Christmas Family Photo Shoot

It was wonderful taking time to do an up-to-date photo with my family. I am so thankful for the close family that I do have. Amazing parents and a super cool sibling. This is our pre-christmas photo shoot.  Our last professional shoot together was back in 2008. Time flies!

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Chicken Taco Platter

taco-platter-lateishea-cooper

 

My Chicken Taco Platter was really an inverted taco. I added my cooked ground chicken after I topped it with some taco sauce (straight out of the can). Nested a bed of lettuce. Added diced tomatoes on top of the lettuce shreds. Sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top (I know it is not real cheese. But what’s real these days?). Then I added about a cup of white rice for the filler.  Finally, I laid the taco shell onto the platter to complete the plate.

 

 

Free Language Learning App For All

duolingo

I can’t begin to express how much I enjoy using Duolingo – a free language learning app. I stumbled across it accidentally when I was looking for productive apps to add to my device. It did not convince me that it would actually be effective so I did not download it right away. About two weeks later a friend of mine mentioned it when we were talking about learning new languages. I was informed about how useful this app really was. The only complaint my friend had was that it gave lots of notifications. After thinking about the notifications received he eventually realized it was something he had selected within the app to encourage that level of intense learning.

duolingo-top-2016-app

Although I did not download a language learning app previously, I had computer applications that I used. My computer learning programs include Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. Rosetta Stone was great with the vocabulary building. Pimsleur literally had me thinking in another language after 3 months of consistent use. That was a huge deal for me since I have never really done that before with any other language other than English.

duolingo-vs-rosetta2

How Effective is Duolingo?

“On average, it takes 34 hours of Duolingo to learn the equivalent of one semester of college. Since a semester of college generally takes a lot more than 34 hours of work, this suggests that Duolingo is more effective than a college course.” – Read the entire Duolingo effectiveness report here.

How does it compare to Rosetta Stone?

The Duolingo effectiveness study “was done by an external research team that previously evaluated the effectiveness of other methods such as Rosetta Stone. It is of note that it took 55 hours of study with Rosetta Stone to reach the equivalent of one semester of college. So not only is Duolingo free-er than Rosetta Stone, the study suggests it’s also better.” – Duolingo

Can children use Duolingo?

Having the option to use an app to learn a second and eventually third language is truly remarkable. Not long after I added this language learning app to my routine other relatives started to do the same. My mother in particular started using it on her cellphone and my 6 year old cousin is on the app every day on her tablet. I got my cousin into the app by using it myself. It is colorful and fun in appearance. It is user-friendly and kid friendly. She watched me use it a few times then asked if she could give it a try. I helped her to install it onto her tablet. She is the kind of child who grew up with yourbabycanread and has been ahead of her age group ever since. It only takes her 15 minutes to complete her homework. What made me get her involved in it was the fact that she was always too idle. Busy watching hours and hours of YouTube videos and the like. It made me sick. She needed more things to do. More productive activities. I am happy she enjoys Duolingo enough to do that for at least an hour daily instead of watching pointless videos on YouTube.

How is it free?

Honestly, when I first got it I thought there might be a catch to this free app. Then I found out that it is truly a free app. The company received generous donations for being what it is – useful. Users see occasional sponsored ads that also offset some of their expenses. Another thing they are doing is focusing more on becoming a language certification center. On LinkedIn, Duolingo is also collaborating to display the score on user’s resumeto allow the score to be easily incorporated into a user’s résumé page. Last year Duolingo For Schools was launched allowing teachers to track their students with a dashboard.

duolingo-spanish

Feeling more relaxed about the What’s In It For Them factor. I now find myself using Duolingo language learning app at least 20 minutes per day. When I am in my car I tend to play other tapes to practice while I commute. There is not much of a commute here in paradise but it’s still fun to do when I drive to work or to the beach. Trips are not much more than 15 minutes, but when I look at how many 15 minute trips I get within a week, it is still a better idea than skiping sessions altogether.

Knowledge is power. I encourage you to start using this free language learning app today!

 

How can I get it?

