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Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

LinkedIn Update: Totally Surreal

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 27, 2018

As some of you know, I’ve been “growing” my LinkedIn network (https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottholstad/) this year, both in terms of quantity & quality. I’ve been doing this with the goal of having a high-quality network for consulting purposes at some point in the future. I first blogged about this on May 14 (https://hankrules2011.com/2018/05/14/linkedin-and-my-recent-adventures-there-part-i/) & May 15 (https://hankrules2011.com/2018/05/15/linkedin-and-my-recent-adventures-there-part-ii/). It’s interesting to compare my statistics then with what they are now. However, those two blogs told the story of my LI “experiment” to seriously grow my network, again, both in terms of quantity & quality. When I published those blogs, I had grown my network from a little over 400 in January to over 3,300. My network is now over 13,800 people, nearly half of whom are senior execs. And I’ve posted some of the more “notable” new connections online a couple of times. Well, here I go again. It’s been crazy & I’m about to post a list of seriously “notable” LI connections that I’ve gotten just over the past three weeks. Take the time to go through this list. Some of them are just mind blowing. And I don’t post these to brag. Every day I’m amazed & it seems so surreal & I just want to share my amazement at the type of people who join my network. Frankly, I have no idea why some of these people would want me in their network or would want to be in mine. Sometimes it’s just a little shocking. And by the way, I’ve had a small IT company for several years now, which I haven’t been able to do much with due to my extremely bad health. But a few months ago, I had the website redesigned to reflect current capabilities, as our focus has changed this year. If you want to visit it, you can find it at https://wiremedesigns.com. As to the list of incredible connections, here goes:

Some New/Recent “Notable” LinkedIn Connections – 10/27/18

 

