Brilliant Content Sharing Tool: Visibli

I’ve been playing around with a new sharing tool that I think has real potential. Like most of these apps, there’s a free version and an enterprise version with added features. I think the free version is a great way to build following and fans by content sharing, and it is very easy to set up and integrate in to your social places. It came to my attention through a link I received in my stream. I opened the post, loved the look of the bar and signed up using my Facebook account. The total set up took no more than 5 minutes. It’s quick, easy, free and very useful.
The engage feature of Visibli comes with the freemium option and is built for sharing content. It’s a link shortener that enables you to add a header to all your shares that can be customised to add all of your social connections with buttons for simple following.
The toolbar I’ve set up is labeled with whatever name or handle you want to add, followed by icons that link to your personal Facebook and/or page, Twitter account, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Flikkr and WordPress blog, as well as adding your picture. It looks great, and encourages people viewing your links to connect with you. Its great but simple branding. You can also add any images with links for customised buttons for anything, Pinterest,Xing, YouTube, anywhere you want to connect.

Visibli operates as a link shortener and for simplicity, integrates in to Tweetdeck or Seismic. You do this by selecting link shortener in settings, select other then add your Visibli key, alternatively you can set the app to replace a bit.ly shortener by accessing your bit.ly account and accessing your bit.ly username and API and adding these to your Visibli account. Any content shared from your usual applications will share them under your customised Visibli bar. It’s brilliantly simple.

If your blog is self-hosted on WordPress you can integrate Visibli in to your shares easily, so that any time anyone shares a post in the usual way, they share your bar. Other customisable features in the freemium version include adding a like button, which means you can get your shares liked and shared including your toolbar, a download button for music or podcasts, mailing list/newsletter sign up, iTunes, free text to link to any web place, Amazon links for publishers (great if you have a book to sell) and Topspin for download documents, pretty much all you need to share all your links every time you share any content, and re-sharing will only push your links further.

I’ve spoken in the past about the benefit of running RSS feeds from other blogs that contain good content in the area you recruit, which helps to attract a targeted following, although this can prove a bit fiddley. Visibli has a very simple way of doing this. You can add an RSS feed for any website or blog direct to any Twitter account. You might choose to do this through your main account or an account set up specifically for this.You don’t need to do anything else, every time a post gets published it is automatically syndicated in to your feed.

Linking a # (hashtag) through Visibli also enables Facebook updates to either your timeline or fanpage on Facebook. The beauty of this is that you can share the content you choose via Twitter, and it gets shared with your personal bar and all your links. For simplicity of sharing any content outside of these channels, add the Visibli bookmark to your toolbars, then its simple drag and drop any time you want to share anything. There’s no reason to ever share anything without the link being shortened through Visibli, or your personal bar.

The last feature that I really like is the analytics, because Visibli shortens and shares the links, everything is trackable, giving you weekly reports and easy to read graphs on real-time clicks for the last 14 days, retweets, clicks on the engagement bar and the URL. You can interrogate each link by referrers (sharers), locations, browsers (including mobile) and engagement bar clicks. This means that you can see what content is working, what attracts followers, friends etc, who your sharers are and plenty more. I think this is brilliant for understanding your content and postings, so that you can develop a real content strategy based on data. Theres even a feature for analyzing any twitter or facebook account by tweets, retweets, engagement per post and engagement per capita (10,000), with the option to compare up to 3 accounts. Good to see how you compare with your competitors. The Visibli social engagement reports give you tailored feedback on who, where and how to target any brands audience, the influencers in your target audience, the best performing keywords and websites and the people who talk about the things that will appeal to your audience. The first reports free on application, so it’s worth getting it to understand your audience.

All the features listed in this post are in the freemium version, and should be where you start. The paid for accounts start at $19 a month for an individual account which gives you the additional features of unlimited time analytics, top categories, timing (so you can see the best times to share) and the top formats. The Business account at $49 a month gives you 3 accounts, Enterprise at $99 a month gives you 9 accounts and the Agency account at $299 a month gives you 30. Not badly priced for the analytics it brings.

