Posts Tagged: gen x

A Little Light Reading

What’s on your nightstand or in your beach tote this summer? My summer reading looks like this:

Currently finished:

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2nd reading)

Groundswell by Christine Li and Josh Bernoff (2nd reading)

The Moral Animal by Robert Wright (TERRIBLE book, btw)

On the nightstand:

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Planet Google by Randall Stross

Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller

Rules of Thumb by Alan Webber

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury

On Order:


The Fourth Turning by William Strauss

The Extreme Future by James Canton

The Transparent Society by David Brin
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore; Regis McKenna
The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

What is on your must read list? I have a few projects coming up that require researching and studying a variety of theories and viewpoints, and I’m actively seeking books I have not considered yet. Do you have a seminal work not listed here you rely on for future theory or psychology/sociology of technology? Does one of these works speak to you? What resonates with you?


note: links in this blog may be Amazon affiliate links


Hashtags, TwitPitch And The 140 Resumé Make Hire 2.0 Easy

Are you prepared to be hired or to find freelancers, consultants and employees in this Hire 2.0 world? You may have a leg up if you follow Aaron Strout or others who preach Hire 2.0 strategies, or if you’ve read my thoughts on the matter here and elsewhere. But there is a key component to getting hired in this world of virtual, overlapping connection that can’t be over looked: the 140 character resume, hashtags and the business twit pitch.

The Twit Pitch

If you were on Twitter last year, you know that Stowe Boyd from /Message coined the term Twit Pitch and launched the idea of elevator pitches now being too long. This concept of having a Twitter-ready elevator pitch for your business is solid. As Search.Twitter becomes the search tool of choice for many, with semantic searches of your trusted network frequently supplanting even the mighty Google, now is the time to figure out how to fit everything you offer into 140 characters (or less, to take advantage of the powerful retweet, or RT network).

It sounds daunting, but I assure you it can be done. Once you have your Twit Pitch tweet formulated, go ahead and tweet it out. Even if you aren’t looking for staff, investors or customers, it can’t hurt to get your message out there. Then click the date stamp on it to open the tweet in its own window. Bookmark that page. Save it, and use it whenever you need to answer the question “What is it you or your company does, exactly?” via Twitter.

The Twitter Resumé

For individuals seeking work in this web world we live in, having a Twitter resumé is essential. It is searchable, succinct and a powerful way to convey how you can help businesses looking to hire via online tools. Stuart C Foster took this advice to heart today in response to my suggestion that a Twitter resumé would be easier for me to pass on to my network. He promptly provided a Twitter resumé that was powerful, and short enough for me to immediately share with my network.

My own Twitter resumé can be found on my bio page. It is a more literal interpretation, covering the major points found in my CV. However yours looks, make sure you take the extra time to whittle it down to its sharpest, most functional form.

Hashtags For Jobs

Hashtags have become a key tool to job seekers and companies looking to hire, as well as networks of people who use hashtags to direct their networks to jobs they come across but may not be interested in themselves. If you are a job seeker, adding the job related hashtags as they come up to your Search.Twitter arsenal is key to locating the best opportunities out there, as determined by your trusted network. You can add such hashtags as #jobangels, #RTJobs, #jobseekers, and more now, and keep you eyes peeled – more crop up daily.

If you are truly a social media whiz, you can not only make your Twitter resumé short enough to RT, you can hashtag it so you can see who forwards it on for you, or to fine tune it to a specific job. For example, a PHP whiz might end their Twitter resumé with #php to come up in searches about the topic. Keep in mind that you aren’t just showing up on Twitter with hashtags – Google indexes Twitter also, so you show up in Google searches for your keyword (hashtag) as well.

Happy hunting!

Youth On Twitter

By far the question I have been asked the most this month is “How do you feel about kids under 18 using Twitter?” (This is second only to “How do you feel about porn stars using Twitter?”, by the way.) I think what people are truly asking with the subtext of that question is “Do I censor my use because I know there are under age Twitter users listening to me?” and “Do I think there should be rules about Twitter use because of under age Twitter users?”

Before answering the contextual questions, perhaps I should outline that I see Twitter as a tool for communication and connection from one to many. I don’t see it being just for business, just for pleasure or limited to one group’s view of how it should be used. Twitter is most effective because it has no rules – it is a la carte, a point I hammer home everywhere I can. With rules, Twitter would no longer work as effectively or uniquely as it does now.

To that end, I don’t see limiting the way people can communicate and connect using Twitter to be beneficial to anyone, including the kids using it to connect with a world bigger than their home or classroom. There is power in connection and ideas, and that may scare some, but it would be wrong to take that away from the many to give a false sense of protection for the few. To that end, let me answer the question and the subcontext as best I can.

At the risk of opening a can of worms, I’ll share my thoughts. I don’t care. I don’t care at all if people under 18 are using Twitter, or that they might see me talk about a difficult topic like IVF vs adoption or argue politics or religion or tell an adult joke here or there, or link to a site a parent might not approve of. True, I do those things rarely anyway, but even so, when I do it doesn’t occur to me to censor it. The reason is simple: I am not their parent, and I should not be expected to parent the children of others – and neither should anyone else on Twitter.

