About Retha

http://www.solutionetics.co.za

Social Media Facilitator | Serial Networker | Twoogler | LinkedIn Advisor | Mac Fan | Caffeine Junkie | Car, Chocolate & Cat Lover | Web Developer | iPhoneographer

Posts by Retha :

Who should you connect to on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn connectYour LinkedIn success depends a lot on who you are connected to.  Many professionals on LinkedIn misunderstand this and believe that you should be connected to as many people as you can convince to accept your connections. This could not be further from the truth.

This is what LinkedIn says about it:

Connecting to someone on LinkedIn implies that you know them well:

  • They’ll have access to people you know
  • Others may ask you about them and vice versa
  • You’ll get updates on their activity

LinkedIn lets you invite colleagues, classmates, friends and business partners without entering their email addresses.

However, recipients can indicate that they don’t know you. If they do, you’ll be asked to enter an email address with each future invitation.

Here are a few reasons why you should only connect to those you KNOW, TRUST and CAN RECOMMEND:

  1. When you request a connection with someone you found through a name search on LinkedIn, you are asked how you know this person – colleague, classmate, business partner, friend, group/association or other.  Choosing friend or other will require the person’s email address before requesting the connection – again, to ensure you know the person. Most people lie through their teeth here just to make a connection with someone they usually don’t know from a bar of soap.  The reason LinkedIn asks is because it matters that you actually know the people you are connected to.
  2. I’m often surprised at how I am connected to nearly every professional person in my city or industry because we know someone in common.  If I see one of my connections is connected to someone I want to do business with, I can ask my connection to introduce us.  This is a very powerful feature as it gives credibility to both parties – like a real introduction by someone you know and trust to someone they know and trust.
  3. You can only get/give recommendations from/to your connections.  The same counts for endorsements.  Those you connect to who don’t actually know you will happily give you endorsements for anything – even though they have no idea if you actually have these skills.  This causes the whole endorsement feature to be worth less than the space it takes up on a profile.
  4. You see the activity of your connections in your Timeline (LinkedIn Home) and on the Signal page – if you know and trust all your connections, these updates are really interesting, keeping those who know and trust each other in business updated with each other’s professional lives.  If not, well, it’ll just be noise.
  5.  You don’t have to be connected to someone to network with them.  Networking is done via Groups and introductions.  Find a Group you are interested in, take part in discussions and you will get to know many professionals you are not connected to.  This could even lead to new connections!

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around the connection issue on LinkedIn.  Please help me spread the word – if your real connections are connected to people they don’t know, it will water down your networking experience on LinkedIn too!

Do YOU connect to people you don’t know on LinkedIn, and why?

  

Product review: Olloclip 3-in-1 lens for iPhone

Olloclip lens for iphone

Olloclip 3-in-1 lens for iPhone, available in white, black or red

My fascination with macro photography has changed forever with the Olloclip lens that clips to iPhone 4/4S/5 in three ways – a fish eye lens, a wide angle lens and my favourite, the macro lens! It’s brilliantly compact, easy to clip on and change between the thee lenses.

My only irritation (and it’s not the Olloclip) is the screen protector film lifting once in a while when you’re clipping the Olloclip over it.

Of course, professional photographers will need tripods, lighting and all kinds of plans, but since most of us get around every day with a camera in hand, we record life on the run. It’s never going to trump a professional shoot in quality and composition but it can be used to great effect, for both business and personal records. As I mostly take macro photos of flowers or plants, I often have no breath left by the time I take the photo! You really have to hold the phone dead still for a while to focus, compose the shot, etc. and if it’s a moving object… well, just take a lot of pics.. :-)  And have fun!

I post a link to my Tadaa page again – most of my photos are there.  Let me know where I can see yours.

You can buy yours at Kalahari for around R888

Here’s a video showing off the Olloclip:


Olloclip 3in1 lens for iPhone

  

Photo-sharing app review: Tadaa for iPhone

Tadaa is a a photo-sharing app that lets you edit and apply filters to your photos and share them in a community.

tadaa-rethavs

My Tadaa page – click to view

I love taking photos with my iPhone and after I stopped using Instagram, I tried a number of similar apps to use for posting my pictures online.  Tadaa offers much superior editing features, and I’m hooked!

What I like about Tadaa:

  1. Photo quality and size
    Comparing the Instagram pics I posted before with Tadaa pics, I realise how much I missed higher quality and larger (zoomable) pictures. Tadaa pics are posted at a maximum of 2048 x 2048 pixels and unlike Instagram, Tadaa doesn’t restrict users to a square image. Read More…
  

What to do with Duplicate Accounts in LinkedIn

In every LinkedIn workshop I find at least one person who has a duplicate LinkedIn profile – this is a very common occurrence as most professionals think they should create a LinkedIn profile for every new job or career.  This is not true, and can be crippling to your profile for various reasons:

  • Duplicate LinkedIn accountsWhen searching for your name in LinkedIn, all your (and your namesakes’) profiles will be returned in the results.  This is very confusing and does you no favours. Someone you have done business with may ask for your connection on the old profile and you will not receive the request, or worse… someone WANTS to do business with you but you do not answer their messages to your old profile.
  • All your professional experience, education and skills on ONE profile gives a complete overview of you as a professional. There’s no reason to separate it.
  • As you change jobs or companies, the email from your LinkedIn profile may be sent to a deleted email address.  The right thing to do would be to add a personal email address such as your Gmail address to your LinkedIn profile to allow password reminders/changes to be sent to you.  This way you will always be able to log into your LinkedIn profile to update your new position & company, and add your new email address. Read More…
  

LinkedIn Answers Shutdown on 31 January

If you have been a LinkedIn user for a while, you would have noticed quite a few changes in 2012:
(I link each topic to the LinkedIn help centre’s explanation as I don’t want to duplicate it all here)

The above were all changes for the better, and it’s clear that LinkedIn is improving in leaps and bounds!