  1. Sr VP Creative Advertising, Universal Pictures
  2. COO, Universal Music Group Nashville
  3. Head of Social Marketing, Billboard
  4. VP Mission Assurance, Space & Airborne Systems, Raytheon
  5. Marketing Director, Rolling Stone
  6. Sr VP, The Aerospace Corporation
  7. Director Operations, Harris Corporation
  8. Sr Director Security & Risk, Oracle
  9. CIO Digital Growth, KraftHeinz
  10. CTO/CIO, AAA
  11. Corporate Director Engineering, Northrop Grumman
  12. Sr VP Command, Control & Intelligence, CACI International Inc
  13. Director Automation & Cloud Security, Nike
  14. Founder/Chairman/CEO, Napster
  15. CIO SP Networking, Cisco
  16. VP Global HR Service, VMware
  17. Sr VP Live Media & Strategic Partnership, Rolling Stone
  18. CEO, ATLAS Space Operations, Inc
  19. Director Advanced Programs, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems
  20. CTO, WebMD
  21. Principal Director, The Aerospace Corporation
  22. Brigadier General, Kosovo Military
  23. Deputy Director Advanced Space Capabilities Directorate, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office
  24. Deputy Commander, US Third Fleet. 60,000 sailors, 120 ships, 4 aircraft carriers
  25. Director Advanced Technology Program, Lockheed Martin
  26. VP Global Crisis Management & Business Continuity, NBCUniversal
  27. VP PMO, Commercial Aviation Sector, L3 Technologies
  28. CSO, Fidelity Investments
  29. VP Data & Advanced Analytics, Bitdefender
  30. Deputy Director France International Nuclear Agency
  31. International Relations Expert, Islamic Republic of Iran
  32. G3 (Lieutenant General) & Desk Officer, Multinational Future Development, German Army HQ
  33. Director Government Missions, SpaceX
  34. Assistant Federal Security Director, Department of Homeland Security
  35. CTO, Microsoft Azure
  36. CFO, Thales Defense & Security
  37. Director Security, Indianapolis Colts
  38. Corporate VP Communications, Microsoft
  39. VP Thales eSecurity Federal, Thales Defense & Security
  40. Corporate VP Cybersecurity Solution, Microsoft
  41. CEO, Rackspace
  42. Ambassador of Georgia to Washington
  43. Assistant CIO, US Navy
  44. Director for Iraq, National Security Council, The White House
  45. CFO Technology, NBCUniversal
  46. VP Security, JetBlue Airways
  47. Director Rule of Law, Executive Office of the Secretary General, United Nations
  48. Deputy Director Public Affairs, USAF
  49. VP Public Policy, Verizon
  50. Global Head Information Security, AIG
  51. Director, Department of Peace Operations, Government of Romania
  52. Nuclear Safety & Security Director, Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  53. Commander, Pacific Air Forces
  54. Deputy Federal Security Director, US Department of Homeland Security
  55. Director of Department for Radiation Applications, Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority
  56. CTO, Leidos
  57. Deputy Director, Office of Counterintelligence, Department of the Treasury
  58. Special Operations Team Leader, US Secret Service
  59. Sr VP Mobility Solutions, Blackberry
  60. Chief of Intelligence, Department of Defense
  61. CIO, Quicken Loans
  62. Chief of Staff/Assistant Director, INTERPOL
  63. VP/CAE, Symantec
  64. Sr Director Engineering, Harris Corporation
  65. VP Strategy & Solutions, CACI International
  66. Radiochemist, Chernobyl Ukraine
  67. Director of Intelligence, NATO
  68. Sr VP Engineering, The Aerospace Corporation
  69. Federal CTO, Symantec
  70. VP Engineering, Qualcomm
  71. CTO, IBM Cloud Platform
  72. Director Software Engineering, Fidelity Investments
  73. VP Engineering & Global Product Development, Northrup Grumman
  74. Director of Weather, USAF
  75. Exec VP Engineering, Parsons Corporation
  76. Director of Cyber Strategy, Architecture & Solutions, Freddie Mac
  77. Exec Director Cybersecurity, Morgan Stanley
  78. VP, Freddie Mac
  79. Sr Director Cybersecurity, PepsiCo
  80. Director Operations, Amazon
  81. Sr VP, Booz Allen Hamilton
  82. Director Future Concepts, Test & Analysis, USSTRATCOM
  83. VP, Head of Technology Risk Management, Capital One
  84. Sr VP Mobile B2B, Samsung
  85. Exec Director Cyber Threat Management, EY
  86. CSS, Panda Security
  87. CISO, Major League Baseball
  88. President, The Ohio State University
  89. Federal CIO, US Office of Management & Budget
  90. Head of Online Threats, Bitdefender
  91. CISO, Equifax
  92. Sr VP Enterprise Incident Manager, Wells Fargo & Co
  93. CISO, Penn State University
  94. Global CPISO, GE Aviation
  95. Head of Cybersecurity Threat Detection & Response Center, The Home Depot
  96. Sr VP Global Information Security, Citigroup
  97. Head Private Sector Development & Outreach Department, Office of the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  98. CISO, Deluxe
  99. CHRO, McAfee
  100. Sr VP Operational Excellence, CACI International
  101. Global Head of Threat Intelligence, Deutsche Bank
  102. Sr Director Mission Support Solutions, BAE Systems
  103. Director Technology, CBS Interactive
  104. Sr Director US Army Programs, Honeywell Aerospace
  105. CISO, Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems
  106. CISO, Intercontinental Hotels Group
  107. CISO, eBay
  108. Director Research & Engineering, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  109. Global Director Industrial & IoT Security, Unisys
  110. Sr VP Consulting, Mandiant
  111. Sr Director Information Security, Parsons Corp
  112. Sr VP In-Theater Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox
  113. CPO, US Senate
  114. Sr VP Intelligence & Defense Programs, Parsons Corp
  115. CISO, Avaya
  116. CFO, Lyft
  117. CLO, Department of Veterans Affairs
  118. Associate Producer, 60 Minutes
  119. CPSO, Harris Corp
  120. Director Global Security, Kimberly-Clark
  121. CSO, SAIC
  122. Sr Director Global Product Security Engineering, Intel
  123. CRO, Brown University
  124. Deputy Director, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  125. CPO, US Department of Health & Human Services
  126. CISO, Yale University
  127. Sr VP, Mastercard
  128. VP Business Development, Parsons Corp
  129. Director IoT & AI, Microsoft
  130. Justice of the Supreme Court, South Carolina
  131. Chief of Staff, US Delegation to NATO
  132. CIO Enterprise Technology, NBCUniversal
  133. CTO, Motorola
  134. Director Media & Digital Communication, Cartier
  135. VP Marketing & Product, SOG Knives & Tools
  136. Sr VP, CACI International
  137. VP Business Development, CACI International
  138. CTO Data, IBM Analytics
  139. Director Analytics & Data Services, Dunkin Brands
  140. VP Financial, Benchmade Knife Co.
  141. Chief of Staff Worldwide Safety & Regulatory, Pfizer
  142. VP Capture, CACI International
  143. VP HR, Cartier
  144. Deputy Assistant Director – CIRG, FBI
  145. Director Global Security, Pfizer
  146. CTO, US Department of Homeland Security
  147. Director Technology Finance, Target
  148. Sr VP Logistics & Digital Commerce & Ecosystems, Target
  149. CIO, Better Business Bureau
  150. Presidente/CEO, Beretta
  151. CISO, Barrick Gold Corp
  152. Sr VP Operations, Dick’s Sporting Goods
  153. CISO, Petco
  154. CISO, University of Georgia
  155. Director National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois
  156. Division VP, Applebee’s
  157. CFO, Panera Bread
  158. CISO, University of Wisconsin
  159. CIO, University of Texas
  160. Director Business Intelligence & Analytics, Macy’s
  161. Director Computer & Network Security, Columbia University
  162. CISO, The Ohio State University
  163. VP Information & Security, Citi
  164. VP Information Risk Lead, JPMorgan Chase
  165. CISO, Valvoline
  166. VP Business Development & Strategy, Leidos
  167. VP Consumer Solutions, Bitdefender
  168. VP Business Development, Lockheed Martin
  169. CIO/CHCO, US Capital Police
  170. Director Information Security – Risk, Governance & Awareness, Fannie Mae
  171. VP Marketing &Product SOG Knives & Tools
  172. Exec VP Global Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox
  173. Director Information Security Architecture & Engineering, Harvard University
  174. VP Operations & R&D, Beretta
  175. Sr VP WW Sales End-User Computing, VMware
  176. Sr Advisor to DHS from NORAD
  177. Sr Director Cyber Threat Intelligence & Detection, Target
  178. Associate Deputy Director Community HUMINT, CIA
  179. Director Systems Engineering – Infrastructure & Cloud Service Delivery, Macy’s
  180. Director NA Sales, Benchmade Knife Co.
  181. CTO, Pfizer
  182. Sr Cybersecurity Analyst, Supreme Court of the United States
  183. Assistant Secretary of the Army – Manpower & Reserve Affairs
  184. Assistant Secretary of Defense – Asia & Pacific Security Affairs
  185. VP Specialized Intelligence Services, CACI International
  186. CTO, ICANN
  187. CDS, Department of Defense
  188. Director Global Cybersecurity Architecture & Operations, Abbot
  189. CPO, CBS Corp
  190. Sr VP Engineering Enterprise Networking Business, Cisco
  191. VP Public Cloud Security, Salesforce
  192. Sr VP Agile Management, CA Technologies
  193. CTO Analytics, Cisco
  194. CISO, Deloitte Consulting
  195. Network & Security Operations Manager, Pittsburgh Steelers
  196. VP Global Operations, Land’s End
  197. CMO, Books-A-Million
  198. Director Missile Defense Programs, Teledyne Brown Engineering
  199. VP Homeland & National Defense, CACI International
  200. CTO Software, Cisco
  201. CISO, Aetna
  202. VP Advanced Programs & Technology, Northrup Grumman
  203. Sr VP Strategic Business Development & Acquisition, Teldyne Brown Engineering
  204. CEA & Director Strategic Transformation & Operation, Proctor & Gamble
  205. Director IT Shared Services, Fossil Group
  206. Director Communications, Audi
  207. Global CTO, Proctor & Gamble
  208. Director Service Operations, Audi
  209. VP Sales, Seiko
  210. President/CEO, Crocs
  211. Director IT, Development & Enterprise Systems Architecture, Crocs
  212. Sr Director Global Sourcing & Manufacturing, Converse
  213. Director Department of Justice Cybercrime Lab
  214. Director Operations, CBS Corp
  215. Sr VP, Christie’s Watch Department
  216. Director Digital Analytics & Site Optimization, Eddie Bauer
  217. Sr Global Brand Director, Converse
  218. Director Retail Experience, Gucci
  219. VP, Head of Retail, Strategy & Operations, Gucci
  220. Sr VP Global Media & Digital Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox
  221. VP Menswear, Home & Business Outfitters, Land’s End
  222. Director Global Ecommerce Technical Operations, Crocs
  223. CISO, Bed, Bath & Beyond
  224. CSO, The Home Depot
  225. Sr VP Engineering, Oracle
  226. Divisional VP, Eddie Bauer
  227. Chief of Staff, Survivability Assurance Office, USAF
  228. Director of Nuclear Operations, HQ Air Mobility Command, USAF
  229. Sr Director Communications, Converse
  230. Co-Founder, Ubuntu
  231. VP Marketing, Cumulus Media
  232. VP Business Development, Booz Allen
  233. Global CRO, Bloomberg Media
  234. Sr Director Information Security, Sony
  235. CISO, Raymond James Financial Inc
  236. President/CEO, TVPPA
  237. CEO/President, Engility Corp
  238. VP Retail, Cartier
  239. Sr Director Global Market Access Policy, Johnson & Johnson
  240. VP Space & Missile Systems, Engility Corp
  241. Deputy CIO, UC Berkeley
  242. Regional Counterintelligence Director, NASA
  243. VP Engineering, Sophos
  244. Sr Director Brand Protection, Nike
  245. VP Strategy, Twentieth Century Fox
  246. Director Corporate Communications, The Aerospace Corp
  247. CISO, UNICEF
  248. Director IT, USAA
  249. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Military Personnel Policy
  250. VP Global Brand Marketing, Fossil Group
  251. Secretary of the Air Force
  252. Head of Network Infrastructure, NASA
  253. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, US Department of State
  254. President Worldwide Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
  255. IBM CTO Open Technology
  256. VP Aviation, Strategic Plans & Programs, Sierra Nevada Corp
  257. Managing Director Application Security, Deloitte
  258. VP Integrated Tactical Solutions, Sierra Nevada Corp
  259. VP National Services, CACI International
  260. Director Engineering, Sierra Nevada Corp
  261. Sr VP Legal & Business Affairs, Twentieth Century Fox
  262. VP Finance, Twentieth Century Fox
  263. Sr Director Global Sales & Marketing, Missile & Weapons System, Boeing
  264. Director AI, Booz Allen
  265. Deputy Director Cyberspace Operations Centre, NATO
  266. VP ISA Systems, L3 Technologies
  267. CTO, L3 Communications Systems
  268. CIO/CTO, Deloitte
  269. Sr Director Engineering, L3 Technologies
  270. VP Corporate Quality, Sierra Nevada Corp
  271. Exec VP Business Operations, Comcast
  272. VP Strategy, L3 Technologies
  273. CIO, USAF
  274. Director Big Data Platform Development, GlaxoSmithKline
  275. VP & Chief Engineer Missile & Weapons System, Boeing
  276. CTO, L3 Technologies
  277. CTO Americas, NetApp
  278. President, Microsoft
  279. CEO Battelle
  280. President Broadband Communications Sector, L3 Technologies
  281. Director Global Partner Marketing, Cisco
  282. Global VP, Thales Security
  283. Sr Director Logistics & Operations, Samsung
  284. VP Customer Delivery, TVA
  285. Sr Director Security Engineering, Symantec
  286. VP Security Research, Trend Micro
  287. Director Systems Analysis & Concepts, NASA
  288. Director Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Visa
  289. VP AI Enterprise Solutions, Wells Fargo
  290. CTVO, MIT Lincoln Lab
  291. Deputy Director High Performance Computing Innovation Center, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  292. CSO, Visa
  293. Director Operations, Warner Brothers
  294. Director Engineering, Western Digital
  295. Sr Director Analytic Business Partners, Western Digital
  296. VP Mission & Launch Operations, Space Exploration Tech
  297. VP Combatant Command, General Dynamics Information Technology
  298. VP Operations – International Division, Engility Corp
  299. VP Cyber Risk Officer, Citi
  300. Global Head of Storage & Engineering Systems, Citi
  301. VP IT Security Operations & Strategy, Charter Communications
  302. CIO, Raytheon Intelligence & Information Services
  303. CISO, Delta Dental
  304. Sr Director Advanced Analytics & Machine Learning, Nike
  305. Director Materials Science Department, The Aerospace Corp
  306. Director Growth – Creative Cloud, Adobe
  307. VP Infrastructure Operations, Visa
  308. CIO, Parsons Corp
  309. VP Sales NA Home Entertainment & Sound, Sony
  310. CIO IT, Yamaha Motor Corp
  311. Director Cybersecurity Intelligence & Response Team, Dell
  312. Assistant Secretary General, United Nations
  313. Deputy Director Center for Effective Public Management, The Brookings Institution
  314. CFO, The Brookings Institution
  315. Sr VP Engineering, Malwarebytes
  316. COO, SAP
  317. President, SAP National Security Service
  318. Ambassador of Poland to United Nations
  319. VP NA Sales, Bitdefender
  320. VP Digitization, Customer Experience, Shared Services & Future Skills, Deutsche Telecom
  321. Sr VP Defense & Security Group, Engility Corp
  322. Executive Director, European Union Agency for Network & Information Security
  323. VP Growth Business Operations, Engility Corp
  324. Sr VP Intelligence Solutions, Engility Corp
  325. Special Assistant to the President for Tech, Telecom & Cyber Policy, The White House
  326. Assistant Secretary General, NATO
  327. VP Finance, Knot’s Berry Farm
  328. VP Sales, Twentieth Century Fox
  329. Assistant Secretary General Central Support Service, United Nations
  330. CTO National Security Group, Microsoft Federal
  331. Director Consumer Experience, Carhartt
  332. Sr VP/Chief Architect, Intuit
  333. Director Cybersecurity, Carhartt
  334. COO, Wells Fargo
  335. Cyber Security Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel
  336. VP Field Sales, Toshiba
  337. Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of State
  338. CIO, University of Georgia
  339. VP Operations, Fanatics
  340. General Counsel, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  341. CSO, HP
  342. Director Strategy, Cisco
  343. VP Engineering, Sierra Nevada Corp
  344. Sr Director Electronics Solutions, Honeywell
  345. Director Project Engineering, Thales
  346. Head of Global Business Development, Xerox
  347. VP Engineering, Google
  348. Director Counterintelligence, Harris Corp
  349. Exec Director Global Operations & Investigations, Caterpillar Inc
  350. Inspector General, US Naval Research Lab
  351. COO, SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission)
  352. COO, AFOSI
  353. VP Engineering, McAfee
  354. Director End User Services, Levi Strauss & Co
  355. Exec Director, US Marine Corp Forces Command
  356. Deputy CTO, US Department of the Treasury
  357. CPO, IRS
  358. Deputy Under Secretary, US Army

