It's that time of year again when I count my blessings and give thanks for the people who have made a difference for Kane Consulting.
To help me in this process, I started by dumping out the "Jar O' Happiness" I kept in 2013. (Every time something good happened this year, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and stuck it in the jar.)
Even though the year felt rather uneventful, I still found many moments and memories tucked away in that jar for which I am very grateful.
To the people below -- and to my friends on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn (yeah, I know, I'm a bad friend when it comes to that platform), Google Plus (ditto) and the readers of this blog -- I'd like to say, thank you.
I'm not sure any of you realize just how much your support and encouragement means to me; especially in a year like this one (where I felt like I took more steps backwards than I did, forward.)
Every girl needs a colleague she can call to complain about work stuff or ask questions privately that would make her look dumb to ask publicly. Kary is that person for me. (And, of course, so much more.) I love you to pieces, lady. Keep fighting the good fight.
Mark invited me to speak at Social Slam this year, where I met virtual friends IRL, and made some new ones, too. So, many thanks for that, Mark, and for being an all around nice guy. Many audience members from #SoSlam supported my proposal to speak at SXSW 2014. While my proposal was not accepted (I have quite the impressive losing streak going when it comes to SXSW) those folks gave me perhaps the greatest shot at getting in I've ever had.
I joined the author community at Steamfeed about a year ago and have enjoyed getting to know such a diverse and interesting group of professionals. In particular, I must give a shout out to Gerry Michaels, who is the unofficial cheerleader/Julie McCoy "Cruise Director" of the group and has had me as a guest on his show, Steamfeed Radio a few times. That dude has an enormous heart.
We've considered putting Shelly on the KaneCo Thanksgiving list for years. But Kary and I would always say, "But we don't even really know her. Wouldn't she think that was weird?" Well, I'm sticking her on the list this year anyway. Shelly is a class act. She shares good content, all day long and has one of the most approachable, authentic online personas in the social web. Yes, she could be a psycho killer in real life. But even if I find out that's the case, I'd likely still write her fan girl letters while she's in prison. She's that cool.
I mange an online community on Facebook for people undergoing/recovering from spinal fusions. The people who visit the page are at the end of their rope (just like I was when I was a fusion virgin back in 2007.) Giving those folks something to hold on to, passing along the latest news about the procedure and (in some cases) talking some out of ending their lives is a job I take very seriously and am honored to do. Managing the page doesn't help my career or raise my Klout score, but it's the most important work I have ever done in social media.
Every year, I include someone on this list who quietly but consistently gives me support. Meghan is my choice for this year. Just want you to know, Meghan, that I notice every time you comment or hit "like" on my random musings or blog posts and am thankful for it. Quite honestly, most days there is a voice in the back of my head saying, "No one cares what you think, Jen." People like you help me fight that voice every single day. And that's pretty amazing.
As I shared a few weeks ago, I've been really concerned the past few years about where social media is going as an industry. When it comes to this topic, sometimes I feel like I'm the crazy person carrying a "The End is Nigh" sign up and down the block. But thankfully, many other people in my position are also writing about this same problem. And many colleagues reached out to me privately in response to my post, sharing similar concerns. I am not making this up. Something is rotten in the state of social media, and I don't know how to fix it. But just knowing I'm not the only one who sees it is immensely comforting.
I tend not to talk a lot about my clients publicly. Often those companies are still finding their voices, so I need to be discreet when I talk about helping them start using them, online. That's not to say that I don't love and appreciate them, though. I'm thankful to every last one for the opportunity to help, support and counsel them this year, and every year.
Last year I turned away more work than I took on. And it's because I have a loving and supportive husband that I was able to do this and say no to projects that felt wrong, companies I didn't feel comfortable supporting and opportunities that would have made me more popular, but likely less happy. So, to my husband, I'd like to officially say, "thank you" and "I love you," (and I'm sorry I am a huge pain in the ass sometimes.)
In case you are curious, here are links to the shout outs for...
(Before 2010, I was thankful, but not savvy enough to blog about it.)
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Jennifer Kane, principal of Kane Consulting, is a communications strategist with more than 15 years of experience working with B2B and B2C companies and professional associations. She is a two time IABC Bronze Quill award-winner for her strategic planning.