Category Archives: Social Media

VMworld 2010: Day 1 – Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds

VMworld 2010: Day 1 – Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds

Although the opening reception was not until 4 pm, the excitement was already building here at Moscone Center in San Francisco at 8 am. There were hundreds in line at that time, though it was pretty efficient: step up to a computer, type in your first and last name, step over to pick up your badge, then down the hall for The “Swag Loading Zone” and bag collection.

John Troyer, VMware

As in years before, VMworld is very “social media friendly” and there is a “Social Media & Blogger Lounge.” My old friend from VMware, John Troyer is setting up his list of experts. VMware will be streaming 6 hours of video a day.

The earliest sessions are around Partners. The Partner Super Session was huge, I’ll tell you about it in my next blog article.

The facilities at the Moscone Center in San Francisco are well organized and there is free WiFi connection for all. However, the reality is another thing. Virtually everyone (no pun intended) here is carrying at least one and probably two WiFi devices, so the router access points were soon saturated.

The handhelds on hand (pun intended) this year look like this: BlackBerry, iPhone, Android devices. Auxiliary devices: iPad (which I’m writing this article on), laptops and kiosk Wyse terminals around the venue.

The Solutions Exhibition is huge. Cisco is front and center, flanked on either side by EMC and NetApp. In the center are several VMware booths with lots of other companies both large and small surrounding.

This is the second largest convention of it’s kind, only Oracle OpenWorld is larger. This week the number of attendees at VMworld:

17,021

This is my 4th VMworld, the show has been running since 2004 when there were only 1,400 attendees. Last year there were 12,500. This year, there are 85 countries represented.

Stay with me, I’ll be here all week. You can follow my Twitter stream here.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web, Part 2

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web, Part 2

We’ve talked about how getting your own domain name can give you immediate exposure on the Web in my previous article, for my friend who wants to use the Internet to find a job. It’s a first step, that provides the virtual equivalent of an online resume. Now, what’s the next best way to “get your name out there?”

2. Get on the major Social Networking Sites

They’re no longer considered “greasy kid stuff” and recruiters and employers are searching some of them. I’ll mention just two, to keep down the noise level, and the activity required to get value from them.

It’s the “buttoned down” version of social networking. It’s no-nonsense, professional, and has a relatively good signal to noise ratio. It’s been reported that most executives from Fortune 500 companies network here along with over 30 million other members. It works on the premise of “6 degrees of separation” — that through six levels of connections that you have in your network, you likely know someone who knows someone else… who knows Kevin Bacon, or that hiring manager at the company you’re interested in. You create a “profile” which is essentially an online resume, which features your distinctives and job history. This profile is found at www.linkedin.com/in/YourName. See mine by clicking the link above.

So, in my case for example, I have over 500 direct, or first-level connections, that ultimately connect me through their connections, to over 6.5 million professionals. You can recommend people you are connected to, and ask the same in return. Similarly, you can connect to organizations, companies you used to work for, or your old school — as a way of networking with people you know with the intention of connecting to people you’d like to know. LinkedIn has also added your company and industry news, notifications of who your contacts have connected with, and other more popular “social media” features that include suggestions of contacts and job postings you might be interested in. The “Q&A” feature allows you to ask questions of subject matter experts, or to offer answers from your own experience.

While not as robust as Facebook, LinkedIn also features “groups” that you can associate with, if the moderator of that group approves you, that include discussion threads. These appear as “badges” on your profile. They may be associated with your company, alumni associations, your industry, or your interests.

Very recently, LinkedIn has added an “application” platform to their stable of services, not unlike MySpace and Facebook before them. Initially they offered less than a dozen, but among them is the ability to add a feed from one’s blog or Twitter feed.

TIP: Fill out your LinkedIn profile as completely as possible, listing all past companies, schools, and associations. Then you’ll be notified of new members from those organizations, as they join LinkedIn. Also, LinkedIn offers job agents that look for job openings for you, based on filters you set up. Some job listing are only offered on LinkedIn, or appear on LinkedIn first.

Check out an excellent article on Mashable called How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn.

