Tag Archives: blogging

The proverbial “I’m going to blog again” post

25 Mar

Like so many other fallen away bloggers, I’ve been thinking of stepping up my blogging game. Which, considering I have no game, should be fairly easy – just start writing again. So this is my attempt to hold myself to my newly found (again) blog and test out a resolution of keeping up with myself online.

Most blogs have a lifespan – and probably attention span – of a fruitfly, so no surprise that I’ve come and gone a few times. We’ll see how this time goes…

No speaking required

11 Aug

Modern technology amazes me. Hubby and I had a little spat this morning and left the house grumbling to ourselves about what a turkey the other one was. 2 hours later, bzzzz, the cell phone vibrated with a text message from Hubby saying “I’m sorry” etc. I proceeded to text him back (after I let him stew of course!) and we had a rather involved discussion without ever uttering a word. Now, if we had been at home, we obviously would have been actually speaking to each other, but because of SMS, we could have a fight, make up and continue talking without even speaking to each other.

On one hand, I find it disturbing that I find this cool – I am a communications guru – I LIVE for talking, speaking, interacting and hanging out with people – IN PERSON. I should be all about face-to-face conversations. But on the other hand, I think its great. Really great. I can handle personal business at work without ever uttering a word – thereby not only not bugging my podmates, but also not spouting my personal life into my office environment. I love the people I work with, but they don’t need (or want I’m sure) to know about my personal life. In this instance, because of texting, they didn’t have to.

Hubby recently pointed out that I have an entire life online that he knows little to nothing about. Not because I hide it from him – if anything I try to force him to read this blog (he really doesn’t care) – but because its almost a silent life, in that I’m not physically speaking to people. Technology allows for me to be able to express myself and promote those expressions even though I’m just a regular person. I’m not famous, I’m not on TV, and I don’t have a publicist. Yet, I can reach people I don’t even know exist just by blogging, tweeting or particpating in discussion on the web. So there’s me as a person, and me as an online person. I can be anyone I want to be online, and best of all, for me at least, its the real me. These are MY thoughts, opinions, and views that I can discuss and chat about without involving people who aren’t interested. If you want to read my blog, talk on Twitter or post a comment great – if you don’t – you can click on another post, visit a different site, or – in my husband’s case – ignore the internet completely.

Job hunting is the new black

29 Jun

Today’s job market is a challenge – perhaps more so now than any other time in recent memory. Old rules still apply, news ones are being made, and frankly, social media has changed the game – at least in the world of communications. 7 years ago when I graduated college – or is it 8– yikes – social media was in its infancy. AOL Instant Messenger was one of the hottest things on the planet, Blackberries were for powerbrokers, and Wi-Fi access was considered the golden egg. If you had Wi-Fi you were living large. 

In those past 8 years, I’ve been lucky enough (cursed?) to dive into the job market 3 times. Twice willingly, once not so willingly. One thing that has changed more than anything else is the process. The questions, the etiquette, attire, actions, etc. are the same but how I went looking for a job changed dramatically. In 2003 most of my applications were emailed, but some were printed out on –gasp – paper and either mailed or faxed – I know, I sound like I fart dust talking like this. But it’s true.

Last time around however, everything was different. There wasn’t one time where I mailed or faxed my resume to a company. But there were multiple tweets, an online CV, LinkedIn, emails and a strategy I had to find not only a job, but a job I loved. I did my research, found the companies/industries I liked and got into a rhythm. One thing that really helped me narrow down where I wanted to be was The Conversation Prism

Brian Solis & Jess3 created The Conversation Prism to graphically represent all that social media has to offer. Each “petal” defines tools to be used for a specific goal. I used the petals to ID the branches of social media that best fit my overall goal – finding a job. Below are the petals I focused on:

• Blog Platforms
• Social Networks
• Micromedia
• Twitter Ecosystems

Obviously, not all petals/websites are created equal – certain areas carry more weight with employers or industries than others. Most websites specialize in one aspect of social media – blogs can be an informative way to stay in touch with job trends, Twitter can provide real time employment opportunities, and still others allow you to network with peers.

I also used LinkedIn, VisualCV.com, and Twitter (I followed NMS for example!) to support my search efforts – I was looking for a job, and these sites helped promote ME to the world.

The more I used social media, the more social media used me – I had a blog, a Twitter feed, my resume on VisualCV and I reached out to my network on LinkedIn. By creating profiles on each of these sites, I knew exactly who I was connected to, and, more importantly, who they were connected with.

Note, that while I obviously went by my real name in my job search, I’ve branded myself as “sassing me”. Having a husband in the security business does make one think twice about safety, hence I created my brand around “sassing me” – a little play on words since I can sometimes (always?) be sassy, as well as a quote from a favorite movie of mine, The American President. So think of yourself as a “brand” and keep all of your profiles, usernames, and handles consistent. If you are not comfortable using your real name (like me) create an identity specific to you and use it as your brand.

