Nothing like trying to get up the DVP at 8 am in fog thicker than pea soup. Thought I was back in Cork there for a second. Today’s new thing worthy of this venture was a seminar on Social Media and Internet Marketing. And yes, it was a voucher!
While I’ve spent most of my career working in IT, it has been primarily on the big, back-office systems. The last time I tried anything of significance on the front office, the first stock bubble had not yet burst. I had picked up a copy of Dreamweaver, because it was shiny, and built a website for a friend’s wedding; they have since spawned two school-age children. It’s been awhile.
I was surprisingly the first one to arrive. It turns out if I’m not insanely busy, I can actually be EARLY for stuff. Who knew?!? I chose a comfortable seat near the end of an aisle in case it turned into a real life Charlie Brown classroom, and I needed to make a mad dash for the exit. Sitting still and actively participating for an entire day is a bit of a daunting task for someone with the attention span of a gnat. I’ve been called untrainable before. I consider this a compliment.
Even though the music playlist while we were waiting to start included such ’80s and ’90s classics as U Can’t Touch This (yes, THAT Hammer), and My Life (Billy Joel, circa Mr. Christie Brinkley), I needn’t have worried. Paul Tobey, a former jazz pianist, is quite possibly the most engaging and dynamic speaker I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. I paid attention the entire day. This might be unprecedented (I keep forgetting to take the ginkgo biloba, so no way of knowing for sure). As an aside, did you know that musicians are probably smarter than the rest of us? My IQ thanks you for those years of piano, violin and flute lessons, Mom (did I mention the ADD already? Right.)
In one day, we tackled such invaluable topics as how to make yourself more searchable on LinkedIn with keyword phrases, how google really ranks websites, what is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the importance of context versus content, something called back links, the use of hypnotic marketing on your website, and social media aggregators, like TweetDeck and ping.fm. We also got a glimpse into the workings of two very cool-ish pieces of software: Market Samurai and Dragon Naturally Speaking. Phew!
We walked away with a few other juicy tidbits as well, like the brain can only absorb what the butt can endure, and if you want to be sure to connect with someone when high fiving them, look at their elbow first. (Go ahead, I know you want to try it.)
Overall, in terms of value for voucher, this gets two really big thumbs up. If you’ve signed up for one of these sessions, fret not. Just remember to bring an open mind, and you should learn a thing or two, including that being a jazz musician might be cool, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Must remember to impart that pearl of wisdom the next time I see my friend’s kids.