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Google Loves LinkedIn October 13, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in linkedin, Software plug-in.
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LinkedIn Loves GoogleGoogle loves LinkedIn and I’ve been including this fact in many powerpoint presentations and national speaking engagements for over a year now. There’s more to this love than how Google searches LinkedIn profiles. We can now see the extent of the relationship with today’s LinkedIn blog post announcing LinkedIn Labs (sounds and looks like Google Labs) and the great new projects contained within Labs to prove my point. I’ve used filtering on construction as examples throughout to keep my focus on the construction industry.

First, let’s peek at NewIn. This is a plugin for Firefox (not yet available on IE), that integrates Google Earth with the users on LinkedIn. Not sure of it as a valuable application but it is very visual as seen in this screenshot:

Next, I had to try out LinkedIn Signals. The LinkedIn Blog post today offered the 1st 500 people to request a sneak peek access. I added it after 2pm today. Signals makes LinkedIn status updates from connections look similar to Facebook as seen here: LinkedIn Signal's is better than Facebook's Wall I have to believe that LinkedIn is answering Facebook’s copycat of groups with a more business-like copy of the Facebook Wall. Perhaps this isn’t so much Google’s love for LinkedIn, but their answer to a possible adversary.

Finally to prove my point about LinkedIn and Google is the introduction of INstant, a Google-like search for the LinkedIn User that displays the connections you have based upon your search criteria. I can’t believe that there are over a million instances of construction but this screen shot verifies that very fact! An instant search of your 1st connections on LinkedIn

Then there’s ChromeIn, which I didn’t try out, but then I haven’t used Chrome yet. Being able to see your LinkedIn connections’ status updates in your Chrome Browser must be a good thing for Google.

My take is that with all the Google love for LinkedIn, Facebook is none too happy with their Business to Business audience performance. What’s your opinion?

How to Make a Personalized Newspaper with Google Reader and iGoogle April 16, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, email.
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1 comment so far

How to Make a Personalized Newspaper is really a big time saver and Google Reader with iGoogle made my information aggregating simple. Gathering news on your favorite topics can be a chore … visit your favorite websites and read through all the email subscriptions in your inbox. While my tech friends already use Google Reader or other RSS readers, I found that the rest of the world is still in the dark on how to make this automatic. Let’s first discuss what RSS is.

RSS is a term the news media has leveraged meaning Real Simple Syndication. To the layman it’s a way to subscribe to news, blog posts, etc. RSS eliminates the need for you to visit each blog or multiple websites to read updates and new articles. Adding iGoogle to the mix organizes all your “subscriptions” into a newspaper format filled with headlines, divided into sections and customized to your liking. So instead of receiving 100’s of emails a week, you visit iGoogle, choose what section of your newpaper you want to scan thru — glance at the headlines and read only those that peak your interest. Reducing email volume, alleviating distractions and enabling you to get caught up on topics quickly has proven to be a huge time saver. No more clogged email inbox for me! What’s really great is all this is easy to do and free to use.

How to Make a Personalized Newspaper
Let’s look at how my iGoogle “newspaper” is layed out:

My Personalized iGoogle Home Page

So how do you put this together?
Start with signing up for a Google gmail account. It will ask you for your login, password, etc. You do not have to make Google your defaul homepage or enable web history. It will ask you to try out Buzz…skip this for now as that will be covered in another blog post.

Then setup your iGoogle page
It will be configured for you but not personalized and may look something like this:

Sample Auto Configuration of an iGoogle Page

Now you get to customize it with gadgets. You can change the theme at the top if you’d like.
Start by arranging or removing the items it brought in automatically. Each of these items, like the clock is called a gadget. If you click in the top right section of the gadget on the down arrow you’ll get a dropdown box like this:

Gadget options

If you don’t want a gadget, just delete it. You can also move them around by clicking on the crosshairs and dragging it to where you want it.

Google also has many gadgets you may want to add. Click on Add Stuff in the lower right hand corner of the theme picture (top of the page) and you will be taken to another page. Some of my favorites gadgets are: Google Calendar, Google Translate, LinkedIn Search, and TwitterGadget. If you are a news junkie, grab CNN or FoxNews, or perhaps Engadget (IT guys like this). Don’t lose focus and just grab a few for now. Remember we are creating a customized newspaper of all things you like to read about. Once your finished grabbing gadgets, click “back to iGoogle page” (at the top).

Now lets create our newspaper sections.
Next to Home on the right hand side is a down arrow. This is where you can create new tabs. Here are mine:

Once you create tabs you can also drag gadgets from your homepage to another tab.

Now lets add our content – add a blog feed. Let’s go find some blogs that discuss topics that interest you. I don’t care if it’s photography, social media, construction or job hunting. There are hundreds of blogs to choose from. Use one of these tools to find your hobbies, interests and all things educational that you like to read about:

Once you find a blog you like, find the RSS button to subscribe to the blog. It may just have an orange logo or also say subscribe like this:

When you click the RSS logo it will take you to a screen like this: or it may have more choices like this:

If you select subscribe with Google it will take you to this page:

If you are still logged into google and on your iGoogle page, when you select “Add to Google Homepage” it will add the blog feed to whatever tab (section) you have open. Once the blog is on your page, you can click the down arrow and edit the gadget to have it show you the last 3 to 9 blog post headlines from that blogger. Repeat the steps and soon you’ll be reading your own custom newspaper too!

If you find a favorite gadget, decide to create your own customized newspaper or just found this a great way to reduce your email volume I’d love to hear from you. If you think a few of your friends might find this helpful feel free to share it with them. (Please click the Share this blog button on the Sidebar to the right)

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

“Building the Business Case for Social Media”

“End Embarrassing Email Errors”

“Email Records Retention Can Be Tricky”

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