Recent Comments
    • Candy on Budget Crisis, Red Tape and teenage crushes...
      “@Shawn - Money can apparently buy a LOT of happiness - and it seems to come in the form of pills and smoke-able items. *sigh* (yeah, sure you didn'”
    • Shawn Powers on Budget Crisis, Red Tape and teenage crushes...
      “It always amazes me the number of overdoses and suicides in the celebrity death pool. I mean, I know, "Money can't buy happiness" -- but you'd think ”
    • Candy on Phooey on social media privacy
      “Justin - ah, so you keep separate accounts - how much bleeds over though? Do you think people pay attention to DuckDuckBlue? Or just to JustinRyan? Do”
    • Justin on Phooey on social media privacy
      “I doubt I have to tell you, but I'm in the "let it all hang out" camp. (Despite vicious rumors of being obsessively private.) My feeling is, I am wh”
    • Candy on Phooey on social media privacy
      “I guess my point is... if an employer is going to delve that deeply into someone's stuff as to look back through their wife's silly twitter account, d”

Posts Tagged ‘Fun Stuff’

PostHeaderIcon OffAssist Team Member Goes the Extra Mile

Lanel Taylor, one of our team members, is doing the Komen for the Cure. Please click here to if you are able to help. Even $5 helps this worthy cause (and it’s tax deductible). Thanks much!

This has affected a few of my family members and I’ve seen friends go through a few scares as well. The risk factors are easy – you are female and you are getting older. Every year I try to give to breast cancer research in the hopes that we find a cure – if not in my lifetime, in my children’s lifetime.

If you can help, then please do so, otherwise, please take a moment to post a note of encouragement to Lanel – you can just comment here 🙂

Thank you!

PostHeaderIcon Book Review – Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

I don’t usually post my book reviews on my blog, but this was such a great book for business that I wanted to share it here as well…

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

Wow. They get it. I’ve read various articles and blogs and books about social media and networking and how big businesses should be doing XYZ and maybe even EFG, but most of them are really blowing hot air. I’m no expert and I don’t pretend to be, but I can spot junk a mile away and a lot of these “experts” are pure junk.

I purchased this book in a whim. I heard about it, shrugged my shoulders, grabbed my Kindle, clicked a button and started reading it. It got good reviews, but I really wasn’t expecting such a thoroughly researched and written book. These folks know what they are doing and they have the stats and research to back it up.

I love social media. I have a very small business but I’ve managed to use parts of it to my advantage, while still having fun doing it. I’ve often wondered how big businesses handle it. It seems like such a monumental task for a company like Dell to even begin to enter the, as they put it, groundswell (which is my new favorite word, by the way!). This book gave me not only insight into how they are listening to, speaking with, etc us little folks out here, but what they are doing with that data.

Again, I have a small business, my take on social media is a little different than Dell, but it gave me a few ideas for how I can more effectively use it to my advantage. I really do think this is a must read for anyone involved in social media. Just read it, don’t think twice. Buy it and read it.

I enjoyed this so much that I purchased 2 copies to send to clients of mine that I thought would enjoy it. I don’t do that often, so I know it was a hit with me!

Product Description
Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it s unstoppable, it affects every industry and it s utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now.

When consumers you ve never met are rating your company s products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester, Inc. explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.

Using tools and data straight from Forrester, you ll learn how to:

-Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge

-Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas

-Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy

-Build social technologies into your business including monitoring your brand value, talking with the groundswell through marketing and PR campaigns, and energizing your best customers to recruit their peers

Timely and insightful, this book is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company s public image.

PostHeaderIcon TweetCamp San Antonio at

I know this poor blog is a bit neglected, working on that soon – promise… make sure to stop by and see the post I put up today about my trip to TweetCamp San Antonio. Many thanks to the organizers for putting on a fantastic event!

PostHeaderIcon Vendor-Client Relationship In Real World Terms

Thanks to Nina Feldman for showing this to me. This is awesome. I should make all new prospects watch it 😉


PostHeaderIcon They’re back!

At OffAssist we love the guys at (we even featured them in a spotlight a few years ago, here). We’ve missed their free weekly business cartoon offering. So has the OA newsletter!

We are happy to tell everyone that the free weekly cartoon feature is BACK! Check it out if you have a newsletter, have a client with a newsletter, or just need a giggle.

PostHeaderIcon Client QOTD: “I need to send Wil Wheaton an Atari”

(this story is shared with permission)

I get some weird stuff in bookkeeping. I mean, like, really weird stuff… but today… well, today is my birthday and apparently one of my favorite clients gave me the most awesome gift ever. Laughter. I just can’t stop. And the more I think about it, the more I can’t stop laughing.

See, one of my clients is Linux Journal. A cool group of geeks that keep me on toes with some of the oddest stuff… I am a semi-geek, but mostly I’m a numbers geek that really likes my computer and gadets. So yeah, I fit right in, but sometimes… sometimes…

I get an IM from the publisher that basically said “I need to send Wil Wheaton an Atari. Can we send a paypal out for it?”.

Um. Okay. We can surely do that, of course… but no, I had to ask… I knew of Wil Wheaton, I mainly knew he played one of the kids in Stand By Me, but I knew he did something else super geeky… so of course I ask “Why are we sending the Stand By Me kid an Atari?”

