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Connect people who want to hear with those who want to tell!

In this day of social media and viral campaigns, I’ve discovered that I have a new competence.

I am good at team-tag!

I don’t have the mischievous mind to think up viral campaigns.  But I do recognize good viral material and I am quick to endorse it.

Playing team-tag in social media

The beauty of the Hootsuite interface for Twitter and Google Analytics is that I can measure the effectiveness of my “team tagging”.

Getting better at team-tag

I look at the stats not to brag, you understand. But to learn.

The statistics shape my judgment about what people want to hear and see and when they want to hear and see it.

The person running the campaign still has convert the interest and the quick drop-in into a sale or action. To get better at that, they need to speak to people like Paul Imre in High Wycombe.

Helping connect people who want to know with people who want to tell – that I can do.

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Anything, but please, not the bludgeon of a huge ‘to do’ list

It’s October. In January, I found myself with far too much to do.

I tried all the tricks of the trade. I decluttered. I prioritized. I still had too much to do.

At last, I quietened my panic by drawing each goal as a spoke, coming in to a central hub. I marked off months and quarters. And wrote down some milestones.

Bicycle spokes for planning

Inevitably (and it is inevitable), I made heaps of progress. I am sure that resolving my panic was important, if only because I could do something useful with the time that I would otherwise spend panicking!

I am still busy. Horribly busy. Work is cutting in to my sleep as well. So, I am motivated to give my planning system a thorough overhaul.

Umbrella goal

Fortunately, I am much clearer now about what I want to do. I’ve managed to phrase a super-ordinate goal and the many goals that gave me such grief in January, all contribute in their own way. When I make a decision on one project, I’m able to check in my mind how work on that project fits in with the overall goal and all the other projects.

There is a lesson in this, I think.  Don’t discard your competing goals.  Live with the strain until you can see why you are attracted to apparently conflicting projects.

Eventually the bicycle wheel takes shape as an umbrella!

From wish to intent to action

Now I am more focused, my attention has shifted from goals – to critical mass & priorities.

I could list everything I have to do.  I could even put everything on a spreadsheet.  But I think I would throw up.  There is too much to do and seeing it in one place won’t help.

That kind of planning is better when there are lots of steps that are critical, and when they must be done in a specific, and known, order. That will come later.

Impact vs ease

I had a brain storm last night. I remembered a technique which I learned from Zivai Mushayandebvu in Botswana.

Sort tasks into four piles (2×2):

  • What will make a huge impact and is relatively easy to do.
  • What will make a huge impact but is hard to do.
  • What will make a small impact and is easy to do.
  • What will make a small impact and is hard to do.

The first, we do.

The second, we see if we can buy in.

The third, we might get do as filler tasks.

The fourth, we discard.

Keeping it simple, cheap, disposable (and green)

This whole project can be done on the back of old envelopes and a set of shoe boxes. My guess is that the priorities to develop critical mass are going to emerge quite fast.

I am going to try it. Anything rather than the bludgeon of a huge ‘to do’ list.

UPDATE: In another phase of overload, I think I shall rate my tasks like this again!

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Help the caterpillar of your professional profile metamorphize into a butterfly

From something to nothing

I came to the UK two years’ ago. Before coming here, I had taught in two good Commonwealth Universities. I published articles in journals. And as a work & organizational psychologist, I had consulted to household-name multi-nationals.

I worked on major projects that many psychologists would give their right-arm for.  I led the post-graduate training of occupational psychologists in one country for over a decade.  I represented us at international forums and negotiated inter-country agreements.   I taught on an MBA ,and I taught a huge class of first year class of 850 students.  An experience, indeed!

But when I came to the UK, only a few people knew me.   I had little name-recognition.  Without an university affiiliation, Google no longer recognized my name, and no longer put me at the top of its page.

In short, without institutional affiliation I went from being central and prominent to invisible. Overnight, other psychologists didn’t see me. Clients didn’t know me. Google didn’t tip its hat when I typed my own name.