Get the app: Duolingo – iTunesAndroid 

Languages available on Duolingo for English Speakers includes:

Latin American Spanish

French

German

Italian

Brazilian Portuguese

Dutch

Swedish

Russian

Irish

Turkish

Danish

Norwegian

Bokmål

Polish

Esperanto

Ukrainian

Welsh

Hebrew

Vietnamese

Hungarian

Greek

English

Work Away From Work

Hurricane Matthew hit us hard. Lots have been lost. I found myself bouncing between cyber cafes to continue where I left off with my work efforts. Strangely enough, it really reminded me of what it was like to work remotely. I spent 5 years working various contracts for companies across the grid – virtually that is. It was always an adventure.

Sure was something. Some days I found myself on contracts working as early as 3am my time (EST) to meet with clients at 9am their time (by choice of course!). At one point I worked 2 hours behind as I assisted a Canadian company. My very first online contract was with a gentleman in Germany. The nature of both jobs were similar. I assisted with writing and getting the public to view their companies in a positive light.

Some of my online tasks included: answering telephone calls, handling emails, writing articles, chatting with customers online, and mediating customer complaints. Sales, Social Media, Shipping, Order Processing, Writing, and Customer Service were my chosen virtual fields.

There was a major difference between working a contract online and working a full-time job in the real world. No real protection existed to ensure employee benefits and some jobs even had me haggle for a paid lunch break! I thought a paid lunch break was a given. Oh no, not in the virtual world!

All in all, it is what you make it. Mostly I worked for the knowledge I knew I would gain from clashing cultures. I gleaned tons of current SEO knowledge while working with a man in the UK. I had some really sweet clients who were loaded with work opportunities and completely able to handle a full-time contract. I worked with a gentleman in Australia for almost 3 years! That’s pretty long for a virtual contract. Seeing that workers from all educational and geographical backgrounds are also at the client’s disposal. Being an average worker in the virtual world does not always cut the mustard.

Not sure if anything changed since I started in 2010 but lack of labor laws reaching out to you from the other end of your mouse leaves you vulnerable to lose your job/contract at the drop of a hat! That was more than enough encouragement for persons like myself to work hard and keep current with the latest trends in my area.

Once you do your part you should have nothing to worry about. Treat others the right way and you are halfway there. “Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.” – Nishan Panwar

Work away from work does not have to wait for horrendous events such as a hurricane. I think employees should be able to work away from work at least 2 days out of the week as a part of their work environment. Things are changing and businesses tend to lag behind the process of change. Employees know what they need to do. Even if they didn’t know what they need to do. They at least have tasks to complete. Either they can complete those task or not. If they are serious employees it should not take much for them to get the job done.

Organizing and motivating yourself to work in your own time and location is a personal challenge. It takes real commitment to work in a virtual environment. Your results will tell the truth about your productivity.

I am not so sure how many businesses are taking advantage of a virtual labor force in other countries but here in the Bahamas it is virtually nonexistent. It is like a science fiction. I have noticed less than 1 percent of the Bahamas population actively involved in virtual work spaces in prominent virtual work websites .

Recently, I was able to speak to a Toastmasters group about the opportunity to make money online. I made money online full-time and part time. I hired and I worked for others. It is a challenging environment. I would understand if most employers decide not to join the virtual employment world.

When I think about what is happening to physical companies everywhere – The Bahamas included. I think about the opportunities to work away from work. Such opportunities exist. Not only are they more profitable for companies but they are also great at producing happier employees. People can work from home. I did, millions of others did it and so can you!

Teish the Marketing Technologist

Explaining my then offbeat corporate skills to others was a complicated and time consuming process until now. I happened to come across one job title that sums up all of my Marketing and Technology expertise without having to claim more than one hat! Totally cool right? Marketing Technologist is the title I will hold on to from now on at least in terms of explaining what I do for companies.

Feel free to skip to the bottom for  handpicked links to great articles about this topic.

