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  1. 12 Most Needed Tips to Stay Sane While Moving the Family Across the Country

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    I first posted this on 12Most.com, which is a great collection of information and contributors!  If interested in doing a 12Most post I highly recommend reaching out and getting involved!  On with the show!

    As you can tell by the title of this post, I have a new place to call home.  Recently my wife Tara Privette received a very nice, scratch that an incredible opportunity for her career.  The only thing this career opportunity was not in Minnesota, it is in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  So we decided as a family to dig up the roots in Minnesota and plant them in Virginia.

    Joey Baci Daisy Jace Keith - #mn2va

    Now what I have come to find out is relocating for a wife’s job is quite unique.  For us it did not seem all that strange because we have always been a two parent working household sharing just about everything.  There are no “man” jobs or “woman” jobs in our house, there are just “jobs”.  So there here are the 12 things we learned to stay sane while moving the family across country.  Now to give some logisitics background on this, my wife started her job in Virginia in early July the kids, the dogs and I did not come down til three weeks later.

    1. Communication

    Yes, communication is number one on this list! There are so many details that need to be worked out that if you are not using all means of communication, you will not survive! You must rely on technology, verbal and nonverbal cues as well as listening. Yes, listening is a key factor in communication. There will be many, many, many lists to write down, so listen, well and write down or you will forget…trust me!

    2. Rely on people you don’t know

    There are many people you will need to rely on for this journey. Many of them you have never met or had a relationship with in the past. There will be relocation companies, Realtors, insurance companies, financial institutions, employers, friends, new acquaintances, hotels, gas stations, and restaurants. That is just a short list. You will in most cases have to trust them, but if your gut tells you “Hey you, ya you with the brain, I just threw a red flag up, want to do something about that?” TRUST what your gut is telling you!

    3. Renegotiate everything

    That is right! Everything is usually an opening offer and this situation calls for counteroffers. You will not be offending anyone, they expect it. The relocation path is a very fluid and changes daily, sometimes even hourly. What I found is most of the people with this path just want everyone fairly treated. After all, what more can anyone ask for?

    4. Pack, unpack, repack, rinse and repeat

    The most valuable lesson I learned was packing for the 1,300 miles trip from Minnesota to Virginia. Non-stop packing for the house, for the kids, for myself, and the car. Yes, I drove it all by myself….oh wait I did have 2 kids an 6 year old and an 8 year old, oh yeah and two 50lb dogs. I did a pretty good job of getting all the clothes necessary for the trip and another week before our whole house arrived before the movers showed up (trust me get this done before they show up, they are fast and it will get packed if not in Safe Zone). The one thing I did not do was pack a smaller bag with just clothes and essentials for the road trip. Lugging two HUGE suitcases in and out of the hotels was not fun. Lesson learned!

    5. Dads know your role, it is not the one you were taught growing up!

    Being that it was a unique situation according to everyone, we were relocating because of a career opportunity for my wife. I got to take on some unique roles for the last 3 months. I essentially became the main caregiver for the last 3 weeks. Which I gladly stepped up and took on and absolutely loved the time the five of us got to spend. I really gained a whole new appreciation for the many roles my wife plays in our children’s life as well as mine. WOW, we have a great mom and wife!

    6. Throw your schedules out the car window while driving!

    The quickest thing I found out was those pesky times society places on you about breakfast, lunch and dinner, yeah they don’t work in this situation. There is just so much going on you do a lot of relying on your stomach to tell you what meal it was. Breakfast exactly at 8am, lunch at Noon, and Dinner at 6pm really is hard to do. Be flexible and make an adventure out of it. Yes, the kids the first night of the trip ate dinner at 9:00pm. They loved it!

    7. Packing your vehicle for access

    As I mentioned before, we took a 1,300 mile road trip! Everything must be with in arms reach with easy access. That goes for the Driver as well as your passengers. Keep in mind little kids have car seats and short arms. Make sure snacks, water, DVD’s, coloring books, books, music, toys, and high fives are within an arms lengthen to keep everyone happy. Oh and for the driver make sure Google Maps, Coffee, Water, Snacks, and Energy Drinks can be found without taking eyes off the road. This can be accomplished by setting up your passenger seat with a little strategy! Sidenote: make sure to find all the chargers you will need and put in your bag as you find them!

