Good Friendships. Great Health.

Dr. Marjorie Jenkins

Women tend to rely on friends during times of stress. They get together to share experiences and to learn from each other’s perspectives on life and various situations. Medical research is now showing how positive social connections can make a wonderful difference in a woman’s health.

A friend in need.

A landmark UCLA study shows when women are under stress, the hormone oxytocin is released. This hormone causes us to gravitate toward “tending or befriending.” We tend the children/family or see our friends. This action of tending or befriending causes the body to release more oxytocin. Estrogen also enhances oxytocin and increases this stress response.

Benefits of friendship.

Take heart.
Study after study has found that social ties reduce a woman’s risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol.

Stayin’ alive.
In one study, for example, researchers found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a six-month period. And in another study, those who had the most friends over a nine-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60 percent.

The good life.
Friends are also helping us live better. The Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life.

In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.

When the going gets tough, the tough find time for friends.
So if friends are so good for us, why are they the first things (after exercise) that get the ax when we are overwhelmed or stressed? It seems the busier we get with family commitments, work and volunteering, the less effort we make to be with friends. Even though research shows that is exactly what we need. That’s a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other.

Keep up with your connections. Keep your health going strong.
When women have the opportunity to get together and share experiences and nurture each other, it can be a positive and healing experience. We should not ignore good relationships; it could be hazardous for our health. Go call a friend for coffee or lunch, plan a weekend away, or just take a long walk and talk about anything and everything. It may just be the best thing you’ve done for yourself in a long time.

Marjorie R. Jenkins, M.D., is an internist who has focused her career on women’s health and gender-specific medicine for more than a decade. She is the founding executive director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health (LWBIWH) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). She will speak at the Texas Conference for Women on a panel about women’s health.

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Considering Blogging? Start Here.

Susan Getgood

As I was writing “Professional Blogging For Dummies” it was clear that nearly every chapter in my book could be a book in itself. In fact, there are books that delve into many of the topics in great depth. After you’ve read my book, if you decide you’d like to dig deeper, I highly recommend you invest in a few.

The “For Dummies” series has titles that cover just about everything, including Google AdSense for Dummies, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, Web Marketing for Dummies, Public Relations for Dummies and Social Media for Dummies.

A book about your chosen blogging platform can also be a handy reference. “For Dummies” can help you here as well, but I’d suggest you also look at more advanced guides, particularly if you want to get into deeper customization of your blog.

Darren Rowse’s “ProBlogger” website, one of the 10 sites you can learn from simply by reading featured in the book, is an excellent resource for keeping up-to-date on the latest developments in professional blogging. You might also want to invest in Rowse’s book, co-authored with Chris Garrett, “ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income” (2010, 2d edition,Wiley).

About Audio and Video

If you decide to add a video or a podcast to your blog, you should definitely get some help, whether a book or professional consultant, to get you going.

When I started doing a podcast for a client a few years ago I turned to two books:

* “Podcasting: The Do-It-Yourself Guide” by Todd Cochrane (Wiley, 2005)

* “How to Do Everything with Podcasting” by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson (McGraw Hill, 2007)

I don’t do much personally with video on my sites. I’m still working on my photo skills. That’s enough of a challenge for now, so when I use video for a client, I leave it to the pros. However, the equipment and software available to amateurs has gotten so good, there’s no reason to not experiment if you have the interest in learning the skill. I crowdsourced a book recommendation for you:

*”Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business” by Steve Garfield (Wiley, 2010)

I haven’t read it yet (although I plan to), but Garfield has an excellent reputation. You can check out his website at

Books about Social Media – Top Three Picks

If you get hooked on social media, here are my top three reads for you. I consider them business classics.

First, if you haven’t already, read “The Cluetrain Manifesto” by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger (10th anniversary edition, 2009, Basic Books). It’s the book often credited with starting the social media revolution, and it’s a good read to boot.

Next, pick up “Naked Conversations” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (2006, Wiley). Social media has changed quite a bit since this book was published. Facebook didn’t open up to the general public until September 2006 and Twitter wouldn’t burst onto the scene until the South by Southwest conference in March 2007. But, the book is very well written, and the underlying principles about engaging with customers and building trust haven’t changed.

Finally, if you really want to dig into to the topic of integrating social media with a business strategy, you can’t go wrong with “Groundswell” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (2008, Harvard Business Press).

Books about Marketing

“The New Rules for Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott – a good introduction to marketing in the online age, especially for small business owners who don’t have marketing backgrounds.

“It’s Not the Big That Eat the Small…It’s the Fast That Eat the Slow: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business” by Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton – Suffering from analysis paralysis? This book
shows you how to cut through the clutter and make the quick decisions that can create your competitive edge.

“The Marketing Imagination” by Theodore Levitt – The marketing classic.

