Posts Tagged 'Linkedin'

Ten Minutes Blogging School

One of my best friends decided to make a move and start blogging. He asked for my guidance, and instead of keeping it between us, I decided to post it here. So, here we go – welcome to the Ten Minutes Blogging School:

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1. Choose a Platform – you are looking for a combination of flexibility and stability. Flexibility is the ability to add widgets, video players, badges and so on. Stability is the total uptime of the system. Therefore you need a well known service. I am using wordpress.com as it offers a good enough flexibility (they approve every application separately so not everything is working on their platfor

m out of the box) and they provide a reliable service. Another great thing about WordPress is that you can later install your own version of the platform and get maximum flexibility with zillion plugins that are av

ailable for the WordPress platform but not implemented in wordpress.com

2. Buy a Domain – so now you have a blog in wordpress.com. Its address looks like xxxx.wordpress.com. You don’t want that. Buy a domain (from Godady for example), upgrade your wordpress.com account by buying 10 credits ($10), and redirect the blog to that address. So instead of having a long and annoying address, you will have one tailored for you. It is very important to get this thing done first – so all the links to your blog from external resources will be done to the new URL.

3. Go to Feedburner and create an RSS feed – find the RSS feed address that wordpress.com gives you and “burn” it with Feedburner to get an independent RSS feed. The reason is that your RSS address is very important in order to maintain readership over time. If tomorrow you will decide to move to your own hosted wordpress platform, or change your bloggin infrastructure, you will still need to keep the original RSS feed address.
4. Choose the template you like and start writing!

That’s it for the technical stuff. Now for the real thing – Community and Promotion

5. Identify other blogs and sites in the same topics. Comment on them regularly with your blog address in the identification. other readers will find your blog this way, and you will get more incoming links

6. Add your blog link to your Facebook profile, and import its RSS feed to your notes. You can also open a Facebook group and invite your friends to it. Use it to keep in touch with your readers.

7. Add the blog to your Linkedin profile, in case it is relevant to your business, or you believe your business contacts will be interested in it.

8. If you are on Twitter, use TwitterFeed to push your post to your Twitter friends. Use it carefully, and try to communicate using Twitter for other topics as well.

9. Constantly post your posts to Digg, Del.icio.us and StambleUpon

10. Answer your comments – it is the way your readers communicate with you. It takes time but it worth the effort.

Is that it?

No, there are many strategies, and technics to write and promote a blog. But these things are the basics to get you going. Remember – write about your passion, you will have the best posts if you’ll do that.

Good luck to all the new bloggers among us!

Social Networks For Business – 7 Tips and Tricks

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Many people don’t have time to use social networks. They are too busy with emails, phone calls and face to face meetings, in order to get engaged – whether it’s work or fun. This is a major issue for most people who are trying to use social media tools as part of their business tool box.

I’ve went through several phases in my social media activities, starting with first limited steps in social networks such as LinkedIn, moving to the interactive Facebook, and using the hyper-interactive Twitter. Over time I found that I am investing a lot in communicating, on the expense of being the most effective and efficient in my communication and work. One of the causes of this phenomena is the overload social networks and tools are putting on all of us, with multiple updates and feeds.

Also, the amount of my connections affects my communication pattern as I wrote in the past. Therefore, in the recent months I’ve changed my communication pattern to better fit my needs, and support my other activities.

However, social networks and social media in general provide great business benefits if handled correctly.

In a business, I don’t believe that conversation is the most important thing. Efficiency and effectiveness are the goals of every business, in order to successfully compete in the market.

How can you balance between the social media noise, and the hidden value in its tools?

Here are my tips on how to do that. Would love to hear on how you are doing it:

If you are the ADD type, already involved in more networks then you can handle:

  1. Separate leisure and work – you know that time in day when you are not focused? Sometimes you’ll go to Facebook and check what’s going on there, get into a conversation, read some notes, and just go around the network. It is ok – if you decided that you are willing to invest your free time in having fun in Facebook. Would you do something else that is fun right now, not online, if you had the chance? If the answer is yes, then everything is ok. If the answer is no – read a blog or a newspaper to relax your brain. Social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, can suck you in and make you loose sense of time. And you don’t want that in on working hours.
  2. Aggregate feeds from various social networks using Friendfeed or Spokeo – these tools aggregate activities of your connections from different networks in one page. It is very useful, and helps you not only keep in touch with your friends and business contacts, but also find new ones.
  3. Kick out spammers from your network – yes, sounds logical, but it is not necessarily done in a consistent manner. When someone sends me 6 useless Facebook apps – it is time to say goodbye. After that, there is less communication overload with stupid interactions.
  4. Understand when you want to communicate and when you want to do something else – A good friend of mine told me once, when I was all over Facebook, that there is a limit to the amount of interaction one wants to be involved in. At the time I thought he was dead wrong, but now I see that it is true. I’d like to interact only part of my day, and in many cases I need the ability to concentrate and reach a goal. Twitter, IM, and Facebook should be closed at these times unless they are used for the same task.

