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Monday, July 30, 2007

Notes from a Performance Review

I've been going through some old paperwork this morning, and I found a copy of the only formal performance review I've received in the past 2-3 years. Some comments are particularly notable, and I want to emphasize and remember them here.


  • I received an Above average potential rating, which indicates "demonstrated ability to perform a higher number of tasks at a higher level of difficulty"
  • "Dan has been an invaluable asset to the IT department and the company. His development and implementation of various software solutions has allowed numerous payroll and risk management functions to be streamlined, allowing for more efficient company operations. He has the potential to handle even greater responsibility."
Strong areas of present performance

My manager had these comments:
Focused. Expert in area. Responds well to suggestions. Able to grasp organizational needs. Possesses a humility and thoughtfulness that most often attracts good will from others. Able to learn new techniques on own.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Thoughts on social media etiquette

Chris Brogan has many of us thinking about social media etiquette today, especially with respect to Twitter. I definitely recommend reading his post so that my comments here make sense:

As an early adopter of Twitter, I used to get uptight when I saw the proliferation of '@' messages. Now I get it.

My purpose in using Twitter has changed over the months since I started using it. I now use it to participate in conversation, let others know what's going on with me, point to content too large on Twitter, and make/keep in touch with friends.

I've especially enjoyed finding people in my own geographic area through TwitDir.com, and I hope that I can connect through other online means and even meet up with more friends locally in person.

I've decided to use Twitter and other social networks to for relationship-building and personal branding, so knowing how to "take the pulse" of the current climate of a social network is something of value.

Knowing where to fix a problem pays off in quick response

I was on the phone with a Payroll Specialist about 30 minutes ago. One of the company's biggest clients is a trucking company. We set them up back in January with a bridge application to facilitate payroll entry. The client emails their payroll in a spreadsheet with a consistent layout that I and my coworker mapped with the program, and their payroll needs to be done early Monday morning for a Tuesday check date.

Last week, the client left the first column blank for one of their employees, and the payroll specialist didn't find out he wasn't paid until the day after the payroll went out. She called me this morning to have me check to see if the program would do that again. In less than 10 minutes, I was able to diagnose and fix the problem so that it won't happen again.

The code looked for something in that first column before mapping the columns into specific payroll items. In this case, the data in the first column isn't as important as that in, say, the third column. I changed the code that does the test to check the third column instead.

I'm pleased that my knowledge of how this program works lets me respond so quickly and adeptly to a problem like this.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Yet Another Social Media Network?

It looks like the buzz on Twitter this weekend is about Pownce.com. Chris Brogan put up a post a short while ago entitled, "Why Join Another Social Network?"

Here are comments to what he said:

In the early days of blogging, before Blogger had its own commenting system, there was a commenting system called YAACS. YAACS stood for Yet Another Commenting System. Probably still exists today - I wouldn’t know.

I keep waiting for someone to start YASMN - Yet Another Social Media Network. All of this talk of more places to put oneself online is frustrating. I can definitely understand how it would feel cliquish.

I haven’t yet decided what to do with my Pownce invite yet, nor how to develop my Facebook profile. I feel okay about holding off for a bit and using the current tools I’m using.
I think it's interesting that, in an attempt to reach more outward and gain a wider audience, it can also come across as being exclusive. What I mean by that is the same situation that many of us in the blogging, podcasting, twittering community find ourselves in - only associating with each other. The fishbowl. The echo chamber. We're only talking to ourselves.

So I guess I don't see social media networks as a bad thing in and of themselves if it widens one's circle of influence. For me, I have a rough time of continually fragmenting myself over and over. Something I'm still trying to manage.