Stigma

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Zero to Hero day eighteen, I will pass on the social networking for now, and for this blog. I will save that for later.

Reflecting on yesterday’s post, what impressions did I get reading about the same topic as I had written about and did it lead me to reconsidering my own interpretation?

I read about ten randomly selected posts, all of them more or less very much alike. They were mapped out somewhat like this: 1. What is my reputation, according to someone else, 2. What is my reputation according to me, 3. What I would want my reputation to be. 4. Who I really am, based on 1,2,3.

Ok, fine with me. But in yesterday’s mood none of them really caught my attention.

One post I randomly clicked on, happened to be from a blog I already follow. The text was about the interpretation of the word reputation from a gender perspective. Lauren Kells associate reputation for a woman with “A woman of a certain reputation”, and the reputation of a man with a faceless professional bio feeding professional respect.

I agree that it is a short path to make the connection of woman + reputation = a woman of a certain reputation. The short path is the sad result of a society that will not let a woman own the exclusive rights to her body and sexuality in the same way as a man does.

But I can come up with a association to man + reputation = a man of a certain reputation. To me that would be a man known for not being able to keep his job for longer periods of times, often due to reasons as drinking or gambling. A man who frequently have relations with women of certain reputations. A man who walks away to the bars and bookmakers, leaving the woman to handle whatever responsibilty is left behind. Leaving her with the certain reputation.

A man with a certain reputation is a man with a stigma. But this stigma is not at all as severe the stigma of a woman with a certain reputation.

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Thank you for your comment, I love you too.

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What comment would you like to get on your post? And what part of my reputation do I want to emphasize as I comment on your work?

Let’s continue day seventeen with  the impression theme from Zero to Hero day sixteen path also on this day seventeen. Here are a few simple examples of comments affecting the impression you make:

Thank you for a very interesting website, I really liked your information. Here you can read more about what I have to offer: http://www.docdavesbraintransplants.com

I guess that Doc Dave will not sell any brain transplants, at least not to you? But how will the impression of his comment affect his reputation? Well, Doc Dave just do not keep a reputation.

Thank you for a well written post about the moral issues with brain transplants, here is what I wrote the same topic: http://www.docdavesbraitransplants.com/whohasmoral

This post on the other hand would give a good impression enough to have at least the author of the commented post click on the link. Let’s hope that Doc Dave can match the expectations.

I really like your post and your blog, keep up the good work 🙂 http://www.docdavesbraintransplants.com

This comment is encouraging, but it may leave the suspicious blogger with the impression that Doc Dave is trying to respond to a challenge in Zero to Hero, and is feeling a little tired and just want to get his comment and assingnment in place. But if Doc Dave at the same time decides to follow the commented blog, he is most likely a true fan.

http://www.docdavesbraintransplants.com

Doc Dave is marketing his blog, but he should get back to reading the Marketing 101 text book.

You are an ID**T, you don’t know half a donkey’s a** about BRAIN transplants, your method did appearently work when you tried it on your own a** !!!!!!!!!!! http://www.docdavesbraintransplants.com/howitshouldbedone

Making comments in this category requires a sense for proportions, and is nothing for the faint hearted. It could in worst case trig the war of the trolls. But if Doc Dave knows what he is writing about, this could be the beginning of a long friendship, he might even have found himself a new customer.

Except the last one, the above were all examples of the types of comments I have received to my posts. Have I missed any kind of comment that you have received? Please let me know, leave a comment!

No pre-assumptions in my team, please

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When I was in the military I had a great teacher, a captain that more or less had spent his career of then twentyseven years with instruction and training. He loved the hands-on art of teaching young adults and had no plan what so ever to retire earlier than if asked to.

In the first leaderhip class he asked us:

“Please stand up and introduce yourself with your first name, last name, and tell us which your favorite dessert is. Nothing more.”

Now that does not sound like the Artillery Combat School, does it? (Except for the dessert part that really fits the artillery, a few infantry soldiers may object)

What the captain was demonstrating is that we make up our image and idea of other individuals from the instant we meet at the first time and on-going for a fairly short period of time. The less we know about a new group member’s background, the more important will it be what the person actually does and performs in front of our eyes.

But if we get to know the background of a new group member such as education, previous jobs, which schools were attended, or the location of residence, we build up pre-assumptions about the individual’s person, level of expertise, and performance without actually knowing anything.

The group will have a shorter path to becoming a fully functional unit when the group members get to know each others’ strong and weak points first hand, instead of first gaining pre-assumptions that painstakenly have to be reset and reworked based on actual experience.

In my career as a manager in the business world I have followed this path almost every time I have put together a new team for a project or for a function. I try to start our as neutral as possible, avoidning formal introductions with professional and educational backgrounds.

As the group members meet for the first time, we say our names and tell something neutral about ourselves. The project manager presents the individual responsibilities, but mentions nothing about the individual’s background. Then as work starts, the team will work out the informal roles without preassumptions about who knows best about what.

By that the group becomes more creative and agile than it would have been going into the work with pre-assumptions about each other. Also the presumably non-experts dare to speak up with suggestions and ideas, and the group is not easily locked into traditional solutions and decisions.

