LinkedIn Fosters Business Group Engagement

David Suntin of Trending Today.

Social media is ever evolving. The three principle platforms for sharing text and images are dominated by three providers: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The three are fundamentally different in their use but provide the same free-flow of information. Facebook and Twitter are largely considered social media but have integrated business applications. For instance, you can purchase advertising on Facebook. While companies seeking to fill positions now send out a “tweet”, directing potential applicants to another site.

LinkedIn differs from Facebook and Twitter because it targets business professionals as opposed to social networking. LinkedIn is more of a seminar or networking event, while Facebook is a family and
friend reunion site. Twitter allows everyday people to more directly connect with people of fame and/or influence.

The advantage LinkedIn is its catering to groups. These groups are created by like-minded professionals seeking similar goals and venturing on a common endeavor. LinkedIn groups also allow members access to information not included in the public domain. This feature allows for industry specific education which is undiluted with tangents and ancillary information.

Groups provide business professionals with the ability to narrow down to topics related to a particular industry. This also includes a search which filters content by date or by its popularity among other professionals. What this means is the ability to access information most beneficial to your field and discipline without having to wade through mountains of irrelevant posts, images and status updates.

Though LinkedIn is a business oriented platform, it incorporates the basics other social media provide. These features include not only creating groups, but sending and receiving private messages, accepting or rejecting connection requests and joining specific groups.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to post your resume and engage in activity which substantiates your professional credentials. The increasing popularity of LinkedIn among professionals is because those professionals can connect to industry insiders, newcomers and even to those in similar careers. This fosters an environment where businesses and individuals can meet, collaborate and expand their network. Take Daniel Zwirn for instance – His live public profile shows exactly the type of audience he’s seeking and what he wishes people to contact him for. Zwirn is a great example of somebody in a position to connect. His years of expertise as a financial advisor for multiple LLCs are not portrayed here. There’s plenty of opportunity for him to further engage with past and present partners with a few simple edits.

What is more, LinkedIn provides both employers and employees with the ability to improve their Google page ranking, determine the health of a company, vet a potential employee, increase their overall visibility, reconnect with old friends and schoolmates, find startup companies and ask other professionals for advice.

Another advantage of using LinkedIn to create a group is you largely control the information as well as its members. The controls the LinkedIn platform gives its users is generally more user friendly that those on Facebook and Twitter.

While professionals can still find good use in both Facebook and Twitter for integrating their professional and private life, LinkedIn is the only platform which relies on your business peers to vote your contributions up or down. Professionals should take the time to understand the basic differences between the three networking sites and choose which will best aggregate the information a user provides. Business insiders will likely find that LinkedIn often serves their career better than either Twitter or Facebook.

Posted under Online Marketing, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 4, 2011

How to Sustain Your Online Marketing Efforts

By: Bailey Digger

A recent news item caught my eye – Facebook now has over 500 million members, a figure that makes it the most populated community in both the real and virtual worlds. It is this immense popularity of the web that has made marketers tap its potential as a valuable tool in selling their products and services, and if you’re not on this bandwagon, you’re losing out big time. The secret of success in online marketing is that it’s not enough to just enjoy a good start; unless you’re able to sustain your momentum, you’re likely to bite the dust. And to keep picking up speed and continue to sustain your online marketing efforts, here’s what you need to do:

