About Me

My photo
I recently graduated with an MBA and an M.S. Information Systems from Boston University, concentrating in Marketing and Business Analytics. I also live on a boat and have a Boston Terrier named Maracas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Walk the walk

New Website:
After getting done with finals I had so much free time, I didn't know what to do with myself so I decided to update my website. In 15 hours I re-learned about html and css and came up with a pretty cool site for a pretty cool guy! Take a look at it, and let me know what you think!

Google Analytics:
I subscribed to Google Analytics for
free and started following my web visitors to see what they were up to.

Apparently I have a following in Russia.

Anyway, viewers visit all four of my pages and spend about six minutes on my site. Not bad. I attached this image you so can see the flow on my site. The orange part means my visitor left. By learning that they didn't like the markup section, I decided to remove it and improve the parts where visitors were engaged.

Yeah, so, while doing all my research and programming I came to the conclusion that I am surrounded by a moat. This is actually pretty cool because if there was ever an event that caused city wide social uprisings, I would be protected. Also, we have enough water and food on the boat that would allow us to survive for a couple of weeks while the city calms down. Pretty cool huh!? Anyway, I think all of this free time away from school is getting my imagination running. I should go read a book.

And now, a picture of Maracas and the holiday spirit!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why is it important to have a digital footprint?

With today's technology, we have immediate access to a wealth of information. This is great because it allows us compare products instantly, know about their pitfalls, and learn of other options. This instant access to information has given consumers a lot of power and companies spend a lot of resources proactively protecting their brand. And, since they are spending a lot of resources protecting themselves, you should too! Why? Well, because companies and other people have the same access to information as you do, and they can google you as well.

Go ahead, try it out! Go to Google, type your name, and see what happens. Are there any pictures of you? Any information about you? Are you the top link? Should you be? Is this good or bad? I guess the answer to all of these questions really depend on you. But, I think that rather than being scared of technology you should embrace it and make sure that you control what is being said about you online. This is why it is important to have a digital footprint.

I have been reading this book on the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) which, by the way, is free on Amazon. It talks about how the shift in the digital landscape has changed the way marketers have to think. It also talks about how to win this ZMOT. So what is ZMOT? It is the time when consumers learn about a product and they research it online. Essentially, people gather information about a product and they pretty much make a decision before even going to the store and trying the product. In our case, it is about potential employers or dates learning as much as they can about us before the interview or the first date. In some cases, the interview or date may not happen at all because of what they found.

It is up to us to try and control what exists out there so we can at least get to this first interview or first date. We can do this by creating a digital footprint! So get out there and update your profile on Linkedin, create a personal website and blog, and tweet your heart out. However, if you are not very familiar with these trends, I suggest reading this article on "The Simple Way to Avoid Social Media Failures" so you don't send compromising pictures of yourself to innocent and unsuspecting bystanders.

Anyway, check out this infographic for some interesting facts.

And now, a picture of Maracas inside her travel bag.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So you want a larger digital footprint

I have been doing a lot of research and work in trying to increase my digital foot print and get up to speed with all of the current trends. I have found that there are a lot of websites, tricks, apps, scores, and who knows what else. It can get very confusing, very quickly, and therefore I have decided to make a post on my findings so that other people can benefit from my research.

First of all, you need to be OK with the idea that your life is going to be less private and that people are going to know what you are doing most of the time. You also need to be OK with talking to strangers. Lastly, you need to have a smartphone so that you can engage your digital social life at all times. If you agree to the above terms and have a smartphone, then we can go on to the next part.

It has finally come to this: you have to succumb to the power of Facebook and Twitter. I know, I know, you have been fighting the urges and have stayed cool by not joining either, but if you want to have a digital presence you need to have joined these platforms. They will help you keep up with your friends, allow you to log in to other social media sites, and they are the biggest players in this atmosphere.

Once you have logged in, you have to input all of your information, or at least what you are willing to share. However, the more information you share, the better your digital score. Make sure you post some pictures, have a nice tag line for your account, and also get a great profile pic for all of your new friends to see. After you have a nice profile, start commenting on stuff and learn to use the systems well. It will take you about two weeks to learn the proper etiquette and the right frequency of posting.

By joining Facebook and twitter, you are already well on your way to having a digital life. You have proven that you can use a keyboard and mouse, are somewhat creative, and don't mind others peeping into your life. Now you have to just go with the flow. Here is a list of sites and apps that you may want to join and use so that you can expand your network and your reach:

Linkedin - Ah, the most important site that you will need if you want to expand you professional network, find a better job, and compare yourself to your peers. This is a pretty neat site for you to post your resume, your achievements, and feel good about yourself for about a week after you have finalized your profile and realize that it is a living document that needs updating at least once a month. Hmm, maybe I should update my profile with my digital footprint score this afternoon....

yelp - Admit it, we are all food critics, or think we could do a better job that the store attendant, or could keep a certain anything cleaner and better than everybody else! Well, this is your opportunity to provide feedback to restaurants, shops, companies, etc. by scoring them after you experience their service.

foursquare - hmm. go to favorite spot. check in. realize someone else goes there more than you. go more frequently. check in every time. become mayor. get special offers. someone else becomes mayor. spend all your money. become mayor again. feel special. give it a try!

