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Cancer Sucks. Yes It Does.

June 11th, 2009

A few days ago I wrote “Cancer Sucks.” as a sole tweet. I got a number of private responses asking if I was okay – yes, I’m okay, no cancer that I know of – but I have a number of friends and family who struggle with cancer, and it … well, it sucks.

I wish that we could just figure this one out… can you image a world where cancer wasn’t such a killer?  Can you image a world where getting a diagnosis of cancer resulted in “okay, let’s treat it” with a 99.9% chance that you would indeed get cured?

It’s scary.  Especially to a job seeker who is “in-between” health insurance policies.

I’m not going to talk about my family and friends who are struggling with cancer right now, with the exception of one friend, my video editor Bong.  His father was diagnosed with cancer and is starting treatments.  Bong is working hard, as are others in his family, to figure out how to pay for this treatment.  Bong has not asked me for more money, or for a raise, he has actually asked me for something very simple – a vote in a video contest.

Why?

The winner gets a Sony laptop.

How is that going to help Bong?  He writes:

If I win the prize (a Sony Vaio), I’m planning to sell it so I could help my mom with all the hospital bills.

How cool is that?

So please join with me and either rate or comment on Bong’s video on YouTube (it is a 50 second video, which is his idea for a commercial for a bank in the Philippines) – you either have to have a YouTube account OR YOU CAN LOGIN WITH YOUR GMAIL ACCOUNT!

Each rating or comment on this YouTube page counts as a vote.

Again, any comments or ratings on this video goes towards Bong winning the laptop.

And that laptop would help pay for his dad’s cancer treatment.

Please spare a few minute to help out Bong and his family… thank you.

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My Next Big Trip: The Hospital

May 6th, 2009

Today I go to the hospital with my wife to have our fifth child.  Hopefully all will go well… and I’ll be back soon (with a picture or two :)).

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Hey Stalker, Go Away. Or Email Me So I Can Reply.

April 12th, 2009

Dude, seriously, leaving anonymous crap comments on my blog isn’t helping anyone.  And using the Contact Us form, without leaving an address I can reply to, isn’t helping either.  If I knew how to get ahold of you I’d tell you this:

Last week a JibberJobber user found a feature within the system that allowed him to send an email to all of his contacts in a way that we never intended.  As a result, thousands and thousands of people got a message from him… and I’m sure some thought it was spam.

You obviously did.  Sorry about that, although we (Jason Alba, or JibberJobber) did not intend to send the message out, nor to spam anyone.  So for that, we’re sorry.  Sorry that you got the email at all.

We are going to disable the feature/function (don’t want to say what it is, lest others find and exploit it), probably permanently.

That’s all I can say – my apologies.

So please stop leaving comments like this:

And this:

And this:

I don’t care to get into any discussion with you, since that is obviously going to be futile, but I do want you to know that we have found the problem and are addressing it.

Cool?

Thanks.

Now go away.  Bug someone else.

(and if you are the same stalker I had a while back, good job on figuring out how to leave comments from different IP addresses (the first was from Atlanta, the second from NJ… good job!))

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7 Things About Me Meme

November 27th, 2008

Every once in a while I take time out to participate in a blogger meme… since I wasn’t planning on writing today I figured I would share this with you – enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday if you are the U.S.!

  1. I have a scar on my head, from ear-to-ear. When I was a baby the doctors decided my skull was going to fuse too early, and not leave enough room for my brain to develop (ah, that’s the problem!).  Now I have a scar to prove it.
  2. I’d like to shave my head but I don’t feel comfortable because I feel my head is … how do I say this, deformed. I always wondered why it hurt to “head” a soccer ball … now I know.
  3. I never wanted to start blogging. When first introduced to blogging I thought “I have nothing to say and no time to write.”  I have blogged almost every day (less weekends and holidays), and write on about 5 blogs.  I think I’m addicted… in fact, I stole a line from Robert Merrill and call blogging my heroin drip :p
  4. The best thing I’ve done for myself physically is the body for life program. Hands down awesome.  I did it for almost two years and it was amazing… I felt so healthy, I ate healthy, our food bill was dramatically reduced, my joints didn’t hurt… all the way around it was awesome.  I stopped when I suffered from a herniating disk, and haven’t picked it up since then.  I should, though.
  5. When I wrote my first book I had NO intention of speaking or consulting. But this year I’ve spoken more than 50 times.
  6. I love burgers and fries. When I’m on the road i usually get burgers and fries… it’s as simple as that.  I should enjoy local cuisine more, but I really do dig the burgers and fries.  And, well, pizza.
  7. I have always wanted to start my own business, but figured all the ideas were already taken. How could I become the successful company when there all the great ideas were taken… lol.
  8. bonus: I have always wanted to write a book. I kind of started my first book about 10 years ago when I became an IT manager and had no resources to help me do my job (I reported to the CFO and there were no internal IT staff to lean on).  The owner of the company had about 40 books in print and I thought that was dang cool.  It only took me about 9 years to realize this dream, and wow, what a difference it’s made on my life/career.

