Archive for category social networks

rumination: web presence addendums on a resumé?

I’m such a joiner, signing up for accounts across the spectrum of social media platforms, each time motivated by different objectives. I explore functionality, satiate curiosity, actively socialize, or simply squat my handle before someone else snags it. I had 28 profiles at last count, yet few of them see enough activity to be considered active.

Like brain crack, my best-laid plans would see these profiles folded into a larger (as of yet, undrafted) strategy for not only building my personal brand, but also for composing a virtual portfolio of my knowledge base, skill set, and interests. Sites like LinkedIn or Biznik already provide a template for users to network resumé-esqu profiles. But as more companies become wise to less business-centric social networking sites, from MySpace and Facebook to Twitter, they are including an investigation of prospective employees’ comprehensive web presence in their due diligence. This post by John R. Hopkins got me thinking … and has me still thinking … does it behoove the social media savvy job seeker to append their traditional resumé with a “reference list” of the sites where they maintain profiles?

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endnotes on the avatar project & process

The new face of Ms. Herr when online launched Friday afternoon on Twitter.

What started with a friend’s critique of the photographic quality of my then default profile pic and my own feeling that the same pic was ill-suited to serve my growing adoption of both personal and professional networking platforms, led to a strong desire for a new social media avatar. Subsequent conversations on personal branding and web presence cemented a notion that one’s avatar was a tool, an iconographic representation of self, serving to frame perceptions of their unique identity.

Already a fan of his abstract fine art work and his Dog a Day series, I was excited to work with Tyson Crosbie (@tysoncrosbie on Twitter) for my shoot, which in essence, was a conversation traversing a number of subjects during which he captured over 50 moments of self-expression.

Having spent much time discoursing the power of social media to engage audiences in meaningful conversations and crowd-source information, I felt it was important to include my own audience in the image selection process. Tyson posted a soft edit set* of 16 images on Flickr and we asked people to select their favorite. (*Link may take you to set of another individual/subject as Tyson and his clients continue to use this process for soliciting feedback. Selections from my set are currently archived here.)

The crowd-selected image is not the image I would have selected…and I consider this incongruence indicative of a successful process. It is often said that each of us is our own worst critic. How we perceive ourselves, how we hope to be perceived by others, and how we are truly perceived by these others are rarely perfectly aligned. What I believe to be my greatest attributes may not sync with those attributes that draw others to me. And so by yielding the selection of my avatar to a voluntary participant group, what rose to the top was an iconographic representation of self that connects most strongly with others.

Want another perspective? Tyson blogged his thoughts on the relationship between the avatar and personal branding.

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crowd sourcing my avatar selection

The soft edits of my shoot are up! 🙂

The purpose of my shoot was a social media avatar to serve as a visual thread throughout my increasing engagement of online activities and communities. In the true spirit of social media, I want to open up selection of the final image. Consider it an experiment in crowd sourcing the expression of identity.

The soft edit set, posted to Flickr, includes 16 images in their original format. The final avatar will, of course, be cropped to create a unique square composition. But to help me get to that point, I’d be flattered if you would view the set, point out your favorites, and provided critical feedback. Which one(s) most genuinely conveys my character? My aspirations? My human dimensionality? Which one embraces joy as a state of mind? Which one connects?

Photography by Tyson Crosbie.

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avatar: iconographic representation of self

Yesterday I had a shoot with photographer and artist, Tyson Crosbie. The purpose: social media avatar.

There are plenty of people who participate in social media and social networking simply as a way to keep in touch with friends. Regularly uploading new pics from various ad- and misad-ventures. Sharing stories, songs, and videos. Making plans. Adding new friends. And adding apps that allow them to engage these friends. All for fun.

Then there are those, who may do all of the above, but also see social media as an essential tool for building personal brands and online reputations. They aren’t just adding friends, they’re building a network. And very likely, they are building multiple networks across multiple social media platforms, from blogging to Twitter to Facebook to Flickr.

At the core of each platform is the individual user profile with various biographical information including user handle, given name, location, about, web presence, and … profile image. This one image serves as an iconographic representation of self. Avatar.

But how often, even among those building online personal brands, do we truly think about our avatar and what is conveyed when we select it. Don’t most of us just search for one of our favorite pics, crop it square, and click upload? I did. But as I continue a transition from just another girl keeping up with friends on MySpace to Ms. Herr when online, I’ve been realizing that my iconographic representation needs to be much more than just a quick hacked pic.

Soft edits will be posted in the near future for feedback.

