Interview with the ultra-connected Vincent Wright

I’ve been involved with groups managed by social media evangelist Vincent Wright for years now, and have become curious about who he is and why he’s on a mission to connect us all. And when I use “evangelist” it’s not in the sense of someone who is focused on self-aggrandizement, as too many “gurus” seem to be, but in the sense of someone spreading the gospel of connectedness.
Turns out his background is as fascinating as he is. Here’s an interview we did so you can learn more about Vincent too. I’m honored to consider him a friend.

Q: Let’s start by you sharing some of your early background. You were in the US Army band, right? Didja get sick of playing Hail to the Chief? Do you still play?
A. Never got sick of Hail to the Chief but, there were one or two dirges I could do without listening to for the remainder of my life! 🙂 By the way: I still play but not for outside performances… just for the pure love of the saxophone. Loved it my whole life…always will. (Adolph Sax did a wonderful job in inventing it for us.)
Q: You left the Army and became an IT recruiter for Fortune 500 companies. Tell us about that transition? What do you think you brought from your military experience and musical experience to the task?
A. Actually, I became a Computer Programmer before becoming an IT Recruiter. (I like to tease that after someone saw some of my COBOL source code, they suggested that I’d be a much better Recruiter of IT professionals than to actually be one myself! (I was always an enthusiastic lover of computers but, never was that good at programming them! 🙂 )
A bit more seriously: As computers were being explained to us at the Aetna Institute for Corporate Education back in the early 1980’s, I think that the concepts of discipline from the Army as well as being comfortable with abstract thinking from music helped Aetna choose to give me a chance to be a Computer Programmer.
vincent wrightQ: Finding a job and/or finding an ideal candidate has definitely changed over the last decade with the rise of LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster.com, and many other online tools. How did you see that affect your own efforts in the IT and executive recruitment space?
A. Though corporations have the same access to them as we do, the advent of Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and other such social media tools is a great benefit to those Recruiters who use them the right way. The right way is not using tricks but, rather, interacting with professionals who see you as a human being and not as a trickster… Professionals get to KNOW their doctors, barbers, hairdressers, etc. so, I like for professionals to get to KNOW ME…Both on the candidate AND client side, those who are comfortable with me as a person, quite often will turn to me as a professional to help them with them employment needs… I encourage other recruiters to consider this approach, as well.
Q: Do you still help companies with their recruitment activities? Can you sketch for us how you approach finding a great candidate for a position nowadays?
A. I still help companies with their recruitment activities and enjoy it tremendously. Based on a concept I call “C.I.A. or Confluence, Influence, Affluence, the process of finding a great candidate is fairly straightforward for me. Confluence essentially means bringing together LOTS of great people. Influence means getting involved with them. Affluence, in this particular instance, is comparable to “human capital” Have you influenced enough of the right people to help position you to more quickly find and get to know the professionals you need for your client companies…
Q: Why did you create My LinkedIn Power Forum?
A. Back in 2005, I created My Linkedin Power Forum to help answer questions for the people whom I began inviting to Linkedin. Many weren’t clear on what Linkedin could do for them so, I found myself answering the same questions over and over and over. Figuring that I could more effectively answer more if I proactively answered them for hundreds of professionals CONCURRENTLY, I set up My Linkedin Power Forum. (By the way: the forum now has 8,500 members and is located at www.SocialMediaConsortium.com )
Q: In your official bio, you state that you’ve “founded hundreds of professional discussion groups serving tens of thousands of professionals from around the world”. How do you keep it all straight?
A. Well, Dave, founding those hundred of professionals discussion groups serving tens of thousands of professionals from around the world was SUPPOSED to be TEMPORARY! But, five years later, I’m just now getting a handle on reducing them to a sane number which I ultimately hope to be no more than a dozen groups in the next few months..
Q: Given your extensive experience creating and managing online professional discussion groups, what do you see is still lacking in the toolset we have from sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning that you wish was available?
A. THE thing still lacking in the toolset for sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Ning, and Twitter which I wish were available is this: data portability. If data portability were around as I see it in my mind, I believe I would have been a far richer man! 🙂
More seriously: Creating profile after profile after profile is such an archaic means. It’s almost like having to get a new drivers license every time we went from one state to another in the United States of America. It also reminds me of the nightmare which Object Oriented Technology solved with the Y2K mess… (I wish someone would help develop www.ProfileOrientedTechnology.com 🙂 ) (And, too, NONE of the sites you mentioned are set up quite right…they’re okay…they’re workable…but, there’s a LOT more that a site could do to add a LOT more power to the billions of people who need better control of the information via the Internet….)
Q: If we may, can you share how you generate revenue from these many discussion groups you’ve created, Vincent? You’re clearly performing an awesome community service, but that doesn’t pay the mortgage. 🙂
A. The revenue I generate via my discussion groups is minimal. They actually weren’t set up for revenue but, rather, for genuinely serving the members of my network… After donating between 7,5000 and 10,000 hours to help people get better acclimated to social media, I’ve overcome my apparent allergy to money and, thus, am looking at various ways of monetizing what I love doing: creating and managing professional discussion groups.
Q: That’s great. On behalf of the many people who have been positively influenced by your efforts, let me say Thanks! So tell us, what’s next? What are the cool things on your horizon?
A. Next, I’m working on www.BrandSeed.com, which is designed to help individuals and companies design, develop, and deliver a stronger brand for their products and services. The coolest thing I’m working on AFTER that is a meta-methodology I created using the hand as a metaphor. Candidly, I’ve spent a LARGE portion of my life loving this concept which I facetiously call: HANDSONOMY or HANDONTOLOGY
Q: Finally, give us a few URLs. Tell us about the things you’ve done online that you’re most proud of. Oh, and perhaps a link to somewhere we can hear your sax playing too?

