Posts tagged ‘social media’

September 27, 2010

When Social Media Became News

July 31, 2010

Is Social Media Making Us Dumb?

This post was also a featured story on

The explosion of social media has been nothing but a phenomenon. Communities, twitter, facebook, linkedin and other networks allow us all to instantly share articles, thought leadership, books, tweets, PPTs, news, events, and more. And the more we engage in social media, the more I’m starting to wonder if social media is actually making us smarter and more enlightened OR if we are simply becoming dumber by the day.

While I see tremendous value in the online links and information and articles that are shared into and throughout my social networks, social media seems to be influencing the world with “NBC Today Show”-like headlines and content containing lightweight, high level fodder and sound-bytes from whatever happens to be your knowledge domain of choice. While blogs provide fantastic ways to share insights into communities of interest, more and more the posts I see are generally less than 400 words, conversational in tone, and read like “Top 5 Ways…” or “Top Reasons Why” to promote sharability.

I also see social media trending towards the 60 minute webinars and 10 minute videos and tweets of less than 140 characters to capture people’s attention, promote your services or product like an online infommercial to capture sales leads and create brand awareness. I see individuals simply updating their LinkedIn profile with so-called books from their Amazon reading list just for the sake of sounding intelligent and creating a perception that they actually stay current on the latest trends and buzzwords like Tipping Points or Flat Worlds or Synergistic Change. Of course we are all soooo busy that there is no way we have read or even will attempt to read these books.   I also see the latest tweets from the Harvard Business Review being shared around and emailed throughout our social networks as if we are some enlightened thinker of strategy and management with some inspirational message of change.  And then there’s…an addicting site of speeches & lectures from REAL thought leaders and experts throughout the world…and who doesn’t “heart” Ted?  Of course social media now allows junkies to share online lectures and speeches like a drug dealer handing out free samples on the street.

Let’s face the fact that because of social media, everything is starting to look and sound like Cosmopolitan Magazine and USA Today headlines. Now I will admit I too am guilty of proliferating this trend to simply keep up with the “Jones” as the experiment of social media evolves and becomes “mainstream”.   The reality is… because of social media, today anyone, at any level, from anywhere has access to the same sound bytes of information as you. Maybe your niche is technology or six sigma or project management or talent management or even information management!!! … Social media allows anyone to act like an expert, pretend to be an expert, and promote themselves as an expert. Because of social media….we just might be proliferating the Dilbert principles we all know and love so well. We are possibly becoming dumber and allowing the mediocre to gain a competitive advantage or at least sound like they actually know what they’re doing or are an expert in their respective domain.

What say you? Are you jaded in your thinking like this? OR are you enlightened and encouraged by all that social media has to offer?



June 25, 2010

Personal Branding Tips from Guy Kawasaki….

Came across this on the web….Personal Branding Tips from Guy Kawasaki….

Make Meaning, Not Money. If you’re into personal branding with the goal of making money, stop now. You will attract the wrong kind of people into your life. Instead, start with the goal of making meaning. What better way to align all your actions with your long-term goals. What kind of meaning will you make? Kawasaki suggests two ideas for inspiration: 1) right a wrong, or 2) prevent the end of something good. What will you do to make the world a better place?

Make a Mantra. In three words or less, what are you all about? Kawasaki believes that mission statements are useless. He says, make a mantra instead. FedEx stands for “peace of mind.” What do you stand for, in the simplest terms?

Polarize People. Personal branding pundits often advise against being a “jack of all trades,” or a generalist that isn’t very good at something specific. What does Guy believe? He suggests being great for some people rather than trying to please everyone. Do not be afraid to make people react strongly for or against you. As my former business partner used to remind me, you’re not doing something right unless you’re pissing someone off. That doesn’t mean be a jerk. That means just don’t try to appeal to all people, or you’ll end up a mile wide and an inch deep, mediocre to everyone.

Find a Few Soul Mates. We’re all on this journey together. It’s silly to think we are alone in our careers or in our life. Find people who balance you. Then make time for them. If you’re busy, make plans in advance so you have to schedule around them. You’re only one person, so surround yourself with people whose skills round you off.

Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone will always agree with you. That’s a fact of life. So don’t let criticism or doubters bring you down. As you live out your mantra, it’s your responsibility to be strong in the face of “no,” and “you can’t do that.” Guy says, ignore people who say you won’t succeed. Use negative words as motivation. Prove people wrong.



June 8, 2010

What is more important: people? process? or technology?

The following post was also featured within the E2.0 Community:

I often see executives and project managers take charge of projects and focus on process first, people second, and technology last when it comes to change…   While I understand the thinking behind that mindset, in today’s world it is very difficult to leave the technology as an afterthought.  And when it comes to changing how organizations collaborate & socialize in this globalized web 2.0 world, technology is usually part of the answer.   Now some argue that technology should be secondary to process & culture when it comes to change.   On the other hand, sometimes the “system” actually causes the bad behavior or doesn’t allow or encourage the right human behavior.   So what is more important – people, process or technology?

If a CEO wants to know why engineers don’t act “social” and share knowledge across teams, then it’s a probably a people or cultural issue or incentives aren’t aligned accordingly or management isn’t encouraging it. Technology alone won’t change that. Social behavior is not something that can be mandated or dictated by management. Otherwise it’s just another thing we “have to do” and is viewed as a task or work. Social behavior is a two way street between workers and management with a heavy emphasis on management ….. who needs to encourage, promote, and reward good behavior. And the technology if implemented correctly should be there to support the culture, enable socialization, and hopefully easily facilitate the desired behavior. I’d argue that you can’t always treat the technology and the system as secondary to culture……as the system influences the process and culture as much as process impacts technology.

Some corporate cultures don’t promote collaboration or social behavior because of the systems they have in place.   The airlines for example have terrible antiquated systems.  And if the process is not easy or takes too long because the person behind the counter is typing too many letters and codes or doesn’t know how to easily do something — workers and customers may say “why bother” and everyone is frustrated by the “system”.

At a macro level, social behavior within a country is often influenced by the “system” of government.  The founding fathers of the US seemed to focus first on creating a “system” that ultimately empowers and protects people’s rights.  I’m not sure if there’s enough focus on “process” in government.  If there is one — well, it’s probably inefficient at best.  While I don’t think you can leave the “system” as an afterthought, government systems might tell us how important the process actually is.   Of course too much process & control is no good either as history has taught us.  Anyway….

Technology in so many ways today influences the way we socialize, collaborate, and share knowledge …. Today, workers rely too heavily on email & instant messaging as the main source of communicating, collaborating , and sharing knowledge where information gets lost and workers can’t filter out the noise and simply miss or ignore the “message”.  Blackberry’s are great (I have one), but sometimes they simply add to the problem vs. make us more productive….

It seems safe to conclude that you have to treat technology, people, and process equally if you want your organization to become that social and collaborative enterprise everyone talks about and puts in their grand “vision” statements.



May 18, 2008

Collaborative Innovation: Marketing vs. the Platform

Someone recently asked me about the topics of innovation & collaboration.   The question was whether this is simply a bunch of marketing and people stuff.   They wanted to know why the technology mattered….and my response was this….

The marketing and people stuff is important — no question about it. Any successful collaborative technology deployment I was part of had “marketing” component which is very key to that overall success once you have setup the platform.  However, you must do viral marketing — leveraging the power of social networks to evangelize the platform (and based on my experiences I’d argue this is the case both outside an organization as well as inside).   

A collaboration/innovation initiative for an organization must be grass roots and bottom up. As much as you might try to “manage” innovation (eg. stage-gates,etc..). or “manage” and force the use of collaboration technology — you simply can’t.   Today – the technology is the business and the business is the technology.  And technology is equally important and the platform has to be compelling otherwise users will not adopt it!    Facebook is compelling. Linkedin is compelling. Rimm Blackberry is compelling. Google is compelling. These platforms don’t need to do much marketing do they? 😉  And others may try to copy them and they may even try to “out-market” them to compete — but overtime no amount of marketing or touchy-feely people stuff will outshine a superior technology platform with superior features that spreads by word of mouth.

