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Showing posts with label good practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label good practice. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Manage your Online Obligations by Creating a Personal Dashboard

Once you have started out on the Internet to establish social, personal, and professional profiles to market yourself, disseminate information, publish articles, sell services, communicate with your friends, or do anything else at all; you need to have a way to keep track of your profiles, email accounts, bookmarks, shared links, online résumés, advertisements, traffic, classifieds, auctions, search agents and other registered accounts.

I said in my article yesterday, "There are approximately 10 sites that I visit daily and depend on them to be able to serve my clients" well I was off a bit there are actually 14. I manage these fourteen sites through bookmarks using Mozilla Firefox because the browser lets you create a tabbed bookmark bar within the browser that is always visible; but for the sites I browse and market products on, maintain profiles within, and receive offers that I signed up for I created a visual interface. Bookmarks just don't cut it, my bookmark file always seems to get out of hand, it was then then I created an interface or 'weekly dashboard' of sites on which I am registered on and placed it online and created password access, sure it takes a little html knowledge but it works really well and I am always able to keep up with correspondence and everyone contacting me.

I found that it is really embarrassing if someone tries to reach you and they send you repeated messages or emails and you tell them months later when they finally contact you that you never got the email or message. What is even worse is if you have email and fail to respond when sincere people who admire your work try to come in contact with you and you throw them in the category of spammers or trash their message without ever having read it. They could be students, potential business associates, or well wishers that really need your acknowledgment. Perhaps the only solution is to hire an email screener, so that's what I did.

I frequently have tried to contact top executives and CEO's with sincere requests to communicate and have almost always had to resort to picking up the telephone finding out who their secretary was and then contacting the secretary in order to contact the particular person. Let's face it, many of today's CEO's, corporate board members, and chairs of corporations, foundations and start-ups are just too important and too busy to communicate with their peers online, it's obvious from my experience that those who do have email accounts don't read their messages, or don't have time to share with regular people or mid-level executives that are trying to make their way up the professional ladder.

In my opinion having a published email account or profile online for people to contact you that you have no intent of responding to or maintaining is unethical, lacks professionalism, it's a fault of respect, and it is improper according to protocol standards. There must be a solution, sure you can filter emails and profile information to find what is important and filter out what is unimportant as spam; but it is most important to all professionals to be respected and demonstrate integrity and to do that you MUST be responsive to your peers and constituents. Failing to be responsive to clients and constituents is a disgrace.

I noticed on Facebook there are some groups of top Web 2.0 founders who together are trying to create a solution for social network management by getting all the social networks in one place, Power.com created a solution for a few, but they are pushing offers and prizes too much, I always suspect spam and stupidity from those who offer their members money and prizes. I use Digsby too, but their little green guy upsets me for some reason, I use it anyway though for a certain amount of time each day. Someone really needs to develop an integral solution.

My personal 'Conexion Globcal' solution involves a combination of email filters, employing a person as an email screener in addition to my secretary, frequent visits to 14 bookmarks, and using the personal online interface I created once a week; the result is I never miss an important email or contact, I am able to maintain my professional integrity, and never violate good practice protocol, it's more than I can say for some of my peers. I am considering now whether or not I should further develop my personal dashboard as a product for development like a piece of software or a browser extension, and often wonder also if a management solution already exists that may have escaped my notice. Perhaps nothing can replace good training, ethics, hard work, dedication, and an integral business model.

Now that I work as an Ambassador at XING for the country of Venezuela and as a moderator for XING Caracas it is more important now than ever to be a good communicator and to be highly responsive to a large group of people.

Those reading this article that wish to contact me should do so on XING: a network for professionals and business or on Facebook. Just to let you know I do not communicate with people that do not have an online profile, photograph, or those who use photographs of other people to represent themselves.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Four Essential Network Types for Good Communication

There are four essential types of networks that internet users should be on to communicate well when they are online. If you do not have at least one account on each type of network you are hiding from something, not a very good Internet user, close to becoming a hermit, or just starting out.

People who are competing in this fierce world need to communicate with their peers, they need to be responsive to their constituents, and they need to share their abilities with others as a matter of goodwill in order to; in turn be good netizens.

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of social network sites online today, some are better than others, some are necessary, some are specialty networks, and others are just emerging. I am on most of them and really have not found a use for some of them yet, but I am trudging on and trying to complete my profiles to strengthen my social media brand. There are approximately 10 sites that I visit daily and depend on them to be able to serve my clients, all of my 32 clients I currently maintain are online except one and even he is trying to learn enough about the internet to be able to use it well.

To be a good communicator you have to participate in the communication that is taking place. For the purpose of this article we are talking about being visible to others who are participating in the communication that is taking place on the Internet. We must be present in order to communicate and we have to be responsive to communicate.

Herein I define four basic social networking types as presence networking, professional networking, share networking, and passive display networking. Some networks have more than you need or want and can divert your attention from your online purpose, so be careful. Many networks can serve multiple purposes now because they have evolved from their original purpose into something more.

To have an online presence today you need to participate in presence networking with friends. The networks that promote this type of networking include Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Hi5 and several others. Facebook seems to be the best and I have not found much use for the others, but I maintain minor or incomplete profiles on them just so users can contact me I hope someday to be able to complete those profiles but that may not happen unless Obama adds a few hours to the clock. My daughter who is in high school prefers MySpace, as do many under the age of 18, my son who is in college prefers Facebook.

Just about everyone I am doing business with also uses a professional network for business networking purposes. Here in Venezuela, I became the number one social networker using this type of network and in December shortly thereafter I was appointed the Ambassador for one of them. These types of networks let you post and display your professional credentials, your CV, seek employment, and network with others in your professional field. They are excellent networks for creating your professional identity as well; they include XING formerly known as OpenBC, ecademy, LinkedIn and several others. I became the number one networker in Venezuela on ecademy in August of 2008, and became the Ambassador in Venezuela for XING in late December. I became especially fond of XING because they purchased econozco and neurona which were dominant professional networks in Latin America, being in Caracas it makes sense; also with the economy going into a dive I further thought it would be good to be connected in Germany where XING is based. XING is also attractive because they merged with Social|Median in December which has a large US market share and very innovative technologies which will be incorporated soon by the Social|Median founder Jason Goldberg who became known as one of the brightest social network developers in the world in 2008 and now he is also vice-president at XING. LinkedIn was always a little harder to use in my opinion and some of the groups there spam a lot by posting ads like "connect with me I accept contacts," but I maintain a profile there as well to be more connective with US networkers and potential clients.

I consider share networking a good way to connect with people that have similar interests and likes some of these networks include Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, and quite a few others like Social|Median who have taken this type of social media to another level by associating and incorporating "twitter".

Passive display networking has been around since the emergence of the Internet, it is simply the posting of a profile with contact information online using a personal home page. If you use your old website well and integrate it with the other social media sites you can get a pretty good rank on Google and with other search engines. Use of a personal home page should be well written using the latest html or xhtml language. If you need help with this consult one of the many resources on the Internet, I personally use several editors depending on my mood but I am especially partial to HTML-Kit.

I included two links to Wikipedia and another new site below for further reference and your personal exploration. I hope this article gives my clients and group members for March a good start with establishing their social network presence. I'll be back with my formal article on ethics and good practices in the next few days and perhaps another article tomorrow. Until then, Ciao from Caracas!

Information that may help you.

Wikipedia: What is a Social Network?
Wikipedia: List of Social Network Websites
New Website Social Network List