Harsh? Perhaps. I feel the same way about lyrics in songs that young people might hear (I grew up in the age of Tipper Gore’ campaign against free speech in music and the beginning of the Nanny State labeling everything under the sun), or movie ratings, or violent games, or books, or anything else. It is not the service’s responsibility to parent children online, it is the parents’ or guardians’ responsibility.

Do I think that parents and guardians should be educating themselves about online tools in this Web 2.0 world and carefully monitoring the internet use of the children in their care? Absolutely. I have helped several friends with kids get on various networks and learn about slang and how to interact and watch and protect without limiting or stifling. It’s a learning curve for some, but it can be done, and it is not Twitter’s (or the Twitter community’s) place to do it.

Are there unsavory people on Twitter or other social networks that might do a child (or a grown up) harm? Of course there are! Teach your children how to protect themselves from predators. This is a new frontier but the “don’t take candy from strangers” rule still needs to be taught – just in a different medium. Meanwhile, with apologies to @chris24 @arix and other smart teens with lots to share with us from a perspective of growing up digital and that ten year old @gloson who’s parents let him Tweet and blog and who has been prominently featured in the news – I’m not going to censor myself on the off chance your parents aren’t watching. I will however, be happy to sound a loud Twitter alarm if I see something going down in the public stream that may cause someone harm – no matter how young or old they are. Why wouldn’t I? It’s the same thing I’d do if I saw something happening in real life, after all.

(By the way, if you look at the tweet streams of these kids everyone is so worried about, the first thing you notice is how much they know and what knowledge they share. Impressive generation coming up, I think.)

New teen tweeter: MC Hammer‘s son @xSuperbrax (as of 3/5)

Working with Gen Y, Gen X and Boomers

I did a presentation today at Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Jungle in which I referenced how much I prefer working with Generation Y (Millenials, Digital Natives). Talk about a crowd response! In the spirit of practicing what I preach, let me share my philosophy behind it.

As the Baby Boomers begin exiting the work force, my generation, Generation X, finds ourselves in the unique sandwich position. Caught in the middle of two massive generations, we have operated largely ignored and uninhibited for quite some time. While the Baby Boomers have been running traditional corporations and operating in the pre-Web 2.0 world, my generation has been quietly building our own working world.

My generation is a generation that frequently operates best in a freelance environment. We like to have the freedom to work at home, often alone by default, and are not traditionally joiners. This means that I often know several Generation X colleagues I can tap for one project, and I often do bring them on board, but their network is often much smaller than I seek for an ongoing relationship. Sure, Gen X is on Twitter, for example, but generationaly often scoffs at the connectivity of social media even as they use it (or build it).

For that reason when it is time to consult on a project I turn to my colleagues in Generation Y first (personally, I prefer Digital Natives to Gen Y as a “label”). As a consultant, I don’t “hire” people for permanent staff, I collaborate on projects with other freelancers instead. For per project consulting, I find that Digital Natives, as a rule, are more in tune with quickly shifting trends and have larger trusted networks to use as the building blocks to future collaboration. This makes them ideally suited for social media projects.

Do I ignore my generation in favor of Generation Y? Absolutely not. I simply find that my generation is already self sufficient, set up to freelance, and we work better together on one-time projects and as a resource behind the scenes for each other. If you run a company and you have Generation Y on staff that you “don’t understand”, I recommend finding out more about them. You have a vast, untapped resource at your disposal.

Topics on Fire, Episode 3: Generation Gap and Technology

Topics on Fire is one of the many ways I’ve been tying to make social media effect real world change. This is a topic near and dear to my heart these days (you can tell, I went so far as to submit a panel for SXSW on the idea, which you can find, and vote on, here). The first two episodes talked about the poverty gap and technology and ways to use social media to bridge the gap, and led to a companion piece on Technosailor here on the Hidden Human Costs of the Government Going Green.

This week’s podcast will talk about the Generation Gap and Technology and ways to solve the problem/bridge the gap. We have a stellar cast of panelists and what looks like it will be a lively chat room, so please stop by Sunday night, August 24th at 11:00 PM Eastern to the TalkShoe podcast here. As a rule I only allow the panelists to talk for the main podcast, however; if you have a TalkShoe account I do tend to open all mics at the end for everyone to weigh in.

Moderating: me (Leslie Poston

Representing the Millenials / Generation Y we have Ben Grossman of the PlenaryGroup and creator of the famed TalkToRunningMan.com campaign and in chat Michael J Cohen, programmer and web designer

Representing the Generation X / Slacker Generation we have Jim Keenan of Cre8Buzz, myself and Gradon Tripp of DesignBoston (schedule permitting)

Representing the Baby Boomer generation we have Jack Herman of Barnhouse Lighting (and father of John Herman, Gravityland.com creator) and Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research

I got a phenomenal response to my call for panelists on this topic. I chose panelists in the order they shouted their interest. If you weren’t chosen, I do hope you come to the chat and participate so we can benefit from what you have to say. If you have an agenda item suggestion for us on this topic, please leave it in the comments.

See you all there!

The call recording is on TalkShoe and in the sidebar of this blog. You can also subscribe in iTunes under Topics on Fire 🙂