About Yvonne DiVita

Yvonne DiVita

Yvonne DiVita is the author of Dick*less Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online, a book about getting those baby boomer icons Dick and Jane to buy at your website. She is also the president and founder of Windsor Media Enterprises, LLC which specializes in business blog building, social media strategy and print-on-demand publishing.

Yvonne's background stretches to those bygone days of the early Internet, where she was a web content writer and worked in several technology start-ups. Yvonne started her first blog, Lip-sticking, back in March of 2004 shortly after publishing her first book. Yvonne has been preparing an extension of the Lip-sticking brand with the launch of The Lip-Sticking Society, which will be a new website that will house the Lip-sticking blog in hopes to better serve her readers.

Some of Yvonne's other blogs include: Books, Blogs, and Beyond, a blog about publishing in a changing world, Scratchings and Sniffings, a petblog sponsored by Nestlé Purina, and a pet health insurance blog for Purina: PurinaCare. She has also been listed as one of 2009's Smartest People in Social Media.


Latest Posts by Yvonne DiVita

5 Cool Mobile Apps For Travelers On The Go

June 5, 2013 by  

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As a small business owner, you run the show on the go—so you rely on your smartphone for all those important details that make up your busy day. Ever worry some of those important pieces might be slipping through the cracks? From CRM to social media to scheduling, these great apps ensure you’re always in the right place at the right time with the right people—and with no disconnect from your day-to-day business operations.

May13

Remember Every Note with Evernote
Whether you’re in a meeting, catching a cab, or taking a well-earned coffee break, Evernote has you covered when inspiration strikes. Sync photos, files, notes, videos, sound bites, to-do lists—just about anything—to this cloud-based junk drawer for easy, searchable access. Finally, you can have some fun collaborating on team projects, whenever, wherever. FREE. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.

Know When They Work with WhenIWork
Your managers have plenty to do aside from the regular hassle of employee scheduling. The easy and intuitive WhenIWork app allows managers and employees to organize shift trades, manage time-off requests, notify stakeholders of important scheduling changes, and more. A simple “Do I work Tuesday?” text message produces an instant, automated answer, so your managers and employees can focus on what’s really important: providing excellent customer service. Free 30-day trial. Plans start at $1/employee/month. Available for iPhone and Android.

Gain Incredible Insight with Insightly CRM
Did you know you can manage, link and share customer contact information, leads, tasks, deadlines, and more with one centralized system? Customer relationship management (CRM) services and systems are the next big thing for small business. Imagine all your customer information and every customer touch point (social media) all in the same place. Now imagine all of that at your fingertips, with a real-time syncing mobile app. Available for iPhone and Android.

Hootsuite
If you are on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+? then this is a great social media manager for you. Need your Foursquare, LinkedIn and WordPress to run your business? Quiet the noise and manage all your social media updates in one place with Hootsuite. Use Teams
to map out the team members in your organization and set permissions and roles while tracking individual assignments. You can even add metrics to your web presence with built-in click analytics. Free app. Business-friendly plans start at $8.99/month. Available for iPhone and Android.

Own Your Travels with GateGuru
Designed for frequent business travelers, the comprehensive and handy GateGuru app allows you to track all your travel details, including flight arrival/departure time and status, destination weather, check-in terminal number and baggage claim area, rental car information, and more. Plus, you get a personalized amenity finder that points you in the right direction when you’re in unfamiliar territory and need food, shops or services. FREE. Available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

