What if Social Media isn’t ‘all that’?

There’s a lot of talk about what it is, what it promises, where it’s heading & advice about how to use Social Media better.

I’m someone who loves it, thrives in it, uses it and unlike many, use it to take it offline & make relationships as real as possible, as often as possible, so don’t lament it’s existence at all. More I am disappointed at the missed opportunity.

If one of the goals of Social Media for the individual is connecting with people you don’t know yet (meeting, getting to know them, perhaps through others), then Social Media promises far more than it delivers…

That to me, would be clearly because of the way the vast majority of people are using it and how they view it – period. (i.e. they don’t want to do any more than they do already, don’t have strong enough motivation to, are apprehensive as it takes them out of their comfort zone). You can’t tell the market what to do after all. It may evolve somewhat but the market pretty much does what the market does.

We can complain and say it isn’t the way it’s ‘supposed’ to be or that the channels, platforms & makers of tools need to do more to help people ‘get it’ – that they ‘can’ actually {insert what they want from joining Social web channels} if they want to – but perhaps people just can’t be bothered.

There clearly is a desire to join social channels, to ~ connect/friend/add to circles/follow ~ with a lot of people, to join groups, to read, to observe – everything that takes no overcoming of fear nor too much time to do, and very little else.

Then there’s those that have something to sell, who see Social Media as only something ‘Online’ and to broadcast their self promotional messages to. {insert expletive}’s! If there was less of this, perhaps more individuals would see more value in Social Media!

That’s what I see in the behavior of the majority on all channels, even LinkedIn, even in most LinkedIn groups.

We’re all busy & all dealing with information overload, delivered to our eyes through multiple devices & mediums. Perhaps all it takes is some time for a greater % of people to use Social Media, in similar ways that they would say their physical network and as they might act, behave & pursue at in-person events – to reach out and meet new people, build rapport, spend some time together, getting to know each other & communicating, to stay in touch and maybe one day help each other out.

Then again, how many people do you know who have little or no interest in going to Business or other Networking events, are not necessarily that social, at least since they left their teens & early 20’s behind.

Perhaps the vast majority of people are pretty happy with their current circle of influence & the small, natural growth that occurs without putting in very much effort, or experiencing discomfort?

If so, what IS everybody getting out of Facebook then? 😉

Great read: How to Hire Top Talent [or Interview like an ‘A-Lister’] – in Japan

Now despite the Website name, GoodPeople Japan is not a recruitment firm! I have of course been involved in staffing, outsourcing, Agency Recruiting and on site / internal recruiting in an HR Department (of an Investment Bank) as well as been someone hired, outsourced and job seeking in my nine years here. So I have experience, interest and a Network in the industry.

This when I read it then, I thought it was a good, frank, straight to the point article about recruiting that can also be looked at from the Job Seekers perspective. Valid worldwide, the guys being interviewed are well known leaders in the foreign recruitment industry here in Japan (ex Wall Street Associates, now en Japan Company President & Ingenium Group CEO), and so you can be sure this advice is firmly Japan relevant. It’s really good stuff.

How to Hire Top Talent  http://beaconreports.net/?p=611

Don’t miss the comment made about Networking to find the best people [for recruiting ‘GoodPeople’] – remember though, the same goes for finding opportunity, at good companies [‘GoodPeople’, looking for their next job or contract].

Everybody wants to hire “A” players. “They are already fully engaged with their work and happily employed,” said Mark. “That’s why they’re the best candidates.” The opposite also applies. “You don’t want to recruit the people who are eager for the job,” said Craig. “The one you want, is the one that doesn’t want to go. Because they’re usually the best.” According to Craig, a hiring manager might need to look at 50 or 100 people to find that gold nugget person. “You are going to have to look at a fair number of people because “A” players represent only 10% – 20%” of all candidates. Hiring managers must be able to reach into their virtual bench to pull out “A” players. But frankly speaking, even though I encourage my clients to do so, most people are too busy or aren’t that good at networking. This is why companies resort to advertising and to using recruiting companies.” Craig admits, “I’m sort of glad they do but I have to say the best hiring managers are not heavily reliant on recruiting companies.”

