Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Making the Most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn continues to grow and improve as a powerful professional networking tool.

A year ago, I joined LinkedIn to research networking communities for a project that I was working on with a client. At the time, seemed too juvenile and risque so I build a quick profile and began to explore the tool.

As a new member I found a few friends here and there that were connected and then within the next six months I began to receive more LinkedIn requests and I've slowly built my network to over 60 connections within a variety of industries. I was pleased to connect with fraternity brothers and college friends and even one of my good friends that interned with me at the White House during the Clinton administration.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that if used correctly can expand your networking skills and also build a great online resume for the world to see. Here are a few tips that can help your LinkedIn profile get noticed and also promote your Google Rankings and website traffic as a result through Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

  • Create a complete profile that lists all of the companies and positions you have held. LinkedIn aggregates your current and former companies to give you updates when your former colleagues or classmates have joined LinkedIn.

  • Spell the names of the companies and schools correctly! It's a great thing to have your profile available for the world to see, but horrible when you have blatant errors. In my haste to create a profile I misspelled "White House" as "White Houe". This prevented LinkedIn from notifying me of fellow White House alums because of my error (not to mention embarrassed me a bit). Luckily, editing your profile is a cinch.

  • When you build your profile use the "My Websites" section very wisely. This allows you to promote the organizations you identify in your profile. If you select "other" in the custom fields, you can create a custom title to promote your blog or website as well.

  • Customize your LinkedIn URL, you have the ability to create a custom URL with your name to promote in your auto signature on Outlook or email. For example, Add it to your auto signature and you provide the folks you email a non-intrusive way to learn about you and your credentials.

  • Recommend others and ask them to recommend you in return. It builds credibility and allows for others to endorse your stellar talents.
Think of LinkedIn as a 24/7 agent operating on your behalf with an electronic resume. Be sure to set your profile settings to "Full View" and this will allow you to get first page Google Rankings and instant SEO!

There are a variety of privacy options for those that would like to use the tool under more discreet conditions. Be sure to go to your privacy settings to adjust these.

You are also able to view statistics of your network as it grows that includes Your Connections, and connections Two Degrees Away and also Three Degrees away from you. Essentially providing your connection's, connection's connections which can all be reached through a LinkedIn introduction to enhance connectivity. You can also view geographic location of your network and the industries you have strong connections in.

Former Apple Computer evangelist, author of "The Art of Start", master blogger, marketer and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki shared in his blog, "How to Change the World" the following statistics about LinkedIn:
  • The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.
  • The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight.
  • People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.
  • All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.
Ready to step your networking game up? If so, then check out LinkedIn.

by Edward Cates
Already on LinkedIn? Post your comments about it here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snoop Dogg's Ego Trippin is the Evolution of a Gangsta

Snoop Dogg's Ego Trippin is one of the best albums I've purchased in the last two years. I've been a Snoop Dogg fan since he hit the scene with Dre on Deep Cover in the early 90's. I've bought every album he's made and now I'm 35 and recognize the parallels of where Snoop is in his life as a father, husband and a creative entity.

His latest entry Ego Trippin is signature Snoop and a classic album. As the self proclaimed "Boss", Snoop recognizes his past and revels in his achievement taking an album to create with wreckless abandon. See you can ego trip when you are on top of your game and expect a degree of leniency because after all it's just an ego trip.

Track No. 5 "Never Have 2 Worry" walks through his entire career in 4:18 seconds with the cool narrative and velvet flow that makes it Snoop. Track No. 6 "Sexual Eruption" or "Sensual Seduction - Radio Edit" is a great retro funk appeal that reminds us that T-Pain ain't the originator of the synthesized voice (RIP Roger Troutman) and holds no monopoly on the style. More over it's a true player's anthem for the ages.

Snoop has a long tradition of reserving one track on his album to remake a historic hip-hop or R&B song (Biz Markie's Vapors-Tha Doggfather). On Ego Trippin his choice of remakes is perfect with his new twist on Morris Day & The Time's Cool on Track No. 9. Only Snoop's swagger and old soul could do a great song like this any justice and overall it just works.

Keeping it true Snoop has some killer gangsta cuts that are a quick reminder of his legacy and true O.G. status. "Sets Up" (Track No. 10) is a tribute to Snoop's Crip origin callin' all to throw ya sets up and claim your hood. So Trill. My favorite track on the album is "Staxx In My Jeans" (Track No. 13), with the catchy screwed, chopped and looped "My pockets look like Re-Run your pockets look like Rog" that is just a classic hood banger.