Guest Post by Megan Totka  

Life Lessons While Eating a Burrito in the Rain

May 25, 2013 by  

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A wet burritoI like to get out in the local community and connect with others.  One of the ways that I do this is having an exhibitor’s booth at community events.  I did just that at a summer outdoor event called MarketFest.  The night began gloriously without one cloud in the beautiful Minnesota sky.  It was a bit windy but I was going with the flow until around eight o’clock, the sky began to darken a bit.Right after that, the weather began to change rapidly.  My husband had just arrived to visit and he had to park our vehicle six blocks away because the Fest was so busy.  The wind began to howl and everyone scattered. Next, I could hear LARGE droplets of rain start to pelt my tent.  I started to chuck all my materials, tablecloths, etc. into my bins.  The tent was in danger of being blown away so we had to try to get that down as quickly as possible.  Once we had everything ready to go…you guessed it…my husband had to run/walk six blocks to get our truck so we could load everything in it.  Luckily, I had brought an umbrella.  Also, right before this little adventure began, I had ducked out to grab a burrito at one of my favorite food trucks.  I had time to kill, a storm blowing through, my burrito and an umbrella.

My choices were:  Try to find cover, surrender my burrito and shrug my shoulders in defeat

OR

pull up a chair, enjoy my burrito and let nature take its course.

I went with the latter option.  I sat quietly at my table, soaking wet, my umbrella trying its best to keep me dry, savoring every bite of my yummy food ~ with a big smile on my face.  I knew I wasn’t in real danger because it wasn’t an electrical storm.  It was only wind and rain and some discomfort.  I tried to make the best of it. People around me thought I was nuts ~ I’m sure of that.

Why do I share this with you?  Because I know that dealing with tragic life situation can be similar….when you feel a little scared and out of control.  Nothing’s in its place anymore.  You wonder when it will end.  It’s uncomfortable.  It can be dark. You can feel alone.

Carlos Castaneda, a well-known spiritual author, said, “We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.”

So I ask you:  Next time you feel scared, uncomfortable or uncertain, what will you choose?  Are you going to be lost in the dark abyss or go with the flow and come out on the other side feeling stronger and more confident than ever?

I know you’ll choose to enjoy the burrito in the rain.

Contributed Post by Laura Smith.

People of the Bear Mother by T.D. Austin

February 22, 2013 by  

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People-of-the-bear-mother

You’ll not be surprised to learn that books play an important part in my life. I’ve written posts about publishing and reading and books quite a bit lately. I did a short review of a fantastic sci-fi series just last weekend, and now I want to introduce a series of blog posts around a new book.

The book is People of the Bear Mother. The author is TD Austin. We emailed back and forth a bit and I asked if she would share her writing experience with us, as I read the book and prepare to write about it.

TD Austin wrote to me, “That the story of our Stone Age ancestors and their inner/spiritual lives should be told by a woman seems to me unremarkable because these hunting cultures were the most egalitarian in
human history. Scientists tell us that the women’s ‘gathering’ activities provided up to 80% of all food calories, that most of the shamans, spiritual leaders and healers were women and that the status of women was truly
equal to that of men in ways that even our modern societies have not yet attained to.

“Even those we now refer to as gay/lesbian/transgendered were revered for their spiritual gifts and ranked high in these hunting societies which only had prestigious personal abilities and talents to be honored for since they completely lacked ‘wealth’ and/or political power to stratify the society. Scientists have documented their relaxed attitudes toward sex, free choice of mates, control of family size and the lack of hereditary chiefs and priesthoods making it impossible to repress women in ways that increasingly became the rule from about 3000 B.C. right down to the present in most of the world. I did not initially realize, when my creative side was cracked open like an egg and all these stories began to flow out in a confused rush, that I was indeed channeling my own past lives.

“But now I recognize that is the level of the unseen world of the subconscious mind or, the ‘spiritual realm’ if you prefer, that I am connected to and which continues to inspire and almost compel me to write these stories.”

She goes on to say, “The creative opening that has sparked the writing of my novel, People of the Bear Mother, is the first in a series I call Periplus of the Sea of Souls, which has come at the end of a long spiritual unfoldment. I now recognize that the inspiration for these stories is coming from deep within as a channeling of my own past lives. I see that this soul-evolution has been much, much longer in coming than I ever could have imagined before this burst of creative energy began bringing these stories to consciousness. I like to say that I have the opposite of ‘writer’s block’ as these many stories are all clamoring to be told.

