James Mayes

Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Last one of the year… The love-in!

In Community, Personal on December 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

Thank youTaken a little time offline recently, but want to put out one final thing for this year… Just a small shout of appreciation for some who’ve really made a difference to my year.

Bill Boorman – unstinting generosity with his knowledge and connections and a supportive friend to those in need.

Jonny Campbell – partner in crime for a few events this year. A font knowledge, a ball of energy and a thoroughly decent guy.

Katharine Robinson – the smartest sourceress of her age (apologies to JK Rowling!). Always open to ideas and often a much needed voice of reason.

Crystal Miller – an appetite for life, the universe and everything which has scarce been matched. Energises all those lucky enough to spend time in her company.

Eze Vidra – the man behind techbikers. Achieved a truly wonderful thing in a very short space of time, the highlight of many people’s year. Made a huge impact on me. A cracking support team around him, too many wonderful people to mention – you know who you are.

Finally, heading the field – Jamie Leonard. It’d damage his reputation if I truly offered the compliments he deserves for his unstinting help and support this year, so I’ll hold back on the bromance and simply offer my thanks. Man of the Year, no question.

2012, you’ve been emotional. To all out there, especially those not mentioned – may 2013 bring you all you wish for.

Can’t is a state of mind. Can is a statement of community.

In Community, Personal, Personal Development, Sport, Start-ups on September 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Many will know I’ve been away this weekend with TechBikers. A project kicked off by Google’s Eze Vidra, the aim was to get together a bunch of tech-focussed entrepreneurs and do something epic. For themselves, for this community and indeed for charity.  Well, we did it! Best part of 200 miles cycling in 3 days, Paris to London.  It’s had cheers, tears & beers. Unbelievable physical and mental endurance from all those involved and some fantastic support from many behind the scenes.

My biggest takeway is simply the subject line of this post. Many of those on this ride (myself included) simply could not have achieved this alone. Immensely proud to have done so. It’s changed my perception of what I and others are capable of. It’s also reinforced my belief that people as communities can be spectacularly empowering. That thing about being greater than the sum of it’s parts? Yeah, that. I’ve collated a few photos from the event that, for me, capture some of the spirit, the adventure, the hardship. Undoubtedly, some friends for life amongst this crew. While everyone involved deserves the highest praise for their commitment, I’m also going to use this to a single out a few that really stood out for me.

Eze “like Sunday morning” Vidra. The main man, the inspiration, the rock solid smile!

Ben “The Beard” Southworth. He knows why, but I promised discretion on this one….

Abe “Don’t question me now” Choi. Efficiency under fire, elegant behind the scenes, an absolute lynchpin.

Alex “it’s not water, it’s a rather pleasant Bordeaux” Hoye. That, and the evening attire… nice work.

Bindi “I refuse to change gear, I’m in heels” Karia. For maintaining bling while under water.

Pru Ashby & Andy “Gangnam” Young. Both responsible, I understand, for phenomenal corporate sponsorship efforts to ensure all personal donations went to the charity itself.

Drummond “Terminator” Gilbert. 200 miles. ON A FRICKING BROMPTON.

To everyone though, simply my heartfelt thanks. It’s been the experience of a lifetime. You all worked together to make it possible. To build a library. To demonstrate the power of community. You’ve rocked my world in what now feels like both the longest and shortest three days ever.

For anyone who hasn’t donated but now understands a little more, the fund raiser page is open for another week I believe. If not in my name, donate for Drummond. I say again, 200 miles on a Brompton.

OK, the pictures….

Blog: Talent communities vs the natural world

In Community, Conference, Guest post, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on July 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

Originally written as a guest post for #SRConf, now here for my archives.

I’ve heard previously that the idea of community very much underpins education (and therefore talent) since the dawn of human development. Interesting concept, plenty of historical evidence.

Sitting on the beach recently, feeding seagulls with my kids it prompted me to consider how we develop Talent Communities. We talk of seeding with content, of talent attraction, of using these mechanisms to identify the rarer candidate.

We debate the value of the community manager, the role such a person should play. A brief experiment made it simple to draw some very fundamental conclusions. First, a short video (no, not the beach… maybe next time!)

Some observations:

  • Seeding (feeding) can have a pretty immediate impact (if the food is right!)
  • Attraction continues via signals we’re not always aware of
  • While the main contingent can probably be predicted, it’s the unusual arrival that may prove more interesting
  • Interest dies away without continuing new food/content
  • Finally – the unexpected can cause the very sudden disintegration of a community

Is there more to be found here? For me, some of these basic principles can provide guidance for us as we explore and evolve. Keeping it simple can indeed be effective!

Blog: Social Recruiting = Communities, Physics and Chemistry!

In Community, Facebook, Guest post, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting on July 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Originally written as a guest post for #SRConf, now here for my archives.

I’ve seen a variety of discussions recently focussed around what data should be captured when building a talent community. There’s the obvious professional information and interests which always come high on the list. Some platforms talk of capturing social assets, such as a blog address or Twitter handle. More and more, I’m seeing Facebook used to kick off a user’s account creation – though oftentimes, I think this is driven by the vendor’s desire to easily enable social sharing in the hope of aggressive user growth than for any smart data reasons.

I’m more interested in other data pockets which can be captured. What articles has the individual read? Which videos have been watched? Were the user reactions positive, or negative? Much can be learned here, both about the value of an employer’s proposition to the talent market, but also about the suitability of the candidate. Not the suitability expressed deliberately on a profile or in an interview, but by actions, by the pieces of content an individual shows interest in. Surely this is a great guide to future professional interests, an indicator of preferred career direction and thus long term suitability.

recruitment - physics and chemistryI’ve maintained for a long time now that as storage is getting ever cheaper, a platform should capture as much data as possible at any given moment (with the caveat that this requirement be balanced against the user experience – much data gathering can be invisible to the user). My basis for this is that without access to the data, options are limited. Once data is available, it’s possible to explore, to experiment, to see what patterns emerge.

Love to hear your views on this – but before I sign off, I’ll share some thoughts conveyed to me via an attendee at the recent Apple developer’s conference. Physics and chemistry are intrinsically linked. Physics represents your universe of items. The atoms, the bits, the bytes, the everything. Chemistry details the way these things interact. Without the physics, there can be no chemistry. If you want chemistry in your Talent Acquisition, you’ll need to get the physics there too!

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