Saturday, July 31, 2010

NE Revolution - Ralston moves on

As a long time New England Revolution fan, this has been a roller coaster year for Steve Ralston. The year started on a down note to hear that Steve Ralston would not be returning to the team as the 2010 season open. For his sake, the note picked up as we found out he would be a player coach for a team in St Louis, his hometown. Turned down again, when the word came out that due to financial troubles, the franchise in St Louis would close out operations. Turned up again when we heard that while Steve was 'free' again, he would return to the Revolution! Then down again as seconds after getting onto the field in his return, he dislocated his elbow setting him out for 4-6 weeks. True to his hardiness, it was going to be shorter than forecast so he was going to return to the pitch earlier than expected. Unfortunately, this didn't last long as the announcement came out that he would play his last game and retire.

Even this up didn't turn out to be true as he didn't get some papers together officially to get clearance to play, so he simply retired from the game.

He is not gone. The Revolution will see Steve at least two more times this season as they as scheduled to play the Houston Dynamo where Steve has taken a position as an assistance coach.

For Steve's sake, I hope he has more ups than downs for the remainder of this year. In fact, if the Dynamo only lose when they play the Revolution that would be fine!

Best of luck Steve, you were a pleasure to watch through the years!

Steve's retirement press conference
The interview with Jay Heaps, part 1 and part 2.
The announcement from the Houston Dynamo

Friday, July 30, 2010

Social media for local business

Wouldn't it be nice to use some free social media tools to attract and reward some of your customers? Free is always good for a return on investment. Free really means it will cost only your time, no money. (Yes, I know time is money.) And when you consider the amount of time it can take to use some of the social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, QR codes, etc.) versus the benefits that they can bring? Why not?

It will take a little effort up front to get started and then a few minutes along the way to maintain and update as needed. Your customers will let you know if it is succeeding. You'll find them coming in with your 'call to action' message ready. You'll find new customers coming in via referrals from your active social media friends.

How does it work?
One example - A quick reference code (QRC) can be prepared with a link to a special page on your website. A customer can view the code, scan it on their smart phone (iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, etc.), and reference it for the transaction.

On our recent travels, I found this QRC example:

The QRC code is the black configuration of dots, dashes, etc (in the lower right corner of this picture) that effectively works as a bar code with the capability of linking to your website.

The code when scanned by the customers phone could take them to a special offer page on your website. When they present that to you at the register for their transaction you can process it (and keep track of how many do this). Success won't be overnight as there are still a number of folks without smart phones (and some of those with smart phones are not fully utilizing the features). A small start and then word of mouth can take over to create the success you are looking for.

If you'd like to understand more about the details for this, please let me know.

I wrote about the use of QRC for the PodCamp Western Mass t-shirts earlier this year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

job search notes: LinkedIn series

For those who participated in the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting where I led the discussion on "I'm on LinkedIn, now what?", the presentation document was posted here:

The audio will be posted in two parts. The first will cover the intro and up to noon time.

The second part will cover the remainder of the session for those who lingered long after noon to get their questions answered.

For those interested in leveraging LinkedIn for the job search, I did a similar talk in March and the slides were synchronized with the audio. You can find that presentation here:


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm On LinkedIn, Now What? - audio - P2

This is part two of two, the audio recording of the interactive discussion at the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting on July 23 with the topic "I'm on LinkedIn, now what?"

Time: 40 minutes, 1 second

For those who participated in the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting where I lead the discussion on "I'm on LinkedIn, now what?", the presentation document was posted here:

The audio will be posted in two parts. The first will cover the intro and up to noon time.

The second part will cover the remainder of the session for those who lingered long after noon to get their questions answered.

For those interested in leveraging LinkedIn for the job search, I did a similar talk in March and the slides were synchronized with the audio. You can find that presentation here:

Updated 1/26/14
There are two key updates to these presentations that are required. One; the Google Reader has gone away. I now use for my RSS feed reader.

Two; LinkedIn turned off their RSS feed as of Dec 2013. Getting RSS feeds from other sites still works but LinkedIn has shut theirs down.

I'll be updating the presentation in light of these developments to show what alternatives there are remaining now

I'm On LinkedIn, Now What? - audio

The audio recording of the interactive discussion with the Hopkinton Networking group on Friday, July 23rd. This is part one of two. It actually runs just over an hour. The questions and answers should be audible.

