Using Social Media Trends to Help You Get A Job

On November 15th, I am going to be speaking at the University Club of DC on behalf of Syracuse University about how social media is changing the way we network and get jobs.  I participated on a panel back in April on a similar topic at American University’s Social Learning Summit.

About 3 years ago, companies started wising up to using social networks to promote their brand and connect with customers.  These channels opened up a new form of 2 way conversations, whether companies wanted that or not.  The exciting thing about this new way of interacting with customers was that it created entire new teams within companies usually led by someone with the title “Social Media Manager.”

Fast forward 18 months, and these same channels are no longer for B2C companies to connect with customers.  These social channels have given companies or brands the ability to reach customers with offerings, loyalty rewards, even the ability to view job postings.  On the other end of the conversation is you.

When you create a profile on a social network, you in effect are creating a brand.  My Facebook profile, my Tweets, this blog, it is a representation of me and my brand.  Your online brand can work for you or against you, and knowing how and when to use it can greatly improve your chances at making key connections and getting a job.

I can’t wait to share my insights on the tools we use and the trends we see in when it come time to getting a job and networking.  To register for the event click here.  If you can’t make it out to the event, you will be able to follow along on twitter via #SUDCSocialMedia.

My iPhone4S after 3 weeks

I had an iPhone 3GS for 2+ years and for a short time while still at AOL, I had an iPhone4.  When I turned in my AOL iPhone4 in December, I decided to grin and bear it until the next iPhone came out.  So was my game plan of waiting worth the wait?

There is no discernable difference between iPhone4 and iPhone4S on the surface, however, it only takes a few minutes of using the phone to know there have been some important improvements.

  • The connection speed is much faster.  Loading webpages, getting email, it’s all just much faster.
  • Getting my location is much faster, so loading Google Maps, Foursquare, Facebook Places, just works so much better.
  • The camera rules.  From videos to pictures, the quality of photos I am taking now with the iPhone is as good as my point and shoot.  Take a look for yourself:

Sunset with the iPhone 3

Sunrise with the iPhone4S

Here are some of the things that have not won me over yet:

  • While everyone is fawning over Siri, I have not really used it.  I think it has tremendous potential, especially once application developers can start fully taking advantage of it.
  • iCloud works, but it does not feel like a finished Apple product.  I can’t see what photos have synced via a web page and overall managing what is being synced between my 4+ devices was not as easy as it could be.
  • I had to do a full restore on my wife’s phone because every time we loaded a photo album the app would crash.  We could not delete the photos, nor could we restore from a backup.  The full restore seems to fix thing.

Moving from iPhone3 or 3GS to iPhone4S is a no brainer, but I would definitely hold off on moving from the iPhone4 to iPhone4S.  The camera, Siri and the better speed is not worth the upgrade in my opinion.

5 Years of Sharing, millions of domains, billions of users, trillions of views

We celebrated a birthday this month, as AddThis turned 5 years old.  In 5 years we have seen over 1.7 trillion views of our tools, the fall of MySpace, and the rise of Facebook and Twitter.  AddThis goes way beyond simple sharing tools.  We process over 70 TBs of data a week so that our publishers can learn what impact their content is having on the social web.

As the director of product for AddThis for the last 10 months, it is amazing to see the evolution of such a simple set of tools become something so essential that over 10 million publishers worldwide use our product.  Every day is a fun challenge of building a product for over 1.2 billion users.

Five years in Internet time feels like an eternity, and the data we have can clearly show and predict trends happening across the web.  The infographic we released today shows some of those trends.  It will be fun to see what trends emerge over the next 5 years.



My memories of Steve Jobs

I just finished putting my daughter to bed tonight and I come down to my office and I see the news.  “Steve Jobs has passed away at 56.”  I have never felt so sad about someone passing away that I only met a couple of times.  His impact on my life goes well beyond the 30 minutes or so we spent in a conference room.

Everyday I put an iPhone in my pocket, and use my Mac to organize family photos, and my MacBookPro for work.  The first Apple hardware I ever used was in 1st Grade, in 1985.  I don’t remember much about it, but I know I enjoyed my time on the computer.  It probably even captured my attention enough to want to write software 14 years at AOL.