For the benefit of Marc Drees, and anyone else wondering, I have no relationship with Visibli, I just think that this app is one of the best I’ve seen for some time. It’s easy to install and use, will promote your brand with every click and share, and most importantly gives you the analytics to understand what is happening with your accounts. You should check it out,

Bill

Get Visibli Social Analytics Free

Getting Hacked.A #tru internet cops and robbers story.

An important bit of news. I’m not in Manilla. I haven’t been robbed. You don’t need to send me any money, all is well. I make this announcement because yesterday I had a bit of a surreal experience and got my accounts hacked. All of my e-mail contacts got sent the following message within 2 minutes of the villain gaining access to my e-mail account.

“Just hoping this email reaches you well, I’m sorry for this emergency and for not informing you about my urgent trip to Manila,Philippines but I just have to let you know my present predicament. Everything was fine until I was attacked on my way back to the hotel, I wasn’t hurt but I lost my money, bank cards, mobile phone and my bag in the course of this attack. I immediately contacted my bank in order to block my cards and also made a report at the nearest police station. I’ve been to the embassy and they are helping me with my documentation so i can fly out but I’m urgently in need of some money to pay for my hotel bills and my flight ticket home, will definitely REFUND as soon as back home .”

I made a few school boy errors that made hacking my accounts quite easy, but I wanted to share them with you to prevent the same thing happening to you. I was on Facebook at 2.00pm yesterday when a message popped up to say that I was logged out, and an e-mail on my yahoo account to say that I had requested a password change to my Facebook account. Before I could click the “not me” button the message disappeared and I was unable to log back in to Facebook because my password had changed. I went back to my e-mail and saw all the messages and contacts disappear.
I phoned my internet provider BT who responded quickly by taking control of my screen through remote log-in. Getting access in to my account they were able to identify that my default e-mail had been changed to billboorman@yahoo.com, and that all of my contacts, and anyone who had e-mailed me had been sent the e-mail, and anyone replying offering to help or questioning the message by e-mail had their reply going direct to the impostor. The message carried some credibility because it was sent from my account and in my e-mail template that others were familiar with. Because I was able to act immediately, this was blocked, the fake Yahoo default closed and they were able to pick up the IP address and location of the offending account. This detail was then forwarded to the police who responded whilst the “data robbery” was in progress, because the location was in London. I’m hoping they can make an arrest in this case, it’s just fortunate that I was live at the time.I await further news.
Whilst this was going on,I was getting a whole stream of tweets either telling me that my e-mail had been hacked or inquiring after my welfare.

I also got a host of calls to authenticate the story and offer help if it was genuine. As I travel quite a lot to different places and I was robbed in Miami, when Facebook friends did come to my rescue, I guess the story was possible. Thanks in particular to Andy Hyatt who was the first to call, and posted on my timeline to warn people who I was not robbed and not in Manilla. In fact I was at home in Earls Barton.
In true social media fashion, once the drama was over the banter followed, including one message from Ryan Leary who posted on Facebook that he had just sent me $20k to rescue me and when was he going to get it back!
I have to say that BT were excellent in responding so quickly and getting me back on track. They are now in the process of restoring all my contacts and e-mails back. As far as I can tell, no one was duped in to sending money, and the police have something to go on. The scum bag gained access by registering an account via Yahoo live messenger, fortunately they did not have time to get beyond Facebook and my Twitter log in uses a different password.
My lesson is to tighten up my security. I had a simple to work out password because it was my children’s names and if you look at any of my social places you can find them and figure it out. Hackers go through your profiles and try things like names, company names etc to guess passwords, and most of us use something familiar as a password to make it easy to remember, and if it’s easy to remember, it’s easy to guess. Better to have different passwords, and something random that includes numbers, and is not referenced anywhere else. Might be hard to remember, but hard to remember is hard to crack. Dates of birth are also vulnerable because they can be found on Facebook. Use something that is not listed anywhere else.
If you are the low life who tried to rob my friends and you’re reading this, I hope you get caught soon, you are leaving a trail, and I’d be glad to give evidence against you. Thanks everyone else for your messages and concern, it reminds me that although we may only be connected on-line, it’s a real community. Button down the hatches, get your security in good order and if you do get a message asking for help, check in another channel before reacting. Apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced by my little adventure. In the words of Vinnie Jones at the end of Lock,Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels, “It’s been emotional.”
I learned about cyber security training courses and plan to attend as I believe there is more I should know about cyber security and its possibilities to protect my personal data.
Bill

If you are the one who hacked my accounts, this one is for you:

What would you pay for on LinkedIn?

