Archive for the ‘LinkedIn’ Category

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This is going to be fairly quick post as, frankly, I just don’t have the energy to go too deep into much of anything. Turkey hangover (smile). That being said, here are four social media applications that peeked my curiosity this past week. They are HootSuite, Mr. Tweet, Klout, and Feedly. I have not had much time to play with any of these other than to get them set up and give them a whirl. I would suggest that you do the same as each has some very interesting applications.

HootSuite has been around for some time and has been viewed by many as a very effective Twitter client. Some folks swear by it over more well-known tools like TweetDeck and Seesmic. Well, it just got better. To my knowledge, HootSuite is the first to integrate LinkedIn updates into its feed selection. Mind you, others will follow and will follow quickly now that LinkedIn has opened up its API to developers but, there is something to be said for being first (smile).

Unlike TweetDeck and Seesmic’s Desktop client, there is no software to load. It is entirely web based. You can track both multiple Twitter and FaceBook accounts and will also follow your FaceBook fan pages starting next week. You may display up to 3 columns on a page at any time. However, you can have more columns than that and it is super easy to scroll across the page to reveal the additional columns. Not being able to do that easily is something I have always hated about both TweetDeck and Seesmic. Then again, maybe I’m just stupid and can’t figure it out (smile). In addition to columns, you can also add multiple tabs. So, I have a Twitter tab and one for FaceBook and one for LinkedIn. Each tab can also have columns. Think searches and, yes, it also supports Twitter lists and can import those from your account.  Hootsuite will also let you update to Ping.fm which gives you a variety of other sites that you can send to. For example, I use Ping.fm for Ning.

There are two features about Hootsuite that I have always loved. You do have the ability to send your updates now or at a specified time later. You can even do that with FaceBook. And then there is the Hootlet. This button sits on my toolbar and when I am at I site I find interesting, I can just click on that button and an update is created, the URL is shortenend, I can select any or all of my feed accounts, and decide to send that update now or later. That’s why I call this HootSweeet! Finally, HootSuite will also handle RSS feeds. I am thinking of it as an alternative to Twitterfeed which has been a little bit flaky as of late.

Mr. Tweet is a name that I had seen before but had never investigated. Yesterday I was followed by a local company and received an automated message that they had found me on Mr. Tweet. Hmmmm, said I. So, I went there to take a look. Sign up and Mr. Tweet will go to work analyzing your Twitter account and will direct message you later (about 1/2 hour) when it is prepared to share that information with you. Builds that sense of anticipation and curiosity (smile). Get your notification and follow the link to your page. What it does is analyze who you follow and who follows you and based on a set of algorithms suggests folks that you may wish to follow. If you do, they will get that automated message. It also suggests folks that you seem to engage with a lot and offers you an interface, if you wish, to write them a recommendation. Now, in my humble opinion, if you are out on Twitter and LinkedIn and begging for recommendations, you are truly missing the boat. Nothing makes me feel better than to write a recommendation for somebody who I appreciate and so doing without being asked. And the person that opens that little unexpected present … how do you think they feel about that? Probably the same way (smile).

Klout  is another interesting Twitter analytic tool. It takes your account, analyzes it, and provides a wide range of statistical information in various categories about just what kind of Tweeter you really are. It also makes suggestions on how to improve. Klout also suggests who in your circle are likely influencing you and others in your circle who may be influenced by you. It gives you and overall “Klout Score” which I would interpret as just how much of a Twitter heavyweight you really are. I would suggest that nobody gets “participation points”. Klout is a tough grader. I got a 33 and, yes, that is out of 100 (smile). Another interesting feature is that you can enter anybody’s twitter name and, if they are registered with Klout, you can learn the same things about them. Knowledge is …power (smile).

I’ve heard this name on and off for some time. Most recently, I have seen a number of articles about how this application will soon be available for Chrome and how excited folks are about that and that they may now be willing to switch over from FireFox. Chrome is starting to offer extensions now in case you missed that. At any rate, Feedly works with my Google Reader and presents these articles in a more user-friendly format. I can also share articles to Twitter, FaceBook etc. I can even do this with folks that subscribe to my reader or Feedly account. Feedly also comes with a little toolbar that pops up vertically on the lower right corner of the screen. You can disengage this, by the way. This toolbar is another “sharing tool”. If I like what I am reading on a page, I can click on the Twitter or FaceBook icons to share it our even email it. I really have not played with this app, however, I do have an idea for a business model where it may come into play.

