[1. Tom Hashemi]
For those of you here for a specific reason, you'll find some navigation links at the top of the page which should help you find what you are looking for. If you are here for a casual browse, then please go right ahead and casually browse. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch using any of the methods below and I'll get back to you shortly.
Read the ramble or skip to the next section
After having this site act as solely a virtual CV for some time, I thought I would add a bit more character to it - a little something to engage with if you find yourself reading this on a rainy day.
There's going to be no particular theme to any of these ramblings of mine, nor will they remain on the site once a new one goes up, and I doubt there will be any kind of regularity to them. So, without further ado, I thought I'd ramble on the topic of social media.
A few days ago I joined a couple of colleagues in talking to some University of Chicago students about job prospects and life after university. One thing that I had meant to talk about - and failed to - was social media. So here's a little soliloquy to compensate.
Let's start with a clichéd claim: social media is important.
It's very important. And I'm not talking about social media and the world of corporate PR, I'm talking about personal PR, your
PR. Social media is about making Tom Hashemi Ltd. into the primary point of call for everyone I know when they want to talk websites, business, Bitcoin, research, Iran, Israel... anything I have even a remote interest in.
And it's easy to do.
You'll notice my Instagram feed on this site. My parents regularly mock me for the photos I take of the food I eat. It is indeed rather sad, but it works. When I post a photo of a crispy bacon sandwich overflowing with calorific mayonnaise, accompanied by crispy cos lettuce and crunchy cucumber chunks, I get likes and I get comments. I get them on Instagram, I get them on Facebook, and I get them on Twitter. When I post pictures of my food I am encouraging people to engage with Tom Hashemi Ltd., and they oblige. And that goes for everything: holiday photos, photos of the cat that was run over this morning outside the park, photos of the policeman asleep in his car.
Rants are even better than photos: you simply cannot make up some of the things life throws at you, the funny stuff, the annoying stuff, the downright random stuff. People relate to this; c'est la vie. Rants are much better content engagers than photos. You don't always see something worth taking a photo of everyday, but you certainly find something to rant about. It doesn't even have to be a long one...just complain about something.
Maybe it's because I'm British, and most of my social media connections are too, and as everyone knows Brits love to complain. But I think it's broader than that. Everyone
loves to complain. Complaining is part and parcel of socialising.
If you are one of the nearly 3,000 people I have on one of my social media accounts and you came here from one of those accounts, you may well be feeling like you've been played. After all, if the only reason I use social media is to provoke engagement - and that would be true - then you've just fallen hook, line and sinker for it. You're reading this and you're engaging with Tom Hashemi Ltd., right? And if five sentences ago you weren't thinking about being played, you are certainly thinking about it now.
But that makes it out to be a one way street and it is not. Social media is by its very nature 'social'. Social media keeps you in touch with me and hopefully allows us to build something together. Something where everyone wins. And it happens. Here are three examples of how social media has generated me income that would not have
happened if it were not for social media. And that is a categorical statement. None of the following examples would have occurred if I didn't use social media the way I do to maintain and build relationships.
The first one is, given the economic climate, not a bad one to start with. About ten months ago I was offered a temp role without interview or CV application - I simply shot someone a message on Facebook and two days later I started. I've been with the same company ever since and don't plan on leaving any time soon (tempting fate there...).
The second is for those budding entrepreneurs among you: when I have ideas, I tell people about them. I tell people about them on social media. And sometimes people bite. Most people will tell you to keep your ideas close to your chest, I simply could not disagree more: tell everyone you trust about it. Remember that very few people will have the balls to actually go and do something new, and of those people how many are both willing to steal your idea and
actually be interested enough in what you have come up with to give it a go. Those are big barriers to entry. Through Facebook I've had someone buy one of my ideas and invest tens of thousands of dollars into it. Is posting photos of food still sad?
And the last example is of building up a reputation for a regular business, website development in my case. On an almost monthly occurrence I reach out or am contacted by someone about new website work. These are people that I simply would not speak to if it weren't for social media. It is business that I would not otherwise be generating.
Those are my three examples, each on its own I think is a good enough reason for you to think about how you approach social media and how you could use it for your benefit.
So let's go back to the clichéd claim: social media is important.
It's very important. It's important for Joe Bloggs Ltd., your personal brand. It builds your reputation. And what better time to start making an effort into improving that brand than now. I've even done the hard work for you, you just need to hit one of the buttons below to start engaging your social network with something that, given that you got to the end of this ramble, I hope you found entertaining/useful/interesting (delete as appropriate).
And, of course, start posting photos of your food. Reach out to me on Instagram (username: tomhashemi
) and I'll increase your follower count by one - but only if the food looks good.
My latest postings on Instagram...or skip to the next section
[2. Website Design]
I learned HTML and CSS back in 2003-2004 in the era of IE6, a far cry from today's HTML5 compliant browsers for sure. Back then a site as simple this would have posed some serious issues, and that's just thinking about the fonts.
My first website business came a few years later in 2005: coupling UK-based clients with India-based developers, I took the maintenance contracts after the completion of the website. It was quite a fun little enterprise and I haven't looked back since. I do all my own website development work nowadays, hiring in friends of mine to fill in any gaps (video production/ graphic design). I am always happy to talk through any questions or queries you may have, I am super responsive to emails and, perhaps most importantly, I offer very competitive rates.
Below are a selection of some of my most recent projects. There are many others floating about so if you would like to see a larger selection, do reach out.