 

Here are some interesting stats on my network.

LinkedIn Connections: 13,834

 

Senior Execs:  6,631

C-Level Execs:  2,224

Writer/Editor:  535

Project/Program Manager:  493

Network Engineer:  354

Developer/Software Engineer:  421

Engineer:  885

IT:  935

Security Professionals:  1,807

Federal & International Government: 2,077

 

I had been tracking HR/Recruiters, but I stopped. I also had been tracking corporate communications/marketing professionals, but I stopped that too. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had tracked researchers/scientists, because I have a huge number of them in my network, but I don’t have the time to go back to the beginning & count them all up, so that’s that.

 

Here is a list of the companies & organizations that are most represented in my network, in order of the highest number of connections on down. I won’t post the totals for each because that would take too much time, & I have other things to attend to right now. But here it is:

 

  1. US military/DoD
  2. Microsoft
  3. Cisco
  4. C Spire
  5. Dell
  6. Malwarebytes
  7. TVA
  8. United Nations
  9. Amazon Web Services
  10. Raytheon
  11. Oracle
  12. Booz Allen Hamilton
  13. Northrop Grumman
  14. Palo Alto Networks
  15. Lockheed Martin
  16. Leidos
  17. Samsung
  18. Seagate
  19. IBM
  20. Intel
  21. Citi
  22. Harris Corp
  23. Boeing
  24. Google
  25. CACI International
  26. European Commission
  27. Western Digital
  28. NATO
  29. General Dynamics
  30. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  31. Parsons Corp
  32. Ticketmaster
  33. Visa
  34. Twentieth Century Fox
  35. BAE Systems
  36. JP Morgan
  37. Bitdefender
  38. Trend Micro
  39. Amazon
  40. NBCUniversal
  41. Adobe
  42. Symantec
  43. The Aerospace Corp
  44. Engility
  45. McAfee
  46. Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  47. Sophos
  48. Sierra Nevada Corp
  49. RAND
  50. Sony
  51. L3 Technologies
  52. Deloitte
  53. VMware
  54. SAIC
  55. The Brookings Institution

 

What a list, huh? Heavy on defense contractors, heavy on IT. But also finance, film, think tanks, research labs, etc. A couple of more tidbits: I have very senior connections with nearly 20 international militaries. I also have many hundreds of nuclear connections, including many – some very senior – at over 40 countries. If that didn’t put me on the CIA & NSA’s radar, I don’t know what will! LOL! Actually, I have many very senior connections at virtually all of the intelligence agencies, including DIA, DISA, DTRA, FBI, CIA, NSA & more. And actually, I think I’ll list all of the nuclear countries where I have connections. It’s a bizarre & interesting list. In addition to international agencies, here are the countries in no particular order:

 

  1. United States
  2. Sweden
  3. Nigeria
  4. Belgium
  5. Egypt
  6. Italy
  7. Pakistan
  8. Tanzania
  9. Bosnia Herzegovina
  10. Saudi Arabia
  11. Canada
  12. Chile
  13. Argentina
  14. France
  15. Jordan
  16. UAE
  17. Ukraine
  18. England
  19. Romania
  20. Serbia
  21. Bulgaria
  22. Zimbabwe
  23. Turkey
  24. China
  25. Slovenia
  26. South Africa
  27. Montenegro
  28. Tunisia
  29. Spain
  30. Palestine
  31. Hungary
  32. Syria
  33. Malaysia
  34. Sri Lanka
  35. South Korea
  36. Bangladesh
  37. Norway
  38. Dubai
  39. India
  40. Armenia
  41. Slovak Republic

 

Wow! Geez. What a list. A few of those countries make me a little nervous. Oh, I don’t know … Pakistan? India? China? Ukraine? Maybe a few others. And I have hundreds of US connections. I’m not a nuclear expert, so I’ve been reading and researching books and articles on nuclear engineering, nuclear power, “limited” nuclear warfare, and more.

