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Blog Milestone – 5 years and counting April 16, 2014

Posted by Edwin Ritter in career, Miscellaneous, Social Media.
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So the other day, I saw a note from the fine folks at WordPress concerning my blog. The note reminded me that I have been blogging now for five (5) years. Woot! A good run and I have no plans to stop.

5 years bloggingWell, to be accurate, it said I registered 5 years ago. No mention of how active I have been on the blog. A quick check of my blog archive shows I have had at least one post every month since I started with one exception. That distinction belongs to December 2010. That is the only month I did not post. So that makes 59 out of 60 months with a post. My style has evolved and is different now than when I started. Hopefully, it is improved and continues to get better. Writers always say the best thing to do is keep writing.  I refer to this as Hemingway did as fighting the white bull. The archive shows there is a wide variety of blog topics – personal interests, professional concepts, business practices and social media changes. 

There a few posts I am most proud of. In no particular order, they include :

  1. Diversity and Potatoes
  2. Puzzle and Mystery
  3. Positive Change
  4. 2nd Day of Infamy
  5. Re-entry

The all-time traffic leader by far is my ramblings on diversity (#1 above). More about that in a future post. I am in a much different place personally and professionally from when I started. I plan to continue on this journey and post further ruminations going forward. I hope you enjoy my observations and invite your comments. Which post is your favorite?

Here’s to another five years!

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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?

Tesla, the New York Times and the levelling of the media playing field February 16, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Social Media, Trends.
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As Tesla and the NYT go toe to toe, they are using media tools to make their case. This could be a precedent for firms to directly engage a media company in a war of words. I am interested to see how this will play out. Who will the next to ‘battle’ a review it disagrees with?

Ruminations on LinkedIn Milestone February 13, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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In the past week or so, I have seen people share updates about a milestone  that LinkedIn reached in terms of membership. The achievement was in recognition of reaching 200 million members. Definitely a significant achievement and kudos to them.
LinkedIn Member Milestone

Now that I think about it, I have had a LinkedIn (LI) account for quite some time. So today I see an email from LI that indicates I am in the top 5% of accounts viewed.  Out of 200 million. Top 5%, eh? Nice.  That’s a lot of views, no doubt about it. I was flattered a bit by the note and maybe even a bit smug for a half-second.

Other LI members shared the same status with varying amounts (top 1%, top 10%, etc.). Maybe you saw the same status update from people in your network. I have shared this as a LI status as well. Even tweeted about this milestone. The optimist in me says enjoy it. My network is proud of me. I’m sure of it.

The cynic in me would say what else beside an email? Free Premium membership for 90 days? Coupons? Bring it on – I’ll be watching for that email. Talk about personalization!

So, that happened. And, yes, I know – this message does more to promote LI than my membership. I get it. And you know what? It’s OK. I don’t mind. I am active on LI – always have been since like, 2006. I plan to keep my network updated and look forward to them sharing with me.

200 Million is a big number, no doubt about it. But, like health club memberships, there is a difference between the total number and those that are active. I bet that the number of active LI accounts is a lot less. Maybe that’s why mine is in the top 5.

Makes me wonder what the cut-off is for the email notice. Top 10%? 15%?

Did you get the same email? What was your 1st reaction? C’mon – a bit flattered, right? Then? Did you share that as a LI status update? What other types of promotion will LI use this year? I’ll be watching and probably sharing that also.

“Dearest Tumblr User” Worm Spreading Spam on Tumblr, Seen It? Then Log Out Of Your Browser [UPDATED] December 3, 2012

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Be careful out there as some Grinches are out to get you.

No, a legal notice won’t protect you from Facebook — so stop posting them November 27, 2012

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The idea is very tempting that you can dictate the terms. But, it is not true and not even practical. Read the details after the jump.

Gigaom

Here we go again — Facebook users want to ward off Mark Zuckerberg and his friends by posting random legal mumbo jumbo on their profile. This is ridiculous. Stop it.

In case you missed it, an old hoax has resurfaced that suggests Facebook (s fb) users can tell the company what to do by publishing a rambling notice. This means that people’s Facebook feeds are once again being sprayed by items like this one:

It’s a nice idea that stems from a growing frustration at the power companies like Facebook have over our personal information. The desire for user empowerment is understandable. But it doesn’t change the fact that you sign a contract with Facebook when you sign up to use its service. It’s the same with Google(s goog), Apple(s aapl), Pinterest and many other sites.

These contracts let the companies do what they want with your data subject to…

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Ramblings on Twitter at a cross-road July 31, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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This could get real interesting on how this is ultimately resolved. Twitter needs to maintain focus on their vision. This deals with more than sharing information. This can also set a precedent about where the line is to sharing responsibly. Twitter’s major value add has always been the ability to monitor events in real time.

Gigaom

Updated: Almost every day, it seems, we get further evidence of the dilemma at the heart of Twitter’s ongoing evolution from real-time information network into multibillion-dollar commercial media entity — and the latest is the furor over the company’s suspension of the Twitter account belonging to Guy Adams, a British journalist. As Jeff Jarvis and Dan Gillmor and others have noted, regardless of the details of this specific case, it seems like a defining moment for Twitter: the network that has bragged in the past about being the “free-speech wing of the free-speech party” now looks to be censoring journalists who criticize the company’s corporate partners. How the company decides to handle this incident will speak volumes about where Twitter’s future lies.

