Archive for the ‘LinkedIn’ Category

TOOL TIP: The LinkedIn Toolbar for IE & Firefox (And Other Handy LinkedIn Tools)

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Are you integrating LinkedIn productivity tools into your day-to-day workflow? They’re not new, but if they’re new to you…they’re worth the minute they’ll take to install in your Internet browser or your email client.

I’ve already talked about how you can integrate LinkedIn with Outlook (click here for the Outlook toolbar download). I’ve also talked about how important it is to make the most of your LinkedIn invitations to connect. (I know that’s not a tool, but I wanted to work it in up front because it’s just so darn important.)

But did you also know LinkedIn has browser toolbars for Internet Explorer 3.2 and Mozilla Firefox 3.3 that make LinkedIn even easier to access in a single click? It’s true. I wouldn’t kid ya. Check them out! If for nothing else, the toolbar across the top of your browser will remind you that LinkedIn is there for you to leverage.

Do you have an email signature setup? LinkedIn can help you create a customized email signature for Outlook, Outlook Express and Thunderbird.

Are you smartphone equipped? Keep your digital LinkedIn rolodex at your fingertips.

LinkedIn_Mobile_Apps

Are you making the most of LinkedIn Apps? They’re free and they can automatically integrate with other tools you may be using to further enhance your profile. I just added the Legal Updates app by JD Supra to my LinkedIn homepage so I can stay informed of legal issues in the categories of interest to me.Legal_Updates_JDSupra

If you’re job-hunting, then downloading the browser tool for LinkedIn Jobs Insider is a MUST. When you open any job posting at Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice or Vault, you’ll be able to instantly and automatically see the people in your network that work at the hiring company. You can then request an introduction to the hiring manager, get your resume to the right person or find out more about the company via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn_JobsInsider

LinkedIn Jobs Insider Sidebar box

It’s all there for you to use. And they all work to help you save time.

For the record, this isn’t a plug for LinkedIn. It’s a plug for WEB TOOLS! I try to keep my blog’s RESOURCES page up to date with all of the great web tools I come across, but every now and again, I come across a few that I find worthy of a little special attention. If you use LinkedIn at all — and, as of July 2010, 70 million professionals do — these tools are unquestionably handy to have in place.

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Social Media Backup Tools

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

There are people that backup and people that don’t. I’m cool with that. This isn’t a post about the merits of backing up your hard drive…but for those of us that do, we might also want to consider how we can back up all the content we’re publishing on the various social networks. What if everything you posted to Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn just vanished? Accounts get mysteriously deleted, hacked or suspended or whatever. It can happen, I’m just sayin’. So…what to do?

Here are a few social media backup solutions you might like to check out. Some free, some not. I use one or two of these myself. You may find, as I did, that the search functionality they offer is reason enough to set up an account.

Backupify

Backupify provides daily automatic backups, archiving and export for all your social media and SaaS (Software As A Service) data. You’ll get regular emails confirming when your backups have completed. They have a free basic plan or paid plans for more robust needs.

Backupify Dashboard Image

Here’s a look at backupify’s archive dashboard for Twitter:

Twitter_Backupify_Dashboard_Image

Socialware Sync

Socialware Sync provides “marketing departments, power users and socially-enabled businesses” with “enterprise-class archiving.” Sounds good to me. I’m in. Here’s what I have with Socialware Sync: a 30-day free trial for backup/archiving support for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This solution has some pretty cool search functionality if you’re into that sort of thing. You can search a term across all three of your profiles just by entering it into the search box. Easy breezy. Not sure if it’s worth the price of admission for an individual…but for a large organization I would think it would be rather handy in managing and monitoring multiple accounts.

Socialware_Sync_Image

Here’s a look at the Socialware Sync search dashboard. You can see where you enter the search term in the upper right and that you can select the profiles you wish to search with a little check box.

Need more basic backup for a single social profile?

Maybe you only want to focus your backup efforts on a single network. That’s cool, too. I’m not here to judge. There’s a few solutions I came across, but — disclaimer — I don’t use any of them because I prefer having one solution that covers multiple profiles. But that’s just me. Different strokes for different folks, right? That said, here are a few you might want to check out.

Back Up My Tweets

BackupMyTweets.com provides more control over your Twitter account. They also offer like-solutions for email, blogs and pictures (BackupMyMail, BackupMyBlog, BackupMyPics).

BackupMyTweets Screenshot

Tweet Backup

Tweetbackup.com provides a free, daily backup of your Twitter account.

Tweetbackup Image

Tweetake

Tweetake.com allows you to backup your Twitter account without revealing your name and password.

Tweetake Image

SocialSafe (For Facebook Backup)

SocialSafe will backup your Facebook Friends, photos, profile and wall status updates to your computer for a modest (one-time?) fee. I looked for the language “one-time” fee, but couldn’t find it. It seems to be a one-time license fee of $2.99 USD, but call me needy for wishing the copy were a bit more clear on this point. I actually had to click on “Buy” in order to satisfy my curiosity on this pricing issue. Perhaps that was the strategy, or maybe I’m just slower than most, or just very used to monthly fee plans. Halfway down the FAQ page, they mention that there might be an upgrade fee for a major version update. Really, we’re talking about a very reasonable fee here, I just was a little frustrated at how much time I had to spend to find all those pricing details as I’m trained, like most, to look for the fine print in today’s disclaimer culture. Would have been easier if that messaging were more clear on the homepage, IMHO.

