Social media is becoming an overly used and highly abused term. It generically refers to the idea of being linked through various social networking websites. And even if their usefulness seems like a lot of hype to you (and a lot of it is), your presence on the internet could be vastly affected by your love or lack of use of social media.

Here is a listing of a few social networking websites and what being there could mean to you and your business:

LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com): A social networking site for professionals. On the low end, it’s a resume dumping ground that allows your colleges and coworkers to write endorsements for your work. On the high end, it’s a living Rolodex allowing access to various people with a variety of talents you would normally not have direct access to. This access comes from the ability to see information from people that are directly linked to the people you are directly linked to, to a certain number of levels.

MySpace (http://www.myspace.com): Not much love for what was once the king of social media sites, MySpace is being transform in a place for musicians to showcase their stuff. With customizable pages, MySpace was the early leader in the social media explosion. Over customization lead to a glut of slow loading and gaudy looking pages, and when the crisper, cleaner, less customizable Facebook became open to the general public, lead to a lot of abandon profiles. Because of the music library for mainstream and independent artist, and the migration of parents to Facebook, MySpace is still popular with the teen & young adult sets.

Facebook (http://www.facebook.com): It’s a time sink, it’s a way to connect with old friends from the past, and it’s big business we become more accustomed to the habit of sharing too much information with others. Facebook originally came to life as a networking site for college kids, with the bar to entry being a registered .edu email address. It was opened up to high schoolers, and then based on growing backlash from the MySpace community, unleashed on the world at large. It is a great platform for sharing web links, pictures, video, and general ‘this is what I am doing’ information, and with applications that make the massive site fit almost perfectly into mobile phones, Facebook does offer anecdotal evidence of the loss of popularity in the use of regular email.

Twitter (http://www.twitter.com): Twitter is a networking tool that many people don’t get at first. The original mission of the site was to offer the ability to tell your followers what you were doing–literally things like ‘i’m eating a sandwich’ or ’bout to hit the club to tonight’–in 140 characters or less, giving you the ability to stay informed via text message. Thanks to an open API and thousands of people seeing ways to make a few bucks off the service (well before Twitter itself figured it out), Twitter now offers a way to blast out information pseudo-instant message style to anyone who deems you worthy of taking up a spot as a follower. But you’re going to just have to jump in and try it. Twitter is a service that people deem useful and fun, or worthless and stupid. There are very few in-betweens.

Friendster (http://www.friendster.com): Just like there were good MP3 players before Apple release the iPod, there where popular social networking sites well before MySpace and Facebook. Friendster was one of the most popular sites back in the 90’s, long before anyone had a real use for or need of abuse of social media. This service is still around, and still offering the best service for those who have stuck around, but comes in as a distant afterthought, if any, when people think of where to be found online.

As the internet has become a tool for consumers to scope out their options before having to deal with shop owners, the importance of having a web presence has grown as well. With the explosion in the use of social media, the need to be noticed on these platforms is growing for business professionals and companies. Choosing the right platform is key, along with following some simple rules of engagement to ensure you don’t get pinched for abuse on any particular service. If your question is should I be in the social media game, the best way to answer that is to jump in and observe the community. The barrier to entry is low, and you’ll find out pretty quickly if you fit in.

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Think of every idea or suggestion you receive for your business as a person handing you cash.

Every suggestion that you receive has some worth. Maybe your spouse suggested you wear a different tie or necklace for a meeting instead of the one you chose, and it was a better suggestion. That’s a quick $1.

The barista at the coffee shop suggested you take a different route to get to a meeting downtown because you said you were worried about the traffic. Take it as $5 in your pocket if it saves you time, $20 if your competition ends up shows late. Think of it as a loss of money if the new route actually makes you late.

And everyday that million dollar idea for your company is just waiting to be born from a spark of creativity from any one of your employees, co-workers or partners. In the meantime, you’ll settle for a $100 idea here, and a $50 idea there, especially if you are a small business.

So if ideas and suggestions amount to ‘free money’ being handed to you, would there ever be a case where you would turn it down? If the person giving you the idea had some strings attached that made the money not only ‘not free,’ but put you in a situation where you were uncomfortable or at a serious disadvantage, you’d would politely take the idea ‘in consideration’ and do your best to distance yourself from the person and their idea.

Now that you’ve gotten a good grasp of ideas as dollars, take a day to observe how much free cash you are tossing in the dumpster instead of using to make into actual capital. Also keep an eye on how much political capital you are floundering throughout the workplace in the process.

