Category Archives: social networks

How to use LinkedIn to land your dream job

Adrian Weckler Twitter Post

I was scanning Twitter this morning when I spotted a question from Adrian Weckler of the Sunday Business Post asking if anyone found LinkedIn useful and what for.

I emailed Adrian the following story of how I used LinkedIn to help me get my current job. I’ve told this story quite a few times now but having finally typed it out, I might as well blog it as well, then I could point ppl to it!!!

My wife is Spanish. She lived in Ireland with me for over 10 years before losing her head completely and saying she wanted to move back to Spain. That was in June 07. We had just enrolled our 4yr old in school for the coming Sept so we decided to give ourselves 12 months to organise the move – that way he’d also finish out his first year in school before we moved (don’t worry, I’m getting there!).

I was involved in a couple of businesses in Cork at the time, but nothing that would move with me, so I knew I needed to cast around for a new job. One that would allow me to work from Spain in English as my Spanish was poor (still is, but that’s another story!!!).

I put the word out on Twitter – but Tweets have a short half-life and that didn’t elicit much response. I also put the word out on FaceBook and I did receive on half-hearted offer of a possibility of a part-time position from a friend (but I think that was more a pity thing, than anything else tbh).

Then I decided to try LinkedIn. I took a slightly different tack there. I had built up quite a decent network there of very well known people in the Web 2.0 space internationally. I went through the list and cherry-picked about 70 of them. I sent them an email saying that I would soon be moving to Spain (this was around March 08), and that as I’d be looking for a new position, it’d be great if they would consider writing a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile.

Within a few short days I had over 20 stellar recommendations on my profile. And four job offers. I interviewed with the four and narrowed it down to two I was really interested in.

Then RedMonk came along, matched the offers, and the rest as they say, is history!!!

“Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn” – Is this a new form of spam?

LinkedIn Spam Connection Request

LinkedIn Spam Connection Request?

In the last three days I have received 3 invitations to connect with total strangers on LinkedIn – in and of itself, that’s not all that unusual. I often receive invitations from strangers to connect on LinkedIn – most I quietly ignore.

What made these invitations different was the fact that they were all worded identically – they all said:

Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.

This wouldn’t be all that unusual if that were the default text provided by LinkedIn when you request to connect to someone, but it is not. When you normally try to connect with someone on LinkedIn, it sends the text

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn

Official LinkedIn connection request

Official LinkedIn connection request

Maybe LinkedIn are trialling the new wording and only certain people get it when they try to connect with people.

Maybe, it is being trialled only in certain regions.

Maybe you get this wording when you chose a different type of connection request.

Or, and I suspect this is the case, this is a new type of spambot trying to gain connections on LinkedIn.

None of the three accounts had more than 7 connections. None had filled out their profiles and none had any shared connections with me.

I guess there is a chance that this is default text, for new accounts only, on LinkedIn.

However, I have to think it is spam – be warned and don’t connect to anyone whose invite has this wording

Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn

unless you know them extremely well and even then, confirm with an email before accepting, just to be sure.

Are you experiencing FaceBook fade?

FaceBook opened its APIs for third party developers last year, opened its registration to all and saw a meteoric rise in use.

The developers started creating all kinds of applications for FaceBook and the FaceBook Platform was pronounced as the next big thing! And an investment by Microsoft putatively valued the website at $15bn.

However, of late a lot of the sheen seems to be coming off FaceBook. Privacy concerns started raising their head and were given significant credence when FaceBook launched its ill-fated (and short-lived) Beacon project.

Users discovered just how hard it is to actually close their accounts and more recently the New York Times reports that FaceBook has had to implement a procedure for people to have their accounts closed. Closing the account and deleting the information which was in the account are two different operations however.

Listening to the conversations on Twitter it is pretty obvious that people are tiring of FaceBook.

I have a huge concern over what is happening to my information on FaceBook. Not just what is FaceBook doing with it but every time you add an application to your profile, you are giving that application developer access to your FaceBook data.

Personally, the amount of completely frivolous emails and requests I receive from the site (Vampire bites, Human Pets, Pokes, pointless quizzes, etc.) have completely turned me off it and I may log in now once a week just to check my Inbox. Then again I may not!

Are you experiencing FaceBook fade?

Twitter vs. FaceBook

While everyone talks about the power of FaceBook as a cool means of getting a message out, you hear very little about the power of Twitter as a communications tool.

I inadvertantly compared the two in recent months and found that Twitter was by far the more potent communications tool (in my unscientific test, at least).

What happened was, last November and December I changed the status on my Facebook profile to reflect the fact that I was looking for a job. My profile displayed that info for several weeks. In all that time I had one person approach me offering me some possible contract work. No more.

However, two or possibly three times since Christmas I have mentioned on Twitter that I am looking for a job and from that I have received 6-7 strong expressions of interest some of which are at the stage of swapping proposals.

