Facebook favors the bold. Okay, technically fortune favors the bold, but I was recently bold on Facebook and that risk paid a handsome reward. On the morning of Monday, October 19, 2015 I saw a Facebook post by Robert Scoble announcing his arrival in Dubai for Gitex Technology Week. Intrigued, I reached out to the noted blogger, technical evangelist, author, and futurist whom I have followed virtually for many years.

He replied to my comment quickly and then, via direct message, graciously invited me to a dinner that night hosted by Rackspace Hosting. As it turns out, this would be one of the most exceptional experiences of my life. I found myself mingling with more than two dozen technology industry insiders and thought leaders at the Exchange Grill in the Fairmont Hotel (near the Dubai World Trade Centre where Gitex was happening).

Ben Parr, Robert Scoble, and Matthew A. Gilbert, MBA.
Ben Parr, Robert Scoble, and Matthew A. Gilbert, MBA.

I had the pleasure of getting to know people from Afkar.me, Cazar, Middle East Global Advisors, Rackspace HostingRockefeller Innovation, SQREEM Technologies, uBeam, and other impressive organizations. I also chatted with Ben Parr, former Mashable editor and author of the book Captivology, along with Creative Content Agency founder and DJ Raj Kotecha, plus Dubai-based social media personality Literally Anika.

We talked about a range of topics including:

  • Behavioral Intelligence
  • Being an Expat Entrepreneur
  • Big Data
  • Burning Man
  • Fantasy Football
  • Future of Robotics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Mobile Phone Industry
  • Next Steps for Twitter
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Self-Driving Cars
  • Wireless Battery Charging
  • Venture Capital and Innovation
  • Why Facebook is “Where It’s At”

Having both grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area (with an interest in journalism and technology), Robert and I found ourselves sharing memories from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. We also talked about being fathers to sons with an autism diagnosis. It was an enriching experience getting to know someone I knew much about and with whom I had much in common, but before that evening had never met in person.

As a lifelong learner it was an opportunity to immerse myself in an ocean of ideas to inspire my research and catalyze my creativity. As an educator it was a chance to connect with individuals who want to enrich my classroom as speakers and strengthen my students’ learning via internships, involvement with business incubators, and engagement in experiential education.

It was a night unlike any I have experienced before; it was definitely a moment when I was delighted to not be the smartest person in the room (as the popular saying goes). I look forward to what dreams may come from this transformational evening.

Thank you, Robert Scoble!

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is a video worth? According to the following statistics from November 2011, video is so popular in online media it is nearly priceless:

  • comScore (October 2011): 184 million US Internet users watched an average of 21.1 hours per viewer and engaged in 42.6 billion video views. A record 20 Billion Content Videos Viewed on Google Sites!
  • NielsenWire (November 16, 2011):  the amount of time spent streaming videos online is growing at a much faster rate than the number of video viewers.
  • eMarketer (November 28, 2011): forecasts the number of the number of US tablet users will reach 89.5 million in 2014 and by 2015 there will be 148.6 million smartphone users, stoking demand for mobile online video.
  • Mashable (November 14, 2011): 71% of US Internet users visit video sharing sites on a typical day.
  • Unbounce (October 31, 2011): reports that using video on a marketing landing page lifted conversion rates by 100%.
  • Futuresource Consulting:  forecasts consumption of legitimate free and paid for online video is on track to exceed 770 billion views across the USA, UK, France and Germany this year.

How to Embed a Facebook Video Into Your WordPress.com Blog
In his blog post, “Why Flickr Images Boost Your Blog,” blogger Ari Herzog illustrates the importance of including images with the words of your post. Given that there are different conditions under which you can use images on Flickr, Herzog’s blog also links to a very helpful blog post titled “A Complete Guide to Finding and Using Incredible Flickr Images.”

Given the above statistics, it stands to reason that including videos in your blog posts is an additionally important way to help people not only find your blog posts, but engage with them as well.

Noted social media consultant Chris Brogan encourages using video in blog posts, and he can’t be wrong, can he? Notably, in a September 1, 2011 Entrepreneur.com article, Chris also shared several helpful strategies you can use to start video blogging.

But not all videos are created equal. Rather I should say that not all videos are equally easy to include in your blog posts — specifically your WordPress.com blog posts.

YouTube and WordPress.com have facilitated the ability to insert videos with short URLs and  a simple code syntax (remove the space after and before the brackets; I needed to include the space here to prevent WordPress.com from actually trying to embed the example YouTube URL):

[ youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=video-id-here ].

However, for certain topics, as in the case of my recent blog post, (I’ve Had) The Time(line) of My Life, I wanted to include a video that was only available on Facebook. Doing so wasn’t nearly as intuitive or easy.

Eventually, after several minutes of serious searching online, I found a website with a solution that worked: How to Add,Show or embed facebook video on your wordpress, joomla, blogger blog or website.

To briefly summarize the three simple steps to follow so you can embed a Facebook video into your WordPress.com blog:

1.)  Locate the URL of the Facebook page in which the source video is embedded. The URL for the video from the (I’ve Had) The Time(line) of My Life post (pictured below) is https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=980256227111.