If LinkedIn were to change their approach to monetizing the channel and switch to charging users for profiles, with additional costs for all of the add-on features and applications, would you be prepared to invest in your profile, or would you drop it from your on-line presence? I should state at the start of this post, that I have no reason to believe LinkedIn will ever charge for profiles, the opposite is the channels position, EMEA M.D. Ariel Eckstein  (@Eckie67 on Twitter.), spoke with me recently about how the regular users were the most important people to the channel, and are at the centre of every product decision made. It is after all the regular user profiles that provide the value to the paying customers, so every development has to be measured by how it will impact on user experience.

I ask the question because it is a question you should ask yourself for every free channel, application, feature or tool you use throughout social media, “If I had to pay for this would I?”. If the answer to the question is no, then you really shouldn’t be using it. If you wouldn’t pay for it, then you’re not getting any value, and if you’re not getting any value then you shouldn’t be using it.

I asked myself the same questions, and these are the top 3 features I would pay for:

> My LinkedIn Profile

No doubt about it, my profile is my second most valuable piece of internet real estate, second only to my blog. I didn’t always think this way, but the user profile on LinkedIn has become the professional reference point and sign in. It doesn’t matter what channel or location you are sourcing or networking in, whenever I come across anyone the first place I look for professional detail is on LinkedIn. The channel has become the reference source, and I know that without a profile my professional data would be lost.

Because your profile has become THE reference point, it needs to be detailed and up to date. I’m less concerned with keywords, and more with how my profile reads. While most of what you read is about keywords, Google are moving away from this in the latest algorithm, and are moving more towards local search and how content reads. Overdo the keywords and  you drop down the rankings. If it’s Google ranking you are looking for, so that your profile comes up in searches outside of LinkedIn, there’s 3 areas you need to consider:

> Get rid of the keyword repetition and move to synonyms. Try and avoid using the same words more than twice. Google now looks for similar words that mean the same thing, and ranks this above repeated words. Time to go and check out the synonyms and start rewriting.

> Google are going to be placing more importance on direct answers to questions, on blog sites this is going to mean adding a frequently asked questions page. (Look out for mine going up this week.) In LinkedIn terms I think this might just place importance back on the question/answer section. I will be looking to increase the number of questions I’m answering again by setting up R.S.S. feeds in the questions section of my topic area and answering 2 questions a day. Although there are networking benefits to doing this, the biggest value will come from linking your answers back to your profile. Not sure if this will work out this way yet, but will keep you posted.

> Content is king again, as in all of your web places. That means replacing all those keyword bullet points and putting descriptive detail in all of the sections available like summary and experience, and moving applications like your blog plug in and slideshare presentation to the bottom of your profile page.

Making these changes will prepare your profile for when Google changes the way the Googlebot crawls content and ranks it, and that your profile retains its value. For LinkedIn search, the key features will still be led by:

1) Location

2) Skills. Completing your skills section in detail is now key for your profile, and there’s plenty of profiles that haven’t done this yet. Make sure you are not one of them.

3) Job Titles. Make your job title what is being searched for, rather than something creative.

Keeping these 3 sections up to date and detailed will increase the number of times you come up in LinkedIn’s internal search or recommendation engine.

> Groups

The second feature I would pay for is groups. I don’t believe the groups work in the way they were intended. Most are not particularly engaging, with the average comments and posts  in the 100 groups I surveyed standing at a very low 4. Despite this, there’s a real benefit to belonging to the full 50 groups you are allowed to join.

> You can message anyone in the group regardless of your level of connection.

> You will come up frequently in “the people you might know” recommendation to other members of the group, which is seen as a common denominator.

> My research shows that the most accepted connection invites are when you send a STANDARD invite, not personalised, and you share a group. In my experiment this resulted in 24 out of 25 acceptances. (Interestingly, the lowest acceptance was when I tried to justify why we should connect, contrary to urban social myth.) If you want to build your network, then belonging to all of the groups you can, including the larger ones will get you the best results.

