Archive for September, 2008


LinkedIn Gets Facebook Style Messaging

Every few days I get a message on LinkedIn about ‘hot SAP career opportunities’.  That’s excellent except for the fact that responding to messages on LinkedIn isn’t the best experience and I still enjoy my current job.

LinkedIn recently made a move to improve their messaging capabilities.  Sadly, they’re doing a very poor job of simply copying Facebook.

Facebook has been enhancing it’s messaging system for a while now and it’s actually pretty good.  I can message a friend, a friend list or an external email address.  I can add dozens of friends to a single message (I’ve added up to around 20) and the interface is clean and very easy to use.  The ‘new’ LinkedIn message center is simply a less functional copy of Facebook.

LinkedIn only allows up to 10 contacts on a message.  I can’t think of too many situations where I’d need more than a few people on a LinkedIn message but there are always exceptions and the fact that they’ve limited it is just silly.  They also don’t allow me (at least that I could figure out) to enter someones email address.  What if I want the message to go to an account that isn’t linked to my LinkedIn account, or to a co-worker that doesn’t have LinkedIn (yes, there are still those few).

One thing I did like about the LinkedIn message composer is the fact that it allows me to choose which linked email address the message is sent from.  Definitely something over Facebook…but then again Facebook doesn’t really need this.  I don’t want my work email address sent to people when replying to job opportunities.

Here’s a couple shots of the different messaging services for comparison:

Facebook Message Center

LinkedIn Gets Facebook Style Messaging

I know devloping these kinds of services requires a lot of work and I appreciate that.  It’s better than what it used to be.  I just think if you’re going to blatantly copy another social networks messaging capabilities you need to do it justice.


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Managing Subscription Content [How To]

Wow – once again, it’s been longer between posts than I had ever planned.  Everytime I feel like I’m about to turn the corner something else comes up and turns life back into a ridiculous time-crunch.  Anyways…

I consider myself an early adopter.  I’m currently using Google Chrome (the newest web browser), I’ve been using web-based email for years (I own Outlook and it’s not even setup), I blog, I have a Twitter account, I’ve had Facebook since it was first launched at my school and I read almost all my news online (I’m a fan of Google Reader).  Those are the best examples I could come up with…it’s been a long week.  Bare with me.  But sometimes, it’s nice to have a copy in hand and get your eyes off the computer screen.  With my travel schedule (around 120-140 segments a year) sometimes it just isn’t efficient to turn on the PC and use Google Reader offline with Gears.

The biggest problem I have with my magazine subscriptions is managing the content for reference later.  One of the best features (in my humble opinion) of Google Reader is the ability to tag and ‘Star’ posts.  I currently have 222 starred posts organized under 252 tags…I read a lot.  But, I can’t really do that with an article in a magazine can I?!?  It would be a little inefficient to award an article a gold star (think back to elementary school people) but have to look through each page to find it.

Here are a couple things I do to keep this information at my fingertips:

Summary Emails 

I send summary emails to myself for each issue if there is something worth remembering.  For example, I just finished reading the October issue of Money.  I sent myself an email with the subject “Money Magazine – October 2008″ and included key words such as “retirement locations”, “Roth Advantages”, “Social Security Taxation Formula”, etc.

I have a general tag (SUBSCRIPTIONS) that I apply to each of these emails for easy location later and if an issue is particularly heavy on something I may assign it additional tags.  For example, Money tends to have issues packed with retirement information.  So, at times, I label a whole issue with the ‘RETIREMENT’ tag.

The tags are great but it’s inefficient to create a tag for every possible key word.  By entering meaningful words in the body of the email I can search for them later with GMails built in search functionality and figure out which issue(s) I need to pull for additional information.

Scanned Articles

Sometimes an article just jumps out at me as amazing or there’s just one article from an issue that I’m interested in saving for later.  In this case I’ll scan the article and send it to myself as an image.  Nothing too fancy here folks, my $150 All-in-One handles the workload nicely.  Attach the image, label it ‘subscriptions’, add some key words and an appropriate subject and I’m sure to find it later.  For articles that fall into this category, I often star the conversation as well just to make it that much easier to find.

This allows me to trash the issue (there’s only so much space for storing subscriptions these days) but retain the information.  I don’t even know how many times I’ve pulled up previously read articles for quotes or references. 

The only real downside I’m facing right now is that I have to search twice.  With as much as I read, I can’t always remember where exactly I read something…I have to search.  In order to get the proper results I have to search Google Reader/sort through tags and search GMail.

It’s cumbersome at times, but I’ve found it to be a great way to manage print information so that it’s easy to find when you need it.  Hope this helps!


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