That defines both how to use a recruiting firm, AND why the average person might like to reassess their reliance on recruiting firms, only see recruiting firms as a very small part of their strategy.

Whether recruiting or job seeking, I recommend similar to what these guys for Ingenium & en Japan say in this good little article (and have read ‘Hire With Your Head’ one of the books quoted):

  1. Define who you want to hire and why you want to hire them
    [job seeker: what Industries & where you want to work & why?].
  2. Find your “A” players
    [job seeker: identify people in hiring level positions in those firms/industries, and the people connected to them].
  3. Chose your final candidates
    [job seeker: prioritize the industries, companies & people you’ll start with]
  4. Make your pitch to them in a timely and compelling way
    [job seeker: know what you’re going to say, but remember this isn’t an interview; you’re networking and at the right time, in time, the opportunity to discuss working, your job, what you’re best at and that you’re interested, will come up.]

I’ve just discovered the Beacon Reports blog “Bottom Line Tips for Residents of Japan”, on Twitter I think it was. Some good stuff on there, very interesting.

If you’ve got any questions of Job Search as a foreigner or Japanese person, or on Recruiting ‘GoodPeople’ I do have plenty of experience & some ideas to share!

Drop me a line or comment below.

10 steps to getting something out of a LinkedIn social community (Group)

A summary of advice posted by group Admin/Moderators to a LinkedIn group (Business In Japan) with over 30,00 members. A global & open group that is focused around a particular geography, that attracts many people broadcasting self promotional messages, as such groups tend to.

The opportunity of Business In Japan group on LinkedIn [BIJ] (any group really) is not 7,500+ Japan based eyes or 30,000+ eyes worldwide, looking in. Because it’s not happening – not in any great number! At any one time there are very, very few people looking. The bigger the group, the quicker the latest post slides out of view, with those with no commenting happening disappearing the quickest, and those of Broadcasted links the least commented on.

Over time, with email updates, with any new activity in a post, with someone pointing another to a post in the group, there are more of course, but it’s information overload out there in the world and we are all so busy, that the time online is at a premium and something needs to really grab our attention for us to read it, let alone respond…

Those that are looking in the BIJ group, regularly, are incredibly connected, knowledgeable and willing to help as a whole. As the group grows, as engagement and understanding of what people want grows, this community, it’s value to each other and incoming new members, will grow.

But we don’t come here to sort through a bunch of self promotional post, advertising and bloggers seeking numbers for their Google Adwords and PPC.

This makes up the majority, yes the vast majority of attempted posts in BIJ and the sad fact is 90% of people doing this wont read this Discussion post, and are missing out on the opportunity that the BIJ community offers.

If you want to achieve something with this group, regarding ‘Business’ & ‘Japan’:
[1] take a step back, think about what you want to achieve (ask ‘why’ after each answer 5-10 times)
[2] read other peoples discussions, take an interest, comment, share your experience & opinions
[3] research, research, research – what Verticals, Industries, Companies, Departments, Roles in those departments, people in those roles, any people in those companies, any people who know or might know people in all of these…
[4] stop thinking you’re online
[5] imagine you’re in a room full of people and you can go up, listen in to conversation, join them if you like, comment, share…
[6] start your own conversations around things you’re knowledgeable about, that you’re interested in, that are in line with why you are here on LinkedIn, in BIJ in the first place. Ask questions and answer them from others – it’s a two way street, more it should be 80% about the other people, 20% about you
[7] build rapport, relationships, respect… build and grow a personal brand
[8] network & contact people in a non-threatening, not all-about-me way
[9] help other people do the same, help others identify what they want and achieve it too – DWYSYWD (Do What You Said You Would Do)
[10] Ask for what you want, be clear, concise, use keywords and be as specific as you possibly can be

Let’s build a community that supports each other and helps us all get where we want to go.

Feel free to comment below with your ideas.

Social Media & the new #iRun AIR

Social Media, tech gadgetry and the 2012 Tokyo Marathon come together, with the latest model of the iRun, the iRun AIR tomorrow, Sunday February 26th 2012. Um, what’s that?