> Updates

The last feature on my “pay for” list is updates and shares. LinkedIn remains my highest referral source, but your updates need some thought to grab attention. If you have a blog application on your profile, that helps with Google juice. The blog app will automatically add your blog to your profile update, though I update manually as well. Manually updating your profile allows you to add the image from the post.  Share your updates in all the groups you belong to using the share button just below updates. When you are posting in the group remember to add a discussion point related to the post asking a question to justify your posts inclusion, and remember to answer any replies or discussions by monitoring the e-mails coming in.

There’s plenty of other features I would pay for because they offer me the best value. Over the next 12 months I see the LinkedIn profile becoming the default sign in on many web places and social sites where professional information is required.     Given that your profile will become your professional reference point, extra attention is needed as to what it says.

LinkedIn are moving in to a unique position in the social media mix, both for sourcing and reference, I would pay for it, would you?

Bill

Why I’m quitting Twitter, and where I’m going.

Over the last few months I have found myself spending an increasing amount of time in a new channel that combines many of the aspects of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Having tested third life, which is an extension of role-playing channel second life, I’m convinced that this personalised experience is the way forward for recruiting.
The technology is pretty amazing. You use your webcam to upload your avatar, and your avatar delivers messages via a hologram image. The really funky bit is when you view the image on an i-phone, i-pad or similar device, which delivers the message using augmented reality to put the messenger right in front of you in 3-D. Sounds like Dr.Who or Startreck, but think about the applications.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a Beta version for the last 4 months, and to take part in tests and trials. Last week I conducted an augmented reality interview, in which I was able position my hologram with another one and conduct a virtual interview, By using pressure pads similar to those built for X-Box Kinect, I was able to have a virtual handshake, and could maintain eye contact. It was as good as the real thing. You can conduct tests, even use a polygraph feature to determine if the answers you are getting to your questions are correct. It might even be worth using the tech for in person interviews using this feature alone.It has to be a winner.

I’ve also been playing around with the virtual meet up function, with #tru in mind. I’m hoping that we will be able to use third life to host the first augmented reality unconference. You will be able to see, talk and “sit” with the other participants, argue and contribute through your hologram and enjoy the whole unconference experience in person without leaving your home. It’s going to be wild!

I’ve enjoyed third life so much that the other one-dimensional channels have got a bit dull for me now. I’m also convinced that the real life in person interaction will become THE social network in a very short space of time, and as we have seen with Twitter, Facebook and Google+, it’s the early adopters who end up dominating the channel as new users come on board. As of 11.59 today I will be disabling my Twitter account. It’s been a lot of fun sending 51,000 tweets, but it is time for something new to take over, and third life will be the next big thing. You can all join me by clicking on the third life link below. Farewell Twitter, it’s been fun!

Bill

LINKS

Get a look at Third Life

Why I'm quitting Twitter, and where I'm going.

Over the last few months I have found myself spending an increasing amount of time in a new channel that combines many of the aspects of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Having tested third life, which is an extension of role-playing channel second life, I’m convinced that this personalised experience is the way forward for recruiting.
The technology is pretty amazing. You use your webcam to upload your avatar, and your avatar delivers messages via a hologram image. The really funky bit is when you view the image on an i-phone, i-pad or similar device, which delivers the message using augmented reality to put the messenger right in front of you in 3-D. Sounds like Dr.Who or Startreck, but think about the applications.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a Beta version for the last 4 months, and to take part in tests and trials. Last week I conducted an augmented reality interview, in which I was able position my hologram with another one and conduct a virtual interview, By using pressure pads similar to those built for X-Box Kinect, I was able to have a virtual handshake, and could maintain eye contact. It was as good as the real thing. You can conduct tests, even use a polygraph feature to determine if the answers you are getting to your questions are correct. It might even be worth using the tech for in person interviews using this feature alone.It has to be a winner.

I’ve also been playing around with the virtual meet up function, with #tru in mind. I’m hoping that we will be able to use third life to host the first augmented reality unconference. You will be able to see, talk and “sit” with the other participants, argue and contribute through your hologram and enjoy the whole unconference experience in person without leaving your home. It’s going to be wild!

