Strategies for Improving Workplace Behavior and Performance

From Leadership Expert Dr. Diane Hamilton

Professors’ Media Choices in Online Classes

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There is limited research regarding the use of social media or other types of media in online courses. In 2013, I surveyed 110 adjunct professors from a Linkedin group to determine if they added media (including social media) to already developed curriculum. Due to the prevalence of online classes, it might help curriculum designers to determine media preferences. This type of study may also demonstrate the flexibility of online courses, the perception of content requirements in online courses, and professors’ best practices.

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Entrepreneurs and Celebrities Use Kickstarter for Funding

 

Kickstarter has been a successful crowdfunding option for potential entrepreneurs to garner cash.  However it has not been without some issues.  According to The Wall Street Journal article The Trouble With Kickstarter, “The only thing worse than having to watch your friend’s arty movie is having to pay for it too.” Aside from the problems associated with pestering friends to donate, there have been some successful ventures thanks to this site.  The following list contains some of names of celebrities who have used the site:

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Facebook Better for Following Blogs than RSS

 

Facebook has made it so much easier to follow just about anything.  RSS feeds and Twitter are still an option for many people. However, with Facebook, once someone “likes” a page, it shows up in their feed on their homepage whenever anything from that page is updated.  Unlike Twitter and RSS feeds, on Facebook, it is easier to see pictures and information.

It is simple to create a Facebook page that includes links to blogs like this one.  What I think is great about a Facebook page is that I can incorporate links to this blog, to my other blogs, and any other sites.  It is an all-in-one spot to access information. To see my Facebook page, click here.

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Advantages of Peer Interaction in Online Learning

One of the most important ways students learn in online courses is through peer-to-peer interaction.  In my experience with traditional classrooms, there were far more lectures and much student involvement.  The professors spoke “at us” in traditional courses. In online courses, there is more of a group discussion. Students receive the professor’s perspective as well as viewpoints from every student in the course.  In my opinion, this makes for a much more interesting and interactive classroom.

Not all students are fans of lecture-based learning.  MOOCs may experience high dropout rates due to their lecture-based format. According to the article MOOCs: Will Online Courses Help More Students Stay in School, “Critics of MOOCs are quick to point out their low completion rates (fewer than 7% of students complete the courses on average). They also note that the courses take the ineffective lecture format and make it the primary mode of learning.”

The types of online courses I have taught rely very little, if at all, on lectures.  The courses include more peer interaction and written assignments. The peer interaction revolves around discussion questions.  There are usually at least two discussion topics posted each week.  Students must respond to the initial question and respond to their peers’ postings as well.  This requires students to address the question, discover other students’ perspectives, and develop critical thinking skills.

Students’ responses to their peers must include substantive comments and well-constructed follow-up questions.  These questions often develop the conversation and create a dialogue.  Every student can see these discussions.  Every student can interject their comments.  It creates a pool of information that would not be provided to students in a lecture hall.  It allows for much more depth to the exploration of the topic.

In a traditional course, the professor may give their insight and opinions about a topic.  In an online course, this is possible as well. What is different is the amount of interaction required by the students.  Granted, things may have changed since I took traditional courses in the 80’s.  However, based on what I read and what I hear from my students, traditional college courses have not changed that much.  I believe that is why there is such an interest in MOOCs.  They add a new dimension that traditional courses have lacked.  However, MOOCs may not provide the peer interaction is the same way that regular online classes can.  The reason for this is due to the number of students in class.  MOOCs are massive.  Most online courses I teach include fewer than 20 students. When there are too many students, the discussions become overwhelming and no one takes the time to read all of the postings.

The best part of peer interaction is that students can learn from everyone’s experiences. Many online students have had decades of experience. This provides a wealth of knowledge that may be added to the professor’s perspective.  This allows everyone, including the professor, to garner important insight.

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The PayPal Mafia: What is a Serial Entrepreneur?

The PayPal Mafia refers to a group of individuals who created multiple companies that created a frenzy of growth in the Silicon Valley.  The entrepreneurs created PayPal before they set out to develop other multiple successful technology-based companies.  These men are serial entrepreneurs or individuals who, “continuously come up with new ideas and starts new businesses. As opposed to a typical entrepreneur, who will often come up with an idea, start the company, and then see it through and play an important role in the day to day functioning of the new company, a serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea and get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture.”

To learn more about some of the individuals associated with the PayPal Mafia check out the following members and how their initial success led to other serial successes:

For a more complete list of the PayPal Mafia members and their accomplishments, click here.

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How to Keep Facebook Private

 

Privacy issues have dogged Facebook and other social media sites for years.  There are so many areas within which to adjust settings, it may become so frustrating that people give up trying to figure it out.  The Wall Street Journal article, A Guide to Facebook’s Privacy Options, had a very good graphic that demonstrates where to go to make changes to privacy settings.  It is important that you go to the icon that looks like a lock with some lines next to it at the top right of the screen.  Once you click on that, click on “see more settings”, then click on security (listed at the top left under the word general).

Once you are on that page, the following list contains some suggested ways to improve security:

  • Turn on secure browsing which is listed first under security settings  – if it is on, it will show enabled.
  • Login approvals can be turned on for extra security.
  • Limit app settings (see left side of screen) so that certain things may not be posted to your profile. “Disable instant personalization if you don’t want Facebook to share your information with partner websites”.
  • Adjust ad settings (see left side of screen) to control what information appears in ads.

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Linkedin Endorsements Poorly Utilized

 

Linkedin has provided an opportunity for networkers to endorse the skills of people with whom they are connected.  This was meant to be a time saver for people who normally wrote full recommendations. The idea had promise.  However, it is not being utilized well.  When users sign onto their Linkedin profile, they are given a list of people in their network and asked if they want to endorse them for a particular skill. There is the option of being able to endorse all of the people that pop up as choices.  The problem is, many people are doing that.  People may receive many endorsements from people who have not witnessed some of the skills they have endorsed.  At that point, the Linkedin endorsements become meaningless.

It is far too easy to choose the option of endorsing people as it is currently configured.  If the point was to make recommendations easier, it is understandable that there should be some way to do that.  However, if everyone is endorsing everyone for everything, there is no value to the endorsement.

To find out more about Linkedin’s Endorsements check out the following articles

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How Businesses can Maximize Online Presence

 

While business leaders may constantly hear they need to maximize their online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, there may be more that they could do to succeed.  Just having a Facebook or Twitter page is not enough. These sites need to be managed and constantly promoted.

Technology entrepreneur Alex Zhardanovsky was recently interviewed by Fox News about ways businesses can improve their online presence. He explained that Facebook can be used like a newsletter.  He stated, “The nice thing about Facebook is that if you spend money building a Facebook page, you have an audience that does not go away.” This gives businesses an advantage of the old style of having people click on a link and then closing a page where they may never return again.

Facebook allows for more of a conversation where businesses can reach customers on a consistent basis.  The best part is it is a free way to build a relationship with people that may later become paying customers. Facebook Fan pages are a very important thing for business to create.  Businesses can post interesting content so that people will want to interact on that page.  Facebook also allows companies to target specific demographics.

Zhardanovsky recommends using a company called AlphaBoost to help companies build better advertising.  This site allows potential advertisers see how the competition’s ads are performing.  They can see the likes, clicks and views of the competition’s ad. The thought process is that if the business is similar, they will receive a similar reaction to a comparable ad.  He explained that once companies get the “likes” from posting a similar ad, then that is when they can differentiate their business from the competition.

To hear more tips about Twitter and other social media platforms, check out the video interview by clicking here:  Small Biz Tips from Top Tech Entrepreneur

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Brand Awareness: The Importance of Facebook

 

Youtube, Coca-Cola and Starbucks are just some of the most popular brands according to “fans” on Facebook.  Companies that have yet to embrace Facebook as an important marketing tool, are missing the boat.  Gourmet Marketing explained, “Businesses carve out an identity and following of customers through Social Media…none is more central than Facebook.”

Seattle Local Marketing’s article Tips on How to Find Fans for Facebook Fan Page stated, “Why is Facebook so useful? If you want to pull a lot of people to look and find out about your business then, the best way is Google since majority of these people use this search engines. However, Facebook comes almost as second in being one of the most accessed sites in the world.”

Social Media Today recently ran an article titled 15 Ways to Use Facebook for Business.  By creating a Facebook page, businesses can create a forum for discussion, facilitate word of mouth, research and test-market products, list press releases, and even hold contests.

Simply Zesty’s article Beer Company Generations $50.7 Million from 400,000 Facebook Fans demonstrates the impact on Facebook fan pages. New Belgium Brewing, “recently surveyed their Facebook fans and found that on average, their fans are spending $260 annually on the company’s products. This equates to $50.7 million in annual revenue, with 400,000 Facebook fans spread out across their products. Not a bad return on investment, given that the company had invested just $235,000 in 2011 in social media campaigns.”

 

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What is Typosquatting? When Misspelling is an Expensive Mistake

 

Typosquatting occurs when a website is created to prey on people who may have inadvertently typed in the wrong web address.  An example would be arifrance instead of airfrance.  Typosquatting is also referred to as URL hijacking, cybersquatting or brandjacking.

The registration of misspelled domain names is illegal. Sites like Wikapedia and Twtter have been shut down and fined $156,000 each.  Mashable reported that sites like these “are popping up on the web to trick unsuspecting web users into clicking on fake ads that claim the user has won a prize. In the case of these two sites, to receive a prize, like an iPad, people were asked for their cellphone number. The site sent a text with a pin and more texts with survey questions. Each time a person responded to the survey questions via texts he or she was charged.”

Alexa reported that some of the web’s most popular sites were typosquatted. Scambusters.org lists some helpful tips to identify typosquatting.  Some of the main uses for these sites include:

  • Revenue Generating
  • Transfer of Virus and/or Malware
  • Phishing Scams
  • Advertising Pay Per Click Scam

USA Today reported that, “most typosquatting domains lead to a bot network, used to steal passwords and obtain personal information such as financial or banking records. Bot networks aren’t obvious and can involve millions of computers.”  According to TGdaily.com, it is a good idea to get into the habit of bookmarking your favorite sites to be sure that you are landing on the correct page. Sixty Four percent of the typosquatted sites are US-based.  Bendelman.org compiled a list of popular domains and their typosquatted sites to compare number of daily visitors.  Click here for that report.

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Top Links Explaining Texting (SMS) and Short Codes

 

Just as Twitter has grown to be an important marketing tool, texting is not just for stating LOL anymore. There are some very important uses for texting, aka SMS (short messaging service). Check out some helpful links to explain texting terminology and uses:

  1. Donate to Charity – Pew Research recently reported that almost 1 in 10 Americans donate to charity through texting.
  2. Search Sites Like Google – By texting GOOGL (46645), you can search Google without opening your browser. Check out:  Six Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do. Word/number texts like GOOGL (46645) are called common short codes.  Check out:  Basics of CSCs to find out everything you need to know about common short codes.
  3. Send and Receive Email – To find out how to use SMS to access email, check out:  16 Things You  Can Do With SMS Text Messages.
  4. Check the Weather – By texting 4CAST (42278), you can access weather forecasts.  Check out:  Five Great Things You Can Do With a Text Message For Free.
  5. Check Calendar – By texting GEVENT (48368), you can access your Google calendar and schedule appointments.  Check out: Ten Terrific Things You Can Do With Text Messaging.
  6. Track Packages – Your SMS can track your UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and other packages through TrackThis.  Check out:  Run Your Life with SMS:  10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do Via Text.
  7. Learn Texting Abbreviations – You may know LOL, but there is an entire site of information dedicated to explaining what all of those text messaging and online chat abbreviations mean and text message abbreviations.
  8. Text From a Computer – If you have a computer and someone’s 10-digit phone number, you can text them without needing a phone.  The following explains how to text people based on their carrier (i.e., Verizon, AT&T, etc.):  Text from a Computer.
  9. Create a Common Short Code (CSC) – You can create your own CSC campaign by leasing a code.  Check out:  Obtaining a CSC.  Remember the CSC is like GOOGL or 4CAST noted above.  Keep in mind that leasing the code is the first step. You’ll still need to negotiate agreements with each of the wireless carriers to activate your short code. To be part of the CSCA directory listing, click here.
  10. Enhance Business – Business can utilize short codes for contests, lead capture and more.  Check out:  Top 10 Business Goals Enhanced by Short Codes.

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Words to Capitalize in a Title

 

Bloggers and other writers may experience confusion as to which words should be capitalized in a title of an article.  I sometimes capitalize all words so that I do not have to look up the rules.  But it is good form to learn how to write correctly.  The following rules apply to capitalizing titles:

  • Always capitalize the first as last words of the title as well as verbs, adverbs, adjectives, nouns and pronouns.
  • Consistently capitalize or do not capitalize conjunctions (examples:  but, for, and) or prepositions (examples: words that show a relationship between the noun/pronounce with another word – example:  from, over, around, about, before, behind) with five or more letters.  Older rules required no capitalization and newer rules require capitalization if words contain five letters or more. Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.
  • Do not capitalize articles (example: a, an, the), prepositions (see examples above), conjunctions (see examples above) with four letters or fewer, and the particle “to” used with an infinitive (example: to do; to be).  Exception: If the word is the last word or the first word in a title, then it should be capitalized.

 

Never have your title all in CAPITALIZED LETTERS because this is not only incorrect, it is considered yelling.

 

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Top 10 Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big Before Turning 35

 

There was a time when it was unusual to hear about an entrepreneur becoming successful at a very young age.  With the technology boom, the story is becoming more commonplace.  The following list contains the top 10 entrepreneurs whose dreams came to fruition and made them very rich before they hit the ripe old age of 35.

  1. Apple – Creators:  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  Apple was established in 1976, the year Steve Jobs turned 21 and Steve Wozniak turned 26.
  2. Amazon – Creator:  Jeff Bezos.  Amazon was founded in 1994, the year Jeff Bezos turned 30.
  3. Disney – Creator:  Walt Disney.  Disney was founded in 1923, the year Walt Disney turned 22.
  4. Facebook – Creators:  Mark Zuckerburg and his college roommates Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Facebook was launched in 2004, the year that Mark Zuckerburg turned 20.
  5. Google – Creators:  Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  Google was incorporated in 1998 the year that Larry Page and Sergey Brin turned 25.  Google’s IPO was in August of 2004, the year the men turned just 31.
  6. Groupon– Creator:  Andrew Mason.  Groupon was created in 2008, the year Mason turned 29.
  7. LinkedIn – Creators:  Reid Hoffman and founders from PayPal.  LinkedIn was founded in late 2002 the year that Hoffman turned 35.
  8. Microsoft – Creators:  Bill Gates and Paul Allen.  Microsoft was established in 1975, the year Bill Gates turned 20 and Paul Allen turned 22.
  9. Twitter – Creator:  Jack Dorsey.  Twitter was created in 2006, the year Dorsey turned 30.
  10. Yahoo! – Creators: Jerry Yang and David Filo.  Yahoo! was incorporated in 1995, the year that Jerry Yang turned 27 and David Filo turned 29.

Click on the company names above to find out more details and top stories about these unique companies.

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Stand Out In Job Market with Mini Resume Cards

Combining a resume with a business card in a smart, easy to read fashion, is a great way to capture a future employer’s attention.  ResuMiniMe is a site that has done a nice job of creating such a card.  In just minutes, job-seekers can create a traditional-sized business card that promotes their strengths while serving as a nice ice-breaker for networking opportunities.  Prices start at $90 for 1000 cards.  Gift packages are available.  A free profile on LinkedIn is required. 

They offer two style choices for the back of the card.  A traditional standard style that lists education and experience is one option.  Also offered is the option to include a QR code on the back.  For more information about using QR codes to find a job, click here. 

The following are examples of the cards that can be created on this site.  The back of the card is shown vertically here for easy readability.

Front (although not listed here, a phone number may be included):

Back Traditional:

Back QR Code Version:

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Top 20 TED Talks Not To Be Missed

 

TED.com contains some of the most inspirational, educational and entertaining videos on the Internet.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.  The site shares video-recorded talks given by some of the most intelligent and interesting people in the world.  There are plenty of top TED presentation lists on the Internet, that are created based on people’s interests.  One of the most recent subject-specific lists I’ve seen is 20 Essential Ted Talks for Entrepreneurial Students.  This is an excellent list for potential entrepreneurs.

However, TED has far more than just entrepreneur-related topics to offer.  If you plan on getting lost on any site on the Internet, do it on TED. I try to view to as many TED talks as I can possibly fit into my schedule.  Of the ones I have watched recently, I have created my own top 20 list of TED talks that I feel should not be missed:

  1. Arthur Benjamin on Doing Mathemagic
  2. Alain de Botton on A Kinder Gentler Philosophy of Success
  3. Ted Pink on the Surprising Science of Motivation
  4. Deb Roy on the Birth of a Word
  5. Dennis Hong on Making a Car for Blind Drivers
  6. Oliver Sacks on What Hallucination Reveals About Our Minds
  7. David Bolinksy on Animating a Cell
  8. Anthony Atala on Printing a Human Kidney
  9. Stewart Brand on Does the World Need Nuclear Energy
  10. Adam Astrow on After Your Final Status Update
  11. Jeff Hawkins on How Brain Science Will Change Computing
  12. John Hodgman on Aliens, Love and Where Are They?
  13. Cameron Herald on Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs
  14. Edward Tenner on Unintended Consequences
  15. Misha Glenny on Hire the Hackers!
  16. Gregory Petsko on The Coming Neurological Epidemic
  17. Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce
  18. Joshua Walters on Being Just Crazy Enough
  19. Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice
  20. Steve Jobs on How to Live Before You Die Speech at Stanford

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Facebook Now Allows Subscriptions to Your Site

Facebook announced a new feature that will allow for people to expand their exposure on Facebook.  People can subscribe to your feed if you set it up for them to do so.  This is a useful tool for companies who have a profile but not a separate Facebook page to promote.  Without having a page set up, the profile site previously required an acceptance by the owner for people to view the content. 

With the new subscribe feature, all that has to be done to allow others to view the profile, is for the owner of the profile to look for the word subscriptions under their profile picture.  By clicking on that, they can enable others to see their updates.

 

This isn’t the only change announced by Facebook. According to TechCrunch, “In addition to Subscriptions, Facebook is also making it easier to tweak the amount and types of content that show up your News Feed. Now, when you’re viewing a user’s profile, you’ll be able to hit a button and choose from three subscription settings:

  • All updates: Everything your friend posts
  • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
  • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

You’ll also be able to choose what kinds of content you want to see (for example, you could opt to block all game-related updates from one of your friends, but keep their photo updates).”

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10 Most Important Steps to Obtain Dream Job

 

I often speak to students and career groups about how to obtain a dream job or reinvent a career.  I have listed some of the most important points from my lectures, with appropriate links to articles, to explain the process.  Be sure to click on the links listed under each step to watch videos and read the articles to get step by step instructions.

  1. Define Your Goals:  People fear making mistakes.  Although it can be argued there are no mistakes, only learning experiences, part of avoid mistakes is to have good goals.  The goals must be measurable with timeframes listed for when you wish to achieve those goals.
  2. Analyze “You” as the Product:  To get a job, you must showcase your talents by thinking of “you” as the product.  When you are networking and interviewing, you are “selling” a product and that product is you.   Be sure to analyze your online reputation.  You can be sure that companies will check on this.
  3. Create a Personal SWOT Analysis:  SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  By creating a personal SWOT analysis, you can work on capitalizing on your strengths and find solutions for any weaknesses or threats.
  4. Analyze Your Competition: When you are interviewing, you must remember there are a lot of others that are competing for the same job.  Think of those things that you bring to the table that your competition does not.  What do others have that you need to be working on in the meantime?  Have you done your research?  If an interviewer asks you the question: “Why did you pick our company?” . . . do you have a good answer?  Know the answers to difficult job interview questions.
  5. Capitalize on Personality Skills: Part of finding the right job is based on understanding your personality preferences.  Personality tests like Myers Briggs MBTI can be very helpful in leading you to the right job.  It is also important to work on developing emotional intelligence. Find out why employers are placing as much value on EQ as IQ.
  6. Analyze Jobs:  Find out what jobs pay:  One of the first steps is to find out what a job is worth.  Consider what types of jobs motivate you.  Check out top 10 ways to find a job or have a job find you.
  7. Showcase Your Talents:  Use social networking to get noticed.  Find out how you can use a simple PowerPoint presentation and Camtasia to showcase your abilities.  If you are not on LinkedIn, you should be.  Use Google Docs and LinkedIn to get noticed.  Rev up your business card by adding a QR code to it.  Avoid putting these top 10 wrong things on resumes.
  8. Ace the Interview:  Once you are able to obtain an interview, use personality skills to wow them.  Deliver information in the job interview based upon understanding introverts and extroverts.  Keep in mind the proper answer to tough interview questions.
  9. Follow up on the Interview:  Always follow up with a thank you note.  It is important to stand out from the crowd and having manners is very important.  It is important to realize that millennials have unique job expectations and may not come across as respectful at times.
  10. Use what You Have Learned to Succeed: Continue to use the things you have learned in order to obtain the job.  Don’t stop setting goals.  Stay connected through social networking in case the job doesn’t work out.

Social Media Presence Able to Continue Virtually After Death

Adam Astrow stated some interesting social media statistics in his recent TED.com presentation titled After Your Final Status Update. His talk was about what happens to your social media presence after you die and whether it can be saved in a virtual personality.

He cited some pretty interesting numbers for how much data is being uploaded to Youtube, Twitter and Facebook and claimed that that data could possibly be used to create a presence after one has passed away. 

He pointed out that there are already some sites and apps that can create postings for people post-mortem. There is an “If I Die” app can that can create video to be posted on Facebook after one’s death.  There is a site called 1000 Memories that states, “1000memories is a free site that celebrates the lives of people who matter most – our friends and family, past and present. We help bring the albums, scrapbooks, and photo-filled shoeboxes of our lives out of the closet and into an online, shareable space where they can be remembered and celebrated, together in one place.”

