Category Archives: Technology

First things first

Raise your hand if you love your smartphone. ME! ME! ME! I even wrote an ode to my phone once. Because it’s more than just a phone, right? In addition to using it as my camera, calculator, TV screen, internet searcher, grocery list keeper, calendar, and more, it’s also my alarm. So it is literally the first thing I reach for in the morning.  And it would be so easy to get sucked into email, Instagram, Facebook, Yahoo News Digest (you should download that if you don’t have it) , etc., first thing. To keep from going down that rabbit hole I’ve made a deal with myself. I’m not allowed to open any other app until I open the bible app. This is an unbreakable vow. So that is what I do first.

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The bible app has a verse of the day and that’s where I’ll begin. I do more, I study more, I read more, but first thing it’s that verse of the day. And oh, I can’t tell you how many times it’s spoken right to my heart. Like this morning.

It’s been a rough week with work stuff, family stuff, stuff stuff.  So I woke up dreading the day. Just feeling tired and worn and grumpy. But my alarm doesn’t know that so it goes off just like it’s any other day. Stupid alarm. I drag myself out of bed, just wishing I could crawl right back in. I know you’ve been there. But, responsibilities. More stuff. So I’m up and I have that deal with myself. I open the app and I read…

“Don’t copy the behavior and the customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT

And that gets me to thinking about my ladies. I lead a life group (small group, bible study, home group, whatever you want to call it) and right now we’re telling each other our stories. We’re laying it all out and getting raw and real. And it’s beautiful. I’m so grateful for the trust we have in each other to be confidently vulnerable. I see the unique way God has transformed their lives. They are his and wonderful and perfect. And so with a single verse, my thoughts went from dark and morose to grateful, honoring and joyful. And my whole perspective was changed. “Let God transform  you… by changing the way you think.” Thank you, Jesus. Thank you bible app. I love technology.

If you don’t have the bible app, get it now. It’s free! And it’s even better than Yahoo News.

Never leave home without it

I’m a cliche, I know, but I seriously  never leave home without it. If I do, I turn around. It’s not out of fear. I don’t worry about breaking down on the side of the road or missing a status update (traumatic!). It’s that as a working mom with an inability to say no to projects I believe in, I have to be efficient with my time, making the most of every opportunity to get things done. My phone lets me do that.  But really, can we keep calling it a phone? Or just a phone?


From my mobile device, I’ve negotiated employee contracts, led conference calls, conducted interviews, set up meetings, planned potlucks, updated bank data, mediated conflict, supported teams, watched TV, researched homework questions, shot videos, uploaded photos, managed multiple social feeds, drafted presentation notes, organized date night, purchased a dress, planned menus, shared calendars, edited reports and wrote this blog post.

My “phone” is also my GPS, encyclopedia and main news source. It gives me freedom. Others concur as eMarketer released 2012 data saying the total number of smartphones increased by 31%. I believe it. My device allows me to continue to be a HR leader, non-profit board director, community manager, school volunteer, study group facilitator and, most importantly, a wife and mom. Because I’m no longer tied to a desk, I can pick my kids up from school and still meet a deadline. And because I haven’t wasted time while mobile, I can set it down, confident that I’ve met my goals for the day, and fully engage with my family.

In conversation with my kids recently I had to admit I didn’t know the answer to a question. To which my son replied, “Just ask God… or your phone.”

Just don’t do it while driving.

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It’s about the people.

I’ve been on a South by South Break (harhar) but did want to take a moment to try to wrap up my experience from SXSW. I say try because truthfully, I’m still processing the information received, working to find ways to apply it to my field and also stay in touch with those I met. And that’s important. The connections made. The conversations had. It was great seeing the latest tech, hearing from experts on trends and learning new methods from others, but the most memorable thing is the people I met. Hearing the stories of others. While we waited in line for the keynote. When we bumped into each other lost, looking for the next session. As sophisticated as the technology gets – and it’s pretty darn slick, 3D printing, anyone? – we still yearn for human interaction. And that was evidenced so clearly at this interactive of all interactive festivals where strangers became friends and instead of trading business cards traded twitter handles.

