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Ruminations on another LinkedIn milestone August 7, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in career, Social Media, Trends.
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Earlier this year, I was surprised by an email that indicated my LinkedIn profile was in the Top 5 % of accounts viewed.   Recently, I achieved another LI milestone as my network  is now 500 strong and growing.  LI_500 Connections

To my network – Many thanks to all who have connected with me. I appreciate the interactions and look forward to continued knowledge share. I must admit that these connections are largely organic and the result of networking. I had not intended to reach this number. While reviewing my connections, many of them also have networks of 500 or more so I am in good company. Glad to be here with you.

Initially, I would connect with any and all on LI. My focus then was on growing the network in the wilderness that once was LI. That changed over time as it increased in popularity. The selection criteria was also a recent discussion topic in another network group I belong to. The most basic way to manage connect requests is to show the value provided in the connection. Don’t assume it is obvious and that I will accept. If I don’t see the value, I won’t accept. As part of the request, where possible, customize the invite message.

I have always been, and continue to be, active with my status and ‘check in’ multiple times each day. One of the features I like best about LI is the status updates. It is very easy to share what your are interested in and a great way to observe what is top of mind within the network  Other useful features include :

  1. potential new connections via the ‘People you may know’  pod,
  2. joining groups of interest,
  3. checking the ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ (c’mon, we are all a bit vain, aren’t we?),
  4. viewing company profiles to research/learn about and
  5. sending/receiving messages.

One change I did not enjoy was getting removed from groups. The message here is if you belong to a group, you should actively participate. If not, LI will remove you due to inactivity. Also, I noticed there is a limit to the number of groups you can belong to. Note – I use the basic ‘free’ account. It may be different with upgraded accounts.

LI_Account_ProfileI have a fairly robust profile that detail my career changes with recommendations from many people I have worked with the past. I  certainly appreciate endorsements (a fairly recent feature) on my skills and expertise and enjoy reciprocating with my connections. I find the profile is better at conveying who a person is and their career achievements and skills. In my opinion, the LI profile is an improvement over the traditional resume. At the risk of repeat, I submit that this profile will have more impact than a traditional career resume. This implies many changes in recruiting need to occur before that is commonplace. It is a direction I encourage as we improve how to digitally communicate.

That’s been my journey on LI so far. Do you have a goal for network connections? What are your favorite features on LI?

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Ramblings on the Programmable World June 6, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Trends.
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I am an active reader of Wired and enjoy articles that deal with emerging trends. From a recent issue, I found an a write up that relates to big data. In the near future, data will be generated by every day items. The main concept of the piece deals with connecting our analog devices such as a refrigerator (and, everything else) to a network. The idea is not a far fetched as it used to be. This is not limited to active devices either. Passive devices, such as doors and windows can be connected as well. They will be talking to us and each other. All of this is the early stages of a programmable world and will take some time to sort out.

We know from Moore’s Law that electronic devices get cheaper all the time. Here is a direct link to the article in Wired that describes how will be connecting sensors to physical devices and integrating them into the programmable world.

Device sensors generating data

Sensors and objects linked together.

According to the author, there are three stages. The first involves getting devices on the network. The prospect of generating, monitoring this data and then triggering events as a result will lead to applications not within our purview currently. And, this it not just for residential use; factory automation can be taken to a new level. Bringing the analog world into the digital age. Having a system to collect and arrange the data is required. Think about when every device in your house is connected to your Wi-Fi network. The second stage will have those devices on the network sync with each other – output from one device triggers an action in another. The third and final stage involves using these devices as a system or single platform. To make this work, we will need repeatable and consistent patterns. The first generation will be crude and will not handle exceptions well. We will get smarter about that and iterate on stimulus and response triggers.

We have experienced discrete pieces of connected devices into disparate networks already. Wireless (aka, WiFi), Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communications (NFC) are routinely used in security badges, printers, cameras, smart phones and tablets. The next iteration will be connecting them together.

There is a great potential here with the number of devices to connect in the trillions. A big number. Each device generating data based on stimulus. Management will require programming –  lots of programming and networking to make this all work together.  Big companies are looking at this including Qualcomm, Cisco, GE and IBM as well as start ups are working on this as well. Changes will be seen in the home, factory and the office.

To revise an old phrase, this isn’t your Father’s network. Devices with embedded sensors will generate a lot of chatter. Who is going to listen? Where will that data be stored? What standards will be needed for command and control? We will get that sorted that out and then look for the next challenge.