Tag Archives: dating

How to Live in a “Keyword Society” – Part II of “Making ‘The Former You’ Matter”

(Someday, I’ll insert keywords here)

For those who can't bother to "see" me, keywords are how I'll make my mark.

Continuing on my journey to make myself more relevant in an anti-personal communication, algorithmic-based society and following up my recent post on joining a collective, (possibly Borg) (http://offtopictim.com/2012/06/the-need-to-be-part-of-a-group-die-personal-pronoun-die/),I have decided that the next step is to slightly differentiate myself slightly from those groups by “pasting myself” with keywords. You see, I’ll need these keywords to create attention and make myself easier to find inside of those groups by marketers, employers, and potential mates. Hopefully, they are all not one in the same…

My entire life is associated with keywords – from multiple forms I’ve filled out on the Internet, to my Facebook profile, my LinkedIn page, my resume, and of course my old Match.com profile and my new eHarmony profile. I’ve gotten all my bases covered. And when I learn the ins-and-outs and even the smallest of nuances on SEO keyword marketing, I’ll be the most popular person at this keyboard…


Before the advent of the Internet (thanks, Al Gore!), and its use as a mass-marketing tool, the term “keyword” meant words which academics used to understand an author’s reasoning in a written work. Of course, this was BEFORE everything was beaten to death by over-analyzing things in a 24-hour information overload.

Today, keywords are one of the primary factors in SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, a field of marketing research that has been around since the mid 1990’s, when everyone started taking the plastic off their free 20 hrs. of AOL service disk that they got in the mail and dialed up the Internet. The idea of SEO is that keywords inside page copy (NOT the META, which all search engines abandoned by 2005) rank a page higher in search results. While I am not going to try to rank myself in a Google search at number one -because it’s annoying and I’m classy enough and old enough NOT to be a Kardashian (aka whore, attention whore) – I do want to be at the head of the pack.

But, in an attempt to help fold myself into the groups that matter while at the same time be differentiated just enough to be noticed, I am going to include keywords in my resume, my job seeker profiles and my online dating profile. I’m starting with my resume.

The June 2012 Tim Barley Resume

My resume is full of VARIED career EXPERIENCE. I’ve always had a DESIRE to be in entertainment and got off to a good start as an EDUCATED and SMART and KNOWLEDGEABLE page, or tour guide, at PARAMOUNT PICTURES, which quickly led to WRITERS’ ASSISTANT work on the 4-CAMERA SIT-COM “Sister, Sister.” After a break, I worked outside the entertainment industry as a DEDICATED and HIGHLY EFFECTIVE INVENTORY CONTROL SUPERVISOR at an electronics company where I MANAGED MULTIPLE STAFFS across the U.S. and INSTITUTED POLICY to save the company money. Then I returned to the entertainment industry in a MARKETING AND BRANDING & INTEGRATION capacity as a SENIOR BRAND AGENT at Hollywood Branded.  I’ve done other work as well, like PRODUCTION RESOURCING, BRAND ENGAGEMENT, SOCIAL MEDIA and BLOGGING.

So, this should at least put me in a narrower group of job candidates. It might not set me apart, but that will happen when they click on my job candidate profile and call me in for an interview. There, I’ll spring the personality trap on them and I’ll slowly move toward that corner office… Bring it on, employers!

Looking for love with keywords

Apparently, if you're going to a movie musical, you are all set.

It’s occurred to me that the reason I’m single is that I’m just not using the right keywords when dating. I could tell you that it’s because no one likes to talk about “things” anymore, but would rather repeat what they saw on “America’s Got Something They Do” or “Listen to Me!” I could also tell you that I can barely put up with people’s shit long enough to put in an educated word. Hell, I could even tell you that my expectations are a little high. (Rocket scientist AND funny AND attractive/sexy AND outgoing/sporty AND not full of attitude are not keywords found in conjunction a lot of the time when looking for the fairer sex). But, I do believe that I have just been using the wrong keywords in describing MYSELF while trying to find a mate/running-around partner/fun-lover/best friend/muse/shoulder rubber/joke teller. So, I went into my profile and did a rewrite on some parts. I’ve added notes where I felt necessary:

