LinkedIn tip: Customize your profile URL

This tip’s for Mike Nurse and other people who are looking for small things that could make LinkedIn more useful for them… =)

Did you know that you can customize your LinkedIn URL to make it more memorable, writable, and professional?

  1. Log on to linkedin.com.
  2. Click on Profile – Edit Profile.
  3. Click on Edit next to your Public Profile URL.
  4. Click on Edit next to Your Public Profile URL. Choose a short, memorable URL. Click on Set Address.
  5. Optionally customize what people see on your public profile.
  6. Click on Save Changes.

If you want to make it easier for people to connect with you on LinkedIn, put your new URL on your business card, your e-mail signature, your website, and other social network profiles. Little things like that help make it easier for other people to connect with you.

social networking

All that’s needed to turn me from an introvert to a people person is the ability to skip small talk, at least in the beginning. Thank you, Internet!

Take today, for example. I was working on a wiki guide to social media on a client site when I heard a cheery voice introduce himself and say that he found me on a social network. A few minutes later, I was deep in conversation with someone I’d never met or even talked to before. He had noticed that my client contact had added me on LinkedIn, and that I was from IBM. Intrigued, he checked out my profile and read my blog. He was baffled by the Emacs posts, but he noticed my passion for social computing, and that was something that he was very interested in. We talked about knowledge management, technology adoption, influencing behavior, the different initiatives going on at the company. I recommended two books:

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al SwitzlerRead more about this book…
The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative
by Stephen DenningRead more about this book…

… and I’m definitely looking forward to more conversations.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if people in his company—and in other companies—could meet and talk to other people as easily as he found and talked to me? Wouldn’t it be great if people could skip past all the small talk and build rapport by talking about the things people are passionate about?

Alumni networks and business networking sites

The Greater IBM Connection

My notes from last month’s Greater IBM
networking party are in my backpack, just in case I find
the time to write a trip report. They get me thinking: how useful are
alumni networks, anyway? How can we use social networking to support people even when they leave an organization?

Pauline Ores pointed out that alumni need to find:

  • Candidates for open job positions in their company
  • Jobs for themselves or other people in their network
  • Clients or vendors

There’s also a fourth need that I think alumni will definitely
appreciate: keeping in touch with people in the organizations they’ve
left behind, even when those people have moved on to other
organizations.

Hmm. Are any of these needs compelling enough for some people to
actively participate in a space, or can they be handled by basic
social networking without the additional structure of an IBM group?

What value can IBM bring? I’ll split this up into several blog posts
and reassemble them into an article when we’re done thinking out loud.
Here’s one of them.

Looking for candidates for an open position

IBM hiring is a vote of confidence in the person. Experience at IBM
may be an asset that employers could look for. Would people explicitly
search for IBM alumni when looking for candidates to fill a position.
Does IBM want to encourage and support that?

We’re looking at two use cases:

  1. Finding a list of people who are interested in a different position
  2. Advertising an open job position

It’s unlikely that business networking sites will ever support case

as such information is sensitive. Would you indicate on your
profile that you’re looking for a different job? Probably not.

Case 2 can already be done with current business networking systems.
LinkedIn allows people to post job
advertisements to their personal network. People can see these job ads
when they log in. A group affiliation allows you to be part of a
larger network without having to make all the connections yourself,
which is useful.

If organization networks and other affiliations were automatically
considered part of your personal network, the volume of information
from IBM and all your other affiliations could be overwhelming.
Filtering will become essential as volume grows. A smart social
networking site would make it easy to filter displayed jobs by area of
interest.

Jobs advertised through second- orA third-degree personal networks
make sense because of referrals. Does it make sense to use second- or
third-degree affiliations in your network? I think that affiliations
might only be useful for the immediately-connected.

How would it work? If I want to advertise a position, it would be
useful to be able to either explicitly activate a network (such as my
Toastmasters network if I’m looking for people with good public
speaking skills) or advertise to all my networks. It wouldn’t make
much sense for these jobs to be advertised to people without those
affiliations, though.

To support the search for candidates, business networking services
should make it easy to advertise jobs to selected networks of people.

Hmm…

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Random Emacs symbol: sacha/bbdb-gnus-ping – Command: Add a ping for authors/recipients of this message.

Linked In: Looking for role models

Howard Greenstein

Headline: Educational Administrator, Connector, Evangelist

Currently: Sr. Director, Management Programs at New York University

I love his headline! And he’s a personal/business coach, too. I wonder if I can set up an informational interview while I’m down in NY…

I definitely have to write about using LinkedIn to look for role models.

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Social networks: Basic, basic feature – multiple e-mail addresses

With the number of e-mail addresses people have, I think that all
business networking sites should allow people to have multiple e-mail
addresses as part of their profile.

LinkedIn does this right.
OpenBC‘s implementation forces you to have
a business e-mail, and changing this requires re-confirmation *and*
locks you out of your account. Yes, you can set your personal e-mail
address, but it’s not the same. For example, I’m known as sachac AT
ca.ibm.com and sacha AT sachachua.com . Both are equally valid for
business, and people will look for me using either address. sacha AT
sachachua.com is also my personal e-mail address, as is sachac AT
gmail.com and sacha AT sacha.free.net.ph . LinkedIn allows me to associate all of these e-mail addresses with my profile, ensuring that people find me easily. I can even log in with any of the e-mail addresses. OpenBC doesn’t. Waah.

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