Twitter made me who I am.

Twitter made me who I am

That probably sounds like a loaded claim, right? One more crazy social media obsessor, trying to find overt ways to justify our social media overuse. I know, the title’s a little “extreme.” Twitter isn’t the only thing that’s led me … Continue reading

Fringe benefits of social media…like a job. And free boots!

My last post was over three and a half weeks ago. Wow. That’s a long time. It’s because I’ve been busy living real life; sometimes, life goes so fast that you don’t have time or energy to document it. That’s the nature of social media: the thing we often write about and share online, will often keep us from the venues through which we share it.

I only have a week and a half left as a college student. That’s big enough news. (Also, can I take a moment to thank my awesome friends and family for a few early graduation/birthday gifts?)

This “Guy on a Buffalo” shirt was a graduation gift from my good friend Ty LeGarde over at Cowdog Blog. It says “PUNCH THAT COUGAR IN THE FACE.” I like to think the cougar is metaphorical for obstacles in life.

This BEAUTIFUL handmade jewelry box was care of Mike Davelaar, who I got to know through his involvement with The Truth About Agriculture and other agvocacy projects. It’s a one-of-a-kind, unique, beautiful gift. It also came with a very touching letter about the origins of the wood he chose for it.

And my absolutely fantastic family member bought me a….drumroll please…iPhone 4. And I am in love with it. And forever indebted to them for bringing this wonderful technological masterpiece into my life.

But there’s more.

Most of you probably already know this, but I’m sharing it here anyways. Continue reading

Just Farmers, College, Dogs, and More

Right now, the pressure is on. I’m facing down my future as a professional agricultural communicator, which I’m so excited about. I’m also preparing to relocate, take on an entirely new lifestyle, and start the next stage of my life. It’s amazing that after so much time, so many blog posts about preparing for graduation, and so many internships to prepare for “real life,” it’s almost here. So, the pressure’s on.

I’ve been neglecting this blog lately. And even as I sit here writing this post, there’s a million other ideas of things I’d love to chase down and wrangle into a comprehensive post. I have an AgNerd Design 101 post sitting behind the scenes, 2/3 of the way written. But, I need to focus on keeping a balance between what’s most important, what has the most potential, and what I enjoy the most. Continue reading

AgNerd Design 101: Design Vocab, Volume 1

My first AgNerd Design 101 post on filters and photo effects was fueled entirely by excitement. Because a lot of folks have different levels of graphics knowledge and varying degrees of skill, I’m going to step backward now and take a more calculated look at what I should be posting. Today’s post is a “back to basics” post. I want to cover some of the jargon that gets tossed around in art and design, so that the reference material is here and a foundation is set for word use in later posts. I’m kind of writing this “stream-of-consciousness” style as I randomly think of terms to define, so please bear with me.

Who’s ready to get your inner-designer juices flowing? Continue reading

#Agvodate, Cow Uteri, Fiberglass Chicken, Crow’s Feet, Vicodin

I’ve been out for the count most of the week. After a very hectic weekend, I didn’t feel up to organizing my thoughts into word form on Monday or Tuesday. Early Wednesday morning, I had a fun little trip to the E.R. that resulted in a strange combination of vicodin, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. I won’t give you all the details, but needless to say the last few days have been…interesting. Vicodin does weird things to the human brain.

So, instead of trying to collect the mushy, gooey, delirium-soaked mess of thoughts that have come across my mind in the last several days…I’ll just share some random tidbits. Continue reading

#Agvodate, Cow Uteri, Fiberglass Chicken, Crow’s Feet, Vicodin

I’ve been out for the count most of the week. After a very hectic weekend, I didn’t feel up to organizing my thoughts into word form on Monday or Tuesday. Early Wednesday morning, I had a fun little trip to the E.R. that resulted in a strange combination of vicodin, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. I won’t give you all the details, but needless to say the last few days have been…interesting. Vicodin does weird things to the human brain.