May 16, 2008


this came my way….focused on meeting women…but I liked it anyway…

I personally think that being “cool” comes downto:
1) Being independent
2) Being indifferent
3) Being funny
4) Being socially adjusted
Before I get into each of these in detail, Iwant to mention something…
Usually, I tend to stick to techniques to helpyou meet more women, or give you advice to getpast limiting beliefs, etc.
I’ve realized recently that there are a fewBASIC, FUNDAMENTAL things that we, as guys, needto really “get” about interacting with otherpeople before we start trying to learn advancedstuff, like how to approach and meet women. If youdon’t have some of the basic things handled, allthe fancy techniques in the world won’t fix yourproblem.
So stick with me here, this is important.
OK, so let’s talk about the four componentsthat I mentioned above.
Independent is the OPPOSITE of “dependent”.
When you act “dependent”, you lean on others,you look to them for approval, you ask what theythink before you make a decision, you tend to wantto stay physically close to them, and yourfeelings tend to depend on what others feel andthink of you.
When you act INDEPENDENT, you lean back, you dothings because YOU decided you wanted to, youdon’t ask others what they think – instead youdecide yourself, you are fine walking away fromyour friends for awhile when you’re out, and yourfeelings are controlled by what YOU think, notwhat others think.
A “dependent” person will go into a bar withfriends, stick close to them all night, ask whateveryone else is drinking before they order, getupset easily about things that others say, andconstantly be looking for attention and approvalin some way.
An INDEPENDENT person, on the other hand, willgo into a bar with friends and be more likelyto… walk away and look around the place ALONE tosee who’s there – and feel fine about leavingtheir friends for awhile and striking up aconversation with a stranger… They’ll order adrink if they want, or water if they want – andnot care what everyone else is drinking… They’llbe cool and calm no matter what happens – even ifothers are getting upset around them… And, mostimportantly, they aren’t looking to others forattention and approval. They’re doing their ownthing, and enjoying whatever happens.
Most people in this world are ATTACHED to theoutcomes of things. They’re constantly worryingabout what’s going to happen… and talking aboutthe future in a fearful, uncertain way.
This type of person always wants to know whatother people think of them, and they’re worryingabout what they should do so other people willlike them. Unfortunately, this almost ALWAYS comesacross as INSECURITY.
An INDIFFERENT person, on the other hand, justgoes about life and takes things as they come.
The indifferent pperson, on the other hand, justgoes about life and takes things as they come.
The indifferent person is INDIFFERENT to theoutcome of whatever situation they’re in.
If it’s a man, and he’s approaching a woman, hewill be OK with whatever happens. If she’s nice tohim, great. If she’s uptight, no problem. If she’srich, famous, and beautiful… and starts comingon to him, fine. No big deal.
When you are ATTACHED to the outcome of asituation, it makes you act all kinds of freaky.You pause, act nervous, hold back, look forapproval, act insecure… and any of 100 otherunattractive things.
On the other hand, when you’re INDIFFERENT tothe outcome, it makes you MAGNETIC. Especiallywhen it comes to women and dating. Indifference isthe ultimate way to show a LACK of insecurity inlife.
Humor is magic.
It’s a complete mystery why we find things”funny” and why we “laugh”.
Crying because someone died makes some logicalsense. It’s a bad thing, and crying expresses anegative emotion.
But when you see a dog run into a windowbecause he doesn’t see it… and he gets aconfused look on his face, you LAUGH. What’s withthat?
Humor is interesting to me, in that if you’refunny, it makes people FEEL GOOD inside. Theylaugh, and it triggers positive feelings.
If you’re not naturally funny, it’s a greatskill to learn. Read books. Watch live comedy. Dowhatever it takes to learn how to be funny.
Most of the “coolest” guys I know are wickedlyfunny. Some of them are only funny on occasion…but they “get it”… and when they do make a joke,it’s DAMN funny.
I know that this sounds funny, but most of thepeople I know who are “UN-cool” are not veryadjusted socially.
They lack a certain something in the “socialskills” department that makes it OBVIOUS to others(and especially to women) that they don’t know howto relate very well to other people. They justnever learned how to make others feel comfortablearound them.
If you’ve ever known an accountant or computerprogrammer that was brilliantly smart, but totallyboring, you know what I mean.
If people act kind of nervous, strange, anduncomfortable when they’re around you, then youalso know where I’m coming from on this.
I can’t teach you how to make people feelcomfortable around you in two sentences, but ifyou need to learn how to mix with people socially,then start PAYING ATTENTION to what’s going onaround you.
Watch how others dress, carry themselves, walk,and talk. Pay attention to little details… likesaying, “What’s up?” when you meet someone new,instead of “Hello, pleased to meet you” and such.
…now, is this all there is to being “cool”?
Of course not.
But it’s a great start.
If you can first get yourself to the placewhere other people want to be around you justbecause they enjoy your company, you’ll find thattaking things to the next level with women will beabout 10 times easier.
I’ve had this conversation with MANY of theguys I know who are successful with women, andthey all basically say the same thing… you haveto learn how to be “cool” and make others (women) feel comfortable just being in the same room withyou. And if you’re “cool”, this happens almostinstantly. If you’re not “cool”, then you’re goingto have a hard time making ANYONE feel comfortablewith you… never mind having a woman feelATTRACTION for you.

