Goodbye ThinkFree Hello World

My first post on my new blog (and there was much rejoicing).

Some of you may have followed my series on The Great Social Experiment. Now it is time to test social networking in a new frontier – getting a job. As you may know the company I worked for over the last two years (ThinkFree) is undergoing some changes, being assimilated into the motherhship, and it was time for me to move on. It will be interesting to see how much of the attention I developed through social network engagement will follow me and how much will stay with the company. If you have any thoughts on the subject I would love to hear your comments.

I really enjoyed my time with ThinkFree and am really proud of the work we accomplished. We positioned the service as one of the top three in the industry and were always featured in any news coverage within the online office space. Working there was an incredible experience that gave me the opportunity to expand in numerous ways. For that I have to thank my former boss TJ Kang, an incredible entrepreneur and really nice guy who gave me the trust and the room I needed to grow. I have to admit that interviews in the NY Times and Wall Street Journal really served to feed my ego. Getting the chance to meet some incredible bloggers and techno-hip people was both inspirational and instructive.

So, what next? People have asked me what I want to do in my next life. Let me start off with what I am good at:

  • getting the conversation going and keeping people engaged
  • integrated marketing – linking traditional PR, with social networking programs, promotions and direct marketing campaigns

What I really liked about working at ThinkFree was helping to formulate the marketing strategy and managing pretty much every facet of the marketing plan – PR, AR, social networking, communities, events and speaking opportunities, direct marketing, content development, research, analytics, segmentation, and much more.

I love the Web 2.0 game, and think there is a lot of untapped potential. We still have a long way to go to market these services to the masses. The reason I am so attracted to Web 2.0 is because the technology is all about the connections we make. Where cultures, people and ideas collide amazing things emerge. Web 2.0 facilitates new ways of thinking about how we interact with each other and the information we deal with in our daily lives. Seeing these connections take form – through things like OpenSocial or the Google maps used for the fires in San Diego – is really exciting.

In my career I have discovered the importance of being direct and clear. It leads to less confusion and wasted time. In the interest of being up front let me tell you what I haven’t had a lot of experience with and what I am not looking to do. While I haven’t had a lot of experience with advertising I have done enough to know that I could grow into it and would certainly enjoy it. If you are looking for a crack designer that isn’t me. I can sure do some spot design and work Photoshop in a pinch. But I have met some amazing designers – Christina Morello of Clickography and Sonia Harris at Soyabean Design just to name a few – and these people are true artists, whereas I am just a skilled journeyman. My HTML skills are a bit rusty. I haven’t worked with consumer hardware, but if the company and the product are interesting enough I would sure give it a go.

If you know of anyone interested they can contact me at jonlcrow@pacbell.net.

If you want to know more about me or want to contact me directly try one of the methods on the left hand side, they should work. But be forewarned, if you don’t provide some context, e.g. saw your post on xyz and wanted to connect, I may assume you are spamming me and may ignore you.

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8 Responses

  1. Good luck Jonathan – I am sure you will find something exciting soon.

    If you find anything interesting via my LinkedIn contacts I would be honored to recommend you.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/markbean

  2. Johnathon,
    1) I have read your blog four times and I can not figure out your skill set. Integrated manager?
    2) You have many spelling errors. We all know you can use a word processor to correct these first.
    3) You claim excellent communication skills but this blog is not clear at all.
    4) Why do you have to use the arcane language to represent your email address?

    Sometimes one needs to be cruel to be kind. Some one has to tell you.

    Correct all this and resend out your Plaxo communication.

    Best of luck,

    Fred

  3. All good general points raised there by Fred, although getting Jonathan’s first name spelled correctly may have been a better, more convincing start. I’m guessing that the “arcane” email methodology is to foil roving spambots, but there is no escape, is there?

    Good luck with the job search, and the new blog.

  4. Fred, Rob,

    Thanks for the feedback. I hadn’t really thought of this as a resume advertising my skill set, but I can see that I really should have.

    As for the spelling errors, serves me right for trying to get it out in a hurry. Hopefully, everything is corrected and much more clear.

    Yes the email was designed to prevent spam,but eh what the heck.

    Again thanks for the feedback.

  5. Jonathon (spelled right this time, thank you Rob)

    Ok, much better. I know what you want to do. I am actually doing that right now. The reason I hit you up so hard was simple. I got the feeling that you wanted to enter the web2.0 collaborative, customer driven world

    This is a new frontier that is poorly defined.

    Good luck with your search,

    Fred

  6. Fred,

    Well, you almost spelled it right (Jonath*a*n). Funny thing is one time someone spelled my name wrong five different ways in one go.

    I think part of the reason that collaborative Web 2.0 is so ill-defined is that everyone claims it for their own without clearly articulating what it is they do. One example of that – Mahalo. Very well done product, but I am not sure when you look at the website what it does or what benefits it gives. We get so used to talking in an echo chamber (which I think was the reason my article was not as clear as it should have been, so yes I am guilty of that too) that we assume people know what we are talking about.

    The other reason is that collaboration means a lot of things to a lot of people. Working at ThinkFree, for us it meant sharing and publishing documents. For others it is about workflow, task management, sharing and publishing other media types, conferencing or scheduling. With so many different applications applying themselves to the collaboration title no wonder it becomes so diluted.

    May I ask what you do in Web 2.0? I tried to go to your link but got a domain site.

  7. […] 10, 2008 by Jonathan Crow A little while ago both Tris Hussey and I went through a transition (my experience, Tris‘) in employment. It got me to thinking about all the time and energy I had put into […]

  8. […] a New Gig at Intalio Posted on February 1, 2008 by Jonathan Crow I posted earlier this month (wait gosh it’s Feb. already, alright make it last month) that I was […]

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