Welcome To My New Website! Woohoo!
I first want to publicly acknowledge and thank Robert Hubbs and Brenda Crompton. They are our friends and our IT Team, amongst other roles they play in our life…The Life Of A Professional Speaker. Marketing, Analytics, Social Media, Writing, Product Development, Sounding Boards; trust me, it’s a long list! We met through our Calgary chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) and considering they are extreme athletes participating in Kite Surfing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, to name a few, they are definitely not friends because of common activities! We just hit it off. The bonus happened when my wife and business partner, Darlene, recognized they could solve a business problem for us. By the way, that’s what I do for my clients in my speaking. I’m truly more than just a pretty face!
Apparently, “We needed to optimize our search engine analytics and increase the visibility of my work online”…
or something like that. See. I exist in a “Technology Conundrum”. Do you ever feel like that? The past year hasn’t helped. I had actually “never” done a Zoom call until April of 2020. I’d heard about it.
But since I don’t go to many “meetings” because I’m self employed and when I work, it’s speaking at an event somewhere, I had no knowledge. In fact, I haven’t used a “slide deck”, or PowerPoint on stage since the early 80’s when I actually used a slide projector! That’s not me. I’m a visual storyteller and a Keynote Speaker (as opposed to a trainer or workshop leader) and honestly, I’m a tad “old school”. Okay, I’m also 60 years old and my career path took me away from specializing in computers. I suppose I could have. I am typing this blog on my iPad with my two big toes. But I suck at math and “programming” or “coding” looks like a foreign language to me. Honestly, I don’t know how people do it.
I’m also a very public figure with another problem. Social media. I’m going to be very candid. I am not a big fan of social media. I watch “Tik Tok” and usually cringe. It’s so narcissistic. “Look at me, Look at me”! That’s how I felt about Twitter when it started. “Here’s a picture of my lunch. Here’s a picture of me. Here’s my cat. Me. Dinner. Me.” I hated people doing “selfies”. I mean it!
But, if you go to my new Photo Gallery on the new AlvinLaw.com, there I am. Forty years of photos of…wait for it; “Me”! Conundrum. You can see my latest Tweet. What I’ve posted on Facebook. I even spend an hour a day on LinkedIn, my preferred platform. I’ve also been on over 100 Zoom calls in one year.
Video! Ive got a pile of great videos on my new website. From my own two minute, self shot videos, “On The Road With Alvin” to a couple of full length talks to my three Goalcast clips, one of which has over 43,000,000 views on Facebook. When that seven minute show came out in 2018, I had well over a thousand messages on Facebook from complete strangers. One young man in India claimed my story saved his life when he was contemplating suicide. Wow! How far have we come?
Remember, I am a trained broadcaster
I vividly remember making my own first pamphlet. It was done on an IBM Selectric Typewriter and photocopied with coloured paper. That was my marketing. My first batch of business cards were in black & white! In 1992, we bought our first “word processor” and it freaked me out how complicated it was. But Darlene loved it. I was encouraged to actually audio record my talk and sell it in cassette format. I never did. Not because I couldn’t. Remember, I am a trained broadcaster. But the huge majority of my talks were in schools and kids don’t buy motivational cassette tape packages. Ironic because the biggest viewers on YouTube are kids. They also love Tik Tok, so nothing personal. It’s a Conundrum.
I have often mentioned, I became a big fan of “talk radio” when it was new. I can’t believe I actually became a fan of Rush Limbaugh! It was media’s first foray into mainstream political commentary. It absolutely refused to apologize for its bias, in Rush’s case, serious right wing perspective.
That’s how it started. And the Trump years took this emotional topic to the extreme of extremes. Social media has almost become “anti-social”! I really hate that. So, yet another Conundrum. Speaking of talk radio, I can still remember the very first time I actually phoned a talk show. I wanted to many times. I’ve got an opinion. The thing was, I had my own “soapbox” called “Professional Speaker”, and that was my place to discuss my thoughts on topics relevant to the event and human development.
I remember I was driving home from the Calgary airport after a gig and I caught Charles Adler, a Canadian talk radio star. He was doing a tongue in cheek rant about distracted driving and I couldn’t believe he said this, and I’m paraphrasing: “People are doing so much multi-tasking when they are driving it’s nuts. A phone in one hand, a burger in the other. Guess what? You have no hands to drive! How are you supposed to drive without hands?” If you are me, how can you not make a call?
So I met Charles for the first time. I pulled over, of course and got on his show and told him my story and how I drive with my right foot on the wheel and left foot on the gas or brake and I have no “hand controls” as they would be redundant. He couldn’t stop laughing. I actually ended up be an occasional guest of his show, especially around the topic of diversity and inclusion. I vividly recall a discussion around bullying in schools.
I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or argumentative but I suggested the topic is hugely exaggerated by the hype happy media and while bullying happens, we disrespect all the kids who don’t. I’m always about “balance”. Another Conundrum.
I told you, I’m not tech savvy so I really don’t understand the way platforms like Facebook can see and use your personal information and posts and how “like minded” individuals tend to dominate our pages. That seems so wrong. Even worse, the internet can even be a forum for the worst kind of person can find a group. “See how many pedophiles there are? I must be normal”…is a thought so creepy I struggled even writing it; to make a point.
Technology is like so many things in our world. Awesome…and Awful. I have to come clean. I do have a healthy ego! I also work hard to be humble. Talk about a Conundrum! I believe the bulk of humanity is the same. I also believe it’s the hidden anonymity of the internet that is the source of the majority of social media ills. We would never say some of the horrible things we say on Twitter to someone’s face. We even know that. Yet, we do it! I’ve done it! My ego wins. But not anymore.
I Dare You
I’m turning the page with my new, amazing and beautiful website. I will still have a social media presence but I’m using the next few months to focus on messages of hope and belief. I will resist the temptation to take on trolls and focus on items that renew our faith in humanity. Just because someone posts something that gets my goat, I’ll post videos of dog rescues and kittens! And I’m going to issue a challenge. Can you do the same? I dare you. I dare you to make a personal pledge to do what you can do to clean up the social media and internet Conundrum and embrace technology for what it was intended to do all along. To bring us together, not tear us apart. To make our lives better, not worse.