which happens very rarely in a person’s life that provided me with one of the most central insights ever:  Don’t wait! Live now! Enjoy now! You don’t want to arrive at the end of your life realizing that you experienced it as a ride you forgot to buy a ticket for.

What 2010 demonstrated impressively was something I always knew about myself but never in such a clear and certain manner: I am a fighter. I never give up. I always stay positive despite every bad turn, every disappointment, every seemingly huge drawback and hurdle: I drop down for a moment, I cry, I mourn my loss only to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes, stronger, smarter, happier and more powerful than before. I enjoy mastering the challenge, putting everything I have into it to earn the outcome and relish the result.

This is how I managed to live through the biggest work project in my professional career so far without giving up, working full time and studying for my MBA at the same time, moving into my first place and buying all the household effects one needs, working out like a total nuts and partying like a wild. I redescoved how fun it is to…HAVE FUN. :-)

2010 was a turning point in my life and something tells me that 2011 will be even greater than my imagination could ever encompass.

This is what I’m thankful for: a new life, a new challenge, a new beginning.

It’s a moment for life.

Happy 2011!

Nicki Minaj feat. Drake: Moment for Life (Pink Friday)

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Once upon a time in the East

The funny thing about growing up in the communist East is that we hardly had anything, but we were extremely happy! I remember how there was nothing grander in life than getting a couple of bananas, tangerines and oranges for Christmas which my father had purchased after standing in line for 4 hours.

I also remember how there were electricity and heating blackouts enforced by the state as economization means and how we used to sit in the kitchen, covered with blankets, quietly talking and eating in the candlelight.

I remember my mother baking incredible cakes and three-layer tartes with different colors and creams with the simplest cooking utensils because there weren’t any great desserts in the stores and people had to cook everything themselves.

I remember how we spent hours and hours every weekend out in the field, working in our garden plot, cultivating our own cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and sunflowers and how we baked the sunflower seeds with salt in the oven and chewed on them for hours in the frontyard of our 12 story apartment building where we lived on the last floor.

I’ll never forget how my father, the engineer, had one of his many genious moments when he set up a small black-and-white TV set in the kitchen and connected it to a car battery so we could watch TV during electricity blackouts and how I stunned the kids in school when I was asked what we were doing when they cut the power and I answered: “We watch TV.”

I’ll surely never forget the incredible earthquakes we lived through on the 12th floor and what kind of a feeling it was to be in a building with moving walls and to be running down the stairs floor after floor for an eternity while seeing everything  in slow motion.

My favorite childhood memories were the summers spent at the Black Sea. There was no greater happiness then to play in the sand and feel the ocean water wash around one’s feet and the warm rays of sunlight caressing one’s skin.

Those were the days!

Mary Hopkins: Those Were the Days (100 Love)

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2500 years of marathon: Niki!

“Niki!” is short for “Νενικήκαμεν” (“Nenikékamen”) which means “We have won” or “Victory” in Greek. It was the message the Athenian soldier Pheidippides delivered to Athens after the Athenians won the battle of Marathon against the overpowering Persians in September of 490 BC. Legend has it that Pheidippides ran the 40 kilometers or 25 miles from Marathon to Athens without stopping, after having fought in the battle himself.  Pheidippides delivered the message of victory, whereupon he collapsed and died.

In 490 BC the Persian Army had mustered an estimated 150,000 troops to invade Greece, in order to punish Athens for their part in the Ionian Revolt. Led by Generals Datis and Artaphernes, their attack was launched from the Marathon gulf. The Athenian forces consisted of 10,000 citizen-soldiers, including 1,000 soldiers from Plataea, and were lead by General Miltiades. The two forces met near the small village of Marathon to the north of Athens, in September 490 BC. The Persian military was considered one of the greatest fighting forces of the era, and the Athenians were fighting against all odds. Despite being greatly outnumbered the Athenians fought bravely and won the Marathon battle. The casualties were recorded as 192 Athenians, 11 Plataeans and 6,400 Persians.

At the 1908 Olympic Games in London the original marathon distance of 40 kilometers was changed to 42,195 kilometeres or 26 miles and 385 yards to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium, so the race could finish in front of the royal family’s viewing box.

With its 42,195 kilometers the marathon is the longest Olympic discipline in athletic sports. Since 1896 the marathon is being run by men at the Olympic Games. Since 1984 also by women. Apparently, 88 years had to go by for women to officially compete in this discipline! The official marathon world record to date is being held by the Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie with a time of 2:03:59 and the Brit Paula Radcliff with 2:15:25.

On Sunday, October 31, 2010, the marathon is celebrating its 2500th anniversary. It’s the day, I’m running the marathon in Lucerne and the day of Pheidippides’s heroic run to Athens. It’s the day we’re celebrating one of the greatest challenges for the human body and the day on which we remember the marathon’s long historic tradition and praise the enormous power of the human mind over the body. It reminds us of those Athenian citizen-soldiers fighting against sure death and winning. It has something transcendental, something uplifting and inspiring: When you’re running the last kilometer of these 42,195, you feel in trance, almost like standing outside of your body, looking down on yourself. It surely is one of the most powerful experiences for anyone looking to overcome inner and outer barriers and limits!

