Know When to Manage Up – And Down

Know When to Manage Up – And Down

Career success is predicated largely upon the way you manage your relationships. Successfully navigating between the people you report to, as well as the people who report to you, is a fine balancing act. It isn’t a static system.

300 Words, 2 Minutes

Transition

Transitioning into a new position is challenging on a number of different levels.

Getting to know your new colleagues and direct reports… settling into a new routine… learning where the coffee is located… it’s exciting, stressful, and regenerative, all at the same time.

A transition that is usually overlooked, but vital to making a smooth entry into a new job, is the transition from managing up, into managing down.

What do I mean by this?

Well, throughout the interview process for your position, you’ve been catering to a coterie of folks who held your career in their hands: hiring managers, search committees, HR staff, your new boss. Your focus has been on selling yourself to these decision makers and influencers. Managing up, as it were.

But now, you have the job. And you must transition into managing new relationships with the people who work for you: managing down.

Perhaps this…

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Following Your Passion

Following Your Passion

What is success, if at the end of the day, we’ve thrown away all the people that have made our successes possible?

300 Words, 2 Minutes

Follow Your Passion

“Following your passion” is more than simply the Siren call of startup culture, and self-actualized, self-help books.

It is an explicit commitment on your part to chart, and follow, a life course; to do what it takes to make you a whole and happy person, regardless of what it takes to get there.

It is a commitment to eschew anything that would detract and distract from attaining your own personal Nirvana.

Being committed and passionate doesn’t excuse you from being sensible, reflective, and considerate. In fact, committing to your passion requires that you be even more intentional in your self assessments, and reflecting upon how your pursuit of happiness affects everyone else around you; not the least of which are the friends, family, and loved ones that support and maintain you in your passion.

Usually, they are the first to be ignored, and relegated to the sidelines – because of their unconditional love and support.

What happens when…

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Strategy and Tactics

Strategy and Tactics

When all the elements of great strategy and tactics align, you have companies like Amazon and Southwest dominating their respective spaces. I really don’t need to name those companies that fail this test; you already know, and avoid, them.

300 Words, 2 Minutes

Strategy

Most of us approach our jobs in a very task-oriented fashion. We begin the day, with a list of “to dos” to be performed, and laying out some plan of attack to get our work done.

Completing these atomic elements of work is largely how our performance is judged. Anything that gets in the way of this is a distraction.

For the most part, we nominally consider these tasks “our job”; but, they are actually only the tactical means by which we do our job, and should be part of a larger strategy, dictating why we do the things we do.

When our strategies aren’t in alignment with the tactics we use to carry out that strategy, we’re doing tremendous harm. Maybe we’re touting a strategy of strong customer service, but purposefully implementing bait-and-switch tactics, or understaffing customer call in lines. Or, we espouse a strategy of being a low-cost leader, but implement a high-cost model of…

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Save the Date – Conway Geek Breakfast

Save the Date – Conway Geek Breakfast

#GeekBreakfast

Save the Date!

The next Conway Geek Breakfast happens Thursday, May 28, at 7 am, at Bob’s Grill in Conway, AR!

Geek Breakfast is a monthly gathering, where attendees congregate over bacon, eggs and plenty of coffee to discuss topics like social media, digital marketing, design, programming, and ways to better their communities.

Conway Geek Breakfast is normally scheduled the last Thursday of each calendar month.

We look forward to seeing you on the 28th!

Coming hungry… and social!

Creating Wonder

Creating Wonder

Why I love technology – the anticipation that today, I might discover something new, and wonderous.

300 Words, 2 Minutes

Wonder Code

Throughout my career as a software developer, I remember distinct moments of wonder.

Times when I quite literally asked: “how did they do that?

My first professional engagements were performed on the original IBM PC, running under MS-DOS. As I was learning my craft, I noticed that almost all professional apps displayed their screens instantaneously; while my screens painted painfully slowly, character by character. What was I doing wrong? And more importantly:

How did they do that?