It is amazing how the rest of the world finally caught up with the needs and changes of technology as it relates to marketing. During the economic downturn I have purposefully studied the possibilities of advertising on Facebook and other digital media. At one point I was even coding my own Facebook pages in their special Facebook language. When I first started Facebook marketing research and for businesses it was not even a discussion (2008). In fact Facebook Pages began rolling out for businesses in May 2009. – Wiki

Advanced computing was always my primary skill. My secondary skill had always been some form of marketing, collaborating and analyzing.

I have always loved using my brain. Others have borrowed it from time to time for Marketing and Technological help. Good thing they’ve all returned it in one piece!

What goes on in my head when you say promote closely resembles the following image…

Marketing Technologist handle: Marketing automation, CRM, analytics, social media, data management platforms, demand-side ad platforms, search optimization, e-commerce, web sites, landing pages, mobile landing pages, content marketing workflow, gamification — the list goes on.

Even though I am super excited about this title discovery. I did notice that there are one or two skills that I do not quite have. Sure beats having to go to college for something I intensively studied during its emerging stage!

Nothing is worse than being advanced in marketing technology on a small island where most terms were virtually unheard of. I literally had to work for clients virtually! Some of my favorite contracts were with clients from New York, Alberta, and Australia. Fortunately I was able to assist lots of other persons virtually along the way. That maintained my sanity. Because I really was too far ahead for where I was. As of late island residents are finally understanding what I was explaining from 2009. Even then I knew things were going over their heads. Facebook was seen as a stupid teen site. What made matters worse was I was actually a teen myself at the time I promoted it as a potential advertising arena.

In reading more about this title I found an interesting summary of what a Marketing Technologist is to a company by Economist Group: “Great CMTOs (Chief Marketing Technologists) are so rare and valuable that the industry refers to them as unicorns—part creative, part marketer, part ad-woman, solid technologist, with visionary leadership and influence skills. Being great in any one of those disciplines is challenging enough, leave alone finding them all in a single individual.”

Are you interested in finding a Marketing Technologist or learning more about what one can do for you and your team? Take a look at some of the links I have below and enjoy the digital revolution!

Marketing Week

Link 1: http://www.economistgroup.com/marketingunbound/collaborators/sapientnitro-big-rethink-cmto/

Linke 2: https://marketproinc.com/hiring-advice-2/2015/06/chief-marketing-technologist-executive-search-due

Link 3: http://chiefmartec.com/2010/04/rise-of-the-marketing-technologist/

 

 

What a week!

This week has not ended just yet but I have to share what happened! All of the pieces are finally coming together. I was able to join the leading communication organization formally known as Toastmasters. It is not my first time trying to get involved in this group as I have been involved during my high school years and my first year at college.

I went to lots of meetings in 2008 and in 2013. Somewhere along the way I hit a roadblock and did not return to Toastmasters again until last month.This time I was determined to not satisfy myself with being an observer. I felt a burning desire to become a Toastmaster. I want to become that competent speaker. I want to be that interesting person to chat with in a room!

Still basking in the wisdom imparted to me through the Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude book by Napoleon Hill. I felt compelled to do what I’ve always wanted to do back then right now.

Long story short this week I got inducted as an official member of a local Toastmasters club. I was asked if I would want to do my 1st speech during the same night as my induction. I concurred. All I kept thinking to myself was Napoleon Hill’s words from Success through PMA: “do it now.”

When I look in the mirror I see someone 10 pounds lighter than last month – all because of those three words:”do it now.” Oh and I started Insanity this week also! It is not a hype. Insanity Beach body building DVD is the real deal.

I feel great! What a week! Oh and my speech…you can see it below. The best is yet to come. Today I encourage you to do what you’ve always wanted to do today. Even if it means only doing a tiny bit that will start your entire masterpiece.

As for my speech, I got so nervous when I saw my name listed as the very first speaker I completely forgot to beg someone to record it for me on my cellphone. Fortunately a good fellow Toastmaster who obviously knew I’d like to look back at my 1st speech and ask: “What was I thinking? Or look at how I started!” I don’t know but I do know that some kind of remark will be made once I get much more experience in this area.