Time: 1 hour, 9 minutes, 6 seconds

For those who participated in the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting where I lead the discussion on "I'm on LinkedIn, now what?", the presentation document was posted here:

The audio will be posted in two parts. The first will cover the intro and up to noon time.

The second part will cover the remainder of the session for those who lingered long after noon to get their questions answered.

For those interested in leveraging LinkedIn for the job search, I did a similar talk in March and the slides were synchronized with the audio. You can find that presentation here:

learning and sharing

Dissing Facebook’s like "journalists might be happier in a world full of dislikeness" #the5

Do You Think Like the Upper-Class or the Middle-Class? "system is designed to teach people to be middle-class" #the5

The Painter and His Window me: indeed, do you have a window? how do you use it? #the5from @chrisbrogan

Great summary on creating good meetings that work.

Student ideas for green roof make school a teaching lab - The Boston Globe #the5

Finding Your Targets with LinkedIn | Career Rocketeer - Career Search and Personal Branding Blog #the5

the answer to "how difficult it is to get into a conversation at a crowded networking event" from @RobbieSamuels #the5

Monday, July 26, 2010

job search notes: Step by step - #HireFriday

Step by step - #HireFriday

1 - Create a Twitter account

2 - Post your resume (use a link shortener) and LinkedIn profile with the tag #hirefriday

3 - follow the stream of tweets for #hirefriday

4 - be prepared to respond if some one offers to help

What is Twitter?
The folks at Common Craft have put together a two minute explanation here:

How do I use Twitter?
a) There is a good page explaining here:
b) The HowCast put together a 4 minute video here:
c) There is also this ‘newbies’ guide to using Twitter here:

Where do I upload my resume?
Search for a free file service, there are dozens available. If you already have a Google account you can upload your resume to Google Docs and share it from there.

How do I follow the stream on #hirefriday?
a) If you have a Twitter client like Tweetdeck or Seesmic, you can add a search column looking for the hashtag #hirefriday.
b) you can use to follow #hirefriday

How did hirefriday start?
a) HR Margo Rose started the idea with her posting in May

b) Marie Journey did a guest post providing some helpful tips including using Tweetdeck for hirefriday:

c) HR Margo Rose with a more recent posting (July 14) on the origin of hirefriday

Steve’s #HireFriday entry is:
My 6 word resume - project delivered, team happy, customer delighted! #hirefriday

If you would like to download this document, you can obtain it here:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

MLS Soccer RSS feed = #fail (updated)

I complained about the MLS Soccer web site not having an active RSS feed on Wednesday. Today, the button itself is gone and there is still no feed option (note the red circle and question mark where the RSS feed symbol used to be in the upper right corner. You can view a larger image by clicking on the image itself).

Coincidence? or possible sign of progress?

Your guess is as good as mine!

Lowell Folk Festival - quick recap

I spent the afternoon in the hot sun at the Lowell Folk Festival today. It was worth it as I took a tour around the musical folk land. Starting with bluegrass (the Steep Canyon Rangers) to kosher gospel (yes, really! performed by Joshua Nelson) to Cape Verdian (Maria deBarros) to Irish (BUA) to Quebecois (De Temps Antan) and finally to close the afternoon to Cajun (Bruce Daigrepont).

I sweated but didn't mind it, the music was good. Other than some technical issue not resolved with Maria deBarros that created a jarring sound that I think hindered her performance, all went well. It did get dark clouds overhead for a bit to provide some respite for the sun. Fortunately, the rains held off.

I had the inspiration for at least three sherku (one, two, three) with more possible.

I took a bunch of photos so stay tuned for some of those to appear here.

Which group did I like the best?
It was really not contest, DeTemps Antan won the crowd and I with their enthusiasm. The conditions were trying (hot, humid) but all had the same gig.

BUA and Steep Canyon Rangers came closest for consideration.

Joshua Nelson was a pleasant surprise.

Next year will be the 25th Lowell Folk Festival. Each that I have attended (about eight in person, at least 13 via the WGBH broadcast) have been special.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recording for "I'm on LinkedIn, now what?"

Thanks to all the participants at the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting on Friday. Your questions and interest in LinkedIn made the discussion move along very quickly. As I review the recording, I realize that it won't match to the document very well. The document doesn't include all the screen shots for where we traveled to exploring the settings in LinkedIn. I'll continue to review the audio recording and likely end up posting it separately from the doc. You'll still be able to follow the discussion and in many cases follow where we went within LinkedIn.

