Tuesday, July 20, 2004

importin' exportin' man

Wheeee... we're moving to TypePad. I think.
Henceforth and (more importantly) from now on... this blog is dead and all the content (well, almost) has been moved to my new blog at:


Meet the expert: More tales from the front-lines of job-hunting

That's ex-pert, not ex-pat. Oh no... not anymore...
(Boy do I ever miss Bangkok).

Dave Pell is an expert. Just take a look at his blog.

I haven't been marketable as an expert lately. Maybe that's my problem. I tend to understand and portray myself as a generalist, but I need to market myself as an expert. To be specific... in general, companies just aren't hiring generalists these days. My expertise is in the realm of critical thinking, analysis and communications. That's why I majored in Philosophy and English Literature. Most people don't realize that my alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, is one of the top-5 Philosophy departments in the country. Lah-dee-dah.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I took enough English Lit classes to qualify for a double-major cuz I thought they were easy. Read a book and then write a critical paper about its style or some of its themes. Piece of cake.

Just my luck, right as I graduated, the bottom fell out of the Philosophy market and the Big 5 Philosophy firms stopped hiring. It was heart-breaking and things just haven't been the same since, so...

After a brief stint as an employment recruiter, where I learned to be an expert at getting another job, I became an expert in the field of condiments during my years with the H. J. Heinz Company. Then I became an expert in the sales, marketing and distribution of hardware and software products in the Apple Macintosh market. I did pretty well at that for more than 10 years.

In the mid-90's I hunkered-down and became an expert in the field of Digital Asset Management (DAM) or Media Asset Management (MAM) or Digital Media Management (DMM), whichever acronym you prefer. It worked out nicely for me, but have I ever mentioned how much I dislike acronyms. Sure they might be a necessary evil in the fight against verbosity, but I'd gladly sacrifice a bit of brevity if it would eliminate elitist obfuscation and demagoguery. Those Bastards (TB)!

After a quick detour into the fascinating world of the networking sub-specialty, Remote Access Management (RAM) I became an authority on Scalable Content and Multimedia Personalization. That was when I worked with Marc Canter at his company Broadband Mechanics and used some of the early blogging software that was beginning to emerge. We used Dave Winer and UserLand's Frontier and Manila (hey, anybody out there remember Clay Basket?) as a key part of our process. We used blogs to design, discuss, document and manage architecture and construction of web-based multimedia authoring tools. Then we got sucked down in the big Internet flush of 2000. Wheeeeeeee!

So now we're well into 2004 and its time for me to reinvent myself again after having taken a few years off to brood and travel in southeast Asia. My friend Barbara says that life is broken up into 7 year cycles. That would mean that my seventh cycle will be ending next March when I turn 49, but I want to start the new cycle NOW. All good things in all good time. On the other hand, who knows, really?

So I'm becoming an expert in the world of blogs and social networking software. Why not? Stranger things have happened.

I'll be attending the Blog-On 2004 conference this Thursday and Friday at the Haas School of Business across the Bay at UC Berkeley. All of us experts will be there!

Its costing me $149 plus bus and BART fare, unless I can find a ride with someone. That's a small price to pay for the opportunity to jump into the fray, dive in head-first and partake in some balls-out hob-nobbing with the industry (so-called) goober-smoochers. Yippe-ti-yo-ti-yay. Of course I'll bring my camera.

How big is the market? How fast will it grow? What about Michael Eisner and Google and everything? Jeez. I'm hoping they're going to at least try to tackle some of the big issues. Very exciting!

And there you have it. Problem solved. Re-invention underway. Make way for the expert. I guess I better start cramming.


Monday, July 19, 2004

No coffee, thanks.

I'm quitting drinking coffee and haven't had a cup in over a week now. I still have those moments when I crave it, (like right now) but I've been able to overcome the urge and I just look the other way when I walk past my local coffee-shop.

I still have the occasional Coke or cup of tea, because it seems that these forms of caffeine just don't affect me the same way a strong cuppa joe does.

The next thing you know I might even
quit smoking cigarettes.

I've certainly cut-down a bit since I've been living in a no-smoking house and have to go outside if I want one. I also noticed, on my recent trip home from Bangkok, that I was easily able to handle not smoking for almost an entire day of air travel.

Sunday, July 18, 2004