The Sapient Ape

Life as an employed MBA grad during an economic recovery. DISCLAIMER: Everything written here is fiction.

From Social Media Whore to Cyborg

My new Safari 4 Homepage -- too much information?  It saves all my top sites and presents them in this view

My new Safari 4 Homepage -- too much information? It saves all my top sites and presents them in this view

So tonight I was watching the President’s speech to Congress and twittering at the same time, and I was asked if I was interested in a job opportunity based on my political commentary.   I was never much of a twitterer — I only have like 20 people following me, and although I’ve been a member for over a year, I never really used it much until very recently.  I couldn’t figure out what it was for.  How does someone use it?  What does it do?

I’ve been figuring it out slowly.  I’m not going to get too into it, but I think its greatest application is to be able to tell, through keyword searches, what themes and topics humanity (albeit a small percentage of humanity, and perhaps not representative of the whole) is thinking about at that moment (singularity jeebies anyone?).  One of the most twitted words during the President’s speech tonight was “quitter“.

A good secondary application is to stalk celebrities.  I’m now following the real shaq, thanks to someone’s facebook status update.  As of this evening I’m also following (twitterspeak for stalk) Steve Nash and Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY).

The scary thing is that this all really happened in the last few months.  All except for venerable facebook, which is kinda the friendster of modern social networking (that’s why I’m hardly ever on it anymore — check my wall).  First it was google reader.  Then slowly I started with the sharing of the links, the following sites like digg and reddit, then the blog, and now twittering.  Slowly I feel like I’m being inundated with so much information, but so far, my brain hasn’t exploded.  In fact I’m feeling quite intelligent — almost like I took a great leap forward in communication in the past few weeks.  Or in methods of communication.

But when does communication become information inundation?  I feel like I’m going faster and faster… well not that I’m going faster and faster, but that communication is getting quicker and quicker.  Yesterday I was ironing a shirt, and I almost decided to look up the proper way to do it on the internet.  Ten years ago that would have been ridiculous.  Ten years from now, I might be able to do that without dropping the iron.  Ten years after that, I might be able to learn how to do it instantaneously.  Some stranger posted a link on the singularity in my comments and I read it, now I feel like I”m living it.  And embracing it.

I’m a firm believer in the theory that exercising your brain and using for creative problem solving can only improve its elasticity and make it last longer, and at my advanced age thats a big plus.  Turning into a robot… we’ll worry about that later.


Filed under: Networking, Social Media, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Goin’ to a party, sippin’ on Bacardi…

Wanna meet a hottie, but there’s Alex, Steve and Marty?

OK I am totally obsessed with that song — I have listened to it at least a hundred times since last night.  Its just so catchy!

Originally I was gonna write about business plans or new business ventures, but I’ll table that for now, and instead, talk about “networking”.

Networking is much bigger in DC than I have seen in any other city — cept maybe Shanghai.  OK DC networking is still bigger than Shanghai, but Shanghai comes close — with its expatriate networking events.  But in DC — everything seems to be about being seen by the right people.

I mentioned this in my second post, regarding free stuff, but lets continue it on a different tack.   How does one “mingle” during these types of events, to maximize networking?  Especially if one (like me) doesn’t even have a business card.  I often get business cards from people who probably won’t remember me, or who I really don’t feel that comfortable hitting up later for a job.  Whats the best way to utilize these events, or the best way to reconnect with people you meet at these events who may not know you personally, but perhaps know you through a friend?

Its funny for me to ask these things, coz I, to all eyes, have exceptional networking skills, but while I’m great at getting drunk with people and having them love me, as far as getting a job goes, my vast network has done shit for me.  So what could I be doing wrong?  Perhaps I should be less jovial, and put on more of a serious face?  Although I think I can come across as impressively professional before drink 5.  But say someone introduces you to someone “important”.  How do you reintroduce yourself without being annoying?  How do you leverage that into more of a lasting relationship?

I’ve got two events coming up this week — actually three.  The CAPAL thing tomorrow, some Asian YP thing in Arlington on Thursday, as well as the Asian/South Asian Bar Association mixer, where I will be the only non-slimeball present (sorry to all the lawyers out there).

So tips?  Recommendations?

Filed under: Networking, , , , , ,

Free stuff

So how do people deal with the low salaries (compared to NYC) in DC?  

By imbibing free alcohol and eating free hor’devoures at receptions or happy hours.   If you’re really cool, you get to go to Receptions on Capitol Hill thrown by corporate sponsors or lobbyers.  Although I would guess that the number of receptions has decreased as of late.  I don’t see it as a justifiable expense given the financial state of most of these firms these days, nor the supposed decrease in the amount of influence that lobbyers will have in the current administration.  Although once again, I’m sure they’ll continue to influence the Hill.

I don’t get to go the Capitol Hill parties tho — not influential enough, or shmoozy enough at this particular time.  But I did manage to get some free booze and “dinner” last night at the British embassy, where Bao and I knew some campaign folks who were leaving for Texas.  Apparently we knew the wife of the Assistant Director of something or the other from the Campaign, who was going to Houston to become the Deputy Consul at the Consulate — that’s a big enough title to attract someone to Houston, I guess (sorry Heather!).

So the free food consisted of asian-type beef on skewers, fried dumplings with smoked ham/sausage inside, veggies (which i sadly didn’t touch), and English Blue cheese and crackers.  Blue cheese is really good with those small, softish oatmeal crackers (the ones that are like moist-dry in your mouth)  — the sweetness of the cracker juxtaposes with the smelly-sockness of the blue cheese surprisingly well.  I ate like 10 skewers and 8 dumplings, and lotta cheese and crackers.  Didn’t need to eat again at night.  

It’s kinda fun pretending I’m a broke 20-something trying to make it in the big, bad world, skimmin’ on free apps at a party I’m crashing.  I guess the only pretend part of that is that I’m 20-something!  

Here’s a secret — always dress in a suit when you crash receptions.  That way no one questions your presence there.  A snappy tie doesn’t hurt, either. 

If you’re in DC and know of stuff with free food and booze, let me know.

Filed under: Networking