Category Archives: JibberJobber Stuff

JibberJobber enhancements – big and little (the finer details of software updates)

Last night we did a release on JibberJobber with a lot of things.  I share some on the JibberJobber blog but usually not all of them (some are UI tweaks that no one really cares about, but they are good changes to make).  I’m going to try to document all of last night’s upgrades here.

Google Contacts sync.  I’m not talking about this yet because I don’t think it is working 100% the right way… but it’s there in beta mode if anyone wants to try it.  I have done it a number of times and it won’t break anything or mess up your data, but I’m not getting the results I think I should get.  This has been a HUGE project, but it isn’t over yet.

Recurring Action Items.  Another HUGE project.  Documented, with pictures, here.

Interesting menu change: Network –> Contacts.  After years of having the first menu item read “Network” we changed it to “Contacts”.   Both make sense to me but the more we thought about it, Contacts makes way more sense.  Some people were confused at what they would get under Network… but Contacts is more intuitive.  Crazy little change.

Another menu change: adding LOGS to the menu.  I’ve said that JibberJobber is a tool to manage contacts, companies and jobs, and the interactions between them.  You can now see this reflected on the menu with the fourth menu item: Logs (which shows the interaction between any of those three things).

Log Entries and Action Items on the Quickview Stats box: this makes a ton of sense… not only are we looking at the number of contacts, etc. you have in JibberJobber, how about your activities for the last week?  We show you how many Log Entries you enter in the last 7 days, as well as how many Action Items you’ve closed in the last 7 days (we’ll make that a ratio in the future, to show you how many were due, and how many you closed).

Cleaned up notice box.   If another user sends you contact information, or requests to be your coach, or anything like that, you get a notice in a white box in the Action Items panel on the homepage.  We cleaned this up… it is easier to read now.  And, the action links are more intuitive (I don’t remember what the old words were but they were not as intuitive as they are now).  Seems like it isn’t a big deal but it really is.  This takes away friction from the user experience… and we need to take away as much friction as possible.

Finally cleaned up the Add Contact issue that no one reported. But it bugged me a lot.  A few years ago we introduced the ability to track prefix, suffix and middle name… but there was a glitch where the middle name always showed up, even if you clicked the link to hide it.  This made the form see a little more clunky… the box is now gone and the link works fine now.  Whew.  Isn’t it amazing how little things can bug you so much?

Fixed and enhanced the Quick Add on Contacts.  First, we fixed the Twitter quick add (1).  Using APIs from other companies is a double edged sword.  On the one hand it allows us to do great things.  On the other hand, some companies change their APIs in a way that breaks everything.  We’ve experienced this with other APIs (like Google)… but we finally fixed the Twitter quick add.

We also, at the last minute, added the Quick Add from Facebook (2).  I tried this last night where I went to a Facebook contact, copied the URL, and then pasted into the box (after you click on the Quick Add link).  It worked charmingly!!  Try it (go to the Add Contact page, this is towards the top-right of the page):

Cobranded users get an alternate username and password.  If you get a JibberJobber account through another company (outplacement company, university, etc.), with a single click to create your account, you probably don’t know what your username/password is.  That model makes you go into that system and then get to JibberJobber. By popular demand we allow you to create your own JibberJobber username and password.  This means that you don’t have to go through that system anymore, and if you ever lose access to that other system you can always come back to JibberJobber through your alternate login.  This is critical because the data and work is YOURS, and you should always have access to it. Simply click on Account and you’ll see the option to create another username/password.  This is what it looks like after you have created it (note, the password tab is where you will change your new password, if you ever want to change it):

 Interview Prep without limits on text.  For some reason we capped the answers in Interview Prep to 250 characters.  I have no idea why, maybe to keep it under 30 seconds… or something like that.  Anyway, this limit is gone.  Just try and keep your responses concise 🙂

Ability to add documents from the Detail Page.  When you click on Associate Documents from a Detail Page you will see a new button to Add a new Document.  Before you had to go to the Doc Manager and add the document, which was a round-about way to do it… now it is a lot easier to easily add a document at the right time.

