18 February 2010

Outlook integration with Social Media

Since many years Microsoft Outlook is one of the most important tools in my professional life.
Already a while ago Microsoft announced their plans to integrate connections with Social Media platforms, straight into the contacts and e-mail features of Outlook.
As a Proactive and Professional Networker, this was of course something I was very excited about. Normally I'm not much of a beta-tester, but this time I just couldn't resist and downloaded the Outlook Social Connector, the plugin for Outlook that opens the gates toward the Social Media platforms.

Today there is only one add-in available for this plugin, connecting Outlook to the Nr. 1 Business platform :
Soon other add-in's will be available too. Microsoft already announced connections to MySpace, Facebook and Windows Live.

The setup and configuration was not the easiest I've ever done. I installed the plugin onto Office 2007 Professional (Downloading a beta of Office 2010 was even too wild for me ...)
My biggest problem was the fact the add-in for LinkedIn wouldn't accept my login and password. After debugging this problem I found out that the client won't accept passwords containing a 'space'. I changed my password and got it up and running.

Result : It does exactly what it says on the box. When I receive an email from someone who's already in my LinkedIn network, I get extra information at the bottom of the page.
Even without the Linkedin connection it's already worth installing because the plugin gives you a history feature to track back all communication.
In the contacts section of Outlook you get an extra file with your LinkedIn contacts.

My conclusion : Bring on those new clients for Facebook and MySpace ... this is good stuff !!!

15 February 2010

Wealth Dynamics Profiles (Video)

Roger Hamilton, chairman of one of the largest Premium Networking organisations (XL Results Foundation) is talking about Wealth Dynamics Profiles.
These profiles show you exactly who you are and how you should be working with others around you.

Up until 2005 I was running my business activities in a typical "supporter" style, always having the feeling of running into walls. After attending a webinar from Roger I could understand that I had to change my behaviour. In Wealth Dynamics I have the Star profile, which is still very close to the Supporter, but with a different focus. After adjusting my behaviour to my profile things became much easier.

If you know what you're good at and you can focus on doing that, you will always be successful. If you will surround yourself with people who are good in other things, the sum of your capabilities and skills will make your team stronger.

11 February 2010

(un)Fair competition

In this blog I'm talking about the Social Media industry as an example, but I'm pretty sure the same goes for many other industries such as training, ICT, marketing, ...

Lately I see every 'dog with a hat on' organizing Social Media Workshops. Recently I got an invitation for one of those and I looked up the trainer on several online networks.
The largest network I could find where his 140 friends on Facebook ...

I also noticed some other Trainers and Public Speakers who are now on the market as Social Media Experts, but a few months ago they were speaking about Taxes and a few months before that they were speaking about marketing strategies. Whatever's hot is their game.

Lots of people attend these workshops and are often disapointed on the quality of the content.
Most of today's trainers don't walk their talk. I love to learn new things myself but the only way you can really pick something up is in the case that the trainer really knows his stuff ... from doing it himself.

In case of Social Media and Online Networking I do know most experts worldwide. It's not a very large crowd because there are only 4 or 5 in each country. Half of them are on the market as Public Speakers or Trainers and really know their stuff. As a few examples I'll drop the names of Octavio Pitaluga (Brazil), Thomas Power (UK), Louis Gray (Silicon Valley, USA) and Roger Hamilton (Singapore).

I have read a few good blogs with lists of questions to ask a potential Social Media Expert.
I really liked these questions and agree that any of those people I know would have no trouble at all answering them. Most of the trainers now jumping on the Social Media train "because it's hot" would probably have a huge problem finding the right answers.

The best part of Social Media is of course that you have all the tools to check people out yourself. Just tap in the name of the expert or trainer in any of your favorite Social Media websites and watch the results. Don't forget Google because you might even find some comments of attendees to earlier workshops. Nevertheless, I think there is a huge value in these workshops because we need to get the managers and entrepreneurs online now to keep up to level with the new generation of starting entrepreneurs.