    8. The dreaded “I have to go to the bathroom” from the backseat

    There were two things I learned along the way with four passengers with bladders the size of a pea. You have to always, I mean always have them go to the bathroom at every stop you make. Remember to ask! Remember to take them! Secondly, limit the number of times you say “Anyone have to go to the bathroom” you will be stopping everytime you ask. This question some how triggers the “yes I have to go pee” response. It is like the ring bell or something.

    9. Invest and leverage YOUR technology

    The consumer probably has at its disposal better technology hardware and software than the of the companies in which you will work on this journey. If you get a chance, introduce them to these technologies! Without a printer and Box.Net buying a house in another state would not have happened so quickly. The realtor and loan officer absolutely loved these two pieces of technologies for quick responses and properly processed documentation. Being that Mom was back and forth for a few weeks we used Facetime, Skype video and Google chat video. It all depended on which hardware was in front of us at the time. This really helps stay connected. Texting was a lifesaver, so gear up those thumbs. Most of all I really enjoyed using all the technologies on my phone!

    10. Bring your online communities along for the journey

    Let people know what your are doing. Share your experiences with your online communities. For the most part people like helping, seeing photos, and sharing the experience with you. In preparation for our move across the country, I established a hashtag #mn2va on twitter. This allowed people to easily see what tweets were in regards to this transition and travel.

    I also prepared my facebook with an album called A Man his Two Kids Two Dogs and a Vacuum! #mn2va July 2011. This helped centralize all my photos and comments. Leverage Location Based technologies so people know everything is ok. This is also fun to see what badges and pins you can gather along the way. I also used a great new tool called Glympse! This helped Mom know where we were at all times. She also knew right away once getting to Virginia Beach I was going the wrong way to the corporate housing and quickly called!

    11. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!

    Everything is not going to work out according to YOUR plan. Things must be taken in stride and adjusted every step through this journey. Going back to number 1 on this list helps a lot. Always state the problem, then the desired outcome, then hear solution and then make a decision. There is no need to get angry, yell, scream, call names, or hang up phones (I did none of these things by the way). These tactics and emotions get you nowhere!

    12. You are doing the right thing!

    There will be bumps in the road, naysayers, confidence reducers and doubts. Just remember many many many folks do this all the time and it works out 9 times out of 10. Especially when it comes to driving across the country with 2 kids and 2 dogs by yourself. I heard “You are a brave brave man” and “Really, you sure you can handle that?” and “Whoa, what are you doing?” have the confidence that with proper planning, using your street smarts, technology, and enjoyment of succeeding, you two can keep your sanity while moving clear across the country.


  2. What and How I use my Social River

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    So are you managing several places across the interwebs? Have you have ever stopped to think how and why you use each paltform? Nope me either!  Well I should say I always understood my reasoning for joining, mainly curiosity.  In the back of my mind I have always understood what I want to post for each platform, but never stopped to write it all down, until now.  So in preparing for a presentation I have been asked to do for Minnesota American Marketing Association @mnama (thanks Aimee Cheek!) I figured get this out of my head and onto virtual paper…….


    So below will explain the many social platforms I manage my strategy, content, connecting, and execution of my social strategy for professional and personal growth. Being across so many different communities and technologies it keeps fueling my curiosity, connecting, and improving passions!  Below is not all the places I have a profile, but the main ones I use on a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly basis, yes each platform has it own engagement cycle.

    You usually can tell which one I am using on that hourly cycle!  Couple  main points I suggest for managing, engaging and networking is to always remember each social platform will have it’s own ways of communicating and engaging, always pick a home-base to send all new profiles to, for me this is my blog at http://keithprivette.com, and always be yourself.  Being yourself will be the most important and relevant strategy to deploy when managing your social platforms and properties.


