Facebook: Are Your Friends Trusted Sources or Naggy Noisemakers?

People have been worrying for a long time about mixing business and pleasure on Facebook. Much of the conversation centers around how much of their personal lives people want to reveal to colleagues and bosses. But lately I’ve been interested in the flip side of this. How and how much should people talk about their businesses, their work, or their causes on Facebook or other social networking sites?

The answer depends on how interesting your work, your business and your causes are to your friends. If what you post is interesting or useful, your friends will view you as a trusted source, someone they turn to for inside information, much like a personal news service. But if it’s all self-promotional blather, your friends will vote with their mice by either silencing you (using the handy Facebook “hide” feature), or worse, hitting the “unfriend” button on the bottom left of the page.

It’s one thing to see friends promoting their own interests, but now companies are paying people with large social networks to tout their brands on Twitter. {Read the rest on Yahoo!}

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5 simple ways to share articles online

One of the best ways to stay connected to people or to stay on their radar is to send clippings. If you just want to send something to one person, nothing beats old-fashioned snail mail. But if you want to share articles with a wide group of people, there are some fantastic and easy ways to do that online. Each of these lets you easily share articles widely with just a few clicks.

Delicious: Delicious is a service that lets you bookmark articles you’ve read, add a description or editorial observation, and tag them by subject matter. That makes it a useful way to keep track of articles and blog posts you don’t want to lose, in a addition to a way to share what you’re reading with anyone who sees your Delicious tags. Ben Casnocha, one of my favorite bloggers, posts his Delicious Bookmarks and tags on the home page of his blog, creating a public record of what he’s recently read and what he’s thinking about what he’s read. Handy both for him and for anyone who wants to know what’s in his head. Facebook also has an application for Delicious so that every time you bookmark new articles on Delicious,  those links can show up on your Facebook profile.

Twitter: Though people think of Twitter as a place where people answer the prompt “What are you doing,” much of the action on Twitter answers the question, “What are you reading?” If you read something you like anywhere on the Web, posting it on Twitter is a two-step process. First, you’ll need to shorten the URL because if you leave it long, it will use up the 140-characters Twitter allows for a message. (See URL shorteners below). Then you can add some observation about the piece: “Brilliant post from Yahoo! Shine on how to share articles online.” Then you plop in the shrunken URL and hit send. Anyone who follows you will see your articles and because Twitter is public, your posts will also appear in the public timeline. Which means you might even get into conversations with people you don’t know because they are interested in an article you posted. Like Delicious, you can share your recent Tweets on a website or blog (Check out the right-hand column of Jennette Fulda’s blog, PastaQueen, to see how Twitter updates look on a blog. You can also have your Twitter updates show up on Facebook. (Caveat: some people find this annoying.) {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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LinkedIn for complicated resumes

Creating a LinkedIn profile is pretty straightforward when you have a job with a well-defined title. But I’ve been getting questions lately about how to create a profile on LinkedIn when what you’re doing isn’t so tidy. Two scenarios that come up a lot are how to create one of these profiles if you have a slash career (e.g. yoga instructor/caterer), or if you’re unemployed (or, as they say, consulting).

There’s some overlap between the two scenarios because in both cases you are taking what feels like a standard tool and tailoring it to fit your needs. And the good news is that when you spend a little time with it, LinkedIn allows for a lot of customizing.

Here are a few ideas: {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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Do you need an avatar

If you spend any amount of time online, you’ve probably needed to post a head shot or other image of yourself. If you’re lazy, you leave the photo area blank or go with a random photo you have lying around. But some folks are adopting avatars, those tiny cartoon-y images which are becoming increasingly common.

During the election, Obamicons (avatars in the style of the iconic Shepard Fairy Obama poster) were flooding the Web thanks to a free program offered on Paste Magazine’s website. Now, during the “Mad Men” frenzy, images like the one here are cropping up, courtesy of the “MadMenYourself” campaign on the show’s site.

So, why would you want one of these avatars? I’ve been talking to lots of folks who use them, and here’s what I’ve learned: {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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Who’s Finding Jobs Now?

