Speaking: ‘Social Media Workshop’ at Columbus State University Center for Career Development

I will be speaking at Columbus State University Center for Career Development about how social media can improve your job search and professionalism online. Join us at 12:30-1:30pm Wednesday Schuster Student Success Center, Room 101 (9/7/2011)…and


Social Media Workshop with Lucas Shafer


Schuster Student Success Center, 101


More about the Career Center.

Visit the Center for Career Development!

Our new name is the Center for Career Development and we are located in the Schuster Student Success Center, Suite 102.  Our office is located on the first floor, first office on the left from the main entrance.

We hope this new name will highlight our mission  to serve students as freshmen to seniors by implementing the E-4, Four-Year Plan of Entrance, EngagementExperience, and Exit. We are here to assist you with all of your career development needs, including:

  • Resume Writing
  • Mock Interviews
  • Career Advising
  • Volunteer Service
  • On-Campus Recruiting
  • Job Notifications on CougarLink
  • Internships and Cooperative Education
  • Seminars


Have any ideas for content of the workshop?


Where Do You See Yourself In 5 years?


I have answered that question many times in interviews and self-absorbed thoughts.  No one could of told me that I would be here; letting go of what I have grown accustomed to so I could play out an idea that has seamlessly gone from nothing to something.  I sit now at my computer worried, scared and drenched with doubt and yet I feel empowered.  My sole purpose is not only to do good work but also to team myself with others who do good work.  I am officially the forward facing owner of a small business.

This is definitely not where I saw myself a year ago.

What once was clear is now a little fuzzy.  I can not say what the future will bring but I can tell you that tomorrow I begin a different path.  A path that is not beaten.  A path that most do not know exists.

I’ve met some amazing people since the Summer of 2010 and must admit I wish I would have done it earlier.  With the details changing everyday, my business model is clearly to help businesses define their web presences through social media and making connections to their audience.  I love people and I love computers.  It’s only natural I want to bring them closer.

Cheers to the future!

Visit my company here:  http://standandstretch.com
Stand And Stretch, LLC - Your Social Media Resource ~ Columbus, Ga

Monitoring The Web Using Google Alerts

Google Alerts

Google AlertsIn a past post on how to be more responsible on the web, I brought up Google Alerts as a tool to help locate information on yourself to build awareness to what others would see.  I think it’s time to dive a bit further and discover how to monitor the web for news, brand interaction, interesting articles, yourself and other people.

There really is no limit to what you can ‘monitor’ on the web using this tool.  Below I will give a few scenarios and hopefully you can find value in this short post.  Start monitoring the web today to bring value to you instead of participating in the constant struggle to discover new information.

The Self-absorbed

Most of us have never found the time to Google ourselves and discover that our names are a big part of who we are.  Without a ‘name’ we have no true real estate on the web.  Whether it be an avatar, business name, nickname or your real name, you deserve to know when you are being represented on the web.  Google Alerts can take a parameter as simple as “Lucas Shaffer” and email me every time Google crawls a site that uses the term “Lucas Shaffer”.  You can set it to instantaneously alert you which provides a quick boost of ego altering messages or you can have it digest the top amount for a day, week or month.  You can toggle this feature to get the best managed result.

The only lesson here is that while you may have Google’d your name in the past, you possibly were not aware you could monitor and receive emailed reports of your name ‘activity’.  I personally use many versions of my name and  prefer the avatar ‘lucaslshaffer’.  So, I currently monitor the following combinations and receive regular reports on them.

  • Lucas L Shaffer
  • “Lucas L Shaffer”
  • lucaslshaffer
  • Lucas Lamberto Shaffer
  • “Lucas Shaffer”

Needless to say, I seem a bit ‘self-absorbed’….

The Brand Police

If you own a copyright or trademark then you partake in a very customary ritual.  You subconsciously seek your name or brand throughout the entire day.  You possibly use a search engine to find whether or not you are mentioned in an online periodical or if you are trending on twitter.  Either way, you are working way too hard.  Google Alerts can search for your brand for you and report any discussion to your email as you command.  It’s liberating to turn these services on and watch as you concentrate more on work and less on finding the ‘bad guys’.