Reference Books That Should Be on Your Bookshelf

Blogging is about writing, and every writer should have the following on her desk:

* A dictionary, and if you haven’t replaced yours in more than five years, get a new one. Language changes all the time, no more so than in the last few years.

* A thesaurus

* A book of quotations. I have two, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations.

* The AP Style Guide

All are available online as well as in print versions. I prefer using the real books, although I do look up quotations online if the reference I need is very recent. Somehow, the act of physically looking something up inspires me. You may find it easier to use electronic tools. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is using them to give your writing some variety.

Susan Getgood will lead a workshop at the Texas Conference for Women titled “Using Social Media to Build Your Brand.” Getgood has been involved in online marketing since the early 90s and watched the web evolve from the first browsers to the interactive communities we participate in today.

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Your Time Is Now!


To be fearlessly resilient. To rebound with purpose and power. To lead with intention.


The 2010 Texas Conference for Women offers the community and connection, the information and inspiration, the motivation and momentum to help you find what you want—and go get it.

The 11th Annual Texas Conference for Women will be held November 10, 2010 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. We hope you’ll join us! Register here; early discounts are available through June 13.

Many thanks to author and returning speaker Katherine Center for creating our theme video! Katherine is the author of three bittersweet comic novels about love and family—“The Bright Side of Disaster,” “Everyone Is Beautiful,” and “Get Lucky”—and has another on the way. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Real Simple, the Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle, as well as the anthology “Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers on the Mother-Daughter Bond.”


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2009 Conference Highlight Video

The 2009 Texas Conference for Women celebrated its tenth year with a stellar lineup of speakers, including:

  • Suze Orman, personal finance expert

  • Isabel Allende, author

  • Tory Johnson, founder and CEO of Women For Hire

  • Marcus Buckingham, leading career expert and best selling author

  • Mae Jemison, MD, astronaut

  • Nastia Liukin, Olympic gymnast,

  • Christy Haubegger, founder of Latina Magazine

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Stick to the Code!

To ensure this code release, Wilco Jansen resorted to sending rum to joint lead-developer Johan Janssens. Johan, who’s had a penchant for rum ever since the first “Pirate’s of the Caribbean” movie screened, took the bait, mixed it with Cola, and here we are with our latest 1.5 release. It looks like pirate talk will figure quite a lot in future Joomla! development!
Translation for you real pirates:

First Mate Wilco resorted t’ sendin’ rum t’ joint Capt’n Johan. Johan, who’s had a penchant for rum ever since t’ first “Pirate’s o’ t’ Caribbean” movie screened, took t’ bait, mixed it with molasses, and here we be with our latest 1.5 release. It looks like pirate talk will figure quite a lot in future Joomla! development!

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We are Volunteers

The Joomla! Core Team consists of volunteer developers, designers, administrators and managers who, together with a large range of Work Groups of dedicated community members have taken Joomla! to new heights in its relatively short life. This well-oiled machine is often copied but never surpassed. Joomla! has some wonderfully talented people taking Open Source concepts to the forefront of industry standards. Joomla! 1.5 is a major leap forward and represents the most exciting Joomla! release in the history of the project.

The project has a nice balance of legacy development from well-known coders such as Andrew Eddie (who pioneered Mambo’s early success) to some young guns like Johan Janssens and Louis Landry. This dynamic trio has been further strengthening the project by bringing in new talent. In open source development people joke about the ‘bus’ factor. Projects which don’t have coding ‘spread’ are considered less sound should their single lead developer get hit by a bus.

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1 Million Smiles

The Joomla! team has about 1 million good reasons to be smiling about the Joomla! 1.5. In its current incarnation, it’s had more than 1 million downloads, taking it to an unprecedented level of popularity. The new code base is almost an entire re-factor of the old code base. The user experience is still extremely slick but for developers the API is a dream. A proper framework for real PHP architects seeking the best of the best.

If you’re a former Mambo User or a 1.0 series Joomla! User, 1.5 is the future of CMSs for a number of reasons. It’s more powerful, more flexible, more secure, and intuitive. Our developers and interface designers have worked countless hours to make this the most exciting release in the content management system sphere.

Go on … get your FREE copy of Joomla! today and spread the word about this benchmark project.

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The Legend of Buca di Beppo

The legend of Buca di Beppo involves a covert meeting of key developers in a Mafia-style restaurant in the United States. ‘Bucas’ has on more than one occasion been the catalyst for key (and in some cases considered insurmountable) development ‘humps’ being overcome.

With copius amounts of food and wine flowing, the creative juices of coders seem to work keener, faster, and problems are solved. Louis Landry famously agreed that living near a Bucas could actually lead to faster development cycles.

Mmmm. A restaurant with photos of famous Mafia films like The Godfather and violin cases leaning against the booths. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

If Joomla! was a commercial venture, we’re sure management would actually consider building a Bucas inside the building!

Masterchief meet Bugsy Landry.

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