This post is written in response to Zero to Hero day sixteen: 

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt: Do you have a reputation? What is it, and where did it come from? Is it accurate? What do you think about it?

Have it your way

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I spent some time playing around with customizing the visual appearence of this blog. Not expected beforehand, I must admit it was both fun and enlightning to do.

I am not a big fan of cluttered wbe pages in bright colors. But testing the customization tool showed me that there were quite a few possibilities to keep the blog clean and nice, but still more colorful than in original.

Good to keep in mind when I find a topic and start a real blog, it could be well spent money to get a good looking colorful blog.

By this post, my fifteenth day of Zero to Hero has passed.

A beautiful day in January

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Earlier today I went for a walk in the cool, lovely January day. I decided to go to Altstadt and the walkpath along river Rhein here in Düsseldorf. I enjoyed the atmosphere, seeing all weekend celebrators trying to keep warm in the outdoor restaurants, and watching the barges and boats passing on the river.

What else than the name of the river, Rhein, can be the perfect starting point for fulfilling day fourteen of Zero to Hero for exploring further into the Reader.

I found three new blogs that I began to follow:

http://flaschentiger.wordpress.com/A message in a bottle

http://wetravelwithourson.wordpress.com/A family travels with their son

http://interferenzen.wordpress.com/A creative blog

I hope that you follow the links and see if you are intrigued by the blogs, just as I am.

The War Story

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Before you read any further, please read this story. I liked it very much, do you?

Day twelve in Zero to Hero tells us to build a post on day eleven’s comment. I commented on the post linked above. It is a post that trigged both my imagination and my memories.

I came to think of a war story from world war two that my grandfather on my mother’s side told me as a child. I could not have been more than six or seven years old when I heard it. The story was very special, and the way I remember what happened sounds almost unlikely to have happened. But giving it some more thought it may actually be possible.

About two years ago I asked my aunt, my mother’s sister, if she had heard and had any memory of that particular story. She could not remember having heard about that particular event, and we agreed that my memory is probably distorted by a child’s imaginative interpretation of what was told.

The day after, she phoned me and said that she all of a sudden had remembered the tale, but she could not remember the exact details but she had sure heard it being told.

Now, have we both heard the story I remember, or did my question affect her memory function, making her believe that she had actually heard something that never was told to her? Who knows, there is no one more left alive to ask, it will have to remain a mystery.

So, what about the actual war story?

I will keep it to myself a little longer, I think I could make either a decent fiction post out of it, or a post about a memories. But not now, it needs some memory mining before the writing work can begin.

The frugal style

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One of the comments I made for day 11 of Zero to Hero was an encouragement to Style not trend. Not only to be a good neighbor but also because it is a good blog. I have always had a soft spot for fashion and good style.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table looking at the clothes in my mother’s mail order catalogs, only skipping the boring pages with underwear and the childrens’ department. Always making lists to my mother what she should buy and what I would want to have later as a grown-up.

A few years later, being in my early school years I never missed the ten minutes weekly fashion report on TV. I remember being engulfed by the creations on the catwalk, one more stunning and impractical to wear than the other.

I tried to draw some dresses and coats, but I never got my heart into it. I was never gifted in the drawing department, or in the sculpture department, artistic department, or sports department either. My inability to get my inner visions visible on paper quickly made me lose patience.

Not missing my lost designer career, I still follow the fashion reports and like to look at clothes and styles. As an adult I try to see the message and the lifestyle, or desired lifestyle, communicated.

My friends often say that I talk a lot about style and fashion, but I dress like I had no interest at all. Well, that is true, but I cannot afford to buy the clothes I want to wear.

From time to time I play with the thought of letting go and buy an expensive jacket or an expensive accesory – a designer bag perhaps? But the frugal myself always win, and I continue to look at the sales’ offers for timeless garments with style. Dreaming about a completely different class.

Seeing the new glasses

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As a respone to Zero to Hero day ten I have added two widgets to the sidebar.

Top posts and pages list displaying up to the five most popular posts and pages, renamed “Popular”. The assignment also asked for a picture based widget. To fulfill this demand I decided on My Community, which I renamed “Who else was here?”.

I still want to keep my blog as visually clean as possible. Adding more widgets may clutter it up, but let’s keep them for a while. Maybe it is like buying new different glasses, it takes a while to get used to the new appearance when looking in the mirror.

80% Copy Cat

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The ninth Zero to hero assignment is to once again dig into the blogosphere and follow five new blogs.

The best ideas are stolen or borrowed so I decided for the copycat method. I check out the blogroll of my followers and pick one each to follow from five of them.

Well, that idea didn’t turn out all that well. Only two of my followers have a blogroll:

From the blogroll of  ♥ Jackie Speaks It ♥ I selected  SUPERDANNI.

From Damyanti I decided to follow Mostly Bright Ideas.

So what to do with the other three? By coincidence I found that HBR blog network is possible to follow via the Reader.

For the fourth and fifth blog to start following I went back to the  copy cat method. But this time I had a look at blogs that I already follow, what do they have on their blogroll?

From Sourcerer I picked The North Sound to follow

and from KerrielsRunning, Chasing Pavements was followed.

So all in all I was 80% copycat today.