To be fair, Tokyo Marathon knows Joseph Tame very well by now. He’s run Tokyo Marathon (or quarter marathon) three times before, wearing what evolved to be the now famous ‘iRun‘.*

* See the evolution of the iRun, all in one image here and the full details here

I’ve known Joseph since 2007 I think it was, when I discovered his Blog & Podcast, before he was famous 😉 and so he happily shared a bit of info with me, for me to get the message out to people who might not yet have heard of him – and seen just what technology & Social Media can do if one (solid team) puts their minds to it!

Here then is an ‘in a Nutshell’ summary of where you can see Joseph, the latest iRun – complete with HD TV Broadcast quality video streaming (collected & re-assembled from over 4x mobile signals!) and Josephs goals for the 2012 Tokyo Marathon this Sunday:

Joseph Tame: Tokyo-based Digital Media Producer, artist, marathon runner, public speaker, consultant, trainer, inventor, husband, Apple user & change enthusiast. (And as Joseph says “Sometimes I combine all of these into one”)

The 2012 Tokyo Marathon (Official Site): http://www.tokyo42195.org/2012_en/

Date & Time Sunday, February 26, 2012
9:05 a.m. (Wheelchair Start)
9:10 a.m. (Elite and General Race Start)
10:50 a.m.10km Finish
16:10 p.m. Marathon Finish

The iRun AIR Livefeed: http://josephta.me/tokyo-marathon-2012-live/

Goals & Theme for the 2012 run: “I’m going to try and interview at least 42 people (1 per kilometer) whilst running the marathon; everyone taking part has some kind of amazing story to tell and I want to share those stories with the world. When you watch a marathon on TV it’s a very one-way experience and you don’t get at all involved in all of those individual hero stories. My goal this year is to share those stories with the world, and thanks to the interactivity provided by twitter allows viewers to share their messages with both the runners and others watching online.”

Charity support for Tohoku Kids through the Tyler Foundation’s Shine On! Smile Ambassador Program. Whilst many families now have roofs over their heads, for many, the disaster is far from over, especially the children. Please read & support the program. Joseph: “I joined Guy Totaro on one of his trips to bring smiles to the faces of children hardest hit, and was moved to tears by the power of his performance. By the end of his magical show even the quietest, most reserved kids had opened up, smiling, laughing and recalling how things were before the tsunami.

Sponsored by the new ‘NANOX‘ for the iPod Nano

FOLLOW Josephon the Social channel of your choice – please share with your friends & network as your way of cheering him on!

Example Tweets or updates to send (cut & paste them):

Watch out for Joseph Tame at this years #Tokyo #Marathon this Sunday. He’ll be looking like this http://flic.kr/p/bvWHjr in his latest model iRun AIR!

Wow, check out this Apple i-contraption this guys wearing in the Tokyo Marathon, broadcasting it Live on the web http://is.gd/L3tPEX

Tokyo Marathon 2012 Live! | Joseph Tame wearing an iRun AIR & Broadcasting live here http://is.gd/L3tPEX #Japan

Social Media in Japan [a #resource]

Late last year someone asked about Social Media Usage in Japan in a LinkedIn group I’m in. The request was from a girl in the US researching for a University paper she was working on. She asked a bunch of questions about Social Media use in Japan, some quite subjective and many the questions Marketing & Market Entry folks would, and do, pay good money for.

Wanting to be ‘ever helpful’ I gave her some ideas on where to start. While I’m no expert in Social Media or Japan, I am active in some Social Media channels & do have a large network here, as well as some solid ideas I think, for leveraging Search/Research, the Web & Social channels.

