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All posts tagged LinkedIn

LinkedIn and Microsoft, That’s Right.

LinkedIn just accepted a hefty $26.2 Billion from Microsoft for their acquisition. This has left techies, bloggers and astounded and scrambling to understand what just happened.

How much?!??

;

What Is LinkedIn?

All you have to do is jump over to LinkedIn’s About page:

LinkedIn - About Page

Nutshell, Microsoft just acquired “the world’s largest professional network with more than 433 million members in 200 countries.”

Start from the data, connections and analytics available. Now think about your connections. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the value of this kind of big data set. Do the math, how much Microsoft paid against the number of users…

What will Microsoft do with LinkedIn? We can expect UX refinements in iterations but not a sudden drastic change. Will LinkedIn end up with New Windows UI? Probably down the line.

LinkedIn is all about connections, networking and building relationships within the network. It’s about professional development for workers and sourcing for the employer. LinkedIn lets us build better profiles, in some ways replacing the conventional resume and references but more than that, it allows discovery. Discovery of potential job prospects and potential recruitment candidates.

Many people have faulted LinkedIn for their UI / UX choice but there are a few other big issues: –

  1. Discovery and ranking: how does LinkedIn actually improve your chances of discovery? There are different things you need to do to ensure a complete profile. In addition, you cannot neglect your profile nor fail to interact.
  2. Job suggestions: the algorithm behind this doesn’t learn from choices and often offers many false positives.
  3. Interaction: LinkedIn sends a slew of emails, and the more groups etc you participate in, the more email you have to wade thru.
  4. Groups: LinkedIn groups should be incredible but the groups are the successor to online forums and have not solved the problem of recurring discussions instead of a continued thread.

The Warptest POV

Satya Nadella has a vision, a mission statement for Microsoft. To empower each person… to do more. Microsoft is about productivity and collaboration and they have gone full-bore into cross-platform and open source.

Microsoft BUILD 2016 was where we saw much of this vision come together and it is not hard to see how this will be applied to LinkedIn:

  1. Metro New Windows UI: LinkedIn will iterate to a flat UI like the rest of Microsoft. Not overnight.
  2. Office 365: this is a no-brainer. Business Insider shows Satya Nadella’s letter regarding the LinkedIn acquisition and he makes clear reference to tighter productivity integration. Will we see “build a Word resume from your LinkedIn profile and save to OneDrive”? This, in-app use of templates and more Office 365 goodness can be expected.
  3. Cortana: as Cortana continues to evolve, acquire an increased skillset and integrate with more apps, we can expect to see Cortana integrate with LinkedIn.
  4. Bots: Microsoft launched their Bot Framework and this may offer a better solution to job suggestions, discovery and excess emails.
  5. Bing: Microsoft has integrated Bing with several other external platforms including Siri & Facebook (in the past). Logical and somewhat obvious.
  6. Office Graph: Office Graph and Delve make intelligent discovery seamless within Office 365. This will amp up job and candidate discovery.

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This doesn’t even factor in Microsoft location or ad services.

So Microsoft has the biggest dataset of professional connections in the world, new companies, who is looking for work, who wants to source the best candidates and the trending discussions in groups of different high profile jobs. This is all actionable intelligence for the biggest company selling Enterprise and Consumer IT solutions.
 
Now bring AI, bots frameworks, analytics and search-discovery to bear along with the most powerful productivity suite in the world.
Get ready for a better LinkedIn. I know I am.

Last Week I Got A Mail From LinkedIn…

Announcing a new feature and inviting me to try writing posts on LinkedIn in my area of expertise. It was nice to be acknowledged as an “expert” so I clicked on the link in the email and was taken to a page containing a web text editor that looked familiar to anyone who blogs on WordPress, Blogger or just about any other content publishing platform.

LinkedIn organic posting

The toolbar contains the expected formatting functions including embedding media, photos, bulleting and quotes.

Posts can be shared after publishing to Facebook, Twitter or on LinkedIn itself.

How do you know if LinkedIn has rolled out this feature to you? Look on the LinkedIn landing page on the status bar you post from. If you see a greyed out pencil icon on the right of the box then you have this feature.

LinkedIn - create a post here

Truth and Consequences

Last night I discussed this with several people after posting on Facebook and Twitter about the feature.

