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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…

Keywords

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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The Need to Be Part of a Group – Die Personal Pronoun, Die!

(again, sorry to be the one to break it to you, but “you” and “I” no longer count)

In order to be recognized, “I” will now no longer be “Tim Barley.” In a play to make sure that I matter to someone, I am going to set aside my Christian name and accept my new, marketing-age technocratic name. It might be a little long and hard to remember, but soon I shall be called: “Early40’s-single-white-southwesterntransplant-1234″*** (***”1234” being the last four digits of my SSN).

I'm just accepting the Borg collective idea of fitting in.

No word yet if I’ll be allowed to keep my last name. Or if I will be able to abbreviate to E40SWSWT1234. I hope I’ll be able to do so because it’s just so long.

 

I wanted to call myself “7 of 9” but was afraid that some marketing intern, looking to make a name for themselves, would spot the inside joke and tell his bosses that I was acting like an individual and then I’d be persecuted, which would cause even more problems.

So, there you go. After posting this, I will now be recognized as part of a group. Several groups actually. At long last, I matter. I can stand up with others and be counted. People, computers and automated marketing programs will take note of me and I will belong. I’ll get emails all day long. I’ll help shape decisions for accountants who run major movie studios, and CEO’s who debut new fast food products. With any luck, I’ll be part of the marketing group that brings back the original cut of “Star Wars” in which Han shot first.

Why am I doing this, you ask? It’s simple: as a person I don’t matter. I am a man shouting into the loud wind. But, as part of a group, I can combine my voice with others to shout right back. Besides, it’s just part of the natural progression of technology and societal change, and I just want to be ahead of the curve this time.

Marketers “fish,” they don’t hunt

Marketing executives are the hunter/gatherers in the labor kingdom, bringing back food for the king. They are not lazy. On the contrary, they have used their brains to gather the most amount of “food” with the least amount of effort. Usually these are the fattest, slowest, dumbest consumers. But hey, an email address is an email address. Marketing execs are the whales of the world. And by that I don’t mean that they are uber-rich Baccarat players in Macau or Las Vegas (they MIGHT be), or that they are huge, overweight beach goers (also possible). No, marketing executives open their mouths, using large scale efforts in order to scoop up the largest amount of fish they can. There is no room for the individual fish in marketing. It’s cost prohibitive to tailor make a marketing plan that doesn’t reach the greatest amount of people. “Rod and reel” marketing is so cave drawing era.

Of course, this is how you get products like Taco Bell’s Doritos Taco, movies like “Battleship,” and TV show like “America’s Got Talent” and “The Kardashians.”

Individualism will get you nowhere

Dude, Sisyphus, get some friends to help you out.

Try making your voice heard at a rally or a concert. It’ll never happen. Mass feedback is what changes positions. If you don’t like something, nothing will change. If your GROUP doesn’t like something, people take notice. Give it a try; tell your congressman or the CEO of your phone company that you don’t like something they are doing. You’d be lucky to get a form letter signed by a stoned out staffer. Now, add a letter-head from your group (“Citizens for…” is always a good start) and see how quickly you get something a little more personalized. See? Just fold yourself into a group.

Have you ever tried to substitute fries for chips at a restaurant? Fat chance, Mr. Individual. The restaurant has a policy in place that makes the most amount of people happy, tailored by market research to various groups. Of course, you can always blog about it to your followers and see how the restaurant reacts…

The Borg, Body Snatchers and other collectives

Of course, there is always the possibility that being part of a group and abandoning individual thought is just what “they” want us to think is the best idea. It FEELS safe and strong to be part of a group. Certainly, it’s good to be part of a group, right? The lone water buffalo is the one all the lions go after, isn’t it? People in groups are easier to manage and easier to educate. They are easier to sway. And, one day, we’ll all be part of “the group” and we’ll all toe the line we’ve all been led to believe is the best path. The path that most assuredly leads to the area of the factory where your microchip is implanted or where you’re fed to the mother alien.

You know, mass hysteria…

The lone individual

But, what about individualism? What about free thought and the individual experience?  It helped Captain Picard fight off the Borg on Star Trek: TNG! Humans were meant to be individual thinkers and achievers! People at 3M, Apple, Facebook, etc were NOT part of a group that compromised and watered down decisions until they accomplished the least amount of discovery! They-

Wait, I’m being told that my groups are being told that we need to eat now. Off to the water and feed trough. Sometimes, it is nice to be part of a group. I don’t have to think as much.

And, “you’re” next.

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