Best Practice for Endorsing on LinkedIn

“And now for something completely different!” Yes, this is a bit off-beat for us, but we think you’ll be glad to learn a better way to endorse people on LinkedIn.

Recently LinkedIn has more aggressively elicited your endorsement for people in your network.  You are presented with four people from your network along with just one skill per person.

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You have the option of endorsing all of them at once, or one person at a time. Regardless of which path you take, you are only able to endorse one skill per person.  We want endorsements on LinkedIn to be meaningful, so we prefer to endorse multiple skills for one person at a time.  Here’s what we do…

First, go to the person’s profile page.  From the four person endorsement grid, you can right-click their picture and open a new browser tab or window. Alternatively, you can search for them or find them in your network other ways.

Once you are on the person’s profile page, simply use your mouse to hover over the drop-down indicator to the right of the Send a message button.

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Hovering will cause the drop-down menu to appear, from which you will select Endorse skills & expertise.  Now LinkedIn adds endorsement to the top of the person’s profile page.

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Within the endorsement area, you can add skills you want to endorse, remove skills you do not want to endorse, etc.  After completing the set of skills you want to endorse for that person, click the Endorse button. 

By the way, the person you have endorsed can remove your endorsement if they disagree with it for any reason. So we think it’s worthwhile to add skills you believe the person demonstrates.

TweetDeck: The Best of The Worst

Although I never liked Adobe AIR, TweetDeck on AIR was easily the best Twitter client for Windows.  After Twitter bought TweetDeck last May, the company began the process of replacing TweetDeck on AIR with TweetDeck on HTML5.

Unfortunately, the new version of TweetDeck regressed in functionality.  At first I couldn’t believe Twitter would release a product with a negative feature set – most software products taking this path quickly lose customers.  Many former TweetDeck acolytes are now enraged over the HTML5 version.  Consider the number hits by searching just Twitter.com for “TweetDeck” and  “fail.”

Well, like many of my virtual friends, I got frustrated with the TweetDeck.  So, I took a couple of days trying out the two top competitors: MetroTwit and Seesmic.  This experience raised the prospect that Twitter’s TweetDeck strategy has been to be the least bad of the field, a.k.a., The Best of The Worst Strategy.

If you’re interested in MetroTwit or Seesmic, see my pro’s and con’s below.  I’d like to know what you think about the state of Twitter clients, so leave some comments, too.

 

MetroTwit

The best aspect of the MetroTwit client is its Metro user interface which make for a clean and very legible UI.  Although the app could be more efficient with screen real estate – the bottom section for updates, searches, etc. should be collapsible – the overall feel is very good – colored fonts for URLs, hash-tags, user names; read-to line; scaled vertical scroll bar with some degree of read / unread indication; above/below line showing unread/read.

The negatives of MetroTwit, however, are substantial.  The real deal-killer for me is MetroTwit’s inability to handle multiple Twitter accounts.  I use at least two accounts frequently for business purposes.  Other people may also miss the ability to cross post to other social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

 

Other Pro’s & Con’s

Pro’s

Con’s

Config to minimize app to tray No feed prioritization (tweets, direct messages, lists, etc.) for API limits
Show (or hide) time tweet was posted No read/unread indicator on tweets
Show (or hide) poster’s Twitter application name No current tweet indicator (e.g., which tweet is currently selected in column)
Highly configurable alert settings No multi-device synchronization
Image preview  
Bit.ly account integration Only supports Twitter, bit.ly and j.mp link shorteners
Configurable font size  

 

These comments are based on MetroTwit version 0.9.3.0.

 

 

Seesmic

My favorite aspect of Seesmic is its multi-tabbed approach for Accounts, Userlists, Searches and All.  Each tab can have its own column set (although available columns are limited). I spend most of my time on the Userlists and All tabs. For example, my Userlists is configured with a subset of the lists that I want to follow closely.

Another big feature is the ability to hide tweets you’ve already seen (read).  Even better is that reading a tweet in one column marks it read in all columns.  I love this feature!  Several of my accounts follow the same users or lists, so it’s really nice to be able to view the tweet once and not have to re-view it again later.

Although Seesmic sometimes has a current tweet indicator, it’s very confusing.  Sometimes tweets are highlighted when you use the up/down arrow keys, but not always.  Clicking on a tweet never seems to highlight it, but pushing down arrow will then highlight the next tweet down.  I stopped trying to figure out a rhyme or reason for the functionality, so I suggest that the feature doesn’t really exist.

The thing that really caused me to stop using Seesmic was this error:

“Your Twitter session for account <account> is not longer valid. You need to login and grant permissions again.”

