Friday 28 June 2013

What would the city be like if George Dance's design for London Bridge been built?

This design for a twin London Bridge was submitted by architect George Dance, and the plans for it were published in Hansard in July 1800. William Daniell painted this impression of it in 1802. The twin bridges would allow road traffic to cross the Thames at all times, as one path would always be open.

It would have created a sweeping open expanse around The Monument on the north bank, and a similar crescent on the south bank. These areas are now heavily developed, and it's interesting to stop and consider what the city would look like now had this design become reality (and then survived the war intact).

The painting is on display at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, the picture above is from the BBC web site. You can view the plan itself on the British Museum web site.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Six Silly Things to (not) do on LinkedIn

There's plenty of ways your Social Media presence can work against you, and your LinkedIn profile is no exception. Remember that LinkedIn is the social network for professionals, and you're probably there either to sell your services and abilities, or those of your company. Here's some things to avoid.

1. Send Default Connection Request Messages

Chances are, whenever you send a connect request on LinkedIn, it's either to someone you've known for a long time, or someone you met a few days ago. In which case, not having the time to replace the default message with one which says "hi", or which has a reminder of where you met, can make it look like you can't be bothered.

2. Send Generic "Hello and Thanks for Connecting" Messages

These can look needy and clingy, and are also particularly silly if you've accepted the request rather than sending it out. Got something specific to say - then say it, but if you haven't, save your efforts for another day when you can have more impact.

3. Use the Wrong Photo

As I've mentioned in previous articles, using the wrong photo, or no photo at all, can count against you. People are more likely to look at your profile if you have a photo, and if it's a decent one, they'll take you seriously, which is what you want of course. So, skip the drunk ones, the wedding ones, the sideways ones and the artistically cropped ones.

4. Confuse your Social Networks

Your exact whereabouts, mental state and the food you're eating are all things for Facebook and Twitter, but they're not things for LinkedIn. A continuous stream of irrelevant toot will have your connections clicking the "hide" link for your updates faster than you can know.

5. Break LinkedIn Terms and Conditions

Remember that although LinkedIn is a free service, by signing up, you agree to abide by their terms and conditions. And if these say that you can't put your phone number in the title field on your profile (and they do), then don't do that.

6. Don't keep your Headline and Current Positions in Step

At some point in the past, you may have put your current job into your headline, or LinkedIn may  have put it there for you as a default, and you accepted it. If you subsequently change jobs, make sure you change your headline as well, people may only look once, and you want them to get the facts as they currently stand without any confusion.

Read more for further ideas for your LinkedIn profile.

photo credit: cellar_door_films via photopin (cc).