My Personal 2011 Infographic

We had a great idea back in September when we were creating the 5th Birthday Infographic for AddThis, and planning the year end infographic we release in December each year, that wouldn’t it be great if we could give our publishers their own infographic.  The design and development team of Jeff, Foo and Aaron did a great job of getting these graphics out to our publishers this week.  Now publishers who use AddThis can have a nice recap for their 2011 that they can post on their blogs  Here is mine:

Entrepreneurial Success Happens in Places Other than Silicon Valley

I was struck by an interview that Mark Zuckerberg gave at a Y Combinator event this weekend in which he said that if he were starting Facebook today he would have stayed in Boston.  Zuck talked about how Silicon Valley is “a little short-term focused” and that there’s “a culture in the Valley where people don’t commit to things.”  He brought up an example where in Seattle employees stay at the same company twice as long as the Valley.

Zuck makes some good points, though the stat he quotes from Jeff Bezos about Seattle workers is a misleading number.  Seattle has strong companies that treat their employees well with Amazon and Microsoft.  When companies like Google and Facebook opened up Seattle offices, they were able to recruit top talent from Microsoft and Amazon to those new offices as easily as they did in the Valley.

I do agree with the comments about the Valley being short-term focused.  The company I work for today, Clearspring, which is based in Washington, DC, is a perfect example Valley focus versus non-Valley focus.  Clearspring has had a couple of different acts in its life as a company.  If Clearspring were based in Silicon Valley, odds are the company would have been sold once we shut down our widget business.  Instead our investors remained patient and management focused on the long term, we actually MADE an acquisition, and now are the largest sharing platform on the Internet.

When Zuck talked about Boston it made me nostalgic for the days of AIM and AOL.  Before I started at AOL in 1999, we bought a company based in Boston called Booklink.  Booklink was a browser that eventually became the foundation for the way we would compose and display instant messages in AIM for many years.  The best part of that acquisition were the guys that came with the technology.  A few of them were the original authors of the Windows AIM client.

The point Zuckerberg makes, and the thing I am trying to reinforce is that talent and technology can succeed at any time and any place.  Silicon Valley may be the heart of consumer technologies but life does exist outside that bubble.  Whether Mark really meant what he said about not moving the Valley does not matter, companies like Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Clearspring we thrive no matter where we are.  Success comes down to ideas, people and execution, it does not matter where you are located, and I think that was Mark’s point and I know it is how I feel.

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.

Best Feature of the New Facebook Timeline – See Who Un-Friended You

Last night I posted on how to switch your Facebook Profile over to the new Timeline view.  One of the best features of the new Facebook Timeline is the ability to see who unfriended you over the years.  At the beginning of each year on your timeline it will show how many friends you made.

So in 2009, I had 76 new connections on Facebook.  Now I can select that “+62” square and it will pop a new window that will show the entire list of 76 connections.

Those friends who have the Add Friend button next to their names are people who either I un-friended or un-friended me.  While we are not quite at profile stalking, we are one step closer to see who is NOT stalking you.

An obvious correlation is to see how many people who have un-friended you the further back in time you go.  Check it out.

Step by Step Guide to Enable New Facebook Timeline Right Now

The biggest feature that will impact all Facebook users is the new Timeline which is a view of your life on and off Facebook based on the things you have shared.  I have not been excited about a new Facebook feature in a while, but I have to admit after using Timeline for an entire evening, it was amazing to go back and see what I was doing, what I was working on and what I was experiencing 5 years ago.

The new profile is laid out beautifully and does a good job conveying the most important things that happened in my life.  Facebook announced only developers could try the new Timeline feature, but it is easy for anyone to turn on the feature.  Here is how:

  1. Log into Facebook
  2. Search for developer and choose the first application.  Alternatively you can enter the URL  Grant permission to the application: 
  3. Create an app, give it a name and namespace, don’t worry you won’t actually share it with anyone, you just need to have an app to get the profile.
  4. Choose OpenGraph on the left navigation menu, and create a test action for your application.
  5. Wait a minute or two and then go to your Facebook home page and an invite to try out the new profile timeline will appear at the top of the screen.
Click the invite and enjoy all the memories of your Facebook life.

Importing Facebook Friends into Google+ and Instagram too

Importing Facebook Friends into Google+ and Instagram too.

When I first started using Google+ two nights ago it was a little bit of a ghost town.  With the exception of my friends who work at Google and a few members of the Silicon Valley elite, I could not find anyone else to friend.  Last night Google turned on invites which turned the ghost town into a little bit more engaging community.  The challenge is to find people you are already friends with on other social networks and add them to your Google+ circle.  Thank goodness for Yahoo (I can’t believe I just said that).

Over a year ago, Yahoo enabled importing contacts from Facebook into Yahoo Mail, and with Google+ you can import your Yahoo contacts and find your friends on Google+.  The steps to enable this are to log into Yahoo Mail, assuming you have an account.

* Import Your facebook friends via Yahoo:

* Then connect your Yahoo account to Google+ here:

To get your Instagram photos imported:

I could not believe how Google+ invites were flying around last night it was insane.  Google has turned them off for now.

Happy Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Day is here and while I am not going to make a whole blog post on “what I am thankful for,” I do want to thank Ted Leonsis for some Caps tickets on Monday night. The Caps stink, but the game provided an opportunity for one of the AIM Product Managers to get up on the JumboTron not once but twice. First she competed in a contest, which she won thanks to high crowd approval ratings, then she managed to get on the “Kiss Cam.” Ryan you represented yourself and AIM proudly, and provided a bunch of good laughs.

One item that caught my attention on Facebook yesterday is a new application called AIM Buddy Info. You can check it out on my Facebook profile here. The application will show status icon, status message, buddy icon and buddy info. There are some settings associated with it so if you do not want to expose some of the features that is possible. This is definitely a great way to share AIM information in Facebook.