From an early visit on the Apple Campus with the iChat Team

From an early visit on the Apple Campus with the iChat Team

It was at AOL, that I would get a change to work closely with Apple and get the chance to initially see him, and then eventually meet him.  I was always impressed that you could find Steve walking around campus, in the Mac Cafe eating lunch with the troops, etc.  My first encounter with Steve was during a visit in 2006.  I was riding in a car with a colleague who will remain unnamed, and as we were pulling out of the visitor lot in front of 1 Infinite Loop, we nearly ran over Steve Jobs.  We were all so stunned we just looked at each other.

Later in my career at AOL, I got to meet Steve and I after I got over my nervous excitement, he was one of the most genuinely passionate persons about Apple products and technology.

Steve’s legacy goes beyond the physical technologies we all use.  His commencement speech at Stanford University, the movies from Pixar, and the huge influence he has had over leaders in the tech community today.  The world today is a lesser place with his departure, my condolences go out to Steve’s family, friends and my friends at Apple.  Thanks for everything Steve.

Oh the humanity…iPhone5 is actually called iPhone4S, Why does it matter?

I have read at least a dozen different blog posts in the last hour from different sources about how Apple let us down today with iPhone4S.  Please, can we stop this?  Yesterday I wrote that Apple was going to call the next version iPhone4S, and that was just fine with me.

Of course after today’s reaction, Apple should have called the phone iPhone5 or iPhone10.  The point is version numbers of a product are always blown out of proportion.  It reminds me of the book and movie The Right Stuff, when Chuck Yeager broke Scott Crossfield’s speed record of Mach 2.0 by flying at Mach 2.44, no one cared because the “media likes a nice round number.”

Enough, let’s move past this.  The new iPhone is significant and despite what the media thinks, the phone is going to be the most popular mobile device sold in the 4th quarter. Here are my favorite features from today’s announcement:

  • Siri is going to be awesome to try.  I am skeptical that any voice recognition will work well, but the demo I got of Siri previous to today was better than any other attempt.  When I have seen people use voice recognition software in the past, they change the way they talk, to sound like a robot almost to interface with the device, but Siri is definitely different.
  • The camera rules, and the apps that go with the camera make it as good or better than point and shoot cameras.  The cold/warm start times to get the camera loaded for a picture is very impressive too.
  • More power and more speed for applications to use and for users to access information across the net.  Though it was disappointing that Apple did not deliver a 4G/LTE iPhone.
  • Most people will say the find your friends feature is lame and that Foursquare, Facebook and others have this market cornered, but the truth is that I might use this feature more for knowing where my friends and family are when they are running late or where my wife is when we go to a shopping mall.
I think there is a difference between pleasing the media versus getting consumers excited.  Apple will always focus on the latter and that should be applauded.  When people walk into the Apple store and when they see their friends using the new iPhone,  they are going to want one.

The next iPhone is going to look like iPhone4 and that is a good thing

Tomorrow, Apple is going to release the next version of the iPhone, it will be called iPhone4S, and it will have the same form factor as the current iPhone.  I am not sure why this is a surprise to anyone?

If you believe Chinese iPhone case manufacturers, they think the next iPhone will have a teardrop design, but there is tons of evidence pointing to this being incorrect.  I even wonder if the images of these cases are actually for iPodTouch.  John Gruber has a great take on the teardrop skepticism.

The guts of the phone have definitely improved, faster processor, better camera, an option for 64GBs, and support for 4th Generation (4G/LTE) networks that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have been building out so quickly this summer.

One of the nicer features we are getting with the next version of iOS is the ability to take a picture with the volume button on the side of the phone.  I am pretty sure the teardrop design will render this feature useless.

So why is everyone going to freak out when Apple calls this an iPhone 4S, instead of 5?  The phone is going to be a significant step forward but people are caught up by the look and feel and the silly version number.  People think it’s not cool to have a new device if the outside is undistinguishable from the previous version.  It makes it harder to show it off as a status symbol.  Sometimes consumers drive me batty!  :-)

I think we are all missing the real point, we are getting a new phone that will run iOS5 which is a superior operating system to iOS4, and depending on your view an OS with tight integration with both Twitter and Facebook.  And who can forget about iCloud, Music Match and the magazine store front.  Tomorrow’s announcement is going to be huge, I just hope Tim Cook and others can fend off the criticism if the phone looks the same.

What is old is now here!

Finally, I have rescued all my old blog posts from 2007-2010 and imported them here.  If you are looking for old information on AIM, ICQ, AOL or AIM MusicLink, the posts are all here.  It was a trip going back to read all the things I worked on back then.  By now, Google should have re-crawled my blog and indexed the posts.

Happy surfing down memory lane.