A Picture of My Blog

Hi, my name is Sala. I programmed the HTML Graph Applet. Hope you like it!

Sala created a website where you can type in any URL and a picture of that website will be drawn dynamically in front of your eyes. The process is mesmerizing and the end result is beautiful. I don’t know exactly what it means, but I think it looks cool.

You can make your own URL picture at http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/.

A picture of my blog is copied below – how does your site look?

Picture of Tom Humbargers Blog

Picture of Tom Humbarger's Blog

5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile

Most professionals are using LinkedIn as their professional and permanent resume today, but most are not taking advantage of some very simple ways to maximize their exposure in LinkedIn.

Here are 5 simple steps you can take to modify your LinkedIn profile for maximum impact:

1. Add a picture

  • Having a picture in your profile is a simple way to let people visualize you or remember you, and it adds a personal touch to the profile.

2. Update your status

  • You should frequently update your status so people who visit your profile can see what you’re up to. The status update also appears in the Network Updates stream for your contacts.

3. Get recommended

  • I always like to see profiles with recommendations and generally read them as it gives me a broader and more complete picture of a person. Profiles with recommendations show that you have current or former colleagues that care enough about you to take the time to add a profile. Go to the Recommendations tab on your profile to request recommendations from your connections…and remember that you should likely reply in kind with a recommendation too.

4. Update websites

  • LinkedIn lets you add up to 3 links to your profile. Many people add their company website and/or blog. The trick is to select the Other option because this lets you label your link instead of using the default name provided by LinkedIn. You can get more visibility for your website by customizing with your name instead of the default “My Website”.

5. Get your name in your public profile

  • LinkedIn will provide you with a generic public profile link, but I recommend that you chose one that has your name in it. This makes it easier to provide your LinkedIn profile to others as it adds a personal touch to the link.

These 5 simple steps will go a long way to update your LinkedIn profile. I have copied my profile below so you can visualize the changes.

5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile (updated 11/12/09)

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November 23, 2009 Update – I just wrote a follow-up blog post called Maximizing your LinkedIn Profile – Advanced Version which takes building up your LinkedIn profile to the next level.  Check it out if you are ready to step up your LinkedIn game even more!

Satisfied Customers Tell 3 Friends – Angry Customers Tell 3,000

Satified Customers Tell 3 Friends - Angry Customers Tell 3,000

Satified Customers Tell 3 Friends - Angry Customers Tell 3,000

Satisfied Customers Tell 3 Friends – Angry Customers Tell 3,000” is a new book by Pete Blackshaw that came out 2 weeks ago. The book reinforces concepts that those in the social media space have been preaching for quite some time – but with a more catchy title. It is also a good book to recommend to colleagues who are still “Luddites” and may not realize the power of consumer-generated comments.

Pete identifies three key truths in his book:

  1. “Businesses no longer hold absolute sway over the decisions and behavior of consumers.
  2. The longer companies refuse to accept the influence of consumer-to-consumer communication and perpetuate the old ways of doing business, the more they will alienate and drive away their customers.
  3. To succeed in a world where consumers now control the conversation, and where satisfied customers tell three friends while angry customers tell 3,000, companies absolutely must achieve credibility on every front.”

So, what can a company do to monitor potentially angry customers?

All companies should expand their horizons, listen to customer conversations taking place online and take action. Two specific examples that I’ve used in the past to monitor company and competitor information include:

As far as taking action, a company needs to spend the time to reach out to customers with both positive and negative comments. For negative comments, the company can get an early warning of possible product issues and begin addressing them proactively.

In a Summize search, all comments are tied to a user’s Twitter account so it’s pretty easy to find out who is doing the ‘talking’ and how to contact them. For blog posts, most bloggers have a profile or contact me page – or you can add a comment to an existing blog entry. Of course, these comments should not be inflammatory but should transparently explain the situation in your terms and how you may be addressing the issue that was raised. Obviously, you don’t want to have any angry customers, but if you do it is best to address their concerns swiftly.

Pete sums up why listening to customers is so important – “It is also critical that marketers listen closely to what consumers have to say. They need to absorb and internalize what their customers tell them or say about them. If they do they will be in a better position to create and distribute effective marketing messages.”

Finally, you can find out more at these links or from the video below:

So, how many angry customers do you have?

So This Is Social Media – By the People, For the People

For those of you who are still confused by social media, here is a short video from Common Craft
that describes social media using an ice cream metaphor.

The 3 takeaways from this video are that:

  1. Products get better when companies can learn directly from their customers
  2. Free customer reviews are more valuable than costly advertising
  3. Customers can get exactly what they want

As the video says, new technologies plus new ways to work with your customers create unique communities and opportunities.

Professor Randy Pausch – The Final Lecture

I hate to write this post, but I feel compelled to close the chapter on the legacy left behind by Randy Pausch (1960 – 2008).

I was listening to NPR today and heard that Professor Randy Pausch died this morning after losing his fight with pancreatic cancer.

I was especially taken by Randy’s story and had previously written 2 posts about Randy – one last September and another this April. Plus, I have read and recommended his book, The Last Lecture, which came out several months ago.

If you don’t know about Randy, you can read my previous posts here – his message and courage is something to share with everyone:

Rest in peace Randy and may God bless your family, especially your three children.

Randy Pausch and his 3 children

Randy Pausch and his 3 children