Oh! I also forgot to mention something else that’s pretty cool. I now have very senior connections with most of the four major team sports professional teams, including several owners, as well as a number of players! In fact, I’ve been working on some projects with some players & coaches! I have senior connections with 29 NFL teams, 24 NHL teams, 25 MLB teams & 29 NBA teams.

Okay, I could keep going on & boring you to tears, but I truly do have other things to do, so I’ll stop now. One final thing. A few weeks ago, LinkedIn sent me an email that said due to my posting regular quality content & to my excellent network, they advised me to change my “Connect” button on my profile & in search results to “Follow.” Typically, the only people who have Follow as an option are usually very high profile people, like the CEO of Google, CEO of Microsoft, CEO of GE, Director of the MIT Media Lab, etc. So it’s kind of an honor to be placed in that class of people. And I went ahead & made the change & people have been slowly but surely following me, as well as still sending me connection requests. So that’s cool. And unreal. There’s a whole lot more I could share, but I’m stopping now. Have a good weekend, everyone!

 

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Visit Some Of My Updated Social Media Sites

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 30, 2018

Hi! I haven’t been blogging as much as I want to, nor have I been as active on some sites like I’d prefer to be, but lately I have been more active on some of my social media and other sites, and I thought I’d let you know about them.

Years ago, I got caught up in the Pinterest craze, created some boards, and pinned quite a few things to my boards. I developed a good number of followers, especially for a couple of my boards, such as my Amazing Men’s Watches board.

Well, for whatever reason, I got tired of it and haven’t been back in a long time. Like four years. 4 years! I was last active on the site in 2014. For some reason, a couple of months ago, it occurred to me to go visit my site, and I suddenly became interested again and started pinning new things to my boards. In fact, I’ve gotten so into it, I’ve created a number of new boards, and I’ve pinned quite a few things to them. And I’ve slowly been getting a few new followers here and there, so that’s been nice. I now have 18 boards with over 2,500 pins! While my watch board remains my most popular, with 368 pins and 524 followers, I’m particularly fond of some of my new boards and have been busy pinning pics, etc, to those especially. Among them are boards entitled Art I Like (262 pins as of today), Favorite TV Shows (58 pins as of today), and Boutique Computers (245 pins as of today). My Sports board has 8 sections with 459 pins. Some other, original, popular boards include Music, Musicians & Bands, Cute Animals, Books Worth Reading, and Places To Visit. So, please come check out my Pinterest boards, and feel free to follow me. Also, if you have a Pinterest site, let me know where I can find it and I’ll check yours out!

Another site I’ve been very active on for the past year and a half is Discogs, the audiophile’s online music site. I’ve bought and sold a number of really great items there, and among the great things about that site is, not only do they have just about every album ever made in their database, with most having copies for sales by people all over the world, but you can get great deals and find out the media and sleeve gradings, join discussion groups, and put your collection on your site for people to see. And one of the cool things about that last bit is Discogs will list the value for your collection, and in Minimum, Median, and Maximum value. I actually just got rid of triple digits of albums, so my collection is actually one of the smaller ones I’ve seen on the site, but I’m still proud of it because I have some good, rare, and valuable items, which is totally cool. Some of my more rare items include a Russian version of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, a Greek Public Enemy album, a Portuguese Depeche Mode album, a rare red vinyl Czech Iron Maiden album, a Chinese Linkin Park CD (which technically does not exist — I had to work hard to find it and get it out of China for a customer, who then didn’t want to pay the bucks for it…), German and Australian editions of Gary Numan’s debut Tubeway Army album, an old French Devo EP, and many more. I currently have 823 albums listed, with a Median value of $6,920.90 and a Maximum value of $11,883.21. You also are rated on your purchases and any sales you make, and it’s strongly recommended to try to maintain a high rating. In fact, they’ll kick you off the site if your rating drops too low. Fortunately, my ratings as both buyer and seller are 100%, so that’s awesome. I’ve worked hard to satisfy everyone I deal with there. The only thing that bugs me is everyone is supposed to provide “feedback” (ratings) for every buyer and seller, but I’ve sold quite a few items on the site and only about a third of my buyers ever bothered giving me feedback, even though most sent me private messages expressing satisfaction. But it looks like I haven’t sold much there, which isn’t the case. I used to have a large listing of items for sale, triple digits, but selling became too time and labor-intensive, and my health has become so bad over the past five months, that I basically shut that down and now I have just five items listed for sale. Still, I’d love it if any of you went to my Discogs site and looked at my profile, as well as my collection. Let me know if you do, and let me know if you have a profile and collection there, so I can go check those out. You can find my Discogs profile here, and my collection here.

I’ve also been fairly active on Goodreads — but not active enough. The site reports 1,467 books on my bookshelf there, with 1,061 read, 207 to be read, and 199 that I’m allegedly currently reading! Now, I’ve always read numerous books simultaneously — I have a system — and I have indeed let it get out of hand, but I’m certainly not in the middle of 199 books at the moment. A number of those books are ones I’ve finished, but haven’t had or made the time to review yet, and hence list them as Read. I’ve got several stacks of print and Kindle books to review. That being said, I probably AM in the middle of over 100 – 120 books right now, with me actively reading about 40-50 on a semi-daily basis. I read a few chapters of one book, switch to another and do the same, and continue on. And I get into phases, so that for several months, I was mostly reading religious, philosophical, and scientific books, other months nearly only sci fi books, other months mostly biographies, but lately it’s been a hodge podge of stuff — a combination of technology, biography, sci fi, business, history, nonfiction, and technical/scientific books that are mostly military in nature (electronic warfare, nuclear, etc.). As you know, I sometimes post some of my book reviews I write here on this blog, but I don’t do that for every book or every review — just some of them. So if you’re interested in my reviews, go check out my Read section (my most recent completed books are Philip Matyszak’s “Sparta: Rise of a Warrior Nation,” John Hernandez’s “How To Become A NFL Sports Agent,” and Joseph Siracusa’s “Nuclear Weapons: A Very Short Introduction.”), and if you’re interested in what I’m currently reading, go here (the newest books I’ve started reading are “The Holy Bible” –  ESV version, “The Quran,” “802.11ac,” and “Basic Security Testing With Kali Linux.”), and if you’d like to see what I’ve got lined up, go here (They’re ordered from oldest, chronologically, to most recently added to the list. My most recently added are Thomas Asbridge’s “The Greatest Knight,” Andrea De Martino’s “Introduction to Modern EW Systems,” Will Storr’s “Selfie,” Gordon Colbach’s “Wireless Networking,” Michael Steer’s “Microwave and RF Design,” Mark Richards’ “Fundamentals of Radar Signal Processing.”) and also, feel free to check out my Author’s profile page, and feel free to send me a friend request. Also, if you have a Goodreads’ site, let me know so I can check it out!

