Thursday, February 28, 2013

Social Media and the Job Search

Everyone knows the story of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg, a young all-American boy admitted to Harvard University who, with the help of a few friends, created and maintained this social network from his dorm room. He dropped out at the end of his sophomore year to continue building what would become a site boasting over one billion active users by the end of 2012.

We as members of the Technological Generation consider ourselves to be fluent in social media, but our professors and parents constantly talk about how detrimental it can be when searching for a job. Facebook and Twitter eliminate anonymity, but neither is going away, so our mission then becomes determining how to use social media to promote ourselves to potential employers.

A recent U.S. News Money article details ten ways to use social media in your job search, most notably of which is the notion of networking in order to create connections, and while that is without a doubt a crucial part of the post-graduation job search process, it is easy to overlook the connections that have been fostered through social media. The article states that Facebook can in some ways be more useful in job hunting than LinkedIn, because people you have a personal relationship with have more of a state in helping you, so use that to your advantage.

You should also make sure your Facebook profile is set to private. Really, go check—many things on your page are set to public by default, and you don’t want a potential employer going through your old pictures and posts. It doesn’t matter if your albums are full of wholesome family photographs. Take the time to check your privacy settings, and Facebook makes that really simple. According to a recent USA Today article, you can click on the lock icon in the tool bar, which brings up the Privacy Shortcuts menu, where you can manage who can see your stuff (pictures, posts, information, etc.), who can contact you, and how you can stop someone from bothering you. The article offers a myriad of other options to ensure privacy, and spending a few minutes reviewing those suggestions is critical in the job search process.

Also learn how to use social media for your own research purposes—perform a quick LinkedIn or Twitter search on the person you are interviewing with or a big-name person within a company. You can never have too much information going into an interview. Plus taking the time to do that emphasizes how important an opportunity this is for you, and interviewers enjoy speaking with people like that.

In summary, here is a list of the ten ways to utilize social media in your search mentioned in the article:

1. Let people know you're looking.
2. Don't be afraid to network on Facebook.
3. Make sure your Facebook profile is private. 
4. Find information about hiring managers.
5. Hyperlink your resume.
6. Be strategic with Facebook lists.
7. Create connections you need to get the job.
8. Get Google on your side.
9. Join industry chats on Twitter.
10. Seek out job-search advice. 

Image Source:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Zynga's Not the Only Mobile Social Game Developer in Town

Have you ever heard of Top Stylist, a mobile game in which users can style high-profile clients in real-world brands? How about Monster Quest or NFL Shuffle?

No? Don’t worry—soon you probably will.

All three games are GREE products, one of the world’s leading mobile social gaming platforms boasting millions of players from all corners of the world. “[Dedicated] to building the best in mobile social gaming for players and developers, while creating and supporting unique free-to-play game content,” GREE produces games for both iOS and Android where users can connect and compete with friends.

Founded by Yoshikazu Tanaka in 2004, GREE is making a big push into western markets, and the company has spent the past eight years meticulously developing strategies to find success in ways with little risk. In a TechCrunch post Anil Dharni, GREE’s senior vice president of studio operations stated that the company was focused mostly on content.

GREE has developed a network of consumers large enough to issue the games in an inexpensive way, an incredibly important move to “prove it is not so vulnerable to the hits-driven nature of the business,” especially with Apple’s majority control over iOS products. For that reason, companies like GREE now and in the future will be challenged to find new and exciting ways to create and market their products in order to adequately compete with Apple, as iOS has become more lucrative than ever over the past year.

“It is four times and beyond in terms of revenue [compared to a year ago],” Dharni said, and a large reason for that is the introduction of the iPad as another source of iOS gaming. Though Androids are becoming more and more popular amongst consumers, they are still “lagging behind iOS on per user monetization.”

With leadership in Japan that enabled the stateside team to better understand the market, GREE is able to create original fun and engaging content “on a daily or weekly basis,” encouraging users to return regularly to experience the novelty.

In the coming year, GREE is hoping to utilize Facebook as another option to market their products, meaning they will likely have a larger presence in the United States.

Do you think GREE will be able to stand against Apple and other domestic game producers?