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I know what you are saying,  “Mike – you only post updates when you change your job….which seems to be a lot btw.”

I know, and I feel bad. I had a good thing going when I 1st started this blog, and since then it has gone downhill. Little by little I get distracted by everyday life. Between the kids and their sporting schedules, the yard work, vacationing, looking for a new job, landing a new job, starting a new job……..I think that you get the picture .

I was pretty bummed when Zynga shut down the Boston studio, but am not missing the commute by any means. After a short stint at OUYA, managing their Social channels through their retail release, I made the decision to try something new and local. It was just my luck that Autodesk was looking for a Community Engagement manager in their local office (15 minutes away). It was the perfect opportunity, with the perfect company, at the perfect time. After 3 weeks in the office I am still jazzed at the opportunity that is in front of me and am very excited to what the future may bring.

I just wanted to say hi again, and let you all know that I will try to post more often than 2x every 3 years – sorry for the long term vacation fro mteh blog, but I am back, and back for good! Thanks for the follow.

Let hope that this is the last employment update that you will see!

Mike

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I cannot believe that it has been over a year since I made my last blog post. I apologize to those who have followed me because I “had” some cool things to say. I will try to keep those types of posts coming, now that I have some more time on my hand.
For those of you who may know me, or follow Zynga, they closed their Boston office a few weeks back. While I had a feeling that something was coming, I actually thought that I would be ok, since I was assisting the Baltimore studio with a new game launch. Unfortunately that was not the case, and I was released of my duties.

Over the past 3 weeks I have really begun to think about my next move. While I have been involved in Social Media and Online Community Management and Sales for the past 14 years, is this something that will last? Something that has longevity?

Then I really got to thinking…..and said HELL YES!

As everyone in the field knows, it encompasses all aspects of Job titles & responsibilities. From Marketing, to Project Management to Customer Service and Public Relations, Social Media and Online Community professionals are being successful with all types of job responsibilities.

It is really time to harness our uniqueness and leverage that for our benefit. While my next position may not be a “Social Media Strategist” or “Online Community Manager”, you can bet that I will be leveraging my learnings over the past 14 years to excel at it.

* Thanks to http://markitors.com/ for the “Unique” image

Well another chapter is about to begin. Next week I officially start my new job at Zynga, working as the Sr. Community Manager for their Boston studio. I will be managing all of the Social aspects of the games which come out of that studio. It is a very exciting move for me.

Over the last couple of years I have learned a lot here at Ektron, but when all is said and done, I really wanted to get back into the Management aspect of online communities, leveraging my experience on the strategic side of things to  implement, build & develop an online community.

On a side note, I 1st began online community management for Fogdog Sports. I also worked at Mzinga. Now I work for Zynga, who has a dog as their logo. Coincidence…I don’t think so 😉

After reading (and seeing) the story around Derek Jeter pretending to get hit by a pitch and taking 1st base, it got me to think of a quote:   “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough.”

That is simply something that I do not agree with, as is this one: “The customer is always right.”

I was trying to think of others, but instead of racking my brain anymore, figured that I would throw it out there to get your thoughts. What are some quotes that have you scratching your head? Please share them here! As always, thanks ahead of time.

Wow, Yelp, FourSquare, Gowalla and now Facebook gets involved in location-based services (lbs).

I don’t like it and do not think that I will use it (outside of my initial test). Why you ask? Well here goes.

I am a member of numerous Social Networks for a reason. Facebook for my friends and to keep in touch with others acquaintances, LinkedIn for my professional relationships, Twitter to keep up with industry information…the list goes on. Now there may be overlap between my friends, my co-workers and my business friends among these channels, but in general, there are distinct reasons why I keep them separate.

FourSquare is my tightest network, meaning that I do not friend people who I do not know, or have never met. I have only “friended” 57 people. While I have 600 “friends” on Facebook, some that I have not seen since grammar school/high school, I do not see the need to allow them to see my each and every move. I have ignored requests from people who I am connected with on Facebook and on LinkedIn when they request to be friends on FourSquare.

I really wonder what the adoption rate will be on Facebook. Now if I could put specific people within my Facebook Network into a group, and only share my “Place” with those people………What do you think, Will you use Facebook Places? Which way will you go?

HTC-Droid-Incredible

HTC-Droid-Incredible

I have been waiting and waiting for the Verizon/Apple relationship to come together so that I could get an iPhone. Over the past few years I know many people who have one and love it. Unfortunately, AT&T’s coverage in “South-Central” New Hampshire is not great, as I get little to no coverage at my house.
So here is my new phone. Just received it last night. I am currently charging it up and am waiting to actually transfer my contacts over, but I am a little intimidated by it. As with something that it new comes a hesitation. I am so used to my Blackberry curve that I am intimidated by this new device. I know that it will support all of my needs, but how steep is the learning curve for this device? This evening I am planning to actually activate the device and put my Blackberry to rest. It will be a sad day, but one that is needed. If you have made it through this transition, please share your experiences here. Was it painful? Painless? What are some of your tips/tricks? Which apps do you find impossible to live without?   Please help me 🙂

Ok, I had to share this. I tweeted a couple of times over the last week referring to this story, but wanted to go into more depth here.

Twitter is a great tool for people and businesses; I think that everyone will agree with that. It is also a great tool for local businesses, if used effectively, and I wanted to share this story with you.

Early last week I was traveling to Calgary, Canada from Boston via Dallas,( please don’t ask, it’s a long story). While in flight from Dallas to Calgary American Airlines offered Gogo in-flight wireless internet service so I decided to pay the $10 to have it for the 3+ hour flight. For those of you that have not traveled with internet access on your flight, I compare it to JetBlue and having TV at your seat, yes, it is that good and I don’t know how I could have ever lived without either, anyway…..

