Thousands of Photos for Water

Anyone out there still using Google+? I’m hearing more and more rumblings in my blogger networks that people are getting so frustrated with Facebook’s recent changes that they are spending more time on G+. I don’t know if the numbers really reflect that, but it certainly would be interesting if that becomes a trend. I get pretty frustrated with Facebook feeling spammy, and now that it’s not showing posts from Pages unless they are promoted (i.e. paid for) I’m tempted to give up on my FB Page for Water Water Everywhere.

Google Plus has a new feature that you probably haven’t noticed called Events. I first learned about it when Google approached my water organization, WEF, about partnering during our huge WEFTEC conference to do a Google + event called “Thousands of Photos for Water”.

The idea was pretty simple. Designated photographers would document the conference with photos from their smartphones and upload them with comments and appropriate hashtags to this G+ event. Then everyone else could view the photos and search on the hashtag #WEFTEC to see thousands of photos surrounding the premier water industry conference.

I signed up as a volunteer photographer because I knew I’d be very active at the conference, attending lots of different events, and I had the fantastic Samsung Galaxy s3 phone from Verizon that takes amazing photos. I had to update my Google+ app in order to even see the Events tab, but it was there, I joined and I started uploading all sorts of photos as soon as I arrived.

There were a few rules I had to sign off on such as no alcohol in the photos and no photos on the Exhibit Hall floor. Those rules were both very limiting for me since it IS New Orleans and I did spend a ton of time on the Exhibit Hall floor.

Here are just a handful of the photos I took and uploaded to the G+ event. Great quality even in low light!

I ended up contributing 54 photos to the Thousands of Photos for Water event. All shot and uploaded on my Galaxy phone, which is crazy slick. You can see them all here. Between the eighteen designated photographers we did end up with well over a thousand photos. I’m not sure how many people actually viewed the event photos, but it was fun seeing what we all contributed in real time.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided 
with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the 

Running Inspiration for Women from Yurbuds

Peer pressure is the reason I started running in ernest nearly two years ago. Having a goal race and a specific training plan to achieve that goal has been the crucial missing piece to forming my running habit. Now I’m addicted. 

I have found so many benefits to running that I can’t quit. Strong muscles. Skinnier jeans. Clearer skin. Elevated mood. Tons of energy. 
What has surprised me most though is the social aspect of running that I love. Even though it’s an activity I mostly do on my own, it has created and strengthened relationships with all sorts of unexpected people. Runners are a tribe. People who run love to talk about running, especially through social media. 
I have been amazed by the encouraging replies I get whenever I post about running either here on the blog or on my numerous other social media outlets. If I have even the silliest question about running I can ask it and count on getting a myriad of answers from runners with experience. It’s great! 
So this weekend I got the chance to pay forward that encouragement with a small part of my running tribe. I was contacted by yurbuds Sport Earphones and given the opportunity to host a little party for runners at my house. They are introducing new yurbuds just for women and sent me several pair to share with my friends! 
I invited my local running girlfriends over for some healthy snacks and a little wine. I decided we didn’t need to actually run together, which is good since it poured down rain. Talking about running over wine and checking out our giftboxes with the yurbuds Sport Earphones for Women and a Sweatyband and sweat towel was lots of fun. 
Katie and Stephanie enjoy running 5k races. Courtney just finished her very first triathalon, a feat I’m thinking of attempting next year. Gail, Becky, Deana and I are all planning to run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January. We *were* all going to run the Chosen half marathon, but Gail is recovering from surgery, Becky and Deana can’t make it, and now I’m up in the air about it. 
One thing we did do was talk about what inspires us to run. I had each of the women fill out a questionaire about their running memories and favorite gear. I learned a lot about my friends! We even shared our top five favorite songs to run to. 
Then each woman thought of one word about why they run or what inspires them to run and wrote it on a board. 

So thank you, yurbuds and MomSelect for providing me with these awesome gifts to share with my friends. Everyone so far has LOVED the yurbuds Earphones and the Sweatybands hairbands. We are amazed at how well both the earbuds and the hairbands stay in place while running. The yurbuds for women are available in a whole bunch of colors (we got blue, green, pink and purple) and will be hitting the shelves at Target this month for $29.99. They didn’t ask me to tell you that, I just really think you should know…because they are seriously awesome. Additionally, be sure to check out the yurbuds Facebook page and follow the hashtag #INSPIREFORWOMEN for lots more inspiration!