Back from nothing to something

Over the last two years, I’ve rebuilt my profile. I’ve become known, well-known, in foreign land.  When I type my name into search, Google returns my Linkedin profile and my blog.  At the top, of the first page.

  • Yay! Google no longer minds that I don’t work at a University.
  • Yay! I rank higher than Jo Jordan, the power weight lifter (sorry Jo, but Google rankings are competitive).
  • Yay! I rank higher than all the other Jo Jordan’s out there – psychologists, academics and management consultants. And believe me there are a lot of us with this very common name.

How did I do this? How did I go from nothing to something in two years?

Believe me getting recognition in a place as big and crowded as the UK is hard.  I can put the names of leading British psychologists into Google and struggle to find them.

Where are they? Page 56? Page 87? Academics come up because Google privileges University urls – did you know that? Many people don’t. Until they leave the university sector and they drop off the internet as it they have never existed at all.

This is how I re-built a solid online profile. I used social media.

Social media is the two-way, readwrite web. Most of us know Facebook and Twitter. These are the two best known ‘social networks’, or ‘platforms’ in the UK

Some people dismiss these platforms as trivial socializing. Trivial socializing, if socializing is trivial, does happen on these networks. But that is not why they are important for managing our careers. Nor are they the whole story. Not by a long shot.

The two-way web is a place where we can relate directly to each other, without going through a third party.  And it is an opportunity to use virtual space to expand our world, just as the penny post and the telephone did when they were first invented.

‘Social’ means the opportunity to interact. This is the central idea.   The opportunity to interact.  can talk to you and you can talk back.   When you talk to me, I can reply.

We meet people fast on the two-way web.  As psychologists we know that when we meet people. we get feedback.  And when we get feedback, we develop really fast. We develop our thinking quickly. We develop our relationships quickly.

And then our professional practice begins to take shape around what is ‘good and true, better and possible’. It takes shape in ways we would never have dreamed possible, and at speeds we would never hope for in our wildest dreams.

5 common social media tools help us build our professional profile

In the two years that I have been settling successfully in the UK, social media has developed with dazzling speed. Some of the platforms and techniques I used 2 years ago are outmoded now, and some of the techniques I use now were not popular 2 years ago.

These are the 5 that I recommend that you use at October 2009. I’ll keep it brief to get you started and hold the nuances for other posts.

1 Keep your CV uptodate on Linkedin and the European equivalent Xing

You’ll get established quite well using the free version of Linkedin . By all means, connect with me, Jo Jordan, to get started.

2 Blog under your own name

Set up a blog and start writing.  WordPress, Blogspot, Posterous, and Tumblr are all free.

Remember, though, you are writing to be heard.  Don’t say anything silly.  Do write about professional matters that interest you.

Also set up your About page. There is no point in being anonymous when you are developing a profile. When your blog is set up, let me know and I’ll be your first reader.

Don’t agonize. Pick one of the four services and begin. The marvel of these services is that it is easy to change things.

3 Read and comment on other people’s blogs

To find good blogs, set up a Google Alert using keywords that interest you. Then make a folder for these Alerts in your email. There will be a lot of Alerts.

Everyday, scan the headlines and visit the blogs that interest you.

And now for the social media component: leave useful, helpful comments.

When you comment, you leave your full name, your email address (that won’t be shown) and your blog name Far from being alarmed, be happy. You email address protects the blog owner. You benefit in 4 ways:

  • By writing down your comment, your clarify your own thinking.
  • You make a friend of the blogger who likes to get replies.
  • Anyone who visits that blog and thinks your comment interesting will click on your name and visit your blog.
  • Google notices the link between your blogs and puts a tick against both. Google likes sociable people!  The more ticks you have, the higher up you come when someone puts a relevant keyword into Google Search.  Get found by getting sociable!

4 Organize your feeds

In the last step, you set up Google Alerts and found interesting blogs. Now you have found other people in your field, you want to visit them often.

To save yourself time, you subscribe to their RSS feed and receive a message everytime those blogs update.

