Leading Geeks

Can they actually be led?

Category Archives: social networking

On Changing Careers

Eleven years ago today, I started my first job in IT (although it was still called MIS back then). It was a career change away from the medical profession (I was a really bored medical secretary who had applied to med school), and it led me a very long way. I moved from there to my first law firm, and then became IT Director of two different Boston law firms.

By the time this post publishes today, I’ll be several hours into my first day as an Inbound Marketing Consultant at HubSpot. Eleven years after entering IT, I am making another career change.

Some of you knew this change was coming, some didn’t. I figured I’d take advantage of this “announcement” post to answer some questions that I’ve been asked recently:

Why the change?
Well, you know the saying that some folks climb all the way to the top of the ladder only to find that it’s leaning against the wrong building? Yeah, that’s me. I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing and cared more about a lot of the peripheral job functions (okay, well, leading geeks and budgeting weren’t truly peripheral…) than I cared about the plumbing aspects of the job.

But weren’t you really active in the legal IT community?
Yup. And leaving ILTA was incredibly difficult. However, in many ways, ILTA and my role as Social Networking Coordinator for the ILTA ’09 Conference precipitated this change. I realized that I adored what I was doing in marketing and social networking, and I decided to follow my heart.

What’s going to happen to this blog?
Leadership is still incredibly important to me, and I expect that I will still blog on the topic. I also expect that I will become a “geek in transition” and will blog about what I’m learning at my new job. I’m going to blog on what interests me, and we’ll all just see where it goes. I definitely appreciate those of you who have been reading since I started blogging in early ’08, but I understand that you’ll stop if I bore you. I hope to not be boring, but such is life, eh?

This should be an interesting ride.

See me on ILTA TV

Edited: You can see me talk on ILTA TV (broadcast live from ILTA ’09). I talk about Twitter in a one-on-one interview, and then I talk about E2.0 along with John Alber and Gerard Neiditsch.

How I Planned My Summer Vacation (or Social Networking ROI)

Blogging about social networking as always seemed so dreadfully meta to me that I’ve avoided doing it until now. Sure, I’ve written articles and given webinars about social networking, but if you’re already reading my blog, shouldn’t you already “get it” to some extent? My perceived redundancy aside, I recently experienced a very powerful positive effect of social networking that I wanted to share with (inflict on?) all of you.

In an article that will appear in an upcoming issue of ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine, I make the argument that social networking saves me time and makes me more efficient. While I experience that daily at work, my recent trip to Seattle for (gasp) vacation brought that home in a much more tangible way.

It all started with a single Tweet:
@jennsteele: I’m heading to Seattle soon; what are things I “can’t miss” in the city, on the San Juan islands, and in any of the surrounding area?

Suggestions started arriving immediately to go to this or that restaurant, see various attractions and neighborhoods, and I received two very long emails full of restaurant recommendations and sightseeing tips. These tweets and emails were my guide during my trip, and saved me countless hours of research that I would have done otherwise. For example, I found an amazing Japanese restaurant (Nishino, on the recommendation of @Donna_Payne from Payne Consulting), a great steak house (the Metropolitan Grill, on the recommendation of Beau Mersereau (@beaum) from Fish & Richardson), and the most amazing beer selection I’ve ever seen (the Taphouse Grill, thanks to Faith Drewry from EIM).

I have another nine or ten examples, but I think I’ve proven my point. Instead of spending my time researching, I spent it with my husband sightseeing, relaxing, and watching the Roddick/Federer match. (Side note: I found out about the craziness of that match from Twitter, prompting me to turn it on.) Twitter and Facebook saved me more time in this single week than I spend on the two tools in two months combined. ROI, indeed.

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