Hilary Parker

Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

Ready for Lift-off?

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

Ooh, goody! The team behind Twitter is readying Lift, “an interesting new application for unlocking human potential through positive reinforcement.”

Am I missing something? I get that most people long to feel better about themselves. Just as Obvious recognized the navel-gazing tendencies in Western culture that made us ripe for Twitter, the company knows an opportunity when it sees one. Push a button for a happier you!

But how is an app going to unlock my potential? What ever happened to doing good to feel good? Or being worthy to feel worthy?

I’d rather see Obvious Corp. back a gratitude app. After all, isn’t the key to happiness wanting what you have?

Scuttlebutt around the interwebs is that Lift is a new social platform where users can enter goals and track their progress, along with that of their friends. Can anyone say “Together Everyone Achieves More”?

Still, I’m curious. I’ve signed up for my beta invite… Have you?


Nerd Credo, Part One

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Bet you didn’t know I was such a packaging egghead…

Oh, but I am! I am… And here’s proof.

If it’s Tuesday, it Must be Big Sandy

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

Spending the day with Montana Senator Jon Tester and his wife, Sharla, on their farm in Big Sandy, MT. Now, I’ve got zero connections to the senator. But my husband, who’s writing a book on the 2012 Montana senate race, does, so I get to be his “plus one” when he climbs up into the tractor with Big Jon.

I’ll do my best to get a good pic or two for you. And if you think I’ll be able to refrain myself from asking him his take on proposed milk marketing order reforms, think again.

Fourth Time is the Charm… Go Wakefield!

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

The Wake goes for Win No. 200 AGAIN this afternoon against Seattle. Bats, support him. Wind, be kind. Mariners, play your hearts out. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yet another reason to call Solvate: Don’t work your staff to death

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

Knowing When to Let Your Staffers Say “When”

When most people think of hiring a freelancer, they think of bringing in a professional to do something that no one on their staff knows how to do.

That’s an excellent use of Solvate Talent, for sure. But it’s not the only use.

Say you need some copy written for an annual report, but your communications director looks at you like ‘If you really think I can get that to you before Christmas, think again.’

That’s another good time to call Solvate.

Solvate’s pre-screened talent pool is made up of consummate professionals who know how to get the job done. We are experienced at stepping into situations (without stepping on toes). Workflow has an annoying tendency to bundle together now and then, and there’s only so much stretching your staff members can do without affecting the quality of their work (or losing their minds).

You may also want to “staff-up” during your busiest time of the year, preferably beforethe communications director gives you “that look.” Maybe you hold an annual fundraising event and could use some extra PR assistance for a month leading up to it.

Maybe your business is fairly cyclical and you know that you get behind on certain things quarterly — it makes sense to try to head that off at the pass. Or maybe you have someone getting ready to go on medical or personal leave and need to keep things running but don’t want to have to perform a search for a temporary replacement. All good situations for hiring Solvate talent.

Investing in additional resources for your regular team means less costly turnover for your business and a better end product. It also shows your staff that you understand and appreciate the demands on their time… and everyone loves a considerate boss.

If you’ve noticed your staff is looking unusually haggard lately, give Solvate a call. The Solvate Team can help match your needs with the right Solvate Talent for the job, and soon you’ll be back on track.

The Future is Calling — and it’s Hungry

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

Spent the past week writing about the future of food production for two different clients.

Since I love noodling on the philosophical and moral questions surrounding issues of food production and allotment, and since I’m a bit of a futuristic junkie, it was a really great week. While interviewing Fonterra’s outgoing CEO Andrew Ferrier, we discussed the need for global consensus on efficient but environmentally-friendly farming practices… especially if we’re going to have to double our food production to feed the population in 2030.

I also wrote about the future of nutraceuticals and learned about all the new ways companies are gearing up to make the most of our nutrients. We’re still a bit of a way off from replicator-generated foods (“tea, Earl Grey, hot”) — and for that I’m grateful — but it’s really cool to look ahead and imagine what our world will look like in ten or twenty years.

And then I saw this happening in Somalia TODAY:

… and suddenly the theoretical questions I’ve bandied about this week matter only as much as they can prevent this from happening again.

Turns out the present is on the other line, and it’s starving.

I made a donation today to fight hunger and poverty through my favorite charity, Heifer International. You can click the logo below to join me, or here to see a good article which lists other fiscally-responsible agencies responding to this and other crises.

The Wake Goes for 200th Win

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

In just a few short moments, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, will take the mound for Boston in an attempt to earn his 200th career win. I’m on pins and needles, folks. Sure, some say that because this is the second time he’s gone for 200, it’s less special. Not for me.

First of all, the knuckler is pure poetry. It’s not about speed, or force, and it’s certainly not about ego. But it is about cunning, and willpower, and grace. A knuckleballer will make even the least god-fearing manager offer a fervent prayer. It’s David in a game of increasingly juiced Goliaths. And Tim is a fantastic representative of what it means to throw the knuckler: Humble (and it will make you that!), hardworking, and earnest. He knows he’ll never truly control the pitch, but he’s made his peace with the lack of certainty. He’s started. He’s been a middle reliever. He’s even mopped up at the end of a game or two. Wake is such a team player that he’s sat out his start without complaint in big games when the manager wanted the fastball pitcher or a southpaw to start.

And in a world of ego-driven, me-first players,that’s nothing short of amazing.

Ooh… game’s underway! First pitch? A strike.

Good luck, Tim.


In Uncategorized on August 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

Happy First of August, all!

This month is going to be awesome. In addition to the fact that I’m completely full up project-wise for the next four or five weeks, I have several important celebrations to note this month. First, on August 10, my firstborn turns 6! Then on August 26, my husband and I celebrate 11 years of marriage. Now, while these things are both lovely and important, they don’t have that much to do with Bullpen.

But this does: This month marks two years since the start of this little freelancing experiment, and I have to say, it’s been an amazing experience. You know how big of a proponent I am of freelancing, and you can probably tell I’m a very happy camper with this new career path. But I had no idea how much I would learn during the last two years — about writing, about business, about marketing, about myself… the list goes on. I’ve come to understand that for me, being a freelance writer/marketer/communicator gives me joy for the same reasons journalism did: You get to dive into something new every day, research the heck out of it and spin the straw into gold… all under deadline. That’s the kind of challenge I love.

So I’d like to give a shout out to Susan Quarne and Kate Sander at Cheese Market News, who hired me fresh out of college as a journalist. I know I’ve said it before, but I owe you both big time. Susan, you’ve set a great example of entrepreneurialship for me to follow. When I’m not sure how it’s all going to get done, I remember how many weeks on end you put out a newspaper and smile, knowing I’ll find a way. And Kate, thanks for helping me learn and grow, and for sharing the wonderful world of dairy. Both of you helped set me on my path, and you’re a big part of the reason that I’m a Thank God it’s Monday girl.

I’m now certain that Confucius was right: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”