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The End of the (Facebook) World?

How live video and private messaging are threatening the status quo of the world’s biggest social media network.

 

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I saw the future, and it was a dark one. That is, if you had any aspirations towards Facebook’s longevity as it currently stands now.

 

Sitting in with a packed crowd at the 2018 Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego, I listened to Social Media Examiner CEO Michael Stelzner as he wove a tale involving one of the darkest days in social media history: January 11, 2018. That was the day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to the network; changes that would help to (in his words) foster “more meaningful social interactions”. This would include some pretty hefty changes to Facebook’s well-known algorithm; changes that would signal a tidal wave of changes that marketers and managers would need to get on board with if they wanted any chance of maintaining both relevancy and traffic generation on the site.

 

If there was one word that was to be the catch-all solution to many of the headaches caused by this change, it would be this: video. Lots and lots of video.

 

Unleashing amazing stats like the fact that Facebook’s live video platform generates 6 times the interactions that normal videos receive, Stelzner advocated a live video future for marketers hoping to maintain or grow their audience on the platform. Live video, episodic storytelling and Facebook Stories (the new Snapchat-esqe feature on the social media network) are to be the new means by which marketers, managers, influencers and creators will share their message and increase their audience.

 

However, Stelzner stated, bigger isn’t going to be better anymore. Users interact with content on a more casual basis, and having a smaller, more active user base will generate more interest and traffic than a large, less-interactive group.

 

So it may not be the end of the world after all; just like any other seismic shift in history, the ones who know how to adapt know how to survive.

 

More coverage of my trip to SMMW 2018 will be coming soon! Keep an eye out for it and follow me on Twitter and Instagram:

Twitter: @TheSolojake

Instagram: @nomadinthemiddle

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Persistence and a New Chapter

Persistence pays off, they say.

In my case, it took almost a year of crafting a decent resume, applying for various positions, getting over the pre-interview jitters (you know, I wrote a book on that!), handling rejection after rejection email, and pestering various HR and departmental heads that never responded to my second and third emails.

And then, it came.

A simple email with a request for an interview/“test-drive” for a CS position. Four hours later, the interview was done and I was wondering if I would ever hear from the company again. For all of my abilities and assets, I usually take a cynical view towards my personal situation…

But then, they asked for another interview. This time with the CEO of the company. Eighty minutes later the interview was done, and less than four hours later a job offer came in my inbox.

I believe in Napoleon Hill’s premise behind Think and Grow Rich; that positive thinking and a clear commitment to a goal can reap great rewards is well-documented in life. The biggest hurdle is commitment and belief that it can come true. It may not turn out to be a perfect reflection of your original wish/dream/vision, but it will arrive.

Which is where I am now. I may not have a successful personal brand and business (that is still in the works; stay tuned!), but I have been blessed with a new job doing what I love to do, wherever I decide to do it.

So now begins a new chapter in the evolution of the Nomad in the MIddle: the remote working phase. It’s gonna be exciting; wanna join me?

The Unexpected Virtue of Headstrong Ignorance (or, Aloha from Hawaii)

I couldn’t tell what was causing my mini-panic attacks on the plane. To be perfectly honest, it could have been the claustrophobia (plane cabins and closets always get me), or it could have been the gnawing fear I was experiencing for the last 24 hours. After all, very few twenty somethings who have (almost) never left home up and move to a tropical island…

There is a certain fear of the unknown in all of us; it is as innate to our being as breathing. We don’t know what is around the next bend, and it can leave us apprehensive. The unknown is simply that: the unseeable, the obscure and uncharted. When something is as vast as the unknown, our minds usually ascribe the worst possible outcome to whatever lurks inside. Failure and other negative outcomes are what our imaginative brains procure; possibly a harbinger of the fact that our minds have devilish senses of humor.

But there I was; cramped on a plane, my entire world packed into two suitcases (plus a few boxes at my brothers house for safe-keeping), speeding through the clouds to an island state in the Pacific. What the hell was I doing?

Stubborn ignorance. That’s all that can be said of the decision to pack up and leave family and friends, move to an island and build a business without an MBA or experience as a business owner. I was being obstinate by committing to doing something, anything, and sticking to it.

And here I am. Still working in retail (working on that), crafting a business plan and sticking to it, and making the most of my time here in Hawaii (as much as I can; its expensive!). Perhaps my stubbornness in moving away from my comfort zone will rub off on some other portions of my life. Here’s hoping…

Right In The Middle

Finding yourself in the middle of something can be disorienting. And the first thing you may want to do is try and find out how you got there in the first place. Maybe not the best thing to do halfway down on a waterslide, but I doubt you’ll be asking yourself esoteric questions at a waterpark.

I call myself the Nomad In The Middle, but “where” am I really?

On a physical basis, I’m in Hawaii; having moved from Wisconsin back in August of 2016 (c’mon; it was such a sucky year that I had to do something positive!). I transferred from one retail location to another, keeping the same company but losing out on some of the paycheck in the process. I looked at the move as a new beginning; a surefire way to change.

Nope.

Fast forward five months and I’m still in the same job, just making ends meet and not fulfilling the aspirations I want out of life. So what’s a guy to do?

I’m in the middle right now.

I’ve made a conscious decision that the path I’m on in life right now is the wrong one, and I must begin taking steps to change now. Which is why I’m here now; blogging on the great interwebs. You see, commitment is only half the battle: committing and openly declaring that commitment creates accountability to myself and those who choose to follow me (you, I hope!). And accountability will hopefully breed positive change.

It’s a new year, and its time I got out of the middle.

The Aloha View: Christmastime in Hawai’i

It’s that time of year again! Christmas hits the world at the same time every year, and it is always interesting to see how the world celebrates it.

 

In my current neck of the woods, Christmas still means putting up colorful lights. But those lights are wrapped around palm trees. And Santa still makes an appearance. But he’s wearing sunglasses and board shorts.

 

That’s right; it’s Christmas in Hawaii! Enjoy some pictures from my recent excursion into Honolulu.

 

TOP: Christmas decorations at the Iolani Palace, downtown Honolulu

BOTTOM: Panorama shot of Santa giving the shaka at the Honolulu City Hall Christmas display, officially inaugurated during the Honolulu Christmas Tree Lighting ho’olaule’a

 

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