Tag - linkedin

Twitter: caught in the Facebook/Google+ crossfire?

Twitter, I fear for you.

You rock, everyone knows that. Well, let’s put it this way: you used to rock. Maybe you still do, but I’m not so sure.

You were my other network:

  • Must-have: Facebook for friends and family
  • Must-have:LinkedIn for work & professional networking
  • Nice-to-have:Twitter for intellectual stimulation, learning, & sharing

Facebook – it’s good to be king
Facebook is pretty secure in its position. 750M users will do that for you.

Guess what: my mom isn’t joining Google+. Not going to happen. Same with most of my friends, who don’t know what SEO is, have barely heard of Android, and wouldn’t have a clue that iOS is the operating system (what’s an operating system?) for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

LinkedIn – prince is OK for me
LinkedIn is also pretty secure. Complete domination of a category will do that for you.

Everyone I know professionally who cares about their online profile is on LinkedIn. Anyone in marketing, biz-dev, leadership, and technology has a LinkedIn profile. They’re not going to pull their entire resumes and professional histories and recommendations and contacts out of LinkedIn anytime soon.

Twitter – contender or pretender?
Twitter is a little shaky. It’s not as big as Facebook. It doesn’t have a strong a niche as LinkedIn.

Where are the smart people going?
And guess what: all the smart connected people I know are spending almost all of their spare social networking time on Google+. It has become aspects of social and news and networking altogether.

Maybe some of that is because it’s the hot new girl in class. Maybe it’s novelty.

But there’s a LOT that Google+ does right. Media-sharing is next-generation. Conversations are awesome. Communities and groups are a dream to manage. Everything works, and there hasn’t been a fail whale in sight: if there’s one thing that Google knows best, it’s managing scale.

Twitter, how are you going to fight that?

LinkedIn: see your connections graphed visually

About a month ago LinkedIn (site, my profile) launched visualizations: the ability to see your connections graphed visually.

Once you’ve labled your connections and assigned a color to them, you can very quickly see where your network is strong and heavily linked, and where you have “outlier” connections … people that you’re connected to via only one path.

Here’s my professional network visualization, zoomed out:

It’s pretty clear that a LOT of my connections are with people who work or have worked at Premier, Franklin Covey, or School Specialty … since I spent 15 years in basically the same organization (Premier) as it went through two acquisitions (Franklin Covey, and then School Specialty). And Intel and Intel partners is big: I spent a lot of time working with those companies over the past few years.

Beyond those two … it’s a mix of blogging and social media contacts, friends, agency contacts, and recruiters. Canpages is pretty new yet – I’ve only been in my new role for about 5 months – but is starting to come along.

Here’s a little closer view:

LinkedIn: now crowdsourcing verification of job histories?

I have never seen this little red triangle on LinkedIn before.

Interestingly, it seems to be an attempt by LinkedIn to verify jobs in members’ profiles. As LinkedIn continues to grow beyond 90 million users and becomes more and more important in modern professionals’ career management, it becomes increasing important to ensure that the data is accurate.

It’s a little shocking that verification has taken this long to put in place, given the potential for deception and misrepresentation on probably the most important careers site in North America, maybe the globe.

Facebook & faces: personas, masks, & me

The old joke used to be: on the internet no-one knows you’re a dog.

That’s less and less true today … today the internet may know that you’re an Alaskan Malamute with a serious flatulence problem. Uh oh.

Who are you online?

I’ve been thinking about this since former-Googler-and-current-Facebooker Paul Adams posted his real life social network deck on SlideShare. In case you don’t have the time to go through all 224 slides, let me give you the Cole’s Notes version:

  • More than one offline network
    Real-life social networks are not evenly distributed, homogenous, and singular … they are unevenly distributed around the various aspects of a person’s life: work, home town, schools, associations, etc. In other words, you don’t have A social network, you have MANY social networks.

  • Different faces for each network
    We generally present ourselves differently in different scenarios … essentially, in different networks. Which is to say, you’re a slightly different person with your friends than your co-workers, or family, or at the school reunion, and so on. Or you choose to preferentially reveal and conceal aspects of yourself to those different sets of people.

  • More than one online network
    A technology-mediated social network that matches your life, therefore, should have the ability to match your offline life … giving you the ability to be how (and who?) you want to be in each of those groups.

Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks
In other words, the college buddies get the salacious off-color joke, the family gets the “johnny’s-doing-so-well-in-school” update, and the professional network gets the note about acceptance into a master’s program.

This has worked heavily into Facebooks’ groups feature … which now you can use to hide and reveal bits and pieces of your life as you choose:

Is that really going to work? I mean, aside from the existential angst about personas and faces and integrity and reality … will people actually use this?

Right now, I can only go by my own experience, and it seems to be that I segment my online social existence not by editing audiences for each particular message, but by selecting separate social networks for different types of messages.

The difference may look small, but this is the significant part: nothing is hidden. There are no messages that some friends can see and other friends can’t. Everything is available … if you choose to interact with me in the particular forum that I’m engaging.

Segment by service?
So, in my example, most work-related things go on my LinkedIn account. Most internet/technology/web/mobile musings and shares go on my Twitter account. And comments, posts, photos, and movies that are primarily for actual physical friends and family go on my Facebook account.

Kitchen, office, bedroom
It’s not so much that I have different sets of friends on the various accounts … it’s that there are different kinds of conversations. It’s not so much about having multiple personas … it’s about having multiple interests.

Certain conversations happen in the home that would never happen in the office. Others that you would engage in with the boys after the game wouldn’t happen when you visit your parents.

But I don’t want to hide anything … in fact … in the pursuit of integrity, I don’t want to have anything to hide – from anyone.

I’m an outlier. I have footholds in many social networks.