Happy day after Thanksgiving! Thanks for visiting!

Craig

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linkedin_mobileNo, this is not a BlackBerry to the left. It’s an iPhone displaying it’s LinkedIn application. If you have ever looked at this application on your BlackBerry, you likely did not look a second time. However, it’s been a big week for both of these corporate standards…….

LinkedIn: LinkedIn made several announcements this week. Their pages have gone through, may continue to be going through, a substantial redesign that places more emphasis on status updates. Can you say Twitter and FaceBook? Speaking of Twitter, you can now Tweet your status directly from LinkedIn. While this is kind of cool, I have been updating my status to LinkedIn via Ping.fm for some time now. You can also now “follow” others and, with the paid version, organize your profiles. I was at a seminar earlier this year and the presenter asked the question “How many of you have FaceBook set as your home page?”. A number of hands went up and I was frankly surprised. You actually conduct your day-to-day tasks with FaceBook being your focus? I do have to wonder how many hands would have gone up if that same question were asked about LinkedIn.

There was other big news from LinkedIn and this affects BlackBerry users. BlackBerrys like … mine. The new LinkedIn app is coming soon and it looks very much like the cool app already available for the iPhone. Read about it on the LinkedIn blog. Finally, LinkedIn has also introduced its Personal Plus paid accounts at $60 per year vs. the previously lowest price paid version of about $300 per year. Read about this on the WindMill Networking blog.

BlackBerry: Several addtional announcements were made by RIM this week including the introduction of the Storm II. As my service (T-Mobile) does not even offer the Storm I, this has little effect on me. Loopt came out with a new version of its geo location app for BlackBerry. I had installed this app a couple of weeks ago, pronounced it as being lame and a battery killer, and then was enticed to take another look. The interface has been vastly improved and I was advised by a friend, Dean Larson, to turn off the GPS when the application is not running to preserve battery power. Maybe I’m stupid but I had ass/u/med that if the application was not open, that it was not sucking juice. That would be wrrro, wrrroon, wrrroooong (smile).

Also coming soon is Xobni for the BlackBerry. I have Xobni in use with my Outlook account and just love it! Having it for my BlackBerry? Sweet! If you go to the Xobni site there is a spot where you can sign up to be notified as soon as this app becomes available.

So, it’s been a pretty exciting week for those of us who don’t have all of the coolest toys on the planet. At least we have not yet been sent to the Island of Misfit Toys but we have been close to getting our tickets (smile). This is the best thing about competition. Both LinkedIn and BlackBerry have great products that have been around a long time. Kind of like Oldsmobile. O.K., bad reference (smile). The point is that both seem to have recognized that in order to maintain their individual relevance, they need to step up their game.

Thanks for visiting!

Craig

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UpcomingEventsIconDisclaimer: As with everything on this site, the following is representative of my best assessment of the tools discussed and their features and functions. As such, it is recommended that you not take my word as “being law” (smile).

Before we get into Part II of this subject, I might suggest that you read Part I. Then, as we delve into this further, I very much want you to THINK LINK. Links are perhaps the most under-appreciated rock stars of the internet industry. They are like that Intel commercial with the engineer who invented the USB (smile). On top of that, you also have hyperlinks that allow you to make anything into a one click transport to anywhere you please on the web.

When you “think link” … think about this: link from your website to an event, link from an event to your website, link from your email to an event or a website,  or link from an event to a registration form. The list goes on and on and they are invaluable for what we are about to discuss. And finally, we are going to be discussing at least four major sites that you can create your event on. As the goal is to make your event as easy to find as possible for your potential attendees …. if it’s me, I’m going to be making it visible wherever I can (multiple sites) and then provide links, where necessary, to complete the registration process.

This is all going to be pretty down and dirty. We’ll explore some options and maybe provide you with some ideas. Of course, lots of links to let you explore more on your own (smile).  Away we go …

Ning: Ning provided the incentive for this blog post so we will start here. If you are not familiar with this platform, Ning is a free service that allows you to create your own social network and in a lot of ways it incorporates FaceBook-like features. I have created three networks on Ning: two for our networking groups and one for Sales & Marketing Executives of Boise. Please feel free to visit our Bing! and Business Minds group sites.