The comradery was palpable. And I think Austin gets some of the credit. I’m proud of my city for being friendly and welcoming, inviting others to be the same. And the organizers do a great job of creating conversation around each session. Although it was my first year, I still felt connected. I had one of my new friends tell me how the last digital conference she went to had 5,000 attendees and she was overwhelmed. When I said last count I heard was 27,000 for SXSWi she couldn’t believe it. It just doesn’t feel like that. Which leads me to my biggest takeaway: It’s about the people. It’s the people creating the tech. It’s the people using the tech. It’s about the people. Smart, passionate people do great things. I liked rubbing shoulders with those people. I like thinking I’m one of those people. If you want to see more of the details of what I experienced at SXSW, check out my twitter or search #SXsxsw. In 361 total tweets at SXSW, I published my notes and got carpal tunnel. It was totally worth it.


That’s me, third from the left. And I’m already looking forward to next year.

Originally published March 21, 2013, on

First time @ SXSW


sxswSo, it’s my first time at SXSW. I’m diving into theInteractive festival starting Friday and I’m excited. Overwhelmed, but excited. I have a few objectives. First, just to take it all in. Immerse myself in the environment, and soak up the culture that is SXSW. Some of the smartest, most innovative and hard-working people will be there and I want to rub shoulders with them. Which is my next objective – to be on the lookout for creative talent. If you’re a developer or technology strategist or creative director or a really cool dude people like working with, hit me up. As the HR director for an ad agency, I’m gonna want to talk to you. I also want to absorb all the content available. I believe we should always be learning and what a great opportunity to hear from experts in their field to take – or discard, depending – their advice on a variety of topics.So, I have my schedule sketched out – which was no small feat considering the hundreds of options available. It took hours to nail down what I think is a perfect flow, but I know that I’m going to have to be flexible and, as all SXSW to-do lists will tell you, “go with the flow.” Still, I hope to be prepared enough to hit up my must sees like The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and Beyond Work/Life: Changing the Debate & Making Change and Using Your Online Network to Get a Job #IRL.

I’ve heard that workshops with more tactical information tend to be meatier and more applicable so I’m going with that approach. But for a broader view, here are some of the Interactive staff picks. What has your experience been? What are your must-see sessions?

If you have any advice to send my way, tweet me @kellichuff. And if I see you at SXSW, please say hi. I’ll be that lost girl asking for directions.

Originally published

The new reality

I read an article recently about a study that says 80% of children under the age of five use the Internet weekly. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, that’s crazy, right? Toddlers aren’t on the computer. They’re learning how to walk and talk. Using their imagination and fighting over toys. Playing outside and taking naps inside. I should know – I have a 5 year-old son and 3 year-old daughter.


Then it hits me. I have a 5 year-old son and 3 year-old daughter who both know how to stream movies through Netflix, can search YouTube videos on dad’s iPhone, and play games online. Not to mention their app usage on the iPad. Which I still think is crazy! But it seems it’s the new reality. Of course Internet usage isn’t their only activity. They do all the playing and running and jumping and bickering of your average child, but they are also very tech savvy without even knowing what tech savvy means. With them, technology is not a thing you have to learn, it’s just what is. And it’s easy. Back when he was one, we put some videos on YouTube of my son easily interfacing with the first generation iPhone. And while we posted them so our family could see, the videos now have more than a half-million views and were recently picked up by Yahoo for a “Tech for Tots” segment. You can see my cutie at the 1:02 mark. And although a part of me gets a little freaked about that many people checking out my son, my pride demands I tell you all about it! I admit there’s a duality of thought going on.

And so, OK, I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked at the statistic – 80% of young kids online. Mine are certainly in that percentage. As are the children of the majority of my co-workers. An informal poll produced 87% of our kids being online prior to year five.

But there’s still a piece of me that wants to resist this reality. I’m not sure why. What about you? Are your kids participating online? Do you encourage it or reluctantly agree? How do you feel about marketers possibly using this data to sell stuff to your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Originally published March 31, 2011, on