So, instead of trying to collect the mushy, gooey, delirium-soaked mess of thoughts that have come across my mind in the last several days…I’ll just share some random tidbits. Continue reading

#Agvodate, Cow Uteri, Fiberglass Chicken, Crow’s Feet, Vicodin

I’ve been out for the count most of the week. After a very hectic weekend, I didn’t feel up to organizing my thoughts into word form on Monday or Tuesday. Early Wednesday morning, I had a fun little trip to the E.R. that resulted in a strange combination of vicodin, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. I won’t give you all the details, but needless to say the last few days have been…interesting. Vicodin does weird things to the human brain.

So, instead of trying to collect the mushy, gooey, delirium-soaked mess of thoughts that have come across my mind in the last several days…I’ll just share some random tidbits. Continue reading

Country Folks Take Chicago By Storm

Tweetup: n. An organized or impromptu gathering of people that use Twitter. (A meet up of people that ‘tweet’ using Twitter.) “Are you going to the “tweetup” tonight?”

That is the UrbanDictionary.com #1 definition of “tweetup.” When people who chillax on Twitter decide they want to be “real life” friends, they have a tweetup. I, personally, have a ton of really great friends from Twitter, many of which I’d had the distinct pleasure of meeting. A few of them frequent a community called #Agvodate, where folks chat weekly about rural dating. Until recently, I had met all of my #Agvodate friends through other occasions. I met Drew at the 2010 AgChat Foundation conference. I met Rosie, Marie and Ryan at the 2011 AgChat conference, and Jesse made an appearance in Nashville before the conference began. A few weeks ago, I met my friend Aaron for supper and a movie (The Muppets) halfway between our hometowns.

Up until Aaron, I had never met any of my #Agvodate friends just because of #Agvodate. This kind of opened a can of worms for me; I’m addicted to spending in-person time with social media friends. In many ways, these people click with me on a level that I hadn’t found often in my suburban college setting. We can find people across vast geographical differences that fit our personalities, interests, and ideologies. Continue reading

Why I Tell My Friends Not to Follow Me on Twitter

There are a lot of different types of Twitter users. There are voyeurs, the people who follow and follow but hardly ever tweet. There are shouters, the people who blast their opinions (often radical or one-sided) into the darkness expecting people to give a care (and trying to stir up the water). There are casual, occasional users, who tweet periodically and may or may not engage in conversation occasionally. There are chatterbugs (me) who tweet frequently and use Twitter as a conversation platform more than as a one-way stream.

More and more, people that I’ve known prior to my social media career have begun joining the ranks of the Twitter users.

This terrifies me.

For starters, most of these people know me, but don’t really “get” what I do. They know I work in social media and digital communications, and they know that I “like farmers.” (Their words. I’m not sure what it means to simply “like farmers” but I’ll agree that yes, I indeed enjoy working with and being surrounded by the agriculture community.) So, these folks join Twitter. They say something on Facebook along the lines of, “omg i cant believe i joined the twitters” or “Well, I drank the Kool-Aid. I’m now part of the Twitter cult.” They often treat it like some sort of sacrifice, then they go on a mission to hunt out other people that they know who use Twitter.

Thumbs up for farmers!

Recently, one of my close friends created a Twitter account. I saw it on Facebook, but didn’t follow right away. I knew what would happen if I did. He’d follow me back, he’d be fine with it for a few days (he’d probably send me a text message or a mention to tell me I’m an addict), then the first Tuesday night would come and he’d be horror-struck by the amount of #agvodate tweets he’d see.

So, we saw each other a few days after he created the account. He knows that I spend a lot of time on social media and that it’s a part of my various jobs. Our conversation went something like this (not verbatim):

Him: Oh, by the way, I created a Twitter.
Me: I saw. I didn’t follow you, though.
Him: Why? I tweet good stuff!
Me: Because you would have followed me back. Don’t follow me.
Him: ………why?
Me: Because you will hate me if you do.
Him: I don’t get it.
Me: I tweet non-stop and I participate in Twitter chats. _______ tried following me for a while even though I told him not to and he unfollowed me because I tweet too much. And most of it was about farmers…or trying to date farmers.
Him: Oh. Okay. Uh, good luck with that.