The very first time Will Knott asked me why Twitter was so powerful was at the first Cork Open Coffee meeting back in March 07 and I remember telling him that the power of Twitter is in the network. Twitter continues to prove me right.

Does Plaxo flood your inbox with connection requests?

Plaxo started life as a place to hold your contact information online.

That was quite handy and they allowed synchronising from your Mac or PC so your contact data were always held safe in the cloud.

More recently Plaxo added a feature called Pulse. Pulse allows you to tell it where you publish photos, blog posts, bookmarks etc. and it creates a lifestream, a la Facebook which it publishes to your Pulse network.

All sounds nice, right?

Sure, however, for some reason, and I don’t know why, of all the social networks I have joined (and I have joined a few!) Pulse seems to generate the most emails. The emails typically have the subject line “[someone I have never heard of] has added you as a business connection”

On Facebook and Xing, the other two social networks I frequent most, I occasionally get connection requests from people I don’t know. But not very often, and usually a bit of digging will show how they are connected to me.

However, on Plaxo I get waaay too many of these business connections and I have no idea where they are coming from.

Is this just me or are others finding Plaxo also generates too many connection requests from strangers?

OpenSocial signs up MySpace and SixApart too!

I mentioned earlier in the week that Google was about to launch OpenSocial, a Social Network API platform. Since then Mike Arrington in TechCrunch is reporting that not only is it happenning but MySpace, Bebo and SixApart are on board too!

The OpenSocial site is now live and confirmed participants so far are:

Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING

Why OpenSocial?

The web is more interesting when you can build apps that easily interact with your friends and colleagues. But with the trend towards more social applications also comes a growing list of site-specific APIs that developers must learn.

OpenSocial provides a common set of APIs for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create apps that access a social network’s friends and update feeds.

Many sites, one API

Whither FaceBook, the current social network colossus in this? They and Microsoft (their recent investor) have got to be wondering how to meet this challenge to their dominant position. Probably the best approach would be to jump in too – that way they have all the advantages of the open platform without the development costs. Google are saying it is an open platform and they wouldn’t see that one coming!

The chances are though that they won’t jump on board and there will be two social network standards, Google’s OpenSocial standard and FaceBook’s.

Free son to a good home

Via the FaceBook Observer comes this gem:

Free to any kind of home. Lazy, slob, unmotivated, comes with no future plans, does not do chores, parties all night, sleeps all day, curses in his sleep, eats constantly, does not clean up after himself, very expensive, mouthy, knows everything, works sometimes.
Added bonus – own car, full-time girlfriend(no job) and very large black lab.
Let me know if interested, willing to deliver

Free son to a good home!

Having been up for 2 hours last night with a crying 18 month-old, I can well sympathise with the sentiment!

The black lab looks nice, though!

Microsoft buys 1.6% of FaceBook for $240m

The New York Times is reporting this morning that Microsoft has bought a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $240m, this values the company at $15bn.

This values Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 23 year old founder at $3bn and Accel Partners, the venture capital firm that invested $12.7 million in May 2005 now owns 11 percent of Facebook stock worth a cool $1.65 billion.

The deal must be a huge relief for Microsoft after the stories circulating yesterday that Google were about to beat them to the post (pun intended!) in buying a piece of Facebook.

This is a dream deal for Facebook as they yield only 1.6% of the company and still manage to scoop $240m.

What is in it for Microsoft? Well, on the one hand, as the New York Times reports:

As part of the deal, Microsoft will sell the banner ads appearing on Facebook outside of the United States, splitting the revenue with it. Last year, Microsoft struck a deal with Facebook to run banner ads on the site in the United States through 2011.

but, probably equally importantly, Microsoft has stymied Google’s plans to own advertising rights on Facebook.

Is Facebook really worth $15bn? Who knows. A company is worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. Today, for whatever reason it is worth $15bn to Microsoft. Who knows what it will be worth next week.

Congrats to the guys in Jaiku

I see Jaiku were bought by Google yesterday. What is Jaiku? Jaiku is what Twitter would be if it worked reliably and had neat functionality. I’m delighted for them.

If you don’t currently have a Jaiku account then you may be out of luck because in the notification email sent out by Jaiku last night they said:

In order to focus on innovation instead of scaling, we have decided to close new user sign-ups for now. But fear not! All our Jaiku services will stay running the way you are used to and you will continue to be able to invite your friends to Jaiku.

I’m not sure what happens to people who are invited in this period, do they go into a holding pattern, or are they left in but the amount of invites is limited. The faq is no help there.

This is great play by Google who are demonstrating that they have their finger on the pulse. I can’t wait to see what other announcements they are going to make in this space – Robert Scoble is hinting at big news in the Orkut arena in early November.

Jyri Engstrom, Jaiku’s founder gave a great talk at Reboot and I tried to get him to come to speak at the it@cork conference this November. Unfortunately he was busy (now I can see why!). Maybe next year Jyri!