Sure, it started at Harvard as a virtual whiteboard for student’s dorm room door, but it has evolved, and is now the fastest growing social network with 120 million members. And not just among college students. While the largest demographic is 18-24, the next largest group is not teens, but 25-35. And many articles on Business Week have discussed how the 35-and-over crowd is flocking to Facebook as an augmentation to their business networking.

For example, many companies and brands have “Groups” on Facebook. Some have a variety of different groups around special interests, products, and issues. Groups allow association, photo sharing, discussion threads, etc. But “Networks” are a bit different. You can join your company’s network if you have an email address like YourName@company.com. Similarly, you can join your school’s network if you have an email address like YourName@school.edu. Finally, you can join a network associated with your city or geography, if it is part of your profile’s address.

Facebook offers a very rich set of “applications” that permit everything from tie-ins with other services to various “tag-you’re-it” games. While some might be considered a bit adolescent, others are very useful in connecting to job opportunities. It is said that there are some 280,000 applications in use among all Facebook members.

TIP: Not only fill out your Facebook profile completely, listing schools and professional associations, but check out some of the applications for ways to connect to more people you know, or might like to know. Be careful of privacy settings for each application however, as some of them reveal parts of your profile that you may not be aware of when you turn them on.

Caveat 1: Though social networking is popular in the US, ironically, we lag in the usage of this kind of technology worldwide. The leader in this is Asia, with South Korea being one of the top users, in much the same way as it is with SMS or “text messaging” on mobile phones.

Caveat 2: The current Social Network Sites (SNS) are growing at different rates. While Friendster was popular years ago, it was eclipsed by MySpace. Though MySpace is still quite large, Facebook, at least in the US is growing faster. But these are all, for the most part, “walled gardens”. While there is some openness to their APIs, most of the social currency that one invests in the site remains with the site and is not portable to other sites. I expect that this will evolve until social networking becomes a “feature” of most Web 2.0 experiences.

Opportunity 1: Many people use several Social Networks to build out their “social graph”, how they’re interconnected with others. The two I’ve mentioned are by no means the only two, nor are they the most popular, but in terms of raising your visibility for employment by “getting your name out there,” they are perhaps the best available… for free. Other popular Social Networking sites include Flickr, YouTube, Orkut, Bebo, Hi5, Ning, Xing, BigTent… the list goes on.

Opportunity 2: As mobile devices evolve, these Social Networks become alternatives to older Web 1.0 technologies. For example, the iPhone has applications for both LinkedIn and Facebook that are sufficiently mature enough to be useful. LinkedIn becomes the professional address book and Facebook becomes the alternative to email and instant messaging chatting.

How will this raise your brand-name awareness? Increasingly, HR professionals, recruiters, and hiring managers are scouring all possible online resources to learn about potential employees. LinkedIn and Facebook are the two most popular locations for employers to find out about people, and vice-versa. Many employment consultants recommend maintaining a current LinkedIn profile.

Beyond the personal, major US online retailers are using Social Networking Sites to promote their brands.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web

Recently, a friend of mine who is doing a job search asked me:

Bill… Petro… dot com, how did you come to get a .com after your name, and more importantly, how could potential employers find me more easily on the InterWeb?


And well he might ask. Aside from using your own private and personal networks to find employment opportunities… if you want to jumpstart your presence on the Web, here is a list of things you might do to increase your visibility, and enhance your brand appeal on the Web.

I’ll describe these in descending order, with the most impactful, and least time intensive first.

1. Get your own domain name

2. Get on the major Social Networking systems

3. Get deeper and wider to make your name more pervasive

First, let’s start with the easiest and most immediately impactful thing:

1. Get your own domain name

There’s nothing more powerful than having a “dot com” after your name. This was the first thing I did back in the mid ’90s and I called it then “the personalized license plate for the Internet.” There are several immediate benefits to this:

  • It’s easy to explain to people where to find you on the Internet. If they can remember your name, they can remember where you are.
  • Conversely, it’s a easy way for people to remember your name. When I introduce myself as “Bill Petro dot com” it’s novel and memorable. However, people have asked me if I’ve legally changed my name.
  • It increases likelihood of your name showing up on search engine hits.
  • You’ve now got the equivalent of an online resume!

