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!!!
I received this FaceBook invite to a webinar from Chris Abraham of AbrahamHarrison and Jay Jaffe of Jaffe Associates.
This invite was sent to over 2,200 people on FaceBook. Seems like kind of spammy behaviour to me!
Ironically the webinar is on “how to look after your online reputation and why it is important to do so”.
I guess they did this for the “What NOT to do” part of the webinar!
I suppose I received the invite because I chose to accept a Friend request from Chris Abraham back in 2007. This is not the first invite I have received from Chris since then (far from it). The dangers not being selective enough with who you friend on FaceBook, eh?
Dear FaceBook, please put an UnFriend link on invites like this so that with a single click I can insure I don’t receive any more,
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.
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!
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.
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?
Spotted this story yesterday on Valleywag – long story->short, guy working as an intern for a US branch of Anglo-Irish Bank, took a couple of day’s leave saying he had to head to New York home suddenly.
I just wanted to let you know that I will not be able to come into work tomorrow. Something came up at home and I had to go to New York this morning for the next couple of days.
Then a photo of him is posted on Facebook dressed as a fairy (complete with wings and wand) at a Halloween party when he was supposed to be home in New York!
His boss, who obviously has a sense of humour, in his reply to the email included a copy of the photo, said:
Thanks for letting us know–hope everything is ok in New York. (cool wand)
and bcc’d the whole office!
There goes his credibility, if not his internship!
Valleywag are implying in their story that there is something new here. Facebook helps hip bosses keep track of employees!
I can’t help but think that this story has happened over and over again. Employee does something silly. Gets caught. The only thing that changes is the names and the technologies.
I’m sure there were similar stories doing the rounds with the advent of the phone and later the fax. There is nothing new here.
Rob and I had a great chat and decided to hook up on Facebook. It turned out to be a lot easier to meet in person then in Facebook! I typed Rob Howard into Facebook search and got back over 500 results! I gave up after paging through 15 of them!
Ok Rob, I said, Raftery is an uncommon name – try searching for that. Rob eventually found my profile on page 21. Over 500 Raftery’s? Who knew!
The Advanced Search in Facebook is no help in this scenario because that is limited to your existing network.
With over 50 million people signed up to Facebook, if you get 500+ results back on every search, is their search function now broken (or at least badly in need of tweaking)?
Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING
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.
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.
Tom Raftery – Global VP, Futurist, and Innovation Evangelist for SAP, inspirational keynote speaker, and global influencer's take on how digitization and innovation are creatively disrupting our world