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Comcast Email Issues Make Me Want To Poke My Eye Out

June 4th, 2009

I’m beyond frustrated with Comcast email issues… I’m writing this post for two reasons:

  1. To inform users and people who sign up for JibberJobber that they WILL NOT get email from us anytime soon – so those birthday reminders, action item reminders, signup verification, password reminders… none of that will get to you until we can get this resolved.
  2. To tell people, whether you use Comcast as your ISP or email provider, that there is a much, much better way to handle your email.

First, for the issue of the JibberJobber mail server not able to send to Comcast addresses.  I was an email admin a while back and know that we will never win the war on spam.  Never.  It’s a huge issue, of course, as no one likes spam.  But sometimes the rules put into place cause more problems than they fix.

For example, when I was an email admin we set a “threshold” so that certain emails would go through (the good ones) and others would get stuck in a spam bucket (the bad ones).  Guess what? There were a number of “false positives,” that is, emails that were GOOD but got marked as spam.

Executives (who are typically the most whiney in situations like this) at first complained they got too much spam.  So we change the threshold so they get no (or little) spam, and then they whined they weren’t getting the important emails (the false positives, usually from their kids).

The problem here is that Comcast has blacklisted our server, which means NOTHING will go from our server to a Comcast email address.  We have tried to go through their process of getting off the blacklist, but have heard NOTHING back from them.  Very unprofessional.  Maybe @comcastcares on Twitter, but this is living hell for me, as I have a bunch of users saying “I never got _____ email.” And indeed, they are writing from a Comcast email address.

I’ll try again today, based on this blog post about getting off of Comcasts blacklist, but I’m not hopeful.

Enough about me and JibberJobber – now for the regular person.  I strongly encourage you to get a Gmail email account, for a few reasons:

  • Gmail has an awesome interface on the internet, and other interfaces (with Outlook, etc.).
  • Gmail interfaces with other cool tools, like the Google Calendar.
  • Gmail has awesome spam management.  Rarely have I seen problems in their logic, which amazes me.
  • Your Gmail address WON’T EVERY CHANGE.  Let me present a scenerio… today you are on Comcast (or Quest or whatever)… and then you move and get a different ISP or phone service.  Guess what – you will likely get a different email address… and have to tell all of your contacts.  Do this a few times and it’s frustrating to YOU and your contacts.  Get one gmail address now and keep it forever… regardless of who your ISP is.
  • Gmail makes you look more sophistacated (or up to speed, or whatever) than other providers like AOL (old), Juno (older), Yahoo, etc.

There ya go.  I gotta stop writing and go try and get off of Comcast’s blacklist.  Grrrrrrrrrr…….

Oh yeah, in case you are having blacklist problems with your email server going to Comcast, here are some good reads:

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Today is Monumental

January 20th, 2009

Obviously today is a day for the history books.  I didn’t vote for Obama, and I hope that some of the scary stuff I saw from him (with regard to policy) was just pre-election hype that he can’t or won’t implement.

But his message, about change, inspired by hope, is needed at every level.  The United States, and the world, has been crying for change for a long time.  Now is the time for change.  (it has always been the time for personal change, but heck, let’s jump on the bandwagon and declare the time as now anyway)

I hope that we/you/I can be a part of this change.  For me this means:

  • Being more responsible, financially. Sure we can blame all the talking heads and biggies who knew about the bad stuff, financially, and let it continue.  We can blame them as we, as a people, overspend (with money we don’t have) on stuff that is utterly unnecessary.
  • Being more responsible, physically. Health insurance is a tender subject for me.  Obama may just create hundreds of thousands of jobs, especially if he socializes health care… while that smells rotten on the outside, it really would be great if everyone had access to quality health care.  But we can eat better, work out, sleep better, and do things for ourselves which fall under the guise of “prevention.”  Here’s something to do: floss daily. I’m guessing this would eliminate a majority of cavities, which means we pay less for that aspect of our health care.
  • Being more responsible, socially. Last night I was in my closet and noticed a really big, warm, snuggly winter coat.  I don’t like the style, so I probably won’t wear it.  It’s sitting in my closet on the floor.  I’m sure there is someone out there, even in my own city, who is praying for and dreaming of a coat that could just keep him warm, regardless of the style.  We must be more kind and compassionate.  I’m not sure what that means to you, or how you will act on that, but I’m really thinking about what this means to me.
  • Being more responsible, career-wise. Of course I’d talk about this :)  There are too many “heads-down” workers out there who just don’t get it.  Just about anyone reading this blog gets it, I realize that, and the rest will get it when they experience a tough job search.  We must, must, must be more serious about personal career management, income security, and all of the other stuff I write about regularly.
  • Being more responsible, _________. I think the less we do intentionally, on-purpose, the more we are saying to someone “come, take it away.”  Whether we are talking about our freedom, our joys, our health, our career, etc.  We must stop looking at the government, or our boss, or whoever, and thinking they will coddle us through life.

