Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Writer’s Block

Arrrgh! So I have total writer’s (blogger’s?!) block! Although I always have a raft of ideas and topics knocking around the sidelines I generally find that I have to be in the right mood to write about certain topics. But for the last fortnight my mood has failed me on all fronts and I have been totally uninspired; god only knows why! I’ve sat here, netbook on lap and New Post page open in WordPress, at least three times now. I’ve tried writing on my BlackBerry on my commute too… But all to no avail. How can you write when you don’t feel empassioned about something?!

So here I am now – empassioned about writer’s block because I am sooo frustrated by it! So frustrated in fact that earlier today I googled it to try and find inspiration. And actually I found loads… So much good stuff that I wanted to share it! So here’s my top three finds which I am hoping will have me back on track in the next few days…

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has ever come up blank for a blog topic, but for anyone who knows me, I’m usually rather difficult to shut up, so this is unfamiliar territory for me!  Regardless, I am still here and I have not abandoned my blog… So please don’t forget me! 🙂

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Social Media Holiday?

So my sister flew off to China the other week. We’re not really sure if/when she’ll be back as she hopes to stay a couple years and lots can happen in that time! (I’m thinking rich Chinese husbands here…)

China’s a beautiful country: I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times and it’s a truly amazing place so I can totally see the attraction. But China is also a bit of a black hole in terms of the internet and social media: No Facebook; no YouTube; no Wikipedia; sometimes access to blogs and Twitter, depending on the mood of the powers that be… To me, that makes it heaven on earth and hell on earth all at the same time! On one hand a beautiful, developing country steeped with a rich and fascinating history; and on the other hand lots of stuff I love banned

So my sister’s relocation had already got me thinking, but then I caught up with a friend last week too, and he got me thinking about it even more! He has just returned back from a self-imposed three month social media break. I was surprised – he seems to have survived unscathed (though it’s plausible he’s covering some deeper wounds…!) and all the better for it! So with my sister, my friend, China, and lots of recent talk on Twitter about social media stalking, I can’t help but wonder whether we shouldn’t all take a break from time to time. Take a chance to re-connect with the people and world around us! And  maybe it shouldn’t just be a social media holiday either – maybe it should be a break from technology in general. Smart phones, netbooks and laptops make everyone overly accessible these days. When do we really and truly turn off? I imagine some people do… People with more self-discipline than me… Maybe people with more money to burn or more commitments to keep… 

But I have no wish to stop my social media activity altogether. A lot of people don’t understand it (Mr J included) but it adds another dimension to my professional/personal development, my work life and my social life. When I started out it was more about networking, but as I’ve come to meet more and more people, and learn more and more new things, it’s benefitted me a lot on a work level too. We’ve had job opportunities, the chance to market ourselves more (for free, I might add!) plus I’ve learned so much about business, marketing, recruitment, and so on, and (I think) I’m able to bring a lot more to the table professionally as a result.

Though I personally think there’s a big future in social media, I know it’s not for everyone – the lines between my work life and personal life have never been so blurred as they are now. It’s a grey area made up of many different shades. And not just because of the relationships I’ve forged but also through the 24/7 access that it engenders: Be it helping a client with something on Twitter at 7am; emailing a student on the weekend; or responding to an amusing comment from a contact during work hours. Social media is such a blend of work and personal that I don’t really switch off from anything at all any more, but I’m kinda OK with that.

But social media is an integral part of my life and turning off from it would be difficult. Mr J and I naturally plan to holiday in China at some point during my sister’s stay, but it won’t just be a tourist holiday for me; it’ll be a social media holiday too! But maybe it’ll do me good. Maybe I need one. In fact, maybe we all do from time to time…

Facebook 180

So you may or may not have read the Facebook post I wrote last year. It basically says bugger off and don’t ask to be my Facebook friend unless you’ve known me since we were, like, five (or something to that effect). Well, as some of you will know, I don’t really stick to that any more. 

The irony of the post is that, after I wrote it, several people I only know off twitter (who I’d not met) decided to add me as a friend. I made one exception. Then two. Then three. Then I needed a whole new Twitter privacy setting. Then I gave up any hope of keeping Facebook as a purely personal place and figured I might as well whore myself about anywhere and everywhere and befriend anyone. 

I’ll be honest though – I begrudge it a little (though it’s my own fault) and I reserve the right to rearrange my account at any time. In many ways I’m torn about my feelings towards Facebook. I like having my own private place where I can hang out with my friends and say dumb stuff. I already publicly say (slightly less) dumb stuff on Twitter, so it’s not like there isn’t already a medium to connect with me on that level. But on the other hand, it was nice to be able to tag people in pics after TRU London last week and it’s fun to connect more informally with those who remain fairly formal on Twitter.

So, for now, I’m available – not in all my glory, but in a carefully limited view of my glory – to add as a friend on Facebook. Do with me what you will…

More Un- Stuff!

Photo courtesy of Tristan Greaves

So you’re all up to speed on my TRU Source experience now, I trust! And so to days two and three! In case you missed them I have a selection of decent photos here, and some rubbishy mobile ones here. Or they’re on Facebook too.

My first taste of an unconference was TRU London I in November of last year. It was totally different to TRU London II in many respects. For a start, I think the venue has a big impact on the feel of an event: TRU I was in a massive atrium-style room in the Barclays Building at Canary Wharf, and had little pods where the tracks were held. The pods were too small really and the acoustics for anything non-pod were pretty abominable so I think Bill and Geoff were right to change venues. TwitJobSearch provided the Soho venue this time, but having the rooms so far apart did make it feel a little less joined up though, IMO. I didn’t always know what was going on where and, if you got a bit bored or fancied a change, then it wasn’t quite so easy to sneak off elsewhere, as office security was fairly tight! I did, however, feel the big room was very conducive to networking. There were plenty of seats, a Twitter Fountain of #trulondon tweets, refreshments and so on.

Track-wise, I also felt that things were a lot more interactive this time. At TRU I it felt to me as though it was mostly the track leaders doing the talking, but at TRU II there was a lot more interaction and opinion sharing, which was really nice.

I attended a variety of (official) tracks including:

  • The Candidate Experience
  • The Future of Recruitment
  • Recruiting Communities
  • Employee Vs Employer Branding
  • Sourcing
  • Social Media Circus

As well as some more unofficial ones including:

  • The Unattending Track (a personal favourite!)
  • The Pub Track

And I also attended an HR Happy Hour radio show with Steve Boese and met a ridiculous number of wonderful people from the UK and overseas – some of whom were new to me and some of whom were familiar in name and avatar if nothing else! To me, while the learning and sharing of ideas is obviously key, a big part of this kind of events is about the networking and that is one area in which TRU London II delivered 100%!

The organisation wasn’t perfect on day one, but by day two it felt as though things had been ironed out. I actually much preferred day two for a variety of reasons – for a start it felt more relaxed, there were less people so it was a bit less chaotic, and it just felt more… well… unconferency! I also won a Flip Video Camera from Jobsite which increased my seratonin levels somewhat! 🙂

So it was a busy few days, all in all, and there’s too much content to talk about for one blog post, so once I’ve assimilated everything and tried some new ideas out I’ll report back on my learning from my three days of TRU events. In the meantime though, there’s a few little thank you messages I’d like to pass on:

Thank you…

  • To Bill Boorman and Geoff Web for organising the event;
  • To Jobsite for my Flip Cam;
  • To Peter Gold for sharing (IMO) the most excellent ideas, all of which I intend to use;
  • To Matt Alder and Sara Headworth for the never ending and highly amusing soundbites at the Unattending Track;
  • To my twitter buddy Mervyn Dinnen for keeping me in a constant supply of lattes, smoothies and diet cokes, despite receiving not one drink in return! (Next time it’s on me – promise!)
  • To everyone who RT’d my copious tweets;
  • To all my non-recruitment Twitter followers who didn’t unfollow me!

See you next time! 🙂

Vlog Vlog Vlogging!

For anyone who doesn’t know – vlogging is blogging but in video form instead of written form!

I have a love-hate relationship with vlogging. On the one hand it’s such a great way to get a message across but on the other hand, if you don’t really like seeing yourself on video, then recording one can be an epic exercise! And I think you’ve either got it or you haven’t – you either come across well or you just look phenomenally uncomfortable! Personally I’ve always felt that I fall into the latter category. I have a lot of nervous energy, have a tendency to look away from the camera, and say “umm” a phenomenal amount, regardless of whether or not I know what I’m trying to say!

Anyway, Bill Boorman has been running the 2010 video edition of #HRCarnival with really quite a phenomenal number of entries! HR professionals and recruiters from all over the world (me included!) have sent in their messages and predictions for the new year and it’s been totally inspiring; both to see people in the flesh and to hear people’s thoughts for the year.

Despite my misgivings about my ability to vlog, I appear to have somehow won a Recruiting Animal Award (AKA the #Ammys) for Best Bill Boorman Video 2009! How chuffed am I! Thank you Animal!

But I’m still not convinced that vlogging is for me. The funny thing is, it’s one of those things that’s just so easy to do! At work we sometimes talk about making videos and it always gets voted down because the consensus is that, if we make one, we should only do it professionally. But I don’t really agree with that any more. Anyone can make a half decent video with a webcam or video camera and a plain background. No it won’t be totally professional and perfectly lit, but it does make it a lot cheaper and more accessible! And with the likes of YouTube and Vimeo it’s not difficult to get them out there in the public space either these days!

So maybe I’ll try some more vlogs and maybe I won’t. But I’ve great respect for those who do it well and I believe it’s something that everyone should try – even if it’s just a couple of times!

HELP! What do you do with your blog over Christmas?

So first of all I’d like to take this opportunity to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours! I hope you enjoy the holidays, stay safe, and get to spend lots of time with your family and friends!

I’m still super-new to all this, so this is my first Christmas as a blogger! But I find myself in a bit of a quandary: What are you meant to do with your blog over the holidays?

I’ve broken up from work now until 4th January and, while I’ll no doubt be tweeting my way through the holidays, I imagine my tweets will be about rather more inane things than usual (if that’s at all possible!) and a lot more sporadic. So what’s standard protocol amongst bloggers and what do YOU do?

As far as I can see I have three options:

  1. Leave it alone for a fortnight and begin again as normal in the new year
  2. Post as normal and to my usual schedule
  3. Post some sporadic festive stuff as and when I’m inspired

I don’t even know whether anyone will read my posts over the holidays – after all, it’s a time for family, friends and celebrating.

So what do you think? All ideas are welcome!

That Facebook Thing

Now I love Facebook; there’s not many days I don’t log on. Facebook is my life in pictures; it’s silly, inane comments that only my friends and family get; it’s me at my rawest: No facade, no show, just me. If you’re my Facebook friend and I’m having a bad day, then you’ll probably hear about it in rather passionate prose… But you know what; I don’t have very many Facebook friends! I won’t befriend anyone I haven’t met, anyone I don’t like, or anyone I think there’s even a remote chance I might work with. And anyone I do befriend gets immediately labelled with one of three privacy levels. It’s not that there’s anything remotely dodgy on there – maybe the odd drunken SingStar photo, or a choice expletive, but nothing condemning. My Mum and Dad are both on there after all! But I don’t want every man and his dog seeing pictures of my life, friends and family! That’s private stuff!

I appreciate that some people use Facebook for recruitment and business. Some with success too… but for me, Facebook is the personal social media tool of choice. LinkedIn is for business; Twitter is for a mix of business, personal branding and pleasure; and Facebook is purely personal. I don’t mind being advertised to on there but pretty please, with cherries and cream, don’t ask me to be your friend if you’re not actually my friend!

I’m totally intrigued about how other people use Facebook though. So many people I know have hundreds of ‘friends’! To what end? And if you use it for business and pleasure then how do you keep the two separate? Do you have separate accounts, a raft of different privacy settings, or do you just keep it clean and not overly personal?

Please share your experiences; I would love to hear them!


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About Me

Over ten years’ recruitment, employability, HR and sales experience in both the private and public sectors. I've worked in construction recruitment, FMCG headhunting, and in higher education on the employability agenda.

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