All Me Posts Are Pirate Speak Now Mateys

Support your favorite pirate today! Yeah, it’s on the 19th this year, but I like to party like a pirate a little early. Never heard of Talk Like a Pirate Day? Only cool people do it, so if you aren’t doing it… Well, you already know you’re ‘that’ guy.  Sad…

Anyhoo!  Javascript insert created by Tom Hughes-Croucher of the amazing team at Yahoo! Developer Network.  Get your own Talk Like A Pirate Javascript code here!

BlogActionDay – Aging Out of Foster Care

In 1999, I met a young man named James. James was an 18 year old kid who had just finished his stint in foster care. At 18, they handed him a few hundred bucks ($200 if I remember correctly) and the clothing on his back and told him goodbye. Overnight, James had no home, the clothing he was wearing and $200.

James had nowhere to go so he came to our church looking for a place to stay. We helped James, but what James needed most was a job. We searched for a position for him, but at 18 he was unwilling to swallow his pride and take our charity for more than a few days. We got a call only a few days later from a bus stop. James was leaving and before we could get to him (and we tried to get there in time), he was gone.

I can’t help James. I know no more about him than I’ve stated above. He is a ghost, but one that reminds me constantly of the need for a real adjustment phase for foster kids.

Fosters don’t have much opportunity to get a job. They aren’t given a suit, aren’t given any more than a high school education and they have no one to push them to get fabulous grades so that they can get a scholarship. They begin their life knowing that no one really cares about them personally, though many (like me) may have the urge to help them.

What can we do?

1. Support Foster Initiatives
Volunteer to teach foster kids to sew, use a computer or whatever it is that you do. You can also donate.
2. Donate Backpacks
Foster kids get transferred often, and this happens during the oddest hours and under emotionally impactful circumstances. Many times these kids transport the very small amount of treasured belongings they have in a garbage bag. This just isn’t right! Keep your eyes open for flyers that ask for donations or get up off your couch (where I’m sitting right now) and call your local DeFACS office (listed in the white pages under ‘yourstatehere’ Department of Family and Children’s Services) to inquire about offering them bags.
3. Support Back To Work Initiatives
Suits for work for those who cannot afford them.
4. Pay attention
Pew Foster Care – Studies adoption and foster care and makes recommendations. Pay attention to what they say.
5. Donate to CapitalOne‘s college scholarships for Fosters.
6. Hear about life from foster kids
Check out this magazine for foster teens by foster teens.
7. Become a CASA
Court Appointed Special Advocate – I’m going to do this!
8. Adopt
Here, Here or Here.
9. Donate for change.
Dave Thomas was a foster kid and his legacy gift was to create an organization that helped fosters.
10. Stop Foster Care
Long range plan that’s worth taking a look at. Jim Casey was the founder of UPS.
11. Help them get a job
Jim Casey’s Foster’s to work initiative

Do you have a heart for foster kids? I’d love to hear how you would impact their lives.

Dadomatic – BlogHim?

After seeing a series of tweets from a broad range of cool men, I stumbled upon Chris Brogan‘s newest site, Dadomatic. The site is a range of posts from men who are taking fatherhood seriously.

From Eric Peterson:

Children can be so inspirational. It’s neat to see how they grow and develop, and even teach adults important lessons. So, that was my toddler taught adversity lesson. Or maybe it was actually a lesson on “independence” or “perseverance” or “toughness.” At any rate, it’s another valuable lesson from a special child!

From Scott Wilder:

In the pursuit of evaluating my stewardship of time; I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve allowed deadly toxins to invade my schedule. Toxins in the form of people and activities that impare my ability to lavish love and attention on my bride and forthcoming child.

From Joe Hage (on a subject we’re also dealing with at home):

Four-year-old Lukey got in trouble today.

Hitting at school. This after yesterday’s “pushing game” at school and the day before’s “spitting at school.”

