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New Tricks for Facebook

29 Apr

Facebook can’t exactly be called an old dog (at 7 years and counting its younger than many of man’s best friends) but more and more talk has been conspiring about new uses for the social networking site. The flexibility of communication available on the software platform allow facebook to do many more things then its core functions. Applications are a given part of facebook, many a high school student or grandmother spend hours playing mafia wars or developing a virtual world on farmville. The key to a new trick is when you take the existing elements available and find totally new uses for it. In recent months a few interested proposals for new tricks for facebook have arisen.

Agile Management

There are many different styles of project management but my personal favorite is the agile way. Finding the perfect piece of software to handle agile project management is an ongoing mission of mine (right now I’m pretty happy with Assembla). I was excited to see someone suggest that facebook groups be used as a way of managing an agile project. Sure there are issues like code repositories (if you’re developing software) but for many projects facebook could be just as viable as basecamp.

News Reporting

Journalism is no longer a fringe use of facebook. The rise of fan pages like that of NPR’s have married the two nicely. The use of facebook as a news source is still a little less set in stone. Facebook, much like twitter, is crowd sourcing at its finest. Everyone publishes information about an event/story and then others connect to that item comment on it and share their perspectives. With some search skills and third party tools facebook has a lot of potential for journalists.

Politics

The 2008 Obama campaign reached out to young voters like never before. The use of facebook and social media at large was a significant change from prior campaigns and has now come to be accepted as a necessity for all politicians. Facebook allows politicians to connect with individuals in ways that are time sensitive, subject relevant and accountable. A great example of merging social media and politics is the fan page of Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan. Her facebook presence promoted fans to share relevant information about the issues prior to election and now that she’s mayor it serves as a sounding board for the community. Kind of like a 24/7 town hall meeting.

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Business interview

25 Mar
We recently met up with Lise Delong of Cognitive Connections and talked about the role that journalism, marketing and the internet have played in the success of her small business. Lise has owned and operated small businesses for over 20 years in both Indiana and California.
BreannaDrew: What was your first use of promotional materials for your business?
LiseDeLong: CREATING A BROCHURE AND TAKING THEM AROUND TO OTHER BUISNESSES / DAYCARES/ AND DIRECT HOMES

BD: Do you think it was easier to promote a business then or now?
LD: MORE DIFFICULT THEN, I DIDNT KNOW AS MUCH AS I DO NOW AS A SEASONED BUISNESS OWNER, AND A DIFFERENT MARKET, IN A DIFFCULT AREA TO SUPPORT A PRIVATE SCHOOL.
BD: Has the internet been a benefit or detriment in promotion?
LD: ABSOULTELY A BENEFIT…

BD: What has your use of news been in your business growth? Press releases, interviews, articles, etc… has it been mostly positive and helpful or had mixed results?
LD:I FORTUNATELY NEVER HAD BAD PRESS IN A LOUD MARKET WITH THE SCHOOL, A FEW DISGRUNTLED PARENTS MIGHT TALK TO OTHER PARENTS BUT NEVER IN A FORMAL FORMAT.  THE FORMAL FORMATS WERE ALWAYS POSITIVE AND GOOD TO ME.
BD: Do you actively seek out a relationship with the press as a means of promoting your business?
LD: I DID THEN. IN THIS NEW BUSINESS I HAVE NOT.  MY MAIN REFERRAL SOURCES NOW TEND TO BE MEDICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL REFERRALS NOW
BD: How has facebook impacted the way you do business? Do you use facebook for personal and business use? How do you separate the two if you do?
LD: IN THE CURRENT BUSINESS I USE FACEBOOK.  I HAVE DELIBERATLY NOT SEPARATED PERSONAL AND BUSINESS BECAUSE IT MAKES ME LOOK MORE HUMAN TO PEOPLE (MIGHT BE GOOD MIGHT NOT BE) WE’LL SEE…

Social Job Hunting

4 Mar

I’ve recently found myself in the job market. After 3 years of babies and studies I’ve decided its time to delve back into the type of work in which I have conversations that involve topics outside of elmo and dinosaurs (although I do really like dinosaurs). After a quick revisit to my resume I was stuck by the cold hard fact that I no longer had any idea where to start in hunting for a position.

