Blogging

The 2 Blogs You Would Choose

Theres a long running radio show in the UK called desert island disks. On the show, celebrities get interviewed and get to choose three tracks and three books, or similar to take with them. When you try to tie down music or books to a small choice, it’s really hard. Earlier this evening I asked a random question on Twitter and Facebook. If you could only read 2 blogs, which would they be, It’s a bit of a tough one to answer.
Like books or music, theres different blogs for different moods. Some writers make you laugh, others make you angry, some inform and educate you, and others make you feel like you are home. Choosing just two is a next to impossible task. When you are a prolific blog reader like me, it’s easy to draft a list of 30 that might make the list, but cutting it down to just two is close to impossible.

When I look at the blogs that would make the short list there are some common traits that offer a good insight in what makes for a popular blog. Consistency in style and authentic voice is the thing that really stands out. I’m a bit of a grazer of content, picking up headings that appeal in the social channels. Theres some links I will always click on because I know the content is going to be good, and what I expect. I’m rarely disappointed by what I find. Theres a group of 20 bloggers who I subscribe to because I never want to miss a post, and I read each and every one.

Despite the difficulty in making the choice, I have to apply the same rules to myself as I do to others, so here is my two:

The Boolean Black Belt – Glen Cathey

Mark Rice - Andsome Blog

Both blogs educate me. Glens blog is like a text-book on internet sourcing. I’m fascinated by the things I don’t know. His style is to simplify without patronising, and they are never less than 2000 words. No comedy, but a brilliant education.

Marks blog details the work and thoughts of his business Andsome People. The Andsome team are the best at social recruiting that I know. The campaigns are usually brilliantly simple, and his dry humour makes me smile.

I’d hate to have to choose just two, I’m grateful to everyone who shares their thoughts and learning in my daily read, My random question got the following answers, although it was hard for everyone: (All the links are to the blogs by the writer listed.)

> Trish McFarlane – Kris Dunn and Steve Boese

> Robin Schooling – Kris Dunn and Laurie Ruettimann

> Aaron Kato – Bill Boorman (twice) – I think tongue in cheek

> Jay Kuhns – I read Laurie Ruettimann daily, the rest is too hard

> William Tincup – I’d cheat and choose Fist Full Of Talent and either HRExaminer or TLNT because they are collectives with lots of blogs.

> Matthew Stollack – Steve Benen and Charles Pierce

> Buzz Rooney – Jay Kuhns, and I refuse to choose a second because it is too hard

> Jeremy Roberts – I couldn’t handle that much of any 2 blogger so I would stop reading blogs.

> Dwane Lay – Can I choose me twice? The real answer: Scott Adams and Mark Cuban.

It was a 10 minute straw poll, but perhaps the instant answer is the right one. Who would be your choice of two bloggers? Lets make a list, and add the links so that we can all enjoy them. Sharing is caring!

Bill

When The S**T hits the fan. A ConSol Partners Story

I was on my way back from #truMadrid when I got a message on Facebook from a fairly senior head of recruiting at a business you would all know. The message contained a link to a story published in The Kernel about recruitment business ConSol Partners under the heading

“Another Tech Recruiter Lying And Fabricating”under the category “Parasite.” The reason I was being asked about my thoughts on the story was that my friend spends quite a lot of money with ConSol, and was questioning if that was actually a good idea given the story.

The nature of the story was that a recruiter at ConSol had a candidate who had been interviewed by a start up and was waiting on an answer because they had another offer with a deadline, and another first interview with another of ConSols clients the following week. The allegation is that the recruiter knew the start up had decided not to pursue the candidate but lied about not having feedback because they wanted the candidate to let the deadline pass and go for the other interview. The post goes on to claim that ConSol went as far as to fabricate e-mails and storys as to how they had been unable to get hold of their client, and as a result, the candidate let the offer pass, missing out on the opportunity.

When the truth came out, the client was understandably unhappy to have been put in a bad light, and the candidate was understandably incensed, My friend had seen the story and wanted to know If I thought it was true and if they should be cutting ties with ConSol Partners, and they wont have been the only client to see it. The post featured a picture of Marc Cohen, Director of ConSol. Not great PR for anyone.

