Yesterday I rolled into the office and pulled up my normal sites – JibberJobber, JasonAlba.com, etc. None of them were coming up.
I could tell you what happened, technically, but it really doesn’t matter. I could tell you about the meeting I had with my server admin yesterday in the evening, after the dust had settled, but that doesn’t matter (and it would be a bad idea to publish how what we are doing with our server).
The bottom line is that we were down for a few hours, and it was unscheduled. And we are sorry
We work hard to make JibberJobber better, faster, secure, and more valuable to you. None of us like down-time. We scramble to figure out what is wrong, and get the site back up before anyone notices. Yesterday we scrambled, but it took longer than it should have to get the site up.
We are putting a plan together to help with the “next time” this might happen. We already have various things in place, such as nightly backups and off-site backups… and a few other things. Now we are going to the next level.
The preliminary plans for that next level includes some new components that could also increase the speed of JibberJobber, so I’m pretty excited about that… but that’s down the road.
For now, just a simple “we’re sorry.” We’re aware, and we’re working on doing better (even though it’s not uncommon for a website to go down or have issues, we recognize that the service we provide is a service that needs to stay up!).
On Friday I wrote How To: Import Contacts Into JibberJobber Without Creating Duplicates, explaining how we do a dup check before you import… it’s a pretty nifty tool/feature.
I want to address a different question from Michael’s original message to us, where he says:
>> … my contacts from [LinkedIn, Outlook, and Facebook] are constantly changing so all of this will then need to be updated within JibberJobber to stay current.
Yes, those three databases will change… but I want to think about this “need to be updated in JibberJobber” idea.
If you add a new friend in Facebook, do they really need to be in JibberJobber?
If you add a new contact in Outlook, or in LinkedIn, do they need to be in JibberJobber?
I would suggest that they do not need to be in JibberJobber.
I have new additions to LinkedIn regularly, as well as new additions to my email contact list. I do not regularly update them in JibberJobber.
I put a lot of people in JibberJobber, adding more contacts there per week than any other place (probably more than my email, LinkedIn and Facebook combined). But I’m not too worried about have any of them in sync.
This is because JibberJobber is my central networking, relationship and tracking tool. When we get serious in our relationship, I’m not worried about you being a “friend” in Facebook. I’m not worried about connecting with you in LinkedIn. I’m not even that worried about you ending up in my email contact list (although just by emailing me you are already in that tracking system).
But I WILL get you into JibberJobber. I’ll track your contact information (as I get it – I might have the email address at first, and eventually a phone number or two), and I’ll track the important conversations we have.
I’m guessing 70%+ of my Log Entries are created with Email2Log. This means that with very little effort, I’m able to keep my central relationship tracking tool (JibberJobber) updated with active contacts, and our email conversations.
If we have an active relationship, I’m likely emailing you. Since it’s so easy to get a new Contact into JibberJobber with Email2Log, and the email becomes a Log Entry, I do a lot of my data entry with that tool.
This means that even though JibberJobber isn’t in sync with my other networking tools, it does have the most important, current relationships in the system.
Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to keep all of your systems in sync… let’s just focus on tracking what we need to track. The beauty of this is, if you do decide to put someone into JibberJobber that is in Facebook, (1) it’s easy to do, and (2) it’s easy to copy/paste whatever data you need from Facebook when it is the right time.
I got a great question from Michael about importing, and the potential for creating duplicates. In short, he is asking about importing regularly… let’s say monthly. If I import from LinkedIn today, then I import from LinkedIn next month, aren’t I going to create a whole bunch of duplicates? (you can see his original question and comments in the box at the bottom of this post…
In short, no, it shouldn’t re-import duplicates.
In this very important blog post, where I describe three steps to import from systems like LinkedIn, the third step has an image of the import screen with some yellow rows and some white rows (scroll to the bottom of that post to see the images). The yellow rows are for those records that we think are already in the system…. so, if you import 100 records today, then pull your contacts from LinkedIn (or Google or wherever) next month, and you have 125, the 100 you already imported will be in yellow, and not imported. The left-most column is a checkbox where you can choose to override the option to not import… but in general, as long as the row is yellow (and in that case, the checkbox to import will be unchecked), you will not create new duplicates each time you import.
That’s pretty cool, huh?
The bottom line is that you will have duplicates… I still get them and I know all the tricks. For example, let’s say I have John Doe as one of my Contacts. His email is John@Doe.com. He emails me from his personal email address (email@example.com), and I reply back with the Email2Log feature without really thinking about it. I don’t take the time to see if the hotmail email is on his record… I just shoot a reply back and… well, I get a duplicate.
This could be frustrating, but really, it’s so easy to clean up and MERGE the duplicates that not only do I not worry about it, it isn’t an urgent need to merge the duplicates. I can continue to put Log Entries on both records… and when I finally get around to it, merge them, and all Log Entries are merged under the one record. It makes duplicates a minor nuisance, but not a mess that you might think it would be.
