I have consolidated my blogspace to http://www.helenmosher.com . The architecture is still in progress as are the archive migrations, and I’m not totally happy with the template as I’d hoped to find one that did a good job of being half blog, half magazine, but right now it’s like all one or the other.

I hope to dig up the plugin that allows you to subscribe to category feeds, as media evolution and its role in association communications will still be a “channel” there.

I’m going to incorporate x.0 into the mix somehow, because really I’m that sort of person… I can talk about this and that 2.0, and pretty soon it will be 3.0, and so on.

But of course since I have a variable for a title, let me also get on that mathy bandwagon and wish you all a happy pi day.

See you over at the big blog!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Now that I’m using a new browser called Flock, I can post to any of my blogs through one innocuous window. This after spending a lot of hours trying to consolidate to Gallycat only to realize that I was making a huge mistake in trying to consolidate my blogs into the one blog that’s a homophone for an A-list publishing blog. Even though Ron and I have corresponded and I keep a disambiguation place parked there just to be safe (though I have been blogging as Gallycat since 2002)… still. I realized, a lot of what I want to talk about and haven’t been able to is more appropriate for expointoh. So then I had the brilliant idea–give myself access as Gallycat to expointoh, especially now that I have flock!

That said, I still intend to migrate. But expointoh is damn catchier than Gallycat (which I’ve usually had to explain 30 times over as my own attempt to run away from my goth nickname of Helcat, and it’s an attempt that worked about as well as trying to persuade my high school chums that I wanted to be called Siobhan), and brimming over as I am about social media, new media and virtual worlds (having carved out a strategy for our association in second life to a degree that even SL skeptic Jeff De Cagna nodded that we might be on to something).

So where will I be moving? To helenmosher.com, of course, because that’s who I am becoming. At some point probably this year (we’ve changed the date enough times that I think know it’s just going to have to be an elopement) I am *dropping* my maiden name altogether and to that end, resolve once and for all how to keep my work life and blogging self separate. That, and though I work for an association, I also consultant do work for churches, higher-ed institutions, and so on. While many social media strategists look at how to use these platforms for business, I guess I’m looking at them through the dot-org/gov/mil lens, and right now the gov/mil aspect is high on my radar because of the day job.

So I’m pleased to say that one of the things we’re doing as part of our new Solutions series at AFCEA is a two-day event, next week, about information sharing, and one of the things we’re going to be talking about there is social media in the government workplace. Also, as part of the conference, we have a Google group set up as well as a wiki. Cosponsored by AFCEA International and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration. The social media track will be Wednesday morning and features the following lineup:

Wednesday 1000-1100, Social Networking
Social networking in the Intel Community – Intellipedia. Benefits, issues and challenges.
Panelist: Mr. Don Burke, Intellipedia Doyen, CIA (Confirmed)
Panelist: Mr. Sean Dennehy, Chief of Intellipedia Development, CIA (Confirmed)
Wednesday 1100-1200, Social Networking
Define social networking. What does it mean and what does it encompass? What does the future hold? How will it affect the government and industry? Discuss real-time information exchange: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, wikis, blogging, text messaging, etc. Social networking as means of recruiting (both online and offline).
Moderator: Mr. Herb Strauss, Chief Marketing Officer, Robbins-Gioia (Confirmed)
Panelist: Mr. Don Burke, Intellipedia Doyen, CIA (Confirmed)
Panelist: Mr. Sean Dennehy, Chief of Intellipedia Development, CIA (Confirmed)
Panelist: Ms. Juia Hiland, Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer, MITRE (Confirmed)
Panelist: Ms. Danielle Kaplan, Booz Allen Hamilton (Confirmed)
Panelist: Ms. Tuana Smith-Cluff, USA (Confirmed)

This might be of interest to some folks in the social networking sphere who may be interested in getting dialed in to social media government contracting. More info here.

Blogged with the Flock Browser


Blogs of Fail.



So, I’ve been working in association publications and communications for three years, and before that I was in university communications for four years. I really want to get my CAE designation, but I’m pretty sure I’m not eligible yet–and won’t be til I’m almost 40. I’m in the middle of applying for my MPA in nonprofit and association management from George Mason, which is another “before-40” goal of mine.

Yet I see people younger than me who have the credential, and clearly, I’m sensitive about the under-35-to-watch moniker because, well, I was born in 1970 and kinda missed being the under-35 anything by virtue of graduating college, finally, in 2004. (Whether or not I’m someone to watch is moot. I was a lot cuter when I was under 35, though.)

The CAE isn’t my goal as much as the MPA is, but it seems like picking up the association management certificate, being only 6 additional credits after the nonprofit track, is a good idea. I mean, when you look at the organizations I do work for—churches, associations, and higher-ed institutions—they all have related focuses and I find the strategies that work for one can often be applied across all three.

