Monthly Archives: March 2010

Passover Contracts Online (selling “chametz” via the web)

During the 8 days of the Passover festival it is forbidden for a Jew to have any “chametz” (refers to bread, grains and leavened products that are not consumed during Passover) in their possession.  We throw lots of stuff away, clean like germaphobes with OCD, and seal any cabinets in the kitchen with masking tape that contain chametz products that we didn’t want to toss out.  Then we sign a contract with our rabbis to “sell our chametz” in a paper transaction that removes ownership of the products sealed in our houses until the holiday is over, at which time the chametz are transferred back to our possession.

Enter the Internet

My wife usually needs to remind and remind me again to sell the chametz.  I usually wait until a day or two before Passover before signing the 1 page simple contract with our rabbi and fulfilling the obligation.  Well not this year.  Here I am almost a week away and I fulfilled my obligation without ever leaving my home.

My friend Yoni forwarded a link to Kipa.com’s program to sell your chumetz online.  The site is in Hebrew, but thanks to Google Translate (or the built in translator on Google Chrome) I could read what it said.  Basically, you enter your email address and they send you a verification code.  You then enter the verification code, which brings up the web form equivalent of the rabbis contract asking for your name, home address, phone number, and places where chametz can be found.  The whole process took me 3-minutes and once finished I received a verification email that my chametz would be “sold” right before the holiday and revert back to me 1-hour after it.

This brilliant use of the Internet is just another reason I love all things online.  What are some of the novel things you have found the Internet to do that used to require physical actions?

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Filed under Technology

Connected Pulse Interview: Antone Johnson, Former GC of e-Harmony

We sat down with Antone Johnson, Principle of Bottom Line Law Group and former GC of e-Harmony and one of the original lawyers at MySpace. He spoke about technology, growing companies through international expansion, and even told us his favorite curse word in our new feature “Inside the Lawyer’s Studio.”

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Breaking Into Social Media as a Career: Show Me the Work

The second most frequently asked question when I tell people I work in “social media” is “how can you get a job doing that?”  (the first most asked question is “what is social media”).  Here is the response I gave to such a question in a Linkedin form for community managers today:

I’ve written about how I secured my job in social media/community management, and you can check out the post.
The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone looking to get into this business is start a blog or it’s equivalent where you talk about social media, technology, and community management.  Even without the experience of working in the field, talk about your involvement in communities, your passion for them, what you like or dislike about them, how you propose to make a difference etc.  This is more powerful than any resume you can draft.  There is a saying in law “res ipsa loquitur” which means “the thing speaks for itself” – when you have a body of content you can point to that showcases your social media skills, this is more powerful than any resume.

I think that last line bears repeating: “when you have a body of content you can point to that showcases your social media skills, this is more powerful than any resume.”  Too often we think the path to where we want to be professionally is a straight line.  It’s not.  That is a lie you learned in school, namely, “the formula.”  The formula says: come to class, study for the test, take the test, get a good grade, move on (rinse, lather, repeat).

Life doesn’t work like this.  My path to where I am today has be circuitous and unpredictable.  Two years ago I never predicted working in social media despite having participated in it for years.  The point is that I got to where I am by doing.  I had been blogging pretty steady since 2005, writing about stuff I loved (video games and law), and positioned myself for opportunities with examples of my work rather than a resume.

One quick story and then out: I am currently looking for a web designer/PHP developer to help launch a new site.  I have posts out on a variety of sites and am getting a ton of responses, but what amazes me is how many of those responses do not include links to samples of work.  I don’t care that you have a resume full of jobs, qualifications, and experience.  Show me the work.  Res ipsa loquitur: the thing speaks for itself.


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Filed under Commentary and Critiques, social media

How to Crush It Like Gary Vee: Passion in a Bottle

Check out one of my heroes, Gary Vaynerchuk.

Not only is he a crazy Jets fan (like me), Gary Vaynerchuk made $60 million dollars in sales last year from his video website http://winelibrarytv.com.  His show is all about wine tasting, but Gary makes the subject fun to watch even if you don’t care about wine.  He’s appeared on lots of TV shows, and even had Conan O’Brian eat cigars, dirt, and cherries to develop his pallet before trying a Shiraz.  What makes Gary successful in social media is his passion for what he’s doing.  He brings an energy that is generous to his audience and creates excitement.

Rule #1 – Do what you love

If you can’t talk about what you do with passion and energy you need to find something new to do.  Unless you want to spend the next 30-years of your life working at something hate, why do it?  The recent meltdown of the US economy showed us that no business is “safe.”  As Gary says, “business doesn’t have feelings.”  It won’t care about you losing your job or your industry disappearing (sorry horse and buggy makers).  So if you’re not doing what you love ask yourself, why?

But Mike, if everyone did what they loved who would do the stuff that needs to get done?  The people who felt compelled to do it because they saw the need they could fill.  Perhaps they’re passionate about sanitation or plumbing.  They like seeing how things work.  Look at the variety around you and choose what you love.

Rule #2 – Get started today

So to recap.  The three steps of crushing it like Gary Vee: (1) do what you love, (2) get started today, and (3) share, share, share.  What experience do others have in crushing it?  What are your favorite Gary Vee videos (please share a link)?How

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Filed under social media