Right about now, I’m thinking this conversation is getting really weird. I look up Wil on IMDB and realize he’s also a Star Trek actor. Makes a little more sense now, but still…

See, apparently Wil and Shawn Powers over at LJ are having an Atari-off at PenguinCon and Linux Journal is a sponsor.

Okay, so that makes sense, we are sending the Star Trek guy an Atari so he can play with the editor guy at a geek convention.

The best part? The receipt I got from them… it said, “Wil Wheaton’s Atari receipt. I have no idea where you’ll book this one. :)”


PostHeaderIcon Toot! Toot!

Candy won’t toot her own horn, so I guess it’s up to me to do it.

If you’re a VA you are probably familiar with VANA, the Virtual Assistant Networking Association Forum. If not, and you’re serious about this business, you probably should be.

Well, last Wednesday they named Candy their Entrepreneur of the Year for 2008. Yea, it’s a pretty big deal. I hear it came with some nice swag, too 🙂

Check out the official word here and see all the nice things people had to say about Candy.

PostHeaderIcon Do you take a pill every morning? — Helping me and Helping others – Technology at it’s best!

I wasn’t sure what to title this, so you got a mish-mash. Every morning, I have to take a pill. I can’t tell you how many times I forget it. I try to take it with food or milk, but sometimes I’m so busy wrangling the kids out the door or dealing with an early client request or just plain running around like a crazy person that I don’t grab anything to eat/drink… so I have this issue remembering it.

Ah, but see… Shawn, a guy I work with (he’s in MI or somewhere I think – yes, we are virtual) – at Linux Journal has the same problem. His solution is pretty genius actually. He set up a Twitter account and tweets to it once he’s taken his pill for the day. If people see he hasn’t tweeted (that’s twitter-speak for posted), then they will start to bug him about taking it.

Pretty cool, eh? Yeah, so, I can’t remember to take my pill, how the heck am I supposed to remember to remind HIM to take HIS pill, right? So, I decided to piggy back off of his idea…

I added itookmypill (that’s his twitter account) to my devices (I only have like 2 people that come to my phone – I use twhirl for the rest, otherwise the text messages make me crazy). What happens is this… when he takes his pill, it texts me that he did and THAT reminds me to take it. At the same time, if I don’t get a message (he usually takes it by 7:30 central), then it seems to trigger a reminder that “hey, I didn’t get a message from Shawn today” and I remind him.

How awesome is that, folks? Did you follow that? So, basically what happens is that his tweet reminds me. If I don’t see a tweet from him and remember my pill, I can remind him. Or if we both forget, typically someone else will see that he didn’t tweet and someone will remind him that reminds me.

I mean, really, you can’t beat that. THAT is how you make technology work for you, folks!

If you take a morning pill, try it out, you can join twitter and just have that one as someone you follow, add itookmypill to your device list… what a great way to help someone and help yourself at the same time!

Happy Holidays!

PostHeaderIcon Great Last Minute Gift Idea from a client of mine…

I just got this email from a client of mine. This is a great last minute gift idea – her stuff is really cute too. Happy holidays! ~Candy

Greetings Last-Minute Shoppers!

We’ve all been there before… you are out of unique gift ideas for a few final names on your holiday shopping list. You’re considering making fruitcake again, but last time you tried that there were casualties. Lucky for you we we have a better idea….


Our Collections

Designs from our ~Mist~ collection exude simple, dainty sophistication, while the ~Petal~ collection offers a slightly more decadent, sparkly look. The ~Branch~ collection is immersed in earth tone stones and copper and brass finished metals, to produce a more organic look. Finally, the~Plume~ collection offers an array of unique, ornate lariats and ribbon necklaces in casual to dressy styles, and in an array of colors.

Click here to visit our website.

Call or email our designer, Aharon Hill before December 22nd, and she will help you select gifts from our Winter Collections (view examples on our website), or can create pieces specially designed for your gift recipients!

Aharon Hill
Owner/Designer, Kaleo Designs

PostHeaderIcon Cool Things You Should Know About

Time magazine has released their 50 Best Inventions of the Year list for 2008. Want the video version instead? Find it here.

Among my personal favorites are

#3 – the LRO. What can I say, I’m the child of an astronomy buff who has followed the space program practically forever…

#5 – the LHC. The astronomy buff mentioned above also taught HS physics for 20years, so I’m a natural fan of this one.

#10 – Roadrunner. Not the cable service. I think I liked this one because (a) fast is good and (b)”petaflop” is a fun word. Say it, you’ll see what I mean.

#11 – Algae Oil. A potential carbon neutral alternative fuel source that doesn’t impact the world food supply. What’s not to love?

#15 – Singing Supervillain. A blow for life w/o the big studios as well as a darn entertaining lil flick.

#18 – the MSL. Just in time. The Mars Phoenix lander/lab will be going offline any day now due to the Martian winter. This tough little buggy, launching in Feb. 2009, will pick up where Phoenix left off, but more durably.

#25 – Thin Film Solar. Cheap(er) solar, what’s not to love?

#33 – Portable Power. Take a walk and charge your ipod/crackberry/cell phone without an extension cord. Sweet.

#37 – Clean Building. Concrete that cleans the air!

#42 Disemvoweling. It’s not actually that cool, I just love the made-up word used to describe the process.

#47 – Offshore Internet. We liked this one so much we already blogged about it last month.

Go, check out the list, then come back & tell us ~your~ favorites.

PS – those are Dy’s faves above, not OA at large 🙂