Posts Tagged ‘networking’

My name is Ed Justen. I play the saxophone.

Ed | October 24, 2010 in Miscellaneous | Comments (3)

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Ed Justen plays sax and fluteIn the time I’ve been doing social media and online branding, I’ve kept under wraps the one thing that was a major part of my life for many years; I am a musician, I play the saxophone and flute. Need proof? Check out this link.

Although there are many reasons for hiding this fact, I won’t go into them here. All that matters now is this:

I’ll be happy to work with you on your project/podcast/film/art project/blog post/branding concept/whatever-you-need-help-with if you desire music and a saxophone.

Need some original theme music for your podcast? (more…)

New Tools, New Ways to Connect

Ed | October 9, 2010 in New Media Things | Comments (1)

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In the constant search for the ultimate social media nirvana, I’ve incorporated two new tools to make sharing and connecting just a bit easier.

Tumblring along

The first new tool, Tumblr, is a blogging platform founded in 2007. While not as extensible as WordPress, it offers various features and themes in a user friendly web-based interface. It’s great for photos, short text posts, link-sharing and video sharing, with separate templates for each type of post. Tumblr offers easy integration with Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to cross-post to both platforms separately or together. (more…)

Twitter Follow Friday – Apr 30 2010 (#FF)

Ed | April 30, 2010 in Miscellaneous | Comments (1)

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Today’s Twitter Follow Friday (#FF) post is testimony to the “social” nature of social media. The two people I mentioned in this week are well known in Boston-area social media circles. After reading their tweets and blog posts for over a year, I finally ventured to the Boston Media Makers meet-up (first Sunday of every month at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain) where both are regular attendees. Read on . . . .

Ari Herzog (@ariherzog) is a social media enthusiast who leveraged his presence on the web to a city council seat in the Newburyport, MA. As such, Ari has a unique few of the intersection between social media, online marketing, and local government. He reached out to me after I mentioned I was a resident of neighboring Haverhill, and since then, we’ve had spirited discussions on all topics digital. He also introduced me to an SEO professional who provided valuable feedback on some of my consulting work.

Adam Weiss (@adamweiss) is a Boston area podcaster, photographer, and digital media strategist. He podcasted regularly for Boston’s Museum of Science, and now produces and hosts the critically acclaimed Boston Behind the Scenes podcast. Full disclosure here: I’ve yet to meet Adam in person, but after mentioning at a Boston Media Maker meet-up that I was looking for a social media project to work on, he put me in touch with Jenny Attiyeh, producer of the Thoughcast podcast. I now work with Jenny as a social media producer for Thoughtcast, which includes serving as the Twitter voice of the podcast. Thank you Adam, for the great connection!

Thanks to both Adam and Ari for reaching out to me over the last few weeks. I hope I can soon repay your kindness.

I’ll point out again, that these two valuable connections were made thanks to social media. Both Ari and Adam are active tweeters and bloggers, and considered by many to be thought leaders in their respective areas. Had I never ventured into the world of tweets, blogs, and Facebook updates, or attended the meet-ups organized by other social media types, we never would have met.

And what about you? Do you have a connection or interesting story that had its advent in social media? Let’s here about it in the comments.

Six month check-up

Ed | February 17, 2010 in New Media Things,Work stuff | Comments (0)

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Ed attends a session at Wordcamp Boston

Ed attends a session at Wordcamp Boston

Time for the six month check-up, a look at where I am now, and to possibly define my direction for the next six months. To find out how I got here, check out this post, and this post, both written after I attended Podcamp Boston.

Here’s what has happened since that warm weekend in August:

Rehash Website- I’ve escaped the iWeb/MobileMe/GoDaddy trifecta and moved on to WordPress; the change has been instrumental in my understanding of social media marketing and search engine optimization techniques. WordPress comprehension has also given me a new skill set to market as a service. I’ve taken on a client, showed her the benefits of WordPress, and helped her launch her own site. I’m encouraging other clients to move to WordPress, but even if they don’t, I now have excellent knowledge of ways to optimize their Google presence.

Define my role - Yes, you read that last paragraph correctly. I now have clients, people I help to walk the tight-rope that is social media. One of my glaring weaknesses coming out of Podcamp Boston was that I could not define what is was that I did. Now, I have purpose and vision, and I’m actively seeking clients to help achieve their goals. Currently, I’m doing this work pro bono, and will continue to do so until I define my focus a bit more.