This domain can be “hosted” by an number of companies, rather inexpensively, requiring only an additional annual registration fee to hold your name. Most hosting companies (Internet Service Providers) can handle both of these for you. On the Internet, names are “first come, first served” so act early and often. If YourName.com is not available, try some of the following:

  • Your-Name.com Not as good, but at least it’s a dot com.
  • YourName.net A popular alternative, though dot net is usually an ISP.
  • YourName.org Typically a non-profit name, but at least you get your name in lights.

Some register all the popular domain endings for their name. This is a good way to protect your name if you can afford it, and many big companies have done the same. But this is not the only way to leverage “YourName.” Will discuss more in my next article.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: Day 2 Review – Virtually Anything is Possible

VMWORLD 2008: DAY 2 REVIEW – VIRTUALLY ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

VMworld is not just a trade show about virtualization, it uses virtual technologies and Web 2.0 technologies in a way I’ve never seen before. Here’s an example:

Blogging:

IMG_0145Not only is blogging encouraged, but it is honored. There is a special set of tables in the keynote auditorium for bloggers to set up their laptops for blogging. Or in my case, I was Twittering about the keynote with my iPhone. Indeed, during yesterday’s keynote with with VMware CEO Paul Maritz, the announcer invited attendees to use Twitter to send in their questions. The person next to me was from Denmark and didn’t understand what I was doing. He had never heard of Twitter, so I sent him to Twitter.com. By the way, my real-time “Tweets” (noun form of Twitter) on this show can be found at this link. Note, they’ll appear in reverse chronological order, most recent at the top.

Podcasting:

IMG_0153John Troyer of VMware, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, was doing several podcasts live from the Communities Lounge at the Solutions Exchange on the show floor. John is very involved in VMware’s blogger community and end user communities. He has lots of community management experience. Here you see John interviewing user moderators from VMware’s communities. You’ll find John at the VMTN Blog and his podcasts here.

Virtual Pavilion:

MainFloorWhile this is a show about virtualization, there is also a virtual show going on at the same time. Eric Nielsen, VMware’s Director of Web Communities showed me around the virtual, online pavilion.

You can access it directly from the VMworld.com website, or from here. It is a two dimensional virtual world that an attendee can navigate through and visit various rooms.

As an attendee navigates around the Virtual Pavilion he or she can see other attendees, participate in contests and games, gain points for answering questions on multiple choice questions, etc. This virtual navigation system is a 3rd party module for Clearspace, the social networking technology that VMworld.com uses. There are even “Expert Sessions” non-synchronous “events” — talks that you need not be present to hear — where a speaker will provide audio, video, content or a whitepaper which is then attached to a forum. The expert will visit daily for the next two weeks to answer any questions.

restroomThe Virtual Pavilion also features 15 “hidden rooms” where you can find special clues, quiz answers, and secret codes for a free t-shirt at the Communities Lounge. One of these hidden rooms is the Restroom, which itself has a portal to a hidden room.

Eric manages VMworld.com year round. It is active not just during the semi-annual shows, but throughout the year. Various Partners have “booths” here. Can you find the “hidden room” in the Dell booth?

Blogs:

And as I mentioned before, the VMworld.com website features attendee blogs as well, found here.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld in Vegas

VMworldVMWORLD IN VEGAS

This year’s VMworld, at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas September 15-18 looks to be the place where all things virtual will occur. Last year’s event in San Francisco attracted 10,000 attendees, this year’s conference in Las Vegas expects 14,000. The VMworld.com website is using Jive Software’s Clearspace social networking platform — enabling attendees to participate in discussion threads, send and receive private messages, create their schedule online, and even blog from it.

I’ll be blogging from this website daily, as well as Twittering more frequently from the conference about what’s hot from the keynotes and sessions.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

EMC World: Day 1 Recap

EMC WORLD: DAY 1 RECAP

A full and rich day in the “city by the sand” Las Vegas. I attended a variety of talks during the day, but the best was:

  • Virtualization Technology and Directions offered by David Black, PhD of EMC. He covered a discussion of a variety of virtualization techniques, but spent most of his time talking about virtualizing servers and virtualizing storage. There was much discussion of VMware technologies, but also detailed discussion of Storage Area Network (SAN) virtualization using EMC Invista and File (NAS) virtualization with EMC Rainfinity. Full marks.