If you are not hooked yet, but understand there is a value in social networks for your work, and you want to be effective and efficient in using them:

  1. Maintain your social network periodically – once a month, upload your contacts to Linkedin or Facebook and invite relevant people to your circle of contacts. discipline is the secret. You can reduce the effort required by uploading all your contacts to gmail or yahoo mail, and let the networks retrieve the information from there. It takes less time than uploading your address book to each platform separately.
  2. Embed social networks activity in your work day:
    • Update your online address back immediately after you return from a conference. Connect to the guys you met as soon as you can. Size and quality of your networks correlates with the value you will drive from it. Foster it.
    • Add your social networks to your bookmarks toolbar so they will be easily accessible. The more you use them, the more they value you get from it.
    • Use social networks as source of information – whenever you have a question, don’t just ask google. Ask your network as well. You will be amazed how much high quality information lies in Linkedin and Facebook.
    • Spend 10-20 minutes of your work day for social networks updates. Go through Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter every morning to see what’s new and who is talking about what. I am doing it with my morning coffee. Friendfeed and Spokeo can also come handy, but go through the sites themselves once in a while.
  3. Increase your networks’ value – connect to key people in the industry, thought leaders, experts, key decision makers and so on. The value of network is driven from the aggregated quality of its members, and not only by its size. Invest 30 minutes a week in looking for key people in your network and connect with them. It is worth it.

All those tips are completely irrelevant if you just want to chat with friends. But if you are business oriented user, I hope it would help you to get more value from time spent these social networks.

Page_11.png Thinking About Social Networks Taken by Jeff Pulver

LinkedIn Adds Profile Pictures – So What?

In a recent move to stop bleeding users from LinkedIn to Facebook, the company announced that it added profile photo feature. It was covered by heavy weights such as CNN, and Wall Street Journal.

Some might see it as a move in the right direction, that will make LinkedIn more friendly to users, and even change the way people see this platform.

As I’ve said in the past, LinkedIn is mainly a dynamic address book. I am impressed with the speed that my contacts are answering my questions in LinkedIn, but it is still far from being a communication mean at the same ball park (not even talking about level) of Facebook.

Xing for example had profile photos from day one – and still it is used differently then Facebook, and provides less interaction between me and my network.

Each network has its place – LinkedIn addition is nice, too late too little kind of thing, and certainly won’t change the current social networking dynamics.

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Facebook vs. Linkedin – An unpopular opinion

Everybody are using Facebook. At least a lot of bloggers. And yes, I am there too. I am using it to communicate with friends, as well as my business partners.

It is the most efficient social network I know, and I spend a lot of time during the day actually working with it. I market events in Facebook, create special interest groups, and connect to new people. Linkedin seems to be a boring corporate product with no fun at all.

Some of my friends left Linkedin for Facebook. Jeff’s announcement about it even made it to Techmeme front page.

However, here are several questions I ask myself when I read these statements:

1.Does Facebook and Linkedin serve the same need? Not for me. I am using Linkedin as a dynamic address book, that helps me to keep track of my business contacts. I also use it in order to find and connect with new people professionally. I use Facebook to interact with my friends and business partners. It is a completely different need and function. One does not replace the other. If you want to know my job and contact details,contact me through Linkedin. If you to know me – connect with me through Facebook.

2. What can reduce Facebook efficiency and usability for me? Two main things can make me stop using Facebook – too much advertisement and spam. Considering the fact that Facebook needs to make money, advertisement will grow. Spam is controlled in the network today, but the minute I’ll get an unsolicited email, I’ll shut down my profile and move to another network. Which brings me to the next point.

3. Does Facebook treat me as a customer or as a hostage? This is by far the most irritating issue in Facebook approach. Linkedin sees me as a customer. I have ownership on my contact list, and I can export it to my outlook without too much effort. Facebook approach is just the opposite – if you want to keep in touch with YOUR friends you have to do it through the site, as they don’t allow you to export their contact details easily. And don’t start telling me privacy is an issue – THESE ARE MY FRIENDS. If they don’t want me to have their contact details they won’t connect with me in the first place. If Facebook cannot keep their customers happy without forcing them to use their site as communication mean, they have a problem with their value proposition. If they think they offer good enough service, why don’t they allow me to export MY FRIENDS’ contact details easily?

I am using and continue to use both Linkedin and Facebook. Both are good services. I hope that Facebook will allow me, the user, to decide what to do with my contact list.

michelle_horn

Another Hostage

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