February 17, 2007

Branding You!

Also like this and stole it!

Branding yourself…
1. what separates me (brand attributes)

2. what is important to the audience

3. write 3 sentences that describe you using these words…

4. Post the attributes on your wall / office / blog / website

5. Five things people say about you. Choose 3 of 5 that are most compelling and inject them into your bio. Get people interested so they want to know more about you

February 17, 2007

Successful networking…

I like this and stole it!!!!

To be a successful networker, you need to follow this one important rule: Ask not what your network can do for you; ask what you can do for your network. To help you put that rule into action, here are ten ways you can give to your network.

1. Ask
The best way to learn how you can help members of your network is to ask them how you can help. If you ask them directly, they are likely to tell you exactly how you can support them. Always listen to what they are saying, you will be able to discern their needs.

2. Connect Them
One of the most valuable things you can do for members of your network is to connect them with each other. Think about the members of your network and identify connections that would be mutually valuable.
Amazing things can happen.

3. Share Articles
When you are reading an article that you think would be of interest to a member of your network, tear it out and mail it to them with a quick note. My friend Matt does this all the time and I so appreciate the valuable information and the thoughtfulness that comes with it. Now, every time I am on plane, I scour the in-flight magazine to find something of value for a member of my network. With envelops and stamps at hand, I pop my network care packages in the mail box as soon as I reach my destination.

4. Invite
If you are attending a conference, networking meeting, training course or any other type of event, invite members of your network to attend with you. You will have an opportunity to spend time with them and they will appreciate that you thought of them.

5. Send a Link
When you are visiting a web site, think about the members of your network who could also benefit from knowing about that web site. Then send them a link. Many sites have ‘mail this to a friend’ buttons making it as simple as a couple of clicks. There are so many web sites, it is often impossible to find exactly what you are looking for. Identifying sites of interest is a valuable service you can provide to your network.

6. Give Them a Free Service
If you have products or services that you sell, consider providing them to members of your network for free to thank them for their support or just share with them what you are doing. If you are great at writing or critiquing resumes, offer your network members assistance. Share your strengths and you will become known for them.

7. Alert
When you learn about a cool new product that may be of interest to members of your network, take the opportunity to let them know about it. When you learn about special discounts, offers and ‘free stuff,’ let the members of your network share in the savings, too.

8. Include
Whether you are writing an article and need a quote or you are giving a presentation and need some additional photos for your slides, ask your network members to contribute. You are giving them an opportunity to increase their visibility.

9. Share Your Passion or Interest
Whenever I buy a book, CD or magazine, I always buy two of the same and give one to the member of my network I think will most appreciate it.
Then you can discuss or critique it with them. When you finish reading a book, think about the member of your network who would benefit most from reading it next.

10. Remember and Recognize
Make note of special days (birthdays, anniversaries, the days they start new jobs or get promoted) and acknowledge these important events. You can send a note, a card or an e-card. lets you store important dates and the email addresses of your contacts; and it reminds you of these dates so you can send them an e-card at just the right time.