Networking opportunities and professional development - I’ve come out of my shell a bit, attended a handful of  social media meetups, a second Podcamp event, and a Wordcamp event. I’ve seen some familiar faces, passed my cards around, practiced my elevator statement, and look for opportunities to talk about how I can help or collaborate with others. Working a crowd at a networking event still challenges me, but it gets easier the more I do it.

The lessons of the last six months have been ample. I’ve grown professionally, focused on my skills, defined a role, and helped others understand how they can use social media in their own professional and personal lives. Along the way, I’ve posted several blog entries documenting my progress and kept a nice record of my thoughts and actions while learning and growing.

So I will continue on this same path, with a goal of defining my focus, marketing my services, and looking for more networking opportunities. Stay tuned for a full report in six months.

California publication recommends Linked-In

Ed | February 4, 2010 in Work stuff | Comments (2)

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Do you think she used Linked-In?

The news remains harsh regarding unemployment statistics. The national rate stands at just over 10%, while 11 of 50 states (a full 22 per-cent) now deal with double digit unemployment rates. Michigan, with its auto industry-heavy workforce seemingly on life support, leads the nation with 14.6% of its populace seeking work.

Californians have long experienced unemployment woes, and their jobless statistics stand at 12.1%. So when a California-based employment journal recommends that job-seekers augment their online job search with social media tools, its best to listen to their advice.

In a web-posting entitled Give your job search more direction, the California Job Journal recommends Linked-In as a mandatory job search process.

Complete a profile on and you’ve taken an important step toward creating a powerful online network. It takes, on average, 65 contacts to create a network large enough to result in substantial and meaningful findings on LinkedIn, notes Victoria Snabon-Heath, career services director at The Art Institute of Tampa. She urges jobseekers to set themselves apart from the ordinary, dime-a-dozen applicants who inundate companies on a daily basis. “Go social. Begin utilizing virtual, social marketing techniques in addition to your online job search.”

The Linked-In buzz has been present on the Internet for well over a year now, and I’ve spent the better part of the last few weeks coaxing friends and family towards the career based social network. With features allowing recommendations, quick-and-easy group establishment and membership, and question-and-answer modules, it certainly is more robust than traditional job boards, and allows for more social interactions between members.

But with all its great features, I have yet to personally hear a Linked-In success story, although a few minutes of Google research reveals a few successes.

Has anyone yet been hired thanks to their Linked-In profiles? How about consulting gigs or other employment situations. Let’s hear it in the comments if you’ve had any type of positive interaction on Linked-In, other than finding and reconnecting to lost colleagues.

Elevator statement nearing completion!!

Ed | September 30, 2009 in New Media Things | Comments (2)

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Time for an update on my networking/spacefinding/what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-my-life quest.

Earlier this week, I attended a great workshop entitled Taking your elevator speech to the top floor: Networking skills everyone should know. If you have been following me on this blog, you know one of my main tasks here is to not only find my space in the social media sphere, but also develop an elevator statement, and learn how to leverage and use that statement as a networking tool.

The facilitator, an acting coach, was excellent. She related several tools to be used in almost any situation, and gave us tips for zapping uncomfortable “ahs” and “ums” from our conversation. We paired up and worked on our conversational techniques. When the facilitator talked about critical listening in conversations, I thought back to a networking conversation I witnessed but did not participate in, while attending Podcamp Boston. Both of those campers used the exact techniques described by the facilitator.

But for me, maybe the timing wasn’t quite right for this workshop, for this reason: I still don’t have an elevator statement. In fact, I still haven’t figured out what it is that I do, nor have I figured out how to help people with whatever it is that I do. All of this was going through the back of my mind as the next breakout session started.

The person I paired up with had to leave early, so for this breakout session, I worked with two other participants. This brealout though, required me to talk, answering questions posed by the two other members of my group. As I fumbled through the exercise, my breakout partner stopped me dead in my tracks.

“You’re a consultant, specializing in teaching computers and technical writing. Those are great skills to have, because not everyone can write, and a lot of people don’t have time to write.”

I was floored, and didn’t know what to say. This workshop participant had spent all of, maybe, 90 seconds listening to me, yet summed up in a few words, what I’ve been trying to put my finger on for about two months now.

Well, in all honesty, the room was so loud that I didn’t quite catch every word she said, so some follow-up is needed. But her observations were a great kick-start towards my own elevator statement “nirvana.”

So keep a close eye out. There may be a blog post in the future announcing a new elevator statement, which will require new business cards, and also require a touch-up of the website. The best part though, will be crossing off yet another task on my Podcamp Boston Takeaways #pcb4 checklist.

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