Ning allows you to create a very nice event announcement, allows folks to RSVP to your event, and provides the ability to automatically email professional invitations to a variety of your contact lists. A link is provided in the email to go directly to the event to sign up. However, prior to being allowed to do this, you must go through the process of signing up for membership in the network itself. This is kind of like Ning’s version of the registration. This is great if your network is open which means that anybody can join. In that way, the process of registration should not be that difficult. If you choose to employ this method, I would suggest that you make your “open Ning network” completely open. If you choose to moderate membership requests, you are going to create a loss of registration opportunity while the person who wishes to attend your event awaits your approval to join your site. Not good.

Our networking sites, while visible to the public, are closed. Anybody can request membership but only our members are granted that authorization. One shortcoming of Ning is that it is either private or public. If it is private, nobody can view the site. If it is public, anybody can request to join. I wish Ning had a third option that would allow folks to navigate the site but not even allow them to request admittance but, for now at least, they don’t. So, using Ning to send out invitations creates a problem for us.

Suggested solution: Disable “RSVP”. Within the body of the event description provide a link back to whatever site you wish to use for on-line registration. This may be your website, your blog, or a third-party service like EventBrite (more on EventBrite later). Your event also has a field for a phone number for attendees to call to make reservations. Do not ask Ning to send out invitations. Instead, when you click on the event itself, look up at your web address bar on your browser and copy the identified URL. This is the direct link to this event and will allow folks to view the event on your site without them having to sign up for the site. They won’t even be asked to join your group. You may then, using standard email or something like iContact or Constant Contact (more on these later), include this link to your event as a part of your email message. Not perfect. Not optimum. But it will work.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn does present one opportunity not found present on Ning….. massive membership numbers. Anybody with a LinkedIn account will be able to find, view, and “register” for your event. While you can invite your connections on LinkedIn to your event, there is no provision to send your invitation out to others outside of your immediate LinkedIn connection list. Our suggested solution is very much like Ning … When you set up an event on LinkedIn you will also find a field where LinkedIn will generate a URL for the event web address. I did conduct a test and you can email that URL to folks you have on any contact list and they will be able to follow that back to view the event. They will need to be members of LinkedIn in order to confirm attendance so you will want to provide that link to your registration site. In addition, you can also choose to advertise your event on LinkedIn. I am guessing that this is a fee based service. One note of caution, unless things have changed, you had best plan to hold that event because the last time I tried to cancel one, there was no way to do that without going to support and asking them to do it for you. Lame. I consider the definitive guidebook on LinkedIn to be “Windmill Networking“. Click here to go to Neal’s site.

This is turning out to be a more complex topic than I had originally envisioned. My guess is that this is going to go to four parts (smile). I’ll try to do one daily to keep them all together. Thanks for visiting!

Craig

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dixietrend.com

dixietrend.com

I was looking at my iGoogle Home Page yesterday and realized that I have a least 10 different ways to share updates and content to the sites I frequent and can do so without every having to leave that page with the exception of when I am visiting a specific website. Even then, my browser toolbars remain stationary. For my purposes, I am pretty much strictly on three social networking sites: Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. However, at least one of the tools that I am going to discuss on this post will allow me to post to a large variety of other sites if I so desired. Today, we’ll talk about 7 and each is a bookmarklet, or button, on my browser toolbar. For the record, I am still using FireFox 3.1 as 3.5 was causing stability issues with some gadgets and flat out was not compatible with others. A colleague of mine found that he had to delete toolbars altogether to get by similar issues with FireFox 3.5. Having done that, he tells me that it runs flawlessly. Not ready to go that route … yet (smile). Moving from left to right on my FireFox toolbar we have:

Share on LinkedIn: The link to load this bookmarklet can be found at the bottom of your LinkedIn home page. FYI, at the time that I first upgraded to FireFox 3.5, this tool was not compatible and was, therefore, disabled. At any rate, should you see an article that you wish to share on LinkedIn, from the article page itself, click on the bookmarklet and away you go. Please note that sharing articles on LinkedIn is not the same as changing your update. When sharing an article you are actually either posting it to a group page or sending a notice out to your first degree contacts that they may wish to see the article. However, it’s perfect for this task and does allow you to also provide your comments regarding the post.