January 28, 2007

10 Resume Tips

I haven’t written in this for a while. Spending too much time with my little one. And of course too much time on my career search. Over the past 4 months, I think I’ve revised my resume about a million times – no thanks to the Career Center. And I have come across many resume tips that I thought were great.

I summarized the top ten below. So here goes…another top 10. There might be 11 here, but do I have to mention to proofread, proofread, spellcheck, spellcheck, grammar, punctuation, capitalization….Be meticulous in your proofreading, and do not be afraid to ask a teacher, friends, or trusted colleagues to review your resume as well.

1. Ditch the modesty.
Yes, you are selling yourself!!! Getting a job is simply an exercise in selling. Most people aren’t born salesman and are too honest. Remember that you are a solution to the hiring manager’s problem. So ditch the modesty. Of course, littering your resume with buzzwords that don’t accurately reflect your work experience or fabricating work experience or overselling yourself may work against you. Tell your story and try to be true to who you are, what you can do, and where you want to go.

2. Detail your accomplishments.
In today’s competitive job market, your resume must do more than simply list your employers, job titles, dates of employment, and general responsibilities. In order to compete successfully, your resume must provide highlights not only of what you have done, but also how well you have done it. One way to do this successfully is to provide a brief summary of your overall responsibilities below each job title you have held, followed by a bulleted list of “Key Accomplishments” or “Selected Contributions.”

Accomplishments describe specific actions you took to meet or exceed employer goals or customer expectations. Typically, accomplishments describe ways that you improved processes, service, or technology; generated revenues; reduced costs; enhanced efficiency or organization; accelerated turnaround times; elevated profitability; increased customer satisfaction; solved problems; improved staff morale or training; brought in new customers or retained existing business; displaced the competition; or turned around performance.

Responsibilities are everyday duties, like staff supervision, database administration, or operations management. Focus on accomplishments. So read your old performance reviews. Remember the acronym S.T.A.R. which stands for SITUATION, TASK, ACTION, RESULT. So when you walk into an interview, your resume can lead the person into a discussion about the situation, the tasks you identified, the action you took and the results.

3. Measure your results.
Quantify your accomplishments Wherever possible, try to quantify your accomplishments by using percentages, dollar amounts, before and after comparisons, or other descriptors. This will help to add validity to your resume by providing concrete evidence of your achievements.

Think about your performance, and apply numbers where possible, using percentages, dollar signs and time quantifiers. If you have increased profitability or decreased costs, list these accomplishments. If you exceeded a goal, note the original goal. If you didn’t hit your target, don’t mention it, but use the number you did attain. Saving $100 million is still an accomplishment, even if the goal was $200 million.

Consider the following before and after example: Before (accomplishment statement not quantified): Identified and resolved challenging technical problems to improve network functioning. After (quantified accomplishment statement): Improved network uptime from 89% to 99.5% (record high). Reversed a long-standing history of network crashes through expert troubleshooting and systems optimization.

4. Cite Recognition.
If your employer has recognized you with an award, cite it on your resume. Give an indication of the award’s criteria so the recruiter can see why you were selected and what you accomplished.
If you were chosen to receive additional training or head special projects, these can also be considered accomplishments. But make sure any award you cite is based on merit. “An award for working 20 years with the company just means you sat there for 20 years and is not an accomplishment.

5. Show progression
If you’ve been promoted, your job titles are likely to reflect your career advancement. If you’ve been with 1 employer for many years, list each job title separate with their respective accomplishments.

6. Show adaptability.
These are transferrable skills you have from job to job. In one job, you might highlight analytical skills. In another, project management skills or people management skills. This may even include different industry experience.

7. Bolster experience.
If your resume looks a little bare, including relevant internships can show additional experience. Avoid being typecast (sounds like Hollywood!) if you’re trying to shift gears or move in a slightly new direction. Recruiters may be concerned that adjusting to a new work environment may be more difficult for someone who doesn’t have that exact experience. So look for volunteer work and other activities/projects where you interact with different people can show that you are comfortable in a variety of settings and that it won’t be difficult for you to adjust. Providing additional relevant information such as professional organizations, leadership and civic activities also can add credibility.