When that quiet guy from IT came to you with an idea early in a process for you to consider. When a new secretary pointed out an issue she has with her new job that was fixed at an old job with a simple and easy solution. When that intern asked, ‘Why would anybody want to buy that,’ and was honestly confused by what seemed like batches of outdated processes. These are example of investors in your company, people with money already in the game, who want nothing more than to see even more success from you, scrapping together real money to put into your product, not shrugging off some pocket change and hoping for the best.

If an investor came to you with $1,000 with no strings attached, other than to use the money for something benefiting the company, could you use it for something? Would you find a way to accept it?

It might not be that million dollar idea being offered up to you, but every suggestions is worth something. Remember that, and make sure you are getting your money’s worth from each and every idea that comes your way.

If you think you’re not getting enough opportunities, take a look at how many opportunities you are offering to others. Sometimes, a completely random idea that will do absolutely nothing for you could mean the absolute world to a friend or co-worker if you offered it and you help with it up to them does. Gestures like this will help you immensely gain more opportunities by:

Telling The Universe ‘I Wants Mine Back…’: Jump starting opportunistic karma is a very good thing, as you tend to get back as much or more of whatever you give, for good or for ill. So think of every idea you get that will help out a friend or coworker more than it will help you as a seed planted that will reap a harvest of greater opportunities for yourself in a few seasons.

Helping You See & Appreciate Opportunities As They Appear: Guess what? You’re probably wasting great opportunities daily. You’ll really grasp just how often an opportunity actually passes right by you as you see the people you offer up opportunities to pass you right by. Just like solid advice, most people are oblivious to when to jump on a general good thing because it didn’t descend from the heavens in the form of stone tablets and bonk them on the head…and even that might not be obvious enough for some. If people take you up on your offers a quarter of the time, you’re rocking Major League Baseball MVP numbers.

Making Your Our Opportunities: If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, you are more than entitled to increase your own luck and the luck of others at anytime you please. Offering up chances to help other advance is the perfect way for other to gain chances to help you in return. Just don’t take on the job of ‘opportunity maker’ with the mindset of ‘mafia boss enforcer.’ It’s not a straight up one-for-one deal.

With Labor Day coming to us in the U.S. this Monday as the unofficial end of summer and the first holiday of the fall, now is a good time to review your personal ‘time-off’ policy. And even if you’re a workaholic with to many open projects (like myself), you still need to find some time to get away from the work that you do, and more importantly, all the work going on around you, to keep yourself sane (or relatively sane, as in my case).

Try working this three pronged approach of scheduling time off:

Schedule Some Time Off To Take Care Of ‘Overflow’: You can get away from normal business and the chaos of those working around you so that you can take care of a few things, work related or personal, uninterrupted. It’s not really a vacation, but it gets you away to accomplish some important things that can relieve some of your personal stress. Just make sure you eliminate as many personal distractions as possible and get the work you’re getting away to get done done.

Schedule Some Time Off To Take Time Off…And Then Take That Time Off: This is your set up for a real vacation, away from any serious work. Don’t try to force yourself into having a good time by getting stuck to an itinerary, and don’t feel guilty if while inside some relaxation time your mind comes up with a clever idea to fix that nagging problem you left at the office. Jot it down quickly, then set it aside to deal with when you get back to the office.

Schedule Some Time Off To Review Where You Are: This one is pretty simple, and doesn’t need HR involvement. Set aside a regularly scheduled time and location where you can do a quick overview of tasks, goals, and maybe even life. It can be as simple as getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning, having lunch with just your notebook on a Thursday, or a full weekly review on Saturday morning.

These articles and blog post seemed pretty relevant to me at 3AM…

Even if you haven’t proven that you are Market #86 news anchor material, you can easily look like it, with the launching of the online consignment shop TVNewsCloset.com

Farhad Manjoo from Slate.com makes a plea to corporate IT managers to free us from Internet Explorer 6 and browse how we want to browse at work

Brazen Careerist has relaunched itself as a social networking site that you might want to add to your already unmanageable list of social networking sites you belong to…

…and because of that, Lance Haun at Our HR Guy Blog lays out the good and the bad of Gen Y’s use and abuse of their social networking privileges

And the Bad Pitch Blog offers up five links to help you with your writing skills in order to help you with your idea pitching efforts…

More that a few blogs I have scanned in the past few weeks have had some mini discussion revolving around the Peter Principle, which got me thinking about an opposite phenomena: people who get promoted to a level where their lack of competency should be obvious, yet they thrive and even grow.

