Being fake is a now a full-time job

socialmedialife

I have something to admit to you. I am tired.

I am extremely tired.

Yes. I admit that I drive from New Jersey to Maryland twice a week amounting to 12 hours in a car per week. I also get up at 5am to do this and get home generally around 930pm to then eat, do more work if needed or try and relax, and then do it again. I do this for my career, and yes it makes me tired enough to fall asleep for four hours on a Saturday afternoon after sleeping ten hours that night. But that isn’t why I am tired, or at least it isn’t why I am writing this post. I am so very extremely tired of the nonstop fire hose of bullshit that is being spewed on a daily basis, from what seems like every human being on the planet twenty-four hours a day for the sole purpose of egocentric grandstanding. And I know. We get it. People are narcissistic on social media. What is he going to tell us next, “that a lack of sleep makes you tired?” No. I mean well yes a lack of sleep makes you tired. I am living proof of that, and I am sure I am slowly taking years off my life, but we already talked about that.  I am not just ranting about the “people are ego maniacs on social media” thing. I get it. That is old hat as they say (in the early part of the twentieth century).

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How a bunch of business cards taught me all I needed to know about work

the-muppets-take-manhattan

Polished shoes. Sharp freshly pressed suit. A whistle on my lips and a spring in my step. I remember the first time I went into New York City for an interview out of college. Head in the clouds and ready to change the world. Now I would love to say over 15 years later that fateful day changed everything, but then I would be lying. In reality I went on a handful of interviews in the city that never sleeps, and in the end I ended up working at a real estate company in Morris Plains, NJ,  because as a sales associate my Mom was able to get me an interview. Equipped with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and a minor in Mathematics, I began my professional career as a Project Coordinator for a real estate recruiting department, which was a made up title for the new guy who did whatever my boss asked of me (my boss incidentally had just started in his new job in this recently created department a week before).

My first project is one that I will never forget and laid the foundation for the advice I would give to anyone starting out in the business world. Monday morning my boss came into my office, which was comprised of four cubical like work areas, and dropped a bag on my desk.  This was it! The big show. The moment I had been waiting four years for was finally here! All of the classes. All of the studying and papers. All of the thought provoking debates till 3 a.m. with roommates (also 2 a.m. runs to Dorians for their mouth watering Hot Turkey and Bacon toasted sub). In this bag was the start of my rise to the top! Business books about my life will contain this bag and the unknown contents within it. Was it the financial records of my company and I was going to be asked to cut 30% of the budget? Was it a new proposed merger and I needed to analyze whether or not to go through with it (I may have watched The Secret of My Success a little too much as a teenager)?

No. It was none of those things.

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Hand-holding. Great for campfires. Not for changing business.

campfire

This isn’t Kumbaya

When implementing social business changes into a company or organization there is a lot of talk about “changing culture,” and “digital immigrants,” and other random buzz words or phrases someone read in a “game-changing” book. Yet if you have ever tried to implement “knowledge management” or “social business,” you know that you are going to meet three different kinds of people. Those that hate change and won’t change. Those that are indifferent to change as long as they don’t have to do too much, and those that love change and are evangelists for your cause. The thought process usually goes like this, “We need to change the culture. Tom may be set in his ways, but we can change Tom to think in a new way.”

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Airports and the importance of being silly

Image of a terminal

I love airports. Many people don’t I think. I have never conducted a scientific study to determine that statement, yet I think most people view them as a necessary evil. There is the whole dealing with security and the inevitable lines as you get shuffled through the process. Until you finally find your seat on the plane, and then wishing and praying you sit next to an interesting person (at least that is what I wish for, I know others probably wish they don’t sit next to me, since I may actually talk to them for a bit and get to know them). Prior to getting on the plane people are always busy moving about seeking their gate, a magazine for the flight, a loved one that is returning home, or getting in that last bathroom break that doesn’t involve an aisle walk.

I am not saying I am not busy doing all of those things as well. I mean I literally give myself the absolute minimum time needed to make the flight, so I am definitely that guy who is running with a laptop on my shoulder to catch a plane. That sort of gets me to my point actually.

In many airports when rushing off to your gate you have the option of speeding up your walk by walking on a moving walkway, or if you are not rushing you can just stand and relax as you get moved along to your destination, or at least the next walkway.

Next time you have the opportunity, instead of just walking up to the moving walkway and stepping on it, I suggest you give yourself a little kick start and jump onto the walkway.  Obviously your technique is up to you, but I prefer the surfer stance on landing (arms out and everything). Not only is it fun to get a running start, but it applies a very important principle that many of us forget.

