Email: It’s Not an Eighth Grade Paper

Email should never be confused with the five-paragraph essay they taught us in eighth grade.

Try using five lines (one sentence per line) with one of them being an action line “Please confirm receipt,” “Please let me know by August 24 at 7:00 p.m.”


Which is easier to read?


Using the five-line method allows your reader to scan (read) the email, ascertain the meaning, and respond much more quickly. Because your message will be understood more easily, your response rate will increase.

Challenge:  Try it for a week.

Suggested Reading:

Twitter in Less than Five Minutes (a day)

guru logoOne of the reasons given frequently for not using Twitter is the lack of time.  I think you can maintain an account with a minimum of five minutes a day.  Like any skill, frequency, not duration, is the key to learning.

Try five minutes in the morning and when you feel comfortable add another five minutes after lunch or in the evening.  Of course, you can spend hours if you want, but it’s not required to maintain a social media pulse.

Watch my screencast here (best in fullscreen mode):

Customize Public Settings on LinkedIn

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Why am I on LinkedIN?  Well, it seems either someone wanted help with how to use it or someone else was looking for a job and wanted a recommendation or I felt that I was socially compelled to accept the invite.  For whatever reasons I’ve maintained my profile all of these years, I’ve never taken it that seriously until a couple of months ago.

I used to describe, and for the record I think it is still accurate, LinkedIN as an organic resume.  That is, it is living and active, and I sought only to connect with people I actually know or worked with. During a conversation on Twitter with @PamAnnMarketing I was told that LinkedIn isn’t a resume, it’s a business card. I realized that I better get my custom URL.

Well, that was a huge chore and for all of the benefits of LinkedIN, it’s user interface could use a bit more work.  (Maybe now that they’re on NYSE, they will fix this.)

Kill Two Birds With One Stone.  Manage your public settings right in the same spot where you are given the option to customize your URL.  Now, if your intent is to use LinkedIN as a business card, then you should have a photo that is visible to the public.  I am in agreement with Sean Jackson at Copyblogger about the photo:

Don’t get clever with your picture

No one will recognize you if they can’t see your face. The best pictures have solid color backgrounds with your face taking up as much of the frame as possible. Sean Jackson | Copyblogger 

You can click and unclick some of the other options and massage your public profile to your own delight, but let’s get down to the URL. Read more Customize Public Settings on LinkedIn

Twitter and LinkedIn – How linked should they be?

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Update 6/29/12:

Thanks to an announcement today, this entire blog post is obsolete.  Let us all take a moment of silence to remember the chaos once inflicted upon us by serial cross posters.

Now go and share some relevant content with your professional connections.  As Linkedin recommends:

“Initiate the conversation on LinkedIn.”

Wow! What a concept!

Many of my words of advice originate from my own user experience; and, frankly, it is annoying to login to my LinkedIN account only to see tons of updates from one person.

A message is only appropriate within the confines of the venue and the expectations within that venue.

During a #SMFastFwd chat in early December 2010, one of the participants made a great observation:

I like to say that Twitter is like a bar, FB is yr living room & LinkedIn is the local chamber of commerce. There r differences. #smfastfwd

~ Brenda Stoltz, December 8, 2010 @BSStoltz

People expect a high level of noise in a bar just as they expect a high volume of messages on twitter.  And if LinkedIN is the chamber of commerce or any other such place, then expectations differ.  I expect relevant, business-like information when I view my LinkedIN feed. Read more Twitter and LinkedIn – How linked should they be?

Most Overused Word in #SM: “Guru”

guru logoHere is my new blog and the title is a bit of a joke based upon my pet peeve of the word “guru” in so many twitter bios.

I believe that anyone can use social media to communicate their message;  you don’t have to be some kind of mastermind, maven, or guru.

I’ve been helping others along for years both in person and through my work and personal twitter accounts.

I figured it would be good to have an appropriate venue for any such information and so the experiment goes.!/gidgey/status/70717441143087104

A joke became an idea, and this is the beginning.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.