Posted on: Friday, November 16th, 2012
FIDF Vows to Continue to Support Israel’s Brave Soldiers at this Fateful Time
In response to the endless rocket-fire that has been raining down on Israel’s civilians, a joint operation of the IDF and the Israeli Security Agency brought about the targeted killing of the head of Hamas’ military wing. Simultaneously, the IDF has launched Operation Pillar of Defense and mobilized its troops across the country.
The brave soldiers of the IDF are always able and ready to carry out the mission of defending the Jewish homeland. We are in constant communication with the IDF, and are responding directly to their needs. As of now, they have requested that the troops on the ground receive toiletry kits, snack packages, and field towelettes for basic hygiene.
Our soldiers are facing difficult and strenuous times, and their wellbeing needs will continue to grow as this operation continues.
To stand by our soldiers and help, donate any of the following items:
– Snack packages: $18
To learn more about the situation in Israel and follow the IDF Spokesperson’s announcements, please click here.
|Friends of the Israel Defense Forces – www.fidf.org
Posted on: Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
The most common method of infection is by browsing to a website that contains the virus.
If you are infected, we strongly recommend that you:
1. Don’t panic
2. Don’t pay up
3. Call Tech Help right away, our number is (239) 963-8100
Proactive steps to prevent this infection from taking over your computer:
1. A properly updated and activated anti-virus solution
2. Stay current with software patches
Additional information about this Virus/Scam can be found on the FBI’s website:
Posted on: Monday, November 12th, 2012
Printing anything from anywhere is no longer fantasy. In fact, it’s often a necessity if using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is an essential part of your daily workflow.
Cases in point: You receive a huge spreadsheet attachment on your smartphone, and need a way to view the document without squinting. Or you revise a PowerPoint deck just as your plane lands, and need to print it before you arrive at a meeting. Or maybe you’re just staying with family out of town, and need to print a boarding pass directly from your phone.
Whatever the case, wouldn’t you like to send a print job to the printer you spot down the hall, or to a printer in an office superstore down the block? Or how about sending a document from San Francisco to your own printer back in Chicago?
Mobile printing technology makes all of this possible. Printers with wireless or Web connectivity can communicate far beyond a specific user or workgroup. And printer vendors, all too happy to help you keep printing, are rolling out solutions that use e-mail or cloud-based print servers as the backbone for sending print jobs. Big companies like Apple, Google, and HP have particularly well-developed technologies that address issues such as reaching older printers, or finding places to print when you’re on the road.
Get ready and set to print
Where and how you get started depends on how far you want to take your printing capabilities. You’ll also have to consider three basic issues:
1. Find your printer, find your app: Your device and printer of choice need to find each other. Obviously, it’s easy to set up mobile printing around your home or office, where you own or already have access to the printer. But what about when you must send a job to an unfamiliar printer? Luckily, checking a printer’s online feature sheet will tell you whether it supports a solution to cover your mobile device or situation. You can also visit the iOS App Store or Google Play to search for a mobile app from the company that makes the printer you want to use (conversely, you won’t have much luck searching for these apps in the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store). And if you want to find printers in random places as you travel, apps can help you detect accessible printers—at places like office stores and copy shops that offer printing on the fly (for a fee).
2. Print prudently: Security is a big issue with mobile printing. You want to protect remotely printed jobs from being seen by prying eyes, and also protect your Web-connected printer from being accessed by unauthorized users—or even hackers. Simple wireless printing usually prints the job immediately, so you’ll need to be nearby to pick it up. If you’re sending to a printer that’s not immediately accessible, look for a solution that gives you a passcode and holds your job until you get to the printer and enter the code. If you’re part of a big company, your IT department may require you to stick with implementations that lie within protected networks.
3. Accept limitations: A major challenge with mobile printing is the lack of a reliable connection and an installed driver. Printer vendors have had about three years to work out the biggest transmission kinks, but it’s still possible that your print job will go astray, and you’ll have to resend it. More commonly, you’ll miss that driver when your print job comes out looking funny. While most mobile solutions will let you print Microsoft Office files, photos, and PDF files with decent results, formatting hiccups could include extra pages, cut-off pages, font substitutions, and odd scaling.
Mobilize your own printer
The easiest kind of mobile printing targets the printer you know: the one that’s sitting in your home or office. If it’s on a wireless network, you can print to it directly from nearby. Conversely, if it’s connected to the Internet, you can use an e-mail-based sending app to print to it remotely. An office you’re visiting may even have a printer that you can connect to in one of these ways.
If you use an iOS device, you’re in luck: Major printer vendors—such as Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, and Lexmark—cover iOS devices through either their own app or compatibility with Apple AirPrint. AirPrint lets you print from an iOS device to any AirPrint-compatible printer that shares the same wireless network. Your iOS device will detect the printer and print to it. (If your printer doesn’t support iPrint, the third-party FingerPrint app may help.) As with many direct-connect printing apps, you’ll have little to no control over the details of your print job, but you’ll usually get a decent, if not perfect, print.