I’ve also been active on other sites, only two of which I’ll briefly mention. As some of you may know, over two years ago, Gretchen and I founded a small technology startup, which has gone through changes, difficulties, evolutions, and is currently on hiatus due to my extremely poor health. The name of the company is WireMe Designs, LLC. The original business model is described on the website, but it’s evolved this year to focus more on consulting, and we thus had a new website created early this summer to reflect that. It’d be awesome if you checked it out, and let me know what you think. Greatly appreciated. You can find it at https://wiremedesigns.com. Secondly, if you look back over my blog here, you’ll note I wrote a couple of posts in May about my LinkedIn site and profile, and my experience to date on building my network in both quantity and quality. Well, it’s gone REALLY big since then, and I intend to try to find the time to write a post about it here with updated information. When I last wrote about it, I had expanded my network from a little over 400 people in January to over 3,300 in mid-May, listing 171 “notable” connections, including the CEO of Symantec, the president of Dell, the CTO of the ATF, several major UN connections, the CISO of Nissan, CISO of US Department of Education, CIO of USDA, CFO of Sprint, CISO of IBM, and CISO of The White House.

Well, as I said, my network has seriously EXPLODED since then, and as of this morning, I now have over 11,600 connections and it’s a VERY high-quality network, with 44% of my connections being senior executives, many of them C-level executives. I now have the highest connections at nearly every company in most major civilian industries, nearly a thousand US and international military connections, many of them generals, at the Pentagon, and even on the Joint Chiefs. I also have over 1,600 federal and international government connections at the highest levels, including most agency leaders, intelligence agency executives, the Senate, House, dozens of people at The White House, a dozen directors and above on the National Security Council, connections in so many countries that I have no idea, hundreds of connections at the European Parliament and European Commission, Interpol, NATO, nuclear connections in over 45 countries, numerous ambassadors — foreign and domestic — and about 75 connections at the UN, including several on the UN Security Council, and executives in the Secretary General’s office. It’s truly stunning. It just keeps growing, and as a result, I’ve been offered some mind blowing opportunities in a number of areas. And, as as for recent “notable” connections, I now have over 1,400 listed, among them recently the CLO of Sony, COO of Universal Music Group Nashville, CIO KraftHeinz, CIO of AIG, CIO of Nike, CPO of Shell, CFO of NBC Sports, CPO of the US Navy, CTO of HP, CTO of WebMD, CSO of Fidelity Investments, CTO/CIO of AAA, and the CDO of GE. Simply amazing. So, feel free to check my LinkedIn profile out, send me a connection request with a personal message to let me know who you are and how you found me, and a link to your profile if you have one.

I could keep writing more, but I’m not well and this has taken too long and tired me out, so I need to stop. I hope some of you will check these sites out, as well as others, which you can find on a page located at the top of my blog called Find Me Here… It’s got links to Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as others. You can catch up on me in many ways, even though I haven’t been blogging here very often. Thanks to those of you who have stuck with me here, and for the comments. I appreciate all of you very much, and feel free to remind me to visit your blogs, because I’m bad about that and I admit it. Something I need to work on. I hope everyone is having a good weekend and cheers!

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Two Near-Death Experiences & Changes

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 18, 2018

Hello. I’ve been meaning to blog about some events that happened to me this summer, but I haven’t found the time, energy, stamina, etc. But I wrote a post and published it on LinkedIn this morning, and I’m going to provide the link for it here. It’s called “Major Changes.” It details how I suffered two near-death experiences in June and July, how recovery has been largely non-existant, how things keep happening to me, and how I’m unable to do any projects, gigs, favors, or even travel, for months. I’m hoping to be in a much better place by Christmas, but that remains to be seen. I may not make it to Christmas the way things have been going.

While I still have a decent number of blog subscribers here, since I essentially went an entire year without blogging (due to extremely poor health), I’m afraid I’ve lost most of my readers, so I really don’t know that too many people will read this or care, but for the few of you who will, thanks. And I’d like to blog more often — truly. It’s just really hard to find the time, energy, stamina, etc., when you feel the way I’ve been feeling for months. So, my apologies. I hope you are all doing well, and I’ll “see” you guys later. Cheers!

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An Interview With Global Security Expert Harris Schwartz

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 11, 2018

Today I published an interview on LinkedIn with a world renowned global leader in cybercrime & cybersecurity: Harris Schwartz. Feel free to read and comment. Many of you may find this interesting.  Cheers! https://www.linkedin.com/…/interview-global-security-exper…/

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LinkedIn and my Recent Adventures There, Part II

Posted by Scott Holstad on May 15, 2018

This is the second part in a two-part blog post about LinkedIn and my recent experiences there. You can find Part I here. This section I’ve worked on carefully because if read the wrong way, it could come across as bragging — which is NOT my intention! It’s just that some shocking things have been going on for me there and I wish to share my amazement and astonishment. I’m getting a kick out of this, and it’s been a little surreal, and I want to describe that here. So please don’t think I’m a narcissistic asshole now, because I’m really not. I admit I’m no one special in this post, but I’ve gotten others to buy into me, without lying about a thing, with my redesigned LI profile. Okay, here goes…

 

Part II

 

As I stated previously, I’ve been on LinkedIn probably since their beginning, or at least 13 years. LI usually tells you how long you’ve been connected to someone else, and my oldest connections are 13 or 14 years old. Over time, the number of my connections slowly increased, but they typically fell into two categories. Either they were people I had met in person somewhere, most of whom I sent requests to, most of which were accepted, or more commonly, others have sent me connection requests over the years, often headhunters, recruiters, and HR personnel, as well as others usually in my several fields who somehow happened upon my profile. I’ve usually accepted all requests, because I rarely have an objection – unless the profile has only one or two connections, which I then view as suspicious because why are they targeting me, so I reject those. And over the years, a couple of things have happened to me on LI. One, I’ve been contacted numerous times by recruiters or HR professionals about potential jobs, both contract and permanent, as well as simple inquiries and requests for interviews. This has led to both telephone and in person interviews, which have led to a number of job offers. This is good. This is something you typically want out of LI. The other thing is people often let you know they’re either in the market for a specific type of job or they’re looking for people to hire for a specific job, and the more contacts I’ve gained, the more frequently this has happened. And I’ve been able to put people in touch with companies and the reverse, and I’ve been able to help others in this way, which makes me feel good. I like to help others.

Now many of you know that some eight years ago, I developed extremely serious health problems, forcing me to prematurely “retire” and I was out of the workforce for some time, have really been out of the corporate world ever since. Yet I kept up with my profile in the hopes that one day I would improve enough to begin working again, perhaps as a consultant from home. So my connections continued to slowly increase. And I’ve padded my profile with things I’ve done since, mostly volunteer work, as well as a short-term contract gig or two, but as long as my profile seems to indicate I’ve been somehow active this whole time, that’s the important thing. It’s a strategy one has to develop and hone over time.

Two years ago, I decided to create a new IT startup after much thought, and did so with a partner. It still exists today and I remain somewhat active, but it’s been a struggle due to a variety of factors, most especially my health, as well as some technical and unforeseen financial complications. But I ended up working my ASS off for this, much more than I ever anticipated, coming to regret this decision. So what did I do? Come up with an idea for another startup last year, in a totally different field, in which I’ve worked my ass off for that one too – simultaneously – and while I’ve enjoyed myself to a degree, I’ve also had moments of regret, because my health can’t tolerate this degree of work.