You can basically be your own brand monitoring service to a certain degree.

Maybe you just want to follow Nike and their new Air Jordan campaign or follow a trending topic on twitter about the Oil Spill and BP stock reports.   Here are a few brands I monitor on the web in which I can turn a blog comment into a connection.

  • “The Game Headwear”
  • The Game LLC
  • Soffe
  • Delta Apparel, Inc
  • Junk Food Tees
  • “the bar design”
  • classic headwear

As soon as the web crawls this information on the web, I am alerted and can consume as I like.


With the proliferation of news sites you can get lost really quick.  You almost always have to fight the gushing ads and ‘feeler’ comments to get to the value you seek.  You possibly already have RSS feeds attached to your favorite reader and enjoy the combination of time and effort built into these tools.  That’s all fine.  But what about ‘bleeding edge’ news?  The news that is so lava hot your awareness is compared to the watchdogs at the Huffington Post or Mashable.

Well, here it is.  A trick I will share with you now to help fulfill your needs from gathering the latest and greatest from the web.  Your fishing line that only reels in the fish you want.  If you want mobile device information for Androids new releases as it hits the wire directly  from the source and you also want competitors reactions, then you can have it.  That is it.  This scenario is easy to follow and seen daily from my tweets as I try to provide the latest Android info to my followers.  My monitoring keywords are below.

  • “Android”
  • Google Android
  • Android Froyo
  • Nexus One
  • iPhone
  • BlackBerry
  • Incredible

As these topics hit the feeds, I am the first to know and sometimes first to share!  :)   This has been a reliable and very intuitive way to create remarkable conversations on facebook and twitter.  It also has the ability to create a bubble of expertise around yourself as you consume the alerts daily to build knowledge on the topic of choice.  Others notice your are just a step ahead of them on the news and they will begin to expect it.

I will stop here as I feel I have covered the major scenarios.  Either way you slice it, I stay up to date without much effort.  Google Alerts brings my consumable news, brand engagement and interactions and people talking about me directly to my inbox.  Google is also expanding into social media sites, like twitter, making the power of news management a skill where filter creation supports precision and not just broad strokes of results as in the past.

The first question to ask is what do I search for regularly?  Financial data?  Twitter blogs?  iPhone articles?

The cost of Google Alerts are cheap.  They take less than a minute to set up and begin paying off rather quickly.  You may find yourself tweaking popular parameters to a digest setting while your inbox fills with the information you seek.

Teach a user to search, the user learns for a day.  Teach the user how to utilize Google Alerts, the user learns for a lifetime, in small emailed reports.  Until turned off.

Happy Alert Building!

Warning:  In an effort to filter the entire web on everything you want to know, you may create a wave of uncontrollable spam for yourself.  Start slow, build alerts that work with precision and go from there.

@Gist And The Social Importance Factor

Gist Logo

Gist LogoHave no fear, Gist is here! On the tail end of my conversations on Social Media and it’s impact on our behavior, I end up bringing awareness to a growing, and exhaustive, amount of time our social networks require and how ‘that’ time is becoming just as valuable as the information and interactions we seek.

All of our feeds are being watered down and filter creation is becoming a mandatory necessity to wade through the spam and other “less” relevant feeds.

So, how can we factor in social importance to our networks to gain more from the aggregate?

If you are anything like me, and I think you are, then you navigate a few main browser windows with dozens of tabs containing facebook fan pages and twitter cleints like @HootSuite, blogs, news and Gmail scattered across your multiple screens. I have always gravitated towards the available ‘information nets’ that allow me to quickly, or efficiently, find the value I seek and now I have found a comprehensive tool that allows me to manage all (most?) of my feeds including Gmail inbox, contacts and calendar. This tool is Gist.

It’s easy to get caught up in the next new “it” thing and simply treat “it” as a pivot point from bouncing in and out of networks like a mad man but Gist has made progress. This is quite possibly the first(?) application that allows an algorithmic view of the data as you would relate to your current connections and interactions. Yes, you and I get a lot of email, @mentions, comments, newsletters, etc. BUT how important are each of these categories?  Above all, how important is one users communication within your entire network as opposed to someone you hardly know?  What about new contact you want to track short term to see what type of connection you can make? Gist allows you to answer these questions.