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3 down, 40 to go…

So after citing it in expanding my library, I decided I should sign up for 43 Things and create my own list. I have identified 3 goals so far:

1) qualify for (& run) the Boston Marathon
2) build a personal library
3) watch every James Bond movie ever made

Now I’m a n00b on the site, but I’ve already formed a judgement about the quality of the site, or more accurately, the quality of the goals that are being set and shared by the site’s members. I don’t want to belittle any individual’s goal-setting and goal-achieving strategies, but I was immediately disappointed by how many I saw that were…well…half-ass. Check it out:

 

In the goal cloud above, (roughly) 21 of 213 goals contain the words more or less or some other similar modifier. In other words, they’re vague. How much is more? How much is less? And my favorite, how much is -er? I assume each individual has some criteria in mind that becomes their marker for success, but modifiers such as more, less, and -er require nothing more than incremental change. I’m a relatively thin gal with awesome DNA and an awesome metabolism to thank for my figure? Say I wanted to gain weight so that I am *gasp* heavier? I might gain 3 lbs in a day of mere water weight if I simply chose hydration over coffee, but I’m not producing any real significant lasting affect on my overall health.

Then there is the issue of time. By when does one want or need to be -er? A month? A year? 10 years? How about just sometime before death? Take the goal of stop waiting (2nd tag from left, one row above the black cat avatar). Clearly a goal set by a procrastinator. Maybe they’ll start to stop waiting tomorrow.

21 of 213 is only 10%. Not bad. But vague modifiers and truant timetables aren’t the only problem. One person wants to follow through. Another to levitate.

Talk about fail at goal-setting. 

Alas, there is hope yet. SMART goals to the rescue.

Specific  ◊  Measurable  ◊  Attainable  ◊  Realistic  ◊  Timeable  

Though by no means is the only strategy, SMART goals do provide a simple method for turning half-assedness into successful goal-setting and goal-achieving. And lest I be a pot among kettles, I shall first confess that I have not always been (OK, OK…make that never been) diligent about using the SMART methodology myself. But I do want to be more better at this whole goal thing-a-ma-jig and I’m going to start by making each one of my 43 Things SMART.


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expanding my library

I’m a Borders Rewards member, so I periodically get really good coupons from them, like 40% of any one book purchased March 31st-April 1st.  Yup, two days, that’s all I get.  One of my 43 things (if I was (or ever do get) on 43 things) is to build a personal library.  So even though I have plenty of books I haven’t read, I am going to use the coupon to buy a new book, only I thought it would be interesting to let my Twitter friends weigh in on the purchase decision.

This is what they said (accompanied by short descriptions/reviews, interesting and/or relevant links, and recommender comments…all included for your benefit should you happen to be looking for a new book with which to whittle away your non-existent free time).

 

@natahlee recommends: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal* by Eric Schlosser

“Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. It is industry of consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America’s health, landscape, culture, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser’s exposé addresses the vertical chain from in-store experience to meatpacking.

source(s): Amazon.com

Believe it or not, I think that you can actually read this whole book online via Google. 

* @chuckreynolds seconded this recommendation. @natahlee says “I thought it was excellent.”

 

@brullig recommends: Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman (Adventures of a Curious Character) by R.P. Feynman

An autobiography composed entirely of anecdotes recounting adventures in trading ideas on both physics and gambling, painting nudes, and accompanying a ballet on bong drums. One reviewer calls Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman selection of commentary fiercely independent, intolerant of stupidity, and unafraid to offend while also revealing of the sources and expressions of authentic knowledge.

source(s): Amazon.com

Kinda makes me think of Twitter.

 

@shalerjump recommends: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell’s theory of social dynamics likens mass behavioral change to epidemics triggered by minor alterations in the environment or a small number of people who act as connectors, mavens, and salesmen.

source(s): Amazon.com

Believe it or not, I think that you can actually read this whole book online via Google.  

The Tipping Point reminds me of Just 1%: The Power of Microtrends, a manifesto by Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne published on ChangeThis.com.

 

@shalerjump also recommends: Better Makes Us Best by John Psarouthakis

Psarouthakis focuses on a incremental approach to success. “It is human desire to get better” and possible for both companies and individuals to grow in very positive ways by defining what it means to be “best” and focusing on continual improvement.

source(s): very few and very vague sources, thus potentially a bunch of BS.)