Android devices, too, enjoy either a wireless app for direct printing from most printer vendors, or the benefits of Google Cloud Print. Google Cloud Print is notable for being brand-independent and for working with older printers as well as newer ones.
New Windows 8 devices don’t have much to work with yet, other than platform-independent solutions like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrint. Surface tablets, like devices using Apple AirPrint, will print to any printer on the same wireless network.
To use Google Cloud Print, an older printer needs to be connected to a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC that’s turned on and connected to the Internet. If you see the term “Google Cloud Print Ready” in your printer’s specs, that means it can connect directly to the Internet, skipping the computer intermediary. The sending device has to run Android or iOS and use the Chrome browser, and you have to have a Gmail account. A Print option will appear for printing Gmail attachments or files uploaded to Google Drive. You can also share your printer with friends or colleagues who have the same basic setup, either as individuals or as part of a Google Group. Not bad for an app that’s still officially in beta.
Find printers wherever you go
HP’s ePrint may be brand-specific, but it’s still the most mature mobile printing solution. It comes in enterprise as well as consumer flavors, and HP’s ePrint Public Print Locations let you print to machines at UPS Store and FedEx Office locations, as well as many hotels, airport lounges, public libraries, and other organizations. HP offers an ePrint app for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices that lets you locate accessible ePrint Public Print Location printers and send print jobs on the fly.
Widely deployed services like these show how you can remove some of the uncertainty from needing to print when you’re on the go, whether passing through a city or an airport. More office stores, airports, hotels, and even public libraries are adding printers that can be detected by mobile users. FedEx Office stores also accept Google Cloud Print jobs, if you choose “Print to FedEx Office” in the Cloud Print dialog box.
Your device app may be able to detect compatible printers in the area, or you may get access information from the airport-lounge manager or librarian. In most cases, after sending the job, you get back an access code to release the printout when you get to the printer. In most cases, you also pay a fee for the print.
And if you’re really in a pinch, and a FedEx Office, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, or UPS store is nearby, each of those brands will let you upload a document to the cloud (a website) for printing, then pick up the job in person at the store.
Mobile printing is being embraced in multiple ways by multiple vendors, but any attempt at uniform standards is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, it’s only a matter of time—probably less, rather than more, time—before it will feel natural to print to any printer that happens to be nearby without going through hoops such as installing a driver or plugging in a cable.
Posted on: Monday, November 12th, 2012
Humans are creatures of habit. Often times our behaviors are predictable. Old habits are hard to break, good or bad. Why would we expect social media to be any different? Why should we expect that just because marketers can now connect with anyone across they world in a simple 140 character tweet that they will by default do it any different than the days of email spam, direct mail and traditional broadcast marketing advertising.
Traditional media and marketing use to be focused primarily on a broadcast message. A one to many message focused on delivering the message the brand wanted the recipients to hear. Most marketers didn’t care if you understood or even liked the message, as they had the expected percentages of return based on the number of eyeballs or ears who heard and read their message down to a science.
I was one of them and can remember being able to predict almost to the penny the return I would get on email blasts, direct mail and other marketing mediums. I could predict how recipients would respond. I knew that they were creatures of habit and were taught to behave in a particular way. They had no other option if they wanted to learn about brands, technology and how to grow their business. We knew if they had a need that eventually they would purchase the product and the more that we were in their face, the better and deeper brand impression we could make, the higher our chances were that we would be the chosen brand for purchase.
Guess what folks… times have changed.
People no longer buy things, they join things.
People no longer are amazed by the latest commercial, billboard or radio segment. People aren’t running to their mail boxes excited for the next spam letter or coupon. They’re not looking on their iPhone for the next email spam message with a deceptive title only to find the first three paragraph bragging about you, your company and your revenues!
They also aren’t waking up early in the morning thinking “what Facebook pages will I go LIKE today” or “what business Facebook pages will I go visit and see what they want to sell me.”
Nope, people are waking up overwhelemed. They want to connect with real people who will help them make it thru the day. People who they can share their ups and downs. People who will support them, inspire them, educate them and help them grow. They want to connect with real people and make real friends. They want to interact with brands who treat them as human beings not robot Facebook likers.
They aren’t thinking first of what they are going to buy. Instead they are looking for things to join. It is human nature to want to connect, be accepted, be part of a group that will make you feel better.
They will buy products from communities who make them feel good. People buy from people. They will buy from you when you make them feel like a person, not a number.
It’s why people run to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. It’s not just about sharing pictures, status updates or spying on the neighbors. It’s about being accepted. It’s about fitting in both online and in real life.
Think of when you purchased your first iPod or iPhone. Did you purchase it because you wanted the product? Of course you did. But you also purchased it because you instantly became a member of the white earbud community. You were part of something. The white headphones and iPhone connect you with people you don’t know. Even if you don’t want to admit it’s true, you know deep down it is.
People want value.