I’ve enjoyed third life so much that the other one-dimensional channels have got a bit dull for me now. I’m also convinced that the real life in person interaction will become THE social network in a very short space of time, and as we have seen with Twitter, Facebook and Google+, it’s the early adopters who end up dominating the channel as new users come on board. As of 11.59 today I will be disabling my Twitter account. It’s been a lot of fun sending 51,000 tweets, but it is time for something new to take over, and third life will be the next big thing. You can all join me by clicking on the third life link below. Farewell Twitter, it’s been fun!

Bill

LINKS

Get a look at Third Life

The Social Relationship Matrix #truStockholm

I’m just back from a great #truStockholm, where I was really impressed with the progress made over the last 12 months by the recruiters involved. At the last #truStockholm, we spent a lot of time talking concept and why adopting social recruiting might be a good idea. This time around, the talk was all around what people were doing, and there’s some great work going on in the region.2/3′ds of the tracks were in Swedish, and that’s great. It shows me that it was very much the locals taking the lead, and like #truParis, that’s how it should be. Whilst I didn’t understand it, the emotion and energy in the conversation didn’t need translating. Thanks to Monster Sverige and Social Honesty for making happen. We are already plotting the next event for September which will involve two countries and a boat in between. Keep your eyes posted!

During the event I ran a track on social relations, and talked about the social matrix I apply. It’s not really rocket science, but it works well for me. Where I’m connected with someone socially gives a good indicator of the strength of our relationship. In simple terms:

Twitter. Where most of my relationships start. Twitter is the intro channel. Follow or following needs no acceptance or invitation. It’s the place where we first say “Hi.” This is where we get acquainted.

LinkedIn. Having exchanged a few tweets and come up on the radar, the LinkedIn invites follow. Were connected. Whilst most of the engagement is on twitter, there’s more of an awareness of the professional profile with some mutual sharing. It’s also the time for adding to Google+ circles, and more mutual sharing. Increasingly, it’s also the time for getting followed on Pinterest.

Facebook. Starting out as a fan, and connecting via the fan page. This might be via the blog or another social place. The Facebook relationship starts as a fan, on a more professional basis with a few likes and shares. The last stage is becoming a friend, and it is the word friend that holds the real significance. This is now a strong relationship, and engagement moves from Twitter to Facebook through comments, likes and shares. Personal contact moves from DM to instant chat on Facebook messaging.

This is not an exact science, but I’ve found it to be quite accurate. The relationship also works backwards. If we become more distant due to a lack of engagement or reason to talk, the channels in which we engage revert backwards to predominantly twitter.

This model provoked quite a lot of conversation about how it can be applied. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts,

Bill

 

#SocialRecruiting: The starting points (video)

This is the interview that I took part in at #TNLive talking social recruiting integration with @employersondice, talking a little about the BBC, Hard Rock and Oracle, and where to start in integrating social recruiting.

Thanks to Dice.com for a great #TNLive experience, and for bringing social to events.

Bill

The simple things that count with @employersondice #DiceConnect and Salesforce #SXSW

