Thea’s New Year’s Silicon Valley Update # 1

Well Hello and Happy New Year Everyone!

Let’s Talk about Blogging For a Moment

Happy New Year 2014 from TheaI vow to be better at blogging in 2014 and will try to come up with content that is worth reading…

The challenge I have, (well, apart from the obvious lack of time to be consistent which is paramount in all social media – especially blogging…) is that I try to run three blogs. Silly woman!

1) SYBD – the Blog

The longest-running blog I’ve managed, which is easily the most popular of the three, is Nearly twenty thousand people each month view that blog! That figure would, no doubt, be higher if I blogged more often…but blogging for the romantically-spurned is even more of a challenge when one is not newly-dumped (incidentally, it’s been years and years since I was, thankyewverymuch!)

Plus, the topic of breakups is so heavy that it makes it more of a slog to churn out interesting, helpful, relevant content…which is what all blogs should be! So yes, must_try_harder on that.

2) Glatitude

The other blog I run is for my latest company, Glatitude, which was set up in order to deliver, bespoke, one-to-one training in social media and basic WordPress skills.

My Glatitude blog, above all the other blogs, should be kept up to date to prove I practice what I preach but alas it ends up being more a case of cobbler’s shoes…

3) My Own Blog – This One!

And then there’s this blog, which was about the training side of things, pre-Glatitude, but now is more just reported ramblings from where ever I am and whatever I am doing so without further adieu – let’s do this!

My Silicon Valley Report

At the moment my movements are basically cruising around the Silicon Valley topless in this wee motor.Mazda Sleigh of Silicon Valley Though it’s not particularly hot this trip, at least there’s not been any rain – which seems to be the complete opposite of Glasgow. And it’s certainly been warm by Glasgow standards so when I’m out and about it’s usually topless (the car not me).

When I arrived in the Valley of Silicon, I picked up the car, dropped my bags off at my father’s and headed straight out to PayPal’s HQ to hear a talk by Scott Berkun. Scott has written a book called The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work. (Great title, or what?)

Funnily enough, though I haven’t read it (still), it was a book my colleague Gary Ennis from NSDesign had just mentioned reading only two days before.

Though I’ve known of the book for a few months now, (since signing up to attend the event) the coincidence of him recommending it just before I happen to be attending told me that I need to read this book. Soon.

Blurry-eyed I wandered up to Scott before the talk and relayed the story which merited a hug from the author. Truth be told, I’d wanted the book, but like Olaf in Frozen, I do rather like “warm hugs” too – so that was a result if ever there was one. I mean anyone get a book but not everyone that night got a hug!

Wordpress TrainingAnyway, though unquestionably jetlagged, I thoroughly enjoyed Scott’s talk about his experience of working for WP.

WordPress, as a company to work for, sounds very interesting to me. The culture is unusual to say the least. The idea that there are no offices to base yourself in, you work remotely so that makes “pants optional”.

You don’t have to go through the tedious nerve-wracking process of resumes (CVs) and interviews to get a job to work at WordPress. No one uses Email there and everyone starts in Customer Support. How novel!

Yet even with this unusual way of doing business, WP still manages to be company that plays a massive part in the Internet as a whole (look at WP live stats here). In fact,, is the 8th most trafficked website in the U.S!

The whole notion of its unusual company culture was truly thought-provoking.

There are many Scottish business owners (and elsewhere) who should take a page or two out of this book and apply it in their companies. While I am sure it wouldn’t work in every sector, some amount of innovation can work wherever I suspect. Plus “Happy workers” tend to be good workers and loyal workers too. Well, in my experience anyway…Incidentally, the best work experience I’ve ever had, working within a company, was in the aforementioned NSDesign office.

Well, anyway, I am glad I finally got around to writing a few notes about Scott’s talk. I’ve been meaning to for a few weeks now, but with the holidays there, I never quite managed.

CES 2014

My next update will most likely be next week – after the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas. Yes, I am leaving the Valley for Sin City to check out all of the cool tech/gadgets and to hopefully hear some fabulous Keynotes. One I am most looking forward to is Marissa Mayer the CEO of Yahoo but there are many others that look pretty good too.

Another thing I am excited about are all the Wearable Devices that are going to be launched at the conference. Already somewhat of a fan of FITBIT (depending on the day), I look forward to seeing what else is in store…

I’ve wanted to go to this conference for many years (it’s on my “bucket list”) so was pleased when I was at a party with friends from Cisco and Eton Corporation who suggested I finally go. Speaking of Eton, I love the idea of this Rukus Wireless Sound System  (what a great name, Rukus!) – but not 100% sure the Glasgow weather would facilitate a quality sound. What do you think? (PS: I am assured by a top chap at Eton Co that it will definitely work in dreary ole Glasgow, I’m just kidding). I hope to try it, and if I do, I’ll let you know!

Until next time…from the Valley of Silicon, I’m Thea, saying “See Ya!”

