” Women who have succeeded in technology deserve recognition: They are an inspiration for everyone, demonstrating what can be achieved through creativity and hard work.” – Fast Company.
This interview is the first in SiliconCaribe’s weekly series of Caribbean Women in Tech where we profile and celebrate their ambitions and accomplishments. We also seek to inspire others to view technology industry as a career and entrepreneurship path. We’ll be publishing one interview every Wednesday for the next two months. We launch our series with Marguerite Orane, the first Caribbean blogger to have turned a blog into a book.
SC. What is the name, subject and URL of your blog?
MO: Name: Free and Laughing
Subject – spiritual insights
SC:. Describe your blog in one sentence.
MO: I relate personal experiences and observations and look for deeper, spiritual meaning.
SC. Why do you blog?
MO: To bring a different perspective to things and experiences around us – particularly everyday, mundane experiences. Recently I have been blogging more and more about business issues, where spirituality and the recognition of its importance in organizational success and wholeness are rarely acknowledged. Indeed, spirituality, joy and love at work seem to be taboo topics. I believe they are crucial to people being more productive and the organization being more effective and profitable. I see my blog as a way to suggest a different, more wholesome and healthy way of leading organizations.
SC. How long have you been blogging and what blogging software do you use?
MO: I started my blog in 2006. I use WordPress now, but started with Blogspot. Then it was called “Marguerite’s Musings”
SC. What’s your favorite blog besides your own?
MO: Seth Godin – brilliant, off the wall thinker. Always causes me to stop and question
SC: What’s the one thing you want to learn to become a better blogger?
MO: How to reach more people, and to keep them engaged and involved in my Free and Laughing community. That way I can really help them to live joyously and free!
SC. What do you think the state of the blogosphere in the Caribbean region?
MO: Since moving to Toronto nearly 3 years ago, I must admit that I have become a bit removed from Caribbean blogs. I do notice more and more folks blogging, but not consistently. It’s not easy to maintain a blog – right now I myself am in a slow period (hopefully this interview will get my blogging juices flowing again)
SC. Why should women blog?
MO: Blogging provides women with a way to make our voices heard and to express our unique view of life. For example, my view of business is TOTALLY different to the male perspective. Blogging gives me a non-threatening way to share these views and cause people to question and think differently. Blogging allows us to be a little wild, since people expect bloggers to be quite wacky. So I feel free to express my thoughts as they come – more so than I would in a business journal or something on “serious” spirituality.
Blogging also gives women a vehicle to explore our thoughts and feelings, to put them out in the public space and to see who responds and how. Often, we don’t even realize how powerful our voices are. I continue to be amazed when my blog readers tell me how much of an impact my blog has on their lives!
One of my most recent joys is that my 19 year old daughter has started to blog – pardon my overbearing momminess – here is her blog: http://ahhdunno.tumblr.com/
This is powerful for a young woman to put her voice out there. I see her self-confidence grow with each post and the responses from her readers.
SC. You are the first Caribbean blogger man or woman who has turned their blog into a book. Tell us when was the book published? Why did you do it? What was the process like?
MO: I published my book “Free and Laughing: Spiritual Insights in Everyday Moments” in December 2008. It was a 90th birthday gift for my mother. I just wanted to give her a gift that expressed how much I love and admire her, and how much she means to me. The book certainly did that. I still remember the moment when she opened the book to the dedication page and saw that it was for her. TEARS all around! The moment was even more poignant for she passed on 5 months after. What a joy for my children to read a chapter of my book at the service of thanksgiving for her life. Full circle.
I often say that the process was just total ease, grace and joy and an example of how life flows beautifully when you are motivated only by love. Once I decided to do the book, everything just fell into place and the right people came along to make it happen in perfect timing. The only “glitch” was a typo on the COVER, which my brother noticed after I had printed 1,000 copies. When I saw it, I just busted out laughing!
SC: Thanks so much Marguerite for sharing your story with us.
Marguerite’s Blog Profile
“I am woman, mother, sister, aunt, friend, godmother, Laughter Yoga leader, entrepreneur, author of “Free and Laughing: Spiritual Insights in Everyday Moments”, Certified Professional Facilitator, consultant, partner, teacher, coach, motivator, public speaker, fundraiser, networker, idea generator, Wolmer’s alumna, Harvard MBA, marathon runner, yogi, avid reader, dog lover. My daughter Victoria once described me as: “energetic, intelligent, brave, funny. Mother of three lovely children who loves books, music and kids; who is not afraid of anything; who wants to see the world alive and well” I love life. I love people. I love Jamaica. I love being free and laughing. I love who I am. I love who I AM”
Caribbean Women in Tech Facebook Group. Join and Tell Friends.
This group is “for Caribbean women in the technology industry-whether you are an entrepreneur, policy consultant, web developer, web designer, professional blogger and tweeter, social media professional, animator or corporate tech professional. Whether you are in the Caribbean or Caribbean Diapsora. Join the conversation. Share your stories, interesting links and Spread the knowledge. ”