OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: Get and Stay Hired - Social Media and Technical Skills

BlogHer Original Post

Learn from Intel's Social Media Strategist, Kelly Feller, Co-Founder of Idee, Inc. and Kimberly Blessing, a Web developer and standards evangelist, about great resources and how to remain one of the BlogHer community’s “self-taught geeks”!

A poll of the audience shows that many in attendance work in social media or want to.

Kimberly asks Kelly what are the skills you need in today's job market, especially for tech.

Kelly - Intel puts out guidelines on what not to do and what to do online.

Golden rules:
1. Anyone talking about Intel on social media goes through training. If talking about something else -- no training. But if talking about Intel, then they go through training. Even if they aren't in the communications industry.

If you are talking about your brand you are representing the company. Disclaimer doesn't matter.

2. Need to talk about your area of expertise.

3. Have to join your community entirely.

4. Do not talk about lawsuits, issues, etc.

Kimberly: They look at what potential hires have said about the company. She works for Comcast, and anyone who has bad-talked Comcast on Twitter is not hired.

They look at what is said about their company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Many people have a locked-down Facebook and use LinkedIn as a online presence.

She expects a Web developer to have a website.

Kelly: If Intel is hiring for social media, be it in marketing or PR, they look for a blog and Twitter. They want you to have more than 30 followers.

Twitter skills need to be down -- and that doesn't just mean retweeting whatever Mashable posts. Need to show that you can build a community with hashtags and searches, etc.

The Open Brand, by Kelly Mooney.
Kiva loan Website - not social, just about pushing a button. Could have been made social by asking people or engaging, i.e. "how can one little thing do so much?"

Tools Kimberly uses
An amazing laptop that she can use inside and out. Uses a Windows PC with outlook for email. Also can access her laptop from her cell phone. Syncs calendar to phone. For vacation and travel she uses a netbook.

"You need one unified solution these days and you need a back up to that."

Tools Kelly uses:
An iPhone and a Blackberry. A laptop and a desktop PC with two monitors.
Uses the iPhone for nonwork stuff.

Audience question: what do I invest time in?

Kimberly almost always creates an account in all of the new things that come out - just to reserve her name.

Kelly: "I usually choose what seems to be getting the most press at the time and that we may be interested in doing"
Foursquare - realized it was good for microlocation marketing, loyalty. Used it for an event.

Don't be scared to use something because it so trendy -- and you think it might be on its way out soon. Chances are if you are hearing it at Blogher or in a tech circle, it is not mainstream and still has a long useful life.

Audience question from blogger wanting to monetize:
Look for partnerships and relevant organizations.

Intel sponsors conversations a lot. Pulls in experts and hosts discussions.

Good, bad, ugly rule for moderating conversation. They allow the good, allow the bad, remove the ugly.

For those with obsolete tech skills:
With any sort of expiring technology, there is a industry that springs up of people who are experts in the dying breed.
But you have to be able to invest time in the ever-changing parts of Web development if that is what you want to do.

More tools:

Kelly: Couldn't live without Tweetdeck or Instapaper -- sends links to computer or Kindle.

Kimberly: Key with any specialist is that they need background of the specialty and ALSO understands industry.

Audience question - a teacher is looking to get out of the classroom and get into social media.

Kelly: Just do it. There's nothing you can read in a book that will help you more than just doing it. If you want to be in social media, try social media. Start a blog. Engage in conversation. Blog your passions.

Kimberly: Manager by day and does web development by night. Designed Common Sense Media. Taught Computer Science college at a womens college.

Take your computer apart. Figure out how to put it back together. Just like how people used to change their own oil -- some still do, but everyone used to. The more you get your computer comforts, the better you will be.

Get job experience by volunteering. Find an organization that you love and help them with social media. This builds experience.

Be authentic and personal. Always.

Use to track your links. Or another tracker to measure you capital.

Seriously, just take apart the computer. Then teach your daughter.

Audience question - How do you keep up with influencers?

Kimberly: Follows developers and languages on Twitter, subscribes to email lists, reads blogs via RSS. Follows the individuals, not necessarily the magazines.

Kelly: Reads Mashable, engadget and gizmodo. Belongs to Social Media Club and Social Media Profs. Gets Google Alerts.

More tools: netvibes,, tweetscoop,

Utilize tweet-ups. Find some on or twitter. Start putting it out there that you're going to meet up and see what happens.

Learn software through

Make sure your contests are sticky and sustain a presence.

Mass Animation - first crowdsourced animation film ever made. Storyboard created and animators could create clips for the film. Animated clips and then the community voted on it. Autodesk contest -- animators had to use the program in order to participate.

Great brands: Old Spice campaign, Zappos (customer service), Southwest Airlines (Kevin Smith debacle excluded)

If you see these social successes and want to incorporate them into your current position - then beg for a trial. Ask to be allowed to try it on a pilot project.


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