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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I am about to be a "bloggeuse"

I've seen prettier words, but it's the French for a female blogger.

Time to share a bit of good news on this end. I have been invited to write a blog for the Tribune de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland's main newspaper. They currently have 4 staff writers with blogs, but I am their first outsider, and the only one writing in English. The idea is for me to attract international readers. Geneva's population of 400,000 is 45% foreign, and English is the main language they share, thus the potential readership is very good. More than that, it is an exciting challenge! This group is also an important part of the audience for my new community service news site, www.genevalunch.com, so it's a good marketing platform for me.

After some reflection and discussion we agreed on two themes, which I can mix as I see fit. Here they are:

Too many hats

The confused life of a modern international adult. Take me, for example, I am a CEO, writer and editor, reporter, mother, wife, daughter, sister, gardener, imbiber, photographer, lawnkeeper, seamstress, baker, specialist in special education, mild techie, publisher, translator - am I a multilingual, multicultured renaissance person or someone who doesn't know how to fill in online forms, which don't allow this many labels?

An example of a post for this might be: Three small tasks this week provoked an identity crisis. I filled in a survey for the Financial Times, as a manager responsible for IT purchases, but I wanted to add (no space) that I've written travel articles for them because I think that's more interesting than being an IT buyer. I finally registered for the online version of the New York Times and repliedg based on what I think they'll do with the statistics. Then I tried to buy Hanes underwear online only to discover that they can't cope with people outside the U.S., which made me feel like a non-person. I was almost in tears at my inability to buy American-cut boxer shorts.

The devil is in the detail

We believe we focus on the big things in our lives, like work and family. In reality, it's all the little stuff that we spend much of our time grappling with and chatting about, and in general being tripped up by. Otherwise put: why the boss no longer buys shoes with laces.

An example of this might be: I bumped into a woman I hadn't seen in months and I asked her about the new American CEO in her company. What does the staff think about him, now that they have had a few months of him? Never mind the strategy, the vision, the changes in teams. "He doesn't say 'good morning' to anyone and he doesn't look up at you until you've stood in front of his desk for a minute. So nobody likes him and we're changing our view of Americans. We thought they were all friendly."

My face ached from smiling at her after that, trying to make up for one American's insensitivity to making quick eye contact.

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