Serenity Now: How to Disable LinkedIn Video Ads

Serenity Now: How to Disable LinkedIn Video Ads

LinkedIn has been one of my favorite social and professional networking sites for years. Recently, they allowed 3rd party advertisers to generate video ads on the sidebar that autolaunch about 30-seconds after you sign in. The first time this startled me, I frantically scanned the page searching for something to click it closed only to find other video ads starting simultaneously! Do you hate these irritating LinkedIn video ads as much as I do? If so, the following post offers some solutions put the Zen back into your LinkedIn user experience. Panic Button: Mute Your Sound This one may seem obvious, but the quick fix to disturbing LinkedIn video ads is muting your sound. Mac users have it made when it comes to this as the F10 key on most keyboards will do that for you instantly. For Windows users, depending on which OS you use (XP, 7, 8 or hopefully not Vista) there are a number of ways to kill sound instantly. Some keyboards will have this functionality, you can right click on the speaker icon in your task bar or (in Windows 8) click WINKEY + I to access system settings and right click sound to mute. Browser based solutions to muting LinkedIn video ads are also an option. This allows you to continue using sound in other applications, such as Skype, Zoom or iTunes while keeping those annoying ads from disturbing your video conference or music. Internet Explore (IE) – mute sound by right clicking on Volume icon, Open Volume Mixer (shows you all applications using sound) and selecting mute next IE Firefox – add an extension...

Gamification Basics: What is Gamification and How Can It Help Your Business?

Nike has changed the game by creating a game. Each pair of Nike running shoes has an accelerometer that wirelessly syncs with your online Nike+ account. It tracks things like how far and fast you ran, how that compares with other runners, and it awards you virtual trophies for meeting milestones.  Most runners who engage in the Nike+ game would never think of owning another brand of running shoe. Nike has created the ultimate brand loyalty with a little thing called “gamification”. Learning The Basics of Gamification I love to play video games. Ever since I picked up a pong paddle way back in 1982 I was hooked. When Professor Kevin Werbach of the Warton School at University of Pennsylvania offered an online course in Gamification on Coursera, I jumped on it. This was the first week of class, and as we go through the course I hope to publish blog posts every Friday on the main subjects we covered, both to help me develop my knowledge and to share that with you. Ultimately, I hope that readers of this blog will find ways to use the information to inject some life and engagement to their own marketing and business efforts. Gamification is a hot topic right now in business, but so many people have the wrong idea about it. They think if you add a point system, create a few badges and reward people publicly then an exciting game has been created. Not so much. As we’ll learn in the next section of this post, those are just game elements. Companies may try to add them to the marketing...
Trust Me: Fool Proof Formulas to Get LinkedIn Recommendations on Your Profile

Trust Me: Fool Proof Formulas to Get LinkedIn Recommendations on Your Profile

Can you trust anything online these days? According to Bing Liu, a data mining and “opinion spam” expert from the University of Chicago, “about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake“. The New York Times revealed that book reviewers-for-hire will write favorable reviews of your work on Amazon.com for a fee without even reading it. And don’t get me started on fake Twitter followers (about 34% of Lady Gaga’s 28-million followers are fake). If it is so easy to fool people with fake endorsements, then why do LinkedIn Recommendations even matter? Employers Will Not Hire Applicants With Less Than 10 LinkedIn Recommendations Despite all we know about the credibility of online reviews they still matter. According to The Undercover Recruiter blog, many employers will not even consider you for a job unless you have more than 10 LinkedIn Recommendations on your profile. Some members are so desperate to beef up their recommendation count that they ask friends and family to write them or “trade” recommendations with other members whom they have not done business with (“I’ll write one for you if you write one for me”). These practices are not recommended (pardon the pun). So what drives the need for recommendations even though statically online endorsements are not trustworthy? The Psychology Behind Online Reviews: Cognitive Biases Cognitive biases are like subconscious shortcuts the brain takes to help a person act more effectively in given situations or make faster decisions when necessary. Influenced by evolution and experience, cognitive biases are beneficial when they result in good choices. Whether or not a persons’ biases are leading them to “good choices” can be determined...
The Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Photos

The Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Photos

If a picture speaks a thousand words the last thing you want is to be mute on LinkedIn. Your profile photo and summary are the first things that other members see when they visit your profile. Choosing the right photo can mean getting a gig, connecting with a key contact and making the right impression on other members. The photo represents who you are. Don’t make a mistake in which one you choose. People Will Judge Your Face: Facial Perception and Social Cognition Some professionals refuse to post a profile photo on LinkedIn. This puts them at a huge disadvantage to build an effective network. Since the LinkedIn profile consists mostly of text, the photograph serves as a stamp of authenticity, a way to build trust. This is not my opinion: science tells us that facial images have a huge impact on human behavior. “Face perception is the process by which the brain and mind understand and interpret the face.” (Source Wikipedia). When someone sees your LinkedIn photo, their brain immediately begins to create associations and categorize the image into a social schema. At this point social cognition brings to mind other information linked to the image by association. As a result judgements are formed which go beyond the image presented, pulling in outside information and influencing social behavior, such as whether to accept your connection request or email you for an interview. This process happens almost instantly and unconsciously. You cannot afford to create a negative judgement either by lack of photo or a bad photo. If you want to know how to take advantage of psychology and...
Get to the Point: How to Draft The Perfect LinkedIn Profile Summary

Get to the Point: How to Draft The Perfect LinkedIn Profile Summary

With 93% of recruiters using LinkedIn to discover new talent and 89% saying they have hired an applicant through LinkedIn, you cannot afford having a profile that does not deliver results. A few changes can mean the difference between being “in the stack” of profiles searched and at the “top of the pile.” Your LinkedIn profile Summary is just the place to start. Human Psychology Demands a Digestible Summary: What Do You Do? The first thing most people ask you at a party is “what do you do?” They are not looking for your elevator pitch, executive summary and certainly not your life story. Rather they are submitting to a basic psychological need to process and understand information as a whole before delving into it’s detailed parts The Geschtalt school of psychology, developed in Germany in the early 20th Century, says that “the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies,” and that “the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts.” This means that people need to quickly categorize you. By understanding quickly “what you do” people then remember you as Mike the lawyer/blogger, rather than trying to hang onto all the other details you gave them. You need to do this and more on LinkedIn. You’ve heard the expression, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, you LinkedIn profile Summary is your chance to make a first impression to anyone viewing your profile. You don’t just want them to “get” what you do. You want to make a connection and get the lead to a new opportunity....
Lessons From Legos: Creating Engagement With Decision Simplicity

Lessons From Legos: Creating Engagement With Decision Simplicity

Most online marketers measure success in social media based on Engagement. This vague measure of online dominance takes many forms that all indicate some kind of “customer hand raising” in response to company content. You want to see what Engagement REALLY looks like? My kids recently discovered Legos for the first time. I watched my five year old girl and my three and a half year old boy enter a world where Dad can help them build their own toys from these little plastic bricks, which can become anything they imagine. Hours of engaged play went by, and now they want everything Lego. In the first week alone we bought two more Lego kits, got  some Lego videos and even had our own little “Lego party”. Little did I know this experience with Legos would teach me everything I ever needed to know about Decision Simplicity and what it has to do with Engagement. Why Are Marketers Obsessed With Engagement? July 2012 marks the death of Engagement. Blogs began buzzing about this thing called “Decision Simplicity” after Patrick Spenner published his brilliantly titled post on Forbes.com: Marketers Have It Wrong: Forget Engagement, Consumers Want Simplicity. The article released a torrent of responses and blog posts decrying the demise of Engagement as the marketing metric of choice and proclaiming Decision Simplicity as the new king. Corporate marketers and social media gurus had been obsessed with “Engagement” for years, touting it as the primary indicator of a company’s success in social media and the surest way to close sales and establish brand loyalty online. Just create Engagement and the ROI of social media...