So as well as advising her that she might benefit from finding someone who is a native or near native level Japanese speaker to help her Google & research in Japanese, here are some People, Links and Information I shared with her to kick start her own research: *I’ve added & edited a little from the original post

WHERE TO START WITH RESEARCHING SOCIAL MEDIA IN JAPAN

Follow Dr. Serkan Toto, better still, give him a reason to connect/meet & talk to you:

  1. Web http://www.serkantoto.com/
  2. TC http://techcrunch.com/author/serkan/
  3. Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/serkantoto

Follow Neal Schaffer, better still, give him a reason to connect/meet & talk to you:

  1. Web (Japan Search) http://windmillnetworking.com/category/japan/
  2. Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/NealSchaffer/
  3. Maximize Social Business in Japan http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Windmill-Networking-in-Japan-Izakaya-155801
  4. Neal’s Japanese Language Blog specific to Japan Social Media http://windmillnetworking.com/japanese-social-media-marketing/

Follow some other people & groups active in Social Media here: (and See LinkedIn search below to find more)

Mashable rules

Mashable (Japan Search) http://mashable.com/?s=japan&commit=Search

LinkedIn search is also your friend – so do what 90% of people don’t do on Social Media; proactively reach out and talk to people:
LinkedIn Advanced Search for “Social Media” (in Japan)
[Note: Read my ideas on how to do this effectively here – “do the hard yards”]

The guys dealing with Japan, Tech, Social media at Business Insider write good stuff. Here’s just one guy & you can ask him questions from his profile page:

  • Jay Yarow http://www.businessinsider.com/author/jay-yarow

SlideShare – Second to none the best place for a quick & dirty run down on the stats and key points on ANY subject:

  • SlideShare (Japan Social Media Search) http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=japan+social+media

G is for Google …through to lots of stuff (just a start):

[ BTW, to get good at Search, a great place to start is Boolean Black Belt (Don’t let the focus on Sourcing/Recruitment distract you – brilliant knowledge shared by Glen Cathey here) http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/ ]

Aggregators are great:

  • Daily Social (Japan Search) http://techne.dailysocial.net/?s=japan
  • Alltop (Japan & Social Media Search) http://alltop.com/?keywords=japan+social+media&x=25&y=11

Q&A sites are also great. Besides LinkedIn Answers, try asking the right questions & following the right people at:

Great Article on what Q&A Sites are, from the perspective of SEO and why Q&A sites good for it ]

Opposing opinions on Nuclear Energy & the future

As an Australian*, living in Japan at the time of the Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami in March of 2011, with no plans to go anywhere at this stage a year later, I have read a lot  in this past year about Nuclear Power, why we use it and it’s risks/dangers.
  * Australia has no NPP’s, but are mining & supplying a lot of Uranium

I’ve also read a lot about where we are all heading, with the interconnected Economy that has evolved across the world and that we all so rely on continuing ‘as it always has’. I’ve been studying, reading, listening and watching everything I come across about how the Economy, Energy & the Environment are not separate issues – how they cannot be separated from each other when we discuss the impact that might be felt by the average person, if problems in any one or more of these areas should occur.

So when it comes to Nuclear Power and whether it is good, bad, necessary or not necessary – I have formed these two conflicting views, which in the end may be moot:

1. There is no such thing as Alternative Energy – we’re going to have to use every possible known energy source, discover and develop new & better ones, more efficient ways to live off of our consumption of any energy source available, if we are going to maintain anywhere near current worldwide usage (let alone emerging economies & population growth!). There is no way around this & the impact may well be felt in our lifetimes.

Article related to this opinion:
Why don’t we ditch nukes, AND coal?

To emphasize this, almost everyone I speak to & most common online theorization focuses on the fact that humans have always been resourceful and will invent/discover new sources of Energy & continue to improve technology in sourcing it, producing it and consuming it – the vast majority of us humans that actually think about where Energy comes from, when all is said & done, are pinning our hopes on this!

2. The next world Conflict (or ‘it’s too late anyway‘) – when, not if, partial world conflict from the pursuit of energy occurs, which country will hesitate to blow up Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in opposing countries?

If there is geopolitical disorder, conflict between major powers; energy source countries & highest consumer countries, and/or social disorder on a large scale for any reason, in countries that have NPP’s – who will keep the lights on and the Cooling occurring, for the decades required?

Does anyone really believe the human race has advanced to a level that world conflict, or conflict between one or more nations with significant armed forces & strike capacity, won’t ever happen again?