Friday, July 23, 2010

job search notes: I'm on LinkedIn, now what? - updated

My presentation document "I'm on LinkedIn, Now what?" for the Hopkinton Networking Group on Friday, July 23.

This document served as the starting for for a facilitated discussion to share tips on making LinkedIn a more powerful tool for those on the job search. I had a live internet connection to demo with LinkedIn and other websites answering questions from the group along the way.

An earlier version of this presentation can be found here

I'll get a round to updating this some day but in the mean time, there are two important changes to note.
1 - The Google Reader is no longer available. I use Feedly as my RSS Reader now. The functionality is similar and are being improved over time.

2 - LinkedIn actually turned off the RSS feed in Dec 2012. Other sites still use RSS and RSS is still a valuable tool.

Lowell Folk Festival

The Saturday schedule at Boarding House Park in Lowell for the annual Lowell Folk Festival. The largest free folk festival in the US and it is in our backyard (so to speak).

Saturday, July 24Boarding House ParkSTEEP CANYON RANGERS12:00 noon
Saturday, July 24Boarding House ParkJOSHUA NELSON1:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24Boarding House ParkMARIA DE BARROS2:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24Boarding House ParkBUA3:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24Boarding House ParkDE TEMPS ANTAN4:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24Boarding House ParkTHE BRUCE DAIGREPONT CAJUN BAND5:00 p.m.

The Steep Canyon Rangers play bluegrass, Joshua Nelson sings kosher gospel, Maria De Barros sings Cape Verdian, the BUA group is Irish, De Temps Antan plays Quebecois, and Bruce Daigrepont is a Cajun Band.

Six different kinds of folk music over six hours in one place!

Follow them on Twitter:

job search notes: don't be overwhelmed

The data is scary and out right staggering.

Will it get worse?
I hope not. In fact, the recent (i.e. last two) weeks have become much more active so there is indeed hope.

Will the recession get over quickly?
No, not anytime soon. It will require a long slow (and unfortunately painful) climb back to better employment numbers.

There is hope.
There are actions you can take to prepare for your next position.
If you need or want some help, please let me know.

You can also view the data show on the web here:

Ignite Spatial: Boston 2 Needs Your Help

Ignite Spatial: Boston 2 is moving fast, but needs your help.
Here are some ways you can help out:


Please submit a talk about your interesting spatial stories or get your friends to do so. To submit a talk proposal please visit:
Here is a list of the talks we have so far:
The Public Mapping Project by Micah Altman
Huge Spatial Data Analytics by Jon R. Shepherd by Michael Olkin
How to build an open geo wiki by Max Ogden
Building clouds... by Michael Parkin

PPT Karoake

Please help us by creating a PPT Karoake presentation for use at this event or send us a set of your wacky spatial photos that we can use to create PPT Karoake slides


If you or your company, or anyone you know would be interested in supporting this event, please email the organizers at We would like to be able to have the following items at the event:
Video Services
Food (pizza, salad and/or snacks)
Drink (Water and/or juice)
Prizes for Karoake rounds

Day of team

If you would like to help with registration please email to let us know.

Finally, the website( has been updated with more descriptions on the talks and everything else discussed in this email. Also, the final batch of tickets are up for grabs on August 2nd.
Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Guido Stein
Lead Organizer
Ignite Spatial: Boston 2

Note: I received this email as an IgniteSpatial participant. I have worked with Guido before at a couple of PodCamps and well as his inaugural FiberCamp. I will volunteer to help at the registration/welcome desk as this is something I like to do and have a great deal of fun with.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

job search notes: #the5

Let's go with #the5 for today, mostly job search related:

LinkedIn Job Search Tips | The Talent Buzz - I agree with all but the upgrade to the job seeker account #the5

RT @CAREEREALISM Networking Tips & Career Advice by Career Expert Deborah Shane : CAREEREALISM

He said, she said: a sibling search story - me, how relationships evolve is interesting - who has the power? #the5

RT @CAREEREALISM Career Advice, Personal Branding & Job Search Help from Top Career Experts:CARE. good info #the5

My non-bucket list me: good point, if there is a bucket list, shouldn't there be a non-bucket list? #the5 @leanneclc

And a bonus sixth one for today, just because. Yes, I miscounted again  :-)

What NETWORKING is... me: good reminder that networking is not just looking for a job now! #the5

What can you share today?

SOBCon 2010 - highlights

Yes, I am way behind on my SOBCon write up. That was in May. It is now July. Will I get to it? I am not sure. However, there is this short but succinct video that captures some of what SOBCon is all about.  Sorry, but in less than four minutes, you can only get so much!