Although one may have passed on, their lives can be remembered indefinitely through the use of technology.

Have a Laugh from Site that Compiles Past Tweets

 

There is a fun little site called That Can Be My Next Tweet. It pulls information from your Twitter account and calculates what your possible next Tweet could include based on what you have Tweeted in the past.  Every time you push the “get your next Tweet” button, it comes up with a new jumble of words combined from your past postings.  I put in drdianehamilton and the first three times I pushed the button, I got the following responses:

  1. You are emotionally intelligent? 3 Answers: Consumer Trends to Target its 90 Million From Russian?
  2. Develop Socially You About Your Current Job Google and Psychological Bloggers and Business Review: How?
  3. Boomerang Generation: College Tuition Really Want This New Pew Is Your Current Job Google Using QR code!

It was fun for a few minutes.  I’m not sure it has lasting appeal, but it can be good for a few laughs. I put in a few personalities that can tend to be characters to see what their next Tweet might be.  Here is what it generated:

Charlie Sheen:  Sloppy TunaGet you’re going to Colombia, it’s my page & ! KH & RH RT!! Anger Management ANGER & coke round.

Ashton Kutcher:  I’m a joke. retweet to keep spending millions to people sounds funnier than astronauts.

Kanye West:  Chilling with my stress and I just threw some bassoon on Yeezy’s and the right thing but I know Howie?

BrianWilson (the closing pitcher for the San Francisco Giants):  Charlie Sheen is why. The Tux. Made of the Wharf. you enjoy choking on today’s run, upon reaching the 1st!

To check out: That Can Be My Next Tweet, click here.

Make a Free Easy App Without iTunes

It can be quite frustrating and difficult to create an app that iTunes will accept.  I found a quick little way to create a free app that is easily accessed through a site called ConduitMobile.  You need to access the site to create the app through Safari instead of Explorer though.  If you don’t have Safari, you can download that easily for free.  

Once on the ConduitMobile site, it is very simple to create a decent app that contains things like RSS feeds, websites, Youtube feeds, contact forms and more.  When you are finished creating the app, you can test it on your computer screen to see how it looks.  When you are happy with the app, you can simply pick the option of “Web-based App Open on Mobile Phone”.  This will generate a QR code that you can scan with your QR Reader.  You can have this QR code and link sent to your email address.

If you scan the QR code, that will open the page to your app on your phone.  At this point, you click on the icon at the bottom of your iPhone that looks like a circle with a pen in it.  At that point, it will ask you if you want to open in Safari.  Pick yes and this will open up the website on your phone so that you can save it to your home screen. 

To see how it works, scan this code into your reader or click here to see more about the code and app.  By scanning in my code listed below, you can have access to my articles, Youtube videos and more on your iPhone. 

An even easier way to get the app onto your iPhone is to just use the link that is sent to your email that contains the QR code.  The link for the one above is http://drdianehamilton.mobapp.at/.  Simply open the site like this one on your phone and save it to your desktop.  You can also go to that link and forward it to people by entering their email address.  Keep in mind though that, unlike an app you download from iTunes, this app will be web-based and will require an Internet connection to display the information. 

Watch the following video for step by step directions about how to create your free app without having to go through iTunes:

Value of Top Companies

The following is a list of the estimated value of some of the top companies in 2011.  They are listed in order of highest to lowest value.

Apple – TechCrunch recently reported that Apple’s value is now worth as much as Microsoft, HP and Dell combined.  Valued at over $300 billion, Apple continues to grow.  For more specifics, click here:  Apple Value

Microsoft – Recent estimates put Microsoft’s value at about $200 billion.  Skype – Microsoft’s recent purchase assessed Skype’s value at $8.5 billion.

GoogleGoogle’s value has been estimated to be $192 billion as of January, 2011.  For more specifics on this income including Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s net income, click here:  Google ValueYoutube – Recent estimates put Youtube’s value around $1.3 billion.  Google paid $1.6 billion for Youtube in 2006.

FacebookFacebook was valued at $82.9 billion in January and that number continues to grow.

Amazon – In January, it was reported that Facebook passed Amazon’s value.  Amazon still showed a $75.2 billion worth.  For more specifics, click here:  Amazon Value

HP – Recent estimates put HP’s value at about $72.8 billion.

Dell – Recent estimates put Dell’s value at about $29.3 billion.

Groupon – Recent estimates put Groupon’s Value at as much as $25 billion.

Twitter – It is suggested that Twitter’s value is around $7.7 billion.

Linkedin – Recent estimates put LinkedIn’s value at over $4 billion.

The Most Useful Articles about How to Use Twitter

As Twitter grows and develops, so does the need to understand how to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool.  Companies and individuals that still have confusion with understanding hashtags, obtaining followers or how to remove annoying followers, should check out this list of the top Twitter articles:

  • Best Twitter Articles of 2010 – Bloggodown.com gives an exhaustive list of everything you want to know about Twitter. 
  • How to Find Hashtags on Twitter – This article explain hashtags and joining conversations on Twitter.  Hashtags are a popular way to start up a conversation about a specific topic within Twitter.  By putting the # sign before a subject, it creates a conversation that others can join.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Getting Twitter Followers – Dave Larson from Tweetsmarter.com explains the 6 ways to get Twitter followers including how to build a reputation, self-promotion, becoming a reciprocator, understanding automation, joining following groups, and avoiding spamming.    
  • Deciphering Twitter:   Twictionary Terms can be Very Intwesting – As Twitter grows in popularity, so does the number of terms that are associated with the site. Check out some of the most popularly used Twitter terms.
  • How to Block People on Twitter – One big difference between being on Twitter as compared to being on Facebook is that people can follow you without your consent.  That may lead to some situations that you find to be bothersome, including unsolicited contact or having to sift through a bombardment of tweets on your homepage. 

     According to AssociatedContent.com you can block people on Twitter by:

    • “Log into your Twitter account using your unique username and password. If you use a public computer, do not forget to mark the ‘Do not remember me on this computer option’ to protect your personal info.
    • If the user you wish to block is already following you, go to your ‘Followers’ list. Browse among your connections and click on the personal profile of the unwanted contact. Alternatively, just type the person’s Twitter name on the search box and click on enter.
    • While on the person’s profile, you will see a gear icon on the top center of the screen (next to the ‘Message’ box). Once you click on it, a drop-down menu will reveal the options ‘Mention,’ ‘Block,’ or ‘Report for spam.’
    • Click on ‘Block’ and you have successfully blocked the spammer. Moreover, a box ‘Blocked’ with a red line will appear on the user’s profile replacing the ‘Following’ box.

   What happens later if you decide you blocked someone that you would rather not block?  Check out  how to unblock Twitter followers.  

 

What to Know before Investing in IPOs like LinkedIn or Pandora

Is investing in an initial public offering (IPO) a good idea?  With the recent LinkedIn and Pandora IPOs and talk of future IPOs with Twitter and Facebook, this is a question that many investors may be considering.  Imagine getting in on the ground floor of a giant like Coca-Cola? It might have been a wild ride, but those that hung in there, had a nice payoff.  Joshua Kennon of About.com reported, “A single share of Coca-Cola purchased for $40 at the IPO in 1919, for example, crashed to $19 the following year. Yet, today, that one share, with dividends reinvested, is worth over $5 million.”

Kennon suggests that if you have the stomach for risking your investment, you might want to consider whether the company can grow at a rate high enough to justify its price, whether there are any patents or trademarks to protect the business, whether you’d want to hold onto this stock for 30 years and if it fell by 50% would you have the stomach to handle it?

DailyFinance reported some additional questions to ask before investing in an IPO: (1) Is there an attractive market for the product? (2) Does the company have a significant share of the market? (3) Is the company’s management team experienced? (4) Is the company growing and profitable?

The following list shows some more recent IPO original offering prices compared to their current price (as of July, 2011):

Google Initial Offering Price, 2004:  $85/share

Google Price July, 2011:  $530/share

Pandora Initial Offering Price, June, 2011:  $16/share

Pandora Price July, 2011:  $19/share

LinkedIn Initial Offering Price, May, 2011: $45/share

LinkedIn Price July, 2011:  $98/share

Many employees of companies like Google became wealthy overnight when their companies went IPO. The New York Times article Google’s IPO 5 Years Later stated, “When the offering finally happened, it turned an estimated 1,000 Google employees into millionaires, at least on paper. Since then, many more millionaires have been minted inside the Googleplex, the Web search company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.”

Not all startups have been this successful.  Businesspundit lists the 25 Internet Startups that Bombed Miserably. MSMoney also warned, “Many investors fret they’ll miss the next big thing because they have no access to the IPO market, but study after study has proven that IPOs historically underperform the broader markets.” FIGuide echoed that same sentiment in their article Should You Invest in IPOs, stating that there might be better options.  “A seminal paper published in The Journal of Finance looked at IPOs from 1970 to 1990. During the five years after issuance, investors in these IPOs got average annual returns of only 5%.(1) By contrast, the overall stock market’s average annual return from 1970 to 1990 was more than double that figure, at 10.8%. To put this in perspective, $1,000 invested at 5% for 20 years would have generated $2,653, while $1,000 invested at 10.8% would have generated $7,777, almost three times as much.”

Reality of Being Seen Live on Facebook, Google+ and Facetime

Today Facebook announced its new integration with Skype that will allow video calling and group chatting. Zuckerberg is touting “ease of use” as one of the key benefits of this system. Facebook can now compete with Google+ and their video chat service named Hangout.

The question now becomes, do you really want to have the capability of having people see you? Recently I was having a conversation with my husband on my iPhone using Apple’s Facetime application. As my husband took his iPhone around the office and said, “say hello to so and so”, I realized that as I could see them, they could also see me in my jammies with no makeup, hair up on top of my head and wearing my reading glasses. It wasn’t glamorous.

Many people use these video calling services when they are at home. Do we really want to see what everyone looks like when they first wake up in the morning? As we start opening up our homes to people with our video capabilities, we may also be showcasing things that may be better left unseen. Think about the dirty dishes in the sink or the unmade bed. Now more people than ever will know everyone’s dirty little secrets.

Top 5 Things to Know to be a Successful Entrepreneur

The typical entrepreneurial personality has the drive and ambition for success.  Like anything in life, though, it is always harder to do something the very first time.  This can discourage many new entrepreneurs from taking that initial leap and to start their own business. 

I teach several entrepreneurial courses and have put together some important articles that I recommend to my students.  The following list contains many of these articles and some of the most important things that entrepreneurs should do in order to be successful:

  1. Read Success Stories and Attend Lectures:  An excellent way to be inspired and learn from other entrepreneurs is to read their success stories.  Onlineuniversities.com recently came up with a list of 20 Biographies Every Serious Entrepreneur Should Read.  These books include important success stories from Ben Franklin to Sam Walton.  Another very important article to read is:  50 Excellent Lectures for Small Business Owners.
  2. Learn the Truth About Failure:  Many entrepreneurs are stalled in their pursuit of success due to their fear of failure.  Even some of the most famous entrepreneurs met with failure before success.  To find out more about this, check out:  50 Famous People Who Failed Before Becoming Successful. Also see:  Famous Business Failures: Is it as Gloomy as it Sounds? Also see:  10 Famous Product Failures and the Advertisements That Did Not Sell Them.
  3. Learn the Truth About Finances Required:  Not all entrepreneurs come from wealthy families.  It can be challenging to come up with the funds required to begin a business.  Find out how some very famous entrepreneurs became successful in the article:  Famous Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big With Humble Beginnings.
  4. Learn How Women Have Become Successful Entrepreneurs:  Some very successful entrepreneurs have been women.  Check out:  Most Inspiring Entrepreneurial Women.
  5. Learn How to Network:  One of the best ways to get a product or company known is through social media.  Part of an entrepreneur’s success is through finding their customers and their niche.  Check out:  5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses.

Once an entrepreneur has developed a strong idea of the direction they want to take, they need to work on their feasibility study.  Investors will want to see this to be sure that their idea is sound. Another important aspect of creating their new business is deciding on a vision and mission statement.  Check out The Top 10 Mission Statements in 2011. Once an entrepreneur has received enough funds to get their new business off the ground, they may want to consider whether or not to go IPO.  Many companies like Facebook have waited and not gone this traditional route.  Find out Why Companies Are Not Going IPO due to fear of the past dot com crash.

Generation of Haters Hiding Behind Social Media Anonymity

We’ve all seen the areas on Youtube, blogs, and other news areas where people make their anonymous comments about the topic at hand.  It has become very easy for people to make comments that they might not otherwise have made should they have had to have their name or face associated with their remarks.  Many comments are made by children under 18 and some of those comments may be just dismissed as immature.  However, as more news stories surface about children killing themselves from cyber-bullying, there is growing concern about society accepting this kind of behavior.  (For 11 facts about cyber-bullying click here). Cyberbullyingprotection.net reported that 75% of students have visited websites that bashed other students.

Many blogs, including this one, allow screening of posts before allowing them to be exposed.  This is useful to avoid the deluge of spam that comes across from people trying to sell their unsolicited products.  However, it can be reassuring to know that “haters” can’t just post anything they want.

Why are there so many angry people out there that want to write negative comments?  Part of the issue that these people have, other than immaturity, is a lack of emotional intelligence (EI).  Emotional intelligence may be defined in many ways.  One of the easiest ways to think about it is to define emotional intelligence as the ability to understand one’s own emotions as well as those in others.  People who write these posts have little consideration of the feeling of others.  This shows a lack of interpersonal skills.

It brings forth a question as to whether any specific demographic has more issues with emotional intelligence than others.  Rueven Bar-On, creator of the EQ-i emotional intelligence test, found that his model, “reveals that older people are more emotionally and socially intelligent than younger people, females are more aware of emotions than males while the latter are more adept at managing emotions than the former, and that there are no significant differences in emotional-social intelligence between the various ethnic groups that have been examined in North America.”

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be improved. Authors like Marcia Hughes and others have written several helpful books about how to increase levels of EI.  Author and psychiatrist John Gottman discussed helping our children’s emotional development in his book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child.  Some of the things Gottman suggests are to:

  • Listen to our children with empathy.
  • Help your children name their feelings.
  • Validate your child’s emotions.
  • Turn their tantrums into teaching tools.
  • Use conflicts to teach problem-solving.
  • Set an example by remaining calm.

By helping our children develop emotional intelligence, perhaps we can see a future of less “haters” and cyber-bullies making anonymous hurtful comments.

 

 

Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business

You probably have seen QR codes and don’t even realize it.  Perhaps they were on a marketing ad or a flyer someone handed you.  You might have seen them on a promotional piece or on a poster at a local store.  It may have looked so under-stated that you probably passed right by it and didn’t give it a second thought.

Start looking for them.  You’ll be surprised at how many places are using them.  What are they?  Think of them like a bar code that lists a lot more information and can direct you to specific websites.  Companies are creating these codes to be used with smartphone apps.  This is an example code that I created for my book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:

It’s really simple to make one.  You can go to a site like Qurify.com and type in the information you want to be encoded.  It may be something as simple as a website address.  You can go to the Qurify site and type in your website URL address. If you don’t have a website, consider putting in your Linkedin profile page.   Click on the Qurify button and then download the image it creates as a jpeg file.  Now you can take this file and put it on your business cards, on your resume, or on any other information you create. 

Anyone who has a QR Reader app on their phone can simply start the app on their phone and point it at your code.  When they do that, they will be directed on their phone to the URL address you entered on Qurify.  It couldn’t be easier. 

This can really make you stand out from the rest in the job search.  Just having that code on your resume will make those that don’t know what it is, look into it why it is on your resume.  For those that do know what it is, they will appreciate how technologically you savvy are.

If you have your own business and want to promote different parts of your website, these can be useful as well.  To show examples, I created several of these QR codes for Dr. Robert Spies’ plastic surgery site.  To see how they work, first download a free QR Reader app onto your smartphone.  Then open that app and point it at the codes listed below.

This code directs you to information about facelifts:

This code directs you to information about tummy tucks:

 This code directs you to information about breast augmentation:

 By having different QR codes like this, you can customize your marketing material to direct people to the appropriate websites.  For companies like a plastic surgery practice, this can be a very effective tool to target people that have a strong enough financial background to own a smartphone as well as those that are interested enough to point their phone at the code for more information.  It is a great tool to specifically target the appropriate population. 

To find out more about how these codes work, check out information from the guys at how stuff works technology podcast. 

Importance of Facebook Like Button: Millennials and Women Likely to Hop On

Businesses are increasing their presence on Facebook in hopes that users will pick the “Like” button about their company, product or service.  This is becoming today’s “word of mouth” through technology. 

A research brief from the Center for Media Research claims, “Apparently a consumer approval on social media trumps other messages when people want to show their support for local businesses. Leading ways that users show support are:

•75% of people tell their friends

•20% of people say they “Like” it on Facebook to show their support, compared with only 13% who write a review

•Millennials and women are even more likely to hop on Facebook

•40% of people under 35 “Like” a business; 49% in the 18-24 group, versus 18% who said they would write a review

•25% of women hit the “Like” button, versus 11% who write reviews”

This does not mean that Facebook will capture all business.  “The study also showed:

•52% of adults under 35 visit more than two websites before checking out a local business

•63% of respondents under 35 head to Google

•24% visit Facebook;

•21% look at reviews sites and

•17% clicked on the first link on the search results page

•8% of people said a deal is the number one thing that influences them to try a local business”

Facebook and Twitter Getting Free Advertising through Redirection

Have you noticed lately how many companies post somewhere in their advertisement that they have a Facebook or Twitter page?  Perhaps you have seen wording like:  “Follow Us on Facebook” or “Follow Us on Twitter”.  Imagine if your company was mentioned like that on everyone else’s advertisements and you didn’t have to pay for that.

This is something that is new in the advertising world.  In the past, you would see companies listing their websites to direct their business to their own companies.  They still do this, of course, but now they are also directing business to Facebook and Twitter to get people to come to their website indirectly. This redirection may have implications on web analytics, making it more difficult to know how many customers are seeing the company’s message.  However, the advantages for using sites like Facebook for advertising can be significant.  Tnooz.com reported, “With one in every 13 people on the planet using Facebook, the potential exposure that Facebook advertising offers can be massive, costing a fraction of what a TV advertising campaign might cost.”

This redirection of business is something that is growing.  It can be easier to get people to go to Facebook or Twitter initially due to their popularity.  Sites like bit.ly allow links to be shortened and more information to be included in a tweeted message.  This can also be useful for redirection to mobile devices.  Webupon.com reported, “Facebook and Twitter are two of the most user-friendly sites on the mobile web – and that’s great news for those who are going mobile with their websites, because it means people can right-click on bit.ly links in Twitter – and be automatically taken to a mobile version of your site, if they’re accessing it from Twitter.”

Sites like Facebook are helping increase what used to be called word of mouth advertising by allowing people to pick “I like” on a product page.  Trendwatching.com refers to the F-Factor involved here, meaning Friends, Fans and Followers on Facebook who can influence purchasing decisions. Check out an article by Converge2003.com that suggests there are 10 tactics to increase your number of Facebook likes.   For more information about adding a Facebook Like Button to your site, click here.

Millennials Actually Utilizing LinkedIn Rather Than Just Having an Inactive Profile

Linkedin has a lot of people with profiles. Quantcast reports “Linkedin has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally.” However, that doesn’t mean they are all taking advantage of the site.  Dynamic Business reported, “According to the 2010 LinkedIn Career Trends Research, a staggering 60 percent of professionals surveyed on LinkedIn do not use social media channels when it comes to advancing their careers – despite 87 percent believing an online profile will help their professional identity and career progression. This mirrors results for business adoption of social media, with only 28 percent of small businesses surveyed using social media despite a similar number believing it would help their business.”

That may be changing.  The day of looking for a job in the classified section has gone. Millennials are moving away from newspaper ads.  SMH reported results from I Love Rewards and Experience Inc. that showed, “28 per cent say they will use LinkedIn to find a job, compared with 7 percent the previous year. Newspaper ads are moving in the opposite direction with 28 per cent saying they would turn to newspapers, compared with 34 per cent for the previous year.”

Millennials have been shown to have unique expectations in the working world.  Mashable reported more information from this study showed, “Millenials about to hit the workforce don’t care what size company they work for and that 64% of them plan to stay at their new job for two to five years. Another 24.1% say they plan to stay with their employer for more than 10 years. However, the average tenure for millennials is actually 1.5 years, according to the Department of Labor.”

Google and Facebook April Fool’s Day Jokes

On April Fool’s Day the Internet is full of contributors trying to play on our gullibility.  Facebook has its share of people listing today as their birthday or reporting unusual updates.  The following is Google’s attempt at playing the game:

Facebook Depression: Report of How Social Networking Can Affect Our Youth

 

A report released today (March 28, 2011) by the American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with a syndrome they call Facebook Depression.  This report is titled:  Clinical Report—the Impact of Social Media on  Children, Adolescents, and Families.  Although Facebook allows people to remain in contact with friends and develop relationships, there can also be a downside.  MyHealthNewsDaily reported, “heavy use of Facebook, as well as other risks of the online world such as cyber bullying and sexting, can have serious consequences, so it’s critical for parents to stay involved in their children’s lives.”

This is not the first time social media has and its impact on young adults has been studied.  Livescience explained, “A big chunk of kids’ social development now takes place in the online world, according to the report. A study released in February 2010 found that 70 percent of wired American teens and young adults use social networking sites. A 2009 poll conducted by Common Sense Media found that more than half of teens use a social networking site more than once a day.”

The good is that there are some “benefits of children and adolescents using social media including:

  • Opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including political and philanthropic events
  • Enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors
  • Growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites
  • Expansion of one’s online connections through shared interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global issues)
  • Fostering of one’s individual identity and unique social skills–Enhanced Learning Opportunities”

For the complete report click here.

Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All?

There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both WordPress.com (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow.

With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit.

There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

 

Bloggers and Social Media Junkies: 5 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What are some things I can do to improve my blogging and writing skills?

The Internet has turned lot of people into writers.  Bloggers and social media junkies may have great ideas to share but may lack some writing skills that could help improve the message they want to convey.  I know I make a lot of mistakes when I write.  I try not to, but when you blog as much as I do, it is inevitable.  I never intended to be a writer.  However, I found that I liked sharing information, so writing became a means to an end.  When I write my books, I use a professional editor.  Not all of us can be editing experts. It could be very expensive and inconvenient to have to use an editor for every blog and social media posting.  However, there are some simple things that can help to improve writing skills. 

1.  Don’t End Sentences in Prepositions. The problem is that many people have no idea what a preposition is.  Susan Thurman, author of The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need, claims there is a trick to helping recognize a preposition.  “Look at the last eight letters of the word preposition; they spell position.  A preposition sometimes tells the position of something:  in, out, under, over, above and so forth.”  My seventh grade teacher suggested we think about a box.  For example:  in the box, over the box, and so forth. The following are the most common prepositions according to Thurman.  Try to avoid ending a sentence with any of these words:

  • About
  • Above
  • Across
  • After
  • Against
  • Along
  • Among
  • Around
  • At
  • Before
  • Behind
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • Beside
  • Between
  • Beyond
  • But
  • By
  • Concerning
  • Despite
  • Down
  • During
  • Except
  • For
  • From
  • In
  • Inside
  • Into
  • Like
  • Of
  • Off
  • On
  • Onto
  • Out
  • Outside
  • Over
  • Past
  • Since
  • Through
  • Throughout
  • To
  • Toward
  • Under
  • Underneath
  • Until
  • Up
  • Upon
  • With
  • Within
  • Without

2.   Learn to Spell without Spell Check. If you rely too much on a spell checker, you may find that words you meant to write are replaced with words that have entirely different meanings.  I can’t count how many times that a student has sent me a note saying to “please excuse the incontinence”.   It is best if you take the time to learn to spell correctly so that you don’t have to rely on a device that may change your intended meaning. The following are fifty of the most commonly misspelled words according to author Gary Provost of 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing:

  • Acceptable
  • Apology
  • Appetite
  • Architect
  • Assassinate
  • Autumn
  • Calendar
  • Changeable
  • Conscious
  • Correspondence
  • Criticism
  • Deceive
  • Discernible
  • Embarrass
  • Eminent
  • Existence
  • Fascinate
  • Grateful
  • Hygiene
  • Imaginable
  • Immediately
  • Irrelevant
  • Jewelry
  • Judgment
  • Lovable
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mischievous
  • Mortgage
  • Necessarily
  • Occasionally
  • Occurrence
  • Omission
  • Orchestra
  • Potatoes
  • Professor
  • Pseudonym
  • Quarrelsome
  • Religious
  • Reservoir
  • Rhythmic
  • Scissors
  • Syllable
  • Tragedy
  • Umbrella
  • Vanilla
  • Vengeance
  • Weird
  • Wholesome
  • Youthful
  • Zealot

3.  Vary your sentence length.  Some of my students like to write in either really long run-on sentences or overly short monotonous sentences.  Try to vary your sentence length.  Notice how the first sentence in this paragraph was longer and more complex.  That was followed by a shorter more succinct sentence.  It makes your writing easier to read if you vary the sentence length and mix it up a bit. 

4.  Ask yourself some questions once you have finished your draft.  Does the initial paragraph let the reader know what your paper, blog or article is going to contain?  Do you have needless repetition of ideas?  Is your tone and tense consistent?  Does one paragraph advance to the next in a smooth fashion?  Does each of your paragraphs contain a topic sentence that conveys the thought you have developed throughout that paragraph? 

5.  Work on expanding your vocabulary.  Rather than learning overly complicated words to express what you want to say, try varying the way that you say things by using a thesaurus.  If you are talking about a house, perhaps refer to that house as a dwelling or a building in the next sentence.  If you find that you are using the same word over and over, check out some alternatives words in a thesaurus to add dimension to your writing.

I know I am guilty of making some of these mistakes.  Through practice, we can all improve our skills. 

Top 50 Venture-Funded Companies for 2011

The Wall Street Journal had a couple of very interesting articles about start-up companies and their ability to obtain funding.  The following list of top 50 venture-funded companies for 2011 came from one of those articles.  Of particular interest to me was the ease that some young entrepreneurs are finding in terms of ways to obtain capital, should their startups be technology-based.  Everyone is looking to get in on the next Facebook or Google.  Entrepreneur Aaron Levie, 26, was able to raise $48 million in less than 3 weeks for Box.net, his online storage company.  Check out what WSJ.com claims are the top 50 start ups for 2011 below:

Rank Company Name Location Industry Why It’s Hot 2010 Rank Total Equity Raised in Millions
1 Castlight Health Inc. San Francisco Health Care As consumers pay more of their health-care bills, Castlight lifts the veil on medical costs. 14 $81.00
2 Xirrus Inc. Thousand Oaks, Calif. Information Technology Founder Dirk Gates previously took another start-up, Xircom, public and then sold it to Intel. 9 $80.25
3 Xactly Corp. San Jose, Calif. Business and Financial Services Xactly’s partners include Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com, which invested last June.   $69.00
4 Recycle Rewards Inc. New York Business and Financial Services Recyclebank is expanding internationally and currently operates in 29 states. 25 $73.35
5 ExteNet Systems Inc. Lisle, Ill. Information Technology ExteNet raised $128 million in a January 2010 round led by George Soros’s investment firm.   $191.90
6 Cyan Optics Inc. Petaluma, Calif. Information Technology CEO Michael Hatfield previously founded Calix Networks, which held an IPO last year.   $90.83
7 Aster Data Systems Inc. San Carlos, Calif. Information Technology Aster helps companies analyze data to understand customer behavior and detect fraud.   $47.00
8 Glam Media Inc. Brisbane, Calif. Consumer Services Glam’s sites attract 198 million monthly visitors world-wide. 13 $154.20
9 Carrier IQ Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Information Technology The software sits on 140 million devices world-wide, providing data to Sprint and Vodafone.   $48.00
10 Imperva Inc. Redwood Shores, Calif. Information Technology CEO Shlomo Kramer co-founded one of Israel’s largest tech companies, Check Point Software.   $54.00
11 Vidyo Inc. Hackensack, N.J. Information Technology Vidyo powers Google Chat and bundles its software on Hewlett-Packard PCs. 35 $61.19
12 Etsy Inc. Brooklyn, N.Y. Consumer Services It’s profitable and in August it estimated 2010 revenue of $30 million to $50 million.   $51.25
13 RGB Networks Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology RGB acquired mobile-video rival RipCode in June.   $119.00
14 IronKey Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology Founder and Chairman David Jevans helped develop Apple’s Internet strategy.   $50.30
15 Appia Inc. Durham, N.C. Information Technology Appia is moving to build app marketplaces for the likes of AT&T and Samsung.   $18.25
16 The Active Network Inc. San Diego Business and Financial Services Having raised at least $275 million, Active has made numerous acquisitions.   $272.44
17 Nimble Storage Inc. San Jose, Calif. Information Technology Nimble has built an appliance that provides primary and backup storage in one box.   $24.27
18 PatientSafe Solutions Inc. San Diego Health Care After raising $30 million in February, PatientSafe completed and launched its iPod Touch system.   $71.50
19 Glaukos Corp. Laguna Hills, Calif. Health Care Glaukos is developing a new medical-device treatment for open-angle glaucoma.   $117.55
20 Fusion-io Inc. Salt Lake City Information Technology Executive team boasts Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. 2 $111.50
21 Achaogen Inc. South San Francisco, Calif. Health Care Has support from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense.   $103.00
22 NeuroPace Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Health Care Filed for approval of a system to monitor and stop epileptic seizures. 12 $130.30
23 Xoom Corp. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Two large, undisclosed public equities firms led its last $33 million round.   $81.44
24 Workday Inc. Pleasanton, Calif. Business and Financial Services The latest effort from Dave Duffield is challenging his earlier creation, PeopleSoft. 16 $110.00
25 SpiderCloud Wireless Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Information Technology Helps carriers meet the growing demand for mobile broadband on corporate campuses.   $54.10
26 Jive Software Inc. Palo Alto, Calif. Information Technology Financed by Google backers Kleiner and Sequoia, Jive Software brings social-networking tools to big business.   $57.57
27 Federated Media Publishing San Francisco Consumer Services Federated Media has made three acquisitions since August to bulk up its advertising and publishing network.   $57.25
28 Boku Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services CEO Mark Britto previously led Ingenio to an acquisition by AT&T and Accept.com to Amazon.   $38.00
29 Zoosk Inc. San Francisco Consumer Services The “social” online-dating company has more than 15 million active monthy users. 42 $40.10
30 EndoGastric Solutions Inc. Redmond, Wash. Health Care With $120 million total raised, EndoGastric is pushing to profitability.   $128.68
31 Chegg Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Consumer Services Chegg recently acquired two firms to expand into other student services. 32 $166.20
32 Everyday Health Inc. New York Consumer Services Everyday Health’s sites host 26.5 million visitors a month. In January, it partnered with AOL.   $77.20
33 Xsigo Systems Inc. San Jose, Calif. Business and Financial Services Xsigo’s board of directors includes Veritas Software’s Mark Leslie and HP’s chairman Ray Lane.   $60.00
34 Soasta Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Information Technology Soasta tests the mettle of online services prior to launch by simulating heavy traffic. 36 $21.05
35 Rally Software Development Corp. Boulder, Colo. Information Technology Rally was named the sixth best place to work in the U.S. by Outside magazine last year.   $49.25
36 Prosper Marketplace Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Prosper leveraged the credit crisis to build a service matching lenders and borrowers.   $54.24
37 Pivot3 Inc. Houston Information Technology It says bookings doubled each of the last four years.   $78.00
38 Suniva Inc. Norcross, Ga. Energy and Utilities One of the only start-up solar-cell makers in the U.S. that’s enjoying rising demand. 15 $130.50
39 Veracyte Inc. South San Francisco, Calif. Health Care Developing minimally invasive molecular tests to provide earlier cancer diagnoses.   $49.00
40 ExactTarget Inc. Indianapolis Business and Financial Services Exact Target scrapped an IPO in 2009 and has bought three companies in 17 months.   $155.50
41 OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. Redwood City, Calif. Health Care OncoMed has shown an ability to attack cancer stem cells, which resist traditional chemotherapy.   $168.02
42 ExaGrid Systems Inc. Westborough, Mass. Information Technology ExaGrid’s technology is similar to that of Data Domain, the subject of a $2.2 billion EMC-NetApp bidding war.   $78.10
43 SeeSaw Networks Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Founder Monte Zweben previously founded Blue Martini Software and Red Pepper.   $19.59
44 Silver Peak Systems Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Information Technology Silver Peak is growing quickly and taking on larger rival Riverbed Technology. 20 $59.80
45 Zilliant Inc. Austin, Texas Information Technology Zilliant uses scientific data to maximize profits by fine-tuning pricing.   $62.47
46 Yammer Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Called “Facebook for business,” Yammer has been embraced by employees at large companies.   $40.00
47 Bivio Networks Inc. Pleasanton, Calif. Information Technology Its government contracts helped it navigate the recession better than most.   $78.30
48 TxVia Inc. New York Business and Financial Services CEO Anil Aggarwal has a decade of experience running electronic-payments firms.   $51.50
49 Service-now.com Inc. Del Mar, Calif. Information Technology Founder and CEO Fred Luddy was CTO of Peregrine Systems and Remedy. Former Documentum CEO Jeff Miller and Proflowers.com CEO Bill Strauss became directors last year. 45 $54.86
50 Aprius Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology Cofounder Peter Kirkpatrick hails from Intel and CEO Varun Nagaraj led NetContinuum.   $31.00

Source:Dow Jones VentureSource

5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses

 

Entrepreneurs are often looking for ways to promote their new businesses.  On March 18, the local YOB (Your Own Business) Fair will be a place where Arizona business owners can go to find out tips to help them promote their business.  I will have a booth there and I hope you will join me.  In the meantime, please check out some of the top networking tips that small businesses should be considering in order to succeed: 

  1. Find out where your customers are and connect to them through social networking.  It is important to network with as many people as you can, but remember to try and focus on those that have connections.  Spend some time looking through contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter to see who your friends and contacts know.  Get into groups on sites like LinkedIn and start threads about topics that would be of interest to people you’d like to target as customers.  Become an expert in the Q&A area on LinkedIn as well.  Create Facebook pages for your company and products.  Link your sites together so that your updates get posted to all of your social networking sites.  If you don’t know where to begin to learn how to social network, check out letsgetsocial.com for a reasonably priced series of videos to show you how to become social-networking savvy.  If you have the funds, you could hire a social media expert to do it for you.
  2. Give people something so that they will want to come to your site.  If you aren’t on Youtube, you need to be.  Create several short (3-4 minute) videos offering people something for free and post them on Youtube.  End your video with a link to your landing page to have them sign up for a free newsletter or some other free item.  This will allow you to capture their email address and get them on your mailing list in a legitimate way.  The videos do not have to be fancy.  A simple video camera can create all you need.  You can also make a PowerPoint presentation and then overlay it with Camtasia so that your file has your voice and presentation without necessarily having to have a video of your face if that makes you more comfortable.  You can upload the file to Youtube and also link to it from your website and/or blog. 
  3. Ask for word of mouth.  One of the best ways to get noticed is to have people talk about your business.  If you aren’t asking your satisfied customers to tell other people about you, then you are missing the boat.  Happy customers are usually more than willing to tell others about you if you ask them to do so.  Many just haven’t considered it until it is brought up.  Ask people if they know people who could use your service.  If they do, ask them if they will tell people about you and give them your cards or flyers to give to these people. Remember to ask people to do things based on assessing their level of comfort.  Part of connecting with others is to understand individual personalities
  4. Keep records of contacts you make.  If you have a software package like ACT! or Outlook, you can keep notes there.  Keep a record of everyone you meet and make notes about everything you know about them.  Every time you meet someone new, find out something about them that you can write down into your file and bring up later.   If you can figure out their birthday from Facebook, always send them a note saying “happy birthday”.  Find reasons to stay in contact.  Put notes into your calendar reminding yourself to drop a note, asking if the baby was born yet or how the wedding went.  Showing an interest in people draws them closer to you.  Avoid promoting your products and yourself in all outgoing messages.  Make it be about them or give them information that helps them and makes them want to come back to you.    
  5. Be a resource or mentor.  Find ways to offer your services for free to others and it will bring people back to you later.  On LinkedIn, you can answer questions in the Q&A room to help others and get recognized.  Join local groups and volunteer to do things to become noticed.  People remember kindness and are more willing to give out your name to others if they associate you with good things. 

Is Facebook and Twitter Keeping You Out of College or Helping You Get In?

Employers often use Google or other online research sites to find out about prospective job applicants. If there is embarrassing or incriminating information out there, it may not just be prospective employers that find it. 

Universities are also performing online searches on prospective students. According to Latimes, “College admissions officials look up applicants on Facebook and Twitter, experts say. Details revealed through social media can make or break a good impression.”

Keep in mind, social media can be a way to have employers and universities find out good things about you as well.  In the Latimes article the editor of StudentAdvisor “suggests following the school’s Twitter feed or “liking” its Facebook fan page. Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities and provide a link on their applications.”

For more information, check out the Online Reputation Guide

Online Reputation Guide for College-Bound Students

InMaps from Linkedin: Map Your Social Connections If You Can Get It To Work

Have you ever wondered what your network actually looks like?  With Linkedin InMaps, they claim you can get a map of colors to show your connections and how they inter-relate.  Colors represent groups within your professional connections.  It’s a way to see how you know people and visualize relationships.

It sounded very interesting so I thought I’d check it out.  I was unable to view InMaps through Explorer or AOL.  It suggested using Google’s Chrome or Firefox but it never worked with those applications either.  It just gives a never-ending processing swirl on the page.  I was curious if it had to do with Windows 7 so I tried it on my Mac with no luck either. Granted, I have a lot of connections on Linkedin, but the processing swirl never stopped. 

Perhaps they are just having problems with the site that will resolve.  If anyone has had good or bad things to say about InMaps, I’d be curious to hear about it.

LinkedIn IPO May Be Sooner Than You Think

LinkedIn has already completed the first step in the IPO process.  With over 90 million members in over 200 countries and an estimated worth of $2 billion, its growth is undeniable. All Things Digital reported, “LinkedIn, the online business networking site, is likely to file regulatory documents for an initial public offering as early as today, according to sources close to the situation.”

Linkedin may not be the only big name going IPO soon.  According to All Things Digital, “LinkedIn’s entry into the public market is one that many expect will be followed by other Internet firms in the coming year, including Zynga, Chegg and, most anticipated of all, Facebook.”

Quora Confusion: How to Navigate This New Social Media Site

image via google.com

Quora is a social media site created by former Facebook employees.  It is designed to be an interactive question and answer site.  It appears to me to be like the Q&A section on LinkedIn where someone can ask a question and receive an answer in a more sophisticated way than a simple Yahoo Answers response.  Unlike Yahoo Answers, users must be a member of the site to view the discussions.  

I have received several notifications that people were following me recently on Quora, so I decided to give it another look yesterday.  Interestingly, this morning, the Wall Street Journal did a piece on Quora.  I was a bit relieved to hear that I wasn’t the only one who finds the site to be a bit confusing.  According to the WSJ article, “The site lacks instructions on how to use it; people just have to figure it out as they go. For example, a newcomer might not know that Quora answers can be voted up or down by seeing two tiny triangles that appear beside each answer. If I select the up triangle, this indicates I voted for that answer, and news of this vote is shared on the Quora home page of anyone who follows me. A number beside each answer indicates how many votes it has received so far. But unless you’ve used the site for a while, you wouldn’t know any of this.”

I like the Q&A section in LinkedIn and I think Quora has some possibilities.  I will have to give it another try.  I recommend reading the article in the Wall Street Journal to learn more about Quora and how to navigate within the site by clicking here

For now, I have answered questions on Quora including one titled: How do you know if you are emotionally intelligent?  If you are on Quora and want to see my response to that question click here.

Top 10 Company Mission Statements

Image via n2growth.com

Companies often list their vision and their mission statements on their sites. The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on a company’s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company’s future.  However, some companies tend to blend these statements.  The following are some of the top technology-based company mission statements:

Amazon:  Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.  (They list this as their mission as a combination mission/vision on their site).

Apple:  Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

Dell:  Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve. 

Facebook:  Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Google:  Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Microsoft:  Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Skype:  Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.

Twitter:  Twitter lists its mission as “a work in progress” as it has yet to be fully developed.

Yahoo!:  Yahoo!’s mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses

YouTube:  YouTube’s mission is to provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently

Why Companies Are Not Going IPO: Are Skype, Twitter and Facebook Projected IPOs in 2011?

There is a new trend for companies to remain privately owned.  Why have mega-companies like Facebook yet to go public?  The New York Times reported recently, “An I.P.O. used to be a rite of passage for a company, a sign that it had arrived. But even before the financial collapse of 2008, some entrepreneurs and financiers worried that America’s markets were somehow losing their edge. That would be bad news not only for Wall Street but ultimately the entire economy.”

Investors are frightened due to the recent stock crash.  Will the economy suffer if there isn’t an infusion of new companies in the stock market?  The numbers are definitely down.  According to The New York Times, “The annual rate of I.P.O.’s peaked in 1996, when around 756 American-based companies went public, according to Dealogic. That figure fell to a low of 36 during the financial crisis in 2008. It picked up to about 50 in 2009 and, so far this year (2010), it is running at about 100, excluding G.M.”

There has been talk that IPOs will pick up in 2011.  There are some major companies that have hinted at going public in 2011.  Here is the latest on some of the most discussed possible entrants into the IPO market:

  • SkypeTMC News reported, “Skype originally filed an S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission back in August, but have made several major moves since that may have pushed back the company’s timetable.”
  • Facebook – Although it is possible they could go IPO in 2011, recent talk has indicated it will probably not happen until 2012.  ComputerWeekly stated, “Facebook is preparing to sell stock through an initial public offering (IPO) in 2012, according to a document published by the social networking company. The document revealed that the number of Facebook shareholders will increase above 500 this year, forcing the company to go public or disclose financial information.”
  • Twitter – Some have speculated Twitter would be going public but ReadWriteWeb reported differently.  “According to CEO Costolo, Twitter has grown quickly recently, with 100 people joining the company in Q4. While the company recently raised $200 million in funding, Swisher wondered what Costolo saw as the company’s future – would it sell or would it go public? Neither, said Costolo.”

Companies go public to get money.  There are other advantages.  According to Investopedia.com, other reasons to go public include:

  • Because of the increased scrutiny, public companies can usually get better rates when they issue debt.
  • As long as there is market demand, a public company can always issue more stock. Thus, mergers and acquisitions are easier to do because stock can be issued as part of the deal.
  • Trading in the open markets means liquidity. This makes it possible to implement things like employee stock ownership plans, which help to attract top talent.

There are some disadvantages to going public.  According to Findlaw those disadvantages include the following.  I recommend going to Findlaw’s link to read the full explanations behind each of these disadvantages:

  • Time and Expense 
  • Disclosure
  • Decisions Based on Stock Price
  • Regulatory Review
  • Falling Stock Price
  • Vulnerability

Facebook, Google and Bing: When Companies Become So Popular Their Names Are Used as Verbs

If a company has its name used as a verb, its popularity is undeniable but it may also be problematic.  Although Google is a company name, it is not unusual for it to be used as a verb, as in someone is going to “Google” something.   Google and Facebook are listed as verbs on Dictionary.com.  The official definition for the verb version of Facebook is “to search for (a person’s profile) on the Facebook website.”  In fact, there is actually a Facebook page titled When Did Facebook Become a Verb with an entry as early as 2006.

In 2006, CNet announced that Google had officially become a verb.  Google was not the first to be used this way.  Think about Xerox.  It used to be common to say that something needed to be Xeroxed instead of copied.  However, having the company name used as a verb can have its consequences.  CNet reported, “Becoming synonymous with an invention may hold a certain amount of historic glory for a company, but ubiquitous use of the company’s name to describe something can make it harder to enforce a trademark. Bayer lost Aspirin as a U.S. trademark in 1921 after it was determined that the abbreviation for acetylsalicylic acid had become a generic term. The trademarks Band-Aid, Kleenex, Rollerblade and Xerox have had similar issues.”

Is Bing the next company name to become a verb?  Bing has a nice ring to it like Ping did recently.  Perhaps the use of the phrase “Ping Me” has been played out and Bing is too late. It may also become complicated when dealing with past, present and future tense as noted in the following from a New York Times article:

2010 Advertising Successes and Failures

As the year comes to an end, many marketing departments are looking back at the year’s results to see if their plans were successful.  With the new year and the Super Bowl just around the corner, advertisers are analyzing what worked and what didn’t. 

One of my favorite ad campaigns was the Old Spice Guy.   I also enjoyed the Snickers Betty White ad.  The Wall Street Journal had a nice article about “The Best and the Busts” advertisements from 2010.  This article mentioned the Old Spice and Betty White ads.  I was curious as to the success of Old Spice specifically, as that was a product I had previously associated with older men and drug stores. According to their article, “Since February, the initial video has drawn over 25 million views on YouTube.  More important for Procter & Gamble, the Old Spice brand saw sales double from mid-June to mid-July versus the prior year, a period when the social-media part of the ad campaign heated up.”

Not all campaigns have been as successful.  Some failures that were listed in the WSJ article include:

  • PepsiCo’s Crunch Time Sun Chips Ad
  • The Nike Tiger Woods Apology
  • Gap’s No-Go-Logo

In the marketing courses I teach, we often discuss advertising.  For current advertising examples of how to create a specific effect, I like a site called Adcracker.com.  Check out some examples of advertisement styles by clicking the following links:

Dramatic Conflict

Problem Solution

Personification

Exaggeration

Metaphor

Employee Brand

Reasons Why

Have a Question? Twitter-Acquired Fluther May Offer Answers from Real People

Image via google.com

In case you are wondering Fluther rhymes with brother and it is a word that means a group of jellyfish.  Fluther’s site is about directing your questions to the people who have the answers.  Answerers are encouraged to use humor while expressing their opinions. 

Twitter recently acquired Fluther announcing, “we were continually impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and much of the thinking behind the question-and-answer product they’ve spent the last couple of years building. When the Fluther team joins us they will focus on helping users discover the most relevant content on Twitter. Their product, Fluther.com, is not part of the acquisition and will remain separate from Twitter. For more information on the future of this Q&A community, please read The Fluther Blog.”

There is a lot of speculation about Twitter’s interest in Fluther.  One of the main things that Twitter may be hoping to add is more of a Question and Answer ability to Twitter. 

TechCrunch author Erick Schonfeld speculated why he thought they may be interested in Fluther:  “Twitter also is about “connecting people who don’t know each other,” at least people who only know each other online for the most part. Social Q&A works better the more people who can potentially answer a given question, but there needs to be some connection, otherwise it’s no different than Yahoo Answers. Whether or not you trust someone’s answer might depend on who else they are connected to. The relevance of a given answer therefore depends on the authority of the person giving the answer, and authority is relative to each questioner. Twitter is already trying to solve the social relevance problems in different ways. Q&A is the next logical step.”

QR Code: Why You Should Be Using It to Promote You, Your Business and Products

QR Code or Quick Response Code is a two-dimension matrix code developed in the mid 90’s in Japan.  Businesses are drawn to it because it offers an improvement over barcodes.  Wisegeek explains, “QR Code contains data in both vertical and horizontal directions, whereas a bar code has only one direction of data, usually the vertical one. QR Code can also correspondingly hold more information. QR Code is easily digested by scanning equipment, and because it has potentially twice the amount of data as bar code, it can increase the effectiveness of such scanning. QR Code can handle alphanumeric character, symbol, binary, and other kinds of code. QR Code can hold up to 7,089 characters in a single symbol. ”

QR Code has become increasingly popular with the use of cell phones.  I recommend checking out an article by Searchengineland.com to see some video demonstrations.  A code can easily be generated on sites like Kaywa.com.  If you are wondering if search engines like Google will be able to recognize them, “If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them.”

There are several recommended uses for the QR Code but one that I found to be interesting was that you could add one to your business card.  People would then be able to scan your information directly into their cell phone contact database.

Some other recommended uses may be to add them to media ads.  This simple little code could communicate product, contact, offer, and event information as well as coupons and social media links.

Related Articles:

55 Important Technology Terms You Should Know if You Are Starting a New Job

Many people are starting new jobs right now.  Many of them are working with technology or using terminology that they may never have had to use in the past.  Managers and co-workers may toss around words that they assume people already know.  It is imported that people are prepared for this and be proactive in their learning effort.  The following is a list of some of the technology terms people should probably know. (For more terms, check out webopedia.com. That site contains a lot more “techy” terms than the average worker may not need to know, but their site is very comprehensive and a good resource to have.)

Affiliate Marketing – A marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

AOV – Average Order Value.

Below and above the fold – Where an ad is displayed on the website and you have to scroll down to see the ad.

Blog Roll – It is a list of links to blogs that a blogger likes.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continuing on the current site.

CES – Customer Effort Score.

Cloud Computing – Sharing resources rather than having your own servers to do it.

CLV – Client Retention Rate.

Container Tags – Used to affect a certain portion of your material. Container tags operate on the material between the opening tag < tag> and the closing tag </ tag>.

Cookie – A message your web browser uses to identify you and remember information for each time the browser goes back to access the server that gave it the cookie/message.

CPA – Cost per action – the publisher is taking most of the advertising risk, as their commissions are dependent on good conversion rates.

CPC – Cost per click.  Advertisers pay for their ad when someone clicks on it.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management – Managing a company’s relationships with customers and clients.

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – Operating a business in a socially responsible and ethical manner to have a positive impact on society.

CTR – Clickthrough Rate – A way of measurer success of an online advertising campaign. Take the number of people who clicked on an ad and divide by the number of times an ad was delivered (also known as impressions).

CV – Curriculum Vitae – Used instead of a resume.  It is a written description of work and experience commonly used by professors and outside of the US.

Data Feed – Users receive updated data from data sources.

Day-Parting – Showing an ad at a specific time of the day.

DM – Abbreviation for direct message.

DMA – Designated Marketing Area (ties in with geo-targeting).

Dongle – A mechanism like a hardware key that only authorized users can use software.

DSPs – Demand-side Platform – DSPs centralized management of accounts and reporting and a central hub for handling data to help with the real-time bidding valuation.

Ethernet – is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs).

Forum – An online discussion group.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language – Uses markup tags to describe web pages.

IAB – Internet Advertising Bureau.

iFrame – An HTML structure that allows another HTML document to be put into an HTML page – iFrames are set up as a window frame.

ISP – Internet Service Provider.

Jitter – Flickering on a display screen.

Modem – A device that modulates a signal so that you can receive data.

Nanotechnology – The study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale.

NPS – Net Promoter Score – Defines the loyalty of a customer relationship.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer – Company manufacturers’ products are sold under the purchaser of that product’s brand name. The original company that manufactured the product is the OEM.

PA – You may hear someone say “talk to my PA”, referring to their Personal Assistant.

PC Suite – A software package used to establish an interface between Nokia mobile devices and computers that run Microsoft Windows operating system.

PING – As in Ping me back – Used a variety of ways.  Usually means to instant message or email someone back.  The word ping in the technology world is actually short for Packet Internet Groper, a utility used to check for network areas.

Plog – A political blog.

Quicktag – A button that inserts HTML in to your post.

RTB – Real Time Bidding.

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend.

ROI – Return on Investment.

Router – A device that decides where information should be forwarded.

RSS – Real Simple Syndication – If you want to receive information from a specific website, you can click on the RSS feed button and have updates from that site show up on your RSS reader such as Google Reader.

Sales Deck – Your sales presentation/slides you present to the customer.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Improving the ability to be seen on a website by search engines.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – A form of marketing to promote a website through increasing visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Time Shifting – Refers to recording programming for later use.

Toggle – Toggling means to switch from one setting to another. It implies there are only two settings.  Think of a light switch that clicks on or clicks off.

Twaffic – Twitter traffic.

Twishing – The act of sending a message to a Twitter user in an attempt to obtain his or her name and password. Think Tweeting and Fishing combined.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator – The address of a file on the Internet.  Think – http://

View Throughs (also known as Post-Impressions)  – If an ad on a site influenced consumers to search, then purchase a product,  the referrer gets credit for influencing the purchase behavior.

WAP – Wireless Access Point – A device that allows wireless communication. It usually connects to a router.

Wiki – A website that allows a lot of people to add to the content for collaboration.  Think – Wikipedia.

XML – Extensible Markup Language.

There are so many terms; it is hard to just pick 55.  Please feel free to respond and add any words that you feel are just as important to be aware of in today’s workforce.

Have you Googled Yourself Lately? Why LinkedIn and Google are Important for Your Job Search

If you are looking for a job, you probably have looked at getting on LinkedIn and some other social networking sites.  If you have created a LinkedIn profile, it should show up on Google’s search engine. 

In some recent talks I gave to job-seekers, I asked my audience if they had Googled themselves.  Surprisingly, not as many people as you may think have done this.   In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I discuss the importance of Googling your name to see what it displays.   You can be sure that employers will do this.

It is nice that search engines like Google can help people find you.  One way to help improve being found is to be on LinkedIn.  There are other benefits to being on LinkedIn. According to a recent article in WSJ.com, “One of the least recognized aspects of LinkedIn, says founder Reid Hoffman, is the fact that it allows people to help other people.” I personally like the Q&A feature of LinkedIn for this reason.  Not only can you ask a question, but you can offer your expertise and help others. 

According to Hoffman, Linkedin is an important part of the career search.  I agree.  He also asked an important question: “There are millions of other people out there. What do you do to put yourself in the right place for people to find you?”

I often give advice for things you can do to be found.  LinkedIn is high on my list.  However, if you are interested in finding out more ways to be found, check out some of my career videos

How to Get a Job by Understanding  Emotional Intelligence

How to Get a Job by Utilizing a SWOT Analysis

How to Get a Job by Utilizing Camtasia and Powerpoint

How to Market Yourself by Using Social Media

How to Market You or Your Product Using Social Media

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane: I just wrote a book that is available through Amazon.  I’m just not sure about the best way to market it?  Any suggestions?
 
That is a good question.  The tips I’m about to give can also be used to market things other than a book. 
 
You could market it through several ways.  I would create a link to it on your site like I have links on my main website to Amazon.  If you don’t want to do that, you could offer it directly from you as a PDF through your site and charge them using PayPal
 
You might want to make a video (3-4 minutes at most) and put it on Youtube.  At the end of the video make mention of a free offer or newsletter and where to go for more information.  If they go to that site, it should be a capture page to get people signed up  to receive free newsletters (through a site like aweber.com) to get them interested in you and your book. 
 
You definitely need to be on Facebook and create fan pages like the ones I have for each of my books there.  See:
 
 
I would be on Twitter as well.  You can tie all of your Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. accounts into one area on sites like Hootsuite . . . but I like to use Posterous a lot. It is like a blog but it has a great share information toolbar that you can get that and it also allows you to share your updates on multiple sites like Hootsuite does. 
 
If you want to learn about social networking and “how to do it” . . .for a reasonable price you can go to  Letsgetsocial and sign up to get their videos.  I watched them and they are really very informative.  They are designed to teach people how to be media managers but people who don’t want to do the job of media management can learn how to do their own media management from them. 
 
I gave a presentation yesterday to a local group here where others were presenting to career-seekers … they all agreed that Youtube is one of the biggest things you can do to get noticed. 
 
I watched a video a while back on Pitchengine.com about videos and they had some good information.  They are more costly though. You might watch their video for information.  If you are going to spend that kind of money, you need to have a major product to promote.  Books probably won’t have the return to support that. 
 
Talks are another great way to promote your book . . . so are radio interviews.   You can go to radioguestlist.com or other sites like that to find people looking to interview you.
 
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there.   I like to use WordPress because it is free and uncomplicated. 
 
You can also release press releases on prweb or other such sites.  I am on wooeb who also has press releases that are not as expensive.  You can send out free releases on pitchengine.
 
You might check out some books . . . .I liked a book called Career Renegade . . . had some good ideas.  (on a different side topic . . .I liked the book The Happiness Advantage written by ex Harvard professor – very entertaining)

YouTube Uploads 35 Hours Of Video Every Minute — InformationWeek

 

image via textually.org

You may already know that Youtube is extremely popular, but a recent article from informationweek.com really spelled out the numbers.  Think about this . . . according to that article:

In March, users uploaded more than 24 hours of video per minute, Hunter Walk, director of product management at the video social networking site, said in a blog. Within only eight months, traffic has increased by almost 69%.

“That breaks out to 2,100 hours uploaded every 60 minutes, or 50,400 hours uploaded to YouTube every day,” Walk said. “If we were to measure that in movie terms (assuming the average Hollywood film is around 120 minutes long), 35 hours a minute is the equivalent of over 176,000 full-length Hollywood releases every week. Another way to think about it is: If three of the major US networks were broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the last 60 years, they still wouldn�t have broadcast as much content as is uploaded to YouTube every 30 days.”

to read the rest of the article, click here:  informationweek.com

WordPress To Introduce New Stats Features For Authors

 

Many blogs on WordPress are large enough that they have several authors writing for them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see which author is bringing in the most views?  Well now you can. 

According to TimesoftheInternet.com, “Now, WordPress is introducing a stats feature which will allow the admin to see which posts are profitable and which authors are bringing in the most profit. This way, they can ask their authors to change their styles to bring in more profit for the site. This is one feature that is very useful for WordPress blog admins. They can easily manage their top authors from their dashboard and make necessary changes.This feature should be available very soon, probably in the next beta release of WordPress.  So if you’re running a WordPress blog, you could make good use of this feature which will help you manage your site authors.”

New Email Program is the Big Secret that Facebook has Been Keeping … Dubbed Gmail Killer

 

image via blogs.bgsu.edu

Dubbed the Gmail killer, Facebook’s new email program is to launch on Monday.  There has been talk about a secret product from Facebook and this appears to be the secret.  As people are jumping from the AOL ship, Google, Yahoo and other email providers are concerned that Facebook could take away their business.

Be Your Own “Dream Career” Advocate, Reinvent Your Social Network

Phoenix AZ—November 11, 2010— Guidance is a powerful thing and an important thing to seek from all sources when considering career change.  In her new book, How to Reinvent Your Career, Dr. Diane Hamilton does just that. She guides her readers through the process of self-promotion, something truly essential for landing that “dream” job.

Dr.  Hamilton has been advising her students regarding career opportunities for 5 years. She wants them to be marketable, relevant to the times and ultimately successful.  However, this isn’t any job hunt. This is a reinvention. Readers are using Diane’s tools to find complete job satisfaction.  The number one rule is when interviewing for a dream job is to understand the ability of how to show prospective employers   the benefits (not to be confused with features) that you offer.

Dr. Hamilton points out that Linked-in.com can be thought of as the Facebook for professionals. It is a way to get “connected” or “linked-in” with people online.   New users can create a profile showcasing their unique abilities and strengths. Some may see it as an online resume but it is so much more than that, as it can be tailored to emphasize your strengths and assets and be used to interact with potential connections.

“Networking is not contrived cocktail parties anymore,” says Hamilton, “The future is online—and that should not be a scary place. To stay current, you have to create your ‘brand,’ the heart of your profile, online.”

Once the profile is complete, it’s time to connect!  It must be continually updated to obtain the maximum benefit.  Just joining is not enough.  You must actively participate for optimal success.  Anytime a user gathers someone’s business card, it is crucial to connect with him or her the next day.  Linked-in is a way to keep a database of people who could be mutually beneficial contacts for the duration of the user’s entire career.

For job seekers Linked-in is partially about staying current, but most importantly a way to show not only skills but benefits: the total package. When changing careers it is vital to self-promote, showing that you are more than a set of skills but an asset to the team at that “dream job.”

“Link-in” with Dr. Diane Hamilton: www.linkedin.com/in/drdianehamilton

PR Contact:
Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
646-619-1178
rebecca@rtcpublicity.com


drdianehamilton.com

Google, Facebook, Zynga and Twitter Battle for Talented Employees

In an article in today’s WSJ.com, they discuss how there is a war going on within the top technology firms to attract the best employees. To read the full article, click here.   As noted in the picture below, Google has over 23,000 employees, Facebook 1700, Zynga 1250 and Twitter 300.  Note that percentage increase in employees is strongest for Twitter with a 203% increase, followed by Zynga with a 178% increase, then Facebook with a 70% increase and Google with a 19% increase since last year.

[GOOGHIREjp]
image via online.wsj.com

Do you do a lot of Social Networking? Find out What is Different About Rockmelt’s New Browser

 

image via engadget.com

Marc Andreessen, Netscape founder, is backing a new startup browser called Rockmelt.  Rockmelt claims it “does more than just navigate Web pages. It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.”

The beta version is being made available today and is built around sites like Facebook and Twitter

After 2 years in product, their focus is for those who do a lot of social networking.  According to their blog, “Your friends are important to you, so we built them in. Now you’re able to chat, share that piano-playing-cat video everyone’s going to love, or just see what your friends are up to, regardless of what site you’re on. Your favorite sites are important to you, so we built them in too. Now you can access them from anywhere, without leaving the page you’re on. And RockMelt will tell you when something new happens.”

For more information, check out their video below.

Facebook Not Just For Fun Any More: Why There’s Even More Reasons For You To Log In

 

Image via mashraqi.com

Think of why you check your Facebook right now?  Is it to see what people are talking about?  Is it to see if it’s your move on Scrabble?  Well, now you have a really good reason to check in.  Facebook just added a new service that will allow you to check for deals on products and services in your area.

Think about it. . . You’re walking along, realizing you need to purchase something.  All you will have to do to find out who is offering special deals in your area now, is to get your iphone or other internet-accessible phone out and check Facebook.

Who is offering the discounts?  According to WJS.com, “GAP, Inc. will be one of the first marquee partners, offering free blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers who check in to their stores on an unannounced date in the near future. Facebook said Starbucks, McDonald’s, Macy’s and Harrah’s will also be offering deals.”

What is Blekko? Can the SlashTag Search Engine Compete With Google?

 

Blekko promises user-friendly search experience 

image via bigmouthmedia.com

 

Blekko has been in development since 2007, but it has only recently become available to the public. Blekko is a search engine that has its sights on Google’s business. To do this, they are focusing on what they can do differently.

The New York Times reported, “Rich Skrenta, Blekko’s co-founder and chief executive, says that since Google started, the Web has been overrun by unhelpful sites full of links and keywords that push them to the top of Google’s search results but offer little relevant information. Blekko aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites.”

Out of curiosity, I ran Alexa web statistics on Blekko to see how they were doing. Over the last 30 days, their website traffic has increased 12.7%.  Alexa also had the following to report on Blekko, “Blekko.com’s three-month global Alexa traffic rank is 21,705. Search engines refer roughly 11% of visits to the site. The time spent in a typical visit to this site is about four minutes, with 43 seconds spent on each pageview. The site is located in the US. Compared with the overall internet population, Blekko.com appeals more to men; its audience also tends to consist of childless people earning over $60,000 who browse from work and school and have postgraduate educations.”

Blekko uses slashtags to help you get more accurate results. Some are calling Blekko the slashtag search engine because of it. If you are not familiar with slashtags, searchenglineland explains them: “Slashtags are a way that anyone can make a “vertical” search engine around any topic. For those not familiar with the term, a vertical search engine is one that lets you search in a specific area of interest, rather than across the “horizontal” spectrum of all interests. Google is a “horizontal” search engine that lets you search for anything. Google News, in contrast, lets you drill into one slice of interest, news content.”

Think of slashtags as something like this:  drdianehamilton/books.  By doing this search, it pulled up more specific information about my writing.  It can be helpful to make the search more specific.

Why the name Blekko?  Co-founder, Mr. Skrenta, used to refer to his personal computer in college by that name. 

For more information about Blekko, check out the following link from WJS.com.

If you would like to know what Blekko has to offer, check out the following video:

11 Practical Business Uses for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter: Business Collaboration News

Check out the latest article by gigaom.com.  It contains some very useful suggested uses for some of the more popular social networking sites.  It ties in nicely with what I wrote about in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  This article has to do more with businesses utilizing these sites.  These same tactics can be used for the individual looking to be noticed.

For more articles about utilizing social networking for self-promotion and career advancement, click here.

See Gigaom.com’s list of some basic ways to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for specific business activities.  To see the eleven uses, click here:  gigaom.com

Find Everything Google Has to Offer on “Google New”

If you are interesting in learning more about all of the products Google offers, you need to check out Google New.  On this site, you can watch videos about all of their latest products.

What is Google zeitgeist? Searching for Trends and Popularity on the Internet

image via geeksmack.net

Google’s site defines zeitgeist “as, “zeit·geist | Pronunciation: ‘tsIt-“gIst, ‘zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. “Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”, and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries we receive every day. We have several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. These tools are available for you to play with, explore, and learn from. Use them for everything from business research to trivia answers.”

If you click here, you can reach the Google zeitgeist site.  Once there, you have access to the following search site links:

Google Trends  

Website Trends 

Insights for Searches 

Hot Trends 

I tend to set up the Google news search function in iGoogle to find out about buzz words and things I am interested in at the time.  However, these sites can help you find out even more about what people really are searching for on the Internet.  I like the “insight for searches”  because you can create lists of specific words to find out popularity of topics in different regions.  Hot trends can also be helpful to give you an idea of what is popular throughout the day.

Does the New Facebook Movie Imply Zuckerberg has Asperger’s?

image via nypost.com

There has been some buzz on the Internet about Zuckerberg’s psychological state for years now.  The release of the movie, The Social Network, only has added to the discussion.  There is one scene in which they show Zuckerberg sitting in a meeting where he is making continuous popping noises with his mouth. 

Those of you who have seen Boston Legal may recall a popping sound made the character, Jerry Espenson, played by Christian Clemenson.  The show’s character had asperger’s syndrome and was unable to stop making the popping sounds.  The portrayal of Zuckerberg in the scene where he “pops” may be implying there is something more going on with him. 

One could simply watch that scene and think he is just being rude.  It also could  just be something that Hollywood added to make the movie more interesting.  Whatever the case, it does open up some interesting possibilities about the true personality type or psychological state of Zuckerman. 

In our forthcoming book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I list many examples of celebrity personality “types”.  To find out more about Zuckerberg and his personality type, click here.

5 Ways to Get a Job Through YouTube

Mashable had an interest article about how to use Youtube to get a job.  To learn more about how to get noticed through sites like YouTube and others, check out:  How To Reinvent Your Career.  

Not only is it possible to use YouTube to get a job, but it’s becoming a more popular option, especially for the current crop of would-be-employees that grew up with web video.

 

Some argue that video is a more personal tool for job searching, acting as a digital interview, while others see it as cold and alienating, as it lacks the face-to-face element. But YouTube isn’t just about video resumes — there are a variety of creative ways to hop online and get hired.

Even better, YouTube isn’t just for Millennials. Web video can be useful for professionals of any age looking to expand their audience or pick up new clients. With a little creativity, honesty and hard work, you can utilize YouTube to create a more effective (and more interesting) professional and digital image, rather than just falling back on the ol’ resume (digital or not).

Read on for five ways to use YouTube to get a job.


 

To read the rest of the article and see the videos, click here:  mashable.com

Google Search Tips: Using Google’s Lesser Known Functions for Research

With the popularity of Google, odds are you have probably tried using their search engine a time or two.  However, many people are unaware of how to refine their searches using Google’s lesser-known functions. 

  • To find information about a specific website, try inputting something like:  “info:drdianehamilton.com” – be sure you type in the parentheses.
  • Utilize the asterisk function.  For example:  “Facebook * millennials” will give you results with only those words.  If you just searched by “Facebook” and “millennials” you may have words between the two in your results.
  • Google does not recognize short words such as the, a, and, it . . . Nor is it case sensitive. However it does differentiate between singular and plural as i the case of “millennial” or “millennials”.

If you are interested in some other search-related tools offered by Google check out the following sites:

Wealthy Individuals Use Social Media More Than Most Americans

 

There is no denying the popularity of social media.  There are so many sites, it can be difficult to keep track them all. It is interesting to see who is actually using social media.  When sites like Twitter came out, many were using it more as a means of chatting about their day.  Times have changed and social media is now a very useful tool for businesses.  Sites like Twitter and Facebook now have a strong business presence. 

Wealthy individuals are recognizing the importance of using social media.  Recent polls have shown the wealthy to use social media more than the average Americans. See the results of a recent poll by SEIC.com listed below.  To read the full article, click here.

OAKS, PA., Oct. 19, 2010 – A new Quick Poll from SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) today showed that 70 percent of high-net-worth individuals surveyed are users of Facebook and other social media sites. That’s considerably more than the number of daily social media users among the general populace. According to an August, 2010 report from the Pew Research Center, titled Older Adults and Social Media, 61 percent of Americans ages 18 and over have used a social networking site.

However, the Quick Poll results make it clear that wealthy individuals have a hard time squeezing in their social media time – just 17.4 percent of respondents said they use social media on a daily basis. While 38 percent of those surveyed by Pew had used a social networking site in the previous 24 hours.

SEI surveyed 46 wealthy individuals with more than $5 million in investible assets. Of those surveyed that use social media, 50 percent said they use Facebook. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they visit YouTube, while just under 35 percent use LinkedIn.

Social networking use continues to grow among older users

One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.

The use of Twitter and other services to share status updates has also grown among older users—most notably among those ages 50-64. While just 5% of users ages 50-64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, 11% now say they use these tools. On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.

By comparison, social networking sites have gained a much larger foothold in the lives of older Americans over time. One in five (20%) adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago. Likewise, 13% of online adults ages 65 and older log on to social networking sites, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

Email and online news are still more appealing to older users, but social media sites attract many repeat visitors.

While email may be falling out of favor with today’s teenagers, older adults still rely on it heavily as an essential tool for their daily communications. Overall, 92% of those ages 50-64 and 89% of those ages 65 and older send or read email and more than half of each group exchanges email messages on a typical day. Online news gathering also ranks highly in the daily media habits of older adults; 76% of internet users ages 50-64 get news online, and 42% do so on a typical day.1 Among internet users ages 65 and older, 62% look for news online and 34% do so on a typical day.

Social media properties—including networking and status update sites—are newer additions to the daily digital diet of older adults. Yet, the “stickiness” of the sites is notable. To look at the data another way, among the pool of adults ages 50 and older who use social networking sites, 44% used them on the day prior to their being contacted for our survey.

The pool of Twitter and status update users ages 50 and older is too small to segment, but the behavior of this limited early adopter group does suggest a similar tendency towards regular use of the sites.

By comparison, less than half of online banking users ages 50 and older visited the sites on a typical day and less than one in five older users of online classified sites reported use of the sites “yesterday.”

A Typical Day: Where social media use fits in

If You Aren’t Using Video to Promote You or Your Product, You Need To Read This

Image via seeklogo.com

Cisco recently stated that 40% of all Internet traffic will be video in nature by the end of 2010. They increased that forecast to 91% by the end of 2014.  Are you using video?  I recommend checking out the forecasts that Cisco has made for visual networking by clicking here.  

Videos can be an effective way to capture your prospective customer’s attention.  I wrote about the importance of self-promotion in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  A big part of self-promotion is using video.  In a recent radio interview, I discussed some tactics to using video to promote your products and services.  Click here, to listen to the broadcast. 

Compukol.com recommended the following tips to help you with your video marketing:

  • Short videos: Make sure that your videos (whether you post them on your own website or a website like YouTube) are no more than 5 or 6 minutes long. If you have a video topic that you feel needs to be expanded way beyond the 5 or 6 minutes, it is a good idea to do a series of videos to cover the entire topic. People will be more inclined to watch and will really get a lot out of your videos if you feed them to your audience in small doses.
  • Sales pages: It is sensible to post your videos on your sales pages and to take that opportunity to discuss your products and their benefits or some business opportunity that you are offering to others. The video is helpful in making your potential customers comfortable and the points that you make in your video about your products are reinforced about your sales letter.
  • Key words: Search engines pay a great deal of attention to videos. When the search engines are looking at content and figuring out how to rank the various websites and their content, it is essential to do everything possible to make sure that your website appears as high as possible in the search engine rankings. You should do research to make sure that the keywords that you use in your content is optimum. You should choose keywords that will attract the kinds of leads and traffic that you want to pay attention to you and your business. Try to find out what your target audience is interested in and what they are looking for. Make sure that you include your keywords in headings, tags and resource boxes.
  • Clear structure and purpose: By using the appropriate keywords, you are ensuring that your video will be targeted properly. You need to make sure that your video answers the questions that your audience is thinking about when they start searching for answers. You need to make your communication and your content as clear as possible at all times.

I think you can even make your videos shorter than 5 to 6 minutes.  I have found that people prefer less than 3 to 4 minute videos.  I also think it is extremely important to include a landing page website address on your video.  You must be able to draw your customers to your site.  If you have a landing page where they can sign up for a free newsletter, that is one really effective way to build a customer base.

If you want more tips about how to make an effective video, click on the rest of the Compukol.com article by clicking here

In my conversation in yesterday’s interview, we discussed how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a video.  If you have a flip camera or video camera, you are well on your way.  A video does not have to be elaborately produced to be effective. 

Check out instructions from Youtube about how to make as well as optimize your video by clicking here.  For more general information about lighting, sound, etc. click here.

What is REMcloud? It’s Like a Twitter Site for Dream Sharing

Are you interesting in sharing your dreams?  A site created by Kim Muhota callead REMcloud allows you to post about your dreams in a Twitter kind of fashion.   You can also receive a response back analyzing the key words in your posting, giving you an explanation for what it all meant. 

REMcloud’s site states: “REMcloud is a social and information network that connects people all over the world around the most universally shared human experience:  our dreams.  REMcloud allows you to see what the world is dreaming at any time:  tapping into the world’s collective consciousness in real time.” 

They quote the following facts on their site:

  • When you dream, your body is completely paralyzed and you cannot move
  • Your brain is more active when you are dreaming than when you are fully awake
  • Many blind people can see in their dreams
  • Babies dream, even before birth
  • The Romans interpreted dreams in the senate as they were thought to be messages from the gods

They claim that through their technology you can have fun sharing not only your own dreams but comparing your dreams to those of others.  You can look for global trends and themes and follow people who have similar dreams or experiences.

Think of it as a Twitter for dream experiences.  At least that is probably the hope of the site’s creator.

Do you really want to know what others dream about?  Apparently a lot of you do.  They claim “more than a million global users are already engaging in REMcloud across its various outposts.”

To find out more about REMcloud, check out the following press releas:  REMcloud Launches Next Generation Social Network.

Email Attachment and Sending Limits for Google, Yahoo, AOL and a Lot More Providers

 

I use AOL a lot so I don’t run into file size limits very often as they allow up to 16 MB attachments.  However, I noticed that when I try to send files to some of my friends and family, they have difficulty receiving the larger files. I decided to do some research to see what other providers offer in terms of maximum file sending size.  Check out this article by altrue.com.  They do an excellent job of explaining the limits established by some of the top providers.

Major Internet Service Providers – Email sending limits

This article contains information about the email send limits (rate limit) of most important Internet Service Providers, as we collected it from our Easy Mail Merge customers, web resources or directly from the support desk of ISPs.  The information is intended as a guide only.  Your ISP can change its outbound email policy at any time without any prior notification.  It is always a good idea to contact your email account provider and ask about the email send rate, before proceeding with a mass email campaign.

This article was last updated in November 2007 and it displays the SMTP email send limit (or rate limit) for the following Internet providers: Verizon, Comcast, EarthLink, Cablevision/Optimum, Road Runner, Cox, AT&T Yahoo!, Charter, BellSouth.

Verizon Email Send & SMTP Limits
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a verizon.net email account:

  • Verizon email send limit – no more than 100 recipients per email message AND max 500 emails (recipients) per hour
  • Verizon other SMTP limits – max 2mb per message
  • Verizon email-outbound policy – http://www2.verizon.net/policies/email.asp
  • Verizon SMTP restriction expiry method – the restriction is automatically lifted 24 hours after the email send limit was reached.

Comcast Email Send & SMTP Limits
Below you can find the Comcast email send or rate limit for Comcast high speed internet customers. Please note that Comcast can also block port 25 for your connection (triggering the error message: “Error #1: Port25.Secure(SSL); no Socket Error: 10053. Error Number 0x800CC0F”), in order to prevent you (or viruses on your computer) from sending emails using your own SMTP agent:

  • Comcast email send limit – no more than 1000 recipients per day
  • Comcast other SMTP limits – max 10mb per message
  • Comcast email-outbound policy – http://www.comcast.net/help/faq/index.jsp?faq=SecuritySpam17867
  • Comcast SMTP restriction expiry method – the restriction is automatically lifted 24 hours after the email send limit was reached.

EarthLink Email Send & SMTP Limits (“SMTP Rate Limiting”)
When you reached your EarthLink email send limit, you will receive the following error message from the EarthLink SMTP server: “error 554: www.earthlink.net/go/bulk – Outbound message limit exceeded”. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from an EarthLink internet connection:

  • EarthLink email send limit – max 1000 recipients per day
  • EarthLink other SMTP limits – N/A
  • EarthLink email-outbound policy – http://kb.earthlink.net/case.asp?article=85283
  • EarthLink SMTP restriction expiry method – A member of EarthLink ‘s Abuse team will investigate the circumstances that led to your SMTP privileges being suspended. If it is deemed that your use was legitimate, then your SMTP privileges will be reactivated within 24 hours.

Cablevision Email Send & SMTP Limits (Optimum – OOL)
Cablevision / Optimum does NOT allow customers to send emails using an email client program or SMTP mail server, unless the customer subscribed to “Optimum Online Boost” or “Optimum Online for Business”.

  • Cablevision/Optimum (OOL) email send limit – maximum 50 recipients at one time
  • Cablevision other SMTP limits – max 20mb per outgoing message
  • Cablevision/Optimum email-outbound policy – http://www.optimum.net/Article/Terms
  • Cablevision SMTP restriction expiry method – N/A.

Road Runner Email Send & SMTP Limits
If your account has reached the email send limit, you will receive the following error message: “ERROR:5.7.1:550 Outbound Mail Refused – YOUR_IP_ADDRESS”. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Road Runner internet connection:

  • Road Runner email send limit – max 1,000 recipients per day per IP
  • Road Runner other SMTP limits – max 5mb per message
  • Road Runner email-outbound policy – http://help.rr.com/HMSFaqs/e_outbound_email_policy.aspx
  • Road Runner SMTP restriction expiry method – the suspension is automatically lifted after 24 hours

Cox Email Send & SMTP Limits
Cox did not publish the official email send limit for Cox High Speed Internet subscribers. According to the Cox web site: “Specific email sending limits are not published because they vary from time to time depending on a variety of factors“. We strongly advise you to contact the Cox support department before sending out large amounts of emails.

AT&T Yahoo! Email Send & SMTP Limits
Please note that, according to the AT&T Yahoo! Membership Agreement, AT&T Yahoo! can assess a charge of $50.00 per day for unintentional violations or $500.00 per day for deliberate violations of their unsolicited email policy. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from an AT&T Yahoo! Internet/email connection:

  • AT&T Yahoo! email send limit – no more than 100 recipients per email message
  • AT&T Yahoo! other SMTP limits – max 20mb per message, max 50 file attachments
  • AT&T Yaho0! email-outbound policy – http://edit.client.yahoo.com/cspcommon/static?page=tos
  • AT&T Yahoo! SMTP restriction expiry method – penalty charges may apply

Charter Email Rate Limits
If you are a Charter Internet access residential customer and you receive the following error message when trying to send emails: “421 Connection Refused – Customer has exceeded the maximum number of messages allowed per hour”, it means your account SMTP access was temporarily blocked. The following restrictions apply when emailing from a Charter connection:

  • Charter email send limit – maximum 50 recipients / emails per hour
  • Charter other SMTP limits – max 10mb per message
  • Charter email-outbound policy – http://www.charter.com/Visitors/Policies.aspx?Policy=6
  • Charter SMTP restriction expiry method – wait an hour to send additional emails or brake up the recipients number into smaller groups.

BellSouth Email Send & Rate Limits
BellSouth does not publish a clear email send limit: “Sending mass, unsolicited e-mail by Service users is prohibited. BellSouth Internet Services reserves the right, in BellSouth’s sole discretion, to determine whether such email constitutes unsolicited messages or transmission. Sending large volumes of unsolicited e-mail to a single user, or group of users, commercial or otherwise, by Service users is prohibited.”.

  • BellSouth email send limit – BellSouth’s sole discretion
  • BellSouth other SMTP limits – max 10mb per message
  • BellSouth email-outbound policy – Acceptable Use Policies
  • BellSouth SMTP restriction expiry method – BellSouth Internet Services may immediately terminate any account which it determines, in its sole discretion, is transmitting or is otherwise connected with any ‘spam’ or other unsolicited bulk email. In addition, because damages are often difficult to quantify, if actual damages cannot be reasonably calculated then BellSouth Internet Services may seek liquidated damages of five dollars (US$5.00) for each piece of ‘spam’ or unsolicited bulk email transmitted from or otherwise connected with your account.

 


 

Web Email Account Providers – Email sending limits

Important note: This information is intended as a guide only.  Your email account provider can change its email policy at any time without any prior notification.  It is always a good idea to contact your email account provider and ask about the email send rate, before proceeding with a mass email campaign.
 

Google Gmail Email Send Rate Limit & Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Google Gmail account:

  • Gmail email send limit – no more than 500 recipients per message for the Gmail web interface, or max 100 recipients if you are using an email client software.
  • Gmail other SMTP limits – outgoing messages sent via Google Gmail can not exceed 10Mb per email (including attachments)
  • Google Mail Policy – http://www.google.com/mail/help/program_policies.html
  • Google Mail SMTP restriction expiry method – the restriction is automatically removed within 24 hours after the limit was reached.

MSN Hotmail Email Send Rate Limit & Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Hotmail account:

  • Hotmail email send limit – no more than 100 recipients per day.
  • Hotmail other SMTP limits – outgoing messages sent via Hotmail can not exceed 10Mb per email (including attachments)

Yahoo Mail – Email Send Rate Limits & Other Email Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Yahoo Mail account:

  • Yahoo Mail email send limit – no more than 100 emails or recipients per hour
  • Yahoo Mail other SMTP limits – max 10Mb per message for the free Yahoo Mail Service, or 20Mb per message for Yahoo! Mail Plus
  • Yahoo! Anti-Spam Policy – http://docs.yahoo.com/info/guidelines/spam.html
  • Yahoo Mail SMTP restriction expiry method – N/A

Lycos Mail – Email Send Limits & Restrictions
The following restrictions apply when sending emails from a Lycos Mail account:

  • Lycos Mail email send limit – max 25 recipients per message and max 250 emails per day
  • Lycos Mail other SMTP limits – Lycos Mail does not have a limit to the attachment file size at this time.
  • Lycos Email Policy – http://info.lycos.com/legal/mail_terms.html

AOL Email Send (Rate) Limits
AOL imposes a rate limit on an AOL member when a member exceeds the acceptable number of email messages sent in a given time period. The following restrictions apply when sending emails from an AOL connection:

  • AOL email send limit – no more than 100 recipients per message or 500 recipients per connection
  • AOL other SMTP limits – max 16mb per message
  • AOL email-outbound policy – http://postmaster-us.info.aol.com/ipt/
  • AOL SMTP restriction expiry method – N/A

 

Why Customers Subscribe and Unsubscribe to Facebook Pages

If you are trying to market your product or company on Facebook, you might be interested in why people decide to subscribe or unsubscribe to Facebook pages.  To read the entire article by Frank Reed at MarketingPilgram.com click here.

eMarketer reports on a survey conducted by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research in September tells the story that most Facebook brand followers are not researchers or self-starters.

The report also shows that Facebook brand attrition rates are at 36% and that number doesn’t include those who choose to hide brand updates from their Facebook newsfeed.

So why do people stop following brands on Facebook?

Do You Need To Control Your Social Media and Build Brand Awareness?

There are many platforms out there that can help you manage all of your social media.  I personally like to use Posterous at times to share content due to their Share on Posterous toolbar option.  I think that Posterous is one of the easier ways to share things but you are still limited to the places where Posterous connects.  Check out my posterous site by clicking here

I know Facebook can present a bit of a challenge about when and how often to post.  I don’t want everyone of my blogs to post on Facebook and overwhelm my contacts.  I tend to treat Facebook as a separate entity because of that and only post specific things there. 

I also use some of the other social management sites like SocialOomph and Hootesuite.  I know a lot of people still go to each one of their social media sites to post separately which takes up a lot of their time.

I think the following article by Dana Kohlbeck on Postcrescent.com does a nice job explaining some of the platforms available that can help you manage a lot of your social media areas in one location.

Image via shoutmeloud.com

If you’re looking to maximize both time and reach within social media platforms, look to applications such as HooteSuite or SocialOomph. These tools allow you to update multiple accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from one platform, as well as pre-schedule messages for consistency and strategic time release.

According to a recent business.com study, 81 percent of marketers use social media to build brand awareness. What better way to spread the brand message than to customize your social media platforms to reflect that brand?

To read entire article, click here:  postcrescent.com

Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

In my books, I often write about using social media tools.  I think they can be invaluable in the classroom.  I recently found a great article about media tools for teachers on Mashable.com.   I am a big Mashable fan.  They have wonderful articles about technology and every one of them is more interesting than the next. If you haven’t checked out their site, you really need to do so. 

In Sarah Kessler’s article 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers, she point out some great tools that can be used in the classroom including:

  1. Edu 2.0  – site that allows teachers to share content
  2. SymbalooEDU  – site allows teachers to organize classroom resources,  school logos may be added
  3. Collaborize Classroom  – site allows for online discussions to remove intimidation factor
  4. Edublogs  – site is great for group projects, newsletters and more
  5. Kidblog  – good site for K-8 classroom
  6. Edmondo  – site is similar to Facebook but more controlled environment
  7. TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Youtube – TeacherTube and SchoolTube are alternatives to Youtube for teachers

 

 

To watch videos about each of these tools, click here to read the Mashable article.   

Mashable already had a really interesting article about the need for social media in the classroom.  Click here to read that article.

TweepML Makes It Easy Finding People to Follow on Twitter Lists

image via tweepml.org

Twitter allows you to pick lists of people to follow that have been created by other people.  There may be times when you don’t to follow every single person on that list or you want to follow the entire list of them directly rather than through a list.  The solution:  TweepML is a simple format to make it easy for people to share a list of Twitter users “Tweeps”. 

If you click here  you can look for lists. I can type in a word like “jobs” and it will show lists and tell how many users are on that list.  If I should pick a list, it will pull up the entire list.  I can look at who is listed and follow the ones I want easily by keeping the automatic X that is next to their name or removing it from the ones that I do not want to follow.  You can clear all of the X’s and pick one at a time or keep all of the X’s and remove one at a time.

You can add TweepML to your website to make it easy for people to follow everyone on it with a single click.

If you want to see what lists are popular, the main page  contains a list of the most popular lists.   You can create your own list and share it with the world by clicking here

When original owner of the site, Marcelo Carbucci, put TweepML up for sale earlier this year, I wondered what the impact would be.  Since then, I have noticed a lot more activity with people finding me through their site.  I am curious to see how this site will grow under new management.

Changing Careers: Get The Help You Need

With the recent release of my latest book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I’ve had a lot of people writing and asking me questions about how to make some career changes.  According to an article in the Independent.co, this is a big time for career changers. In that article, author Russ Thorne stated, “If you’re thinking about changing careers, you’re not alone: according to some recruiters, this is the busiest time of year for job changes, prompted by months of summer reflection. However, a total career change demands more than planning a valedictory leaving do: research, networking and training or voluntary work experience will boost your chances of standing on the other side checking out the color of the grass.”

I discussed a many of these ideas in a recent radio interview with Anna Banks.  It is very important to have a plan.  Probably one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is to not have goals written down with clearly measurable ways of attaining those goals.

One of the chapters in my book is titled “The Product Is You”.  I often write and speak about how you must see yourself as the product and market your skills.  Part of preparing to do that is to do a personal SWOT analysis.  For those of you who have not taken many business courses, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  Companies analyze these things on a regular basis.  I think individuals need to do the same thing. 

After self-analysis, you must also be sure to find ways to stand out in the crowd.  There is a lot of competition out there for the few coveted jobs.  I recommend reading some of the following articles to help you with social networking to get noticed and find your dream job:

6 Steps to Using Linkedin to Get That Job

I often write and speak to groups about how to use social networking to find a job and market one’s skills.  In my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career, I often write and speak about using social networking to find employment. In the marketing courses I teach, we discuss how to get that job you after graduation.  A very big part of obtaining that goal is to have a plan.  How can the recent college graduate, or anyone else, for that matter, utilize social media to find a job? 

I personally think LinkedIn is one of the best ways to get noticed.  Check out their latest series of videos at students to give them step by step guidance to learn how to set up their profile, build their network and find that job they love.

  1. Why should you join Linkedin 
  2. How to build your professional brand 
  3. Find your career passion 
  4. Build your network  
  5. Turn Relationships into Opportunities
  6. Nail the Interview

To find out more about finding a job and marketing yourself, check out: How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love.  

To find out more about online education and creating goals, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online College Student.

What Kind of Return Can You Expect From Using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin?

Have you ever wondered how your actions on some of the major social media sites are helping generate income for your business?  Eventbrite.com has published some findings from one of their studies where they tracked a set of metrics to quantify the value and impact of social media.

According to their report, “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. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We’re seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.”

If you are curious how they got these figures, click here.

How we did it
We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

How to Make Your Facebook Content Top News

I utilize Facebook pages to connect with people about my books and writing, so I am always interested in finding out more about what makes a Facebook page become successful.  I ran across this very interesting article by Emily Molitor with Smartblogs.com . . . Here is an excerpt from that article.  To read the full article click here.

Emily Molitor

How to make your Facebook content “Top News”

One of the main aims of companies using Facebook for business is generating awareness, as Jay Baer pointed out in his Facebook Success Summit session on Tuesday afternoon. The top way to do this, Baer says, is to win the News Feed. It seems simple: If you get someone to “like” your company’s Facebook page, then they receive the content you send out, right?

Not exactly, Baer said.

Click on this link to read the rest of the article: smartblogs.com

Can Texting Damage Writing Skills?

 

I often talk to my students about whether they feel texting has caused people to have more difficulties with their writing skills.  I personally see a lot of first-year students who abbreviate quite a bit, lack punctuation skills and don’t write in complete sentences. 

Young and younger children are receiving cell phones. It may make parents feel safer knowing they can reach their children. Tweens are learning to type in text abbreviations which may affect their ability to write well.  WJS.com reported “The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm. Adults are catching up. People from ages 45 to 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the second quarter of 2010, up 75% from a year ago.” 

Eudopia.org recently posted a survey asking the following question to see if text messaging is harming students’ writing skills:  “IYO txtng = NME or NBD?” If you have no idea what that means . . . Translation: “In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?” 

PiercePioneer.com asked, Mike Darcher, English instructor for 20 years if he felt texting was hurting our students’ writing ability.  He said he could not make the connection of bad texting habits being carried over into student’s writing. “In terms of writing skills, there is no way of measuring its impact,” Darcher said.

TimesDaily reported the results of a report of a study from Pew Internet and American Life Project. “The study was prompted in large part because of growing concerns over how text-based electronic communications affect the writing ability of students who are immersed in electronic media. Out of 700 youth aged 12-17 who participated in the phone survey, 60 percent say they don’t consider electronic communications – e-mail, instant messaging, mobile text – to be writing in the formal sense; 63 percent say it has no impact on the writing they do for school and 64 percent report inadvertently using some form of shorthand common to electronic text, including emotions, incorrect grammar or punctuation.”

Some linguists are mixed on the effect of texting on writing skills. There are those who think that this may not last and may just go the way of some slang words that are no longer used.  Some think that learning texting is just like learning another language.  As long as the students can keep them separated, then they see no problem with it. 

Texting may be a passing thing, but it is definitely here for now.  If you are trying to figure out what that text is or that abbreviation that someone sent you, you might want to check out the following list from the Vancouver Sun:

The top 10 commonly used abbreviations in texting — translated to plain English:

– 411 — All the information

– BBIAS — Be back in a second (also BBIF — be back in a few, and BBL — be back later)

– BFN — Bye for now

– ETA — Estimated time of arrival (used for deadlines and when to expect something/someone)

– FYI — For your information

– KK — Okay, okay (I understand what you’re saying)

– LOL — Laugh out loud

– OMG — Oh my God

– TTYL — Talk to you later (also TTYS — talk to you soon)

– UOK — Are you okay?

If you want to know what your kids are saying to each other, here are some common text abbreviations to watch for. Parent alerts include:

– PAW or 9 — Parents are watching

– POV — Parent over shoulder

– CD9 — Code 9, meaning Parents are around

– P911 — Parents coming into room alert

– PIR — Parents in room

– PSOS — Parent standing over shoulder

– KPC — Keeping parents clueless

– NP — Nosy parents (But this is also used as “no problem”)

Want to know your kids’ relationship status? Nothing to be alarmed about if they text:

– LYLAB — Love you like a brother

– LYLAS — Love you like a sister

– LDR — Long distance relationship

But you don’t want to see:

– 420 — Let’s get high/marijuana use

– LGH — Let’s get high

– LH6 — Let’s have sex

– LHOS — Let’s have online sex

– LIK — Liquor

How is their day going? Here are a few common indicators:

– 2MTH — Too much to handle

– ADIH — Another day in hell

– ADIP — Another day in paradise

– LTHTT — Laughing too hard to type

– HHIS — Head hanging in shame

– CWOT — Complete waste of time

– IMSB — I’m so bored

– BOOMS — Bored out of my skull

– 121 — One to one (private chat invitation)

If your son or daughter texts you a status report, you should be familiar with:

– BHL8 — Be home late

– CUL8R — See you later

– G2G — Got to go

– G2R — Got to run

– ILBL8 — I’ll be late

– TTYL — Talk to you later

Are You Using Wooeb’s Interactive Search Engine Platform?

If you haven’t heard of Wooeb.com yet, you need to check out their site.  Wooeb is an interactive search engine platform.  Rather than having to wait for search engines to pick up your information, they put it all together in one place. 

They did a nice job with with creating ads and banners.  This is an example of an ad they can create for you on their site.  You can also click on it to find out more about my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

They also offer press releases that you can incorporate on your wooeb site.  To see my site, go to: http://wooeb.com/drdianehamilton

Check out an article about the Top 5 Reasons Wooeb Boosts Your Online Presence by clicking here.  In that article they list the following benefits of using Wooeb:

1.  Everything is in one place

2.  You own your URL

3.  It is accessible to everyone

4.  Wooeb indexes search engines

5.  Messages boards are included to discuss topics with others

Search Engine War: AOL, Google, Yahoo, and Bing

I use AOL and I am a big fan of Google.  If you use AOL, you may have noticed the search screen says:  AOL Search Enhanced by Google. 

AOL and Google have a continuing relationship that they have extended for another 5 years.  Part of that relationship includes: 

  1. Google provides AOL with additional features and enhancements to improve their search function.
  2. Google provides AOL with ad formats.
  3. AOL and Google work together to focus on mobile apps.
  4. This relationship allows AOL to have a content partnership with YouTube
  5. This relationship improves the international scope of AOL’s audience.

I was curious to see if there was a big difference between the results by searching within AOL vs. going to Google to search. AOL included a few local addresses at the beginning but otherwise the results were similar.

I have to admit I don’t use Yahoo and Bing very often.  I noticed when searching for my press releases, that Yahoo and Bing do not pick up the information nearly as well as Google and AOL do.  However, I am interested to see if their future relationship may change things.  Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how Bing and Yahoo were going to join forces.  Google may have some competition with that.  WSJ stated, “With the integration of Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s search businesses now well advanced—Yahoo searches are using Microsoft’s Bing engine and its search ads will increasingly go through Microsoft’s adCenter platform—the duo have a better chance to take on Google.”  Google is hardly hurting though, “Digital-marketing firm SearchIgnite estimates Google’s share of U.S. ad spending rose nearly two percentage points to 80.2% in the third quarter, with Yahoo dropping two points to 13.4%. Bing had 6.4%.”

The search engine war and capturing unique visitors continues to be big business.  Check out the following chart to see how the search engines and social networking sites compare in terms of revenue per unique visitors:

chart of the day, revenue per unique visitor, google, aol, twitter, facebook

Facebook’s Growth: More People Logging In, Catching Up To Google

In a recent Windows: The Official Magazine article, they noted that Facebook has 400,000 active users and the average user has 130 friends, 3 billion photos are shared every month, 60 million status updates are made every day, and the average user spends about 55 minutes a day on facebook. 

Gigaom.com had some interesting facts about how people prefer to log in. According to that article: Most website users still prefer logging in with a Google account, but Facebook is a close second, according to new data from Janrain, a Portland startup whose software plugin makes it easy for websites to offer multiple login methods. The company’s latest survey looked at statistics from more than 250,000 websites and services that use its software, and found that close to 40 percent of users prefer to sign in with a Google ID, while 24 percent chose to login with their Facebook profile. Yahoo came in third with 14 percent of sign-ins, while Twitter and Microsoft’s Windows Live were tied at 5 percent.

To read more from that article, click here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is Web Scraping?

A scraper site is a spam website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping. The purpose of creating such a site can be to collect advertising revenue or to manipulate search engine rankings by linking to other sites to improve their search engine ranking. 

There are now some sites that are working on finding out even more information about you through scraping.

Scraping for Your Real Name

PeekYou.com has applied for a patent for a way to, among other things, match people’s real names to pseudonyms they use on blogs, Twitter and online forums.

Read PeekYou.com’s patent application.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, they wrote about how scrapers broke into sites like PatientsLikeMe to find out information about patients to sell data about consumers to drug makers. To read this very interesting article, click here.

It is disturbing to think that people are in medial chatrooms pretending to be patients in order to find out what drugs are being prescribed.  That kind woman you are chatting with about your hot flashes just may be a guy keeping track of your medical history.  For information on how to remove some of your personal details from the Internet, check out wsj.com/wtk.

What is Mark Zuckerberg’s Personality Type?

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s name is mentioned just about everywhere these days due to the popularity of the latest movie about the creation of Facebook.  In our book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I give a lot of examples of celebrities with different personality types based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI

INTJforum.com recently posted that Mark Zuckerberg’s type would be an INTJ.   I’ve seen other chatrooms debate whether he was INTJ or INTP.  I think most people would agree that he is an introvert that is intuitive and creative so the IN part seems a no brainer.  The T part is also probable due to the fact that T personalities make their decisions based on facts and figures. 

The only part that seems up for debate would be the J or P.  The J personality is more structured and on time.  The P personality is more spontaneous.  In the movie, The Social Network, they portray Zuckerberg as more of a J personality.  However, that movie is not necessarily based on 100% fact and had some creative license in how the story was told.  This has been confirmed by Zuckerberg and the creators of the film.  However, based on other things I have read about Zuckerberg, I would go tend to go think he is an INTJ personality, as he does appear to be more structured.

To read more about personality types and their preferences for social networking, click here.  For more about Zuckerberg’s personality, click here.

Related Articles

 

Get a Job and Get Noticed By Taking Full Advantage of LinkedIn’s Capabilities

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

With the release of my new book, How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love, I have been talking with a lot of people about ways for job seekers to get noticed. If you are currently in the market for a new job, don’t under estimate the importance of utilizing sites like Linkedin.  In a radio interview I did yesterday, talk show host, Anna Banks, and I discussed the value of Linkedin for the job seeker.  To listen to that interview, click here.  If you have not had a chance to take full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, take a moment to check out some of the links provided in this article to help you increase your exposure on their site to get noticed by prospective employers.

LinkedIn image
Website: linkedin.com
Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: May 1, 2003
Funding: $103M

Southcoasttoday.com reported, “LinkedIn has become the new resume, so the importance of it from that regard cannot be understated for job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as their primary research tool. Job seekers should ensure that their LinkedIn site tells their story well, uses key words that are likely to be searched, and includes a downloadable resume using a tool such as Slideshare, which is available on LinkedIn”

I personally also recommend considering importing presentations from Google Docs into your LinkedIn profile to showcase your talents.  To see how to do this click here

How big is LinkedIn?  According to Bakersfield.com “LinkedIn boasts of 80 million members in more than 200 countries. A recent post on Mashable.com notes the growing number of places recruiters are posting jobs, with LinkedIn at the top of the list. ”

If you are interested in reading more about Linkedin and ways to use it to find a job, check out some of these articles:

Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Using Keywords to Optmize Your Linkedin Site

LinkedIn’s New Signal Program

How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

How to Look Amazing on LinkedIn

Asking People to Join You on LinkedIn

The Top 5 Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

I am always on the lookout for articles about careers, social networking and education.   I hit the trifecta when I discovered Linkedin was offering Career Explorer for graduates.  TechCrunch recently a very interesting article they posted about the use of LinkedIn for students needing help with their career path.  The following is an excerpt from that article:

LinkedIn is launching a new data-focused feature, called LinkedIn Career Explorer, that provides college graduates with insights from other LinkedIn members to help them visualize a career path.

Career Explorer leverages data from the professional social network’s 80 million members to help students visualize and map successful career paths in a variety of industries. The product also shows college students job opportunities and salary information, the type of education and experience required, and will indentify people who can help them find these jobs.

So students can specify a type of job that they want to pursue or the company they want to work for and LinkedIn will show professionals who have succeeded in similar endeavors. Students can also access the best contact within their networks for certain fields or companies, and LinkedIn will recommend job openings.

The new feature will lead students to the Company Profiles (LinkedIn now has over 1 million profiles on the network), and encourage users to “follow” those companies to receive updates, including job postings, new hires and more.

Career Explorer is currently being rolled out to students at 60 universities in the U.S. and will eventually expanded to users from other educational institutions. The feature seems fitting for the platform and will no doubt provide a unique way for college students to see the career paths of those who have reached success in particular industries. Also, Career Explorer is a way to attract college students (and perhaps even ambitious high school students) as members of the community and perhaps gain loyalty among this age group.

To read the complete article click here.

Book Review: Get it Done Time Management Tips

I sometimes like to review books that I feel are helpful and fit into my goal of helping people reach their lifetime potential.  A book that I feel fits into that category is by Stever Robbins and is titled Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More.  I am a fan of the quickanddirtytips.com site where Stever’s work can be found.  Also on that site is the Grammar Girl, Girlfriend MD and House Call Doctor.  I often send my students to the Grammar Girl site as I think it has a ton of helpful grammar tips, written in a fun and more entertaining style.

Robbins book, 9 Steps to Work Less and do More, is also written in a very informative style.  He writes about many of the things that I also write about in my books (The Online Student User’s Manual and How to Reinvent Your Career) including time management, goal setting and more.

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

 

I thought I’d point out some important things that he writes about in his 9 steps.

Step 1:  Live on Purpose

In his book, Stever stated, “If you’re anything like me, a lot of what you call work has very little to do with getting anything important done in life.”  I think this is a very important statement because I see a lot of my students and people I work with who seem busy but don’t really accomplish anything.  One thing that Stever writes about in this section that I feel is extremely important is that your actions should match your goals.  We all see the busy person who works the 80 hour week and yet are they really working smart or are they just working hard?  It is very important to have goals and to be sure that you are doing the appropriate actions to meet those goals. What is nice about Stever’s book is that he gives nice examples and step by step explanations of “how” to get to where you are going.

Step 2:  Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination can be a big problem for a lot of people.  In the book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, that I co-wrote with Toni Rothpletz,  I mentioned that I am a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor.  One of the most interesting things I found out about personalities is that about the people who like to wait until the last minute.  Some people actually naturally do better work at the last minute if they have a “P” personality as assigned by the MBTI personality assessment instrument.  While I agree with Stever that it is important to turn tasks into habits to stop procrastinating, there are some people who have a high “P” personality who actually work better when they are under pressure and have deadlines.  The only thing I would add to what Stever writes about here, is for those of you who have taken a personality assessment similar to the MBTI and found that you are a “P”.  If you are a high “P”, you should set time managed goals for when your project or activity should be completed.  “P” personalities seem like they are procrastinators because they wait to do things, but if they have a goal to do things that they know they must meet, they are more apt to do that thing by that timeframe.

Another thing I like about Stever’s book is he writes about breaking things into baby chunks to make goals seem more manageable.  I often write about this in my blogs and my books.  It is like the movie with Bill Murray “What About Bob” where they talk about doing baby steps.  In my book The Online Student’s User Manual, I wrote, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  It is a goofy saying but it is also very true.  If you are a procrastinator, it may help you to think of a big project as smaller more manageable pieces.  I find this helps my doctoral students quite a bit as writing a dissertation can be overwhelming.  By thinking of it chapter by chapter, instead of an entire project, it can be less intimidating.

Step 3:  Conquer Technology

In Stever’s book he mentions he used a PDA for a year and then reviewed whether the promised benefits were actually beneficial.  I personally like to use iGoogle to keep track of a lot of my information.  I often recommend this to my students and have written about it here on my blog.  I think technology can be frightening for many but sites like iGoogle are very user friendly and can be accessed from many locations.  You can keep your Calendar, Address Book, etc. there as well as your RSS feeds and many other things to keep you organized.

Step 4:  Beat Distractions to Cultivate Focus

I liked Stever’s suggestion of keeping an interruptions list.  I tend to do that a lot as well.  I am the type of person that has things pop into my head often.  This is not so great when it happens at 2 am!  However, I like to write down any ideas I have on a piece of paper and get back to them later.  The trick is to write them down and then get right back to what you were doing so that you don’t jump around and be all over the place.  Instead you keep your focus.

Step 5:  Stay Organized

In this chapter, Stever covers the all important area of having organization skills.  I happen to be pretty good in this area naturally but I see a lot of people really need help with this.  I have taught time management skills to organizations where we discuss keeping track of emails, only looking at mail once and prioritizing.  This is the type of thing he gets into in this chapter.  He does a nice job including examples of checklists, etc. to get his point across.

Step 6:  Stop Wasting Time

This chapter is a very important one as far as I am concerned.  I have seen so many people who plan the plan to plan the plan and never get anything done.  People are not aware of how much time they waste.  I often have my first year college students map out a 24 hour period of time to write down exactly what they do every hour.  It can be enlightening for them to see how much time they really waste.  Stevers mentioned to be sure that what you are doing is actually work.  I was surprised by how many people I have worked with that thought they were doing work but were actually doing things that were wasting their time.  I am a huge fan of multi-tasking.  Many people over-look the importance of this skill.  When I was cold-calling in a sales job, I could type my notes while I talked to the people on the phone.  Other sales people would talk on the phone and then type their notes.  I could make twice as many calls because I could multi-task.  Are you multi-tasking whenever possible?  You could free up a lot of time by doing so.

Step 7:  Optimize

Are you doing things more than once?  Are you efficient or just effective?  I see a lot of perfectionists who are very effective but lack in efficiency.  There needs to be a balance.  Stever mentions the importance of knowing when to get expert help.  Sometimes you can do it all and you have to learn when to delegate or ask others for help.  He recommends creating resource books as your learn new tasks to refer to later for help on things you have learned.

Step 8:  Build Stronger Relationships

I like how Stever mentions you can’t there alone.  I completely agree.  There are so many people and resources out there to help you.  I know I personally have found Linkedin helpful to meet people who have given me some excellent advice and direction.  I highly recommend checking out their Q&A area as well as joining some of their groups.  Don’t just join though; you must participate in order to the most out of it.

Step 9:  Leverage

In Stever’s final chapter he writes about making sure to leverage in order to get results.  He explains using automation to get leverage.  There has never been a better time to use technology and automation to your advantage.  He mentions combining rather than multitasking to get things done.  I think there is a time for both.  Many people get confused as when to combine and when to multitask.  In this final chapter, Stever gives some excellent suggestions for ways to obtain the results you desire.

I highly recommend that you check out Stever’s book.  In it, he covers each of these topics in much more detail and gives great examples and specifics about how master these steps.

Living Full after 40 Host Anna Banks Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton

Living Fully After 40 rss itune

LivingFullyAfter40

Living Fully after 40 is a talk show created to build a community of women to address the spiritual, emotional and psychological dimensions of midlife transition for women. Living Fully after 40 provides an opportunity for women in midlife to embrace challenge and examine their lives, careers and relationships in a supportive community. Living Fully after 40 features conversations with experts who empower women in crafting a future overflowing with tremendous possibilities – and making midlife the richest, most insightful and rewarding years of all.

Introverts and Extroverts: Which Type Prefers Social Networking?

I recently had a discussion in one of the courses I teach about whether introverts or extroverts were more likely to be on the social web.  Some students made a good argument for why there may be more introverts on social networking sites.  Introverts tend to like to take their time to think about what they want to say before they say it.  Therefore, the online environment is a good place for them to be able to type what they want to say at their own speed.  Other students made a good argument for why there may be more extroverts on social sites.  Extroverts like a lot of discussion and interaction with others and therefore it makes sense that they’d be out there conversing, even if it was in written form.