A couple of weeks ago I was at the circus that is #SXSW, the annual geek fest in Austin, Texas. Pretty much everyone from the smallest and newest internet start-up, through to the giants like Twitter were there and throwing a party. Pretty much everyone was hiring in one form or another, and there were plenty of bright young things straight out of university looking for their first big break, with a hot off the press C.V. looking for someone, anyone to read it. There were also old hands looking to join the next big thing, eager to talk and connect.
And here’s the problem, familiar to anyone who has ever attended any type of networking event, how do you know which is which. Age is certainly no indicator. In amongst all the geekery I was immersed in for the 4 days of my stay, 2 things really stood out that were simple and practical.
Firstly there was Dice.Com, the technical job board, who were everywhere at #SXSW. They sponsored the Mashable house party, and had an interactive wall mural you could tweet to and add your avatar, designed by the girl who designed the fail whale for twitter, backed Craig Fishers excellent #TNLive event, and were generally omnipresent. It wasn’t however any of this that really impressed me, it was an idea so simple that anyone could make it work, and it was free of the internet.
Dice held a career event, and they distributed rubber wrist bands similar to the ones you might get in a swimming pool, coloured red or black with #DiceConnect pressed in to the design. Employers and those hiring were given black wrist bands to indicate they were hiring, and job seekers wore red bands. I tried both colours for a while, and when I wore the black one I had a constant stream of people asking me what I was looking for, and when I wore the red one, it happened in reverse.
Anyone who knows me will know that I wear a lot of t-shirts, and most of them are branded by technology companies or other ve3ndors in the people space. One day I put on T-Shirt given to me by Salesforce. It says Dreamforce: #Dreamjob on the front, and Salesforce.Com, were hiring. Within 15 minutes of walking out of the house in Austin I was approached by 3 people who all asked what Salesforce were hiring for, and it went on and on all day. Services like this are very powerful. In fact it only stopped when Broadbean gave me a nice green “Broadbean: We keep you posted”, T-Shirt to cover it up, and this got me thinking….. 
There’s plenty of job seeking talent out there looking to connect with people who are hiring. There are plenty of companies out there looking for the self-same talent. The problem is that sometimes it’s just hard for them to find each other. Recruiters, scared of being inundated by conversations have built a wall to hide behind, and have made themselves inaccessible to all but the very few who manage to get themselves in to the recruiting process via the ATS. Jobseekers have been so busy connecting on line, poking people; following them and making friends that they have forgotten the art of simply asking people what they do, in order to identify those who could help them.
Wearing a small piece of coloured rubber or a T-Shirt changed all that. On the ground, very low cost signposts to the fact that I might have a job. How many opportunities do recruiters miss at networking events because they don’t make it really obvious that they are hiring, and would be candidates are only a few feet away but afraid to ask? If you’re going to an event or careers fair, ditch the suit and get your T-shirt made. Have simple hiring cards that you can give to anyone telling them to connect with you. Your audience is there, don’t get lost amongst them. It is strange to say that this was my biggest lesson from #SXSW, but it was. T-Shirts and rubber bands make hires; you don’t always need the latest gadget to do it for you! Think simple to be effective. Think physical to be social.
Bill

#Hatemyboss #Hatemyjob Warning: Contains real tweets

In researching this post I conducted a simple search in my twitter timeline, for people posting using the hashtag #hatemyjob and #hatemyboss.The following are real tweets from this search. I’ve not embedded the tweets to protect the stupid from themselves, but I promise you these are real. Try the search out for yourself!

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING TWEETS CONTAIN OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE, NOT FOR THE EASILY SHOCKED:

#hatemyjob

Hungover drums just sound awful. #hatemyjob

I don’t see why people aren’t interested in a boring cold call from me to do a shit survey about a load of crap #answerthephone #hatemyjob

Hate going to work when the suns out especially 10-6 #hatemyjob” girlllllllll do not get me started Haha

Off to the hell hole I go … #hatemyjob

Can’t be arsed today! #HateMyJob

Today wasn’t nice. We should just skip from Sunday to Tuesday. Or just straight to Saturday!! #hatemyjob

OHKAY COOL, don’t schedule me at all.to work. That’s perfectly fine, knowing that I NEED MONEY. #hatemyjob

Welp back to work tomorrow #hatemyjob

In our work. The faves do what the want when they want. And the rest of us suffer for it #hatemyjob#idontwanttotakeyourorder

I just love going to work and crying everyday! #hatemyjob

woohoo! finally I finished 5 stupid design with very weak computer to the company where I work :s… I’m very comfortable now but #HateMyJob

#Hatemyboss

back to work tomorrow after a week off.. #hatemyboss #FML

so bitter about being at work two hours early on a saturday. #hatemyboss

I seriously hate most of my bosses but 1 #HateMyBoss #WorkProbs

I feel like i’m back to the age of the anxiety #fuckthisshit #hatemyboss

For real? This day is just going down hill now…. #hatemyboss

I cant fucking do my homework when I have down time? are you fucking kidding me. hate to break it to you but school comes first. #hatemyboss

Deff gonna be late to work but then again who cares, #hatemyboss treats me like crap anyways

This is an absolute Piss take! Fuck you Managing director! #cunt #hatemyboss

Hottest day of the year so far + being stuck with my boss for 5 hours = complete and utter torture!!!! #FML #hatemyboss

Work til 3 and I can’t wait for it to be over #hatemyboss

Need to find a new job ASAP!#hatemyboss

I feel like i’m back to the age of the anxiety#fuckthisshit #hatemyboss

Theres always a lot of talk about people getting fired for being critical of their employer, boss or colleagues in the social media channels. In the most part, these storys usually come down to the argument about privacy, monitoring and just what people get fired for. Mostly I find that it is a case of the comments being a symptom of the general breakdown of relationship between employer and employee, and all the tweets or updates really did was give the bullets that enable the company to load the gun and fire. Theres also an argument that these are stupid people who deserve to be fired, after all, most contracts of employment prohibit speaking in a manner that might bring damage to the company.

