Archive for June, 2011

To any women offended at being told they aren’t as savvy as men by LinkedIn…

… don’t worry.  LinkedIn doesn’t understand what savvy networking is.

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Our friends at Business Matters magazine posted an article this morning reporting on a survey from professional networking site LinkedIn showing that men are “savvier online professional networkers” than women.

The gist?  Men have a better understanding of how to network, possibly because women are shy.  How have they determind this?  By creating a “savviness” ranking which is a function of two things: the ratio of connections that men have to connections that women have and the ratio of male members on LinkedIn to female members.

So it would sem that because women are fewer on LinkedIn and because they don’t collect contacts like football stickers they are, somehow, not as good at networking…

Putting aside the emotion in the statement they are making, I fundamentally disagree with LinkedIn’s assertion that the number of business cards in your online Rolodex shuld define how good you are at networking.  Networking is a means to an end, not an aim in itself.

I’d rather have a small network and do business with all of them then have a huge network and do business with none.

So, to my mind, your success as a networker is defined by the business getting done with you rnetwork, regardless of its size.  No mention of that from LinkedIn.  Or how good women in business are at that, which is, I think, how most of their colleagues will judge them.

I’m struggling to understand the point of this news release from LinkedIn other than to remind us all that they exist.  And that they do, although they’ve possibly become ever so slightly less apealling to business women.

Needless to say, we’ll welcome great networkers, whatever their gender, at WeCanDo.Biz!

 

23/06/2011 at 8:46 am Leave a comment

We’ve added QR Codes to our business cards — try it!

All WeCanDo.Biz Business level members get a free QR Code and we’ve just added ours to our business cards.

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QR Codes stands for Quick Reponse Codes and are a 3D barcode which can be read my mobile phone cameras to provide website links and other information.  Smartphones like iPhones, Blackberry phones, Android and Windows Mobile phones get apps which take a QR Code and direct people to the website page coded into the barcode.

All Business members on our site get a QR Code which points people to their WeCanDo.Biz profile, which can contain address and contact information and links to your website, Twitter feed, Facebook Page, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, website, blog and more.

QR Codes are great to use in or on:

  • Business cards
  • Company or product brochures
  • Promotional fliers and leaflets
  • Yellow Pages, newspaper and other forms of visual advertising
  • Networking name badges
  • Product packaging
  • Invoices and statements
  • Quotes and proposals
  • Letter heads and compliment slips
  • Company vehicles
  • Window displays
  • In fact any printed material.

You can get your QR Code here.

We’ve added ours to our newest set of business cards, the reverse of mine you can see above.

Just open up your QR Code reader app on your phone, point the camera at the above and see where it takes you!

15/06/2011 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

Keeping online discussions valuable with peer based rating

If you want to encourage a community to collaborate, you can’t expect to control it. Let them control themselves and each other.

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A long time ago when we were considering adding forum-like functionality to WeCanDo.Biz I asked the opinion of the head honcho of one ofthe UK’s largest business forums.  His opinion: “Don’t do it!”

We had a long discussion about his view and the conclusion I drew fits with this metaphor: starting a communiy, a forum or whatever, is like trying to move a boulder — it takes all your efforts to get it going and once it is you risk getting squashed by it at any time!

We decided not to add a traditional forum, because loads of those exist already  And as much as I like the community collaboration and support you see within forums, I dislike the way that simple questions or discussions develop into long and tedious threads of convoluted answers and other contributions, with the true experts inputs becoming overwhelmed by those who have an opinion but no knowledge.  They get messy and it requires too much time and effort to get value from them as a user.  So, as an alternative, we decided to put Discussion areas in each one of our Network ‘spurs’ so people could share information and pick the brains of business people with a common interest, be that working in the same industry, or location or whatever.

It was different and it took a time for people to get how our Discussions worked.  But now they are widely used.  However, they also get misused by some who seen an open forum to use it to shamelessly self promote — serving their own purposes but annoying everyone else who’s reading the Discussion, including all of those they are attempting to try and influence.

With hundreds of discussions on our site it can be difficult to keep on top of people misusing them.  And should we?  There are a few business communities online which have developed a reputation for over-zealous moderation and people don’t like it.  But people don’t like spam either.

Here’s our solution.

We are all getting used to being able to “like” pages or articles we find acoss the web.  As of today we’ve introduced Likes to Discussion posts in The Network.  You can Like anyone else’s posts — but you can also Dislike the ones you don’t like.

