Monday 31 October 2011

Get More from LinkedIn Updates

As mentioned in a previous post, I spend more time on LinkedIn these days. Here are some more hints I've picked up from other people recently which are worth sharing.

Connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile. I prefer to post updates from Twitter, but it will work both ways if you want. However, watch what you Tweet once you've done this. The best approach is to use the #in and #li tags to control propagation to LinkedIn. As ever a Google will lead you to useful resources, here's a random one from a search I did.

Hide updates from connections who update too frequently or whose updates are irrelevant. You can do this by clicking on the "Hide" button, but be aware this only appears when you hover your mouse over an update:
If you decide to review your hidden updates, if you have any, you can do this by selecting "More - Hidden >>":

 and then choosing "Hidden" - update the list which appears:

Watch the frequency and relevance of your updates, whether via Twitter or directly on LinkedIn. See above, don't let your updates be the ones that get hidden by others in your network, given the number of steps needed to reverse the decision, it's likely that once a connection has decided your updates should be hidden, they'll remain hidden.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Syd Rowley's Page Counting Ritual

There was always a time in every class where you'd finally got to the last page of your exercise book, and needed a new one. Whilst with some teachers there would always be some kind of inspection - to make sure you really had got to the last page - in his class the testing was, inevitably, far more rigorous.

He would, in front of the class, count the pages to make sure you hadn't torn any out. And woe betide if you had.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

I've been spending a bit more time on LinkedIn recently. This means that I've inevitably spent more time logged in, seen more status updates and looked at more profiles than perhaps I have in the past.

Over the past year or so I've been changing my own profile using hints picked up from various social media events, blog posts and Tweets. It's surprising how many LinkedIn profiles I've seen that aren't tweaked in the same way, and it seems only fair to share some tips that have been given to me by others. And if you are one of those others, let me take this opportunity to say "thanks".
  • Change your public profile URL to help search engines, in particular remove the seemingly random bits on the end.
  • Make sure you have relevant headline text as this is the first thing    about you that will be presented on search results. A good exercise is to search for yourself on Google, and see what you think of the LinkedIn result. Could it say more?
  • Add text descriptions (or "anchor text") to your web site links, don't just say "Company Website" - especially if you have more than one. If you have a blog, remember to add that as well.
There are numerous articles and blog posts that show you how to do these things, so rather than repeat them here, let me remind you that as ever a search on Google will take you to some interesting articles.

One I found is Lauren Fisher's SEO & Social Media Part 4 : Optimising LinkedIn Profiles. These changes don't take long to do, and make your profile look a lot better.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Syd Rowley's Trick Questions

A favourite ploy was to ask trick questions to encourage the class to think around problems. Some of them could be quite strange though and often left the class looking somewhat bemused. One classic was:

"I was out in Southend at the weekend. It was a lovely day so I took a stroll along the pier. Whilst there, I witnessed a young mum push her pram off the end of the pier, with her baby in it. What did I do?"

There were the inevitable looks of shock and disbelief and obvious suggestions such as ringing the police and even jumping into the Thames to effect a rescue. However:

"I did nothing. Why?"

This challenge was accompanied by the trademark hard stare, which was returned with a class of blank looks.

"Well, I haven't told you which end of the pier it was, have I?"

Wednesday 5 October 2011

When Social Media gets Antisocial

I don't have that many connections on LinkedIn - I'm way behind some people that I know, who are on the 500+ level. In fact I'm on 163. So not that bad.

The thing is, I know for a fact that some of my connections (only some, not all of them by any stretch) have people in their network that they've never spoken to, let alone had any professional or personal dealings with them. I know this because I've received connect requests from people in their network, and done the obvious thing - "Hi John, what's this Liz like? I ask, because she's in your network". And that's when I find out that John has no idea about Liz, she just wanted to join his network, and he wanted a bigger network.

So I'm with the "official" LinkedIn guidelines on this one.

The upshot is that I do actually know everyone in my network. I might not have spoken to some of them in a while, but at some point I've spent a fair amount of time with them - so if you ask me about any of them, I can tell you about them. It also means that a lot of my friends are in my LinkedIn network, I know them, I trust them, and I'd recommend them to you without hesitation.

So it's a great way of keeping up with what my friends are all up to. Good to know that John is now not only connected to Liz, but also Alice, Brian, Clare and David, and is planning a trip to South Africa having won a major client there. As we haven't seen each other for a while, I did email John last week because some of us are going out for a beer, and it would be great if he could join us. In fact I texted him as well, when I didn't get a reply to the email, but I've not had a text back either. I know that he is very busy, from all these LinkedIn status updates I keep reading.

So if you are reading this, we really would love to see you at the pub next week, surely you have a couple of minutes spare to let me know one way or the other, in between expanding your LinkedIn network? In fact you must have a couple of minutes spare, as you've just been reading this.