So you can’t – and I can’t – judge others by myself. It’s silly to think that what I do is what others will do. And frankly … it’s much easier to use one social network (and use the groups feature) than to maintain multiple social presences.

But I like it this way … at least for now.

It remains to be seen how others will react – and how the major social networking platforms will accomodate users’ desires to have move offline relationships online, in all their complexity. Data and relationship portability across social networks would have an interesting effect here as well.

Simplicity – and laziness – argues for a single solution.

Facebook in heaven: death and social networking

What do you do about death and social networking? I saw this story today in the NY Times:

Courtney Purvin got a shock when she visited Facebook last month. The site was suggesting that she get back in touch with an old family friend who played piano at her wedding four years ago.

β€œIt kind of freaked me out a bit,” she said. β€œIt was like he was coming back from the dead.”

via As Older Users Join Facebook, Network Grapples With Death – NYTimes.com.

It made me think of Joel Zucker, a former boss. He and I had a great connection and enjoyed working together. He recommended me on LinkedIn, and I was so impressed with his recommendation I added it to my portfolio.

I’m connected with him on Facebook and LinkedIn. And, of course, LinkedIn doesn’t know he died of cancer in February. As far as his profile shows, Joel is still working at Pearson.

On Facebook, Joel’s wife and friends and children still post. Here’s a post from his son just this week:

i miss u i hope they have facebook in heven so u can read this and we can still chat

I’ve posted too, sometimes just a “thinking of you today.” To me it’s a comfort … and it seems to be for his family as well … that there’s still a place we can remember Joel together.

Going pro on LinkedIn: this is evil

Today I paid for a subscription to LinkedIn (site, me) for the first time.

I’ve been using LinkedIn for at least 3-4 years now, and never needed any pay features before. But now I’m looking for sales agents for my company, and want access to more search results and increased ability to contact people not in my network. So I upgraded.

It’s the usual payment form, with this at the end:

The two checkboxes are off by default … but you cannot buy the subscription without checking the first one.

In other words, LinkedIn is gaming their payment page to screw people. You cannot subscribe without selecting the option to automatically re-up … and you cannot change the automatic re-up without emailing customer support.

Notice how it’s not even a link to a web form? Not even a link to pop open an email?

This is designed to take unfair advantage of people. It’s designed to make it hard to unsubscribe. It’s designed to maximize revenue for LinkedIn.

In other words, it’s evil.

Director Tom's recessionary get-a-job strategy

tomI worked with Thomas Clifford (AKA Director Tom) recently on a corporate film that I was executive producing.

He was absolutely amazing. And he’s done hundreds of films over a 25-year career. And he’s one of the most connected social media individuals you will ever find. But 3 days ago he just got laid off.

Which only goes to show that in this current economic climate of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt … many good people are losing their jobs as companies are slowing down.

Tom, however, being Tom, is a proactive guy. So he put together the Hire Tom website and kicked his network into high gear. As WorkLifeNation reports, here’s his 4-step strategy:

  1. Making the Hire Tom site
  2. Alerting his network
  3. Multiple LinkedIn updates
  4. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter

Read the article for the full details – it’s great. And the results are coming too. I connected with Tom today, and he says that the opportunities are rolling in – only 3 days after being laid off!

Of course, not everyone has over 500 connections on LinkedIn or 2000+ followers on Twitter. Still, there’s a lot to be learned from Tom’s actions … especially that the time to work on your network is before you need it!

LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace in metaphor

He’s hardly an unbiased source, but I like how the new CEO of LinkedIn defines three of social networking’s heavyweights:

“LinkedIn is the office, Facebook is the barbecue in the backyard, and MySpace is the bar,” says Hoffman, referring to the three major social-networking sites battling it out for millions of consumers and billions of dollars in online ads.

Rings true with me.

LinkedIn is where I connect with business professionals, contacts, co-workers, and partners. Facebook is for friends, acquaintances, and old classmates. MySpace … I’m not sure if I remember my MySpace login information. (Perhaps that says something about me as a married 30-something with kids!)

By the way, if you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn … please feel free!

People I may know: Barack Obama on LinkedIn

I noticed with some degree of surprise this morning that I might know the future president of the US: Barack Obama.

However, that’s exactly what LinkedIn‘s likeness algorithm told me. Perhaps I am more powerful than I know.


Seriously, in the past months, LinkedIn’s “people you may know” feature has come up with some real hits, and some stunning misses. Sometimes I think they’re gaming the system, especially for a very topical person like Barack Obama.

In the dude-change-the-name category

change nameI was assiduously building my network on LinkedIn today when I noticed the “new people from Premier” (my current company). Knowing that the “new people” are almost never from the Premier that I’m from, I obediently checked, only to find these people …

They include an unfortunate individual in the position of interim manager named Dick Slob.

I submit that he should run, not walk, to the nearest hall of officialdom where name-changing occurs. His first name is an epithet; his last a slur.

You can’t make stuff like this up – it’s just too good. Were his parents Serbs named Slobodan? Did they want to disavow connections with the infamous Milosevic? Did they think it was just easier to spell?

Guaranteed: he changes the name, the interim comes off his title.


LinkedIn: fact meets fiction

I just got another LinkedIn connection request this morning. Every one has a little LinkedIn fact at the bottom, like this:

Fact: 3,414 CEOs use LinkedIn every day

As you know, since you’re a smart denizen of the blogosphere, whether something is a fact or not is a function of what kind of statement it is … not about whether it’s true.So here’s my version of that fact:

Fact: 3,414 people who claim to be CEOs use LinkedIn every day

That’s much better. None of the CEOs that I know personally have anywhere near enough time to be obsessively checking LinkedIn every single day.What about you?