Archive for Meredith Eaton

On the Hunt with Social Media

Many people have been touting the great benefits of social media recently as a means to network, grow your business, or market your products/services (myself included); but the current economic crisis is highlighting where all this effort can really pay off – in the job hunt.  It’s important to note that most job leads come from good connections and social media… the old adage has never been more true, the best jobs are never advertised.  A recent article in ComputerWorld, Job Hunting? Use social networks to make crucial connections, by David Ramel, stresses the importance of using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to network and make new connections.

Social media tools can be highly beneficial, if you know where to look.  For instance, yesterday @BostonTweet tweeted asking if anyone was graduating and looking for a job in the Boston area on Twitter.  With such a large following, @BostonTweet was able to retweet replies and get more coverage than people would have normally gotten had they just tweeted to their own followers.

@bostontweet - job hunt

Social media sites are also a great way to market yourself to potential employers.  Creating a twitback for your Twitter account allows you to provide a brief bio and links to your website, company, or blog, along with more detailed contact info.  LinkedIn allows you to show off basically your entire resume while joining relevant groups for your area of interest – on these groups, you can then post job queries, etc. to help get your name out there.  Hint: responding to other queries also helps!  Facebook is also in this same vein, but also lets you search for company profiles (as does LinkedIn – though Facebook may give you more of a feel for the work environment – check out March on Facebook).

Though these all sound like great outlets to get moving with your job hunt, David Ramel also gives some advice on what not to do:


Social media, when used smartly, can be a great tool!


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Go-Go Gadget

As I prepare to embarke on my trip around the world (destination Paris, France) I can’t help thinking of all the gadgets I wish I had to accompany me.  I do have my iPod (loaded with every episode of The Office of course) to occupy me on the flight and my out-of-date Olympus digital camera to try to capture all the oh-so-precious moments… but I’m sure my trip would be 1000 times better if I had gadgets like an Amazon Kindle or a Nikon D5000.

Having spent nearly all my savings on this trip, however, these are not viable options for me at the moment.  I think my one tech purchase for the trip will have to be a practical one, an AC power adapter.

Power Adapter

After all, I have to keep the few gadgets I do have charged and ready to go! 🙂

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Social Media Success Summit 2009

The Social Media Success Summit 2009 is a live online event starting Tuesday May 26th focusing on how to use social media to attract new customers and grow your business during the current economic downturn.  Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can provide great exposure, site traffic, partnership opportunities, and new business leads.

Social Media Success Summit

Summit instructors will include social media superstar Gary Vaynerchuk, professional blogger Darren Rowse, Facebook business authority Mari Smith, LinkedIn authority Jason Alba, chief content officer for MarketingProfs Ann Handley, Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, Authority Blogger founder Chris Garrett, The Blog Squad co-founder Denise Wakeman, and Writing White Papers author Michael A. Stelzner – all of whom have made great strides with social media campaigns and networking.

With the growing importance of social media, a how-to session with experts such as these, might not be a bad idea – even if you think you already know all the techniques to leverage tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

LinkedInThe explosion of social media has been astounding – Facebook has grown so much that if it were a country, it’d be the eighth largest in the world!  Seems like social media is an important bandwagon to jump on, if you’re not already connected. And the current economic climate is just one more reason to get on board since social media is free and extremely effective for growing your business.

Though the Social Media Success Summit is a bit pricey ($297 until May 14th, $497 normally), the price of not understanding how to leverage social media tools and tactics is significantly higher.

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Datacenter Transformation Summit and Carrier Neutral Data Centers

The Datacenter Transformation Summit, sponsored by Tier 1 Research and The 451 Group, kicks off one week from today at the Hyatt Dulles in Hendon, Virginia.


One panel that looks particularly interesting is titled, “Leadership Perspective: Where the Cloud Lives – the Carrier Neutral Datacenter.”  Anthony Foy, Group Managing Director at Interxion, is speaking on how the carrier neutral datacenter is one of the four key enablers of cloud computing.  Anthony will explain Interxion’s role in building the Internet infrastructure over the past 10 years, and how Interxion assists customers in building scalable private and public cloud computing environments to meet their market demand and reduce total cost of ownership while enhancing scalability and availability.

The idea of carrier neutral data centers, in general, seems to be a smart business move for companies struggling to fund their internal data center projects since carrier neutral data centers already have the space, cooling requirements, power, and expertise in place – things that would be quite costly for a company to implement themselves – not to mention the IT staff that comes with it.