To really get more of SOBCon, you can read more by looking for the other summaries (at least until I do something).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

global vs local

As a local blogger or place blogger (my writing and work for Franklin Matters), the local discussion is important. The point of view that Ethan Zuckerman talks about here for TED is also an issue. How do we balance the global voice with the local voice?

Any thoughts?

Have you considered being a bridge figure?

MLS Soccer RSS feed = #fail

The revamped Major League Soccer website launched with the opening of the season still has not enabled the RSS feed. Come on folks! What is taking so long/

The RSS Feed button in the top right corner, properly placed, remains grey (inactive). When you scroll over it, it still says "placeholder".

Will the season end with there still being a placeholder?

Yes, if you have a good memory and recall me complaining about this at the beginning of the season, kudos to you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tweets for Tuesday

A first-rate overview of journalism’s fate by @dankennedy_nu will be good to start #the5 today

Interactions banks $6.3 million more for call handling service, plans growth in Franklin good for my hometown! #the5

Boston is #1...But will we hold on to the top spot? another one from @ScottKirsner on #the5 today

Errata=beta=collaboration "Bringing knowledge together and making it public" good insights from @jeffjarvis #the5

From BIGG Success An Entrepreneurial Model for Government - provoking enuf to close #the5 today

And as a bonus, a reminder that

"I'm on LinkedIn, now what?" will be the subject of an interactive talk I'll lead at the HNG meeting on Friday -

New spice - study like a scholar

I love the new Old Spice commercials and what is happening around them. The parodies are great. Like this one for a library!


What parody script could you write?

Anybody want to collaborate on one for the job search?

Thanks to Rick for pointing this one out to me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm on LinkedIn, now what?

That will be the subject of an interactive presentation I'll lead at the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting on Friday. I did the presentation before and will update some of the photos to keep the presentation fresh. The text will remain pretty much the same. The delivery and interaction will be up to those participating.

I want to make sure that your questions will be answered. I want to make sure that you'll be able to walk away with something specific to do.

1 - If you want to attend, the meeting details are as follows:  

When: Friday, July 23 from 10:00 AM - Noon
Where: St John's Evangelist Parish Center, 20 Church St, Hopkinton
Cost: $1 donation requested

2 - If you have a LinkedIn question you would like answered, please let me know.

Best Job Search Tools On Linkedin 2010

I found this stuck in draft mode, fortunately only a couple of days old but still providing good and timely info

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via reCareered by (Phil Rosenberg) on 7/14/10

Linkedin considers itself a job search site as much as a social network. While Linkedin heavily promotes its ability to connect you to friends of friends of friends, it also features some tremendously powerful job search tools. I'll discuss some of...

(Continued at

Things you can do from here:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friendly reminder

When I don't post here, I generally do post elsewhere. You can find me in a number of places:  for what is happening in and around Franklin primarily with a business and budget focus for my thoughts on running my poetry, primarily to work on a condensed viewpoint evolving sherku from an Asian form to capture the American rhythm of speech the effort to record my father's (and hence our family's) oral history


Tweet Saturday

Free Employee Engagement Top 10 E-Book Countdown (5 Days to Go) #the5

The fallacy of quick answers #the5

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts #the5

Take time to think about your “Netiquette” or “Cybermanners” #the5

Announcing New Work Coach Cafe Career Forum and Career Dictionary! #the5

What have you learned that you can share?

job search notes: tunnel vision

Perspective is the key to understanding. Walk in another's shoes and you should see how they see the world.

Travel around a bit and see how others live. Travel is a great educational tool.

Our recent vacation travels have provided some refreshing views, scenery, and opportunity to think/reflect on the current circumstances. Of course, quality time with friends and family was the primary reason for the travels and provided time to discuss the state of affairs.

I have been skipping posting here a little more than I would like but all of the time traveling has helped to create a more focused view.

How is your focus?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Slideshow: Finger Lakes

Here are a few photos from the Finger Lakes area featuring Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State Parks in particular:


Thursday, July 15, 2010

job search notes: tweets Thursday

Good advice esp. for those on the job search. Listen to those inner voices!

Simple story: serve a need, advance the product, and find sustaining revenue

Good list of books to read from @mitchjoel

A Different View on Decision Making - another find in the theme of listening to those inner voices #the5

big one for #the5 -> @HRMargo has launched #hirefriday guidelines here: