Posts Tagged "linkedin"


I apologise that it accidentally looks like “pick on one company in particular” week, but this was too interesting to not mention.

This was in my LinkedIn news feed Sunday (2 days ago) after lunch. I was being fed it because one of my LinkedIn connections commented on it.

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The guy I know posted a rather negative comment. I didn’t feel like I saw a lot of negative, unhappy commenting around LinkedIn, so I decided to read all 69 comments on the ad. Here are some with names blurred.

ScreenHunter_470 Apr. 19 14.48

I didn’t cut and paste those together. That’s 6 unhappy comments in a row. And more interestingly, look at the dates of when they were left. 6 months ago. 5 months ago. But there are newer unhappy comments as well.

ScreenHunter_471 Apr. 19 14.51

ScreenHunter_472 Apr. 19 14.52

That’s always a great UX question.

Why DO you need all my contact details to show me a demo video? Well, the answer is that someone in the business or sales department decided it was better to “force” people into a lead funnel than to showcase their product without strings attached.

That is often misguided. People don’t want to give you their information. You might end up with fake information, which doesn’t accomplish your business goal. Or you might lose people who don’t feel like jumping into the lead funnel before they’ve even seen the product or its price.

Other comments under this LinkedIn ad suggested other competitors who had lower pricing. I would think that if I had less expensive competitors but I’m sure that my product is better and “worth it,” a marketing decision might be made to drain the moat and let people see what I’d hope is a super-compelling demo video.

It’s time to take that LinkedIn ad down.

After what looks like more than 6 months of running this ad over and over to the same people, it’s time to take it down. In general, that’s too much repetition of the same ad. More importantly, your ad now goes out with 69 comments, most of which are negative about your product and company. Some suggest competitors. That’s probably NOT the advertising experience you were hoping for.

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My LinkedIn is pretty clear that I’m a UX consultant and interaction designer working at various places, mostly on contract.

Yet every few months, I get an email through LinkedIn’s system. Some recruiter I’ve never heard of is “responding” to the job I supposedly posted.

I just got one today. Some guy who I should name but won’t wanted to send me wonderful candidates for the job I just (allegedly) posted for a front end and HTML email developer.

The last time I pushed the recruiter on why he contacted me, the answer was that he saw the job posted from somewhere I used to work or still work. He used LinkedIn to somehow find ME (as someone who works/worked there). And despite what the job listing SAYS to do if you want this job, he writes to ME via LinkedIn.

I understand that some recruiters might think this is some clever way to get an in with the company… contacting someone who already works there rather than going right for the hiring manager. That strategy ONLY works if you are happy to hear that the last time this happened, I went to someone at the company and said, “Some recruiter I don’t know and have never dealt with is trying to get me to give him some sort of special recognition or connection to you. He found me on LinkedIn, and then wanted to send me resumes. When I told him I’m not the hiring manager, he was hoping I’d walk his resumes through the right channels.” The high-level person at this company suggested I ignore that person and not reply. If you are happy with outcomes like that, then contacting me about jobs I didn’t post is for you!

The job I was contacted about today doesn’t say “Contact Debbie Levitt.” And it surely doesn’t say, “Troll LinkedIn to find our UX contractor to see if she will review candidates for a job she has nothing to do with.” The job listing says to go to this company’s website, where you will find an email form and phone number.

Low attention span recruiters, pick up your game a bit. Writing to me assures you of one main thing: I will NEVER let you represent me when I am looking for work. You also look really dumb to the company when I tell them what lame person from what lame recruiting company couldn’t follow directions on the job about who to contact.

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I recently got an email on LinkedIn. Someone I barely know (but am connected to on LinkedIn) asked me to introduce him to a very famous ex-CEO I’m LinkedIn with so the guy I barely known can pitch the CEO on investing in a startup I’ve never heard of.

I told him I wasn’t comfy making that introduction.

I can be a bit precious about my LinkedIn network. But I think that’s what gives it value. If I make every introduction for everybody for every reason, I’d probably see a lot of these people unlink me.

If a friend noticed on LinkedIn that I’m connected to someone at a place he wants to work, and I know this friend would be a good worker, I would make that introduction. There, I have some knowledge, and I wouldn’t feel like I were wasting someone’s time or being disrespectful. I would be happy to introduce my friend in case there’s a work opportunity there.

If a friend came to me and I knew their startup was amazing, I would probably have made that introduction. That’s someone I know well and I know their biz.

That also means I’m a bit picky about who I add on LinkedIn

That also means I don’t accept every invite I get. I try to keep it to people I’ve met in person and would want to stay in touch with or network further with.

If someone doesn’t approve my add request, I never bug them about it. That’s very awkward. A guy I met at a conference in October added me on LinkedIn. I didn’t really like meeting him, and felt that I wouldn’t be keeping in touch with him. I didn’t accept his add. Since then, he has emailed me THREE times telling me he added me on LinkedIn, and I should please go approve that.

Awkward. I didn’t reply to his emails or add him on LinkedIn. I mean, what was I going to say in my reply? “I didn’t think you had your s**t together, and thought you might be as annoying as you turned out to be.” ????

LinkedIn may be considered social media, but I don’t use it to be social

To me, it’s a serious networking tool. I go in from time to time and remove people. I want my network and connections to be people I like and trust. Someone I met at a conference in 2010 and never heard from again is probably not REALLY in my network. LinkedIn might as well reflect that. I don’t think I get extra points for more connections. I want GOOD connections, and I want to build relationships.

I know not everybody agrees. But that’s how I play it!

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LinkedIn lets you list skills. I’ve listed skills! Heaps of them from Axure to eCommerce to HTML and so on. Ah, remember the good old days of HTML!

LinkedIn now has landing pages for skills. Great idea! Love it. Here is the landing page for Axure, one of the key software tools I’ve been using at every consulting gig and job for nearly the last two years.

I like how it can compare some sort of trend against other possibly-related skills. It was fun to see iRise super losing against Axure with respect to how many people claim expertise. It was cool to see the page listing people who surely must be Axure experts! That’s great exposure for those people.

One thing was missing from that page. Me. Why am I not listed on there? I consider myself an Axure expert. The places where I’ve worked call me an Axure ninja. I have Axure listed as a skill. People have “endorsed” it on LinkedIn to support my claim that I’m good with this. It’s mentioned in the description at each job where I’ve used it. Still, I’m not on that page.

I emailed LinkedIn’s help center to ask why I’m not there and how I get there. It took them a week to have a guy email me that he would have someone find the answer. Um, OK. A couple of days later, I get an answer.

It’s a secret algorithm and we’re not telling you anything about it.

“Listed as a Skills professional on the skills page involves many aspects of the profile, company currently with, past companies and keyword entries on the profile itself. While we do not divulge the specifics that designate that your profile will show up on this page, our engineers are continually working on the algorithm that controls the listings.”

I understand that they don’t want people gaming the system, but this is LinkedIn. You can only game a resume for so long until someone realises you’re lying. I’ve blogged about that before after watching the truly bizarre half-truths and not-sure-that’s-truths I saw in a LinkedIn profile for someone I refer to as Terrible Ex Boyfriend #4. And he’s still at it. So sure, I can see how LinkedIn wouldn’t want Captain Terrible to be able to show up pages undeservedly.

I’ve asked if a letter from the Axure people stating my expertise would help. Axure didn’t offer to give me that. But if LinkedIn says it will help, I will show Axure my best work, and ask nicely. 🙂

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Meaningless Buzzword: Industry Leader


Posted By on Jan 20, 2012

Industry Leader. That’s a pretty big term to throw around! So it can be a surprise when you see someone use it to refer to himself, and the rest of what you can find out about him doesn’t really match that. It’s especially funky when there is no clarification as to what industry this dude claims to lead.

And you’ve never heard of him.

When I say “industry leader,” who do you think of? Some pretty big players in some pretty big industries, right? Keep thinking. Who else do you think of?

What about you? Are you a leader of any industry? Marketing genius Seth Godin says to find something you can say you’re the best in the world at. So we should all be leaders of something and number one in the world at something we do. What’s yours?

I AM an industry leader. 🙂 It may be an industry you don’t care about. But I’m still at the top of it! I invented eBay consulting, eBay listing design, and using UX principles in eBay listings. I’m the industry leader there. And what’s cooler is that if you Google me, you’re going to find things that back that up. Which means I don’t have to work too hard to tell you that because you can easily find out that it just IS.

I saw a LinkedIn profile where a guy called himself an industry leader, but didn’t say what industry or how he leads it. I hope nobody is falling for it.

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The Power Of Your LinkedIn Network


Posted By on Jan 19, 2012

What is the power of your LinkedIn network? Did you get a job because of LinkedIn? A recruiter found you? You were headhunted? Someone from your network sent your LinkedIn URL to a hiring manager? Well, these are pretty tangible. Nearly measurable.

What is the power of your LinkedIn network if the above hasn’t happened? Maybe it has brought you some good introductions to people who lead to good business relationships. Maybe you got a bit more respect in an interview because of who you were connected to. Well, that’s good too! Value!

What is the power of a LinkedIn network if it can’t do any of the above? You’re unemployed, and your network has no work for you. Your network knows nobody who has no work for you, or won’t go to bat for you and make those introductions. Recruiters can’t find you, pass you by, or you don’t get a second interview.

What is the power of a LinkedIn network when you claim to be a biz dev guy who is going to mine that network? If mining your network produces no meetings, no partnerships, no customers, no vendors, no partners, no investors, and let’s just say nothing, what is the value of your network?

The better question might be: what is your value? LinkedIn is a tool. The network are the people you connect to. If your network isn’t helping things happen for you, either you’re connecting with meaningless or powerless people, apathetic people, or you’re the weak link here.

What triggered this? I saw a bizarre LinkedIn profile by a clearly unemployed person. His profile clearly stated that he doesn’t turn down any request for connection, so you should please get in touch with him. That seemed desperate and lacking standards. But the weirder part was that his profile invited recruiters, hiring managers, and other people to connect with him so they can tap into his fantastic network.

Um, no (double) invitation needed. LinkedIn is about tapping into each other’s networks anyway. And the more you, unemployed person, try to tell me how connected you are and what an “industry leader” you are (see tomorrow’s blog post), the more I think this is not quite reality.

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In 2011, I was trying to help a consulting client clean up their presence around the web. We talked about a Facebook page, a revised website, and a blog. We talked about cleaning up their company page on LinkedIn. I went to their page, and was surprised to find that a bunch of people who I know NEVER worked for them had listed them as a current or past employer.

How did that happen? There is no check and balance on LinkedIn. I could say I worked at Microsoft. Nobody would stop me unless Microsoft is checking for who really works/worked there, and asking LinkedIn to remove the people who didn’t. This means that what’s on LinkedIn may not be true, and all hiring managers and recruiters should try to fact check what can be checked.

The easiest way to fact check is to hit that company’s website. Some smaller companies will list their whole team, and you can look to see if that person is listed. The second easiest way is just to email or call the company, and ask if so-and-so worked there, and then the usual questions about when, how was that worker, eligible for re-hire, etc…

The sad truth is that just because someone puts it in a resume or LinkedIn doesn’t make it true. Once in a while, there will be a big media story about someone who lied on his resume, and had to pay for it years later. I say never lie on your resume. A new job is like a new relationship, and why start a new relationship on a lie!

The fact that anything can be written by anybody on LinkedIn also came to my attention because an ex-boyfriend of mine appears to be adding work to his LinkedIn that he didn’t do. I am hoping that hiring managers will fact check that, call the company/companies involved, ask what his role was, and what he was like to work with. I’m sitting here and waiting for the phone to ring. 🙂

Bonus Suggestion: Look At The Timing Of Recommendations

In looking at the tangled web that ex-boyfriend is weaving for himself to deceive you, I noticed that at his last real job, he had one recommendation on LinkedIn. It was left by a close personal friend 3 months after that job fired my ex. Hmmmm. Seems a bit late in the game to leave a positive recommendation about someone… you loved his work… three months after he was fired for poor performance? More interestingly, a little clicking shows that this guy left my ex this glowing recommendation a month after my ex left him one.

We all know that people trade recommendations on LinkedIn. We just hope they’re both real. 🙂 To me, a great recommendation is the one you get while you still work somewhere, or just after a contract ends (in a contract situation). The recommendation from a close personal friend a month after you left him one, and 3 months after you were fired from a company neither of you work at anymore? Hmmmm.

I think the best LinkedIn recommendations come from someone who managed you to say you were great. The end!

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Klout Matters For One Type Of Person


Posted By on Nov 2, 2011

Klout tries to measure how influential you are in the worlds of social media. They give you a score. Right about now, Lady Gaga has a near perfect score because she reaches so many people, and many of those people feel influenced by her. So if she tweets, “jump,” a million people will probably tweet back, “how high.”

But we didn’t need a Klout score to tell us that. Nor did we need one to know that Aunt Sally who joined Facebook last week will have a very low Klout score. This is all very obvious. So then when does a Klout score really matter?

To me, it matters in one case: when someone tells you he or she is a social media guru, expert, consultant, strategist, whatever. OK, show me how you use social media. Show me who is listening to YOU. Show me how you engage with them, and what results you get. And if your Klout score is inaccurate, show me the Klout score for an account or brand that you managed, and what results they had.

I’m saying this because I happened to notice that someone calling himself some sort of social media [insert overblown term here] had a Klout score of 11. That’s like down there near Aunt Sally. And you’re the expert?

My Klout score is (as I’m typing this) 57. It fluctuates a bit. I don’t push social media very hard. I keep my Facebook friends as a small group of about 200, an inner circle of trust. I’m not one of those people trying to add as many people as I can, whether I know them or not, or who treats the Facebook personal account as a business thing. I have a good LinkedIn network. I tweet a good amount, though Klout is looking at only one of my many Twitter accounts. 57 is not a bad score for what Klout is looking at.

But I also don’t care. Nobody I know is measuring me on my Klout score. It has the fun gamification side of “can I get my score higher,” but I don’t really try. The score doesn’t really matter. My score is 57! Do you care? Are you more likely to hire me? Do you want to follow me now?

I think Klout only matters when I want to see if a social media expert is what he or she claims to be. If you don’t have a good network, reach, and can show results with social media, then I’m going to form a certain opinion of you. I can do and have done social media work for companies. So if you are putting yourself out there as a social media expert, I’d at least expect you to have a Klout score close to or higher than mine.

XtraNormal videos are always fun…

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I Guess I’m Back On Twitter


Posted By on Sep 8, 2011

I started on Twitter in 2008. By early 2010, I felt pretty done. I couldn’t stand all the one-way conversations, and the lack of linear discussion. I didn’t like how I had NO idea if anybody was talking to or about me without doing searches or hitting refresh all day. I pushed my blog posts to my accounts, and stopped reading.

Fast forward to now (September 2011). I’m checking Twitter again now for a few reasons. But first, let’s look at what the other social media and networking spaces mean for me.

  • Facebook is where I’m connected to friends I know. I don’t use it for business. I use Facebook business pages for business. But my personal account is very personal, and I keep my friends list relatively low. So my Facebook news feed is mostly updates from people I know and like. It’s the answer to, “Hey, how are ya today?”
  • I used LinkedIn a lot for biz. I try to connect with interesting people I meet at events as well as potential and current clients. I don’t read the LinkedIn stream since most of us are just sending our Twitter over there.
  • I joined Google+ pretty much right when they started accepting real humans. I like it a lot, but so far, it’s mostly people talking about Google+. Major snooze. Not much going on there yet.

And then there’s Twitter. OK, it now emails me if someone mentions me. So does my Postling.com account. Twitter is a place where I can listen to people I know, don’t know, like, or don’t like making short commentary. I follow a lot of recruiters and potential jobs there, and I can’t get those people anywhere else. I only follow people I’m interested in. I create lists to check out what some people are saying without them knowing I’m “following,” which is a neat feature, especially to keep an eye on competitors. It’s very searchable, so it’s easier (nowadays) for me to pull out just what I’m interested in… which isn’t much.

Another thing Twitter is great at is capturing the in-the-moment at an event. With hashtags, I can easily follow what’s going on relating to one topic, and filter out (most of the) garbage. It’s especially useful at conferences, and especially when they do hashtags for individual sessions.

So I guess you can find me on Twitter as brassflowers, of course.

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In October 2010, event registration website Eventbrite blogged about how different types of social sharing turned into paid event registrations. Their most interesting data is quoted here:

When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34.

More and more, I believe that Facebook is more powerful than Twitter. It’s better for interactions (compared to just broadcasting), it’s stickier, and it looks like it generates more action-driven results.

Update: Entrepreneur Magazine agrees: http://blog.entrepreneur.com/2010/10/thoughts-on-twitter-versus-facebook-for-business.php

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