This is the face he would have given me after a few days of following me on Twitter.

I have a very conversational presence on Twitter. I send out tweets. If someone responds, I try to maintain a dialogue. Or, if I see a tweet worth responding to, I use it as a platform to lead into a conversation. A lot of it is either related to agriculture, marketing/communications, or rural development. These aren’t things that most of my peers from my everyday life (primarily, college and people I grew up with) care to hear about, especially in the volume with which I tweet about these things.

It’s been a very strange experience. Up until recently, I felt I led something of a double life; I had my Twitter world, and my “real life” world. People on Twitter tend to see a much more confident, outgoing, grounded side of me. The people who deal with me in person more regularly often see someone who has bouts of social awkwardness, occasionally bordering on shy. They also see someone who works hard, but have no real understanding of what I do or what drives me. These two worlds very, very rarely ever intersected, and now they’re becoming closer and closer.

Just the other night, I had a fun conversation via Twitter with someone from my hometown. She was in my FFA chapter in high school and we interacted a lot through 4-H despite being in different clubs. Now, we hardly ever talk. She’s attending Texas Tech for agricultural communications, and joined Twitter shortly after she started there. She randomly responded to a tweet I sent out, and we talked about meeting up and catching up over break. (Come to find out, we’ll be sitting on a panel together for an English class at our old high school.) We also talked about the fact that I need to visit Texas, because I have a ton of friends there and, as this specific friend said, “There are lots of attractive cowboys.”

But, the title to this post is mildly misleading.

I have a lot – a LOT – of friends that I met via social media, especially Twitter. Many of these people are like family to me. They happen to be another reason for my excessive tweeting. It’s easy to be chatty when you’re surrounded by people you love conversing with. So, I suppose a more fitting title for this blog post would be, “Why I Tell My Friends From College and High School Not to Follow Me on Twitter Unless They Like Farmers.”

That would have been getting a little too lengthy, though.

In other news…

I survived the term with decent grades, I think. They haven’t been posted yet, though, so I’m still sweating it until they do go online. I’m home on break, and the trip I had planned to Iowa and Minnesota has been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. I’m bummed about it, but I know that there will be more opportunities later on to do these sort of things.

Be sure to join us for #agvodate tonight, starting at 9 p.m. CST. We’ll be hosted by Natalie, who goes by @AgGirl86. Also, I’ll be tag-team hosting the Rockin’ Rural Women chat on Facebook and Twitter Thursday night, complete with some giveaways and awesomeness. My co-host will be Tara Litzenbrger, also known as @JohnDeereTara.

Life is hectic, yo.

Until the next time I eek out a blog post…peace out.

Mixed Priorities

I’m a busy person.

This is not a secret or mystery, by any means. I work two jobs, I go to school full-time, and I volunteer with the AgChat Foundation. And I’m usually a “grab life by the horns” kind of girl. If there’s an opportunity to get involved, usually I’ll take it.

Tonight, I found myself auditioning for a series of mini-plays that our school’s theatre directing class puts on. These 10-15 minute plays serve as the finals for the students in the directing class. You can audition for as many or as few as you like. It’s been a tradition of mine to do these plays, known as “One-Acts”, and I’ve always enjoyed the experiences and friendships I’ve gained throughout. Two of my best friends were met through One-Acts. I auditioned for seven different One-Acts tonight, which is a fairly normal number.

When I checked the cast lists tonight, I found that my name was not included. I was sad, for a moment. Then I realized something: I’ve been burnt out on the things I’m passionate about lately, how could I possibly imagine taking on something so time-consuming and stressful as a short-term acting gig? I have to consider my priorities, and the things that have normally been at the top of the list have become scattered, unattended-to, and often forgotten. Even this blog, which I have a great emotional attachment to, has got without an update for too long.

This is a nice wake-up call.

I need to find my voice again. I need to find my feet and start walking back into the right direction. I’ve been a poor blogger, agvocate, and social media enthusiast.

It’s time to re-establish my priorities.

Thank you, theatre-disappointment, for reminding me what I’m truly passionate about.