On my way North, while traveling over Yellowstone I sent the following tweets:

What was really cool was that within a half hour, the account @Morningglorycof replied to my tweet:

I replied with “ I wish that they delivered” with a smile and then that was that, or so I thought.

Or Friday, I ran across this tweet:

It was really nice of them to do this, as I have never met this person and we had only exchanged a handful of tweets. I also decided to follow them back just in case I was ever in Montana. But the story does not end there.

On Friday we had friends that were going to Canobie Lake Park  up here in Salem NH. It is basically 6 Flags (www.sixflags.com), but on a much smaller scale (maybe 10% of 6 Flags). Anyway, we let our kids go during the day with our friends and met then at 5:30. Upon arrival at Canobie, I checked in on FourSquare and posted it to my Twitter account. Within a few minutes I received this tweet:

Is that a small world or what? Talk about chance encounters. I am sure that they also had a flood of memories outside of the one that they posted.

So with this post I wanted to bring about your Twitter stories. What are the “chance encounters” that you have heard of or actually been a part of? Please share.

Follow me

This seems to be a pretty important step in making sure that you can weed through the noise in the space. Some people follow too many people too quickly and become overwhelmed, while others take it slow and easy their way into Twitter, which I highly recommend.

Let me tell you what I do, and see if it is also what you do.

I seem to pick up a couple of followers. I go into Twitter’s website, rather than use Tweetdeck for this, and see who has most recently followed me. There are a few things that I key on when I click on their profile to see who they are:

Where are they located?

While being able to located current and accurate information concerning my profession on Twitter, as well as with former colleagues, I also like to keep up with people who live in my area, so I tend to follow them as well

What does their Bio say?

No bio, no follow, it is pretty cut and dry. If you can’t give me additional information about yourself, then how and why do you expect me to follow you? Come on, seriously?

How many followers do they have?

I am not talking about focusing on the numbers. If someone follows me, I tend to take a look at who they are pretty quick, within 24 hours I would say, unless it is the weekend. I tend to look at the box of avatars. There are 36 avatars within that area. If I am located within that area, odds are that you are not a spammer and are not just trying to friend anyone and everyone.

Maybe the last one is just me, but I feel that if you are following 36 people within a 24 hour period then you are just trying to get friends and not really caring who they are?

Too harsh? Thoughts? What do you look at?

I remember when I was a kid, at the end of every GI Joe episode, they ran a nice little segment that taught kids many different lessons, and then the characters would say, “…and knowing is half the Battle”. Now how am I going to relate this to Social Media you say, well here goes…….

knowing-is-half-the-battle

I love Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Media/Networking applications and platforms because it helps me learn a lot. Within Facebook it is great to see what my friends are up to, living all across the World; Twitter allows for the immediate gratification fix; for LinkedIn, it is crazy to see where people are moving within their professional careers, and potential business/job opportunities that can spawn out of those contacts/networks…you get the picture.

Now, I am rather new within Ektron, and I do not know anyone here. My 1st order of business was to check out the Intranet. Now the intranet has the typical information that you may find on other sites, announcements, events, documentation, you get the picture. Low-and-behold though, Ektron is eating their own dogfood (or drinking their own champagne) within the Social Media/Networking aspects of online communities, as we should be. Immediately I was able to review profiles of all of the employees – think of Facebook (photo’s, Updates, Twitter feeds….) – but for the organization.

At first I was very selfish in thinking how great this was, I could get up to speed rather quickly – getting to know who else on staff liked the same TV shows or local dining establishments in the area. I was very focused on the personal aspects of my new landscape and not thinking about how this could be beneficial within my “job”.

The Ektron intranet:

  • offered me a comfort level that I have not felt when I was hired by any other company
  • provided me insight as to the projects that were happening, and their status
  • immediately informed me as to when documents were being changed, and allowed me insight into what those changes were, and who made them
  • let me know who was on vacation, where they were going/when they were coming back
  • provided me the tools that I am used to using in my personal life, in a professional manner

Think about the last time that you had to print out a employee contact list because it was too hard to find; not know that someone was on vacation because they forgot to put their OOO on within outlook and go weeks before you got an answer; sent an email with a document that had been updated but not had “track revisions” on it; there are many other situations that can be described here.

Here is the question:

How important to you is it to keep up to date with someone that you have not seen in the last 10 years, and become part of their Mafia vs. Awareness within the decisions and on-goings that happen on a daily basis within your professional career and being able to affect the results?  

From now on, I will do BOTH (except for the Mafia part). 

Have you had a similar experience or wish that you had? As always, thanks for reading

If you are in the Social Media space, whether it is on the client or vendor side of the equation, you have probably seen the following image published by Gartner, as well as many other vendors:

gartner-magic-quadrant-social-software-workplace

If you are on the Web Content Management side of the house, the following graph is probably familiar with you as well:

168694_0001

You probably know at least 1/2 of the companies listed in each of the 2 graphs, but what about the others? Why do you now know about them?   How great would it be if you could have a partner/vendor/provider with robust tools for both external and internal websites? To empower your members/customers to purchase more and create brand awareness, and/or to create efficiencies within your employees base to make your decision-making process faster and more effective? A single solution for your entire corporation….

I only see a few companies that are included on both graphs above, IBM, Microsoft and Ektron. Pretty good company eh? So to answer the question, that is why. 

*(update – I apologize for the oversite, but Open Text is also on both graphs. They did not contact me, I rechecked the graph)

Mike

Employment

I am currently employed at Autodesk as a Senior Manager of Online Community and Social Engagement. My team is responsible for the Customer Support initiatives across all of our Social channels.

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