The CHANGE required is not in the Oval Office, it’s not in the presidency, it’s in ourselves.

I pray that we can affect the change needed.  I know I’ll reflect on the historic events of today for a long time.

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Letter to University Professors: Stop Failing Us

January 14th, 2009

Dear esteemed professor:

For many years I was conditioned to think I had to go to college to be successful.  All of my pre-college schooling was geared towards getting into a college or university, which of course would get me into a good job.  I would make more than the undereducated, according to my high school teachers.  I would have a more comfortable job (white collar, heaven forbid I did anything blue collar(more on that later)).  I don’t remember but maybe I would even live longer.  I certainly would have job security, just like my parents had.

To be honest, I didn’t really go to college to learn.  I can do that on my own.  Back in the olden days I would just get books from the library and read good magazines and newspapers.  Now I can educate myself using Google, YouTube and subscribe to various industry or association continuing education opportunities.  Not to mention there are a ton of self-proclaimed experts who give out so much information for free on the Internet that I don’t have enough time to go through it all.

For me, going to school was not about learning.  It was about being prepared to be (and survive) in the workforce. It didn’t help that most of the material presented in the classroom was outdated, or for a setting I wasn’t going to be in.  I remember an MBA ecommerce class, taught by a marketing professor who didn’t know how to spell ecommerce… he had no interest in current ecommerce issues, only in teaching the lists from his undergrad marketing classes.  What a shame.  It was my first MBA class and it really deflated my expectations of how much better the MBA program would be from the undergrad.

So, understanding where I am coming from, let me assume (I know, I know) what you are there for.  You want to impart on me your knowledge and wisdom from your area of expertise.  Whether it’s anthropology, economics or outdoor recreation, you want me to be that much smarter in that area.  I’m cool with that.  I am interested in expanding my mind and vision… I just beg you to make it interesting and not do a book report of what I had to read for homework, okay?

But more than that, I have something I really wish you would do.  It’s too late for me, since I’m done with the “formal education,” but I would like ask you do this for the people I care about, whether they are in school now or whether they will be in 15 years (my kids).  I really wish you would take a few class hours during the semester and have frank, candid career discussions. Here are some ideas:

  • Tell me what I can expect when I get out of school.
  • Tell me what the value of an internship is and strongly encourage me to get a real internship.
  • Tell me what you love about your career, and what your friends in the industry do, how they got there, etc.
  • Bring professionals into class so they can share their stories with us.  Bring recent grads in so they can tell us what it’s really like.
  • Teach us what networking is, how to network, and why and when we should network.
  • Teach us about personal branding, what it is and why we need it.
  • Any chance you can bring the career services folks into the picture?  It seems like there is a brick wall between you and career services… I don’t care why, but I would like to know if there is value in the career services offices.

I’m obviously not asking you to step away from all of the great stuff you prepared for the class, but please bring some career management stuff into the discussion.  The more open and candid you are, the more interested we’ll be, I promise it.

Oh yeah, not to be demanding, but I have one more request.  Don’t just talk about it (although that would be a 1,000% improvement from what other professors are doing), but LIVE IT.  I want you to network, and be well-networked.  I want to be able to google your name and see your brand on-line.  Between sessions I’d like to know you are out consulting, or volunteering, or somehow staying current in the industry.

If I come to you requesting job search help, you should be able to give me some leads, because you have been nurturing relationships.  Whether you give them to me or not will depend on our relationship, and whether you trust I’ll treat them right or not… but please develop and nurture those relationships!  You need to teach us how to do that, and it really should come from your experience.

That’s it.

Jason Alba

Just some guy

P.S. Sorry for all my smart alec remarks during my many years of school. I know I was a bad student.

P.P.S. Not everyone agrees with me.  Here’s some feedback I got from some of my network (first my question):

Here are my the responses I got:

I must end on this note.  I didn’t write this to offend or degrade professors, rather the system they are in.

Thoughts?

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See Ya Next Year!

December 31st, 2008

I wanted to write about my favorite posts from this year.