JoeTucci.jpgThe keynotes were huge, the plenary talks in the huge hall at Mandalay Bay Conference Center. EMC’s President, CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci kicked it off with a fascinating set of information. This year’s EMC World has:

  • 9300 attendees
  • 56% of them are new this year
  • 556 sessions

Further, there are about 120 exhibitors here this year. And a tour of the Exhibit Floor seemed to confirm this. It was packed with Partners and people.

Joe announced right off the top EMC’s interest in helping with the China earthquake relief effort by the use of matching gifts. Head to the Cyber Cafe.

Joe’s theme was the phenomenal growth in online information, where it comes from and how it’s going to be stored, protected, managed and wrapped in intelligence.

How much information are we talking about?

  • 173 Exabytes of information, 1773 Exabytes in 5 years. 10X growth, or 60% Compounded Annual Growth Rate for storage on disk arrays.

Where will this new data come from? IDC has done research on this. By 2010:

  • 70% will come from individual creation
  • 85% will become the responsibility of organizations: YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Google

Digital Footprint Calculator: Track “Your Star” in the digital universe.

Further, IDC has developed a Personal Digital Footprint Calculator. Using Joe as an example of how many photos he creates, music he gets, etc., they calculated he uses about 4GB of data daily. If he’s typical, multiplying his number by the number of attendees at EMC World:

  • 4GB/day x 9K attendees = 35TB/day

To this end, Joe announced a new division at EMC responsible for Cloud Computing Services and Infrastructure. All to address what he calls:

  • Information Centric Computing

HowardElias.jpgHoward Elias, EMC President of Global Services and Resource Management Software picked up this theme and talked about:

  • Liquid Computing requires Liquid IT Management

He spent time discussing how the new rules of computing require new ways of managing. He mentioned EMC Smarts “model based” management, as well as Voyance, a relatively recent EMC acquisition.

DavidDonatelli.jpgDave Donatelli, President of EMC’s Storage Division wrapped up the morning keynotes.

He reminded us that this is graduation season, and a great gift would be EMC’s:

  • $500 personal storage platform, that can be backed up via Software As A Service (SAAS) Mozy.

He also announced de-duplication in the new:

  • LAN Backup to Disk (B2d) and Disk Library

Real-time updates

I’ve reported more details via Twitter. These can be found either at:

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

Las Vegas and EMC World

vegas.jpgLAS VEGAS AND EMC WORLD

I’m in Lost Wages, Nevada for the EMC World event being held at Mandalay Bay. The first night’s entertainment, the Goo Goo Dolls. 9300 attendees so far. While I’ll be writing daily about this huge show on this blog, for the first time, another technology will be used to update information more quickly: Twitter.

To follow my “tweets” or my more frequent posts, you get them at http://twitter.com/billpetro

I have written about it before, but the use of the technology continues to evolve. It is at least 3 things:

  1. Micro-blogging technology that allows one to write just 140 characters
  2. Broadcast Instant Messaging that is not just one-to-one, but one-to-many, as many chose to “follow” you
  3. Presence-management or status-management as it is often used to tell others where one is or what one is doing

More recently companies and professional bloggers are using Twitter to make product announcements, press releases, and references to news stories. There are technologies, for example, that sent out “tweets” (Twitter posts) to all followers after a blog article has been posted. This is true on my group of blogs. Other tools allow presentation of blog posts to social networks like Facebook.

For EMC World, there is a group of bloggers and twitterers (is that even a word yet?) who will be writing posts about the event, and their adventures in Las Vegas during the event. These can be tracked by the “tag” that is used in tweets of “#emcworld”. So, you can use a Twitter aggregator to filter all tweets with the tag “#emcworld” and see what the twittersphere is discussing. For example, a visit to http://twemes.com/emcworld will show who is talking about emcworld, including me.

Thansk for coming along,

BillPetro.com