21 January, 2011

More On Making Your Linkedin Account Work Harder For You

After reading yesterday's post about why Linkedin users need to put some contact info on their Linkedin profiles, a Big Apple correspondent asked me why I didn't mention Inmail.

Simple. Most Linkedin users have the free account and aren't willing to pay extra to send Inmail via Linkedin.

Personally, I think Linkedin has made a big mistake by not enabling free messaging between all Linkedin account holders as Facebook has done. In Facebook, you have to opt out or use your account settings to place restrictions on who can send you a message via Facebook. On Linkedin you have to opt in - and it costs you.

See my September 1 2010 post about how Linkedin's stubborn refusal to become more like Facebook in this one regard has, in my opinion, retarded Linkedin's growth and allowed Facebook to siphon off professional and business users who should be using Linkedin more and Facebook less. With Linkedin's superior search capabilities and business conscious demographic, business and professional users would undoubtedly use Linkedin much more than they already do if they could send messages to other Linkedin users who are outside their networks.

To summarize, unless you pay for Linkedin's branded "Inmail" messaging, you cannot send a message to Linkedin  users who are outside your network. In other words, you can message 1st-level connections and you can message members of the groups you belong to so in addition to putting actual contact info on your profile you should also join groups and start sending connection requests to other Linkedin users.

20 January, 2011

But Did You Put Actual Contact Information On Your Linkedin Profile?

Do you have actual contact information on your Linkedin profile?

Don't be like the consultant who appeared on a Charleston, WV radio show and invited listeners to get in touch with her through Linkedin. There was no contact info on her Linkedin page so the only listeners who could actually contact her were the people who were already 1st-level connections in Linkedin or members the same LInkedin groups of which she was a member.

I looked her up in the phone book and sent her a note telling her she should put actual contact info in her profile. I suggested she put it in the "SUMMARY" section of her profile where it will show up in Google searches.

Still, she insisted that "all her info was public". No, it wasn't. Linkedin has your email address but it only shows up on your profile to people with whom you are already connected in some way - either through direct, first-level connection or through a group, primarily.

If you want your phone number and/or email to show up on your profile you have to put it there.

Yesterday I noticed that a member of one of my Linkedin groups was looking for a job. On his Linkedin profile he said recruiters and headhunters should contact him by email but his email address appeared nowhere on his profile. When I brought the omission to his attention he thanked me and expressed embarrassment.

Have you looked at your profile? Does it contain actual contact information?

I ask because I spend about an hour or two each day inviting new members to my 3 Linkedin groups and I'd say that only about 3 or 4% of the profiles I see contain any contact info which means I may have tried to invite you to join one of my groups but didn't have a way to contact you.

Have you Googled yourself to see what non-Linkedin users see in your public Linkedin profile (which is different than the profile your direct connections see).

Make your Linkedin account work harder for you. Put actual contact information in your Linkedin profile.

I have actual contact info - phone number and email address - 2 places on my profile: under "contact settings" and, more importantly, in the "Summary" section which shows up in Google searches on my public profile.

Don't make prospective clients or employers work so hard to contact you. Put actual contact information on your Linkedin profile. Make your Linkedin account work harder, don't make potential contacts work harder.

Oh, and if you are logging on to your Linkedin account every day - as you should - and checking your "inbox" and looking at "who's viewed your profile" you may have noticed that a lot of people you know or want to know have viewed your profile but didn't contact you. Is it because you didn't put actual contact information on your profile?

Don't make your prospective contacts work harder, make your Linkedin account work harder. Put contact information on your Linkedin profile.

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07 January, 2011

Big Love Or Big Tent? Will Southern Evangelicals Vote For Mitt Romney?

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In season 4 of HBO's "Big Love" (now available on DVD) TV's best-known polygamist businessman-turned-politician, Bill Hendrickson, thinks The Religious Right still won't vote for Mormons. A lot of my real-life Mormon friends agree so if Mitt Romney doesn't get the Republican Presidential nomination they'll say it's because Mormonism still has a Southern Evangelical problem. I think "Big Love's" Bill Hendrickson and my real-life Mormon friends have greatly overestimated their evangelical fellow Republicans.

Over 30 years ago when I was studying The Pearl of Great Price, The Book Of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants in a college "Major Cults" class, I would have agreed. The evangelicals of my youth and young adulthood read their Bibles - even the gospels - so they knew that True Christians were promised persecution, not earthly power and that they would always be a minority witness and never a Moral Majority. Many of my evangelical friends eschewed politics altogether. Jesus didn't try to change the world by running for office or influencing the powerful, they reasoned - and they could quote you chapter and verse that Jesus' kingdom is "not of this world".

But that was before Christian Reconstruction, Glenn Beck and what I call CACACA (Casual Anonymous Church Among Consenting Adults) - the evangelical church version of "don't ask, don't tell."

A lot of the experts say it was the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 that signaled evangelical willingness to trade their witness for a mess of political pottage (this Biblical imagery will be lost on most 21st Century Christians) but it was in 1990 that I saw just how willing evangelicals were to compromise their theology for more of their new found political power. A strict Calvinist missionary came to my office and excitedly told me how his "scholarly" branch of the church was forming a coalition with the "charismatics and Pentecostals" - the little yellow bus of this new Christian army that was rolling into Washington.

"We have all the scholarship, the Pentecostals and charismatics have all the money" my missionary friend said. "It's time we get together. With our brains and their TV and radio stations we can elect Christians to Congress and the White House. They're be no stopping us."

This marriage of monetary and political convenience between the pseudo-intellectual wing and suspicious of the intellect wing of evangelicalism was just one of many compromises evangelicals would make to gain and keep political power.

Fast forward to 2010. Mormonism's most famous broadcaster, Glenn Beck, has millions of evangelical listeners and viewers and rallies tens of thousands of evangelicals to his "Restoring Honor" rally in DC. Evangelicalism's embrace of Mormonism as just another Christian denomination is due in no small part to frequent TV appearances by Christian History revisionist, David Barton, who was present at the creation of the Christian Reconstruction movement that valued political influence over doctrinal purity and winning elections over winning souls.

If evangelicals don't hand the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney, perhaps the second most famous Mormon in America (behind Glenn Beck) it won't be because of his religion; it will be because he has not sufficiently validated them and because a few of them remember his political flip-flops and the Obamacare-esque healthcare plan he signed into law when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Ask any political strategist what motivates voters and they will tell you voters need an enemy. To modern evangelicals who no longer read their Bibles and know less about the Bible than atheists, "the enemy" is no longer biblical stuff like false doctrine, sin or The Devil, but the same stuff they would hate no matter what religion they belong to: full citizenship for all Americans, science, cultural diversity. If I were one of Mitt Romney's advisers I'd tell him to take a page from Karl Rove and learn to name those enemies - and I'd tell him to do it on the Glenn Beck show.

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