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Month: March 2012

How Not to Connect on LinkedIn

Recently I’ve gotten several requests from people to connect on LinkedIn. Which is normally fine. But what I find annoying is when somebody I don’t know—at all—sends a request to connect with no note, or instructions, or any other indicator of who on earth he or she is. When I get these, I do NOT hit the “accept” button, but instead hit the “reply (don’t accept yet)” button located just below it, and compose this same short, sweet message: After this point, I usually get one of four responses: “No, we haven’t met.” “No, we haven’t met… but I saw that you’re a part of (such and such) group and I’m also a big fan of that group and wondered if you’d like to connect and talk more about (such and such topic) at the next group meeting.” “No, we haven’t met, but you and I both know (so and so) and he mentioned that I should get in touch with you.” (no response at all) Response #1 is awful. I’m not a snob, but if I don’t know you, and you send a request to connect and you can’t give me a good reason (or one that even makes sense) I’m just going to delete your request. What a waste of time. These people clearly don’t understand how LinkedIn works. It’s about making connections with real live people,...

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City Councilman Tim Leigh

Nearly everybody in Colorado Springs has, at one time or another, heard of Tim Leigh. And if you’ve heard of Tim Leigh, it wasn’t just once. You’ve heard about him many, many times. He’s a Colorado Springs City Councilman (at-large), and with all the attention he gets, you may not believe that he’s actually one of the newest members on council. He’s been a councilor for all of one year, and yet he’s constantly in the news. Almost every day someone at the Gazette or the Independent has something to say about him. Sometimes, it’s nice. Sometimes, it isn’t. Occasionally, it’s downright nasty. But that, as they say, is politics. I know Tim, and I’ve gotta say, I really respect him. I’ve talked with him about how the media likes to poke fun at him all the time and he’s said he doesn’t care at all. In his words, his job is to ask questions and make decisions that affect the citizens that elected him. Not to try and please the media. Lots of politicians say that, but do they really mean it? I’m really not much for politics and don’t have any political exposure at all (except for when my Dad ran for State Senate in California, but I was 7 at the time.) Other than that, I don’t have an appetite for the finger pointing and blaming...

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Lessons From a Customer

A few years ago, I met with a customer who was an older gentleman in the roadbase and paving industry. I was asking him my standard questions before coming up with a proposal for a new website. I started asked things like “Do you have any social media accounts? Do you do any offline advertising? Who’s your target customer?” and he cut me off in the middle of my questioning. He kindly told me the following, which I’ll never forget: “Ron, I only have a seventh grade education. I dropped out and got a full-time job before I even made it to high school. I’ve been in the paving business for more than 30 years, and I’m good at laying asphalt. But I don’t understand these questions you’re asking me and I don’t own a computer. Do you see my phone? It only has ten buttons on it. I’m relying on you to tell me what I need.” I found this interesting, not because of what he said, but because of what he meant. People have occasionally told me to slow down before when I was explaining cloud computing or using Facebook to grow your customer base, but nobody had put it in such blunt terms before. Here are the things I think he meant by what he was saying: I’m good at what I do, but technology makes...

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Ron’s Rants: Copyright Notices

Ok, rant time. You know how sometimes you’re searching for something online, or looking through a photo album for an event, and you find a great photo, but it’s ruined because the photographer put a giant, obtrusive copyright notice right on the photo? I hate it when that happens. I’m not talking about an elegant copyright notice, or a neat, clean line with the photographer’s information towards the bottom of the photo. I’m talking about the really obnoxious kind that screams out at you like someone’s blowing an air horn in your face. I really, really, hate these and don’t see the point. I really think most photographers are far too obtrusive in the way they protect their images. I certainly understand the need to protect their images, and I’m all about following copyright laws. Heck, I’ve taken my fair share of photos, and took a year and a half of photography classes at the local community college so I understand the work that goes into a photo and the way it’s an artistic expression that means a lot to you. I can imagine the frustration of having people rip you off. But putting big honking messages all over your image doesn’t just prevent people from ripping you off—it makes you look like a jerk. It feels to me like you’re just yelling to get everybody’s attention, so they...

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