Gunther Sonnenfeld on Gladwell, GaGa and Organic Communities

As I continue down the rabbit hole that is Google+, it’s been exhilarating to connect with some of the thinkers, writers, bloggers and storytellers in my social networks, mainly Twitter and Facebook, but also from Quora, LinkedIn and Klout.

One of my favorite bloggers is Gunther Sonnenfeld (@goonth), the author of ThinkState and (any surprise here?) also a native of Southern California.

Though I’ve yet to break through the soundwaves of his 4k strong Twitter following, he added me back on Google+ circles. Geeked :)

We’re all like this. Who inspires you (other than yourself)? Who invigorates, challenges and amps you up for the day, week, month? The lovebuzz and insights we get from this is nothing short of a ripple that flows outward. At quantum levels, as Zian Silverwolf likes to put it.

So cool.   

Among many things, Gunther mentions observations on the direction of community and social interactions, in life and online. Storytelling, Gladwell, passion, organic references…and of course, GaGa.

Obviously this was my favorite part:

The Lady Gaga Misnomer (the truth about “superfandom”).

” Speaking of meaningful action… At breakfast this morning, a friend and colleague of mine shared a great story about the phenomenon that is Lady Gaga. He had been talking with her manager at a dinner party, who said that amid the 32 million plus fans she has acquired in her young career, only 60 – that’s right, SIX-ZERO – are her real fans, her “superfans”, who make or break her career and its respective paths. They essentially do all the talking, all the doing and all the marketing for her. This might not be entirely surprising when we think about how careers, especially in music, are so easily made and destroyed. But perhaps there is something far more kinetic in this equation, which is the idea that influence is borne from an intention so strong, a passion so alive, that what springs from it cannot be stopped. It can’t be confined to words. More importantly, it defines the path of the ordained. Lady Gaga is just a woman who had an imagination and a heart bigger than her own self — she played the role of a superstar, an inspirational icon, even when she was only performing for audiences of 30. Imagine what would happen if we were all influenced in the same way… If we all conveyed the emotion she does through her work (whether you like it or not…) and through those she so profoundly influences. “

Basically, it’s pretty simple for the Gags and those who “get it” »

” Being provocative is not just about getting peoples’ attention.

It’s about saying something that affects people in a real way — and a positive way… “

RELATED LINKS

Gunther Sonnenfeld >> The Future Now of Influence

Necessary GaGa Masterclass Comes to American Idol

The Convergence of Art and Technology: Google goes GaGa 

2011 Cleveland Asian Festival: Japanese, Chinese, Dirty Knees, Look at These…

CLEVELAND – Yes, the title is compliments of Seth McFarlane and Family Guy, which my buddies and I quote religiously, appropriately and (always) conniving-ly. And since blogging’s taken over my life, a series I am ashamed to admit I’ve not had time to keep up with, nor any television for that matter.

Seems bloggers don’t have time for TV [ Jeff Bullas’ 29 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging and Not Watching Television ].

Pretty crazy, almost seamless transition: blogging is so pervasive you are no longer merely a spectator of news and the media — you become a part of it. Call it positioning, inserting yourself into the here and now: it’s pretty ubiquitous. I’m fascinated by the concept of how social media and the digital age has led to the convergence of multiple industries across media channels, especially in PR and inbound marketing.

But anyway, it was beautiful today. So an old friend, mentor and fellow alum of Baldwin-Wallace College and I headed out to the Cleveland Asian Festival on the East side. She went last year but I wasn’t able to go (think I was out of town). She mentioned there were a bit more vendors/tents up this year (CLE PRogress duude!), and the event was held just on Saturday rather than through the weekend.

filipino mestizo Mary Toale flea market Vietnamese cuisine Cleveland

The aromas wafting  through the air, vendors, flea markets and people-watching reminded me of home (Southern/Northern California, Vegas, Rochester, NY) — and it felt great. Nostalgia kicking in again.

Being raised in an eclectic household, specifically Filipino and Hispanic-Italian, and growing up traveling essentially made nutrition a huge part of my life. I love to cook –and many of my closest friends, family and colleagues are also requisite foodies. My theory on fitness: balance sustainable, organic and a minimalist (support local farmers!) diet, allowing the occasional indulgences, with an active (or in some cases, hyperactive) lifestyle.