    Blogs:

    This is my personal blog to expand ideas, “poke the tiger”, cross-pollinate verticals, make the connections between my skill set of being a senior business analyst and the social industry.  I have been using social technologies since 2004 and through that journey I have discovered some gaps that the technologies, processes, and people delivering within this industry.  Majority of the industry is delivered by technology companies or marketing, advertising, or digital agencies.
    With these two distinct industries delivering for consumers and other businesses gaps in regards to analysis, design, and information management have occurred because I feel there are not enough true Business Analysts within these industries.  My blog will continue to show where connections can be made to benefit project delivery, problem solving process & technology, and rapid technology innovation.

    The pulling tin blog is a journaling strategy for our family travels with our RV.  This site will have reviews of campgrounds, pictures of our trips, and general information about living the RV lifestyle.  With living a RV lifestyle comes with many many opportunities to speak about all things to do with the outdoors.  The Privette family loves being outdoors so many other things may show up about this.

    This is a rapid one off ideas that do not fit the strategy or planning of the above two blogs.  Pictures, Emails to Social, Mini-Blog posts with pictures.  This is where I place all those one off ideas that pop into discussions or connections that fit the one off. This account publishes pictures to facebook, twitter, digg, picasa, flicker, delicious, tumblr.

    keith privette social platform model

    Keith Privette Social Hub Model


    Social Platforms:

    Personal\Professional\Non-Profit: This platform is the lowest barrier social platform management.  This platform allows you to follow just about anyone that has an account.  This account allows me to discover people, connect people, connect businesses, connect ideas, have fun, express my personality, post pictures, post links to information, promote others blog posts, promote others charity initiatives, promote people period, communicate with brands, promote business initiatives, twitter chats (see twitter chats below), and cross post to facebook and linkedin.  Only business stuff goes over to linkedin and only information that makes sense to the facebook community goes over.


    Twitter Chats: Twitter chats are groups, organizations, or people that do weekly chats via a #hashtag.  Normally there are a couple of moderators.  Weekly topics, presenters, or questions.  These are great ways to meet new people, organizations, discussions, ideas, education\learnings and perspectives.  When I discover new #hashtag discussions I place a reoccurring appointment on my calendar with notification.   I also set up a column in my tweetdeck to keep track of the conversations in between weeks.  I also look for these conversations outside of my vertical or industry.  Helps expand your networking and perspectives.  Here are a list of the current twitter chats I track & get involved with: See #chats tab for more details
    • #blogchat – Sunday 8pm – 9pm CDT
    • #hcsm – Sunday 8pm – 9pm CDT
    • #stylechat – Sunday 9pm – 10pm CDT
    • #journchat – Monday 7pm – 10pm CDT
    • #mmchat – Monday 7pm – 8pm CDT
    • #jobhuntchat – Monday 9pm – 10pm CDT
    • #pr20chat – Tuesday 7pm – 8pm CDT
    • #techchat – Tuesday 7pm – 8pm CDT
    • #custserv – Tuesday 8pm – 9pm CDT
    • #nptalk – Wednesday 2pm – 3pm CDT
    • #imcchat – Wednesday 7pm – 8pm CDT
    • #fairchat – Wednesday 8pm – 9pm CDT
    • #b2bchat – Thursday 7pm – 8pm CDT
    • #hrhappyhour – Thursday 7pm – 8pm CDT
    • #u30pro – Thursday 8pm – 9pm CDT
    • #sdlcchat – TBD (run by me maybe)
    • #smtochat – TBD (run by me maybe)


    Personal\Professional\Non-Profit: The second lowest barrier for connecting in my social platform management.  This platform has many cross over people and businesses from all my platforms.  I usually try establish a connection before sending out requests to be friends.  I manage the people that want to friend me also.  Post pictures, join fan pages, cross post with some twitter information, hooked my foursquare, posterous, gowalla accounts to faceboook.  I also help manage the strategy and execution of the Free Arts Minnesota fan page.

