I AM DUTCH… So, there you have it. An obvious point, I know, but I need to say it. And why do I need to say it? Well because it means my first language isn’t English and that frustrates the heck out of me.
Yes, I write in English, I can speak English, I can even stand up and address groups in English and feel comfortable doing that but I am never as good or as fluent as I would like to be. I’m always grasping for words, searching for meanings and struggling with spelling. Especially while writing.
Writing to me is the ultimate form of expression. It is where I can pour my soul, humanity and creativity into and really express what I feel. Doing it in English though also means it is a constant struggle of searching for words and meanings to capture my thoughts. You don’t realize the power of words until you find yourself searching for them all the time.
Those words and combinations you only use in exclusive situations, the finer nuances of language, all those specific details that the 2-4 hours a week of high school English I got in my teens, didn’t cover.
And so I learn. I learn daily, from reading other peoples blogs, from watching English TV, from interacting on social Media. Analyzing and Googling ever word and linguistic anomaly that triggers my interest, expanding my vocabulary constantly.
It’s my obsession, it’s my frustration, and it’s my insecurity… as it makes me feel so inadequate and unprepared.
So?! Why don’t you write in Dutch then? Well because I want to be heard. I write to invoke a response and many of the people I would like to reach don’t read Dutch. So yes, it is a choice to write in English and therefore to struggle with it.
I’m well aware my English is already better than most non-native English speakers. I’m also proud of the fact that apart from Dutch and English I can have conversations in German and even have basic skills in French but at the same time I’m jealous. I envy all you native English speakers for having a language at your fingertips that allows you to communicate with at least a third if not more of the world population. A language that is seen as the standard and that you have been taught from the crib, a language whose finer details and quirky depths to you aren’t a mystery so much as well as a tedious lesson in school.
I want to be you, I want my brain to grasp those words I’m often searching for, those expressions and fantastic nuances... till I do I will struggle, with every blog, sometimes with every tweet. I will make mistakes and get corrected, I will mess up and be told off, I will experiment and get it wrong but, I will not give up. And not just because I feel an urge to be heard, but also, and maybe more importantly, because during all this struggle I not just got to appreciate the English language, I got to love it; its variation, its complex simplicity, its quirky uniqueness….
So next time when I ask you for a word definition, or use an uncommon word in a chat or tweet with a “(?)” behind it, know that it is me learning and grasping and tell me if I do it wrong. And hopefully, one day, I will be able to express everything that goes on in my head in English as easy as I do in Dutch. Till then, bear with me, smile about my silly mistakes and help me get better.
Social marketing… what’s in it for me?
Wed, Nov 13th 2013 7:46a Femke Goedhart Monday morning someone in my network tweeted a link to a site called “#UncoverPhilips“. A promotion by the large multinational we all know quite well to get some social buzz around their new logo that they are announcing today (Nov 13th 2013). The site was quite simple and showed a gray image hiding the new logo. Users could uncover a pixel of the image and so uncover the logo before it’s actual launch on Wednesday the 13th of November. Catch: you had to do so by signing in wit [read] Keywords: email
Update.. it has been a while!
Wed, Nov 6th 2013 6:10a Femke Goedhart It has been a while since my last post and a lot happened.
After attending the great ICONUK in Brighton in September and the Leadership Alliance in Boston two weeks ago I went back home to train for the Zevenheuvelen loop. A 15k race in November that Silverside traditionally competes in with a company team. This year would be even bigger as we have 3 teams of employees, customers and relations lined up. People who know me know that I love running even though I’m an absolute lousy runner (w [read] Keywords: connections
ICONUK Session slides: “Requirements Gathering or the secret art of mindreading”
Thu, Sep 12th 2013 3:09p Femke Goedhart Session slides for our session on Requirements Gathering as given by Tim Clark & me on September 2nd at ICON UK in Brighton.
Often forgotten or trivialized, good requirements gathering can make or brake your project. This session will give you techniques and tips on how to effectively get to the core of the requirements, identify ways of prioritizing them and explains some core concepts of Functional and Technical design elements. Based on years of experience gathering req [read] Keywords: application
Social Connections – Zurich
Tue, Jun 11th 2013 6:16a Femke Goedhart Online Ticketing for Social Connections V – Zurich powered by Eventbrite
I know I’ve been less than forthcoming with posts these last few weeks, my apologies for that. It has just been crazy busy.
First of all with work, second of all with achieving my CIP (Certified Information Professional by AIIM) certification and lastly by Social Connections.
After a very successful Social Connections IV in Amsterdam the International IBM Connections user group is about to decent on Zurich f [read] Keywords: connections
How to prevent the community manager from exploding
Fri, Apr 26th 2013 2:19p Femke Goedhart To all organizations who think they’ve got it all sorted out so nicely because they have a community manager MANAGE it all…
Calling them ‘manager’ doesn’t mean they can control everything their community does or say unless you actually:
give them managerial rights over their community members (which you can’t if the community is comprised of customers or external parties);
inform them of the things you are doing BEFORE you are doing them instead of just dropp [read] Keywords: community
From describing to applying – user training taken seriously
Fri, Apr 12th 2013 10:17a Femke Goedhart It still is one of the most common mistakes made ever… Implementing new or updated software without providing user training as the reasoning is: “Oh, we don’t need to train our users. They have been using this (or similar) software for years, surely they know by now how to use it“.
Well, do they really? I’ve recently been involved in several adoption projects where we trained both new users as well as users who had been using collaboration tools for years on how com [read] Keywords: collaboration
IBM Connections 4.5 and Connections Content Manager available
Fri, Mar 29th 2013 11:14a Femke Goedhart As announced the IBM Connections 4.5 release and the Connections Content Manager add-on were made available for download today through the appropriate channels. The following sites give information on features, links to relevant content and pricing:
blog by Luis Benitez with relevant video’s and links
Official IBM Connections 4.5 product page
Official IBM Connections 4.5 documentation wiki
Official CCM product page & pricing (US)
Enjoy! [read] Keywords: connections
IBM Connections 4.5 and Connections Content Manager release dates announced
Tue, Mar 12th 2013 4:38a Femke Goedhart IBM outdid itself this time by announcing the release of IBM Connections 4.5 and the new Connections Content Manager for March 29th 2013. Only 2 months after first presenting it at IBM Connect.
On top of the great new features IBM Connections 4.5 offers, Connections Content Manager will additionally offer document management functionality like checkin-checkout, nested folders, versioning & draft control as well as integrated access security to organize and control content within the IBM Conn [read] Keywords: connections