Wednesday 28 December 2011

52 Weeks 52 Photos

With the end of the year fast approaching, I've been sorting through the albums on Picasa to try to find the best of the best from my various travels around London and the UK in 2011.

I did find some web projects running where the aim was to take a photograph every week in order to build up the collection. Whilst this is interesting, most years have some weeks which, frankly, shouldn't be recorded for posterity, and I'm sure this year is no exception. So this does cover 12 months, but not very evenly.

Click here to view the Picasaweb album

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Improving your LinkedIn Profile - Photos

Looking at my connections recently I noticed that whilst over half of them do include photos on their profiles, 40% don't have a photo, and a small number, around 2% have photos but the photos aren't of the person - they are, for example, company logos.

This got me thinking what the "conventional wisdom" might be regarding this, and so as always I went off to Google to find some articles.

I read a blog post which stated that your profile is seven times more likely to be viewed if it has a photograph, however there was, unfortunately, no obvious reference to back this up.

In a recent blog post Does My LinkedIn Profile Really Need a Photo?, Meg Guiseppi reminds us that we are creating a brand with our LinkedIn profiles, and that "branding is also about creating emotional connections", and goes on to list some excellent reasons why you should have a photo on your profile.

As to what type of photo you should have, there are several approaches, the most obvious being the "professional" option, as outlined in these blog posts by Jean Cummings and Nick Gilham. However, I'm not sure it's so clear cut, here are my own thoughts:
  • Do have a photo. Remember why you're building up your profile on LinkedIn.
  • Do make sure you're in the photo, don't use a company logo or some other artwork, and make sure that it is obviously you.
  • Don't use your passport photograph. The only time you look like that is when you go through immigration checks at an airport.
  • Don't take the photograph yourself with your phone. It shows. Really.
  • Don't have other people in the photo. This really is all about you.
  • Don't appear unprofessional, for example, being drunk at a party or stuffing your face with food.
Consider using the photo to communicate something about yourself which is not covered by the main part of your profile. My profile photo tells you something about the sort of person I am, which isn't covered in the main part of the profile.

Use a professional photographer if you feel that will convey the message you are aiming for. However, I have two observations on this:
  • Jaunty angles are typically the preserve of celebrities, so avoid them. Unless you are of course a celebrity.
  • There is a chance of looking like everyone else in an environment where you are aiming to stand out from the rest.

Friday 9 December 2011

Get More from LinkedIn Updates - Part 2

In part 1 I looked at some of the ways you can improve your use of LinkedIn updates, particularly feeding in updates from Twitter. You can also post updates directly in LinkedIn, using the "Share an update" dialogue at the top of the screen.

This useful dialogue allows you to attach a link to an external article, such as a blog post, either by clicking on "Attach a link" and pasting the link into the box which appears, or directly - paste the link into the share dialogue, and watch everything update. You can also provide additional text in the share dialogue.

If you are feeding updates from Twitter into LinkedIn, there is a pitfall to avoid however, which is posting the same update twice, once via Twitter and then separately via the direct LinkedIn update. Your connections on LinkedIn will see two updates, identical, often next to each other, like this (admittedly rather contrived) example:

This can becoming annoying very quickly, and could lead to your updates being hidden by others, something which you obviously want to avoid.