Monday, December 7th, 2009
Recently I gave up the life of a University web developer and moved to the exiting world of semantic web and library web services.
One of the nice things about the whole experience has been that Twitter has worked as a great bridge into the new role. It’s that whole ambient intimacy thing. Before I’d even set foot in the organisation as an employee, I had connections with people within it. More importantly, in a way, I felt connected to it.
Once I’d announced my acceptance of the new job, I had a raft of employees and well-wishers from the company’s sphere of interest, all making me feel that I was already part of the place before I’d arrived; Helping me with my transport queries, sharing useful knowledge, making me feel part of the culture and so on.
That’s a powerful thing. Feeling you’re welcome, appreciated and valued, before you’re even in the office.
The point here is that the untapped use for Twitter is bridging transition into new employment. Given that the tech industry is fairly notorious in its inability to retain talent from offer to actual arrival, that feeling of belonging to culture, which twitter can create, is a powerful tool in the recruitment arsenal.
Of course, I only applied for the role due to a tweet by Rob Styles, who I originally followed as another web person in Birmingham. So it’s a double edged sword, what helps you integrate new employees might also allow your talented employees to be lured away…
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
This is just a random thought that occurred on the train home. A friend was talking about how it might be tricky to do SEO for a plumber or electrician. I didn’t quite agree, but it occurred to me that for a local business marketing such services in the interweb age, there’s some quite clever things you could do.
First, join Twitter. Make sure you mention you’re a plumber and your location. Talk about your work and be generally personable; Being genuine is always a good start on the web. Include your website link so people can check your plumbing credentials, it’s probably best to mention you’re in Yellow Pages too, not everybody believes what they read on the web…
Second, go to twitter search and search for “burst pipe” or better “need plumber” or any of the other hundred complaints you might help with. Check it has lots of results. Go to advanced search, repeat, but with a geographic limit of 50 miles of your location. Say you’re in London (Oh look somebody needs help).
Go to Yahoo Pipes. Create a pipe with all those queries merged together. You could limit them to the last 24 hours if you like, so you don’t end up trying out of date info. Subscribe to the feed. Watch the feed for appropriate tweets. Respond when you see them by an @ reply or by following the tweeter and introducing yourself. Introducing yourself is important, hopefully shows you’re not a bot. You might want to give a special rate for twitter referrals. Hopefully your serendipitous contact will be seen as a boon, especially if you don’t behave in an autofollowy kind of way, get the job.
Do a damn good job. This part is important.
Hopefully your client will talk about the novel experience of being contacted via Twitter at just the right time. It’ll be remarkable, after all. This might net you some interest from friends of friends who need work, or some press attention, all of which would be good.
Repeat until you have a network of satisfied customers who will always remember you as the twitter plumber.
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Recently it occurred to me that everybody’s favourite micro-blogging / life-streaming / meta-water-cooler Twitter, could actually be quite a useful tool for doing some lightweight project tracking. So I decided to experiment a bit.
Read the rest of Project Twitter – Fun with Jquery