Here’s Michael’s original question and comments, which I thought was too darn cool to just summarize as a question (Michael, thanks for the kind words!). I’ve took the liberty to throw a comma in here, and make other visual changes to his comment:
The good thing about most JibberJobber users is that they have already “ditched” their job…. so that part is taken care of And they are intensely focused on finding a career… let’s join the webinar tonight to make sure we are doing the right things so the career we are chasing is one we’ll love!
A frequently asked question from newbies is how do I get started? What do I do first? Then what do I do?
This is kind of a hard question to answer because it kind of depends on how you work, what you are trying to accomplish, etc. But let me take the question 10,000 feet up and assume that I’m advising my mom (hi mom!) on how to get started using JibberJobber. Let’s say my mom just got laid off and is looking for a new job. What should she do first on JibberJobber?
There really isn’t a first thing to do… there are a few first things to do (yes, I numbered them all #1 on purpose):
1. DO NOT get overwhelmed. This is a mental thing… but the first thing I want you to think about is that you can do this. Look, the job search is a complex thing. You have to organize and manage A LOT of information and data. Who you meet, their contact info, what you talked about, when you need to follow-up. What your target companies are, who works there, what version of which resume did you share with who, and when you need to follow-up (and with who, and how). What jobs you are interested in, when you applied to what jobs, how did you apply, how do you follow-up, are you networking into that company, etc. I this was simply a linear, logical process, it could be easier to manage, BUT we’re dealing with human beings here. There is not right way to do anything (like interview) that works every single time, in every company, in every industry, for every job. You have to be totally on top of your game. Having said that, JibberJobber can help you with a lot of this complexity. Instead of feeling like you are drowning in information, and overwhelmed with complexity, use JibberJobber to help organize and manage. One of my earliest users and evangelists said “JibberJobber is my virtual assistant.” I love that he thought of it that way – let it help you not feel overwhelmed.
Further, there is a lot you can do in JibberJobber, but as you get started I want you to not worry about what you can do, but focus on what you should do. In general, your job search should be about networking and follow-up (and of course, a lot more, but that is a critical part of your job search strategy). Start there. You can ignore the other features until you are ready for them.
1. Think of JibberJobber as a long-term career management tool. You will collect a lot of information, or as I like to call it, “intelligence,” in your job search. Names, numbers, email addresses, who works where, who interviewed you, who you liked and who was a complete jerk, what you talked about, when you followed-up, etc. Can you imagine collecting all of this important information and then throwing it away? I have heard from too many job seekers who have found their dream job and within months, or usually a few years, found themselves in transition again. The new “career management” is to change jobs regularly… please, please, please don’t treat your time on JibberJobber, and the data you collect, as a temporary band-aid solution. What you do here, now, should help you for the duration of your career!
1. Sign up for the JibberJobber Orientation. We do these almost every Wednesday. Sign-up here. If you can’t attend a live one, schedule ten minutes a day and watch a recording in parts. Speaking of ten minutes, we do a “Focus Friday” each Friday where we (a) focus on one feature/topic for just ten minutes, and (b) stay on and answer your questions. You can sign up once and then just attend the Focus Friday webinars you can.
1. Import contacts from LinkedIn, Outlook, Gmail, etc. A lot of people like to come into JibberJobber and see contacts there. LinkedIn doesn’t make it super easy to export contacts (here’s how you do it), but you usually get contacts out of your other systems into a csv format. You can then import those into JibberJobber. You can also SYNC your contacts between JibberJobber and Gmail, which allows you to put your JibberJobber Contacts onto your phone in the phone’s native contacts app. I’m not going to say this is a critical “getting started” step, but a lot of people want to do it (which is fine).
1. Set up your Email2Log and use it right now. This is easily the coolest, most powerful feature in JibberJobber, and I use it multiple times every day. The concept is this: when you send an email, put a special and unique-to-you email2log email address in the BCC field. The email will go to JibberJobber where we will (a) create new contacts, if the other recipients are not already your contacts in JibberJobber, and (b) it will take your email and make it a Log Entry. This is SO VERY powerful and cool, and it easily saves me 30+ minutes a day from doing all this administrative stuff by hand.
1. Enter a new Contact, Company and Job. You can enter them in any order… it doesn’t matter which you enter first. Put in a recruiter with only the information that really matters (does a fax, or street address really matter? Probably not.). Put in a job the recruiter sent to you (or one you found on Indeed). Enter a contact, even if it is just you. This is easy stuff, but it’s the core of JibberJobber, and you’ll likely be doing this a fair amount over the next few weeks.
