Steve Jobs And How Web 2.0 is a Fusion of Art and Technology

Steve Jobs  said  “technology married with the humanities make our hearts sing.” To put it another way, Jobs understood how the digital age was the offspring of technology and the humanities. Many of the advances in Web 2.0 are rooted in the arts and social sciences of the preceding 20th century. Here are five examples:

1.The novelist Ernest Hemingway was famous for his short, terse, style of prose, which he attributed to the influence of the artwork of Paul Cezanne. In his memoir A Moveable Feast he wrote “I learn something from the painting of Cézanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them.” In the digital age we call this fusion of creative ideas the following: mash-up; crowdsourcing; collaboration; open-source coding; etc.

2.James Joyce wrote in an avant-garde narrative style called stream of consciousness. It is described as a person’s continuous flow of sense perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and memories in the human mind written out on paper. In Web 2.0 our continuous flow of thoughts and feelings are publicized to the world in real-time on Twitter.

3.The sociologist Emiel Durkheim believed society has a “collective consciousness.” He described it as when “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or common consciousness.” In the digital age the collective intelligence of society is manifested through search engines like Google.

4.The artist Andy Warhol said “in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” The future has arrived, and we call this 15 minutes of fame a Youtube video gone viral.

Steve Jobs “connected the dots” between 20th century liberal arts and 21st century technology. He also understood  people yearned for intuitive and practical devices, which possessed beauty and satisfied an intrinsic social need. This will forever be the standard of great technology and art, and one of the many reasons he will always be remembered.

Do you think the liberal arts have shaped Web 2.0? Please post your comments.


Two Objectives You Need to Have in Your Job Search

Above my desk at home I have a quote pinned to my wall from Robert Collier. It reads: “success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” I love this quote because it gives realistic direction to anyone in pursuit of success. It reminds me patience and consistency are necessary whenever pursuing a goal. This truism is just as applicable when it comes to a job search. You have to have clear goals before beginning, and be consistent in your pursuit of them

When using social media for a job search begin by writing down two or three goals you want to achieve. Make your goals reasonable. Obviously, getting a job is the ultimate goal, but having measurable objectives will put you on track to the bigger one. Remember you can always change or modify your objectives as your job search evolves. For example, this week I will 1) focus on making 20 contacts at a company I know is hiring via LinkedIn and Twitter. This objective can be measured at the end of the week, allowing you to check if it was effective and how much closer it brought you to your ultimate goal of finding a job.  

Below are two suggested objectives to use when pursing your bigger goal of finding a job using social media.

1.      Know The Networks You Want to Focus Your Time On: A survey done this year by jobvite found the three most used social network sites by human resource professionals and job recruiters are: 1. LinkedIn 2.Facebook 3.Twitter. If you want to make yourself potential job-prey, you want to be where the hunters are gathering. Make yourself as conspicuous of a target as possible by getting on these three sites. I strongly suggest focusing on LinkedIn because it the most used by employers and headhunters and the site best tailored for someone in pursuit of employment.

2.      Focus on Your Industry by Targeting Specific Companies: Example, on LinkedIn focus on the toolbar at the top of your profile page. Under the “Jobs” button you can find companies in your industry hiring. Once you have found two or three companies you think are right for you (I suggest not exceeding three) write the company in the search box and add it to your list of companies to follow. It will show you who in your list of contacts either works at the company or knows people at the company. Contact those people and see if they can lead you in the direction you need toward the hiring managers. Ask them if they can make an introduction. If you don’t know anyone at the company, start introducing yourself to people with similar backgrounds. See the discussion groups these people are in and begin joining the conversations. Again, be specific. Your time is best spent focusing on two or three specific companies than machine-gun-firing your resume all over the street. The more focused your objectives, the better return on your investment toward your goal. You may not get the immediate gratification of applying to large amounts of jobs; however, relationship building will get your foot-in-the door a heck of a lot faster than turning your job search into a numbers game.  


The Jerry Maguire Complex: How do we Treat Our Candidates?

During my four years as a consultant for an executive recruitment agency, my boss and I had a recurring debate over who deserved our loyalty. We were a third party recruitment agency, consulting for Wall Street firms. He believed the firms paid our salary, so they were the ones we worked for. To most high-performing recruiters this is common knowledge. However, I guess I am one of those idealistic odd-balls who believes this job can motivate you beyond just monetary incentive.

I can see both perspectives, and I know most recruiters would say it’s a no-brainer, the vendors pay us, so we owe them. What I refused to accept was the unspoken implication that our candidates were these expendable “widgets.” These inhuman, resources we bartered for in exchange for a paycheck. Maybe this sounds all too Jerry Maguire for some, but I love that movie for exactly that reason. It showed us how even in the “bottom-line” “results-driven” industry of sales there is plenty of room for authenticity and human connection. You may counter, that’s just in the movies. Well, I think a major shift is happening in how we do sales and recruitment, as a result of the internet and social media. The old school way of “Show-me-the-money” may have to take a back seat to “Show me the trust.”  Oh, for more on this read Julien Smith’s Trust Agents.

I found myself connecting with my candidates on a personal level. Who they were beyond the bullet points on their resume, were people with their own stories. These stories included a single-mom juggling a career in finance. Others included a young college graduate, who was hundred of miles from home, filled with hope and ambition, trying to make it in the big-bad city. And yes there were others, who preferred to look at recruiters as just a means to an end. These were the super slick, corporate-sharks who had little concern about building a working relationship.Often they were working with ten other recruiters, and after the placement, I would never hear from them again.  That’s when my boss would point out “we’re just a voice on the other end of the phone. All that matters to them is how much money we can get them.” Of course I never conceded to that thinking, and I’m proud to say I was always a top performer in our office.