However, I continue to hope that at some point in the next couple of years or so, I’ll be moderately healthy enough to do more serious IT consulting, possibly in networking, more likely in security, and I’d stop the second business and migrate the first one to a different role. With that in mind, I’ve been doing research, taking relevant classes, testing, experimenting, etc., in preparation – even for something that far in advance – while continuing to work in my two dual roles with the two small businesses. You can never be too prepared. So at the beginning of this year, I decided to seriously upgrade my LI profile, make it as appealing as I possibly could, reword some things, take a few things out, add a few things, make myself look as good as I could. Don’t lie. Never lie. But you can make things look pretty good if you know how to present them. During January, I had gotten to the point where I had slowly built up to 444 connections. That’s a nice number by many people’s standards, but I started lusting after the magic “500+” number that goes beside your name once you reach that mark, and I decided to be proactive and pursue reaching that target. And I’d do so by blindly sending out connection requests to strangers in the fields of my background and interests, but even though these would be “blind” requests, they’d actually be targeted intentionally to people with shared backgrounds and/or interests. And I’d do so in volume, making it unrealistic for me to personalize most requests, which I used to do, which some people do, but which most people do not do. You can send a connection request with a personalized message, or you can just click on the “Connect” button, which automatically sends that person a generic, automatically worded announcement that someone, in this case me, wants to connect with you. Most people are used to that and will respond favorably, but some people take offense at the impersonal, generic request and will reject it because it wasn’t personalized. However, I decided that danger was worth the risk because I’d send so many, that sheer statistics would assure me a good number of people would accept my requests and would connect with me. And so this is what I did, almost exclusively.

How did it work out? Oh.My.God. Unbelievable. I sent out quite a few, a good number each day, and within days, I had met and passed the magic 500 number. I was elated. But the connections kept building, which gave me pause to think. And two thoughts occurred to me. I thought since I’m adding connections, why do I have to stop now that I’ve reached my goal of 500? And then I thought, maybe I should aim for more higher up execs, “better quality” connections overall… I had already gotten some impressively high level execs, in the commercial sector, state and federal government, and the military. Some of my new connections were very impressive indeed. But I thought, why not conduct a little experiment? Why not target high level execs – directors, vice presidents and higher, with “C” level execs as my top goal – at a greater rate just to see how many would accept my connection requests and from what types of companies or organizations? How high could I go? And so I began to pursue this. And it turned into a living, breathing entity with a life of its own….

I started getting more and more connections at greater quantity and higher quality than I ever expected. Which inspired me to keep sending out connection requests. Which resulted in more connections. And the more high-level, high quality connections, the more these people wanted to connect with me. And I’ve continued this for nearly four months now, and it’s gone nuclear. The results have been and continue to be staggering. It’s been blowing my mind daily, and for awhile now, I’ve been largely targeting almost exclusively high level, high profile execs and officials with stunning results! And I’ve been receiving connection requests from such people in return. Yesterday, the CFO of Sprint sent me a connection request. The same day, a director from the US Department of State sent me a request. I’ve also been getting job queries. This morning, I’ve received two already, tentative offers for jobs in various fields in various locations. Of course, I’m not ready, not prepared, nor can I move for a job, nor can I work in an office environment – I have to work from home, and I need to be independent to set my own hours. Additionally, I’ve been getting requests from senior level connections to read their white papers, their test results, their scientific data and marketing materials, to analyze them, comment on them, reference them, tell others of them, etc. I’m talking Pentagon stuff!!!

As of this morning, I now had 3,313 connections. (I’ve gotten 220+ in the past day and a half!) I have connections at the highest levels at huge corporations, state governments, the federal government, international governments, think tanks, and organizations around the world. I have senior executive connections at Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Intel, Lyft, Google, Indeed, Visa, Ticketmaster, the NASDAQ, most of the security companies like Symantec, Trend Micro, Malwarebytes, Webroot, Sophos, McAfee and others, with defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, with RAND, with companies like HP, Dell, Cray, IBM, with intelligence agencies like the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, DIA, DISA, NSA, with numerous government agencies like the State Department, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, with the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the US Senate, within the White House itself, with the European Parliament, with the European Commission, and within the United Nations, including the UN Security Council. And these are senior executives.

I also have non-senior executive, but still high-level connections such as IT specialists, network engineers, security specialists, managers, researchers, economists, scientists, etc., at places like Facebook, Amazon, Indeed, PayPal, Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Ford, Hertz, Nike, SAP, Motorola, Verizon, Bitdefender, AVG, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, NASA, several national laboratories, CERN, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), IRS, US Marshalls, CIA, HUD, NIST, DEA, the Pentagon, the IMF, Interpol, and many more.

It’s mind blowing.

I’ve been keeping a list of both “C” level executives and some notable people who stand out, mostly for their positions or organizations. You wouldn’t believe this list if you saw it. Of course, you can see my connections any time you want by going to my profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottholstad/. (Feel free to send me a connection request!) Of my 3,313 connections, 1,023 are senior executives (31%) and of those, 434 are “C” level executives, or 42% of my senior executive connections and 13% of my overall connections. Those are staggering numbers for an “average guy” like me! I’m going to list some of these people and positions at the end of this post just so you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s built into a monster storm of epic proportions and it’s self-propagating now. The more high level connections I get, the more high level people want to connect with me. And I’ve been invited to join some excellent professional organizations and I’ve been approved to join others, some of which have high standards to be accepted by them. One is so elite, I’m literally shocked to the core that they approved and accepted me into their organization. I’ll mention it in a minute. I’ve rejoined two professional organizations I belonged to years ago. These are IEEE: The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and Usenix: the Advanced Computing Systems Association. New ones that I’ve been approved to join include ACM: the Association for Computing Machinery, ISSA: the Information Systems Security Association, ISACA, another elite security organization, and most mind blowing of all, the AOC: Association of Old Crows. Just what is that, you ask? Well, here is its description: “The Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.” Yeah, I got in. We’re talking VERY high ranking government, research, and military officials. It’s a true honor, but surreal too.

So, my “experiment”/professional networking profile improvement has succeeded beyond my wildest imagination. And it keeps growing daily, many dozens a day. One of my new connections is the Director of Security at the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Another is the CISO of Xerox. Others from this weekend are the CIO of the US Navy, CTO of IBM, Director of IT at the US Senate, COE of Dell, CISO of Dell, a Director at DARPA, the Director of the US Army Targeting Center, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, Global CISO of Carnival Cruise Lines, Deputy Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Homeland Security, a senior VP at Cisco, Chief of Staff at the State Department, an economist with the IMF, the Chief, Executive Support Team at the White House and the CISO, White House. And those are just some from this weekend! IT BLOWS MY MIND! And the connections continue to grow. I don’t know what to make of it, or when it will slow to a trickle and stop, or how I can benefit, if at all, from this phenomenon, but I’m just going to ride it for awhile to see how far things go, how high things go, where it will stop. There isn’t yet an ending to this story or a moral to be learned, that I know of. So, if the end of this post seems somewhat abrupt, forgive me, but I’m virtually speechless at this point. My mind is blown. I’ve been joking with my wife that surely I must now be the most powerful man in America, after Donald Trump. There are others with more connections, and others may have more connections in the commercial sector or the government or the military, but I find it unlikely that there are too many people who have so damn many senior connections in all three sectors like I now do. No, there won’t be too many people with connections in all of these sectors at these levels. So, I must be the most powerful person in America after Donald Trump, right? Well, maybe Bill Gates probably has me beat. LOL! I’m honestly not trying to brag so much as to share my astonishment. Cause this all seemed pretty unlikely at the beginning of the year. I’m certainly joking about being powerful, that’s for sure!