As my colleague Jeff Roberts has noted in his report on the case, Twitter says that Adams — a freelance journalist writing for The Independent

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10 ways big data changes everything May 9, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, E-Commerce, SEO, Trends.
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As 2012 reaches the half way mark, here is a post on one of this years’ hot topics. This is the first of three.

What is big data? How big is big? Think Yottabytes. So much data is now collected that 90% of the online data was created in just the last two years. Simply stated, everything you do on the web is tracked and creates data. It is then stored, sliced, diced and analyzed. The growth in data is due to proliferation of smart phones and tablets, lower storage costs and improved analytical tools. This article reveals 10 ways in which big data will have an impact.

Gigaom

A yottabyte isn’t what happens when the Jedi master starts gnawing on your leg. It’s the information equivalent of one quadrillion gigabytes, and is enough digital data to fill the states of Delaware and Rhode Island with a million data centers, according to Backblaze. While the world hasn’t yet seen many yottabytes, industries like Internet search, genomics, climate research, and business analytics are starting to create massive data sets — in the peta- and exabyte range — that are requiring an entirely new set of big data tools to manage.

The emergence of this so-called big data phenomenon is also fundamentally changing everything from the way companies operate, to the way people interact, to how the world deals with outbreaks of infectious diseases. On March 21st and 22nd, GigaOM is throwing an event about the future of this big data ecosystem in New York, Structure:Data, and for…

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February 7, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag, Trends.
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During the recent (and, tremendous) SuperBowl, there was a lot of social media activity. Here is a good post from my friend and fellow Giants fan (and, Jersey alum) that summarizes topics discussed online – a record number of tweets among them. Note – I was unplugged during the game also.

Arthur Catalanello Consulting

Did you watch Super Bowl XLVI?  As a fan of the New York Giants, I was certainly glued to the television until the very last play.  The game set records not only for television viewership, but for social media activity as well.

Being in the marketing industry, I’ve always paid close attention to the advertising during the game.  As social media integration and proliferation continues to increase, it was interesting to see how it changed the advertising this year.  The biggest change I noticed was how many of the ads were “leaked” in advance.  This helped generate buzz and social media conversations ahead of, during, and after the game.  But, the big question is, did it work?

According to analysis reported in Advertising Age, here are the top 10 according to the quantity of social media comments generated:

Super Bowl XLVI Top Commercials by Social Media Comments

My personal observation is that most of the pre-event social media buzz on Super…

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Ramblings on Social Media Best Practices December 19, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Now that we have been practicing for some time, we are aware of good (and, bad) ways to employ social media. Opinions will vary about the ‘best of the best’. That is the beauty of the web, it always changes. From a book summary I read on social media, here are some of the best practices according to the author at this point in time. The full abstract about the book is available here. This is not an exhaustive, all inclusive list. The basics are covered and should align with your current techniques for using social media effectively.

There are multiple platforms* available for your content and they should be used relative to the target audience. Perhaps due to timing, one platform not mentioned is Goolge+. Having likeable content is a fundamental criteria for success. Get your customer to listen to you and then….

  1. Listen first, and never stop listening – You want to know what customers think. Ask and they will tell you. Next, the most important thing to do is listen. Closing the loop by acting on what your customers tell you will prove that you not only listened, but that you understand and can do something about it.
  2. Define your target audience better than ever – There are many tools that allow you can focus on your true demographics for your product/service(s). Define them and determine what will  make them ‘like’ your content.
  3. Think – and act – like your consumer – Remember, it’s about them, not you. Don’t sell them; instead, provide content this is of interest to them. Get them talking about topics of interest and find ways to integrate your wares into their lifestyle.
  4. Invite your customers to be your first fans – Word of mouth (WOM) is key here. The more likes you get, the better your credibility. Be clear about your value proposition and define what is in it for them. Remember, there is no value add if only your employees are interacting with your content.
  5. Create true dialogue with, and between, your customers – Related to listening and being genuine. Get them talking about you to leverage the WOM effect. When your customers share tips, tricks with others, it proves they are engaged. It also saves you from providing customer support directly. Help guide the discussion by acknowledging comments – and, correct where needed.
  6. Be Authentic – Get connected by being demonstrating an interest in your customers. Personalize it by including your name.
  7. Be Honest and transparent – You can spot a phony a mile away. Your customers can too.
  8. Integrate social media into the entire customer experience – Another fundamental for success and canot be stressed enough. Make sure everyone who interacts with your customers has the same message and is aware of promotions and specials. Regardless of how they find you, it should be consistent messaging. The last thing you want is a dis-connect among channels and mis-managed expectations from your customers.  If they are online, they can tell their network about you – the good and the bad.
  9. Don’t sell! Just make it easy and compelling for customers to buy – They already found your content and are engaged. Don’t insult them with a bland sales pitch. State the (relative) value proposition clearly and make it easy to ‘Add to Cart‘.

*Platforms range from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Blogs and specialized networks (e.g. – flickr, yelp, etc.)

Having a dialogue with your customers is easy using a social media platform. I would add that you keep in mind how you want to be treated. After all, we all are consumers in the end.