These are my concerns about the use of Nuclear Power, over and above concerns of the danger they pose from more ‘mundane’ accidents, like say building them on fault-lines & in countries with undeniable history & threat of Earthquakes & Tsunami (!).

Of course these too are close to moot points for most of us as we don’t have much influence as individuals and in regards to NPP’s that exist – it’s too late. Even if the world decided to shut down the 435 existing NPP’s and cancel the 63 under construction tomorrow*, it would take decades to shut them down and for decades more, we’d need to keep the Fuels cool – many decades.
like Japan did, while they waited/still wait for enough money to flow to decision makers to ‘allow them’ to be switched back on – or it becomes obvious without them the country will go broke &/or catastrophically regress (impacting the general populations way of life no doubt.)

On that basis then, I can conclude reluctantly that we will probably continue using Nuclear Power and we have to. We can only hope that we move to retire the oldest, dirtiest & most dangerous NPP’s (and begin longterm cooling operations for the decades worth of spent fuel), build only the safest technology available new NPP’s and, like 80% of people reading this probably believe will happen – no doubt in their minds, work tirelessly to identify sources of energy and technologies that deliver us energy that is clean and can sustain the world as it expands – before Energy (all core resources we consume actually) and/or Environmental impact of the way we live & consume our planet, impacts what increasingly looks like a vulnerable and fragile world economy – an impact which would simply means a drastic change to your, my and our families safety, security and the quality of life we are able to enjoy.

What do you think?

My CHALLENGE to GoodPeople Japan members

Something I recently posted in a discussion thread in the Business In Japan open group on LinkedIn which I’m main admin for, to encourage people to interact more with each other around the concept of ‘Business In Japan’, is something I’d also like to suggest to GoodPeople Japan members. It’s even more relevant for GPJ because a large percent of GPJ members are in Japan and so have more of a chance to meet up in person!

So few people actually have a strategy for using LinkedIn, so this is just one idea how to start building your connections here in Japan and on LinkedIn.

THE CHALLENGE

Find 5 interesting people in the GPJ group, contact them publicly in a group discussion format OR privately through LinkedIn Group member contact permissions (no need to post it publicly unless you want to, of course – it’s your choice, your contact!), or email if you have it, saying you came across their profile in GoodPeople Japan.

Mention their profile was interesting for X, Y and/or Z reasons and you’re also reaching out generally, to make a connection around the common interest of ‘Connecting with GoodPeople In Japan’. Before meeting in person, which I highly recommend, why not use LinkedIn to learn a little more about each other, your possible mutual interests in Japan and get some ideas about how you might help each other or any of your connections.

LinkedIn Personal Plus Account

(via @nealschaffer)

I’d like to share with people who are avid users of LinkedIn, and interested in having more information and resources available to them without having to upgrade to a monthly paid membership, signing up to one of the three monthly Upgrade Options available to LinkedIn users and power users.

This is a ‘Personal Plus’ account which I trialled for free some time back. (LinkedIn gave some/all members a free 1 month trial back in 2008 I think it was, though the Service has been around since 2005).

Here’s a Blog Post from Neal Schaffer, founder of Windmill Networking, about it from November last year, though just as relevant today and indeed Neal mentioned it at a Social Media workshop he held in Tokyo last night (Nov 17th, 2010):

The LinkedIn Personal Plus Paid Account

The only difference with the current state of the Service to Neal’s Blog post, is that it is now USD $99.50 per year. (Automatic unless terminated)



I also share many links I feel will be of interest to GoodPeople, on Twitter: @GoodPeopleJapan

[2010] Drop-in format Food, Drink & GPJ Networking Bonenkai

With the busy Bonenkai season upon us, it can be hard to organize our schedules after work or even a set date & time.
Lets face it, it can also be an expensive time of year…

Therefore for 2010 the GoodPeople Japan Bonenkai will be an easy ‘DROP-IN when you like, stay as long or as little as you like, all day Saturday flexible format!  What do you think? Leave a comment!

