Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is much more than a place to post your resume and get a job.  It is actually one of my favorite social media sites that I don't use enough and their newly updated iPhone App has really caught my attention.  I honestly believe that LinkedIn has more staying power than Facebook or Twitter because of it's target audience and professional usefulness.

People often tell me that they just want to use 1 social media site and they have already chosen Facebook.  That's fine for some, but I think there are many more people who desire to separate their professional life from their personal life which is where LinkedIn enters the picture.

LinkedIn offers you a chance to share your about your professional experiences and connect with others coworkers, clients, or former classmates outside of Facebook.

Facebook recently announced that after now reaching 750 million users they are no longer focused on building the base of users but now building a better user experience.  I believe LinkedIn is about a year away from making this transition.  The user base continues to grow rapidly and I believe that in the coming years this will be an incredible site for users to really build their professional network and simply just build their business within LinkedIn.

I grew up watching the master networker, my father.  He worked in Sales and one of his greatest networking activities was being a part of the Rotary Club.  The best way that I can describe LinkedIn is that it is a virtual Rotary Club.  It's a community though that you don't have to wait until the weekly or monthly gathering to share or connect with.  In this online community you can connect with your network whenever and wherever you are.

In ministry it has been a great way for me to connect with other pastors and ministry leaders with similar interests and passions.  I have also been about to connect with other Social Media enthusiasts in the marketplace, some that I have met in person and others that I have not.

LinkedIn still has a long way to go when it comes to development of the site, but as its user base continues to grow and the site continues to develop I believe that LinkedIn will be a site that most will begin using on a daily basis.

If we're not already connected on LinkedIn, I hope you will go here and send me an invitation to connect.

Adjusting to Android

In a previous post I shared about my most recent purchase of an Acer Android Tablet.  After about a month now of getting used to the tablet there are few responses that I have:

1) I love what it can do.

I love that it has a USB drive and expandable memory!  I love that it plays flash video and that I can use it for CBC Online.  It really has incredible customization options and can do far more than I can even comprehend.

2) I miss the simplicity.

I have been a committed Apple user for the past 3 or 4 years and comfortable with their functionalities.  When it comes to syncing my iPhone with my Macbook it's a piece of cake, especially when it comes to media transfer.  There is nothing simple about my Android tablet and transferring data, especially media, has been a great pain.

3) I don't need it.

I'm glad I paid $300 for an Android tablet rather than $600 for an iPad.  It's a fun toy, but it's not a real useful tool.  At least not yet.  I am constantly finding more that it can do and I'm sure it will be something I will lean on heavily a year from now.  If you were to take away either my iPhone or my laptop, I would have a hard time functioning effectively.  If you take away my tablet, I hate to admit it but I might be even more productive.

This has been my experience so far.  I'm not giving up on it by any means and look forward to continuing to develop my understanding of the Android system.  I would love to hear from your experiences with an Android or Apple tablet.

Facebook Tips: Communicating Action

The first wedding that I ever officiated was outdoors on a hot summer day in San Antonio.  I was incredibly nervous and don't remember much about the ceremony.  I will never forget asking my wife how I did afterwards, and the first thing she said was: "Did you notice that you never told everyone that they could be seated?"

That wasn't in my notes.  I didn't think people needed to be told to be seated.  I was so focused on the 2 people in front of me that I somehow lost sight of the 100 people behind them.

Too often we assume people know what action to take so we never communicate it to them.

About a year ago I began researching some of the most interactive Facebook pages out there and connected with  Dr. Aaron Tabor who manages a page called Jesus Daily.  Jesus Daily then had about 2 million "Likes" and today has over 8 million.  Beyond the number of people on the page though, was the incredible amount of interactions.  I asked Dr. Tabor what his secret was and his response was so simple: "We communicate how we want people to respond."

If you go to Jesus Daily, you will see that at the end of each post they will ask for you to "Like" if you agree or "Comment" to share your prayer request.  It seems so simple but as we began to apply this simple technique to the CBC Online Facebook page we watched our interactions almost triple!

In case you did not know this already, Facebook's algorithm as to what is shown on the News Feed is based on the number of interactions (Comment, Likes, and Shares).  So if someone "Likes" your post it will then show in more news feeds and if they then "Like" the post it shows even more.  It basically creates a domino affect.

We have also found that as our interactions continue to grow on the CBC Online Facebook page, so do the number of people who now "Like" our page.  I'm guessing this is key to why the Jesus Daily page has grown by 6 million "Likes" in a year!

I encourage you to give this technique a try on your Facebook page, I can almost guarantee that you will see similar results.  That is unless your content isn't worth liking, but that's another post for another day.

My New Android Tablet

A couple weeks ago I bought my first Tablet, an Acer A500.  I honestly have been drooling over the iPad for 2 years but couldn't justify buying one.  The cost was too high and one of my primary uses is CBC Online which cannot function effectively on an iPad because it does not play flash.   I've been curious about Android devices for about a year, but I've been very committed to Apple as my past 3 computers have been Macs and my wife and I both have been iPhone users for several years.

A friend at CBC, Craig, sent me a coupon though to Staples for $100 off a tablet making this Acer only $300 (half the price of the iPad).  I began comparing it to the iPad and it had more functionality and better features.  The Acer can play Flash, has expandable memory, a USB drive, and the list could go on.  My wife gave me the green light and I leaped into the Android world and bought my first tablet.

So far I have no regrets.  I was able to buy a stylus and keyboard/case (that connects via USB) for less than $20 on Amazon and have been loving the flexibility that it provides me.  It's not a perfect device and I still have a lot of learning to do, but I will say that my first 2 weeks as an Android user have been a lot of fun!  I would love any advice on some great apps to download or any suggestions in maximizing the Android functionality (and flexibility!).

By the way, those HTC phones sure do look fun to use!