Business leaders must learn it is about much more than a Facebook like. It is not about community control and selling to robots who like your Facebook page. Change your mindset to “how can I create a community that provides value?”
The focus should be on building communities that people want to join. Communities that are organic and dynamic. Communities that inspire, educate, make people laugh, support them, pull them up when they fall down and forgive them when they make a mistake.
Build Social Sticky Fabric
The businesses who will win in the game of social media will be the ones who are the community. Sorry folks, your only goal of a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, or a website isn’t to increase rankings or your influence score. The social networks are also not just another medium for you to blast more noise to an already noisy world! Instead think of it as one big social fabric you can leverage to create the most sticky community possible.
Connect with people in real ways so that they do think of you when rolling out of bed. However, only difference is they’re not thinking of what you tried to sell them. Instead they’re thinking of how you made them laugh. How you helped them grow by teaching them something new. Or how you helped them win, become the hero at their workplace by feeling empowered to impact needed change.
Invest in people first, business second.
I have said it a million times and I’ll say it again. Social media is about the people. You must first get in the head of your communities and understand what makes them tick. What will make them sticky? How can you help them, inspire them, make them laugh? Only by investing in people will you ever see return on your investment.
Go ahead ignore me. I challenge you to come back in 12 months time doing it your way and share with me your results.
It’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for the people. It’s what you can do to build a community of people who support one another.
Be the fabric, not just the loud noise screaming for attention.
Brands that learn this early in the adoption cycle of social media will be far ahead of their competition. Facebook is not going to solve your business problems. You are going to solve your business problems just as you have been doing since the day you opened your business doors or you accepted your position at your organization.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the million other platforms are the vessel, the tools and technology for which you can build the fabric that connects you and your brand with the people. It’s the conversation, knowledge, time taken to invest in people that will make your fabric sticky. It’s not asking for likes or begging me to take a non-existent Twitter conversation to Facebook when we haven’t spoke to begin with.
15 Tips To Build Communities
1. Focus on the people. Know who they are, what they want, and how you can help them.
2. Invest in people first, business second.
3. Quit measuring your success by only Facebook likes.
4. Your influence and ability to build community is more important than your Klout score.
5. Focus on value to the community. Know what you have to offer. Know what your members have to offer.
6. Empower leaders. Leaders should rise to the top organically. Empower them, not stifle them. They will be your most powerful evangelists.
7. Don’t depend on Klout and other influence scores to determine who should be in your community. You may miss out on your greatest community leaders, clients, partners and even investors if you make decisions on who you should interact with based on a metric that is not related to human connection.
8. Don’t follow your competition. Just because it’s the way your competition is doing something does not mean it’s the right way. Learn from them but do not copy them. Do your own research.
9. Come out from behind the logo and avatar. Show your smiling face. Let us know there is a real person behind the Facebook wall.
10. Treat me as a human being. Talk to me like I have ears, a mouth and a heart. Don’t treat me like a robot and deliver the same message repeatedly. I have good days and bad days just like you. Sometimes I want to be inspired. Other days I want challenged. Vary your message and you may get to know me.
11. Learn more about me than teaching me about you. Don’t send me an email after I have opted into your email newsletter that is filled with 3/4 of information of all the awards you have won, or your fabulous growth when I am waiting on you to return my phone call. I am amazed at the number of these I receive from supposed successful social media and marketing agencies. #fail in my humble opinion.
12. Provide structure but let the community organically grow. Let the people norm, storm, form and perform. If you try to force them from norming to performing you’re pushing against human nature and it human nature will win. Lead them but don’t control them.
13. Be innovative. Don’t just depend on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Leverage the tools to build community on and offline. Host a tweet chat or an offline meetup.
14. Quit asking me to like you. Instead of begging me to visit or like your Facebook page, provide me a reason to. Spend the time you normally spend spamming me on developing something that provides me value.
15. Share yourself and your brand with me. Share your innards. Don’t be afraid to show your real self. But do so in a way that enables me to connect with you as a human being not as a cash register.
Posted on: Monday, November 12th, 2012
When building an online persona and brand usually we start with the most basic aspects including over arching brand, logo, colors, core messages etc. All of these are foundational to success. We develop our plan, develop our platform, create and launch our brand presence, integrate social with our business goals and start the social media engagement. However, after a few months goes by we realize nobody is buying from us. Nobody is opting in to our email lists. What has happened? Why don’t they want to further engage with our brand? Do they not trust us? Do they not think that we could bring them value?
Do you lack the trust factor?
There could be many different reasons why your communities are reluctant to engage with you. One of the most common reasons is that they don’t trust you. You have all the pretty colors, bells and whistles for your online presence but you lack credibility. You lack the trust factor.
In real life and offline relationships, trust is built via word of mouth, client and partner referrals. One person talks to another person who knows good and bad about you. You earn a reputation for being who you are and the quality and service you deliver. You may have a solid reputation and trust factor offline but are finding it difficult to establish such online.