Linked-In has become an asset for those of us in the tech industry to connect and network around work. But having a profile and a couple of recommendations does not mean job offers will just start pouring in. I decided it was time to seek some assistance with my hunt and create a new job seeking strategy. After reading a multitude of mostly useless articles about how to get a job it was clear that I needed more tailored advise. Kevin Randolph may be one of the most social savvy individuals I’ve met and happens to specialize in this topic specifically.

A good long talk with Kevin gave me insight into the tools social media has to offer to both the job seeker as well as perspective employers. The following highlights some of the key points from Kevin that have inspired me and influenced my social networking employment strategy.

How do you think the internet has changed the job hunting experience?

Initially I thought the internet opened a world of opportunities for job seekers; all the listings you could imagine in one place. Unfortunately that seems to have changed, and like everything good, there is a down-side. Now it seems that a high percentage of job listings online are scams, attempts to collect your personal data, and even your money. The average job seeker online has to now be wary about the post for the great job they’ve seen, for fear that it’s fake, and not only will it be a waste of time to apply, but now a stranger somewhere with a careerbuilder account has their name, physical and email addresses as well as phone number.

Do you think that social networking and social media are key players in finding a job?

It seems now that social media is becoming a key player in job postings/searches. I now make it a point to search twitter for jobs in my area. Granted a lot of the time it takes me to postings I’ve already seen, but there are times when I discover new sites that have a wealth of postings.

What is your best piece of advise for other job seekers?

There are days when I grow frustrated and think it will never end, so my advice to other job seekers is to continue the hunt, and if they feel overwhelmed or lost take a day off from all the submissions to collect yourself and try again the day after.

Do you approach social media with goals? Is it a means to an end or just another tool?

I do not approach social media with goals. I use social media exactly for that, social media. It’s a chance to connect with people with like-interests. Quite honestly because word-of-mouth seems to be the main way people are able to find positions, social media seems to be the best modern representation of that, allowing your online presence to be your brand, thus providing the means to enter the information exchange.


So what does all of this mean for job seeker? What about employers? The short and long of it is that like many other facets of life the job hunt has been affected by social media and we all need to be prepared to accept the changes that come with that. Whether its creating an innovative site like www.KevinNeedsAJob.com or simply networking about your job needs on a regular basis through facebook and twitter, we all will need to take a little more time to remember that online job searching is still about networking and not just submitting resumes.

Social Media as a Tool for Collaboration

25 Feb

With the rise in social media technologies over recent years there has been a constant question in place, “how will social media change the world.” While many people propose that the change has to do with mass distribution of information I argue that while increased access to and distribution of information world wide is an amazing and earth-altering advance in technology it may not be the biggest thing that social media has to offer us.

In the midst of the great discussions over the role of social media outlets, like twitter, during the then eminent revolution of Egypt a thought occurred to me… it then became a tweet.

RT @breannadrew : Does the use of #twitter in north african revolutions show promise of twitter as a tool for political collaboration

The idea that twitter and other social media tools could do more than just inform people but could truly connect people around topics provides long-term promise for the platform and differentiates it from all previous methods of information dissemination.

What was initially most off-putting to me about twitter was the idea that all day long large groups of people go about their day and periodically publish to the world short bits and pieces of their lives. This behavior seemed, in short, useless. Aside from my mother, very few people are deeply interested in my daily musings and activities. The functionality of twitter increases slightly as a tool to publish information about broader topics, but in this manner is used mostly for posting links – not purely tweets. But the holy grail of twitter use comes as a tool for social collaboration.

Yes, oftentimes input comes in forms that are greater than 160 characters but more often it doesn’t. After a month of waiting, observing and stewing over the possibilities that twitter may hold for collaborative tool it all became clear. Low and behold @KQEDnews confirmed my suspicions that the next big thing in social media will be collaboration.

@KQEDnews KQED News

#BaySnOMG is phenomenal! Who says you need a bunch of meetings to produce a collaborative media project??? @TheBayCitizen @CCTimes
Three news agencies all working together to develop a common goal, and doing it in segments of less than 160 characters. Now I’ll admit that developing a hash tag for a possible weather event might not be the most significant collaboration ever but its proof that it can be done. And further, the goal was to aid the most effective dissemination of bay area, snow related information.