A closing. I started this post a few days ago, and over the weekend I decided to limit sending out very many targeted connection requests without personalized messages. This means I will probably send far fewer, because it’s more time consuming now. But I think that’s okay. I don’t actually NEED to keep adding to my network; I’ve done well enough as is. But this new strategy will likely earn me a higher connection request acceptance percentage, which was already pretty good. (Although, as I mentioned, over the past day and a half, I have over 220 new connections!) But I’ve been interacting to a degree with many of them, which is good. Maybe they’ll remember me down the road and who knows where that could lead? I guess I’ll end this abruptly, as I predicted. I think I’ll attach a list of some of the better known or more significant companies and agencies represented by my contacts, as well as a list of some of the more notable contacts, by title, not name. Again, I do not intend to brag. I’m doing this to share my astonishment, because while I’ve been fortunate enough to have some cool jobs and a decent career or careers, I’m really nobody special, and yet for some reason, these people – or at least some of them – apparently think I’m somebody special, which is the biggest irony of it all.

PS: For those of you who are among my older connections and for those among you whose position I did not list, please do not infer that I do not value you or your connection. Indeed, I do or we wouldn’t have connected. Some of my most valued connections are among my oldest. This blog post was written to describe my initial recent goal, subsequent experiment, the results of such, and sharing astonishment at some of the connections I’ve recently made that, by most people’s standards, I have no business having. So, please do not be insulted if you are an older connection or not singled out; I’m merely concentrating on the most recent ones. Thank you.

 

 

LinkedIn Connections: 3,313

 

Senior Executives:       1,023 (31%)

“C” Level Executives:  434 (13%)

Network Engineers:    147

Developer/Software Engineers:         143

HR/Recruiters:            110

Project/Program Managers:   124

Writers/Editors:          118

Engineers:       220

IT Professionals:         313

Security Professionals:           372

Federal & International Government:            234

 

 

Most Companies Represented:

 

Cisco:                                       115

Malwarebytes:                        84

C Spire:                                    75

Microsoft:                               67

TVA:                                        54

Teklinks:                                  53

Regions Bank/Financial:         45

BBVA Compass:                      40

EPB:                                         35

Dell:                                         31

BCBS:                                      30

 

 

Notables Executives’ Companies

TVA, TekLinks, Shipt, Wendys, Nationwide, BCBS, Kaiser Permanente, Visa, Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank, Bank of America, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Ticketmaster, Carnival Cruise Lines, Nieman Marcus, Scripps Networks, Authors Guild, Discogs, Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers, JP Morgan Chase, NASDAQ, USAA, AIG, Time Warner, AT&T, Sprint, Vonage, British Telecom, Plantronics, C Spire, Palo Alto Networks, Godaddy, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, DC Government, State of California, ConocoPhillips, Nissan Americas, Lyft, Xidax, HP, Dell, IBM Watson, Xerox, IBM, Intel, Cisco, VMware, Oracle, Cray, ACM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Malwarebytes, Sophos, Trend Micro, McAfee, Symantec, Webroot, RSA Security, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Mandiant, Rand Corporation, Idaho National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, Association of Old Crows (AOC), US Army, US Army National Military Cemeteries – Arlington National Cemetery, US Army Cyber School, US Army Targeting Center, US Air Force, US Navy, US Pacific Command – US Navy, Missile & Space Intelligence Center, Secret Service, ATF, FBI, DIA, DISA, NSA, DARPA, CERT, US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Department of Commerce, Federal Reserve System, Medicare & Medicaid, USDA, US Department of Education, US Department of Energy, US Department of the Interior, US Department of Justice, US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Veterans Affairs, US Defense Logistics Agency, US Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Senate, US Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, US Department of State, White House Writers Group, White House, HAE (Hungarian Energy & Public Utility Regulatory Authority), European Parliament, Europol, United Nations, International Economic Arbitration Court, United Nations Security Council, International Criminal Court

Other Notable Companies (typically mid-to upper management or IT personnel, etc.)

Facebook, Amazon, eHarmony, eInsurance, OpenTable, Expedia, Indeed, CareerBuilder, CDW, Groupon, PayPal, Citi, Uber, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Company, Hertz, Nike, FedEx, Cigna, BMI, QVC, The Home Depot, WalMart, Target, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Walt Disney World, Mayo Clinic, GE Healthcare, Delta Airlines, SAP, Deloitte & Touche, Nokia, Motorola, T-Mobile, Verizon, EarthLink, BitDefender, AVG, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Kerberos International, Honeywell, Tennessee Attorney General, US Attorney General, NASA, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, CERN, Missile Defense Agency, European Space Agency – EC, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), NIST, HUD, IRS, US Marshalls, DEA, CIA, US Marines, Pentagon, Office of the President – White House, Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO) of Iran, European Commission, IMF, Interpol

 

 

Scott’s Most Notable LinkedIn Connections

3,313 Connections

These connections are not in order of “importance,” but in chronological order of when we established a connection, from oldest to most recent.

 

  1. Global IT Manager, Apple
  2. CISO, TVA
  3. CIO, State of Tennessee, TennCare
  4. Director, US Department of Energy
  5. Director, Office of Policy, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
  6. Chief of Staff, US Department of Energy
  7. Kevin Mitnick, “The World’s Most Famous Hacker”
  8. VP, Head of Cyber Defense, Visa
  9. VP Cyber Programs, Raytheon
  10. CIO, Secret Service
  11. Chief, DHS Joint Analysis Group D-JAG
  12. Global Sr. VP, Symantec
  13. Chief Federal CyberSecurity Architect, Dell
  14. Deputy Director for Intelligence at US Pacific Command, US Navy
  15. Sr VP & CSO, AT&T
  16. Global CISO, Vonage
  17. Deputy Director, G6, NETCOM, ARCYBER, US Army
  18. Sr Cyber Security Manager, Lockheed Martin
  19. Director of Security, Google
  20. CISO, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
  21. Sr VP, US Public Sector, Cisco
  22. Director of Malware Intelligence, Malwarebytes
  23. Director Cyber, Lockheed Martin
  24. Sr Director, Global Customer Success, Malwarebytes
  25. Head of Global Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure
  26. Sr VP, Americas Partner Sales, Cisco
  27. President, FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Executive Board of Directors
  28. President & CEO, Symantec
  29. Member of Board of Directors, former Microsoft CIO
  30. Director, Systems Engineering, Cisco
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  32. Director, Global Security, Risk & Compliance Practice, Amazon Web Services
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LinkedIn and my Recent Adventures There, Part I

Posted by Scott Holstad on May 14, 2018

LinkedIn and my Recent Adventures There

 

My LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottholstad/

Let me first say that this is going to be a strange blog post. I’ve been wanting to write it for awhile, but the topic is fluid, always changing and growing, so it’s hard to set a point to write about it in absolute terms. Moreover, I have struggled with how to frame this topic. If I’m not careful, I’ll come off sounding like the most narcissistic braggart on the Internet. If I approach it more cavalierly, I risk insulting countless good and kind people who have reached out to me. I want to explain a situation, starting from the beginning and describing its evolution, both in my mind and in reality. Without coming across as a giant asshole. It’s a tough task I’m placing before myself. But I’m going to try. I expect the writing and editing of this post to take several days, as the situation remains fluid and evolving, and as I try to gather my thoughts and describe things in a hopefully careful way. I guess I’ll begin at the beginning.