Thanks to my buddies for nudging me, and letting me read their 7 things: Chandlee Bryan, Chris Russell, Miriam Salpeter, Megan Fitzgerald, … and I know there are a bunch of others who have been tagged but I couldn’t find your 7 things :p  Add a link in the comments if you did it… or if you aren’t a blogger and care to share something personal about yourself, leave a comment :).

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Orlando, Here I Come!

April 7th, 2008

florida_small.pngI’m headed to Orlando today, I’ll be speaking at the ACG annual conference. I’m also speaking twice tomorrow at an outplacement firm (in Orlando and Tampa), and have a number of lunches/dinners lined up.

If you are in Orlando and want to hook up, please contact me – I’ll be there through Saturday morning!

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Blogging for Business Conference on Monday!

October 19th, 2007

Blogging for Business - register here!So, it’s finally here! On Monday we are having the Blogging for Business conference at the Downtown Marriott in Salt Lake City. It has been amazing putting this event together and I’ll forever esteem others who have acted as “event planners” (specifically, Phil Burns, Steve Spencer, Wendy Enelow, Laura Decarlo, Jennifer Brown, Kelly King Anderson, and many others).

I have to mention the amazing work that my partner, Matthew Reinbold, has put forth. Matthew and met (over a year ago) as a result of blogging and had enough in common that we started having lunches about once a month. Somehow we ended up with this crazy idea that we, with no professional training in marketing or PR, could put on a conference for marketing and PR professionals (and business owners)! I knew Matthew was a dependable, hard worker, as he was a significant part of getting Seth Godin to Salt Lake City to present earlier this year. And throughout the last couple of months he has, once again, stepped up to the plate in a big way to make this happen.

Here are some thoughts about the conference:

The speakers are amazing. Wow… what can I say. Liz Strauss, the godmother of bloggers. Wendy Piersall, an inspiration to thousands of men and women (her presentation at SOBcon gave me lasting goosebumps). Edelman VP Gary Goldhammer, Businesswire‘s Malcom Atherton, patent attorney Rand Bateman, PR legend Cheryl Conner (and team), GenY expert Lindsey Pollak, Podcast expert Lee Gibbons, Blog network guru Tim Stay. I can’t believe that I’ll be spending a day and a half with these people! Not just to develop personal relationships, but also to learn from them!

The message is so relevant – to you. We planned this conference to be a learning experience to help people understand how to create buzz. We’re not going to teach you how to get a blog, and I’m not quite sure that you’ll walk out of the room convinced that you should have a blog. But we want you to understand how to leverage “blogs” and other social media to create buzz. How? Well, you’ll see on Monday.

Again, who is this for? We’re not necessarily marketing to bloggers, although I would think that bloggers would love to come to this. We want anyone involved in marketing or PR to come. Whether you work at a firm or are in-house. It definitely includes anyone that owns a business, or does marketing for a small business (even though that isn’t part of your job description). Finally, for anyone that understand that YOU are your own product, and you have a personal brand, and there’s such a thing as You, Inc., this conference will definitely help as you market yourself. Students? Of course. Consultants? Of course.

When/Where/How/etc. Come to the Downtown Marriott (Salt Lake City) on Monday, October 22nd at 8:00 or 8:30am. The cost is $299. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are included. Bring business cards, bring a pen and paper, and be prepared to soak it in. If you want to register online you can do it at the Blogging for Business website (want a discount? Get it here).

Finally, thank you to all of those who have helped promote this event (I know I’m going to forget a few, so please forgive me: Kelly King Anderson, Janet Meiners, Chris Knudsen, Paul Allen the Lesser, Pat Vaughn, the Buzz Boosters, Utah First Friday, various chambers of commerce, various business and MBA schools, Thom Allen, Steve Spencer, Colin Kelley at Connect-Utah.org, Paul Beebe at the Salt Lake Tribune, Russ Page and many others. Matthew and I are absolutely amazed at the effectiveness of Businesswire for distributing press releases).

In Salt Lake we’re kind of jealous as we here about all kinds of cool social media conferences in San Francisco, Austin, Boston and other hip places. We’re working to set a precedence, and are really excited about this event!

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I’m Co-Hosting a Conference in Two Weeks

October 8th, 2007

click to see the speakers blogsI’d like to invite you to a conference I’m co-hosting with Matthew Reinbold on October 22nd. This event is at the Downtown Marriott in Salt Lake City (yes, I know… far away for many of you).