Quora - This one's an interesting one. You can follow companies or topics, post questions, and people will answer. Or you can read questions and answer them. Or you can just read other people's questions and read other people's answers.

Blogger - It's OK to have a public journal and for people to read your thoughts. Heck, if you're pretty good at it, you may even make some money out of it. I refrained from explaining what this is, because if I have to explain it, then you are more lost than I thought and may have to take an intro to the interwebs.

In any case, once you start blogging, or tweeting, or checking in, you really shouldn't stop. You need to become an original content creator so that people will follow you. The more active you are, the more people will follow you and the more influence you will have. These are all really important things if you want to have a large digital footprint.

So you think you have tried all of the sites, and are an active blogger. Well, it now comes down to the moment of truth. You should see how you compare to your friends and other in the digital space. It is time to receive a grade for all of your hard work.

There are two sites that I like, and they rank you on different things. They also let you know how you can improve your score and therefore improve your digital footprint. Go over to klout and to MyWebCareer.

You have worked really hard, and still your score is mediocre or not as high as you would like. Well, it's a perfect time to determine whether or not you are built for this. In any case, you have to keep trying and embrace the technology. It is part of our lives and will become more powerful as time goes by. Just don't be a slacker if you choose to go down this path!

And now, a picture of my dog sitting on the couch.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Digital Footprint

I would consider myself a pretty tech savvy person. I have been great with computers since I had my first one at the age of 12. I have followed the latest trends. I read the right magazines. I am considered an early adopter and an innovator. Etc.

However, since I moved to Mexico to start a company and I dedicated so much of my time to getting it started and running, I missed out on this whole social media and digital footprint stuff. It wasn't until I started my MBA that I was reintroduced to the subject. I have to admit, it has taken me a while to fully immerse myself into it, but now that I am discovering how important having a digital footprint really is, I am trying to get updated as soon as possible. In two weeks, I have become an active blogger on my MBA Admissions Site (http://management.bu.edu/graduate/graduate-life/student-blog/), I have started twitting @carlpalme, and I received a #klout score of 26 which I hope is good for a noob.

Anyway, we are all so incredibly connected, that it is important to stay up to date with any and all current technologies. I am proud to say that even though I was out of the loop for a little bit, I was able to jump right back in. I will be blogging more about the MBA and my discoveries with social media, about my life on a boat, and about any and all random things. For now, here is a picture of my wife, my dog, and me on the Charles River:

Using technology to your MBA advantage

I remember when I was getting a degree in engineering I had to carry at least four textbooks, a graphing calculator, three notebooks, and a slew of pencils and pens with me at all times. My bag weighed a ton and I could never fit it in a locker. I guess it was a way to get some additional exercise!

When I decided to come back to school, I didn’t want to carry a bag that big anymore, so I opted to buy an iPad. It is definitely one of the best investments I have made. I can carry all of my textbooks, all of my notes, my agenda, and a calculator in just 1.33 lbs. So here is a list of things that I use to keep everything organized:

Dropbox – This is the most important app that I carry with me. It keeps all of my documents synced with my computer at home, my team files up to date, and I can view my files everywhere.

Reminders – As you start your MBA experience, you will soon realize that you need a very good planner with you. Reminders will help with homework assignments, team projects, or grocery shopping. The best thing about it is that you can program it to remind you when you get to a specific place. Like “remind me to sleep when I get home.”

Evernote – This is a great app for taking notes, recording classes, and taking pictures of things written in the blackboard. It also syncs automatically so you can view your notes everywhere there is an internet connection and a computer.

GoodReader – In business school you will read a LOT of cases. GoodReader allows you to keep your cases organized, highlight, and gives you a summary of your highlights and notes right before you start a class.

eTextbooks – This is a great find because it allows you to rent textbooks for a semester, and at half the price. I have found most of the required textbooks with this app.

Mail – You will be bombarded with mail in school. You need this.

Kindle – Again, good for textbooks and leisurely reading.

Flipboard – Since time is limited, Flipboard allows me to keep a summary of all of the outside world in a beautiful format.

Merlin – Awesome project management app.

Biximo – I am a member of the Bike Sharing program in Boston (Hubway) and Biximo is the app I use to learn whether there are going to be bikes available in my neighborhood or not. It’s pretty cool!

Anyway, the list can go on and on, but these are some of my favorite apps and have definitely helped me keep organized in school. It is also a good effort on going paper-less!

Next Time
Housing alternatives: have you considered a boat?