I’m not writing this post to pour more scorn on ConSol. On the face of it, the business has demonstrated the very worst of what the recruitment industry occasionally serves up, that does great damage to the greater majority of excellent recruiters. I say on the face of it, because I only know one side of the story. There could be more to it. ConSol may have a different take on things, I just couldn’t find it.

The Kernel post linked to the ConSol website and I;m sure they got plenty of traffic. I was looking for some kind of response, or even an acknowledgment, but nothing. I used Addictomatic to look at the wider social arena, and all I came up with The Kernel post and plenty of job tweets and posts. Google front page listed the website and The Kernel post again at 5. If I was searching for the company then there it is, not a great advert.

It could be that this is the action of a rogue recruiter, and the business is investigating or have already taken some action. I would have expected to find something somewhere. A comment on the post to at least acknowledge it could have taken some of the sting out of the tail. A strong network in the social channels would have brought some positive comments about the business from fans, but that takes time.

If I were in ConSol’s shoes, I’d be thinking quickly about how to manage the situation. My advice to any recruitment business is to monitor the social content with alerts so that they can respond to any negative comment before the story gets viral. For many people, silence speaks volumes. You don’t have to hold your hands up to everything you might be accused of, but you should acknowledge comments and be clear that you are not going in to hiding. You also need to have invested time in building your own networks. They will add their support when you need it if you have earnt it.It’s another great example of why recruitment businesses should be social and earning good will.

As a warning to other recruiters, The Kernel are on a bit of a mission. The post concludes with this comment:

“Recruitment companies, with the exception of headhunters at the higher levels, are often grubby, ugly places, staffed by low-grade, barely skilled operators. Few firms act ethically and responsibly.

For some reason, the people who run these parasitic organisations continue to imagine they can get one over on companies and candidates who are savvier and better-connected than they are.

The Kernel is currently compiling a feature-length report on the tricks and scams these unscrupulous companies try to pull on tech start-ups. In the meantime, this is one firm you’ll want to avoid. “

Bloggers have the power to publish, and sensational story’s go viral quickly. You can only influence the conversation if you are in it. There might be legal measures you can take down the line, but once a story is out, it’s out, and hangs around. Judging by the Kernel post, there is plenty more to come out. If ever recruitment firms needed a push to get social in order to understand how to communicate in the social channels, this should be it. Disgruntled candidates, clients and employees can wash their dirty laundry in public. It might be justified, it might not, but the one certainty is that these “exposes” will become more common. Time to wake up and smell the coffee! Be aware, be ready and transparent.

Bill

Bill

Lets Make Movies! A #HardRock Story!

It's all you need!

I was checking in on some of my usual fan pages.just looking at the content that makes a real community, rather than a notice board, when I came across this video short promoting a whole new low-budget movie that is in production. so low in fact,the budget was £0!

The movie is called “What would Ridley do?” . Inspired by a statement from Ridley Scott about just going out and shooting movies, Fergus Johnson has done just that.He has set up a fan page and a YouTube channel under the name of DigitalGuerillas. I love the whole concept of a no budget social adventure.
You don’t need big budgets, design agencies or anything else to produce something that is both good, and viral in message.

This is the trailer.

I’ve actually met Fergus. He won’t remember me but I remember him because he is a server at Hard Rock London and he served my table when I visited with my kids not so long ago. I remember Fergus because of the time he took with my children talking and showing them a few special bits of memorabilia, and as we say in social, what goes around, comes around.

On the subject of Hard Rock.I’mgoing to be running the blog squad for Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park on the 24′th -26′th June. I don’t mind admitting that I have got quite giddy about this one, with performances from a host of great acts from Bon Jovi,Rod Stewart, The Killers, Jamesand many more.There’s also going to be 40,000 people in the park celebrating over the 3 days.

My plan for the blog squad is simple. There’s going to be plenty of coverage for the artists, it’s the people and their experiences that really interest me.They are the ones with the real story. That means 300+ pictures, audio-boo or video, all tagged and posted on Facebook for each blogger. 300 stories. 300 emotions, all coming together in one place.

With each Facebook user averaging 135 fans, that’s a massive potential reach for photo’s, with every picture telling a story. you can do your own maths as to the brand coverage. I take my lead from the DigitalGuerillas, with a camera and imagination, anything is possible!