  • Change with the times: There’s no doubt that the web is taking on new avatars faster than we can keep up. There was a time when most communication took place through email. Today however, most people have moved to social media – it was the blogs that took over at first, and now they’ve had to make way for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Marketers who still enjoy success are those
    who made the switch to social media when they realized its potential – the viral marketing effect alone is every marketer’s dream. So unless you change with the times, you’re going to be left behind.
  • Don’t forget your existing customers: Some people are still dependent on their email for most communication, so it’s not uncommon to find people who stay away from social media because of the lack of privacy. So if you have customers who are not socially active on the net and prefer to limit themselves to email, it is your responsibility to keep them updated on your offers and other relevant information. Always remember that it’s not wise to ignore your existing customers in the pursuit of new ones.
  • Remember the situation: An online customer support staff member of a company I don’t wish to name here saw the short end of my fuse on a call one day – I was trying to secure a refund of my money which had erroneously been paid into someone else’s insurance renewal account, and in the middle of briefing me about the refund policy, the guy tries to sell me a new policy. I did not know whether to be astounded at the audacity of the chap or to suffer his foolishness at not knowing the first thing about customer mentality. Never try to sell to an aggravated customer before addressing the bee in their bonnet if you want to enjoy continued success in the online marketing world.
  • Listen to feedback: And finally, listen to what your customers and potential customers are saying, both explicitly and implicitly. If you don’t bother to ask for and analyze customer feedback, there’s no way you’re going to meet their needs. And when this happens, they have no qualms about switching to the competition. So keep your eyes and ears open, and if you see a need that is voiced by most of your customers, you must try and see if you can do it. Unless you listen to the voice of your customers (who are the reason you are still in business), you’re bound to fail.

This guest post is contributed by Bailey Digger, she writes on the topic of web design degree programs . She welcomes your comments at her email id: baileydigger189(@)gmail(.)com.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks, Tech2.0

This post was written by Joshua Russak on August 26, 2010

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Google Voice Translator “FAIL”

Transcribing Other Languages

A while ago, Google acquired a company called Grand Central and renamed its service Google Voice. Similar to gmail, you get a phone number and a voicemail inbox to use as an alternative to your home number.  If there are things that bother you about voice mail, then Google has the solution…almost! At around 18 seconds in they pitch that all voice-mails will be transcribed to text. Sounds great, but what about people who don’t speak English and want to leave voice-messages? No Problem! One of the more unique features is its ability to transcribe incoming voice messages and send them to you via email. But they haven’t nailed it down quite yet. Observe my most recent Voice Mail transcription.

Google Voice Mistake

“Hello thing that I’d get the is it that up about the delivery is scheduled in the good luck with at the demo what they put them on the, but it should take a minute and then and Billy Joel, Jeffrey about the like, 1. Bella lab either. Are you it’s not ok. The new it off. I was down at the same book again. I’m not going to think of them and then I will child. You done or give me that you don’t mind, I Mohammed okay and I’m guessing you’re.”

Want other examples? Check it DennyYunk,, and even some issues with transcribing English.

Fear Not…They’re working on it…I think?

I’m a bit concerned, considering all the hype about Google’s Real-Time Voice Translator. “Google engineers are working on a translator for Google Android smartphones to convert one language into another quickly enough to allow speakers without a common language to communicate with one another in near real time.” (Wired)

Their solution? On the bottom right they have an option that says “Transcript Useful”. When you click on it, it says the following…“Would you like to donate this voicemail to help us improve transcription? Want to help Google’s automated transcription get better? Donated voicemails will be listened to, manually transcribed, and used to improve our transcribing server’s accuracy. They are only used for this purpose.” And as with automatic text translation, what may begin as a fairly primitive technique will, Google hopes, become more sophisticated with the help of millions of users around the world. (DailyMail)

The Long Road Ahead

“It will be some time until we get to use live voice translation — probably in a “few years’ time,” Google’s head of translation services, Franz Och, told The Times. Despite “huge progress recently,” it’s still difficult to recognize various accents, Och explained. (PC World).

I’ve been following them since the days when it was called “Grand Central” and wasn’t owned by Google. My 1st blog (FreeCallReview) was about Free Web Activated VoIP services, I specifically mentioned Grand Central in 2007. That was 3 years ago…and they still have a ways to go.  David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at Bangor University, said the problems of dealing with speed of speech and range of accents could prove insurmountable. ‘No system at the moment can handle that properly,’ he added (DailyMail).