“After a career in academic research and writing, this flow of inspiration as a creative writer was a complete surprise and an unintended consequence of learning how to go within and open myself to the vast subconscious, or spiritual realm of existence, that lies within each and every one of us.

“I see now that I have been on this spiritual quest for many lifetimes. But like Little Bear, the heroine of this first novel, I have been searching ‘outside’ myself through others: wise teachers, gurus, authority figures, sacred writings, etc. without having ever had my own mystical, spiritual experience of connecting with something other or greater than myself until now.

This mystical, metaphysical union with the universe at the level of past lives is now the source of my creative writing. This is how the mystical traditions of all time have understood it: the mystical experience cannot be sought or taught and each must open to it in their own way and in their own time. The coming of this experience can no more be predicted than what you will dream tonight because they all come from the same source.”

 by TD Austin, introduction by Yvonne DiVita 

Happy New Year to the Women of 2013

December 31, 2012 by  

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New-pic-yvonneby Yvonne DiVita >>> These are my views and my views alone.

Happy New Year to the Women of 2013, and your family and friends. Including any fur-kids about the house.

The year in recap is playing on CBS this morning. I’m being reminded of the gaffes during the election. Of all the people who are no longer with us. Little stories of courage pop in and out. Tragedy dominates. Viral videos are getting a lot of attention.

I expect it’s all necessary, for some reason. As a species, we humans tend to forget easily.

Facebook is overflowing with good New Year’s Eve wishes – and angry tirades. Folks are still griping about the outcome of the election, about guns and shootings and our ‘rights’ and the fact that… they have proof that their view is correct and everyone else’s is not. I haven’t seen mention of the Fiscal Cliff, but it’s likely there. As we go over it, we’ll hear more and more about our disfunctional Congress. And, as a group, we’ll lament that Congress isn’t doing its job – but, no one will demand resignations… one and all. We’ll just go on Facebook and complain.

One thing that strikes me throughout all of the news – the tirades – the announcements – the videos – is the fact that we, as a species, are in danger of losing our humanity.

What is humanity? I’m challenged to define it. To me, it’s more than being ‘human’. It encompasses compassion, welcomeness, openness, charity, empathy, kindness, feelings, smiling, laughing, crying, togetherness, and so much more. Humanity defines not just our sense of self, but our self of others. It’s a measure of how we appear in the world and how we act – everything we do reflects our humanity, or lack thereof.
Wehavemet01

I’m worried that we are so divisive these days, we are willing to dissect the humanity out of our lives. In an effort to prove our viewpoint (to show the world we’re right and the others are wrong – when there is no right and wrong in many of the arguments being spewed about)… we are leaving our humanity on the cutting room floor, so to speak. It’s not worth worrying about, I guess. It hinders us in our goals to winning – it binds our hands and cripples our thinking and wants us to remember that the people we’re railing at, are, really, just like us. “We have met the enemy,” Pogo once said… “And he is us.” Sigh.

I would like to bring the humanity back into the conversation. That means recognizing that some of us will always be among the poorest of the poor, and of that group of people, most do not wallow in the day to day struggle of making ends meet – even when those ends are supported by “welfare.” In fact, there are many children and elderly in that category and if we do not have the humanity to care for our children and our elderly, then… what kind of people are we?

That’s MY big beef. Taking care of each other should be our primary purpose- if we do that, goodness will flow from it. And yes, the government is responsible for its people. For those who cannot take care of themselves. We, the citizens, need to step up…yes, but the government needs to lend a helping hand and to make sure big business doesn’t protect the executives at the expense of the employees – primarily by cutting benefits and paying us so little we can’t survive.

Embracing our humanity means being more thoughtful about what we do and say. It means acknowledging that we aren’t always right. It means giving in on one thing or another – as long as it doesn’t mean putting our children or elderly at risk. It means looking at a world-view – because we live in the whole world, not just in the U.S.

