Tag Archives: social networking

LinkedIn Now Major Factor in Online Reputation

I’ve not been much of a fan of LinkedIn. It’s too closed off and there just aren’t enough ways to interact. I prefer networking through the likes of Twitter or Facebook.

One example is how easy it is to create a presence for your company or brand. Previously, LinkedIn only gave you the ability to create your personal profile. Facebook, on the other, with fan pages, makes it easy to both establish a brand presence and encourage people to interact.

The closed nature of LinkedIn alienated it from the rest of the social media space, in a way, because it didn’t allow much integration. On the other hand, services like Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed have APIs and actively encourage integration with other services.

LinkedIn seemed to be saying “Nope, if you want to tell people what you’re doing, do it here.”

Now all that may be changing.

Three weeks ago, they launched their Applications platform. It’s not completely open, which is a shame, with applications having to go through LinkedIn approval, but it’s a start. I’ll be looking forward to the Twitter application (listen up LinkedIn staff!)

This week comes an bigger step and one that interests me even more: company profiles. I’ve created mine.

It does worry me how easy it is to create (or claim) a company profile, though. Which also means that it’s important that any company make sure they’re LinkedIn profile is looked after by someone in their organisation.

Even more so now that the profiles are public, as announced earlier today. Anybody searching for your company name may well come across your LinkedIn profile

With the very social, democratised internet we are experiencing, reputation management is a big concern. LinkedIn just added themselves to the list of sites to be on by default.

How Chris Brogan Got Me a Link Without Knowing It

Mark Cahill is someone I’ve always known of and respected, so I was delighted to find (albeit a bit late) that he’s mentioned (and linked to) me in one of his posts.

I wanted to share it with you because it goes to show just how much more valuable Social Media is than SEO.

In the comments, Ari Herzog (another person I have plenty of time for) says, “If Google died tomorrow, you and I would continue blogging as if nothing changed.” Ari says that we shouldn’t be thinking about Google, and I agree. I don’t even think anyone should be doing SEO any more (that’s another – very long – conversation, though)!

In the post, Mark acknowledges Ari’s and my view that we shouldn’t focus too much of our attention on search engines. In his comment back to Ari, Mark agrees but offers the view that Google knows which links are relevant. In a more e-commerce setting, search engines would also be much more important.

It’s a very worthwhile comment, we can’t just ignore search engines completely. I, for one, still look at my stats – my visitors, subscribers and in part, rankings – because that tells me whether what I am doing is working. What search engines should not be used as is a indicator of performance (or KPI).

If I show up in Google Blog Search for a topic I’ve blogged about, great! But that doesn’t mean I’m successful in my goals. That doesn’t necessarily mean that my work is having an impact.

Mark’s post has been the KPI in this case. The very fact that Mark has mentioned me and linked to me has shown that my methods are working. I’m aiming to become part of the community that I follow, listen to and respect, and Mark is part of that community.

That community also includes people like Chris Brogan and it’s Chris who’s inadvertently led to my mention on Mark’s blog. I had commented on Mark’s post about blog readership after Chris mentioned the post himself. Subsequently, Mark felt the need to mention my comments when talking about link relevance.

Purely by engaging with Mark and contributing to the relevant discussion, I have gained a very valuable mention and a great link. We’ve also got the beginnings of a dialogue. One that I expect will continue to blossom and benefit both of us, not just in terms of links but also with knowledge.

Sure I could go to an SEO or link builder and say “get me 100 links by this time next week” but I’d take this one link from Mr Cahill over that any day!

And that, ladies and germs is the power of social media (and Chris Brogan)!

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The Evolution of Orange Juice… Oh and the Internet

It’s funny what can get your brain working. This morning, for me, it was this:

A picture of an orange juice carton next to a glass of orange juice

It’s all about the cap.

Remember when all orange juice cartons were smaller, fatter and you had to cut the corner off? And every time you opened a new one you just knew half the carton would end up on the worktop.

Then we had the little white lid added, with that bit of foil stuff. Though, the juice would still catapult itself out the carton and land everywhere but in the glass.

Now we get the tall slender cartons, like the one above. They poor much easier but opening them is still a hassle. You unscrew, then there’s a weird little plastic hoop that you have to rip out. That’s fine, so long as you’re a body builder. And even then, guess what happens to the juice? That’s right, allergic to glassware.

So now we’ve reached the reason I’m an internet consultant blogging about orange juice. Almost. The carton pictured is special. As you unscrew, the cap removes the inner ‘cap’ so that you can poor as soon as you’ve unscrewed.

Finally! We have an orange juice carton that’s a sinch to open AND doesn’t throw your orange juice all over the hob.

The point? It’s like the internet. Orange juice cartons have EVOLVED. Look at them now compared to a few years ago. Look at the internet now compared to a few years ago!

Plenty of people talk about the ‘growth’ of the internet but I believe it’s evolving. We’re communicating in new and interesting ways, building on existing relationships and creating new ones. We’re building communities and collaborating like never before.

The internet is constantly evolving, solving problems, improving on existing ideas and advancing us all. It might be hard to keep up with, but it’s damn good fun trying!

Faceparty Activates Self Destruct

Social networks are attractive in business because, like TV, they have a captive audience. A captive audience about who a lot is known. Age, gender, location, hobbies, interests, sexual preference, musical preference, favourite TV shows, films, books; you name it.

So what do Faceparty do when faced with a bit of legislation? They cull hundreds of accounts. This is their intellectual property, for Pete’s sake. It’s suicide! Seriously, folks, how much would it really cost to put in some kind of system to verify age? If you really needed to do it why haven’t Facebook, Orkut, MySpace et al done it yet? Answer: because they’re not as thick as two short planks, that’s why!