Hootlet: This button is provided by HootSuite. It is designed to be primarily a Twitter tool. When I say “primarily”, HootSuite will integrate with Ping.fm which gives you the ability to post to multiple sites so you could also use it for that. For Twitter purposes, however, once again from the website page you wish to share, click on the Hootlet button and a Tweet is prepared for you complete with a HootSuite shortened URL (ow.ly format) and the article title. You can also add your comments within the 140 character limit. What is very cool about this tool is that I can choose to send the Tweet now or schedule it to go out later by date and time in 5 minute increments.

Share on Posterous: I’m going to be doing a fairly sizeable post on Posterous maybe later this week but this button is great for posting content directly to your Posterous blog which can then, incidentally, be auto posted (forwarded) to a variety of sites. (more…)

allpositiveoptions.com

allpositiveoptions.com

I’ll admit it. I’m more than a little frustrated about now. I have spent a considerable amount of time looking for the perfect application, widget, gadget, or whatever else you might want to call it that will allow me to easily share what I want, and how I want to do it, on the specific social media sites of my choosing. I still can’t seem to find it and I am hoping somebody will comment on this post with the solution I seek. Primarily through trial and error, here’s my established criteria:

  1. I want to be able to selectively share on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, or simultaneously on up to all three. One pass and one click. Check the boxes you want to share on.
  2. I want to be able to share content to include links, photos, videos, whatever, and all with one click from the web page that I may be reading.
  3. I will want this app to fill in the content name, provide a shortened link if applicable, and allow me to comment on the post.
  4. When I share content to FaceBook, FaceBook recognizes the link and does that “content conversion” thing to show what the post was about.
  5. This application will also provide me with a way to easily send just a written update to any or all three of these services.
  6. I am not interested in something that will also allow me to monitor feeds from these sites. I have other apps that already do that well and don’t need, or want, another.
  7. I’m looking for a magic “button” that resides on my browser.

Here’s what I am using and why they do not meet these criteria. Please note that, for the areas listed, if these apps do in fact have these capabilities, I sure as hell can’t figure out how to do it (smile). Your corrections and advice will be highly appreciated!

  1. TweetDeck or Seesmic: You need to cut and paste link info into the Tweet. Will also update to FaceBook but not to LinkedIn. Need to open the full client.
  2. SocialScope: This is a BlackBerry app. It is, without question, the best Twitter app out there for the BlackBerry. IMHO. It comes close to meeting my needs as a sharing platform, however, my BlackBerry is painfully slow on web page loads and I want a desktop app. This will also not update to LinkedIn.
  3. HootSuite: A great app and the Hootlet button is fab for grabbing content but, will not update to LinkedIn or FaceBook.
  4. Streamy: May be the closest thing on a desktop but will not update to LinkedIn and is a full blown Twitter / FaceBook client. It also includes, however, a great reader and you can import feeds straight from your Google Reader account if desired.
  5. Google Reader: They have just added a “send to” feature in Google Reader but it only works from within Reader itself and does not include LinkedIn. No way to send plain text updates.
  6. Digsby: I looked at this yesterday and had high hopes. It will share to all three sites and does so nicely. It is also a full client that seems to run in the background. However, it just did not seem completely polished and my computer speed seemed to slow down substantially. Maybe just me? FYI. This was the only app I saw that actually will monitor update feeds from LinkedIn.
  7. ShareThis: Works with all three sites and is a simple button on my browser. You do have to send different posts for all three sites, however. And, it does force you to send content to both FaceBook and LinkedIn. No simple text updates.
  8. GizaPage: If all you are interested in is having one page where you can go and tab click to each of your actual social media sites, look at GizaPage. This site is actually designed as a place for you to send folks to learn more about you and connect to you. One link on your signature line. However, if you go to the page it will recognize you as the owner (at least from your desktop) and then you can go to any of your sites and operate them just as you would if you went to them directly.

Here seem to be the two best for what I want to do:

  1. Hellotxt: This does not meet my exact specifications but it does allow you to update simultaneously to multiple sites, including LinkedIn, and include content on the updates. It’s really pretty cool. Check it out.
  2. Ping.fm: Very similar to Hellotxt. Practically a twin. Also has some interesting apps including HootSuite and I had noticed previously that these two have some sort of relationship.

Ultimately, all of this comes down to specific needs and applications. Each of these tools excels in different areas. You will probably settle on selecting a few.

Thanks for visiting!

Craig

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