Category Archives: ASU

Take risks, change attitude, rethink your career

Obama4If people though that Obama would trot out the message of Hope, and yes-we-can for an grad audience, they were wrong.

It’s about change, not hope.

“Question conventional wisdom and challenge old dogmas.”

Hard task ahead, not just for people like these 11,000 people entering the work force. I try to put some of this across in my resume-meets-social media seminar, but taking risks is hard, scary at this time. But guess what? I know of two people who are doing just that.

One guy is starting what most people would call crazy –a media company. He happens to be an ex-journalist. The other guy has a great model for mobile marketing, using the phone as a scanning device. I asked the journo, if he has a business plan. He says yes, but it’s not exactly a plan because  he intends to tweak it as he moves ahead. Conventional wisdom tells me this is risky. But that’s exactly what we need in a recession: Unconventional wisdom. He was not forced into a career change. He shifted gears before he was forced to.

As Obama sums up his speech –it’s 8.25 pm Mountain Standard Time– I know that Obama is lighting a fire under an audience beyond this stadium with than formula.


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Obama arrives at ASU, light bulbs go off

PresidentCrow_1The light bulbs go off like strobes.

But as President Crow addresses the 70,000 plus audience here, I can imagine the other light bulbs go off. He gave a huge shout out to K-12 teachers, and I can see how this resonates with Obama as he reaches out to get a ground-up movement going to fix education.

Watch the Blueprint for Education video on this site! It is the speech where he says “if you want to make your mark, with a legacy that will endure, then join the teaching profession.”


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Alice Cooper rocks graduates -still!

“Why is Alice Cooper alive?” was one of the comments on Twitter at 6.15 Pm.

The short answer to it is: he eats a lot of red vines. (He happily took some off our desk.)

It was moments after the 61-year old took to the stage –probably tweeted while this was on stage. When you think about it, you wonder, what is this brand doing on stage in this day, at this time. Also he’s the lead act before another brand, Barack Obama who will be here in a few moments.

The funny thing is, not all brands who need to stay relevant need to join the Twitterrati, as we have. I actually asked Alice Cooper this question a little while ago when I got to interview him. His response: I don’t need to do this stuff, I tell my band when they are in Paris to get out and see the real Eiffel tower, rather than look at it online.”

For anyone juggling between old media and new media, this is a sobering thought.

Don’t you think?

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Posted by on May 14, 2009 in Arizona, ASU



Obama’s visit today begets massive social media coverage

PressBox_0512Happy to note that I am part of the social media ‘swat’ team at today’s commencement at Arizona State University, where president Barack Obama will speak. (Sun Devil Stadium, 7 PM Mountain Time, 63,000 people).

Now unofficially called the ‘Tweam‘ (in the tradition of making horrible words to describe anyone also using Twitter as a communication tool) about 20 of us will provide a different type of coverage from what the major networks will bring: multiple angles, twitpics and more uploaded to Flickr, perspectives and commentary on several blogs, podcasts etc. Befitting, of course Obama’s and the White House’s use of social media.

A few things to get you started:

Watch how ABC15 profiled this social media blitz last night –click on the TV story, top right of page


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Can social media help you land a job?

The short answer to that question is: we’ll never know unless we try.

In February year, we were told we’d have to take unpaid Furlough. Unemployment was at 6.9% and climbing (today it is at 8.5%) Some 115,000 workers in Arizona had lost jobs in the past 45 days or so. In this context a pay cut didn’t seem so bad. I had an idea that many of us communicators here in the Phoenix area, who were employed, might be able to give a bit of our time to help those who were desperately seeking work.  My working title for a proposal I began circulating was JobCamp. Interestingly, of the half-dozen people who stepped forward, two senior communicators who said they would help, were also out of jobs.

The basis of my idea was that resumes are not enough. They are not exactly obsolete but need to be reworked in the context of how resumes are searched, how someone’s online reputation can be nurtured, and how best position oneself with current, forward-looking skills. And so it gave rise to:

  • WORKSHOPS NEXT MONTH. We plan to hold a few workshops based on a lot of feedback, requests and ideas I have been getting. Details and registration will be announced shortly
  • WORKSHOP NEXT WEEK: Somewhat related to this is a 2-hour workshop I am conducting for the Scottsdale Job Network. It’s a hands-on session on blogging, and how you might use a social media tool like this to enhance your job search.  Monday 27 April from 6 – 8 PM. I recommend you register here.

On the same page: I just stumbled upon LaidOffCamp, started by someone called Chris Hutchins. It’s a terrific idea, organized (just like Podcamp in an open source format) via a Wiki. The purpose is to help unemployed people network, share ideas and help them get back to work.


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Decision Theater as a learning space

While I was away for two weeks, Educause, an organization promoting intelligent use of information technology, published a video I produced with a student last month.

It’s yet another way to see what the Decision Theater is all about, and what exactly goes on in a facility that is less theater and more laboratory.

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Posted by on April 15, 2009 in ASU, Decision Theater, Education


Be careful about whom you (don’t) follow!

Lame move on my part!

I admit I don’t follow everyone who follows me on Twitter, because it’s just not possible to pay attention to so much chatter.

But today, I realized I had been following the wrong tweet on my mobile. In a real-world event this could have had major repercussions, especially if that person or group was part of a coordinated team.

The event I am talking about was a terrorist attack on a football stadium. OK, it was a mock  terrorist attack! The event was an emergency planning exercise at Arizona State University.

I was tweeting, taking photos, and recording audio for a podcast while my communication colleagues were tweeting. But ASU has so many people on Twitter now, it’s possible to not follow the right person! I feel more stupid since it was only last week that two others and I presented to a group about the value of Twitter, where I specifically mentioned how easy it was to send an on or off command via your mobile device to follow or turn off someone!

So the lessons learned:

  • Be careful whom you don’t follow – deliberately or accidentally
  • Think of Twitter as two parts listening post, one part micro-blog
  • Keep a short list of those you really need to follow –in a notebook!
  • Regularly check your account settings –esp ‘Device Updates’

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