Monthly Archives: April 2008

2.5.1

Upgraded to WordPress 2.5.1… No problems so far.  If it get’s whacky on you readers, let me know.

Last Day @ Dell

Today begins the last week at the wonderful world of Dell. I’ll be hanging up my wickedly-cool badge and take my last walk home from Round Rock-1 Campus.

As my goodbye email mentioned, it is truly a mix of emotions; lots of ups, lots of downs, lots of very positive things, and lots of areas of growth. I’ve made some great friends and some lifetime acquaintances that’ll be great to keep in touch with.

I’m sure I’ll be referencing many experiences here in the future.

And as I sit here in my now-naked cube, I look at my email and see this gloriously pretty screen:

There’s only 1 other point in my career here where it looked like this, which was my first day @ Dell for the first 3 seconds… I’ve never experienced an email-drowning like here; didn’t think it was possible to this level. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

One of the fine memories I’ll take away.

:)

New Look?

I’ve already got the itch.  I know.  I know.  I know.  But, moving forward, I want this to be unique, something that I can really call my own.

Either I’m going to have to deep dive into creating a smash-bang design myself or I will, for the first time ever, solicit the help of those more gifted in the WP design line of business.

Pretty excited about the possibility though…

Stay tuned!

Office Evolution

Today, sue and I are really going to sit down and think about how my office is going to “come alive.”

Currently, it has absolutely nothing, since my office is currently located on the bottom floor of our house.

We’ll have to do everything from painting to buying some furniture and (my favorite) buying some near hardware (1330…?  2x27“…?).

Here’s what it looks like today, both bottom and top… messy with roenne’s toys scattered… typical.

I’ll document the evolution as it progresses.  I’m pumped!

Gamer Hookup…?!?

A couple partners and I launched a funny (yet serious) venture today:

SlashFlirt.com!

It’s a dating website for gamers (and gaming enthusiasts) that doesn’t suck.

Either we have waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too much time on our hands or… … … nah, that’s about right.

LinkedIn = New Job

Whoa.  It actually worked.  I got a new job through LinkedIn.

Now, I’m positive that I’m not the only one who has seen such visible and tangible success by using this online tool/social networking platform, nor do I believe what’s happened is rare… it’s just that I, personally, haven’t heard of any real examples myself (but you might have).

In any case, the quick and dirty is that after being completely frustrated with attempting to get in contact with the people-who-matter in a particular business about a particular job, I decided to hop on LinkedIn, use my valuable InMails (all of them) and contact directly.

The end result is that my investment was not wasted.  The company had just been recently acquired by an infinitely-larger corporate business and was in the middle of a grossly-chaotic integration process.  As a result, my traditional resume submission was lost in the shuffle and fell into the veritable “black hole” that every one is familiar with.

Using LinkedIn enabled me to engage with the right people, begin the conversation, and at the same time prove that I was the right person for the job (it was a social media gig… and what better way to prove that you walk-the-walk than by using a social technology?!)

And it worked.  But, there is, of course, more to the story.

Here are some of the additional things and some not-so-unique-nor-innovative techniques/tips that I used to get the most bang for my buck (literally) out of LI:

  1. Purchase a Business Account: I’m a little hesitant to suggest this because I’m 100% certain that you can get a new job without one.  Also, I haven’t been 100% satisfied with the supposed “pluses” of being a Business Account holder.  But, it does have one particular function that was absolutely instrumental for me: InMails.
  2. InMail FTW:  The Personal Account lets you accept InMail only.  I find this feature pretty much useless unless you’re the prima-dona-golden-candidate-who-is-obviously-going-to-be-the-next-zuckerberg  and recruiters are killing themselves to hire you.For most of us, we’re decently experienced professionals with a decent LinkedIn profile and unless the above extreme is true, we won’t be getting valuable InMail notices in our inbox daily (btw, InMails are in limited supply, Buiness = 3/month and Business Plus = 10/month, so, you can’t and don’t want to waste them unnecessarily.  Check here for a comparison.)So the only way InMail has any value (in my limited opinion) is if you can actually send them.And send them I did.  I have 3 a month, so I horde and treasure each and every one of them.  It’s a crazy psychological battle as you sit in front of your computer having typed, crafted, and sweat-out an absolutely brilliant and beautiful InMail to someone and thinking to yourself “Sheesh… I’ve only got 2 more if I send this… for the rest of the month… is this person really worth my preciously-limited InMail…? … !@#$!@#!!!”My advice:  Be strategic and wise about them.  Use them when absolutely necessary.  Send them to strategic people in the org who “touch” the job you’re after. Use them to “earn” brownie points if possible.  Use them when you’re trying to tail a lead or job that you would absolutely die if you didn’t get it (I’m being extreme here, but you get the point).In my case, I used all 3 on the same day, to employees (2 top-level execs and an HR Dir) in the same company, all mentioning the same job.  It was calculated, risky, and if it didn’t work, I would have had to wait an agonizing 30 more days to get another 3.
  3. Recommendations: One of the biggest things that set people apart on LinkedIn (and certainly show depth of use and level of personal importance to a user) is whether they have Recommendations.  Whenever I’m sending out my resume or engaging with any potential employer, I always mention my LinkedIn profile AND Recommendations (in fact, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile link in your resume… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?).When I sent my InMails, I made a specific call-out for them to review some of the comments and feedback that I had received from colleagues and professionals in my current job.  This gives them more incentive to take a look and respond.  It also gives you massive credibility.And if you don’t have any…?  Get on it.  The first time I sent a mass email out to my colleagues asking for Recommendations I was admittedly nervous.  But the result was priceless.
  4. Profile Completeness: How many of us have been annoyed by the less-than 100% complete profile announcement?  That’s because you know in your heart of hearts that you should just DO IT.  You’ll be very thankful that you did.  I’m been personally complemented and had recruiters mention to me that they appreciated the thoroughness of my profile… it’s literally a digital CV, so treat it with respect… and then promote it hard.
  5. Engage: Participate in some Q/A… be a producer of content instead of just a consumer.  And if you can concentrate on just one topic of interest, go hard at it.  Become an Expert.  Having one of these “Expertise” in your profile is big bucks.And, it’s a great conversation starter and you should certainly use it in your communication and even interviews.  For example, imagine how cool it would sound (and it does sound cool… I’ve done it) if you were able to say something like:”Well, in regards to ______________ I’m a publicly recognized expert and thought-leader in the field, according to the LI community at large and have been able to provide valuable advice to… … …”Yeah.  That’s tight.
  6. Don’t Give Up:  Best advice ever received (thanks Dad).  LinkedIn isn’t the end-all-be-all source for networking and job ops… yet.  But it can be a great start and certainly a strong point in your search for your new gig.  Use LinkedIn to the fullest (especially if you’re giving them some of your green) and make it work for you.  Be patient, and don’t throw in the towel.

Again, as I mentioned before, these aren’t innovative or new ideas, but proven techniques I’ve used to get the most out of LI, with an obviously wonderful result.

Good luck to you all and would love to hear other stories of success!

Group Link ’08

What an amazing night!  The Austin Stone Community Church rented out the Mercury Hall downtown which was a beautiful location for the first ever Group Link.  Food was prepped, people were pumped, and the Holy Spirit showed up like nobody’s business.

A shout of praise goes out to all those who helped make the night happen, Todd, Stew, their incredible staff, and all those who chose to spend their monday night volunteering!

For sue and I we we’re able to wrangle up 4 new people to help start our brand-spanking new Community Group up here in Round Rock.  I was a tad bit anxious that we’d have short-supply because of our northern location, but God provided.  We’re super pumped up to get our community-on!

Praise the Lord!

The Afters

It takes a bit to get me wound-up regarding music.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty musically challenged; but I know it’s something that I’ve been challenged to appreciate more… that’s probably why I got the hook up with my wife sue.

So, as a result of my less-than-great musical tastes, I do not know what “makes” good music.  I certainly have opinions though!  But after having the great pleasure of seeing The Afters play live @ The Common Ground, I feel like my musical skills got the ++ treatment.

Simply put, The Afters are uber.  I really like their sound, their energy, their… whatever!  I found a great review which mirrors much of my thoughts.  One of their coolest shorts is “:MySpace Girl.

I found this very telling of the times… and I’m surprised I haven’t heard this (and some of their other work) on the radio.

Good times, good times.  Praise God for music.  What a gift!

Shield Down…

We need to bring ‘er up again.  Or something.

When I read this article here about how the “legal shield” protecting website owners over content posted by their users was being chipped away at I had a great big pit in my stomach start to build.  Being the owner of a couple of social media websites (and not to mention a host of blogs) which encourage user engagement and interaction without hinderance, this particular article got me going.

It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out, but I’m one for keeping the owners of the websites safe from their users offensive content.  But, it is what it is.