Why are we doing this? To provide the same excellent value and information for business, marketing and public relations (PR) professionals in and around the Rocky Mountain area. Matthew and I are bloggers, and business owners. On the blogger side we have been prospected by marketing and PR professionals asking us to consider blogging about their products (or, their clients’ products). To be honest with you, I have only received ONE pitch that wasn’t horribly lame, from my perspective.

From the business owner’s side, I want to leverage social media, specifically blogging, as much as I can to create buzz around my product. In fact, most of my marketing time and money goes into nurturing my blog network. Whether you own a web service, like I do, or a realty company, or a law firm, or Joe’s Pizza Shop, you can and should use some kind of blog strategy.

Am I talking about how to start a blog, and keep it up? Not necessarily. Even if you don’t have a blog, you can still have a blog marketing strategy! When you walk out of this conference you aren’t going to have all the tools and motivation to go to WordPress and start blogging, rather, you’ll have a much better understand of how to leverage blogging (and other social media tools) to accomplish your marketing goals.

How to leverage the medium to accomplish your goals. How powerful is that? Very powerful. Look what Yahoo! columnist Penelope Trunk did when she wrote her book … she asked bloggers to create buzz about it (who responded? See here and here and here and here)!

So how will we communicate this message? Through some awesome speakers – check out who is coming, and what they are talking about (the agenda is unlike any other conference I’ve seen… (can you tell this is not a techy, geeky gathering?)

… more throughout this week! Oh yeah, the website is Blogging for Business. Mark your calendar, and sign up on the website!

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Meet Jason (or, “a break from the normal stuff”)

August 23rd, 2007

snake headI’m swamped with book marketing and my brain is kind of mush today… so I thought I’d take a break and join a meme. Here are eight random facts about me :)

  1. I almost always ask for just ice while on a plane. This is so (a) I don’t spill liquid on my laptop, and (b) it doesn’t go straight through me and make me use that tiny, eensie-weensie bathroom on the plane.
  2. I’m rather shy. I’m not the guy at the party (or networking event) or whatever that is hopping around introducing myself to everyone. At the same time I’m not really happy being a wall flower so if I’m not chatting with someone I try and find someone to talk with.
  3. I don’t really like… um, computers. Many of you may think I’m a geek or nerd, but trust me, I’m not. I used to manage geeks and nerds, and pretty much all they could do was talk ones and zeros. I have never built my own machine, installed an OS, or anything like that (I used to be a programmer, and I was “good” but I wasn’t excellent).
  4. I LOVE to read. I just finished the last Harry Potter book (loved it), I love John Grisham, Michael Crichton, but had a hard time getting into Tom Clancy. I have a subscription to Inc and Fast Company, will usually read every page of a newspaper (not ads and not comics (anymore)), etc.
  5. I’m not a morning person. By any measure. Its true that I’ve been getting up around 6am (give or take an hour) but it’s not my choice.
  6. I have four kids. The oldest is almost ten, the youngest just turned one. I have a favorite son… since he’s the only son, and I tell him he’s my favorite son every night. I kiss all my kids goodnight each night, and cherish our relationships (I have to now, while they still like me, right?).
  7. I think snakes are the best pets around. I used to love all animals but now that I’m old and cranky I don’t want anything that will shed or “shed” (sic) in my house. You can ignore snakes and they don’t care. You can feed them once a month. They are cool, scary and creepy all at the same time. I take my kids snake hunting in the summer and they love it (and their friends think I’m very cool).
  8. I am kind of afraid of heights. Nothing that needs counseling. But when I was a kid I fell through a roof. You know, that sturdy thing that you shouldn’t fall through? Ever since then I hate being on the roof (adios Christmas lights).

The rules are here, on Andrew’s blog. I’ve been tagged by others… sorry for taking so long to get this up.

I’d like to tag YOU – leave at least ONE random fact about yourself as a comment – I’d love to get to know you better (yes, even you, blog lurker!) :)

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The Most Innovative Car

August 2nd, 2007

vehicle innovationLast month’s You Get It winner, Katie Konrath, is innovative and fresh. Yep, her blog is even called Get Fresh Thinking, where she blogs about her passion, creativity and innovation.

Part of the prize package is six months of premium JibberJobber… but Katie is already a lifetime members. So she asks if she can transfer it. I say “absolutely.” To quote part of my response:

Others have had contests, some had someone in mind… do something … fun, fresh, creative :) Wow me!

She has wowed me. Check out and participate in her very cool contest where you click a button on her blog, get assigned a random keyword, and then use that to share an idea on how a car can be improved. Here are some of the contributors and their keywords (to read what they say you should head on over ;)):

Wow – there are some really cool ideas here! It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in a room with a bunch of smart people just to brainstorm… just reading through the ideas and thoughts has been mentally stimulating!

