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Bathing in Blue

Walking on cloudsAfter weeks of intensity at work and in school, today was for self-care: laughter with friends, movement, meditation, massage, and a mani-pedi.

I’ve been wondering about self-love lately. How do we love ourselves? How does that manifest in our day-to-day lives. Today was full of self-love. Love all around, actually.

Two of the biggest challenges I have in showing love to myself manifest in food and movement. Days and weeks go by when I move consistently and eat my fill of vegetables. But, months and months go by when I sit and eat cookies. Cookies are my downfall.

Reveling in the luxury of caring for myself today, I wanted to extend that feeling. So, I had my nails painted blue. My usual color for nails is pale, pale pink. Today, I picked blue so that I’d remember feeling light as air today. I’d remember when I put food into my mouth, and I’d remember when I put my feet up on the couch.

Feel as light as air. Move. Eat. Care.

Living the Legacy of Rosie the Riveter

11953107_10152945421141058_5797728840367638356_nThis is me in Richmond, California a couple weeks ago, posing with friends. I felt like a World War II propaganda poster come to life!

We joined nearly 1,100 other women at Rosie the Riveter National Park on August 15 to honor our foremother’s work building the ships and planes of World War II and to commemorate 70 years since we defeated the Axis powers.

The National Park Service had put out challenge to beat the world record for number of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter in one place. Despite 90° heat, Rosies of all ages turned out, from toddlers to women in their 90s. We dressed to the nines in our finest industrial kitsch — wearing regulation heavyweight blue coveralls, with Timberland® style work boots and our hair swept up in red bandannas with white polka dots.20150815_125454

The Swinging Blues Stars entertained us with Andrews Sisters’ tunes, and original Rosies, who had worked in the Richmond Shipyard in their 20s, told their stories to all. One energetic Rosie had just retired from factory work in 2014. At 95 years old, she said she would still be working if the factory had not closed. Another said that working in the shipyard made her feel like she could do anything. Her husband did not agree, so she left him!

Looking out at more than 1,000 women in red polka dots, I realized that we weren’t just there to recognize the strength of our mothers and grandmothers. We were there to represent their legacy. It was a truly inspiring site.11951976_10152942990451058_3624243040146344545_n

The photo to the right is a screen shot from KQED’s video on the event, which really captures the spirit of  the day.

To read more about real Rosies and the direct influence they had on the next generation check out the website Rosie’s Daughters. It’s a treasure packed with personal stories and history.

Willie Williams, 4/2/57 to 7/22/08

Willie Williams,
Willie Williams in his sea kayak

One of the most active and healthy people you’ll ever meet, Willie Williams was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma early in 2006. Willie had already inspired so many people.

With the bravery and joy for life with which he faced his illness, he inspired and galvanized a community based on giving and receiving with love, careful honesty, and determination.

His good friends and colleagues David Yacubian and Lynn Petzold, remind us: “Navigate on the oceans and in life, Willie certainly did. He maintained his passion for sea kayaking, photography, music, natural history, the night sky/stars, always hiking,
paddling, & biking and doing yoga & meditation. He lived his life simply, with great love for his family, friends, students, and all of nature.”

Thank you, Willie, for everything you gave us.

An Excerpt from Willie’s Web Journal

“You asked about a sense of belonging, of faith in the rightness of life. You wondered how I navigate hardships that might make me lose faith…

“The earth and all the interconnected life and consciousness here is a huge cosmic stroke of luck and beauty.

Somehow we’ve been lucky enough, privileged enough, to be here now, and to be aware of it. The power and
depth of reflection, to realize this place in the universe, awes and humbles me.

For me, the rightness of life centers on extreme gratitude and appreciation. To share these feelings, to acknowledge this amazing gift, with other living creatures, is a large part of my faith. The impermanence of things, the duality of life, the suffering only brings me closer to the feelings of gratitude and appreciation for the simple beauties & happiness we receive.

We all know the world could disappear tomorrow – the sun could supernova or an asteroid take us out, or humans do something major. And all that would really matter is the quality of our lives, the love we shared, the gratitude we expressed, the joy of breathing… That’s a bit on the way I navigate thru life.”

Memorial Donations

Memorial donations may be made to the Willie Williams Wilderness Orientation (WO)
Scholarship at UC Santa Cruz (WO). The program was founded by Willie in 1983 with the hope was to create a 10 day backpacking expedition for incoming students. At the time, Willie was a student, a recreation leader and rock climbing instructor for the UCSC Recreation Program.