Cleaned up the Video Library.  Our UI designer had us put these big image icon things in two columns.  That was great, but it really restricted how long a title of a clip could be, and it quickly became a problem.  So we changed it so that only one video would show on each “row,” which gave us as much room as we needed for clip titles.

Another popular request is to only show OPEN jobs on the Jobs List Panel.  In the past you were able to order by open jobs, or do a search (status:open), but those were kind of temporary and required a lot of hard work (okay, well, maybe about 10 or 15 characters). Now, the default view is to show only the open jobs, but you can change that, as you can see in this new drop down.

You can change the Primary Contact from the Detail page.  Before you had to go to the Company Edit page, then scroll to the bottom and then choose a new primary. Now you simply double click on the gray box over Primary Contact and then choose from any Contacts you’ve associated.  You can see by (1) the Primary is Jason, by (2) you can see Barbara is a second (or other) contact, and in the drop down I can easily change from Jason to Barbara.  Note, this is how most of the Detail Page can be edited, but this was one of the few things we didn’t do when we introduced the double-click edit feature.

 You can now associate an existing Contact when you add a Job.  We need to do more work on this (allow you to add a new Contact and associate more than one Contact per Job), but this is an important start.


From the Events box it is easier to add a new “event” date.  Before, it said “n/a” and it wasn’t clear how to get a date in the box… now you simply click the “Add” link and it will bring up a Log Entry box with the Event already chosen from the drop down box.  This is 1000 times more intuitive than before.

 The List Panel search now works with quotes.  If you search for Jason Alba you would get results, but if you searched for “Jason Alba” you wouldn’t… now “Jason Alba” is basically the same search as Jason Alba (which is Jason OR Alba).  We need to do the same thing on the general search but it didn’t make it into last night’s release.

When you get an Action Item via email (which is a premium feature), you can customize the email you get.  Before you would get the title of the Log Entry and the whatever you put into the Comments for the Log Entry… now your email is either that OR you can override it and put whatever you want to best remind you of what you need to do.

We now have the duplicate checker on non-advanced imports.  If you unchecked the Advanced checkbox when importing Contacts (a premium feature), it would do a “quick import” and simply import and then tell you how many records it imported.  But, it wouldn’t check for duplicates.  Now we are checking for dups so you can have a cleaner database.  For the record, I always do the Advanced Import 🙂  I like to see my data and how it is mapped before I pull the trigger.

Speaking of the import, if you choose a non-CSV file we’ll now tell you.  Before it just kicked back an error, even though you are supposed to only upload a CSV file, but now it will say something about that (some people try to upload an xls file).

The autosave (3) was a great enhancement we introduced a few months ago.  The problem we found is this: if someone called me and I started taking notes in the Comments box (2), I typically didn’t put a title in before I started to write in the comment area.  JibberJobber didn’t like that.  So, we simply made a title for you, until you make your own: Untitled (1).  Simple, I know, but now the autosave will kick in even if you ignore the title field, which is one of two required fields on that form.

There were dozens of minor word changes throughout the system to make things more intuitive, and other minor changes I’m not documenting here.  I’m sure we have a long ways to go but this was a great and significant upgrade.  Thanks to my team for their hard work and diligence and to the users who gave us suggestions for improvements!


CRM in the news

Many of you know JibberJobber is a relationship management tool, designed off of traditional CRM, but stripped down to focus on RELATIONSHIPS instead of sales processes and jargon.

In the last almost-5-years I haven’t seen much news on the CRM front as far as aquisitions or anything.  Salesforce is the 8 billion pound guerrilla in the space, but I continue to hear they are way to complex and way too expensive (I’m sure they have their sweet spot in big companies, doing huge, huge deals).

Today I just read about two deals, though, which are pretty exciting.

