Go west young(ish) men (& dog). Yes, we’re moving to San Francisco!

Matt, Garreth, Trinity, & I are moving to San Francisco!

Our goal is to be there for May, though we still have a ton of details to figure out.  We’re hunting for a new place while working to purchase our house of 11 years of accumulated junk.  Our plan is to keep the house in Francestown and rent it out (if you know anyone cool & reliable looking to rent, let me know!)

As you may know, I’ve been working for salesforce.com for over a year now.  When I first joined, it was a 1-year transitional role, so it made sense for me to keep working from NH.  By the end of 2011 I had officially transitioned into a new role as the Data.com Social Media Marketing Manager.  Now it’s become more important for me to physically be working at headquarters in San Francisco (plus it will mean I get to work closely with some pretty amazing people!)  And it’s beautiful! (I took that pic above working on a 7th floor patio at one of our offices there)

I’ll admit thinking about it is overwhelming, though it’s exciting to be shaking things up like this.  I’ll keep you updated as we go through this process!

Please wish us luck as we start a new chapter of our lives with a grand adventure!

-k

Navigating the social media currents, together in NH

When working with any emerging approaches to business (and technologies), understanding what’s working for people and where things are going is a constant challenge. There are self-professed experts willing to sell you a “package solution” to get you up to speed. I’ll skip getting into a discussion of the pitfalls and ethical questions people raise about some of those offerings to focus on the alternatives instead.

In this age of social, there’s no better way to learn than socially.  There are events all over the country (and around the world) where people are meeting, expanding their networks, and learning from each other.  Some events, like Social Media Breakfast brings people together monthly to meet and learn from speakers. Others, keeping with the heart of the social web, are “unconferences” where you have the opportunity to connect, learn, and teach without the rigid structure (or incredibly high costs) of a traditional conference.

20091108-0640

Here in NH we have the second PodCamp NH coming up the weekend of October 23-24 in beautiful Portsmouth, NH.  Last year I met many incredible people from all over the region, some I learned from, others I helped. Most important, I had time to spend, in person, getting to know more people. I always see a shift in the quality of the online relationship when I’ve had a chance to spend quality time face to face, “in real life”.

I’ll be at PodCamp NH again this year, offering some sessions and trying to catch as many others as I can. If you have any questions about PodCamp NH or if you’re planning to go, let me know. I’m looking forward to meeting you (or seeing you again)!

A lot of thanks, and a little gobble gobble

Well, it’s Thanksgiving morning, 2009.  Heading out in a few to spend the day with family, but I wanted to take a minute to say Thanks!

Just before last Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to start a new job.  Thanks to Steve Chazin, I have had the pleasure of working as Community Manager for Dimdim — after so many years using web conferencing, it’s cool to be able to share free web conferencing.  Thanks to Leslie Poston, because of her I’ve had the opportunity to help out with Social Media Breakfast NH and PodCamp NH.

I’m thankful for my family and friends.  This year was a challenge with two of our favorite moms going in for surgery.  They’re both doing well, which is all I can ask for.  Luckily everyone else’s health seems good.

I finally had a chance to make it to Dallas, TX this year to see my little brother (he’s lived there 10 years.  I know, it makes me a bad older brother.)  There are many friends I haven’t had a chance to see this year, but thanks to Facebook and other services, I’ve at least been able to keep up with their lives a little.

So as you “gobble gobble” this year, even if I haven’t thanked you by name, know that I am grateful for having you in my life.

Have a happy & safe Thanksgiving!

-k

Tips for getting your social media job application process off to a good start.

As someone reviewing resumes for a Social Media & Web Marketing Specialist position, I’d like to share some tips.  In the first 48 hours I had about 100 people email me.  I’m guessing other employers are having similar experiences.  Some of these tips really aren’t social media specific, but take my advice:

Everyone wants to stand out, but if you create more work for the person reviewing resumes, chances are you won’t be considered.

I’m doing my best to review every applicant who has contacted me, but if it takes me more than a few minutes to get an impression, I’ll admit you go on the “no thank you” pile.

Tip 1: Resumes are still used

It’s great you have a LinkedIn profile or that you keep information about yourself on your web site.  If 99% of other candidates are still sending a resume, having to go find information about you creates more work. Not good.  It may be a personal preference, but I try to stay organized and my inbox expands by several hundred a day, for me it’s easier if you send your resume as an attachment.  No need to attach your cover letter, your email can say the same thing.

Tip 2: If your resume doesn’t include links to you & your work, you aren’t presenting yourself as a social media pro

I hate to be harsh about this one, but if I’m looking to hire someone it’s because I need help.  (Meaning I’m already overloaded.)  If I have to lookup your information to know you have a professional online presence, you haven’t made it easy for me.  I’m not saying you should provide a laundry list of all your sites, just the ones you feel are key.  You want the links to point to you and your work.  It’s your portfolio, not the kitchen sink, just include the best.

Tip 3: Be easy to find

It should be a given, but just in case you’re new to this, if you make it past an initial review of applicants, expect the next step will be that someone Googles you.  Are the links that come up ones you would want a prospective employer to see?  Do you come up in the results at all?

When I get so many files, I typically save them all off into a folder.  Naming your resume ‘resume2.doc’ makes it that much harder for me to find you again later.  At a minimum, make sure your name is in the file name.

I’m sure there are many things I’m not thinking of, but I have to get back to finding the right person for this role.  Any other suggestions?  Leave a comment.

-k

Please send cash (just quarters)

This summer at a family reunion we started our nephew from Germany on the path of collecting all the US state quarters. It’s a great way to learn about the 50 US states and he was excited to get started. What I didn’t realize is that the books are made to collect state quarters from the Philadelphia and Denver mints — the small set of quarters we had set aside to get him started wasn’t even close to what was needed. We’ve made some progress, but could use help.

If you have any quarters that match what’s listed below, please let me know.

US Quarters

Denver mint (‘D’ on front)

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • West Virginia
Philadelphia mint (‘P’ on front)

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii

Found Since Posting

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

We want to help our nephew finish his collection by the end of this year. I’ll buy your quarter with a quarter. Let me know if you can help!

Thanks!

Update 11/17/2008 1:00 pm EDT : Updated again to reflect more quarters that came in from my mom. Thanks mom!!

Update 11/6/2008 3:00 pm EDT: I’ve updated the list to reflect the quarters a friend I used to work with over 8 years ago is sending.

Update 11/26/2009 9:00 am EST: My friend Jaie just emailed me that she had a D-Hawaii quarter and I realized I never took the time to update this post to let you know that with everyone’s help our nephew was able to finish his collection this summer! Thank you!!!

Best birthday yet! Two job offers and many good wishes.

Last Friday, October 31st, was my 37th birthday. It turned out to be my best birthday yet!

Two offers

The night before my birthday, I received another job offer. This means I started the day with two offers in hand, from Dimdim and from Mzinga.

Patrick Moran (@patrickmoran ), CMO at Mzinga, made me an offer for a Web Director role. Mzinga has great technology and people and I could easily see myself working for Patrick. I even had the opportunity last week to meet with Barry Libert, Chairman, and Rick Fault , President & CEO. They both seem to work very well together. In the end, I called Patrick Friday morning to thank him for the offer, but to decline. I feel the new role at Dimdim is where I need to be right now. It was tough coming to my decision, the offer was competitive, the challenges interesting, and Mzinga has some great people.

Later that morning, I spoke with Steve Chazin, CMO of Dimdim to let him know I would like to be the next employee at Dimdim. I accepted the offer for the Community Manager role at Dimdim because it gives me the opportunity to focus my attention more directly on building relationships with customers and participating the broader online conversation. Dimdim also has an excellent team and I’m sure I will be constantly learning new things. Steve has a great set of experiences and insights. (see his blog, MarketingApple .) I’m looking forward to working directly with him.

We’ll be sorting out the start date this week, but it was very nice to accept the offer on my birthday.

Many good wishes

The web rocks! I’ve believe this for about 15 years, but I love being reminded. I’m a fairly social kind of person and over the past few years I’ve connected, reconnected, and met many new people through the web. This year I was amazed when birthday wishes came pouring in via a number of mediums. I received 4 traditional cards via postal mail. (I’ll be the first to admit I try hard to remember birthdays but I’m terrible at getting birthday cards in the mail, so I’m not complaining) Here’s the breakdown of my birthday wishes this year:

  • 24 via Facebook
  • 14 ecards/emails
  • 6 over Geni
  • 4 calls
  • 5 via twitter
  • 3 via IM
  • 1 SMS
  • 2 automated emails (from DCU and webmaster-talk.com, and the best part was they only wished me a happy birthday, no other messaging or ads)

A few people even wished me a happy birthday through more than one medium. For me, it doesn’t get any better than having people wish you a happy birthday from across the US, UK, Spain, and Germany.

Kevin-up: some waiting (for good news?), more Practical Conversations, and more tweetups and parties

I held off on putting this post together, hoping to have some concrete updates for you, but I can’t wait any longer. Been some beautiful days in the past two weeks, but we’ve also had a real frost – feels like the seasons are changing. I’m excited about the possibilities this week and next will bring.

Some waiting (for good news?)

First frost of the seasonThe hiring process always seems to involve waiting. When I was a hiring manager, I remember a number of points where I had to wait too, so I know this isn’t unique to the candidate. Right now, I’m doing a bit of waiting. Hopefully will be talking about an offer with Dimdim today or tomorrow. Still haven’t had a chance to catch up with Mzinga to schedule further conversations, but I now have time scheduled on Monday to interview with a company I talked to over a year ago. (I’m not mentioning them by name as I haven’t had a chance to ask how they feel about it.)

More Practical Conversations

I’ve done four more interviews for Practical Conversations. Had a lunch chat with John Cass (@johncass), a bagel chat with Alexa Scordato (@alexa), and enjoyed a beautiful October day with conversations in Boston Common with Ben Grossman (@bengrossman) and Rebecca Corliss (@repcor). Great conversations all around, now I just need to get them written up, reviewed, and posted. Because my focus for Practical Conversations is on a person’s individual process for managing online conversations, I’m taking the time to review each blog post with the interviewee to ensure I understood the process and articulated it well. I’ll let you know as I get them posted.

More tweetups and parties

 

Apple pickin tweetupLast Saturday my partner Matt and I joined some tweeps (Twitter friends) at a “Apple Pickin Tweetup” (a gathering organized via Twitter). It was the first daytime, family-friendly tweetup I’ve been to. We went apple picking in Stow, MA. We had some great conversations as we hunted for good apples (it’s late in the season). It was a great time and a very nice day to be outdoors. We had gone apple picking the prior weekend with family, so we helped everyone pick, but didn’t bring home any more apples.

It made for a busy weekend, but it was fun. Matt and I even managed to squeeze in a wedding reception in Nashua, NH, and a “Johnny Cash appreciation party” in Somerville, MA. We didn’t get home from until 3:30 am Sunday morning, then got up and went for brunch with an old friend.

Heading to another tweetup this Thursday night. It started as an event to meet Ken Burbary (@kenburbary), who will be visiting Boston, but it’s grown as Aaron Strout (@astrout) is leaving Mzinga and heading to Austin, TX. It’s now the Ken Burbary & Aaron Strout Social Media Extravaganza, if you’re in the Boston-area Thursday come join us. Should be a great time!

Hopefully my next post will have some very good news. Keep your fingers crossed.

-k

And yes, I’m trying out a new title for these: “Kevin-up” instead of “Kevin’s Update” — Do you like it? Is it tacky? Let me know.

Kev’s update – another interview, Practical Conversations launch, and upcoming events

[Update 6/29/2013: PracticalConversations.com retired]

I was talking to my better half last night and I had to admit I’m loving the job hunt process. It’s been an excuse to meet incredible people, no idea why I hadn’t been getting out there in recent years. This week has started off very well and should only get better.

Another interview

Had the opportunity to do a call yesterday with DD Ganguly, co-founder and CEO of Dimdim. The call was a very open conversation, rather than just rapid fire questions. It gave me a good feel for the company culture and values. Very exciting! I’m feeling more like this is the type of culture I’ve been looking for. I’ll let you know how it progresses.

Practical Conversations Launched

My new blog project, Practical Conversations, has finally launched with my first interview, “Interview with Christine Major, High tech PR pro and social media junkie“. It was great of Christine to help me out by being the first interview I post. Give her a follow on Twitter (@CMajor) and thank her. I have a few more interviews lined up, but need to more aggressively find people from a variety of jobs/perspectives who are managing online conversations. If you know anyone, let me know!

Upcoming events

Wednesday, 10/5, I’ll be heading down to Foxboro, MA for the Closing Keynote of the New Marketing Summit by Cynthia Gordon, Networking and De-Brief of the summit by Chris Brogan, then the Social Media Club panel on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age. I should be in Foxboro from 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm or so, from there I head home to NH, get a little sleep, then (early) drive down to Cambridge, MA for Social Media Breakfast 9. An hour after the breakfast I’ll be heading over to meet up with John Cass and interview him for Practical Conversations on how he is managing his online conversations. I’m afraid Friday is going to seem very dull after all that.

I know what you’re thinking, why aren’t you attending the entire New Marketing Summit? It’s a valid question. Not working gives me plenty of time for meeting new people, but requires me to keep to a stricter budget than I’m used to. I’m watching the tweets from #nms08 and I’ll get a taste of it tomorrow with the free activities, the full summit just wasn’t in my budget this time.

-k

Kevin update – 2 interviews and an email

Two interviews today. One from the comfort of my home office, the other in Burlington, MA. AND an email from the company I interviewed with a year ago. (and yes, it’s too long to write “What’s new for Kevin update” for every post. At some point I’ll get to “Kev update” — figured I’d introduce it gradually.)

Interview 1 – Dimdim

Steve Chazin, CMO at Dimdim took an interesting approach to this interview. I met with him and their CTO, Prakash Khot via Dimdim meeting. My task was to deliver a presentation on how I would generate “Huge, rampant, stupendous awareness and buzz!” for Dimdim (what I would do in my first six months.) I intentionally approached the presentation trying to avoid the word-heavy PowerPoint approach I’ve been seeing (and sadly presenting myself) for years. The presentation was mostly images that I talked to. It even gave me a chance to use, with permission, Fred Cavazza’s Social Media Landscape. I won’t give away the details of my strategy, but I wanted to introduce a process and keep it light: 1. Target; 2. Engage; 3. Measure & Refine (iterative process, obviously.) With the goal being happy engaged customers.

We met using Dimdim, which was cool. I’ve been running web meetings for many years. What was great, since my slides weren’t actual PowerPoint files, I generated a PDF of the slides and shared that. Dimdim actually gave me a view of the previous page, the current page, and the next page — while participants only saw the current. If I had known (didn’t practice with that scenario) I could have skipped printing out my cheat sheets to help me keep my speaking organized.

Doing the meeting from home was fun. Wore a dress shirt and tie so it would look more professional over the webcam I was sharing. Took the phone out of my office to avoid any random telemarketer calls (being home during the day I now see how many we get. Pretty sad since I’m on the Federal Do Not Call. I’m sure most of the calls are political so they can get away with it.) Since I knew I had to take the dog out to the woods (to do her “business”) again after the interview, I was still wearing jeans.

I’m particularly proud of the tie – I managed to get my half windsor knot on the first try.

Interview 2 – Mzinga

I did wear the suit for this one.(sorry, didn’t take a picture of it, you’ll have to wait for the next interview.) Ran down to Burlington, MA. I commuted to that area for almost 10 years, so I automatically padded in travel time. No traffic meant I arrived almost an hour early. I camped out at the Starbucks around the corner from Mzinga to catch up on a few emails and finish reviewing my notes for the interview.

Had a few minutes to talk with @alexa before going in to meet with @patrickmoran. Alexa and I met briefly at a Tweet-up back in August, so it was nice to chat a bit more.

Met with Patrick, we ended up talking a bit longer than an hour, but it was a great conversation. Not to butter him up at all, but it was nice talking to another CMO who “gets it” (Steve Chazin fits in that category too). We talked about some of the challenges someone in the Web Director role will face. It was great conversation and I’m looking forward to talking with him more.

And an email

Received an email from the company I had interviewed with a year ago. Without going into specifics, they are interested in talking with me again. I replied to let them know where I stand with the other interviews, but that I’m definitely open to talking. I remember my interviews with them before and they some good people. I wouldn’t mind talking to them again.

Overall great week. Didn’t get my first interview up on Practical Conversations yet, I’ll have to work on it over the weekend.

Have a great weekend!

What’s next for Kevin – another interview scheduled, an attempted poach, and a rejection

Since yesterday’s post, I have another interview scheduled an odd email and one rejection.

Another interview scheduled

I’m heading down to Burlington, MA tomorrow to meet with @patrickmoran at Mzinga. Very cool to have a chance to sit down with him. I’d discovered the Mzinga podcasts a few weeks ago and started working my way through them. Very excited about the potential to work with the thought leaders behind We Are Smarter. Spent a few hours today doing my research, but still more to do. I’ll let you know how the conversation goes tomorrow.

Hopefully Patrick doesn’t mind my mentioning it. 🙂 You don’t mind Patrick, do you?

An attempted poach?

Received an email today from the CMO of a Dimdim competitor. I won’t share the name or company, but here’s the message:

Hi Kevin, I am enjoying reading your blog! Best of luck for your job search with DimDim. I am the CMO of **** – which is quite frankly, the best free instant web conferencing service out there! If you were in the SF Bay Area, I would love to meet up and have the opportunity to persuade you to come and join us instead! Keep in touch.

How did I respond? I told him SF Bay area isn’t out of the question and to let me know what type of help he is looking for. I’m interested to see if the conversation goes anywhere. (Personal note: I hesitated about posting this part, but if my blogging through this process is going to be useful for anyone, I have to make it more public. Steve Chazin, if you are reading this, I still love Dimdim and would love to work with you!)

A rejection

img043-127x102The recruiter who setup my interview with that Boston-based startup for the web product manager role called a few minutes ago. Unfortunately they’ve decided to pass. The only feedback was they felt it was not a good technical fit. It sucks is always tough to hear that someone doesn’t want you, but in the end it’s their loss (and I’m lucky enough to have friends who constantly remind me of that). All I can do is try to learn from the experience to improve future interviews.

I think part of my challenge going after product management roles is the lack of product management roles/titles in my work history. I’ve always focused on the experiences and skills I could gain, rather than on what title I’ve held. In the end it may make selling myself to the next company as a product manager a bit more difficult.

Now, back to my presentation for Dimdim and my Mzinga research…