I’m leaving Topaz. In fact, today was my last day (and I went out with a bang, spending a good chunk of the day exploring how to take a client’s social media efforts to the next level). Topaz has been an amazing experience for me–a great place to grow, an incredibly supportive management team (who are starting to blog up a storm I might add) and a wonderful group of colleagues past and present.
I’m convinced that Topaz would have had more in store for me should I have decided to stay, and I was sorely tempted to do so.* But my gut was to take advantage of the opportunity that I wasn’t looking for but secretly wanted. It’s an opportunity to explore how social media can help organizations with more than just their PR and marketing needs. It’s not that PR and marketing aren’t important–they’re very critical applications of the web 2.0 technology we have at our hands. But they’re not all that social media can help with.
To be truly successful, social media needs to–if not be delivered in a top-down manner–at least be advocated and understood at the highest levels within an organization. Having a web 2.0-savvy champion inside an organization’s PR department will simply just not cut it. CEOs that don’t understand social media will soon be finding it harder and harder to find jobs–especially in this economy.
With that lecture in mind (I promise there will be many more of them here!), I’d like to introduce SocialSphere Strategies, the company I’m heading to on Wednesday. You may know them through their sponsorship of past Social Media Club Boston events, or through the many very smart people working there, including John Della Volpe, Mark Wilson, Jonathan Chavez, Nicco Mele, Abby Giles, Linda Della Volpe, some very smart advisors and of course some very smart millennials, who of course keep everybody else honest.
I have accepted a position as senior analyst and director of client services, meaning I will split my time between researching (and reporting on) web 2.0 technologies and applying this research to SocialSphere’s clients, which include or have included the Massachusetts State Lottery, Harvard’s Institute of Politics, Reader’s Digest, Kyle’s Treehouse (which by the way is looking for a social media-savvy employee–drop me a note if you’re interested), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the United States Marine Corp.
So here’s the problem: I’ve violated two important principles that I’ve lectured many people about:
- Always try to take two weeks off between jobs to refresh yourself. (I’m taking exactly zero days off.)
- Promote your personal brand as well as the corporate brand. (Sure, some people know who I am thanks to the Social Media Club and, in general, the social media scene here in Boston. But I haven’t had my own blog.)
I can’t fix the first problem, except by perhaps replying on John’s good nature and all-around niceness to give me a few extra days off after I show how hard a worker I am. But I CAN fix the second problem. And YOU can help! You can subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog. I promise I’ll say smart things here!
I’ll outline in a separate post what I intend to write about here, but be assured it will focus on an analysis of social media and web 2.0 from a holistic business perspective–and with a healthy dose of skepticism that only occasionally creeps into a lot of the navel gazing we all do.
Because my day job will include responsibility for analyzing technology (and because I’ll be working with some brilliant measurement and analytics folks), you’ll get a much more analytical, organized and even quantitative perspective from this blog. From the get go I intend to have nice crisp clean categories–buckets! We all love buckets! All the lovely social media diagrams I see are great to look at–and don’t get me wrong, they provide a good high level view of the world–but they’re not very practical for classifying and thinking in an organized fashion.
So you’ll get buckets, folks! None of that folksonomy crap–we’re talking real taxonomic buckets that will help you understand where things fit into the big picture. So that’s my promise!
Next up is a post on my editorial policies, a rant or two, then I’ll roll my sleeves up and post an editorial calendar to get things started for real!
* For the record, I am not completely severing my ties with Topaz Partners. I have agreed to serve as a member of their board of advisors, and will continue to contribute to their great blog and podcast.