I did a little research and found an interesting study by Maggie Morrison and Sally McMillan from the University of Tennessee. A total of 351 persons participated in this study examining the behavior and characteristics of consumers in user generated content.  Their findings indicated that most respondents read or lurk more often than they post.  They also found that men were likely to score high on the posting factor and women were more likely to score high on use of social networking sites.

As far as the whether there were more introverts or extroverts, the authors found that participants who are more likely to lurk and post at social networking sites are also more likely to score high on the extraversion scale.

Check out a blog by abisignorelli.com where the author speculated that there were more introverts by clicking here.  The author put together a quick one question survey to gather some data.  Click here for that survey. At the time of this writing, the results from that survey indicated 57% were introverts and 43% were extroverts.

Blog.thick.com tended to agree that more introverts were on the web. In that article, the author states that the internet has helped the introvert come out of their shell.  To see the article, click here.

Twitterwatchdog.com also agrees that there are more introverts socializing on the Internet, stating that Twitter is a safe haven for shy people and introverts.  Check out their blog by clicking here.

Mashable.com noted in one of their articles that Guy Kawasaki, the 15th most influential Twitter user and one of the most recognizable names in social media, is a self-professed introvert.  Click here to go to the Mashable site to answer their survey to answer whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.

So what do you think?  Are there more introverts or extroverts out there social networking?  The University of Tennessee study showed more extroverts and the informal surveys showed more introverts.   In our book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the differences between introverts and extroverts.  We are both extroverts and find the differences between the two groups fascinating.  If you are interested in learning more about Myers-Briggs’ and their definition of the difference between introverts and extroverts, click here.

In our book we list several examples of each type of Myers-Briggs personality type.

Here is a list of some famous extroverts that we write about in our book:

  • Tom Hanks
  • David Spade
  • Oprah
  • President Obama
  • Johnny Depp
  • Michael Jordan
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Ben Affleck
  • Robin Williams
  • Robert Downing Jr.
  • Sandra Bullock

Here is a list of some famous introverts:

  • Tiger Woods
  • Albert Einstein
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Meryl Streep
  • Julia Roberts
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • William Shakespeare
  • Michael Jackson
  • Marilyn Monroe

If you are interested in seeing more . . .you can check out the lists of celebrity examples in our book which will be published soon.  I will keep you updated.

Top 3 Reasons Why Facebook Friends Desert You

In an article from newscnet.com, a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado at Denver Business School decided to find out precisely why someone gets defriended on Facebook.

Christopher Sibona’s conclusions, having asked 1,500 people why they might reject someone in their social network .  . .

No. 1 reason why someone is ousted as a Facebook friend is frequent, unimportant postings.

No. 2 reason, according to this study, is offering comment on polarizing topics such as politics or religion.

No. 3 reason for being defriended on Facebook is, according to the study, “inappropriate posts, such as crude or racist comments.”

Sibona’s study also revealed that 57 percent of respondents defriended someone for their online behavior, while only 26.9 percent used offline behavior as an excuse for their fickleness. His conclusion was this: “There is a lot more nuance in the offline friendship world. You don’t have to go up to someone and ask them to be your friend. That’s not the case online. It can be awkward.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Facebook Tweaks Allow Friends to Sort Those They Really ‘Like’

There is no denying that Facebook news grabs attention.  With the recent movie release, Facebook has been mentioned in many news articles.  Other than movie news, though, there have been some new changes that Facebook has incorporated.  Do you have a lot of friends and find it difficult to keep track of it all?  Facebook has made their site more user-friendly, allowing for sorting of friends.  You can now find information you really care about on your Facebook site.  Check out the recent article by Geoffrey Fowler from the Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc. unveiled three features Wednesday that it hopes will make using the social-networking site more friendly.

The new features are designed to give users more control over how they share personal information on the site with other people and third-party applications. In the past, some users and privacy advocates have complained that Facebook made it difficult to tailor communication for different types of people, such as co-workers or close friends, as people do in the real world.

The biggest change for users will be the new groups feature, which allows people to identify small circles of friends on the site, and share specific information and communicate with just those people. Users can decide whether the groups are public or private, and choose which information they want to share with each group.

At an event at Facebook’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that giving people more control over how they communicate with different kinds of friends is the “big problem” that social networks face, and required a “social solution” rather than a technical one. “A lot of people talk about this as a privacy problem,” Mr. Zuckerberg said of the desire to share information with subsets of friends. “But more than that, it is an annoying problem.”

The other two new features Facebook unveiled address data control issues that had been raised by privacy advocates. One is a dashboard feature that allows users to keep track of information-sharing settings from third-party apps, such as plug-ins to other websites. The dashboard also displays exactly what personal information those apps are pulling from the social network. Previously, users could only adjust individual privacy settings for apps.

Chris Conley, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said the move was a step in the right direction, but the dashboard also needed to show what information users’ friends’ apps might be accessing about them, such as birthdays or interests. A Facebook spokeswoman said the friends’ apps issue was on the company’s radar.

The third new feature allows people to export the information they have entered into Facebook into one compressed zip file.

Facebook to make announcement, blogs swirl with rumors of new phone, redesign, Skype parnership

The blogosphere is in a tizzy over Facebook‘s much-anticipated announcement, as techies ask the burning question: What exactly will the social networking site unveil?

And the rumors are flying as Facebook holds an invitation-only press event on Wednesday.

             To read the full story, click here:  nydailynews.com

Microsoft Develops Good Ties with LinkedIn | Technology

Software giant teams with the foremost business oriented social network to sync contacts from admired Windows Live services such as Hotmail and Live Messenger.

Microsoft has made a point lately of highlighting the reputation of its Windows Live services. The company swanked that it had issued 500 million Windows Live IDs as of April and just two months earlier, asserted that 300 million users had signed up for its Live Messenger IM service. 

Microsoft Develops Good Ties with LinkedIn  

Now, Windows Live users will be proficient to coordinate with their accounts on LinkedIn, the foremost social network for professionals, with a new integration that merges the contact records of the two services.Microsoft’s tie-up with LinkedIn for its Windows Live services creates on a prior partnership between the two companies that connected Microsoft’s Outlook client with the social network. 

Microsoft said that its Windows Live group, which creates free online consumer and small business products, is partnering with the leading business oriented social network – LinkedIn. 

The ties signify that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Live users will be competent to link between LinkedIn and Windows Live services such as Hotmail and Messenger in order to share contacts, activities and updates.

Online Schools Using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technologies

Recently one of the universities where I work sent me an email stating that they require that I have a Skype account.  I was curious to see if other schools were using Skype and did a little research.  I found an article which I found interesting from informationtechnologyschools.com.  In the article, they mention 10 ways to use Skype in the online classroom:

  1. Videoconferencing
  2. Tutoring
  3. Live Lectures
  4. Guest Lectures
  5. Global Projects
  6. Student Presentations
  7. Classroom Discussions
  8. Announcements
  9. Oral Examinations
  10. Virtual Field Trips

For the complete article, click here.

I can see that Skype would be extremely useful in synchronous classrooms.  Click here for another article about online learning using Skype from collegefinder.org.  I like that they are finding new and unusual technology uses for the classroom. Click here for an excellent article on 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom from onlineuniversities.com.

I’ve seen that some schools are using TinychatPBworks.com claims, “Tinychat delivers dead simple video conferences without the extraneous ad-ons and inconvenience, making video conferencing an accessible, uncomplicated experience. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux; with Firefox, IE, Safari, and Chrome; and there is a version available for iPhones. You can have up to twelve people in a room with HQ video, protected by passwords and moderators, share your desktop with them, and your conferences can be recorded and embedded on your website.”  – Check out this tutorial on how to use Tinychat by clicking here.

When it comes to video conferencing, though, one of the advantages I see for online learning is that it can be completed in asynchronous format.  In other words, users can log on at any time of the day and not at a specific time.  As an instructor, I find this to be extremely helpful to me.  I do my best thinking at around 5:00 am and I doubt my students would want to log on for a lecture at that time.

Asynchronous video is still an excellent option for online courses. It may not have the interactive abilities that programs like Skype have, but it may also avoid some of the confusion and problems that come with understanding the technology as well.  There is also the blended learning option that some schools embrace.  Some schools have parts of the classes offered synchronously and parts asynchronously. 

There are tools for both types of learning.  There are advantages and disadvantages with both.  Chronical.com stated the following about synchronous online tools, “If using the “same time, different place” model of communication, some common barriers to implementation of synchronous tools are cost and bandwidth—not only cost and bandwidth on your end, as the individual teacher or the institution, but also to the students. This is especially true with conferencing systems; video/web conferencing requires equipment to deliver but also to receive. Although the benefits of real-time video conferencing are clear—it’s as near to a physical classroom environment as you can get—the software, hardware, and bandwidth necessary on both sides can be more cost-prohibitive than actually physically attending a class.”

That same article addressed asynchronous online tools, giving the following examples of technology that can be used in this asynchronous online setting:

  • Discussion boards: whether integrated into your online learning environment or not (such as Google Groups), well-managed discussion boards can produce incredibly rich conversations about topics at hand.
  • Blogs: my personal favorite, as not only are the students discussing with one another (and the instructor), but they’re learning something about writing for a wider audience whomay or may not be listening in.  The open nature of blogs also allows for communication between students in other classes at other institutions who are studying the same topics.  You might have to make “comments on blogs” count for a grade in order for some students to do it, but such is the nature of  the beast—those students probably wouldn’t talk in class, either.
  • Social Networking Site:  Facebook and Twitter can play important roles in your asynchronous communications strategy.  Facebook pages for a class can be the destination for up-to-date information about the course, without your students having to friend you (or even one another).  Twitter, and Twitter lists, can be useful sites of asynchronous discussion, although not in the threaded format that one is used to seeing in a discussion board setting.
  • E-mail/Listservs:  Some people consider mailing lists to be quaint relics of a previous technological age, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that they still work: an e-mail based discussion list does afford one the ability to carry on threaded discussions in a private environment, yet outside the confines of a managed system (for discussion boards).  In fact Google Groups (referenced above) is a threaded discussion board that can also take place via e-mail, putting a different twist on the typical concept of the listserv.

I personally often use my blog in my online classrooms.  I teach many courses where students are researching specific topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, etc.  By adding links to my blog where I have written about many of these topics, it helps add content to the discussions.  I have not had students create their own blog as the above author mentions, although I like the idea, but I have taught classes using a wiki.

For those of you not familiar with what a wiki is, think of Wikipedia.  That is the ultimate wiki where information can be added to a site by multiple sources.  When classes are taught on a wiki, it is a bit more complicated as students need to write some code-like information.  It worked out well in the school where I taught it, because it was a technology-based school where students had more technology training.  One advantage of a wiki is for group-based projects.  In the course I taught, students were able to work together on one big project where they could all enter information onto the wiki.  The problem with any group project, wiki-based or not, is that you still have those students who do not participate as much as others.   

As with any technology, there will always be some obstacles to overcome.  However, I embrace technology and look forward to the next new product that helps increase student involvement and retention. For more information about online learning, check out my book:  The Online Student User’s Manual.

Are You Monitoring Your Online Reputation?

googled

Individuals and companies need to keep track of their online reputation. Do you know who is writing about you or your business? In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I mention the importance of having a clean reputation online in case employers do some research into your background. That is important for employees, but organizations must be sure their reputations are intact as well.

One bad comment out there can cause a lot of damage. It is not just negative comments that can hurt you. I have heard stories about companies who have had their information translated incorrectly in other countries which has led to their business looking badly. Don’t assume that something posted in another country can’t be translated back into English and hurt you here.

There are sites like PissedConsumer.com or Scam.com or other sites where your reputation can be ruined.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and others are very important to help spread your positive message. But be careful, because they can just as easily spread a negative one.

I like to use Google Alerts to set up searches to track who is posting things about me or my company. I think it can be very helpful and it is free. If your company is large though, it can be harder to track all of the keywords.

Another free option is Yext Rep. This site tracks mentions and reviews on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Superpages and Foursquare.

If you are willing to pay a fee, Viralheat can monitor online conversations for a cost as little as $10/month.

Trackur is another option that many use. They offer powerful tools, you can be up, and running in 60 seconds with their service, monitoring keywords, tracking trends on the web, and discovering how influential your site really is. They have something called sentiment tracking that, “you can tag discovered items with a positive, negative, or neutral sentiment. Keep track of who’s saying positive things about you and who’s attacking your reputation.” The price for this starts as low as $18/month for their basic plan.

Visible Technologies is a good option if you need monitoring in different languages. They support 12 languages and allow employees to share reports. This comes at a cost of $500/month and up.

Radian6 allows you to manage your social media campaigns. It can be integrated with Salesforce.com, Webtrends and Omniture for $600/month and up.

Optimizing Your Resume Using Keywords on Sites Like LinkedIn

In my book: How to Reinvent Your Career, I give a lot of tips about how to get an interview and obtain a job. Part of being successful in the interview process is to have a strong resume. Keywords are a big part of getting your resume noticed.

You may hear a lot about using keywords when optimizing websites. Now that sites like LinkedIn are increasing their searching capabilities, you may want to revisit how you have worded your online experience to be sure you are including appropriate buzz or key words. Employmentdigest.net suggests the following:

1. Go to web sites that represent companies and associations related to the candidate’s target industry in search of other buzzwords.

2. Search LinkedIn profiles of users who have similar jobs to see what keywords they’re using.

3. Go to association websites to see what keywords other industry professionals have used.

The specific words employers seek relate to the skills and experiences that demonstrate your experience with the skills necessary to do the job. Both hard and soft skills will fall in this category. Industry- and job-specific skills are almost always included in keyword lists. Highly technical fields can also include specific jargon or terms that demonstrate subject expertise. Job titles, certifications, types of degrees, college names and company names also demonstrate an applicant’s qualifications. Awards and professional organizations can also be considered strong keywords.

Top 50 US Cities for Social Networking

Netprospex had an interesting article ranking the top 50 cities for social networking. For the entire article, click here.

 

If you want  to see the entire report, click here.

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Integrates Social Network Uploads

Are you considering checking out Adobe Premiere Elements 9?  Their latest version integrates social networking uplaods, but according to PC World, it lacks a few “elements” it should have considered.

Alan Stafford from PC World had the following to say about the new Adobe Premiere Elements 9, “The video-focused complement to Photoshop Elements 9, the new version of Adobe’s image-editing application, Premiere Elements 9 lets you easily upload finished videos to Facebook (the program first acquired YouTube-upload capability in Premiere Elements 8).You can’t send your freshly edited video directly from Premiere Elements to Facebook, however; instead, you must save it, return to the Elements organizer (a separate application), find the video, and then use commands in the organizer to upload the video.”

“The nifty new feature is the ability to create Web DVDs, which are high-quality online movies with DVD-like menus. Create the menus in the Premiere Elements 9 editor, choose a still image and a soundtrack for the opening menu, and then specify chapter points or tell Elements to create them automatically. When Elements is done producing the movie, it uploads it to Photoshop.com, Adobe’s online sharing site. Web DVDs have a few advantages over regular videos–the opening menu interface looks and sounds slick (if you choose a good soundtrack), and the ability to fast-forward to chapter points in the video means your viewers can fast-forward to scenes they want. And unlike a real DVD, your video can be in high definition (DVDs are limited to standard resolution).”

Premiere Elements 9 has some additional capabilities . . . to see the rest of the article, click here.

5 Useful Sites For Help With WordPress

Collection of WordPress statistics:  http://en.wordpress.com/stats/

WordPress TV visual resources for all things WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/

Video press – Upload and share videos on WordPress – converts your video into multiple formats:  http://videopress.com/?ref=wpcom

WordPress beginners guide: http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/beginners-guide/

How to create a slide show in WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/2010/04/14/using-slideshows-on-wordpress-com/

Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs and Twitter

I found an article in Psychology Today titled Understanding the Psychology of Twitter.  There are some pretty interesting statistics in it about Twitter, including how only 10% of American internet users use it.  One of the things the author, Moses Ma, discusses in the article is how Twitter ties into Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.

In our book about It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.  If you’ve ever taken a business course, you will have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was all about understanding those things that create self-actualization, and proposed that we think of human needs as a pyramid. On the bottom you have basic needs such as physiological (the need for air, food, water, etc.), then the next level up on the pyramid is safety, followed by love/being, then esteem, and lastly self-actualization. Maslow is famous for saying many things, but the following is one that we like to quote: “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”

To read the entire article from Psychology Today, click here, or read the excerpt below about Maslow’s Theory and how it relates to Twitter.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

It’s useful to dig a bit deeper into our need for community. In fact, needs analysis one of the most powerful tools for innovators to understand, which invariably leads to the meaning of their products. So let’s look at Twitter in the context of Abraham Maslow’s concept of a hierarchy of needs, first presented in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.”

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is most often displayed as a pyramid, with lowest levels of the pyramid made up of the most basic needs and more complex needs are at the top of the pyramid. Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic physical requirements including the need for food, water, sleep and warmth. Once these lower-level needs have been met, people can move on to higher levels of needs, which become increasingly psychological and social. Soon, the need for love, friendship and intimacy become important. Further up the pyramid, the need for personal esteem and feelings of accomplishment become important. Finally, Maslow emphasized the importance of self-actualization, which is a process of growing and developing as a person to achieve individual potential.

Twitter aims primarily at social needs, like those for belonging, love, and affection. Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments and families help fulfill this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community or religious groups. Clearly, feeling connected to people via Twitter helps to fulfill some of this need to belong and feel cared about.

WordPress Channels Tumblr with Subscriptions

How Subscriptions Work

Let’s say you’re reading a blog on WordPress.com that you really enjoy — so much so you want to be notified when new posts are published so you remember to read them. You can subscribe to this blog really easily by using the “Subscribe” menu in the admin bar. By going up to your admin bar, and clicking “Subscribe to blog”, you’ll be instantly subscribed and all current and future posts will be added to the subscriptions tab on your WordPress.com home screen. To read the rest of the article go to: via WordPress Channels Tumblr with Subscriptions.

To find out more about WordPress  and the new subscription feature by Andy P. at Just Another WordPress Blog click here: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/introducing-subscriptions/

Advice: How Do I Get People To Read My Blog?

Today’s Question for “Ask Dr. Diane”: Hi Dr. Hamilton right now I am up and promoting my artist Bianka and would like to ask you, how do I get people to read my blogs and visit my artist website. I am new to blogging and would like to know how to start people talking about them. If you can give me some insight on this it will be gratefully appreciated.

There are a lot of good books that give helpful advice about blogging.  I liked the last two books I read:  Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields and Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz by David Seaman.  I also think there are a lot of bloggers like Seth Godin and others that list helpful advice on a regular basis.  Some sites like Mashable and Problogger can be helpful as well.  If you type in the question ‘How do I Get People to Read My Blog”, into Google, I think you can find more advice than you probably can handle. I think some blogs are really good to follow for advice as well.  It can take some time to get blog followers.  You need to post regularly and post information that is targeted toward the people you want to have follow you.  Remember to include your blog address on everything . . .your signature line on your email, your twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc. pages . . . You’ve done one important thing already by responding to a blog (in this case mine). By posting helpful information on other people’s blogs, people can find you as well.  You can go to forums like these to chat with others about it:  http://bit.ly/aDqmQq  . . . http://bit.ly/bbCG5H.   You can start with Twitter as well by following people and posting things from your blog there . . . check out these articles:  http://bit.ly/18qgK3  and http://bit.ly/Zq4Qt.  I’m not sure if the price is still as reasonable as it was (I assume it is), but programs like letsgetsocial.com byKate Beck can be very helpful.   She gives some good advice about how to set up social networking sites.  Her aim is more about starting a social networking business, but I feel her videos are just as helpful to someone like you that is new to the social networking scene.  One big piece of advice is to be sure you are spell checking what you type.  You want to come across as professional as possible.

The Best and Worst Websites

I often teach marketing courses where we discuss the use of websites to promote products.  In one class, I have students compare two different online malls to see their reaction to them.  Without exception, all students prefer one of the sites over the other.  Here are the two sites:  http://www.1mall.com/ and http://virtuallyshopping.com  Can you guess which one they prefer? 

I use certain sites as examples in my courses to show overly busy pages.  I think Godaddy’s site used to be an example of a difficult to navigate site.  However, they have since made some big improvements.   A company may have a great product, but if the average user can’t navigate easily, they may be losing out on business.

I chose my website developer, PS Web Design Studio, because they listened to what I wanted and developed a clean and easy to navigate site.  To see some of their example websites, click here.    Not everyone wants to spend a ton of money to have a site developed.  Many can save money having their site developed using Joomla or other inexpensive applications.  I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but it can help to have the professional touch to add some extra appeal that you may not have considered.  For more information about Joomla, click here.  I also like WordPress for its ease of use and ability to put together a blog with little technical expertise.

For some examples of well-constructed sites check out these links:

http://www.webpractices.com/samplesites.htm

http://sethgodin.com – I tend to like simple sites and Seth Godin’s does everything it needs to do.

http://www.drdaniellebabb.com/ – Dani’s site has a very clean and easy to manage feel. 

http://drdianehamilton.com – I am impartial . . . but I prefer the simple design.

To see some examples of overly busy or poor websites check out these links:

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

http://www.siphawaii.com/

http://www.boogersite.com/boogerSites.cfm

In all of the examples of bad web pages, I think the following one may have my vote for the worst:

 
This may very well be the worst web page of all time.

What is an ePortfolio or Career Portfolio and How Do I Create One?

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  When I graduated from high school, I was told to set up a career portfolio.  What is that and how do I do it? 

For a complete explanation for “what is a career portfolio” click here.  The basic definition of a career portfolio is a collection of things that represent your skills and accomplishments.  Like a resume, it contains your education, awards, honors, work experience and strengths. 

There are several ways to develop a career portfolio.  You can find sites where you can pay to upload media you have designed or other things you would like to highlight to potential employers.  There are also a lot of free sites like Linkedin where you can display a lot of your information for others to find you and see your skills and abilities. Many professionals such as educators, journalists, artists and others have used career portfolios for years.  Recently many other types of job-seekers are finding that they want to be able to showcase more of their skills and abilities as well. 