As an added extra, to mark 4 years of Hard Rock in London, the team will be giving away 40 free tickets to Hard Rock Calling, as well as plenty of other cool prizes. The prizes will be given away from various London locations, announced over the next 10 days on the twitter account @HardRock or via the Hard Rock Calling page on 4Square. Checkit out and follow the instructions, this really is going to be a ball!

With social,anything is possible if you use your imagination, your content can take you anywhere. Let your content tell your story!

Bill

PS: Here is Ridley’s movie that inspired the story

Don’t let the blog snobs stop you doing anything by making you wait for awesome or excellent! just do it!

LINKS:

DigitalGuerillas Fan Page (please like it!)

HardRock On Twitter

Hard Rock Calling On FourSquare

Hard Rock Calling

Embeding live tweets in your blog

Today I found a really simple WordPress function that enables you to embed a tweet in a blog post and keep it active.
This means you can highlight a particular post, promote an event, job or post, just about anything you either see or tweet about.
I see this as being really useful for posts relating to twitter conversations because any reader can retweet the message, favourite it, reply with a comment of your own or send a DM to the originator (if you are following them), direct from the post.
It’s called “Twitter Blackberry Pie!” Strange, I know, but it works well. All you need to do to feature a tweet is click on the date displayed at the bottom of the post.

This takes you to a twitter page that shows just the tweet.

Copy the URL for this page from the address bar and post it in you’re in your content in a line on its own.

Thats all you have to do. The tweet appears in a border with all the message functions live, thanks to a change in the twitter API allowing for remote access and embedded tweets.
The avatar is shown complete with picture, surrounded by a stand-alone border.

This is my test post to see Twitter Blackbird Pie in action. If you like it, reply to the message and see how it works.

Look forward to seeing tweets in your posts!

Bill

Content and images taken from the WordPress.Com support blog, my constant source of WordPress info!

PS: If it doesn’t work first time, go to: Settings – Media – Allow Auto-Embed in your WordPress dashboard. Simple!

What I’m Learning From #Blogchat

Most Sundays I join in with #blogchat. If you’re in my twitter stream, it goes out at 2.00a.m. and although it’s scheduled for an hour, can go on from anything up to 2 hours more. Despite the time, I feel as if I’ve been to blogging college, and hope it is reflected in my blogs.

Some Sundays there can be as many as 500 contributors, and quite a few who genuinely deserve the term experts. Even if you are not around, and even if you’re not a regular blogger, you should check out the #blogchat twitter stream or download the transcript from www.WTHashtag.Com. It is well worth a read.

Kudos to chat organiser and super blogger, @Mackcollier, who has a real willingness to share advice and answer the many @ messages.

The most recent lessons I want to share are:

1: Keep the blog clean and easy to read with an uncluttered side bar that makes it easy to connect.

2: Put an e-mail subscription widget at the top. This makes it simple for readers to subscribe. (mine are going up rapidly!)

3: Post either your latest posts or your most popular posts at the top of your sidebar. Attract readers to look around at past posts.

4: Use analytics to monitor page visits, bounce time (how long they stay), average posts looked at and subscribers. I use Alexa for this and have installed the toolbar that enables me to look at the stats on other blogs and benchmark. The stats do tell you a story.

5: Use extra-pages and drop downs to promote what you do. (You need a theme that allows this.) I have separated “About The recruiting Unblog” and “About @BillBoorman” and have increased the visits to these pages and enquiries for my services.

6: Sounds simple, but make posts easy to share with easy to find buttons. If your theme does not support the new WordPress share buttons, Add This is easy to install.

7: I’ve started registering my blog in the blog directories and it is driving relevent traffic. In a few, I’m the only recruiting/HR blog and this is driving new traffic.

8: I’m getting less random and more focussed in my posts. You would be the best people to give me feedback on if this is working.

9: Despite my early reservations, I’m trying to work to a posting schedule and get more consistent. Although I’ve not quite got the discipline in place yet, this will lead to posts being expected and build readership, and less reliant on driving traffic purely through social media.

10: Don’t need to say it, but unless the content is right, points 1 – 9 won’t make any difference what so ever. please let me know your views on my recent content, and just what you would like to see more of.

Keep being Ambassadors,

Bill

PS: I’ve moved all links to the end of the post. I suggest you do the same or you run the risk of readers dropping off half way through a post!

Links From This Post:

The #Blogchat Transcript

Mack Collier

Alexa Blog Rankings

WordPress Share Buttons

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