Since 1983 more than 2,000 incoming students have experienced the High Sierra through WO. The Willie Williams Scholarship provides full scholarships to students who would have otherwise been unable to attend. For more information about the program visit http://www.ucscrecreation.com.

All donations to the Willie Williams Wilderness Orientation Scholarship at UC Santa
Cruz are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to UC Santa Cruz Foundation with Willie Williams Wilderness Orientation Scholarship in the memo line. Mail to:
Wilderness Orientation
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High St. – OPERS
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Willie was also very active in the Sarcoma Alliance. For more information, visit the Sarcoma Alliance online.

Tags and Titles Enhance Your E-Reputation

So far this series about managing your online presence has covered:

Tags and titles are common optimization tools on websites, blogs, and media hosting sites. I haven’t seen a professional profile site that allows you to use them extensively, yet.

Approach titles and tags like you would approach headings and hyperlinks: Choose your words carefully.

Tags

Be sure to use your name as a tag when you publish a blog post or upload media to YouTube or another media sharing site.

Blogs and media hosting sites generally give you an option to tag your posts. Tags help site users search for information.

The option to tag usually appears below or to the right of the posting function. Some sites separate tags with commas. Others separate tags with just a space.

I recommend you tag with your first name, last name, and your full name without any commas. If I was working in a site that separated tags with spaces, I would enter my name like this:

kasha frese kashafrese

You should also include tags for your post’s subject matter. This will help position you as an expert in that field. (Positioning yourself as an expert could be a subject for a another whole series of blog posts!)

Titles

Start titles with your name, when appropriate.

Titles are usually available for posts, pictures, and hyperlinks on blogs and media hosting sites. Add titles whenever you have the option, and make them relevant to the material. Including your name in a title will help a post rank well on search engines.

I recommend that you begin your title with your name, if it seems appropriate. When people skim, they pick up the beginnings and endings of text blocks. If your title begins with your name, it will register with people who are viewing the page.

If you have access to the coding for a web page, create a title in HTML for the page. The page will be alphabetized by its title when someone bookmarks it, so use your first or last name as the first word of the page title.

If you’re working with a system that allows HTML and visual editing, you can create code for the page title without knowing a lot about HTML. A free, 5-minute tutorial from W3 Schools will teach you everything you need to do to create a title in HTML.

Use Headings and Hyperlinks to Optimize

Consider your name, use basic tools to create a professional presence online, then begin optimizing the information that you’d like to rank high on search engines. Headings and hyperlinks are among the most common optimization tools.

Headings

Search engine spiders value headings more than basic content. If you have the flexibility, use your name in headings on your professional profiles, websites, blogs, and articles.

Including your name in headings will help your professional material outrank pictures of you partying on your brother’s MySpace page.

Hyperlinks

Hyperlink your name, instead of “click here.” Much like headings, search spiders place greater value on hyperlinked words than basic content. So, click here to read comments by Kasha Frese on green business initiatives.

In addition, link your profiles, websites, blogs, and articles to each other. The credibility of a web page can be improved by hyperlinks. If sites that address similar subject matter link to the web page, it becomes a more credible source on that subject matter. The same dynamic applies to outgoing links (links from the web page to other sites on the same subject matter).

Next up. . . . Titles and Tags.

Basic Tools of E-Rep Management

The basic tools to manage your online reputation include:

  • Profiles
  • Comments
  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Media hosting and sharing sites, like YouTube and Flickr

Many of you are already familiar with these, so I’ll just give a brief introduction to each and some samples. Then I’ll move onto the good stuff, which will help you ensure that your professional information is at the top of page when your name is Googled.

Online Profiles

Build online profiles in professional networking sites.

Based on my experience, LinkedIn and Namyz will rank well. If you actively looking for employment, Jobfox allows you to create a free professional portfolio, including a map of your skills, results of personality tests, samples of your work, etc.

I’ve created profiles with a few other sites, but I don’t see the results on Google. Some are in Beta, which may explain it.

Some folks also create professional profiles on Facebook and MySpace. (I use them for more personal profiles.) Facebook profiles also rank well on Google. I don’t how the profiles on MySpace rank.

Comments, Opinions, and Reviews

Share comments on articles and blogs about your work and industry. Use your full name when posting.

I love Fast Company Magazine. As soon as I created a profile and started commenting on their articles, the pages appeared on searches for my name. So I know that my time is well invested there.

Book reviews on Amazon show up well. You can also review products there. I have also seen good results with letters submitted online to editors at SFGate.com and the Economist.

Websites

Create a website with your resume and samples of your work.