I wanted to write a post about the sad state of affairs we saw introduced this year, or what I’m guessing will happen next year.

I wanted to write about me and what I’m doing in 2009, and why it will be different than 2008.

I wanted to write a post to thank all of the people who have been my cheerleaders, evengelists and mentors, and people I’ve learned from.

I wanted to write and thank those who read this crazy blog, or those who leave comments.

I wanted to write, encourage, remember… but I don’t know how to do all that in one post.

So I’ll do none of it and remember 12/31/2008 as the day that I wanted to do so much but did nothing.

As Director Tom would say, “IT’S A WRAP!”

Next year will be ______________________________________________.

(see you January 2nd :))

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We’re Officially In A Recession (and why it matters)

December 2nd, 2008

I called it:

What does this mean?

  • Looking for a job will SUCK. Creative job seekers who employ stuff you find in Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters will probably do better than many, and those who get professional help from job search coaches and career coaches will do better.
  • If you are unhappily employed, TOUGH LUCK. Stay where you are as long as the money makes sense.  Leaving for something “better” might land you in laid-off land (staying might also, it’s a crap shoot), and leaving before you have something else lined up is asking for the opportunity to spend many months at job fairs.
  • You have to, HAVE TO, get more serious about Me, Inc. Tom Peters’ Fast Company article is over 10 years old.  Why are we still letting the boss (who has no job security) and HR (who has no job security) manage our career?  Why are we letting our employer (who might go bankrupt tomorrow) be responsible for 100% of our income?  Because we’re nutz, I guess…. that seems to be the only logical reason.
  • Get ready for plenty of “sky-is-falling” propaganda, along with a bunch of “how to find a job in a recession” articles… all over the place. But seriously, don’t let it get you down.  The job search can be depressing, but it could be a lot worse.  You have OPPORTUNITY…!  Seize the opportunity!

What can you do?

  • Get your finances in order. Follow Trent at The Simple Dollar.  Well-written, great information.  He just came out with a book titled 365 Ways to Live CHEAP! and I’m sure it will be a great resource for many.  Read his story and you’ll realize he’s just a normal dude who’s trying to get along, just like the rest of us.
  • Don’t panic. Don’t follow the stock market daily… especially if you are closer to retirement. Get a good financial adviser, but don’t panic.
  • Sit tight and work on a career hobby. You know, working on more education (formal or informal).  Or hone current skills.  Or write your book.  Or catch up on professional social networks (get your Profiles beefed up).  Reach out to long-lost contacts and renew relationships and friendships.

We’re in a recession… so what? YOU have power to control certain things, so work on those.  This recession will correct itself… we had plenty in the 1900’s and we’ll have more in the 2000’s… just work on what you can and don’t fret over what you can’t control.

Oh and get your JibberJobber account… it’s a good time for that, don’t you think? 😉

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VOTE!

November 4th, 2008

If you don’t vote today, you can’t complain about it for the next 4 years.

Even if you don’t think your vote counts.

Even if you don’t like either of the two candidates, and think you are only choosing two of the lesser evils.

Even if the lines are long.

No matter what, go vote.  Today.

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Thank You To Martha Sue Yeary and Anita Cohen-Williams

October 14th, 2008

When I get on the road my best trips are the best because of people I meet.  I meet a lot of people, and love it while I’m out, but there are some people who go extra miles when I’m in town.  Not just the extra mile, but extra miles.

A few weeks ago in San Diego I was fortunate enough to meet two friends I’d met online, and had corresponded with, for probably over a year.  Meeting them in person was priceless.

Martha Sue Yeary is the creator of the B.I.O.N.I.C Golf Pro System, which you can learn about at Bionic Golf Pro. This was a rare trip where I didn’t get a rental car (and didn’t need THE LADY), and Martha offered to pick me up from the airport.  Getting picked up by a real golf pro?  That was a first. Almost made me feel like Guy Kawasaki 😉

I had lunch with her and learned about her business.  She is very, very passionate about teaching people to golf… people like me, who really have no business with golf.  Beyond that, she is passionate about helping people with disabilities learn and love golf.  She took me to the golf course where she teaches now, and showed me her awesome plans to expand what she’s doing.  If you want to talk to someone who is 1000% passionate about her mission in life, you need to talk to Martha.