If this is the case for you, don’t you fret! This could be for many reasons. It could be you are practically starting over with online relationships. If most of your offline contacts, partners, colleagues and friends are not yet online, then yes you are starting over to some degree. However, you can also leverage your relationships offline to bring credibility online.
Building trust doesn’t happen overnight. However, there are some simple things you can do even if you are just starting out to increase credibility and the trust factor.
10 Tips to Establish Credibility and Trust
1. Establish authority.
First and foremost you must establish authority. Your must know your stuff. Faking it online will not get you far. Social media is far different than handing someone a business card. In the social realm it’s easy to validate who you are, where you have worked, what references you have, who your clients are, who your contacts are within only a few clicks. Your content on all social platforms must scream results. It must be obvious you know your stuff. We need more than one bullet and short paragraph that tells readers you are an expert at whatever it is you do. Give credit to your sources and never take other people’s work as your own. Back up your claims with social proof such as blog content, references, client testimonials, client logos, guest blog posts and more.
2. Social proof.
Yes, even though you may have spent far too much money on that beautiful Twitter background, custom Facebook page and blogsite, you still need to prove to me who and what you are. This isn’t as hard as what it sounds. Don’t ignore this step. Instead make this one of the first things you do when you hop online. Take time to update this content at least once a month. Good examples of social proof include testimonials, customer references, partner references, kudos from other thought leaders, examples of work completed, links to work completed, guest blogs you have contributed to, links to blogs where you and your content has been cited, white papers, ebooks, and the list goes on. Social proof should be instantly available within one or less clicks on your site. I should not have to dig, double and triple click to find it. Make it pop out at me from the front page please!
However, be careful here. You must have the work experience and proven results to back it up. 10,000 purchased Twitter followers is not real social proof. I’d rather see 500 that were earned by providing relevant and valuable content.
3. Walk the walk.
Everything about your online persona, website, blog and social profiles must not only talk the talk but your actions must walk the walk of whatever you say you do. If you claim to be the best social media and advertising agency this side of Texas and know how to deliver results, then your own website and online persona should not look like a fifth grader developed it. Fix the fonts, fix the colors, fix the content.
Take the time to do what you say you are so good at doing! It’s like a dietician that is 150 lbs overweight telling you that they don’t worry about being healthy themselves that they focus only on you. Any good agency, agent, salesrep, blogger, copywriter, consultant, business services provider should be doing themselves what they say they can do for you. “Eat your own dogfood” is what we use to say in the big iron corporate days of the dot bomb era in high tech.
Delete the jargon and talk in real words that establish you as a walking testimonial of what you can do for clients! If you don’t take time to fix your own identity, online persona, brand, website, content, sales processes, business process why should anyone else believe you can do it for them? You are your own best social proof and will be amazed at the number of clients you will get if you start doing this!
4. Be consistent in both life and business.
The days of separating online and offline personas are over and done. You can’t be one person offline and a better, different person online. You are one business, one team, one person regardless if you are online or offline. If you are a one man or one woman business consultant this is even more important. Who you are on Friday night at the bar is the same person you are on Monday morning. Your offline behavior reflects your online success. Be who you are as you are only one person. However, my point is don’t fake it. There is only one you so be that person. Hopefully that person is honest, sincere, real, open, and communicates well with people both online and offline.
5. Hang with the right peeps.
If you hang out with 9 brokes, chances are you are going to be the 10th! Hang out with people you learn from, people who build you, empower you and make you a better person. Avoid the people who kick you down, criticize you and overall envy your success. Be sure you hang with the people who are going places. Establish real relationships and work together. Take time to know and research the people you hang out with. Don’t just trust everyone on first tweet. Just as you need to establish trust with your community, expect the same of those you bring into your inner circle.
6. You had me at first tweet.”
I hear this a lot from many businesses who eventually become our clients. What you tweet matters. Don’t be negative Nelly all day. Give your Twitter and Facebook readers good nuggets of information that help them, inspire them and enable them to get to know you better. We have numerous clients who we have met from one single tweet that inspired or educated them. Don’t minimize the power of inspiring people to engage with you and your brand and start the first stages of trusting you even in 140 character increments known as tweets!
7. Take time for relationships.
I see many businesses and consultants get too caught up in the science of social media that they forget the most important aspect, the art. I am not talking about art as in brand and colors. Instead focus on the art as in relationships and conversation. The tools of social media can be learned by almost anybody. It’s the art of engagement that will differentiate you from the masses. If you are finding it hard to build real relationships online then chances are you are not taking the time to get to know someone. Take time to truly connect with others. Ask them questions. Comment on their blog posts. Reach out to folks you feel comfortable with and build a relationship.
There are new pockets of peeps, partners, crowd sourced blog communities and potential real life friends popping up every day. Get to know some of the folks in the communities. Start your own communities.