My Favourite Shares on Social Media This Week

It’s late on a Sunday night (or technically Monday morning now) so I thought it was high time I wrote another, quick blog with some of the best things I’ve come across on social media this last week (or three…)


I’ll start with one I watched this morning (now yesterday!) – when it was shared by my Facebook friend, Scottish singer/songwriter Roddy Hart. This video actually dates back to January, but this morning was the first I’ve seen of it, and, well, it made me laugh so hard, I had tears in my eyes,…so I thought it worthy of a share today.

Was that hilarious or what? As I say, I thought so (and heck, I don’t even like Football!) I should dedicate that video to my ole boss Gary @nsdesign – he loves (American) football, and would probably get a right kick out of it (knowing Gary he’s seen it already!)


Another viral share that’s been making the rounds this weekend was both fun and educational.

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the WorldAugust 18, 2013 · TwistedSifter · Categories: ART, BEST OF, DESIGN, FUNNY, LISTS, NATURE/SPACE, SCI/TECH, STORIES, TRAVEL Tags: · facts, maps, world tour · Leave a Comment If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that. Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some… >>> Open this article

There were some great maps in this collection of 40. I personally liked the one about Mississippi. (Every time I write that word, or even say it, I spell it out in sing-song way – any fellow Americans will do it the same way, I suspect).

Moving on…


This next one is not humorous or entertaining – but it did catch my eye and resonate with me so I thought I’d include it here too. It’s about Facebook, the social media platform that I, personally, have a sort of love/hate sort of relationship with.

Though I am not in the same demographic as was surveyed here (late teens, early twenties), I do believe I agreed with its findings. None of the other social media platforms have the same affect as FB seems to have on me…

Get a life!

Get a life!August 16, 2013 · The Economist · Using the social network seems to make people more miserable THOSE who have resisted the urge to join Facebook will surely feel vindicated when they read the latest research. A study just published by the Public Library of Science, conducted by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan and Philippe Verduyn of Leuven University in Belgium, has shown that the more someone uses Facebook, the less satisfied he is with life. Past investigations have found that using Facebook is associatedOpen this article


wordpress logoAnyway, as I am in the process of setting up my new One Day, Basic WordPress website training aimed at SMEs who need a little hand-holding, I thought I’d leave you with an infographic showing its popularity.

It appears that one in three adults in the US have heard of WordPress (according to the #WCSF keynote I listened to last week) but for those of you who don’t know, it’s a Content Management System (CMS) for websites.

picture of top of WP infographic 2013Anyway so here is a great WP infographic that I came across – detailing some of its numbers. They have a staggering 59% of the marketshare for websites that use a CMS. Seems this blog right here is just one of 500,000 that get posted daily. Geez with that number how did you find this one? 🙂

They have a staggering future (see their “anticipated growth” section of this infographic!) And some of the biggest websites in the world utilize their platform.

WordPress 2013
August 9, 2013 ·

Open this article

Well that’s all I have time for this week. I’ve got some other blogs lined up with other types of social media finds – but that will need to be in a day or so. Until next time…


  1. “40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World” · Aug. 18, 2013 · TwistedSifter
  2. “Get a life!” · Aug. 16, 2013 · The Economist
  3. “wordpress2013.jpg (JPEG Image, 700 × 5475 pixels)” · Aug. 9, 2013 ·
  4. “”THE NFL : A Bad Lip Reading” — A Bad Lip Reading of the NFL” · badlipreading · Jan. 16, 2013 · YouTube

Full Day, Basics of WordPress One to One Training

Thea Newcomb's Spundge profileSome big changes are on the horizon for me, work wise, come the month’s end. After three years as a consultant at NSDesign, I am leaving the fold.

Thankfully, I am not severing all ties with the team that has become like family to me. I will still work with the guys, primarily in a training capacity, particularly for Business Gateway, but also on a project-by-project basis – in terms of content and social media.

Now though, I feel that I have acquired the skills/ tools and dare I say confidence – to follow my passion of one-to-one web and social training…A skill I didn’t know I really had, (and enjoyed), until actually working with NSDesign – so I’ve been grateful for all that experience…


It’s not easy to launch a company that has a USP in this day and age – especially when it comes to things like the Web and Social Media – development and training. As there are so many wonderfully-talented firms and individuals, (including NSDesign) around Glasgow and the west, I’ve had to work hard to find my niche in this area, and I think I have.

From August 2013, I’ll be offering a core package of 1-2-1 training in WordPress to Central Scotland (predominantly Glasgow and the West).

So for people who either have a WordPress site and don’t know how to use it, or who need one starting from scratch, we’ll build it and I will train customers (mostly SMEs) on it, in ONE DAY.

Thea Newcomb uses Sprout SocialIn that time, I’ll also be training individual clients on themes, plugins, security essentials, basic SEO and help with Social Media “best practices”. All of this training will be bespoke.

The super-good-news is that for the vast majority of clients there’s funding for this to help cover the costs.

In addition to the core business of the WordPress training, I also train on a variety of topics such as:

Get in touch today if you’re interested in finding out more about this bespoke, one-to-one WordPress training or any of the other courses I’ve mentioned above.

PS: For my last day in the NSDesign offices I’m excited to be attending their Advanced HootSuite masterclass on Friday. Even though I use it on a regular basis and know it pretty well there is certainly “room for improvement”. There are still a few places available. Act fast. Maybe see you there.