It can take a bit of a time commitment to initially set up your portfolio, but in the end, it will be easier to update and add things once it is prepared. 

Quintcareers.com gives the following examples of things you should include in your portfolio:

  1. Career Summary and Goals: A description of what you stand for (such as work ethic, organizational interests, management philosophy, etc.) and where you see yourself in two to five years.
  2. Professional Philosophy/Mission Statement: A short description of the guiding principles that drive you and give you purpose. Read more in our article, Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course.
  3. Traditional Resume: A summary of your education, achievements, and work experience, using a chronological or functional format. If you need help developing a resume, visit Quintessential Careers: Fundamentals of a Good Resume.
  4. Scannable/Text-Based Resume: A text-only version of your resume should also be included. More information about this type of resume can be found at: Quintessential Careers: Scannable Resume Fundamentals.
  5. Skills, Abilities and Marketable Qualities: A detailed examination of your skills and experience. This section should include the name of the skill area; the performance or behavior, knowledge, or personal traits that contribute to your success in that skill area; your background and specific experiences that demonstrate your application of the skill.
  6. List of Accomplishments: A detailed listing that highlights the major accomplishments in your career to date. Accomplishments are one of the most important elements of any good job-search. Read more in our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments.
  7. Samples of Your Work: A sampling of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, etc. Besides print samples, you can also include CD-ROMs, videos, and other multimedia formats.
  8. Research, Publications, Reports: A way to showcase multiple skills, including your written communications abilities. Include any published papers and conference proceedings.
  9. Testimonials and Letters of Recommendations: A collection of any kudos you have received -– from customers, clients, colleagues, past employers, professors, etc. Some experts even suggest including copies of favorable employer evaluations and reviews.
  10. Awards and Honors: A collection of any certificates of awards, honors, and scholarships.
  11. Conference and Workshops: A list of conferences, seminars, and workshops you’ve participated in and/or attended.
  12. Transcripts, Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications: A description of relevant courses, degrees, licenses, and certifications.
  13. Professional Development Activities: A listing of professional associations and conferences attended — and any other professional development activities.
  14. Military records, awards, and badges: A listing of your military service, if applicable.
  15. Volunteering/Community Service: A description of any community service activities, volunteer or pro bono work you have completed, especially as it relates to your career.
  16. References List: A list of three to five people (including full names, titles, addresses, and phone/email) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities, and experience. At least one reference should be a former manager. Read more in our article: The Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search.

eHow has a useful article for how to create your online career portfolio for free. 

They also suggest the following tips and warnings:

Tips & Warnings

  • Creating an online portfolio will increase your chance of landing your dream job
  • Always be honest with yourself when displaying your qualifications
  • Give your website address to prospective employers to market yourself
  • Don’t be dishonest because it will backfire!
  • Only give your website to legitimate employers
  • Do not include official transcripts online because it includes your SSN
  • Only give your personal information to only jobs you have applied for
  • Do not include your web portfolio address on your online resume with any online career site such as Monster, Hot Jobs, Vault and Career Path. Read more by clicking here.

The Fox School of Business had an interesting article about how you should spend a moment to Google yourself to see what others might find out about you online.  They reference the following statistics:  44% of hiring managers use google, myspace, and facebook to do online background checks on candidates. Nearly 1/3 of these background checks lead to rejection of a candidate.

Some tips they suggest to create your own online image include:

  1. Join Linkedin.com.  This is a great site that will allow you to create a professional social networking “resume” and allows you the chance to connect to a lot of great contacts.  Your linkedin.com profile will also show up when you google your name.  Use this to your advantage and list all of your strengths, education, and experience using well written short descriptions. 
  2. Start a blog.  Starting a blog is not just for people with uncommon niche interests.  Find a topic you find interesting and is relevant to your professional life and write in it often.  Read other blogs on industry news and comment.  All of these small things will help to create a good social presence for your on the internet. 
  3. Check your Myspace and Facebook profiles.  If there is anything that would give an employer the wrong impression of you, take it down!  Pictures should be professional.  You can stand out from the pack if you use your myspace or facebook page as another tool in your job search strategy.  Not everyone has the attitude of “it’s just a social profile.”  Make sure all privacy settings are enabled so only close friends can see things about you.
  4. For those more web savvy people, start a website or create an online resume.  These can be great additions to your paper resume and you can certainly include a link to your online resume on your paper resume and in any footings or signatures of any emails you send to employers regarding your job search.   You can detail more experiences, share some volunteer experiences and even include pictures, showcase some examples of your work.  Be careful with this though….professionalism is of utmost importance.

A useful student-centered platform for building an eportfolio is available at eportfolio.org.  Once you register, you can set up your portfolio as a student, faculty or institution.  You can then control what goes into your portfolio, who can see it, and can create several versions of it to use based on who you want to view it.  There are fees for this based on how many megabytes of storage you would require. 

In schools, some students are being taught to create web pages using a virtual learning environmental (VLE) that are not as easily accessible outside of the environment in which they are created.  A good alternative for a student who wants a format that is easier to share outside a school environment, would be to get signed up with a free account on Linkedin.  Linkedin has added a lot of features that allows people to showcase more than just work experience.  Users can also import Google Docs presentations, include a WordPress blog, and there are many more options available to update and promote abilities to prospective employers or potential connections.

For an example of a Linkedin portfolio, you can look at mine by clicking here.  To see all of the options I have added to mine, you can send me a request to be linkedin with you.  I accept all invitations.  At that point, you can see how I have incorporated Google Docs, WordPress and other features to display my information.

Associate Professor Writes Book for Online Students

Story by Trevor GreenUAT.edu

Advances in computer technology have made education available to students far removed from a traditional classroom, with universities of all sizes instructing learners digitally – never physically interacting with their teachers. For many students, the trappings of online classes – writing papers, using course shells, submitting work – is a foreign concept that can impede academic progress.

UAT-Online Associate Professor Dr. Diane Hamilton, a longtime online instructor, recently published the book The Online Student’s User Manual to help them succeed. She was compelled to write the paperback after finding a lack of works covering frequently asked questions of first-time online learners.

“The books out there, they’re good about telling you, ‘online’s good.’ They’re good about telling you, ‘you need accredited,’ or what the other choices are or how to get financing, but they don’t tell you what you’re supposed to do,” she said.

She added: “I kept answering the same questions over and over and over, and I thought, ‘Well, how about writing a book that explains it?'”

(To learn more about Dr. Hamilton and her book, The Online Student’s User Manual, check click here.)

Hamilton develops curriculum and teaches classes like Ethics in Technology and Foresight Development for UAT-Online. Possessing a Ph.D. in business administration and career experience in corporate training, entrepreneurship and realty, she melds her years of business and technology knowledge to computer-savvy students.

With content on everything from rubrics and syllabi to essay formatting, Hamilton sees her work as a good aid for online pupils and instructors of various ages, skill levels, disciplines and educational backgrounds.

“I think the book’s a good resource, not just for new students but for people who have been in it for awhile, or even professors to know how to teach people how to do these things.”

A self-professed techie, Hamilton picked up various facets of Web 2.0 technology – including blogging and Twitter – to market the book, and she offers advice for students on her blog with tutorials using screen-recording software Camtasia and Microsoft PowerPoint. She sees the breadth of electronic tools as essential to embracing distance teaching.

“I like to embrace new technology, and I think students have to realize that [online learning] is the future.”

Taking Your First Online Class? A Professor Shares How to Succeed | My Education Blog

Even if you do much of your work online and socialize online, there may be challenges when it comes to online learning. If it’s your first online class, you’re not only facing a learning curve about the subject matter, but what it takes to do your best in an online classroom.

Dr. Diane Hamilton, author of “The Online Student’s User Manual” who teaches online courses for six universities, shares some of her tips for being a successful online college student.

Q: What technology skills should students gain before starting an online course?

A: They have to know how to upload files and how to understand the classroom and how it’s laid out (online). They’re not just opening the door and walking in. Sometimes there’s four of five different areas where they have to look for information (such as homework assignments).

Q: What can older learners who may not be as tech-savvy do to prepare?

A: I have a lot of sympathy for the older learner. There are a lot of tutorials online that are free. I have links that I always put in my classrooms, such as how to set up papers, how to set up a PowerPoint. They don’t have a good idea of how to set up documents.

Q: What are the biggest mistakes online students should avoid?

A: There’s a lot of buzz terminology that they need to know about so they don’t get into class and become overwhelmed by the terminology (words like “search engine” or “rubric”). Use basic “netiquette,” with the proper way of speaking to one another and being respectful. You can’t type in all caps because that means you’re yelling. Also, texting has been the way people communicate, but this is a formal environment and you need to write in complete sentences. Students are sometimes not using capitalization and they’re doing other things like they’re texting (instead of) being in the formal classroom.

Q: What’s an online tool for communicating with professors and peers that students should use?

A: Some of the schools set up a chat room (for the course), which is a really good thing. I also set up my own if the school doesn’t set up one. It’s like standing in the hallway talking. The bachelor students want to talk in the chat rooms, but tend to be more shy in terms of talking to the professor. I will post kind of funny YouTube things to lighten the mood to get people posting and talking to each other and to make me more approachable and make them realize I’m not a scary person. I have a Facebook page for my online students. I also have a blog. I have Twitter. I tell all my students, this is how you reach me on all those different areas.

Q: How does online learning appeal to different personalities?

A: I think that a lot of introverts really find online learning appealing for the fact that an introvert tends to think internally before speaking. They can take time to process their information and backspace and retype. With an extrovert, it’s appealing in another way. Sometimes they say, “I wish I hadn’t said that.” They have a chance to delete before posting it.

-Lori Johnston

This blog article, was written by Lori Johnston, and can be found by clicking here

Bring Traffic to Your Page by Creating Custom Text in Facebook

Mashable.com has a great article you should check out about creating a landing page in Facebook.   If you have an individual page set up for your business on Facebook, I recommend reading their article about promoting that page by clicking here

If you are in Facebook, look up Static FBML in the search bar at the top and add it to your page.  You can simply go into edit your page to add HTML text.  It is like the WordPress widget text box.  In Facebook, it will put a tab on the top of your page and you can put in text just like you would into any HMTL text screen.  I found it very useful to add the icons where they can follow me at other locations such as Twitter, Linkedin, etc.  To see my example page, click here.

WordPress By The Numbers

For complete story click here

Top 5 Ways You Should Be Using Linkedin To Find A Job

 

  1.  Input a presentation from Google Docs to showcase your abilities. It is simple to create presentations in Google Docs that are very similar to a PowerPoint presentation.  There is an application you can add within Linkedin that allows you to access the Google Docs presentation.  When your contacts look at your profile page, they will be able to see your presentation.
  2. Use the Question and Answer section to either ask a question and get connected or answer a question and become an expert.  If you go to the “More” tab and pick Answers, you will find this section.  Then click on Career and Education.  You can look for topics that may help you with your career search, ask a question or answer one. Every time you answer a question and someone picks your answer as the best answer, you get one point toward being someone listed with expertise.  You will notice tabs for open questions, closed questions and experts.  Becoming an expert can help promote your skills to more people and open up more job options for you.
  3. Be sure you have combined your outgoing messages your post on your home page with Twitter.  There is a little box you need to check to be sure that any updates you post will not only get posted on Linkedin but also on your Twitter page.  If you do not have a Twitter page, it is easy to set up and free. Just go to Twitter.com.
  4. Import your WordPress blog into Linkedin.  Just as you were able to include Google Docs through adding an application, you can do the same for your blog.  In this way, people will be able to see your blog on your profile page. 
  5. Check out all of the extra add-on applications that are available including:  Polls, Google Presentation, Blog Link, Box-Net, Portfolio Display, SlideShare Presentations, SAP Community Bio, Company Buzz, My Travel, Reading List, Huddle Workspaces, Real Estate Pro, Tweets, Events, and Legal Updates.  If you have a lot of good multi-media to display, Portfolio Display would be a good addition. 

10 Sites for Free Education – Itunes U Gets 300 Million Downloads

You might have seen today’s mobile computers news article titled: Online education gets serious as iTunes U sees 300 million downloads from Mobile Computing News.  Click here for the article.

In my book: How to Reinvent Your Career, I list Itunes U as one of many great resources for free education.  Many people changing careers are looking for free resources to help improve their skills.  Here are the rest of the 10 free sites I suggest you consider:

  1. iTunes U: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ – iTunes have their university courses as well as regular podcasts available. Be sure to check out all of the free things iTunes has to offer.
  2. ‘Stuff you should know’ podcast: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/stuff-you-should-know-podcast.htm
  3. MIT Open Courseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm
  4. Computer training: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=140
  5. How to use APA for writing papers: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
  6. Source for a lot of educational videos that help you to be on the cutting edge: http://wimp.com/
  7. Grammar guide: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
  8. Online tutorials: http://www.librarysupportstaff.com/ed4you.html
  9. Source for many educational training videos: http://websearch.about.com/od/imagesearch/a/education_video.htm
  10. Career training resource: http://freecareertraining.org/

Using Camtasia and Powerpoint to Make Videos for YouTube and Beyond

 

Ask Dr. Diane: How do you make those presentation videos that you put into your classrooms and here on your blog?

I personally use Camtasia and PowerPoint combined to create a lot of my presentations for my students. It is very simple to do. All that is required is to create a PowerPoint presentation as you normally would, then use Camtasia to record the voice over portion as if you were giving the presentation to a live audience. The software is simple to use and you can save it in different formats that are easy to upload to Youtube. For some information about Camtasia and its use, click here.

I teach a lot of online courses and find that this type of presentation is a great way to reach students who prefer more than simply reading directions on a screen. Camtasia will capture not only sound but can show your curser movement to explain directions in a way that is more effective to the visual and aural learner. For an example of these packages used together, click here.

How to Use Google Docs and Linkedin to Get a Job

I often write about different ways to obtain a job.  One of the best ways is through networking and having strong visibility.  A great tool that you can use to accomplish this is Linkedin’s ability to input from Google Docs.

If you don’t have a Google account, I recommend getting one.  It is free and easy to set up.  Go to Google Docs at https://docs.google.com/ to set up your presentation.  Your main page will look something like this.  I have presentations listed here but yours will be blank on the right when you first sign in.

You will need to create a new presentation by going to the create new drop down menu at the top left.  I recommend creating a presentation that highlights “you” and your abilities or accomplishments.  If you are trying to find a job, you need to create a presentation that makes people notice you and want to hire you.

Pick presentation and a window will open up that looks a lot like what you see when you want to create a PowerPoint presentation.

You will create your presentation here just as you would in Powerpoint by adding text and pictures.  When you are finished you will go to the share dropdown menu at the top right and the following window will be displayed.  This is where you can share your presentation by copying the link, or sharing directly into Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Buzz

This is also where you will decide who can view your presentation.  To make changes, pick “change” to open up a new window.

To see what this actual presentation looks like in Google Docs, click here.

This will allow you to have your presentation viewable on the web.  Once you save this, you can go to Linkedin and be able to add the Google Docs application there.  On your profile page in Linkedin you will see an add applications picture that looks something like this:

Note that the featured app will change so it may show a different picture each time you sign on.  It should be located on the left side of your screen as you scroll down on your profile page. Once you click on the see all applications link at the bottom, it will pull up a list of applications they offer such as:

You will need to click on the Google Presentation icon and that will bring up the following

You will want to be sure that both boxes are checked at the bottom You will need to click on the link that tells you to go to the application where you will see the following:

Mine has a presentation already showing but yours will be blank until you add one.  To do this, you will pick create your presentation which you will do or you will already have done in Google Docs.  When you are finished be sure you pick the share this presentation with my connections link that will be in the lower right corner.

Once you are finished, your presentation will show up on your Linkedin profile page and will look something like this:

Not only will people find out more about you, they will also see that you are technologically savvy.  In today’s competitive job market, this is one more effective tool to use to stand out in the crowd.

Students Using Social Media for School Shopping

Marketing school products has taken a virtual direction with sites like Facebook, My Space, Twitter and others focusing their messages on young shoppers.  Advertising on cell phones and social networking sites is becoming more common.  Students can now see virtual dressing rooms right on their phones.  Apps, or applications, are the big thing now.  With them, companies can set up pages on Facebook and other sites to show off their product line. 

In a recent article in the Arizona Republic, Staples Inc. spokeswoman Karen Pevenstein stated that virtual retailing is big business. “It’s the best way to reach teens.”  This same article cited that “Young shoppers are expected to spend more than $200 billion of their own and parents’ money this year, making them one of the retailers’ most sought-after demographic groups.”

According to ABC News, the latest trend is to post haul videos.  “A new phenomenon called haul videos means they can show off their purchases to the whole world. There are more than 110,000 haul videos currently on YouTube, and some videos are racking up tens of millions of views. Hauls are short product review videos. The “vlogger,” or video blogger, shows off her goods, gushing about everything from lip gloss to flip flops and gives her opinion on the quality of the products. Haul videos are the perfect marriage of two of Generation Y’s favorite things: technology and shopping”

It is not just teens and tweens students that have the retailer’s focus.  This year it is anticipated that $34 billion of the estimated $55 billion in back-to-school spending will collected from college students and their parents.  The Arizona Republic reported, “To reach that market, retailer Target Corp. has added a “college” tab to its Facebook page with coupons, supplies, checklists and sharable cellphone apps to help students determine how to furnish their dorm rooms or apartments and manage shared bills and chores with roommates.

Ask Dr. Diane: Do You Have A Question?

I have dedicated  a section of my blog to answering questions about the topics I cover in my books.  If you have a question about online learning, personalities in the workforce, how to get a job or reinvent your career, personal finance, social media or any of the other topics I cover here, please  email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com and I’ll be happy to post it here with my response.

Six Tips That Will Get You A Better Job

In a recent article by EmploymentDigest.net, the author gave 6 tips that will get you a better job. These include: converting things you love into a career, having people refer you, improving your resume, improving your skills, getting certified, and looking for more possibilities.

I agree that these things are important.  In fact I included these tips and more in my book How to Reinvent Your Career: Make More Money Doing What You Love.  If you are considering changing careers, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to let opportunities to meet people pass you by.  I would like to add 6 more tips to the list he suggested. Here are some things to consider when you are out and about:

  1. Talk to people you would normally not talk to at stores and while you wait in lines to buy things.  Avoid the creepy or scary people of course.  But choose those that look like they may have something in common with you or are dressed in garb that you would like to wear for the type of job interest you have in mind.  By talking to people, you open up the opportunity to exchange information and expand your connections.
  2. Always have a supply of your business cards with you.  If you don’t work for a company, print up some simple contact information cards with your email, phone and any website or social networking information that you would like to share.
  3. Have an unusual way of being remembered.  I used to print my business card on stickers and attach them to the top of an Altoids box of mints.  I would give those away to customers that I wanted to have them remember me.  Think of little things you can do to be remembered in people’s minds and present them to people you meet that you would like to work for or do business with in the future.
  4. Do something for someone else.  If you help people, they will want to help you.  If there is an industry you want to be in, find someone in it to help.  I know a lot of people want to be pharmaceutical representatives, for example.  If they submit your resume, they get paid a finder’s fee.  Find out what is in it “for them” to have someone refer you.
  5. Remove any damaging information from the Internet that could hurt your chances of being hired.  Remember that fun weekend you posted on Facebook?  So will the person interviewing you if it is available out there.
  6. If you get an interview with someone that you can research online, do your homework.  Find out all you can about them that is complimentary or interesting.  People like to talk about themselves.  It also shows you cared enough to find out more about them or their company.

PowerPoint – Resources and Examples to Make the Perfect Presentation

Do you need to create a PowerPoint presentation for work, school or a YouTube video to promote your business?  Many people know the basics of how to put together a quick presentation.  But do you know how to make that presentation pop?  If you haven’t read the book Death by Powerpoint, it is an interesting read.  I can’t tell you how many PowerPoint presentations I have sat through in business meetings while suffering a slow painful death . . .  I found that many of them were either really boring or shared unnecessary information or usually both.

I teach several courses where students are required to submit their assignments as a Powerpoint presentation.  If you are considering putting together a presentation, here are some wonderfully helpful sites to get you started:

  1. http://www.meryl.net/2008/01/10/70-powerpoint-and-presentation-resources-and-great-examples/ – This site includes a very comprehensive list of 70+ PowerPoint and Presentation Resources and Great Examples.
  2. http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/41661.aspx – If you want to see some samples of more presentations, check these out from brighthub. 
  3. http://www.iasted.org/conferences/formatting/presentations-tips.ppt – This is an actual PowerPoint presentation giving tips about a PowerPoint presentation.
  4. http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/skills/presentations.aspx – Where better to find PowerPoint tips than from Microsoft . . .check out 12 tips for creating better presentations.
  5. http://www.slideshare.net/thecroaker/death-by-powerpoint – Great video:  Death by Powerpoint and how to fight it.
  6. http://elmhurst.edu/~jacobh/WorstPresentationEverStandAlone.ppt – PowerPoint presentation that calls itself Quite Possibly the Worst PowerPoint Presentation Ever.
  7. http://www.ece.wisc.edu/~kati/PresentationGuide.ppt – Terrible PowerPoint presentations presented in a PowerPoint presentation.
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR3gcCrTSzw – Youtube video from Microsoft showing new media-rich tools for PowerPoint 2010.

Once you have completed your PowerPoint presentation, why not go the extra step and add your voice for the full presentation.  I like to use Camtasia Studio.  However, you can also utilize sites like Voice Thread at http://voicethread.com/.  This site allows you to record the audio portion of your presentation without having to buy software.  You can even use your telephone to call into their system and dictate your presentation.  What is easier than that? You simply enter your phone number and their system calls you.  You have three minutes, per slide, to talk if you use their free account.  You can upgrade for $12.95 when I last checked.  When you are finished, you will get a link that you can go to in order to see and hear your presentation.