The first is for GIST. I was actually on the phone with a GIST person a few months ago… I had tried to get in touch with them through their Contact Us methods but none of that worked. The phone call was okay.  The announcement of their acquisition by RIM (the company that puts out the Blackberry device) just came out yesterday.  No disclosure of how much the acquisition was for but according to TechCrunch they have taken in over $10M of funding… it’s said investors want a 10x return, which means they would have had to sold for $100M, but I’m guessing this deal was between $30M – $60M.  I have NOTHING to base that on, just a guess 🙂  No news on TechCrunch on this yet 🙂

The second is for Bantam, acquired by Constant Contact for $15M in cash. This is on TechCrunch here.  This is very interesting to me because it is a low purchase point, imo (even though, if they really did raise less than 2M, investors got about a 10x return (less what other owners got)), and because it was by Constant Contact.  My thoughts about CC doing this?  IT IS ABOUT TIME!  CRM is a great add-on for them.  iContact should follow suit and acquire their own CRM package, because this is so, so, so critical to their clientele.

As for me, I’m still plugging along, doing cool stuff with my CRM 🙂

Effective Video Communication

After my video guy did the first edition of the What is JibberJobber intro I asked my Twitter people for feedback.  Karin Hermans responded with links to two resources… THANK YOU KARIN!

Here’s a link to Octane’s video, which she really liked.

Here’s a link to a blog post titled The Key to Effective Communications – Scope vs. Detail.  Great stuff there.

And here’s the second edition of the video we created:

Job Search Book + LinkedIn DVD Special

job_search_now_whatIII have 10 I’m in a Job Search — Now What??? books that I’ll bundle with my LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD for only $40 with no S&H.

Total spend is $40.

When they are gone, they are gone. (I have other books I can substitute…. I’ll let you know if we’re out when you order)

First come first serve – take advantage asap before the book is gone.

To pay, go to this payment page and fill out the form (put $40 for the purchase and make sure to put your mailing address in the comments).

I’m in the US News & World Report

boosting your sales with social networkingOne of my goals this year was to have a full article dedicated to me in The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  This is because I was told by someone that that is where JibberJobber would get credibility – not through any articles I wrote on my own.

I’m happy to share an article that just went live today, which has turned into one of my favorite articles… the title is Boosting Your Sales With Social Networking.  How cool is that?

Networking Pays

I just got a call from a guy who is putting on a local job fair… a very different kind of job fair, and wants me to be involved. I don’t have any experience with job fairs (I should say, any positive experiences), but am excited about what they are doing.

Anyway, I asked him, “how did you find me, anyway?” He said he googled job help. So I went to see what I could find. I saw something that was freaking cool…. check this out:

Job Help from Google results

Now, this isn’t as good as being the real second result, but we are right there… I don’t know how else to get into this position, other than nurturing relationships (okay, so it helps to have a product that isn’t cliche).

Thank you Alison!

Word of Mouth presentation by Andy Sernovitz – an afterthought

Many ideas went through my head as I listened to Andy Sernovitz yesterday.  It was cool to have my wife with me, as this was one of the first things that she was able to attend in the 18 months that we’ve been self-employed.  she took 3 pages of notes, too, and we talked about how to apply stuff from the presentation – very cool.

One thing that is foremost on my mind is the idea of the Topic, which is one of the five T’s.  This is the “thing” that people talk about.

deep_thought.pngThey don’t talk about “the career management tool” in normal, non-professional, non-job seeker circles, I don’t think.  What could the topic be?

Liz Strauss and Lindsey Pollak brainstormed this with me earlier this year when they were in town… the thing I remember most from that brainstorm was “take your job with you.”  The idea is that even though we transition from job to job, we still maintain career-important relationships, and we can store them in JibberJobber… hence, just as I take my degree with me, and my experience, JJ allows me to take those contact relationships with me….

This is a hard topic for me, perhaps because I’m to busy seeing the trees, while my customers/users/champions/friends are able to see the forest.  I know that JibberJobber gets word of mouth, because each day I see new people sign up from job networking meetings, which means that people are saying something about JJ in the meeting.  This is good.  Too bad I can’t hear how others are describing and promoting it, that would really help me wrap my brain around the topic.

… and now I’m rambling.  But I will continue to think of what topics are easy to repeat and spread.

File under “great ways to describe…”

On an e-mail list, talking about job search tools, I wrote something about JibberJobber, this is one snippet that I wanted to store for later use:

“It’s not a job board (although you can search jobs), it’s not an advice/article repository (although the blog has been mentioned by the Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal), it’s not a social network (although you can take your contacts from various social networks and manage the relationships in JibberJobber) …. it’s just … JibberJobber!”