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Aug 07, 2010

Use Craigslist to Find and Hire Talented Professionals

by J. Robert Burgoyne — last modified Aug 08, 2010 06:20 PM has proven to be an excellent resource for True Blade when we needed to find well-qualified professionals. This article will teach you how to successfully use to find the people you need.


Although there are many websites which can assist you when you need to find a person or small business with a skill set you do not currently have, has consistently proven to be the most useful for us. We have wasted time on other websites trying to find people but we always come back to Craigslist. You can find full-time employees, part-time employees, or people for a specific project, task, or gig. 

You should plan to do plenty of up-front work to be clear about what you need and what you're looking for. This insures that people who read your posting will know what you want, and you will receive qualified responses, saving your time. Few unqualified people will respond. 

So plan to put in some preparation time up-front, putting yourself in the mindset of someone who might read your ad, and use language that will connect with their interest. 

Here are a couple of tips that helped us:

  1. More work on your part up-front, writing a great ad, yields improved results. The people who contact you will be more clear about what you want and better able to identify whether they are a good match. 
  2. Include links to your company's website or other relevant webpages so that the reader will be able to research who you are and what you want. 
  3. In your posting include your full name, your company's name, and your phone number, but omit your email address in your posting. Some people may call you - but more importantly it establishes your authenticity, and this is a good thing for attracting better people. Don't include your email address because Craigslist handles this automatically for you, preventing your email address from getting harvested and going into Spam lists. 
  4. Prepare to analyze many résumés and respond to each applicant. You can also set up an email autoresponder so that each person who responds will know you have received their email. 
  5. If you are know how to create webpages on your company's website, consider creating a multi-step series of pages, to increase the amount of information a person has to read before they apply for the position. 
  6. If possible, capture the applicant's information directly into your company's database, via online html forms. 

Jul 07, 2010

Great Shanghai Hotel: Marriott Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel

by J. Robert Burgoyne — last modified Jul 08, 2010 02:05 PM
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Shanghai hotels have gone up in price over the last few years, and with Expo 2010 Shanghai, competition for affordable hotel rooms is fierce. Accordingly, when I was in Shanghai in May, 2010 I gave up on finding a cheap hotel and opted instead for a great, luxurious hotel: The Marriott Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden. Address: 159 South He Nan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai.


Rooftop view from the Marriott Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel

It's not often that I'm willing to pay US$300 for a hotel room for a single night. 

But my Marriott Rewards Points were sufficient to pay for a free night, so I redeemed the points in the morning and was checked into my room by the afternoon. The room was fabulous, modern, 5 stars by any measure, with great service and amenities. 

Club-level rooms grant you access to a superb 24 hour private club, with floor-to-ceiling windows displaying a view similar to what you see above, as well as newspapers, TV, Internet, and all the food and drink you need. The roof has a spa, balcony, exercise room, and a glass-walled swimming pool. Even though the hotel was mostly full, I had the pool entirely to myself. 

Staff were courteous throughout, and I explained to a few younger staff about Marriott's origins in the Washington, DC area, and present-day headquarters in my hometown: Bethesda, Maryland. I told them they had a terrific employer and to stick with the company. 

Thanks, Marriott!

Jun 22, 2010

TB's Photographer

by J. Robert Burgoyne — last modified Jun 23, 2010 01:45 PM
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After years of using our own portrait photographs on our website, in April, 2010 we decided to hire a professional photographer, Scott Robinson of Chevy Chase, Maryland, aka: The Picture Coach.

Photographer Scott Robinson and True Blade co-founder Eric Smith knew each other through social activities. 

Eric had been impressed for some time with Scott's photos so we hired him to do our own photos. We're delighted with the results.  

Scott Robinson's website is:

Apr 22, 2010

Ladder of Accountability

by J. Robert Burgoyne — last modified Apr 23, 2010 12:25 PM


Graphical Ladder of Accountability, 300 pixels by 450 pixels

A reference copy of the "Ladder of Accountability", as described in a video produced by True Blade Systems.

The Ladder of Accountability video is available in 1080p on


Accountable Rung 8
Fix the Problem

Rung 7
Find/Create Solutions

Rung 6
Own the Problem

Rung 5
Acknowledge Reality
Unaccountable Rung 4
Wait and Hope

Rung 3
Make Excuses

Rung 2
Blame Others

Rung 1


Special thanks to all my colleagues and associates who consistently strive to be accountable. A graphical version of the Ladder of Accountability is shown below.