Later, we had an informal LinkedIn get-together, and I was able to meet Anita Cohen-Williams.  Anita is an SEO professional who has a background in library sciences.  She is referred to as a cybrarian (librarian meets the cyber world), and has helped me a number of times as I look for things online.  Anita combines SEO skillz with her cybrarian training and a passion for social media and social marketing to help businesses get more value out of their online strategies.  It was great to chat with her, and get to know her better.  It’s amazing how well we can get to know one another online, but there’s something magical about getting to know someone in person.

Thank you, Anita and Martha, for making my San Diego trip special!


Checkout medical jobs at Health Jobs USA.

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Trips to San Diego and Seattle

September 22nd, 2008

Tomorrow morning I arrive in San Diego at 10am. If you are in the area, check come join us for dinner:

Location: Charlie’s Sports Restaurant & Bar
          Town & Country Resort & Convention Center
          500 Hotel Circle North
          San Diego, CA 92108
          619-291-7131

TIME:     7:45pm
DATE:     Tuesday, September 23rd
RSVP:     through this form 

Orders will be separate checks. 

In San Diego I’ll be attending the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) annual conference from Wed evening through Saturday.  I really like NRWA – it’s an eye-opener for me to be in a room with professional resume writers who are all trying to improve their profession.  At one time I thought writing my own resume would be the way to go, but as I have learned more about resume writers, and their passion, and how current they are on the job search and resume space, I became convinced I should hire a resume writer instead of writing my own resume.

Next month I’ll be in Seattle for the Career Directors International conference.  This is another amazing conference, where I learn a ton about the career services industry.  Emphasis is not on resume writing, rather, on all aspects of career coaching, including counseling, job search coaching, resume writing, personal branding, etc.  I plan on flying in early (perhaps Sunday night (October 12)), and hope to do as many presentations before the call as I can, including some kind of LinkedIn and/or JibberJobber dinner.  If you are in Seattle, please let me know so I can let you know where I’ll be, see if you can do dinner, and pick your brain about places I might be able to present.

Both groups are really, really fun.  I’ve only been to San Diego once when I was little, and I’ve never been to Seattle… I’m jazzed!

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Are You Starting Over? Have You Ever Started Over?

August 1st, 2008

Vincent Wright, a good friend, is teaming up with my publisher to write a book called “The 42 Rules of Starting Over.”  This book will have 42 chapters written by people who have started over, and I’m sure it will serve as an inspiration to many people… people who are starting over from divorce, addictions, catastrophe, loss of a loved one, etc.  Even job loss.

Vincent has a number of authors right now (I submitted my story), but if you have any inclination to share your story or how you started over, please contact him.  Here are some details about what they want:

  1. All rules must be between 550-650 words
  2. All rules must have an example, story or anecdote to make them come alive.
  3. The rules are to be phrased in the positive whenever possible.
  4. We need to condense (stories) down to the elements that are
    critical to “starting over”. What was the one thing you’d tell others
    who are trying (or are forced) to start over?

I know there are hundreds of people who read this blog who have had to start over, in one way or another.  And YOU MADE IT!  Consider e-mailing Vincent with a summary of your story to see if it fits into this book project.  Just thinking about this book has been a major inspiration for me!

Vincent’s e-mail is Vincent [at] VincentWright [dot] com.

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The Day After Veterans Day – Giving Back To Those That Serve

November 12th, 2007

Soldiers PrayingMany of you know that I have a special program dedicated to soldiers, marines, sailors and other servicemen/women who are returning from deployment. Why? Because I can. No red tape here. If someone is deployed they get 30 months of premium JibberJobber for free. This assumes they will be gone for 18 months, and gives them an additional 12 months once they are back (whether they are really gone for 18 months or not, I don’t care – they still get 30 months of premium services). More information at JibberJobber for the Troops.

In addition, I am working with a program to also donate premium services to the Wounded Warriors (this is an official non-profit organization). I’m really excited about this program because these people have given more than their time, they’ve given limbs and future health. From what I’ve read, they aren’t getting much back from our government (at least not what they should be getting), and I’ve always wanted to contribute. This is not much, it’s hardly anything, but it’s what I can do right now. More information on that coming in the next few months.

I am currently looking for corporate sponsors to assist with the JibberJobber for the Troops program (I am not a non-profit). The Wounded Warriors is also looking for sponsors (in addition to JibberJobber services they are providing the Wounded Warriors with career coaching, resume services and more). I am also looking for other programs to support these servicemen/women (not just in the U.S.) – if you have any contacts at various organizations that would/could use these services, please let me know.

Please contact me if you know anyone or any companies that can contribute to either of these programs.

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