Gist: In the beginning…

After creating an account you are zipped through all the main networks you are connected with, including facebook, twitter and RSS feeds. Quickly, Gist begins analyzing your contacts, including Gmail, in each network and calculates their importance by how many times you have have connected (via tweet, email, comment, event) with that person. This is necessary, as we will see next; manually setting individual persons “importance” level would be tragic and Gist would fail…

How important are you?

In Gist, I may not be your most important contact. If I am not, our interactions are lower than others and Gist has automatically given me a low rating like 65/100. 100 being the *most* important. If we connect more than any other person in our network then I would be closer to 100/100.   See below the “People” view.

Gist People View

As you can see above, there is a panel to “View” and manage all of your contacts.  Here is where we make people more “important” and effectively control the flow of your main Dashboard feed.  As you can see my wife gets 100!  :)  Other contacts are people I consider valuable and important (majority were configured through Gist).   With the Importance Gauge on each user you can dynamically change any persons value and Gist allows their posts to “bubble up” higher in your main feed which is seen below.

Gist Main Feed

Above is the payload area. After all the networks collide and personal information is sorted you begin to examine the heart of Gist.  At the Dashboard above you can do so many things to filter your networks news and links and emails and …. it is mind boggling the intuitive process of this level of organization.  Again, you can see a new Importance Gauge in the toolbar.  You can lower this value to show less important feeds or squeeze it tight to 99 to get only the MOST important connections.

You can toggle networks, people, tags, date range and sort functions.  Take that social media!  Very easy…

Last, but not least by far, is the accumulating of calendar events, feed links and attachments from previous connections.  See below…

Gist Side Panel

Here you can see my Event Calendar which is the combination of network cross-pollination and an aggregate of my events in one area.  Also, it’s very easy to track links from your favorite twitterer or sort through the important document attachments with an “important” client.  It’s a bit new to me and I haven’t done my due diligence on this aspect just yet but I see the benefits and look forward to learning more…

Whether you are the sum of just a few networks or manage a ton of contacts with heavy interaction, you can utilize Gist and be functional in just a few moments.  Drop the stress, sit back and let Gist make it relevant.  It’s free and requires only the access you already provide to many other networks.  Albeit, I am a fan of @Gist and I am continually visiting the site (and sending feedback!) and relating the interface to my current situations.  It is an odd blur going from many to one.  And the one right now, is Gist.

How can this help conquer your growing social graph?

What Would YOU Do For $5? Fiverr.com Asks Everyone

Fiverr image

Fiverr image

In the world of quip communication and information abundance, Fiverr.com has found a way to maximize your cash.  Users of Fiverr can post services to the world where for a not-to-shabby $5 you can get everything from motivational words, website help and even lyrics to a song.

How exciting is this?  Well, I have been a member for 48 hours and I am already finding interesting things to try and tap into this “quip” commerce arena.  I am merely offering services that I would find interesting and fun.  Find my gigs here: http://www.fiverr.com/users/lucaslshaffer

Choosing to play, errr…make money, is easy.  Set up an account and create a service you think may be worth$5.  Of course, you can create a high value item such as “being a personal assistant for 1 hour” and  “recording a voice-over message for phone service” or you can offer something fun like “sing Happy Birthday in Hebrew to anyone”.  It”s obvious I believe this to be a great idea and will follow this to the fullest.

What do you think about adding $5 jobs to the marketplace?  Can someone make a living off this type of micro-commerce?  I think its a novel addition to the realm of fast communication and as the dust settle this could easily become the niche market for the mundane task we deal with everyday.  I mean, who REALLY wants to take the time to write a resume when some someone would do it for $5.  Get ready for a micro-economic shift.  140 characters last year, 500 pennies today.

What would you do for $5?

Here are some “important” bullet points from Fiverr.com your should know first.