But I wish I could get the CAE first somehow, even though I’ll hit 5 years in association staff around the same time I actually finish the MPA.

Thoughts? Is the credential worth fretting over?

There’s an eight things meme circulating about that I’ve done many times before, but here at ExPointOh there’s a whole new audience to reach, and Ben Martin tagged me. So here are eight things you don’t know about me.

1. I’m most well-known on the blogosphere as a contributing editor for the Episcopal Cafe. That crowd knows me as Gallycat.

2. I’m also semifamous as a retired lounge DJ and music critic from Philadelphia. Those folks know me as either deviathan or helcat.

3. I love karaoke.

4. My favorite Northern Virginia hangout is the Bilbo Baggins restaurant in old town Alexandria. I’m there more often than I should be, considering I live 70 miles away from it.

5. I have a 15-year-old son who’s living with his dad these days. We stay in touch through Facebook.

6. I used to play in a band at Mary Washington College. We won Battle of the Bands in 1989, party because we dressed up in country/western gear and then blew the crowd away with an awesome cover of “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure. I played keyboards.

7. It took me 16 years to earn my bachelor’s degree. I’m hoping my MPA program will go much more smoothly.

8. I’m a knitter. Actually, I’m a knitster. I took about ten months off because of a repetitive stress injury in my neck, but I’m back to it these days.

OK, that’s me, but I don’t really know 8 people in this blogspace yet so I’ll have to tag elsewhere, like in Facebook. But since I don’t know you, you can send me a link to your 8 things if you’ve done it already, or otherwise consider yourself tagged!

One of the questions that came up repeatedly during the Government Consortium on Virtual Worlds on Friday was “Why do our avatars need to sit, when they don’t get tired?”

I think it’s because sitting is part of our language. Now, I’m not a language expert, but I do know a little bit about communication. Sometimes my avatar stands around in Second Life. More importantly, sometimes I see avatars standing around in second life and it’s clear that …

What?  That the avatar is idling while the user is working on other things? That the user was suddenly called away from his or her desk?

Rather than looking at sitting, dancing, or any other of the actions and animations our avatars as being actions, aren’t they part of our communication? When I’m sitting in Second Life, I’m communicating (as some pose balls imply) that I’m lounging. I’m not shopping. I’m probably parked for a while, perhaps searching, perhaps lurking, but… I’m not going to up and disappear short of.. ahem, getting abruptly called away from my desk for a longer-than-half-hour idle sesson.

So rather than talking about the relationship between our actions and our bodies and how avatars don’t have the same requirements, let’s talk about our avatars’ body language and how actions enhance our ability to communicate online.  Because honestly, that’s part of what makes a virtual world more than a series of chat rooms with pretty pictures on the walls.

I serve on the alumni advisory council of the community college of which I am an alum. I also frequent a number of listservs administered by the Council for Advance and Support of Education, which is an association of advancement and communications professionals in higher ed, including those running alumni associations.

One of the tracks offered in the degree program at George Mason I’m applying to is in community college administration. I don’t think I’m going to go that route, but rather the one on nonprofit and association management. Still, I have a keen interest in community college and the bridges it builds for students who are financially strapped or academic late bloomers (I was both). Now, my CC is trying to figure out how to build a community of alumni, a daunting task.

I’ve volunteered to start building the social media side of things. This means that I’m now doing this for work, school and church. (Ha!)

But anyway. Facebook doesn’t seem to have networks for community colleges, at least not the virginia ones I’ve looked up. And I’m wondering why not? And there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to propose it as a Network. (I shouldn’t be surprised, seeing as they didn’t even answer me when I wrote about the fact that my work organization’s name had been coopted as a Facebook group by three young Booz Allen Hamilton employees who didn’t really seem to care about the organization. It’s like a new variation on FIRST!)

For that matter presenting it as a networking might be very difficult, seeing as the community college doesn’t offer email addresses to alumni. But even if we could get the students started in a network, that might go a long way toward including community colleges as part of the education experience. I think this is going to become more and more important as the money crunch gets tighter for kids whose parents were banking on home equity as a college financing option. (Bear in mind, I live just outside of one of those bizarre equity markets, and even my own real estate value is pretty inflated.)

But anyway; it’s official. I’m looking into it, so I’ll be expanding my social networking sphere to include those working in advancement and alumni relations.

ETA: I’ve found that Facebook does have the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) listed under its networks, very unhelpfully under its acronym rather than its full name, which is why I could not find it. That isn’t going to stop me from petitioning Facebook to grant individual community colleges the ability to have their own networks. Part two is figuring out how to grant alumni access to community college networks. The reason I can do this for my four-year schools is that I have permanent alumni email addresses for them. Can community colleges do the same, if the ROI is better alumni engagement–and we know what that translates to!