I’ll try to be better in 2013. How about you?

Getting Into the Head of a Dog

November 29, 2012 by  

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Emily-whats-up

While eating my popcorn today Emily, our always exuberant hound dog, sat at my feet and gave me her best sad-eyed stare, surely hoping for a stray kernel or two to find its way onto the rug, and, subsequently, into her mouth.

“Popcorn is not good for dogs,” I whispered. She turned her head this way, then that way, tried to convince me I was wrong by blinking those big grown eyes at me, and offering a cold nose at my knee. To no avail. I was not sharing my popcorn with her.

There were sounds in the background, murmurings and such, that reached my ears as muffled silence. (Can you muffle silence? One wonders…)

“Then, I need to ask him this,” I heard, in vague undertones, still focused on Emily’s eager face – finding myself wondering how much of what I say and do actually means something to her. Or, better yet, how much of what I say and do, doesn’t mean anything to her. Truth is, most of what I say and do means something. That likely doesn’t mean what I want it to mean – her intelligence is high, but she doesn’t really understand English. Not the way you and I do.

“There’s always a chance,” the voice offering commentary went on, in its muffled silent way, “he’ll ask me something I don’t have an answer to.”

I couldn’t rely reply because I was focused on Emily.
Emily-Chester-looking-up

Dear Emily, I was thinking, what is going through your brain? I know you want a popcorn kernel, and my continuously saying, “No, no popcorn for you,” is falling on deaf ears. But, are you thinking that if you wait long enough, good things will come to you? Or, are you thinking you can use the Vulcan Mind Meld on me… or, your version of it, which involves that sad stare you won’t turn away? (yes, Chester, seen here with Emily, does the same thing, but his stare is more pitiful – Emily’s is more purposeful)

Are you more interested in figuring out what I’m eating, than in eating it yourself? I think I have, stupidly, shared popcorn with you in the past. It wasn’t this kind of popcorn, however. Do you know that by the way it smells? Your nose is truly outstanding, I know that much. You spend the better part of your day sniffing around at odors I can’t even detect!

Do you think in linear terms, as I do, dear Emily? Is your brain telling you that this delightful smell is popcorn and you had some once and you liked it (how could you not like it if one of your humans was eating it?) and you would really like some more? And, is your brain also saying, “She’ll give in. She always does.”? When I don’t give in, what will you think then?

The world continues to wonder if dogs think. I don’t wonder if dogs think. I know they do. I know they do because I watch my three dogs and I can tell they’re thinking – when they come to my bed in the morning and nudge me with their cold noses (they’re thinking it’s time to get up); when they pull me across the grass at the park because their sensitive noses picked up a smell I am totally unaware of and they must, must, must get to it (they’re curious and I am sure they also identify the odor as belonging to a dog they met once, on our walks…yes, I think they are capable of that); when they realize it’s four o’clock and dinner should be on the way…so they become persistent in their need to go out, come in, go out, come in… so used to the “time to go out” instructions that are often followed by food, when they go out and come in as good dogs do.

Oh yes. Dogs think.

It’s how they think and how they conclude, that I wonder about.

Now that the popcorn is gone… Emily is also. She figured that out pretty fast.

Rats-foiled-again

@BarackObama Photo: Most Retweeted Photo in Twitter’s History With 2.9 Million Facebook Likes

November 7, 2012 by  

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Obama

Four More Years! That was the message that was tweeted along with this photo by @BarackObama last night after it was announced that the President won the election. This photo has become the most retweeted photo in Twitter’s history, with over 600,00 Retweets! It also has gotten 2.9 million Likes on Facebook.

Whether you voted for the President or for Mitt Romney you have to agree that this year’s election was unprecedented when it came to the world of social media. I tried to keep my political views in check on my social networks, but as this week started it was hard not to share my support of the President.