Custom design and code | Copy writing
Mailing list integration | Customized slider
WordPress integration | Fonts & icons by Prod Designs
Custom Website Design | Search friendly
Full support | Mailing lists | Email set up
HTML | CSS | PHP | WordPress
Content migration | Specialised search function
Social media friendly | Three months 24/7 support
Email marketing set up (inc. design of newsletters)
Template customisation | Quick turnaround
Plugin support | Integration with WordPress
Ongoing website management
[3. Edelman Berland]
During the working week you can find me at Edelman's London offices on Victoria Street. The family-run company is already the world's largest PR firm and it intends on continuing to grow, fuelled in no small part by its research and strategic consultancy arm. Working for the department in question - Edelman Berland - brings with it a wealth of opportunities, responsibilities and challenges. I'm looking forward to seeing how the company develops over the next few years, it's an exciting place to be.
[4. Past Ventures]
TheRiskyShift.com Founder-director, December 2011 - January 2013
was an international politics commentary website I set up in December 2011 to bridge the gap between academia and journalism, as well as to provide a forum for young thinkers to voice their opinions on international politics. I was unfortunately unable to continue working on the site once taking up my position with Edelman Berland.
In the year or so that I ran the site, we established a contributor database over a hundred strong, were nearing a quarter of a million annual unique visitors, and were growing at nearly 30% per month. We had established cross-posting agreements with the Center for International Maritime Security and the Atlantic Council of Canada, our content was being aggregated by Google News, our podcast was featured on iTunes, and we were selected to review forthcoming publications from Cambridge University Press, Harvard University Press and John Hopkins University Press.
I was featured as Smarta's "Home Business Hero" for my work with TheRiskyShift.com back in October 2012.
You can read the interview here
Access Granted Founder-director, Sept. 2009 - Dec. 2009
Access Granted was a freshers' week promotional business that I ran during the first term of the university year in 2009.
Students purchased a wristband for £5 (design below) which gave them discounts in tens of clubs, taxi firms, and fast food restaurants (and a fancy dress shop).
With the heavy use of promotional material, social media marketing, and a 20-strong sales team, Access Granted sold over 1,500 units in its first two weeks.
The business model was subsequently adopted by a leading player in the Manchester promotions sector.
Dulwich Garden Centre Landscaping Founder-director, March 2008 - Sept. 2008
I re-established the landscaping division of this reputable south London garden centre before leaving to study in Manchester.
In six short months the business grew substantially; when I left it had ten employees (having started with just myself) and had produced an operating profit of £10,000.
MA Terrorism, Security & Society, King's College London
[High merit - 69]
- Terrorism & Counterterrorism
- The Occupied Territories
- The International Politics of the Middle East
- Homegrown Radicalisation & Counter-radicalisation in the West [audited]
Thesis analysed the extent to which multiculturalism can be considered to be a factor in the radicalisation of British Muslims.
BA(Hons) Modern Middle Eastern History, The University of Manchester
[Upper second class degree - 64]
- Contemporary Turkey
- Controversies in Collective Memory and Politics
- British Politics & Society Since 1959
- The Middle East and the Cold War
- Revolutions in the 20th Century
- The Modern Literatures of the Middle East
Thesis challenged the accepted historical narrative of the Suez Crisis, arguing that the blame for the debacle should be laid at the feet of the Eisenhower Administration rather than at those of Anthony Eden.
[6. Select Writing]
Brits don't trust BRICs
September 2013 [edelmaneditions.com]
Getting Your Five A Day?
January 2013 [edelmanberland.com]
The Second Amendment: An Outdated, Ideological Fallacy
December 2012 (co-authored with Peter Kelly) [theriskyshift.com]
Telling Muslims To 'Do One' Is Not Pragmatism
September 2012 [theriskyshift.com]
Multiculturalism In Modern Discourse
September 2012 [theriskyshift.com]
An Introduction To Terrorist Organisational Structures
June 2012 [theriskyshift.com]
Does the killing of bin Laden represent a watershed in US-Pakistan relations?
Awarded the 2012 Zafrullah Khan Memorial Prize by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. [PDF]
'Jerusalem is the main stumbling block for peace'. Discuss.
January 2012. Written for Dr. Ahron Bregman, King's College London. Awarded a high distinction. [PDF]
"When you hire people in this business it can be hit or miss because the market is oversaturated. But in a sea of too many options,
Tom's website development really stands out. I have hired him twice to build two websites and I was very happy with the results.
Tom was creative, on time, patient, and very professional throughout the process. Hire Tom for your website. You wont regret it."
"I had the chance to work with Tom at Moore Stephens UK, a top 10 chartered accountancy firm. His working discipline,
thirst and talent to learn, ability to socialise, and enthusiasm no matter the task made a very good, lasting impression on my colleagues and I."
"From TRS' launch to date, I have witnessed Tom's brainchild grow into the success it is today as a direct result of his personal commitment, hard graft, creative approach, and entrepreneurial mindset. Tom's original writing and editing style, strong grasp of web development and social media, combined with a supportive yet no-nonsense business accruement, has earned him the respect of colleagues, contributors, and key stake-holders alike. It has been refreshing to work alongside him."
"At Queen of Hearts (Mitchells & Butlers) we worked in collaboration with Tom and Access Granted on a number of occasions.
His promotional work led to a noticeable increase in trade in the form of food and drinks revenue for our venue; one of many venues on the Fallowfield
strip to benefit from Access Granted. I look forward to following Tom's career with interest as I am certain he will continue to innovate, and do great things.
The UK is crying out for young savvy entrepreneurs right now, and Tom certainly falls into this category."
© 2013 TomHashemi.com. All rights reserved.
The background photo is the view from one of my favourite parts of London: Waterloo Bridge.
It was taken by Andy Matthews and you can view the original here.