Snoop also gets his Grown Man on as well with the album and puts that pimp type touch on the feel. With production from Teddy Riley and mixed by production prodigy Quik (formerly DJ Quik) the album has a rich and polished sound that has a sonic fullness that is lacking on recent hip-hop projects. "Been Around the World" (Track 14) and "Can't Say Goodbye" (Track 21) show the mature reflections of a father and husband that is anchored in is love for the hood but a focus on family first.

Much like Snoop I came from a tough neighborhood (although in Kansas City, Kansas) that shaped my life in ways that I would have never imagined. To this day there is an electricity that I feel when I get back to the hood that is filled with nostalgia and memories of my journey this far. At the same time, I respect the blessings of my growth that have led to having a wonderful wife, three beautiful sons and a growing entrepreneurial business. Snoop's album dialogues his journey and projects a true peace for where he is in his career. Growing but still able to do what he wants with an entire album, ego trippin' but delivering a quality project with street appeal and a highly marketable project.

I'm not a fan of daytime television and was pleased to see Snoop last week on ABC's The View with Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg and The View panelists. He thrilled the audience of mainly middle aged white moms with a performance of "Sensual Seduction". Best of all he had Tha Dogg Pound members Kurupt and Daz, producer Soopa Fly and DJ Battlecat suited and booted in ties and all clean as can be. At the end I saw members of the audience mouthing "I love you Snoop". Now that was big. But also what happens when you have consistently delivered quality work like Snoop.

As it gets warm again and the smell of Barbecue is in the air and I make it to the Car Wash a bit more we have another Summer Classic on our hands with Ego Trippin'. Thank you Uncle Snoop.

For more information visit Snoop's official site at

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Broadcast to the world via Yahoo! Live

Last week I was researching live broadcast solutions for my client, former NBA Player, Jerome "Junkyard Dog" Williams and his website

JYD hosts a Sirus Radio show and his website covers the latest in custom cars and the automotive industry. Automotive Street Style also has a TV Channel on Brightcove and also at

JYD hosted his own auto makeover show that showcased his custom design talents and was broadcast in the tri-state area on a show called "Make It Hot". To improve the content of Automotive Street Style JYD wants to broadcast shows live with his celebrity friends and auto enthusiasts from the state of the art broadcast studio he is building. I began to search the web and read countless articles on live streaming video and potential solutions.

I found, which offers a broadcast widget. I also found that there have been large aggregates of webcam communities out there. was another great option to distribute information to the web, but overall it seemed a bit sophomoric for my client.

Then I came upon a gem of a solution in Beta, Yahoo! Live. Once again, Yahoo pushes the envelope on developing a user friendly interface to bring web broadcasting to the masses.

Yahoo!Live is a web broadcasting community that allows members to set up a channel with an intuitive chat environment and also video chat. Other chat members with cams enabled come up in a dashboard interface that allows them to talk via webcam mic's or external mics. In 4 minutes, I set up a channel for this blog at Best of all, you can embed your live broadcast player into any web page. Allowing your channel to be spread virally.

JYD and I agreed to give Yahoo!Live a shot and setup a channel at Look out for our live broadcasts coming soon.

Outside of finding a free solution that meets our need, Yahoo! Live connects people in unique ways allowing us to satisfy the voyeuristic tendencies that the web accommodates. Also you see the humanity of those broadcasting. Like the Digga Channel one of Yahoo! Live's first broadcast channels depicting his life and also untimely death of his 3 month old son from SIDS (RIP Dame Lee II).

Also the welcome and flair of Bob on Bob is a Flatbush Brooklyn based barber that broadcasts his life welcoming all visitors, engaging them and encouraging them to turn on their cams and enforcing his rules of civility. I'll admit I had to get past his Sharptonesque Perm and love for the bling, but he's willing to broadcast his entire life while he cuts and busts his occasional freestyle flow.
I don't know that I have gotten to the point of broadcasting video blogs or prepared content. But whenever I am ready. I know how I'll reach my audience for now via Yahoo! Live.
Congratulations Yahoo! team on a job well done. Also check out the Urban Express Live broadcast below. You never know when I may be broadcasting live.
Check it out and let us know what you think. Post you comments below.

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