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Missing America

Did I ever tell you about my amazing holiday trip to the U. S. of. A.? In July 2009, I spent one whole month in the country that kept exerting a pull on me ever since I set foot on it for the first time in 1998. Beginning in the fabulous Big Apple and flying over to my favorite city San Francisco, we spent some incredible days there before driving with our rented Ford Mustang convertible over the Golden Gate Bridge to Napa for exquisite wine tastings. We then continued down the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey and stayed several days in L. A., Santa Barbara as well as San Diego before crossing the desert to reach Phoenix, Arizona, thereafter enjoying a Safari Jeep tour in the Grand Canyon. We concluded our trip in Monument Valley, Utah, my personal world wonder that has deeply touched and exceedingly inspired me. Here just a few of the countless photos, an expression of my endless nostalgia and craving for this beautiful country.

Full Intention vs. Marco Demark & Dave Manna: America (I Love America) (Jolyon Petch Mix) (House Area Volume 2010.2)

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Social media: Power to the people

My two current courses at the Robert Kennedy Online College “E-commerce” and “Entrepreneurship” surely keep me more than busy. While reading a text from the inventor of the computer spreadsheet, Dan Bricklin, about the “Natural-Born Entrepreneur”, I came upon a passage treating the question what people will pay for. The author advanced the view that people would pay for the privilege of saying “hi”, flirting, chitchatting about their thoughts and days, and coordinating activities with their buddies and families:

“People engange in all sorts of seemingly mundane and trivial activities: forwarding jokes to people, recommending URLs, arranging dinner plans, and, yes, gossiping” (Bricklin, 2001:6).

It came to my mind how powerful the web 2.0 revolution has made us people in matters of expressing who we are and what we think. Web 2.0 has become the framework for bringing together the contributions of millions of people, no matter how small and inconsequential or huge and significant they are. Web 2.0 applications make everyone’s work, thoughts, opinions, and essentially their identity, matter. It’s like people getting married just to ensure that their lives don’t go unnoticed, that they have a witness for their lives, someone who follows one’s life’s events…no matter how insignificant they might be. Nowadays, there are several other tools for making yourself visible to a much bigger audience than the guests at your wedding and important to others: web 2.0.

If web 1.0 was organized around pages, software, technology and corporations, web 2.0 is organized around ordinary people and services: hobbyists, diarists, armchair pundits, people just sharing their two cents’ worth through blogs, wikies, social networks and videos using the web’s evolving conversation for the sheer joy of it. To me, web 2.0 is the hallmark of a youthful rebellion against the conventional social order and it is making many conventional media companies tremble given that it is a large and very powerful social experiment on a global scale. The question is: Will the web 2.0 influence truly benefit us or will we suffer because of it?

I tend towards the first possible answer: It will benefit us. Why? Because it increases democratization. Access to consumer-generated content facilitated by web 2.0 brings the web closer to the concept of the web as a democratic, personal, and do-it-yourself medium of communications. Web 2.0 is about everyday people (you and me) using the web for communication, collaboration and creation! With social media networks – the main expression of web 2.0 today – we tap into the collective creative intelligence of users. The more users contribute, the more popular and valuable a web 2.0 site becomes. Why? Because two heads are smarter than one, and four heads are smarter than two…The collective wisdom of the world comes together in social media to form a candid forum to which traditional organizations find it hard to adjust.

Social media is the most powerful democratization force: While traditional media content goes from the technology to the people, people create and control the content in social media. I found a very compelling overview of the ground rules of social media from Hinchcliffe (2007):

1. Communication in the form of conversation, not monologue: This implies that social media must facilitate two-way discussions, discourse, and debate with little or no moderation or censorship. In other words, the increasingly omnipresent comments sections of your website or local blog or media sharing site is NOT optional and must be open to everyone.

2. Participants in social media are PEOPLE, NOT ORGANIZATIONS! A third-person voice is discouraged. The source of ideas and participation is clearly identified and associated with the individuals that contributed them. Anonymity is discouraged! Force yourself to get personal, otherwise your users, surfers and followers won’t perceive your humanity and likeability. No one likes to talk to a soulless machine!

3. Honesty and transparency are CORE values. Don’t spin, control, manipulate or spam the conversation! Let people share their blatant opions, even if you, as a company, don’t like it. Opponent opinions are part of democracy, they are part of the dialogue, don’t shut them down!

4. It’s all about PULL, NOT PUSH: Push-based systems like one-way marketing, advertising and command-and-control management are nowhere near as efficient as pull systems. Pull systems let people bring to them the content and relationships that they want, instead of having an external entitiy force it upon them. One of the core techniques of shaping a social media community is understanding how to embrace the pull instead of push. In social media, people are in control of their conversations, not the pushers. If you recognize this fact, you will succeed in attracting communities.

5. Distribution instead of centralization: One often overlooked aspect of social media is the fact that the participants in the dialogue are many and varied. Gone are the doubts and fears of having just a few media organizations control the creation of content, thoughts, news and their distribution. Social media are highly distributed and made up of tens of millions of voices making it far more textured, rich and heterogenous than old media could ever be.

Web 2.0 gives ordinary people the opportunity to create a new form of person-to-person, citizen-to-citizen relationship. You and I have not only changed the world but we have also changed the way the world changes.

Arrested Development: Everyday People

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