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.
SharePoint Connect 2014 – Amsterdam
Wed, Nov 19th 2014 8:14a Femke Goedhart Yesterday I had the pleasure of being able to speak together with my coworker André Krijnen at SharePoint Connect 2014 in Amsterdam. An annual event that with it’s 500 attendees is visited by many from the SharePoint community both in The Netherlands and from abroad. With a broad spectrum of sponsors and lots of great international speakers this event is a definite must go for those interested in SharePoint in the Benelux area.
Although I’ve been speaking at conferences for more the [read] Keywords: collaboration
IBM Insights highlights
Tue, Nov 4th 2014 3:00p Femke Goedhart Last week I had the privilege of attending IBM Insight 2014 in Las Vegas. The largest Big Data conference in the world that focuses on Business Analytics, Information Management and Enterprise Content Management. As someone with a keen interest in both Analytics as well as ECM it was the perfect place to learn a bit more of the solutions IBM offers – or is planning to offer – in this space.
Out of the many highlights of this week three stood out for me personally:
1. IBM Watson Analy [read] Keywords: ibm
Silverside moved – Come celebrate!
Mon, Sep 22nd 2014 4:40a Femke Goedhart Due to expansion and new people joining the firm it was time to say goodbye to our old offices in Gouda and to find a new (and bigger!) home. So this summer Silverside moved offices from Gouda to Capelle a/d IJssel where we now have a beautiful new office overlooking the A16. To celebrate this occasion we will be hosting a party & reception on October 2nd. Curious about our new venue? Join us in celebrating!
15:30 t/m 17:30: Open door
17:30 t/m 18:30: Official opening
18:30 t/m ..:..: BBQ [read] Keywords: office
Session slides for our ICONUK session
Sun, Sep 14th 2014 10:12a Femke Goedhart Session as delivered by Sasja Beerendonk & me at ICONUK in London on September 12th 2014
Beyond theory: Trials & tribulations in becoming a successful social business
Abstract: There is lots of theory about how to become a social business but what really does or doesn’t work? We wanted to know and interviewed 32 companies in various stages of their journey to becoming a social business. Not just highlighting the big wins but also talking about the struggles and small successes th [read] Keywords:
Speaking at ICONUK 2014
Sun, Sep 7th 2014 3:16p Femke Goedhart Next week I will be flying out to London to join my coworker Sasja Beerendonk to deliver a session at ICONUK 2014 on the trials & tribulations of becoming a successful social business. I’m really looking forward to this session in more then one way:
First of all because it will be my first time presenting together with Sasja whom I’ve know for years as a specialist of social business adoption and who, I’m lucky to say, decided to join the great team we have at Silverside [read] Keywords: linkedin
Why? – Why not
Mon, Aug 18th 2014 10:10a Femke Goedhart Sometimes something inspires you, hits you or just speaks to you. Today I saw this fragment on a Dutch tv show and it hit a nerve.
I’m not in science but I am in IT and I still get asked sometimes “why?”. I’ve never really paused at that question, I knew when I started I was an exception in a sea of men (my then company employed 160 male and only 4 female IT consultants) but I never felt inhibited or held back in any way to become or do what I wanted. The ‘why?R [read] Keywords:
Dander4Dosh – Break(ing) in the foot
Sun, May 25th 2014 4:11p Femke Goedhart Ok, so people who know me might know that I broke my foot last November. I was training for a 15k race (running) and missed a curb…. Stupid, stupid, stupid….
Seven weeks of a cast, a wheelchair and crutches on I was more then ready to restart my live and decided that I had to get back in the swing of exercising. As running still felt a bit daunting so soon after the break and as I had already kind of committed myself to walk the Dander4Dosh I figured it would be the perfect way to fo [read] Keywords: facebook
IBM Connections Folders #4: Some final recommendations
Fri, Apr 18th 2014 9:10a Femke Goedhart This blog is follow up in a series of blogs on Folders in IBM Connections. For full understanding I would recommend reviewing the previous blogs: #1: Community Folders, #2: Ownership of files and folders and #3 working with folders first.
So in the previous three post I explained a bit about the ins and outs of IBM Connections folders, the different flavours you have and how they work and differ from each other. But the question now is how do you use them…?
I’m not going to tell you.
[read] Keywords: connections
IBM Connections Folders #3: working with folders
Fri, Apr 18th 2014 12:11a Femke Goedhart This blog is follow up in a series of blogs on Folders in IBM Connections. For full understanding I would recommend reviewing the previous blogs: #1: Community Folders and #2: Ownership of files and folders first.
When I was starting this series of blogs on the different options of sharing files & folders within IBM Connections it was mostly influenced by my own interest in how it all worked. As a Business Consultant specializing in both Document Management as well as Social Business anyth [read] Keywords: connections
IBM Connections Folders #2: Ownership of files and folders
Tue, Apr 15th 2014 1:14p Femke Goedhart This blog is follow up in a series of blogs on Folders in IBM Connections. For full understanding I would recommend reviewing #1: Community Folders first
Ownership is quite important in IBM Connection when it comes to data. Why? Well because ownership isn’t always straight forward and sometimes data shouldn’t be public.
Obvious! Why would you even need to say that?
Well… The premises of any social platform like IBM Connections is to share. That means that in theory the thinking [read] Keywords: connections