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Some small back patting

Next President?

I attended a conference a few months ago and had the pleasure of giving some thoughts on social media behind the firewall and a product I manage called Jive SBS.

Jive then featured my company and showcased my video and picture. I was surprised to see myself among CEOs of major companies, and had a good laugh at my presidential photo dreamed up by Jive marketing, but it is nice to get some recognition for the work I do in the Government. As a contractor we are seen as the mercenaries who work behind the scenes to make things happen. For most of the awards we have received, someone else from the Government has had the honor of accepting, but my team and I are the ones who did the work and pushed forward the principles behind the products.

So here is my small pat on my back and some minor showboating for the work we normally do behind the scenes.

Next President?
Next President?

https://www.jivesoftware.com/customers/

The Future of the Creative

sketch

“Go around the middleman; get your music straight to the people, … You’ve got the Web now. Do it. Don’t even hesitate. Because people want to hear real music, and there’s a lot of talented kids out there, millions of them as far as I’m concerned, and they really have something to say. And they just needed their medium, and now they have it. That’s what I tell them. Go to the Web … but do it.” – Richie Havens

Over ten years ago I had an idea to change the world of the creative. Then life happened, and here I am ten years later still slowly trying to bring my idea to the world. I have made some progress, and through my career in the social web I have learned many things, but in case I get hit by a car I thought I would share some of it.

There are millions of creative people in the world who will never share their creative talent with others due to lack of determination, skills, desire, money, luck and a slew of other reasons specific to each person. These millions of people have millions of creative ideas every day in every genre that never amount to anything due to a lack of education on how to bring that idea to the market. Whether the market exists in the creative arts or business, each idea lost is a loss for the world. Some say if a good idea is out there someone will think of it at some point, but how many years have gone by in that time, or how many people could have benefited from that piece of music or business venture. There is no way to determine the amount of ideas never to reach fruition but the problem itself by definition has an impact on societal advancement, or at minimum on society itself. To solve even a portion of that problem you have the ability to change the path of culture.

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Note to Google+ – Our privacy is more than a toggle

Google-plus

With the recent release of Google+ tech geeks are all in a frenzy trying out the site, documenting its every change, and comparing it to the reigning champion of social networking, Facebook. One of the main topics of discussion has focused on Google’s take on privacy, something its predecessor has continuously been attacked for, and in most if not all cases, the attacks were warranted. Facebook, and founder Mark Zuckerberg, have thus earned a reputation for poor communication of changes that affect privacy, and overall manipulation of user settings to mirror Zuckerberg’s philosophy on social sharing of information. The number of times and the consistency of such changes have left a bad taste in many Facebook user’s mouths, and have paved the perfect road for a challenger. In steps the juggernaut, Google, an icon and master of the Internet, but so far a failure at making their products social. In fact Google has had its own issues with privacy. In 2010 Google released the unsuccessful (yet still around for some reason) Google Buzz, which automatically set up followers based on email and chat behavior, and then shared those followers with the whole world.  Prior to that Google tried to change how we collaborate with the release of Google Wave, also a decent size failure, but something that may later get characterized as too much too soon, and not due to a lack of trying. With its latest foray into the world of social networking, Google+ has taken great strides to convince the millions of new users that they care about privacy. They have done this by providing almost all features within Google+ the ability to restrict viewing and access (minus your profile photo that seems to just exist forever until you swap it out with a new one), and have made doing so very easy with simple to use toggles. Continue reading “Note to Google+ – Our privacy is more than a toggle”

Why Wikileaks and social media have changed espionage

There has been a lot of talk over the past few weeks around Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, but amid the calls for treason and even for his death, there is one discussion that is not taking place. The key element to this story, and the one that seems to be getting overlooked by the media and the talking heads, began back in June when Wired initially reported on a U.S. Intelligence Analyst arrested in a Wikileaks video probe. According to the blog, PFC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland was arrested for his involvement in posting classified videos to Wikileaks, and foreshadowed things to come when boasting to a former computer hacker that, “Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public.” Then came the massive release of documents at the end of November, and the promised release of more documents by Julian Assange, even as he is hunted across the globe for sexually related charges. There are enough people to write about the leaked cables, various diplomats, and the sex scandal. I am not here to write about that, and frankly have no interest in looking at any documents, considering they are still classified, and I don’t have a need-to-know. What I am interested in, and find to be the underlying story within this story, is the role of social media and the psychological factors related to PFC Manning’s alleged release of millions of classified documents. According to Wired, former hacker Adrian Lamo expressed this about Manning, “He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air.”

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