What we are hoping will happen is that we don’t have to intervene and the people who are reading the Discussion posts, who are already making their minds up about posts they see, will click the button to share their feelings.  It’s all anonymous and their rating gets added to all others received for that post.  So a post can pick up Likes and/or Dislikes and we showhow it rates on both.

Anyone can look at a post to see how many Likes it has and how many Dislikes, including those who posted it.  We’ll send you an alert to let you know when a post you submit has received its first rating.  Is your post getting Likes?  Well done!  People like what you have to contribute to the Discussion.  Picking up Dislikes?  Then they probably see you as spammy, adding self serving posts which aren’t of interest to anyone other than you.

We can’t wait to see how people use it and how it influences people’s use of this community collaboration feature!

You can see how it looks at the top of the page.  Why not try rating some existing posts now:

Location Networks
Business Networks
Business Interests
Business Categories
Private Networks

And let us have your feedback on this feature by adding a comment below or posting on our Website Help and Feedback Network.  We can’t wait to read what you think!

09/06/2011 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

New Twitter photo-sharing feature could shift your social media strategy

Rumor has it that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo will announce a new photo-sharing feature for the microblogging service tomorrow at the D9 conference.

Currently, Twitter users who wish to post photos in their tweets must host them elsewhere, using services like Twitpic, Yfrog, Instagram and Flickr. In these cases, users include links to the photos within their tweets.

In March, Twitter’s director of platform Ryan Sarver issued a message to developers saying they should no longer “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” Twitter then announced in May it would purchase the Twitter management platform TweetDeck, in a combination of stock and cash for $40 million.

Twitter Photo-sharing Could Shift Your Social Media Strategy

Whether the new Twitter sharing application will service similarly to existing third-party applications is yet to be seen. But even if Twitter doesn’t reinvent the wheel, the advent of native photo-sharing functionality could go a long way toward normalizing image sharing across the platform, especially for small and medium sized (SMBs) business owners who don’t have the time or desire to dabble in third-party applications.

For SMBs, the new service could make posting and sharing images via Twitter more simple and streamlined. While Twitter has yet to announce any details on the service, SMB owners should begin considering how they might better integrate an image-sharing strategy into their Twitter campaigns.

  • Use high-quality pictures. This doesn’t mean high-resolution photos (smartphone pics are okay), but post images of your business, employees, or products that you would be proud showing off the anyone–because they might just reach anyone.
  • Don’t spam. Snapping a pic of every product the company offers and pushing it onto your followers is a good way to get unfollowed.
  • Get everyone involved. Let’s face it, communicating on Twitter can take up the whole day. Lighten the load by setting clear guidelines for images and other communication, and let employees snap and share pictures on your company’s behalf. But stay involved and make sure both the images and pictures seeping out of your Twitter account are in line with your company’s values.
  • Have a conversation with your images. Designing a new shoe? Snap a pic of the prototype and ask your community to weigh in. Take their input seriously. Chances are, they’ll be the folks buying the product.
  • Tell your story. Don’t have a fancy product to capture and share? Don’t worry, share your company’s story. Twitter is a place where the traditional rules of business dialog have been blown open. So stop worrying about “promoting” your business through Twitter, and begin sharing what you find inspiring, challenging or compelling about your organization. Maybe an employee left you an encouraging note, or you took everyone to an impromptu happy hour. Snap and share.
  • Respond. Because many SMB owners have limited time to spend on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook, there is a tendency to share, but not respond. This is a wasted opportunity. Even for SMB owners with limited time, responding to inquiries or concerns is an incredibly powerful way to strengthen existing relationships and broaden your appeal. Snapping a picture to address concerns or answer questions about your products will demonstrate that you’re willing to make the extra effort to engage.

In short, just because you’ll be taking a picture and sharing it on Twitter doesn’t mean the norms of the community are thrown out the window. Share, be personal, and respond.

Some interesting news courtesy of PCWorld and a great article which gives some practical uses for SMBs of how to use this new feature, expected to be launched later today. Full article linked above.

At first I wondered how businesses might use it, but the article provides some answers. But what about service based industries in the B2B sector? Well I guess it needn’t be tough to show your staff cleaning an office, if that’s what they do, or examples of your work as a grahic designer — if you are an accountant though…?

What pictures would you Tweet that are relevant to your business and that your customers might be interested in?

01/06/2011 at 7:21 am Leave a comment


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