There are also security benefits of outsourcing to a carrier neutral data center – since they work with anything from 20 to 30 carriers, customers can be confident that if one network fails, their data will be instantly switched over to another without missing a beat.  Bob Scheier‘s Tech Trends blog post yesterday gave a nice description of these benefits, noting that carrier neutral data centers also enjoy economies of scale for everything from physical space to power and bandwidth – something that individual companies and coloacation vendors cannot.

Carrier neutral data centers seem like a promising industry trend and is definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on.

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PR Pick-Up Lines

Steve Slaunwhite‘s latest newsletter about scripts used to turn prospects into clients got me thinking about the various “pick-up lines” we PR professionals use to engage someone.  And no, I’m not talking about the usual pick-up lines like “if being beautiful was a crime, you’d be guilty as charged” or “you must be exhausted because you’ve been running through my mind all day.”  But whether they are prospective clients, journalists, or analysts, we all use some kind of introduction that we hope sparks their interest.

Over email, we usually try to make the subject line short and to the point without making the email look like a marketing message or spam, but on the phone, it’s a whole other story.  People can read emails at their leisure, but a phone call needs to be more direct since people seem to have gotten busier and busier over the years and you never know what you’re interrupting.

If you’ve sent them an email initially and are following up by phone, a short reminder of what your email was about should trigger their memory.  However, if it doesn’t, you can either offer to describe it in greater detail or ask if it’d be more useful for you to resend the email.

For a prospective client, Steve Slaunwhite‘s advice would be to ask them if they’re locked in with their current agency, or if they can explore other options – and since no one likes to be “locked in,” they’ll usually be more receptive to listening to what you have to offer.  A final question of something like “is this something you’re looking for?” generally tells you all you need to know if they’re interested in working with you or having you follow up with them a few months down the road.

But the best advice I’ve ever gotten is to K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid!  Describing your pitch or business proposal briefly, or better yet, asking if it’d be helpful if you described it to them in the first place, will hopefully spark their interest long enough for them to ask a question and keep the conversation going.  And while “pick-up lines” or scripts can be useful, a conversational tone usual holds people’s attention better and keeps you more relaxed… after all, getting them on the phone in the first place is the real battle, so why stress about the call!

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Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report

Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report came out today detailing the changing threat landscape, among other analyses of malware, software vulnerability, privacy, and the like.  For those who may not want to read the entire 184 page report cover to cover, Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDnet, gives a summary of the top five points to take away from the report.

One interesting aspect from the report was the following graph depicting the malware infection rates by region.  Gizmodo notes that Myanmar and Ethiopia run a pretty tight ship, as noted by their favorable green coloring.  And while the U.S. may not be as bad as Russia or Brazil, Larry Dignan notes that Malware is still dominant in the U.S. and accounts for 67% of all infected computers.

Another interesting fact from the report is that Microsoft’s cyber security team concluded that spam is up to 97% of all emails.  This is 3% higher than Google’s reportings from Postini in their Spam Data and Trends: Q1 2009 report, which I referenced in my post from March 31st.

With all of the increasing fears around malware and viruses, it’s no wonder that fake security software is gaining ground.  Microsoft reports that simply by double clicking the icon, the rogue software is launched.  It then claims to have detected a bunch of non-existant infections on your computer, which you then must protect by paying for their services.  And voila, the rogue anti-virus software has infiltrated your system just like that – something my coworker, Lillian, discovered all too well just weeks ago when something similar happened on her computer – better luck next time Lil’.

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April Fools

One of the best shows known for office pranks is definitely NBC’s The Office.  Jim is constantly pranking Dwight and has a great compilation of his best pranks in the article ‘The Office’: Jim’s Best Pranks! from December.  

However, if you don’t have the time to put someone’s stapler in jello or send them faxes from themself from the future, there are plenty of other pranks you can pull on your coworkers for April Fool’s Day!  

Perhaps you want to put a post-it-note over the lazer/trackball on someone’s computer mouse, put “please use other door” signs on all the exits, or, if it’s raining, put confetti in their closed umbrella.  But whatever your prank is this April Fools Day, don’t get caught and be sure to keep a straight face! 🙂

For more fun office pranks, go to April Fool Zone!

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