8. Build a platform that invites conversation.
If your platform reads like a billboard or corporate collateral from the 1980′s then chances are you are not going to inspire much conversation. Ensure that everything from your content to blog share buttons, commenting systems, opt-in forms, contact forms, colors, and lanugage are all inviting. If you are not getting the engagement you need, then ask a trusted 3rd party to do an assessment for you. Ask them specific questions about how your content makes them feel. Ask them where and how they would engage with you on our social platforms. Unless you invite folks to engage with you and your brand, chances are they won’t. There is definitely not a lack of other businesses successful at doing such that are going to steal their mindshare from you.
9. It’s not about you!
As much as you want to think that your Twitter profile, tweet stream, Facebook business page and blog are all about you, they aren’t. Yes, you can use these platforms to establish authority, build community and trust, it is not a walking billboard of YOU. Your online personas should scream helpfulness, content that inspires, conversation that engages. Talk to your communities in voices they like to communicate, not in web speak. Ask them what they want if you don’t know. Take time to know your audience, partners, clients and more. The better you understand your audiences, the better you will be able to help them. The more you help them, the more they will trust you via your actions.
10. Author content.
Chances are you are in business because you know something. You hopefully know something that is going to help a business or individual otherwise you probably won’t be in business long. Make certain you establish your own content. I am a big believer in sharing and curating awesome content I find across the web with my communities. However, I am also a believer in creating my own content. It is through your own content that people get to know YOU! It’s where you can establish trust, thought leadership, expertise, relationships. Businesses and individuals that are not creating content are missing out on incredible opportunities to connect with people in a way that brings them close to you and your brand.
11. Be honest.
I added this one as a bonus mostly because it should be common sense. If you have an issue with a product, service, software, network, Twitter feed, Facebook post, blog post or other just be honest and acknowledge the issue. Hiding from it is not going to do anything that will bring benefit to you or your business. Don’t under estimate the power of your community and relationships. They are much more resilient when the relationship is built on trust and credibility.
Bottom line, if you lose my trust, you lose me.
Posted on: Friday, November 9th, 2012
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is really a huge database of professionals. Twitter lacks profile depth, Facebook is all over the place demographically and is also hard to find people. LI standardizes information entered by users into predefined “Profile Headline”, “Summary”, “Education”, “Company”, etc. categories. In addition to this huge database of information, the platform also provides an awesome search tool to allow you to pinpoint the person you are looking for depending on a number of very specific factors.
On the other hand, the more connections you have, the more you will be found.
So What is LinkedIn? It is the place to find and be found.
Why Should You Join?
1) Getting Back in Touch (Finding & Being Found) —> Yes, Classmates.com and Facebook also allow you to get back in touch. But because of the search functionality that LinkedIn has, I am finding people there that I can’t find on the other social networking sites. And because it is easier to be found on LI, many are finding me too!
2) Acquire & Share Expertise —> There are more than 900,000 Groups (updated number as of 7/2011) that you can join. Each group has its own Discussions Board, News Board, and Jobs postings. Furthermore, the Answers boards have more than 2,000,000 answers to a variety of questions for you to peruse. The subject matter in both Groups and Answers covers a wide enough of topics that there is value for everyoneto be participating.
3) Career Management —> Social Networking is a Career Insurance that you can never have enough of. The advice is the same whether you are looking for a job or are happily employed: a network should be your insurance for your future career growth. Companies are organic entities whose needs change and do not and cannot promise you a guarantee that your job will be there 10 years from now, next year, or even next month. That is why you need to be on LinkedIn so that you can both find potential companies and recruiters as well as be found by them. Even if you are happy in your job, it can’t hurt to have a minimal profile on LinkedIn and receive contacts from recruiters in your industry or specialty who may be able to help you out in the future, can it? LinkedIn is free career insurance!
10 Things You Must Do for LinkedIn Profile Completeness
1. List Your Full Name
You’d be surprised how many people still use abbreviations instead of displaying their full name. LinkedIn gives you this option in the name of “privacy,” but if you haven’t figured out in this Era of Social Media, privacy is already dead. Why would you want to have a presence without revealing yourself? You are potentially making yourself unattractive to those who may want to contact you.
2. Display Your Photo
I still get asked this question often: Should I display nothing, a logo, or a photo? There are reasons why some people don’t want to display their photos, but this is a social networking platform. Not displaying your photo raises more questions than provides answers. If you were interviewed or had a business opportunity, you would show yourself, right? So why not display yourself online?
3. Have a Professional Headline That Properly Brands You
The Professional Headline is what shows up under your name and also appears prominently in search results. The safest bet is just to put your current title and company that you work for. But put something…and if you are looking for potential opportunities, brand yourself properly here.