Yet, for the most part, even in a hyper-competitive, money-fixated industry like finance, the people I worked with were down-to-earth folks who needed someone they could trust to guide them through the job hunting-maze. This is how recruitment should be; although, I fear many of my peers would argue otherwise, but in the words of John Lennon “You may say I’m just a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

Should Employers Have the Right to Use Information on the Internet Against You?

In his book Trust Agents Chris Brogan writes “Human memory is slowly becoming obsolete.” In other words, in the Internet age there is no room for mistakes. Everything you do online becomes public domain, and you can never make it disappear. It is a place with zero tolerance for momentary lapses of discretion. It is human to make mistakes, but unfortunately the internet is not human. As job hunters in this day and age, you must keep this in mind. Employers check Facebook pages, twitters, group discussion forums, and blog entries.

In a New York Times article on July 20 entitled “Social Media Becomes New Job Hurdle”, it was reported that … 75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online.


 The good news is you are aware of it. From this point on, you must be careful about compromising comments or pictures you have posted on the internet! A good rule of thumb is, if it’s not appropriate to say or do in the office, don’t say it or do it on the internet. Be aware of the photos and comments being tagged by friends and family, and next time you see the camera out at a party, think if you want to be in that photo. All it takes is a push of the button and the whole world can see.

There are legal issues beginning to surface over companies using the internet for private information on potential employees. It’s uncertain when it will go into effect, and how well it will prevent companies from snooping into your past. So be careful. The internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Do you agree or disagree employers should be able to use what is on the internet about you?

IF You Can Do the Following, The World is Yours!

One of My all time favorite poems. inspiration for anyone out there. Enjoy the weekend!




If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

2 Must-Know Tactics to Save a Placement

Some companies are notorious for moving slow on offers. This is never pleasant for anyone involved. Yet, every recruiter has walked this tight-rope. On one side of the deal, the company is telling you “keep’em warm!” On the other side, you have a highly, sought- after-candidate who is interviewing with other companies—often being seduced by a fast moving competitor. The candidate is now doubting the company’s interest, mulling over the adage: a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

All these factors blend together to make a perfect storm. Fortunately, social media offers new ways to improve on old tricks. Here are two tips to help prevent the placement from slipping through your fingers.

  1. Keep Current on Your Candidate’s Status: In these situations, constant contact is key! You should give a call to your candidate once a day. In other words, be the pest! Give them a call to just shoot the breeze. This keeps you current on their day-to-day status. Social media gives you the added security of following thier status on LinkedIn. If you’re seeing updates showing they have connected with a local competitor, you better pick up the phone Jack! I’m not implying your candidate has not been forthright—although this happens in some unfortunate cases—but you have to always keep in mind, things move fast!  A day or two of not staying in contact  is all it takes for someone to swoop-in and steal them. Social media gives you added options for status updates!
  2. Leverage Your Network—Should your candidate tell you they are considering other offers–and your reassurance the offer is any day is not enough anymore–contact your hiring manager or HR rep!Explain to them, if they don’t want to lose the candidate, they need to give them a call and reassure them the wheels are in motion. If that doesn’t suffice, go on LinkedIn and look at what connections you have in common with your candidate. Find someone you both know who is working at the company–ideally someone you or a colleague placed. Ask them to give your candidate a call and explain to them they were in a similar situation when on-boarding.  To hear from a peer they went through the same scenario, and their decision to trust the company and you was the best career decision they made, is HUGE!

Recap: 1) Stay in constant contact with your candidate throughout the waiting process 2) Use your network to keep their focus on the job.

Have any other ideas, or just want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment. The opinions of recruiters and candidates can make this list great!


3 Parts to a Successful E-Mail.

E-mail marketers know the value of a well structured e-mail. A study showed people are willing to spend 1.54 seconds on deciding whether to read an e-mail or trash it. Recruiters and sales people send countless e-mails a day, so the pressure is on whether your e-mails stand out from the rest and result in a connection. Here are five tips to structure your e-mails like an online marketing pro.

1. Offer Value: The subject line is the first thing a viewer sees. Make sure it captures your content in a succinct way. It needs to offer value. People decide to offer their time to one of the hundreds of e-mails only if it provides them with something. Think about the headlines in the paper that connect with your interests and why. Avoid characters like $$ and !!!. Avoid phrases like “Free__” and using ALL CAPS. These are signals to your recipients spam detector to trash the message. It also looks too salesy, so even it if does make its way past the guard, it may be tossed.

2 Reel them In: You have a bite, but now you have to reel that trophy fish into the boat. After a recipient decides to open your e-mail, you now have only 5 seconds to convince them to keep reading. This means the first line of your message must convey the messages value. Again, be clear and to the point. Things like statistics, facts, and any kind of helpful information leads people to want to continue on. It gives your information credibility (ethos).

3. Touchdown! The end-zone of the e-mail gamut is the conversion. The conversion is what you hope the recipient does as a result of reading your e-mail (e.g. click on to a website; make a phone call; forward the message, etc.). If you do steps 1 & 2 well, your chances of a conversion are high. And that’s what’s it all about!

Recap: E-mails must be to the point, offer value, and prompt your recipient to act on whatever call-to-action you intend will result from sending it. Although, studies show Generation X and Yers consider e-mail passe, it’s still relevant in the day-to-day lives of recruiters and business people. Being aware of its power is vital for successful connections.

That’s all folks!