This site gives a voice to a segment of people who rarely get to really talk about parenting. We applaud women as mothers, single mothers, females in general who blog, but when do we pat men on the back for the roles they play in our children’s lives? My husband is an amazing father, and I’m so glad to be able to show him this site and give him a way to speak out on the amazing things he does with our kids.

My only suggestion is to have the author’s names link to their home blog so when people (like me) quote this blog, we can link back to them correctly.

Thanks Chris, for giving men a community like

Community Managers Meetup #1

I just got back from the Community Managers Meetup in San Francisco, which was held at the Thirsty Bear Brewery. There was only a small crowd, but I think that’s how it goes when you are just starting a new group. Rich Reader, a social media consultant, and Adam Jackson, Community Manager at Yoono (firefox extension based on your social sphere), were there. Some of the topics we discussed:

Keeping the objective in mind
– what do you want to accomplish?
Measuring Success
– Metrics, growth, engagement, etc.

Next month we’ll be discussing the tools we use to manage our community, including how we measure success (since it was an interesting topic this time). If you are a community manager and would like to join us, the group on Upcoming is Community Management Meetup. We meet once a month, somewhere in San Fran.

Likewise, if you are a business that wants to host us one month, we’d love to take this to a place with a whiteboard occasionally. Email me at robyn at sleepyblogger dot com.

Open HackDay At Yahoo!

This is one of those things that you don’t want to miss. It’s limited to a few hundred developers and priority is being given to those devs who are hacking. Please request an invite here and add your name to Upcoming if you want to attend. We’ll be sending out invites shortly so act fast.

Community Management Wiki

Tilly and I set up a wiki over the weekend (thanks to a HUGE load of help from Wetpaint) and the barebones of our Community Managers group is up and running now.

Community Managers Wiki
I love working with CMs because they are motivated!  I sent out the invites around 11am and by 2pm, all but 3 of the folks we invited had accepted (and all of them had actually posted a pic!).  CMs just ‘get’ how to interact!

If you are a community manager or your job revolves around community management (ie social media strategist, evangelist, etc.) or if you know someone who is (lucky you!), then please let them know about our little group.

New DataPortability Logo Needed

After a cease and desist letter from Fedora, we learned our logo was a bit too much like theirs, and rather than waste resources saving the logo and fighting with a company many of us like, it seemed to make more sense to just ask the community to help us come up with another one. If you have mad design skills, please give us a hand with the new DataPortability logo. Details on Chris’ blog.

Another ‘Fear Twitter’ Post

Twitter Is Dangerous

Yeah right… Bloggers with their gloom and doom are more dangerous. The gist of this ‘fear twitter’ story is that people are, gasp, talking to more than one person!

Imagine this scenario: 20 people are in a confidential meeting, one of them using Twitter. This attendee broadcasts an off-hand “tweet” (Twitter comment) to his or her “followers” (Twitter friends). With traditional instant messaging, that message would be received by perhaps one or two others. With Twitter, that comment may be seen by 10, 100, 1000, or more followers.

Egads, perhaps they will leak their secret to 20 people, instead of 1 person. I have news for you pal, whether it’s to 1 or 20, leaks happen, and only a moron would leak on twitter with it attached PUBLICLY to his name. There’s your safeguard.

I suppose the selective hiring process will ensure that people with IQs of less than 50 won’t have access to such large secrets. There are no need for IT directives or corporate Twitter policies. I repeat, a Memo is not necessary. We all know that leaks in any form of communication is wrong.

But, back to the original discussion… I’d get away with leaking much easier if I just told one person in conversation via my text message, and then another later over drinks, than I would for tweeting a secret to 20 people. Twitter *is* like the watercooler, only this watercooler has a history of all conversations that are public. Leaks happen, and Twitter won’t make that any more possible that anything else. If you want to fear something, fear those new fangled phones. Every leak I’ve ever heard has come from either a phone or IM…

Why do I let myself get riled up by this obvious linkbait?