Lost and lucky in the city

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Inspiration on wheels

As I am a sucker for an innovative non-profit, last week I went to Chicago's South side to buy a bike specifically from Working Bikes. And not just the bike, I bought the bad-ass matching helmet and super-bright night lights to match.  I am determined to commute every where by bike at all hours; best to be prepared. 

Why Working Bikes? This non-profit takes used, worn down bikes, repairs them and then either resales them or donates them to people in countries based in South America or Africa (there's a list on the non-profit's website). Beyond the fact that this program offers a mode of transportation to people who seriously need it, this new found transportation allows people to help themselves which is infinitely powerful.

There are so many amazing non-profits out there trying to feed and clothe and whatnot.  However, once the food is gone the stomach will be empty again.  By educating people, giving them access to micro-loans and forms of transportation the giver is essentially giving the tools for one to flourish long-term. 

Working Bikes takes it a step further.  Not only is this non-profit doing good abroad, but here in Chicago they're selling used bikes at an extremely affordable price, as well as offering volunteer opportunities where people can learn to fix bikes while gaining a little work experience.

Cheers to Working Bikes for being innovative both at home and abroad. Check them out at http://www.workingbikes.org/.

Building a following via Twitter

Somewhere along the line I realized that being a social media consultant probably looks a lot more respectable if I put a little time into my own social media pages.  How can I endorse my talents when I haven't even built a personal following?

Now I am backtracking.  My passion for nutrition and food snobbery tumbles down my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline like an unrolled chain of xmas lights. But my professional background in social media - nowhere in sight. So today I put up an extra layer of lights to endorse my growing body of freelance work as a social media consultant.  My blog being a broken bulb will probably need the most work.  At least I kept the Twitter and Facebook up-to-date.

Lessons on Twitter surmised in under 8 hours (Mainly for the novice):

1. Follow influential people in your field and you will seem more influential in that field
2. Read the articles your retweeting aka post content that is engaging
3. Engage in the community versus tweeting your thoughts and feelings to the world
4. Don't be afraid to talk to strangers

Lesson I have yet to learn: Can one Twitter feed share two passions? Can I post a recipe one minute and a how-to guide on using LinkedIn as a marketing platform the next? Will keep you posted.