Turns out, in order to display screen content blindingly fast, one had to use undocumented, unofficial areas of the PC’s memory space; by writing directly into the PC’s display memory, screens popped, rather than crawled.

The next time that I had a similar sense of wonder, I was working on web applications. In 2005, I witnessed the Google “Suggest” feature for the very first time (you probably know it best as the drop down box, with suggested search terms as…

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YouTube Annotations – Social Media Secret Sauce

YouTube Annotations – Social Media Secret Sauce

YouTube-Icon

One of the cooler features of YouTube, sometimes done well, oft-times not, is annotations.

Annotations are links on videos that allow the user to go to a video, a YouTube channel, or an associated website, in order to boost engagement and give more information.

The main stipulation – and potential limitation – of annotations, is that associated websites must be sites controlled by the YouTube publisher, as dictated and defined through Google’s Webmaster Tools.

This is fine for links to websites you control, or your Google+ pages. But what about social media sites like Facebook Pages and Twitter Profiles? These sites cannot be claimed by mere mortals – and yet, you’ve probably seen dozens of links to Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes on videos from other YouTube publishers.

How did they do that?

I won’t bury the lede; here’s how it’s done.

In order to create an associated website link on YouTube that will send users to your social media landing sites, you need to know about HTTP 301 Redirects.

A 301 Redirect is a code that tells a web browser that a page or site’s location has permanently been changed to a new location. Redirects can exist at the domain or site level, or at individual page levels.

We’ve established that you can’t associate or verify a site you don’t own in Google Webmaster Tools. But, you can verify a page you do own, one that redirects to one of your various social media pages. That’s the secret sauce.

In my case, I wanted to redirect a link to one of my Twitter accounts (@300Word2Minutes). I really only needed to redirect a single page to this account, so I decided to simply script a landing page, to issue a 301 Redirect to my Twitter Profile for 300 Words, 2 Minutes. Here’s what it looks like in PHP:

<?php
Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" );
Header( "Location: http://www.twitter.com/300Word2Minutes/" );
?>

verified the link to this new page through Google Webmaster Tools, and voila! I now had a site that I could associate with a YouTube Annotation.

You can associate more than one site with a YouTube account. I won’t replicate those instructions here, but you can follow the directions from YouTube support to see how to do this. Suffice it to say, once you Associate a single site on YouTube, you can actually use any Google Webmaster Tools verified site as additional associated websites.

And that’s pretty much it. Except, this:

Associated website links can be very prickly under YouTube.

Even though you may properly verify a site using Google Webmaster Tools, sometimes YouTube simply refuses to recognize them. You may have to do the virtual equivalent of “jiggling the wires” to sometimes get your links working. You can try one (or more) of the following, to get your links recognized by YouTube:

  • Clear your browser cache
  • Exit and Restart your browser
  • Remove the current associated website from YouTube Channel settings, and replace with another verified site; replace again with the link you want to use.

In short, you may have to play around this a bit. I wish this worked better.

Let me know your experiences working with Annotations, and social media sites. I would love to hear your work arounds to this very cool feature.

Quo Vadis?

Quo Vadis?

Signpost Header

If you don’t know where you’re going, then it really doesn’t matter what road you take.

300 Words, 2 Minutes

Quo Vadis?

It’s an ecclesiastical Latin phrase meaning Where are you going?

Thatis the $64,000 question for everything we say and do, isn’t it?

I think about this question – all the time – in conducting my professional and personal affairs. Before engaging in a project, starting a conversation, or resolving a conflict, I stop and ask myself two basic questions:

  • What is the desired outcome I wish to achieve? and,
  • What am I willing to do to achieve this desired outcome?

Seems simple enough.

But the simplicity of these two questions belies their fundamental analytical nature. Because, if you can’t articulate an answer for either of these two questions, then you should immediately stop whatever you’re doing, and reconsider your course of action.

I see total a lack of this type of analysis happening, over and over and over again.

Projects are started, with a massive budget, but no strategy or even anything approaching a “look of…

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