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Friday, July 14, 2017

Extemporaneous speech has its hazards

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to have some in-person time with one of my employer's vice presidents. My card-holding manager invited me and one of the colleagues I've worked with the longest, to visit a different office location and to cover some SEO news topics over the course of a half hour.
While I was quite content to split this time allocation evenly, I also had a disproportionately large amount of information to cover, although I was quite selective in topic choice (our team has gained momentum and, hopefully, a wider sphere of influence since moving organizationally last year).
Since this opportunity arose with very little lead time, I also decided to use pre-existing slides (which I only provided some feedback to create, not as primary author). It could have easily taken an hour to cover just my section in proper detail, but also in trying to meet some "business as usual" deadlines, my attention remained painfully divided even during the hours just prior to the talk.
In addition to speaking much more quickly than I would have preferred to (in light of there being many present, to whom English was their second or even third or fourth tongue), there was one incident which amused me enough to decide to document here. It also wasn't "professional" enough to include in my team's intranet based blog, where I've been attempting to post regularly - much to the detriment of this, public (yet more personal) venue.
About a decade ago, I worked with an IA expert who frequently spoke to the vivid image of "putting lipstick on the pig". When SEO best practice is sought and applied post hoc, which is to say when some digital asset is largely ready for publishing, I tend to think this analogy fits. So when this image came unbidden to my conscious mind and I'd spoken it aloud, I immediately wished to extend said analogy into a more preferable course of events, I was trying to make sense (as I do in every communication I attempt).
What resulted in issuing forth was "... while we want to treat SEO as nutrients so that the pig grows into a beautiful one". Should I have said "prize winning"? And that IA was akin to the barn housing said pigs? Or is SEO pre-natal care of the sow so that the piglets get the best start to life?
I already perceive this to be yet one more humourous anecdote to add to an otherwise fairly serious career. Good thing I have a sense of long term perspective! 

About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.