Sunday, 29 December 2013
Finally, procrastination begone ! First track for a project started years ago to produce a collection to be called "Down To The River" based on Tom Kelly's epic poem "Geordie". Now after thumb twiddling, technology traumas and distractions, I'm calling this complete. I could tweak this and adjust that but I'm not letting this boy anywhere near my mixing desk again. Moving on to the next track in the collection and ultimately all the other unfinished projects.

Steve T
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Job Centre Plus Icons
I’m developing a new course for seeking employment supported by digital tools and social media. This also gives some consideration to Digital Footprint, sometimes referred to as Net Rep (Reputation).  There are lots of horror stories about potential employers Googling a candidate to find all sorts of really embarrassing and compromising pictures and texts in Facebook etc. The common wisdom is “clean up your social media accounts”.  I’m going a different route entirely and I’m introducing participants to a whole clean slate where all their social media accounts are dedicated to one aim: finding a job. This begins with the email account. Clearly “” is not an appropriate address to give potential employers but I don’t actually take anyone seriously that has any kind of hotmail address. My perception may be wrong but other people perceive this too and since getting a job is about making an impression, perceptions are important. Everyone on this new course will get a email account (Be All You Can Digital)

Actually, the more I’ve considered this, I’ve begun to realise that if our main purpose online is to land a job, it’s unlikely that our existing social media accounts are of any assistance to this cause. The tendency is for us to grow our “friends” and connections. The social media platforms beseech us to do this. When you set up new account and you fail to add half the universe they pump out messages  like; “are you sure, you might be lonely”.  My advice people setting out on social media platforms will be: in the first instance don’t add any friends, definitely do not let the application trawl through your email address book or other social media platforms, don’t add a profile image and skip every step that you can.  Get as close to a plain vanilla account as you can and THEN start to build your profile and connections.

My own LinkedIn account, for example would be useless for finding a job. I’m connected to colleagues, my bosses and probably half the HR department.  I recently added a new Social Enterprise I’ve set up to my profile and my entire contact list was sent a message “congratulate Steve on his new job” – Huh !  Furthermore my contacts are asked to endorse me for skills I either don’t have or have a very fleeting relationship with. Obviously they this so out of kindness or courtesy but I didn’t ask them do endorse me, Linkedin did!  When I used Linked in to generate a CV from my profile it looked nothing like a CV. First of all it was way too flippant – e.g. “I'm a can do guy and if I say I'm going to do something you can take it to the bank.” – That’s it! That’s my claim to employability.  Would you give that guy a job? Furthermore, my Linkedin generated CV shows way too many skills, some of which I don’t have. Obviously I can edit this but if I really were seeking a job via Linkedin it would be better if the profile were set out properly in the first place.

I think I’d rename all the major social media platforms. Linked in would be spammedin dot com (see above), Twitter would be called info overload dot com and Facebook would be renamed moving goalposts dot com.

What I am going to advocate is that participants develop a lean social media presence with the right kind and quantity of info. They will develop smallish, carefully chosen networks of contacts. All will be with the sole aim of assisting them finding a job. We don’t want to be totally devoid of personality and humour but using these platforms for job hunting is entirely different, in my opinion, to the “social” way we have become accustomed to using social media platforms. Participants still may need to clean up their existing social accounts but we’ll make sure potential employers find the “right” accounts by giving each participant a business card with the URL’s of where all their stuff is.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
SNAG_Program-0049I've been watching developments in this field for a while. The process I use most is the sending of a track to a vocalist to add record their part which they then transmit back to me. I then compile the finished mix. Actual online collaboration has been attempted by several software producers but has never really worked properly. However, I'm seeing some developments that look promising. First there's Soundation - this looks pretty basic but there area a couple of very interesting points. Firstly you can import and export Midi files and I can see right away that you could collaborate online and then use the Midi files to drive more sophisticated software on your own computer. What looks really promising is that you can launch Soundation in a Google Hangout and collaborate with up to 9 people whilst communicating in sound and vision. Another hot contender is Ohm Studio which allows collaboration in the cloud but also gives you a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) which you also install on your computer. The next version of the sotfware will allow offline editing of your music.

Steve T