Tweeting about events

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In this season of BBQs, weddings, graduation parties, al fresco dinners and beach trips there are (hopefully!) countless invitations. Once you’ve landed a coveted invite, staying on the host’s good list is crucial, whether it’s your boss or the local socialite. So, when can you Tweet or post to Facebook about a private event?

This question is everywhere lately. Most recently, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle newsletter and website GOOP tried to answer this pressing etiquette question.

Her expert, Derek Blasberg is the editor at large of Harper’s Bazaar and Vman, senior editor of Vmagazine and current etiquette author. He urges social media happy guests to “take a cue from the host: If they’re the sort of person who is into social media and has already Tweeted about the fete, go for it. But if the host is the sort of person who abstains from Twitter and Facebook, keep your cameraphone pictures to yourself.”

Not to mention, an errant photo or post could easily end up hurting someone’s feelings who was not invited.  You don’t want to be that person.

Blasberg sums up the whole issue by reiterating, if you have any doubt, don’t share. “Once it’s on the Internet it’s impossible to take back. Besides, if the invitation was so fabulous you wanted to Tweet about it in the first place, you want to make sure you don’t offend the host so that you get invited back.”

Don’t be afraid to delete


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I recently saw this Tweet, from @EverythingMom, “Good point. RT @WhenIGroUpCoach (Michelle Ward): If an email is over 2 days over, you’ll probably never look at it again #sxswgetalife.” It made the rounds during South by Southwest and then again in the last couple of days.


At first, I thought the suggestion was crazy, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this it’s true. It’s rare that you need to re-vist an email more than two days later and if it’s important enough to view again, then you probably flagged it and saved it somewhere safe. Leaving old email in your inbox just creates electronic clutter and can stress some people out.

Many offices are trying to reduce electronic clutter by moving to a 120 day (or similar) policy. Meaning, if an email is older than 120 days and you haven’t moved it to a folder off the email server, it will be automatically deleted.

At first this unnerved me, but then after the first round of deletions I realized just how freeing it was!

Does your office have an auto delete policy? How do you feel about it?

What is a Business Plan?

Photo from: The Company Line Blog
A recent tweet from Rachel Lawley got me thinking about whether freelancers, consultants and contract employees could benefit from creating a business plan for themselves. But before we get into whether or not you need a business plan, let’s establish what one is.

Rachel is an Interactive Communications Manager who works as a consultant in business development. She acknowledges that creating a business plan can be intimidating. But, she says, in the end, it is worth it.

She recommends the template and guide on The Small Business Association. The main sections of a business plan are:
1. Executive Summary
2. Business Description and Vision
3. Defining the Market
4. Description of Product(s)/Service(s)
5. Organization and Management
6. Marketing and Sales Strategy
7. Financial Management

“Because companies that provide services can get a little stickier than those that provide products, don’t allow yourself to skip questions because you don’t think your service will have as much of an impact as a product,” Lawley said.

Her best advice is: don’t skip a question and say you’ll come back to it.

“Write down the first things that pop into your mind, and then allow yourself to come back to it,” she said.

That way, you have a good starting point.

“My theory is the more you dig and question these things when you’re still just starting, the stronger and more prepared you’ll be later,” she said.

Lawley says it is possible to run your business without a business plan, get clients and in two years, end up exactly where you want to be.

“Picture this, though: two years from now you want to develop a website for your services,” she said. “How are you going to sell your services? What do you want to specialize in — what type of client, industry, focus? Simply read through some of the templates for plans and you will get a good idea of what kinds of questions some of your competitors already know the answers to.”

Every business, large or small, should be keenly aware of the areas a business plan prompts you to think about – those areas help you define your company’s goals and purpose. Because the bottom line is, you want to make money, even if it is just a little on the side now.

Come back tomorrow for more details on why freelancers, consultants and contract employees should consider penning a business plan.