Get Personal: Take Your Social Network Offline

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Long gone are the days when “online” was synonymous with social isolation. In fact, we’re now witnessing the opposite: technology is driving people to connect and meet up with others in the “real world”. This mass mingling makes for an interesting trend, begging to be turned into new services for consumers. Here are five such services:

1. MEETUP EVERYWHERE — Meetup’s new service, Meetup Everywhere, is an open and free platform that helps people build communities based on a common interest. Organisers can map offline gatherings and share announcements and updates through Facebook and Twitter accounts. One recent initiative: ReadyMade magazine partnering with to encourage DIY crafters to host local “craft-ups”.

2. GATSBY — Gatsby is a mobile app that introduces people according to shared interests and locations, using Foursquare. Users tell Gatsby their Foursquare account details and describe their interests. Gatsby then searches for like-minded people locally and texts them with first names and what they have in common.

3. LOOPT MIX — Loopt Mix is a free iPhone app for finding and chatting to other users nearby. Users identify shared interests by means of tags and preferences on their personal profiles. There’s also a set of search filters for ad hoc link-ups. Favoured contacts can be flagged to provide users with quick access to their core social circle.

4. STREETSPARK — Another iPhone app using location to get people in touch, StreetSpark has a specifically romantic intent. Users describe themselves and the kind of person they hope to meet. The app then informs them when a possible match is nearby. No contact information is divulged automatically; people can chat and choose whether or not to identify themselves.

5. LOVESTRUCK — Also in the match-making business, UK-based Lovestruck is aimed at single professionals. The website and mobile apps use work locations as a base to link potential lovers. Customers can display their availability through status updates, and iPhone owners can also see if other users are in their current vicinity when they’re on the move.


Time to take your social network offline and get personal – that is, meet those in your network in person. The above are several resources for you to connect with them. The goal is to build your networking relationships. It’s a two-way street.

Want more help building your network? Check out Rock Your Network® Online.

iPhone 4, Personal Branding, and Your Job Search

Apple has raving fans, do you?

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “As long as Apple continues to be innovative, as long as they stay ahead of the curve, people are going to stand in line and want the phone,” Cutler said. “If they keep putting in these great features, I’ll keep buying.”

Check out the key words here – “innovative, stay ahead of the curve…”

People are buying the new iPhone 4 – despite the “poor economy.” Why? Innovation, staying ahead of the curve, and raving fans.

Are you staying ahead of the curve?

Even if you’ve been off work for some time, have you been keeping up-to-date on your skills?


One of my clients, a plumber, knew her computer skills were soft, while trade skills were exceptional. She was recently downsized and immediately enrolled in computer courses and upgraded her laptop. She will be ready to roll quickly.

One career-changer learned Twitter and other social media to make a change and land new connections. Now he’s a huge fan of these tools and building his brand solidly online.

These are go-getters who are continuing to learn and upgrade their skills. Are you?

Are you staying ahead of the curve? Are you an early adopter? If so, your chances of getting hired are greater than others who stand still.

Innovative – how innovative have you been ABOUT your job search? Are you spraying and praying? That is, spraying your resume all over the internet job boards and praying someone calls you?

OR are you being innovative?

Have you targeted your top companies? Are you going direct to company decision-makers? Are you networking (not net-begging)? How are you following up? Are you following up?

Don’t tell me there’s no name on the ad. Find out the name! If there’s a company name – you can get to the decision maker for your field.

Are you using social media like LinkedIn (my fave for job seekers), Twitter (check out, Facebook? Hey, Betty White – at 88-and-a-half no less – got a job using Facebook – she hosted Saturday Night Live! So, that completely wipes out the age barrier issue to social media.

Do you have a blog? If so, are you demonstrating your thought leadership?

One of my clients has landed several offers because he has an excellent blog, and now a newsletter, which demonstrate his ability to do the job – which does happen to be public speaking about marketing and social media.

What’s your area of expertise? Can you create a blog on the topic?

Raving fans – have you raving fans who lobby for your success? Check out your reference list, how old is it? How many of those listed have you connected with recently? Do they know what you’ve been doing lately? If not, call. Send your latest resume. Let them know what you’ve been up to.

One of my clients did this, and learned that her old college professor died. Yeah. She had graduated in the ’80’s and still had the professor listed. Time to update!

LinkedIn is a super place to start culling for references (recommendations). The easiest way to get them? GIVE them. And you can post your LinkedIn link right on your resume for an instant reference check.

How else can you be like Apple? Brainstorm with friends and share your innovative job search ideas here!

Want more tips? Check out my newsroom and sign up for my newsletter.

Summerfest tip

OK, this is a departure from my usual Rock Star at Work content. However, in honor of Summerfest beginning next week, I had to post this “special festival attire.”

Orange Power Wellies feature a phone charger that sources power from the heat produced while the boot wearers trudge through festival mud. Dancing generates an extra boost.

How can you not love this? (No, I’m not getting compensation, just thought WOW.)

I mean “dancing generates an extra boost.” Yeah!

With 11 days, 11 stages, and more than 700 bands, I’ll be dancing. See you there!

Oh, and yes, Summerfest has an “app for that.” You can check out the entire lineup.

Interview Tips from Last Comic Standing

Want to make it to the next round in your interview? Check out these tips gleaned from this week’s episode of “Last Comic Standing:”

1. Know your lines. You’ve got 30 seconds or less to get to the point and convey value. Many contestants were eliminated in less than 30 seconds.

2. Wear appropriate attire. One contestant was stopped mid opener. The judge said, “Really? You need a breastplate to deliver that line?” Then all three judges said, “It’s a no for me.”

3. Likability counts! Several contestants moved onto the next round – semi-finals – because the judges said, “I like you.” or “You’re likable.” or “Not only was that good material [see No. 1], but you had a good attitude. You’re likable.”

4. Address decision-makers and those you meet at the company by their correct names. One contestant was so nervous, he called the female judge the wrong name, TWICE, each a different name, and both wrong. She said simply, “You can stop now. It’s a no for me.” And of course her fellow judge had to say, “Me too, but I’m still calling you Nancy.” (Her name was Natasha.)

5. Keep smiling, even if you screw up. Remember No. 3, likability counts. (No, don’t smile like Jack Nicholson from “The Shining!” Keep it natural.)

Good luck! And if you’ve got good interview stories to share – from either side of the table – please do!

Want more interview help? Check out our Newsroom and our Invincible Interviews program.

Random Acts of Kindness Fuel Your Network

Today started out in frustration. Frankly, I was just plain grumpy.

Then, while grabbing my mail in the office lobby, Diane, a staffer in my building, shared this story:

She was having a sub and was in the restaurant at an odd time. Not many people were around. She saw an executive order and, before he left, she saw that there was a $100 bill on the ground. As no one else had moved from their tables, she figured the money was his.

She gave it to him. He said thanks, then took off with his food.

A short time later, she saw the man outside. He came in and went right to her table. “Wow, I didn’t realize you had found my $100! It took me a couple blocks and then it hit me, you found my $100! Please let me buy you lunch.”

Diane turned him down and said she was just being honest. It’s what anyone would do. She told me he insisted on rewarding her honesty and left $20 on her table.

How cool was that? Diane’s honesty and the guy’s reward. Win-win.

Her story made my day. And changed my ‘tude.

Later today, I got an email from a business contact. He needed a freelance web designer and programmer. I referred him my two favorite experts in this area.

Keep the kindness rolling.

Challenge: What’s your random act of kindness story? Have you got one? Spread the word – and the kindness.

Want more tips to fuel your network? Check out “Rock Your Network®.”