     

    Professional\Non-Profit: This platform has a little more rules about who I connect with and the information I share on this platform.  I connect with people based on more of a  professional relationship.  I started on LinkedIn 2005.  In fact this was my first social platform, well I guess second I did have a geocities page, shhhh don’t tell anyone……I consider this pristine and have very deliberate about information shared and connected with.  Join groups, ask questions, have discussions in groups, look for connections, look for jobs, reconnect with people when their profile updates indicate a new job, recommendations


    This is a comment tracking system for curating all the comments you leave on people’s blogs.  Now not all blogs have this application installed on their blog.  If they do I highly encourage using this.  It makes tracking your engagement on other people’s blogs trackable by you and them.  This application will also post your comments to twitter and facebook.  This displays your engagement publicly to strengthen your relationships with other people that blog and share their ideas.  Promoting others builds your social currency and networking.

    Professional\Personal: This is my video platform.  I try and do anything to do with video through my YouTube channel.  I favorite videos, mobile uploads, subscriptions. I have my favorite video action connected to facebook and twitter.  I have choosen not hook all the other actions you can do through your channel to these other platforms. I typically like to manually send out my personal video information with a little more control.
    Personal\Non-Profit:This is a location based platform.  This is to notify your connections where you are and what you have done at a certain location.  I have foursquare hooked into my facebook and twitter feeds.  This is the cross posting that sometimes people do not like, but it is an evolving social property producing platform and the rules are more unwritten and ever changing.  You acquire badges, discounts, tips, and maps & information of locations. For local businesses, this can be very affective to engage current, new and potential customers! Have fun!
    Personal\Non-Profit:This is a location based platform.  This is to notify your connections where you are and what you have done at a certain location.  I have gowalla hooked into my facebook and twitter feeds.  This is the cross posting that sometimes people do not like, but it is an evolving social property producing platform and the rules are more unwritten and ever changing.  You acquire pins, discounts, passport, and trip information.  The trip information is the most interesting of them all this platform, especially for businesses! Have fun!


    Professional\Personal: The is the application and account I have hooked up on my Sprint EVO.  It uploads to twitter, facebook, and youtube based on using the camcorder on my EVO.
    Professional\Personal: Using the New Digg to manage all my social bookmarks.
    Professional\Personal: I use StumbleUpon to promote my personal blog. I also bookmark articles to this if this is the only option for social bookmarking.  If Digg is available I will use that.
    Professional\Personal:I use Picasa for managing all my photos via the web and desktop.  It is my picture repository on and offline.  I do have a flickr account for connecting with others and publish some of my photos via my Picasa account.  My Picasa account houses all the pictures I send out via my Posterous (crosspollinatingverticals.com) account.
    Professional\Personal: This calendar platform allows me to display availability to allow people to connect and set appointments.  This also allows you to engage a group of people to find availability across several dates and times.  Been using this platform a lot for scheduling Social Media+Technology+Outdoors series.  This has proved to be a huge time saver and reply to all email strings in regards to availability to meet.
    • Google Calendar:
    Professional\Personal: The calendar I use on my phone to manage all my appointments professional and personal.  I manage one calendar for both.  The source of my appointments is my work calendar, then outward from there.  This helps me avoid the dreaded double booking!
    Professional\Personal: This is a community I am highly committed to in Minneapolis.  This is a monthly professional organization that brings together people within the social media communities. There are many opportunities to connect, share, learn, and find people, process and technologies.  There will be a topic I have been working with this community to produce a series on how Social Media+Technology+Outdoors are really increasing the way we connect as people and communities in the outdoors.
    Personal:I make up t-shirts based on ideas and concepts.  This is just a fun little thing I do. I post them for sale, but have never had anyone purchase one yet, maybe someday……
    Professional: This is my online resume.  This gives me the ability to allow people or companies to discover my work experience.  This platform provides companies the ability to download and view my resume on the internet.  It also allows me the ability to be notified who is reviewing this information based on email notifications and analytics this platform provides.
    Professional\Personal: I have this account set up for faster sign up for events.  This platform I use for promoting the events I am going to locally or nationally.  Having this account set up makes for signing up fast and easy.  Many of the organizations you are associated with is using this ticketing platform for their events.  Other similar platforms are Meetup.com and TicketLeap.com. If you need to set up events and sell tickets I would highly encourage using these platforms.  You get the people involved to promote your events by signing up through the integrated social platforms to these websites.
    Professional\Personal: This platform is rather new, but it easily distributes and notifies your connections of upcoming events or activities you will be doing.  Once people see you are going they can count themselves in also.  Helps events to get promoted even if it is not the event organizer.

     

    Analytics:

    • Google Reader:
    My Google Reader is used for managing all my RSS feeds and Google Alerts.  I use this as my repository of all the blogs I follow.  I try to keep up with all the information that is put through this channel, but this one is tough!  One strategy I have been implementing is monthly if I do not get through reading all the stuff I want, I mark all the blogs as read and start over.  The highlighted account names helps to notify that there are new posts.  Secondly, I have a one stop shop to read and scan all my Google Alerts I have set up.  I have Alerts set up for my name and all it’s forms. This helps me manage my social properties.  It is my manual identity checker!  The only person that is going to manage your social properties are you!  I highly encourage everyone jumping into social platform and property management to get these set up right away.
    • Google Analytics:
    Track and monitor the traffic coming into and out of my social platforms.  This information helps me manage, course correct, and make connections to others on the internet to build relationships.  Here is an example of what I do when I see information that helps build relationships: “Hey @jeffnols just wanted to say thank you tcthursdayhappyhours.com is #2 site driving traffic to keithprivette.com in last 45 days!” If you like data you will love using this tool to help manage your social platforms, if you don’t this will help you like it!  You can really understand action reaction.  Data typically does not lie!
    • Google Alerts:
    I have google alerts set up researching companies, people and topics.  This helps me discover new people, new perspectives and discussion topics.  I highly encourage people to get these setup for engaging and monitoring their social platforms and properties.
    • Gmail Accounts:
    I have several emails accounts that I manage all my above accounts with.  I typically set up my notifications through each of these accounts to get notified of changes, connections, newsletters, and head off potential attacks and hacking.

     

    Klout is free or paid tool for personal or business use that you can use to evaluate your social properties you have put on twitter.  Klout tracks the impact of your opinions, links and recommendations across your social graph. We collect data about the content you create, how people interact with that content and the size and composition of your network. From there, we analyze the data to find indicators of influence and then provide you with innovative tools to interact with and interpret the data.  Yes this is a twitter tool only.  This will help you to review how others see what type of information you are putting out into the social feed of twitter.  I typically review this information once a month to see what my monthly activities say about me and my engagement.

     

    Grader.com is a suite of tools that helps you measure and analyze your marketing efforts.  This tool is owned and operated by Hubspot.com another great company and group of individuals helping to review, analyze, track, and educate businesses and people about the social landscapes.  I use twittergrader to not only track my progress but progress of others across the social landscapes.  You can discover local and national people using these tools as well.

     

    Technology:

     

    • [ilink url=”http://seesmic.com”]Seesmic[/ilink] :
    Web based multiple account management.  This technology platform provides access to all your accounts on any computer across the internet.  This also allows companies or organizations have multiple people manage a single account.  This platform lets users manage: accounts, pictures, url shortner, social bookmarking, and all comes with analytics.  The added benefit is Hootsuite is their mobile application for smartphones.  This is the application I use to maintain, engage and communicate within the twitter community.  One limitation is only allowing 10 columns per account.  Personally I use more columns to manage hashtag conversations.
    • Sprint HTC EVO:
    My smartphone – LOVE IT! Having the right apps, access to accounts, and gps activated makes for on the move mobile computing and connecting it increases your chances to connecting and networking.
    • MacBook Pro 13.3:
    My Laptop – LOVE IT! Yes I was a (Sony Vaio) PC, but I dumped a whole, yes a whole cup of coffee into my laptop.  For Christmas 2010 my lovely wife went out and bought me a MacBook Pro…whoa!
    Thanks @carloseberhardt you gave me the title to this blog today!  Carlos’ tweet
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