Katie, excellent idea on the contest – I’m excited to see how it turns out, and perhaps you can summarize “the most innovative car” with all of this input and send it to the major automobile manufacturers!

Where’s my entry? It’s coming! More importantly, where’s your entry? Head on over and participate!

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When I Endorse Things On My Blog…

July 26th, 2007

get rich while blogging?Warning: This is not about career management, rather, it’s a little transparency on whether I make money by pimping stuff on this blog. I hope I don’t bore you :)

A couple of weeks ago one of my best friends from high school came for a visit. He is the guy responsible for coming up with the name “JibberJobber,” getting me into computer stuff (I was just studying Spanish at the time), one of the first lifetime premium JibberJobber purchasers, a reader of this blog and much more. We have a really cool, open relationship.

So we were working in my office before going out to tour the city, he was doing e-mail stuff and I was doing my daily blog post. He asked a question that I know has been on the mind of many of my blog readers:

When you write about things… books, services, etc. Do you get paid for that?

The answer is, not really. I do have some affiliate relationships, which I’m going to put into an affiliate page, and some of my partners offer commissions if someone uses their services. But this hasn’t been a big deal in the past, and I do not blog on someone/something just because I might get $15 out of it. In fact, I won’t blog on something just because I might get $200 out of it.

I write my blog posts with the fire and passion that I got last year, when I was laid off for a dumb reason, out on the street, with no respect, not finding a job, having no luck. Working very hard, but very frustrated. I will never forget how I felt. I will never forget the stress on my family. I will never forget how lonely and depressing it can be.

Wendy Piersall - eMomAtHomeOne of my missions as a blogger is to share ideas, best practices and resources that can help people that are either in that situation, or might be in that situation soon. I’m not blogging for bucks, I’m blogging to share. I didn’t quite realize this until eMom blogger Wendy Piersall gave a presentation about her real missionit hit me right between the eyes and it gave me goosebumps. And I understood that my message is bigger than my blog, bigger than me.

Sounds kind of PollyAnna, right? Here’s the rest of the story.

  • I started blogging as a marketing complement… and it has turned out to be one of the best marketing things I’ve ever done. Yes, I do want people to know about JibberJobber, sign up for it, use it, promote it, etc. That’s no secret.
  • I have blogged about a number of books that I’ve read. I think it would be cool to make some money from promoting those books but I have not, even though I know many of you have bought some of them. I still think that every single person should read Never Eat Alone, Brag! and Career Distinction. I always promote those because they each helped me immensely – but here’s my dirty little secret – I rarely buy books… my local library is just too good and I read too many books to be able to afford them.
  • I personally think the Amazon affiliate program is lame, since I would only get something like 4% kickback on the books that you buy from them. I kind of signed up with them but am not pursuing it, and if I link to a book I like it’s usually to the author’s main page, or to their affiliate link. Yep, I’m leaving some money on the table.
  • I have signed up for a few other affiliate programs, and will eventually roll them out. I just want to do it “right,” I don’t want to jeopardize the quality and feel of this blog, and it hasn’t been the highest priority for me.
  • I used to have GoogleAds on the blog and in JibberJobber. But I never really liked their terms. And apparently they didn’t like me, I was kicked out of their system for something I had no control over.
  • Penelope Trunk is the Brazen CareeristI will begin to look for sponsors for this blog and the website. But right now I have other fish to fry… so I’m not ready to spend time there yet. When I do get sponsors I’m going to take the Penelope Trunk route and still keep my own flavor, AND not plaster the site with sponsorship ads. My blog and site are cluttered enough… and no one needs another website with a ton of ads all over the place.
  • I do get paid sometimes, when I include a small ad at the end of a post (like today’s post). I can choose what I put there, and usually it has nothing to do with the post. I only do it if I don’t think it’s a distraction. It has been sporadic and unconsequential, as far as money goes, and I haven’t even tallied up the totals. I think I do it more as an ego-trip so that I can think of myself as a paid blogger :p.
  • I have partners who are in a special relationship with JibberJobber. I promote their services more than usual, but I have no problem promoting them because I’ve met each of them, spent time on the phone, have continued relationships with them, and am indeed a believer of what they offer. However, there are non-partners that I have great relationships with and won’t hesitate to promote them either.

The bottom line is, I write to who I was a year ago… and won’t compromise on the quality of the message. I might take advantage of some monetizing opportunities but will never do it unless I can feel comfortable about the actual endorsement. In other words, if I don’t believe in the thing, I won’t endorse it. So here are two questions:

What do you think about this? Do you believe it (or are you skeptical about my intentions)? Is it honorable, or should I consider a different tactic? If I’m getting a kickback for a mention, do I need to mention that in the post?

If you are a blogger, how is this different from what you do?


Visit DiversityJobs.com for articles, news, and advice on Diversity recruiting.

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