Category: socialmedia

The Credit Crunch and Social Capital – 4 Personal Branding Tips

How’s your personal Google rank these days? Is your personal brand showing up where you want it to (hint, a majority of links in the top 10 results, if not the top 4)?

## 0. Google Result item promotion ##
After [googling myself](http://www.google.com/search?q=Jeff+McNeill) today, I made a few discoveries, that seem interesting to share. The first discovery is that you can promote result items as well as remove them (see the little gray buttons to the right of each search result title link). Turns out promoting and removing items can make a difference on subsequent search results.

## 1. Use Identi.ca as you primary microblogging tool ##
My [Identi.ca](http://identi.ca/jeffmcneill) search result was the fourth result item (the first two are my blog and the third is a different Jeff McNeill). Twitter isn’t even in the top 100 results. This is a new development.

Use [Identi.ca](http://identi.ca/jeffmcneill) as your primary microblogging tool and set it up to [forward dents to Twitter](http://identi.ca/settings/twitter) (as well as subscribe to Twitter friends on Identi.ca). If you use a tool such as [Twhirl](http://www.twhirl.org/) it is possible to be logged into multiple sites and have a window into each of them, including identi.ca, friendfeed, and twitter.

## 2. Create evaluations and lists on Amazon.com (and make them public) ##
My [Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp2/profile/A3GPL1KOIQ25CH) profile and Amazon lists page are respectively the 5th and 6th result in the Google search. This requires more than just creating a profile. It is important to [review Amazon items](http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3GPL1KOIQ25CH) (and receive good relevance feedback) and create [a set of thematic product lists](http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A3GPL1KOIQ25CH).

## 3. Create a full profile on Linked In (and make it public) ##
[Linkedin](http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffmcneill) is the 7th result item. Create an account, link to friends, fill out the profile, and enable the public profile setting. This is likely the best online resume you will have so people, use a photograph that is “interview-worthy”. No sunglasses or muscle shirts. LinkedIn is not MySpace.

## 4. Enable a public profile on Facebook ##
[Facebook has public profiles](http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-McNeill/19510068), which need to be enabled and configured. It is not even possible to make a lot of information available, but these public profiles do turn up in search results. I found that out by discovering that someone else with my same name was turning up in the top 50 Google results a month or so ago. After enabling my public profile, it is now coming up to the top and is now the 8th result item for searching on my name.

## Extra credit ##
* [Friendfeed](http://friendfeed.com/jeffmcneill) is somewhere in the top 20 Google search results as well. Set up Friendfeed to import the various information streams from Identi.ca, Flickr, Amazon wish list, etc. This is automated and only needs to be done once, unless you want to engage in Friendfeed commenting, which can be entertaining. As mentioned above, Twhirl is a great client for FF.

* [Flickr](http://flickr.com/people/jeffmcneill) is in the top 20 Google search results as well. Use Flickr as your photo sharing site. Be sure to make friends and configure the profile page to encourage linking and friending activity.

Online Sharing of PDFs and other Documents – Four Options Compared

## Scribd ##
* [Scribd](http://scribd.com) could be consider the leader in this category, but there are several issues with this service.
* The most prominent problem is the way that they deal with illegitimate takedown requests. Who can trust a service that will not restore a document that is ones’ own when some other author has claimed that it is theirs? The inability to have private documents which are taken down for the same illegitimate reasons? While I liked Scribd in the beginning, they really need to get up to speed on legal issues. This is not only an issue of fair use (a copy of a paid for document uploaded and not shared), but an issue of actual intellectual property being denied inside of their service. No thank you.

## Docstoc ##
* [Docstoc](http://docstoc.com) is really the best out there in terms of functionality, though it is fairly ugly in terms of interface. Functionality beats beauty, however, in the absence of an equally functional competitor.
* There are friending/sharing options, as well as marking documents private.
* Unfortunately there is no group function, as there are (limited as they may be) in Scribd. This is one area I expect (and hope) there to be improvement soon.
* One great new application allows for direct [synchronization between a desktop and the user file system on Docstoc](http://www.docstoc.com/Sync/). I am testing this out now, and it seems to be working pretty well.
* Docstoc also has a nice [email attachments application](http://www.docstoc.com/oneclick/) that uploads and generates URLs for email automatically.
* Note that both Scribd and Docstoc do support more than PDFs for sharing.
* [Friend me on Docstoc](http://www.docstoc.com/profile/jeffmcneill).

## Issuu ##
* [Issuu](http://issuu.com) has a nice look and feel, and showed the real possibilities of flash paper, namely with artistic magazine layouts (as opposed to the business document). While this first overview and tour piqued my interest, a number of annoyances were soon encountered. There are some issues with Issuu…
* The uploader timed out at 100% when I tried an upload
* There were literally a dozen required fields before the upload would take, including several drop down menus (which are slow), as well as limited categories
* While there is an “invite my friends” option, when I used gmail to identify three friends who were users, it did not add them as people I am following. Presumably it sent them an invitation to friend me, but the people do have public profiles and potentially public documents to view, or at least documents tagged/favorited.

## Edocr ##
* [Edocr](http://www.edocr.com) allows for uploading and public sharing, and their viewer is nice.
* Unfortunately they don’t appear to have any privacy settings.
* They do have groups to join and other uses can be added to buddy lists as well as messaging between users.
* The uploader was somewhat annoying with all fields required and a 10 word minimum in the description field (which wasn’t stated ahead of time, had to submit and get an error).

## Slideshare ##
* I’ve included [Slideshare](http://slideshare.net) here as a fifth possible option, because I was able to upload a regular (non slideshow) pdf and it showed up fine on their site (as a single slide vertically scrollable document). However, the embedded player doesn’t seem to work with this kind of document (player never finishes loading).
* Slideshare’s groups, follow, and privacy settings (with secret urls and embedding allowed for secret or private settings) are excellent. They have had a lot of latency and very slow to fix certain bugs in the past, however they have a good set of early adopters and there is a lot of good content up there as of now. This makes them hard to ignore.

Quechup = Spam

To those people who received invites from my email address, this was done without my permission and I apologize. More info:

* http://billkosloskymd.typepad.com/wirelessdoc/2007/09/quechupcom-scam.html
* http://harddrivelife.com/2007/09/01/quechup-no-mustard/
* http://inoveryourhead.net/use-gmail-mark-quechup-as-spam/
* http://www.werner.be/2007/8/1/quechup-not-what-social-should-be
* http://technomarketer.typepad.com/technomarketer/2007/09/just-say-no-to-.html
* http://www.cc-chapman.com/2007/09/01/quechup-just-spammed-my-address-book/