UPDATE: GoodPeople Japan member (a member since I launched in Jan 2009) Koichi Okubo, started his own Business Networking Group this year: Japadamy and we’re going to make this…

A joint Bonenkai between GoodPeople Japan and Japadamy!!

The concept of Japadamy is to mix business oriented people who want to do business with Japan, and once a month Okubo-san has a great event where Japanese people perhaps less confident with their English, can meet Foreigners who speak some level of Business Japanese.

Okubo-san will invite members of Japadamy to come along and mix with ‘GoodPeople’ and we can all grow our networks in Japan! I’m of course a member of Japadamy, have attended a number of his events and highly recommend GoodPeople also attend.



WHAT: GoodPeople, 2010 ‘Drop-in 12pm-8pm’ Bonenkai! [GoodPeople Japan members & invited guests]
GoodPeople Japan’s flexible event format ‘business & social Networking Bonenkai’ (End of Year Party).
This format is especially designed for you to be able to make the effort to attend and meet some GoodPeople Japan members, no excuses. Can’t make 12pm because you’re with the family? Come for dinner (there’ll be a nijikai I expect too!) Can’t make dinner? Drop in for a beer, a snack and a chat between 2pm & 6pm!
DATE: Saturday, December 18, 2010
TIME(s): COME ANYTIME between 12pm-8pm+
  • 12pm – 2pm LUNCH
  • 2pm to 6pm ‘Pay As You Go’
  • 6pm – DINNER
  • 8pm ~ NETWORKING (nijikai also probable)
WHERE:
Taj Akasaka (meet there)
Links to MAP, Gurunabi & [pdf map]
2-12-33 Akasaka, Minato Ku, Tokyo
Tel. (03) 6234-0888
How much?: Between Zero Yen and 3,000 yen, plus any drinks or extras off the menu you order!
If you turn up or stay for both between 12pm and 2pm or 6pm and 8pm, you will need to pay just 1-2,000 yen for the buffet(s) that will be available during those times whether you plan to eat or not, to be fair to Ami the owner (see details below)

R.S.V.P. here if you’re a definite




If not above, please R.S.V.P. using the event links at LinkedIn (ideally) or on Facebook (if nothing else) also, especially if you’re still a ‘maybe/interested’.


Details: Here’s some info about what to expect for food & drink

FOODS:
12:00~14:00 LUNCH (Buffet Format) @ 1000yen per person
14:00~18:00 SNACKS (limited choices) @ 500yen plates
18:00~20:00 DINNER (Buffet Format) @ 2000yen per person
20:00~ NETWORKING (no rush to leave Ami says, though we may find somewhere nearby later also)

Salads, Soups, Curries, Papadums, Rice/Rice Pilaf, Chicken Biriyani (served with Raita), Naan, Spicy Potato Balls & Wedges, Vegetable Pakoras, Chicken Lollipops, Eggplant Fritters, Pizza Naan and Desserts!

What’s being served, depends on when you arrive and what time you stay until!

DRINKS:
12:00~20:00 The bar will operate throughout the day. GoodPeople can buy their drinks by paying cash at the bar counter.

Draft Beer 330ml: 500yen*
House wine glass: 500yen*
Select Cocktails: 700yen
Bottled Beer (Kingfisher, Corona, Asahi Black): 650yen
Draft Sour (Lemon/Grapefruit): 500yen
Umeshu/Shochu: 500yen
Soft Drinks (Oolong Tea, Ginger Ale, Coke, OJ etc): 400yen

(Plus many other drinks also available from a la carte menu at regular prices.)
*BeersForBooks ‘1 book’ donation included! All other drinks voluntary donation tins will be available

UPDATE on how it went:

Fantastic! We had a great group of people attend, that started with just one table-full pre-lunch at around 12pm to about 35 at it’s peak pre-dinner at 6pm and 10 people staying or turning up for the nijikai/2nd party around 9pm through to 10.30pm-ish. Perhaps around 60 people throughout the day, many more than who had confirmed. We made over 100 books for BeersForBooks.org even though it wasn’t promoted as a B4B event also.
Thanks one and all!