Celebrate Your Safety: Thank A First Responder Today

Tomorrow is July 4th, and people all over the US are looking forward to a fun holiday weekend. By all means, celebrate. As Americans, we have so much to be grateful for that we often overlook in the day-to-day monotony of life.

Thank a firefighter. They shoulder a heavy load.

As you’re celebrating the 4th of July this weekend, thank a first responder. They put their life on the line for others every day. // “Courage” by Kara B via CC BY ND 2.0

But please be safe. Before you do something questionable or stupid, remember that you’re putting others at risk too. Every day, hundreds of thousands of first responders around the country (and millions around the world) risk life and limb to rescue people from harrowing situations.

I have the privilege of working with some amazing first responders, specifically firefighters and EMS professionals. What they do on a regular basis is incredible, and the majority of them are volunteers or paid little. That’s right: they risk their lives to save yours, and they’re not even paid for it (or not nearly enough). 

So as you’re watching the local 4th of July parade or enjoying the community fireworks, look around. There will be first responders there making sure that everything’s running smoothly and ready to act if anything goes wrong.

Shake a hand. Tip your cap. Say thank you. They deserve it.

Any first responders in the CCC audience? Chime in! Let us know how you serve. And thank you for your service!

Have a safe and happy 4th!
Jaime

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50 (More) Things I’m Grateful For…

It’s been too long. I’ve had it in my mind to write this post since I published my first 50 Things I’m Grateful For… post last year. I kept finding cool things to blog about, and before I knew it, more than a year had passed. So here goes…

I’m grateful for (take 2)…

The sun sets on Lock 3

     

I love classic cars 

Wilson -- my idea generator

water view

Alright, so there’s my second list of 50 things I’m grateful for. (If you want to browse the first list, here you go.)

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear about what you’re grateful for! No matter how tough life gets, we can all be grateful for something. Share your list (however big or small) in the comments below, hit me up on a social network or tag me in your blog post.  Cheers!

Grateful & blessed,
Jaime

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Online Marketing & Your Privacy: Can They Coexist?

As a marketing professional, I find myself in a conundrum. I completely understand companies wanting to gather information about me in order to present a more personalized experience. Targeted ads, relevant special offers, personalized product suggestions.

Online information tracking creates security concerns

But it’s scary. We live in a digital world, and identity theft and fraud are on the rise. If we don’t have our identity, what do we have? I’ve heard horror stories of people having their identities stolen and fighting for years to get it back, clean up their credit report, etc..

Recently, I read an informative article from Lifehacker about protecting your information online. It really made me think, and I proceeded to install some security plug-ins for my browser and strengthen my security settings. However, I soon ran into issues.

Sites that I commonly use (and trust), such as clients, vendors and mainstream services, were rendered ineffective. I’ve already run into multiple instances where I couldn’t even log in to these sites without enabling cookies. Also, these plug-ins seem to be really slowing down my browsing experience. So what to do? What do you do?

I did check out Lifehacker’s “The Best Replacements for Privacy-Invading Services,” along with other suggestions for bypassing some of these companies and services. But do I really want to forego Gmail and Facebook entirely? I can’t imagine removing my Facebook company page in lieu of a presence on Glassboard. Would you? Have you?

As noted, I can definitely see both points of view as a marketer and consumer. I enjoy the personalized experience and convenience that information tracking allows. However, I’m at a crossroads right now. Security or convenience & personalization? Can these two sides ever coexist?

I would love to hear your suggestions and experiences on how you live in our digital world while maintaining your privacy. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Stay safe,
Jaime

Image credit: cedro via Flickr