LinkedIn clearly wants our content and I wonder if this feature has been rolled out to only those who are sharing their own content from outside LinkedIn:

LinkedIn - Viewed Updates

Clearly there are some obvious consequences and intentions around this new feature:

  • LinkedIn wants to drive organic posting onto their platform and ergo off our blogs (unless your blog is not specifically on your niche expertise).
  • The more one posts via LinkedIn, the greater it will increase exposure as an expert in a particular field.
  • Organic post rankings versus shared post rankings will differ. (Hat-tip to the amazing Hillel Fuld for making this point about Google+ during his BizSpark presentation last week).

The Warptest POV

Are LinkedIn really Borging blogs? Are they making resistance futile and should we be abandoning our blogs in favor of posting organically? I don’t believe so.

They are definitely interested in building a strong content curation presence within their own ecosystem but this is an opportunity to redefine your blogging strategy and plan which niche content you post on LinkedIn and which gets shared from your blog.

The other payoff is increased exposure as a professional who is an expert in their field. At the end of the day LinkedIn is about our professional presence so why not attract job offers by using this feature?

I would not be surprised is we see a Klout like ranking system connected to this feature in the future (you read it here first, right?)

I’m working on refining my list of posts and blogging strategy right now, how about you?

Job Hunting Can Be Frustrating

If it’s not companies who don’t post the physical location of the job then it’s remembering the ins and outs of each platform you use to find jobs.

For people who don’t use LinkedIn frequently some of the intricacies can be challenging. I want to address what IMHO is a huge UI/ usability bug that may be holding your job hunt back.

Job hunting - maze

Image courtesy of Office.com online images

What’s LinkedIn Done Now?

LinkedIn is an incredibly flexible platform for posters whether it be of personal or company information or someone posting a job.

Mostly this flexibility is a good thing but when you encounter a job that fits you to a “T” and can’t find the Apply To button or an email address it seems designed to bamboozle your job hunting efforts.

The Warptest POV

If the company name is posted then no sweat, Google/Bing the company, find the sitemap and look for the jobs page for the HR email address or simply phone the company during office hours and politely ask for the HR email.

If the LinkedIn Job posting doesn’t list the company this is where I see the questions and frustrations in the comments.

Let’s not suggest this is any kind of test; proceed with the intention to get your application into the hands of the person who posted the job.

  • These jobs are usually via groups you follow and so, the post was made by a person whose name / photo is a link to their profile.
  • Go to the poster’s profile and the top pane that contains their name and details
  • At the bottom right of this is a Contact Info icon that to the naked eye appears grey and inactive (bad UI LinkedIn, sorry)
  • Click on this box and you should get the contact information of the person who posted the job.
  • Use this information to send your job application (assuming it doesn’t say something like personal e-mail / personal blog).

Job hunting - LinkedIn Contact Info

LinkedIn Profile - job hunting 1

LinkedIn - job hunting - contact info

There are no guarantees that the poster simply didn’t forget to add contact information but keep in mind that if they did, it was a genuine oversight and not intended to make your life harder.

Remember, this is a two way street and the recruiter / HR posting this job is as anxious to receive good candidates as you are to be one of those considered.

If you have a job hunting challenge then feel free to share it in the comments and if you have an opinion on this I’d love to hear it.

Good (job) hunting and remember use these tips and contact information responsibly.

Job Hunting Can Require Some Creative Thinking…

… If you decide to forego the shotgun approach of blindly applying for jobs then a targeted approach may need actionable intelligence.

targetted job hunting - crosshairs

You’ve decided what fields / job positions / titles you are searching for and you have defined the geographical catchment area probably based on just how much you are able or willing to commute but some companies decide to make it difficult for you and conceal their address on the job application or even on their website.

What do you do?

Many of us try the following checklist: –

job hunting - checklist address search

This approach is laborious and since most of the searchable information is garnered from the company itself, if they have opted to leave their local address off the website you will probably strike out.

At this point do you apply anyway or just keep job hunting? Has this compromised your targeted approach?

The Warptest POV

Recently I was contacted by a friend with a list of several companies like this and asked if I had any idea how to find their location.

I started suggesting similar steps listed above but then the word “location” gave me an idea… Foursquare

As Foursquare is possibly the largest locational database of retail and commercial locations it’s reasonable to try searching here first when job hunting:

Foursquare - job hunting

After testing this I confirmed that the popularity and gamification behind Foursquare encouraged company employees to check-in at each of these companies. Getting the addresses via Foursquare was a piece of cake.

So if you are searching for company addresses whilst job hunting then Foursquare should be your first stop.

Disclaimer: companies have many different reasons for opting out of posting their address online. Act responsibly and respect that. Use the information you discover but you don’t need to spread it far and wide.