This error started appearing today and continued occasionally even after I stepped through the reauthorization screens.  Then I began ignoring the error and skipping reauthorization.  But I could still tweet and receive tweets.  Weird error, weird results of addressing the error; therefore lack of confidence in OAuth implementation.

 

Other Pro’s & Con’s

Pro’s

Con’s

Feed prioritization of feeds (tweets, direct messages, lists, etc.) for API limits Little control over what shows with tweet (time posted, poster’s application, etc.)
Indicator for unread tweets, column with unread tweets No option for minimize or close to tray
Multi-device synchronization Menu options are confusing, e.g., “Mark content as read” means mark all tweets in this column as read.
Highly configurable alert settings No option to mark & hide all in a column
Good ecosystem for Plugins. Facebook; LinkedIn; Foursquare; Klout; image previewers: twitpic, yfrog; link shorteners: bit.ly, is.gd  
Ability to disable specific plugins  
Reasonable mechanism for configuring plugin’s settings  
Selection of Quote formats  
Configurable font size  

These comments are based on Seesmic Desktop 2 version 1.2.0.1897.

To Block or Not To Block? That’s the Google+ Question

Ok, first let’s dispense with the Google+ Love – so far I really like it.  Circles is a good advancement in social networking, and provides a base for much more advanced features.

As I’ve been using Google+, however, I’ve run into a few issues that I don’t like so much.  I can do anything about some of them – like all the left-margin dead space – but I can make a suggestion about one item: what to do when you have lots of people to circlize.

If you let G+ connect with an external contacts list (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), you end up with LOTS of people to sort through, circlize, etc.  In my case, I had 1,200+ after connecting one of my external accounts.  Here’s what it looks like after quite a few circilizing rounds.

 

Google+ Circlizing Page

 

So, here’s the problem: As you go through the list to circlize people, all the  uncirclized people stay in the “Find and invite” queue.  Going through hundreds of people 11 at a time is grueling, especially when you have to revisit many of them over and over again.

Some might say, “That’s what the Blocked Circle is for.”  But that’s going too far for the large majority of the people in my list.  Blocked is very useful (I already have some in there), so I don’t’ want to dumb it down.

  • No, what I really wanted was a way to indicate:
  • I looked at this person
  • I am not ready to put them into one of my circles yet
  • But I may want to revisit and reconsider them later
  • And, if they circle me, I’d like to know about it
  • Therefore, I don’t want to Block them

In effect, I want to defer these people. So, I created a Deferred Circle.  Interestingly, I’m now going through my list and seeking deferrals first.  I just keep selecting people to defer until I encounter someone I want to put in a “real” circle.  Then I drop all the selected people into the Deferred Circle, select the encountered person, and drop them into the appropriate circle.

I like this much better and would like to see Google implement something like it.  If someone else has other ideas, I’d love to hear about them.

 

UPDATE: Another way to hide people from from the “Find and invite” queue is to use the little close icon to remove them from the queue.  This icon is a little “x” in the upper right corner of the person’s card in the queue.

G  Contact Card 01

This approach is certainly reasonable for cards that you know you won’t be adding to Circles.  I’ve been using this for mailing lists (e.g., *@googlegroups.com) and some individuals.

The problem with this approach for those you want to defer is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to view or retrieve a list of cards removed from the queue.  I can always add people by manually entering their email address, so that’s why I’m not using this removal function very much – it imposes the possibility of lots of manual entry later.

Silverlight Out-of-Box Launcher crash after Seesmic update

After launching Seesmic this morning, it recommended I update to the most recent version – Seesmic Desktop 2, version 1.1.0.1451, released on 1/13/2011.  After verifying that I have the correct version of Silverlight, 4.0.51204.0, I let Seesmic update itself.  When it was done, it said I would have to restart Seesmic to use the new version, so I exited the application.  Then this popped up:

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Notice that the exception occurred in coreclr.dll.  A very brief online search indicates that this may not be specific to Silverlight; at least one case I saw was in .NET 3.x.

The full problem signature details are:

Problem signature:

Problem Event Name:        APPCRASH

Application Name:        sllauncher.exe

Application Version:        4.0.51204.0

Application Timestamp:        4cf9ee78

Fault Module Name:        coreclr.dll

Fault Module Version:        4.0.51204.0

Fault Module Timestamp:        4cf9e8f2

Exception Code:        8013150a

Exception Offset:        0013d256

OS Version:        6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.4

Locale ID:        1033

Additional Information 1:        b76a

Additional Information 2:        b76aff7421cdd15f7b21d933c977a4f7

Additional Information 3:        b56d

Additional Information 4:        b56d590e599ff3a2de6d2ac24a1d1c63

Hopefully this will be helpful to someone.