1. Create a Log Entry and Action Item. Once you have a Contact, Company or Job in JibberJobber, go to the Detail Page of that record and create a Log Entry. For example: “I had lunch with Jason today. We talked about xyz, I need to follow-up on abc.” Then, click the Action Item link and put a date to follow-up. This is another core feature in JibberJobber, and should help you keep things from slipping through the cracks. Your job search, and career management, is about “nurturing relationships” and “follow-up” and this is how you manage that.
There is more you can do. This is probably just 10% of the functionality… but this is the GETTING STARTED advice I would give my mom. Pretty simple, right?
Really, make sure you get on an orientation webinar, and please do not hesitate to ask us for help. When you ask us for help, you help us understand where people are getting stuck, which can help many other people!
On Facebook my colleague and well-respected career expert Susan Whitcomb asked if there was a way to block people from seeing updates in LinkedIn. The typical scenerio is that someone starts a job search, and wants to NOT broadcast that to their network. They might update their resume, post an “update” on the homepage, participate in groups, etc…. how do you block individuals from seeing what you are doing?
The short answer is, YOU CANNOT.
This question about privacy reminds me of my IT security professor back in the 90′s who said that if you want or expect any privacy, UNPLUG your computer from the internet. Period.
You really shouldn’t have any assumption or expectation of privacy online, ever.
In LinkedIn, there aren’t any foolproof ways to shut people out of what you are doing. In fact, you can’t even do that in Facebook.
Let me give you an example. Facebook has more refined personal privacy options than LinkedIn does, partially because of what Facebook is for and what LinkedIn is for. Anyway, even with the very tight privacy settings in Facebook, it’s possible to *think* you are ranting privately, and you kind of are. But what if one of your “friends” shares your rant with someone you mutually know, who you have blocked?
The rant isn’t so private anymore, is it?
What if they take a screenshot of your rant and post it on a blog?
Not private at all, huh?
You can have all the locks in place, but as long as humans are involved, there is potential for social engineering, which means that your update you thought was private is now shared in the lunchroom and boardrooms of your current company.
Are there security options in LinkedIn to block? Kind of.
Should you trust them? Only if… well, actually, NO. NEVER.
But what if you aren’t connected with anyone at your company?
Um… let me explain how LinkedIn works: it doesn’t matter!
They can go to LinkedIn and still see some (most) of your stuff. They can also do a search on Google and find some (most) of your stuff. LinkedIn, by it’s nature, is a place to find and be found, to be visible, to share your brand, experience, etc. It’s not a place to hide stuff. That’s what a diary is for (you know, the book you write stuff in, and it’s not connected to the Internet!?).
Like I said, there are some technical privacy tools in place, kind of … BUT none of those matter as long as ANYONE in your network might share what you posted with their contacts… who just might be your boss you are trying to hide from.
I get David Safeer’s newsletters, and this was had an idea that was too good to not share. David is a management and leadership consultant – read about him on the front page of his site. He’s done a very nice job communicating who he is and why he is relevant to his right audience.
In his most recent newsletter he shares his “business principles,” which are business principles “to achieve outstanding performance.” It made me wonder, what are my business (or life, or marriage, or father, or entrepreneur, or CEO, or product manager, etc.) principles?
He says he wrote these almost ten years ago, and that reviewing them now, there are NO changes to make. To me that indicates they are indeed principles instead of tactics, which can and usually should change over time. Go check out his list – it really reads like a short book on how to do better in business.
As I read his list I had three thoughts:
His list is about people and relationships, not about numbers. He says: “I am convinced that people are THE key to a successful organization, so my thoughts about business principles turn often to the people side of things.” Where do your thoughts about your principles turn?
Can you create your own list of principles? This could be like a personal business plan, or map, that helps you make decisions and be true to yourself. What would be on your list?
Once you have a list, this is a great way for you to stay relevant. How? Read on…
Being relevant is an interesting concept. When I started JibberJobber I thought people would talk about me and JibberJobber for a long time. I got interest and buzz at first, but then things died down, and I found I had to continually put something interesting and/or new in front of people. I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and that did it (for a while). But then 40 other people wrote books on LinkedIn, and I wasn’t THE expert anymore. I was losing relevance. I had to do other things, which I did. I still do other things to stay in front of people and try to stay relevant.
Why do you think LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook make so many changes to their systems? Some are good and needed, others are simply to get press.
Think about this for YOU. What can you do to remain relevant with your audience?
Don’t get me wrong, this is not just a branding/networking thing. I think having guiding principles is AWESOME. I encourage you to work on your own. And, use what you come up with as a reason to get back in front of your network contacts and create a bit of buzz or conversation.
I get Liz Handlin’s newsletter. She gave me permission to post this from her newsletter… I thought it was interesting. Liz says these are her questions and his answers over coffee (learn more about Jeff Browning here):
Liz says “Jeff may see more resumes than any other recruiter in Texas so his perspective on what a resume should say and how it should look is crucial information for job seekers.”