Getting started on LinkedIn – My Top 5 tips

I joined LinkedIn in December of 2005. This was at a time when MySpace was King and Facebook was a college only thing slowly getting into high schools as a social network. At first I didn’t think the concept of LinkedIn would be successful but at the same time I did believe it had a lot of potential, boy has it changed (for the better) over the years. Let’s get to some tips for effectively using LinkedIn.


Tip #1 – Your Profile

You must complete your profile with a picture. Think of this as your online resume. Fill out as much information as you can but keep it professional. You should not include anything personal like hobbies, sports, etc. I think of my LinkedIn profile as a business tool, to confirm my credentials when customers or business partners look me up. Oh yes, and they will look you up. Complete your profile, education, work experience, awards, etc. You never know what kind of contact you may meet by simply having all of your information on there or what group may ask you to get involved base on your information.

Tip #2 – Join Groups

There are many types of groups on LinkedIn, professional, hobby, government, social groups, alumni, etc. Get involved in the groups. One of the things I really do not like about many of the groups are they end up being job boards. So unless you are looking for a job post relevant information to the groups and add value. The more value you add the more likely you are to attract a future employer or business. You can even promote your own products or brand on these groups but keep it more informational and less selling, establish yourself.

Tip #3 – Link to others

If you are in a business meeting and you introduce yourself or get a business card make sure when you get back to your computer you find that new “link” and get them into your network. This will be a sure way to get “remembered”. And if you end up getting connected, they can see what kind of influence you have by what you post and share on LinkedIn. I make it a point that when I get a business card I always attempt to link with that person, it solidifies my interest in them and their business.

Tip #4 – Recommend and Get Recommendations

You don’t need many, but getting recommendations on LinkedIn hold a lot of water in my opinion. The reason is someone looking at a recommendation can quickly see who that person is doing the recommendation and see what their reputation is very quickly. You should also recommend people. I wouldn’t just recommend people for the sake of recommending, make sure you truly would recommend this person in real life, because that is exactly what it is. It quickly builds a list of references and is always available online.

Tip #5 – Be the expert your profile says you are

If you are a rock star manager then make sure you post often about being a rock star manager. Make sure you are a thought leader in your area of expertise. This will clearly attract more connections and raise your profile credibility. The newly introduced “skills” endorsements is a great way to get others to see that you are what you say you are. I recommend blogging or sharing key stories or news articles that are relevant to your industry.

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Interesting discussion about Lotus Notes market share on LinkedIn

Yellowverse, chime in if you can!

Lotus Notes market share | LinkedIn.


Does experience matter? Not according to Google!

According to LinkedIn and their new cool company statistics feature you can get some pretty interesting information from their site. The charts below show Google favors the 5-15 years of experience worker with the more experienced crowd and the young crowd trailing behind by almost 10% each. There are some obvious other conclusions you can make from these charts, I just wonder how valid the data is.

IBM Experience by Years

Microsoft Experience by Years

Facebook Experience by Years

Google Experience by Years


Great article on OAuth and how Twitter does it “wrong”

Earlier today, passed on by Mikkel on Twitter is an excellent article on OAuth.  Mikkel has created an abstracted view part for use in his TwitNotes that does the OAuth work for you.  As Mikkel outlines, he has gone through the same struggles as Ryan did in his article on Ars.  Even though the article has some great visual graphics, don’t think its not comprehensive.  The article goes deeply into the problem at hand and even offers some suggestions how Twitter could change its OAuth flow like LinkedIn and Google.

Even in the context of server-to-server authentication, OAuth should be viewed as a necessary evil rather than a good idea. It should be approached with extreme trepidation and the high level of caution that is warranted by such a convoluted and incomplete standard. Careless adoption can lead to serious problems, like the issues caused by Twitter’s extremely poor implementation.


Lotus Professionals group is where its at

I have been a member of this group on LinkedIn for a while and I think it is an excellent place to help others and seek opportunities.  People are often posting questions and jobs.  If you are a lotus consultant then you should join the Lotus Professionals Group on LinkedIn!


Being social in the Lotus Community

Larry Bird Balfe

I just got off of the Lotus Technical Information and Education (LTIE) community call and there was a loud voice that IBM executives be “more social” in the community.   The community wants more executives like Ed Brill to be engaged on a daily basis.  I can definitely understand the reasons for such a request but the problem I see in general with social communities is you either get paid to contribute or you want to contribute (usually in your own time).  Like Ed, I also work out of my house and my “cooler talk” is actually the internet – so I blog, tweet, linkedIn, Facebook, etc more than most of my peers.  Of course I am not an executive and I do it because I enjoy it and I want to understand what the community wants and needs.  I also don’t have an office mate, unless you count my African Grey Parrot Larry (his full name is Larry Bird Balfe, see right) so it gets a bit lonely but he can carry on basic conversations .  I don’t get paid to do it and outside of being a person who spreads the news about development with IBM technologies, my boss never says “we need more posts” or “post something about X”.  What I post is what I feel like sharing or, I do post things that are referred to me by colleagues.  I also have a very different agenda – I am a geek who writes about software development and coding.  My level of posts are more granular and usually never focus on product futures.  You may take away that if I blog about certain topics then the development team is looking into it but it may simply not be true because I also have a wide range of development interests outside of IBM technology.

For those that want to be more involved then I would suggest following PlanetLotus and the wikis.  Being engaged in Twitter, LinkedIn and even Facebook is pretty important these days because many discussions go on in those places but they are usually a bit raw and may be hard to follow.  There are also more and more groups, meetings and people joining these other social sites and many times that is where I get invites to meetings like the LTIE one today.

And I must add, this is strictly my voice and not the voice of IBM.


Mixing cloud and on premise with WildFire

A big topic in the industry is enterprises mixing cloud and on premise data and what should and should not be supported.    I don’t really have many business related cloud sites today but I am seeing more work related posts on most sites.  I do get a lot of good Lotus community information from Twitter and LinkedIn and now I am actually starting to see more and more stuff on Facebook that is work related.

The problem is I am now seeing things I don’t consider “work related” show in my Notes client.  This could be bad if I happen to have this open in a meeting and someone posts something that is not appropriate.  I have to decide if Facebook is going to stay or not.  It would be great to have WildFire be able to block certain posts from a specific person or service.  Maybe that is a feature request ISW??

Now, I have our internal IBM Connections site added to the list so it will be interesting to see the value that brings.  I have to save this is very cool to see the communications come to me in a real time manner.

Once again, great job ISW!