Another way of looking at it is that these posts indicate  just what these employees think of their bosses and jobs. I don’t think it is just a case of sacking the misguided people behind the tweets and the problem goes away.

There is always going to be the odd rogue employee that needs to have a conversation, but if it is a number of employees tweeting the same things, there’s a work place problem that needs addressing, and the solution won’t be heavy-handed policy or action. Twitter is the messenger for employee sentiment, don’t shoot the messenger, fix the problem. I don’t have the data, but I’m fairly sure that the tweets listed below were mostly made from mobile. No amount of bans on tweeting from work is going to block that, better to work with employees on creating awareness about public platforms.  Education is always a better solution to legislation, and far better for employer reputation, which ultimately results in employer branding.

Employees are being increasingly asked to take part in talent attraction, by sharing jobs and other content in their social networks. The practice of social referral is dependent on this, but what is the likelihood of any of this being effective if your people mix these referrals and posts in with negative comments about their boss or job?

The route to getting a great employer brand is quite simple. BE A GREAT COMPANY! Monitoring employee content is the barometer to employer brand, but you need to consider how you are going to react. If your employees feel so bad about you that they tweet their feelings so openly, your problem isn’t that they are on Facebook or Twitter, and firing them all won’t make the problem go away.

Bill

Sunday Shout Out: @FelixWetzel: Spiral Thinker

It’s always good to spend time with people who see life through a different lens to you. It’s the way we can broaden our minds and sometimes change our outlook or way that we view a problem. I spent Friday this week with Felix and some of the team from Evenbase, Jobsite and Broadbean in particular. He has a hunger for knowledge, looking at the reasoning behind those who might hold alternative views to his own. A conversation with Felix is always a pleasure, and often a bit of an education. His blog “People,Brands and Random Thoughts”, launched after #TruLondon2, is one of those blogs that often makes you sit up and listen, taking a broader view to the issues of the day and challenging established thinking and chatter.

Wetzel holds the title of Strategy Development Director, the DMGT backed global digital recruitment group.launched at the start of this year, that brings together the brains behind some of the largest and most innovative brands in  the field. Evenbase are working collectively towards the aim of  to revolutionising the matching of talent with opportunity and making the recruitment process better for everyone involved. It’s a big aim, but when you know the people behind it, of which Wetzel plays a key part, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

The title “Chief thinking officer and protagonist” might be a better title. At the end of the bio on Wetzels blog reads:

“I am the Strategy Development Director of Evenbase, so I just want to clarify, that the views expressed in this blog are my personal views, nothing more and nothing less. Sometimes you will find similar opinions within Evenbase, sometimes you will find differing opinions. But that is the beauty of life, that we have different perspectives, different opinions and different outlooks.

Fortune favours the bold.”

Prior to the launch of Evenbase, Wetzel was the Group Marketing Director for the Evenbase business Jobsite, founded by Keith Potts and family in Portsmouth, UK, joining the business in 1999.  I first came across Felix on Twitter, and he has become a regular collaborator at #tru ever since. During his time in this role he  was responsible for launching one of the UK’s largest recruitment advertising campaigns in 2008, which took Jobsite in to TV advertising for the first time, the sponsorship of Portsmouth Football Club, the integration of new media platforms, smart phone apps and the B2B communication strategy of the business with a particular emphasis on social media. These initiatives included Jobsites partnership with #tru, which was really the public vote of confidence we needed in the early days. Jobsite launched social features like JobsByTwitter, reviewed by the participants at #trulondon2, and other social initiatives aimed at improving the user experience, piloting i-spy technology to understand more about the visitors to the site. Wetzels belief is that the consumer should be at the heart of everything, and in the case of Jobsite he views the job seeker as the central consumer, using this data to influence strategy.