 

@shalerjump also recommends: The 4 Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich* by Timothy Ferriss

A book about ‘lifestyle design’, or more simply, balancing work and play. There are plenty of books on this subject, and perhaps many address the same principles, but The 4 Hour Workweek centers on leveraging modern technologies for a full-spectrum of business activity, financial management, and communications. It has been called a manifesto for the mobile lifestyle.

source(s): Amazon.com, The 4 Hour Workweek book site, and The Get Rich Slowly Blog

* @shalerjump hasn’t actually read The 4 Hour Workweek, but finds the discussion points interesting. @chuckreynolds seconded the recommendation, that is if you consider purchase and intent to read equivalent to a recommendation.

 

@shalerjump also recommends: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time* by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

The focus here seems to be less on the “crude, desperate glad-handing usually associated with the word ‘networking’” and more about the building of mutually-beneficial relationships. Among the key principles: never keep score, ‘ping’ constantly, remember names and birthdays, don’t fear vulnerability, look for mentors and become one yourself, and of course, never eat alone.

source(s): Amazon.com and Keith Ferrazzi site

This concept is actually one of the root ideas behind Noonhat.com, a tool developed by Brian Dorsey for connecting with new people outside of our normal social, work, and hobby circles over lunch.

* @shalerjump hasn’t actually read this one either, but it is one of his mottos.

 

@sheilabocchine recommends: The Ringing Cedars Series* by Vladimir Megre

Anastasia, the first book in the series, begins the recounting of Megre’s trip to the Siberian taiga in 1995. The tales revolve around the spiritual phenomena connected with sacred ‘ringing cedar’ trees, believe to connect humanity to the Divine, and learnin
gs bestowed by a woman named Anastasia on subjects as diverse as gardening, child-rearing, healing, Nature, sexuality, religion and more.

source(s): Ringing Cedars Press site

* @sheilabocchine says “Seriously the most incredible books I’ve ever read.”

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Refresh and the restroom

Last night I attended my 2nd Refresh Phoenix meeting.  And of course the after party, where there occurred, among other things, a rather odd moment…

tweet tweet “sittin in Ling & Louie’s when a man walks thru the dining room carryin a toilet. how bizzare!”

Of course much bathroom related commentary and humor ensued.  But also reminded me of this:

Fellas, how’d ya like to use this bathroom?  Would it boost your ego?  Or make you self-conscious?  I tend to like bathrooms, at least the cool and unusual ones.  And I find the concept rather amusing.  😉

Now, fun stuff aside, I’d be remiss if I didn’t actually talk about Refresh, especially as it was demo night and there were some interesting, and fun (yes, more fun) stuff presented.  As I was late, I only caught a few.  Of particular interest (to me of course):

1) Erica Lucci (@EricaLucci) of Integrum Technologies presented Read Phoenix, an aggregator of blogs and bloggers in the Phoenix.  (I’ll add myself one day, i.e. when I’m blogging with more frequency and value…perhaps when I publish a draft of a time map project that’s been incubating for two weeks.)

2) Brian Shaler (@brianshaler) presented XID, a tool for locating and engaging friends on multiple platforms by creating a linked list of a user’s web presence.  XID is still in development, but Brian regularly provides updates on the XID Development Blog.  (Def excited…can’t wait for launch.)

3)  Matt Gist (@aparticularpath) and Matt Heidemann (@heidmotron) presented nehmehyeh, an app that allows users to record their moods everyday of the year.  It’s a different spin on Flicker365 and other apps and groups centered around self-portraiture.  (This may find it’s way into my time map project.)

There were doubtlessly other great ideas and projects demoed (check out the list on the Refresh site).  I’ve heard a bit about DurtBagz and am disappointed I missed their presentation.

*If anyone can has other links I can attach to any of these folks, holla. 




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1st impressions in 140 characters or less: the one with the good roommate

Yes, I confess that I’m a Twitter fan (as well as a Twirt for those in the know), and in my fandom, I have been quite effective in getting my roomie (@CTri17) in the mix as well.  We can often be found in our apartment, on the couch, not 3′ away from each other, with our computers on our laps or cell phones in hand laughin’ hysterically as we Twitter back in forth to each other.  This happens so often in fact, that we have deemed such occurrences “impromptu ab workouts”.

Roomie is back in Binghamton, New York visitin’ family this week , and so I must find other diversions (yes, yes, let the tears flow). To that end, I submitted to the slight twists of arm by fellow Twitter-ers @brianshaler@AcmePhoto, and @sunnythaper and attended Refresh Phoenix last night (great presentation/conversation with Joshua Strebel of Best Party Ever).  As I dallied to mingle with known Twitter-ers and meet new ones, I reintroduced myself to @chuckreynolds

“You’re the one with the good roommate.”

It seems that the @CTri17-@MsHerr banters have not gone unnoticed.

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