For those of you who have been with me since LiveJournal all the way through to, I apologize.

For the rest of you this shouldn’t be too much to ask.

I’ve moved to a self-hosted site so that now and are one.

You can visit my new site, complete with blog posts at

My feed is available at:

Relationships and the Web

Below is the slideshare link to my PodcampAZ 2009 presentation, “Relationships & the Web: How to Behave When Everything is on the Web”
I welcome comments. Please let me know how your personal interactions and relationships have changed as the result of social media.
Here is the video upload as well for your viewing pleasure.

Relationships and the Web from Katie Charland on Vimeo.

Minute by Minute emotion

It’s truly astonishing the rate at which I deal with my emotions.

At 8am this morning I was a little bummed.

By 9:30am, I was furious.

By 10am, I was furious, sad and confused.

By 10:30am, I was upset for being confused.

By 10:32am, I was in problem solving mode.

By 11:00am, I was determined.

By 11:45am, I was repentant.

No one witnessed the entire process, though some received snippets. Obviously the pieces are useless without the whole.

No wonder people think I’m crazy.


My take on Ignite Phoenix

I attended Ignite Phoenix #3. I spoke at Ignite Phoenix #4. I volunteered at Ignite Phoenix #5. I’ve run the full gamut of Ignite experiences and have received different perspectives as a result.

There are lots of perspectives on Ignite – some critical and some in support.

They’re both missing something.

Ignite Phoenix is like watching The Discovery Channel or Iron Chef. We love watching great things being accomplished. We enjoy seeing people do what they are passionate about and we enjoy learning a little bit about something we didn’t know before.

But it’s passive. Ignite is for people who enjoy being inspired, but not necessarily for people who need to be hands-on.

As a speaker, I wanted my topic to “ignite” a teacher into action. I wanted to help create lesson plans, make education easier for both student and teacher. That never happened.

What did happen is I made connections that led to other things – whether that be personal relationships or projects like a special SMC Phoenix panel.

Ignite has to be part of the bigger picture to be successful. It gives people an initial welcome, but they need places to go to be hands-on. That’s why we need GeekWeek. That’s why we need events like StartUp Weekend or Gangplank’s #crowdpitch. That’s why we need an event like Seattle’s MindCamp.

Look at the comment by tonepoems on Tyler’s original post. That hits my point right on the head. By attending Ignite Phoenix #5, she moved out of her comfort zone to meet people. It may not have challenged her but it was an introduction.

Now we need to encourage her to attend other events to get the work moving. Look at the bigger picture.

Sneaky with a Smile

The majority of people would call me nice. I’m typically the “nice nonprofit girl” that is always bubbly, cheerful and full of ridiculous humor that people laugh more at than with.

And for the most part, that is who I am.

But if you look at my background, something seems a bit off. I worked in politics with an interest in lobbying. I have a master’s degree with a focus in PR. Sure people are genuinely nice in these fields, but nice with a purpose is far more common.

In its crudest form, relationships are transactions – practices in trade. One or both parties provide support, guidance, inspiration, etc., in exchange for the other party’s talents and skills. Most people don’t look at their personal relationships in this way, so politically. Generally when I share that I do, people want to nothing to do with me.

Being nice is my tool. I know that at some point, I’m going to need something from Party A. Therefore, it is in my best interest to maintain a pleasant relationship until that transaction is fulfilled. I don’t demand things of people outright and I don’t ask for anything without offering something in return. But yes, there is a plan. It doesn’t mean short term and it doesn’t mean it isn’t genuine.

There are other ways to go about getting what you want and I’m not one to argue they are less effective methods. Being brutally honest and upfront works on a level as well. You only attract people who can match your intensity and that are worth your time is one argument. It allows you to have little filter and always say what you mean. And there is much to be respected in that. In many ways, I work to be more like that.

It’s the difference between controlling  a conversation through dominance or strategically steering it in your favor. It’s the difference between tolerating for the sake of the bigger picture or debating the smaller piece. It’s the difference between critiquing an individual’s idea outright or listening to them speak and then doing it your way anyway.

In other words, I’m sneaky with a big, bright smile.

Marriage and State

Let me start by stating, I don’t believe in gay marriage.

In fact, I don’t know if I believe in marriage at all. Well, to clarify, I don’t believe in the word ‘marriage’.

Gay marriage has been back in the news lately as a result of midterm elections. The measure has been voted down in a majority of states that included it on the ballot.

My two best friends are gay and both are in serious relationships. I love them both and want them to have everything that I have. But what that really boils down to is domestic security and equal rights.

And semantics.

Marriage is really just a partnership, an agreement, an economic transaction. But Bible beaters seem to get their panties in a twist over the symbolism and semantic importance of ‘marriage’. Time and time again, the base of their argument is “the Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman.”

Well, as a good non-practicing Catholic, I consulted my Bible. It says quite a few interesting things about marriage actually, including:

Ephesians 5:23 – For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

Colossians 3:18 – Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Mark 10:7-9 – Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.

To begin, the U.S. seems to have moved past that whole “wife subservient to the husband” deal without deteriorating as a country. Of course then we get into family values which I’ll just gloss over as something I’m too pissed off to discuss rationally.

But this last passage is the key here – “let man not separate”. The Bible is saying point-blank “don’t get divorced”.

It angers me that we are more concerned with not allowing gays to “marry” than actually preserving what the word means. It angers me that we require gays to “marry” to achieve the tax benefits, etc that come with the term. I think homosexual couples should find it insulting that we straight-people assume they want to get married, that it’s nothing more than be recognized for what they already are – life-long partners that want to share their lives.

I think the word ‘marriage’ is changing. I think it needs to change. I think it needs to be replaced with a less loaded term and something that more adequately explains what it really is – domestic partnership, committed relationship – then maybe we can make some progress.

The Quiet Ones

Ever given much thought to the phrase “It is the quiet ones you need to watch our for”?

I do.

I’m not quiet by any means. In fact I get teased, very often, about my loudness.

I wasn’t always like that and I’m NOT always like that.

When it comes down to an idea, I’m the quiet one. Typically, I’m not the one to come up with ideas. I leave that to other people. But when it comes time for that idea to come to fruition, it is the quiet ones that keep things moving along.

Every idea needs a vocal leader.

But every vocal leader needs silent supporters. People who do the behind-the-scenes work. Who always have an answer ready, a solution in the works and a passion to get the job done.

It is the quiet ones you have to look out for. We don’t want the credit. We don’t want the limelight. We’re not saints – we want control without the hassle. But mostly we want the feeling of accomplishing something amazing. That’s our high, not the headline or our names in print. And we’ll go to great lengths to achieve that high.