Weebly hosts free sites that are easy to build and show up well on search engines. You do not need to know any coding languages to build sites on Weebly, but you can add HTML if you like.

Blogs

Share your expertise or professional thoughts on a blog.

Search engines pick up all the pages on this WordPress.com blog. Whatever blog you choose, make sure that the service allows search engines to access the posts. Usually this information will be listed under features or addressed during set-up.

Articles

Publish or perish,” as they say in academia.

Most fields are not that extreme about it. No matter what your field or industry, you can submit articles or letters to online publications, just as you might to printed publications. Sites like ExpertArticles.com will publish your material for free. Be aware that you may be giving up some copy rights when you publish with sites like these.

Media Hosting and Sharing Sites

Share visual tours of your projects or professional expertise through photos and videos.

YouTube and Flickr are popular for video and photos, respectively. You can post both video and photos on Photobucket.

I posted short promotional films on YouTube that I helped produce. Other video sharing sites have picked these up, so now they appear multiple times in searches for “Kasha Frese” (a.k.a. me).

Consider Your Name

In managing your online reputation, start by giving some thought to your name. Is it fairly common? Almost exclusively unique? Give your name a Google and see what comes up. You might be surprised by how many people named Brady Atwood are out there.

The Common Name

If you have a common name, use your full name for professional materials.

If lots of Google results for your name that have nothing to do with you, consider using a more formal version of your name for professional purposes. Many folks do this already. Jim Ross might already use James R. Ross on his resume. Take this tact with your name in professionally-related materials, both online and off-line. When colleagues, potential clients and HR professionals search for you, they will associate the LinkedIn profile for James R. Ross directly with you and disregard the antics of Jim Ross, World Wrestling Entertainment commentator.

By using your full name, it becomes a more unique and unusual name. So, be sure to read the section below for tips on managing your newly unusual name.

The Unusual Name

If your name is as unusual as Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, lock up your personal material or use a pseudonym for personal posts.

I have the blessing and curse of an unusual name Kasha Frese. I don’t think you’ll ever meet anyone other than me with that exact first and last name. If you hear someone mention “Kasha Frese,” just assume they’re talking about me. Good or bad, they’re talking about me.

The same goes for search engines. When people put “Kasha Frese” into Google, any results with “Kasha” and “Frese” directly next to each other are going to be about me.

I don’t have the same worries that I might if my name was Jim Ross. Instead, I need to lock up any online material that I don’t want seen by the public at large. My Facebook and MySpace profiles are for friends and family, so they are set to private. I use a pseudonym when discussing my health or posting pictures of my cats. Those aren’t things potential clients or employers need to know.

I use my full name in professional profiles like LinkedIn and when I’m commenting on professionally-related articles. I also share light personal details about my life under my full name, so I don’t seem like a drone. But I keep the details private.

For example, I might mention publicly that I went hiking in Tennessee Valley over the weekend. But I’ll save the name of my date and all juicy details for my friends and family.

Transition into E-Reputation Management

I promised some folks at Linking Northern California Professionals that I would share my understanding of how basic search engine optimization principles can be employed to manage search results for a person’s name.

Every few months, I spot a news story about the personal impact of Google’s easy-access information portal. The impact is on people’s minds, especially those of us in the professional world. The shift reminds me of a more universal life transition: teenagers maturing into adults, or even more specifically, sophomoric college kids to respected professionals. In much the way that responsibilities and best practices slowly dawn on the newly responsible, our culture is grappling with the personal repercussions of others having easy access to our online lives.

Slowly, we’re beginning to wonder, “What does it mean to be a responsible adult online?” or “How might someone react to this post if it’s seen out of context?” or “How can I change or pro-actively create online behaviors that will reflect well on me in all current and future social circles?”

Last year, I overhauled a 700-page organizational website that had to include 8 different programs in 3 different locations with more than 15 different target audiences. The project was initiation by fire into the worlds of search engine optimization, information architecture and more.

Now that I am actively looking for a new position, I used some of what I learned in the web project to manage my online presence.

My next few posts will review the strategies and tools that I’ve used to mature my online presence. I’d love to learn from your experience, too. Please share your tips and thoughts in the comments!

Google Search

What do you want people to know about you?

Put my name into Google and you will see the results of many recent hours of work. I’ve been building my professional presence online.

It’s fun! And more than a little iterative.

Here’s why: I might create a web page with my name and all my wonderful accomplishments. The more web pages with related content that link to my original page, the more compelling Google finds my original page. So I’ve been creating pages and linking them to each other so that they will all rank high on Google. I’m also commenting on articles and writing this blog.

Here’s some places where you can find me:

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