Good (job) hunting!

Embedding, yeah that…

Today someone asked a question on Twitter that sparked my interest,
“What’s the point of Facebook’s new embed posts feature?”

embedding

One might ironically ask if I’m going to embed the question but for now, no. This got me thinking and I answered knowing they were a blogger that this feature allows portability of a conversation on FB into a blog post related to that subject.

Until Now…

… I used screen captures and pasted the jpeg into the post but there are a couple of issues with this: –

  • This is static, even if the conversation progresses the image remains the same.
  • This is a link directly to the conversation for whoever wants to participate: your blog now drives traffic to your Facebook post.
  • Screen capture, cropping and resolution are an inaccurate, time consuming art.

Social .. Embedding

So are all Social Networks equal when it comes to embedding?

Embed feature

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Location

NA

NA

Dynamic content

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Yes

Conversations

Embed child to get 1 parent but you can’t embed a whole conversation

Embed contains a link that opens the conversation in the browser

NA

NA

No

Sharing

Sharing buttons in embed

Sharing buttons in embed

NA

NA

No

Fav / Like / +1

Counts displayed

Counts displayed

NA

NA

No

Media:

NA

NA

Photo

Twitter photo services embed, others link

No

NA

NA

Yes

YouTube

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Yes

The Warptest POV

The chart above shows us that Twitter has the most open attitude to embedding tweets


— jonathanross (@jonathanross) August 22, 2013

sample Tweet from my Twitter account.

Followed by Facebook (personal profile and pages are the same) but come on Facebook, what about embedding photo posts?

Microsoft So.cl has embedding but the same menu has extensive Social sharing options too: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr or email which more than make up for the limitations So.cl embedding has versus the competition.

Apparently neither Google+ nor LinkedIn are interested in allowing embedding. I can understand Google whose gated community attitude
is apparent in other places but LinkedIn?

What if I want to embed LinkedIn Profile somewhere or posts? Well for posts there is a simple workaround: LinkedIn allows you to post to Twitter. Embed the post you want from Twitter.

embedding linkedin

The one I didn’t mention is YouTube itself. YouTube has an option in the right-click menu of each video to receive the embed HTML and if you know your code you can edit this to suit your design/layout.

In a nutshell embedding is as useful as you want it to be and the only downside is if the embedded post / status etc is deleted or for some reason the URL changes you are going to end up with a gaping hole in your website where the embedded content sat.

So, are you going to start embedding?

LinkedIn Endorsements via PlatoonThe Thing About LinkedIn Endorsements…

… it’s a classic example of rolling a feature that should have incredible added value but a combination of excessively open workflow and poor response to user feedback, you end up with confusion, irritation and a very full swear jar.

What the <redacted> is the point of Endorsements?

In principle LinkedIn Endorsements was meant to have offered a quick and easy way to combine profile skills / keywords / metadata and for your network to rate you for those skills with one-click.

LinkedIn Endorsements

In practice a lot of great people in your network are endorsing you for skills they may have never seen you use. Why? Because LinkedIn Endorsements have one constraint: the person endorsing you has to be in your network.

When LinkedIn Endorsements rolled out, were I the person testing this feature I would have failed it on the spot. Why?

LinkedIn is a Social Network.

This is a social networking feature and should be defined: –

Requirement -> Use Cases -> ETIQUETTE -> Spec -> Implementation

The Warptest POV

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like LinkedIn Endorsements and appreciate them and the people who take the time to give them.

However, IMHO this is a half-baked feature which was not spec’d out properly. Failing to define the etiquette for using the feature results in some unanticipated consequences: –

  • Gaming the system is way too easy: result – loss of overall confidence in the endorsements feature.
  • Dad, really?!? We all love our family but guys the point here is professional relationships. Unless you are Michael Corleone, getting Dad’s endorsement probably results in,

“Oh crap. How do I tell him to stop endorsing me for skills he doesn’t know about?”

This is pretty much the same for personal friends too: result – loss of overall confidence in the endorsements feature.

Godfather IIGodfather

There are more but in a nutshell a great feature gets wasted and produces a lot of white noise that no one wants to wade through.

Is it fixable? Yes, totally. LinkedIn if you are reading this then pay attention. Use a similar system to how connecting was on LinkedIn where one has to show some level of professional relationship to connect, the same should be true to endorse someone.

In the meanwhile I’m going to keep endorsing those people whose professional skills I know, respect and understand. How about you?