While headlines continue to report on the grim state of the job market, people are getting hired every day. This ongoing series will bring you snapshots of who’s getting hired now with the back-stories of how they’re snagging the jobs.

This week’s job successes include a nonprofit manager who made a move when it seemed like no one was hiring, an engineer who tweeted his way to a new gig, and an event planner who created a full-time position out of two part-time jobs to bring in extra cash during her slow season.

Dan Zarrella, Boston, Mass
– From one job in online marketing to another position within the same industry.

Time searching:
About a month


Techniques:
Enhancing and promoting his “personal brand.” Networking on Twitter.

His story: When Zarella got laid off in December from a position at an online marketing firm, he took an approach that is becoming increasingly common — he immediately worked on enhancing his personal brand and made himself more known in the community where he wanted to find his next job. (For a quickie course on personal branding, read Dan Schawbel’s excellent new book, “Me 2.0″) He tells his job search story — on the blog of HubSpot.com, where he eventually got hired.  Even before he lost his job, Zarrella had the foundations of a good personal brand in place. He already had a personal blog, on which he identifies himself with the clever moniker “The Social Media and Viral Marketing Scientist.” He also used the extra time he had to develop some online tools related to Twitter, the microblogging site that is an essential networking zone for people in technology-related businesses. “Rather than trying to interrupt people in my space with advertisements about myself, I created things that people wanted to use and let them come to me,” he wrote about the experience.  He also posted on Twitter that he was looking for a new job and asked people who was hiring in the Boston area. A few people responded to his messages and directed him to Hubspot, where he saw that there were openings and submitted his resume according to the usual procedures. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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Facebook: It’s a Whole New World

Just when those of us who use Facebook professionally were getting up to speed on profiles vs. pages, and friends vs. fans, Facebook has gone and changed all the rules. I haven’t yet had time to sort it all out, and the redesign won’t take effect until March 11, but since I recently had a two-part guest post about Facebook Fan pages, I wanted to make to do a quick follow-up. Sounds like we should all see how this shakes out before deciding on a Facebook strategy.
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Should You Have a Fan Page on Facebook? (Part 2)

Yesterday, social networking guru, Katie Hellmuth, visited the Heymarci blog to talk about when it makes sense for an individual to have a Facebook Fan Page. Today, she has returned to follow-up that conversation with Part 2: How to Turn Facebook Friends Into Fans.

By Katie Hellmuth

Once you’ve started your Facebook Page, you need to bring over the troops, your true fans. Make the page. Use a few applications on it to jazz it up. Profile HTML is a good one for ultimate coding freedom, but can be buggy at times. The YouTube Box application is another good one. When it is ready for prime time, try a few techniques to engage your audience to do what you want them to:
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Should You Have a Fan Page on Facebook? (Part 1)

Lately I’ve been wondering about whether it’s time to move from a regular profile on Facebook to a fan page. It’s a conundrum I’ve been noticing a lot of buzz about lately. 

Because I primarily use Facebook to interact with people about ideas around work/careers, it gets kind of muddy when I want to catch up with friends and family who are on Facebook, but whose news is lost amid the chatter of status updates from friends I don’t know personally. Say a friend from real life gets engaged or moves to Tahiti, there’s a good chance I’ll never know about it.

For now, my solution has been to create various “friends lists.” Using this nifty Facebook feature, I have one list called “friends I know,” which is a much smaller group of people than my total list of friends. That list allows me to view status updates from that limited group. I can also decide that only these “friends I know,” will see certain photos or parts of my profile. 

But this is really only a partial fix because Facebook caps the number of friends a user can have at 5,000 people. And while I’m not there yet, I can imagine getting there some time soon. Then what?
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Taking the Social Networking Plunge

In light of the shaky job market, it is a good time to start hanging out on social networking sites, if you haven't done so already.

Setting the Record Straight Online

When online name calling threatens your reputation, sometimes the best remedy is to get right back online and defend yourself.

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