LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 4 – LinkedIn Contacts)

LinkedIn just announced another new feature, LinkedIn Contacts. It’s a tool to keep track of people you know, whether they are found in your address book, email accounts, or calendars. LinkedIn is slowly sending out invitations to its members in the United States to add this feature. (Go to http://contacts.linkedin.com to put your name on the wait list.)

Contacts searches your online address book, email contacts, and people appearing in your calendar, and finds the ones who have LInkedIn profiles. It alerts you to to your contacts’ job changes and important events like birthdays, which gives you an opportunity to send them a message or call them. You will also have an option to add notes about how you met your contacts and your conversations, and create reminders of actions you need to take. For example, you might create a reminder to call a particular contact every three months. And when you open a contact’s LinkedIn profile, it will show you what email messages you sent them, and where they have been listed in your calendar.

Mashable reports that this new feature is based on on technology from Connected, a startup LinkedIn acquired in 2011.

LinkedIn Contacts is available on Linkedin.com and an iPhone app. Android users, hopefully there will be an app for your smart phone soon.

To read the article in Mashable, go to http://mashable.com/2013/04/25/linkedin-contacts/

LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 3 – a bigger Pulse)

After what many people think of as Google’s poor decision to drop Google Reader, LinkedIn has announced their acquisition of Pulse to strengthen their LinkedIn Today news sharing feature. According to the LinkedIn announcement:

“We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content.[emphasis added.] Millions of professionals are already starting their day on LinkedIn to glean the professional insights and knowledge they need to make them great at their jobs. We believe we can help all professionals make smarter and more informed business decisions leveraging all the great business knowledge flowing through LinkedIn in the form of news, Influencer posts, industry updates, discussions, comments and more.

Pulse is a perfect complement to this vision. Pulse’s core value proposition is to help foster informed discussions that spark the decisions shaping the world around us through news and information. This shared view that the power of professional information and knowledge can transform lives and the world makes LinkedIn and Pulse a particularly great fit. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working side by side with the Pulse team to create new and better ways to help professionals contribute to and leverage this collective body of business knowledge to help them be great at what they do and from wherever they work.”

Pulse brings a news reader that has relationships with more than 750 publishers, and distributes content to 30 million mobile users, LinkedIn says. Where Google Reader was a tool for individuals to find information, LinkedIn and Pulse can make it possible for individuals to find and share information.

Announcements are one thing, and actual service release is another. We can all think of acquisitions that never saw the light of day. But if LinkedIn makes this happen, Google may find their disappointed Reader users migrating to LinkedIn. All we have to do is wait and see.

LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 2 – mentions)

After announcing the changes to their search tool, LinkedIn has added ‘mentions’ to their status updates. This gives LinkedIn users the ability to mention or tag another LinkedIn user in a post, they way they do in Twitter with the @’name’ feature. When the user types a name in the update or comments space, they will see a drop-down menu with a list of their connections or companies they follow to select from. When a LinkedIn user or a company is mentioned in a post, they will see a notification like they would in Twitter. At this point it looks like the drop-down list will include only first-level connections, LinkedIn says you will have a similar ability to respond to public comments on the LinkedIn Homepage.

LinkedIn has introduced this change to make it easier for their users to start or continue conversations with other users, to make your connections more valuable.

Watch for more changes in the near future.

LinkedIn: the times they are a-changin’ (part 1 – search)

LinkedIn is gradually rolling out several changes to your home page. You will see these changes one day when you log in to LinkedIn – there does not seem to be any pattern to who will receive the update.

One change they are talking about is an update to their search function. Instead of searching separately for people, companies, jobs or groups you can start a search in more than one category. So, for example, you can search ‘Acme Manufacturing’ for their company page, people in your network who work at Acme Manufacturing, and jobs posted by Acme Manufacturing in a single search. This will give you a more comprehensive picture of what’s going on at your target company, no matter what you are looking for.

LinkedIn will also give you more options to narrow your search when you are using the Advanced People Search. This should let you focus more clearly on the people who meet your specific criteria and make your search for prospects or contacts more productive.

They will also add Google-like auto-complete and suggested search suggestions that will appear when you are typing in a search term.This small productivity enhancer will make your LinkedIn search experience more consistent with other searches you normally do.

This is not the only change LinkedIn has in store for you, and it is not the most visible. We will have more updates on that soon. In the meantime, as the Boy Scouts say, ‘be prepared”.

Protecting Your Online Reputation (part one):

Protect your wi-fi connections

If you’re like a lot of people, you use public wi-fi service offered by locations like Panera Bread. Unfortunately, some miscreants hang around public wi-fi sites using software tools to capture your passwords and other security information. When someone else has access to your account, it’s a lot harder to protect your reputation.

The good news is, many social sites have made a change to support start-to-finish encryption of your sessions with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This keeps your important information out of the hands of people with bad intentions.

Google has implemented encryption automatically – you don’t need to make any changes. Here is Google’s explanation. Looks a bit out of date, but informative 

LinkedIn uses encryption automatically for some kinds of transmissions, and gives subscribers the option to select SSL start-to-finish. They warn us that some third-party applications may not support SSL:

The road to selecting SSL for LinkedIn is a bit long. Click on the dropdown menu next to your name, then choose ‘settings’, click the ‘account’ tab, then click ‘manage your security settings’. Finally you will see this:

Twitter reportedly made SSL their default setting in 2011, but it would be worthwhile to check your settings. Click on the drop-down menu next to the silhouette on the top menu bar and select ‘settings’. You should see this (the selection for ‘password reset’ is optional but a good choice):

Facebook – check your setting by clicking on the dropdown menu next to ‘home’, select ‘account settings’ then ‘security’, and you should see that secure browsing is enabled. If not, edit the setting.

Taking these precautions will take you a long way toward keeping the bad guys from scanning your signals for passwords. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (pat@pathuston.com), Bob Gaynor (bob@pathuston.com), or go to www.pathuston.com.