Friday, September 18, 2015

Dynamic Social OGP tags for Blogger (Blogspot)

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about Social Networks and how they can leverage your career. Having that in mind, keeping your blog/site "Social Network friendly" is important. This blog is actually hosted by Google with Blogger (former Blogspot). Here's a simple code to have dynamic Open Graph Protocol (OGP) tags based on Posts:

<meta property='og:url' expr:content='data:blog.canonicalUrl'/>
<meta property='og:title' expr:content='data:blog.pageTitle'/>
<meta property='og:site_name' expr:content='data:blog.title'/>

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<title><data:blog.pageName/> | <data:blog.title/></title>
<meta property='og:image' expr:content='data:blog.postImageUrl'/>
<meta property='og:type' content='article'/>

<title><data:blog.pageTitle/> - ## PUT ADDITIONAL TITLE HERE ##</title>
<meta property='og:image' content='## PUT YOUR IMAGE URL HERE ##'/>
<meta property='og:type' content='blog'/>

<b:if cond='data:blog.metaDescription'>
<meta property='og:description' expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription'/>

To use this, go to "Edit HTML" button:

Open Graph Protocol Blogger

And replace the "title" tag (highlighted below) with all the above content.

Open Graph Protocol Blogger

Make sure you replace the ##Something## by your custom content. If you want a full explanation you can read this brilliant and simple explanation in Matthew Wilson's blog. And here's Facebook Object debugger.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Be a teacher – Be a student!

In a book about the stock market, Fernando Braga de Matos (Portuguese author) makes an interesting observation:

"If you think in the amount of stuff where you can put your money and get a return you'll most probably get a headache. There's one way to apply capital, however, that's the most rewarding of them all: in yourself."

This might sound odd for a book about the stock market, but it's just a "down to earth" advice. He gives a couple of examples too: If you're a really good looking brunette with deep green eyes, it might be worth investing in your body image (model maybe?); If you're a high intellectual machine, maybe invest in a MBA or something similar; If you have a brilliant idea, entrepreneurship might be the right path.
Although I'm interested in the stock market and financial instruments, I do invest in myself whenever I can. Here goes one of my personal experiences:

It was the year 2013 and I wanted to buy a new car. I love driving and I have a passion about cars. I already had a VW Golf 2.0 TDI with 170bhp (fun machine), but I wanted more. It's an emotional side, I don't avoid it – I learned to control that emotional side when it comes to cars. At the same time, I realized that I had to do something to take my career one step further. Looking at the options, it made sense to me to attend an Executive Masters in Project Management. Approximately 10.000€ – which was a lot of money at that time (it still is!).

Executive Masters

So, on one side there's an investment (education, yourself). On the other an object with high depreciation. Can you guess what I chose?

Well, it's a no-brainer. I grabbed those 10k€ and went "back to school" riding my VW (which, by the way, I still LOVE). I could have bought a new car; I could have gone in a really awesome vacation; I could have invested even more in the stock market; I could have bought a new furniture for my house; I didn't. I chose to invest in myself. I wanted to learn more, I thought it would be fun (it really was!). I realized that I deserved the investment. Education should be seen as an investment rather than an expense. Some do good investments, other choose the wrong "path" to invest. Either way, never stop learning. I love cars. A car can never give me the pleasure for so much time as the knowledge, relationships and connections I got from that investment in myself.

Final note: was it worth the money? YES! I would do it again!

* Be a teacher – Be a student! *

Friday, September 4, 2015

Demystifying Risk Management

Simply put, Risk management (RM) is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (ISO 31000). The Project Management Institute also defines Risk Management in the Context of a Project and, if you want to explore RM further, there's even a more deep path with a certification called PMI Risk Management Professional. It has became a "soundly term" in the last years in all organizations, but it's around since ever and it's quite simple.

Everybody does risk management in their daily life. Want a simple example?
Do you own a car? Do you have a car insurance? That's a Risk Management technique: Risk Deflection. Risk deflection is a strategy for risk avoidance/mitigation, and it consists of assigning risks to another party in a formal way. This other party will be responsible for handling these risks. In some countries, a car insurance is mandatory, but think of other insurances like a Health insurance.

So, is it that easy? Well, it has more to it. Lots of it. But the basics is quite easy to understand. Here's a "simple framework" for dummies example driven:

Risk A: Having a flat tire
Risk B: Having a tire completely ripped apart

The probability of a tire being totally ripped apart is low, but a flat tire is a more common event. The impact of both events is the same: you're on foot and you won't get to your destination (maybe an important meeting).

Risk Management

So, In the above matrix I'm saying that the impact of both events is 0.20 and the probability of Risk A (flat tire) is 0.5 but the probability of Risk B (tire ripped apart) is only 0.1. Multiply the value in the X-axis by the value in the Y-axis and position the risk. As tou can see, Risk A needs action. What's the solution? Well, a spare tire. That's a Risk Management technique: Risk reduction (or mitigation). With this PlanB, we just reduced the impact of Risk A and Risk B:

Risk Management

So far so good. However, with the evolution of technology and manufacturing techniques, car manufactures have realized that the probability of a totally ripped tire is really low and, as you saw, it's actually in the "acceptable" zone (green). So, car manufactures came up with a different contingency plan from the spare tire: Self Inflating Tires. The idea is that if you have a flat tire, it auto-inflates back to allow you to reach the next service station with no need to exchange tires. New BMW cars come with this technology and no spare tyre (meaning less weight, less inconvenience to the driver, more space in the trunk, fuel economy improvement, etc). This technology, however, does not work if the tire is ripped apart. So, what happened is that the new matrix is now a little different:

Risk Management

As you can see, Risk B is back to it's original position and Risk A is mitigated. Both risks are on the acceptable zone now. This is a very basic "for dummies" example, but you get the point. Of course, Risk management has several other intrinsics to it (including several techniques for managing the risk, like the one mentioned above with insurance, Risk deflection), but the basic idea is quite simple. It does sound nice to have "Risk Management Expert" in your "resumé".