I have been on LinkedIn for at least 13 years now. That’s a long time. If you’re somehow, and I don’t know how this would be possible, unfamiliar with it, it’s a professional networking site that originated as somewhat of a glorified online resume service where companies, recruiters, and employees/job candidates could find one another. Its scope has grown over time. While your profile still has the appearance of a fleshed-out resume, and one can make it as detailed or not as they wish, now it’s possible to join innumerable groups of professionals with similar interests, occupations, memberships and the like, to share information, interact with others, engage in educational activities, and seriously network like a fiend. I’ve read countless articles over the past six months that all assert that HR people and recruiters look for a candidate’s LinkedIn profile in addition to or in lieu of one’s resume, often after receiving a job application or after an interview. Having a good profile is evidence that you take your profession seriously and that you are to be taken seriously. And one way to be taken seriously is by both the number and types of “connections” you have on your profile, for LinkedIn shows how many professional connections each person has right beside their name, initially maxing out at 500, indicating a person has more with “500+” beside your name. There are two things to know about this. One, you can of course exceed 500 connections. Your actual number of connections, or “followers,” is reported beneath your profile “header” in your Activity feed. There you can see just how popular or “important” someone really is: Do they have 730 connections, do they have 2,100 connections, or do they have a monstrous 22,000 connections? It matters. The second thing to know is while your profile shows you maxed out at “500+” officially, and while you can exceed that and people can see the true number, there actually IS a maximum number of connections one can get on the site. It is 30,000. I’ve only “met” one person who had reached that figure, and he had started a second, “personal” account, which when I saw it last, had nearly 14,000 more connections! That is one seriously well connected person. An aside. There is a program I don’t know the exact details of called “L.I.O.N.” People who are L.I.O.N.s are people who are serious about networking, about collecting as many connections as possible, for a variety of reasons. Not everyone with a ton of connections is a L.I.O.N., but in order to become one, you basically have to be a connection hog. These people “advertise” the fact that they are such by listing “L.I.O.N.” after their name and title. That way, if you’re interested in obtaining more connections yourself, you can send them a connection request and rest assured that they will accept. Because, you see, that’s the downside to LinkedIn. While people can send you connection requests, and you can decide whether or not to accept them based on whatever your criteria is, people are most certainly NOT obligated to accept YOUR connection request you send them, which can be both insulting to some and can render a proud, or insecure, person humble within a brief time. If you send out 10 connection requests, but only one accepts, that indicates the other nine did not deem you worthy of connecting with for whatever reason. And there are many reasons. One is quite simply that you are not in an industry they care about and you have little to nothing in common, so they see no point in connecting with you. That’s pretty common. Another is many people only send out and accept connection requests from people they actually have met or know. Those are actually LinkedIn’s official guidelines, which almost no one follows. If you meet or know few people and subscribe to this philosophy, obviously your list of connections will be quite small. That is why many people join various groups – to connect with others of shared interests, etc., in an online forum, hoping it’ll lead to personal connections with some in the group. Or more often, most people send out connection requests to strangers, usually because they’re in a similar industry, are alumni from the same school, live in the same area, WANT to connect with a public or high profile person and are hoping for an acceptance, or something similar. Meanwhile, all of the research I’ve done over the past half year unanimously indicates that recruiters or HR professionals view people with few connections as less desirable, interprets the small number of connections as proof that no one wants to connect with you because you’re not professionally worthy – you’re small fry with no assets to offer anyone. Fair or not, true or not, these are irrelevant. It’s the perception that matters, so it behooves those who are job seeking, or who simply want to maintain a current or updated professional profile, to always be trying to add to their connections and make sure they have “enough,” whatever that means. And, yes, that has been quantified. I’ve seen published a consensus on the part of many recruiters that one should have at least 10 connections for every year of your birth, or if you are 30, you should have at least 300, and if you’re 45, you should have at least 450. The reasoning is, one should encounter at least 10 people in a full year they could legitimately connect with on a professional basis, just in your daily job, life, travels, meetings, etc. Yet, you’ll see numerous profiles that don’t meet this standard. I can’t count the number of profiles I’ve seen that have only 75 or 50 or 20 or even fewer than 10 connections. And what that tells me and what that tells recruiters is that this person doesn’t take their professional profile and professional life and making their online “resume” important seriously enough to make it as appealing as possible. These are people who are lazy or don’t give a shit. Again, that’s not always necessarily true and is often unfair, but that’s the perception, and in candor, that DOES describe a whole lot of people. They don’t take it seriously enough to enhance their profile, and thus recruiters aren’t going to take them seriously and they’ll lose out on job prospects. And this is fact, not conjecture. But back to L.I.O.N.s Being one can be a stigma, as some people – mostly recruiters – actively hate them, others observe them as attention or connection whores who don’t care about who they connect with – just that they do. The two arguments I’ve seen not to become one has been that it dilutes your connection pool, and subsequently everyone else who connects with you, and second, it somehow leads to exponential spam growth. As I’ve added connections, I’ve seen about 1-2% more unsolicited messages, emails, and the like, so possibly this is true of “pure” LIONS, but if you’re merely adding a lot of more “targeted” connections, I don’t believe this is true at all.

Earlier I wrote “one way to be taken seriously is by both the number and types of “connections” you have on your profile.” I’ve just addressed the number, or quantity. Now, the types, or quality. People want to see that you matter and that others think you matter. If all of your connections are what some would consider “minor league,” i.e., low level blue collar, secretarial, restaurant servers, etc., while there is nothing inherently wrong with those professions, people want to see that people higher up the career ladder than you are also connections, i.e., people above you take you seriously enough to connect with you publicly and professionally. So, not only your fellow administrators, but senior managers, a director, possibly even vice presidents or “C” level execs, such as COOs, CTOs, CISOs, or best, CEOs or Presidents of companies. Does it matter what the breakdown is between working grunts and higher ups as connections? I think the answer would vary from recruiter to recruiter, but I personally don’t think the ratio matters too much, at least the lower down the career ladder you are. As long as you have some “decent” connections, most can be at your level or even lower. But for people higher up in their career path or for people trying to scale the corporate ladder, the ratio DOES matter. You want as many connections higher up and more impressive than you for connections as possible. The more, the better. That’s why I’ve seen it written that when you send out “blind” connection requests, you should aim higher rather than lower, knowing your acceptance rate will be lower, but also knowing it’s highly likely that at least a certain percentage of these people will accept your request, thus enhancing your profile and hence your credentials. Because connection quality matters possibly as much as quantity, perhaps more so. Of course, it’s cool to connect with all of your friends, but unless your friends are all senior execs, you need to develop a strategy for attracting execs to connect with you. And two things can affect this. One, how fleshed out, fully developed, and thus appealing have you made your profile. Because that’s the number one thing. It is, after all, essentially your online resume no matter how you look at it. But the other variable that can factor in is, the more high level connections you have, the more OTHER high level people will want to connect with you, because they’ll see that you are desirable to some higher ups, and therefore to them as well – even if they don’t know why! Ultimately, your “regular employee” to “high level” or executive ratio should be tilted toward the higher, the better, because once you’ve achieved that, such people will be sending YOU connection requests based on the quality of your connections, which they’ll want to join. Fact, not conjecture.

All of which brings me to my story…

To Be Continued…

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