Accommodations in Paris

Where Will We Visit in France? First Stop Paris

Here’s a map of our itinerary. While it’s not set in stone, and I fully anticipate we will diverge from the plan, it was necessary to roughly map it out so we wouldn’t end up sleeping in the streets.

Map of route from Paris to Mont St MichelHighlights include Paris of course, a visit to Monet’s Gardens at Giverny and road trip to Mont Saint Michel along the Normandy Coast. We’ll be renting a car for the 3-hour drive, so who knows what quaint little village we may choose to stay in. There’s some flexibility built into this adventure.

Where Shall We Sleep in Paris?

The Latin Quarter, aka Rive-Gauche, is in the 4th and 5th arrondissements of Paris. It is situated on the left bank of the Seine, with the historic Sorbonne at its heart. I selected this area for a few reasons. Having a natural thirst for learning, it only seemed appropriate as it is home to France’s most prestigious universities and colleges. The creative side of me wants to experience the St Germain area as it has been the meeting place for the left bank’s artists and writers over many centuries. Continue reading

Countdown to Paris

I thought I’d divert from my typical workaholic tendencies to share my stories of my upcoming vacation and the stories along the way.Thirty days from now I’ll be boarding a plane to Paris with my childhood friend in search of a grand adventure.

Planning for Paris Begins

I’ve been talking about taking this trip for well over 15 years, and this year I finally put my foot down and said, “I’m going to Paris. Alone or with a friend, but I’m going.”

My girlfriend, Jonell, stepped up and said she’d love to go. In December, we started getting serious about our planning. I started watching the airfares and watched them fluctuate between $1200 and $1600 for weeks. We hadn’t quite decided when we would go, but after looking at the pros and cons we settled on the last two weeks of May. With the Memorial Day holiday included, we could enjoy our time away from work, see the sights and only use up 10 days of our vacation time. Finally, in January they hit $1089 and we booked our flights. Continue reading

The Demise of RSS and Google Reader

By now you’ve probably heard that Google is scraping it’s Google Reader product. With the advent of social media I can’t say that I’m surprise. The writing was on the proverbial wall.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and readers were always better suited for “power users” – those who consume a large volume of content on a daily basis. The general public never really caught on to the benefits or understood just how to set it up because they weren’t really all that simple.

The demise of RSS doesn’t sadden me one bit, even as a power user, because my habits for consuming content have almost completely switched to my social networks.

When I want to know what’s going on I turn naturally to my Twitter feed to stay on top on my industry and peers, my Facebook to connect with friends, family and to see what my favorite Brands are up to and Google+ for developing new interests and meeting new like-minded people. I use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and see what news they have to share. Continue reading

Using Twitter to Hire Social Media Marketer, No Paper Resumes Accepted

Today I was lurking on Twitter while watching a movie on TV when a post came through from @ValaAfshar, who is the CMO and the Chief Customer Officer for Enterasys Networks. I noticed he was going to use Twitter to hire a social media marketer.

tweet from Vala Afshar

When I read that tweet, my first thought was, damn right it could! Why? Because if it weren’t for Twitter I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was sitting at home one Saturday evening in October watching a World Series game, tweeting about the game. All of which was VERY out of character for me. I rarely sat home on a Saturday, I rarely watch baseball, and at that time, I had NEVER  tweeted while watching TV or followed a baseball hashtag. Across the screen came a tweet about a Social Media Manager position in Pittsburgh. I responded to the tweet and well, the rest is history. I got the job.

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I Made the Top 1% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn for 2012

image 1% on LinkedInLast month, LinkedIn announced that they had hit the 200 million member mark. A hearty congratulations to the Company and their team! This week they started sending out congratulatory emails to members to thank them for contributing to their success. I happened make the top 1% viewed profiles.

What was really exciting to me was to get emails from my co-workers wanting to share their emails from LinkedIn. We’ve been working really hard to help everyone understand the value of social and building their personal brand online. Looks like we’re making some great progress. Some came in at 10% while others came in at 5%. I’m very proud of them.

I also think this is going to spur a little friendly competition for them to work hard to get themselves into the 1% club.