Monday, April 30, 2012

My thoughts on this "Do You Have Klout? Employers Want To Know"

So Wired, Forbes and well everyone is talking about this article. Basically A guy applied for a job as a VP at a large marketing firm and got passed over because his Klout score was a 34. They hired someone with a 67.

Well that's how the story spins it, but the piece everyone seems to be forgetting is when they asked about his klout score, the guy had no idea what klout was. Now clearly not everyone follows the social media space that closely and there are a lot of sites that measure your social media influence,,, and those are the ones that are top of mind for me. If I looked I bet I could find another dozen easily.

Klout though is the biggest one and for a VP of marketing to not be aware of it, seems like a big miss. Maybe he has 15 years of experience, but if it was traditional print marketing and they are looking for a social marketing expert, I can see why they passed. He didn't sound like a good fit.

Now I'm not in marketing, I'm an IT guy, but if I was asked the klout question, my answer would be different.

"Well my klout score is currently 42, and while that's not as high a score as I think I deserve, the reason it is lower than I think is because klout currently only ranks, facebook, twitter and google plus. I spend a lot of time on linkedin which I think has more business relevance than facebook. In fact according to a recent study by hubspot linkedin is 4X more effective than twitter and 7x more effective than facebook on visit to lead conversions. I think when influence is included I would be more comparable to a mid 50"

That shows I understand how klout works, what it is, and can speak intelligently on why I like it and don't like it. Now maybe they still want someone who is a social medial rockstar with a score to match, or maybe they disagree that is a valid way to do business, or maybe they just want someone who tweets way more than I do.

Either way I think that's a better answer than "I don't know what klout is". Even if I didn't know what klout was, I would have asked a lot of questions on why they think it is relevant and how it compared to other scoring systems.

In summary I think the reason the guy wasn't hired was his lack of knowledge on social media and now really the fact that his klout score was lower. My opinion of course since I wasn't there...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Network spring cleaning...

Well Spring is finally here, at least in Boston. Spring is that time to look around and do some of those cleanup tasks that always get skipped. So here is my top 5 spring IT tasks.

5. Check for zombie devices. You know which ones I mean right? The server that should have been retired 3 years ago but never seems to actually get turned off. Everyone has some of these devices. I’ve got apache web servers that we “retired” years ago, but they are still online. Some of them are so old and shaky we have to restart the service every 5 minutes to “keep it working”. Clearly they should just go away. My goal is to review all the devices in my network and see what should go away.

4. Review usage reports. Do you have WAN links or uplinks that are constantly running at 90%. Probably need to upgrade them. Or do you have a few ports that constantly generate errors. Maybe not enough to cause an alarm, but enough that you should fix them. It could be as easy as a bad patch cable and help solve some of those weird issues that pop up every few months. I’m also a fan of walking through the data center and closets looking for red lights. Sometimes people miss the alert that goes out and the next thing you know the second drive in the RAID set went bad and you just lost data.

3. Update and test your DR plan. If you have a DR plan that hasn’t been tested, it won’t work. They never work the first time you try it. Never. Run a test and figure out what isn’t going to work before you need it. Along with this, check the business continuity type things, like redundant power supplies actually going to different circuits. If they both plug into the same power strip they aren’t done right.

2. Check backups. Not just to see if they have errors, actually compare it to the list of servers that are online and make sure that you are backing up, or at least aware of, anything that is online.  Some systems may be online but not need to get backed up. Some active directory servers for example, or NIS slave servers and be rebuilt faster than restored anyway and they don’t store data. Not all AD servers are like this. If you aren’t sure back it up.

1. Check firmware and upgrade if needed. There are two schools of thought on this. “If it aint broke don’t fix it” and “Newer is better”. In my opinion, newer has better features which generally make life better, but be smart and make sure you understand and test the better features to make sure you are ready for them.

I’m sure everyone has their own list of maintenance that they want to do as well. If you want to add ideas, I’d love to hear them.