4. Have Something Relevant and Timely in Your Status Update
This is something that I would not have included several months ago, but the Status Update is not just about linking your account to Twitter and broadcasting tweets that may be irrelevant to your network. It’s also not about “gaining mindshare” by blasting your network with your Network Updates. The Status Update is about showing that you are still relevant in doing whatever you are doing. Going to an event? Share it. Attending a conference? Share it. Read something interesting that is relevant to your brand? Share it. Use your Status Update to show your relevance….and try to aim for a once-a-week update. You don’t want someone visiting your profile and see a Status Update that is months old…
5. Display Enough Work Experience…with Details
If you’re only listing your current place of employment, your LinkedIn profile is obviously not complete. And if you are listing where you worked without any details as to what you did there, your profile is incomplete as well. Look, your LinkedIn profile doesn’t need to be a resume. But even a one sentence summary as to what you did is enough to ensure that a potential reader understand that you actually worked at the company and understand the role that you had. It is obviously to your advantage to list as much details about your experience at each company as possible so that you show up in more search results.
6. Did You Go to School?
I’m still shocked by those who don’t put any education details on their profile. If you went to an institution of higher learning, display it. If not, list your high school. Once again, not showing any education details raises more questions than provides answers and makes your profile incomplete, lessening your chances of getting contacted with potential opportunities. Displaying where you went to school also allows your ex-classmates to find you…and you never know how you might be able to help each other out.
7. Get Some Recommendations
The LinkedIn “profile completeness” algorithm requires that you receive three recommendations in order to get to 100%. I don’t think there’s any magic number you need to have a complete profile. My suggestion: get at least 1 recommendation for every position that you’ve had, preferably from your hiring manager. College student? Get a recommendation from your advisor, professor, or even someone in your Career Center. But get something on your profile in the form of a recommendation that displays your realness.
8. Acquire Some Connections
If you’re on LinkedIn you should be networking. If you are a professional you have years if not decades of professional experience from which to find potential connections. The calculation is easy: all things being equal, the older you are the larger your network should naturally be. If you are an executive and only have 10 or 20 connections, what does that say about you? Connections are also important so that you can get found in the huge LinkedIn database. Rule of thumb? Multiply your age by 10 and that is the minimum number of connections that you should have.
9. Your Professional Summary is Essential
Don’t just register on LinkedIn like you’re entering your resume. Your Summary, or “Professional Summary,” is your way to introduce yourself to the world. Once again, why would you want to have a presence on the social networking platform and not introduce yourself?
10. Don’t Forget Your Contact Settings
The final section of your profile is one that is often neglected. Sure, LinkedIn provides some default bullet points for you to use, but don’t stop there: Use your own words to tell the world why you have established your presence on the site. If you are open to getting contacted say so. If you are just on to network with people that you already know and don’t want to be bothered by potential opportunities, say so. Let the world know what your contact policy is, ideally writing about what your networking objective is. This will show that you are “real” and will complete out your profile. For those of you that are happily employed or don’t want your company to be suspicious about your online activities, Contact Settings is a chance for you to set the record straight: Tell the world that you are happily employed but just want to get back in touch with ex-colleagues. The choice is yours, but neglecting Contact Settings completely is something that you should avoid. And it goes without saying that you want to make sure that you are not false advertising in your LinkedIn Contact Settings.
Did I miss anything that you think is essential to having a “complete” profile? Anything you disagree with? Please do comment! And if you are looking for more profile advice, see my post on LinkedIn Profile Tips: The 10 Mistakes You Want to Avoid and Why. You might also want to consider purchasing my LinkedIn book.
Posted on: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Dear Lord, America needs you, please do not be silent. Hear oh God our cries and select a leader that glorifies your name. Give us wisdom and insight as we head to the polling stations that we will vote a leader of your choosing. Let your will be done.
Posted on: Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
I can find good, solid, Biblical reasons to support either candidate running for President. Also, I can find good, solid Biblical reasons NOT to support either candidate I will continue to pray for both of them and for our nation as we move toward Election Day on November 6. If you are a person of faith, I encourage you to do the same.
I think we are blessed to have two good men, strong family men, evidently with good morals—although they do disagree about how certain issues should be handled by government: taxes, abortion, homosexual rights, health care, student loans, public television–to name a few.
Both men have switched positions on some of these issues—it’s not my place to try to decipher their motivations for doing so. Maybe it has nothing to do with politics…maybe.
I know where I stand on these issues, but I also struggle with the government’s role in making these moral decisions for us. There was a time when government would not allow divorced people to remarry, or anyone to purchase beverages containing alcohol, and it said that slavery was “ordained by God”
This is not political. I will continue to listen closely to the debates and decide which candidate I believe will lead our nation better. Then I’ll go to the polls and vote.
Don’t just belittle the opposition. Search for the truth. We all need to pull together or watch the demise of a free democratic society. Pray for Americans to seek the truth and take action for it will keep us FREE. Our biggest enemy is not China, Russia, North Korea or Iran. Our biggest enemy is a contingent of politicians in Washington, DC. The government will not help, so we need to do it ourselves.
Looking back through the past 4 years, many “Whens” pop up. Read them all to better understand where we are going as a country.
