Essential Tools Featuring Terry StarbuckerBy
In December 2006, a conversation with Liz Strauss inspired me to start a series on the Essential Tools of web professionals. Liz Strauss is the co-founder of the blogging conference SOBCon which is coming up the first weekend in May. I went to the conference last year and I am still reaping the benefits of the relationships established and formed. Today’s Essential Tools feature will spotlight Terry Starbucker, another co-founder of SOBCon.
Terry Starbucker is a service company executive with nearly 28 years in the business world. He writes about leadership and personal development on his blog, “Ramblings From a Glass Half Full“.
And now over to Terry:
This is a guest post I never thought I’d write. I come from a not-too-distant past of #2 pencils, 12-column pads and a 10-key calculator. That was the extent of my tools when I graduated college 28 years ago (I know, not too impressive). Plus, I’ve slowly and grudgingly adapted to the web tools of the early 21st Century, only going forward when pushed by my younger and more savvy friends.
Let’s just say that I’m a “lucky lagger”. And in the process, I’ve learned that the biggest, most important tool of them all remains something very, very analog – face to face contact.
What all these modern tools represent to me are new means to communicate, and yes, they are marvelous. They have opened up so many doors for me. However, if one is to fully leverage these tools, there has to be a human behind the picture or avatar.
I don’t believe I would have made the online strides that I have without taking that leap of faith with Liz Strauss in 2007 and starting SOBCon. That was the place where I could physically meet many of the people I had met through the web, forge deeper and more meaningful relationships, and get those “pushes” that I needed to try newer online tools.
I’m not advocating that everyone who reads this should start a conference, but making the effort to meet at least some of the people you are meeting online can pay some marvelous dividends, and I’m living proof of that.
Now that I’ve mentioned my important analog tool, here are my favorite digital ones:
- Thesis on WordPress – This is my blogging platform, and I’m very happy with it. I probably don’t even use half of the features that I could (remember that slowly part above?)
- Tweetdeck – I am a very active Tweeter, and this application helps me keep up with all those 140 character bursts in a very sensibly organized way.
- Blackberry – My constant companion. A multi-faceted friend that delivers my mail, makes old-style phone calls, puts the internet in my pocket, and allows me to Tweet from just about any place on the face of the earth (much to the chagrin of my wife)
- Skype – Just last week I started using this service, and it took me all of five minutes of crystal clear across the Atlantic conversation to wonder why it took me so long to download it.
- Foursquare – My new toy. I’m trying to be the mayor of my local Starbucks, even though for the life of me I can’t figure out why I really need to be.
Thanks Charlene for this opportunity to prove myself wrong, from a Half Full Lucky Lagger.
And thanks to you, Terry, for being part of this series. You can also follow Terry on Twitter (he’s @starbucker), where he loves to play virtual disk jockey and share his love of music, and on Facebook.
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