I admire Wetzels attitude to data, especially with regards being open and transparent. Jobsite have always made traffic numbers and other non-confidential information available to anyone who wants it. I once asked Felix about this, and his answer reveals a lot about his personality. His view is that people will find data anyway, and you get a better insight when you open it up to discussion with anyone interested, competitor or not. Of course they fiercely guard privacy and confidentiality, but other data should be public, and any research or thinking that improves employability, and our understanding of the job market is better for everyone.  In 2011 Jobsite were named as the job board of the decade at the National On-Line Recruitment Awards. I’m sure that their attitude to community and sharing played a big part in it.

Prior to joining Jobsite some 12 years ago, Wetzel was employed as marketing consultant at the European marketplace for car sales AutoScout24 in his native Germany, an Editor “Be” for corporate communications business Schmitz WG (2 years). He started his career with Trendbuero as a Marketing Consultant, joining in 1996 and staying for 2 years. Trendbuero are concerned with the observation of trends, and the interpretation of social change, looking at how they will impact on their clients in the media and consumer sector. Looking at what this business does and their purpose, its easy to see how this has shaped the younger Wetzels thinking. This extract from the Trendbuero website explains how they work:

We see ourselves as an inspiring, informative and strategic partner for marketing, communications, product development and management. Our customers are brand manufacturers, service providers and media companies, which we the social changesshow for their segment, building on their chances in the network economy point. We offer insights into the mood of consumers and develop innovations for consumer ,culture , society , and marketing. Our analysis leads to predominantly qualitative studiesworkshops and lectures .”

Before the explosion of social media, where talk of networking and community dominates, Wetzel was building the foundations of his thinking in what has become key concepts to understand. While his theories on what the future of work might be like may seem too big a change to imagine at times, the speed at which his view is getting closer to reality makes it well worthy of consideration. He tends to look at things on a broader scale than most of us, on topics like nation branding, and employees as citizens, and provokes the discussion that shape thinking. He has certainly influenced my learning and choice of reading.

Wetzel gained an MSc in Marketing from The University Of Glamorgan in 2006, and a postgraduate in marketing from the Chartered Institute of marketing in 2002. He is also a qualified practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). The title of this post: “Spiral Thinker”, gives reference to Wetzels strong belief in the principles of spiral dynamics, which he often speaks and writes about. According to Wikipedia, this is spiral dynamics:

“Spiral Dynamics argues that human nature is not fixed: humans are able, when forced by life conditions, to adapt to their environment by constructing new, more complex, conceptual models of the world that allow them to handle the new problems.[1] Each new model transcends and includes all previous models. According to Beck and Cowan, these conceptual models are organized around so-called vMemes: systems of core values or collective intelligences, applicable to both individuals and entire cultures.

In spiral dynamics, the term vMeme refers to a core value system, acting as an organizing principle, which expresses itself through memes (self-propagating ideas, habits, or cultural practices). The prepended and superscripted letter v indicates these are not basic memes but value systems which include them. The colors act as reminders for the Life Conditions and Mind Capacities of each system and alternate between cool and warm colors as a part of the model.[2]

Within the model, individuals and cultures do not fall clearly in any single category (color). Each person/culture embodies a mixture of the value patterns, with varying degrees of intensity in each. Spiral Dynamics claims not to be a linear or hierarchical model, although this assertion has been contested. According to Spiral Dynamics, there are infinite stages of progress and regression over time dependent upon the life circumstances of the person/culture, which are constantly in flux. Attaining higher stages of development is not synonymous with attaining a ‘better’ or ‘more correct’ values system. All stages co-exist in both healthy and unhealthy states, whereby any stage of development can lead to undesirable outcomes with respect to the health of the human and social environment (see Shadow & Spin-off or Sub-Personalities).”

When you look at this definition, you can understand a little more about Wetzels thinking on values, branding, communication and strategy. It’s a new world for me, and I thank Felix for prodding my thinking in this direction. Away from work and the community, he is a Dad and family man. His blog should be on the must read list, and you should grab the opportunity to see him speak when you can, he is becoming a more regular feature on the speaking circuit. If you are running an event, you should try to book him.

Bill

LINKS

Felix Wetzel

People, Brands And Random Thoughts

SchmitzWG

TrendBuro

Evenbase