- WHEN – he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan, Muammar Gaddafi and Hugo Chavez, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – it was pointed out that he was a total newcomer and had absolutely no experience at anything except community organizing, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he chose friends and acquaintances such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – his voting record in the Illinois Senate and in the U.S. Senate came into question, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he refused to wear a flag lapel pin and did so only after a public outcry, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he stood with his hands over his groin area (the now-infamous “Obama crotch salute”) for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he surrounded himself in the White House with advisers who were pro-gun control, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage and wanting to curtail freedom of speech to silence the opposition, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he said he favors sex education in kindergarten, including homosexual indoctrination, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – his personal background was either scrubbed or hidden and nothing could be found about him, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – the place of his birth was called into question, and he refused to produce a birth certificate (only a “certificate of live birth”…not the same thing), people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he had an association in Chicago with Tony Rezko – a man of questionable character and who is now in prison and had helped Obama to a sweet deal on the purchase of his home – people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – it became known that George Soros, a multi-billionaire Marxist, spent a ton of money to get him elected, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he started appointing White House Czars that were radicals, revolutionaries, and even avowed Marxist/Communists, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he stood before the Nation and told us that his intentions were to “fundamentally transform this Nation” into something else, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – it became known that he had trained ACORN workers in Chicago and served as an attorney for ACORN, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed cabinet members and several advisers who were tax cheats and socialists, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed a Science Czar, John Holdren, who believes in forced abortions, mass sterilizations and seizing babies from teen mothers, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed Cass Sunstein as Regulatory Czar who believes in “Explicit Consent,” harvesting human organs without family consent and allowing animals to be represented in court, while banning all hunting, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed Kevin Jennings, a homosexual and organizer of a group called Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network as Safe School Czar and it became known that he had a history of bad advice to teenagers, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed Mark Lloyd as Diversity Czar who believes in curtailing free speech, taking from one and giving to another to spread the wealth, who supports Hugo Chavez, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – Valerie Jarrett, an avowed Socialist, was selected as Obama’s Senior White House Advisor, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, said Mao Tse Tung was her favorite philosopher and the person she turned to most for inspiration, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed Carol Browner, a well known socialist as Global Warming Czar working on Cap and Trade as the nation’s largest tax, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he appointed Van Jones, an ex-con and avowed Communist as Green Energy Czar, who since had to resign when this was made known, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – Tom Daschle, Obama’s pick for Health and Human Services Secretary could not be confirmed because he was a tax cheat, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – as President of the United States, he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he traveled around the world criticizing America and never once talking of her greatness, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – his actions concerning the Middle East seemed to support the Palestinians over Israel, our long-time ally, people sa id it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he took American tax dollars to resettle thousands of Palestinians from Gaza to the United States, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he upset the Europeans by removing plans for a missile defense system against the Russians, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he played politics in Afghanistan by not sending troops early-on when the Field Commanders said they were necessary to win, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he started spending us into a debt that was so big we could not pay it off, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he took a huge spending bill under the guise of stimulus and used it to pay off organizations, unions, and individuals that got him elected, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he took over insurance companies, car companies, banks, etc., people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he took away student loans from the banks and put it through the government, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he designed plans to take over the health care system and put it under government control, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he claimed he was a Christian during the election and tapes were later made public that showed Obama speaking to a Muslim group and ‘stating’ that he was raised a Muslim, was educated as a Muslim, and is still a Muslim, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he set into motion a plan to take over the control of all energy in the United States through Cap and Trade, people said it didn’t matter.
- WHEN – he finally completed his transformation of America into a Socialist State, people woke up — but it was too late. Add these up one by one and you get a phenomenal score that points to the fact that Barrack Hussein Obama is determined to turn America into a Marxist-Socialist society. All of the items in the preceding paragraphs have been put into place. All can be documented very easily. Before you disavow this do an Internet search. The last paragraph alone is not yet cast in stone. You and I will write that paragraph. Will it read as above or will it be a more happy ending for most of America?
- If you like the condition that Greece and other European nations are in today, brace yourself because that is the direction in which Obama has us headed. Take a close look at California’s financial disaster…that is Obama’s America in just a few short years (even with the ability of the U. S. government to print money).
- WHEN – November 6, 2012 comes, it will matter who you vote for. I plan to vote for the Mormon, not the moron. The bro’ has got to go…he is a failure that we can no longer tolerate.
Posted on: Thursday, October 25th, 2012
If you’re planning to establish a mobile presence for your business or organization one of the first considerations that will likely come to mind is whether you want to create a mobile application for users to download (app) or a mobile website, or perhaps both. Mobile websites and apps can look very similar at first-glance, and determining which is most suited to your needs will depend upon a number of factors, including target audiences, available budget, intended purpose and required features.
What’s the Difference Between a Mobile Website and an App?
Before you can evaluate the benefits of a mobile website vs. an app it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android and Blackberry) and tablets.
A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet (for mobile typically WiFi or 3G or 4G networks). The obvious characteristic that distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.
Like any website, mobile websites can display text content, data, images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call (to dial a phone number) or location-based mapping.
Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as Apple’s App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.
Which is Better – an App or a Mobile Website?
