Archive for the ‘Blog’ category

This blog has moved!

October 1, 2011

I’m now blogging at christinedunne.wordpress.com (Christine Dunne is my new name), so if you’re interested in keeping up with my posts, go ahead and bookmark the site. Thanks!

Friend or coworker

May 30, 2011

I recently came across this blog post on whether your coworkers are just your coworkers or also your friends. It was actually published on my new company’s blog back in 2008. I found the article extremely interesting. I liked how the author personalized the topic by describing her relationship with her coworkers. Here’s an excerpt:

Being 24 years old, living in a city, and having come from a company full of 45 year old financial consultants I thought to myself ‘self, you are going to work with a bunch of cool 20 somethings and drink beers with them, and hang out, and be friends.’ Right, totally. So after a few months, I found myself enjoying this office, these 20 somethings, and the general fun that goes along with hanging out with your co-workers. The problem then becomes, are these people friends? Or are they coworkers?

She goes on to wonder if you can hang out with coworkers in a bar or restaurant (saying all the things friends say to one another in bars and restaurants), and then have a totally professional relationship with them while at work. I’ve sometimes grappled with this question. I like how the author went on to ask her CEO his opinion, and I like even more his response:

“…in your 20’s the people you work with can be very much part of your social network, you spend a ton of time together, usually share similar interests, and are forced in to close quarters. After 29, all bets are off – your life changes, you get married, have kids, then you spend less time worrying about making friends at work and more about managing the friendships you already have [or wondering why you have no friends].”

I really identify with these thoughts. For much of my 20s I spent lots of my free time with coworkers. I mean, it’s really easy to just head over to a bar or restaurant after work with your colleagues, especially if you work downtown. You all have a TON to talk about, as you spend so much time together every day. You can gossip about a coworker who’s not there, discuss your thoughts on a new work policy, or exchange opinions on the company’s evolution.

Now that I’m approaching 30, however, I find myself spending less time with coworkers and more time with friends I already have. Maybe that’s because I’m more settled than I was before (I’m engaged, don’t have plans to move, etc.), and have built a more balanced, multifaceted life.

To me it makes more sense to cultivate a wide variety of friendships than to largely hang out with coworkers. As you get older, you realize that friends are more than just who you are currently spending time with. They are the people you’ll continue to spend time with (or keep in touch with).

Often coworkers are just people you happen to be with at the moment, not people you’ll maintain relationships with after leaving the company. So your time is better spent figuring out who your friends are, in all realms of life, and spending time with those people.

My first BzzAgent review: about.me

May 23, 2011

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently started working as a copywriter for a social marketing company called BzzAgent. Also known as a word-of-mouth marketing company, BzzAgent enlists hundreds of thousands of “agents” to discuss brands and products (L’Oreal, Michelin, and Unilever are just a few of its clients).

The agents receive free products, free services, and discounts. I signed up to be an agent (also called a “BzzAgent”) to see what’s it’s all about (you can do so as well). After filling out some surveys, I was invited to the “about.me” campaign. About.me lets you put multiple online profiles (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Flickr profiles) in one place.

I created an about.me page at about.me/christinelaubenstein. You decide which profiles and/or links you want to include on your page. I added my Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Vimeo, YouTube, and Tumblr accounts (granting about.me access to my posts, updates, videos, etc.), but I declined to allow access to my Facebook info (including profile information, status updates, and friends’ photos).

For me, my Facebook page is a relatively private space I don’t want strangers to see. I did, however, opt to add a link to my Facebook page (in case someone wants to friend me). You can link to other pages if you’d like, or add other profiles (Blogger, Posterous, Flickr, TypePad, Formspring, Last.fm, Daily Booth, and Instagram).

You can also personalize your background, font colors, fonts, and biography. Other features include statistics about your accounts and about.me page, ideas for promoting your about.me page, and a place to add your favorite about.me pages. I haven’t yet used all these features, but I’ll still provide my initial thoughts about about.me:

  • It’s a neat idea. Unless you have your own website/blog, I don’t know of any service that lets you list such a wide variety of profiles (LinkedIn, for example, just has fields for three websites, your Twitter account, and your IM screen names). Not to mention the other services don’t let you see content from all your accounts.
  • I like how you can personalize your page.
  • It’s good from an SEO standpoint. You can use about.me to submit your about.me page to Bing, Google, and Yahoo. I did this about two weeks ago, and at least for Google my about.me page already appears on the second page of search results when my name is queried. So creating an about.me page can help push down negative links (if you have them, of course).
  • I’m not sure sure how much time I’ll devote to my page. I have a personal blog and professional website that already allow me to add my Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. info. So if I have these sites I’ve already invested in, why do I need about.me? I guess I could use about.me to have all my content in one place. But at this point, I don’t see a huge benefit. Clicking on a link to access my content (at its source) takes one second.