8. Demonstrate your value using keywords & action verbs.
Keywords are used by employers to search resumes stored online or in computerized databases. The more keywords your resume contains, the higher to the top of the resume pile it will rise. You may have the precise background and skills a company is looking for, but if your resume does not reflect that through the use of keywords, there is a good chance your resume will not be “found” amongst other more keyword-savvy candidates.

Companies don’t really care about your life story, they want to know if hiring you will be valuable to them. Keywords are words that have got to show one can produce results and also are words that help you standout in keyword searching online. Present key phrases like “driving gross” or “increased efficiency” in a prominent way, so that they stand out when the resume gets past the computer and is viewed by human eyes.

A prospective employer wants to be able to determine within 10 seconds what value you bring to the table. These include “communication skills,” “problem-solving,” “team work,” “leadership,” “resource optimization,” “image and reputation management,” and “business development”. “You need to communicate the things that you do in a positive, active way. Using strong phrases like “led a team” or “built a team” instead of “worked with a team” can make a subtle but important distinction to a recruiter. Even phrases such as “igniting revenues” and “motivating and leading a dynamic staff”.

Although not an exhaustive list, keywords can be job titles and job functions (e.g., “computer programmer,” “computer programming,” “retail store manager,” “multi-outlet retail management”); degrees or certifications (e.g., “bachelor’s degree in marketing,” “BA in marketing,” “CPA,” “LPN”); industry jargon (e.g., “ISO 9000,” “Six Sigma,” “JIT Systems”); computer programs/applications/systems (e.g., “Microsoft Office Word,” “Microsoft Office PowerPoint,” “Windows 2000”); and soft-skills (e.g., “creative problem solving,” “team building and training,” “strategic planning,” “customer relationship management”).

If you are not sure whether your resume is adequately packed with keywords appropriate for your industry and job target, spend some time researching advertised positions matching your interests. If you see terms or phrases used repeatedly to describe requirements or “desired qualifications” in these ads and you have like qualifications or skills, insert these keywords somewhere in your resume.

9. Target and Match Your Resume
Match your resume to the job description. Use a career goal or objective. Highlight the work skills that qualify you specifically for the job that you’re targeting. Look at ads for similar jobs at other companies. Each industry has its own jargon, and becoming familiar with a wide range of ads will help you see which keywords are showing up in ads over and over again. Tailor your resume to the wording and responsbilities in the job description.

Take a cue from business-savvy Madison Avenue advertising gurus and target your resume’s message. Your resume should clearly communicate your career goal at the outset through a resume title (if you are already in the workforce) or an objective statement (if you are a recent graduate or changing careers). On any given day, hiring managers may receive hundreds of resumes, particularly if they are advertising multiple jobs online. Your resume probably will not receive a thorough read-through during the initial screening, so make every second count by removing the guesswork about what you want (and are qualified) to do.

Your resume title or objective statement should go directly below your name and contact information. Sample resume titles include: “Award-Winning Technology Sales Representative,” “Multi-Certified Network Administrator (CNA, MCSE, CCNA),” and “Fortune 500-Experienced Administrative Support Professional.”

Sample objectives include: “Recent finance graduate with a strong academic foundation and superior-rated Bank of America internship performance eager to launch banking career.” “Skilled nurse practitioner seeking to leverage medical background and proven interpersonal strengths to transition into pharmaceutical sales.”

10. Formatting = KISS but be strategic in how you organize content.
Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with the format or resume design or think you need fancy HTML. Text is best and and choose a format that works for you. Let your accomplishments in each bullet speak for themself.

Your strongest, most relevant qualifications, skills, experience, and achievements should be showcased on page one of your resume. This may mean that you have to get a bit creative in how you present yourself on paper. For example, if you are a recent college graduate without much work experience, then your strongest qualification is your education. Do not save it for the bottom of the resume. Instead, showcase it prominently in the top half of the resume and provide ample detail of your “degree program highlights” by listing not only the degree, but also the classes included in your major field of study. (This helps to add more keywords into your resume as well.)

Here’s another example: if you are looking to return to a career that you abandoned some years ago, then you need to emphasize this earlier experience. One way to do this is to tout your earlier career in a powerful opening “profile summary,” a brief one-paragraph or two-paragraph section immediately following your resume title and objective where you can highlight your previous work experience.