SocialSafe Image

ArchiveFacebook

ArchiveFacebook is a free Mozilla Firefox add-on tool that allows you to “save content from your Facebook account directly to your hard drive” so you can archive your photos, messages, activity stream, friends list, notes, events and groups. But you need to be using Firefox. If you’re using Internet Explorer (IE) or some other browser, you can’t use this cool add-on or any of the other supercool add-ons and plugins that the Firefox browser supports. (See that? I refrained from launching into a whole spiel on why I think Firefox is superior to IE. I’m maturing, I guess. To show just how objective I have become on the subject of browsers, I offer you this little test to see which browser is right for you.)

Firefox_FacebookArchive

Want More Backup Solutions?

Get your Google on, friends. There’s a few out there for Flickr (Downloadr and FlickrEdit, for example) and I’m sure for other major networks. If you’re blogging, you naturally will need a backup solution there, as well. Make that priority one. If you’re looking for off-site backup storage, there’s a few “cloud storage” solutions, like Lifestream Backup, Mozy and Memopal that might be worth checking into.

Bottom line?

If you’re living a digital life, probably worth leveraging the digital tools to back it up, eh? No pressure. Just something to think about.

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(My) Top 5 iPhone Apps for (Social) Business

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Because, surely, you want to know, right? Plus, I’m seeing a trend for blog posts that offer lists…so why not? Here ya go…my Top 5 iPhone Apps for “Social” Business:

1.) Facebook App: This seems almost too obvious. But there might be one human in a cave somewhere who hasn’t downloaded it yet who I’d like to enlighten. This app offers a great opportunity to stay connected with your contacts/network while you’re standing in line somewhere, sitting in a waiting room or stuck in a car (as a passenger of course).

2.) Analytics App: If you blog, this is handy when you’re feeling lonely or unloved. It gives you mobile access to all of your Google Analytics data. (No guarantees that seeing your stats will turn your mood around.)

3.) U.S. Postage App: But this isn’t “social,” you’re saying to yourself. Sure it is. Ever send things out to your network via snail mail? This helps you do it without having to stand in line at the post office. Tell your friends. I love this app. Seriously. If I had a stamp for every time I used it…

4.) Mashable App: All the cool kids have it on their iPhones. (The uncool ones, like me, have it on their iPod Touches.)

5.) E! Online App: How else is a busy businessperson supposed to keep up with pop culture? Besides, what makes for better small talk before a meeting?

Why didn’t I list other social business apps on my iPod Touch (that’s right, I STILL don’t have an iPhone because of my stubborn refusal to be told which service provider I must use…take that Steve Jobs), like the Hootsuite App, Tweetdeck App, AP Mobile App, LinkedIn App and the like? The truth is — and please don’t let this get around — I find them cumbersome to maneuver through on that tiny little touchscreen.

Is it possible that the only solution to my problem is an iPad?

Until then, there you have it…a Top 5 list in 60 seconds or less. I aim to please. In case you don’t already have them installed, here are the links to download these babies:

Oh, and yes, I realize that technically these are not my top 5 “iPhone Apps,” but using “My Top 5 iPod Touch Apps” as a title sounded way less sexy, so be a sport and go with me on this. Thanks.

Are You Missing Networking Opportunities on LinkedIn?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

How well are you leveraging the power of LinkedIn? Are you just accepting “invitations to connect” or sending out invitations with that impersonal default message? Take a look at this exchange I recently had…see a missed opportunity here? (Click here if you cannot see the image.)

LinkedIn_NetworkMe? I see a HUGE missed opportunity here…and I’m not picking on Michael, because there are plenty of people that — innocently — just haven’t taken a moment to think about the broader networking opportunities that LinkedIn can create.

Here’s what I see:

  1. He used the default message to connect. Why? Why not take an extra second and give some context to your invitation? Let the person know why you’re connecting or remind them of how you know each other if it has been awhile since you chatted (in person or online). It takes 2 seconds to personalize the message. I think it’s very worth the time.
  2. I opened a door of communication. I took the time to look at his work on his web site and was actually very impressed. I responded accordingly, and tried to politely ask and obtain some of the basic information I just described above since his invitation didn’t give me anything to go on. Then I opened the door to have a conversation. So how did he respond?
  3. He answered my question and closed the open door…which is perfectly fine…that’s his prerogative, of course. But this, to me, is the opposite of what LinkedIn positions you to do from a networking standpoint. Needless to say, I didn’t accept the invitation because he didn’t give me a reason to do so.

How well are you leveraging the professional networking potential of LinkedIn?

Are you moving your online relationships offline? Are you creating or responding to opportunities to have further conversations? Why not? I always tell professionals that there is typically good SEO value to being on LinkedIn because if someone googles your name, your LinkedIn listing is likely to rank highly in the search engine results…in which case you want your LinkedIn profile to be buttoned up. But don’t you want your LinkedIn correspondence to work just as hard for you? Whether sending or receiving invitations, think of them as opportunities to make a good impression, just like you would at a traditional (offline) networking event.

Just something to think about the next time you log in to LinkedIn…

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