My professional website is in the works

April 13, 2011

I spent a good chunk of yesterday setting up a professional website. It took me a little while to determine my domain name, register my site, and pick out a web host. For my domain name, I ended up deciding on christinedunne.com, which will be my new name as of September 17. I registered the site with GoDaddy and chose Laughing Squid as a host.

After realizing how much I love WordPress (I’ve been using it to blog since the fall of 2008), I decided to set up my site with WordPress’s blog tool and publishing platform. As I explained in my new site’s first blog post, this involved a fair amount of work. But thanks to various online help/tutorials, I figured it out.

I’ve barely added anything to my site, but I look forward to working on it in the coming weeks.

The origin of this blog’s title

December 31, 2010

I just added this to my about me section.

Writing about yourself

October 24, 2010


I started this blog about a year ago, around when I was leaving my job as a newspaper reporter. I think I realized I still wanted to write and exercise my web publishing skills. Well this blog hasn’t exactly been a huge success (I don’t update it every day, I’m not focused on one particular topic, and I only get about 30 page views per day), but I’m still going to keep it up. One thing it’s done is encourage me to talk about myself.

When you’re a traditional news reporter, you’re not supposed to inject any opinion or personal anecdotes into your work. Your job is to communicate what’s happening and that’s it. Well, I did this for five years (first as an intern reporter, then in journalism grad school, and then as a staff reporter).

This was a great experience; however, I feel like I lost some of my spunk. Someone would ask me how I was feeling, or what was new in my life, and I would give some generic answer. I’d say, for example, “Oh, work is good. I like my new apartment, and I’m excited for my upcoming trip to Philadelphia.” I wouldn’t really go beyond that; I think it was largely because of my job.

Not only was I unable to inject my thoughts into my work, but I also felt like my life wasn’t worth talking about. I mean, when you’re writing about newsworthy topics like murders and municipal lawsuits and local geniuses, your life seems pretty boring. You’re not much different than your common man, so why mention or analyze your mundane experiences?

Well, I haven’t become an advocate of talking about myself all the time. Obviously that isn’t what people want to hear. But since I stopped working as a reporter I’ve become more attune to my thoughts and expressing them when the appropriate opportunity presents itself. This blog has helped with that, and I think all this is a good thing.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/subcess/3723699858/sizes/m/in/photostream

How do you feel about “content curation”?

September 2, 2010

I recently learned about a relatively new start-up in Cambridge called HiveFire.

This company sells “Curata,” a “content curation solution.” Basically it’s a tool that finds relevant content on the Internet (often in the form of blog posts or articles), aggregates a list of the content, and lets you select which articles you’d like to highlight on your website or blog.

Once you make your selections, the articles’ first paragraphs are posted on your site (check out some examples in the “Featured Content Curation Articles” section of HiveFire’s blog).

The whole idea behind content curation is that it can save companies time and money. It’s not easy updating your site with new content every day, so why not borrow content from other sites instead? Or supplement your original content with borrowed content? That’s the philosophy.

Well this begs the question: Is it really ethical to curate content? I guess sites do it to some extent all the time by linking to other articles, or summarizing other articles. But that’s not as automated a process as having one tool seek out (like Google Reader), format AND publish the content. Plus, many borrowers don’t publish content word for word like Curata does.

I’m not a lawyer and do not know the legal implications of content curation, or at least the type of content curation conducted by Curata. I guess Curata’s method is better than automatic publication (there’s at least some human effort involved with the selection of the articles). Plus, it can give exposure to other people’s content.

But hopefully the content curators are not getting rich off of others’ original work. That’s what I fear. But at the same time the Internet is an open place where ideas are exchanged and shared all the time. When no one can curate anyone else’s content that openness become jeopardized.

I guess I’m sort of conflicted about content curation, or at least the type you can do with Curata. Anyone have any thoughts?

How to write when you don’t want to

July 21, 2010

I thought I would share this blog post I recently wrote for WordStream, a search marketing software company in downtown Boston.

New blog about technical writing

April 27, 2010

Just started a new blog about technical writing. It will document my journey into this new field, as well as news or interesting tidbits about the industry. Enjoy (if this interests you in the slightest)!

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Hello, everyone!

August 30, 2009

meHello, everyone! My name is Christine Laubenstein, and I’m a 28-year-old resident of Watertown, Mass. I’m also a journalist, and an avid lover of food, movies and French culture.

This blog is an opportunity for me to share my insights into these areas of life, and write about other topics that pique my interest.

Enjoy!

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