James Mayes

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blog: Facebook won’t let me forget

In Facebook, Personal Development, Social Media, Uncategorized on September 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm
As with most of the social world, I kept a close eye on F8 last week, expecting huge things and indeed, pleased with much of what I saw.  I’m still digesting the full extent of some implications and I’ll work through some of those here soon.

First up though, I wanted to explore an initial reaction from a friend of mine – this as a result of the Facebook Timeline feature.  I picked up the posts going round the tech blogs on how to create a spoof Facebook app so you could get the timeline functionality switched on early and get a preview. This I duly did. Again, I like.

From a design perspective, the profile page seems somehow more fluid to me. I’m no design expert (as anyone who’s witnessed one of my presentations will concur!) but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a decent experience when it occurs before mine own eyes.

In this case, I commented as much.  As one would expect, the comments continued (some positive, others negative) until something really stood out for me:

Is this really true? Are we only able to maintain friendships if we mask history or view relationships through rose-tinted spectacles? On the one hand, I’m only too happy to recognise my own failings, those occasions where on some level, apology or reparation has been necessary. On the other though, I find this a desperately sad reflection on human nature. Surely we can develop to a point where we no longer need to pretend some things were never said or done?

Having taken a few days to consider, my position hasn’t changed.  So how do I resolve these different aspects? Can I reconcile the open nature of future technology platforms with the need to occasionally forget? Will the likes of Facebook prove to be a permanent reminder of our own errors? Will this ultimately prove too uncomfortable for all but the purist of heart to live with?

I think I remain conflicted on the subject. I hope I will be for some time to come.  Changes like that made to the Facebook profile can cause the kind of introspection we don’t often allow for. For that alone, thanks Facebook. You did good. You made me stop and think.


Blog: Don’t overwhelm your followers (Buffer review)

In Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups, Twitter, Twitter Tips, Uncategorized on September 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Schedule tweetsI’ve noticed recently I have a tendency to send a flurry of tweets when I’m sat on a train for an extended period – reading news, blogs, reviews, sharing the things I like.  Wondering whether this was wise, I started considering scheduling. It’s not something I’ve done in the past, but I want to be a little considerate of followers – just because I’m reading a load of great articles at 6.30am doesn’t mean anyone else is up. Better for both of us if I share at a more reasonable time.

A quick scout round led me to Buffer – a relatively new site which appears to be rather smart.  Rather than the scheduling I’ve seen before (create a tweet, attach a link, specify a time for it to go), Buffer adds a more interesting layer.  It allows you to store up links to share in future, tweeting them when you’re not active – and analysing the best times to do so.

There are extensions for Chrome, Firefox etc as well as mobile apps to allow you to add to your Buffer straight from the article you’re reading. You can specify the Buffer pattern too – so for now, I’ve set mine up for lighter tweeting at weekends, since I know that better replicates both my own activity and that of my followers. You can also use your own bit.ly account details for better analytics, your own custom URL, etc.

This functionality is all free (limit of one Twitter account, one user, ten tweets buffered at any time).  If you’re running a corporate account and need team access, or you need to manage multiple accounts, you can pay for the premium version. There are $10/mo and $30/mo if you need something more substantial.  Oh, and if you refer a friend, you both get a bonus space added to your buffer.  Go on, try it out here (yes, that’ll be disclosure!).

Transparency vs protectionism, part 2: Driving up quality

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized on September 20, 2010 at 8:46 am

So last week I wrote a post about the transparent nature of Social Media. It presents a clear challenge to all businesses, but particularly those in the past who have a more secretive nature to their operations.  There were a number of great comments on that post and those (plus a discussion with a contemporary across the pond) caused me to extend the thinking.

What if the transparent nature of social media was driven out as a message to candidates? Not for the purposes of securing a new job, or learning more about a client – but at a more conceptual level.  If a company or agency recruits via Social Media, they will at some point have discussed transparency.  It therefore stands to reason that these organisations are more comfortable that one of the following applies:

  1. They don’t have anything to hide
  2. They might have things they aren’t proud of, but they’re happy to be called out on it and learn from those mistakes
  3. They accept things will go wrong, but figure the benefits outweigh the risks

Whichever way you look at it, Social Media should allow for better scrutiny, commentary and feedback.  It should drive up the quality of the recruitment experience.

So here’s the question:  Can we drive this transparent message to candidates?  Will they buy this concept? If they do, we’ll see more candidates leaning towards those employers / agencies that are active in the social space. Those hiding in the more traditional media may find it harder and harder to generate great candidates – will this prove to be game-changing in the quality standards applicable across the industry?

I don’t have the answers yet – but I’ve got a strong gut feel and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLOSURE: I’m a founding director of TweetJobs. Our business focusses on helping recruiters to get Social. I clearly have a vested interest in this topic, though would note this is my personal blog. I feel free to speculate and theorise here, but flame away if you feel this disclosure is insufficient!

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