Fortunately these don’t go to email – or don’t need to. You store all your feeds in a feed aggregator. Most people use the Google feed reader. I use Pageflakes. It has become a little unstable since it was bought out but it has a great advantage from my point of view.

I organize my feeds as ‘flakes’ into ‘pages’. Each flake has the headlines of 5 to 20 of the latest posts from the blog (my choice). I have a page for Morning, another for UK, another for Further, another for Evening, another for Sunday. You can see where I am going with this: attention management. I don’t want interesting articles to catch my eye when I have more mundane work to do on my desk!

5 Yahoo Upcoming and Meetup

And finally, for the biggie. Sign up to Yahoo Upcoming, put in you postal code, and sign up to events that seem worthwhile. You can RSVP positively, or “watch”.

Go back regularly and always check whether any event that you are going to anyway has been posted here.


Because you see who else is going. And that is not all. You can check what else they are going to.

No, you are not going to stalk them. But when you find someone whose does interesting work, you see what other events they go to.  That is how you find your way around cluttered, crowded UK!

This is how you find out where the interesting work gets done. This is how you find out where business gets done.

The mainstream media covers the big events – the anonymous events, the too-big-to-meet-anyone fairs. We use the self-connecting character of 2.0 to find our niche.

You can also sign up to another service, Meetup. I find Meetup organizers spam a little. Tolerate some junk mail to get started. Then cut them off. Once you are moving in productive interesting circles, you will work ‘on spec’ less but you;ll still come back here to relook at your horizons from time to time.

And now to the social networks: Facebook and Twitter

You’ll haved notice that I haven’t mentioned Facebook and Twitter. They are important too because they are the most popular networks in UK. Join up!

Try to choose names that are short, memorable and easy to spell. On Twitter, do NOT protect your updates. And join in! If you follow me @jobucks, I’ll introduce you to get you started.

On Facebook, connect with all your relatives and friends. DO protect yourself there. Or rather, protect your relatives because anyone coming to you sees a lot about you relatives as well.  Later, we’ll tell you how to set up a Facebook ‘page’ for your professional practice. Begin now by meeting your friends and relatives there.

The 7 basics of professional networking in virtual space

So those are 7 things to get you started.

1. Your resume/CV on Linkedin and Xing

2. A blog


4. Feeds

5. Yahoo Upcoming and Meetup

6. Twitter

7. Facebook for your personal network.

Meet you in virtual space – and watch your professional practice metamorphize from caterpillar to butterfly

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Who has had good results with Open Office Base?

Open Office Base vs Access

Wow, I’ve spent more than 2 weeks trying to get a database going in Base, part of Open Office.

Tonight, I retrieved an old copy of Access 2003, part of the Office suite.

I thought I had lost my touch. Access is definitely easier to use, prettier to use, and more powerful.

My attempts to use Base have been exhausting . . . and embarrassing.

Let’s see how quickly I can create a database in Access.

I’ll let you know!

But if you have created a good, working database in Base, I would love to hear from you.  I am trying to write a program where we input cost price, calculate selling prices and get them reviewed/changed, print labels with all the detailed bumpf required these days, and print labels and price lists.

UPDATE:  Access is definitely easier to use.  Easy to use.  Access 2010 is even better.

There is only one obscure thing to learn: that is how to write the look up commands.  If you follow the tab on the right of source, you can do it by numbers so to speak.

Editing a layout is also fiddly.

But it works and once you know, it is fast and stable.

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Review my blogging course, please?

When I heard my letter box go clunk this morning, I thought my MOO cards had made rapid progress from London.

It was my copy of The Psychologist.  And with it, the advert  for my course –

Blogging for Psychologists

If you have a friend who is a psychologist and who wants to start blogging in an orderly way, please do pass on the link (and let me know for kudos and fair distribution of referral fees.)

Should you be an experienced blogger, would you, please, run your eye over the structure of the day and let me know what you think?

Thanks . . .

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WANTED: Advice of someone who has made friends with their alarm clock

A typical digital 12-hour alarm clock showing ...
Image via Wikipedia

Is there anyone out there who is recovering from a bad relationship with their alarm clock?