Since the President was running for his second term, he already had a huge database of supporters which included a couple of my email addresses. Obama now has become the first major example in the digital campaign age of someone in elective politics that has built up a massive database. The question going forward is, what will he do with that list and who will reap the benefits of it in the next election?

The emails I received did of course ask for donations. But the majority of them either asked me to join a list of supporters or share a photo or a message on Facebook and Twitter. In the last week I receive an email asking me to join a Twitter support group, which I did. I then received emails that contained a variety of Tweets that I could easy retweet and/or use to post on Facebook. Here’s a few of my tweets and retweets from yesterday that I just couldn’t resist sharing:
Tweets

On Facebook I was getting notifications directly from the Barack Obama page asking me to encourage certain friends of mine to get out and vote. It was through this Commit to Vote app that I had registered for. Once you accept and sign up for the app it posted to your Facebook Timeline and was then able to view your friends. I was
Commit-to-Votethen getting messages encouraging me to ask my friend “Debbie” in Florida to vote and my friend “Yvonne” and “Tom” in Colorado to vote. The app was targeting friends of mine that lived in the so called swing states.

I didn’t push any of these friends of mine to vote because I knew they were voting or had already voted. In fact Yvonne had written on her Facebook status questioning why Facebook keeps asking her to vote when she already had. Well Yvonne it was because you live in one of the these “Swing States”. I hope we don’t have to hear that term now for awhile.

So a question the committees will need to ask going forward is, did these social media tactics pay off? The Commit to Vote app was a first, but it did kinda freak me out a little the fact that it knew who my friends were and were they lived. The other question is regarding the millions of dollars that were spent on ads and overall marketing. Everyone, regardless of who they supported, all seem to agree that the money spent here could have been put to much greater use. It appears we need some election campaign reform badly.

Congratulations to President Obama. It’s now time for us, including him, to all get back to business. I am so proud of our process and to be an American today.

We also need to pray for that those in New York and New Jersey who hopefully will be spared from the storm that’s approaching the East Coast today. Hard to believe that this Nor’easter is heading their way just a week after Hurricane Sandy! Let’s not forget about this area and keep the donations coming!

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente 

Hurricane Sandy Leaves Destruction & Smart Phone Users Capture the Evidence

October 31, 2012 by  

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Seaside-Heights
Hurricane Sandy whipped through America’s East Coast this past week and left Americans with an enormous amount of destruction that we are now still trying to come to grips with.

I live in Rochester, New York, where we normally are way enough inland from the coast to be protected from these types of storms. But Sandy was nothing that we’ve ever experienced before which has been felt all the way to Wisconsin!

We all survived the storm fine here with just a few downed trees and some power outages. Those that live right along the shore of Lake Ontario were told to evacuate because of high waves.

At the office we experienced a little bit of Internet troubles yesterday morning. But all is back to normal and Halloween will go on tonight along with a rescheduled Bruce Springsteen concert that was originally planned for Tuesday night.

The story of Hurricane Sandy has largely been being told by the people that actually experienced it and in real time, not just through the professional news media.

The story has been unfolding mostly through photos being shared on various social media sites.

When you look at these photos it is so hard to believe you’re looking at New York City and what was the Jersey Shore. Some friends and I celebrated our graduation from high school many summers ago in Seaside Heights, NJ, on what was this pier and amusement park. Sandy

One winner to emerge from this mess appears to be Instagram, the popular photosharing app.It was reported that during the storm Instagram rececived 10 photos a second.

According to Kevin Systrom, Instagram founder, more than 244,000 photos had been posted to Instagram by end of Tuesday with the hashtag #sandy, and 144,000 more under #hurricanesandy and another 23,000 photos under #frankenstorm.

A pair of developers from the New York Times and Facebook have created this site, instacane.com which is a  landing page for Instagram photos related to the storm.

Of course there are some posted photos that have been “Photoshopped”. There were no snarks swimming Down the streets in Atlantic City!

MTA-SubwayI posted this photo on Facebook Monday that I grabbed off of Flickr of the Times Square MTA Subway station before the storm after all trains had been shut down Sunday night. It’s pretty eerie. Another photo I saw last night was of the promenade in Grand Central Station completely empty. Also very eerie.

Some of the most devastating photos I think are of the fire in Queens that they now say destroyed over 80 homes in this neighborhood. This photo here helps to put it in perspective. Queens-Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente

Letter to Our Dear Mr. President

September 12, 2012 by  

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President-obama-and-familyDear Mr. President,

This is one of your smaller supporters. I don’t have a lot of money. I aspire to having a lot of money (don’t we all?) but right now I’m a small business owner. I’m a grandmom (mom to three – grandmom to two), a woman of the sixties, and a wife.

I’m looking forward to the DNC this week. I watched the RNC and I was disappointed by much of it, but not surprised. Ann Romney is a delightful woman – wife, mother, grandmother – though not small business owner. I don’t feel that she understands me, at all. Mitt Romney seems like a good man – good husband, good grandfather, and (so they say) good businessman. Together they make a nice couple. Which doesn’t qualify them to occupy the White House.

The same can be said for you and Michelle. You’re a nice couple. I like both of you as people. But, just as being a nice couple doesn’t quality Mitt and Ann to be in the White House, neither does it qualify you and Michelle to be there.

What qualifies a person to be president is his or her focus on America as a member of a world unit, not as a country by itself. It’s an ability to create jobs, to support women because our issues have so often been neglected or ignored, and to bring foreign policy to the meetings you have with people of other countries. There’s a lot more in all of those things, but let’s use those three things as the umbrella of why one person is better for the Presidency, than another.

I’m voting for you, again, because I believe you’ll put forth all the effort you have to make America better. I believe you support women and women’s issues (truly, and this will anger some people, I have to wonder how much a family of all boys gets the women’s issues thing… no, daughters-in-law don’t count and even Mrs. Romney doesn’t count… she lived and lives a privileged life, with no connection to those of us who sometimes wondered where our next meal would come from and why even when we worked as hard as the men in our office, we were paid less), and I believe you will continue to support America in your foreign policy, with an eye on the whole world, not just our little corner of it.

Here’s the thing – the Romney’s don’t seem to want to play nice in the sandbox, as we like to say in the middle-class. He wants to RULE. Because America is GREAT! Here’s the thing, if you’re really great, you play nice with other people, you support other countries, you give the poor a helping hand (sorry, Mitt, they can’t go ask Mom and Dad for money – there often isn’t a Mom and Dad to ask), and you don’t dictate. That’s called dictatorship, I think.

I’m writing this for a specific purpose beyond telling you why I want to see you win another four years in the White House. It’s to say – why aren’t you tapping into US – your devout supporters? Will we see a middle-class woman speak at your convention? Will you skype in someone who can tell the world why she thinks you’re the best choice – without name-calling or lies. You do use social media… I follow several pages supporting you on Facebook. But, I don’t see any real engagement.

Why aren’t you engaging your constituency? Why aren’t you taking the best and brightest posts and
White-house-dog remarks and using them in your commercials? I don’t get it.

Every commercial I see is scripted and has definitely been edited by your campaign managers, no doubt. They’re not real. They’re not today – they only reflect how I feel, about 10% of the time. I want to see your supporters saying, “Here’s why I’m voting for Obama – he’s made my life better, he’s supported the middle class, he believes in women’s issues, and he makes me happy to be an American.”

That’s it. Just getting that off my chest. I’ve had enough of the whole Bain thing, the whole “Mitt isn’t a good businessman” and “Mitt is against abortion at all costs”… Now tell me why you’re better and show me some people I can identify with – people like me, sharing their thoughts, unscripted.

Yes, I give you permission to record the real supporters and only use the ones that reflect the best of what you’re about. As a writer, I understand editing.

Thanks for listening to me.

p.s. A few pictures of the family with Bo wouldn’t hurt

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