2.)  identify the number after the “v=” — in the case of the previously mentioned video, the number is 980256227111.

How to Embed Facebook Videos

3.)  Insert the number after the “v=”video into the code follows below. Again, as was the case with the YouTube example, please remove the space after and before the brackets (I needed to include it to prevent WordPress.com from actually trying to embed the example Facebook URL):

[ gigya src=”http://www.facebook.com/v/980256227111
codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0″ width=”400″ height=”224″ ]

Please see the actual embedded video below:

And there you have it — you have successfully embedded a Facebook video into your WordPress.com blog!

Is social media the new resume?

Chris Hutchins thinks so. On Friday, May 1, 2009 I caught up with Chris, the founder of Laid Off Camp during a meeting of the networking and collaborative career resource at Blankspaces. I invited him to expand on a statement he made during an interview with Leo Laporte on  the March 8, 2009 TWiT.tv “This Week in Tech” show (where he was joined by Brian Shaler):

“Social media is the new resume.”

In response to his statement, I asked Chris the following questions which he answered in the video below:

  1. Why is social media the “new resume?”
  2. Does social media help represent a candidate in a more three dimensionally way? Can it give employers a fuller sense of who a candidate really is?
  3. Have you had an experience with a recruiter using 1.0 tools who could not adapt to the 2.0 landscape?
  4. Have you had any experiences with a firm that made an effort to understand you as a person, but were still ineffective?
  5. Are there certain industries for which social media is naturally a better fit?
  6. Is there greater risk or reward with using social media to reveal the “real you?” What is the role of an employer in that risk or reward?
  7. What is your long-term vision for Laid Off Camp?
  8. How can employers participate in and benefit from Laid Off Camp?

Chris was gracious enough to spend some time with me and very candidly addressed each of my inquiries:

With the passage of time, Chris is now working for Milk — a mobile application development company based in San Francisco, CA  — although Laid Off Camp remains a proud part of his professional past.  Update: On March 16, 2012 Chris announced via his Twitter account that Milk, and it’s staff, had been acquired by Google; Chris is now a product manager at Google.

Speaking of the passage of time, since this interview was originally recorded, social media has continued to evolve as an exceptionally viable means by which individuals can market themselves and secure full-time employment and/or contract work — in social media or other industries.

Notably, according to a recent LA Times article, a growing number of employers are hiring people to mange their social media presence. If you are curious to learn how businesses are using social media to recruit candidates, you might find this infographic from Mashable of interest.

One particularly active resource for social media positions is the crowdsourced Social Media Jobs Group on Facebook.  Another resource includes the Social Media Jobs account on Twitter.

Mashable also offers helpful advice about how to get a job using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. If you’re not sure where to start, this Mashable article will teach you how to create an online resume with a website, videos, documents, and LinkedIn.

One recent humorous take on using social media to find a job involved Matthew Epstein donning a fake mustache in a creative and compelling effort to land a job at Google. Although his initial goal was not realized, his campaign garnered significant attention and helped get him hired as a product marketing manager at Sigfig, a web-based investment and financial management service.

Ironically, some criminals are also finding “jobs” using social media, so please be careful what you share online! Personally, I have been actively using social media since roughly November 2008 (I actually created my Facebook account a year earlier, but didn’t begin using it immediately).

Since that time the various social media tools and platforms — including Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn — with which I have experimented have helped me find several adjunct teaching opportunities.

I also launched a personal website with which I have consolidated my social media profiles while also offering a centralized resource through which I communicate who I am and the value I can add to any organization.

Additionally, this blog also provides a platform with which I can share knowledge while also promoting my skills to potential employers. Without question, social media has been a tremendous career enhancing tool!

In one such example, I was hired to teach marketing courses at UCLA Extension almost entirely because of a referral from Beverly Macy. Beverly is the CEO of Gravity Summit, a professional speaker and co-author of the book “The Power of Real-Time Marketing” (affiliate link). She also teaches a social media marketing class for UCLA Extension.

Beverly Macy and Matthew Gilbert at UCLA Gravity Summit on February 25, 2009

I first came to know Beverly on Twitter (in late 2008 or very early in 2009), just prior to the first Gravity Summit conference at UCLA in February 2009 (which I attended). Beverly and I later connected via Facebook in August 2009 and, in July 2010, she referred my resume to her contacts at UCLA.

After several months of administration and preparation I finally began teaching online the first of two courses with which I am now entrusted: MGMT X 460.394, New Media Marketing (Online). In the fall semester I added MGMT X 460.300, Consumer Behavior (on campus), to my repertoire. I anticipate continuing to teach these two courses for the foreseeable future and am very grateful for the privilege to do so.

Were it not for Twitter, I would have never come to know Beverly, and had I not come to know Beverly, I would have never had a chance to teach these classes.  I am forever grateful to Beverly, Twitter, and social media in general!

In what ways has social media played a part in your own career development and/or job search?