Presto.

Upon arriving, we naturally wove our way over to the food area. Beginning with steamed pork and mushroom dumplings (siu mai) — arguably one of my favorites from the evening — we progressed to chicken skewers, egg rolls and sesame taro puffs, which are notoriously doughy, but sweet (and filling).

And nooo, I don’t know these things off the top of my head lol (biological parents I never knew were Vietnamese and purportedly Caucasian). In fact, friends often roast me for being a banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside). C’est la vie…

The heat was sweltering (finally some sun!), so we cooled off with a concept I hadn’t heard of until today called FrütIt reminded me of Red Mango out in Vegas/California: a Korean take on nonfat, all-natural, gluten-free yogurt with probiotics and no artificial sweeteners [ Yelp review here >>http://bit.ly/mMk1eT ].

Apropos, she went with Classic, an iced lemonade, and I got one called Terrach, which had strawberries, blueberries and lemon in a raspberry/blackberry base. It was as refreshing and tasty as gelato (Italian ice), a pleasant surprise.

Before turning in, we also stopped by the indoor pavilion/bazaar of specialty shops, where I couldn’t pass up spring rolls with Thai peanut sauce for $2.99 to take home…

All in all a good day.

thai peanut sauce asian vietnamese shrimp Cleveland asian festival

DogPound Courage: We Choose to Be Here

CLEVELAND – Courage and passion. These words lingered as I left Touch Supper club last night, the back room still abuzz with laughter and exchanges over topics from Go Daddy, WordPress and self-hosting to diet and training regimens for the Boston marathon.

As my right arm still smarts from a rendezvous with the frying pan/bacon grease this morning (I lost –serves me right for being half-awake, on the phone and trying to make breakfast simultaneously…), here are a few insights I gained during the Ohio Blogging Association meetup last night:

Cleveland Ohio City blogging bloggers Byron Fernandez

Photos courtesy of Alicia Hansen and the Ohio Blogging Association

>>It takes courage to tell your story, courage to be accountable for who you are and who you want to be. In the words of George Eliot, It is never too late to be what you might have been.

>>Didn’t mind being the baby of the group. Some bloggers were celebrating one or two-year anniversaries (kudos!), others were seasoned veterans on the Cleveland scene. Whether bloggers of dieting or fitness, yoga, food and wine, running, tech, lifestyle, sustainability or PR and marketing, it was clear we all had one thing in common: a love for this city.

>>The food and hospitality was great (Yelp review here: Touch Supper Club). We were actually in the same back room another group and I had over New Year’s Eve –great for private parties and events.

>>Something Jen, the author of Why Cleveland? shared really hit home for me: We choose to be here. She, too, is not originally from Believeland (having moved back twice throughout education, personal and career travels), and mentioned one of the main reasons for beginning her blog was because she was so tired of hearing the inane “Why are you here” and “Why would you come back?” jabs from people who’ve been born and bred here.

The same ones that complain when Forbes or Newsweek list Cleveland as the most Miserable City in the country…when they were likely the ones said media interviewed! (Touché, Jen!). Dually refreshing and amusing, it also gave me added resolve for creative, snarky responses when people find out I’m from California and New York…

>>WordPress is favored over blogger/blogspot, both from blogger and reader ends (during a conversation with Maria from Germany, I shared how I’m a visual nerd, and liked that WP seems more fluid, customizable in shape and form).

>>We all shared concerns, challenges with making the transition to self-hosted domains. “Monetizing” and other pros/cons of ads, negotiating financial, post schedules, etc. with the creative, artistic freedoms inherent in the process of blogging for fun. As I am only a few months out of the gate, I’m still enjoying the wide-eyed role of learning and absorbing all I can as I connect and meet those in the professional and personal community. As Alicia mentioned, the opportunities for collaboration in our local communities and the blogging ecosystem at large are endless.

Regardless of background or age, everyone present mentioned they just needed an outlet, a way to write and share their story. Pretty neat.

As Thoreau says: How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. 

Touch supper club ohio city cleveland blogging bloggers

Courtesy of Alicia Hansen and the Ohio Blogging Association

Thanks again to Alicia Hansen, a fellow alumni of Baldwin-Wallace, for hosting the event!

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