The latest change baffles me a little, but I’m sure we will soon see why they have decided to shut down the ANSWERS section on 31 January, 2013.  I have always loved this section and found many answers to my questions by searching for answers there.  They promise to develop new and more engaging ways for us to share and discuss professional topics on LinkedIn, but if you have a lot of questions and answers you value in the ANSWERS section you will have to save it somewhere before 31 January!

I’ll be watching their plans and report back here with news!

===================

Added 28 January 2013:

With the demise of LinkedIn Answers, there is a new place to come to ask any question, any time. We aim to provide answers from people with authority in the topic.

Please visit the new Q&A Forum now (use the link below) and ‘Like’ a Discussion to help promote the Forum amongst your contacts.

And finally, please actively participate. Not only will you be helping others but you will broaden your professional network in the process. If you would like to help moderate any section of this Forum, please contact the group moderators.

MAIN FORUM:
Q&A Forum ►http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4805754

  

Why I left Instagram

After my last blog post, ‘Why I loved Instagram‘, I thought I’d explain why I have deleted my account yesterday.  There has been a lot of discussion about it everywhere on the Internet, but it seems most people stare themselves blind against the Terms & Conditions changes.  My reasons are perhaps only my own, but I will try to explain here for those who may have used it for the same reasons.

Goodbye InstagramThe reasons I will no longer be posting to Instagram:

  1. No ‘Preview on Twitter’
    In December 2012 Instagram (who was by now owned by Facebook) stopped supporting Twitter previews of Instagram photos, and while users can still post links to their Instagram photos on Twitter, they are no longer able to view Instagram photos from within the Twitter stream across both the Twitter Web site and mobile apps. Twitter is my main social media platform and it is really important to me that my followers can see previews of photos so they can choose if they want to click on it to see it on the Instagram site.  Now, a post from Instagram to Twitter will show the text and a cryptic link to Instagram, which gets a lot less engagement from Twitter users.  Previously, my Instagram photos got a lot of attention from my Twitter followers, but no more… I don’t blame them as I now find myself skipping over Instagram links in my Twitter timeline, rather than opening a website just to see a pic I may have no interest in. Read More…
  

Why I loved Instagram

On the 6th of January 2011 I made a new friend.  I found Instagram, and I was immediately hooked! I love taking pictures of things around me, people and places, and while my then iPhone 3GS was not the most advanced in photography, I always had it with me and it made perfect sense to use that to take photos rather than carting the SLR everywhere.

Note: Instagram is a mobile photo sharing app, originally only for iOS devices, but later also for other platforms.

Thank you InstagramHere are the 6 main reasons why I loved Instagram and used it daily for almost 2 years:

  1. Filters, frames, rotation, & tilt-shift
    Looking back at my first Instagram pictures now, I cringe at the overuse of filters, frames and other atrocities, but these could make a photo look a little different, highlight good parts or hide bad lighting – in my ‘3GS frame-of-mind’ anyway!  Tilt-shift was a quick and easy way to blur the background or just highlight parts of a photo.  Instagram also added new filters and functionality later. Read More…
  

Social Media Step 1: a LinkedIn profile

Before you start with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other social media marketing for your business, make sure you have an up to date LinkedIn profile. This will ensure that other professionals can find you online, and you have control over what you want them to know about you as a professional.

LinkedInThe three main reasons why every professional person should have a LinkedIn profile:

  1. Search Results
    If you have never ‘Googled’ your own name, do it now! If you have a LinkedIn profile, your LinkedIn profile will most likely be the first search result. Now picture someone who doesn’t know much about you, but would like to do business with you… what will they find when they Google your name? It’s even more important if you have namesakes because your profile on LinkedIn should make it easy to figure out which one YOU are! Read More…
  

What is Social Networking?

If you look up the definition of social networking on Google, you will mostly find references to web sites like Facebook and Twitter, dedicated to posting messages and sharing photographs. This, however, is only in reference to the way we understand it in our hi-tech world today.

social-networking-girls

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If we ask someone of age 80-90 what social networking is, she may tell you it’s what they used to do after church on a Sunday, or whenever they had a gathering of neighbours.  They would have discussed where to get the best deals, how the weather is affecting crops, the financial state of the country, and other interests they share.  This is also what we still do today when we are having drinks or a meal with our friends – we talk about things we are interested in, share experiences and ask/give advice. We attend business networking functions and discuss topics around our professions or industries with our colleagues or industry peers.

Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media platforms use the same principles as described above, we just do it online! There are of course the added factors of everything we say being published online, enabling those we grant access to it to read it again, quote it, share it, etc. but essentially the concepts remain the same.

Learn more about using social media to market your business online by attending one of my workshops!

  
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