PS: Google, if you read this, my goal is simply to see you pay a little more attention to a potential GOLD MINE. Danke!

Posted under Social Networks

How Facebook Pissed Off My Wife…Again!

Seriously guys? Facebook’s last attempt at advertising pissed off my wife. I specifically told them: “Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy. Fix this!” At least in that case, there was some idiot developer to complain about…but in this case, I’m having trouble figuring out who is to blame.

For an average individual to be offended by facebook is rare, but for someone like my wife (I love you), who spends more time on Facebook than with me, it’s easily possible. In fact, she spends more time on Facebook than most people spend  working at their day job (probably because they’re on facebook too!).

What Did Facebook Do To Piss Her Off?

Having only been married for less than a year, my wife was simply doing what any newlywed would do…try to see what it’ll be like to have a kid with her new last name (Russak). She picks the name “Layla Zehava Russak” (…solid choice if I may say so). As protocol, she decides to see if there was anyone on Facebook with the name already.

She enters in the search and find her result:’s Shitler’s List Vol. 18

Facebook Anti-Semitic Search Result

I didn’t believe it myself, but there it was…a Bing! generated result that couldn’t have been any more irrelevant and offensive.

Freedom of Speech Applies To The Internet…

Now I’m facing a huge dilemma. My wife is pissed off at Facebook for offending her, while I’m trying to figure out how this happened and if it can be stopped from happening again. And the answer is simply “No!”.  The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). International, national and regional standards recognise that freedom of speech, as one form of freedom of expression, applies to any medium, including the Internet.

Unfortunately, it seems as if search engines are not allowed to censor information in the US as it’s integral to upholding the idea of “Free-Speech”. As a result, Facebook using Bing! search results means anything goes.

…But It Still Pissed Off My Wife!

Whether or not it’s legal…doesn’t make a difference to my wife. It still pissed her off. And as I stated in my last article, “Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy.” Yet another week on the couch. I should write an article “How Facebook Ruined My Sex Life” (…though they do have a Facebook group here)

In this case, Facebook may claim “Freedom of Speech”, but here’s the issue. Bing! is only a last result for when a Search Result can’t be located. Facebook needs to get smarter about the results Bing! pulls up. Otherwise, one day a child is going to try and find a name that doesn’t exist and  get XXX related search results instead.

Thanks a lot Facebook.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on April 14, 2010

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Facebook’s New Attempt At Advertising Pissed Off My Wife!

I was watching my wife browse her Facebook and out of nowhere an ad populated the top of her screen. Pushing her profile an uncomfortable 70 pixels down, there was now an ad for Showtime offering $25 cash back if you sign up now. …WHAT THE F*CK?

Facebook Advertising On Top Of Page

At first I couldn’t believe my eyes. I went ahead and researched how long this has been going. You know what I found? NOTHING! Not one article about Facebook banner ads located at the top of the page. In fact, I went to the Facebook advertising section and this is what it said:

“Your ad cannot include any image with dimensions greater than 110 pixels wide x 80 pixels tall and should have an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9.” (Source)

This ad was 566+ pixels wide…which seems to be in direct contradiction with what it says above. So where did it come from and what’s their pricing model?

Horrible Advertising…

I don’t like where this is going. It has been reported that Facebook could generate between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in revenue this year, according to Mashable. Everyone says “they need to monetize”? Well try and monetize without invading our personal space. And NURSE JACKIE? Come onnnnn!!! Oh, and now it’s serving up ads for NASCAR. Unfortunately I missed that one, but here’s the most recent one: An provocative ad for Evony, a browser-based multiplayer online game with graphic elements reminiscent of Civilization

…where the heck did they get the idea that my wife likes Nurse Jackie, Nascar and Evony? This is just entertaining.

My Wife Is Unhappy!

Somebody goofed over at corporate. I hope you don’t loose your job over this, but I’m in my 1st year of marriage. Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy. Fix this!

Posted under Online Marketing, Social Networks