“I am always a GENTLEMAN (which is NOT a lost art, ladies), kind, upbeat and outgoing. But, I work a lot as well. I work hard and I play harder, so be ready to play, HARD! I am more at home in casual wear, yet I own my own tux and have gotten some mileage out of it! I’m usually dressed “dress casual,” but damn if a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt doesn’t feel right on the weekends! Golf will always be my sport, but volleyball is where I feel the most alive (sun, sand, sweat and ocean = “living!”).”
Here it was necessary to showcase that I am a nice guy, but not TOO nice. Chicks apparently dig a guy who’s of quality (golf), but not a lapdog and will, at times, forget they had plans and go out with the guys (and then texting later to say “I’m sorry, can I come over?”). By sharing that I own a tux, this hints again at my social status, but the casual clothes reveal “a real guy who likes to get down and dirty!”
“I’m funny and have lots of useless knowledge that serves me well at parties, and I love actual conversation over email, and never texting unless you are in a board of directors meeting and you can’t talk. I’m just that great puzzle that is missing a final fun, playful partner-in-crime.”
At this point, I felt it necessary to explain that I am not just a good-looking man with great kissing and other skills. It’s also necessary to explain to the babes that I’m smart and can be taken anywhere. By including the phrase “unless you are in a board meeting,” I’ve also indicated that I am seeking a woman who is advanced in her career. No freeloaders here, baby! I also read in a book somewhere that the ladies are looking for a playful and fun person, so I added the last part to heighten my online appeal…
Now, let the quality women flock to me!

Continually evolving keywords and phrases

Sure, it’s a work in progress. Keywords and phrases change all the time. Once people catch on, they’ll all want to join the fun. The trick is to keep one step ahead of the game and staying in the head of the pack just enough to be noticed, but not so much that I am forgotten by those searching for the group and include me in great Groupon offers.

It’s hard out here for the lonely and jobless; “You can’t be a pimp and a prostitute too.” Thanks, Jack. Thanks.

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Why “Off Topic Tim?” And what are “off topics?”

(this may be short. I have to see a person about a thing…)

When searching for a catchy name to call my blog, I searched many website addresses. But, none of them really worked. I mean site names like “Timsideas.com” and “whattimthinks” were already taken. Just how many Tim’s are out there, espousing their ideas to the world?

And, since I do own 23 different domain addresses, I COULD have used one of those. But, really, can you see MarySue or Larry Barley typing in “Hotchicksinlove.com,” “Smalltownnudes.com,” or “Outdoorhotties.com” in order to follow their son’s daily blog? Me neither. Besides, although I really DO own those domain names, I am really just squatting on them until the reprobates of the world decide they want to buy them. (Just picture me sitting on my virtual veranda, in a white seer-sucker suit, twisting my mustache…)

P.S. I do have some really, really great, inventive site names if you ever want the list… 🙂 AND some legitimate ones for “Cold Void” and “Cocktails and Movies” as well.

But, after an exhaustive search that seemed like it took days, but was actually probably more like 20 minutes, I came up with “Offtopictim.com.”  It really does encompass the stray thoughts that go zipping through my head. These ideas can be inconsequential, random or brilliant, but all of them need to get out of my head or my brain will begin to look like a Third World slum with lots of voices in lots of languages shouting at each other while hanging up their laundry and cluttering up my head.

As sociable as I am, by nature, I don’t like to talk about MYSELF. And, thankfully, most people don’t really dig deep enough to realize that I am an expert at deflecting talk about me and my life, goals, dreams, etc. back onto them. It’s a great skill to have as a politician but people tell me that my previous life of drinking, partying, and womanizing would never get me elected. Yet, somehow if worked out for the Kennedy’s and George Bush.

This skill of deflecting talk about myself does have a drawback though. Seriously interested and smart people, mostly women, soon realize that all the talk is centered around them, and they can lose interest in yours truly. This is great if you’re dating a 20-something and won’t miss the self-obsessed girl next to you, but when you’re at the age where long-term relationships are trying to be formed, not letting anyone into what’s inside your skull doesn’t lend itself to forward momentum in a relationship.

But, it’s not all about me that is hard to talk about these days. I have thoughts and opinions on most things. And, they are all the right opinions to have. If you’re in my head. I love to accrue even the least newsworthy item into my brain and save it for later. It’s this love that led me to a shot on “Jeopardy!” once (a third place finish, but a shot nonetheless), and a pretty stellar career at Trivial Pursuit and Trivia Bar Games.

However, have you ever tried to have a conversation with family and friends about “off topics” these days. My friends, whom I love to death, casually dismiss my remarks as “weird” or “goofy” and I’m happy to oblige them in letting any ensuing conversation die off, or else I may have to start talking about myself. Their just great conversation starters or, more aptly, conversation-enders.

But, if you ever need a date that can talk to anyone on anything, drop trivia bombs and walk away and won’t embarrass you for a party or an event, I’ll never let you down and I won’t make it about me…

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