People who know that they’re not smart enough for a job, but are able to seemingly get the job done do a few common things:

– they don’t go around pretending that they are actually smart enough for the job
– they don’t go around telling people they aren’t smart enough for the job either, and
– they don’t do anything to actively piss off those people that make sure they get the job done, despite not being smart enough

It’s akin to an NFL quarterback buying all of his offensive linemen expensive diamond watches at the end of the season for them not letting him get hurt. Take care of the people that make you seem like the wizard you are not, and watch how far you can go.


Expedia.com

Expedia.com

I have seen first hand the magic that come from propping up a person for job duties that are well beyond their capabilities, and they surprise themselves and succeed. I have also seen first hand the horrors that come from propping up a person for job duties that are well beyond their capabilities, and they prove everyone right and fail miserably.

There is a lot more of the latter happening in corporate America these days, which would be fortunate if it meant companies were becoming more confident in ‘fail-to-learn’ philosophies.

It happens to fall toward the unfortunate, as it really means too many companies have come up short on manpower after too many successes at cutting payroll. Still, companies are desperate to get the same level of work done despite the obvious lack of numbers to support the workload. Line managers hope for the best by giving addition duties to their workers for various reasons, and then give them hell when they can’t really handle it, even though they suspected it wasn’t going to work out from the beginning.

The real solution would be to hire back the lost employees and work at the regular levels again. That’s probably not happening any time soon. In the meantime, managers need to be extremely careful when putting the necks of the inexperienced on the line, for both of their sakes.


Online Training

TrainingCenter.com: Online Training For Everyone

Life has been a long set of hard and draining experiences lately, but I’m still moving forward, and hoping to continue helping you move forward also. While I’m editing some upcoming article, here are a few items that caught my attention…

A ‘new to me’ blog call client k has posted on the positive and negative power of creating drama

This story posting at Yahoo! News has all the proof you should need against people who insist on multitasking, saying they are awful at it

Nicholas Bate starts another 1-50 serious of posts today on ‘How To Be Brilliant.’ Number one may be the only one you really need

Under 30 CEO gives their take on how to motivate Gen Y to get their work done

And Tom Ziglar lets us read a letter from a friend with a message both us Christians and ‘us Christians’ need to soak in for a while…


Organize your life with FranklinCovey!

Organize your life with FranklinCovey!

A quick list of quick hits to some of the blog posts I’ve scanned this morning…

How important are background checks? Reality Blurred has an post on how one guy who was formally charged with murdering his ex-wife has effectively killed (bad pun intended) the two VH1 reality shows he was cast for…
http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/archives/vh1/2009_Aug_20_jenkins_murder_producers

Michael Wade at Execupundit give a break down on who leaves a company and who tries to stick it out with bad management arrives…
http://www.execupundit.com/2009/08/bad-management-who-leaves-and-who-stays.html

Seth Godin gives us some insight on how effective screaming can and can’t be to getting you point across, and hints more toward the can’t side…
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/08/willfully-ignorant-vs-aggressively-skeptical.html

Worried that your Twitter usage might be excessive and unnecessary? Mediabistro’s Webnewser blog has numbers from a Pear Analytics survey, stating that 40.55% of Tweets Are ‘Pointless Babble’ anyway…
http://www.mediabistro.com/webnewser/social_nets/pear_analytics_4055_of_tweets_are_pointless_babble_124444.asp?c=rss

And in a CDC study that seems to have stared at me through my window for a week, ‘lower extroversion’ is being found in adult video game players, noting that the average gamer is 35, fat and depressed…
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32463904/ns/technology_and_science-games/



Tom’s Shoes: Buy A Pair, Give A Pair

If Richard Simmons were to show up at your door step without any warning to set you up on a personal fitness plan, you might want to consider that you might have a weight problem. Because Richard Simmons doesn’t just show up at random houses without warning to set up random people on personal fitness plans.

And you should have figured out a long time before Richard Simmons showed up that you had a problem, and done something about. If Richard Simmons shows up at your doorstep, it is because you are in serious trouble–life or death trouble–with your health.

If some person of statue in your company or industry tries to step in and offer you a few suggestions out of the blue, would you consider it an insult or an opportunity?

If that same person came to you as part of a serious intervention on your part, would you push away or would you do exactly what they said exactly how they did it because they are far more successful than you?

You’re being approach because you’ve got a problem. A problem you may or may not have noticed in yourself, but someone else has, possibly because they have been in the same position you are in. And for whatever reason, they’re trying to help you.

Maybe they truly care about you. Maybe they only care that you are holding some project back and losing the company a lot of money in the process. They care enough to help you fix the problem.

The question you should be asking yourself right now is, do you care enough to let them help you fix the problem?


Personal Coaching Collection

Anthony Robbins Personal Coaching Collection

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