I don’t sleep through them.  I don’t hit the snooze button over and over again.

But if I have set an alarm clock .  .  .

  • I cannot go to sleep
  • I wake up during the night
  • I wake up before the alarm clock.

I do so hate been rudely awoken.

Does anyone have any tips for trusting alarm clocks?

Winter is coming and how does one know the time at this latitude without one?

P.S. I grew up in the tropics.  The sun came up predictably between 05:30 and 06:30 all year round.  It was no problem to be up and at work by 07:00.   I really don’t know how to do this!

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3 best known ways to improve a blog (that bored me silly)

This week was supposed to be a week of blog experimentation.  I picked out 3 best known ways to improve a blog, and set to with gusto.

This was my plan from improving my blog

Two posts a day (one at midnight to catch the eastern hemisphere and one at 17:00 to catch the western traffic)

More careful choice of keywords (at least check the keywords in Keyword Tool and make sure the words are in the title, tag and in two or three places in the text)

Better use of headlines (at least check down a list of good headline recipes and improve a little).

Do you think these are the most important ways to improve a blog?

I am sure if I persisted, I would get better results.   Do you think I would get better results with these three disciplines?

My results after 3 days

But I am bored.  The Secrets of . . . Doing X like a Y.   It just doesn’t grab me.  This feels like writing university essays.

I don’t even want to run experiments.   Experiments are close-ended.   There is no surprise.

I want adventure in what I do – even in a blog post written from a town in the countryside.

I want a set of headlines that talk about adventure.   Are there none because the audience doesn’t like adventure or because copy writer don’t think adventure?

How do you get the best return from your blog?

How do you approach blog writing?  What have you done consciously to improve your blog?  Did it work?

Any ideas about how I can make my blog into an adventure – even a little one.  An itsy bitsy tiny adventure that is surprising?

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Quickly tell an internet optimist from an internet pessimist

LOGO2.0 part I
Image by Stabilo Boss via Flickr

20 questions: which do you agree with?

  1. The internet allows me to reach out and meet people I would never otherwise meet.
  2. The internet allows me to find what I want and organize it the way I like it.
  3. I love the way I have internet friends all over the world.
  4. I am amazed by the diversity of opinion that I encounter on the net.
  5. The beauty of the web is that I can hear the opinions of less powerful people before we make a decision.
  6. We can make our voices heard on the internet.
  7. It’s great the way that so much on the internet is free.
  8. I love the way people reward each other with gifts on the internet.
  9. It’s incredible the way we put together Wikipedia by donating whatever knowledge we each had.
  10. I love the way that my little contribution makes something bigger like Flickr work.
  11. It terrible the way people only talk to their own friends on the net.
  12. The information on the internet is so disjointed.
  13. I fear that people on the internet follow their own interests and disregard the views of others.
  14. I get so tired of the same opinions being voiced over and over again.
  15. It’s too easy on the internet to manipulate the opinions of vulnerable people
  16. It is too easy to bully someone on the internet.
  17. Valuable industries like newspapers will die because of the internet.
  18. If we don’t have property rights, then there will be no reason to compose good music or write good books.
  19. Wikipedia will drop to the “lowest common denominator”.
  20. At the end of the day, great works are accomplished by talented people who have worked hard and practiced long.

Are you an internet optimist or internet pessimist?

Scoring. The top 10 questions describe internet optimists and the bottom 10 describe internet pessimists.

The original list, in much more academic language, was written by Adam Thierer He is looking for a publisher, btw.

Your score? Are you an optimist or pessimist about life with the internet?

With my psychologist’s hat on

I ask:

  • What are the defensive positions that we want covered by the pessimists?
  • And would we trust them, anyway, to cover the weak spots?

It’s funny how the difference between optimists and pessimists is a canyon of trust.

  • How can pessimists lay out an approach to the internet that makes optimists trust them?
  • How can optimists lay out the internet so pessimists can trust it?

Have I got the questions right?

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