James Mayes

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Blog: TEDxBrighton (or, the post I never wrote!)

In Blogging, Conference, Personal Development, Social Media on April 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

So a few months back, I got the marvellous opportunity to attend TEDxBrighton, organised by Tom Bailey. I tweeted fairly heavily on the day (selection here) but a couple of other attendees did a marvellous job of blogging the event at the time.

Greg Dreyfus mastered the live-blog (half-time post is a great read), while Thibault Lemaitre not only provides a great summary of each speaker, but has carefully added each speaker’s video to the post too. Both are Brighton-based digital advocates and are well worth following.

I picked up a huge amount from the event which I wanted to process. Indeed, several of the speakers inspired a change in my thinking, across a range of topics. However, I didn’t want to blog it then as I felt Greg & Tibz had done a first-class job. Oddly though, I don’t want to blog the detail now either.

I’m revisiting partly because I recently confirmed my attendance for TEDxPortsmouth, and partly because I’m conscious I’m still processing aspects of that event back in January…   and that’s what I want to ask….

When was the last time you attended something that was STILL causing active debate in your own mind, months later? Surely, that’s one of the key signs of a great event – and something the feedback mechanisms never pick up on.

Blog: Personalised news, done right!

In Blogging, Community, Social Media, Start-ups on April 27, 2011 at 6:39 am

Been a while since I posted a review of a new app on here. A number of changes recently have kept me otherwise occupied – but I’ve just seen something that I really want to share!  There are a number of “curated news feed” style apps around at the moment – from paper.li on Twitter, through iPad-specific apps such as FlipBoard, or site-based services like Mashable‘s Follow service.

Xydo LogoHowever, I don’t think any quite offer the experience of Xydo. To quote them, in the simplest terms, it’s “Quora meets Digg” or for the uninitiated, discovery plus recommendation to deliver better content. There are over a million contributors already helping to stream content – and there are plenty of ways you can hone this to your own requirements.

Xydo allows you to connect with any combination of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – so that your existing personal network can influence the news you receive. More are due to be added – I believe Tumblr is next. In terms of reading that news, you can then get your hands on it in the form that suits you best. Custom RSS output? Fine. As tweeted links? On Facebook? Via email? All catered for.

However, specifically unlike many of the other sites, Xydo is not simply a Reader. It builds profiles for publishers and contributors, uses your social graph to influence what’s shown to you and subsequently allows you to vote on the material you need. You can also contribute if you’d like to publish your own work.

It takes a little time to feel your way around the site – but so far, worth the effort!

Blog: Listening to Social Media – someone got it right!

In Blogging, Gadgets, Mobile, Social Media, Twitter on April 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

So those of you who follow my tweets regularly will probably be aware I accidentally destroyed my mobile recently. Annoying yes, but covered by insurance, so no major drama.  Turns out, there’s a fair amount of paperwork to be done before you get anywhere near actually sorting the phone.  This resulted in a rather disgruntled tweet:

That was on the 8th April. I heard nothing back – no surprise there really.  Until today (13th April).  They called. Someone had not only seen my tweet, but decided to respond and explain the reasons why the claims process works in the way it does.

OK, so they didn’t get to it immediately – but they were listening and they did decide to act on what they heard.  Already, this puts them in my good books.  Thing is, they didn’t stop with an explanation.

The caller went on to talk about the other tweets they’d seen from me. One a few weeks back about a potential upgrade. One more recently about a new HTC handset I have my eye on.

We had a meaningful conversation which has resulted in a change to the usual process, no additional cost to them, me being a FAR happier customer than I ever thought I might and YOU reading this post about that company.

Listening works. Try it.

Blog: Twitter doesn’t work for recruitment

In Conference, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on April 9, 2011 at 6:55 am

Well, not if you take the purist “guru” view of Social Media. High quality content, demonstrable depth of engagement, the possibility of a self-perpetuating community once a certain critical mass has been achieved. Yeah, I don’t often see that happen in recruitment. I saw a great example from the British Army recently, presented at SMIR – but the exception, rather than the rule.

On the other hand, should recruiters seek to use Social Media in this way?  Possibly not.  There are many aspects of Twitter that have changed over the last five years, many driven by Twitter actually watching what users really do.  So maybe the self-proclaimed social rock stars should stay out of recruitment, and let recruiters figure out what really works for them.  And please, don’t apply these kind of epithets or titles. The landscape is moving too quickly, and those who claim it for themselves should be regarded (in my opinion) as guilty of deliberate self-aggrandisement, often with dubious foundations in reality!

For what it’s worth, here’s where I believe recruitment benefits can really be found:

Broadcast – Depending on your own technology, or those you partner with, it can be very cheap (or free) to broadcast your roles and information relevant to your market. As my science teacher once told me, nature abhors a vacuum – so even the simple argument that “if you don’t do it, your competitor will” has some relevance.

SEO – There’s plenty been written in recent months about the changing SEO values of Social Media. Whilst the exact extent may still be unclear, all analysis I’ve seen recently suggests links back from Twitter to your own career or job site have a positive impact. You spend good money on SEO, so you should be taking advantage of this too.

Search visibility – There are good sites out there scouring Twitter for job details, in addition to the chances of your tweets appearing in search results on Google etc.  Can you give me a good reason why you shouldn’t leverage this?

Engagement – This represents the holy grail for many Social Media people. In the job-seeker world though, it’s unlikely. See a role you like, you’ll take a look. Ask questions about it in public? Not unless you’re unemployed, a recent graduate, etc.  The vast majority of job seekers will prefer to have any discussion about a role in private (email, phone, via career site etc.).

Sharing – Again, one of the key aspects of Social Media.  If you can get job-seekers to share your requirements with their peer group, you’ll be hooking into previously untapped talent.  Trouble is, it mostly doesn’t happen. Jobs don’t often get retweeted, except as a personal favour to the person who actually tweeted the role.  Job-seekers will though, share quality content – good information that’s relevant to their friends or professional networks. That’s where you should be looking for wins.

Business Development – Conscious that not all readers are in-house recruiters, many are agency-side – why so few using Twitter for business development?  You know how competitive this market is, and how a golden rule of recruitment is to listen more than you talk (two ears, one mouth – there’s your guide).  Twitter allows you to listen to your clients. Listen to their business, and indeed many of the key people you’ll want to do business with. If you actually know what causes your client pain before you pick up the phone, imagine how different that call might be.

I’m working on a couple of case studies to release shortly – but in the meantime, let me know where you think I missed the mark!

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