A. Dave, First: I’d like to thank you for honoring me with an opportunity to be interviewed by one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE authors.
Second: Here are a few of my favorite URL’s via which I’m happy to have spent time helping thousands of professionals:
1. http://MyLinkingPowerForum.ning.com
2. http://MyFacebookPowerForum.com
3. http://SocialMediaConsortium.com
4. http://LinkingVentureCapital.com
5. http://MyJobTIGER.com
Thanks again for this terrific interview, Vincent. Readers, I encourage you to check out some of what he’s doing to really push the envelope on social networking with his passion and enthusiasm!

10 comments on “Interview with the ultra-connected Vincent Wright

  1. Dave,
    Thanks kindly for sharing a bit of my background with your readers. As always, if I can be of help, let me know at your convenience, ok?
    Keep STRONG, Dave!
    +Vincent

  2. What a great intro to a great man:
    He is abundant in every good way.
    He lives as though infinite money is his to earn, save, invest, exponentially multiply and share.
    His abundance is making everyone better off.
    He embraces abundance and abundance embraces him.
    Hooray for Vincent Wright.
    Mark Schnitzer

  3. well, looks like i missed this interview last year. I agree on the control of information, however, it is much better now with the right social media monitoring tools.

  4. Vincent Wright is a gentleman and among the great. His wit and brilliance shows in everything he touches. Thank you Dave for sharing this interview.

  5. Great way to get a deeper insight to a very deserving Gentleman.
    Well done Dave for the interview.
    Thank you very much Vincent. Once again you share ‘yourself’ with your supportive community.
    I look forward to seeing you share even more with us!
    Regards,
    Valerie.

  6. Thanks for doing the interview, Dave and Vincent.
    Profiles are painful. Imagine taking the time to add profiles on a few dozen sites, and then needing a change, where you have to revisit each one, then read through them all, to see where you need to make the changes, make the changes, and then make more changes the next year too.
    Even worse is the company that refuses to let you make a substantial change, and forces you to create a completely new account, so you lose all of your history.
    Its a nightmare!
    Of course, the people running the sites don’t really care, because they want you to keep coming back and interacting. They just hope you don’t get so tired of it that you give up on their community.

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