When it comes to deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, the most appropriate choice really depends on your end goals. If you are developing an interactive game an app is probably going to be your best option. But if your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content to the widest possible audience then a mobile website is probably the way to go. In some cases you may decide you need both a mobile website and a mobile app, but it’s pretty safe to say that it rarely makes sense to build an app without already having a mobile website in place.
Generally speaking, a mobile website should be considered your first step in developing a mobile web presence, whereas an app is useful for developing an application for a very specific purpose that cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser.
Advantages of a Mobile Website vs. Native Apps
If your goals are primarily related to marketing or public communications, a mobile website is almost always going to make sense as a practical first step in your mobile outreach strategy. This is because a mobile website has a number of inherent advantages over apps, including broader accessibility, compatibility and cost-effectiveness.
Immediacy – Mobile Websites Are Instantly Available
A mobile website is instantly accessible to users via a browser across a range of devices (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc). Apps on the other hand require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace before the content or application can be viewed – a significant barrier between initial engagement and action/conversion.
Compatibility – Mobile Websites are Compatible Across Devices
A single mobile website can reach users across many different types of mobile devices, whereas native apps require a separate version to be developed for each type of device. Furthermore, mobile website URLs are easily integrated within other mobile technologies such as SMS, QR Codes and near field communication (NFC).
Upgradability – Mobile Websites Can Be Updated Instantly
A mobile website is much more dynamic than an app in terms of pure flexibility to update content. If you want to change the design or content of a mobile website you simply publish the edit once and the changes are immediately visible; updating an app on the other hand requires the updates to be pushed to users, which then must be downloaded in order to update the app on each type of device.
Findability – Mobile Websites Can be Found Easily
Mobile websites are much easier for users to find because their pages can be displayed in search results and listed in industry-specific directories, making it easy for qualified visitors to find you. Most importantly, visitors to your regular website can be automatically sent to your mobile site when they are on a handheld (using device-detection). In contrast, the visibility of apps are largely restricted to manufacturer app stores.
Shareability – Mobile Websites Can be Shared Easily by Publishers, and Between Users
Mobile website URLs are easily shared between users via a simple link (e.g. within an email or text message, Facebook or Twitter post). Publishers can easily direct users to a mobile website from a blog or website, or even in print. An app simply cannot be shared in this fashion.
Reach – Mobile Websites Have Broader Reach
Because a mobile website is accessible across platforms and can be easily shared among users, as well as search engines, it has far greater reach capability than a native app.
LifeCycle – Mobile Websites Can’t be Deleted
The average shelf-life of an app is pretty short, less than 30 days according to some research, so unless your app is something truly unique and/or useful (ideally, both), it’s questionable how long it will last on a user’s device. Mobile websites on the other hand are always available for users to return to them.
A Mobile Website Can be an App!
Just like a standard website, mobile websites can be developed as database-driven web applications that act very much like native apps. A mobile web application can be a practical alternative to native app development.
Time and Cost – Mobile Websites are Easier and Less Expensive
Last but certainly not least, mobile website development is considerably more time and cost-effective than development of a native app, especially if you need to have a presence on different platforms (requiring development of multiple apps).
Support and Sustainability
The investment considerations of app vs website don’t end with the initial launch; properly supporting and developing an app (upgrades, testing, compatibility issues and ongoing development) is more much more expensive and involved than supporting a website over time.
When Does an App Make Sense?
Despite the many inherent benefits of the mobile web, apps are still very popular, and there are a number of specific use scenarios where an app will be your best choice. Generally speaking, if you need one of the following, an app makes sense:
- Interactivity/Gaming – for interactive games (think Angry Birds) an app is almost always going to be your best choice, at least for the foreseeable future.
- Regular Usage/Personalization – If your target users are going to be using your app in a personalized fashion on a regular basis (think EverNote) then an app provides a great way to do that.
- Complex Calculations or Reporting – If you need something that will take data and allow you to manipulate it with complex calculations, charts or reports (think banking or investment) an app will help you do that very effectively.
- Native Functionality or Processing Required – mobile web browsers are getting increasingly good at accessing certain mobile-specific functions such as click-to-call, SMS and GPS. However, if you need to access a user’s camera or processing power an app will still do that much more effectivley.
- No connection Required – If you need to provide offline access to content or perform functions without a network/wireless connection then an app makes sense.
As with any project, when developing an app you want to ensure that your are getting an optimal return on your investment. What you want to avoid at all costs is the needless and expensive exercise of building an app to do something basic that can be achieved with a mobile website.
As long as mobile remains a relatively new frontier, the “app vs web” question will remain a very real consideration for organizations seeking to establish a mobile presence. If your mobile goals are primarily marketing-driven, or if your aim is to deliver content and establish a broad mobile presence that can be easily shared between users and found on search engines, then the a mobile website is the logical choice. On the other hand, if your goal is interactive engagement with users, or to provide an application that needs to work more like a computer program than a website, then an app is probably going to be required.
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like input on whether an app or a mobile website might be the right fit for your Business needs.