Tag Archives: blogs

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

“#Prayer” What G-d Looks for on Twitter and the Spirituality of Computing

IMG_0146When I go to conferences for lawyers or technology, I tend to be pretty visible.  I’m the guy with the big white knitted yarmulke, strings hanging from my belt (they’re called “tzitzis” and are a commandment from the Torah to wear to remind you of your obligations to G-d), and a smile.  That being said, I don’t do a lot of blogging on here about my religion or my views on G-d.  Not to say these aren’t important to me, they are the bedrock of my life, but this blog has always had posts about Apple computers or websites and the like.  Then it occurred to me: this digital thing we do is really VERY spiritual.

At it’s essence, all digital code is a series of 1’s or 0’s.  The infinite number of sequences manifest in various digital permutations such as images, applications, and functions that we know as computing (for any computer scientist out there that can correct my simplified understanding of how digital code works, please leave your comments below).  Jewish thought tells us that entire world is made up of varying degrees of G-d either revealing or concealing Himself.  Therefore, everything in existence is either a 1 (revelation) or 0 (concealment) of G-d.  At it’s core, computing mimics this axiom.  So it is fair to say that computing is a tool that allows us to better understand how G-d operates His universe (for any Torah scholars out there that can correct my simplified understanding of how G-d reveals and conceals Himself … you know the rest).

This is an idea I have been thinking about for sometime now, but it was only recently that I felt compelled to put it on this blog.  See I got to thinking: one of our most powerful messaging mediums today is Twitter.  Are people using Twitter to pray?

I put in a “#prayer” and was surprised to see that the answer to my question was, sort of.  There were definitely prayers on there, some pleas for good health, others for no more marital problems, some praying for money to get married with links to sites to donate money.  But there was a lot of other stuff on there too.  Church groups were using the #prayer sign to announce prayer groups or church functions.  Others used it to talk about Veteran’s Day (which is today by the way – Happy Veteran’s Day!) and sometimes, #prayer hashtag was just added to a post having nothing to do with prayer at all, leading me to ask does  adding the #prayer hashtag to your tweet count as a prayer in itself? There’s even an article about sending Tweets to the Kotel (Wailing Wall).  All of this lead me to the conclusion that people are using Twitter for spiritual activities just like they use it for anything else.

The whole thing reminds me of that scene in Bruce Almighty where he corals all the prayers he’s receiving into a giant email list and then just hits Reply All to answer them.  Are we expecting the same thing to happen with our Twitter prayers?  According to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, a person’s personal prayer to G-d, in their own language without any formality, is one of the most powerful ways to build faith and connect with the Almighty.  Perhaps Twitter then really is an answer to the need people feel for prayer, especially prayer they want to share with others.  I guess a private blog written to G-d on a daily basis would be more akin to what Rebbe Nachman was talking about.

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Filed under Commentary and Critiques, Technology