Get into the habit of engaging your social media tactics every day. It was so much easier for me to set goals in my search because I knew what was happening with every tactic I used. Many of the sites I mentioned above have an RSS feeder that allows you to aggregate materials in one spot – much easier than searching 25 websites each day. This was my secret weapon for keeping all the research I was doing in one place, and making sure I remembered where I had been looking. Looking for a job can be like hunting for a needle in a haystack, and every little trick helps.

Finally, because social media is so versatile, it can easily be construed as informal. Your job search, however, is anything but informal. Make smart decisions about when to follow up. Joshua Wachs at internet strategy firm Echo Ditto believes this is five business days. Any sooner and I may have seemed desperate (a big no no – would you date a desperate person? Probably not, so why hire a desperate person) and any later I might have seemed lazy or uninterested – a very big no no. Follow up with a phone call and chase it with an email or vice versa. Be formal, polite, and above all make sure the employer knows you are serious about the position.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

Starting Up Again

29 Jun

I’m going to try and start blogging consistently again – we’ll see how it goes. Life is a constant blur of work, school, family and lots of diaper changes!

Response Post #10

7 Apr

Hungary –  as seen from an outside blogger

While reading about Hungary and its blogosphere at Global Voices Online, I was struck by three things. 1. There were not that many posts; 2. The posts were more concerned with the world around Hungary; 3. The posts were in English.

Now, those aren’t earth shattering realizations, but they do showcase – to me at least – how different the online world can be outside of the US  or a major economy.  As I stated above, there weren’t that many posts – I find this rather strange considering how prevalent and easy blogging is in the US. It also made me think back to my time abroad when I first learned that people outside the US did not have the same feelings towards the internet. It was 2002, and I was spending a semester abroad in France. Computers and the World Wide Web were all the rage on college campuses, and very few students didn’t have a computer – or at least access to one. But in France, internet cafes were where most French people accessed the internet, and if a family did have a computer, dial-up was the chosen method of connection. So it really shouldn’t surprise me that a country with an economy, population and history such as Hungary does not have a lot of  bloggers in 2009. Perhaps they are behind the times a bit, but more likely it’s because the technology and financing needed to support such an online movement just doesn’t exist. And if it does exist, perhaps its not easily accessible by all Hungarians.

While the internet and blogging may not be “the norm” for Hungarians, I found it intriguing that those who were blogging were blogging about the many events, peoples and issues dealt with outside of Hungary that had a possible affect on those living in Hungary. One blogger was excited about President Obama’s EU visit, even though he (Obama) had been less than enthusiastic about the state of Hungary, and another blogger wrote about the economic situation in South Korea, Brunei, Egypt and the US and how it all related back to Hungary. Pretty heavy stuff.

Lastly, most of the posts were written in English. I found this interesting because it shows how universal blogging is, yet how uniquely American it can be.  I would never expect a blogger in Hungary to write in English, as most Hungarians speak Hungarian, but perhaps blogging in English gives their blog a better chance at becoming “famous.” I really don’t know the answer to it, but it is something to ponder as I delve into the world of blogging beyond the United States.

Response Post #8

24 Mar

Pushy Travel Bloggers – Response to Class Delicious Link

I have to admit – I loved this article. There have been so many times when I’ve had trouble with a travel agency or airline and have felt helpless with the “who to complain to after the supervisor didn’t work” game plan – aside from co-workers, friends and family of course.

This article flipped the switch for me – just blog about the problems you’ve had. It can’t be that easy, but apparently, it’s starting to become that easy. Now, not all companies deserve to be crucified for their faults in the travel industry, but some companies just don’t seem to give a shit – which is what makes blogging rather satisfying. As referenced in this CNN article, the travel industry has started paying more attention to the blogosphere than traditional news media.

While blogging may not get you exactly what you are looking for, it is probably quicker than writing to the Ombudsman at Conde Nast Traveler – whose entries always horrify and entertain me – since it’s safe to assume he is deluged with travel complaints. Personally, I can never figure out why people give in and pay $11,000 to get home when it’s a mix-up caused by the airlines or the travel agency, and, to be quite honest, I hope I never get it. Because that means I (g-d willing) will not have that (particular) problem when I travel.

While blogging about my travel problems would be cathartic, I am interested to know how many times companies respond to problems via blogs, Twitter, etc? Had the complaintant been using other industry channels to no avail? Did they just fire up their blog? It’s interesting to read the many stories about travel troubles and how people have solved them. It’s even more astonishing to see them transfer into the world of social media. Kudos to the companies trying to work on keeping their customers after some have been through a terrible ordeal, and double kudos for paying enough attention to realize not everyone is going to write a letter to the CEO or the Better Business Bureau – because really – how many times does that solve something these days? So why not take to the keyboard and try to get satisfaction that way? It’s certainly worth a shot.

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