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.
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
Job interview with a twist
Thu, Feb 21st 2013 1:56a Femke Goedhart Usually I don’t really buy into these as it is of course a clever way of advertising a beer brand, but… I do love the premises of taking a process like the hiring process that is so standard, mandated and rigid that it has taken out any chance of really showing your true personality as a candidate and twisting it around completely to become something in which you can’t help but show something of yourself. But more then that, I love the idea of the voting. Making the hiring proc [read] Keywords:
BLUG – speaking of social document management
Tue, Feb 12th 2013 5:12a Femke Goedhart Yet again Theo Heselmans and team have managed to do the impossible: get an absolutely fantastic line up together for the upcoming BLUG event in Leuven, Belgium on March 21-22.
I'm honered to say my session “Folksonomy versus Taxonomy, Social Document management in IBM Connections” about document management in general and the new integration of libraries in IBM Connections (CCM) in particular was accepted and I look forward to seeing so many from the IBM community in just over a [read] Keywords: connections
Blackberry I hate you… or do I??
Mon, Feb 4th 2013 2:54p Femke Goedhart Yes, you read it correctly. For the last few years I’ve been loathing my Blackberry Bold. It’s clunky, slow loading, the apps don’t do what I want them to do (heck, they won’t even update without requiring a full reboot which takes at least 15min), installing apps is an absolute nightmare and most of all I hate it’s really unhandy position of the mute, hold and speaker buttons on the ‘phone’ screen.
Why you ask? Well because the ‘phone’ app i [read] Keywords: ibm