  • You need to be a Registered Fiverr user to sell and buy. Registration is free.
  • Services that are offered by sellers on Fiverr are called “Gigs”.
  • Gig prices are fixed atoledo at $5.
  • For each of your gigs that was ordered and delivered, your net share is $4.
  • Sellers and buyers identity is anonymous. Do not request or provide emails to users on the site
  • Sellers may not accept payments from Fiverr buyers outside of Fiverr (directly through PayPal or any other service)
  • Posting of adult, illegal, copyright protected, violent, nonsense or other improper material on the site is strictly prohibited
  • Content on the site is moderated. Users posting, messaging or suggesting any of the above prohibited subjects will get their account blocked permanently
  • When buyers order one of your gigs, they will be required to pay for the gig in advance.
  • When a buyer orders one of your gigs, you will be notified and asked to Accept or Reject the order. Rejecting an order should only be used when you will not be able to perform your offering on time. If you are away and cannot handle orders, it is good idea to suspend your gigs from your “My Store” control panel.
  • During your work, you are required to use only Fiverr”s internal mail system to pass material from and to your buyer. Using the Fiverr mail system protects the seller”s and buyer”s privacy. Never ask a buyer to switch to third party email.
  • Purchase of gigs from Fiverr can be done using your PayPal or credit card (credit card purchases are handled by PayPal as well).
  • You can cancel your order at any time until the seller Accepts your order. Once the seller accepts your order you will not be able to cancel it.
  • Sellers have the option to reject an order if they can”t handle it on time. If for any reason your order gets rejected, your $5 will be placed in your Fiverr balance and will be available to you for purchasing other gigs on Fiverr.

Social Media A ‘Trend’? Barnes & Nobles Must Think So

Barnes and Nobles - Social Media Non-Section

I recently visited our local Barnes and Nobles to scan the books and periodicals to see what was new.  I walked around for a moment looking for the section where I could find resources on Social Media.  Most importantly, I was looking for hard copies of “Socialnomics” by Erik Qualman or “Social Media 101″ by Chris Brogan.  These books are strong and would be good to have around physically (as opposed to the audiobook versions I own) as the knowledge in them are divided into many ‘short’ sections and contain tons of knowledge in understanding the social ‘trend’.

Barnes and Nobles - Social Media Non-Section I walked around for the majority of my visit and finally found the books on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media ‘how-to’s.  I was surprised to find these books in the “Trends in Business”.  It made me smirk a bit.  It was as if Barnes and Nobles (in Columbus, Ga) hadn’t begun to understand that this ‘trend’ was more than just another quick sell to build your business or acquire more sales.  It is about adding value, not gimmicks.

As I scanned each of these titles one common phrase connected them all.  “One Hour A Day” seems to be the thread that was built to grab the curious reader or busy business professional.  It failed for me.

An hour a day is a good start.  However, if you are serious about fully impacting your professional or personal social capital, you could find you would need to spend many hours of your day connecting to new people and exuding value into other’s social circles.  When Chris Brogan was asked about how to build a solid network in “Trust Agent’s” he simply answered, “Be helpful.”  He is dead on.

As this is not a new concept, it is sometimes blurred with the hurried feel of following twitter feeds and facebook contests that we can feel overwhelmed.  More reactions come from adding value to others social circles than adding value to yours at every chance.

While Barnes and Nobles has yet to adopt the curriculum required for businesses to understand Social Media instead of trying to bank on quip communication niche ideas, I will continue to get the knowledge from the sources.  I am not assuming the books at Barnes and Nobles are value-less.  I am simply stating that only having a section called “Trends of Business” to harbor social media  knowledge is a slight misnomer and would fend off a Social Media enthusiast.  Even worse, this misinformation could deflect a curious newbie by labeling “Social Media” as the next big niche’ when in fact it’s grip on business is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am sure my town may be a few years behind (in tech-time means centuries) but I expected Barnes and Nobles to be a bit ahead of the selections in my local supermarket.  I suspect as the worldwide recognition of the impact of social sites like facebook, twitter, linkedin grows, we could look forward to a ‘new’ designated area of gaining knowledge of this new frontier instead of reading ‘trendy’ footnotes to quickly inflate a business’s presence online.  For those of us who know, a valuable social network takes time to build and starts with helping one person at a time.

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